Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act IV, Scene 3
The King of Navarre’s park.
- Enter Berowne with a paper in his hand, alone.
Berowne1 - 17
- The King he is hunting the deer: I am coursing myself. They
- have pitch’d a toil: I am toiling in a pitch—pitch that
- defiles—defile! A foul word. Well, “set thee down, sorrow!”
- for so they say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool:
- well prov’d, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax.
- It kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep: well prov’d again a’
- my side! I will not love; if I do, hang me; i’ faith, I will
- not. O but her eye—by this light, but for her eye, I would
- not love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in
- the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do
- love, and it hath taught me to rhyme and to be melancholy;
- and here is part of my rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well,
- she hath one a’ my sonnets already: the clown bore it, the
- fool sent it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter
- fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin,
- if the other three were in. Here comes one with a paper, God
- give him grace to groan!
- He stands aside, climbing into a tree.
- The King ent’reth with a paper.
- Ay me!
Berowne19 - 20
- Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid, thou hast thump’d him
- with thy bird-bolt under the left pap. In faith, secrets!
King21 - 39
- “So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
- To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
- As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
- The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows;
- Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
- Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
- As doth thy face through tears of mine give light.
- Thou shin’st in every tear that I do weep,
- No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
- So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
- Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
- And they thy glory through my grief will show.
- But do not love thyself, then thou wilt keep
- My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
- O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel
- No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.”
- How shall she know my griefs? I’ll drop the paper.
- Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
- Enter Longaville with a paper. The King steps aside.
- What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear.
- Now in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
- Ay me, I am forsworn!
- Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.
- In love, I hope—sweet fellowship in shame.
- One drunkard loves another of the name.
- Am I the first that have been perjur’d so?
Berowne46 - 48
- I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know.
- Thou makest the triumphery, the corner-cap of society,
- The shape of love’s Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.
Longaville49 - 51
- I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
- O sweet Maria, empress of my love,
- These numbers will I tear, and write in prose!
Berowne52 - 53
- O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid’s hose:
- Disfigure not his shop.
Longaville54 - 68
- This same shall go.
- He reads the sonnet.
- “Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
- ’Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
- Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
- Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
- A woman I forswore, but I will prove,
- Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee.
- My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
- Thy grace being gain’d cures all disgrace in me.
- Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is;
- Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
- Exhal’st this vapor-vow; in thee it is.
- If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
- If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
- To lose an oath to win a paradise?”
Berowne69 - 71
- This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,
- A green goose a goddess; pure, pure idolatry.
- God amend us, God amend! We are much out a’ th’ way.
- Enter Dumaine with a paper.
- By whom shall I send this?—Company? Stay.
- Steps aside.
Berowne73 - 77
- “All hid, all hid,” an old infant play.
- Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,
- And wretched fools’ secrets heedfully o’er-eye.
- More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!
- Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish!
- O most divine Kate!
- O most profane coxcomb!
- By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
- By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.
- Her amber hairs for foul hath amber coted.
- An amber-color’d raven was well noted.
- As upright as the cedar.
Berowne85 - 86
- Stoop, I say,
- Her shoulder is with child.
- As fair as day.
- Ay, as some days, but then no sun must shine.
- O that I had my wish!
- And I had mine!
- And mine too, good Lord!
- Amen, so I had mine. Is not that a good word?
Dumaine93 - 94
- I would forget her, but a fever she
- Reigns in my blood, and will rememb’red be.
Berowne95 - 96
- A fever in your blood! Why then incision
- Would let her out in saucers. Sweet misprision!
- Once more I’ll read the ode that I have writ.
- Once more I’ll mark how love can vary wit.
Dumaine99 - 124
- Reads his sonnet.
- “On a day—alack the day!—
- Love, whose month is ever May,
- Spied a blossom passing fair
- Playing in the wanton air:
- Through the velvet leaves the wind,
- All unseen, can passage find;
- That the lover, sick to death,
- Wish’d himself the heavens’ breath.
- Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
- Air, would I might triumph so!
- But, alack, my hand is sworn
- ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
- Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
- Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
- Do not call it sin in me,
- That I am forsworn for thee;
- Thou for whom Jove would swear
- Juno but an Ethiop were,
- And deny himself for Jove,
- Turning mortal for thy love.”
- This will I send and something else more plain
- That shall express my true love’s fasting pain.
- O would the King, Berowne, and Longaville
- Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
- Would from my forehead wipe a perjur’d note:
- For none offend where all alike do dote.
