Archives For William Shakespeare

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Love’s Labour’s Lost


ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

Dum. Some salve for perjury.

Biron.                    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 engender maladies.

And where that you have vow’d to study, lords,

In that each of you hath forsworn his book,—

Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look?

Why, universal plodding prisons up

The nimble spirits in the arteries,

As motion and long-during action tires

The sinewy vigour of the traveller/

Now, for not looking on a woman’s face,

You have in that forsowrn the se of eyes,

And study, too, the causer of your vow:

For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,

In leaden contemplation, have found out

Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes

Of beauteous tutors have enrich’d you with?

Other slow arts entire keep the brain,

And therefore, finding barren practisers,

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 tender horns of cockled snails;

Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in


For valour, is not love a Hercules,

Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?

Subtle as sphinx; as sweet and musical

As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair?

And when love speaks the vice of all the gods

Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.

Never durst poet touch a pen to write

Until his inke were temper’d with love’s sighs:

O, then his line 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 boos, 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 wgin we neb 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 fulfils the law,

And who can sever love from charity?

King. Saint Cupid, the! and, soldiers, to

the filed!                             [them, lords;

Biron. Advance your standards, and upon

Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis’d

In conflict that you get the sun of them

Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes


Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?

King. And win them too: therefore let us


Some entertainment for them in their tents.

Biron. 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


King. Away, away! no time shall be omitted,

That will be time, and may by us be fitted.

Biron. Allons! Allons!—Sow’d cockle reap’d

no corn;

And justice always whirls in equal measure:

Light wenches may prove plagues to men for-


If so, our copper buys no better treasure.


(On 11/24/14 - Join me for the continuation of “Love’s Labour’s Lost”,

ACT V. SCENE I.—Another part of the Park.

love labours lost

Kirtle (n.)

Kirtle is defined as ‘a dress’ or ‘a gown’. Kirtle is cited in two of Shakespeare’s works. 1) Henry IV Part 2 (2H4 II.iv.268). Falstaff says to Doll: “What stuff wilt have a kirtle of?”, 2) The Passionate Pilgrim (PassP XIX.II) Pilgrim says to his love: “There will I make thee…a kirtle, Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.”

Falstaff with Doll Tearsheet in the Boar’s Head tavern, illustration to Act 2, Scene 4 of the play by Eduard von Grützner

The Passionate Pilgrim

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Love’s Labour’s Lost


ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,—

Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not;

To things of sale a seller’s prasie belongs;

She passes praise: then praise too short doth


A wither’d hermit, five-score 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!

King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.

Biron. 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.

King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night;

And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.

Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling

spirits of light.

O, if in black my lady’s brows be deckt,

It mourns that painting and usurping hair

Should ravish doters with a false aspect;

And therefore is she born to make black fair.

Her favour 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.

Dum. To look like her are chimney-sweepers

black.                                                [bright.

Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted

King. And Ethiopes of their sweet complex-

ion crack.                                        [is light.

Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark

Biron. Your mistress dare never come in


For fear their colours should be washed away.

King. ‘Twere good yours did; for, sir, to tell

you plain,

I’ll find a fairer face not wash’d to-day.

Biron. I’ll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-

day here.

King. No devil will fright thee then so much

as she.                                               [dear.

Dum.I never knew man hold vile stuff so

Long. Look, here’s thy love: my foot and

her face see.                 [Showing his shoe.

Biron. O, if the streets were paved with

thine eyes

Her feet were much too dainty for such treat!

Dum. O vile! then, as she goes, what up-

ward lies

The street should see as she walk’d over head.

King. But what of this? are we not all in

love?                                        [forsworn.

Biron. O, nothing so sure; and thereby all

King. Then leave this chat; and, good Biron,

now prove

Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.

Dum. Ay, marry, there;—some flattery for

this evil.

Long. O, some authority how to proceed;

Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the


(On 11/23/14 - Join me for the continuation of “Love’s Labour’s Lost”,

ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

love labours lost

Knotty-pated (adj.)

Knotty-pated is defined as block-headed and dull-witted. Knotty-pated is cited in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I (1H4 II.iv.223). Prince Hal says to Falstaff: “Thou knotty-pated fool.”

Robert Smirke, Falstaff Examining Prince Hal

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Love’s Labour’s Lost


ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.


Jaq. God bless the king!

King.      What present hast thou there?

Cost. Some certain treason.

King.                    What makes treason here.

Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

King.                    If it mar nothing neither,

The treason and you go in peace away together.

Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be


Our parson misdoubts it; ’twas treason he said.

King. Biron, read it over.

[Giving him the letter.

Where hadst thou it?

Jaq. Of Costard.

King. Where hadst thou it?

Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.

King. How now! what is in you? why dost

thou tear it?

Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy: your grace

needs not fear it.

Long. It did move him to passion, and there-

fore let’s hear it.

Dum. It is Biron’s writing, and here is his

name.                        [Picks up the pieces.

Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead [to

COSTARD], you were born to do me


Guilty, my lord, guilty; I confess, I confess.

King. What?

Biron. That you three fools lack’d me fool

to make up the mess;

He, he, 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


Dum. Now the number is even.

Biron.                  True, true; we are four:—

Will these turtles be gone?

King.                                  Hence, sirs, away.

Cost. Walk aside the true fold, and let the

trators stay.

[Exeunt COST. and JAQ.

Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us


As true we are as flesh and blood can be;

The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;

Young blood will not obey and old decree:

We cannot cross the cause why we were born;

Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.

King. What! did these rent lines show some

love of thine?

Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the

heavenly Rosaline

That, like a rude and savage man of Inde

At the first opening 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?

King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir’d

thee now?

My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon,

She an attending star, scare seen a light.

Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron:

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


(On 11/22/14 - Join me for the continuation of “Love’s Labour’s Lost”,

ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

love labours lost

Lazar (adj. & n.)

Lazar as an adjective is defined as Leprous. Lazar as a noun is defined as a Leper, a diseased person. Lazar is cited in Shakespeare’s Henry V (H5 II.i.73) Pistol says to Nymi “From the powdering tub of infamy. Fetch forth the lazar kite of cressid’s kind.

Pistol and Nym refusing Falstaff’s request

Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Love’s Labour’s Lost


ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

And mark’d you both, and for you both did

blush.                                        [fashion;

I heard your guilty rhymes, observ’d your

Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your pas-


Ah me! says one; O Jove! the other cries;

One her hairs were gold , crystal the other’s


You would for paradise break faith and troth;


And Jove for your love would infringe an oath.


What will Biron say when that he shall hear

A faith infring’d which such a 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.

Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.—

[Descends from the tree.

Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me.

Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to re-


These worms for loving, that art most in love?

Your eyes do make no coaches; in you 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 foolery I have seen,

Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!

O me, with what strict patience have I sate

To see a king transformed to a gnat!

To see great Hercules whipping a gig,

And profound Solomon tuning 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 Dumain?

And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?

And where my liege’s all about the breast:—

A caudle, ho!

King.             Too bitter is thy jest.

Are we betray’d thus to thy over-view?

Biron. Not you to me, but I betray’d by you:

I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin

To break the vow I am engaged in;

I am betray’d by keeping company

With moon-like men of strange 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?—

King.                 Soft! whither away so fast?

A true man or a thief that gallops so?

Biron. I post from love; good lover, let me


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ACT IV. SCENE II.—Another part of the Park.

love labours lost