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Love's Labour's Lost

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ACT V SCENE II The same. 
PRINCESS Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart, 
 If fairings come thus plentifully in: 
 A lady wall'd about with diamonds! 
 Look you what I have from the loving king.
ROSALINE Madame, came nothing else along with that? 
PRINCESS Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhyme 
 As would be cramm'd 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 That was the way to make his godhead wax, 10
 For he hath been five thousand years a boy. 
KATHARINE Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. 
ROSALINE You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd your sister. 
KATHARINE 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 What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?
KATHARINE A light condition in a beauty dark. 20
ROSALINE We need more light to find your meaning out. 
KATHARINE You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff; 
 Therefore I'll darkly end the argument. 
ROSALINE Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.
KATHARINE So do not you, for you are a light wench. 
ROSALINE Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light. 
KATHARINE You weigh me not? O, that's you care not for me. 
ROSALINE Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.' 
PRINCESS Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.
 But Rosaline, you have a favour too: 30
 Who sent it? and what is it? 
ROSALINE I would you knew: 
 An if my face were but as fair as yours, 
 My favour were as great; be witness this.
 Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron: 
 The numbers true; and, were the numbering too, 
 I were the fairest goddess on the ground: 
 I am compared to twenty thousand fairs. 
 O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!
PRINCESS Any thing like? 
ROSALINE Much in the letters; nothing in the praise. 40
PRINCESS Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion. 
KATHARINE Fair as a text B in a copy-book. 
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! 
KATHARINE A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows. 
PRINCESS But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain? 
KATHARINE Madam, this glove.
PRINCESS Did he not send you twain? 
KATHARINE Yes, madam, and moreover 
 Some thousand verses of a faithful lover, 50
 A huge translation of hypocrisy, 
 Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.
MARIA This and these pearls to me sent Longaville: 
 The letter is too long by half a mile. 
PRINCESS 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. 
 That same Biron I'll torture ere I go: 60
 O that I knew he were but in by the 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 
 And shape his service wholly to my hests 
 And make him proud to make me proud that jests! 
 So perttaunt-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 catch'd, 
 As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd, 70
 Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school 
 And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.
ROSALINE The blood of youth burns not with such excess 
 As gravity's revolt to wantonness. 
MARIA Folly in fools bears not so strong a note 
 As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; 
 Since all the power thereof it doth apply
 To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity. 
PRINCESS Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. 
 Enter BOYET. 
BOYET O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace? 
PRINCESS Thy news Boyet? 
BOYET Prepare, madam, prepare! 82
 Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are 
 Against your peace: Love doth approach disguised, 
 Armed in arguments; you'll be surprised: 
 Muster your wits; stand in your own defence; 
 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 Under the cool shade of a sycamore 
 I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour; 90
 When, lo! to interrupt my purposed rest,
 Toward that shade I might behold addrest 
 The king and his companions: warily 
 I stole into a neighbour 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 conn'd his embassage: 
 Action and accent did they teach him there; 
 'Thus must thou speak,' and 'thus thy body bear:' 100
 And ever and anon they made a doubt
 Presence majestical would put him out, 
 'For,' quoth the king, 'an angel shalt thou see; 
 Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.' 
 The boy replied, 'An angel is not evil; 
 I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.'
 With that, all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the shoulder, 
 Making the bold wag by their praises bolder: 
 One rubb'd his elbow thus, and fleer'd and swore 
 A better speech was never spoke before; 
 Another, with his finger and his thumb, 111
 Cried, 'Via! we will do't, come what will come;' 
 The third he caper'd, and cried, 'All goes well;' 
 The fourth turn'd 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, 
 To cheque their folly, passion's solemn tears. 
PRINCESS But what, but what, come they to visit us? 
BOYET They do, they do: and are apparell'd thus. 120
 Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess.
 Their purpose is to parle, to court and dance; 
 And every one his love-feat will advance 
 Unto his several mistress, which they'll know 
 By favours several which they did bestow. 
PRINCESS And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd;
 For, ladies, we shall every one be mask'd; 
 And not a man of them shall have the grace, 
 Despite of suit, to see a lady's face. 
 Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear, 130
 And then the king will court thee for his dear;
 Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine, 
 So shall Biron take me for Rosaline. 
 And change your favours too; so shall your loves 
 Woo contrary, deceived by these removes. 
ROSALINE Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.
KATHARINE But in this changing what is your intent? 
PRINCESS The effect of my intent is to cross theirs: 
 They do it but in mocking merriment; 
 And mock for mock is only my intent. 140
 Their several counsels they unbosom shall
 To loves mistook, and so be mock'd withal 
 Upon the next occasion that we meet, 
 With visages displayed, to talk and greet. 
ROSALINE But shall we dance, if they desire to't? 
PRINCESS No, to the death, we will not move a foot;
 Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace, 
 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. 150
PRINCESS Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt
 The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out 
 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 mock'd, depart away with shame.
 [ Trumpets sound within. ] 
BOYET The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the maskers come. 
 [ The Ladies mask. ] 
 [ Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked. ] 
MOTH All hail, the richest beauties on the earth! 
BOYET Beauties no richer than rich taffeta. 
MOTH A holy parcel of the fairest dames. 
 [The Ladies turn their backs to him. ] 
 That ever turn'd their--backs--to mortal views!
BIRON [ Aside to MOTH. ] Their eyes, villain, their eyes.  
MOTH That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!--Out-- 
BOYET True; out indeed. 
MOTH Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe 
 Not to behold-- 
BIRON [ Aside to MOTH. ]  
MOTH Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes, 170
 --with your sun-beamed eyes-- 
BOYET They will not answer to that epithet; 
 You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.' 
MOTH They do not mark me, and that brings me out. 
BIRON Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!
 [ Exit MOTH. ] 
ROSALINE What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet: 
 If they do speak our language, 'tis our will: 
 That some plain man recount their purposes 
 Know what they would. 
BOYET What would you with the princess? 179
BIRON Nothing but peace and gentle visitation. 
ROSALINE What 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.
FERDINAND Say to her, we have measured many miles 
 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, 190
 The measure then of one is easily 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.
BIRON Tell her, we measure them by weary steps. 
BOYET She hears herself. 
ROSALINE How many weary steps, 
 Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, 
 Are number'd in the travel of one mile?
BIRON We number nothing that we spend for you: 
 Our duty is so rich, so infinite, 200
 That we may do it still without accompt. 
 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. 
FERDINAND Blessed 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;
 Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. 
FERDINAND Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change. 
 Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange. 211
ROSALINE Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon. 
 [ Music plays. ] 
 Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.
FERDINAND Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged? 
ROSALINE You took the moon at full, but now she's changed. 
FERDINAND Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. 
 The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it. 
ROSALINE Our ears vouchsafe it.
FERDINAND 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. 220
FERDINAND Why take we hands, then? 
ROSALINE Only to part friends:
 Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends. 
FERDINAND More measure of this measure; be not nice. 
ROSALINE We can afford no more at such a price. 
FERDINAND Prize you yourselves: what buys your company? 
ROSALINE Your absence only.
FERDINAND That can never be. 
ROSALINE Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu; 
 Twice to your visor, and half once to you. 
FERDINAND If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. 
ROSALINE In private, then. 230
FERDINAND I am best pleased with that. 
 [ They converse apart. ] 
BIRON White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee. 
PRINCESS Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three. 
BIRON Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice, 
 Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!
 There's half-a-dozen sweets. 
PRINCESS Seventh sweet, adieu: 
 Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you. 
BIRON One word in secret. 
PRINCESS Let it not be sweet.
BIRON Thou grievest my gall. 
PRINCESS Gall! bitter. 
BIRON Therefore meet. 
 [ They converse apart. ] 
DUMAIN Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word? 
MARIA Name it.
DUMAIN Fair lady,-- 
MARIA Say you so? Fair lord,-- 
 Take that for your fair lady. 
DUMAIN Please it you, 
 As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.
 [ They converse apart. ] 
KATHARINE What, was your vizard made without a tongue? 
LONGAVILLE I know the reason, lady, why you ask. 
KATHARINE O for your reason! quickly, sir; I long. 
LONGAVILLE You have a double tongue within your mask, 
 And would afford my speechless vizard half.
KATHARINE Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not 'veal' a calf? 
LONGAVILLE A calf, fair lady! 
KATHARINE No, a fair lord calf. 
LONGAVILLE Let's part the word. 
KATHARINE No, I'll not be your half 250
 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. 
KATHARINE Then die a calf, before your horns do grow. 
LONGAVILLE One word in private with you, ere I die.
KATHARINE Bleat softly then; the butcher hears you cry. 
 [ They converse apart. ] 
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 260
 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. 
BIRON By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! 
FERDINAND Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.
PRINCESS Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits. 
 Exeunt FERDINAND, Lords, and Blackamoors.  
 Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at? 
BOYET Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out. 
ROSALINE Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat. 
PRINCESS O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout! 270
 Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight? 
 Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces? 
 This pert Biron was out of countenance quite. 
ROSALINE O, they were all in lamentable cases! 
 The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.
PRINCESS Biron did swear himself out of all suit. 
MARIA Dumain was at my service, and his sword: 
 No point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute. 
KATHARINE Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart; 
