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Love’s Labor’s Lost
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ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter Ferdinand, King of Navarre, Berowne,
Longaville, and Dumaine.


KING 
 Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
 Live registered upon our brazen tombs,
 And then grace us in the disgrace of death,
 When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
5 Th’ endeavor of this present breath may buy
 That honor which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge
 And make us heirs of all eternity.
 Therefore, brave conquerors, for so you are
 That war against your own affections
10 And the huge army of the world’s desires,
 Our late edict shall strongly stand in force.
 Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
 Our court shall be a little academe,
 Still and contemplative in living art.
15 You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,
 Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me,
 My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes
 That are recorded in this schedule here.
He holds up a scroll.
 Your oaths are passed, and now subscribe your
20 names,
 That his own hand may strike his honor down
7

9
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

 That violates the smallest branch herein.
 If you are armed to do as sworn to do,
 Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
LONGAVILLE 
25 I am resolved. ’Tis but a three years’ fast.
 The mind shall banquet though the body pine.
 Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
 Make rich the ribs but bankrout quite the wits.
He signs his name.
DUMAINE 
 My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified.
30 The grosser manner of these world’s delights
 He throws upon the gross world’s baser slaves.
 To love, to wealth, to pomp I pine and die,
 With all these living in philosophy.
He signs his name.
BEROWNE 
 I can but say their protestation over.
35 So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
 That is, to live and study here three years.
 But there are other strict observances:
 As not to see a woman in that term,
 Which I hope well is not enrollèd there;
40 And one day in a week to touch no food,
 And but one meal on every day besides,
 The which I hope is not enrollèd there;
 And then to sleep but three hours in the night,
 And not be seen to wink of all the day—
45 When I was wont to think no harm all night,
 And make a dark night too of half the day—
 Which I hope well is not enrollèd there.
 O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
 Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
KING 
50 Your oath is passed to pass away from these.

11
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

BEROWNE 
 Let me say no, my liege, an if you please.
 I only swore to study with your Grace
 And stay here in your court for three years’ space.
LONGAVILLE 
 You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.
BEROWNE 
55 By yea and nay, sir. Then I swore in jest.
 What is the end of study, let me know?
KING 
 Why, that to know which else we should not know.
BEROWNE 
 Things hid and barred, you mean, from common
 sense.
KING 
60 Ay, that is study’s godlike recompense.
BEROWNE 
 Come on, then, I will swear to study so,
 To know the thing I am forbid to know:
 As thus—to study where I well may dine,
  When I to feast expressly am forbid;
65 Or study where to meet some mistress fine
  When mistresses from common sense are hid;
 Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
 Study to break it, and not break my troth.
 If study’s gain be thus, and this be so,
70 Study knows that which yet it doth not know.
 Swear me to this, and I will ne’er say no.
KING 
 These be the stops that hinder study quite,
 And train our intellects to vain delight.
BEROWNE 
 Why, all delights are vain, and that most vain
75 Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
 As painfully to pore upon a book
  To seek the light of truth, while truth the while

13
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
  Light seeking light doth light of light beguile.
80 So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
 Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
 Study me how to please the eye indeed
  By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
 Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
85  And give him light that it was blinded by.
 Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun,
  That will not be deep-searched with saucy looks.
 Small have continual plodders ever won,
  Save base authority from others’ books.
90 These earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights,
  That give a name to every fixèd star,
 Have no more profit of their shining nights
  Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
 Too much to know is to know naught but fame,
95 And every godfather can give a name.
KING 
 How well he’s read to reason against reading.
DUMAINE 
 Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding.
LONGAVILLE 
 He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.
BEROWNE 
 The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.
DUMAINE 
100 How follows that?
BEROWNE  Fit in his place and time.
DUMAINE 
 In reason nothing.
BEROWNE  Something then in rhyme.
KING 
 Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
105  That bites the firstborn infants of the spring.

15
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

BEROWNE 
 Well, say I am. Why should proud summer boast
  Before the birds have any cause to sing?
 Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
 At Christmas I no more desire a rose
110 Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows,
 But like of each thing that in season grows.
 So you, to study now it is too late,
 Climb o’er the house to unlock the little gate.
KING 
 Well, sit you out. Go home, Berowne. Adieu.
BEROWNE 
115 No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you.
 And though I have for barbarism spoke more
  Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
 Yet, confident, I’ll keep what I have sworn
  And bide the penance of each three years’ day.
120 Give me the paper. Let me read the same,
 And to the strictest decrees I’ll write my name.
KING 
 How well this yielding rescues thee from shame.
BEROWNE reads Item, That no woman shall come within
 a mile of my court.
 Hath this been proclaimed?
LONGAVILLE 125Four days ago.
BEROWNE Let’s see the penalty. Reads: On pain of
 losing her tongue.
 Who devised this penalty?
LONGAVILLE Marry, that did I.
BEROWNE Sweet lord, and why?
LONGAVILLE 
130 To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
BEROWNE 
 A dangerous law against gentility.
Reads: Item, If any man be seen to talk with a
 woman within the term of three years, he shall endure
 such public shame as the rest of the court can possible
135 devise.


17
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

 This article, my liege, yourself must break,
  For well you know here comes in embassy
 The French king’s daughter with yourself to speak—
  A maid of grace and complete majesty—
140 About surrender up of Aquitaine
  To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father.
 Therefore this article is made in vain,
  Or vainly comes th’ admirèd princess hither.
KING 
 What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.
BEROWNE 
145 So study evermore is overshot.
 While it doth study to have what it would,
 It doth forget to do the thing it should.
 And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
 ’Tis won as towns with fire—so won, so lost.
KING 
150 We must of force dispense with this decree.
 She must lie here on mere necessity.
BEROWNE 
 Necessity will make us all forsworn
  Three thousand times within this three years’
  space;
155 For every man with his affects is born,
  Not by might mastered, but by special grace.
 If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
 I am forsworn on mere necessity.
 So to the laws at large I write my name,
160  And he that breaks them in the least degree
 Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
  Suggestions are to other as to me,
 But I believe, although I seem so loath,
 I am the last that will last keep his oath.
He signs his name.
165 But is there no quick recreation granted?

19
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING 
 Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
  With a refinèd traveler of Spain,
 A man in all the world’s new fashion planted,
  That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
170 One who the music of his own vain tongue
  Doth ravish like enchanting harmony,
 A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
  Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.
 This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
175  For interim to our studies shall relate
 In high-born words the worth of many a knight
  From tawny Spain lost in the world’s debate.
 How you delight, my lords, I know not, I,
 But I protest I love to hear him lie,
180 And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
BEROWNE 
 Armado is a most illustrious wight,
 A man of fire-new words, fashion’s own knight.
LONGAVILLE 
 Costard the swain and he shall be our sport,
 And so to study three years is but short.

Enter Dull, a Constable, with a letter, and Costard.

DULL 185Which is the Duke’s own person?
BEROWNE This, fellow. What wouldst?
DULL I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his
 Grace’s farborough. But I would see his own
 person in flesh and blood.
BEROWNE 190This is he.
DULL, to King Signior Arm-, Arm-, commends you.
 There’s villainy abroad. This letter will tell you
 more.He gives the letter to the King.
COSTARD Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching
195 me.
KING A letter from the magnificent Armado.

21
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

BEROWNE How low soever the matter, I hope in God
 for high words.
LONGAVILLE A high hope for a low heaven. God grant
200 us patience!
BEROWNE To hear, or forbear hearing?
LONGAVILLE To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately,
 or to forbear both.
BEROWNE Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause
205 to climb in the merriness.
COSTARD The matter is to me, sir, as concerning
 Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with
 the manner.
BEROWNE In what manner?
COSTARD 210In manner and form following, sir, all those
 three. I was seen with her in the manor house,
 sitting with her upon the form, and taken following
 her into the park, which, put together, is “in manner
 and form following.” Now, sir, for the manner.
215 It is the manner of a man to speak to a woman. For
 the form—in some form.
BEROWNE For the “following,” sir?
COSTARD As it shall follow in my correction, and God
 defend the right.
KING 220Will you hear this letter with attention?
BEROWNE As we would hear an oracle.
COSTARD Such is the sinplicity of man to hearken after
 the flesh.
KING reads Great deputy, the welkin’s vicegerent and
225 sole dominator of Navarre, my soul’s earth’s god, and
 body’s fost’ring patron—

COSTARD Not a word of Costard yet.
KING reads So it is—
COSTARD It may be so, but if he say it is so, he is, in
230 telling true, but so.
KING Peace.
COSTARD Be to me, and every man that dares not fight.

23
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING No words.
COSTARD Of other men’s secrets, I beseech you.
KING reads 235So it is, besieged with sable-colored melancholy,
 I did commend the black oppressing humor
 to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air;
 and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The
 time when? About the sixth hour, when beasts most
240 graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that
 nourishment which is called supper. So much for the
 time when. Now for the ground which—which, I
 mean, I walked upon. It is yclept thy park. Then for the
 place where—where, I mean, I did encounter that
245 obscene and most prepost’rous event that draweth
 from my snow-white pen the ebon-colored ink, which
 here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to
 the place where. It standeth north-north-east and by
 east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted
250 garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that
 base minnow of thy mirth,—

COSTARD Me?
KING reads that unlettered, small-knowing soul,—
COSTARD Me?
KING reads 255that shallow vassal,—
COSTARD Still me?
KING reads which, as I remember, hight Costard,—
COSTARD O, me!
KING reads sorted and consorted, contrary to thy
260 established proclaimed edict and continent canon,
 which with—O with—but with this I passion to say
 wherewith—

COSTARD With a wench.
KING reads with a child of our grandmother Eve, a
265 female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a
 woman: him, I, as my ever-esteemed duty pricks
 me on, have sent to thee, to receive the meed of
 punishment by thy sweet Grace’s officer, Anthony

25
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and
270 estimation.

DULL Me, an ’t shall please you. I am Anthony Dull.
KING reads For Jaquenetta—so is the weaker vessel
 called which I apprehended with the aforesaid
 swain—I keep her as a vessel of thy law’s fury, and
275 shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial.
 Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heartburning
 heat of duty,
 Don Adriano de Armado.

BEROWNE This is not so well as I looked for, but the
280 best that ever I heard.
KING Ay, the best, for the worst. To Costard. But,
 sirrah, what say you to this?
COSTARD Sir, I confess the wench.
KING Did you hear the proclamation?
COSTARD 285I do confess much of the hearing it, but little
 of the marking of it.
KING It was proclaimed a year’s imprisonment to be
 taken with a wench.
COSTARD I was taken with none, sir. I was taken with a
290 damsel.
KING Well, it was proclaimed “damsel.”
COSTARD This was no damsel neither, sir. She was a
 virgin.
BEROWNE It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed
295 “virgin.”
COSTARD If it were, I deny her virginity. I was taken
 with a maid.
KING This “maid” will not serve your turn, sir.
COSTARD This maid will serve my turn, sir.
KING 300Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall
 fast a week with bran and water.
COSTARD I had rather pray a month with mutton and
 porridge.

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

KING And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
305 My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o’er,
 And go we, lords, to put in practice that
  Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
King, Longaville, and Dumaine exit.
BEROWNE 
 I’ll lay my head to any goodman’s hat,
  These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
310 Sirrah, come on.
COSTARD I suffer for the truth, sir; for true it is I was
 taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true
 girl. And therefore welcome the sour cup of prosperity.
 Affliction may one day smile again, and till
315 then, sit thee down, sorrow.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter Armado and Mote, his page.

ARMADO Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
 grows melancholy?
BOY A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ARMADO Why, sadness is one and the selfsame thing,
5 dear imp.
BOY No, no. O Lord, sir, no!
ARMADO How canst thou part sadness and melancholy,
 my tender juvenal?
BOY By a familiar demonstration of the working, my
10 tough signior.
ARMADO Why “tough signior”? Why “tough signior”?
BOY Why “tender juvenal”? Why “tender juvenal”?
ARMADO I spoke it “tender juvenal” as a congruent
 epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which
15 we may nominate “tender.”

