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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    126 Loues Labour's lost
    Actus Secunda.
    490Enter the Princesse of France, with three attending Ladies,
    and three Lords.
    Boyet. Now Madam summon vp your dearest spirits,
    Consider who the King your father sends:
    To whom he sends, and what's his Embassie.
    495Your selfe, held precious in the worlds esteeme,
    To parlee with the sole inheritour
    Of all perfections that a man may owe,
    Matchlesse Nauarre, the plea of no lesse weight
    Then Aquitaine, a Dowrie for a Queene.
    500Be now as prodigall of all deare grace,
    As Nature was in making Graces deare,
    When she did starue the generall world beside,
    And prodigally gaue them all to you.
    Queen. Good L. Boyet, my beauty though but mean,
    505Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
    Beauty is bought by iudgement of the eye,
    Not vttred by base sale of chapmens tongues:
    I am lesse proud to heare you tell my worth,
    Then you much wiling to be counted wise,
    510In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
    But now to taske the tasker, good Boyet,
    Prin. You are not ignorant all-telling fame
    Doth noyse abroad Nauar hath made a vow,
    Till painefull studie shall out-weare three yeares,
    515No woman may approach his silent Court:
    Therefore to's seemeth it a needfull course,
    Before we enter his forbidden gates,
    To know his pleasure, and in that behalfe
    Bold of your worthinesse, we single you,
    520As our best mouing faire soliciter:
    Tell him, the daughter of the King of France,
    On serious businesse crauing quicke dispatch,
    Importunes personall conference with his grace.
    Haste, signifie so much while we attend,
    525Like humble visag'd suters his high will.
    Boy. Proud of imployment, willingly I goe. Exit.
    Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so:
    Who are the Votaries my louing Lords, that are vow-
    fellowes with this vertuous Duke?
    530Lor. Longauill is one.
    Princ. Know you the man?
    1 Lady. I know him Madame at a marriage feast,
    Betweene L. Perigort and the beautious heire
    Of Iaques Fauconbridge solemnized.
    535In Normandie saw I this Longauill,
    A man of soueraigne parts he is esteem'd:
    Well fitted in Arts, glorious in Armes:
    Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
    The onely soyle of his faire vertues glosse,
    540If vertues glosse will staine with any soile,
    Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a Will:
    Whose edge hath power to cut whose will still wills,
    It should none spare that come within his power.
    Prin. Some merry mocking Lord belike, ist so?
    545Lad. 1. They say so most, that most his humors know.
    Prin. Such short liu'd wits do wither as they grow.
    Who are the rest?
    2. Lad. The yong Dumaine, a well accomplisht youth,
    Of all that Vertue loue, for Vertue loued.
    550Most power to doe most harme, least knowing ill:
    For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
    And shape to win grace though she had no wit.
    I saw him at the Duke Alansoes once,
    And much too little of that good I saw,
    555Is my report to his great worthinesse.
    Rossa. Another of these Students at that time,
    Was there with him, as I haue heard a truth.
    Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
    Within the limit of becomming mirth,
    560I neuer spent an houres talke withall.
    His eye begets occasion for his wit,
    For euery obiect that the one doth catch,
    The other turnes to a mirth-mouing iest.
    Which his faire tongue (conceits expositor)
    565Deliuers in such apt and gracious words,
    That aged eares play treuant at his tales,
    And yonger hearings are quite rauished.
    So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
    Prin. God blesse my Ladies, are they all in loue?
    570That euery one her owne hath garnished,
    With such bedecking ornaments of praise.
    Ma. Heere comes Boyet.
    Enter Boyet.
    Prin. Now, what admittance Lord?
    575Boyet. Nauar had notice of your faire approach,
    And he and his competitors in oath,
    Were all addrest to meete you gentle Lady
    Before I came: Marrie thus much I haue learnt,
    He rather meanes to lodge you in the field,
    580Like one that comes heere to besiege his Court,
    Then seeke a dispensation for his oath:
    To let you enter his vnpeopled house.
    Enter Nauar, Longauill, Dumaine, and Berowne.
    Heere comes Nauar.
    585Nau. Faire Princesse, welcom to the Court of Nauar.
