Love's Labour's Lost

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull
reverend (adj.) revered, worthy, respected
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


Very reverend sport, truly, and done in the

testimony of a good conscience.
testimony (n.) warrant, acknowledgement, assurance


The deer was, as you know, in sanguis,

blood; ripe as the pomewater, who now hangeth like a
blood, in [hunting] full of life, in fine condition
pomewater (n.) variety of large juicy apple

jewel in the ear of caelum, the sky, the welkin, the
welkin (n.) sky, firmament, heavens

heaven, and anon falleth like a crab on the face of
anon (adv.) 2 [after ‘now’] at another time, presently
crab (n.) crab-apple, sour apple

terra, the soil, the land, the earth.


Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are

sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least; but, sir, I
least, at the at the lowest estimate, at any rate

assure ye it was a buck of the first head.
head, of the first [of deer] with antlers first developed


Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
haud... I don't believe it See Topics: Latin


'Twas not an awd grey doe, 'twas a pricket.
awd (adj.) dialect form of ‘old’
pricket (n.) two-year-old buck deer


Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of
intimation (n.) intrusion, expression, suggestion

insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication;
in via in way See Topics: Latin
insinuation (n.) 1 beginning, instilling, suggestion

facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, ostentare, to
replication (n.) 2 reverberation, echo

show, as it were, his inclination – after his undressed,

unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or,

rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion
unconfirmed (adj.) inexperienced, uninstructed, ignorant

– to insert again my haud credo for a deer.
insert again put in place of, substitute [with]


I said the deer was not an awd grey doe, 'twas a



Twice-sod simplicity! Bis coctus!
bis... cooked twice See Topics: Latin
sod (adj.) soaked, sodden, steeped

O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!


Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book.
dainty (n.) 1 delight, choice pleasure

He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk

ink. His intellect is not replenished. He is only an
replenished (adj.) complete, perfect, consummate

animal, only sensible in the duller parts.
sensible (adj.) 1 sensitive, responsive, capable of feeling

And such barren plants are set before us that we thankful should be –

Which we of taste and feeling are – for those parts that do fructify in us more than he.
fructify (v.) bear fruit, become fruitful

For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool,
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school.
patch (n.) fool, clown; rogue, knave

But omne bene, say I, being of an old father's mind;
father (n.) 3 father of the Church, early Christian writer
omne... all's well See Topics: Latin

Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with


You two are book-men – can you tell me by your wit
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

What was a month old at Cain's birth that's not five weeks old as yet?


Dictynna, goodman Dull. Dictynna, goodman
goodman (adj.) 1 title for a person under the rank of gentleman, yeoman See Topics: Address forms



What is Dictima?


A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.


The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,

And raught not to five weeks when he came to five-score.
reach (v.), past form raught 1 equal, match, attain to

Th' allusion holds in the exchange.
allusion (n.) riddle, wordplay, figure
exchange (n.) 1 change, transposition


'Tis true, indeed; the collusion holds in the
collusion (n.) malapropism for ‘allusion’



God comfort thy capacity! I say, th' allusion
capacity (n.) intelligence, understanding, capability
comfort (v.) 3 have pity on, console, relieve

holds in the exchange.


And I say the pollution holds in the exchange, for

the moon is never but a month old; and I say beside

that 'twas a pricket that the Princess killed.
pricket (n.) two-year-old buck deer


Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal
extemporal (adj.) extempore, unplanned, improvised

epitaph on the death of the deer? And, to humour the

ignorant, call I the deer the Princess killed a pricket.


Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it

shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
abrogate (v.) do away with, put an end to, abstain from
scurrility (n.) bawdry, indecent language


I will something affect the letter, for it
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out
letter, affect the practise alliteration
something (adv.) 2 a little, to some extent

argues facility.
argue (v.) 1 indicate, betoken, be evidence of

The preyful Princess pierced and pricked a pretty pleasing pricket;
preyful (adj.) desirous of prey, preying

Some say a sore, but not a sore till now made sore with shooting.
sore (n.) 2 four-year-old buck

The dogs did yell; put ‘ L ’ to sore, then sorel jumps from thicket;
sorel (n.) three-year-old buck

Or pricket, sore, or else sorel, the people fall a-hooting.

If sore be sore, then ‘ L ’ to sore makes fifty sores o' sorel:

Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one more ‘ L.’


A rare talent!


If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a
claw (v.) 1 flatter, preen, set off
talent (n.) 2 variant form of ‘talon’



This is a gift that I have; simple, simple; a

foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures,
extravagant (adj.) vagrant, straying, roaming
figure (n.) 2 figure of speech, device, piece of rhetoric
form (n.) 1 image, likeness, shape

shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions.
apprehension (n.) 2 conception, grasping by the mind, awareness
motion (n.) 1 inner movement, inward prompting, natural impulse, imagining
revolution (n.) 3 twisting and turning of the thoughts

These are begot in the ventricle of memory,
ventricle (n.) cavity within the brain

nourished in the womb of pia mater, and delivered
deliver (v.) 6 be born, bring forth
pia mater (n.) membrane covering the brain; brain

upon the mellowing of occasion. But the gift is good
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.


Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may

my parishioners, for their sons are well tutored by you,

and their daughters profit very greatly under you. You

are a good member of the commonwealth.
commonweal, commonwealth (n.) state, nation, community, body politic


Mehercle! If their sons be ingenious, they
ingenious (adj.) 1 alert, fully conscious, intelligent, capable
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

shall want no instruction; if their daughters be capable,

I will put it to them. But vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. A
vir... it's a wise man that says little See Topics: Latin

soul feminine saluteth us.