29
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

BOY And I “tough signior” as an appurtenant title to
 your old time, which we may name “tough.”
ARMADO Pretty and apt.
BOY How mean you, sir? I pretty and my saying apt, or
20 I apt and my saying pretty?
ARMADO Thou pretty because little.
BOY Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ARMADO And therefore apt, because quick.
BOY Speak you this in my praise, master?
ARMADO 25In thy condign praise.
BOY I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ARMADO What, that an eel is ingenious?
BOY That an eel is quick.
ARMADO I do say thou art quick in answers. Thou
30 heat’st my blood.
BOY I am answered, sir.
ARMADO I love not to be crossed.
BOY, aside He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love
 not him.
ARMADO 35I have promised to study three years with the
 Duke.
BOY You may do it in an hour, sir.
ARMADO Impossible.
BOY How many is one thrice told?
ARMADO 40I am ill at reckoning. It fitteth the spirit of a
 tapster.
BOY You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ARMADO I confess both. They are both the varnish of a
 complete man.
BOY 45Then I am sure you know how much the gross
 sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
ARMADO It doth amount to one more than two.
BOY Which the base vulgar do call “three.”
ARMADO True.
BOY 50Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is
 “three” studied ere you’ll thrice wink. And how

31
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

 easy it is to put “years” to the word “three” and
 study “three years” in two words, the dancing horse
 will tell you.
ARMADO 55A most fine figure.
BOY, aside To prove you a cipher.
ARMADO I will hereupon confess I am in love; and as it
 is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a
 base wench. If drawing my sword against the
60 humor of affection would deliver me from the
 reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner
 and ransom him to any French courtier for a
 new-devised curtsy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks
 I should outswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy. What
65 great men have been in love?
BOY Hercules, master.
ARMADO Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear
 boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be
 men of good repute and carriage.
BOY 70Samson, master; he was a man of good carriage,
 great carriage, for he carried the town gates on his
 back like a porter, and he was in love.
ARMADO O, well-knit Samson, strong-jointed Samson;
 I do excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst
75 me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was
 Samson’s love, my dear Mote?
BOY A woman, master.
ARMADO Of what complexion?
BOY Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of
80 the four.
ARMADO Tell me precisely of what complexion.
BOY Of the sea-water green, sir.
ARMADO Is that one of the four complexions?
BOY As I have read, sir, and the best of them too.
ARMADO 85Green indeed is the color of lovers. But to
 have a love of that color, methinks Samson had
 small reason for it. He surely affected her for her
 wit.

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

BOY It was so, sir, for she had a green wit.
ARMADO 90My love is most immaculate white and red.
BOY Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked
 under such colors.
ARMADO Define, define, well-educated infant.
BOY My father’s wit and my mother’s tongue, assist
95 me.
ARMADO Sweet invocation of a child, most pretty and
 pathetical.
BOY 
 If she be made of white and red,
  Her faults will ne’er be known,
100 For blushing cheeks by faults are bred,
  And fears by pale white shown.
 Then if she fear, or be to blame,
  By this you shall not know,
 For still her cheeks possess the same
105  Which native she doth owe.

 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
 white and red.
ARMADO Is there not a ballad, boy, of The King and
 the Beggar?
BOY 110The world was very guilty of such a ballad some
 three ages since, but I think now ’tis not to be found;
 or if it were, it would neither serve for the writing
 nor the tune.
ARMADO I will have that subject newly writ o’er, that I
115 may example my digression by some mighty precedent.
 Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in
 the park with the rational hind Costard. She deserves
 well.
BOY, aside To be whipped—and yet a better love than
120 my master.
ARMADO Sing, boy. My spirit grows heavy in love.
BOY, aside And that’s great marvel, loving a light
 wench.

35
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

ARMADO I say sing.
BOY 125Forbear till this company be past.

Enter Clown (Costard,) Constable (Dull,) and Wench
(Jaquenetta.)


DULL, to Armado Sir, the Duke’s pleasure is that you
 keep Costard safe, and you must suffer him to take
 no delight, nor no penance, but he must fast three
 days a week. For this damsel, I must keep her at the
130 park. She is allowed for the dey-woman. Fare you
 well.
ARMADO, aside I do betray myself with blushing.—
 Maid.
JAQUENETTA Man.
ARMADO 135I will visit thee at the lodge.
JAQUENETTA That’s hereby.
ARMADO I know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTA Lord, how wise you are.
ARMADO I will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTA 140With that face?
ARMADO I love thee.
JAQUENETTA So I heard you say.
ARMADO And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA Fair weather after you.
DULL 145Come, Jaquenetta, away.
Dull and Jaquenetta exit.
ARMADO, to Costard Villain, thou shalt fast for thy
 offenses ere thou be pardoned.
COSTARD Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on
 a full stomach.
ARMADO 150Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD I am more bound to you than your fellows,
 for they are but lightly rewarded.
ARMADO, to Boy Take away this villain. Shut him up.
BOY Come, you transgressing slave, away.

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

COSTARD, to Armado 155Let me not be pent up, sir. I will
 fast being loose.
BOY No, sir, that were fast and loose. Thou shalt to
 prison.
COSTARD Well, if ever I do see the merry days of
160 desolation that I have seen, some shall see.
BOY What shall some see?
COSTARD Nay, nothing, Master Mote, but what they
 look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in
 their words, and therefore I will say nothing. I thank
165 God I have as little patience as another man, and
 therefore I can be quiet.
Costard and Boy exit.
ARMADO I do affect the very ground (which is base)
 where her shoe (which is baser) guided by her foot
 (which is basest) doth tread. I shall be forsworn
170 (which is a great argument of falsehood) if I love.
 And how can that be true love which is falsely
 attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil. There is
 no evil angel but love, yet was Samson so tempted,
 and he had an excellent strength; yet was Solomon
175 so seduced, and he had a very good wit. Cupid’s
 butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules’ club, and therefore
 too much odds for a Spaniard’s rapier. The first
 and second cause will not serve my turn; the
 passado he respects not, the duello he regards not.
180 His disgrace is to be called “boy,” but his glory is to
 subdue men. Adieu, valor; rust, rapier; be still,
 drum, for your manager is in love. Yea, he loveth.
 Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme, for I am
 sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise wit, write pen, for I
185 am for whole volumes in folio.
He exits.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter the Princess of France, with three attending
Ladies (Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine), Boyet
and other Lords.


BOYET 
 Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
 Consider who the King your father sends,
 To whom he sends, and what’s his embassy.
 Yourself, held precious in the world’s esteem,
5 To parley with the sole inheritor
 Of all perfections that a man may owe,
 Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
 Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
 Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
10 As nature was in making graces dear
 When she did starve the general world besides
 And prodigally gave them all to you.
PRINCESS 
 Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
 Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
15 Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
 Not uttered by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.
 I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
 Than you much willing to be counted wise
 In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
20 But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
41

43
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

 You are not ignorant all-telling fame
 Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,
 Till painful study shall outwear three years,
 No woman may approach his silent court.
25 Therefore to ’s seemeth it a needful course,
 Before we enter his forbidden gates,
 To know his pleasure, and in that behalf,
 Bold of your worthiness, we single you
 As our best-moving fair solicitor.
30 Tell him the daughter of the King of France
 On serious business craving quick dispatch,
 Importunes personal conference with his Grace.
 Haste, signify so much, while we attend,
 Like humble-visaged suitors, his high will.
BOYET 
35 Proud of employment, willingly I go.
PRINCESS 
 All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
Boyet exits.
 Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
 That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
A LORD 
 Lord Longaville is one.
PRINCESS 40 Know you the man?
MARIA 
 I know him, madam. At a marriage feast
 Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
 Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnizèd
 In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
45 A man of sovereign parts he is esteemed,
 Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms.
 Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
 The only soil of his fair virtue’s gloss,
 If virtue’s gloss will stain with any soil,
50 Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will,
 Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
 It should none spare that come within his power.

45
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

PRINCESS 
 Some merry mocking lord, belike. Is ’t so?
MARIA 
 They say so most that most his humors know.
PRINCESS 
55 Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.
 Who are the rest?
KATHERINE 
 The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth,
 Of all that virtue love for virtue loved.
 Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
60 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 Alanson’s once,
 And much too little of that good I saw
 Is my report to his great worthiness.
ROSALINE 
65 Another of these students at that time
 Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
 Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
 Within the limit of becoming mirth,
 I never spent an hour’s talk withal.
70 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
75 That agèd ears play truant at his tales,
 And younger hearings are quite ravishèd,
 So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
PRINCESS 
 God bless my ladies, are they all in love,
 That every one her own hath garnishèd
80 With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
A LORD 
 Here comes Boyet.

47
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

Enter Boyet.

PRINCESS  Now, what admittance, lord?
BOYET 
 Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
 And he and his competitors in oath
85 Were all addressed to meet you, gentle lady,
 Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learned:
 He rather means to lodge you in the field,
 Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
 Than seek a dispensation for his oath
90 To let you enter his unpeopled house.

Enter King of Navarre, Longaville, Dumaine, and
Berowne.


 Here comes Navarre.
KING Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
PRINCESS “Fair” I give you back again, and “welcome”
 I have not yet. The roof of this court is too
95 high to be yours, and welcome to the wide fields too
 base to be mine.
KING 
 You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
PRINCESS 
 I will be welcome, then. Conduct me thither.
KING 
 Hear me, dear lady. I have sworn an oath.
PRINCESS 
100 Our Lady help my lord! He’ll be forsworn.
KING 
 Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
PRINCESS 
 Why, will shall break it, will and nothing else.
KING 
 Your Ladyship is ignorant what it is.

49
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

PRINCESS 
 Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
105 Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
 I hear your Grace hath sworn out housekeeping.
 ’Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
 And sin to break it.
 But pardon me, I am too sudden bold.
110 To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
 Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
 And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
She gives him a paper.
KING 
 Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
PRINCESS 
 You will the sooner that I were away,
115 For you’ll prove perjured if you make me stay.
They walk aside while the King reads the paper.
BEROWNE, to Rosaline 
 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
ROSALINE 
 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
BEROWNE 
 I know you did.
ROSALINE  How needless was it then
120 To ask the question.
BEROWNE  You must not be so quick.
ROSALINE 
 ’Tis long of you that spur me with such questions.
BEROWNE 
 Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast; ’twill tire.
ROSALINE 
 Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
BEROWNE 
125 What time o’ day?
ROSALINE  The hour that fools should ask.
BEROWNE Now fair befall your mask.

51
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

ROSALINE Fair fall the face it covers.
BEROWNE And send you many lovers.
ROSALINE 130Amen, so you be none.
BEROWNE Nay, then, will I be gone.
KING, coming forward with the Princess 
 Madam, your father here doth intimate
 The payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
 Being but the one half of an entire sum
135 Disbursèd by my father in his wars.
 But say that he or we, as neither have,
 Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
 A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which
 One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
140 Although not valued to the money’s worth.
 If then the King your father will restore
 But that one half which is unsatisfied,
 We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
 And hold fair friendship with his Majesty.
145 But that, it seems, he little purposeth;
 For here he doth demand to have repaid
 A hundred thousand crowns, and not demands,
 On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
 To have his title live in Aquitaine—
150 Which we much rather had depart withal,
 And have the money by our father lent,
 Than Aquitaine, so gelded as it is.
 Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
 From reason’s yielding, your fair self should make
155 A yielding ’gainst some reason in my breast,
 And go well satisfied to France again.
PRINCESS 
 You do the King my father too much wrong,
 And wrong the reputation of your name,
 In so unseeming to confess receipt
160 Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.

53
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

KING 
 I do protest I never heard of it;
 And if you prove it, I’ll repay it back
 Or yield up Aquitaine.
PRINCESS  We arrest your word.—
165 Boyet, you can produce acquittances
 For such a sum from special officers
 Of Charles his father.
KING  Satisfy me so.
BOYET 
 So please your Grace, the packet is not come
170 Where that and other specialties are bound.
 Tomorrow you shall have a sight of them.
KING 
 It shall suffice me; at which interview
 All liberal reason I will yield unto.
 Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
175 As honor (without breach of honor) may
 Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
 You may not come, fair princess, within my gates,
 But here without you shall be so received
 As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
180 Though so denied fair harbor in my house.
 Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
 Tomorrow shall we visit you again.
PRINCESS 
 Sweet health and fair desires consort your Grace.
KING 
 Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
He exits with Dumaine,
Longaville, and Attendants.

BEROWNE, to Rosaline 185Lady, I will commend you to
 my own heart.
ROSALINE Pray you, do my commendations. I would
 be glad to see it.
BEROWNE I would you heard it groan.

55
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

ROSALINE 190Is the fool sick?
BEROWNE Sick at the heart.
ROSALINE Alack, let it blood.
BEROWNE Would that do it good?
ROSALINE My physic says “ay.”
BEROWNE 195Will you prick ’t with your eye?
ROSALINE No point, with my knife.
BEROWNE Now God save thy life.
ROSALINE And yours from long living.
BEROWNE I cannot stay thanksgiving.He exits.

Enter Dumaine.

