Love’s Labour

Under the cool shade of a sycamore

I

Boyet

Love’s Labour's Lost

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Monologue Context

Boyet, the princess' assistant, is informing the princess that he believes that the King has fallen

Monologue Text

Under the cool shade of a sycamore

I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour;

When, lo! to interrupt my purposed rest,

Toward that shade I might behold addrest

The king and his companions: warily

I stole into a neighbour thicket by,

And overheard what you shall overhear,

That, by and by, disguised they will be here.

Their herald is a pretty knavish page,

That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage:

Action and accent did they teach him there;

'Thus must thou speak,' and 'thus thy body bear:'

And ever and anon they made a doubt

Presence majestical would put him out,

'For,' quoth the king, 'an angel shalt thou see;

Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.'

The boy replied, 'An angel is not evil;

I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.'

With that, all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the shoulder,

Making the bold wag by their praises bolder:

One rubb'd his elbow thus, and fleer'd and swore

A better speech was never spoke before;

Another, with his finger and his thumb,

Cried, 'Via! we will do't, come what will come;'

The third he caper'd, and cried, 'All goes well;'

The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.

With that, they all did tumble on the ground,

With such a zealous laughter, so profound,

That in this spleen ridiculous appears,

To cheque their folly, passion's solemn tears.




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