    Prin. Faire I giue you backe againe, and welcome I
    haue not yet: the roofe of this Court is too high to bee
    yours, and welcome to the wide fields, too base to be
    590Nau. You shall be welcome Madam to my Court.
    Prin. I wil be welcome then, Conduct me thither.
    Nau. Heare me deare Lady, I haue sworne an oath.
    Prin. Our Lady helpe my Lord, he'll be forsworne.
    Nau. Not for the world faire Madam, by my will.
    595Prin. Why, will shall breake it will, and nothing els.
    Nau. Your Ladiship is ignorant what it is.
    Prin. Were my Lord so, his ignorance were wise,
    Where now his knowledge must proue ignorance.
    I heare your grace hath sworne out Houseekeeping:
    600'Tis deadly sinne to keepe that oath my Lord,
    And sinne to breake it:
    But pardon me, I am too sodaine bold,
    To teach a Teacher ill beseemeth me.
    Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my comming,
    605And sodainly resolue me in my suite.
    Nau. Madam, I will, if sodainly I may.
    Prin. You will the sooner that I were away,
    For you'll proue periur'd if you make me stay.
    Berow. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
    610Rosa. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
    L3v Ber. I
    Loues Labour's lost127
    Ber. I know you did.
    Rosa. How needlesse was it then to ask the question?
    Ber. You must not be so quicke.
    Rosa. 'Tis long of you yt spur me with such questions.
    615Ber. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.
    Rosa. Not till it leaue the Rider in the mire.
    Ber. What time a day?
    Rosa. The howre that fooles should aske.
    Ber. Now faire befall your maske.
    620Rosa. Faire fall the face it couers.
    Ber. And send you many louers.
    Rosa. Amen, so you be none.
    Ber. Nay then will I be gone.
    Kin. Madame, your father heere doth intimate,
    625The paiment of a hundred thousand Crownes,
    Being but th'one halfe, of an intire summe,
    Disbursed by my father in his warres.
    But say that he, or we, as neither haue
    Receiu'd that summe; yet there remaines vnpaid
    630A hundred thousand more: in surety of the which,
    One part of Aquitaine is bound to vs,
    Although not valued to the moneys worth.
    If then the King your father will restore
    But that one halfe which is vnsatisfied,
    635We will giue vp our right in Aquitaine,
    And hold faire friendship with his Maiestie:
    But that it seemes he little purposeth,
    For here he doth demand to haue repaie,
    An hundred thousand Crownes, and not demands
    640One paiment of a hundred thousand Crownes,
    To haue his title liue in Aquitaine.
    Which we much rather had depart withall,
    And haue the money by our father lent,
    Then Aquitane, so guelded as it is.
    645Deare Princesse, were not his requests so farre
    From reasons yeelding, your faire selfe should make
    A yeelding 'gainst some reason in my brest,
    And goe well satisfied to France againe.
    Prin. You doe the King my Father too much wrong,
    650And wrong the reputation of your name,
    In so vnseeming to confesse receyt
    Of that which hath so faithfully beene paid.
    Kin. I doe protest I neuer heard of it,
    And if you proue it, Ile repay it backe,
    655Or yeeld vp Aquitaine.
    Prin. We arrest your word:
    Boyet, you can produce acquittances
    For such a summe, from speciall Officers,
    Of Charles his Father.
    660Kin. Satisfie me so.
    Boyet. So please your Grace, the packet is not come
    Where that and other specialties are bound,
    To morrow you shall haue a sight of them.
    Kin. It shall suffice me; at which enterview,
    665All liberall reason would I yeeld vnto:
    Meane time, receiue such welcome at my hand,
    As honour, without breach of Honour may
    Make tender of, to thy true worthinesse.
    You may not come faire Princesse in my gates,
    670But heere without you shall be so receiu'd,
    As you shall deeme your selfe lodg'd in my heart,
    Though so deni'd farther harbour in my house:
    Your owne good thoughts excuse me, and farewell,
    To morrow we shall visit you againe.
    675Prin. Sweet health & faire desires consort your grace.
    Kin. Thy own wish wish I thee, in euery place. Exit.
    Boy. Lady, I will commend you to my owne heart.
