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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1598)

    A pleasant conceited Comedie:

    was a man when King Pippen of Frannce was a litle boy, as
    1110touchiug the hit it.
    Boy. So I may answere thee with one as olde that was a
    woman when queene Guinouer of Brittaine was a litle wench
    as toching the hit it.
    Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
    1115Thou canst not hit it my good man.
    And I cannot, cannot, cannot: and I cannot, an other (can,
    Clo. By my troth most plesant, how both did fit it.
    Mar. A marke marueilous wel shot, for they both did hit.
    Bo. A mark, O mark but that mark: a mark saies my Lady.
    Let the mark haue a prick in't, to meate at, if it may be.
    Mar. Wide a'the bow hand, yfaith your hand is out.
    1125Clo. Indeed a'must shoot nearer, or hele neare hit the clout.
    Boy. And if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.
    Clo. Then will she get the vpshoot by cleauing the is in.
    Ma. Come come, you talke greasely, your lips grow fowle.
    Cl. Shes to hard for you at pricks, sir challeng her to bowle
    1135Bo. I feare too much rubbing: good night my good owle.
    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 iestes, most inconic vulgar wit,
    1140When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenly as it were, so fit.
    Armatho ath toothen side, o a most daintie man,
    To see him walke before a Lady, and to beare her Fann.
    To see him kisse his hand, & how most sweetly a wil sweare:
    And his Page atother side, that handfull of wit,
    Ah heauens, it is most patheticall nit.
    Sowla, sowla. Exeunt. Shoot within.
    1150Enter Dull, Holofernes, the Pedant and Nathaniel.
    Nat. Very reuerent sport truly, and done in the testimonie
    of a good conscience.
    Ped. The Deare was (as you know) sanguis in blood, ripe
    as the Pomwater, who now hangeth like a Iewel in the eare
    1155of Celo the skie, the welken the heauen, & anon falleth like
    a Crab on the face of Terra, the soyle, the land, the earth.
    Curat Nath. Truely M. Holofernes, the epythithes are
    sweetly varried like a scholler at the least: but sir I assure ye
    1160it was a Bucke of the first head.