Love's Labour's Lost

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter the Princesse, a Forrester, her Ladies, andEnter the Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Katharine, LLL IV.i.1.1
her Lords.Boyet and two more attendant Lords, LLL IV.i.1.2
and a Forester LLL IV.i.1.3
Was that the King that spurd his horse so hard,Was that the King that spurred his horse so hard LLL IV.i.1
Against the steepe vprising of the hill?Against the steep-up rising of the hill?steep-up (adj.)

old form: steepe
precipitous, virtually perpendicular, sudden
LLL IV.i.2
I know not, but I thinke it was not he.I know not, but I think it was not he LLL IV.i.3
Who ere a was, a shew'd a mounting minde:Whoe'er 'a was, 'a showed a mounting mind. LLL IV.i.4
Well Lords, to day we shall haue our dispatch,Well, lords, today we shall have our dispatch;dispatch, despatch (n.)
settlement of business, sorting out of affairs
LLL IV.i.5
On Saterday we will returne to France.On Saturday we will return to France. LLL IV.i.6
Then Forrester my friend, Where is the BushThen, forester, my friend, where is the bush LLL IV.i.7
That we must stand and play the murtherer in?That we must stand and play the murderer in? LLL IV.i.8
Hereby vpon the edge of yonder Coppice,Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice; LLL IV.i.9
A Stand where you may make the fairest shoote.A stand where you may make the fairest shoot.shoot (n.)

old form: shoote
shot, act of shooting
LLL IV.i.10
stand (n.)
[hunting] standing-place, hiding-place
fair (adj.)
favourable, unobstructed, clear
I thanke my beautie, I am faire that shoote,I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot,fair (adj.)

old form: faire
handsome, good-looking, beautiful
LLL IV.i.11
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoote.And thereupon thou speakest ‘ the fairest shoot.’ LLL IV.i.12
Pardon me Madam, for I meant not so.Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so. LLL IV.i.13
What, what? First praise me, & then again say no.What, what? First praise me, and again say no? LLL IV.i.14
O short liu'd pride. Not faire? alacke for woe. O short-lived pride! Not fair? Alack for woe! LLL IV.i.15
Yes Madam faire.Yes, madam, fair. LLL IV.i.16.1
Nay, neuer paint me now,Nay, never paint me now! LLL IV.i.16.2
Where faire is not, praise cannot mend the brow.Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.brow (n.)
appearance, aspect, countenance
LLL IV.i.17
Here (good my glasse) take this for telling true:Here, good my glass, take this for telling true;glass (n.)

old form: glasse
mirror, looking-glass
LLL IV.i.18
(She gives him money) LLL IV.i.19
Faire paiment for foule words, is more then due.Fair payment for foul words is more than due. LLL IV.i.19
Nothing but faire is that which you inherit.Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.inherit (v.)
receive, obtain, come into possession [of]
LLL IV.i.20
See, see, my beautie will be sau'd by merit.See, see, my beauty will be saved by merit!merit (n.)
desert, deserving, inner worth
LLL IV.i.21
O heresie in faire, fit for these dayes,O heresy in fair, fit for these days!fair (n.)

old form: faire
fair face, beauty
LLL IV.i.22
A giuing hand, though foule, shall haue faire praise.A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise. LLL IV.i.23
But come, the Bow: Now Mercie goes to kill,But come, the bow! Now mercy goes to kill, LLL IV.i.24
And shooting well, is then accounted ill:And shooting well is then accounted ill.ill (adv.)
imperfectly, poorly, to ill effect
LLL IV.i.25
Thus will I saue my credit in the shoote,Thus will I save my credit in the shoot:credit (n.)
reputation, name, standing, honour
LLL IV.i.26
Not wounding, pittie would not let me do't:Not wounding, pity would not let me do't; LLL IV.i.27
If wounding, then it was to shew my skill,If wounding, then it was to show my skill, LLL IV.i.28
That more for praise, then purpose meant to kill.That more for praise than purpose meant to kill.purpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
LLL IV.i.29
And out of question, so it is sometimes:And out of question so it is sometimes;question, out of
undoubtedly, beyond question, certainly
LLL IV.i.30
Glory growes guiltie of detested crimes,Glory grows guilty of detested crimes,glory (n.)
boastful spirit, vaingloriousness
LLL IV.i.31
When for Fames sake, for praise an outward part,When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part, LLL IV.i.32
We bend to that, the working of the hart.We bend to that the working of the heart; LLL IV.i.33
As I for praise alone now seeke to spillAs I for praise alone now seek to spill LLL IV.i.34
The poore Deeres blood, that my heart meanes no ill.The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.ill (n.)
wrong, injury, harm, evil
LLL IV.i.35
Do not curst wiues hold that selfe-soueraigntieDo not curst wives hold that self-sovereigntyself-sovereignty (n.)self-control, self-disciplineLLL IV.i.36
curst (adj.)
bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
Onely for praise sake, when they striue to beOnly for praise' sake, when they strive to be LLL IV.i.37
Lords ore their Lords?Lords o'er their lords? LLL IV.i.38
Onely for praise, and praise we may afford,Only for praise, and praise we may afford LLL IV.i.39
To any Lady that subdewes a Lord.To any lady that subdues a lord. LLL IV.i.40
Enter Clowne.Enter Costard LLL IV.i.41.1
Here comes a member of the common-wealth.Here comes a member of the commonwealth.commonweal, commonwealth (n.)

