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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    Not Peer Reviewed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:

    Quee. Whats your will sir? Whats your will?
    Clow. I haue a Letter from Monsier Berowne,
    1030to one Ladie Rosaline.
    Que. O thy letter, thy letter: He's a good friend of mine.
    Stand a side good bearer. Boyet you can carue,
    Breake vp this Capon.
    1035Boyet I am bound to serue.
    This letter is mistooke: it importeth none heere.
    It is writ to Iaquenetta.
    Quee. We will reade it, I sweare.
    Breake the necke of the Waxe, and euery one giue eare.
    1040Boyet reedes.
    BY heauen, that thou art faire, is most infallible:
    true that thou art beautious, trueth it selfe that
    thou art louelie: more fairer then faire, beautifull then beau-
    tious, truer then trueth it selfe: haue comiseration on thy
    heroicall Vassall. The magnanimous and most illustrate
    1045King Cophetua set eie vpon the pernicious and indubitate
    Begger Zenelophon: and he it was that might rightly say,
    Veni, vidi, vici: Which to annothanize in the vulgar, O base
    and obscure vulgar; videliset, He came, See, and ouercame:
    1050He came, one; see, two; couercame, three. Who came? the
    King. Why did he come? to see. Why did he see? to ouer-
    come. To whom came he? to the Begger. What saw he? the
    Begger. Who ouercame he? the Begger. The conclusion is
    victorie: On whose side? the King: the captiue is inricht, on
    1055whose side? the Beggers. The catastrophe is a Nuptiall, on
    whose side? the Kinges: no, on both in one, or one in both.
    I am the King (for so standes the comparison) thou the Beg-
    ger, for so witnesseth thy lowlines. Shall I commande thy
    1060loue? I may. Shall I enforce thy loue? I coulde. Shall I en-
    treate thy loue? I will. What, shalt thou exchange for raggs
    roabes, for tittles tytles, for thy selfe, mee. Thus expecting
    thy replie, I prophane my lippes on thy foote, my eyes on
    thy picture, and my hart on thy euerie part.

    Thine in the dearest designe of industri,
    Don Adriana de Armatho.