Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act 4, Scene 2
The King of Navarre’s park.
- Enter Dull, Holofernes the Pedant, and Nathaniel from
- watching the hunt.
Sir Nathaniel3 - 4
- Very reverent sport truly, and done in the testimony of a
- good conscience.
Holofernes5 - 8
- The deer was (as you know) sanguis, in blood, ripe as the
- pomewater, who now hangeth 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.
Sir Nathaniel9 - 11
- Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithites are sweetly varied,
- like a scholar at the least; but, sir, I assure ye it was a
- buck of the first head.
- Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
- ’Twas not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.
Holofernes14 - 20
- Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of insinuation, as it
- were in via, in way, of explication; 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
- I said the deer was not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.
Holofernes22 - 23
- Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus!
- O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!
Sir Nathaniel24 - 38
- Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a
- 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;
- 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, or a
- So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a
- But omne bene, say I, being of an old father’s mind:
- Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
Dull39 - 41
- You two are book-men: can you tell me by your wit
- What was a month old at Cain’s birth, that’s not five weeks
- old as yet?
- Dictynna, goodman Dull, Dictynna, goodman Dull.
- What is Dictynna?
- A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
Holofernes45 - 47
- The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
- And raught not to five weeks when he came to five-score.
- Th’ allusion holds in the exchange.
- ’Tis true indeed, the collusion holds in the exchange.
Holofernes49 - 50
- God comfort thy capacity! I say, th’ allusion holds in the
Dull51 - 53
- And I say, the pollution holds in the exchange, for the moon
- is never but a month old; and I say beside that, ’twas a
- pricket that the Princess kill’d.
Holofernes54 - 56
- Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the
- death of the deer? And to humor the ignorant, call I the
- deer the Princess kill’d a pricket.
Sir Nathaniel57 - 58
- Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it shall please you
- to abrogate squirility.
Holofernes59 - 65
- I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
- 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 o’ sorel:
- Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.
- A rare talent!
Dull67 - 68
- If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent.
Holofernes69 - 75
- 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, nourish’d 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.
Sir Nathaniel76 - 79
- Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may my parishioners,
- for their sons are well tutor’d by you, and their daughters
- profit very greatly under you. You are a good member of the
Holofernes80 - 83
- 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 the Clown Costard.
- God give you good morrow, Master Person.
Holofernes86 - 87
- Master Person, quasi pers-one. And if one should be pierc’d,
- which is the one?
Costard88 - 89
- Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likel’est to a
Holofernes90 - 92
- 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.
Jaquenetta93 - 95
- Good Master Person, be so good as read me this letter. It
- was given me by Costard, and sent me from Don Armado. I
- beseech you read it.
Holofernes96 - 104
- Facile, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra ruminat,
- and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as
- the traveler doth of Venice:
- Venechia, Venechia,
- Che non te vede, che non te prechia.
- 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, verses?
- Ay, sir, and very learned.
- Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.
Sir Nathaniel107 - 121
- “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 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;
- Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
- 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 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.”
Holofernes122 - 131
- You find not the apostraphus, and so miss the accent. Let me
- supervise the canzonet.
- He takes the letter.
- 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 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?
Jaquenetta132 - 133
- Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one of the strange
- queen’s lords.
Holofernes134 - 145
- 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
- to 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 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. Adieu.
- Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!
- Have with thee, my girl.
- Exit with Jaquenetta.
Sir Nathaniel149 - 150
- Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very
- religiously; and as a certain father saith—
Holofernes151 - 153
- Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colorable colors.
- But to return to the verses: did they please you, Sir
- Marvelous well for the pen.
Holofernes155 - 161
- I do dine today at the father’s of a certain 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 bien
- venuto; where I will prove those verses to be very
- unlearned, neither savoring of poetry, wit, nor invention. I
- beseech your society.
Sir Nathaniel162 - 163
- And thank you too; for society, saith the text, is the
- happiness of life.
Holofernes164 - 168
- And certes the text most infallibly concludes 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 recreation.