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Home > Love's Labour's Lost > ACT IV - SCENE III. The same.

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ACT IV - SCENE III. The same.
Enter BIRON, with a paper

BIRON
1    The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing
2    myself: they have pitched a toil; I am toiling in
3    a pitch,--pitch that defiles: defile! a foul
4    word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so they say
5    the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool: well
6    proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as
7    Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep:
8    well proved again o' my side! I will not love: if
9    I do, hang me; i' faith, I will not. O, but her
10   eye,--by this light, but for her eye, I would not
11   love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing
12   in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By
13   heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme
14   and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme,
15   and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my
16   sonnets already: the clown bore it, the fool sent
17   it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter
18   fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care
19   a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one
20   with a paper: God give him grace to groan!
Stands aside

Enter FERDINAND, with a paper

FERDINAND
21   Ay me!
BIRON
Aside
22    Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid:
23   thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the
24   left pap. In faith, secrets!
FERDINAND
Reads
25   So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
26   To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
27   As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
28   The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows:
29   Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
30   Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
31   As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
32   Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep:
33   No drop but as a coach doth carry thee;
34   So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
35   Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
36   And they thy glory through my grief will show:
37   But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
38   My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
39   O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,
40   No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
41   How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper:
42   Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
Steps aside
43   What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear.
BIRON
44   Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper

LONGAVILLE
45   Ay me, I am forsworn!
BIRON
46   Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers.
FERDINAND
47   In love, I hope: sweet fellowship in shame!
BIRON
48   One drunkard loves another of the name.
LONGAVILLE
49   Am I the first that have been perjured so?
BIRON
50   I could put thee in comfort. Not by two that I know:
51   Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
52   The shape of Love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.
LONGAVILLE
53   I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move:
54   O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
55   These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
BIRON
56   O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose:
57   Disfigure not his slop.
LONGAVILLE
58   This same shall go.
Reads
59   Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
60   'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
61   Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
62   Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
63   A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
64   Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
65   My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
66   Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
67   Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:
68   Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
69   Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is:
70   If broken then, it is no fault of mine:
71   If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
72   To lose an oath to win a paradise?
BIRON
73   This is the liver-vein, which makes flesh a deity,
74   A green goose a goddess: pure, pure idolatry.
75   God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' the way.
LONGAVILLE
76   By whom shall I send this?--Company! stay.
Steps aside