 And trow you what he called me?
PRINCESS Qualm, perhaps. 280
KATHARINE 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 Biron hath plighted faith to me. 
KATHARINE And Longaville was for my service born. 
MARIA Dumain 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 
 They will digest this harsh indignity. 290
PRINCESS Will they return? 
BOYET They will, they will, God knows, 
 And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows:
 Therefore change favours; and, when they repair, 
 Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. 
PRINCESS How blow? how blow? speak to be understood. 
BOYET Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud; 
 Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
 Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown. 
PRINCESS Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do, 310
 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, 
 Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless gear; 
 And wonder what they were and to what end 
 Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd 
 And their rough carriage so ridiculous,
 Should be presented at our tent to us. 
BOYET Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.
PRINCESS Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land. 
 Re-enter FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits 
FERDINAND 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? 
FERDINAND That she vouchsafe me audience for one word. 
BOYET I will; and so will she, I know, my lord. 
BIRON This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease, 
 And utters it again when God doth please:
 He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares 
 At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs; 320
 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; 
 A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he 
 That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy; 
 This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, 
 That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice
 In honourable terms: nay, he can sing 
 A mean most meanly; and in ushering 330
 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 every one,
 To show his teeth as white as whale's bone; 
 And consciences, that will not die in debt, 
 Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. 
FERDINAND A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart, 
 That put Armado's page out of his part!
BIRON See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thou 
 Till this madman show'd thee? and what art thou now? 340
 Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE. 
FERDINAND All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day! 
PRINCESS 'Fair' in 'all hail' is foul, as I conceive. 
FERDINAND Construe my speeches better, if you may.
PRINCESS Then wish me better; I will give you leave. 
FERDINAND 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.
FERDINAND Rebuke me not for that which you provoke: 
 The virtue of your eye must break my oath. 350
PRINCESS You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke; 
 For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. 
 Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure
 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, vow'd with integrity.
FERDINAND O, you have lived in desolation here, 
 Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame. 360
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.
FERDINAND 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,
 In courtesy gives undeserving praise. 
 We four indeed confronted were with four 
 In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour, 370
 And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord, 
 They did not bless us with one happy word.
 I dare not call them fools; but this I think, 
 When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink. 
BIRON This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet, 
 Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we greet, 
 With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye,
 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. 380
ROSALINE This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,-- 
BIRON I am a fool, and full of poverty.
ROSALINE But that you take what doth to you belong, 
 It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue. 
BIRON O, I am yours, and all that I possess! 
ROSALINE All the fool mine? 
BIRON I cannot give you less.
ROSALINE Which of the vizards was it that you wore? 
BIRON Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this? 
ROSALINE There, then, that vizard; that superfluous case 
 That hid the worse and show'd the better face. 390
FERDINAND We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.
DUMAIN Let us confess and turn it to a jest. 
PRINCESS Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad? 
ROSALINE Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you pale? 
 Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. 
BIRON 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; 400
 Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
 And I will wish thee never more to dance, 
 Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 
 O, never will I trust to speeches penn'd, 
 Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue, 
 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 410
 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 express'd 
 In russet yeas and honest kersey noes: 
 And, to begin, wench,--so God help me, la!--
 My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw. 
ROSALINE Sans sans, I pray you. 
BIRON Yet I have a trick 
 Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick; 
 I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see: 420
 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; 
 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. 
BIRON Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us. 
ROSALINE It is not so; for how can this be true, 
 That you stand forfeit, being those that sue? 
BIRON Peace! for I will not have to do with you. 430
ROSALINE Nor shall not, if I do as I intend. 
BIRON Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end. 
FERDINAND Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgression 
 Some fair excuse. 
PRINCESS The fairest is confession.
 Were not you here but even now disguised? 
FERDINAND Madam, I was. 
PRINCESS And were you well advised? 
FERDINAND I was, fair madam. 
PRINCESS When you then were here,
 What did you whisper in your lady's ear? 
FERDINAND That more than all the world I did respect her. 
PRINCESS When she shall challenge this, you will reject her. 
FERDINAND Upon mine honour, no. 
PRINCESS Peace, peace! forbear:
 Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. 442
FERDINAND Despise me, when I break this oath of mine. 
PRINCESS I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline, 
 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 God give thee joy of him! the noble lord 
 Most honourably doth unhold his word. 452
FERDINAND 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, 
 You gave me this: but take it, sir, again. 
FERDINAND 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; 
 And Lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear. 
 What, will you have me, or your pearl again? 460
BIRON Neither of either; I remit both twain.
 I see the trick on't: here was a consent, 
 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 Dick,
 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 favours: and then we, 470
 Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she.
 Now, to our perjury to add more terror, 
 We are again forsworn, in will and error. 
 Much upon this it is: and might not you 
 To BOYET.  
 Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue? 
 Do not you know my lady's foot by the 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 allow'd; 480
 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. 
BIRON Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.
  Enter COSTARD. 
 Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray. 
COSTARD O Lord, sir, they would know 
 Whether the three Worthies shall come in or no. 
BIRON What, are there but three? 
COSTARD No, sir; but it is vara fine,
 For every one pursents three. 
BIRON And three times thrice is nine. 
COSTARD Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope it is not so. 491
 You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir we know 
 what we know:
 I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,-- 
BIRON Is not nine. 
COSTARD Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount. 
BIRON By Jove, I always took three threes for nine. 
COSTARD O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your living
 by reckoning, sir. 
BIRON How much is it? 500
COSTARD O 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. 
BIRON Art thou one of the Worthies? 
COSTARD It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion the 
 Great: for mine own part, I know not the degree of 
 the Worthy, but I am to stand for him.
BIRON Go, bid them prepare. 
COSTARD We will turn it finely off, sir; we will take 
 some care. 
FERDINAND Biron, they will shame us: let them not approach. 
BIRON We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policy
 To have one show worse than the king's and his company. 
FERDINAND 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: 
 Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
 Dies in the zeal of that which it presents: 
 Their form confounded makes most form in mirth, 
 When great things labouring perish in their birth. 520
BIRON A right description of our sport, my lord. 
ARMADO Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royal
 sweet breath as will utter a brace of words. 
 [ Converses apart with FERDINAND, and delivers him a paper .] 
PRINCESS Doth this man serve God? 
BIRON Why ask you? 
PRINCESS He speaks not like a man of God's making. 
ARMADO That 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 couplement! 
FERDINAND 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, Judas Maccabaeus: And if 
 these four Worthies in their first show thrive, 
 These four will change habits, and present the other five.
BIRON There is five in the first show. 
FERDINAND You are deceived; 'tis not so. 
BIRON The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fool 541
 and the boy:-- 
 Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again
 Cannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein. 
FERDINAND The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain. 
 Enter COSTARD, for Pompey. 
COSTARD I Pompey am,-- 
BOYET You lie, you are not he. 
COSTARD I Pompey am,--
BOYET With libbard's head on knee. 
BIRON Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friends 
 with thee. 
COSTARD I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the Big-- 
DUMAIN The Great.
COSTARD It is, 'Great,' sir:-- 
 Pompey surnamed the Great; 550
 That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make 
 my foe to sweat: 
 And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance,
 And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France, 
 If your ladyship would say, 'Thanks, Pompey,' I had done. 
PRINCESS Great thanks, great Pompey. 
COSTARD 'Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect: I 
 made a little fault in 'Great.'
BIRON My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy. 
 Enter SIR NATHANIEL, for Alexander. 
SIR NATHANIEL When in the world I lived, I was the world's 
 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 right. 
BIRON Your nose smells 'no' in this, most tender-smelling knight. 
PRINCESS The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, good Alexander. 
SIR NATHANIEL When in the world I lived, I was the world's
BOYET Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Alisander. 
BIRON Pompey the Great,-- 
COSTARD Your servant, and Costard. 569
BIRON Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.
 Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of 
 the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds 
 his poll-axe 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.
 [ SIR NATHANIEL retires. ] 
 There, an't shall please you; a foolish mild man; an 
 honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a 
 marvellous good neighbour, 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. 581
PRINCESS Stand aside, good Pompey.
 Enter HOLOFERNES, for Judas; and MOTH, for Hercules. 
HOLOFERNES Great Hercules is presented by this imp, 
 Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed canis; 
 And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp, 
 Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus.
