Love's Labour's Lost

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Katharine,

Boyet and two more attendant Lords,

and a Forester


Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard

Against the steep-up rising of the hill?
steep-up (adj.) precipitous, virtually perpendicular, sudden


I know not, but I think it was not he


Whoe'er 'a was, 'a showed a mounting mind.

Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch;
dispatch, despatch (n.) 1 settlement of business, sorting out of affairs

On Saturday we will return to France.

Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush

That we must stand and play the murderer in?


Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;

A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
fair (adj.) 9 favourable, unobstructed, clear
shoot (n.) 1 shot, act of shooting
stand (n.) 1 [hunting] standing-place, hiding-place


I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
fair (adj.) 1 handsome, good-looking, beautiful

And thereupon thou speakest ‘ the fairest shoot.’


Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.


What, what? First praise me, and again say no?

O short-lived pride! Not fair? Alack for woe!


Yes, madam, fair.


                         Nay, never paint me now!

Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
brow (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, countenance See Topics: Frequency count

Here, good my glass, take this for telling true;
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass See Topics: Frequency count

(She gives him money)

Fair payment for foul words is more than due.


Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
inherit (v.) 1 receive, obtain, come into possession [of]


See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit!
merit (n.) 1 desert, deserving, inner worth

O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
fair (n.) 1 fair face, beauty

A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.

But come, the bow! Now mercy goes to kill,

And shooting well is then accounted ill.
ill (adv.) 2 imperfectly, poorly, to ill effect

Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
credit (n.) 3 reputation, name, standing, honour

Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;

If wounding, then it was to show my skill,

That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

And out of question so it is sometimes;
question, out of undoubtedly, beyond question, certainly

Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
glory (n.) 2 boastful spirit, vaingloriousness

When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,

We bend to that the working of the heart;

As I for praise alone now seek to spill

The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil


Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
self-sovereignty (n.) self-control, self-discipline

Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be

Lords o'er their lords?


Only for praise, and praise we may afford

To any lady that subdues a lord.

Enter Costard
commonweal, commonwealth (n.) state, nation, community, body politic


Here comes a member of the commonwealth.


God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the

head lady?


Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that

have no heads.


Which is the greatest lady, the highest?


The thickest and the tallest.


The thickest and the tallest! It is so – truth is


An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.

Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest



What's your will, sir? What's your will?


I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one

Lady Rosaline.


O, thy letter, thy letter! He's a good friend of mine.

She takes the letter
carve (v.) 5 cut up meat at table

Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve –

Break up this capon.
break up (v.) 4 cut up, carve
capon (n.) 1 chicken, castrated cockerel [bred for eating]


                         I am bound to serve.

He reads the


This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
import (v.) 2 be of importance to, concern, matter to
mistake (v.) 3 wrongly deliver, take to the wrong person
superscript (n.) address, heading, opening

It is writ to Jaquenetta.


                         We will read it, I swear.

Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.


infallible (adj.) unquestionable, definite, certain

By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;

true that thou art beauteous; truth itself that

thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful than

beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration on

thy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and most illustrate
illustrate (adj.) illustrious, resplendant, renowned
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject

King Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious and most indubitate
indubitate (adj.) certain, undoubted, undeniable

beggar Zenelophon, and he it was that might rightly

say Veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in the vulgar – O
anatomize, annothanize (v.) dissect, reveal, lay open
veni... I came, I saw, I conquered See Topics: Latin
vulgar (n.) 2 vernacular, everyday language

base and obscure vulgar! – videlicet, he came, see, and
base (adj.) 4 non-precious, worthless, of low value

overcame. He came, one; see two; overcame, three. Who

came? The king. Why did he come? To see. Why did he

see? To overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar.

What saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar.

The conclusion is victory. On whose side? The king's. The

captive is enriched. On whose side? The beggar's. The

catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side? The king's. No;
catastrophe (n.) 1 conclusion, end-point, expiration
catastrophe (n.) 2 denouement, final event in a drama

on both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so stands

the comparison, thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy

lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may. Shall I

enforce thy love? I could. Shall I entreat thy love? I will.

What shalt thou exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles?
tittle (n.) jot, speck, particle

Titles. For thyself? Me. Thus, expecting thy reply, I
expect (v.) await, wait for

profane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture, and

my heart on thy every part.

