Love’s Labour

Under the cool shade of a sycamore



Love’s Labour's Lost

See more monologues from William Shakespeare


Age Range
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Boyet, the princess' assistant, is informing the princess that he believes that the King has fallen in love with her.

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.

Half-Price Ticket Hot Sellers