DUMAINE, to Boyet 
200 Sir, I pray you, a word. What lady is that same?
BOYET 
 The heir of Alanson, Katherine her name.
DUMAINE 
 A gallant lady, monsieur. Fare you well.He exits.

Enter Longaville.

LONGAVILLE, to Boyet 
 I beseech you, a word. What is she in the white?
BOYET 
 A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.
LONGAVILLE 
205 Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
BOYET 
 She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a
 shame.
LONGAVILLE Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
BOYET Her mother’s, I have heard.
LONGAVILLE 210God’s blessing on your beard!
BOYET Good sir, be not offended. She is an heir of
 Falconbridge.
LONGAVILLE Nay, my choler is ended. She is a most
 sweet lady.

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

BOYET 215Not unlike, sir, that may be.
Longaville exits.

Enter Berowne.

BEROWNE, to Boyet What’s her name in the cap?
BOYET Rosaline, by good hap.
BEROWNE Is she wedded or no?
BOYET To her will, sir, or so.
BEROWNE 220You are welcome, sir. Adieu.
BOYET Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
Berowne exits.
MARIA 
 That last is Berowne, the merry madcap lord.
 Not a word with him but a jest.
BOYET  And every jest but
225 a word.
PRINCESS 
 It was well done of you to take him at his word.
BOYET 
 I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
KATHERINE 
 Two hot sheeps, marry.
BOYET  And wherefore not ships?
230 No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
KATHERINE 
 You sheep and I pasture. Shall that finish the jest?
BOYET 
 So you grant pasture for me.He tries to kiss her.
KATHERINE  Not so, gentle beast,
 My lips are no common, though several they be.
BOYET 
235 Belonging to whom?
KATHERINE  To my fortunes and me.
PRINCESS 
 Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree,
 This civil war of wits were much better used
 On Navarre and his bookmen, for here ’tis abused.

59
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

BOYET 
240 If my observation, which very seldom lies,
 By the heart’s still rhetoric, disclosèd wi’ th’ eyes,
 Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
PRINCESS With what?
BOYET 
 With that which we lovers entitle “affected.”
PRINCESS 245Your reason?
BOYET 
 Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
 To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
 His heart like an agate with your print impressed,
 Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed.
250 His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
 Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
 All senses to that sense did make their repair,
 To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
 Methought all his senses were locked in his eye,
255 As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy,
 Who, tend’ring their own worth from where they
 were glassed,
 Did point you to buy them along as you passed.
 His face’s own margent did quote such amazes
260 That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
 I’ll give you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
 An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
PRINCESS, to her Ladies 
 Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is disposed.
BOYET 
 But to speak that in words which his eye hath
265 disclosed.
 I only have made a mouth of his eye
 By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
MARIA 
 Thou art an old lovemonger and speakest skillfully.

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 2. SC. 1

KATHERINE 
 He is Cupid’s grandfather, and learns news of him.
ROSALINE 
270 Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is
 but grim.
BOYET 
 Do you hear, my mad wenches?
MARIA  No.
BOYET  What then, do
275 you see?
MARIA 
 Ay, our way to be gone.
BOYET  You are too hard for me.
They all exit.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Braggart Armado and his Boy.

ARMADO Warble, child, make passionate my sense of
 hearing.
BOY sings Concolinel.
ARMADO Sweet air. Go, tenderness of years. He hands
 over a key. 
5Take this key, give enlargement to the
 swain, bring him festinately hither. I must employ
 him in a letter to my love.
BOY Master, will you win your love with a French
 brawl?
ARMADO 10How meanest thou? Brawling in French?
BOY No, my complete master, but to jig off a tune at the
 tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humor it
 with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and sing a
 note, sometimes through the throat as if you
15 swallowed love with singing love, sometimes
 through the nose as if you snuffed up love by
 smelling love; with your hat penthouse-like o’er the
 shop of your eyes, with your arms crossed on your
 thin-belly doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your
20 hands in your pocket like a man after the old
 painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a
 snip and away. These are compliments, these are
 humors; these betray nice wenches that would be
 betrayed without these, and make them men of
65

67
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 3. SC. 1

25 note—do you note me?—that most are affected
 to these.
ARMADO How hast thou purchased this experience?
BOY By my penny of observation.
ARMADO But O— but O—.
BOY 30“The hobby-horse is forgot.”
ARMADO Call’st thou my love “hobby-horse”?
BOY No, master. The hobby-horse is but a colt, aside
 and your love perhaps a hackney.—But have you
 forgot your love?
ARMADO 35Almost I had.
BOY Negligent student, learn her by heart.
ARMADO By heart and in heart, boy.
BOY And out of heart, master. All those three I will
 prove.
ARMADO 40What wilt thou prove?
BOY A man, if I live; and this “by, in, and without,”
 upon the instant: “by” heart you love her, because
 your heart cannot come by her; “in” heart you love
 her, because your heart is in love with her; and
45 “out” of heart you love her, being out of heart that
 you cannot enjoy her.
ARMADO I am all these three.
BOY And three times as much more, aside and yet
 nothing at all.
ARMADO 50Fetch hither the swain. He must carry me a
 letter.
BOY A message well sympathized—a horse to be ambassador
 for an ass.
ARMADO Ha? Ha? What sayest thou?
BOY 55Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
 for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
ARMADO The way is but short. Away!
BOY As swift as lead, sir.
ARMADO Thy meaning, pretty ingenious?
60 Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?

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Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 3. SC. 1

BOY 
 Minime, honest master, or rather, master, no.
ARMADO 
 I say lead is slow.
BOY  You are too swift, sir, to say so.
 Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
ARMADO 65Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
 He reputes me a cannon, and the bullet, that’s
 he.—
 I shoot thee at the swain.
BOY  Thump, then, and I flee.
He exits.
ARMADO 
70 A most acute juvenal, voluble and free of grace.
 By thy favor, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face.
 Most rude melancholy, valor gives thee place.
 My herald is returned.

Enter Boy and Clown Costard.

BOY  A wonder, master!
75 Here’s a costard broken in a shin.
ARMADO 
 Some enigma, some riddle. Come, thy l’envoi begin.
COSTARD No egma, no riddle, no l’envoi, no salve in
 the mail, sir. O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! No
 l’envoi, no l’envoi, no salve, sir, but a plantain.
ARMADO 80By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
 thought, my spleen. The heaving of my lungs
 provokes me to ridiculous smiling. O pardon me,
 my stars! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for
 l’envoi, and the word l’envoi for a salve?
BOY 
85 Do the wise think them other? Is not l’envoi a salve?
ARMADO 
 No, page, it is an epilogue or discourse to make plain

71
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
 I will example it:
 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
90 Were still at odds, being but three.

 There’s the moral. Now the l’envoi.
BOY I will add the l’envoi. Say the moral again.
ARMADO 
 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
 Were still at odds, being but three.

BOY 
95 Until the goose came out of door
 And stayed the odds by adding four.

 Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
 my l’envoi.
 The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
100 Were still at odds, being but three.

ARMADO 
 Until the goose came out of door,
 Staying the odds by adding four.

BOY A good l’envoi, ending in the goose. Would you
 desire more?
COSTARD 
105 The boy hath sold him a bargain—a goose, that’s
 flat.—
 Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
 To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and
 loose.
110 Let me see: a fat l’envoi—ay, that’s a fat goose.
ARMADO 
 Come hither, come hither. How did this argument
 begin?
BOY 
 By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
 Then called you for the l’envoi.

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ACT 3. SC. 1

COSTARD 115True, and I for a plantain. Thus came your
 argument in. Then the boy’s fat l’envoi, the goose
 that you bought; and he ended the market.
ARMADO But tell me, how was there a costard broken
 in a shin?
BOY 120I will tell you sensibly.
COSTARD Thou hast no feeling of it, Mote. I will speak
 that l’envoi.
 I, Costard, running out, that was safely within,
 Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.

ARMADO 125We will talk no more of this matter.
COSTARD Till there be more matter in the shin.
ARMADO Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.
COSTARD O, marry me to one Frances! I smell some
 l’envoi, some goose, in this.
ARMADO 130By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at
 liberty, enfreedoming thy person. Thou wert immured,
 restrained, captivated, bound.
COSTARD True, true; and now you will be my purgation,
 and let me loose.
ARMADO 135I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance,
 and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but
 this: bear this significant to the country maid
 Jaquenetta. (He gives him a paper.) There is remuneration
 (giving him a coin,) for the best ward of
140 mine honor is rewarding my dependents.—Mote,
 follow.He exits.
BOY Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
He exits.
COSTARD 
 My sweet ounce of man’s flesh, my incony Jew!
 Now will I look to his remuneration. He looks at the
 coin. 
145“Remuneration”! O, that’s the Latin word for
 three farthings. Three farthings—remuneration.

75
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 3. SC. 1

 “What’s the price of this inkle?” “One penny.” “No,
 I’ll give you a remuneration.” Why, it carries it!
 Remuneration. Why, it is a fairer name than “French
150 crown.” I will never buy and sell out of this word.

Enter Berowne.

BEROWNE My good knave Costard, exceedingly well
 met.
COSTARD Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon
 may a man buy for a remuneration?
BEROWNE 155What is a remuneration?
COSTARD Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
BEROWNE Why then, three farthing worth of silk.
COSTARD I thank your Worship. God be wi’ you.
He begins to exit.
BEROWNE Stay, slave, I must employ thee.
160 As thou wilt win my favor, good my knave,
 Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
COSTARD When would you have it done, sir?
BEROWNE This afternoon.
COSTARD Well, I will do it, sir. Fare you well.
BEROWNE 165Thou knowest not what it is.
COSTARD I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
BEROWNE Why, villain, thou must know first.
COSTARD I will come to your Worship tomorrow
 morning.
BEROWNE 170It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave,
 it is but this:
 The Princess comes to hunt here in the park,
 And in her train there is a gentle lady.
 When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her
175 name,
 And Rosaline they call her. Ask for her,
 And to her white hand see thou do commend

77
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ACT 3. SC. 1

 This sealed-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon. He
 gives him money. 
Go.
COSTARD 180Gardon. He looks at the money. O sweet
 gardon! Better than remuneration, a ’levenpence
 farthing better! Most sweet gardon. I will do it, sir,
 in print. Gardon! Remuneration!He exits.
BEROWNE 
 And I forsooth in love! I that have been love’s whip,
185 A very beadle to a humorous sigh,
 A critic, nay, a nightwatch constable,
 A domineering pedant o’er the boy,
 Than whom no mortal so magnificent.
 This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
190 This Signior Junior, giant dwarf, Dan Cupid,
 Regent of love rhymes, lord of folded arms,
 Th’ anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
 Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
 Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
195 Sole imperator and great general
 Of trotting paritors—O my little heart!
 And I to be a corporal of his field
 And wear his colors like a tumbler’s hoop!
 What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife?
200 A woman, that is like a German clock,
 Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
 And never going aright, being a watch,
 But being watched that it may still go right.
 Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all.
205 And, among three, to love the worst of all,
 A whitely wanton with a velvet brow,
 With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes.
 Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
 Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard.
210 And I to sigh for her, to watch for her,
 To pray for her! Go to. It is a plague

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ACT 3. SC. 1

 That Cupid will impose for my neglect
 Of his almighty dreadful little might.
 Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan.
215 Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.
He exits.


ACT 4
Scene 1
Enter the Princess, a Forester, her Ladies, Boyet and
her other Lords.


PRINCESS 
 Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard
 Against the steep uprising of the hill?
FORESTER 
 I know not, but I think it was not he.
PRINCESS 
 Whoe’er he was, he showed a mounting mind.—
5 Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch.
 Or Saturday we will return to France.—
 Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
 That we must stand and play the murderer in?
FORESTER 
 Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice,
10 A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
PRINCESS 
 I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
 And thereupon thou speakst “the fairest shoot.”
FORESTER 
 Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
PRINCESS 
 What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
15 O short-lived pride. Not fair? Alack, for woe!
83

85
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 1

FORESTER 
 Yes, madam, fair.
PRINCESS  Nay, never paint me now.
 Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
 Here, good my glass, take this for telling true.
She gives him money.
20 Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
FORESTER 
 Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
PRINCESS 
 See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit.
 O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
 A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
25 But come, the bow. He hands her a bow. Now
 mercy goes to kill,
 And shooting well is then accounted ill.
 Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
 Not wounding, pity would not let me do ’t;
30 If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
 That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
 And out of question so it is sometimes:
 Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
 When for fame’s sake, for praise, an outward part,
35 We bend to that the working of the heart;
 As I for praise alone now seek to spill
 The poor deer’s blood, that my heart means no ill.
BOYET 
 Do not curst wives hold that self sovereignty
 Only for praise’ sake when they strive to be
40 Lords o’er their lords?
PRINCESS 
 Only for praise; and praise we may afford
 To any lady that subdues a lord.

