Love's Labour's Lost

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull


Satis quod sufficit.
satis... that is enough which suffices See Topics: Latin


I praise God for you, sir. Your reasons at
reason (n.) 5 observation, remark, point

dinner have been sharp and sententious, pleasant
sententious (adj.) 1 full of wise remarks, ready with acute observations, pithy
sharp (adj.) 7 subtle, delicate, acute

without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious
affection (n.) 8 affectation, posing, artificiality
scurrility (n.) bawdry, indecent language

without impudency, learned without opinion, and
impudency (n.) impudence, effrontery, presumption
opinion (n.) 5 arrogance, self-conceit, hubris

strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam
quondam (adj.) former, erstwhile, previous

day with a companion of the King's, who is entitled,
entitule, intitule (v.) 1 entitle, grace with the name of

nominated, or called Don Adriano de Armado.
nominate (v.) 1 name, specify, designate [as]


Novi hominem tanquam te. His humour is
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
novi... I know the man as well as I know you See Topics: Latin

lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his
filed (adj.) refined, smooth, polished
peremptory (adj.) 1 determined, resolved, absolutely decided

eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement
majestical (adj.) 2 grand, stately

behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is too
thrasonical (adj.) boastful, bragging, vainglorious

picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were,
odd (adj.) 1 eccentric, peculiar, unusual
picked (adj.) 1 fastidious, neat, foppish
spruce (adj.) 2 over-elegant, smart

too peregrinate, as I may call it.
peregrinate (adj.) affectedly foreign, cosmopolitan


A most singular and choice epithet.
choice (adj.) 2 appropriate, fitting, well-chosen
epithet (n.) turn of phrase, expression

He draws out his table-book
table-book (n.) notebook, memo pad, memorandum book


He draweth out the thread of his verbosity

finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
argument (n.) 3 subject, point, theme, target
staple (n.) fibre, texture, material

fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and point-device
fanatical (adj.) extravagant, flamboyant, over-the-top
insociable (adj.) 2 intolerable, impossible to associate with
phantasime (n.) one full of fancies, extravagantly behaved individual
point-device, point-devise (adj.) immaculate, affectedly precise, trim to the point of perfection

companions, such rackers of orthography, as to
orthography (n.) 2 correct spelling
racker (n.) torturer, tormentor

speak ‘dout’ sine ‘b’ when he should say ‘doubt,’ ‘det’

when he should pronounce ‘debt’ – d, e, b, t, not d, e,

t. He clepeth a calf ‘cauf’, half ‘hauf’; neighbour
clepe (v.), past form clept [archaism] call, name, style See Topics: Archaisms

vocatur ‘nebor’, neigh abbreviated ‘ne’. This is

abhominable, which he would call ‘abominable.’ It
abhominable (adj.) abominable [from the mistaken etymology ‘ab homine’]

insinuateth me of insanie. Ne intelligis, domine? To
insanie (n.) frenzy, madness, lunacy
insinuate (v.) 4 turn, introduce [to], instil [with]
ne... do you understand, sir? See Topics: Latin

make frantic, lunatic.


Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
laus... God be praised, I understand good See Topics: Latin


Bone? ‘ Bone ’ for ‘ bene ’! Priscian a little

scratched; 'twill serve.

Enter Armado, Mote, and Costard


Videsne quis venit?
videsne... do you see who is coming? See Topics: Latin


Video et gaudeo.
video... I see and I rejoice See Topics: Latin


chirrah (int.) [unclear usage; perhaps attempting a greeting in Greek] sirrah


Quare ‘ chirrah ’, not ‘ sirrah ’?


Men of peace, well encountered.


Most military sir, salutation.


(to Costard)

They have been at a great feast of

languages and stolen the scraps.


(to Mote)
alms-basket (n.) basket containing offerings to be given out for charity

O, they have lived long on the alms-basket

of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten

thee for a word, for thou art not so long by the head as

honorificabilitudinitatibus. Thou art easier swallowed

than a flap-dragon.
flap-dragon (n.) tiny sweetmeat, small cake


Peace! The peal begins.


(to Holofernes)
lettered (adj.) learned, literate, educated

Monsieur, are you not lettered?


Yes, yes! He teaches boys the horn-book. What is
hornbook, horn-book (n.) [teaching device] leaf of paper, protected by a piece of thin horn, showing the letters of the alphabet and other information

a, b, spelt backward with the horn on his head?


Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.


Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his



Quis, quis, thou consonant?
consonant (n.) little thing, nonentity


The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or

the fifth, if I.


I will repeat them: a, e, i –


The sheep. The other two concludes it – o, u.


Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a

sweet touch, a quick venue of wit! Snip, snap, quick
venue (n.) [fencing] sword-thrust, assault, thrust
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

and home! It rejoiceth my intellect. True wit!
home (adv.) 2 into the heart of the enemy, to the target


Offered by a child to an old man – which is



What is the figure? What is the figure?
figure (n.) 2 figure of speech, device, piece of rhetoric




Thou disputes like an infant. Go, whip thy

gig (n.) spinning-top


Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip

about your infamy manu cita. A gig of a cuckold's horn!
cuckold (n.) [mocking name] man with an unfaithful wife See Topics: Frequency count
manu... with a ready hand See Topics: Latin


An I had but one penny in the world, thou

shouldst have it to buy gingerbread. Hold, there is the

very remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny

purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an the

heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my bastard,

what a joyful father wouldst thou make me! Go to,

thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they



O, I smell false Latin! ‘ Dunghill ’ for
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

‘ unguem ’.


Arts-man, preambulate. We will be singuled
arts-man (n.) man of learning, scholar
preambulate (v.) walk forth, go in front
singule (v.) set apart, distinguish

from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the

charge-house on the top of the mountain?
charge-house (n.) school, college


Or mons, the hill.


At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.


I do, sans question.


Sir, it is the King's most sweet pleasure and

affection to congratulate the Princess at her pavilion in
congratulate (v.) salute, pay respects to

the posteriors of this day, which the rude multitude
posterior (n.) [facetious] hind part, later part
rude (adj.) 6 ignorant, unlearned, uneducated

call the afternoon.


The posterior of the day, most generous
generous (adj.) well-bred, mannerly, noble-minded

sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the
congruent (adj.) fitting, apt, suitable
liable (adj.) 3 fitting, apt, suitable
measurable (adj.) fitting, apt, suitable

afternoon. The word is well culled, choice, sweet, and
cull (v.) select, pick out, choose

apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.


Sir, the King is a noble gentleman, and my

familiar, I do assure ye, very good friend. For what is
familiar (n.) 1 close friend, intimate associate

inward between us, let it pass – I do beseech thee,
inward (adj.) 2 secret, private, undisclosed

remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy
apparel (v.) 2 cover, put a hat on

head. And among other importunate and most serious
importunate (adj.) persistent, pressing, insistent

designs, and of great import indeed, too – but let that
design (n.) 1 undertaking, purpose, enterprise

pass; for I must tell thee, it will please his grace, by the

world, sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder, and
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then

with his royal finger thus dally with my excrement,
dally (v.) 1 deal lightly, play about, tease
excrement (n.) outgrowth [of hair]

with my mustachio – but, sweet heart, let that pass. By
mustachio (n.) moustache

the world, I recount no fable! Some certain special

honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to Armado,

a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world –

but let that pass. The very all of all is – but, sweet
all of all sum of everything

heart, I do implore secrecy – that the King would have

me present the Princess – sweet chuck – with some
chuck (n.) chicken, chick [usually as a term of endearment] See Topics: Address forms

delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or
antic, antick(e), antique (n.) 2 bizarre dance, fantastic spectacle, grotesque entertainment
ostentation (n.) 1 public show, display, exhibition

firework. Now, understanding that the curate and your
curate (n.) parish priest, parson

sweet self are good at such eruptions and sudden
eruption (n.) 2 outburst of merriment, sally of wit

breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted

you withal, to the end to crave your assistance.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


Sir, you shall present before her the Nine

Worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment

of time, some show in the posterior of this day,
posterior (n.) [facetious] hind part, later part

to be rendered by our assistance, the King's command,

and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman,
illustrate (adj.) illustrious, resplendant, renowned

before the Princess – I say, none so fit as to present the

Nine Worthies.


Where will you find men worthy enough to

present them?


Joshua, yourself; this gallant gentleman,

Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the page,
pass (v.) 15 represent, impersonate, perform

Hercules –


Pardon, sir – error! He is not quantity enough

for that Worthy's thumb; he is not so big as the end of

his club.


Shall I have audience? He shall present
audience (n.) 1 hearing, attention, reception See Topics: Attention signals

Hercules in minority. His enter and exit shall be strangling
enter (n.) entrance, entering, arrival
minority (n.) under-age period, earlier youth, childhood

a snake; and I will have an apology for that
apology (n.) formal justification, explanation

purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


An excellent device! So if any of the audience hiss,
device (n.) 2 plan, scheme, intention

you may cry ‘ Well done, Hercules! Now thou crushest

the snake!’ That is the way to make an offence gracious,

though few have the grace to do it.


For the rest of the Worthies?


I will play three myself.


Thrice-worthy gentleman!


Shall I tell you a thing?


We attend.
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]


We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I
antic, antick(e), antique (n.) 2 bizarre dance, fantastic spectacle, grotesque entertainment
fadge (v.) 1 succeed, be suitable, turn out well

beseech you, follow.


Via, goodman Dull! Thou hast spoken no
goodman (adj.) 1 title for a person under the rank of gentleman, yeoman See Topics: Address forms
via, fia (int.) 1 come / go on, hurry up

word all this while.


Nor understood none neither, sir.


Allons! We will employ thee.


I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on
make one join in the action, take part

the tabor to the Worthies, and let them dance the
tabor (n.) type of small drum, especially used in revelling

hay (n.) 2 type of winding country dance


Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport,
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count



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