Love's Labour's Lost By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 3

BEROWNE.
Not you by 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 betrayed by keeping company
With men like men, men of inconstancy.
When shall you see me write a thing in rime?
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?

BEROWNE.
I post from love; good lover, let me go.

[Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD.]

JAQUENETTA.
God bless the king!

KING.
What present hast thou there?

COSTARD.
Some certain treason.

KING.
What makes treason here?

COSTARD.
Nay, it makes nothing, sir.

KING.
If it mar nothing neither,
The treason and you go in peace away together.

JAQUENETTA.
I beseech your Grace, let this letter be read;
Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said.

KING.
Berowne, read it over.

[Giving the letter to him.]

Where hadst thou it?

JAQUENETTA.
Of Costard.

KING.
Where hadst thou it?

COSTARD.
Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.

[BEROWNE tears the letter.]

KING.
How now! What is in you? Why dost thou tear it?

BEROWNE.
A toy, my liege, a toy: your Grace needs not fear it.

LONGAVILLE.
It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.

DUMAINE.
[Picking up the pieces.]
It is Berowne's writing, and here is his name.

BEROWNE.
[To COSTARD.] Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born
to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty; I confess, I confess.

KING.
What?

BEROWNE.
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.

DUMAINE.
Now the number is even.

BEROWNE.
True, true, we are four.
Will these turtles be gone?

KING.
Hence, sirs; away!

COSTARD.
Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.

[Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA.]

BEROWNE.
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.

KING.
What! did these rent lines show some love of thine?

BEROWNE.
'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?

KING.
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.

BEROWNE.
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, 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!

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Costard has to deliver two notes — one is a love letter, and the other is




Quiz