William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost in the complete original text.
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Love's Labour's Lost

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Act V. Scene II.

Page: 1 2 3
Scene II.—The same. Before the PRINCESS'S

and MARIA.

Prin. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we
If fairings come thus plentifully in:
A lady wall'd about with diamonds!
Look you what I have from the loving king.
Ros. Madam, came nothing else along with
Prin. Nothing but this! yes, as much love in
As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,
Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all,
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.
Ros. That was the way to make his godhead
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.
Kath. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
Ros. You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd
your sister.
Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and
And so she died: had she been light, like you,
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
She might ha' been a grandam ere she died;
And so may you, for a light heart lives long.
Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse, of
this light world?
Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark.
Ros. We need more light to find your mean-
ing out.
Kath. You'll mar the light by taking it in
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument.
Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i' the
Kath. So do not you, for you are a light
Ros. Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore
Kath. You weigh me not. O! that's you
care not for me.
Ros. Great reason; for, 'past cure is still
past care.'
Prin. Well bandied both; a set of wit well
But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?
Ross. I would you knew:
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne:
The numbers true; and, were the numb'ring too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
I am compar'd to twenty thousand fairs.
O! he hath drawn my picture in this letter.
Prin. Anything like?
Ros. Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
Prin. Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.
Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.
Ros. 'Ware pencils! how? let me not die
your debtor,
My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O's!
Kath, A pox of that jest! and beshrew all
Prin. But what was sent to you from fair
Kath. Madam, this glove.
Prin. Did he not send you twain?
Kath. Yes, madam; and moreover,
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover:
A huge translation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compil'd, profound simplicity.
Mar. This, and these pearls to me sent
The letter is too long by half a mile.
Prin. I think no less. Dost thou not wish in
The chain were longer and the letter short? "
Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never
Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mock-
ing so.
That same Berowne I'll torture ere I go.
O that I knew he were but in by the week!
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
And shape his service wholly to my hests,
And make him proud to make me proud that
So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
Prin. None are so surely caught, when they
are catch'd,
As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
Ros. The blood of youth bunas not with such
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.
Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;
Since all the power thereof it doth apply
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

Enter BOYET.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his
Boyet. O! I am stabb'd with laughter. Where's
her Grace?
Prin. Thy news, Boyet?
Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare!—
Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are
Against your peace: Love doth approach dis-
Armed in arguments; you'll be surpris'd:
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
Prin. Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What i
are they
That charge their breath against us? say, scout,
Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour,
When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest,
Toward that shade I might behold addrest
The king and his companions: warily
I stole into a neighbour thicket by,
And overheard what you shall overhear;
That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here.
Their herald is a pretty knavish page,
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage:
Action and accent did they teach him there;
'Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear.'
And ever and anon they made a doubt
presence majestical would put him out;
'For,' quoth the king, 'an angel shalt thou see;
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.'
The boy replied,' An angel is not evil;
I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.'
With that all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the
Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
One rubb'd ins elbow thus, and fleer'd, and swore
A better speech was never spoke before;
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry'd 'Via! we will do't, come what will come,'
The third he caper'd and cried, 'All goes well;'
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that, they all did tumble cm the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd
Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
Their purpose is to parle, to court and dance;
And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress, which they'll know
By favours Several which they did bestow.
Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd,
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the king will court thee for his dear:
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me
So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline,
And change you favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.
Ros. Come on, then; wear the favours most
in sight.
Kath. But in this changing what is your
Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross
They do it but in mocking merriment;
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook and so be mock'd withal
Upon the next occasion that we meet,
With visages display'd, to talk and greet.
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us
Prin. No, to the death, we will not move a
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace;
But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face,
Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the
speaker's heart,
And quite divorce his memory from his part.
Prin. Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt,
The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out.
There's no such sport as sport by sport o'er-
To make theirs ours and ours none but our own:
So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame.
[Trumpets sound within.
Boyet. The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the
maskers come. [The Ladies mask.

Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; the
DUMAINE in Russian habits, and masked.
Moth. All hail, the richest beauties on the
Boyet. Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
Moth. A holy parcel of'the fairest dames,
[The Ladies turn their backs to him.
That ever turn'd their—backs—to mortal views!
Ber. 'Their eyes, 'villain, 'their eyes.'
Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal
Boyet. True; 'out,' indeed.
Moth. 'Out of your favours, heavenly spirits,
Nat to behold'—
Ber. 'Once to behold,' rogue. 168
Moth. ' Once to behold with your sun-beamed
—with your sun-beamed eyes'—
Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet;
You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.'
Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings
me out.
Ber. Is this your perfectness? be gone, you
rogue! [Exit MOTH.
Ros. What would these strangers? know their
minds, Boyet:
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will
That some plain man recount their purposes:
Know what they would.
Boyet. What would you with the princess?
Ber. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
Ros. What would they, say they?
Boyet. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
Ros. Why, that they have; and bid them so
be gone.
Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be gone.
King. Say to her, we have measur'd many
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
Boyet. They say, that they have measur'd
many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
Ros. It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measur'd many,
The measure then of one is easily told.
Boyet. If to come hither you have measur'd
And many miles, the princess bids you tell
How many inches do fill up one mile.
Ber. Tell her we measure them by weary steps.
Boyet. She hears herself.
Ros. How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
Are number'd in the travel of one mile?
Ber. We number nothing that we spend for you:
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
That we, like savages, may worship it.
Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
King. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to
Those clouds remov'd, upon our wat'ry eyne.
Ros. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.
King. Then, in our measure but vouchsafe
one change.
Thou bid'st me beg; this begging is not strange.
Ros. Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it
soon. [Music plays.
Not yet! no dance! thus change I like the
King. Will you not dance? How come you
thus estrang'd?
Ros. You took the moon at full, but now she's
King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.
Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it.
King. But your legs should do it.
Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here
by chance,
We'll not be nice: take hands: we will not
King. Why take we hands then?
Ros. Only to part friends.
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.
King. More measure of this measure: be not
Ros. We can afford no more at such a price.
King. Prize you yourselves? what buys your
Ros. Your absence only.
King. That can never be.
Ros. Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you!
King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more
Ros. In private, then.
King. I am best pleas'd with that.
[They converse apart.
Ber. White-handed mistress, one sweet word
with thee.
Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there are
Ber. Nay then, two treys, an if you grow so
Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
There's half a dozen sweets.
Prin. Seventh sweet, adieu:
Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.
Ber. One word in secret.
Prin. Let it not be sweet.
Ber. Thou griev'st my gall.
Prin. Gall! bitter.
Ber. Therefore meet.
[They converse apart.
Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change
a word?
Mar. Name it.
Dum. Fair lady,—
Mar. Say you so? Fair lord,
Take that for your fair lady.
Dum. Please it you,
As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
[They converse apart.
Kath. What! was your visor made without a
Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
Kath. O! for your reason; quickly, sir; I
Long. You have a double tongue within your
And would afford my speechless visor half.
Kath. 'Veal,' quoth the Dutchman. Is not
'veal' a calf?
Long. A calf, fair lady!
Kath. No, a fair lord calf.
Long. Let's part the word.
Kath. No, I'll not be your half:
Take all, and wean it: it may prove an ox.
Long. Look, how you butt yourself in these
sharp mocks.
Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.
Kath. Then die a calf, before your horns do
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die.
Kath. Bleat softly then; the butcher hears
you cry. [They converse apart.
Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are
as keen
As is the razor's edge invisible,
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen,
Above the sense of sense; so sensible
Seemeth their conference; their conceits have
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought,
swifter things.
Ros. Not one word more, my maids: break
off, break off.
Ber. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure
King. Farewell, mad wenches: you have
simple wits.
Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.
[Exeunt KING, LORDS, Music,
and Attendants.
Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at?
Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet
breaths puff'd out.
Ros. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross;
fat, fat.
Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-
Or ever, but in visors, show their faces?
This pert Berowne was out of countenance quite.
Ros. O! they were all in lamentable cases.
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
Prin. Berowne did swear himself out of all
Mar. Dumaine was at my service, and his
'No point,' quoth I: my servant straight was
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his
And trow you what he call'd me?
Prin. Qualm, perhaps.
Kath. Yes, in good faith.
Prin. Go, sickness as thou art!
Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.
Prin. And quick Berowne hath plighted faith
to me.
Kath. And Longaville was for my service born.
Mar. Dumaine is mine, as sure as bark on
Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give
Immediately they will again be here
In their own shapes; for it can never be
They will digest this harsh indignity.
Prin. Will they return?
Boyet. They will, they will. God knows;
And leap for joy, though they are lame with
Therefore change favours; and, when they re-
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.
Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be
Boyet. Fair ladies mask'd, are roses in their
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
Prin. Avaunt perplexity! What shall we
If they return in their own shapes to woo?
Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd,
Let's mock them still, as well known as disguis'd.
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
And wonder what they were, and to what end
Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd,
And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
Should be presented at our tent to us.
Boyet. Ladies, withdraw; the gallants are at
Prin. Whip to your tents, as roes run over
[Exeunt PRINCESS, Ros, KATH, and MARIA.

and DUMAINE in their proper habits.
King. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the
Boyet. Gone to her tent. Please it your ma-
Command me any service to her thither?
King. That she vouchsafe me audience for
one word.
Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my
lord. [Exit.
Ber. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons
And utters it again when God doth please:
He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs;
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve;
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve:
He can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he
That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy;
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
In honourable terms: nay, he can sing
A mean most meanly, and in ushering
Mend him who can: the ladies call him, sweet;
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
This is the flower that smiles on every one,
To show his teeth as white as whales-bone;
And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongu'd Boyet.
King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my
That put Armado's page out of his part!
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