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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1598)

    called Loues Labor's lost.

    Boy. Which the base vulgar do call three.
    Arma. True.
    Boy. Why sir is this such a peece of studie? Now heere is
    three studied ere yele thrice wincke: and how easie it is to
    put yeeres to the worde three, and studie three yeeres in two
    360wordes, the dauncing Horse will tell you.
    Arm. A most fine Figure.
    Boy. To proue you a Cypher.
    Arm. I will hereupon confesse I am in loue: and as it is
    base for a Souldier to loue; so am I in loue with a base wench.
    365If drawing my Sword against the humor of affection, would
    deliuer me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take
    Desire prisoner, and ransome him to anie French Courtier
    for a new deuisde cursie. I thinke scorne to sigh, mee thinks
    I should outsweare Cupid. Comfort mee Boy, What great
    370men haue bin in loue?
    Boy. Hercules Maister.
    Arm. Most sweete Hercules: more authoritie deare Boy,
    name more; and sweete my childe let them be men of good
    375repute and carriage.
    Boy. Sampson Maister, he was a man of good carriage,
    great carriage: for he carried the Towne-gates on his backe
    like a Porter: and he was in loue.
    Arm. O wel knit Sampson, strong ioynted Sampson; I do excel
    380thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carying gates.
    I am in loue too. Who was Sampsons loue my deare Moth?
    Boy. A Woman, Maister.
    Arm. Of what complexion?
    385Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one of
    the foure.
    Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
    Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
    Arm. Is that one of the foure complexions?
    390Boy. As I haue read sir, and the best of them too.
    Arm. Greene in deede is the colour of Louers: but to
    haue a loue of that colour, mee thinkes Sampson had small
    reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
    Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.