 Quoniam he seemeth in minority, 
 Ergo I come with this apology. 
 Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish. 
 MOTH retires. 
 Judas I am,-- 
HOLOFERNES Not Iscariot, sir. 
 Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus. 
DUMAIN Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas. 
BIRON A kissing traitor. How art thou proved Judas? 
HOLOFERNES Judas I am,--
DUMAIN The more shame for you, Judas. 
HOLOFERNES What mean you, sir? 
BOYET To make Judas hang himself. 
HOLOFERNES Begin, sir; you are my elder. 600
BIRON Well followed: Judas was hanged on an elder.
HOLOFERNES I will not be put out of countenance. 
BIRON Because thou hast no face. 
HOLOFERNES What is this? 
BOYET A cittern-head. 
DUMAIN The head of a bodkin.
BIRON A Death's face in a ring. 
LONGAVILLE The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen. 
BOYET The pommel of Caesar's falchion. 
DUMAIN The carved-bone face on a flask. 
BIRON Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch. 611
DUMAIN Ay, and in a brooch of lead. 
BIRON Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer. 
 And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance. 
HOLOFERNES You have put me out of countenance. 
BIRON False; we have given thee faces.
HOLOFERNES But you have out-faced them all. 
BIRON An thou wert a lion, we would do so. 
BOYET Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go. 
 And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay? 620
DUMAIN For the latter end of his name.
BIRON For the ass to the Jude; give it him:--Jud-as, away! 
HOLOFERNES This is not generous, not gentle, not humble. 
BOYET A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble. 
 HOLOFERNES retires. 
PRINCESS Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited! 
 Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, for Hector. 
BIRON Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.
DUMAIN Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry. 
FERDINAND Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this. 630
BOYET But is this Hector? 
FERDINAND I think Hector was not so clean-timbered. 
LONGAVILLE His leg is too big for Hector's.
DUMAIN More calf, certain. 
BOYET No; he is best endued in the small. 
BIRON This cannot be Hector. 
DUMAIN He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces. 
ARMADO The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,
 Gave Hector a gift,-- 
DUMAIN A gilt nutmeg. 640
BIRON A lemon. 
LONGAVILLE Stuck with cloves. 
DUMAIN No, cloven.
ARMADO Peace!-- 
 The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty 
 Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion; 
 A man so breathed, that certain he would fight; yea 
 From morn till night, out of his pavilion.
 I am that flower,-- 
DUMAIN That mint. 
LONGAVILLE That columbine. 
ARMADO Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. 650
LONGAVILLE I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.
DUMAIN Ay, and Hector's a greyhound. 
ARMADO The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, 
 beat not the bones of the buried: when he breathed, 
 he was a man. But I will forward with my device. 
 [ To the PRINCESS. ] 
 Sweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.
PRINCESS Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted. 
ARMADO I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper. 
BOYET [ Aside to DUMAIN. ] 
DUMAIN [ Aside to BOYET. ] 
ARMADO This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,-- 
COSTARD The party is gone, fellow 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 brags in 
 her belly already: tis yours. 
ARMADO Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt 669
COSTARD Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is 
 quick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead by 
DUMAIN Most rare Pompey!
BOYET Renowned Pompey! 
BIRON Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! 
 Pompey the Huge! 
DUMAIN Hector trembles. 
BIRON Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir them
 on! stir them on! 
DUMAIN Hector will challenge him. 680
BIRON Ay, if a' have no man's blood in's belly than will 
 sup a flea. 
ARMADO 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 you, 
 let me borrow my arms again. 
DUMAIN Room for the incensed Worthies! 
COSTARD I'll do it in my shirt. 688
DUMAIN Most resolute Pompey! 
MOTH Master, let me take you a buttonhole 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. 
DUMAIN You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge. 
ARMADO Sweet bloods, I both may and will. 
BIRON What reason have you for't? 
ARMADO The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go
 woolward for penance. 700
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 a' wears next 
 his heart for a favour.
 Enter MERCADE.  
MERCADE God save you, madam! 
PRINCESS Welcome, Mercade; 
 But that thou interrupt'st our merriment. 
MERCADE I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring 
 Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father--
PRINCESS Dead, for my life! 710
MERCADE Even so; my tale is told. 
BIRON 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 of
 discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. 
  Exeunt Worthies. 
FERDINAND How fares your majesty? 
PRINCESS Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight. 
FERDINAND Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay. 
PRINCESS Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords,
 For all your fair endeavors; and entreat, 720
 Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe 
 In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide 
 The liberal opposition of our spirits, 
 If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
 In the converse of breath: your gentleness 
 Was guilty of it. Farewell worthy lord! 
 A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue: 
 Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks 
 For my great suit so easily obtain'd.
FERDINAND The extreme parts of time extremely forms 730
 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
 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 justle it 
 From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lost
 Is not by much so wholesome-profitable 740
 As to rejoice at friends but newly found. 
PRINCESS I understand you not: my griefs are double. 
BIRON Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief; 
 And by these badges understand the king.
 For your fair sakes have we neglected time, 
 Play'd foul play with our oaths: your beauty, ladies, 
 Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours 
 Even to the opposed end of our intents: 
 And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,-- 750
 As love is full of unbefitting strains, 
 All wanton as a child, skipping and vain, 
 Form'd 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
 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,
 Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies, 760
 Our love being yours, the error that love makes 
 Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false, 
 By being once false for ever to be true 
 To those that make us both,--fair ladies, you:
 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 favours, the ambassadors of love; 
 And, in our maiden council, rated them
 At courtship, pleasant jest and courtesy, 770
 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.
DUMAIN Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest. 
LONGAVILLE So did our looks. 
ROSALINE We did not quote them so. 
FERDINAND Now, at the latest minute of the hour, 
 Grant us your loves.
PRINCESS 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, 815
 You will do aught, this shall you do for me: 
 Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed 
 To some forlorn and naked hermitage, 
 Remote from all the pleasures of the world; 
 There stay until the twelve celestial signs
 Have brought about the annual reckoning. 
 If this austere insociable life 
 Change not your offer made in heat of blood; 790
 If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds 
 Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
 But that it bear this trial and last love; 
 Then, at the expiration of the year, 
 Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts, 
 And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine 
 I will be thine; and till that instant shut
 My woeful self up in a mourning house, 
 Raining the tears of lamentation 
 For the remembrance of my father's death. 800
 If this thou do deny, let our hands part, 
 Neither entitled in the other's heart.
FERDINAND 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 ever then my heart is in thy breast. 
BIRON And what to me, my love? and what to me?
ROSALINE  You must be purged too, your sins are rank, 
 You are attaint with faults and perjury: 
 Therefore if you my favour mean to get, 
 A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, 
 But seek the weary beds of people sick. 
DUMAIN But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?
KATHARINE A beard, fair health, and honesty; 
 With three-fold love I wish you all these three. 
DUMAIN O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife? 
KATHARINE Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day 
 I'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:
 Come when the king doth to my lady come; 
 Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some. 820
DUMAIN I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then. 
KATHARINE Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again. 
LONGAVILLE 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. 
BIRON 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. 830
ROSALINE Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron, 
 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. 
 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 840
 Visit the speechless sick and still converse 
 With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
 With all the fierce endeavor of your wit 
 To enforce the pained impotent to smile. 
BIRON To move wild laughter in the throat of death? 
 It cannot be; it is impossible: 
 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 
 Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
 Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears, 
 Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans, 
 Will hear your idle scorns, continue then, 
 And I will have you and that fault withal; 
 But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
 And I shall find you empty of that fault, 
 Right joyful of your reformation. 
BIRON A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall, 860
 I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. 
FERDINAND No, madam; we will bring you on your way.
BIRON Our wooing doth not end like an old play; 
 Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy 
 Might well have made our sport a comedy. 
FERDINAND Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day, 
 And then 'twill end.
BIRON That's too long for a play. 
 Re-enter ARMADO. 
ARMADO Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-- 
PRINCESS Was not that Hector? 870
DUMAIN 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 
 plough for her sweet love three years. But, most 
 esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that 
 the two learned men have compiled in praise of the 
 owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the
 end of our show. 
FERDINAND Call them forth quickly; we will do so. 
ARMADO Holla! approach. 
 This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring; 
 the one maintained by the owl, the other by the
 cuckoo. Ver, begin. 
 When daisies pied and violets blue 
 And lady-smocks all silver-white 882
 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; 
 Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear,
 Unpleasing to a married ear! 
 When shepherds pipe on oaten straws 
 And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, 
 When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, 
 And maidens bleach their summer smocks
 The cuckoo then, on every tree, 
 Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; 
 Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear, 
 Unpleasing to a married ear! 
 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,
 When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul, 
 Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; 
 Tu-who, a merry note, 
 While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 
 When all aloud the wind doth blow
 And coughing drowns the parson's saw 910
 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, Tu-whit;
 Tu-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. 


Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 2
From Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. William Rolfe. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Abbreviations Used in the Notes

Act V.

Scene II.

2. Fairings. Presents (originally, those bought at a fair); used by S. only here.

3. A lady, etc. Walker conjectures that this line and the next should be transposed; but it is not an unnatural exclamation as it stands.

10. Wax. Grow; with an obvious play on the noun.

12. Shrewd. Mischievous, evil; the original sense of the word. See Hen. VIII. p. 202. Unhappy seems to be = roguish; as in A. W. iv. 5. 66: "A shrewd knave and an unhappy." See our ed. p. 174. Gallows = one who deserves the gallows.

19. Mouse. Cf. Haml, iii. 4. 183: "call you his mouse." See also T. N. i. 5. 69.

22. Taking it in snuff. A play on the sense of taking it ill, or being vexed at it. Cf. Hotspur's quibble in 1 Hen. IV. i. 3. 41. See also M. N. D. v. i. 254.

28. Past cure is still past care. The early eds. transpose cure and care; corrected by Theo. For the proverb, cf, Sonn. 147. 9: "Past cure I am, now reason is past care." See also R. and J. p. 200, note on Cure.

29. Bandied. Like set (= game), an allusion to tennis. Cf. K. John, v. 2. 107 and Hen. V. i. 2. 262. See also R. and J. ii. 5. 114.

33. Favour. Playing upon its sense of face. Cf. iv. 3. 257 above.

43. Ware pencils. Beware of pencils. Ware is not a contraction of beware, as generally printed. Cf. Wb. "Rosaline says that Biron had drawn her picture in his letter; and afterwards playing on the word letter, Katherine compares her to a text B. Rosaline in reply advises her to beware of pencils, that is, of drawing likenesses, lest she should retaliate; which she afterwards does by comparing her to a red dominical letter, and calling her marks of the small-pox O's" (Mason). In the old calendars (as in some modern ones) the dominical letter denoting Sunday was printed in red.

45. Not so. Found in the ist quarto, but not in the other early eds.

46. A pox of that jest! Theo. considered this rather coarse in the mouth of a princess; but, as Farmer reminds him, only the small-pox is meant. Davison has a canzonet on his lady's "sicknesse of the poxe;" and Dr. Donne writes to his sister: "I found Pegge had the poxe -- I humbly thank God, it hath not much disfigured her." Beshrew was a mild form of imprecation; and shrew was another spelling of shrew (cf. shew and show, etc.), representing the pronunciation of the word. For the rhyme, cf. T. of S. iv. I. 213, v. 2. 28, 188. D[yce] omits I (Lettsom's conjecture), as "in 29 out of 31 examples in S. beshrew is a mere exclamatory imprecation." The other instance of the verb with a pronoun expressed is in R. and J. v. 2. 26: "She will beshrew me much."

47. But, Katherine, etc. It has been conjectured that either Katherine should be omitted, or we should read "sent you from Dumain."

61. In by the week. A cant phrase of the time, sometimes = in love, as in the old Roister Doister (St.).

65. Hests. The quartos and ist folio have "device," and the later folios "all to my behests." Hests (cf. Temp. i. 2. 274, iii. I. 37, iv. i. 65, and see our ed. p. 118) was suggested by Walker.

66. And make him proud, etc. "Make him proud to flatter me who make a mock of his flattery" (Edin. Rev. Nov. 1786).

67. Potent-like. The early eds. have "perttaunt-like" or "pertaunt-like." Theo. reads "pedant-like," Hanmer and H. "portent-like," Capell "pageant-like," the Coll. MS. "potently," and W. "persaunt-like" (= piercingly). Patent-like is due to Sr.

69. Catch'd. For the form, cf. A. W. i. 3. 176 and R. and J. iv. 5. 48. We find it as the past tense in Cor. i. 3. 68.

74. Wantonness. The quartos and 1st folio have "wantons be;" corrected in 2d folio.

78. Simplicity. Silliness; as in 52 above.

79. Mirth is. The folios omit is, which is found in the 1st quarto. In the next line the quarto misprints "stable" for stabb'd.

80. In stabb'd with daughter some see an allusion to the "stitch in the side" often caused by laughter.

82. Encounters. The abstract for the concrete. The Coll. MS. has "encounterers," which occurs in T. and C. iv. 5. 58.

87. Saint Denis. The patron saint of France. Cf. Hen. V. v. 2. 193, 220, etc. For Saint Cupid, cf. iv. 3. 361 above.

88. Charge their breath against us. Make this wordy attack upon us. The Coll. MS. spoils it by reading "charge the breach."

92. Addrest. Directed; as in T. N. i. 4. 15: "address thy gait unto her," etc. H. explains it as "made ready or prepared."

101. Made a doubt. Expressed the fear. Cf. Rich. II. p. 198, note on 'T is doubt.

104. Audaciously. Boldly, with confidence.

117. Spleen ridiculous. "Ridiculous fit of laughter" (Johnson). For spleen = a sudden impulse, or fit, see M. N. D. p. 129.

118. Passion's solemn tears. That is, tears which are usually the expression of deep sorrow. For passion, cf. Haml. p. 212. See also the verb in i. I. 249 above. The 1st quarto prints "follie pashions solembe," and the folio "folly passions solemne." Pope reads "folly, passions, solemn tears," and the Coll. MS. has "sudden" for solemn. St. conjectures "folly's passion, solemn tears."

