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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    140Loues Labour's lost
    The vertue of your eie must breake my oth.
    2275Q. You nickname vertue: vice you should haue spoke:
    For vertues office neuer breakes men troth.
    Now by my maiden honor, yet as pure
    As the vnsallied Lilly, I protest,
    A world of torments though I should endure,
    2280I would not yeeld to be your houses guest:
    So much I hate a breaking cause to be
    Of heauenly oaths, vow'd with integritie.
    Kin. O you haue liu'd in desolation heere,
    Vnseene, vnuisited, much to our shame.
    2285Qu. Not so my Lord, it is not so I sweare,
    We haue had pastimes heere, and pleasant game,
    A messe of Russians left vs but of late.
    Kin. How Madam? Russians?
    Qu. I in truth, my Lord.
    2290Trim gallants, full of Courtship and of state.
    Rosa. Madam speake true. It is not so my Lord:
    My Ladie (to the manner of the daies)
    In curtesie giues vndeseruing praise.
    We foure indeed confronted were with foure
    2295In Russia habit: Heere they stayed an houre,
    And talk'd apace: and in that houre (my Lord)
    They did not blesse vs with one happy word.
    I dare not call them fooles; but this I thinke,
    When they are thirstie, fooles would faine haue drinke.
    2300Ber. This iest is drie to me. Gentle sweete,
    Your wits makes wise things foolish when we greete
    With eies best seeing, heauens fierie eie:
    By light we loose light; your capacitie
    Is of that nature, that to your huge stoore,
    2305Wise things seeme foolish, and rich things but poore.
    Ros. This proues you wise and rich: for in my eie
    Ber. I am a foole, and full of pouertie.
    Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong,
    It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
    2310Ber. O, I am yours, and all that I possesse.
    Ros. All the foole mine.
    Ber. I cannot giue you lesse.
    Ros. Which of the Vizards what it that you wore?
    Ber. Where? when? What Vizard?
    2315Why demand you this?
    Ros. There, then, that vizard, that superfluous case,
    That hid the worse, and shew'd the better face.
    Kin. We are discried,
    They'l mocke vs now downeright.
    2320Du. Let vs confesse, and turne it to a iest.
    Que. Amaz'd my Lord? Why lookes your Highnes
    Rosa. Helpe hold his browes, hee'l sound: why looke
    you pale?
    2325Sea-sicke I thinke comming from Muscouie.
    Ber. Thus poure the stars down plagues for periury.
    Can any face of brasse hold longer out?
    Heere stand I, Ladie dart thy skill at me,
    Bruise me with scorne, confound me with a flout.
    2330Thrust thy sharpe wit quite through my ignorance.
    Cut me to peeces with thy keene conceit:
    And I will wish thee neuer more to dance,
    Nor neuer more in Russian habit waite.
    O! neuer will I trust to speeches pen'd,
    2335Nor to the motion of a Schoole-boies tongue.
    Nor neuer come in vizard to my friend,
    Nor woo in rime like a blind-harpers songue,
    Taffata phrases, silken tearmes precise,
    Three-pil'd Hyperboles, spruce affection;
    2340Figures pedanticall, these summer flies,
    Haue blowne me full of maggot ostentation.
    I do forsweare them, and I heere protest,
    By this white Gloue (how white the hand God knows)
    Henceforth my woing minde shall be exprest
    2345In russet yeas, and honest kersie noes.
    And to begin Wench, so God helpe me law,
    My loue to thee is sound, sans cracke or flaw.
    Rosa. Sans, sans, I pray you.
    Ber. Yet I haue a tricke
    2350Of the old rage: beare with me, I am sicke.
    Ile leaue it by degrees: soft, let vs see,
    Write Lord haue mercie on vs, on those three,
    They are infected, in their hearts it lies:
    They haue the plague, and caught it of your eyes:
    2355These Lords are visited, you are not free:
    For the Lords tokens on you do I see.
    Qu. No, they are free that gaue these tokens to vs.
    Ber. Our states are forfeit, seeke not to vndo vs.
    Ros. It is not so; for how can this be true,
    2360That you stand forfeit, being those that sue.
    Ber. Peace, for I will not haue to do with you.
    Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
    Ber. Speake for your selues, my wit is at an end.
    King. Teach vs sweete Madame, for our rude trans-
    2365gression, some faire excuse.
    Qu. The fairest is confession.
    Were you not heere but euen now, disguis'd?
    Kin. Madam, I was.
    Qu. And were you well aduis'd?
    2370Kin. I was faire Madam.
    Qu. When you then were heere,
    What did you whisper in your Ladies eare?
    King. That more then all the world I did respect her
    Qu. When shee shall challenge this, you will reiect
    King. Vpon mine Honor no.
    Qu. Peace, peace, forbeare:
    your oath once broke, you force not to forsweare.
    King. Despise me when I breake this oath of mine.
    2380Qu. I will, and therefore keepe it. Rosaline,
    What did the Russian whisper in your eare?
    Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me deare
    As precious eye-sight, and did value me
    Aboue this World: adding thereto moreouer,
    2385That he would Wed me, or else die my Louer.
    Qu. God giue thee ioy of him: the Noble Lord
    Most honorably doth vphold his word.
    King. What meane you Madame?
    By my life, my troth
    2390I neuer swore this Ladie such an oth.
    Ros. By heauen you did; and to confirme it plaine,
    you gaue me this: But take it sir againe.
    King. My faith and this, the Princesse I did giue,
    I knew her by this Iewell on her sleeue.
    2395Qu. Pardon me sir, this Iewell did she weare,
    And Lord Berowne (I thanke him) is my deare.
    What? Will you haue me, or your Pearle againe?
    Ber. Neither of either, I remit both twaine.
    I see the tricke on't: Heere was a consent,
    2400Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
    To dash it like a Christmas Comedie.
    Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight Zanie,
    Some mumble-newes, some trencher-knight, som Dick
    That smiles his cheeke in yeares, and knowes the trick
    2405To make my Lady laugh, when she's dispos'd;
    M4v Told