Enter Clown Costard.


87
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 1

BOYET 
 Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
COSTARD God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the
45 head lady?
PRINCESS Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
 have no heads.
COSTARD Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
PRINCESS The thickest and the tallest.
COSTARD 
50 The thickest and the tallest: it is so, truth is
 truth.
 An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
 One o’ these maids’ girdles for your waist should be
 fit.
55 Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest
 here.
PRINCESS What’s your will, sir? What’s your will?
COSTARD I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to
 one Lady Rosaline.
PRINCESS 
60 O, thy letter, thy letter! He’s a good friend of mine.
 Stand aside, good bearer.—Boyet, you can carve.
 Break up this capon.
BOYET, taking the letter  I am bound to serve.
 This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
65 It is writ to Jaquenetta.
PRINCESS  We will read it, I swear.
 Break the neck of the wax, and everyone give ear.
BOYET reads. By heaven, that thou art fair is most
 infallible, true that thou art beauteous, truth itself
70 that thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
 than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration
 on thy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and
 most illustrate King Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious
 and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it
75 was that might rightly say “Veni, vidi, vici,” which to

89
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 1

 annothanize in the vulgar (O base and obscure vulgar!)
 videlicet, “He came, see, and overcame”: He
 came, one; see, two; overcame, three. Who came? The
 King. Why did he come? To see. Why did he see? To
80 overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar. What
 saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar.
 The conclusion is victory. On whose side? The
 King’s. The captive is enriched. On whose side? The
 beggar’s. The catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side?
85 The King’s—no, on both in one, or one in both. I am
 the King, for so stands the comparison; thou the
 beggar, for so witnesseth thy lowliness. Shall I command
 thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy love? I could.
 Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
90 exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles? Titles. For thyself?
 Me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy
 foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every
 part.
 Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
95 Don Adriano de Armado.
 Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
  ’Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
 Submissive fall his princely feet before,
  And he from forage will incline to play.
100 But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
 Food for his rage, repasture for his den.

PRINCESS 
 What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
 What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear
 better?
BOYET 
105 I am much deceived but I remember the style.
PRINCESS 
 Else your memory is bad, going o’er it erewhile.
BOYET 
 This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court,

91
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 1

 A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes
 sport
110 To the Prince and his bookmates.
PRINCESS, to Costard  Thou, fellow, a word.
 Who gave thee this letter?
COSTARD  I told you: my lord.
PRINCESS 
 To whom shouldst thou give it?
COSTARD 115 From my lord to my
 lady.
PRINCESS From which lord to which lady?
COSTARD 
 From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
 To a lady of France that he called Rosaline.
PRINCESS 
120 Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
 To Rosaline. Here, sweet, put up this; ’twill be
 thine another day.
The Princess, Katherine, Lords, and
Forester exit. Boyet, Rosaline, Maria,
and Costard remain.

BOYET 
 Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?
ROSALINE  Shall I
125 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,
130 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?

93
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 1

ROSALINE 
 If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
135 Finely put on, indeed.
MARIA 
 You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at
 the brow.
BOYET 
 But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?
ROSALINE Shall I come upon thee with an old saying,
140 that was a man when King Pippen 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 sings 
145 Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
 Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET sings 
 An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
 An I cannot, another can.

Rosaline exits.
COSTARD 
 By my troth, most pleasant. How both did fit it!
MARIA 
150 A mark marvelous well shot, for they both did hit
 it.
BOYET 
 A mark! O, mark but that mark. “A mark,” says my
 lady.
 Let the mark have a prick in ’t to mete at, if it may
155 be.
MARIA 
 Wide o’ the bow hand! I’ faith, your hand is out.
COSTARD 
 Indeed, he must shoot nearer, or he’ll ne’er hit the
 clout.

95
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

BOYET, to Maria 
 An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
COSTARD 
160 Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.
MARIA 
 Come, come, you talk greasily. Your lips grow foul.
COSTARD, to Boyet 
 She’s too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her
 to bowl.
BOYET 
 I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
Boyet and Maria exit.
COSTARD 
165 By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown.
 Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him
 down.
 O’ my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar
 wit,
170 When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
 were, so fit.
 Armado o’ th’ one side, O, a most dainty man!
 To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan.
 To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly he
175 will swear.
 And his page o’ t’ other side, that handful of wit!
 Ah heavens, it is a most pathetical nit.
Shout within.
 Sola, sola!
He exits.


Scene 2
Enter Dull the Constable, Holofernes the Pedant, and
Nathaniel the Curate.


NATHANIEL Very reverend sport, truly, and done in the
 testimony of a good conscience.

97
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

HOLOFERNES The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in
 blood, ripe as the pomewater, who now hangeth
5 like a jewel in the ear of caelo, the sky, the welkin,
 the heaven, and anon falleth like a crab on the face
 of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.
NATHANIEL Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are
 sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least. But, sir, I
10 assure you, it was a buck of the first head.
HOLOFERNES Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
DULL ’Twas not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.
HOLOFERNES Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of
 insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication;
15 facere, as it were, replication, or rather, ostentare, to
 show, as it were, his inclination, after his undressed,
 unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or
 rather unlettered, or ratherest, unconfirmed fashion,
 to insert again my haud credo for a deer.
DULL 20I said the deer was not a haud credo, ’twas a
 pricket.
HOLOFERNES Twice-sod simplicity, bis coctus!
 O thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou
 look!
NATHANIEL 
25 Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred
 in a book.
 He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk
 ink. His intellect is not replenished. He is only an
 animal, only sensible in the duller parts.
30 And such barren plants are set before us that we
 thankful should be—
 Which we of taste and feeling are—for those parts
 that do fructify in us more than he.
 For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet,
35 or a fool,
 So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in
 a school.

99
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

 But omne bene, say I, being of an old father’s mind:
 Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
DULL 
40 You two are bookmen. Can you tell me by your wit
 What was a month old at Cain’s birth that’s not
 five weeks old as yet?
HOLOFERNES Dictynna, goodman Dull, Dictynna,
 goodman Dull.
DULL 45What is “dictima”?
NATHANIEL 
 A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
HOLOFERNES 
 The moon was a month old when Adam was no
 more.
 And raught not to five weeks when he came to
50 fivescore.
 Th’ allusion holds in the exchange.
DULL ’Tis true indeed. The collusion holds in the
 exchange.
HOLOFERNES God comfort thy capacity! I say, th’ allusion
55 holds in the exchange.
DULL And I say the pollution holds in the exchange, for
 the moon is never but a month old. And I say besides
 that, ’twas a pricket that the Princess killed.
HOLOFERNES Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal
60 epitaph on the death of the deer? And, to humor
 the ignorant, call I the deer the Princess killed a
 pricket.
NATHANIEL Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it
 shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
HOLOFERNES 65I will something affect the letter, for it
 argues facility.
 The preyful princess pierced and pricked
 a pretty pleasing pricket,
  Some say a sore, but not a sore till now made
70  sore with shooting.

101
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

 The dogs did yell. Put “l” to “sore,” then sorel
 jumps from thicket,
  Or pricket sore, or else sorel. The people fall
  a-hooting.
75 If sore be sore, then “L” to “sore” makes fifty
 sores o’ sorel.
 Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one
 more “L.”
NATHANIEL A rare talent.
DULL, aside 80If a talent be a claw, look how he claws
 him with a talent.
HOLOFERNES This is a gift that I have, simple, simple—
 a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms,
 figures, shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
85 revolutions. These are begot in the ventricle
 of memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater,
 and delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But
 the gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I
 am thankful for it.
NATHANIEL 90Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may
 my parishioners, for their sons are well tutored by
 you, and their daughters profit very greatly under
 you. You are a good member of the
 commonwealth.
HOLOFERNES 95Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious,
 they shall want no instruction; if their daughters be
 capable, I will put it to them. But Vir sapis qui pauca
 loquitur
. A soul feminine saluteth us.

Enter Jaquenetta and the Clown Costard.

JAQUENETTA, to Nathaniel God give you good morrow,
100 Master Person.
HOLOFERNES Master Person, quasi pierce one. And
 if one should be pierced, which is the one?
COSTARD Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likeliest
 to a hogshead.

103
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

HOLOFERNES 105Of piercing a hogshead! A good luster
 of conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a flint,
 pearl enough for a swine. ’Tis pretty, it is well.
JAQUENETTA, to Nathaniel Good Master Parson, be so
 good as read me this letter. It was given me by
110 Costard, and sent me from Don Armado. I beseech
 you, read it.
She hands Nathaniel a paper, which he looks at.
HOLOFERNES 
 Facile precor gelida quando peccas omnia sub umbra.
 Ruminat—

 and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of
115 thee as the traveler doth of Venice:
 Venetia, Venetia,
 Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.

 Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth
 thee not, loves thee not. (He sings.) Ut, re, sol, la,
120 mi, fa. (To Nathaniel.) Under pardon, sir, what are
 the contents? Or rather, as Horace says in his—
 (Looking at the letter.) What, my soul, verses?
NATHANIEL Ay, sir, and very learned.
HOLOFERNES  Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse,
125 Lege, domine.
NATHANIEL, reads 
 If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
  Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed!
 Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll faithful prove.
  Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers
130   bowed.
 Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
  Where all those pleasures live that art would
   comprehend.
 If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice.
135  Well-learnèd is that tongue that well can thee
   commend.

105
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 2

 All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
  Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
 Thy eye Jove’s lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful
140  thunder,
  Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
 Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,
 That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.

HOLOFERNES You find not the apostrophus, and so
145 miss the accent. Let me supervise the canzonet.
 He takes the paper. Here are only numbers ratified,
 but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of
 poesy—caret. Ovidius Naso was the man. And why
 indeed “Naso,” but for smelling out the odoriferous
150 flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari is
 nothing: so doth the hound his master, the ape his
 keeper, the tired horse his rider.—But damosella
 virgin, was this directed to you?
JAQUENETTA Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one
155 of the strange queen’s lords.
HOLOFERNES I will overglance the superscript: “To
 the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
 Rosaline.”
 I will look again on the intellect of the
 letter for the nomination of the party writing to
160 the person written unto: “Your Ladyship’s in all
 desired employment, Berowne.”
 Sir Nathaniel, this
 Berowne is one of the votaries with the King, and
 here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the
 stranger queen’s: which accidentally, or by the way
165 of progression, hath miscarried. To Jaquenetta.
 Trip and go, my sweet. Deliver this paper into the
 royal hand of the King. It may concern much. Stay
 not thy compliment. I forgive thy duty. Adieu.
JAQUENETTA Good Costard, go with me.—Sir, God
170 save your life.
COSTARD Have with thee, my girl.
Costard and Jaquenetta exit.

107
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

NATHANIEL Sir, you have done this in the fear of God
 very religiously; and, as a certain Father saith—
HOLOFERNES Sir, tell not me of the Father. I do fear
175 colorable colors. But to return to the verses: did
 they please you, Sir Nathaniel?
NATHANIEL Marvelous well for the pen.
HOLOFERNES I do dine today at the father’s of a certain
 pupil of mine, where if, before repast, it shall
180 please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will,
 on my privilege I have with the parents of the
 foresaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto;
 where I will prove those verses to be very unlearned,
 neither savoring of poetry, wit, nor invention.
185 I beseech your society.
NATHANIEL And thank you too; for society, saith the
 text, is the happiness of life.
HOLOFERNES And certes the text most infallibly concludes
 it. To Dull. Sir, I do invite you too. You shall
190 not say me nay. Pauca verba. Away! The gentles are
 at their game, and we will to our recreation.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Berowne with a paper in his hand, alone.

BEROWNE The King, he is hunting the deer; I am
 coursing myself. They have pitched a toil; I am
 toiling in a pitch—pitch that defiles. Defile! A foul
 word. Well, “set thee down, sorrow”; for so they
5 say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well
 proved, wit. By the Lord, this 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
10 her eye I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes.

109
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my
 throat. By heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to
 rhyme, and to be melancholy. And here is part of my
 rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one
15 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 comes one with
 a paper. God give him grace to groan.
He stands aside.

The King entereth with a paper.

