1. Was that the king, etc. "This is just one of those touches that S. throws in, to mark the way in which a woman unconsciously betrays her growing preference for a man who loves her. The
princess recognizes the horseman, though he is at such a distance that
her attendant lord is unable to distinguish whether it be the king or not; and then she immediately covers her self-betrayal by the pretendedly indifferent words, Whoever he was, etc. S. in no one of his wondrous and
numerous instances of insight into the human heart more marvellously manifests his magic power of perception than in his discernment of the workings of female nature; its delicacies, its subtleties, its reticences, its revelations, its innocent reserves, and its artless confessions. He, of all masculine writers, was most truly feminine in his knowledge of what passes within a woman's heart, and the multiform ways in which it expresses itself through a woman's acts, words, manner nay even her very silence. He knew the eloquence of a look, the significance of a
gesture, the interpretation of a tacit admission; and, moreover, he knew how to convey them in his might of expression by ingenious inference" (Clarke).
10. Stand. Used in the technical sense of the hunter's station or hiding-place when waiting for game. See Cymb. p. 182. K. remarks: "Royal and noble ladies, in the days of Elizabeth, delighted in the somewhat unrefined sport of shooting deer with a cross-bow. In the 'alleys green' of Windsor or of Greenwich parks, the queen would take her stand, on an elevated platform, and, as the pricket or the buck was driven past her, would aim the death-shaft, amid the acclamations of her admiring courtiers. The ladies, it appears, were skilful enough at this sylvan butchering. Sir Francis Leake writes to the Earl of Shrewsbury 'Your lordship has sent me a very great and fat stag, the welcomer being stricken by your right honourable lady's hand.' The practice was as old as the romances of the Middle Ages. But, in those days, the ladies were sometimes not so expert as the Countess of Shrewsbury; for, in the history of Prince Arthur, a fair huntress wounds Sir Launcelot of the Lake, instead of the stag at which she aims."
17. Fair. For its use as a noun, cf. M. N. D. p. 130, note on Your fair.
18. Good my glass. My good glass; referring sportively to the forester. Johnson supposed the glass to be "a small mirror set in gold hanging at her girdle," according to the fashion of French ladies at that time and
of English ladies also, as Stubbes tells us in his Anatomie of Abuses: "they must haue their looking glasses caryed with them whersoeuer they go. And good reason, for els how cold they see the deuil in them?"
35. That my heart means no ill. That is, means no ill to. That is treated like the dative him in "never meant him any ill" (2 Hen. VI. ii. 391), etc.
36. Curst. Shrewish. See M. N. D. p. 167. Self-sovereignty. "Not a sovereignty over, but in themselves. So self-sufficiency, self-consequence, etc." (Mason). Schmidt takes it to be = "that self sovereignty," or that same sovereignty. Cf. Gr. 20.
37. Praise sake. See Cor. p. 231 (on Conscience sake), or Gr. 217, 471.
41. The commonwealth. That is, of the "new-modelled society" of the king and his associates (Mason). Johnson makes it "the common people." The Var. of 1821 gives this line to the princess; not noted in the Camb. ed.
42. God dig-you-den. God give you good even. See R. and J. p. 148
(note on Good-den), or Hen. V. p. 164 (note on God-den).
56. Break up this capon. That is, open this letter. Here break up is = the preceding carve. It is applied to opening a despatch (the "sealed-up oracle") in W. T. iii. 2. 132: "Break up the seals and read." See also M. of V. ii. 4. 10: "to break up this" (a letter), and the note in our ed. p. 141.
Capon is used like poulet in French for a love-letter. Farmer quotes
Henry IV. as saying: "My niece of Guise would please me best, notwithstanding the malicious reports that she loves poulets in paper better than in a fricasee."
57. Importeth. Concerneth.
64. Illustrate. Illustrious; used again by Holofernes in v. I. 109 below. It is often used by Chapman; as in Iliad, xi.: "Illustrate Hector." For King Cophetua, see on i. 2. 103 above.
65. Zenelophon. Coll. reads "Penelophon," which is the name in the ballad.
66. Annothanize. The quartos and ist folio have "annothanize," the later folios "anatomize," which many eds. follow. Either word would suit Armado well enough.
83-88. Thus dost than hear, etc. These lines are appended to the letter as a quotation, and Warb. thought that they were really from some ridiculous poem of the time.
The Nemean lion is mentioned again in Ham. i. 4. 83, where Nemean
is accented as here.
88. Repasture. Repast, food.
92. Going o'er it. For the play upon style, see on i. i. 196 above. Erewhile = just now.
94. Phantasime. Fantastic; as in v. i. 18 below. The later folios
have "phantasme," and most of the modern eds. "phantasm."
Monarcho the name of an Italian, a fantastic character of the time,
referred to by Meres, Nash, Churchyard, and other writers.
103. Suitor. This seems to have been pronounced shooter, and that is
the spelling of the early eds. here. Steevens and Malone quote sundry
passages from contemporary writers illustrating the old pronunciation.
In A. and C. v. 2. 105, Pope and Malone took the "suites" or "suits" of the folio to be an error for "shoots."
104. My continent of beauty. Cf. Haml. v. 2. 115: "you shall find in
him the continent of what part a gentleman would see."
109. Your deer. The play on deer and dear was a favourite one. Cf.
V. and A. 231, P. P. 300, M. W. v. 5. 18, 123, T. S. v. 2. 56, I Hen. IV.
v. 4. 107, Macb. iv. 3. 206, etc.
110. By the horns. The much-worn joke on the horns of the cuckold.
118. Queen Guinever. The unfaithful queen of Arthur.
127. Prick. The point in the centre of the mark, or target.
Mete at. To measure with the eye in aiming, hence to aim at.
128. Wide o' the bow-hand. "A good deal to the left of the mark; a term still retained in modern archery" (Douce). The bow-hand was the hand holding the bow, or the left hand.
129. Clout. "The white mark at which archers took their aim. The
pin was the wooden pin that upheld it" (Steevens). See 2 Hen. IV. p.
176 (note on Clapped i' the clout) and R. and J. p. 170 ( The very pin, etc.)
132. Greasily. Grossly.
134. Rubbing. A term in bowling. Cf Rich. II. p. 197, note on Rubs.
136. Lord, Lord, etc. Here the early eds. (and the modern ones except H[udson].) insert the seven lines, iii. i. 129-135.
137. Sola, sola! Costard hears the noise of the hunters, and runs to
join them, with a shout to attract their attention. Cf. M. of V. v. 1.39,
where Launcelot enters with the same cry.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. William Rolfe. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1899. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_4_1.html >.
How to cite the sidebars:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_4_1.html >.
Notes on Shakespeare's Life
Shakespeare's daughter Judith appears to have had a gloomy and tragic life. Unlike her sister's marriage to the upstanding Dr. Hall, Judith's marriage to a vintner named Thomas Quiney in February 1616 caused Shakespeare no end of scandal. Quiney did not receive the license necessary for a wedding during Lent before his marriage, and thus the couple were excommunicated a month later. Moreover, Quiney was prosecuted for 'carnal copulation' with a local woman named Margaret Wheeler, who had died in March along with her baby by Quiney. Read on....
Did You Know? ... A sonnet is in verse form and has fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. Shakespeare's sonnets follow the pattern "abab cdcd efef gg", and Petrarch's sonnets follow the pattern "abba abba cdecde." All the lines in iambic pentameter have five feet, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. For a more detailed look at iambic pentameter with examples, please click here.