121. Like Muscovites or Russians. K. remarks: "For the Russian or Muscovite habits assumed by the king and nobles of Navarre, we are indebted to Vecellio. At page 303 of the edition of 1598, we find a noble Muscovite whose attire sufficiently corresponds with that described by Hall in his account of a Russian masque at Westminster, in the reign of Henry VIII., quoted by Ritson in illustration of this play.
"'In the first year of King Henry VIII.,' says the chronicler, 'at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the Parliament-chamber at Westminster, came the Lord Henry Earl of Wiltshire, and the Lord Fitzwalter, in two long gowns of yellow satin traversed with white satin, and in every bend of white was a bend of crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia or Russland, with furred hats of grey on their heads, either of them having an hatchet in their hands, and boots with pikes turned up.' The boots in Vecellio's print have no 'pikes turned up,' but we perceive the 'long gown' of figured satin or damask, and the 'furred hat.' At page 283 of the same work we are presented also with the habit of the Grand Duke of Muscovy, a rich and imposing costume which might be worn by his majesty of Navarre himself." See the cut (copied from K.) on p. 127 above.
122. Parle. Parley. Cf. R. of L. 100: "parling looks." For the noun, see Hen. V. p. 164.

123. Love-feat. Plausibly altered by D. and others (Walker's conjecture) to "love-suit;" but love-feat may include "the various feats of parleying, courting, and dancing" (Clarke).

125. Several. Separate; as often. See Temp. p. 131. Cf. the quibble in ii. i. 222 above.

146. To the death. Though death were the consequence of refusal. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 2. 55: "I will not do it, to the death."

149. Speaker's. From the 1st quarto; "keepers" in the folios.

152. Ne'er. The quartos and 1st folio have "ere;" corrected in 2d folio.

159. Taffeta. "The taffeta masks they wore to conceal themselves" (Theo.) The early eds. give this line to Biron; corrected by Theo.

160. Parcel. For the personal use, cf. M. of V. i. 2. 119: "this parcel of wooers;" and A. W. ii. 3. 58: "this youthful parcel Of noble bachelors."

166. Spirits. Monosyllabic (= sprites); as often. Gr. 463.

173. Brings me out. Puts me out.

186. Measure. A grave and stately dance. Cf. Much Ado, ii. i. 80: "a measure, full of state and ancientry," etc. For her on this, the quarto reading, the folios have "you on the."

201. Accompt. For the noun, the folio has accompt 13 times and account 17 times; the verb is always account (Schmidt).

207. Eyne. An old plural of eye; found without the rhyme in R. of L. 1229.

209. Request'st. The early eds. have "requests." See Gr. 340.

216. The man. That is, the man in the moon.

222. Curtsy. See on i. 2. 60 above.

233. Treys. Threes; as in dice and card playing.

234. Metheglin. A sweet beverage. Cf. M. W. v. 5. 167 (Evans's speech): "Sack and wine and metheglins." Wort is unfermented beer.

236. Cog. Deceive; specifically used of falsifying dice.

239. Change. Often = exchange, on which sense Maria plays just below.

248. Veal. Perhaps punning on the foreign pronunciation of well (Malone). Boswell quotes The Wisdome of Dr. Dodypoll:
"Doctor. Hans, my very speciall friend; fait and trot me be right glad for see you veale. Hans. What, do you make a calfe of me, M. Doctor?"
The Camb. editors say: "The word alluded to is Viel, a word which would be likely to be known from the frequent use which the sailors from Hamburg or Bremen would have cause to make of the phrase zu viel in their bargains with the London shopkeepers."

260. The sense of sense. See on i. i. 64 above.

264. Dry-beaten. Cudgelled, thrashed. See R. and J. p. 181, and cf. C. of E. p. 119 (note on Dry basting).

269. Well-liking. Well-conditioned. Cf. what Falstaff says in 1 Hen. IV. iii. 3. 6: "I'll repent, while I am in some liking" (while I have some flesh). See also M. W. ii. i. 57. Steevens quotes Job, xxix. 4.

270. Kingly-poor. Poor for a king; not hyphened in the early eds. and perhaps corrupt. The Coll. MS. has "kill'd by pure," and Sr. reads "wit, stung by poor." St. conjectures "wit, poor-liking."

275. Weeping-ripe. Ripe for weeping, ready to weep; used again in 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 172: "What, weeping-ripe, my lord Northumberland?" Cf. reeling-ripe in Temp. v. i. 279 and sinking-ripe in C. of E. i. 1. 78.

278. No point. See on ii. i. 189 above.

280. Qualm. Probably a play on calm, which seems to have been pronounced like it. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 40: "sick of a calm ;" and see our ed. p. 167.

282. Statute-caps. Woollen caps, which, by act of Parliament in 1571, the citizens were required to wear on Sundays and holidays. The nobility were exempt from the requirement, which, as Strype informs us, was "in behalf of the trade of cappers" one of sundry such "protection" measures in the time of Elizabeth. The meaning evidently is, that "better wits may be found among citizens" (Steevens), or common folk.

284. Quick. Sprightly. See on i. I. 159 above.

299. Angels vailing clouds. That is, letting fall the clouds that have masked or hidden them. For vail = lower, let fall, see M. of V. p. 128, or Haml. p. 179. Theo. reads:
"Or angel-veiling clouds;
are roses blown, Dismaskt, their damask sweet commixture shewn;"
and Warb. the same, except "angels veil'd in" for "angel-veiling."

305. Shapeless. Unshapely, ugly; as in R. of L. 973 and C. of E. iv. 2. 20.

314. Thither. From 1st quarto; omitted in folios.

317. As pigeons pease. Steevens quotes from Ray's Proverbs:
"Children pick up words as pigeons peas,
And utter them again as God shall please."
318. God. The reading of 1st quarto, changed in the folio to "Jove;" doubtless on account of the statute against the use of the name of God on the stage.

320. Wassails. Drinking-bouts, carousals. See Macb. p. 180.

325. Carve. Carving was considered a courtly accomplishment; but the word here probably has the same sense as in M. W. i. 3. 49: "She discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation" (see our ed. p. 137), where it refers to making certain signs with the fingers, or a kind of amorous telegraphy. On lisp, cf. M. W. iii. 3. 77: "these lisping hawthorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel," etc.

328. Tables. The old name for backgammon.

330. A mean. A tenor. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 2. 95: "The mean is drown'd by your unruly base;" and W. T. iv. 3. 46: "means and bases." Steevens quotes Bacon: "The treble cutteth the air so sharp, as it returneth too swift to make the sound equal; and therefore a mean or tenor is the sweetest."

334. Whale's. A dissyllable. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iii. I. 15: "And eke, through feare, as white as whales bone." The simile was a common one in the old poets, as Steevens shows by many quotations. The reference is to the tooth of the walrus, or "horse-whale," then much used as a substitute for ivory.

336. Boyet. The rhyme with debt is to be noted. Cf. p. 128 above.

340. This man. The early eds. have "this madman;" corrected by Theo. The Camb. ed. retains "madman."

342. In all hail. With a play on hail hail-stones (Clarke).

350. Must break. Hanmer reads "makes break."

367. To the manner. According to the manner, or fashion.

368. Undeserving praise. Undeserved praise, or praise to the undeserving. Cf. Gr. 372.

376. When we greet, etc. That is, when we look upon the sun it dazzles or blinds our eyes.

391. We are descried, etc. This speech and next are spoken aside, as is evident from what the princess says immediately after; but no former editor, so far as we are aware, has marked them so.

394. Swoon. The quartos and 1st folio have "sound," which was one of the ways of spelling the word. It is found in the folio in M. N. D. ii. 2. 154, A. Y. L. v. 2. 29, Rich. III. iv. i. 35, R. and J. iii. 2. 56, etc. The later folios have "swound," which often occurs in the early eds. In R. of L. 1486, we find swounds rhyming with wounds. Swown and swoond (present) are other old forms.

