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Love's Labor's Lost - Act 4, scene 1
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Navigate this workLove's Labor's Lost - Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 1
While hunting, the Princess, her ladies, and Boyet are visited by Costard, who, by mistake, delivers to them Armado’s letter to Jaquenetta (rather than Berowne’s letter to Rosaline).Enter the Princess, a Forester, her Ladies, ⌜Boyet⌝ and
her ⌜other⌝ Lords.
0993 Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard
0994 Against the steep uprising of the hill?
0995 I know not, but I think it was not he.
0996 Whoe’er he was, he showed a mounting mind.—
0997 5 Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch.
0998 Or Saturday we will return to France.—
0999 Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush
1000 That we must stand and play the murderer in?
1001 Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice,
1002 10 A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.
1003 I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,
1004 And thereupon thou speakst “the fairest shoot.”
1005 Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
1006 What, what? First praise me, and again say no?
1007 15 O short-lived pride. Not fair? Alack, for woe!
1008 Yes, madam, fair.
PRINCESS 1009 Nay, never paint me now.
1010 Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
1011 Here, good my glass, take this for telling true.
⌜She gives him money.⌝
1012 20 Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
1013 Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
1014 See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit.
1015 O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
1016 A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
1017 25 But come, the bow. ⌜He hands her a bow.⌝ Now
1018 mercy goes to kill,
1019 And shooting well is then accounted ill.
1020 Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:
1021 Not wounding, pity would not let me do ’t;
1022 30 If wounding, then it was to show my skill,
1023 That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.
1024 And out of question so it is sometimes:
1025 Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,
1026 When for fame’s sake, for praise, an outward part,
1027 35 We bend to that the working of the heart;
1028 As I for praise alone now seek to spill
1029 The poor deer’s blood, that my heart means no ill.
1030 Do not curst wives hold that self sovereignty
1031 Only for praise’ sake when they strive to be
1032 40 Lords o’er their lords?
1033 Only for praise; and praise we may afford
1034 To any lady that subdues a lord.
Enter Clown ⌜Costard.⌝
1035 Here comes a member of the commonwealth.
COSTARD 1036 God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the
1037 45 head lady?
PRINCESS 1038 Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that
1039 have no heads.
COSTARD 1040 Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
PRINCESS 1041 The thickest and the tallest.
1042 50 The thickest and the tallest: it is so, truth is
1044 An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
1045 One o’ these maids’ girdles for your waist should be
1047 55 Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest
PRINCESS 1049 What’s your will, sir? What’s your will?
COSTARD 1050 I have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to
1051 one Lady Rosaline.
1052 60 O, thy letter, thy letter! He’s a good friend of mine.
1053 Stand aside, good bearer.—Boyet, you can carve.
1054 Break up this capon.
BOYET, ⌜taking the letter⌝ 1055 I am bound to serve.
1056 This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.
1057 65 It is writ to Jaquenetta.
PRINCESS 1058 We will read it, I swear.
1059 Break the neck of the wax, and everyone give ear.
BOYET reads. 1060 By heaven, that thou art fair is most
1061 infallible, true that thou art beauteous, truth itself
1062 70 that thou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful
1063 than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration
1064 on thy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and
1065 most illustrate King Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious
1066 and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it
1067 75 was that might rightly say “Veni, vidi, vici,” which to
p. 891068 annothanize in the vulgar (O base and obscure vulgar!)
1069 videlicet, “He came, see, and overcame”: He
1070 came, one; see, two; overcame, three. Who came? The
1071 King. Why did he come? To see. Why did he see? To
1072 80 overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar. What
1073 saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar.
1074 The conclusion is victory. On whose side? The
1075 ⌜King’s.⌝ The captive is enriched. On whose side? The
1076 beggar’s. The catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side?
1077 85 The King’s—no, on both in one, or one in both. I am
1078 the King, for so stands the comparison; thou the
1079 beggar, for so witnesseth thy lowliness. Shall I command
1080 thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy love? I could.
1081 Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou
1082 90 exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles? Titles. For thyself?
1083 Me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy
1084 foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every
1086 Thine, in the dearest design of industry,
1087 95 Don Adriano de Armado.
1088 Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
1089 ’Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey.
1090 Submissive fall his princely feet before,
1091 And he from forage will incline to play.
1092 100 But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then?
1093 Food for his rage, repasture for his den.
1094 What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
1095 What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear
1097 105 I am much deceived but I remember the style.
1098 Else your memory is bad, going o’er it erewhile.
1099 This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court,
p. 911100 A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes
1102 110 To the Prince and his bookmates.
PRINCESS, ⌜to Costard⌝ 1103 Thou, fellow, a word.
1104 Who gave thee this letter?
COSTARD 1105 I told you: my lord.
1106 To whom shouldst thou give it?
COSTARD 1107 115 From my lord to my
PRINCESS 1109 From which lord to which lady?
1110 From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
1111 To a lady of France that he called Rosaline.
1112 120 Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
1113 ⌜To Rosaline.⌝ Here, sweet, put up this; ’twill be
1114 thine another day.
⌜The Princess, Katherine, Lords, and
Forester exit. Boyet, Rosaline, Maria,
and Costard remain.⌝
1115 Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?
ROSALINE 1116 Shall I
1117 125 teach you to know?
1118 Ay, my continent of beauty.
ROSALINE 1119 Why, she that bears the bow.
1120 Finely put off.
1121 My lady goes to kill horns, but if thou marry,
1122 130 Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.
1123 Finely put on.
1124 Well, then, I am the shooter.
BOYET 1125 And who is your deer?
1126 If we choose by the horns, yourself come not near.
1127 135 Finely put on, indeed.
1128 You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at
1129 the brow.
1130 But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?
ROSALINE 1131 Shall I come upon thee with an old saying,
1132 140 that was a man when King Pippen of France was a
1133 little boy, as touching the hit it?
BOYET 1134 So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a
1135 woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little
1136 wench, as touching the hit it.
1137 145 Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
1138 Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
1139 An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
1140 An I cannot, another can.
1141 By my troth, most pleasant. How both did fit it!
1142 150 A mark marvelous well shot, for they both did hit
1144 A mark! O, mark but that mark. “A mark,” says my
1146 Let the mark have a prick in ’t to mete at, if it may
1147 155 be.
1148 Wide o’ the bow hand! I’ faith, your hand is out.
1149 Indeed, he must shoot nearer, or he’ll ne’er hit the
p. 95BOYET, ⌜to Maria⌝
1151 An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
1152 160 Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the ⌜pin.⌝
1153 Come, come, you talk greasily. Your lips grow foul.
COSTARD, ⌜to Boyet⌝
1154 She’s too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her
1155 to bowl.
1156 I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
⌜Boyet and Maria exit.⌝
1157 165 By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown.
1158 Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him
1160 O’ my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar
1162 170 When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
1163 were, so fit.
1164 Armado ⌜o’ th’ one⌝ side, O, a most dainty man!
1165 To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan.
1166 To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly he
1167 175 will swear.
1168 And his page o’ t’ other side, that handful of wit!
1169 Ah heavens, it is ⌜a⌝ most pathetical nit.
1170 Sola, sola!