Pri. The thickest and the tallest.
Cos. The thickest and the tallest ; it is so ;
truth is truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should
Are not you the chief woman ? you are the
Pri. What 's your will, sir ? what 's your will?
Cos. I have a letter from Monsieur Biron to
one Lady Eosaline.
Pri. O, thy letter, thy letter! he 's a good
friend of mine :
Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve ;
Break up this capon.
Boy. I am bound to serve.
This letter is mistook ; it importeth none here :
It is writ to Jaquenetta.
Pri. We will read it, I swear.
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give
Boy. [Reads. 1 By heaven, that thou art fair,
is most infallible ; true, that thou art beauteous ;
truth itself, 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 Cophetva set eye upon the pernicious and
indubitate beggar Zenelophon ; and he it was
that might rightly say Veni, vidi, vici ; which to
anatomize in the vulgar, (O base and obscure
vulgar !) videlicet, He came, saw, and overcame ;
he came, one ; sau', two ; overcame, three. Who
came ? the Icing : why did he come ? to see :
LOVE'S LABOUR 's LOST.
ACT IV., Sc. 2.
Why did he see ? to overcome : To whom came
he? to the beggar: What saiv 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 ?
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 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,
Don Adriano de Armado.
Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play :
But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then ?
Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
Pri. What plume of feathers is he that indited
this letter ?
What vane, what weather-cock ? did you ever
hear better ?
Boy. I am much deceived, but I remember the
Pri. Else your memory is bad, going o'er itere-
Boy. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps
here in court ;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes
To the prince and his book-mates.
Pri. Thou, fellow, a word.
Who gave thee this letter ?
Cos. I told you, my lord.
Pri. To whom shouldst thou give it ?
Cos. From my lord to my lady.
Pri. From which lord, to which lady?
Cos. From my Lord Biron, a good master of
To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.
Pri. Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come,
Here, sweet, put up this : 'twill be thine another
day. Exeunt Princess and Train.
Boy. Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?
Ros. Shall I teach you to know ?
Boy. Ay, my continent of beauty.
-Bos. Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off !
Boy. My lady goes to kill horns ; but, if thou
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year mis-
Finely put on !
.Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
Boy. And who is your deer ?
Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself : come
Finely put on, indeed !
Mar. You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and
she strikes at the brow.
Boy. But she herself is hit lower : have I hit
her now ?
Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old say-
ing, that was a man when King Pepin of France
was a little boy, as touching the hit it ?
Boy. So I may answer thee with one as old,
that was a woman when Queen Guinevor of
Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it.
Ros. Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
Boy. An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.
Exeunt Ros. and Kath.
Cos. By my troth, most pleasant : how both
did fit it !
Mar. A mark marvellous well shot, for they
both did hit it.
Boy. 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
Mar. Wide o' the bow hand ! i' faith your
hand is out.
Cos. Indeed a' must shoot nearer, or he '11
ne'er hit the clout.
Boy. An' if my hand be out, then belike your
hand is in.
Cos. Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving
Mar. Come, come, you talk greasily ; your lips
Cos. She 's too hard for you at pricks, sir :
challenge her to bowl.
Boy. I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my
good owl. Exeunt Boyet and Maria.
Cos. By my soul, a swain ! a most simple clown !
Lord, lord ! how the ladies and I have put him
0, my troth, most sweet jests ! most incony
vulgar wit !
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as
it were, so fit,
Armador o' the one side, O, a most dainty man !
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her
To see him kiss his hand ! and how most sweetly
a' will swear !
And his page o' t'other side, that handful of wit !
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit !
[Shouting within.^\ Sola, sola ! Exit running.
Scene ILThe Same.
Enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel and Dull.
Nat. Very reverend sport, truly ; and done in
the testimony of a good conscience.
Hoi. The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in
blood; ripe as a pomewater, who now hangeth
like a jewel in the ear of ccelo, the sky, the welkin,
the heaven ; and anon falleth like a crab on the
face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.
Nat. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets
are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least : but,'
sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.
Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
Dull. 'Twas not a haud credo* ; 'twas a pricket.
Hoi. Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of
insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explica-
tion; facere, as it were, replication, or, rather,
ACT IV., Sc. 2.
LOVE'S LABOUR 's LOST.
ostentare, to show, as it were, his inclination,
after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, un-
pruned, untrained, or rather, unlettered, or
ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to insert again
my haud credo for a deer.
Dull. I said the deer was not a haud credo;
'twas a pricket.
Hoi. Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus I O thou
monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look !
Nat. 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 sensi-
ble in the duller parts ;
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, indis-
creet, or a fool,
So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him
in a school :
But, omne bene, say Ij being of an old father's
Many can brook the weather, that love not the
Dull. You two are book-men : can you tell by
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that 's not
five weeks old as yet ?
Hoi. Dictynna, goodman Dull : Dictynna, good-
Dull. What is Dictynna ? ,
Nat. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
Hoi. The moon was a month old when Adam
was no more ;
And raught not to five weeks when he came to
The allusion holds in the exchange.