406. Friend. Sometimes = mistress; as in M. for M. i. 4. 29: "He hath got his friend with child." For the corresponding masculine use, see Cymb. p. 171.

409. Three-pil'd. Superfine; or like three-piled velvet, the richest kind. Cf. M.for M. i. 2. 33: "thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-piled piece;" and W. T. iv. 3. 14: "and in my time wore three-pile." For affectation (Rowe's reading) the early eds. have "affection." See on v. i. 4 above. W. retains "affection," which he would make a quadrisyllable, rhyming with ostentati-on. Hyperboles, he says, is a trisyllable, hy-per-boles, as in T. and C. i. 3. 161: "Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff." But ostentati-on would make the line an Alexandrine, which (see on i. i. 108 above) S. rarely used in his early plays ; and it does not seem at all necessary to make hyperbole a trisyllable in T. and C. Affectation is found in the folio in M. W. i. i. 152 and Haml. ii. 2. 464; affection (in the same sense) only here and in v. i. 4 above.

415. Russet. Homespun; russet being a common color for such fabrics. Kersey was a coarse woollen stuff.

417. Sans. Without; a French word that had become quite Anglicized in the time of S. See A. Y. L. p. 163. In her reply Rosaline bids him speak without sans, that is, "without French words" (Tyrwhitt).

421. Lord have mercy on us. "The inscription put upon the doors of the houses infected with the plague. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations by which the infection is known to be received" (Johnson). Cf. A. and C. iii. 10. 9: "like the token'd pestilence;" and see our ed. p. 197.

427. States. Estates. See M. of V. p. 151, note on Estate.

429. Being those that sue. A play upon sue = prosecute by law (Johnson).

436. Well-advis'd. Probably = in your right mind. Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 215: "mad or well advis'd?" See also Rich. III. p. 192. The ordinary sense of "acting with due deliberation," which most editors give here, seems rather tame.

442. Force not. "Make no difficulty" (Johnson), or "care not for" (Schmidt). Cf. R. of L. 1021: "I force not argument a straw." Coll. quotes the interlude of Jacob and Esau, 1568:
"O Lorde! some good body, for Gods sake, gyve me meate,
I force not what it were, so that I had to eate."
461. Neither of either. A common expression of the time, found in The London Prodigal and other comedies (Malone).

462. Consent. Compact, conspiracy.

465. Please-man. Pickthank, parasite. A zany was a subordinate buffoon. Cf. T. N. 5. 96: "the fools' zanies;" and see our ed. p. 129.

466. Trencher- knight. Servingman. Cf. 479 below.

467. In years. Probably = into wrinkles, like those of age. Cf. M. of V. i. i. 80: "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." Theo. reads "in jeers."

473. In will, and error. "First wilfully, afterwards by mistake" (Clarke).

476. Squire. Square, or foot-rule. Cf. W. T. p. 199, or 1 Hen. IV. p. 159. There is a vulgar proverb, "He has the length of her foot" = he knows her humour exactly (Heath).

477. Upon the apple of her eye. In obedience to her glance.

480. You are allowed. "An allowed fool" (T. N. i. 5. 101), a privileged jester.

484. Manage ... career. Terms of the stable and the tilt-yard. On manage, see A. Y. L. p. 136. A career was an encounter of knights at full gallop. Cf. Rich. II. i. 2. 49, etc. For manage the folios have "manager," and the 1st quarto "nuage;" corrected by Theo.

492. You cannot beg us. "That is, we are not fools; our next relations cannot beg the wardship of our persons and fortunes. One of the legal tests of a natural is to try whether he can number" (Johnson). Cf. C. of E. p. 116, note on Fool-begged. K. remarks: "One of the most abominable corruptions of the feudal system of government was for the sovereign, who was the legal guardian of idiots, to grant the wardship of such an unhappy person to some favourite, granting with the idiot the right of using his property. Ritson, and Douce more correctly, give a curious anecdote illustrative of this custom, and of its abuse:
"'The Lord North begg'd old Bladwell for a foole (though he could never prove him so), and having him in his custodie as a lunaticke, he carried him to a gentleman's house, one day, that was his neighbour. The L. North and the gentleman retir'd awhile to private discourse, and left Bladwell in the dining-roome, which was hung with a faire hanging; Bladwell walking up and downe, and viewing the imagerie, spyed a foole at last in the hanging, and without delay drawes his knife, flyes at the foole, cutts him cleane out, and layes him on the floore; my Lord and the gentleman coming in againe, and finding the tapestrie thus defac'd, he ask'd Bladwell what he meant by such a rude uncivill act; he answered, Sir, be content, I have rather done you a courtesie than a wrong, for, if ever my L. N. had scene the foole there he would have begg'd him, and so you might have lost your whole suite' (Harl. MS. 6395)."
502. Whereuntil. Whereunto, to what.

503. Pursent. The early eds. have "parfect" or "perfect" (corrected by W.), and "in" for e'en (corrected by Malone).

504. Pompion. The early eds. have here "Pompey;" corrected by Rowe.

517, 518. Where zeal, etc. We leave this passage as in the folio (with W. and the Camb. editors), in preference to adopting any one of the many emendations that have been proposed. The plural contents is used for the sake of the rhyme; and the meaning seems to be: where zeal strives to please, but the very effort is fatal to the pleasure. The context is the best commentary upon it. For the singular Dies, see Gr. 333. Hanmer reads "content Dies in the zeal of that it doth present;" Steevens, "contents Die in the zeal of them which it presents;" Sr. and H., "contents Lie in the fail of that which it presents;" and Clarke (Mason's conjecture), " content Lies in the zeal of those which it present." For other conjectures, see the Camb. ed.

527. Honey. For the personal use, cf. 1 Hen. IV. i. 2. 179, T.and C. v. 2. 18, R and J. ii. 5. 18, etc.

529. Fortuna de la guerra. Fortune of war (Spanish). Hanmer has "della guerra," forgetting that Armado is a Spaniard and not an Italian. The early eds. have "delaguar;" and Schmidt conjectures "del agua" (of the water, alluding to the old saying that swimming must be tried in the water) or "de la guarda" (of guard, "that is, guarding Fortune").

531. Couplement, Used here for couple. In Sonn. 21. 5 it is = combination.

542. Novum. Hanmer reads "novem." Novum (or noveni) was a game at dice. Steevens quotes Greene, Art of Legerdemain, 1612: "The principal use of them [dice] is at novum," etc. Abate = leave out, except; and the meaning is: "except in a throw at novum, the whole world could not furnish five such."

543. Pick. The reading of 1st quarto; the other early eds. have "prick."

546. Libbard's. Leopard's; the knee-caps in old dresses and plate armour often being in the form of a leopard's head (D.).

563. Stands too right. According to Plutarch, Alexander's head had a twist towards the left. The next line alludes to the statement of the same author that Alexander's skin had "a marvellous good savour."

572. The painted cloth. For the historical and other paintings on the cloth hangings of rooms, see A. Y. L. p. 176.

573. That holds his poll-axe, etc. The arms of Alexander, as given in the old history of the Nine Worthies, were a lion sitting in a chair holding a battle-axe (Tollet).

574. Ajax. There is a play on a jakes; a coarse joke that occurs in B. J., Camden, Sir John Harington, and other writers of the time.

575. Afeard. The quarto has afeard, and the folios afraid. The forms are used interchangeably in the early eds.

580. A little o'erparted. With a part, or role, a little too much for him.

582. Stand aside, etc. The Coll. MS. here has the stage direction "Exit Costard;" not noted in the Camb. ed. W. (apparently misled by Coll.) ascribes this stage-direction to the folio. See on 657 and 662 below.

583. Imp, Youngster. See on i. 2. 5 above.

584. Canus. Dog (Latin canis); reading of the early eds., which may be retained for the sake of the rhyme. Rowe reads "canis."

