Love's Labour's Lost


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Berowne with a paper in his hand,

alone


BEROWNE

The King he is hunting the deer;

I am coursing myself –
course (v.) 1 chase, hunt, pursue

They have pitched a toil; I am toiling in a pitch – pitch
pitch (n.) 3 black tar-like substance [used to waterproof planks, etc; often, a symbol of defilement]
pitch (v.) 1 set, place
toil (n.) net, snare, trap

that defiles. ‘ Defile ’ – a foul word! Well, set thee

down, sorrow, for so they say the fool said, and so say

I – and I the fool. Well proved, wit! By the Lord, this
wit (n.) 3 reasoning, thinking, deliberation

love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep, it kills me – I a

sheep. Well proved again o' my side! I will not love; if

I do, hang me! I'faith, I will not. O, but her eye! By

this light, but for her eye I would not love her – yes,

for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but

lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do love, and it
throat, lie in one's be an outrageous liar

hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy; and

here is part of my rhyme, and here my melancholy.

Well, she hath one o' my sonnets already. The clown

bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it – sweet

clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I

would not care a pin if the other three were in. Here
in (prep.) 2 in the same situation

comes one with a paper. God give him grace to groan!

He stands aside

Enter the King with a paper


KING

Ay me!


BEROWNE

Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid. Thou

hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under the left
bird-bolt, burbolt (n.) short blunt-headed arrow for shooting birds

pap. In faith, secrets!
pap (n.) teat, nipple


KING

(reading)

So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,

As thy eye-beams when their fresh rays have smote
smite (v.), past forms smote, smit 1 strike, hit (often, with great force)

The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows.

Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright

Through the transparent bosom of the deep
bosom (n.) 7 depths

As doth thy face, through tears of mine, give light.

Thou shinest in every tear that I do weep;

No drop but as a coach doth carry thee.

So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.

Do but behold the tears that swell in me,

And they thy glory through my grief will show.

But do not love thyself; then thou will keep

My tears for glasses and still make me weep.
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass See Topics: Frequency count
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel,

No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell!

How shall she know my griefs? I'll drop the paper.

Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?
shade (v.) hide, conceal, cover up

He stands aside

Enter Longaville, with several papers

What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear!
several (adj.) 2 various, sundry, respective, individual


BEROWNE

Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!


LONGAVILLE

Ay me, I am forsworn!
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count


BEROWNE

Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing
perjure (n.) perjurer

papers.


KING

In love, I hope – sweet fellowship in shame!


BEROWNE

One drunkard loves another of the name.


LONGAVILLE

Am I the first that have been perjured so?


BEROWNE

I could put thee in comfort – not by two that I know.

Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of society,
corner-cap (n.) cap with (three) corners, mortar-board See Topics: Clothing
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association
triumviry, triumphery (n.) triumvirate, threesome

The shape of Love's Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.


LONGAVILLE

I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
stubborn (adj.) 2 stiff, intractable, unyielding

(reading) O sweet Maria, empress of my love!

These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
number (n.) 1 (plural) verses, lines

He tears the paper
guard (n.) 5 trimming, trapping, adornment
hose (n.) [pair of] breeches See Topics: Clothing
wanton (adj.) 5 sexually hot, passionate, sportive


BEROWNE

O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose;

Disfigure not his shop.


LONGAVILLE

(taking another paper)
shop (n.) workshop, workroom

                         This same shall go:

(reading)

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,

'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,

Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.

A woman I forswore, but I will prove –
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

Thou being a goddess – I forswore not thee.

My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;

Thy grace, being gained, cures all disgrace in me.

Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is;

Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,

Exhalest this vapour-vow; in thee it is.
exhale (v.) 1 cause to flow, draw out, draw up

If broken, then, it is no fault of mine;

If by me broke, what fool is not so wise

To lose an oath to win a paradise?


BEROWNE

This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity,
liver (n.) 1 part of the body thought to be at the seat of the passions [especially sexual desire]
vein (n.) 1 state of mind, motive, mood

A green goose a goddess. Pure, pure idolatry.
goose (n.) 1 prostitute, whore
green (adj.) 1 fresh, recent, new

God amend us, God amend! We are much out o'th' way.
amend (v.) 1 cure, heal, improve

Enter Dumaine with a paper


LONGAVILLE

By whom shall I send this? – Company? Stay.

He stands aside


BEROWNE

All hid, all hid – an old infant play.

Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky,

And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye.
over-eye (v.) watch, observe; or: look too much at

More sacks to the mill! O heavens, I have my wish!

Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish!
woodcock (n.) type of game bird, thought to be easily tricked or snared; simpleton


DUMAINE

O most divine Kate!


BEROWNE

O most profane coxcomb!
coxcomb (n.) 2 fool's head, fool, simpleton


DUMAINE

By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!


BEROWNE

By earth, she is not, corporal. There you lie.


DUMAINE

Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.
quote (v.) 5 refer to, cite


BEROWNE

An amber-coloured raven was well noted.


DUMAINE

As upright as the cedar.


BEROWNE

                         Stoop, I say!

Her shoulder is with child.
child, with bulging out


DUMAINE

                         As fair as day.


BEROWNE

Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.


DUMAINE

O that I had my wish!


LONGAVILLE

                         And I had mine!


KING

And I mine too, good Lord!


BEROWNE

Amen, so I had mine! Is not that a good word?


DUMAINE

I would forget her, but a fever she

Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.


BEROWNE

A fever in your blood? Why, then incision
incision (n.) blood-letting

Would let her out in saucers. Sweet misprision!
misprision (n.) 1 mistake, error, misunderstanding, misconception


DUMAINE

Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.


BEROWNE

Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
vary (v.) 2 bring novelty to, cause to change
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


DUMAINE

(reading)

On a day – alack the day! –

Love, whose month is ever May,

Spied a blossom passing fair

Playing in the wanton air.
wanton (adj.) 2 casual, gentle

Through the velvet leaves the wind,

All unseen, can passage find;

That the lover, sick to death,

Wished himself the heaven's breath.

Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

Air, would I might triumph so!

But, alack, my hand is sworn

Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn,

Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
unmeet (adj.) 1 unfitting, unsuitable, improper

Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
apt (adj.) 1 fit, ready, prepared

Do not call it sin in me,

That I am forsworn for thee;
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count

Thou for whom Jove would swear

Juno but an Ethiop were,
Ethiop, Ethiope (adj./n.) Ethiopian, African, person with a dark countenance See Topics: World [outside Britain], places and peoples

And deny himself for Jove,
deny (v.) 4 disown, disavow, renounce

Turning mortal for thy love.

This will I send, and something else more plain,

That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
fasting (adj.) caused by abstinence, hunger-induced

O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville

Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
example (v.) 3 act as a precedent for
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil

Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note,

For none offend where all alike do dote.


LONGAVILLE

(advancing)

Dumaine, thy love is far from charity.

That in love's grief desirest society.
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association

You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,

To be o'erheard and taken napping so.


KING

(advancing)

Come, sir, you blush! As his your case is such;

You chide at him, offending twice as much.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

You do not love Maria! Longaville

Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
compile (v.) compose, create in writing

Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart

His loving bosom to keep down his heart.

I have been closely shrouded in this bush
closely (adv.) 1 secretly, covertly, privately
shroud (v.) hide, conceal, shelter

And marked you both, and for you both did blush.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,

Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage
reek (v.) 1 steam, smoke, give off vapour

‘ Ay me!’ says one; ‘ O Jove!’ the other cries.

One, her hairs were gold; crystal the other's eyes.

(To Longaville)
troth (n.) 1 truth, good faith See Topics: Swearing

You would for paradise break faith and troth;

(To Dumaine)

And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.

What will Berowne say when that he shall hear

Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?

How will he scorn, how will he spend his wit!
scorn (v.) 1 mock, jeer, express disdain [at]
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

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.


BEROWNE

(advancing)

Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.

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

Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove

These worms for loving, that art most in love?

Your eyes do make no coaches; in your tears

There is no certain princess that appears;

You'll not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing;

Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
sonneting (n.) sonnet-composition

But are you not ashamed? Nay, are you not,

All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot?
overshoot (v.) 1 [miss a target by shooting too high] go astray in aim, wide of the mark

You found his mote; the King your mote did see;
mote (n.) speck of dust, tiny particle, trifle

But I a beam do find in each of three.
beam (n.) 5 large object, huge thing

O, what a scene of foolery have I seen,

Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
teen (n.) trouble, grief, suffering

O me, with what strict patience have I sat,

To see a king transformed to a gnat!

To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
gig (n.) spinning-top

And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
jig (n.) lively song; frivolous dance

And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
push-pin (n.) type of children's game [the pushing over of a peg to cross the peg of another player]

And critic Timon laugh at idle toys!
critic (adj.) censorious, carping, fault-finding
idle (adj.) 5 trifling, unimportant, trivial
toy (n.) 1 whim, caprice, trifling matter

Where lies thy grief? O, tell me, good Dumaine.

And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

And where my liege's? All about the breast.

