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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    490Enter the Princesse of Fraunce, with three
    attending Ladies and three Lordes.
    Boyet. Now Maddame summon vp your dearest spirrits,
    Cosider who the King your father sendes:
    To whom he sendes, and whats his Embassie.
    495Your selfe, helde precious in the worldes esteeme,
    To parlee with the sole inheritoure
    Of all perfections that a man may owe,
    Matchles Nauar, the plea of no lesse weight,
    Then Aquitaine a Dowrie for a Queene.
    500Be now as prodigall of all Deare grace,
    As Nature was in making Graces deare,
    When she did starue the generall world beside,
    And prodigally gaue them all to you.
    Queene. Good L. Boyet, my beautie though but meane,
    505Needes not the painted florish of your prayse:
    Beautie is bought by iudgement of the eye,
    Not vttred by base sale of chapmens tongues:
    I am lesse proude to heare you tell my worth,
    Then you much willing to be counted wise,
    510In spending your Wit in the prayse of mine.
    But now to taske the tasker, good Boyet,
    You are not ignorant all telling fame
    Doth noyse abroad Nauar hath made a Vow,
    Till painefull studie shall outweare three yeeres.
    515No Woman may approch his silent Court:
    Therefore to's seemeth it a needfull course,
    Before we enter his forbidden gates,
    To know his pleasure, and in that behalfe
    Bold of your worthines, we single you,
    520As our best mouing faire soliciter:
    Tell him, the Daughter of the King of France
    On serious busines crauing quicke dispatch,
    Importuous personall conference with his grace.
    Haste, signifie so much while we attende,
    525Like humble visage Suters his high will.
    Boy. Proud of imployment, willingly I go. Exit Boy.
    Prince. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so:
    Who are the Votaries my louing Lordes, that are vowfel-
    lowes with this vertuous Duke?
    530Lor. Longauill is one.
    Princ. Know you the man?
    1. Lady. I know him Maddame at a marriage feast,
    Betweene L. Perigort and the bewtious heire
    Of Iaques Fauconbridge solemnized.
    535In Normandie saw I this Longauill,
    A man of soueraigne peerelsse he is esteemd:
    Well fitted in artes, glorious in armes:
    Nothing becoms him ill that he would well.
    The onely soyle of his fayre vertues glose,
    540If vertues glose will staine with any soyle,
    Is a sharpe Wit matcht with too blunt a Will:
    Whose edge hath power to cut whose will still wils,
    It should none spare, that come within his power.
    Prin. Some merrie mocking Lord belike, ist so?
    545Lad. They say so most, that most his humors know.
    Prin. Such short liued wits do wither as they grow.
    Who are the rest?
    2. Lad. The young Dumaine, a well accomplisht youth,
    Of all that Vertue loue, for Vertue loued.
    550Most power to do most harme, least knowing ill:
    For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
    And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
    I saw him at the Duke Alansoes once,
    And much too little of that good I saw,
    555Is my report to his great worthines.
    3. Lad. An other of these Studentes at that time,
    Was there with him, if I haue heard a trueth.
    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.
    Prin, Were my Lord so, his ignoraunce were wise,
    Where now his knowledge must proue ignorance.
    I heare your grace hath sworne out Houskeeping:
    600Tis deadlie sinne to keepe that oath my Lord,
    And sin to breake it: but pardon me, I am too sodaine bold,
    To teach a teacher ill beseemeth mee.
    Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my comming,
    605And sodainelie resolue mee in my suite.
    Nau. Madame I will, if sodainelie I may.
    Prin. You will the sooner that I were awaie,
    For youle proue periurde if you make me staie.
    Berowne. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
    610Kather. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
    Ber. I know you did.
    Kath. How needles was it then to aske the question?
    Ber. You must not be so quicke.
    Kath. Tis long of you that spur me with such questions.
    615Ber. Your wit's too hot, it speedes too fast, twill tire.
    Kath. Not till it leaue the rider in the mire.
    Ber. What time a day?
    Kath. The houre that fooles should aske.
    Ber. Now faire befall your maske.
    620Kath. Faire fall the face it couers.
    Ber. And send you manie louers.
    Kath. Amen, so you be none.
    Ber. Nay then will I be gon.
    Ferd. Madame, your father heere doth intimate,
    625The payment of a hundred thousand Crownes,
    Being but the one halfe of, of an intire summe,
    Disbursed by my father in his warres.
    But say that he, or we, as neither haue
    Receiud that summe, yet there remaines vnpaide
    630A hundred thousand more, in suretie of the which,
    One part of Aquitaine is bound to vs,
    Although not valued to the monies worth.
    If then the King your father will restore,
    But that one halfe which is vnsatisfied,
    635We will giue vp our right in Aquitaine,
    And holde faire faiendship with his Maiestie,
    But that it seemes he little purposeth:
    For here he doth pemaund to haue repaide,
    A hundred thousand Crownes, and not demaunds
    640One paiment of a hundred thousand Crownes,
    To haue his title liue in Aquitaine.
    Which we much rather had depart withall,
    And haue the money by our father lent,
    Then Aquitaine, so guelded as it is.
    645Deare Princesse were not his requestes so farr
    From reasons yeelding, your faire selfe should make
    A yeelding gainst some reason in my brest,
    And go well satisfied to France againe.
