Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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
    shall want no instruction: If their Daughters be capable,
    I will put it to them. But Vir sapis qui pauca loquitur, a
    soule Feminine saluteth vs.
    Enter Iaquenetta and the Clowne.
    Iaqu. God giue you good morrow M. Person.
    Nath. Master Person, quasi Person? And if one should
    be perst, Which is the one?
    Clo. Marry M. Schoolemaster, hee that is likest to a
    Nath. Of persing a Hogshead, a good luster of con-
    ceit in a turph of Earth, Fire enough for a Flint, Pearle
    enough for a Swine: 'tis prettie, it is well.
    Iaqu. Good Master Parson be so good as reade mee
    1255this Letter, it was giuen mee by Costard, and sent mee
    from Don Armatho: I beseech you reade it.
    Facile precor gellida, quando pecas omnia sub vm-
    , and so forth. Ah good old Mantuan, I
    may speake of thee as the traueiler doth of Venice, vem-
    1260chie, vencha, que non te vnde, que non te perreche
    . Old Man-
    tuam, old Mantuan. Who vnderstandeth thee not, vt re
    sol la mi fa: Vnder pardon sir, What are the contents? or
    rather as Horrace sayes in his, What my soule verses.
    Hol. I sir, and very learned.
    1265Nath. Let me heare a staffe, a stanze, a verse, Lege do-
    If Loue make me forsworne, how shall I sweare to loue?
    Ah neuer faith could hold, if not to beautie vowed.
    Though to my selfe forsworn, to thee Ile faithfull proue.
    1270Those thoughts to mee were Okes, to thee like Osiers
    Studie his byas leaues, and makes his booke thine eyes.
    Where all those pleasures liue, that Art would compre-
    1275If knowledge be the marke, to know thee shall suffice.
    Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee cõmend.
    All ignorant that soule, that sees thee without wonder.
    Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire;
    Thy eye Ioues lightning beares, thy voyce his dreadfull
    Which not to anger bent, is musique, and sweet fire.
    Celestiall as thou art, Oh pardon loue this wrong,
    That sings heauens praise, with such an earthly tongue.
    Ped. You finde not the apostraphas, and so misse the
    1285accent. Let me superuise the cangenet.
    Nath. Here are onely numbers ratified, but for the
    elegancy, facility, & golden cadence of poesie caret: O-
    uiddius Naso was the man. And why in deed Naso, but
    for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy? the
    1290ierkes of inuention imitarie is nothing: So doth the
    Hound his master, the Ape his keeper, the tyred Horse
    his rider: But Damosella virgin, Was this directed to
    Iaq. I sir from one mounsier Berowne, one of the
    1295strange Queenes Lords.
    Nath. I will ouerglance the superscript.
    To the snow-white hand of the most beautious Lady
    I will looke againe on the intellect of the Letter, for
    the nomination of the partie written to the person writ-
    1300ten vnto.
    Your Ladiships in all desired imployment
    , Berowne.
    Per. Sir Holofernes, this Berowne is one of the Votaries
    with the King, and here he hath framed a Letter to a se-
    quent of the stranger Queenes: which accidentally, or
    1305by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip and
    goe my sweete, deliuer this Paper into the hand of the
    King, it may concerne much: stay not thy complement, I
    forgiue thy duetie, adue.
    Maid. Good Costard go with me:
    1310Sir God saue your life.
    Cost. Haue with thee my girle.
    Hol. Sir you haue done this in the feare of God very
    religiously: and as a certaine Father saith
    Ped. Sir tell not me of the Father, I do feare coloura-
    1315ble colours. But to returne to the Verses, Did they please
    you sir Nathaniel?
    Nath. Marueilous well for the pen.
    Peda. I do dine to day at the fathers of a certaine Pu-
    pill of mine, where if (being repast) it shall please you to
    1320gratifie the table with a Grace, I will on my priuiledge I
    haue with the parents of the foresaid Childe or Pupill,
    vndertake your bien vonuto, where I will proue those
    Verses to be very vnlearned, neither sauouring of
    Poetrie, Wit, nor Inuention. I beseech your So-
    Nat. And thanke you to: for societie (saith the text)
    is the happinesse of life.
    Peda. And certes the text most infallibly concludes it.
    Sir I do inuite you too, you shall not say me nay: pauca
    Away, the gentles are at their game, and we will to our