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Home > Love's Labour's Lost > ACT IV - SCENE I. The same.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. The same.
PRINCESS
1    Was that the king, that spurred his horse so hard
2    Against the steep uprising of the hill?
BOYET
3    I know not; but I think it was not he.
PRINCESS
4    Whoe'er a' was, a' show'd a mounting mind.
5    Well, lords, to-day we shall have our dispatch:
6    On Saturday we will return to France.
7    Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
8    That we must stand and play the murderer in?
Forester
9    Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
10   A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
PRINCESS
11   I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
12   And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot.
Forester
13   Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
PRINCESS
14   What, what? first praise me and again say no?
15   O short-lived pride! Not fair? alack for woe!
Forester
16   Yes, madam, fair.
PRINCESS
17   Nay, never paint me now:
18   Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
19   Here, good my glass, take this for telling true:
20   Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
Forester
21   Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
PRINCESS
22   See see, my beauty will be saved by merit!
23   O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
24   A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
25   But come, the bow: now mercy goes to kill,
26   And shooting well is then accounted ill.
27   Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
28   Not wounding, pity would not let me do't;
29   If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
30   That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
31   And out of question so it is sometimes,
32   Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
33   When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
34   We bend to that the working of the heart;
35   As I for praise alone now seek to spill
36   The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.
BOYET
37   Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
38   Only for praise sake, when they strive to be
39   Lords o'er their lords?
PRINCESS
40   Only for praise: and praise we may afford
41   To any lady that subdues a lord.
BOYET
42   Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
Enter COSTARD

COSTARD
43   God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?
PRINCESS
44   Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.
COSTARD
45   Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
PRINCESS
46   The thickest and the tallest.
COSTARD
47   The thickest and the tallest! it is so; truth is truth.
48   An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
49   One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit.
50   Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest here.
PRINCESS
51   What's your will, sir? what's your will?
COSTARD
52   I have a letter from Monsieur Biron to one Lady Rosaline.
PRINCESS
53   O, thy letter, thy letter! he's a good friend of mine:
54   Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve;
55   Break up this capon.
BOYET
56   I am bound to serve.
57   This letter is mistook, it importeth none here;
58   It is writ to Jaquenetta.
PRINCESS
59   We will read it, I swear.
60   Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.
Reads

BOYET
61   'By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;
62   true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that
63   thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
64   than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have
65   commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The
66   magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set
67   eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar
68   Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say,
69   Veni, vidi, vici; which to annothanize in the
70   vulgar,--O base and obscure vulgar!--videlicet, He
71   came, saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw two;
72   overcame, three. Who came? the king: why did he
73   come? to see: why did he see? to overcome: to
74   whom came he? to the beggar: what saw he? the
75   beggar: who overcame he? the beggar. The
76   conclusion is victory: on whose side? the king's.
77   The captive is enriched: on whose side? the
78   beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial: on whose
79   side? the king's: no, on both in one, or one in
80   both. I am the king; for so stands the comparison:
81   thou the beggar; for so witnesseth thy lowliness.
82   Shall I command thy love? I may: shall I enforce
83   thy love? I could: shall I entreat thy love? I
84   will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes;
85   for tittles? titles; for thyself? me. Thus,
86   expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot,
87   my eyes on thy picture. and my heart on thy every
88   part. Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
89   DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.'
90   Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
91   'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
92   Submissive fall his princely feet before,
93   And he from forage will incline to play:
94   But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
95   Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
PRINCESS
96   What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
97   What vane? what weathercock? did you ever hear better?
BOYET
98   I am much deceived but I remember the style.
PRINCESS
99   Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.
BOYET
100  This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
101  A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
102  To the prince and his bookmates.
PRINCESS
103  Thou fellow, a word:
104  Who gave thee this letter?
COSTARD
105  I told you; my lord.
PRINCESS
106  To whom shouldst thou give it?
COSTARD
107  From my lord to my lady.
PRINCESS
108  From which lord to which lady?
COSTARD
109  From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,
110  To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.
PRINCESS
111  Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
To ROSALINE
112  Here, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another day.
Exeunt PRINCESS and train

BOYET
113  Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?
ROSALINE
114  Shall I teach you to know?
BOYET
115  Ay, my continent of beauty.
ROSALINE
116  Why, she that bears the bow.
117  Finely put off!
BOYET
118  My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
119  Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
120  Finely put on!
ROSALINE
121  Well, then, I am the shooter.
BOYET
122  And who is your deer?
ROSALINE
123  If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
124  Finely put on, indeed!
MARIA
125  You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes
126  at the brow.
BOYET
127  But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?
ROSALINE
128  Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was
129  a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as
130  touching the hit it?
BOYET
131  So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
132  woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
133  wench, as touching the hit it.
ROSALINE
134  Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
135  Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
BOYET
136  An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
137  An I cannot, another can.
Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE

COSTARD
138  By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!
MARIA
139  A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.
BOYET
140  A mark! O, mark but that mark! A mark, says my lady!
141  Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.
MARIA
142  Wide o' the bow hand! i' faith, your hand is out.
COSTARD
143  Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.
BOYET
144  An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
COSTARD
145  Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.
MARIA
146  Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.
COSTARD
147  She's too hard for you at pricks, sir: challenge her to bowl.
BOYET
148  I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
Exeunt BOYET and MARIA

COSTARD
149  By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
150  Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down!
151  O' my troth, most sweet jests! most incony
152  vulgar wit!
153  When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
154  were, so fit.
155  Armado o' th' one side,--O, a most dainty man!
156  To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
157  To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a'
158  will swear!
159  And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit!
160  Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!
161  Sola, sola!
Shout within

Exit COSTARD, running

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IACT IV, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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