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
Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET; ROSA-
LINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants.
Ber. See where it comes! Behaviour, what
wert thou,
Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou
now?
King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of
day!
Prin. 'Fair,' in 'all hail,' is foul, as I conceive.
King. Construe my speeches better, if you
may.
Prin. Then wish me better: I will give you
leave.
King. We came to visit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our court: vouchsafe it then.
Prin. This field shall hold me, and so hold your
vow:
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men.
King. Rebuke me not for that which you pro-
voke:
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
Prin. You nick-name virtue; vice you should
have spoke;
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth.
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,
I would not yield to be your house's guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity.
King. O! you have liv'd in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
We have had pastime here and pleasant game.
A mess of Russians left us but of late.
King. How, madam! Russians?
Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.
Ros. Madam, speak true. It is not so, my
lord:
My lady, to the manner of the days,
In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted were with four
In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have
drink.
Ber. This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we
greet,
With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye,
By light we lose light: your capacity
Is of that nature that to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish and rich things but
poor.
Ros. This proves you wise and rich, for in my
eye—
Ber. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
Ros, But that you take what doth to you be-
long,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
Ber. O! I am yours, and all that I possess.
Ros. All the fool mine?
Ber. I cannot give you less.
Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore?
Ber. Where? when? what visor? why de-
mand you this?
Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous
case
That hid the worse, and show'd the better face.
King. We are descried: they'll mock us now
downright.
Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your
highness sad?
Ros. Help! hold his brows! he'll swound.
Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Ber. Thus pour the stars down plagues for
perjury.
Can any face of brass hold longer out?—
Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a
flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my igno-
rance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will wish thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
O! never will I trust to speeches penn'd,
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue,
Nor never come in visor to my friend,
Nor woo in rime, like a blind harper's song,
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical; these summer flies
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
I do forswear them; and I here protest,
By this white glove,—how white the hand, God
knows,—
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd
In russet yeas and honest kersey noes:
And, to begin, wench,—so God help me, la!—
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
Ros. Sans 'sans,' I pray you.
Ber. Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft! let us see:
Write, 'Lord have mercy on us' on those three;
They are infected, in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes:
These lords are visited; you are not free,
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.
Prin. No, they are free that gave these tokens
to us.
Ber. Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo
us.
Ros. It is not so. For how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
Ber. Peace! for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Ber. Speak for yourselves: my wit is at an
end.
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude
transgression
Some fair excuse.
Prin. The fairest is confession.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd?
King. Madam, I was.
Prin. And were you well advis'd?
King. I was, fair madam.
Prin. When you then were here,
What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
King. That more than all the world I did
respect her.
Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will
reject her.
King. Upon mine honour, no.
Prin. Peace! peace! forbear;
your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
King. Despise me, when I break this oath of
mine.
Prin. I will; and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
Ros. Madam, he swore that he did hold me
dear
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto, moreover,
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
Most honourably doth uphold his word.
King. What mean you, madam? by my life,
my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.
Ros. By heaven you did; and to confirm it
plain,
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
King. My faith and this the princess I did
give:
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;
And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
What, will you have me, or your pearl again?
Ber. Neither of either; I remit both twain.
I see the trick on't: here was a consent,
Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight
zany,
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some
Dick,
That smiles his cheek in years, and knows the
trick
To make my lady laugh when she's dispos'd,
Told our intents before; which once disclos'd,
The ladies did change favours, and then we,
Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she.
Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
We are again forsworn, in will and error.
Much upon this it is: [To BOYET.] and might
not you
Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire,
And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
You put our page out: go, you are allow'd;
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye
Wounds like a leaden sword.
Boyet. Pull merrily
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run.
Ber. Lo! he is tilting straight. Peace! I have
done.

Enter COSTARD.
Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know
Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
Ber. What, are there but three?
Cost. No, sir; but it is vara fine,
For every one pursents three.
Ber. And three times thrice is nine.
Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir, I hope,
it is not so.
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we
know what we know:
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—
Ber. Is not nine.
Cost. Under correction, sir, we know where-
until it doth amount.
Ber. By Jove, I always took three threes for
nine.
Cost. O Lord, sir! it were pity you should get
your living by reckoning, sir.
Ber. How much is it?
Cost. O Lord, sir! the parties themselves, the
actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount:
for mine own part, I am, as they say, but to par-
feet one man in one poor man, Pompion the
Great, sir.
Ber. Art thou one of the Worthies?
Cost. It pleased them to think me worthy of
Pompion the Great: for mine own part, I know
not the degree of the Worthy, but I am to stand
for him.
Ber. Go, bid them prepare.
Cost. We will turn it finely off, sir; we will
take some care. [Exit.
King. Berowne, they will shame us; let them
not approach.
Ber. We are shame-proof, my lord; and 'tis
some policy
To have one show worse than the king's and his
company.
King. I say they shall not come.
Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o'errule
you now.
That sport best pleases that doth least know how:
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Die in the zeal of those which it presents;
Their form confounded makes most form in
mirth,
When great things labouring perish in their
birth.
Ber. A right description of our sport, my lord.