Longaville125 - 128
- Dumaine, thy love is far from charity,
- That in love’s grief desir’st society:
- You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
- To be o’erheard and taken napping so.
King129 - 148
- Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;
- You chide at him, offending twice as much.
- You do not love Maria? Longaville
- Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
- Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
- His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
- I have been closely shrouded in this bush
- And mark’d you both, and for you both did blush.
- I heard your guilty rhymes, observ’d your fashion,
- Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
- “Ay me!” says one, “O Jove!” the other cries;
- One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other’s eyes.
- To Longaville.
- You would for paradise break faith and troth,
- To Dumaine.
- And Jove for your love would infringe an oath.
- What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
- Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?
- How will he scorn! How will he spend his wit!
- How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!
- For all the wealth that ever I did see,
- I would not have him know so much by me.
Berowne149 - 172
- Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
- Descending and advancing.
- Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me!
- Good heart, what grace hast thou thus to reprove
- These worms for loving, that art most in love?
- Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
- There is no certain princess that appears;
- You’ll not be perjur’d, ’tis a hateful thing;
- Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
- But are you not asham’d? Nay, are you not,
- All three of you, to be thus much o’ershot?
- You found his mote, the King your mote did see;
- But I a beam do find in each of three.
- O, what a scene of fool’ry have I seen,
- Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
- O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
- To see a king transformed to a gnat!
- To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
- And profound Salomon to tune a jig,
- And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
- And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
- Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumaine?
- And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
- And where my liege’s? All about the breast!
- A caudle ho!
King173 - 174
- Too bitter is thy jest.
- Are we betrayed thus to thy over-view?
Berowne175 - 185
- Not you by me, but I betrayed to you:
- I that am honest, I that hold it sin
- To break the vow I am engaged in.
- I am betrayed by keeping company
- With men like you, men of inconstancy.
- When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme,
- Or groan for Joan, or spend a minute’s time
- In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
- Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
- A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
- A leg, a limb—
King186 - 187
- Soft, whither away so fast?
- A true man, or a thief, that gallops so?
- I post from love; good lover, let me go.
- Enter Jaquenetta and Clown Costard.
- God bless the King!
- What present hast thou there?
- Some certain treason.
- What makes treason here?
- Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
King194 - 195
- If it mar nothing neither,
- The treason and you go in peace away together.
Jaquenetta196 - 197
- I beseech your Grace let this letter be read:
- Our person misdoubts it; ’twas treason, he said.
King198 - 199
- Berowne, read it over.
- Berowne reads the letter.
- Where hadst thou it?
- Of Costard.
- Where hadst thou it?
- Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
- Berowne tears the letter.
- How now, what is in you? Why dost thou tear it?
- A toy, my liege, a toy; your Grace needs not fear it.
- It did move him to passion, and therefore let’s hear it.
- Gathering up the pieces.
- It is Berowne’s writing, and here is his name.
Berowne207 - 208
- To Costard.
- Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame.
- Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.
Berowne210 - 213
- That you three fools lack’d me fool to make up the mess.
- He, he, and you—and you, my liege!—and I,
- Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
- O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
- Now the number is even.
Berowne215 - 216
- True, true, we are four.
- Will these turtles be gone?
- Hence, sirs, away!
- Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
- Exeunt Costard and Jaquenetta.
Berowne219 - 224
- Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
- As true we are as flesh and blood can be.
- The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
- Young blood doth not obey an old decree.
- We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
- Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
- What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
Berowne226 - 233
- Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
- That (like a rude and savage man of Inde),
- At the first op’ning of the gorgeous east,
- Bows not his vassal head, and strucken blind,
- Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
- What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
- Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
- That is not blinded by her majesty?
King234 - 236
- What zeal, what fury, hath inspir’d thee now?
- My love (her mistress) is a gracious moon,
- She (an attending star) scarce seen a light.
Berowne237 - 251
- My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
- O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
- Of all complexions the cull’d sovereignty
- Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek,
- Where several worthies make one dignity,
- Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
- Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues—
- Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not.
- To things of sale a seller’s praise belongs:
- She passes praise, then praise too short doth blot.
- A wither’d hermit, fivescore winters worn,
- Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
- Beauty doth varnish age, as if new born,
- And gives the crutch the cradle’s infancy.
- O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine!
- By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
Berowne253 - 258
- Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
- A wife of such wood were felicity.