old form: common-wealth
state, nation, community, body politic
LLL IV.i.41
God dig-you-den all, pray you which is theGod dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the LLL IV.i.42
head Lady?head lady? LLL IV.i.43
Thou shalt know her fellow, by the rest thatThou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that LLL IV.i.44
haue no heads.have no heads. LLL IV.i.45
Which is the greatest Lady, the highest?Which is the greatest lady, the highest? LLL IV.i.46
The thickest, and the tallest.The thickest and the tallest. LLL IV.i.47
The thickest, & the tallest: it is so, truth isThe thickest and the tallest! It is so – truth is LLL IV.i.48
truth. truth. LLL IV.i.49
And your waste Mistris, were as slender as my wit,An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,and, an (conj.)
if, whether
LLL IV.i.50
wit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
One a these Maides girdles for your waste should be fit.One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit. LLL IV.i.51
Are not you the chiefe womã? You are the thickest Are not you the chief woman? You are the thickest LLL IV.i.52
here?here. LLL IV.i.53
What's your will sir? What's your will?What's your will, sir? What's your will? LLL IV.i.54
I haue a Letter from Monsier Berowne, / To oneI have a letter from Monsieur Berowne to one LLL IV.i.55
Lady Rosaline.Lady Rosaline. LLL IV.i.56
O thy letter, thy letter: He's a good friend of mine.O, thy letter, thy letter! He's a good friend of mine. LLL IV.i.57
She takes the letter LLL IV.i.58.1
Stand a side good bearer. / Boyet, you can carue,Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carvecarve (v.)

old form: carue
cut up meat at table
LLL IV.i.58
Breake vp this Capon.Break up this capon.break up (v.)

old form: Breake vp
cut up, carve
LLL IV.i.59.1
capon (n.)
chicken, castrated cockerel [bred for eating]
Boyet. BOYET 
I am bound to serue.I am bound to serve. LLL IV.i.59.2
He reads the LLL IV.i.60.1
superscriptsuperscript (n.)
address, heading, opening
LLL IV.i.60.2
This Letter is mistooke: it importeth none here:This letter is mistook; it importeth none here.import (v.)
be of importance to, concern, matter to
LLL IV.i.60
mistake (v.)

old form: mistooke
wrongly deliver, take to the wrong person
It is writ to Iaquenetta.It is writ to Jaquenetta. LLL IV.i.61.1
We will reade it, I sweare.We will read it, I swear. LLL IV.i.61.2
Breake the necke of the Waxe, and euery one giue eare.Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear. LLL IV.i.62
Boyet reades.BOYET  
(reading) LLL IV.i.63.1
BY heauen, that thou art faire, is most infallible:By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible;infallible (adj.)
unquestionable, definite, certain
LLL IV.i.63
true that thou art beauteous, truth it selfe thattrue that thou art beauteous; truth itself that LLL IV.i.64
thou art louely: more fairer then faire, beautifull thenthou art lovely. More fairer than fair, beautiful than LLL IV.i.65
beautious, truer then truth it selfe: haue comiseration onbeauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiseration on LLL IV.i.66
thy heroicall Vassall. The magnanimous and most illustratethy heroical vassal. The magnanimous and most illustrateillustrate (adj.)
illustrious, resplendent, renowned
LLL IV.i.67
heroical (adj.)

old form: heroicall
vassal (n.)

