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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Loues Labour's lost137
    1885on the taber to the Worthies, & let them dance the hey.
    Ped. Most Dull, honest Dull, to our sport away. Exit.

    Enter Ladies.
    Qu. Sweet hearts we shall be rich ere we depart,
    If fairings come thus plentifully in.
    1890A Lady wal'd about with Diamonds: Look you, what I
    haue from the louing King.
    Rosa. Madam, came nothing else along with that?
    Qu. Nothing but this: yes as much loue in Rime,
    As would be cram'd vp in a sheet of paper
    1895Writ on both sides the leafe, margent and all,
    That he was faine to seale on Cupids name.
    Rosa. That was the way to make his god-head wax:
    For he hath beene fiue thousand yeeres a Boy.
    Kath. I, and a shrewd vnhappy gallowes too.
    1900Ros. You'll nere be friends with him, a kild your sister.
    Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and heauy, and
    so she died: had she beene Light like you, of such a mer-
    rie nimble stirring spirit, she might a bin a Grandam ere
    she died. And so may you: For a light heart liues long.
    1905Ros. What's your darke meaning mouse, of this light
    Kat. A light condition in a beauty darke.
    Ros. We need more light to finde your meaning out.
    Kat. You'll marre the light by taking it in snuffe:
    1910Therefore Ile darkely end the argument.
    Ros. Look what you doe, you doe it stil i'th darke.
    Kat. So do not you, for you are a light Wench.
    Ros. Indeed I waigh not you, and therefore light.
    Ka. You waigh me not, O that's you care not for me.
    1915Ros. Great reason: for past care, is still past cure.
    Qu. Well bandied both, a set of Wit well played.
    But Rosaline, you haue a Fauour too?
    Who sent it? and what is it?
    Ros. I would you knew.
    1920And if my face were but as faire as yours,
    My Fauour were as great, be witnesse this.
    Nay, I haue Verses too, I thanke Berowne,
    The numbers true, and were the numbring too,
    I were the fairest goddesse on the ground.
    1925I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs.
    O he hath drawne my picture in his letter.
    Qu. Any thing like?
    Ros. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
    Qu. Beauteous as Incke: a good conclusion.
    1930Kat. Faire as a text B. in a Coppie booke.
    Ros. Ware pensals. How? Let me not die your debtor,
    My red Dominicall, my golden letter.
    O that your face were full of Oes.
    Qu. A Pox of that iest, and I beshrew all Shrowes:
    1935But Katherine, what was sent to you
    From faire Dumaine?
    Kat. Madame, this Gloue.
    Qu. Did he not send you twaine?
    Kat. Yes Madame: and moreouer,
    1940Some thousand Verses of a faithfull Louer.
    A huge translation of hypocrisie,
    Vildly compiled, profound simplicitie.
    Mar. This, and these Pearls, to me sent Longauile.
    The Letter is too long by halfe a mile.
    1945Qu. I thinke no lesse: Dost thou wish in heart
    The Chaine were longer, and the Letter short.
    Mar. I, or I would these hands might neuer part.
    Quee. We are wise girles to mocke our Louers so.
    Ros. They are worse fooles to purchase mocking so.
    1950That same Berowne ile torture ere I goe.
    O that I knew he were but in by th'weeke,
    How I would make him fawne, and begge, and seeke,
    And wait the season, and obserue the times,
    And spend his prodigall wits in booteles rimes.
    1955And shape his seruice wholly to my deuice,
    And make him proud to make me proud that iests.
    So pertaunt like would I o'resway his state,
    That he shold be my foole, and I his fate.
    Qu. None are so surely caught, when they are catcht,
    1960As Wit turn'd foole, follie in Wisedome hatch'd:
    Hath wisedoms warrant, and the helpe of Schoole,
    And Wits owne grace to grace a learned Foole?
    Ros. The bloud of youth burns not with such excesse,
    As grauities reuolt to wantons be.
    1965Mar. Follie in Fooles beares not so strong a note,
    As fool'ry in the Wise, when Wit doth dote:
    Since all the power thereof it doth apply,
    To proue by Wit, worth in simplicitie.
    Enter Boyet.
    1970Qu. Heere comes Boyet, and mirth in his face.
    Boy. O I am stab'd with laughter, Wher's her Grace?
    Qu. Thy newes Boyet?
    Boy. Prepare Madame, prepare.
    Arme Wenches arme, incounters mounted are,
    1975Against your Peace, Loue doth approach, disguis'd:
    Armed in arguments, you'll be surpriz'd.
    Muster your Wits, stand in your owne defence,
    Or hide your heads like Cowards, and flie hence.
    Qu. Saint Dennis to S. Cupid: What are they,
    1980That charge their breath against vs? Say scout say.
    Boy. Vnder the coole shade of a Siccamore,
    I thought to close mine eyes some halfe an houre:
    When lo to interrupt my purpos'd rest,
    Toward that shade I might behold addrest,
    1985The King and his companions: warely
    I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
    And ouer-heard, what you shall ouer-heare:
    That by and by disguis'd they will be heere.
    Their Herald is a pretty knauish Page:
    1990That well by heart hath con'd his embassage,
    Action and accent did they teach him there.
    Thus must thou speake, and thus thy body beare.
    And euer and anon they made a doubt,
    Presence maiesticall would put him out:
    1995For quoth the King, an Angell shalt thou see:
    Yet feare not thou, but speake audaciously.
    The Boy reply'd, An Angell is not euill:
    I should haue fear'd her, had she beene a deuill.
    With that all laugh'd, and clap'd him on the shoulder,
    2000Making the bold wagg by their praises bolder.
    One rub'd his elboe thus, and fleer'd, and swore,
    A better speech was neuer spoke before.
    Another with his finger and his thumb,
    Cry'd via, we will doo't, come what will come.
    2005The third he caper'd and cried, All goes well.
    The fourth turn'd on the toe, and downe he fell:
    With that they all did tumble on the ground,
    With such a zelous laughter so profound,
    That in this spleene ridiculous appeares,
    2010To checke their folly passions solemne teares.
    Quee. But what, but what, come they to visit vs?
    Boy. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus,
    Like Muscouites, or Russians, as I gesse.
    Their purpose is to parlee, to court, and dance,
    M3 And