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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)

    A pleasant conceited Comedie:

    Quee. Whats your will sir? Whats your will?
    Clow. I haue a Letter from Monsier Berowne,
    1030to one Ladie Rosaline.
    Que. O thy letter, thy letter: He's a good friend of mine.
    Stand a side good bearer. Boyet you can carue,
    Breake vp this Capon.
    1035Boyet I am bound to serue.
    This letter is mistooke: it importeth none heere.
    It is writ to Iaquenetta.
    Quee. We will reade it, I sweare.
    Breake the necke of the Waxe, and euery one giue eare.
    1040Boyet reedes.
    BY heauen, that thou art faire, is most infallible:
    true that thou art beautious, trueth it selfe that
    thou art louelie: more fairer then faire, beautifull then beau-
    tious, truer then trueth it selfe: haue comiseration on thy
    heroicall Vassall. The magnanimous and most illustrate
    1045King Cophetua set eie vpon the pernicious and indubitate
    Begger Zenelophon: and he it was that might rightly say,
    Veni, vidi, vici: Which to annothanize in the vulgar, O base
    and obscure vulgar; videliset, He came, See, and ouercame:
    1050He came, one; see, two; couercame, three. Who came? the
    King. Why did he come? to see. Why did he see? to ouer-
    come. To whom came he? to the Begger. What saw he? the
    Begger. Who ouercame he? the Begger. The conclusion is
    victorie: On whose side? the King: the captiue is inricht, on
    1055whose side? the Beggers. The catastrophe is a Nuptiall, on
    whose side? the Kinges: no, on both in one, or one in both.
    I am the King (for so standes the comparison) thou the Beg-
    ger, for so witnesseth thy lowlines. Shall I commande thy
    1060loue? I may. Shall I enforce thy loue? I coulde. Shall I en-
    treate thy loue? I will. What, shalt thou exchange for raggs
    roabes, for tittles tytles, for thy selfe, mee. Thus expecting
    thy replie, I prophane my lippes on thy foote, my eyes on
    thy picture, and my hart on thy euerie part.

    Thine in the dearest designe of industri,
    Don Adriana de Armatho.

    Thus
    D3