Speeches (Lines) for Rosaline
in "Love's Labour's Lost"

Total: 75

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Katharine. The young Dumain, a well-accomplished youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved:
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
And much too little of that good I saw
Is my report to his great worthiness.

Rosaline. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
Biron they call him; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal:
His eye begets occasion for his wit;
For every object that the one doth catch
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor,
Delivers in such apt and gracious words
That aged ears play truant at his tales
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.



Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?

Rosaline. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?



Biron. I know you did.

Rosaline. How needless was it then to ask the question!



Biron. You must not be so quick.

Rosaline. 'Tis 'long of you that spur me with such questions.



Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.

Rosaline. Not till it leave the rider in the mire.



Biron. What time o' day?

Rosaline. The hour that fools should ask.



Biron. Now fair befall your mask!

Rosaline. Fair fall the face it covers!



Biron. And send you many lovers!

Rosaline. Amen, so you be none.



Biron. Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.

Rosaline. Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.



Biron. I would you heard it groan.

Rosaline. Is the fool sick?



Biron. Sick at the heart.

Rosaline. Alack, let it blood.



Biron. Would that do it good?

Rosaline. My physic says 'ay.'



Biron. Will you prick't with your eye?

Rosaline. No point, with my knife.



Biron. Now, God save thy life!

Rosaline. And yours from long living!



Boyet. But to speak that in words which his eye hath
I only have made a mouth of his eye,
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.

Rosaline. Thou art an old love-monger and speakest skilfully.



Maria. He is Cupid's grandfather and learns news of him.

Rosaline. Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is but grim.



Boyet. What then, do you see?

Rosaline. Ay, our way to be gone.



Boyet. Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?

Rosaline. Shall I teach you to know?



Boyet. Ay, my continent of beauty.

Rosaline. Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!



Boyet. My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

Rosaline. Well, then, I am the shooter.



Boyet. And who is your deer?

Rosaline. If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
Finely put on, indeed!



Boyet. But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?

Rosaline. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was
a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as
touching the hit it?



Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
wench, as touching the hit it.

Rosaline. Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.



Princess of France. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
If fairings come thus plentifully in:
A lady wall'd about with diamonds!
Look you what I have from the loving king.

Rosaline. Madame, came nothing else along with that?



Princess of France. Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhyme
As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,
Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all,
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.

Rosaline. That was the way to make his godhead wax,
For he hath been five thousand years a boy.



Katharine. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.

Rosaline. You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd your sister.



Katharine. He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;
And so she died: had she been light, like you,
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
She might ha' been a grandam ere she died:
And so may you; for a light heart lives long.

Rosaline. What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?



Katharine. A light condition in a beauty dark.

Rosaline. We need more light to find your meaning out.



Katharine. You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
Therefore I'll darkly end the argument.

Rosaline. Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.



Katharine. So do not you, for you are a light wench.

Rosaline. Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.



Katharine. You weigh me not? O, that's you care not for me.

Rosaline. Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.'



Princess of France. Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.
But Rosaline, you have a favour too:
Who sent it? and what is it?

Rosaline. I would you knew:
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
My favour were as great; be witness this.
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron:
The numbers true; and, were the numbering too,
I were the fairest goddess on the ground:
I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!



Princess of France. Any thing like?

Rosaline. Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.



Katharine. Fair as a text B in a copy-book.

Rosaline. 'Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your debtor,
My red dominical, my golden letter:
O, that your face were not so full of O's!



Princess of France. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

Rosaline. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
That same Biron I'll torture ere I go:
O that I knew he were but in by the week!
How I would make him fawn and beg and seek
And wait the season and observe the times
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes
And shape his service wholly to my hests
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
That he should be my fool and I his fate.



Princess of France. None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,
As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

Rosaline. The blood of youth burns not with such excess
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.



Princess of France. And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd;
For, ladies, we shall every one be mask'd;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the king will court thee for his dear;
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine,
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline.
And change your favours too; so shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.

Rosaline. Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.



Princess of France. The effect of my intent is to cross theirs:
They do it but in mocking merriment;
And mock for mock is only my intent.
Their several counsels they unbosom shall
To loves mistook, and so be mock'd withal
Upon the next occasion that we meet,
With visages displayed, to talk and greet.

Rosaline. But shall we dance, if they desire to't?



(stage directions). [Exit MOTH]

Rosaline. What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will:
That some plain man recount their purposes
Know what they would.



Biron. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

Rosaline. What would they, say they?



Boyet. Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

Rosaline. Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.



Boyet. They say, that they have measured many a mile
To tread a measure with you on this grass.

Rosaline. It is not so. Ask them how many inches
Is in one mile: if they have measured many,
The measure then of one is easily told.



Boyet. She hears herself.

Rosaline. How many weary steps,
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,
Are number'd in the travel of one mile?



Biron. We number nothing that we spend for you:
Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
That we may do it still without accompt.
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face,
That we, like savages, may worship it.

Rosaline. My face is but a moon, and clouded too.



Ferdinand. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,
Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.

Rosaline. O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.



Ferdinand. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.

Rosaline. Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.
[Music plays]
Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.



Ferdinand. Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?

Rosaline. You took the moon at full, but now she's changed.



Ferdinand. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

Rosaline. Our ears vouchsafe it.



Ferdinand. But your legs should do it.

Rosaline. Since you are strangers and come here by chance,
We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.



Ferdinand. Why take we hands, then?

Rosaline. Only to part friends:
Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.



Ferdinand. More measure of this measure; be not nice.

Rosaline. We can afford no more at such a price.



Ferdinand. Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?

Rosaline. Your absence only.



Ferdinand. That can never be.

Rosaline. Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you.



Ferdinand. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.

Rosaline. In private, then.



Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen
As is the razor's edge invisible,
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen,
Above the sense of sense; so sensible
Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.

Rosaline. Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.



Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.

Rosaline. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.



Princess of France. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces?
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.

Rosaline. O, they were all in lamentable cases!
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.



Princess of France. Go, sickness as thou art!

Rosaline. Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.



Princess of France. Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,
If they return in their own shapes to woo?

Rosaline. Good madam, if by me you'll be advised,
Let's, mock them still, as well known as disguised:
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless gear;
And wonder what they were and to what end
Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd
And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
Should be presented at our tent to us.



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

Rosaline. 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.



Biron. 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.

Rosaline. This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,—



Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.

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



Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess!

Rosaline. All the fool mine?



Biron. I cannot give you less.

Rosaline. Which of the vizards was it that you wore?



Biron. Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this?

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



Princess of France. Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad?

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



Biron. 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 schoolboy's tongue,
Nor never come in vizard to my friend,
Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song!
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-piled 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.

Rosaline. Sans sans, I pray you.



Biron. Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.

Rosaline. It is not so; for how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?



Biron. Peace! for I will not have to do with you.

Rosaline. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.



Princess of France. I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline,
What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

Rosaline. Madam, he swore that he did hold me dear
As precious eyesight, and did value me
Above this world; adding thereto moreover
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.



Ferdinand. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,
I never swore this lady such an oath.

Rosaline. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,
You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.



Longaville. So did our looks.

Rosaline. We did not quote them so.



Biron. [And what to me, my love? and what to me?

Rosaline. You must be purged too, your sins are rack'd,
You are attaint with faults and perjury:
Therefore if you my favour mean to get,
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick]



Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there:
Impose some service on me for thy love.

Rosaline. Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron,
Before I saw you; and the world's large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit.
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,
Without the which I am not to be won,
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day
Visit the speechless sick and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavor of your wit
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.



Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Rosaline. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans,
Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
And I will have you and that fault withal;
But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.

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