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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    At Christmas I no more desire a Rose,
    115Then wish a Snow in Mayes new fangled showes:
    But like of each thing that in season growes.
    So you to studie now it is too late,
    Clymbe ore the house to vnlocke the little gate.
    Ferd. Well, sit you out: go home Berowne: adue.
    120Bero. No my good Lord, I haue sworne to stay with you.
    And though I haue for barbarisme spoke more
    Then for that Angell knowledge you can say,
    Yet confident Ile keepe what I haue sworne,
    And bide the pennance of each three yeeres day.
    125Giue me the paper, let me reade the same,
    And to the strictest decrees Ile write my name.
    Fer. How well this yeelding rescewes thee from shame.
    Item, That no woman shall come within a myle of
    my Court.
    Hath this bin proclaymed?
    Long. Foure dayes ago.
    Ber. Lets see the penaltie.
    On payne of loosing her tung.
    Who deuis'd this penaltie?
    135Long. Marrie that did I.
    Bero. Sweete Lord and why?
    Long. To fright them hence with that dread penaltie.
    A dangerous law against gentletie.
    Item, Yf any man be seene to talke with a woman within
    140the tearme of three yeeres, he shall indure such publibue
    shame as the rest of the Court can possible deuise.
    Ber. This Article my liedge your selfe must breake,
    For well you know here comes in Embassaie,
    145The French kinges daughter with your selfe to speake:
    A Maide of grace and complet maiestie,
    About surrender vp of Aquitaine,
    To her decrepit, sicke, and bedred Father.
    Therefore this Article is made in vaine,
    150Or vainely comes th'admired Princesse hither.
    Ferd. What say you Lordes? why, this was quite forgot.
    Ber. So Studie euermore is ouershot,
    While it doth studie to haue what it would,
    155It doth forget to do the thing it should:
    called Loues Labor's lost.