A caudle, ho!
caudle (n.) type of medicinal warm gruel, potion


KING

                         Too bitter is thy jest.

Are we betrayed thus to thy over-view?


BEROWNE

Not you to me, but I betrayed 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 you, men of 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
prune (v.) [of birds] trim feathers with the beak, preen

Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,

A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement
state (n.) 13 bearing, demeanour, bodily form

A leg, a limb –


KING

                         Soft! Whither away so fast?

A true man or a thief that gallops so?
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding


BEROWNE

I post from love. Good lover, let me go.
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

Enter Jaquenetta with a letter,
present (n.) 4 written document

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.
misdoubt (v.) 1 distrust, suspect, have misgivings about


KING

Berowne, read it over.

Berowne reads the letter

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.
toy (n.) 1 whim, caprice, trifling matter


LONGAVILLE

It did move him to passion, and therefore let's hear it.
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]


DUMAINE

(gathering up the pieces)

It is Berowne's writing, and here is his name.


BEROWNE

(to Costard)
loggerhead (n.) blockhead, numbskull, dolt
whoreson (adj.) [abusive intensifier, serious or jocular] bastard, wretched, vile See Topics: Swearing

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 lacked me fool to make up the mess.
mess (n.) 1 company, group, gang of four

He, he, and you – and you, my liege! – and I,

Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die.
pickpurse, pick-purse (n.) pickpocket, purse-stealer

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?
turtle (n.) turtle-dove, lover


KING

                         Hence, sirs, away!


COSTARD

Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding

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;
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall

Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count
hands, of all on every side


KING

What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
rent (adj.) torn, shredded, ripped up


BEROWNE

‘ Did they?’ quoth you! Who sees the heavenly Rosaline,
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

That, like a rude and savage man of Inde
rude (adj.) 4 uncivilized, uncultivated, unrefined

At the first opening of the gorgeous east,

Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
vassal (adj.) 2 submissive, abject, yielding

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
base (adj.) 5 low-lying, lowland

What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
peremptory (adj.) 1 determined, resolved, absolutely decided

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

That is not blinded by her majesty?


KING

What zeal, what fury hath inspired thee now?

My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;

She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.
scarce (adv.) 1 scarcely, hardly, barely, only just


BEROWNE

My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Berowne.

O, but for my love, day would turn to night!

Of all complexions the culled sovereignty
culled (adj.) chosen, picked, selected
sovereignty (n.) 1 pre-eminence, greatest excellence

Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek,

Where several worthies make one dignity,
dignity (n.) 1 worth, nobleness, excellence
several (adj.) 2 various, sundry, respective, individual
worthy (n.) thing of worth, distinction, excellence

Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues –
flourish (n.) 2 [of language] eloquence, fine words, rhetorical embellishment
gentle (adj.) 3 refined, discriminating, sophisticated

Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not!
painted (adj.) 2 unreal, artificial, superficial
rhetoric (n.) oratory, flowery language

To things of sale a seller's praise belongs:

She passes praise; then praise too short doth blot.
blot (n.) stain, disgrace, blemish
pass (v.) 1 surpass, go beyond, outdo
short (adj.) 1 wanting, insufficient, inadequate

A withered 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!


BEROWNE

Is ebony like her? O wood divine!

A wife of such wood were felicity.

O, who can give an oath? Where is a book?
book (n.) 3 Bible, prayer-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 suit of night;
suit (n.) 4 clothing, dress, garb

And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count


BEROWNE

Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.

O, if in black my lady's brows be decked,
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]

It mourns that painting and usurping hair
painting (n.) 1 cosmetics, paint [for the face], beautifying
usurping (adj.) false, made into a wig

Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
aspect (n.) 1 [of a human face] look, appearance, expression
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

And therefore is she born to make black fair.

Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks
turn (v.) 1 change, transform, alter

For native blood is counted painting now;
blood (n.) 12 colouring, healthy complexion, blushing
native (adj.) 1 natural, habitual, normal
painting (n.) 1 cosmetics, paint [for the face], beautifying

And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
dispraise (n.) disparagement, censure, reproach

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]


DUMAINE

To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.


LONGAVILLE

And since her time are colliers counted bright.
collier (n.) coalman, coal-vendor


KING

And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.
crack (v.) 5 boast, trumpet, crow [about]
sweet (adj.) 2 attractive, pleasing, appealing


DUMAINE

Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.


BEROWNE

Your mistresses dare never come in rain,

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 washed today.


BEROWNE

I'll prove her fair, or talk till doomsday here.


