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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.

    2270To leade you to our Court, vouchsafe it then.
    Quee. This Feelde shall holde me, and so hold your vow:
    Nor God nor I delights in periurd men.
    King. Rebuke me not for that which you prouoke:
    The vertue of your eie must breake my oth.
    2275Que. You nickname vertue, vice you should haue spoke:
    For vertues office neuer breakes mens troth.
    Now by my maiden honour yet as pure,
    As the vnsallied Lilly I protest,
    A worlde of tormentes though I should endure,
    2280I would not yeelde to be your houses guest:
    So much I hate a breaking cause to be
    Of heauenly Othes vowed with integritie.
    King. O you haue liu'd in desolation heere,
    Vnseene, vnuisited, much to our shame.
    2285Quee. Not so my Lord, it is not so I sweare,
    We haue had pastimes here and pleasant game,
    A messe of Russians left vs but of late.
    King. How Madame? Russians?
    Quee. I in trueth My Lord.
    2290Trim gallants, full of Courtship and of state.
    Rosa. Madame speake true: It is not so my Lord:
    My Ladie (to the maner of the dayes)
    In curtesie giues vndeseruing praise.
    We foure in deede confronted were with foure,
    2295In Russian habite: heere they stayed an houre,
    And talkt apace: and in that houre (my Lord)
    They did not blesse vs with one happie word.
    I dare not call them fooles; but this I thinke,
    When they are thirstie, fooles would faine haue drinke.
    2300Bero. This iest is drie to me, gentle sweete,
    Your wits makes wise thinges foolish when we greete
    With eies best seeing, heauens fierie eie:
    By light we loose light, your capacitie
    Is of that nature, that to your hudge stoore,
    2305Wise thinges seeme foolish, and rich thinges but poore.
    Rosa. This proues you wise and rich: for in my eie.
    Bero. I am a foole, and full of pouertie.