- O, who can give an oath? Where is a book?
- That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
- If that she learn not of her eye to look:
- No face is fair that is not full so black.
King259 - 261
- O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
- The hue of dungeons, and the school of night;
- And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.
Berowne262 - 270
- Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of
- O, if in black my lady’s brows be deck’d,
- It mourns that painting and usurping hair
- Should ravish doters with a false aspect:
- And therefore is she born to make black fair.
- Her favor turns the fashion of the days,
- For native blood is counted painting now;
- And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
- Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
- To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
- And since her time are colliers counted bright.
- And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.
- Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
Berowne275 - 276
- Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
- For fear their colors should be wash’d away.
King277 - 278
- ’Twere good yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
- I’ll find a fairer face not wash’d today.
- I’ll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
- No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
- I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
Longaville282 - 283
- Look, here’s thy love,
- Showing his boot.
- my foot and her face see.
Berowne284 - 285
- O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
- Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!
Dumaine286 - 287
- O vile! Then as she goes what upward lies
- The street should see as she walk’d overhead.
- But what of this, are we not all in love?
- O, nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.
King290 - 291
- Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove
- Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
- Ay marry, there—some flattery for this evil.
Longaville293 - 294
- O, some authority how to proceed;
- Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
- Some salve for perjury.
Berowne296 - 373
- O, ’tis more than need.
- Have at you then, affection’s men-at-arms.
- Consider what you first did swear unto:
- To fast, to study, and to see no woman—
- Flat treason ’gainst the kingly state of youth.
- Say, can you fast? Your stomachs are too young,
- And abstinence engenders maladies.
- (And where that you have vow’d to study, lords,
- In that each of you have forsworn his book,
- Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
- For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
- Have found the ground of study’s excellence
- Without the beauty of a woman’s face?
- From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
- They are the ground, the books, the academes,
- From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire.
- Why, universal plodding poisons up
- The nimble spirits in the arteries,
- As motion and long-during action tires
- The sinowy vigor of the traveler.
- Now for not looking on a woman’s face,
- You have in that forsworn the use of eyes,
- And study too, the causer of your vow.
- For where is any author in the world
- Teaches such beauty as a woman’s eye?
- Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
- And where we are, our learning likewise is.
- Then when ourselves we see in ladies’ eyes,
- With ourselves,
- Do we not likewise see our learning there?)
- O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
- And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
- For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
- In leaden contemplation have found out
- Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
- Of beauty’s tutors have enrich’d you with?
- Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
- And therefore, finding barren practicers,
- Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil;
- But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes,
- Lives not alone immured in the brain,
- But with the motion of all elements,
- Courses as swift as thought in every power,
- And gives to every power a double power,
- Above their functions and their offices.
- It adds a precious seeing to the eye:
- A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
- A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
- When the suspicious head of theft is stopp’d.
- Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
- Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
- Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
- For valor, is not Love a Hercules,
- Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
- Subtile as Sphinx, as sweet and musical
- As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair.
- And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
- Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
- Never durst poet touch a pen to write
- Until his ink were temp’red with Love’s sighs:
- O then his lines would ravish savage ears
- And plant in tyrants mild humility.
- From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
- They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
- They are the books, the arts, the academes,
- That show, contain, and nourish all the world,
- Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
- Then fools you were these women to forswear,
- Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
- For wisdom’s sake, a word that all men love,
- Or for love’s sake, a word that loves all men,
- Or for men’s sake, the authors of these women,
- Or women’s sake, by whom we men are men,
- Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
- Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
- It is religion to be thus forsworn:
- For charity itself fulfills the law,
- And who can sever love from charity?
- Saint Cupid, then! And, soldiers, to the field!
Berowne375 - 377
- Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;
- Pell-mell, down with them! But be first advis’d,
- In conflict that you get the sun of them.
Longaville378 - 379
- Now to plain-dealing, lay these glozes by:
- Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
King380 - 381
- And win them too; therefore let us devise
- Some entertainment for them in their tents.
Berowne382 - 388
- First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
- Then homeward every man attach the hand
- Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon
- We will with some strange pastime solace them,
- Such as the shortness of the time can shape,
- For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours
- Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.
King389 - 390
- Away, away, no time shall be omitted
- That will be time, and may by us be fitted.
Berowne391 - 395
- Allons! Allons!
- Sow’d cockle reap’d no corn,
- And justice always whirls in equal measure:
- Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
- If so, our copper buys no better treasure.