old form: Vassall
servant, slave, subject
King Cophetua set eie vpon the pernicious and indubitateKing Cophetua set eye upon the pernicious and most indubitateindubitate (adj.)
certain, undoubted, undeniable
LLL IV.i.68
Cophetua (n.)
[pron: ko'fetjua] African king of a romantic ballad, who fell in love with a beggar-girl, Zenelophon
Begger Zenelophon: and he it was that might rightly beggar Zenelophon, and he it was that might rightlyZenelophon (n.)
[pron: ze'nelofon] beggar-girl of a romantic ballad, loved by an African king
LLL IV.i.69
say, Veni, vidi, vici: Which to annothanize in the vulgar, Osay Veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in the vulgar – Oveni...
I came, I saw, I conquered
LLL IV.i.70
vulgar (n.)
vernacular, everyday language
anatomize, annothanize (v.)
dissect, reveal, lay open
base and obscure vulgar; videliset, He came, See, andbase and obscure vulgar! – videlicet, he came, see, andvidelicet (adv.)
[pron: vi'deliset] namely
LLL IV.i.71
base (adj.)
non-precious, worthless, of low value
ouercame: hee came one; see, two; ouercame three:overcame. He came, one; see two; overcame, three. Who LLL IV.i.72
Who came? the King. Why did he come? to see. Whycame? The king. Why did he come? To see. Why did he LLL IV.i.73
did he see? to ouercome. To whom came he? to the Begger.see? To overcome. To whom came he? To the beggar. LLL IV.i.74
What saw he? the Begger. Who ouercame he? the Begger.What saw he? The beggar. Who overcame he? The beggar. LLL IV.i.75
The conclusion is victorie: On whose side? the King: theThe conclusion is victory. On whose side? The king's. The LLL IV.i.76
captiue is inricht: On whose side? the Beggers. Thecaptive is enriched. On whose side? The beggar's. The LLL IV.i.77
catastrophe is a Nuptiall: on whose side? the Kings: no,catastrophe is a nuptial. On whose side? The king's. No;catastrophe (n.)
denouement, final event in a play
LLL IV.i.78
catastrophe (n.)
conclusion, endpoint, expiration
on both in one, or one in both. I am the King (for so standson both in one, or one in both. I am the king, for so stands LLL IV.i.79
the comparison) thou the Begger, for so witnesseth thythe comparison, thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy LLL IV.i.80
lowlinesse. Shall I command thy loue? I may. Shall Ilowliness. Shall I command thy love? I may. Shall I LLL IV.i.81
enforce thy loue? I could. Shall I entreate thy loue? I will.enforce thy love? I could. Shall I entreat thy love? I will. LLL IV.i.82
What, shalt thou exchange for ragges, roabes: for tittlesWhat shalt thou exchange for rags? Robes. For tittles?tittle (n.)
jot, speck, particle
LLL IV.i.83
titles, for thy selfe mee. Thus expecting thy reply, ITitles. For thyself? Me. Thus, expecting thy reply, Iexpect (v.)
wait for, await
LLL IV.i.84
prophane my lips on thy foote, my eyes on thy picture, andprofane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture, and LLL IV.i.85
my heart on thy euerie heart on thy every part. LLL IV.i.86
Thine in the dearest designe of industrie,Thine in the dearest design of industry,industry (n.)

old form: industrie
laborious gallantry, assiduity in service to a lady
LLL IV.i.87
dear (adj.)
heartfelt, earnest, zealous
design (n.)

old form: designe
undertaking, purpose, enterprise
Don Adriana de Armatho.Don Adriano de Armado LLL IV.i.88
Thus dost thou heare the Nemean Lion roare,Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roarNemean lion
monstrous lion, reputably invulnerable, from the region of Nemea; its destruction was one of the twelve labours of Hercules
LLL IV.i.89
Gainst thee thou Lambe, that standest as his pray:'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey. LLL IV.i.90
Submissiue fall his princely feete before,Submissive fall his princely feet before, LLL IV.i.91
And he from forrage will incline to play.And he from forage will incline to play.incline (v.)
turn, be disposed, desire
LLL IV.i.92
forage (n.)

old form: forrage
preying, raging
But if thou striue (poore soule) what art thou then?But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then? LLL IV.i.93
Foode for his rage, repasture for his den. Food for his rage, repasture for his den.repasture (n.)
food, repast, meal
LLL IV.i.94
What plume of feathers is hee that indited this Letter?What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?indite (v.)
write, compose, set down
LLL IV.i.95
What veine? What Wethercocke? Did you euer heare better?What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?vane (n.)

