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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    A pleasant conceited Comedie:

    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-moouing iest.
    Which his fayre tongue (conceites expositer)
    565Deliuers in such apt and gracious wordes,
    That aged eares play treuant at his tales.
    And younger hearinges are quite rauished.
    So sweete and voluble is his discourse.
    Prin. God blesse my Ladyes, are they all in loue?
    570That euery one her owne hath garnished,
    With such bedecking ornaments of praise.
    Lord. Heere comes Boyet. Enter Boyet.
    Prin. Now, What admittance Lord?
    575Boyet. Nauar had notice of your faire approch,
    And he and his compettitours in oth,
    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 feelde,
    580Like one that comes heere to besiedge his Court,
    Then seeke a dispensation for his oth:
    To let you enter his vnpeeled house.

    Enter Nauar, Longauill, Dumaine, & Berowne.
    Bo. Heere comes Nauar.
    585Nauar. Faire Princesse, Welcome 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 be yours, and
    welcome to the wide fieldes too base to be mine.
    590Nau. You shalbe welcome Madame to my Court.
    Prin. I wilbe welcome then, Conduct me thither.
    Nau. Heare me deare Lady, I haue sworne an oth,
    Prin. Our Lady helpe my Lord, he'le be forsworne.
    Nau. Not for the worlde faire Madame, by my will.
    595Prin. Why, will shall breake it will, and nothing els.
    Nau. Your Ladishyp is ignoraunt what it is.