KING 20Ay me!
BEROWNE, aside Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet
 Cupid. Thou hast thumped him with thy birdbolt
 under the left pap. In faith, secrets!
KING reads 
 So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
25  To those fresh morning drops upon the rose
 As thy eyebeams, when their fresh rays have smote
  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
30 As doth thy face, through tears of mine, give light.
  Thou shin’st 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,
35  And they thy glory through my grief will show.
 But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
 My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
 O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel
 No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.


40 How shall she know my griefs? I’ll drop the paper.
 Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?

111
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

Enter Longaville, with papers. The King steps aside.

 What, Longaville, and reading! Listen, ear.
BEROWNE, aside 
 Now, in thy likeness, one more fool appear!
LONGAVILLE Ay me! I am forsworn.
BEROWNE, aside 
45 Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing papers!
KING, aside 
 In love, I hope! Sweet fellowship in shame.
BEROWNE, aside 
 One drunkard loves another of the name.
LONGAVILLE 
 Am I the first that have been perjured so?
BEROWNE, aside 
 I could put thee in comfort: not by two that I know.
50 Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of
 society,
 The shape of love’s Tyburn, that hangs up simplicity.
LONGAVILLE 
 I fear these stubborn lines lack power to move.
 Reads. O sweet Maria, empress of my love—
55 These numbers will I tear and write in prose.
He tears the paper.
BEROWNE, aside 
 O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid’s hose.
 Disfigure not his shop!
LONGAVILLE, taking another paper  This same shall go.
(He reads the sonnet.)
 Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
60  ’Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
 Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
  Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
 A woman I forswore, but I will prove,
  Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee.
65 My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love.

113
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

  Thy grace being gained cures all disgrace in me.
 Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is.
  Then thou, fair sun, which on my Earth dost
   shine,
70 Exhal’st this vapor-vow; in thee it is.
  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, aside 
 This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity,
75 A green goose a goddess. Pure, pure idolatry.
 God amend us, God amend. We are much out o’ th’
 way.
LONGAVILLE 
 By whom shall I send this?—Company? Stay.
He steps aside.

Enter Dumaine, with a paper.

BEROWNE, aside 
 All hid, all hid—an old infant play.
80 Like a demigod here sit I in the sky,
 And wretched fools’ secrets heedfully o’ereye.
 More sacks to the mill. O heavens, I have my wish.
 Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks in a dish.
DUMAINE O most divine Kate!
BEROWNE, aside 85O most profane coxcomb!
DUMAINE 
 By heaven, the wonder in a mortal eye!
BEROWNE, aside 
 By Earth, she is not, corporal. There you lie.
DUMAINE 
 Her amber hairs for foul hath amber quoted.
BEROWNE, aside 
 An amber-colored raven was well noted.
DUMAINE 
90 As upright as the cedar.

115
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

BEROWNE, aside  Stoop, I say.
 Her shoulder is with child.
DUMAINE  As fair as day.
BEROWNE, aside 
 Ay, as some days, but then no sun must shine.
DUMAINE 
95 O, that I had my wish!
LONGAVILLE, aside  And I had mine!
KING, aside And mine too, good Lord!
BEROWNE, aside 
 Amen, so I had mine. Is not that a good word?
DUMAINE 
 I would forget her, but a fever she
100 Reigns in my blood, and will remembered be.
BEROWNE, aside 
 A fever in your blood? Why, then incision
 Would let her out in saucers! Sweet misprision.
DUMAINE 
 Once more I’ll read the ode that I have writ.
BEROWNE, aside 
 Once more I’ll mark how love can vary wit.
DUMAINE reads his sonnet. 
105 On a day—alack the day!—
 Love, whose month is ever May,
 Spied a blossom passing fair,
 Playing in the wanton air.
 Through the velvet leaves the wind,
110 All unseen, can passage find;
 That the lover, sick to death,
 Wished himself the heaven’s breath.
 “Air,” quoth he, “thy cheeks may blow.
 Air, would I might triumph so!”
115 But, alack, my hand is sworn
 Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn.

117
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
 Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
 Do not call it sin in me
120 That I am forsworn for thee—
 Thou for whom Jove would swear
 Juno but an Ethiope were,
 And deny himself for Jove,
 Turning mortal for thy love.

125 This will I send, and something else more plain
 That shall express my true love’s fasting pain.
 O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville
 Were lovers too! Ill to example ill
 Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note,
130 For none offend where all alike do dote.
LONGAVILLE, coming forward 
 Dumaine, thy love is far from charity,
 That in love’s grief desir’st society.
 You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
 To be o’er-heard and taken napping so.
KING, coming forward 
135 To Longaville. Come, sir, you blush! As his, your
 case is such.
 You chide at him, offending twice as much.
 You do not love Maria? Longaville
 Did never sonnet for her sake compile,
140 Nor never lay his wreathèd arms athwart
 His loving bosom to keep down his heart?
 I have been closely shrouded in this bush
 And marked you both, and for you both did blush.
 I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
145 Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
 “Ay, me!” says one. “O Jove!” the other cries.
 One, her hairs were gold, crystal the other’s eyes.
 To Longaville. You would for paradise break faith
 and troth,

119
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

150 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!
155 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, coming forward 
 Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
 Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me.
160 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!
165 Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting!
 But are you not ashamed? Nay, are you not,
 All three of you, to be thus much o’ershot?
 To Longaville. You found his mote, the King your
 mote did see,
170 But I a beam do find in each of three.
 O, what a scene of fool’ry have I seen,
 Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen!
 O me, with what strict patience have I sat,
 To see a king transformèd to a gnat!
175 To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
 And profound Solomon to tune a jig,
 And Nestor play at pushpin with the boys,
 And critic Timon laugh at idle toys.
 Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumaine?
180 And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain?
 And where my liege’s? All about the breast!
 A caudle, ho!
KING  Too bitter is thy jest.
 Are we betrayed thus to thy overview?

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ACT 4. SC. 3

BEROWNE 
185 Not you to me, but I betrayed by you.
 I, that am honest, I, that hold it sin
 To break the vow I am engagèd in.
 I am betrayed by keeping company
 With men like you, men of inconstancy.
190 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
 Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
 A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist,
195 A leg, a limb—

Enter Jaquenetta, with a paper, and Clown Costard.
Berowne begins to exit.

KING  Soft, whither away so fast?
 A true man, or a thief, that gallops so?
BEROWNE 
 I post from love. Good lover, let me go.
JAQUENETTA 
 God bless the King.
KING 200 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,
205 The treason and you go in peace away together.
JAQUENETTA 
 I beseech your Grace, let this letter be read.
 Our person misdoubts it. ’Twas treason, he said.
KING 
 Berowne, read it over.
Berowne reads the letter.
To Jaquenetta.  Where hadst thou it?

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ACT 4. SC. 3

JAQUENETTA 210Of Costard.
KING, to Costard Where hadst thou it?
COSTARD Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
Berowne tears the paper.
KING, to Berowne 
 How now, what is in you? Why dost thou tear it?
BEROWNE 
 A toy, my liege, a toy. Your Grace needs not fear it.
LONGAVILLE 
215 It did move him to passion, and therefore let’s hear
 it.
DUMAINE, picking up the papers 
 It is Berowne’s writing, and here is his name.
BEROWNE, to Costard 
 Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do
 me shame.—
220 Guilty, my lord, guilty. I confess, I confess.
KING What?
BEROWNE 
 That you three fools lacked me fool to make up
 the mess.
 He, he, and you—and you, my liege—and I
225 Are pickpurses in love, and we deserve to die.
 O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
DUMAINE 
 Now the number is even.
BEROWNE  True, true, we are four.
 Pointing to Jaquenetta and Costard. Will these
230 turtles be gone?
KING  Hence, sirs. Away.
COSTARD 
 Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors stay.
Jaquenetta and Costard exit.
BEROWNE 
 Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace.
  As true we are as flesh and blood can be.

125
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

235 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;
 Therefore of all hands must we be forsworn.
KING 
 What, did these rent lines show some love of thine?
BEROWNE 
240 Did they, quoth you? Who sees the heavenly
 Rosaline
 That, like a rude and savage man of Ind
  At the first op’ning of the gorgeous East,
 Bows not his vassal head and, strucken blind,
245  Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?
 What peremptory eagle-sighted eye
  Dares look upon the heaven of her brow
 That is not blinded by her majesty?
KING 
  What zeal, what fury, hath inspired thee now?
250 My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon,
  She an attending star scarce seen a light.
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
255  Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek.
 Where several worthies make one dignity,
  Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek.
 Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues—
  Fie, painted rhetoric! O, she needs it not!
260 To things of sale a seller’s praise belongs.
  She passes praise. Then praise too short doth blot.
 A withered hermit, fivescore winters worn,
  Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye.
 Beauty doth varnish age, as if newborn,

127
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

265  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 word divine!
  A wife of such wood were felicity.
270 O, who can give an oath? Where is a 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,
275  The hue of dungeons and the school of night,
 And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.
BEROWNE 
  Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
 O, if in black my lady’s brows be decked,
  It mourns that painting and usurping hair
280 Should ravish doters with a false aspect:
  And therefore is she born to make black fair.
 Her favor turns the fashion of the days,
  For native blood is counted painting now.
 And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
285  Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
DUMAINE 
 To look like her are chimney-sweepers black.
LONGAVILLE 
  And since her time are colliers counted bright.
KING 
 And Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack.
DUMAINE 
  Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light.
BEROWNE 
290 Your mistresses dare never come in rain,
  For fear their colors should be washed away.

129
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

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 
295  No devil will fright thee then so much as she.
DUMAINE 
 I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear.
LONGAVILLE, showing his shoe 
  Look, here’s thy love; my foot and her face see.
BEROWNE 
 O, if the streets were pavèd with thine eyes.
  Her feet were much too dainty for such tread.
DUMAINE 
300 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 
  Nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn.
KING 
 Then leave this chat, and, good Berowne, now prove
305  Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
DUMAINE 
 Ay, marry, there, some flattery for this evil.
LONGAVILLE 
  O, some authority how to proceed,
 Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.
DUMAINE 
  Some salve for perjury.
BEROWNE 310  O, ’tis more than need.
 Have at you, then, affection’s men-at-arms!
 O, we have made a vow to study, lords,
 And in that vow we have forsworn our books.

131
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ACT 4. SC. 3

 For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
315 In leaden contemplation have found out
 Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes
 Of beauty’s tutors have enriched you with?
 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain
 And therefore, finding barren practicers,
320 Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil.
 But love, first learnèd in a lady’s eyes,
 Lives not alone immurèd in the brain,
 But with the motion of all elements
 Courses as swift as thought in every power,
325 And gives to every power a double power,
 Above their functions and their offices.
 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,
330 When the suspicious head of theft is stopped.
 Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
 Than are the tender horns of cockled snails.
 Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste.
 For valor, is not love a Hercules,
335 Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
 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.
340 Never durst poet touch a pen to write
 Until his ink were tempered with love’s sighs.
 O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
 And plant in tyrants mild humility.
 From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive.
345 They sparkle still the right Promethean fire.
 They are the books, the arts, the academes
 That show, contain, and nourish all the world.
 Else none at all in ought proves excellent.

133
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Then fools you were these women to forswear,
350 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,
 Or for men’s sake, the authors of these women,
 Or women’s sake, by whom we men are men,
355 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 
360 Saint Cupid, then, and, soldiers, to the field!
BEROWNE 
 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords.
 Pell-mell, down with them. But be first advised
 In conflict that you get the sun of them.
LONGAVILLE 
 Now to plain dealing. Lay these glozes by.
365 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
370 Of his fair mistress. In the afternoon
 We will with some strange pastime solace them,
 Such as the shortness of the time can shape;
 For revels, dances, masques, and merry hours
 Forerun fair love, strewing her way with flowers.
KING 
375 Away, away! No time shall be omitted
 That will betime and may by us be fitted.

135
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 4. SC. 3

BEROWNE 
 Allons! Allons! Sowed cockle reaped no corn,
  And justice always whirls in equal measure.
 Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
380  If so, our copper buys no better treasure.
They exit.


ACT 5
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
 Armado.
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
139

141
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,
 lunatic.
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
 lettered?
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
 learning.
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

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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
 wit.
BOY Offered by a child to an old man—which is
 wit-old.
HOLOFERNES What is the figure? What is the figure?
BOY 65Horns.
HOLOFERNES Thou disputes like an infant. Go whip thy
 gig.
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

145
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—

147
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
 hay.
HOLOFERNES 155Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport!
 Away.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter the Ladies (the Princess, Rosaline,
Katherine, and Maria.)


PRINCESS 
 Sweethearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
 If fairings come thus plentifully in.