Thine in the dearest design of industry,
dear (adj.) 6 heartfelt, earnest, zealous
design (n.) 1 undertaking, purpose, enterprise
industry (n.) 3 laborious gallantry, assiduity in service to a lady

Don Adriano de Armado

Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar

'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.

Submissive fall his princely feet before,

And he from forage will incline to play.
forage (n.) preying, raging
incline (v.) turn, be disposed, desire

But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?

Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
repasture (n.) food, repast, meal


What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
indite (v.) 1 write, compose, set down

What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?
vane (n.) weathervane; inconstant person


I am much deceived but I remember the style.


Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.
erewhile (adv.) a short time ago, a while before
go over (v.) read through, look over


This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court;
keep (v.) 1 lodge, live, dwell

A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
monarcho (n.) vain hanger-on at court, pretentious absurdity
phantasime (n.) one full of fancies, extravagantly behaved individual
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport

To the prince and his book-mates.
book-mate (n.) fellow student, scholarly associate


                         Thou, fellow, a word.

Who gave thee this letter?


                         I told you; my lord.


To whom shouldst thou give it?


                         From my lord to my lady.


From which lord to which lady?


From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,

To a lady of France that he called Rosaline.


Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
mistake (v.) 3 wrongly deliver, take to the wrong person
put up (v.) 2 conceal, hide away, pocket

(To Rosaline)

Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another day.

Exeunt all except Boyet, Rosaline, Maria, and Costard


Who is the suitor? Who is the suitor?


                         Shall I teach you to know?


Ay, my continent of beauty.
continent (n.) 1 embodiment, summation, digest


                         Why, she that bears the bow.

Finely put off!
put off (v.) 2 keep away, avert, evade


My lady goes to kill horns, but, if thou marry,
horn (n.) 2 horned beast

Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.
miscarry (v.) 4 be scarce, fail, become unproductive

Finely put on!
put on (v.) 2 push on, urge, encourage


Well then, I am the shooter.


                         And who is your deer?


If we choose by the horns, yourself. Come not near.

Finely put on indeed!


You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the brow.
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]


But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?
hit (v.) 1 hit the mark with, get at, reach


Shall I come upon thee with an old saying that
come upon (v.) approach, descend on

was a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy,

as touching the hit it?
hit it words of a song refrain [used in LL IV.i.126]
touch (v.) 1 affect, concern, regard, relate to


So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a

woman when Queen Guinevere of Britain was a little

wench, as touching the hit it.


Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,

Thou canst not hit it, my good man.


An I cannot, cannot, cannot,

An I cannot, another can.

Exit Rosaline


By my troth, most pleasant! How both did fit it!
fit it harmonize, go well together


A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.
mark (n.) 3 shot at a target
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count


A mark! O, mark but that mark! ‘ A mark,’ says my lady!
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at if it may be.
mete (v.) 2 aim, level
prick (n.) 6 bull's-eye, target, centre spot


Wide o'the bow hand! I'faith, your hand is out.
bow hand (n.) hand which holds a bow
out (adv.) 1 in error, at fault, wrong


Indeed, 'a must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.
clout (n.) 2 [archery] pin fixing a target, cloth patch at the centre of a target; mark, bull


An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count


Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.
pin (n.) 3 [archery] peg in the middle of a target; centre
upshoot (n.) [archery] final shot, determining shot


Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.
greasily (adv.) indecently, smuttily, in a vulgar way


She's too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her to bowl.
hard (adj.) 1 strong, tough, powerful
prick (n.) 6 bull's-eye, target, centre spot


I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
rubbing (n.) hindrance, impediment, forming of obstacles

Exeunt Boyet and Maria


By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown!
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!

O'my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit;
incony (adj.) fine, darling, rare
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely as it were, so fit.

Armado to th' one side – O, a most dainty man!
dainty (adj.) 3 fastidious, scrupulous, refined, particular

To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan!

To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly 'a will swear!

And his page o't' other side, that handful of wit!
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
nit (n.) little fellow; shrimp, gnat
pathetical (adj.) 1 pathetic, touching, moving

Shout within

Sola, sola!


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