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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 lost125
    Brag. A most fine Figure.
    Boy. To proue you a Cypher.
    Brag. I will heereupon confesse I am in loue: and as
    it is base for a Souldier to loue; so am I in loue with a
    365base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour
    of affection, would deliuer mee from the reprobate
    thought of it, I would take Desire prisoner, and ransome
    him to any French Courtier for a new deuis'd curtsie. I
    thinke scorne to sigh, me thinkes I should out-sweare
    370Cupid. Comfort me Boy, What great men haue beene
    in loue?
    Boy. Hercules Master.
    Brag. Most sweete Hercules: more authority deare
    Boy, name more; and sweet my childe let them be men
    375of good repute and carriage.
    Boy. Sampson Master, he was a man of good carriage,
    great carriage: for hee carried the Towne-gates on his
    backe like a Porter: and he was in loue.
    Brag. O well-knit Sampson, strong ioynted Sampson;
    380I doe excell thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst mee
    in carrying gates. I am in loue too. Who was Sampsons
    loue my deare Moth?
    Boy. A Woman, Master.
    Brag. Of what complexion?
    385Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one
    of the foure.
    Brag. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
    Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
    Brag. Is that one of the foure complexions?
    390Boy. As I haue read sir, and the best of them too.
    Brag. Greene indeed is the colour of Louers: but to
    haue a Loue of that colour, methinkes Sampson had small
    reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
    Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.
    395Brag. My Loue is most immaculate white and red.
    Boy. Most immaculate thoughts Master, are mask'd
    vnder such colours.
    Brag. Define, define, well educated infant.
    Boy. My fathers witte, and my mothers tongue assist
    Brag. Sweet inuocation of a childe, most pretty and
    Boy. If shee be made of white and red,
    Her faults will nere be knowne:
    405For blush-in cheekes by faults are bred,
    And feares by pale white showne:
    Then if she feare, or be to blame,
    By this you shall not know,
    For still her cheekes possesse the same,
    410Which natiue she doth owe:
    A dangerous rime master against the reason of white
    and redde.
    Brag. Is there not a ballet Boy, of the King and the
    415Boy. The world was very guilty of such a Ballet some
    three ages since, but I thinke now 'tis not to be found: or
    if it were, it would neither serue for the writing, nor the
    Brag. I will haue that subiect newly writ ore, that I
    420may example my digression by some mighty president.
    Boy, I doe loue that Countrey girle that I tooke in
    the Parke with the rationall hinde Costard: she deserues
    Boy. To bee whip'd: and yet a better loue then my
    Brag. Sing Boy, my spirit grows heauy in ioue.
    Boy. And that's great maruell, louing a light wench.
    Brag. I say sing.
    Boy. Forbeare till this company be past.

    430 Enter Clowne, Constable, and Wench.

    Const. Sir, the Dukes pleasure, is that you keepe Co-
    stard safe, and you must let him take no delight, nor no
    penance, but hee must fast three daies a weeke: for this
    Damsell, I must keepe her at the Parke, shee is alowd for
    435the Day-woman. Fare you well. Exit.
    Brag. I do betray my selfe with blushing: Maide.
    Maid. Man.
    Brag. I wil visit thee at the Lodge.
    Maid. That's here by.
    440Brag. I know where it is situate.
    Mai. Lord how wise you are!
    Brag. I will tell thee wonders.
    Ma. With what face?
    Brag. I loue thee.
    445Mai. So I heard you say.
    Brag. And so farewell.
    Mai. Faire weather after you.
    Clo. Come Iaquenetta, away. Exeunt.
    Brag. Villaine, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere
    450thou be pardoned.
    Clo. Well sir, I hope when I doe it, I shall doe it on a
    full stomacke.
    Brag. Thou shalt be heauily punished.
    Clo. I am more bound to you then your fellowes, for
    455they are but lightly rewarded.
    Clo. Take away this villaine, shut him vp.
    Boy. Come you transgressing slaue, away.
    Clow. Let mee not bee pent vp sir, I will fast being
    460Boy. No sir, that were fast and loose: thou shalt to
    Clow. Well, if euer I do see the merry dayes of deso-
    lation that I haue seene, some shall see.
    Boy. What shall some see?
    465Clow. Nay nothing, Master Moth, but what they
    looke vpon. It is not for prisoners to be silent in their
    words, and therefore I will say nothing: I thanke God, I
    haue as little patience as another man, and therefore I
    can be quiet. Exit.
    470Brag. I doe affect the very ground (which is base)
    where her shooe (which is baser) guided by her foote
    (which is basest) doth tread. I shall be forsworn (which
    ia a great argument of falshood) if I loue. And how can
    that be true loue, which is falsly attempted? Loue is a fa-
    475miliar, Loue is a Diuell. There is no euill Angell but
    Loue, yet Sampson was so tempted, and he had an excel-
    lent strength: Yet was Salomon so seduced, and hee had
    a very good witte. Cupids Butshaft is too hard for Her-
    cules Clubbe, and therefore too much ods for a Spa-
    480niards Rapier: The first and second cause will not serue
    my turne: the Passado hee respects not, the Duello he
    regards not; his disgrace is to be called Boy, but his
    glorie is to subdue men. Adue Valour, rust Rapier, bee
    still Drum, for your manager is in loue; yea hee loueth.
    485Assist me some extemporall god of Rime, for I am sure I
    shall turne Sonnet. Deuise Wit, write Pen, for I am for
    whole volumes in folio. Exit.

    Finis Actus Primus.

    L3 Actus