149
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

 A lady walled about with diamonds!
 Look you what I have from the loving king.
She shows a jewel.
ROSALINE 
5 Madam, came nothing else along with that?
PRINCESS 
 Nothing but this? Yes, as much love in rhyme
 As would be crammed 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 
10 That was the way to make his godhead wax,
 For he hath been five thousand year a boy.
KATHERINE 
 Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows, too.
ROSALINE 
 You’ll ne’er be friends with him. He killed your
 sister.
KATHERINE 
15 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 
20 What’s your dark meaning, mouse, of this light
 word?
KATHERINE 
 A light condition in a beauty dark.
ROSALINE 
 We need more light to find your meaning out.
KATHERINE 
 You’ll mar the light by taking it in snuff;
25 Therefore I’ll darkly end the argument.

151
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

ROSALINE 
 Look what you do, you do it still i’ th’ dark.
KATHERINE 
 So do not you, for you are a light wench.
ROSALINE 
 Indeed, I weigh not you, and therefore light.
KATHERINE 
 You weigh me not? O, that’s you care not for me.
ROSALINE 
30 Great reason: for past care is still past cure.
PRINCESS 
 Well bandied both; a set of wit well played.
 But, Rosaline, you have a favor too.
 Who sent it? And what is it?
ROSALINE  I would you knew.
35 An if my face were but as fair as yours,
 My favor were as great. Be witness this.
She shows a gift.
 Nay, I have verses too, I thank Berowne;
 The numbers true; and were the numb’ring too,
 I were the fairest goddess on the ground.
40 I am compared to twenty thousand fairs.
 O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter.
PRINCESS Anything like?
ROSALINE 
 Much in the letters, nothing in the praise.
PRINCESS 
 Beauteous as ink: a good conclusion.
KATHERINE 
45 Fair as a text B in a copybook.
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 
 A pox of that jest! And I beshrew all shrows.

153
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ACT 5. SC. 2

50 But, Katherine, what was sent to you
 From fair Dumaine?
KATHERINE 
 Madam, this glove.She shows the glove.
PRINCESS  Did he not send you twain?
KATHERINE Yes, madam, and moreover,
55 Some thousand verses of a faithful lover,
 A huge translation of hypocrisy,
 Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
MARIA 
 This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville.
She shows a paper and pearls.
 The letter is too long by half a mile.
PRINCESS 
60 I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heart
 The chain were longer and the letter short?
MARIA 
 Ay, or I would these hands might never part.
PRINCESS 
 We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
ROSALINE 
 They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
65 That same Berowne I’ll torture ere I go.
 O, that I knew he were but in by th’ 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,
70 And shape his service wholly to my hests,
 And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
 So pair-taunt-like would I o’ersway his state,
 That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
PRINCESS 
 None are so surely caught, when they are catched,
75 As wit turned fool. Folly in wisdom hatched
 Hath wisdom’s warrant and the help of school,
 And wit’s own grace to grace a learnèd fool.

155
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

ROSALINE 
 The blood of youth burns not with such excess
 As gravity’s revolt to wantonness.
MARIA 
80 Folly in fools bears not so strong a note
 As fool’ry in the wise, when wit doth dote,
 Since all the power thereof it doth apply
 To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

Enter Boyet.

PRINCESS 
 Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
BOYET 
85 O, I am stabbed with laughter. Where’s her Grace?
PRINCESS 
 Thy news, Boyet?
BOYET  Prepare, madam, prepare.
 Arm, wenches, arm. Encounters mounted are
 Against your peace. Love doth approach, disguised,
90 Armèd in arguments. You’ll be surprised.
 Muster your wits, stand in your own defense,
 Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.
PRINCESS 
 Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are they
 That charge their breath against us? Say, scout, say.
BOYET 
95 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 addressed
 The King and his companions. Warily
100 I stole into a neighbor 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 conned his embassage.

157
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

105 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;
110 Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.”
 The boy replied “An angel is not evil.
 I should have feared her had she been a devil.”
 With that, all laughed and clapped him on the
 shoulder,
115 Making the bold wag by their praises bolder.
 One rubbed his elbow thus, and fleered, 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.”
120 The third he capered and cried “All goes well!”
 The fourth turned 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,
125 To check their folly, passion’s solemn tears.
PRINCESS 
 But what, but what? Come they to visit us?
BOYET 
 They do, they do; and are appareled thus,
 Like Muscovites, or Russians, as I guess.
 Their purpose is to parley, to court, and dance,
130 And every one his love-feat will advance
 Unto his several mistress—which they’ll know
 By favors several which they did bestow.
PRINCESS 
 And will they so? The gallants shall be tasked,
 For, ladies, we will every one be masked,
135 And not a man of them shall have the grace,
 Despite of suit, to see a lady’s face.
 Hold, Rosaline, this favor thou shalt wear,

159
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

 And then the King will court thee for his dear.
 Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine.
140 So shall Berowne take me for Rosaline.
Princess and Rosaline exchange favors.
 And change you favors too. So shall your loves
 Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.
Katherine and Maria exchange favors.
ROSALINE 
 Come on, then, wear the favors most in sight.
KATHERINE, to Princess 
 But in this changing, what is your intent?
PRINCESS 
145 The effect of my intent is to cross theirs.
 They do it but in mockery merriment,
 And mock for mock is only my intent.
 Their several counsels they unbosom shall
 To loves mistook, and so be mocked withal
150 Upon the next occasion that we meet,
 With visages displayed, to talk and greet.
ROSALINE 
 But shall we dance, if they desire us to ’t?
PRINCESS 
 No, to the death we will not move a foot,
 Nor to their penned speech render we no grace,
155 But while ’tis spoke each turn away her face.
BOYET 
 Why, that contempt will kill the speaker’s heart,
 And quite divorce his memory from his part.
PRINCESS 
 Therefore I do it, and I make no doubt
 The rest will ne’er come in if he be out.
160 There’s no such sport as sport by sport o’erthrown,
 To make theirs ours and ours none but our own.
 So shall we stay, mocking intended game,
 And they, well mocked, depart away with shame.
Sound trumpet, within.

161
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

BOYET 
 The trumpet sounds. Be masked; the maskers come.
The Ladies mask.

Enter Blackamoors with music, the Boy with a speech,
the King, Berowne, and the rest of the Lords disguised.


BOY 
165 All hail, the richest beauties on the Earth!
BOYET 
 Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.
BOY 
 A holy parcel of the fairest dames
(The Ladies turn their backs to him.)
 That ever turned their—backs—to mortal views.
BEROWNE Their eyes, villain, their eyes!
BOY 
170 That ever turned their eyes to mortal views.
 Out—

BOYET True; out indeed.
BOY 
 Out of your favors, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe
 Not to behold—

BEROWNE 175Once to behold, rogue!
BOY 
 Once to behold with your sun-beamèd eyes—
 With your sun-beamèd eyes—

BOYET 
 They will not answer to that epithet.
 You were best call it “daughter-beamèd eyes.”
BOY 
180 They do not mark me, and that brings me out.
BEROWNE 
 Is this your perfectness? Begone, you rogue!
Boy exits.
ROSALINE, speaking as the Princess 
 What would these strangers? Know their minds,
 Boyet.

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 If they do speak our language, ’tis our will
185 That some plain man recount their purposes.
 Know what they would.
BOYET  What would you with the
 Princess?
BEROWNE 
 Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
ROSALINE 190What would they, say they?
BOYET 
 Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.
ROSALINE 
 Why, that they have, and bid them so be gone.
BOYET 
 She says you have it, and you may be gone.
KING 
 Say to her we have measured many miles
195 To tread a measure with her on this grass.
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,
200 The measure then of one is eas’ly told.
BOYET 
 If to come hither you have measured miles,
 And many miles, the Princess bids you tell
 How many inches doth fill up one mile.
BEROWNE 
 Tell her we measure them by weary steps.
BOYET 
205 She hears herself.
ROSALINE  How many weary steps
 Of many weary miles you have o’ergone
 Are numbered in the travel of one mile?

165
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ACT 5. SC. 2

BEROWNE 
 We number nothing that we spend for you.
210 Our duty is so rich, so infinite,
 That we may do it still without account.
 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.
KING 
215 Blessèd 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!
220 Thou now requests but moonshine in the water.
KING 
 Then in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.
 Thou bidd’st me beg; this begging is not strange.
ROSALINE 
 Play music, then. Nay, you must do it soon.
Music begins.
 Not yet? No dance! Thus change I like the moon.
KING 
225 Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?
ROSALINE 
 You took the moon at full, but now she’s changed.
KING 
 Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
 The music plays. Vouchsafe some motion to it.
ROSALINE 
 Our ears vouchsafe it.
KING 230 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.
She offers her hand.

167
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ACT 5. SC. 2

KING 
 Why take we hands then?
ROSALINE  Only to part friends.—
235 Curtsy, sweethearts—and so the measure ends.
KING 
 More measure of this measure! Be not nice.
ROSALINE 
 We can afford no more at such a price.
KING 
 Prize you yourselves. What buys your company?
ROSALINE 
 Your absence only.
KING 240 That can never be.
ROSALINE 
 Then cannot we be bought. And so adieu—
 Twice to your visor, and half once to you.
KING 
 If you deny to dance, let’s hold more chat.
ROSALINE 
 In private, then.
KING 245 I am best pleased with that.
They move aside.
BEROWNE, to the Princess 
 White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.
PRINCESS, speaking as Rosaline 
 Honey, and milk, and sugar—there is three.
BEROWNE 
 Nay then, two treys, an if you grow so nice,
 Metheglin, wort, and malmsey. Well run, dice!
250 There’s half a dozen sweets.
PRINCESS  Seventh sweet, adieu.
 Since you can cog, I’ll play no more with you.
BEROWNE 
 One word in secret.
PRINCESS  Let it not be sweet.
BEROWNE 
255 Thou grievest my gall.

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ACT 5. SC. 2

PRINCESS  Gall! Bitter.
BEROWNE  Therefore meet.
They move aside.
DUMAINE, to Maria 
 Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?
MARIA, speaking as Katherine 
 Name it.
DUMAINE 260 Fair lady—
MARIA  Say you so? Fair lord!
 Take that for your “fair lady.”
DUMAINE  Please it you
 As much in private, and I’ll bid adieu.
They move aside.
KATHERINE, speaking as Maria 
265 What, was your vizard made without a tongue?
LONGAVILLE 
 I know the reason, lady, why you ask.
KATHERINE 
 O, for your reason! Quickly, sir, I long.
LONGAVILLE 
 You have a double tongue within your mask,
 And would afford my speechless vizard half.
KATHERINE 
270 Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not veal a calf?
LONGAVILLE 
 A calf, fair lady?
KATHERINE  No, a fair Lord Calf.
LONGAVILLE 
 Let’s part the word.
KATHERINE  No, I’ll not be your half.
275 Take all and wean it. It may prove an ox.
LONGAVILLE 
 Look how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks.
 Will you give horns, chaste lady? Do not so.
KATHERINE 
 Then die a calf before your horns do grow.

171
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ACT 5. SC. 2

LONGAVILLE 
 One word in private with you ere I die.
KATHERINE 
280 Bleat softly, then. The butcher hears you cry.
They move aside.
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
285 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!
The Ladies move away from the Lords.
BEROWNE 
290 By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!
KING 
 Farewell, mad wenches. You have simple wits.
King, Lords, and Blackamoors exit.
The Ladies unmask.
PRINCESS 
 Twenty adieus, my frozen Muskovits.—
 Are these the breed of wits so wondered at?
BOYET 
  Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puffed
295  out.
ROSALINE 
 Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.
PRINCESS 
  O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!
 Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?
  Or ever but in vizards show their faces?
300 This pert Berowne was out of count’nance quite.

173
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ACT 5. SC. 2

ROSALINE 
  They were all in lamentable cases.
 The King was weeping ripe for a good word.
PRINCESS 
  Berowne did swear himself out of all suit.
MARIA 
 Dumaine was at my service, and his sword.
305  “No point,” quoth I. My servant straight was
  mute.
KATHERINE 
 Lord Longaville said I came o’er his heart.
  And trow you what he called me?
PRINCESS   Qualm, perhaps.
KATHERINE 
310 Yes, in good faith.
PRINCESS  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 
  And quick Berowne hath plighted faith to me.
KATHERINE 
315 And Longaville was for my service born.
MARIA 
  Dumaine is mine as sure as bark on tree.
BOYET 
 Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear.
 Immediately they will again be here
 In their own shapes, for it can never be
320 They will digest this harsh indignity.
PRINCESS 
 Will they return?
BOYET  They will, they will, God knows,
 And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows.
 Therefore change favors, and when they repair,
325 Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.

