Love's Labor's Lost - Act 4, scene 3
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Act 4, scene 3
One after the other, the King and his lords enter and confess they are in love. Each, after he confesses, hides and eavesdrops on the next to enter. Then one after the other, they come forward and berate those they have overheard. After Berowne gives them a way of explaining away their perjury, the lords set off to entertain the ladies in the hope of winning their affections.Enter Berowne with a paper in his hand, alone.
BEROWNE 1362 The King, he is hunting the deer; I am
1363 coursing myself. They have pitched a toil; I am
1364 toiling in a pitch—pitch that defiles. Defile! A foul
1365 word. Well, “set thee down, sorrow”; for so they
1366 5 say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well
1367 proved, wit. By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax.
1368 It kills sheep, it kills me, I a sheep. Well proved
1369 again, o’ my side. I will not love. If I do, hang me. I’
1370 faith, I will not. O, but her eye! By this light, but for
1371 10 her eye I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes.
1373 throat. By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to
1374 rhyme, and to be melancholy. And here is part of my
1375 rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one
1376 15 o’ my sonnets already. The clown bore it, the fool
1377 sent it, and the lady hath it. Sweet clown, sweeter
1378 fool, sweetest lady. By the world, I would not care a
1379 pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one with
1380 a paper. God give him grace to groan.
He stands aside.
The King entereth ⌜with a paper.⌝
KING 1381 20Ay me!
BEROWNE, ⌜aside⌝ 1382 Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet
1383 Cupid. Thou hast thumped him with thy birdbolt
1384 under the left pap. In faith, secrets!
1385 So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
1386 25 To those fresh morning drops upon the rose
1387 As thy eyebeams, when their fresh rays have smote
1388 The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows.
1389 Nor shines the silver moon one-half so bright
1390 Through the transparent bosom of the deep
1391 30 As doth thy face, through tears of mine, give light.
1392 Thou shin’st in every tear that I do weep.
1393 No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
1394 So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
1395 Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
1396 35 And they thy glory through my grief will show.
1397 But do not love thyself; then thou ⟨wilt⟩ keep
1398 My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
1399 O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel
1400 No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
1401 40 How shall she know my griefs? I’ll drop the paper.
1402 Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
1403 What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear.
1404 Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
LONGAVILLE 1405 Ay me! I am forsworn.
1406 45 Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers!
1407 In love, I hope! Sweet fellowship in shame.
1408 One drunkard loves another of the name.
1409 Am I the first that have been perjured so?
1410 I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know.
1411 50 Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of
1413 The shape of love’s Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.
1414 I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
1415 ⌜Reads.⌝ O sweet Maria, empress of my love—
1416 55 These numbers will I tear and write in prose.
⌜He tears the paper.⌝
1417 O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid’s hose.
1418 Disfigure not his shop!
LONGAVILLE, ⌜taking another paper⌝ 1419 This same shall go.
(He reads the sonnet.)
1420 Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
1421 60 ’Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
1422 Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
1423 Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
1424 A woman I forswore, but I will prove,
1425 Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee.
1426 65 My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love.
1428 Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is.
1429 Then thou, fair sun, which on my Earth dost
1431 70 Exhal’st this vapor-vow; in thee it is.
1432 If broken, then, it is no fault of mine.
1433 If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
1434 To lose an oath to win a paradise?
1435 This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity,
1436 75 A green goose a goddess. Pure, pure ⟨idolatry.⟩
1437 God amend us, God amend. We are much out o’ th’
1439 By whom shall I send this?—Company? Stay.
⌜He steps aside.⌝
Enter Dumaine, ⌜with a paper.⌝
1440 All hid, all hid—an old infant play.
1441 80 Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,
1442 And wretched fools’ secrets heedfully o’ereye.
1443 More sacks to the mill. O heavens, I have my wish.
1444 Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish.
DUMAINE 1445 O most divine Kate!
BEROWNE, ⌜aside⌝ 1446 85O most profane coxcomb!
1447 By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
1448 By Earth, she is not, corporal. There you lie.
1449 Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.
1450 An amber-colored raven was well noted.
1451 90 As upright as the cedar.
1453 Her shoulder is with child.
DUMAINE 1454 As fair as day.
1455 Ay, as some days, but then no sun must shine.
1456 95 O, that I had my wish!
LONGAVILLE, ⌜aside⌝ 1457 And I had mine!
KING, ⌜aside⌝ 1458 And mine too, good Lord!
1459 Amen, so I had mine. Is not that a good word?
1460 I would forget her, but a fever she
1461 100 Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.
1462 A fever in your blood? Why, then incision
1463 Would let her out in saucers! Sweet misprision.
1464 Once more I’ll read the ode that I have writ.
1465 Once more I’ll mark how love can vary wit.
DUMAINE reads his sonnet.
1466 105 On a day—alack the day!—
1467 Love, whose month is ever May,
1468 Spied a blossom passing fair,
1469 Playing in the wanton air.
1470 Through the velvet leaves the wind,
1471 110 All unseen, can passage find;
1472 That the lover, sick to death,
1473 ⌜Wished⌝ himself the heaven’s breath.