    La. Ro. Pray you doe my commendations,
    I would be glad to see it.
    680Boy. I would you heard it grone.
    La. Ro. Is the soule sicke?
    Boy. Sicke at the heart.
    La. Ro. Alacke, let it bloud.
    Boy. Would that doe it good?
    685La. Ro. My Phisicke saies I.
    Boy. Will you prick't with your eye.
    La. Ro. No poynt, with my knife.
    Boy. Now God saue thy life.
    La. Ro. And yours from long liuing.
    690Ber. I cannot stay thanks-giuing. Exit.
    Enter Dumane.
    Dum. Sir, I pray you a word: What Lady is that same?
    Boy. The heire of Alanson, Rosalin her name.
    Dum. A gallant Lady, Mounsier fare you well.
    695Long. I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?
    Boy. A woman somtimes, if you saw her in the light.
    Long. Perchance light in the light: I desire her name.
    Boy. Shee hath but one for her selfe,
    To desire that were a shame.
    700Long. Pray you sir, whose daughter?
    Boy. Her Mothers, I haue heard.
    Long. Gods blessing a your beard.
    Boy. Good sir be not offended,
    Shee is an heyre of Faulconbridge.
    705Long. Nay, my choller is ended:
    Shee is a most sweet Lady. Exit. Long.
    Boy. Not vnlike sir, that may be.
    Enter Beroune.
    Ber. What's her name in the cap.
    710Boy. Katherine by good hap.
    Ber. Is she wedded, or no.
    Boy. To her will sir, or so.
    Ber. You are welcome sir, adiew.
    Boy. Fare well to me sir, and welcome to you. Exit.
    715La. Ma. That last is Beroune, the mery mad-cap Lord.
    Not a word with him, but a iest.
    Boy. And euery iest but a word.
    Pri. It was well done of you to take him at his word.
    Boy. I was as willing to grapple, as he was to boord.
    720La. Ma. Two hot Sheepes marie:
    And wherefore not Ships?
    Boy. No Sheepe (sweet Lamb) vnlesse we feed on your(lips.
    La. You Sheepe & I pasture: shall that finish the iest?
    Boy. So you grant pasture for me.
    725La. Not so gentle beast.
    My lips are no Common, though seuerall they be.
    Bo. Belonging to whom?
    La. To my fortunes and me.
    Prin. Good wits wil be iangling, but gentles agree.
    730This ciuill warre of wits were much better vsed
    On Nauar and his bookemen, for heere 'tis abus'd.
    Bo. If my obseruation (which very seldome lies
    By the hearts still rhetoricke, disclosed with eyes)
    Deceiue me not now, Nauar is infected.
    735Prin. With what?
    Bo. With that which we Louers intitle affected.
    Prin. Your reason.
    Bo. Why all his behauiours doe make their retire,
    To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
    740His hart like an Agot with your print impressed,
    L4 Proud
    128 Loues Labour's lost
    Proud with his forme, in his eie pride expressed.
    His tongue all impatient to speake and not see,
    Did stumble with haste in his eie-sight to be,
    All sences to that sence did make their repaire,
    745To feele onely looking on fairest of faire:
    Me thought all his sences were lockt in his eye,
    As Iewels in Christall for some Prince to buy.
    Who tendring their own worth from whence they were (glast,
    Did point out to buy them along as you past.
    750His faces owne margent did coate such amazes,
    That all eyes saw his eies inchanted with gazes.
    Ile giue you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
    And you giue him for my sake, but one louing Kisse.
    Prin. Come to our Pauillion, Boyet is disposde.
    755Bro. But to speak that in words, which his eie hath dis-(clos'd.
    I onelie haue made a mouth of his eie,
    By adding a tongue, which I know will not lie.
    Lad. Ro. Thou art an old Loue-monger, and speakest
    760Lad. Ma. He is Cupids Grandfather, and learnes news
    of him.
    Lad.2. Then was Venus like her mother, for her fa-
    ther is but grim.
    Boy. Do you heare my mad wenches?
    765La. 1. No.
    Boy. What then, do you see?
    Lad. 2. I, our way to be gone.
    Boy. You are too hard for me. Exeunt omnes.