175
Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 5. SC. 2

PRINCESS 
 How “blow”? How “blow”? Speak to be understood.
BOYET 
 Fair ladies masked are roses in their bud.
 Dismasked, their damask sweet commixture shown,
 Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.
PRINCESS 
330 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,
335 Disguised like Muscovites in shapeless gear,
 And wonder what they were, and to what end
 Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penned,
 And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
 Should be presented at our tent to us.
BOYET 
340 Ladies, withdraw. The gallants are at hand.
PRINCESS 
 Whip to our tents, as roes runs o’er land.
The Princess and the Ladies exit.

Enter the King and the rest, as themselves.

KING, to Boyet 
 Fair sir, God save you. Where’s the Princess?
BOYET 
 Gone to her tent. Please it your Majesty
 Command me any service to her thither?
KING 
345 That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.
BOYET 
 I will, and so will she, I know, my lord.He exits.
BEROWNE 
 This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons peas,

177
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ACT 5. SC. 2

 And utters it again when God doth please.
 He is wit’s peddler, and retails his wares
350 At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs.
 And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know,
 Have not the grace to grace it with such show.
 This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve.
 Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve.
355 He can carve too, and lisp. Why, this is he
 That kissed his hand away in courtesy.
 This is the ape of form, Monsieur the Nice,
 That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
 In honorable terms. Nay, he can sing
360 A mean most meanly; and in ushering
 Mend him who can. The ladies call him sweet.
 The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet.
 This is the flower that smiles on everyone
 To show his teeth as white as whale’s bone;
365 And consciences that will not die in debt
 Pay him the due of “honey-tongued Boyet.”
KING 
 A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,
 That put Armado’s page out of his part!

Enter the Ladies, with Boyet.

BEROWNE 
 See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou
370 Till this madman showed thee? And what art thou
 now?
KING, to Princess 
 All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day.
PRINCESS 
  “Fair” in “all hail” is foul, as I conceive.
KING 
 Construe my speeches better, if you may.
PRINCESS 
375  Then wish me better. I will give you leave.

179
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ACT 5. SC. 2

KING 
 We came to visit you, and purpose now
  To lead you to our court. Vouchsafe it, then.
PRINCESS 
 This field shall hold me, and so hold your vow.
  Nor God nor I delights in perjured men.
KING 
380 Rebuke me not for that which you provoke.
  The virtue of your eye must break my oath.
PRINCESS 
 You nickname virtue; “vice” you should have spoke,
  For virtue’s office never breaks men’s troth.
 Now by my maiden honor, yet as pure
385  As the unsullied lily, I protest,
 A world of torments though I should endure,
  I would not yield to be your house’s guest,
 So much I hate a breaking cause to be
 Of heavenly oaths vowed with integrity.
KING 
390 O, you have lived in desolation here,
  Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
PRINCESS 
 Not so, my lord. It is not so, I swear.
  We have had pastimes here and pleasant game.
 A mess of Russians left us but of late.
KING 
395  How, madam? Russians?
PRINCESS   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,
400 In courtesy gives undeserving praise.
 We four indeed confronted were with four
 In Russian habit. Here they stayed an hour
 And talked apace; and in that hour, my lord,

181
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ACT 5. SC. 2

 They did not bless us with one happy word.
405 I dare not call them fools; but this I think:
 When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
BEROWNE 
 This jest is dry to me. Gentle sweet,
 Your wits makes wise things foolish. When we greet,
 With eyes’ best seeing, heaven’s fiery eye,
410 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—
BEROWNE 
 I am a fool, and full of poverty.
ROSALINE 
415 But that you take what doth to you belong,
 It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
BEROWNE 
 O, I am yours, and all that I possess!
ROSALINE 
 All the fool mine?
BEROWNE  I cannot give you less.
ROSALINE 
420 Which of the vizards was it that you wore?
BEROWNE 
 Where? When? What vizard? Why demand you this?
ROSALINE 
 There; then; that vizard; that superfluous case
 That hid the worse and showed the better face.
KING, aside to Dumaine 
 We were descried. They’ll mock us now downright.
DUMAINE, aside to King 
425 Let us confess and turn it to a jest.
PRINCESS, to King 
 Amazed, my lord? Why looks your Highness sad?

183
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ACT 5. SC. 2

ROSALINE 
 Help, hold his brows! He’ll swoon!—Why look you
 pale?
 Seasick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
BEROWNE 
430 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.
435  Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit,
 And I will wish thee nevermore to dance,
  Nor nevermore in Russian habit wait.
 O, never will I trust to speeches penned,
  Nor to the motion of a schoolboy’s tongue,
440 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
445  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 expressed
450  In russet yeas and honest kersey noes.
 And to begin: Wench, so God help me, law,
 My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.
ROSALINE 
 Sans “sans,” I pray you.
BEROWNE  Yet I have a trick
455 Of the old rage. Bear with me, I am sick;
 I’ll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see:
 Write “Lord have mercy on us” on those three.
 They are infected; in their hearts it lies.
 They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes.

185
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ACT 5. SC. 2

460 These lords are visited. You are not free,
 For the Lord’s tokens on you do I see.
PRINCESS 
 No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.
BEROWNE 
 Our states are forfeit. Seek not to undo us.
ROSALINE 
 It is not so, for how can this be true,
465 That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?
BEROWNE 
 Peace, for I will not have to do with you.
ROSALINE 
 Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
BEROWNE, to King, Longaville, and Dumaine 
 Speak for yourselves. My wit is at an end.
KING, to Princess 
 Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression
470 Some fair excuse.
PRINCESS  The fairest is confession.
 Were not you here but even now, disguised?
KING 
 Madam, I was.
PRINCESS  And were you well advised?
KING 
475 I was, fair madam.
PRINCESS  When you then were here,
 What did you whisper in your lady’s ear?
KING 
 That more than all the world I did respect her.
PRINCESS 
 When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.
KING 
480 Upon mine honor, no.
PRINCESS  Peace, peace, forbear!
 Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
KING 
 Despise me when I break this oath of mine.

187
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ACT 5. SC. 2

PRINCESS 
 I will, and therefore keep it.—Rosaline,
485 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.
PRINCESS 
490 God give thee joy of him! The noble lord
 Most honorably doth uphold his word.
KING 
 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,
495 You gave me this. She shows a token. But take it,
 sir, again.
KING 
 My faith and this the Princess I did give.
 I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
PRINCESS 
 Pardon me, sir. This jewel did she wear.
She points to Rosaline.
500 And Lord Berowne, I thank him, is my dear.
 To Berowne. What, will you have me, or your pearl
 again?She shows the token.
BEROWNE 
 Neither of either. I remit both twain.
 I see the trick on ’t. Here was a consent,
505 Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
 To dash it like a Christmas comedy.
 Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight
 zany,
 Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some
510 Dick,

189
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ACT 5. SC. 2

 That smiles his cheek in years and knows the trick
 To make my lady laugh when she’s disposed,
 Told our intents before; which once disclosed,
 The ladies did change favors; and then we,
515 Following the signs, wooed but the sign of she.
 Now, to our perjury to add more terror,
 We are again forsworn in will and error.
 Much upon this ’tis. To Boyet. And might not you
 Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue?
520 Do not you know my lady’s foot by th’ squier?
  And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
 And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
  Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
 You put our page out. Go, you are allowed.
525 Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud.
 You leer upon me, do you? There’s an eye
 Wounds like a leaden sword.
BOYET  Full merrily
 Hath this brave manage, this career been run.
BEROWNE 
530 Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace, I have done.

Enter Clown Costard.

 Welcome, pure wit. Thou part’st a fair fray.
COSTARD O Lord, sir, they would know
 Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no.
BEROWNE 
 What, are there but three?
COSTARD 535 No, sir; but it is vara fine,
 For every one pursents three.
BEROWNE  And three times thrice
 is nine.
COSTARD 
 Not so, sir, under correction, sir, I hope it is not so.

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ACT 5. SC. 2

540 You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir; we
 know what we know.
 I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir—
BEROWNE  Is not nine?
COSTARD Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it
545 doth amount.
BEROWNE 
 By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.
COSTARD O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your
 living by reckoning, sir.
BEROWNE How much is it?
COSTARD 550O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors,
 sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount. For
 mine own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one
 man in one poor man—Pompion the Great, sir.
BEROWNE Art thou one of the Worthies?
COSTARD 555It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompey
 the Great. For mine own part, I know not the
 degree of the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.
BEROWNE Go bid them prepare.
COSTARD 
 We will turn it finely off, sir. We will take some
560 care.He exits.
KING 
 Berowne, they will shame us. Let them not
 approach.
BEROWNE 
 We are shame-proof, my lord; and ’tis some policy
 To have one show worse than the King’s and his
565 company.
KING I say they shall not come.
PRINCESS 
 Nay, my good lord, let me o’errule you now.
 That sport best pleases that doth least know how,

193
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ACT 5. SC. 2

 Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
570 Dies in the zeal of that which it presents.
 Their form confounded makes most form in mirth,
 When great things laboring perish in their birth.
BEROWNE 
 A right description of our sport, my lord.

Enter Braggart Armado.

ARMADO, to King Anointed, I implore so much expense
575 of thy royal sweet breath as will utter a brace
 of words.Armado and King step aside, and
Armado gives King a paper.

PRINCESS Doth this man serve God?
BEROWNE Why ask you?
PRINCESS 
 He speaks not like a man of God his making.
ARMADO, to King 580That is all one, my fair sweet honey
 monarch, for, I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding
 fantastical, too, too vain, too, too vain. But
 we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra.—I
 wish you the peace of mind, most royal
585 couplement!He exits.
KING, reading the paper Here is like to be a good
 presence of Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy,
 the swain Pompey the Great, the parish curate
 Alexander, Armado’s page Hercules, the pedant
590 Judas Maccabaeus.
 And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive,
 These four will change habits and present the other
 five.
BEROWNE There is five in the first show.
KING 595You are deceived. ’Tis not so.
BEROWNE The pedant, the braggart, the hedge
 priest, the fool, and the boy.
 Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
 Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.

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ACT 5. SC. 2

KING 
600 The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.

Enter Costard as Pompey.

COSTARD 
 I Pompey am—
BEROWNE  You lie; you are not he.
COSTARD 
 I Pompey am—
BOYET  With leopard’s head on knee.
BEROWNE 
605 Well said, old mocker. I must needs be friends with
 thee.
COSTARD 
 I Pompey am, Pompey, surnamed the Big—
DUMAINE “The Great.”
COSTARD 
 It is “Great,” sir.—Pompey, surnamed the
610 Great,
 That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my
 foe to sweat.
 And traveling along this coast, I here am come by
 chance,
615 And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of
 France.

(He places his weapons at the feet of the Princess.)
 If your Ladyship would say “Thanks, Pompey,” I
 had done.
PRINCESS Great thanks, great Pompey.
COSTARD 620’Tis not so much worth, but I hope I was
 perfect. I made a little fault in “Great.”
BEROWNE My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the
 best Worthy.Costard stands aside.

Enter Curate Nathaniel for Alexander.

NATHANIEL 
 When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
625 commander.

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 By east, west, north, and south, I spread my
 conquering might.
 My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander—

BOYET 
 Your nose says no, you are not, for it stands too
630 right.
BEROWNE, to Boyet 
 Your nose smells “no” in this, most tender-smelling
 knight.
PRINCESS 
 The conqueror is dismayed.—Proceed, good
 Alexander.
NATHANIEL 
635 When in the world I lived, I was the world’s
 commander—

BOYET 
 Most true; ’tis right. You were so, Alisander.
BEROWNE, to Costard Pompey the Great—
COSTARD Your servant, and Costard.
BEROWNE 640Take away the conqueror. Take away
 Alisander.
COSTARD, to Nathaniel O sir, you have overthrown
 Alisander the Conqueror. You will be scraped out of
 the painted cloth for this. Your lion, that holds his
645 polax sitting on a close-stool, will be given to Ajax.
 He will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror, and
 afeard to speak? Run away for shame, Alisander.
Nathaniel exits.
 There, an ’t shall please you, a foolish mild man, an
 honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a
650 marvelous good neighbor, faith, and a very good
 bowler. But, for Alisander—alas, you see how ’tis—
 a little o’erparted. But there are Worthies a-coming
 will speak their mind in some other sort.

Enter Pedant Holofernes for Judas, and the Boy
for Hercules.



