Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act IV, Scene 1
The King of Navarre’s park.
- Enter the Princess, a Forester, her Ladies (Rosaline, Maria,
- Katherine), and her Lords, among them Boyet.
Princess1 - 2
- Was that the King that spurr’d his horse so hard
- Against the steep-up rising of the hill?
- I know not, but I think it was not he.
Princess4 - 8
- Whoe’er ’a was, ’a show’d a mounting mind.
- Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch;
- On Saturday we will return to France.
- Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
- That we must stand and play the murderer in?
Forester9 - 10
- Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice,
- A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
Princess11 - 12
- I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
- And thereupon thou speak’st the fairest shoot.
- Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
Princess14 - 15
- What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
- O short-liv’d pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!
- Yes, madam, fair.
Princess17 - 20
- Nay, never paint me now;
- Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
- Here (good my glass), take this for telling true:
- Giving him money.
- Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
- Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
Princess22 - 36
- See, see, my beauty will be sav’d by merit.
- O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
- A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
- But come, the 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;
- 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,
- 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.
Boyet37 - 39
- Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
- Only for praise’ sake, when they strive to be
- Lords o’er their lords?
Princess40 - 41
- Only for praise—and praise we may afford
- To any lady that subdues a lord.
- Enter Clown Costard.
- Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
- God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?
- Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.
- Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
- The thickest and the tallest.
Costard47 - 50
- The thickest and the tallest! It is so, truth is truth.
- And your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
- One a’ these maids’ girdles for your waist should be fit.
- Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest here.
- What’s your will, sir? What’s your will?
- I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one Lady Rosaline.
Princess53 - 55
- O, thy letter, thy letter! He’s a good friend of mine.
- Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve,
- Break up this capon.
Boyet56 - 58
- I am bound to serve.
- This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
- It is writ to Jaquenetta.
Princess59 - 60
- We will read it, I swear.
- Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.
Boyet61 - 91
- “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 Cophetua set eye upon
- the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it
- was that might rightly say, Veni, vidi, vici; which to
- annothanize in the vulgar—O base and obscure
- vulgar!—videlicet, He came, saw, and overcame: he came, one;
- saw, two; overcame, three. Who came? The king. Why did he
- come? To see. Why did he see? To 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 enrich’d; 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
- 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.
- But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
- Food for his rage, repasture for his den.”
Princess92 - 93
- What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
- What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?
- I am much deceived but I remember the style.
- Else your memory is bad, going o’er it ere-while.
Boyet96 - 98
- This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court,
- A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
- To the Prince and his book-mates.
Princess99 - 100
- Thou fellow, a word.
- Who gave thee this letter?
- I told you: my lord.
- To whom shouldst thou give it?
- From my lord to my lady.
- From which lord to which lady?
Costard105 - 106
- From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
- To a lady of France that he call’d Rosaline.
Princess107 - 108
- Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
- To Rosaline.
- Here, sweet, put up this—’twill be thine another day.
- Exeunt Princess, Forester and Train.
- Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?
- Shall I teach you to know?
- Ay, my continent of beauty.
Rosaline112 - 113
- Why, she that bears the bow.
- Finely put off!
Boyet114 - 116
- My lady goes to kill horns, but if thou marry,
- Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.
- Finely put on!
- Well then I am the shooter.
- And who is your deer?
Rosaline119 - 120
- If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
- Finely put on indeed!
- You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the brow.
- But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?
- Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when King Pippen of France was a little boy, as touching the hit it?
- 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.
Rosaline125 - 126
- Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
- Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
Boyet127 - 128
- And I cannot, cannot, cannot,
- And I cannot, another can.
- Exeunt Rosaline and Katherine.
- By my troth, most pleasant. How both did fit it!
- A mark marvelous well shot, for they both did hit it.
Boyet131 - 132
- 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 be.
- Wide a’ the bow-hand! I’ faith, your hand is out.
- Indeed ’a must shoot nearer, or he’ll ne’er hit the clout.
- And if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
- Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.
- Come, come, you talk greasily, your lips grow foul.
- She’s too hard for you at pricks, sir, challenge her to bowl.
- I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
- Exeunt Boyet and Maria.
Costard140 - 149
- 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!
- When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely as it were, so fit.
- Armado a’ 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 ’a will swear!
- And his page a’ t’ other side, that handful of wit!
- Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
- Shout within.
- Sola, sola!