old form: veine
weathervane; inconstant person
LLL IV.i.96
I am much deceiued, but I remember the stile.I am much deceived but I remember the style. LLL IV.i.97
Else your memorie is bad, going ore it erewhile.Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.erewhile (adv.)
a short time ago, a while before
LLL IV.i.98
go over (v.)

old form: ore
read through, look over
This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in courtThis Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in court;keep (v.)
lodge, live, dwell
LLL IV.i.99
A Phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sportA phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sportmonarcho, Monarco (n.)
[pron: 'monahrkoh] vain hanger-on at court, pretentious absurdity
LLL IV.i.100
phantasime (n.)
one full of fancies, extravagantly behaved individual
sport (n.)
recreation, amusement, entertainment
sport (n.)
subject of sport
To the Prince and his Booke-mates.To the prince and his (n.)

old form: Booke-mates
fellow-student, scholarly associate
LLL IV.i.101.1
Thou fellow, a word.Thou, fellow, a word. LLL IV.i.101.2
Who gaue thee this Letter?Who gave thee this letter? LLL IV.i.102.1
I told you, my Lord.I told you; my lord. LLL IV.i.102.2
To whom should'st thou giue it?To whom shouldst thou give it? LLL IV.i.103.1
From my Lord to my Lady.From my lord to my lady. LLL IV.i.103.2
From which Lord, to which Lady?From which lord to which lady? LLL IV.i.104
From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine, LLL IV.i.105
To a Lady of France, that he call'd Rosaline.To a lady of France that he called Rosaline. LLL IV.i.106
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come Lords away.Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.mistake (v.)
wrongly deliver, take to the wrong person
LLL IV.i.107
(To Rosaline) LLL IV.i.108.1
Here sweete, put vp this, 'twill be thine another day.Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another day.put up (v.)

old form: vp
conceal, hide away, pocket
LLL IV.i.108
Exeunt.Exeunt all except Boyet, Rosaline, Maria, and Costard LLL IV.i.108.2
Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?Who is the suitor? Who is the suitor? LLL IV.i.109.1
Shall I teach you to know.Shall I teach you to know? LLL IV.i.109.2
I my continent of beautie.Ay, my continent of beauty.continent (n.)
embodiment, summation, digest
LLL IV.i.110.1
Why she that beares the Bow.Why, she that bears the bow. LLL IV.i.110.2
Finely put off.Finely put off!put off (v.)
keep away, avert, evade
LLL IV.i.111
My Lady goes to kill hornes, but if thou marrie,My lady goes to kill horns, but, if thou marry,horn (n.)

old form: hornes
horned animal
LLL IV.i.112
Hang me by the necke, if hornes that yeare miscarrie.Hang me by the neck if horns that year miscarry.miscarry (v.)

old form: miscarrie
be scarce, fail, become unproductive
LLL IV.i.113
Finely put on.Finely put on!put on (v.)
push on, urge, encourage
LLL IV.i.114
Well then, I am the shooter.Well then, I am the shooter. LLL IV.i.115.1
And who is your Deare?And who is your deer? LLL IV.i.115.2
If we choose by the hornes, your selfe come not neare.If we choose by the horns, yourself. Come not near. LLL IV.i.116
Finely put on indeede.Finely put on indeed! LLL IV.i.117
Maria. MARIA 
You still wrangle with her Boyet, and shee strikes at the brow.You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the brow.brow (n.)
forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
LLL IV.i.118
Boyet. BOYET 
But she her selfe is hit lower: / Haue I hit her now.But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit her now?hit (v.)
hit the mark with, get at, reach
LLL IV.i.119
Shall I come vpon thee with an old saying, thatShall I come upon thee with an old saying thatcome upon (v.)