Enter ARMADO.
Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expense
of thy royal sweet breath as will utter a brace of
words.
[ARMADO converses with the KING, and
delivers a paper to him.
Prin. Doth this man serve God?
Ber. Why ask you?
Prin. He speaks not like a man of God's making.
Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey
monarch; for, I protest, the schoolmaster is
exceeding fantastical; too-too vain; too-too
vain: but we will put it, as they say, to fortuna
de la guerra. I wish you the peace of mind,
most royal couplement! [Exit.
King. Here is like to be a good presence of
Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy; the
swain, Pompey the Great; the parish curate,
Alexander; Armado's page, Hercules; the pe-
dant, Judas Maccabæus:
And if these four Worthies in their first show
thrive,
These four will change habits and present the
other five.
Ber. There is five in the first show.
King. You are deceived, 'tis not so.
Ber. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-
priest, the fool, and the boy:—
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world
again
Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his
vein.
King. The ship is under sail, and here she
comes amain.

Enter COSTARD armed, for Pompey.
Cost. I Pompey am,—
Boyet. You lie, you are not he.
Cost. I Pompey am,—
Boyet. With libbard's head on knee.
Ber. Well said, old mocker: I must needs be
friends with thee.
Cost. I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the
Big—
Durn. 'The Great.'
Cost. It is 'Great,' sir; Pompey surnam'd
the Great;
That oft in, field, with targe and shield, did
make my foe to sweat:
And travelling along this coast, I here am come
by chance,
And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet
lass of France.
If your ladyship would say, 'Thanks, Pompey,' I
had done.
Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey.
Cost. 'Tis not so much worth; but I hope
I was perfect. I made a little fault in 'Great.'
Ber. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the
best Worthy.

Enter SIR NATHANIEL armed, for Alexander.
Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the
worlds commander;
By east, west, north, and south, I spread my
conquering might:
My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisan-
der,—
Boyet. Your nose says, no, you are not; for it ,
stands too right.
Ber. Your nose smells 'no,' in this, most ten-
der-smelling knight.
Prin. The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed,
good Alexander.
Nath. When in the world I liv'd, I was the
worlds commander;—
Boyet. Most true; 'tis right: you were so,
Alisander.
Ber. Pompey the Great,—
Cost. Your servant, and Costard.
Ber. Take away the conqueror, take away
Alisander.
Cost. [To NATHANIEL.] O! sir, you have over-
thrown Alisander the conqueror! You will be
scraped out of the painted cloth for this: your
lion, that holds his poll-axe sitting on a close-
stool, will be given to Ajax: he will be the ninth
Worthy. A conqueror, and afeard to speak!
run away for shame, Alisander! [NATHANIEL
retires.] There, an't shall please you: a foolish
mild man; an honest man, look you, and soon
dashed! He is a marvellous good neighbour,
faith, and a very good bowler; but, for Alisan-
der,—alas, you see how 'tis,—a little o'erparted.
But there are Worthies a-coming will speak
their mind in some other sort.
Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey.

Enter HOLOFERNES armed, for Judas; and
MOTH armed, for Hercules.
Hol. Great Hercules is presented by this
imp,
Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed
canis;
And, when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
Quoniam, he seemeth in minority,
Ergo, I come with this apology.
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.—
[MOTH retires.
Judas I am—
Dum. A Judas!
Hol. Not Iscariot, sir.
Judas I am, ycleped Maccabæus.
Dum. Judas Maccabæus dipt is plain Judas.
Ber. A kissing traitor. How art thou proved
Judas?
Hol. Judas I am.—
Dum. The more shame for you, Judas.
Hol. What mean you, sir?
Boyet. To make Judas hang himself.
Hol. Begin, sir; you are my elder.
Ber. Well follow'd: Judas was hanged on an
elder.
Hol. I will not be put out of countenance.
Ber. Because thou hast no face.
Hol. What is this?
Boyet. A cittern-head.
Dum. The head of a bodkin.
Ber. A death's face in a ring.
Long. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce
seen.
Boyet. The pommel of Cæsar's falchion.
Dum. The carved-bone face on a flask.
Ber. Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.
Dum. Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
Ber. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-
drawer.
And now forward; for we have put thee in
countenance.
Hol. You have put me out of countenance.
Ber. False: we have given thee faces.
Hol. But you have outfaced them all.
Ber. An thou wert a lion, we would do so.
Boyet. Therefore, as he is an ass, let him
go.
And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou
stay?
Dum. For the latter end of his name.
Ber. For the ass to the Jude? give it him:—
Jud-as, away!
Hol. This is not generous, not gentle, not
humble.
Boyet. A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows
dark, he may stumble.
Prin. Alas! poor Maccabæus, how hath he
been baited.

Enter ARMADO armed, for Hector.
Ber. Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes
Hector in arms.
Dum. Though my mocks come home by me,
I will now be merry.
King. Hector was but a Troyan in respect of
this.
Boyet. But is this Hector?
King. I think Hector was not so clean-tim-
bered.
Long. His calf is too big for Hector.
Dum. More calf, certain.
Boyet. No; he is best indued in the small.
Ber. This cannot be Hector.
Dum. He's a god or a painter; for he makes
faces.
Arm. The armipotent Mars, of lances the
almighty,
Gave Hector a gift—
Dum. A gilt nutmeg.
Ber. A lemon.
Long. Stuck with cloves.
Dum. No, cloven.
Arm. Peace!
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion;
A man so breath'd, that certain he would fight
ye
From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
I am that flower,'—
Dum. That mint.
Long. That columbine.
Arm. Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.
Long. I must rather give it the rein, for it
runs against Hector.
Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.
Arm. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten;
sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried;
when he breathed, he was a man. But I will for-
ward with my device. [To the PRINCESS.] Sweet
royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.
Prin. Speak, brave Hector; we are much de-
lighted.
Arm. I do adore thy sweet Grace's slipper.
Boyet. [Aside to DUMAINE.] Loves her by the
foot.
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