Love's Labour's Lost By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 2

See where it comes! Behaviour, what wert thou,
Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?

All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive.

Construe my speeches better, if you may.

Then wish me better: I will give you leave.

We came to visit you, and purpose now
To lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.

This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow:
Nor God, nor I, delights in perjur'd men.

Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:
The virtue of your eye must break my oath.

You nickname 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, vowed with integrity.

O! you have liv'd in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.

Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;
We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game.
A mess of Russians left us but of late.

How, madam! Russians?

Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.

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.

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.

This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye-

I am a fool, and full of poverty.

But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

O! am yours, and all that I possess.

All the fool mine?

I cannot give you less.

Which of the visors was it that you wore?

Where? when? what visor? why demand you this?

There, then, that visor; that superfluous case
That hid the worse,and show'd the better face.

We are descried: they'll mock us now downright.

Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.

Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your Highness sad?

Help! hold his brows! he'll swound. Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.

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 ignorance;
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.

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