Enter Jaquenetta with a letter, and Costard
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


God give you good morrow, Master Parson.


Master Parson – quasi pierce-one? An if

one should be pierced, which is the one?


Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likest to

a hogshead.
hogshead (n.) large cask, barrel [of wine]


Piercing a hogshead! A good lustre of conceit
conceit (n.) 1 imagination, fancy, wit
lustre (n.) 2 gleam, glimmer, flash

in a turf of earth, fire enough for a flint, pearl

enough for a swine. 'Tis pretty; it is well.


Good Master Parson, be so good as read me

this letter. It was given me by Costard, and sent me

from Don Armado. I beseech you, read it.


Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra
Fauste... I pray, Faustus, when all the cattle ruminate in the cool shade See Topics: Latin


and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan, I may speak of thee

as the traveller doth of Venice:

Venetia, Venetia,

Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.

Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee

not, loves thee not. (He sings) Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa. –

Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? Or, rather,
pardon (n.) permission, consent, approval See Topics: Politeness

as Horace says in his – What, my soul, verses?


Ay, sir, and very learned.


Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse. Lege,
lege... read, master See Topics: Latin
staff (n.) 4 stanza, verse
stanze (v.) stanza



forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count

If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?

Ah, never faith could hold if not to beauty vowed!

Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove;

Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bowed.
osier (n.) willow

Study his bias leaves and makes his book thine eyes,
bias (n.) 1 [weighting in a bowl causing it to run obliquely] inclination, tendency, leaning

Where all those pleasures live that art would comprehend.

If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice:
mark (n.) 1 target, goal, aim

Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
commend (v.) 4 praise, admire, extol

All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
wonder (n.) 1 feeling of wonder, astonishment, marvelling

Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire.
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,

Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn

Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,

That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue!


You find not the apostrophus, and so miss
apostrophus (n.) mark of elision

the accent. Let me supervise the canzonet.
canzonet (n.) poem, short song
supervise (v.) look over, read through, peruse

He takes the letter
elegancy (n.) elegance
number (n.) 1 (plural) verses, lines
ratify (v.) make metrically correct, bring into proportion

Here are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy,

facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius

Naso was the man; and why indeed ‘ Naso ’ but for

smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks
jerk (n.) stroke, thrust, sally
odoriferous (adj.) odorous, sweet-smelling, fragrant

of invention? Imitari is nothing. So doth the hound his
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty

master, the ape his keeper, the tired horse his rider.
tired (adj.) attired, equipped with trappings

But, damosella virgin, was this directed to you?
damosella (n.) damsel, young maiden


Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one

of the strange Queen's lords.
strange (adj.) 4 foreign, alien, from abroad


I will overglance the superscript: (reading)

To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady Rosaline.

I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for
intellect (n.) purport, meaning, contents

the nomination of the party writing to the person written
nomination (n.) 1 naming, mention, reference
party (n.) 5 person, fellow

unto: Your ladyship's, in all desired employment,
employment (n.) 1 task, service, commission

Berowne. Sir Nathaniel, this Berowne is one of the

votaries with the King; and here he hath framed a
frame (v.) 1 fashion, make, form, create
votary (n.) 2 someone bound by a special vow

letter to a sequent of the stranger Queen's, which accidentally,
sequent (n.) follower, attendant
stranger (adj.) foreign, alien

or by the way of progression, hath miscarried.
miscarry (v.) 5 [of letters] go astray, fall into the wrong hands
progression (n.) onward movement, moving along the way

Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the royal

hand of the King; it may concern much. Stay not thy
concern (v.) 2 be of importance, be of concern
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

compliment; I forgive thy duty. Adieu.
compliment, complement (n.) 2 ceremony, etiquette, protocol
duty (n.) 2 reverence, due respect, proper attitude


Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save

your life.


Have with thee, my girl.

Exeunt Costard and



Sir, you have done this in the fear of God,

very religiously; and as a certain father saith –
father (n.) 3 father of the Church, early Christian writer
religiously (adv.) 3 reverently, piously, devoutly


Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear

colourable colours. But to return to the verses: did
colour (n.) 1 pretext, pretence
colourable (adj.) capable of being interpreted in many ways, conveniently plausible

they please you, Sir Nathaniel?


Marvellous well for the pen.
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count
pen (n.) penmanship, style of handwriting


I do dine today at the father's of a certain

pupil of mine, where, if before repast it shall please
repast (n.) food and drink, meal, refreshment

you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my
grace (n.) 9 grace before meals, prayer of thanksgiving
gratify (v.) 2 please, oblige, favour

privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid child
foresaid (adj.) aforesaid

or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I will prove
ben venuto (n.) warm welcome
undertake (v.) 1 ensure, guarantee, vouch for

those verses to be very unlearned, neither savouring of

poetry, wit, nor invention. I beseech your society.
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count


And thank you too, for society – saith the

text – is the happiness of life.


And, certes, the text most infallibly
certes (adv.) certainly, assuredly, without doubt

concludes it. (To Dull) Sir, I do invite you too; you shall

not say me nay. Pauca verba. Away! The gentles are at
gentle (n.) 3 (plural) gentlemen

their game, and we will to our recreation.
game (n.) 1 hunting practice, sporting routine


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