593. Ycliped. Yclept; mispronounced for the sake of the joke that follows.

605. A cittern-head. A cittern (cithern, gittern, or guitar) often had a grotesque face carved upon its head.

610. Flask. That is, a powder-flask; as in R. and J. iii. 3. 132.

611. Half-cheek in a brooch. Profile on a clasp, or buckle. Cf. half- face in K. John, i. I. 92.

625. Baited. Worried; like a baited bear or bull.

628. Come home by me. That is, come home to me.

630. Trojan. The early eds. have "Troyan," as often elsewhere. The word was much used as a term of contempt. See 1 Hen. IV. p. 158.

635. The small. That is, of the leg.

638. Lances. Lancers; as in Lear, v. 3. 50: "our impress'd lances," etc.

640. A gilt nutmeg. Mentioned by B. J. in his Christmas Masque as a present (Steevens). The 1st quarto has "gift" for gilt. An orange or lemon, stuck with cloves, was a common new-year's gift.

647. Breathed. Endowed with breath, or "wind." Cf. A. and C. iii. 13. 178: "treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd." For fight ye (Rowe's reading) the early eds. have "fight; yea."

655, 656. When he breathed ... man. From the 1st quarto; not in the folios.

657. After this line Capell gives the stage-direction, "Biron steps to Costard and whispers him;" that is, putting him up to the trick on Armado.

662. This Hector, etc. After this speech Coll. gives, from his MS., the stage-direction "Re-enter Costard, in haste, unarmed;" not noted in the Camb. ed. Coll. remarks: "Unless he had gone out, it is not easy to see how he had obtained the information he brings." D., who adopts Capell's stage-direction at 657 just above, has here "Costard (suddenly coming from behind). The party is gone," etc. W., who makes Costard leave at 582 above, has at 657 "Birone goes out" and here " Enter COSTARD hastily and unarmed, and BIRONE after him." It is doubtful just how the trick was meant to be managed, and any one of the ways suggested by the editors would do well enough on the stage. It could safely be left to the actors without any stage-direction, as in the Camb. ed.

663. The party is gone. Printed in italics as a stage-direction in the early eds.

671. Quick by him. There is a play on quick = alive. See Hen. V. p. 156, and cf. Acts, x. 42, etc.

678. More Ates. "That is, more instigation. Ate was the mischievous goddess that incited bloodshed" (Johnson). Cf. Much Ado, p. 132.

684. Fight with a pole, etc. That is. with the quarter-staff, a long pole in the use of which the men of the North of England were skilful.

685. I pray you. The 1st quarto has "bepray."

686. My arms. "The weapons and armour which he wore in his character of Pompey" (Johnson).

690. Let me take you, etc. "Perhaps = let me speak without ceremony" (Schmidt).

700. Woolward. That is, With woollen next to the skin, or without linen. Grey quotes Stowe's Annals: "he went woolvvard and barefooted to many churches, in every of them to pray to God for help in his blindness." Farmer adds from Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596: "His common course is to go always untrust [untrussed]; except when his shirt is a washing, and then he goes woolward."

713. I have seen, etc. "Armado means to say in his affected style, that he had discovered that he was wronged, and was determined to right himself as a soldier" (Mason). "One may see day at a little hole" is found in Ray's Proverbs. Through the little hole of discretion may be = "though discreetly forbearing from righting myself until I can do it with dignity," as Steevens and Clarke explain it.

723. Liberal. Too free, over-bold. It is used in a yet stronger sense in Much Ado, iv. i. 93: "a liberal villain," etc. See our ed. p. 154, or Haml. p. 258.

725. Converse of breath. That is, in conversation. For the accent of converse, cf. Oth. iii. i. 40. Steevens compares M. of V. v. i. 141: "this breathing courtesy" (that is, these courteous words).

727. Nimble. The early eds. have "humble;" corrected by Theo. The Coll. MS. changes not to "but."

730. The extreme parts of time, etc. We retain the folio reading, which Dr. B. Nicholson (Trans. of New. Shaks. Soc. for 1874, p. 513) explains thus: "The extreme parts are the end parts, extremities -- as, of our body, the ringers; of chains, the final links; of given portions of time, the last of those units into which we choose to divide them. Afterwards (in 777) the King, representing the stay of the Princess as for an hour, calls the extreme part 'the latest minute,' and the thought in both passages is so far the same. It is not however said that our decision is necessitated by the extremity of the moment, though this is perhaps suggested to us by the sound of the words used; but that concurring circumstances, and therefore Time, as the producer of those circumstances, so influence our decision that he, and not we, may be called the decider. Hence Time, as personified, and as the intelligential agent of whom the extreme parts are but the instrumental members, is considered as the true nominative to the verb forms, and is represented as fashioning or moulding all causes or questions to the purposes of his speed, that is, to his own intents, or to those of the fate or Providence of which he is the sub- agent. This thought has been forced upon the King by finding that his high resolves of study were at once broken by the coming of the Princess, while her sudden departure shows him that he cannot do without her love; and he urges it as an excuse for the intrusion of his love on her time of grief, and as an excuse for her favourable reply.

"In the next lines, though still personifying Time, the King changes his illustration. Often the archer may weigh variously all the circumstances -- the bow, the arrow, the intended strength of shot and elevation, the wind and the like -- and so vary from moment to moment; but at the very loose, or loosing of the shaft (an act the proper doing of which was much dwelt on by archers) he comes to a quick and determined decision. 'So during your stay, princess,' says the King, 'I and my lords acted doubtfully between our former resolves and our new loves, and you have dallied with us: now at your departure, at the last moment, I decide and ask your love; do you answer with the same determinatenss.' In retort, the Princess most consistently decides in accord with the events which Time has purposed in her regard, for the declaration of the King is only one of these, another and the first being the news of her father's death.

"The thought of the first two lines is allied and similar to Hamlet's
'There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them as we will;'
just as the rest expresses the similar idea specially illustrated in the catastrophe of that play. But here the subject being of a gentler nature, the King speaks more conversationally and less reflectively than Hamlet does, and of Time and not of a Providence or divinity."

D. reads "part" for parts, Sr. and W. "haste," and St. and H. "dart." It is plausibly urged in support of the last that it is in keeping with the figure in loose; but it is common enough for a figure to be introduced in the course of a passage, and here it is naturally suggested by the reference to the speed with which time flies. Forms has been changed to "form," but quite unnecessarily. Cf. Gr. 333. Extreme is accented on the first syllable because preceding the noun. See on profound, in iv. 3. 163 above.

736. Convince. Overcome, conquer. See Macb. pp. 180, 242.

742. Dull. The early eds. have "double." Dull is from the Coll. MS. and is adopted by W. and H. Capell reads "deaf," and St. conjectures "hear dully."

750. Strains. Impulses, vagaries. Cf. M. W. ii. 1. 91, T. of A. iv. 3. 213. etc.

751. Skipping. Flighty, frivolous. Cf. M. of V. ii. 2. 196 :
"Pray thee, take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty
Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behaviour
I be misconstrued," etc.
753. Strange. The early eds. have "straying;" corrected by Capell. Coleridge conjectured "stray."

758. Have misbecom'd. Capell changed Have to "'T hath;" but the "confusion of construction" is like many other instances in S. Cf. Gr. 411-416 (in 418 Abbott compares this passage with a Latin idiom, but the coincidence is doubtless accidental). For the form misbecom'd, cf. becomed in R. and J. iv. 2. 26, A. and C. iii. 7. 26, and Cymb. v. 5. 406.

760. Suggested. Tempted; as in Oth. ii. 3. 358:
"When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows."
See also Rich. II. pp. 153, 198. Cf. suggestions in i. i. 156 above.

771. Bombast. Originally, cotton used to stuff out garments. Cf. the quotation from Stubbes in note on iii. 1. 15 above. Gerarde, in his Herbal, calls the cotton plant "the bombast tree;" and Lupton, in A Thousand Notable Things, speaks of a candle "with a wick of bumbast."