Dull. 'Tis true indeed ; the collusion holds in
Hoi, God comfort thy capacity! I say, the
allusion holds in the exchange.
Dull. And I say, the pollusion holds in the ex-
change ; for the moon is never but a month old :
and I say beside, that 'twas a pricket that the
Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extem-
poral epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to
humour the ignorant, I have call'd the deer the
princess killed, a pricket.
Nat. Perge, good Master Holof ernes, perge ; so
it shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
Hoi. I will something affect the letter, for it
The preyful princess pierc'd and prick'd
a pretty pleasing pricket ;
Some say a sore ; but not a sore,
till now made sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell : put L to sore,
then sorel jumps from thicket ;
Or pricket sore, or else sorel ;
the people fall a hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore
makes fifty sores : sore L !
Of one sore I an hundred make,
by adding but one more L.
Nat. A rare talent !
Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws
him with a talent,
Hoi. This is a gift that I have, simple, simple ;
a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions,
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.
Nat. Sir, 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
Hoi. Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious,
they shall want no instruction ; if their daughters
be capable, I will put it to them : but, vir sapit
qui pauca loquitur. A soul feminine saluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta and Costard.
Jag. God give you good morrow, Master Person.
Hoi. Master Person, quasi pers-one. An if
one should be pierced, which is the one ?
Cos. Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is
likest to a hogshead.
Hoi. Of piercing a hogshead ! a good lustre of
conceit in a turf of earth ; fire enough for a flint,
pearl enough for a swine : 'tis pretty ; it is well.
Jaq. Good Master Parson, be so good .as read
me this letter : it was given me by Costard, and
sent me from Don Armado : I beseech you,
Hoi. Faust e, precor gelida quando pecus omne
sub umbra Ruminat, and so forth. Ah, good
old Mantuan ! I may speak of thee as the traveller
doth of Venice :
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.
Old Mantuan, old Mantuan ! Who understandeth
thee not, loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa.
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents ? or,
rather, as Horace says in his What, my soul,
Nat. Ay, sir, and very learned.
Hoi. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse :
lege, do mine.
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I 'II faithful
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like
Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine
Where all those pleasures live that art would
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee
All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without
Which, is to me some praise, that I thy parts
LOVE'S LABOUR 's LOST.
ACT IV., Sc. 3.
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his
Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet
Celestial as thou art, 0, par don, love, this wrong,
That sings heaven's praise ivith such an
earthly tongue I
Hoi. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss
the accent : let me supervise the canzonet. Here
are only numbers ratified ; but, for the elegancy,
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovi-
dius Naso was the man : and why, indeed, Naso,
but for smelling put the odoriferous flowers of
fancy, the jerks of invention ? Imitarl 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 ?
Jaq. Ay, sir ; from one Monsieur Biron, one of
the strange queen's lords.
Hoi. 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 the person written unto : Tour ladyship's,
in all desired employment, Biron . Sir Nathaniel,
this Biron 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 of progression, hath miscarried, 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 :
Jaq. Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save
your life !
Cos. Have with thee, my girl.
Exeunt Costard and Jaquenefta.
Nat. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God,
very religiously ; and, as a certain father saith
Hoi. Sir, tell not me of the father ; I do fear
colourable colours. But to return to the verses:
did they please you, Sir Nathaniel ?
Nat. Marvellous well for the pen .
Hoi. I do dine to-day at the father's of a cer-
tain pupil of mine ; where, if, before repast, it
shall 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 savouring of poetry, wit,
nor invention : I beseech your society.
Nat. And thank you too ; for society, saith the
text, is the happiness of life.
Hoi. And, certes, the text most infallibly con-
cludes it. [To Dull.'] Sir, I do invite .you too ;
you shall not say me nay : pauca verba. Away !
the gentles are at their game, and we will to our
Scene III. Another part of the Same.
Bir. 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, sit thee down, sorrow ! for so
they 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 her eye, I
would not love her ; yes, for her two eyes. 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 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 !
Gets up into a tree.
Enter the King.
King. Ah me !
Bir. Shot, by heaven ! Proceed, sweet Cupid :
thou hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt under
the left pap. In faith, secrets !
So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have
The night of dew that on my cheeks doivn flows :
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light ;
Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep :
No drop but a$ a coach doth carry thee ;
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe.
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
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 thou dost excel,
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.
How shall she know my griefs ? I '11 drop the
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here ?
What, Longaville! and reading? listen, ear.
Bir. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool
Lon. Ah me ! I am forsworn.
Bir. Why, he comes in like a perjure, wearing
King. In love, I hope : sweet fellowship in
Bir. One drunkard loves another of the name.
L on. Am I the first that have been perjur'd
Bir. I could put thee in comfort. Not by two
that I know :
Thou makest the triumviry, the corner-cap of
The shape of love's Tyburn, that hangs up
Lon. I fear these stubborn lines lack power to
O sweet Maria, empress of my love !
