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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    2815To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
    Berow. To moue wilde laughter in the throate of death?
    It cannot be, it is impossible.
    Mirth cannot moue a soule in agonie.
    Rosal. Why thats the way to choake a gibing spirrit,
    2820Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
    Which shallow laughing hearers giue to fooles,
    A iestes prosperitie lies in the eare,
    Of him that heares it, neuer in the tongue
    Of him that makes it: then if sickly eares
    2825Deaft with the clamours of their owne deare grones,
    Will heare your idle scornes; continue then,
    And I will haue you, and that fault withall.
    But if they will not, throw away that spirrit,
    And I shall finde you emptie of that fault,
    2830Right ioyfull of your reformation.
    Berow. A tweluemonth? well; befall what will befall,
    Ile iest a tweluemonth in an Hospitall.
    Queen. I sweete my Lord, and so I take my leaue.
    King. No Madame, we will bring you on your way.
    2835Berow. Our wooing doth not ende like an olde Play:
    Iacke hath not Gill: these Ladies courtesie
    Might well haue made our sport a Comedie.
    King. Come sir, it wants a tweluemonth an'a day,
    And then twill ende.
    2840Berow. That's too long for a Play.
    Enter Braggart.
    Sweete Maiestie vouchsafe me.
    Queen. Was not that Hector?
    Duma. The worthie Knight of Troy.
    2845Brag. I will kisse thy royall finger, and take leaue.
    I am a Votarie; I haue vowde to Iaquenetta
    To holde the Plough for her sweete loue three yeere.
    But most esteemed greatnes, will you heare the Dialogue
    that the two Learned men haue compiled, in prayse of the
    Owle and the Cuckow? it should haue followed in the
    called Loues Labor's lost.