KING

No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count


DUMAINE

I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
stuff (n.) 7 stock-in-trade, merchandise
vile, vild (adj.) 1 degrading, ignominious, worthless


LONGAVILLE

Look, here's thy love (showing his shoe); my foot and her face see.


BEROWNE

O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.


DUMAINE

O, vile! Then, as she goes, what upward lies

The street should see as she walked overhead.


KING

But what of this? Are we not all in love?


BEROWNE

O, nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count


KING

Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove

Our loving lawful and our faith not torn.


DUMAINE

Ay, marry, there; some flattery for this evil!
flattery (n.) pleasing plausibility, gratifying deception, self-delusion


LONGAVILLE

O, some authority how to proceed!

Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil!
quillet (n.) quibble, equivocation, hair-splitting distinction


DUMAINE

Some salve for perjury.
salve (n.) healing ointment


BEROWNE

                         'Tis more than need.

Have at you then, affection's men-at-arms!
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
have at [someone] [said at the start of a fencing attack or other confrontation] I come at, let me at [a person] See Topics: Discourse markers

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 engenders maladies.

O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
academe (n.) academy, place of learning
adjunct (n.) 1 annex, addendum, extra function
ground (n.) 2 foundation, basis, root

And in that vow we have forsworn our books;
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

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

In leaden contemplation have found out
leaden (adj.) 2 heavy, dull, spiritless

Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
number (n.) 1 (plural) verses, lines

Of beauty's tutors have enriched you with?

Other slow arts entirely keep the brain,
keep (v.) 2 stay within, remain inside

And therefore, finding barren practisers,

Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil;
heavy (adj.) 6 tedious, tiresome, uninteresting

But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,

Lives not alone immured in the brain,
immured (adj.) walled up, enclosed, confined

But with the motion of all elements

Courses as swift as thought in every power,

And gives to every power a double power,
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability

Above their functions and their offices.
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

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 stopped.
stop (v.) 2 stop up, close (up), shut

Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
sensible (adj.) 1 sensitive, responsive, capable of feeling

Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
cockled (adj.) having a shell

Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
gross (adj.) 6 bad, inferior, poor

For valour, is not Love a Hercules,

Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical

As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair.

And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods

Make heaven drowsy with the harmony.

Never durst poet touch a pen to write

Until his ink were tempered with Love's sighs.
temper (v.) 2 mould, shape, work, bring [to a particular character]

O, then his lines would ravish savage ears

And plant in tyrants mild humility.

From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
doctrine (n.) 2 precept, lesson

They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
right (adj.) 3 veritable, true, good
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

They are the books, the arts, the academes,
academe (n.) academy, place of learning

That show, contain, and nourish all the world;

Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

Then fools you were these women to forswear,
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 3 deny, repudiate, refuse to admit See Topics: Frequency count

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,
love (v.) 1 be friend to, be attractive to

Or for men's sake, the authors of these women,

Or women's sake, by whom we men 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 fulfills the law,

And who can sever love from charity?


KING

Saint Cupid, then! And, soldiers, to the field!
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


BEROWNE

Advance your standards, and upon them, lords!
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise
standard (n.) 1 flag, ensign

Pell-mell, down with them! But be first advised
advise, avise (v.) 2 warn, counsel, caution
pell-mell (adv.) in headlong confusion, in disordered haste

In conflict that you get the sun of them.
sun of, get the attack with the sun in their eyes


LONGAVILLE

Now to plain-dealing. Lay these glosses by.
gloss (n.) 3 marginal comment, superficial wordplay

Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?


KING

And win them too! Therefore let us devise

Some entertainment for them in their tents.


BEROWNE

First from the park let us conduct them thither;

Then homeward every man attach the hand
attach (v.) 2 seize, take hold of, grip

Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon

We will with some strange pastime solace them,
solace (v.) 2 entertain, amuse, divert
strange (adj.) 2 rare, singular, exceptional

Such as the shortness of the time can shape;

For revels, dances, masques, and merry hours

Forerun fair Love, strewing her way with flowers.
forerun (v.) forecast, foreshadow, be the precursor of


KING

Away, away! No time shall be omitted

That will betime and may by us be fitted.
betime (v.) [unclear meaning] betide, befall, be appropriate
fit (v.) 7 employ, use, make serve


BEROWNE

Allons! Allons!

Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumaine
cockle (n.) 1 variety of weed, darnel See Topics: Plants

                         Sowed cockle reaped no corn,

And justice always whirls in equal measure.
equal (adj.) 1 fair, equitable, evenhanded

Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count
light (adj.) 1 promiscuous, licentious, immoral, wanton

If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
copper (n.) coin made of copper

Exit

 
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