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Love's Labour's Lost

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Act V, Scene 1

The same.



  • Sir Nathaniel. I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner 1735
    have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without
    scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without
    impudency, learned without opinion, and strange with-
    out heresy. I did converse this quondam day with
    a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nomi- 1740
    nated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.
  • Holofernes. Novi hominem tanquam te: his humour is lofty, his
    discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye
    ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
    behavior vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is 1745
    too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it
    were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

[Draws out his table-book]

  • Holofernes. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer 1750
    than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
    fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and
    point-devise companions; such rackers of
    orthography, as to speak dout, fine, when he should
    say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,—d, 1755
    e, b, t, not d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf;
    half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebor; neigh
    abbreviated ne. This is abhominable,—which he
    would call abbominable: it insinuateth me of
    insanie: anne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic. 1760
  • Holofernes. Bon, bon, fort bon, Priscian! a little scratch'd,
    'twill serve.



  • Moth. [Aside to COSTARD] They have been at a great feast
    of languages, and stolen the scraps.
  • Costard. O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words.
    I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; 1775
    for thou art not so long by the head as
    honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
    swallowed than a flap-dragon.
  • Moth. Peace! the peal begins.
  • Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a,
    b, spelt backward, with the horn on his head?
  • Moth. Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.
  • Moth. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
    the fifth, if I.
  • Moth. The sheep: the other two concludes it,—o, u.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweet 1790
    touch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick and
    home! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!
  • Moth. Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.
  • Holofernes. What is the figure? what is the figure?
  • Holofernes. Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.
  • Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip about
    your infamy circum circa,—a gig of a cuckold's horn.
  • Costard. An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst
    have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very 1800
    remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny
    purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an
    the heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my
    bastard, what a joyful father wouldst thou make me!
    Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' 1805
    ends, as they say.
  • Holofernes. O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Arts-man, preambulate, we will be singled from the
    barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the
    charge-house on the top of the mountain? 1810
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and
    affection to congratulate the princess at her 1815
    pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the
    rude multitude call the afternoon.
  • Holofernes. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, is
    liable, congruent and measurable for the afternoon:
    the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I do 1820
    assure you, sir, I do assure.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my familiar,
    I do assure ye, very good friend: for what is
    inward between us, let it pass. I do beseech thee,
    remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy 1825
    head: and among other important and most serious
    designs, and of great import indeed, too, but let
    that pass: for I must tell thee, it will please his
    grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor
    shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus, dally 1830
    with my excrement, with my mustachio; but, sweet
    heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no
    fable: some certain special honours it pleaseth his
    greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of
    travel, that hath seen the world; but let that pass. 1835
    The very all of all is,—but, sweet heart, I do
    implore secrecy,—that the king would have me
    present the princess, sweet chuck, with some
    delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or
    antique, or firework. Now, understanding that the 1840
    curate and your sweet self are good at such
    eruptions and sudden breaking out of mirth, as it
    were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to
    crave your assistance.
  • Holofernes. Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies. 1845
    Sir, as concerning some entertainment of time, some
    show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by
    our assistants, at the king's command, and this most
    gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before
    the princess; I say none so fit as to present the 1850
    Nine Worthies.
  • Sir Nathaniel. Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
  • Holofernes. Joshua, yourself; myself and this gallant gentleman,
    Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
    limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the 1855
    page, Hercules,—
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for
    that Worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.
  • Holofernes. Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in
    minority: his enter and exit shall be strangling a 1860
    snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.
  • Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the audience
    hiss, you may cry 'Well done, Hercules! now thou
    crushest the snake!' that is the way to make an
    offence gracious, though few have the grace to do it. 1865
  • Moth. Thrice-worthy gentleman!
  • Holofernes. Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.
  • Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir.
  • Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play
    On the tabour to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.
  • Holofernes. Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away!