old form: vpon
approach, descend on
LLL IV.i.120
was a man when King Pippin of France was a little boy,was a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy,Pepin, Pippen (n.)
king of the Franks in 8th-c
LLL IV.i.121
as touching the hit touching the hit it?touch (v.)
affect, concern, regard, relate to
LLL IV.i.122
hit it
words of a song refrain [used in LL IV.i.126]
Boyet. BOYET 
So I may answere thee with one as old that was aSo I may answer thee with one as old, that was a LLL IV.i.123
woman when Queene Guinouer of Brittaine was a littlewoman when Queen Guinevere of Britain was a littleGuinevere (n.)
[pron: 'gwineveer] legendary Queen of Britain, known for her unfaithfulness to her husband
LLL IV.i.124
wench, as touching the hit it. wench, as touching the hit it. LLL IV.i.125
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it, LLL IV.i.126
Thou canst not hit it my good man.Thou canst not hit it, my good man. LLL IV.i.127
I cannot, cannot, cannot:An I cannot, cannot, cannot,and, an (conj.)
if, even if
LLL IV.i.128
And I cannot, another can.An I cannot, another can.and, an (conj.)
if, even if
LLL IV.i.129
Exit.Exit Rosaline LLL IV.i.129
By my troth most pleasant, how both did fit it.By my troth, most pleasant! How both did fit it!fit it
harmonize, go well together
LLL IV.i.130
troth, by my
by my truth [exclamation emphasizing an assertion]
A marke marueilous well shot, for they both did hit.A mark marvellous well shot, for they both did hit it.mark (n.)

old form: marke
shot at a target
LLL IV.i.131
marvellous (adv.)

old form: marueilous
very, extremely, exceedingly
A mark, O marke but that marke: a marke saies my Lady.A mark! O, mark but that mark! ‘ A mark,’ says my lady!mark (v.)
note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]
LLL IV.i.132
Let the mark haue a pricke in't, to meat at, if it may be.Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at if it may be.mete (v.)

old form: meat
aim, level
LLL IV.i.133
prick (n.)

old form: pricke
bull's-eye, target, centre spot
Wide a'th bow hand, yfaith your hand is out.Wide o'the bow hand! I'faith, your hand is out.out (adv.)
in error, at fault, wrong
LLL IV.i.134
bow hand (n.)
hand which holds a bow
Indeede a'must shoote nearer, or heele ne're hit the clout.Indeed, 'a must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.clout (n.)
[archery] pin fixing a target, cloth patch at the centre of a target; mark, bull
LLL IV.i.135
And if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.An if my hand be out, then belike your hand is if (conj.)
LLL IV.i.136
belike (adv.)
probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems
Then will shee get the vpshoot by cleauing the is in.Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the (n.)
[archery] peg in the middle of a target; centre
LLL IV.i.137
upshoot (n.)

old form: vpshoot
[archery] final shot, determining shot
Come, come, you talke greasely, your lips grow foule.Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.greasily (adv.)

old form: greasely
indecently, smuttily, in a vulgar way
LLL IV.i.138
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir challenge her to boule.She's too hard for you at pricks, sir. Challenge her to bowl.prick (n.)
bull's-eye, target, centre spot
LLL IV.i.139
hard (adj.)
strong, tough, powerful
I feare too much rubbing: good night my good Oule.I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.rubbing (n.)
hindrance, impediment, forming of obstacles
LLL IV.i.140
Exeunt Boyet and Maria LLL IV.i.140
By my soule a Swaine, a most simple Clowne.By my soul, a swain, a most simple clown!swain (n.)

old form: Swaine
[contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow
LLL IV.i.141
Lord, Lord, how the Ladies and I haue put him downe.Lord, Lord, how the ladies and I have put him down! LLL IV.i.142
O my troth most sweete iests, most inconie vulgar wit,O'my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit;incony (adj.)

old form: inconie
fine, darling, rare
LLL IV.i.143
wit (n.)
mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity
troth, good troth (n.)
exclamations, emphasizing an assertion - truly, indeed
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely as it were, so fit. LLL IV.i.144
Armathor ath to the side, O a most dainty man.Armado to th' one side – O, a most dainty man!dainty (adj.)
fastidious, scrupulous, refined, particular
LLL IV.i.145
To see him walke before a Lady, and to beare her Fan.To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan! LLL IV.i.146
To see him kisse his hand, and how most sweetly a will sweare:To see him kiss his hand, and how most sweetly 'a will swear! LLL IV.i.147
And his Page at other side, that handfull of wit,And his page o't' other side, that handful of wit!wit (n.)
mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity
LLL IV.i.148
Ah heauens, it is most patheticall nit.Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit!nit (n.)
little fellow; shrimp, gnat
LLL IV.i.149
pathetical (adj.)

old form: patheticall
pathetic, touching, moving
Shoote within.Shout within LLL IV.i.150.1
Sowla, sowla.Sola, sola!sola (int.)

old form: sowla
sound of a post horn; hunting cry
LLL IV.i.150
Exeunt.Exit LLL IV.i.150.2
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