772. This in our. The 1st quarto has "this our," and the folios "these are our;" corrected by Hanmer. Respects = considerations, thoughts.

776. Quote. Construe, interpret. Cf. misquote = misconstrue, in 1 Hen. IV. v. 2. 13, the only instance of the word in S. See also ii. i. 245 above.

779. World-without-end. Cf. Sonn. 57. 5:
"Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you."
781. Dear. Used in an intensive sense; as in 854 below. See also on ii. i. i above.

791. Weeds. Garments. See M. N. D. p. 149.

793. Last love. "Continue to be love" (Steevens).

795. Challenge me, challenge me. Hanmer omits the first me; not noted in the Camb. ed.

804. Flatter up. Hanmer reads "fetter up." For the up, see on iv. 3. 300 above. The meaning is: "in order that I might soothe or pamper these faculties of mine by leading a life of repose" (Clarke).

807-812. And what ... sick. Enclosed in brackets by Theo. and omitted by Hanmer. It is evidently a part of the first sketch which was rewritten in revising the play. See on iv. 3. 294 above.

808. Rank. The early eds. have "rack'd;" corrected by Rowe. Ct. Haml. iii. 3. 36 : "O, my offence is rank," etc.

809. Attaint. Attainted. For the form, see Gr. 342.

814. A wife? The early eds. give this to Katherine, reading: "A wife? a beard, faire health," etc. Hanmer has "No wife: a beard," etc. D. was the first to transfer A wife? to Dumain, in whose mouth it seems more natural.

835. All estates. All kinds or conditions of people; as in Rich. III. iii. 7.213: "And equally, indeed, to all estates." Latimer, in his Sermons, says it is the duty of a king "to see to all estates, to provide for the poor," etc. For execute the Coll. MS. has "exercise."

843. Fierce. Ardent, strenuous; as in Lear, ii. i. 36, etc.

854. Dear. Changed by the Coll. MS. to "dire." See on 781 above.

855. Continue them. The early eds. have "then;" corrected in the Coll. MS.

859. Reformation. Metrically five syllables. Gr. 479.

863. Bring you. Accompany you. Cf. W. T. iv. 3. 122: "Shall I bring thee on the way?" See also Gen. xviii. 16, Acts, xxi. 5, 2 Cor. i. 16, etc.

865. Jack hath not Jill. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 461: "Jack shall have Jill;" and see our ed. p. 171.

882. Pied. Variegated. Cf. M. of V. i. 3. 80: "streak'd and pied," etc.

883, 884. And lady-smocks, etc. These two lines are transposed in all the early eds.; corrected by Theo. Lady-smocks. Ellacombe (Plant-Lore of S.) says: "Lady-smocks are the flowers of Cardamine pratensis, the pretty early meadow flower of which children are so fond, and of which the popularity is shown by its many names, Lady-smocks, Cuckoo-flower, Meadow Cress, Pinks, Spinks, Bog-spinks, and May-flower, and 'in Northfolke, Canterbury Bells.' The origin of the name is not very clear. It is generally explained from the resemblance of the flowers to smocks hung out to dry, but the resemblance seems to me rather far-fetched. According to another explanation, 'the Lady-smock, a corruption of Our Lady's-smock, is so called from its first flowering about Lady-tide. It is a pretty purplish-white, tetradynamous plant, which blows from Lady-tide till the end of May, and which during the latter end of April covers the moist meadows with its silvery-white, which looks at a distance like a white sheet spread over the fields' (Circle of the Seasons). Those who adopt this view called the plant Our Lady's-smock, but I cannot find that name in any old writers. Drayton, coeval with Shakespeare, says:
'Some to grace the show,
Of Lady-smocks most white do rob each neighbouring mead,
Wherewith their loose locks most curiously they braid.'
And Isaac Walton, in the next century, drew that pleasant picture of himself sitting quietly by the waterside 'looking down the meadows I could see here a boy gathering Lilies and Lady-smocks, and there a girl cropping Culverkeys and Cowslips.'"

884. Cuckoo-buds. "There is a difficulty in deciding what flower Shakespeare meant by Cuckoo-buds. We now always give the name to the Meadow Cress (Cardamine pratensis), but it cannot be that in either of these passages, because that flower is mentioned under its other name of Lady-smocks in the previous line, nor is it 'of yellow hue;' nor does it grow among Corn, as described in Lear, iv. 4. 4. Many plants have been suggested, but I think the Buttercup, as suggested by Dr. Prior, will best meet the requirements" (Ellacombe). Farmer conjectures "cowslip-buds," and Whalley "crocus-buds."

887. Mocks married men. The note of the cuckoo was thought to prognosticate cuckoldom. Cf. M. N. D. iii. i. 134 and A. W. i. 3. 67. See also M. W. p. 143.

893. Turtles. Turtle-doves. See on iv. 3. 207 above.

900. Hang by the wall. That is, from the eaves. Malone compares Hen. V. iii. 5. 23 and Temp. v. I. 17.

901. Blows his nail. To warm his fingers. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 3: "the shepherd, blowing of his nails." See also T. of S. i. I. 109.

906, 907. Tu-whoo, etc. The early eds. have only "Tu-whit to-who," both here and in the next stanza. Capell was the first to make the measure correspond with that of the preceding stanzas.

908. Keel. Cool; that is, by stirring it. Clarke says the word came also to mean skimming off the scum that rose to the top, which may be the sense here. Coll. quotes Piers Plowman:
"And lerede men a ladel bygge, with a long stele
That caste for to kele a crockke, and save the fatte above;"
that is, they skimmed the crock, or pot, with a ladle, in order to save the fat. Schmidt also defines keel as "to scum (German kielen)."

910. Saw. Moral saying, maxim. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 156: "Full of wise saws;" 2 Hen. VI. i. 3. 61: "holy saws of sacred writ," etc.

913. Crabs. Crab-apples; often roasted and put into the wassail-bowl. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 48 (Puck's speech):
"And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
and see our ed. p. 140.

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. < >.

How to cite the sidebars:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < >.


Notes on Shakespeare's Songs

microsoft images Not surprisingly, Shakespeare alludes to or includes the text of well over one hundred songs in his works. Music was an integral part of Elizabethan life, as it is today. London publishers were constantly producing broadside ballads, madrigals, and consort pieces, and most educated people could read music and play a tune on a recorder, lute, or viola da gamba. Shakespeare's characters are a reflection of his times and they too depend on music for moments of comedy and poignancy, whether it be a drunken sing-along at a crowded table, or a gloomy rhyme borne out of love's disillusionment. Read on...

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 Introduction to Shakespeare's Sonnets
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 How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet
 The Rules of Shakespearean Sonnets
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Bard Bites ... In 1609 Thomas Thorpe published Shakespeare's sonnets, no doubt without the author's permission, in quarto format, along with Shakespeare's long poem, The Passionate Pilgrim. The sonnets were dedicated to a W. H., whose identity remains a mystery, although William Herbert, the Earl of Pembroke, is frequently suggested because Shakespeare's First Folio (1623) was also dedicated to him. Read on...

Anyone involved in the production of plays in Elizabethan England, from the playwright to the theatre owners, knew that the Master of Revels was the man to impress and fear, for he auditioned acting troupes, selected the plays they would perform, and controlled the scenery and costumes to be used in each production. Read on...

Twenty-four of Shakespeare's sonnets are addressed to a woman. We have little information about this woman, except for a description the poet gives of her over the course of the poems. Shakespeare describes her as 'a woman color'd ill', with black eyes and coarse black hair. Thus, she has come to be known as the "dark lady." Find out...

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Did You Know? ... An invaluable work from a celebrated head-master in the early seventeenth century gives us a wealth of information regarding what was being taught in the primary schools in Shakespeare's day. Charles Hoole, one of England's most respected and popular teachers wrote a thesis on the state of English schools entitled A New Discovery of the Old Art of Teaching Schoole. Read on...