1474 “Air,” quoth he, “thy cheeks may blow.
1475 Air, would I might triumph so!”
1476 115 But, alack, my hand is sworn
1477 Ne’er to pluck thee from thy ⌜thorn.⌝
1479 Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
1480 Do not call it sin in me
1481 120 That I am forsworn for thee—
1482 Thou for whom Jove would swear
1483 Juno but an Ethiope were,
1484 And deny himself for Jove,
1485 Turning mortal for thy love.
1486 125 This will I send, and something else more plain
1487 That shall express my true love’s fasting pain.
1488 O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville
1489 Were lovers too! Ill to example ill
1490 Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note,
1491 130 For none offend where all alike do dote.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜coming forward⌝
1492 Dumaine, thy love is far from charity,
1493 That in love’s grief desir’st society.
1494 You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
1495 To be o’er-heard and taken napping so.
KING, ⌜coming forward⌝
1496 135 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ Come, sir, you blush! As his, your
1497 case is such.
1498 You chide at him, offending twice as much.
1499 You do not love Maria? Longaville
1500 Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
1501 140 Nor never lay his wreathèd arms athwart
1502 His loving bosom to keep down his heart?
1503 I have been closely shrouded in this bush
1504 And marked you both, and for you both did blush.
1505 I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
1506 145 Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
1507 “Ay, me!” says one. “O Jove!” the other cries.
1508 One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other’s eyes.
1509 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ You would for paradise break faith
1510 and troth,
1512 infringe an oath.
1513 What will Berowne say when that he shall hear
1514 Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?
1515 How will he scorn, how will he spend his wit!
1516 155 How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!
1517 For all the wealth that ever I did see,
1518 I would not have him know so much by me.
BEROWNE, ⌜coming forward⌝
1519 Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
1520 Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me.
1521 160 Good heart, what grace hast thou thus to reprove
1522 These worms for loving, that art most in love?
1523 Your eyes do make no ⌜coaches;⌝ in your tears
1524 There is no certain princess that appears.
1525 You’ll not be perjured, ’tis a hateful thing!
1526 165 Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
1527 But are you not ashamed? Nay, are you not,
1528 All three of you, to be thus much o’ershot?
1529 ⌜To Longaville.⌝ You found his mote, the King your
1530 mote did see,
1531 170 But I a beam do find in each of three.
1532 O, what a scene of fool’ry have I seen,
1533 Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
1534 O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
1535 To see a king transformèd to a gnat!
1536 175 To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
1537 And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
1538 And Nestor play at pushpin with the boys,
1539 And critic Timon laugh at idle toys.
1540 Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumaine?
1541 180 And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
1542 And where my liege’s? All about the breast!
1543 A caudle, ho!
KING 1544 Too bitter is thy jest.
1545 Are we betrayed thus to thy overview?
1546 185 Not you ⌜to⌝ me, but I betrayed ⌜by⌝ you.
1547 I, that am honest, I, that hold it sin
1548 To break the vow I am engagèd in.
1549 I am betrayed by keeping company
1550 With men like ⌜you,⌝ men of inconstancy.
1551 190 When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
1552 Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute’s time
1553 In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
1554 Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
1555 A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
1556 195 A leg, a limb—
Enter Jaquenetta, ⌜with a paper,⌝ and Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
⌜Berowne begins to exit.⌝
KING 1557 Soft, whither away so fast?
1558 A true man, or a thief, that gallops so?
1559 I post from love. Good lover, let me go.
1560 God bless the King.
KING 1561 200 What present hast thou there?
1562 Some certain treason.
KING 1563 What makes treason here?
1564 Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
KING 1565 If it mar nothing neither,
1566 205 The treason and you go in peace away together.
1567 I beseech your Grace, let this letter be read.
1568 Our person misdoubts it. ’Twas treason, he said.
1569 Berowne, read it over.
⌜Berowne⌝ reads the letter.
⌜To Jaquenetta.⌝ 1570 Where hadst thou it?
KING, ⌜to Costard⌝ 1572 Where hadst thou it?
COSTARD 1573 Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
⌜Berowne tears the paper.⌝
KING, ⌜to Berowne⌝
1574 How now, what is in you? Why dost thou tear it?
1575 A toy, my liege, a toy. Your Grace needs not fear it.
1576 215 It did move him to passion, and therefore let’s hear
DUMAINE, ⌜picking up the papers⌝
1578 It is Berowne’s writing, and here is his name.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Costard⌝
1579 Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do
1580 me shame.—
1581 220 Guilty, my lord, guilty. I confess, I confess.
KING 1582 What?
1583 That you three fools lacked me fool to make up
1584 the mess.
1585 He, he, and you—and you, my liege—and I
1586 225 Are pickpurses in love, and we deserve to die.
1587 O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
1588 Now the number is even.
BEROWNE 1589 True, true, we are four.
1590 ⌜Pointing to Jaquenetta and Costard.⌝ Will these
1591 230 turtles be gone?
KING 1592 Hence, sirs. Away.
1593 Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
⌜Jaquenetta and Costard exit.⌝
1594 Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace.
