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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Folio 1, 1623)

    134 Loues Labour's lost
    All three of you, to be thus much ore'shot?
    You found his Moth, the King your Moth did see:
    But I a Beame doe finde in each of three.
    1500O what a Scene of fool'ry haue I seene.
    Of sighes, of grones, of sorrow, and of teene:
    O me, with what strict patience haue I sat,
    To see a King transformed to a Gnat?
    To see great Hercules whipping a Gigge,
    1505And profound Salomon tuning a Iygge?
    And Nestor play at push-pin with the boyes,
    And Critticke Tymon laugh at idle toyes.
    Where lies thy griefe? O tell me good Dumaine;
    And gentle Longauill, where lies thy paine?
    1510And where my Liedges? all about the brest:
    A Candle hoa!
    Kin. Too bitter is thy iest.
    Are wee betrayed thus to thy ouer-view?
    Ber. Not you by me, but I betrayed to you.
    1515I that am honest, I that hold it sinne
    To breake the vow I am ingaged in.
    I am betrayed by keeping company
    With men, like men of inconstancie.
    When shall you see me write a thing in rime?
    1520Or grone for Ioane? or spend a minutes time,
    In pruning mee, when shall you heare that I will praise a
    hand, a foot, a face, an eye: a gate, a state, a brow, a brest,
    a waste, a legge, a limme.
    Kin. Soft, Whither a-way so fast?
    1525A true man, or a theefe, that gallops so.
    Ber. I post from Loue, good Louer let me go.

    Enter Iaquenetta and Clowne.
    Iaqu. God blesse the King.
    Kin. What Present hast thou there?
    1530Clo. Some certaine treason.
    Kin. What makes treason heere?
    Clo. Nay it makes nothing sir.
    Kin. If it marre nothing neither,
    The treason and you goe in peace away together.
    1535Iaqu. I beseech your Grace let this Letter be read,
    Our person mis-doubts it: it was treason he said.
    Kin. Berowne, read it ouer. He reades the Letter.
    Kin. Where hadst thou it?
    Iaqu. Of Costard.
    1540King. Where hadst thou it?
    Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
    Kin. How now, what is in you? why dost thou tear it?
    Ber. A toy my Liedge, a toy: your grace needes not
    feare it.
    1545Long. It did moue him to passion, and therefore let's
    heare it.
    Dum. It is Berowns writing, and heere is his name.
    Ber. Ah you whoreson loggerhead, you were borne
    to doe me shame.
    1550Guilty my Lord, guilty: I confesse, I confesse.
    Kin. What?
    Ber. That you three fooles, lackt mee foole, to make
    vp the messe.
    He, he, and you: and you my Liedge, and I,
    1555Are picke-purses in Loue, and we deserue to die.
    O dismisse this audience, and I shall tell you more.
    Dum. Now the number is euen.
    Berow. True true, we are fowre: will these Turtles
    be gone?
    1560Kin. Hence sirs, away.
    Clo. Walk aside the true folke, & let the traytors stay.
    Ber. Sweet Lords, sweet Louers, O let vs imbrace,
    As true we are as flesh and bloud can be,
    The Sea will ebbe and flow, heauen will shew his face:
    1565Young bloud doth not obey an old decree.
    We cannot crosse the cause why we are borne:
    Therefore of all hands must we be forsworne.
    King. What, did these rent lines shew some loue of
    1570Ber. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heauenly (Rosaline,
    That (like a rude and sauage man of Inde.)
    At the first opening of the gorgeous East,
    Bowes not his vassall head, and strooken blinde,
    Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
    1575What peremptory Eagle-sighted eye
    Dares looke vpon the heauen of her brow,
    That is not blinded by her maiestie?
    Kin. What zeale, what furie, hath inspir'd thee now?
    My Loue (her Mistres) is a gracious Moone,
    1580Shee (an attending Starre) scarce seene a light.
    Ber. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
    O, but for my Loue, day would turne to night,
    Of all complexions the cul'd soueraignty,
    Doe meet as at a faire in her faire cheeke,
    1585Where seuerall Worthies make one dignity,
    Where nothing wants, that want it selfe doth seeke.
    Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,
    Fie painted Rethoricke, O she needs it not,
    To things of sale, a sellers praise belongs:
    1590She passes prayse, then prayse too short doth blot.
    A withered Hermite, fiuescore winters worne,
    Might shake off fiftie, looking in her eye:
    Beauty doth varnish Age, as if new borne,
    And giues the Crutch the Cradles infancie.
    1595O 'tis the Sunne that maketh all things shine.
    King. By heauen, thy Loue is blacke as Ebonie.
    Berow. Is Ebonie like her? O word diuine?
    A wife of such wood were felicitie.
    O who can giue an oth? Where is a booke?
    1600That I may sweare Beauty doth beauty lacke,
    If that she learne not of her eye to looke:
    No face is faire that is not full so blacke.
    Kin. O paradoxe, Blacke is the badge of hell,
    The hue of dungeons, and the Schoole of night:
    1605And beauties crest becomes the heauens well.
    Ber. Diuels soonest tempt resembling spirits of light.
    O if in blacke my Ladies browes be deckt,
    It mournes, that painting vsurping haire
    Should rauish doters with a false aspect:
    1610And therfore is she borne to make blacke, faire.
    Her fauour turnes the fashion of the dayes,
    For natiue bloud is counted painting now:
    And therefore red that would auoyd dispraise,
    Paints it selfe blacke, to imitate her brow.
    1615Dum. To look like her are Chimny-sweepers blacke.
    Lon. And since her time, are Colliers counted bright.
    King. And AEthiops of their sweet complexion crake.
    Dum. Dark needs no Candles now, for dark is light.
    Ber. Your mistresses dare neuer come in raine,
    1620For feare their colours should be washt away.
    Kin. 'Twere good yours did: for sir to tell you plaine,
    Ile finde a fairer face not washt to day.
    Ber. Ile proue her faire, or talke till dooms-day here.
    Kin. No Diuell will fright thee then so much as shee.
    1625Duma. I neuer knew man hold vile stuffe so deere.
    Lon. Looke, heer's thy loue, my foot and her face see.
    Ber. O if the streets were paued with thine eyes,
    M1v Her