BIRON
77   All hid, all hid; an old infant play.
78   Like a demigod here sit I in the sky.
79   And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'ereye.
80   More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!
Enter DUMAIN, with a paper
81   Dumain transform'd! four woodcocks in a dish!
DUMAIN
82   O most divine Kate!
BIRON
83   O most profane coxcomb!
DUMAIN
84   By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
BIRON
85   By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie.
DUMAIN
86   Her amber hair for foul hath amber quoted.
BIRON
87   An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.
DUMAIN
88   As upright as the cedar.
BIRON
89   Stoop, I say;
90   Her shoulder is with child.
DUMAIN
91   As fair as day.
BIRON
92   Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.
DUMAIN
93   O that I had my wish!
LONGAVILLE
94   And I had mine!
FERDINAND
95   And I mine too, good Lord!
BIRON
96   Amen, so I had mine: is not that a good word?
DUMAIN
97   I would forget her; but a fever she
98   Reigns in my blood and will remember'd be.
BIRON
99   A fever in your blood! why, then incision
100  Would let her out in saucers: sweet misprision!
DUMAIN
101  Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.
BIRON
102  Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.
DUMAIN
Reads
103  On a day--alack the day!--
104  Love, whose month is ever May,
105  Spied a blossom passing fair
106  Playing in the wanton air:
107  Through the velvet leaves the wind,
108  All unseen, can passage find;
109  That the lover, sick to death,
110  Wish himself the heaven's breath.
111  Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
112  Air, would I might triumph so!
113  But, alack, my hand is sworn
114  Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
115  Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
116  Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
117  Do not call it sin in me,
118  That I am forsworn for thee;
119  Thou for whom Jove would swear
120  Juno but an Ethiope were;
121  And deny himself for Jove,
122  Turning mortal for thy love.
123  This will I send, and something else more plain,
124  That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
125  O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
126  Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
127  Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
128  For none offend where all alike do dote.
LONGAVILLE
Advancing
129   Dumain, thy love is far from charity.
130  You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
131  To be o'erheard and taken napping so.
FERDINAND
Advancing
132   Come, sir, you blush; as his your case is such;
133  You chide at him, offending twice as much;
134  You do not love Maria; Longaville
135  Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
136  Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart
137  His loving bosom to keep down his heart.
138  I have been closely shrouded in this bush
139  And mark'd you both and for you both did blush:
140  I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
141  Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion:
142  Ay me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;
143  One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes:
To LONGAVILLE
144  You would for paradise break faith, and troth;
To DUMAIN
145  And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
146  What will Biron say when that he shall hear
147  Faith so infringed, which such zeal did swear?
148  How will he scorn! how will he spend his wit!
149  How will he triumph, leap and laugh at it!
150  For all the wealth that ever I did see,
151  I would not have him know so much by me.
BIRON
152  Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
Advancing
153  Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me!
154  Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove
155  These worms for loving, that art most in love?
156  Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears
157  There is no certain princess that appears;
158  You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;
159  Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
160  But are you not ashamed? nay, are you not,
161  All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
162  You found his mote; the king your mote did see;
163  But I a beam do find in each of three.
164  O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,
165  Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow and of teen!
166  O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
167  To see a king transformed to a gnat!
168  To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
169  And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
170  And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
171  And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
172  Where lies thy grief, O, tell me, good Dumain?
173  And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
174  And where my liege's? all about the breast:
175  A caudle, ho!
FERDINAND
176  Too bitter is thy jest.
177  Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view?
BIRON
178  Not you to me, but I betray'd by you:
179  I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin
180  To break the vow I am engaged in;
181  I am betray'd, by keeping company
182  With men like men of inconstancy.
183  When shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?
184  Or groan for love? or spend a minute's time
185  In pruning me? When shall you hear that I
186  Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
187  A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
188  A leg, a limb?
FERDINAND
189  Soft! whither away so fast?
190  A true man or a thief that gallops so?
BIRON
191  I post from love: good lover, let me go.
Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD

JAQUENETTA
192  God bless the king!
FERDINAND
193  What present hast thou there?
COSTARD
194  Some certain treason.
FERDINAND
195  What makes treason here?
COSTARD
196  Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
FERDINAND
197  If it mar nothing neither,
198  The treason and you go in peace away together.
JAQUENETTA
199  I beseech your grace, let this letter be read:
200  Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.
FERDINAND
201  Biron, read it over.
Giving him the paper
202  Where hadst thou it?
JAQUENETTA
203  Of Costard.
FERDINAND
204  Where hadst thou it?
COSTARD
205  Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
BIRON tears the letter

FERDINAND
206  How now! what is in you? why dost thou tear it?
BIRON
207  A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace needs not fear it.
LONGAVILLE
208  It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.
DUMAIN
209  It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.
Gathering up the pieces

BIRON
To COSTARD
210   Ah, you whoreson loggerhead! you were
211  born to do me shame.
212  Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess.
FERDINAND
213  What?
BIRON
214  That you three fools lack'd me fool to make up the mess:
215  He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I,
216  Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
217  O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
DUMAIN
218  Now the number is even.
BIRON
219  True, true; we are four.
220  Will these turtles be gone?
FERDINAND
221  Hence, sirs; away!
COSTARD
222  Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