    Prin. You do the King my father too much wrong,
    650And wrong the reputation of your name,
    In so vnseeming to confesse receit,
    Of that which hath so faithfully been paide.
    Ferd. I do protest I neuer heard of it:
    And if you proue it, Ile repay it backe,
    655Or yeelde vp Aquitaine.
    Princ. We arrest your worde.
    Boyet you can produce acquittances,
    For such a summe from spciall officers,
    Of Charles his father.
    660Ferd. Satisfie mee so.
    Boyet. So please your Grace, the packet is not come,
    Where that and other specialties are bound:
    To morrow you shall haue a sight of them.
    Ferd. It shall suffise me; at which enteruiew,
    665All liberall reason I will yeelde vnto.
    Meane time receiue such welcome at my hand,
    As honor (without breach of honor) may,
    Make tender of to thy true worthines.
    You may not come (faire Princesse) within my gates,
    670But here without you shalbe so receiude,
    As you shall deeme your selfe lodgd in my hart.
    Though so denide faire harbour in my house,
    Your owne good thoughtes excuse me, and farewell.
    To morow shall we visite you againe.
    675Pri. Sweete health and faire desires consort your grace.
    Na. Thy owne wish wish I thee in euery place. Exit.
    Ber. Ladie I will commend you to my none hart.
    Ros. Pray you, do my commendations, I would be glad
    to see it.
    680Ber. I would you heard it grone.
    Ros. Is the foole sicke.
    Ber. Sicke at the hart.
    Ros. Alacke, let it blood.
    Bar. Would that do it good?
    685Ros. My Phisicke saies I.
    Ber. Will you prickt with your eye.
    Ros. No poynt, with my knife.
    Ber. Now God saue thy life.
    Ros. And yours from long liuing.
    690Ber. I cannot stay thankes-giuing. Exit.
    Enter Dumaine.
    Dum. Sir, I pray you a word, What Ladie is that same?
    Boyet. The heire of Alanson, Rosalin her name.
    Dum. A gallant Lady Mounsir, fare you wel. Exit.
    695Longauill. I beseech you a word, What is she in the white?
    Boyet. A woman sometimes, and you saw her in the light.
    Lon. Perchance light in the light. I desire her name?
    Bo. She hath but one for her selfe, to desire that were a (shame.
    700Lon. Pray you sir, Whose daughter?
    Bo. Her mothers, I haue heard.
    Lon. Gods blessing on your beard.
    Bo. Good sir be not offended, She is an heire of Falcon-(bridge.
    705Lon. Nay my coller is ended. She is a most sweet Ladie.
    Bo. Not vnlike sir, that may be. Exit Longauil.
    Enter Berowne.
    Bero. Whats her name in the capp?
    710Boy. Katherin by good happ.
    Ber, Is she wedded or no?
    Boy. To her will sir, or so.
    Ber. O you are welcome sir, adew.
    Boy. Farewell to me sir, and welcome to you. Exit Bero.
    715Lady Maria. That last is Berowne, the merrie madcap L.
    Not a word with him but a iest.
    Boy. And euery iest but a word.
    Prin. It was well done of you to take him at his word.
    Boy. I was as willing to grapple as he was to boord.
    720Lady Ka. Two hot Sheepes marie.
    Bo. And wherefore not Shipps?
    No Sheepe (sweete Lambe) vnlesse we feede on your lippes.
    La. You Sheepe and I pasture: shall that finish the iest?
    Bo. So you graunt pasture for me.
    725Lad. Not so gentle Beast.
    My lippes are no Common, though seuerall they be.
    Bo. Belonging to whom?
    La. To my fortunes and mee.
    Prin. Good witts will be iangling, but gentles agree,
    730This ciuill warre of wittes were much better vsed
    On Nauar and his Bookmen, for heere tis abused.
    Bo. If my obseruation (which very seldome lyes
    By the hartes still rethoricke, disclosed with eyes.
    Deceaue me not now, Nauar is infected.
    735Prin. With what?
    Bo. With that which we Louers intitle Affected.
    Prin. Your reason.
    Bo. Why all his behauiours did make their retire,
    To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desier.
    740His hart like an Agot with your print impressed,
    Proud with his forme, in his eye pride expressed.
    His tongue all impacient to speake and not see,
    Did stumble with haste in his ey-sight to bee,
    All sences to that sence did make their repaire,
    745To feele only looking on fairest of faire:
    Mee thought all his senses were lokt in his eye,
    As Iewels in Christall for some Prince to buy.
    Who tendring their owne worth from where they were (glast,
    Did poynt you to buy them along as you past.
    750His faces owne margent did coate such amazes,
    That all eyes saw his eyes inchaunted with gazes.
    Ile giue you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
    And you giue him for my sake but one louing kisse.
    Prin. Come, to our Pauilion, Boyet is disposde.
    755Bo. But to speak that in words, which his eie hath disclosd.
    I onelie haue made a mouth of his eie,
    By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
    Lad. Thou art an old Loue-monger, & speakest skilfully.
    760Lad. 2. He is Cupids Graundfather, and learnes newes
    of him.
    Lad. 3. Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is
    but grim.
    Boy. Do you heare my mad Wenches?
    765Lad. No.
    Boy. What then, do you see?
    Lad. I, our way to be gone.
    Boy. You are too hard for mee. Exeunt omnes.