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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.

    35To loue, to wealth, to pome, I pine and die,
    With all these lyuing in Philosophie.
    Berowne. I can but say their protestation ouer,
    So much deare Liedge, I haue already sworne,
    That is, to lyue and study heere three yeeres.
    40But there are other strickt obseruances:
    As not to see a woman in that terme,
    Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
    And one day in a weeke to touch no foode:
    And but one meale on euery day beside:
    45The which I hope is not enrolled there.
    And then to sleepe but three houres in the nyght,
    And not be seene to wincke of all the day.
    When I was wont to thinke no harme all nyght,
    And make a darke nyght too of halfe the day:
    50Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
    O these are barraine taskes, too hard to keepe,
    Not to see Ladyes, study, fast, not sleepe.
    Ferd. Your othe is past, to passe away from these.
    Berow. Let me say no my liedge, and yf you please,
    55I onely swore to study with your grace,
    And stay heere in your Court for three yeeres space.
    Longa. You swore to that Berowne, and to the rest.
    Bero. By yea and nay sir, than I swore in iest.
    What is the ende of study, let me know?
    60Ferd. Why that to know which else we should not know.
    Ber. Things hid & bard (you meane) from cammon sense.
    Ferd. I, that is studies god-like recompence.
    Bero. Com'on then, I will sweare to study so,
    65To know the thing I am forbid to know:
    As thus, to study where I well may dine,
    When I to fast expressely am forbid.
    Or studie where to meete some Mistris fine.
    When Mistresses from common sense are hid.
    70Or hauing sworne too hard a keeping oth,
    Studie to breake it, and not breake my troth.
    If studies gaine be thus, and this be so,
    Studie knowes that which yet it doth not know,