1595 As true we are as flesh and blood can be.
1597 Young blood doth not obey an old decree.
1598 We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
1599 Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
1600 What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
1601 240 Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly
1603 That, like a rude and savage man of Ind
1604 At the first op’ning of the gorgeous East,
1605 Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
1606 245 Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
1607 What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
1608 Dares look upon the heaven of her brow
1609 That is not blinded by her majesty?
1610 What zeal, what fury, hath inspired thee now?
1611 250 My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon,
1612 She an attending star scarce seen a light.
1613 My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.
1614 O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
1615 Of all complexions the culled sovereignty
1616 255 Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek.
1617 Where several worthies make one dignity,
1618 Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
1619 Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues—
1620 Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not!
1621 260 To things of sale a seller’s praise belongs.
1622 She passes praise. Then praise too short doth blot.
1623 A withered hermit, fivescore winters worn,
1624 Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye.
1625 Beauty doth varnish age, as if newborn,
1627 O, ’tis the sun that maketh all things shine!
1628 By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
1629 Is ebony like her? O word divine!
1630 A wife of such wood were felicity.
1631 270 O, who can give an oath? Where is a book,
1632 That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack
1633 If that she learn not of her eye to look?
1634 No face is fair that is not full so black.
1635 O, paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
1636 275 The hue of dungeons and the school of night,
1637 And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.
1638 Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
1639 O, if in black my lady’s brows be decked,
1640 It mourns that painting ⌜and⌝ usurping hair
1641 280 Should ravish doters with a false aspect:
1642 And therefore is she born to make black fair.
1643 Her favor turns the fashion of the days,
1644 For native blood is counted painting now.
1645 And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
1646 285 Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
1647 To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
1648 And since her time are colliers counted bright.
1649 And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.
1650 Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
1651 290 Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
1652 For fear their colors should be washed away.
1653 ’Twere good yours did, for, sir, to tell you plain,
1654 I’ll find a fairer face not washed today.
1655 I’ll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
1656 295 No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
1657 I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜showing his shoe⌝
1658 Look, here’s thy love; my foot and her face see.
1659 O, if the streets were pavèd with thine eyes.
1660 Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.
1661 300 O vile! Then as she goes, what upward lies
1662 The street should see as she walked overhead.
1663 But what of this? Are we not all in love?
1664 Nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.
1665 Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove
1666 305 Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
1667 Ay, marry, there, some flattery for this evil.
1668 O, some authority how to proceed,
1669 Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
1670 Some salve for perjury.
BEROWNE 1671 310 O, ’tis more than need.
1672 Have at you, then, affection’s men-at-arms!
1673 O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
1674 And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
1676 315 In leaden contemplation have found out
1677 Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
1678 Of beauty’s tutors have enriched you with?
1679 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain
1680 And therefore, finding barren practicers,
1681 320 Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil.
1682 But love, first learnèd in a lady’s eyes,
1683 Lives not alone immurèd in the brain,
1684 But with the motion of all elements
1685 Courses as swift as thought in every power,
1686 325 And gives to every power a double power,
1687 Above their functions and their offices.
1688 It adds a precious seeing to the eye.
1689 A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.
1690 A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
1691 330 When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
1692 Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
1693 Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
1694 Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
1695 For valor, is not love a Hercules,
1696 335 Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
1697 Subtle as Sphinx, as sweet and musical
1698 As bright Apollo’s lute strung with his hair.
1699 And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
1700 Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.
1701 340 Never durst poet touch a pen to write
1702 Until his ink were tempered with love’s sighs.
1703 O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
1704 And plant in tyrants mild humility.
1705 From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive.
1706 345 They sparkle still the right Promethean fire.
1707 They are the books, the arts, the academes
1708 That show, contain, and nourish all the world.
1709 Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
1711 350 Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
1712 For wisdom’s sake, a word that all men love,
1713 Or for love’s sake, a word that loves all men,
1714 Or for men’s sake, the ⌜authors⌝ of these women,
1715 Or women’s sake, by whom we men are men,
1716 355 ⌜Let⌝ us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
1717 Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
1718 It is religion to be thus forsworn,
1719 For charity itself fulfills the law,
1720 And who can sever love from charity?
1721 360 Saint Cupid, then, and, soldiers, to the field!
1722 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords.
1723 Pell-mell, down with them. But be first advised
1724 In conflict that you get the sun of them.
1725 Now to plain dealing. Lay these glozes by.
1726 365 Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
1727 And win them, too. Therefore let us devise
1728 Some entertainment for them in their tents.
1729 First, from the park let us conduct them thither.
1730 Then homeward every man attach the hand
1731 370 Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon
1732 We will with some strange pastime solace them,
1733 Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
1734 For revels, dances, masques, and merry hours
1735 Forerun fair love, strewing her way with flowers.
1736 375 Away, away! No time shall be omitted
1737 That will betime and may by us be fitted.
1738 ⌜Allons! Allons!⌝ Sowed cockle reaped no corn,
1739 And justice always whirls in equal measure.
1740 Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
1741 380 If so, our copper buys no better treasure.