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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)

    Loues Labour's lost
    Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
    1115Thou canst not hit it my good man.
    Boy. I cannot, cannot, cannot:
    And I cannot, another can.
    Clo. By my troth most pleasant, how both did fit it.
    Mar. A marke marueilous well shot, for they both
    1120did hit.
    Boy. A mark, O marke but that marke: a marke saies
    my Lady.
    Let the mark haue a pricke in't, to meat at, if it may be.
    Mar. Wide a'th bow hand, yfaith your hand is out.
    1125Clo. Indeede a'must shoote nearer, or heele ne're hit
    the clout.
    Boy. And if my hand be out, then belike your hand
    is in.
    Clo. Then will shee get the vpshoot by cleauing the
    1130is in.
    Ma. Come, come, you talke greasely, your lips grow
    Clo. She's too hard for you at pricks, sir challenge her
    to boule.
    1135Boy. I feare too much rubbing: good night my good
    Clo. By my soule a Swaine, a most simple Clowne.
    Lord, Lord, how the Ladies and I haue put him downe.
    O my troth most sweete iests, most inconie vulgar wit,
    1140When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were,
    so fit.
    Armathor ath to the side, O a most dainty man.
    To see him walke before a Lady, and to beare her Fan.
    To see him kisse his hand, and how most sweetly a will
    And his Page at other side, that handfull of wit,
    Ah heauens, it is most patheticall nit.
    Sowla, sowla.
    Shoote within.

    Enter Dull, Holofernes, the Pedant and Nathaniel.

    Nat. Very reuerent sport truely, and done in the testi-
    mony of a good conscience.
    Ped. The Deare was (as you know) sanguis in blood,
    ripe as a Pomwater, who now hangeth like a Iewell in
    1155the eare of Celo the skie; the welken the heauen, and a-
    non falleth like a Crab on the face of Terra, the soyle, the
    land, the earth.
    Curat. Nath. Truely M. Holofernes, the epythithes are
    sweetly varied like a scholler at the least: but sir I assure
    1160ye, it was a Bucke of the first head.
    Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
    Dul. 'Twas not a haud credo, 'twas a Pricket.
    Hol. Most barbarous intimation: yet a kinde of insi-
    nuation, as it were in via, in way of explication facere: as
    1165it were replication, or rather ostentare, to show as it were
    his inclination after his vndressed, vnpolished, vneduca-
    ted, vnpruned, vntrained, or rather vnlettered, or rathe-
    rest vnconfirmed fashion, to insert againe my haud credo
    for a Deare.
    1170Dul. I said the Deare was not a haud credo, 'twas a
    Hol. Twice sod simplicitie, bis coctus, O thou mon-
    ster Ignorance, how deformed doost thou looke.
    Nath. Sir hee hath neuer fed of the dainties that are
    1175bred in a booke.
    He hath not eate paper as it were:
    He hath not drunke inke.
    His intellect is not replenished, hee is onely an animall,
    onely sensible in the duller parts: and such barren plants
    1180are set before vs, that we thankfull should be:
    which we
    taste and feeling, are for those parts that doe fructifie in
    vs more then he.
    For as it would ill become me to be vaine, indiscreet, or
    a foole;
    1185So were there a patch set on Learning, to see him in a
    But omne bene say I, being of an old Fathers minde,
    Many can brooke the weather, that loue not the winde.
    Dul. You two are book-men: Can you tell by your
    1190wit, What was a month old at Cains birth, that's not fiue
    weekes old as yet?
    Hol. Dictisima goodman Dull, dictisima goodman
    Dul. What is dictima?
    1195Nath. A title to Phebe, to Luna, to the Moone.
    Hol. The Moone was a month old when Adam was
    no more.
    And wrought not to fiue-weekes when he came to fiue-
    Th'allusion holds in the Exchange.
    1200Dul. 'Tis true indeede, the Collusion holds in the
    Hol. God comfort thy capacity, I say th'allusion holds
    in the Exchange.
    Dul. And I say the polusion holds in the Exchange:
    1205for the Moone is neuer but a month old: and I say be-
    side that, 'twas a Pricket that the Princesse kill'd.
    Hol. Sir Nathaniel, will you heare an extemporall
    Epytaph on the death of the Deare, and to humour
    the ignorant call'd the Deare, the Princesse kill'd a
    Nath. Perge, good M. Holofernes, perge, so it shall
    please you to abrogate scurilitie.
    Hol I will something affect a letter, for it argues
    1215The prayfull Princesse pearst and prickt
    a prettie pleasing Pricket,
    Some say a Sore, but not a sore,
    till now made sore with shooting.
    The Dogges did yell, put ell to Sore,
    1220then Sorell iumps from thicket:
    Or Pricket-sore, or else Sorell,
    the people fall a hooting.
    If Sore be sore, then ell to Sore,
    makes fiftie sores O sorell:
    1225Of one sore I an hundred make
    by adding but one more L.
    Nath. A rare talent.
    Dul. If a talent be a claw, looke how he clawes him
    with a talent.
    1230Nath. This is a gift that I haue simple: simple, a foo-
    lish extrauagant spirit, full of formes, figures, shapes, ob-
    iects, Ideas, apprehensions, motions, reuolutions. These
    are begot in the ventricle of memorie, nourisht in the
    wombe of primater, and deliuered vpon the mellowing
    1235of occasion: but the gift is good in those in whom it is
    acute, and I am thankfull for it.
    Hol. Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may my
    parishioners, for their Sonnes are well tutor'd by you,
    and their Daughters profit very greatly vnder you: you
    1240are a good member of the common-wealth.
    Nath. Me hercle, If their Sonnes be ingennous, they