BIRON
223  Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace!
224  As true we are as flesh and blood can be:
225  The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;
226  Young blood doth not obey an old decree:
227  We cannot cross the cause why we were born;
228  Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
FERDINAND
229  What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
BIRON
230  Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
231  That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
232  At the first opening of the gorgeous east,
233  Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind
234  Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
235  What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
236  Dares look upon the heaven of her brow,
237  That is not blinded by her majesty?
FERDINAND
238  What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?
239  My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
240  She an attending star, scarce seen a light.
BIRON
241  My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:
242  O, but for my love, day would turn to night!
243  Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty
244  Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek,
245  Where several worthies make one dignity,
246  Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
247  Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,--
248  Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not:
249  To things of sale a seller's praise belongs,
250  She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
251  A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
252  Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
253  Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
254  And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy:
255  O, 'tis the sun that maketh all things shine.
FERDINAND
256  By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
BIRON
257  Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
258  A wife of such wood were felicity.
259  O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
260  That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
261  If that she learn not of her eye to look:
262  No face is fair that is not full so black.
FERDINAND
263  O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
264  The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
265  And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
BIRON
266  Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
267  O, if in black my lady's brows be deck'd,
268  It mourns that painting and usurping hair
269  Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
270  And therefore is she born to make black fair.
271  Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
272  For native blood is counted painting now;
273  And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
274  Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
DUMAIN
275  To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
LONGAVILLE
276  And since her time are colliers counted bright.
FERDINAND
277  And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.
DUMAIN
278  Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
BIRON
279  Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
280  For fear their colours should be wash'd away.
FERDINAND
281  'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell you plain,
282  I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.
BIRON
283  I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.
FERDINAND
284  No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
DUMAIN
285  I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
LONGAVILLE
286  Look, here's thy love: my foot and her face see.
BIRON
287  O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
288  Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!
DUMAIN
289  O, vile! then, as she goes, what upward lies
290  The street should see as she walk'd overhead.
FERDINAND
291  But what of this? are we not all in love?
BIRON
292  Nothing so sure; and thereby all forsworn.
FERDINAND
293  Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now prove
294  Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
DUMAIN
295  Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil.
LONGAVILLE
296  O, some authority how to proceed;
297  Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
DUMAIN
298  Some salve for perjury.
BIRON
299  'Tis more than need.
300  Have at you, then, affection's men at arms.
301  Consider what you first did swear unto,
302  To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
303  Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
304  Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
305  And abstinence engenders maladies.
306  And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
307  In that each of you have forsworn his book,
308  Can you still dream and pore and thereon look?
309  For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,
310  Have found the ground of study's excellence
311  Without the beauty of a woman's face?
312  Why, universal plodding poisons up
313  The nimble spirits in the arteries,
314  As motion and long-during action tires
315  The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
316  Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
317  You have in that forsworn the use of eyes
318  And study too, the causer of your vow;
319  For where is any author in the world
320  Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
321  Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
322  And where we are our learning likewise is:
323  Then when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
324  Do we not likewise see our learning there?
325  O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
326  And in that vow we have forsworn our books.
327  For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
328  In leaden contemplation have found out
329  Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
330  Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you with?
331  Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;
332  And therefore, finding barren practisers,
333  Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
334  But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
335  Lives not alone immured in the brain;
336  But, with the motion of all elements,
337  Courses as swift as thought in every power,
338  And gives to every power a double power,
339  Above their functions and their offices.
340  It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
341  A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
342  A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
343  When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd:
344  Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
345  Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
346  Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
347  For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
348  Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
349  Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
350  As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
351  And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
352  Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
353  Never durst poet touch a pen to write
354  Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
355  O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
356  And plant in tyrants mild humility.
357  From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
358  They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
359  They are the books, the arts, the academes,
360  That show, contain and nourish all the world:
361  Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
362  Then fools you were these women to forswear,
363  Or keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
364  For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love,
365  Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men,
366  Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,
367  Or women's sake, by whom we men are men,
368  Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
369  Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
370  It is religion to be thus forsworn,
371  For charity itself fulfills the law,
372  And who can sever love from charity?
FERDINAND
373  Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
BIRON
374  Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;
375  Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advised,
376  In conflict that you get the sun of them.
LONGAVILLE
377  Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by:
378  Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
FERDINAND
379  And win them too: therefore let us devise
380  Some entertainment for them in their tents.
BIRON
381  First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
382  Then homeward every man attach the hand
383  Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon
384  We will with some strange pastime solace them,
385  Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
386  For revels, dances, masks and merry hours
387  Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.
FERDINAND
388  Away, away! no time shall be omitted
389  That will betime, and may by us be fitted.
BIRON
390  Allons! allons! Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;
391  And justice always whirls in equal measure:
392  Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
393  If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IIACT V, SCENE I (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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