List iconLove’s Labor’s Lost:
Act 5, scene 1
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Love’s Labor’s Lost
Act 5, scene 1


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Scene 1
Enter Holofernes the Pedant, Nathaniel the Curate,
and Dull the Constable.

HOLOFERNES Satis quid sufficit.
NATHANIEL I praise God for you, sir. Your reasons at
 dinner have been sharp and sententious, pleasant
 without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious
5 without impudency, learned without opinion,
 and strange without heresy. I did converse this
 quondam day with a companion of the King’s, who
 is intituled, nominated, or called Don Adriano de
HOLOFERNES 10Novi hominem tanquam te. His humor
 is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed,
 his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
 behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is
 too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
15 were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.
NATHANIEL A most singular and choice epithet.
Draw out his table book.
HOLOFERNES He draweth out the thread of his verbosity
 finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor
 such fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
20 point-devise companions, such rackers of orthography,
 as to speak “dout,” fine, when he should
 say “doubt”; “det” when he should pronounce

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 1

 “debt”—d, e, b, t, not d, e, t. He clepeth a calf
 “cauf,” half “hauf,” neighbor vocatur “nebor”;
25 neigh abbreviated ne. This is abhominable—which
 he would call “abominable.” It insinuateth me of
 insanie. Ne intelligis, domine? To make frantic,
NATHANIEL Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
HOLOFERNES 30Bone? Bone for bene? Priscian a little
 scratched; ’twill serve.

Enter Armado the Braggart, Boy, and Costard.

NATHANIEL Videsne quis venit?
HOLOFERNES Video, et gaudeo.
ARMADO Chirrah.
HOLOFERNES 35Quare “chirrah,” not “sirrah”?
ARMADO Men of peace, well encountered.
HOLOFERNES Most military sir, salutation.
BOY, aside to Costard They have been at a great feast
 of languages and stolen the scraps.
COSTARD, aside to Boy 40O, they have lived long on the
 almsbasket of words. I marvel thy master hath not
 eaten thee for a word, for thou art not so long by the
 head as honorificabilitudinitatibus. Thou art easier
 swallowed than a flapdragon.
BOY, aside to Costard 45Peace, the peal begins.
ARMADO, to Holofernes Monsieur, are you not
BOY Yes, yes, he teaches boys the hornbook.—What is
 a, b spelled backward, with the horn on his head?
HOLOFERNES 50Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
BOY Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn.—You hear his
HOLOFERNES Quis, quis, thou consonant?
BOY The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
55 the fifth, if I.
HOLOFERNES I will repeat them: a, e, i

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 1

BOY The sheep. The other two concludes it: o, u.
ARMADO Now by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum,
 a sweet touch, a quick venue of wit! Snip, snap,
60 quick and home. It rejoiceth my intellect. True
BOY Offered by a child to an old man—which is
HOLOFERNES What is the figure? What is the figure?
BOY 65Horns.
HOLOFERNES Thou disputes like an infant. Go whip thy
BOY Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip
 about your infamy—unum cita—a gig of a cuckold’s
70 horn.
COSTARD An I had but one penny in the world, thou
 shouldst have it to buy gingerbread! Hold, there is
 the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou
 halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon egg of discretion.
75 He gives him money. O, an the heavens were
 so pleased that thou wert but my bastard, what a
 joyful father wouldest thou make me! Go to, thou
 hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers’ ends, as they say.
HOLOFERNES Oh, I smell false Latin! Dunghill for
80 unguem.
ARMADO Arts-man, preambulate. We will be singuled
 from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at
 the charge-house on the top of the mountain?
HOLOFERNES Or mons, the hill.
ARMADO 85At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
HOLOFERNES I do, sans question.
ARMADO Sir, it is the King’s most sweet pleasure and
 affection to congratulate the Princess at her pavilion
 in the posteriors of this day, which the rude
90 multitude call the afternoon.
HOLOFERNES “The posterior of the day,” most generous
 sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 1

 “the afternoon”; the word is well culled, chose,
 sweet, and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.
ARMADO 95Sir, the King is a noble gentleman, and my
 familiar, I do assure you, very good friend. For
 what is inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech
 thee, remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee apparel
 thy head. And among other important and most
100 serious designs, and of great import indeed, too—
 but let that pass; for I must tell thee, it will please his
 Grace, by the world, sometimes to lean upon my
 poor shoulder and with his royal finger thus dally
 with my excrement, with my mustachio—but,
105 sweetheart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
 fable! Some certain special honors it pleaseth his
 Greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
 travel, that hath seen the world—but let that pass.
 The very all of all is—but sweetheart, I do implore
110 secrecy—that the King would have me present the
 Princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation,
 or show, or pageant, or antic, or firework.
 Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet
 self are good at such eruptions and sudden breaking
115 out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you
 withal to the end to crave your assistance.
HOLOFERNES Sir, you shall present before her the Nine
 Worthies.—Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some
 entertainment of time, some show in the posterior
120 of this day, to be rendered by our assistance, the
 King’s command, and this most gallant, illustrate,
 and learned gentleman, before the Princess—I say,
 none so fit as to present the Nine Worthies.
NATHANIEL Where will you find men worthy enough to
125 present them?
HOLOFERNES Joshua, yourself; myself; and this gallant
 gentleman, Judas Maccabaeus. This swain, because
 of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey
 the Great; the page, Hercules—

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

ARMADO 130Pardon, sir—error. He is not quantity
 enough for that Worthy’s thumb; he is not so big as
 the end of his club!
HOLOFERNES Shall I have audience? He shall present
 Hercules in minority. His enter and exit shall be
135 strangling a snake; and I will have an apology for
 that purpose.
BOY An excellent device. So, if any of the audience
 hiss, you may cry “Well done, Hercules, now thou
 crushest the snake.” That is the way to make an
140 offense gracious, though few have the grace to do it.
ARMADO For the rest of the Worthies?
HOLOFERNES I will play three myself.
BOY Thrice-worthy gentleman!
ARMADO, to Holofernes Shall I tell you a thing?
HOLOFERNES 145We attend.
ARMADO We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I
 beseech you, follow.
HOLOFERNES Via, goodman Dull. Thou hast spoken no
 word all this while.
DULL 150Nor understood none neither, sir.
HOLOFERNES Allons! We will employ thee.
DULL I’ll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on
 the tabor to the Worthies and let them dance the
HOLOFERNES 155Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport!
They exit.