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
Bir. O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's
Disfigure not his slop.
ACT IV., Sc. 3.
LOVE'S LABOUR 9 s LOST.
Lon. This same shall go. [Reads.
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'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, Iforsivore not thee :
My vow ivas earthly, thou a heavenly love :
Thy grace, being gain'd, cures all disgrace in
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is :
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost
Exhalest this vapour-vow ; in thee it is :
If broken then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so ivise,
To lose an oath to win a paradise ?
Bir. This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a
A green goose, a goddess : pure, pure idolatry.
God amend us, God amend ! we are much out o'
Lon. By whom shall I send this ? Company !
Bir. All hid, all hid, an old infant play.
Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky,
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye.
More sacks to the mill. O heavens, I have my
Dumain transform' J : four woodcocks in a dish !
Dum. most divine Kate !
Bir. most profane coxcomb !
Dum. By heaven, the wondei* of a mortal eye !
Bir. By earth, she is not, corporal : there you lie.
Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber
Bir. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.
Dum. As upright as the cedar.
Bir. Stoops, I say ;
Her shoulder is with child.
Dum. As fair as day.
Bir. Ay, as some days ; but then no sun must
Dum. that I had my wish !
Lon. And I had mine !
Xing. And I mine too, good Lord I
Bir. Amen, so I had mine : is not that a good
Dum. I would forget her ; but a fever she
Keigns in my blood and will remember' d be.
Bir. A fever in your blood ! why, then incision
Would let her out in saucers : sweet misprision !
Dum. Once more I '11 read the ode that I have
Bir. Once more I '11 mark how love can vary
Dumain reads his sonnet.
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 ivind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find ;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath,
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow ;
Air, would I might triumph so !
But alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn ;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt. to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee,
Thou for ivhom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop ivere :
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
This will I send, and something else more plain.
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the King, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too ! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note ;
For none offend where all alike do dote.
Lon. Dumain, thy love is far from charity.
That in love's grief desirest society :
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know,
To be o'erheard, and taken napping so.
King. Come, sir, you blush : as his your case
You chide at him, offending twice as much :
You do not love Maria ; Longaville
Did never sonnet for her sake compile,.
Nor never lay his wreathed arm athwart
His loving bosom, to keep down his heart.!
I have been closely shrouded in this bush
And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush :
I heard your guilty rhymes, observed your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion ;
Ah me ! says one ; O Jove ! the other cries ;
One, her hair 's gold, crystal the other's eyes :
You would for paradise break faith and troth ;
And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
What will Biron say when that he shall hear
Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear ?
How will he scorn ! how will he spend his wit !
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.
Bir. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me :
Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to re-
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 '11 not be perjured, 'tis a hateful thing ;
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 ?
You found his mote ; the king your mote did see ;
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 transformed to a gnat !
To see great Hercules whipping a gig,
And profound Solomon tuning a jig,
And Nestor play at push-pin \\ith the boys,
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys !
Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumain ?
And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain ?
And where my liege's ? all about the breast :
A caudle, ho !
LOVE'S LABOUR 's LOST.
ACT IV., Sc. 3.
King. Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betrayed thus to thy over- view ?
Bir. Not you by me, but I betrayed to you :
I, that am honest ; I, that hold it sin
To break the vow I am engaged in ;
I am betrayed, by keeping company
With men, like men, of strange inconstancy.
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,
A leg, a limb ?
King. Soft ! Whither away so fast ?
A true man, or a thief, that gallops so ?
Bir. I post from love ; good lover, let me go.
Enter Jaquenetta and Costard.
Jaq. God bless the king !
King. What present hast thou there ?
Cos. Some certain treason.
King. What makes treason here ?
Cos. Nay, it makes nothing, sir.
King. If it mar nothing neither,
The treason, and you, go in peace away together.
Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be
Our parson misdoubts it ; 'twas treason, he said.
King. Biron, read it over.
He reads the letter.
Where hadst thou it ?
Jaq. Of Costard.
King. Where hadst thou it ?
Cos. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio.
King. How now ! Avhat is in you ? why dost
thou tear it ?
Bir. A toy, my liege, a toy : your grace needs
not fear it.
Lon. It did move him to passion, and therefore
let 's hear it.
Dum. It is Biron' s writing, and here is his
Bir. [To Costard.'] Ah, you whoreson logger-
head ! you were born to do me shame.
Guilty, my lord, guilty ; I confess, I confess.
Bir. That you three fools lack'd me fool to
make up the mess :
He, he, and you ; and you my liege, and I,
Are pick -purses in love, and we deserve to die.
O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
Dum. Now the number is even.
Bir. True, true ; we are four.
Will these turtles be gone ?
King. Hence, sirs ; away !
Cos. Walk aside the true folk, and let the
Exeunt Costard and Jaquenetta.
Bir. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us
As true we are as flesh and blood can be :
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 ?
Bir. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east.
Bows not his vassal head, and, strucken blind,
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