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PRINCESS, to Costard Stand aside, good Pompey.
HOLOFERNES 
655 Great Hercules is presented by this imp,
  Whose club killed Cerberus, that three-headed canus,
 And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp,
  Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
 Quoniam he seemeth in minority,
660 Ergo I come with this apology.

 To Boy. Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.
Boy steps aside.
HOLOFERNES 
 Judas I am—
DUMAINE A Judas!
HOLOFERNES Not Iscariot, sir.
665 Judas I am, yclept Maccabaeus.
DUMAINE Judas Maccabaeus clipped is plain Judas.
BEROWNE A kissing traitor.—How art thou proved
 Judas?
HOLOFERNES 
 Judas I am—
DUMAINE 670The more shame for you, Judas.
HOLOFERNES What mean you, sir?
BOYET To make Judas hang himself.
HOLOFERNES Begin, sir, you are my elder.
BEROWNE Well followed. Judas was hanged on an
675 elder.
HOLOFERNES I will not be put out of countenance.
BEROWNE Because thou hast no face.
HOLOFERNES What is this?He points to his own face.
BOYET A cittern-head.
DUMAINE 680The head of a bodkin.
BEROWNE A death’s face in a ring.
LONGAVILLE The face of an old Roman coin, scarce
 seen.
BOYET The pommel of Caesar’s falchion.

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DUMAINE 685The carved-bone face on a flask.
BEROWNE Saint George’s half-cheek in a brooch.
DUMAINE Ay, and in a brooch of lead.
BEROWNE Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.
 And now forward, for we have put thee in
690 countenance.
HOLOFERNES You have put me out of countenance.
BEROWNE False. We have given thee faces.
HOLOFERNES But you have outfaced them all.
BEROWNE 
 An thou wert a lion, we would do so.
BOYET 
695 Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.—
 And so adieu, sweet Jude. Nay, why dost thou stay?
DUMAINE For the latter end of his name.
BEROWNE 
 For the “ass” to the “Jude”? Give it him.—Jud-as,
 away!
HOLOFERNES 
700 This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.
BOYET 
 A light for Monsieur Judas! It grows dark; he may
 stumble.Holofernes exits.
PRINCESS 
 Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!

Enter Braggart Armado as Hector.

BEROWNE Hide thy head, Achilles. Here comes Hector
705 in arms.
DUMAINE Though my mocks come home by me, I will
 now be merry.
KING Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.
BOYET But is this Hector?
KING 710I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.
LONGAVILLE His leg is too big for Hector’s.
DUMAINE More calf, certain.

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BOYET No, he is best endued in the small.
BEROWNE This cannot be Hector.
DUMAINE 715He’s a god or a painter, for he makes faces.
ARMADO 
 The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
  Gave Hector a gift—

DUMAINE A gilt nutmeg.
BEROWNE A lemon.
LONGAVILLE 720Stuck with cloves.
DUMAINE No, cloven.
ARMADO Peace!
 The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
  Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion,
725 A man so breathed, that certain he would fight, yea,
  From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
 I am that flower—

DUMAINE That mint.
LONGAVILLE That columbine.
ARMADO 730Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.
LONGAVILLE I must rather give it the rein, for it runs
 against Hector.
DUMAINE Ay, and Hector’s a greyhound.
ARMADO The sweet warman is dead and rotten. Sweet
735 chucks, beat not the bones of the buried. When he
 breathed, he was a man. But I will forward with my
 device. To Princess. Sweet royalty, bestow on me
 the sense of hearing.
Berowne steps forth.
PRINCESS 
 Speak, brave Hector. We are much delighted.
ARMADO 740I do adore thy sweet Grace’s slipper.
BOYET Loves her by the foot.
DUMAINE He may not by the yard.
ARMADO 
 This Hector far surmounted Hannibal.
 The party is gone—


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ACT 5. SC. 2

COSTARD 745Fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two
 months on her way.
ARMADO What meanest thou?
COSTARD Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the
 poor wench is cast away. She’s quick; the child
750 brags in her belly already. ’Tis yours.
ARMADO Dost thou infamonize me among potentates?
 Thou shalt die!
COSTARD Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta,
 that is quick by him, and hanged for Pompey,
755 that is dead by him.
DUMAINE Most rare Pompey!
BOYET Renowned Pompey!
BEROWNE Greater than “Great”! Great, great, great
 Pompey. Pompey the Huge!
DUMAINE 760Hector trembles.
BEROWNE Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates!
 Stir them on, stir them on.
DUMAINE Hector will challenge him.
BEROWNE Ay, if he have no more man’s blood in his
765 belly than will sup a flea.
ARMADO, to Costard By the North Pole, I do challenge
 thee!
COSTARD I will not fight with a pole like a northern
 man! I’ll slash. I’ll do it by the sword.—I bepray
770 you, let me borrow my arms again.
DUMAINE Room for the incensed Worthies!
COSTARD I’ll do it in my shirt.He removes his doublet.
DUMAINE Most resolute Pompey!
BOY, to Armado Master, let me take you a buttonhole
775 lower. Do you not see Pompey is uncasing for the
 combat? What mean you? You will lose your
 reputation.
ARMADO Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me. I will
 not combat in my shirt.

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ACT 5. SC. 2

DUMAINE 780You may not deny it. Pompey hath made the
 challenge.
ARMADO Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
BEROWNE What reason have you for ’t?
ARMADO The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt. I go
785 woolward for penance.
BOYET True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want
 of linen; since when, I’ll be sworn, he wore none
 but a dishclout of Jaquenetta’s, and that he wears
 next his heart for a favor.

Enter a Messenger, Monsieur Marcade.

MARCADE, to Princess 790God save you, madam.
PRINCESS Welcome, Marcade,
 But that thou interruptest our merriment.
MARCADE 
 I am sorry, madam, for the news I bring
 Is heavy in my tongue. The King your father—
PRINCESS 
795 Dead, for my life.
MARCADE  Even so. My tale is told.
BEROWNE 
 Worthies, away! The scene begins to cloud.
ARMADO For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I
 have seen the day of wrong through the little hole
800 of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.
Worthies exit.
KING, to Princess How fares your Majesty?
PRINCESS 
 Boyet, prepare. I will away tonight.
KING 
 Madam, not so. I do beseech you stay.
PRINCESS, to Boyet 
 Prepare, I say.—I thank you, gracious lords,
805 For all your fair endeavors, and entreat,
 Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe

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ACT 5. SC. 2

 In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide
 The liberal opposition of our spirits,
 If overboldly we have borne ourselves
810 In the converse of breath; your gentleness
 Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord.
 A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue.
 Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
 For my great suit so easily obtained.
KING 
815 The extreme parts of time extremely forms
 All causes to the purpose of his speed,
 And often at his very loose decides
 That which long process could not arbitrate.
 And though the mourning brow of progeny
820 Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
 The holy suit which fain it would convince,
 Yet since love’s argument was first on foot,
 Let not the cloud of sorrow jostle it
 From what it purposed, since to wail friends lost
825 Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
 As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
PRINCESS 
 I understand you not. My griefs are double.
BEROWNE 
 Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief,
 And by these badges understand the King:
830 For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
 Played foul play with our oaths. Your beauty, ladies,
 Hath much deformed us, fashioning our humors
 Even to the opposèd end of our intents.
 And what in us hath seemed ridiculous—
835 As love is full of unbefitting strains,
 All wanton as a child, skipping and vain,
 Formed by the eye and therefore, like the eye,
 Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms,
 Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll

211
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ACT 5. SC. 2

840 To every varied object in his glance;
 Which parti-coated presence of loose love
 Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
 Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities,
 Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
845 Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
 Our love being yours, the error that love makes
 Is likewise yours. We to ourselves prove false
 By being once false forever to be true
 To those that make us both—fair ladies, you.
850 And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
 Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.
PRINCESS 
 We have received your letters full of love;
 Your favors, the ambassadors of love;
 And in our maiden council rated them
855 At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
 As bombast and as lining to the time.
 But more devout than this in our respects
 Have we not been, and therefore met your loves
 In their own fashion, like a merriment.
DUMAINE 
860 Our letters, madam, showed much more than jest.
LONGAVILLE 
 So did our looks.
ROSALINE  We did not quote them so.
KING 
 Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
 Grant us your loves.
PRINCESS 865 A time, methinks, too short
 To make a world-without-end bargain in.
 No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjured much,
 Full of dear guiltiness, and therefore this:
 If for my love—as there is no such cause—
870 You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
 Your oath I will not trust, but go with speed

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ACT 5. SC. 2

 To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
 Remote from all the pleasures of the world.
 There stay until the twelve celestial signs
875 Have brought about the annual reckoning.
 If this austere insociable life
 Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
 If frosts and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds
 Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
880 But that it bear this trial, and last love;
 Then, at the expiration of the year,
 Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
She takes his hand.
 And by this virgin palm now kissing thine,
 I will be thine. And till that instant shut
885 My woeful self up in a mourning house,
 Raining the tears of lamentation
 For the remembrance of my father’s death.
 If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
 Neither entitled in the other’s heart.
KING 
890 If this, or more than this, I would deny,
  To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
 The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
  Hence hermit, then. My heart is in thy breast.
They step aside.
DUMAINE, to Katherine 
 But what to me, my love? But what to me?
895 A wife?
KATHERINE  A beard, fair health, and honesty.
 With threefold love I wish you all these three.
DUMAINE 
 O, shall I say “I thank you, gentle wife”?
KATHERINE 
 Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day
900 I’ll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say.

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ACT 5. SC. 2

 Come when the King doth to my lady come;
 Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some.
DUMAINE 
 I’ll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
KATHERINE 
 Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again.
They step aside.
LONGAVILLE 
905 What says Maria?
MARIA  At the twelvemonth’s end
 I’ll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
LONGAVILLE 
 I’ll stay with patience, but the time is long.
MARIA 
 The liker you; few taller are so young.
They step aside.
BEROWNE, to Rosaline 
910 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 Berowne,
915 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.
920 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
925 With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
 With all the fierce endeavor of your wit,
 To enforce the painèd impotent to smile.

217
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ACT 5. SC. 2

BEROWNE 
 To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
 It cannot be, it is impossible.
930 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
935 Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
 Of him that makes it. Then if sickly ears,
 Deafed with the clamors of their own dear groans
 Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
 And I will have you and that fault withal.
940 But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
 And I shall find you empty of that fault,
 Right joyful of your reformation.
BEROWNE 
 A twelvemonth? Well, befall what will befall,
 I’ll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
PRINCESS, to King 
945 Ay, sweet my lord, and so I take my leave.
KING 
 No, madam, we will bring you on your way.
BEROWNE 
 Our wooing doth not end like an old play.
 Jack hath not Jill. These ladies’ courtesy
 Might well have made our sport a comedy.
KING 
950 Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
 And then ’twill end.
BEROWNE  That’s too long for a play.

Enter Braggart Armado.

ARMADO Sweet Majesty, vouchsafe me—

219
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ACT 5. SC. 2

PRINCESS 
 Was not that Hector?
DUMAINE 955 The worthy knight of Troy.
ARMADO I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I
 am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the
 plow for her sweet love three year. But, most
 esteemed Greatness, will you hear the dialogue that
960 the two learned men have compiled in praise of the
 owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the
 end of our show.
KING Call them forth quickly. We will do so.
ARMADO Holla! Approach.

Enter all.

965 This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring; the
 one maintained by the owl, th’ other by the cuckoo.
 Ver, begin.
The Song.

SPRING 
 When daisies pied and violets blue,
  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
970 And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
 The cuckoo then on every tree
 Mocks married men; for thus sings he:
  “Cuckoo!
975 Cuckoo, cuckoo!” O word of fear,
 Unpleasing to a married ear.

 When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are plowmen’s clocks;
 When turtles tread, and rooks and daws,
980  And maidens bleach their summer smocks;
 The cuckoo then on every tree
 Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
  “Cuckoo!

221
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ACT 5. SC. 2

 Cuckoo, cuckoo!” O word of fear,
985 Unpleasing to a married ear.


WINTER 
 When icicles hang by the wall,
  And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
 And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  And milk comes frozen home in pail;
990 When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,
 Then nightly sings the staring owl
 “Tu-whit to-who.” A merry note,
 While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

 When all aloud the wind doth blow,
995  And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
 And birds sit brooding in the snow,
  And Marian’s nose looks red and raw;
 When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
 Then nightly sings the staring owl
1000 “Tu-whit to-who.” A merry note,
 While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


ARMADO The words of Mercury are harsh after the
 songs of Apollo. You that way; we this way.
They all exit.