Love's Labor's Lost

Introduction by Peter Holland
Edited by Peter Holland
Look inside
The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare
Love's Labor's Lost

¥    I.1 Enter Ferdinand King of Navarre, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine.

king

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,

Live registered upon our brazen tombs

2

And then grace us in the disgrace of death,

3

When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,

4

Th' endeavor of this present breath may buy

5

That honor which shall bate his scythe's keen edge

6

And make us heirs of all eternity.

Therefore, brave conquerors-for so you are

That war against your own affections

9

And the huge army of the world's desires-

10

Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:

11

Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;

Our court shall be a little academe,

13

Still and contemplative in living art.

14

You three-Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville-

Have sworn for three years' term to live with me

My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes

That are recorded in this schedule here.

18

Your oaths are passed; and now subscribe your names,

19

That his own hand may strike his honor down

20

That violates the smallest branch herein.

21

If you are armed to do as sworn to do,

22

Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.

longaville

I am resolved. 'Tis but a three years' fast.

The mind shall banquet though the body pine.

Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits

26

Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.

dumaine

My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified.

28

The grosser manner of these world's delights

He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves.

30

To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die,

With all these living in philosophy.

32

berowne

I can but say their protestation over.

33

So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,

34

That is, to live and study here three years.

But there are other strict observances:

As not to see a woman in that term,

Which I hope well is not enrolld there;

38

And one day in a week to touch no food,

And but one meal on every day beside,

40

The which I hope is not enrolld there;

And then to sleep but three hours in the night,

And not be seen to wink of all the day

43

(When I was wont to think no harm all night

44

And make a dark night too of half the day),

Which I hope well is not enrolld there.

O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep-

Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

king

Your oath is passed to pass away from these.

berowne

Let me say no, my liege, an if you please.

50

I only swore to study with your grace

And stay here in your court for three years' space.

longaville

You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.

berowne

By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.

54

What is the end of study, let me know?

king

Why, that to know which else we should not know.

berowne

Things hid and barred, you mean, from common sense?

57

king

Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.

berowne

Come on then, I will swear to study so,

59

To know the thing I am forbid to know,

60

As thus-to study where I well may dine

 When I to feast expressly am forbid;

Or study where to meet some mistress fine

 When mistresses from common sense are hid;

Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,

Study to break it and not break my troth.

If study's gain be thus, and this be so,

Study knows that which yet it doth not know.

68

Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.

king

These be the stops that hinder study quite,

70

And train our intellects to vain delight.

71

berowne

Why, all delights are vain, but that most vain

72

Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain:

73

As, painfully to pore upon a book,

 To seek the light of truth, while truth the while

Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.

76

 Light seeking light doth light of light beguile;

77

So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,

Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.

79

Study me how to please the eye indeed,

80

 By fixing it upon a fairer eye,

81

Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

82

 And give him light that it was blinded by.

83

Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

 That will not be deep-searched with saucy looks:

85

Small have continual plodders ever won,

 Save base authority from others' books.

These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,

88

 That give a name to every fixd star,

Have no more profit of their shining nights

90

 Than those that walk and wot not what they are.

91

Too much to know is to know nought but fame;

92

And every godfather can give a name.

93

king

How well he's read to reason against reading!

94

dumaine

Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!

95

longaville

He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.

96

berowne

The spring is near, when green geese are a-breeding.

97

dumaine

How follows that?

98

berowne     Fit in his place and time.

dumaine

In reason nothing.

99

berowne     Something then in rhyme.

king

Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost

100

That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

101

berowne

Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast

102

Before the birds have any cause to sing?

Why should I joy in any abortive birth?

At Christmas I no more desire a rose

Than wish a snow in May's newfangled shows,

But like of each thing that in season grows.

107

So you, to study now it is too late,

108

Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

109

king

Well, sit you out. Go home, Berowne. Adieu.

110

berowne

No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you;

And though I have for barbarism spoke more

112

 Than for that angel knowledge you can say,

Yet confident I'll keep what I have sworn,

 And bide the penance of each three years' day.

115

Give me the paper, let me read the same,

And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.

king [Handing over the paper]

How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

berowne [Reads.] "Item: that no woman shall come within a mile of my court-" Hath this been proclaimed?

120

longaville Four days ago.

berowne Let's see the penalty. "-on pain of losing her tongue." Who devised this penalty?

longaville

Marry, that did I.

124

berowne     Sweet lord, and why?

longaville

To fright them hence with that dread penalty.

berowne

A dangerous law against gentility!

126

[Reads.]

 "Item: if any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possible devise."

This article, my liege, yourself must break;

130

 For well you know here comes in embassy

The French king's daughter with yourself to speak,

 A maid of grace and complete majesty,

About surrender up of Aquitaine

134

 To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father.

Therefore this article is made in vain,

 Or vainly comes th' admird princess hither.

king

What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.

berowne

So study evermore is overshot.

While it doth study to have what it would,

140

It doth forget to do the thing it should,

And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,

'Tis won as towns with fire-so won, so lost.

143

king

We must of force dispense with this decree;

144

She must lie here on mere necessity.

145

berowne

Necessity will make us all forsworn

 Three thousand times within this three years' space:

For every man with his affects is born,

148

 Not by might mastered, but by special grace.

149

If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:

150

I am forsworn "on mere necessity."

So to the laws at large I write my name;

[Signs.]

And he that breaks them in the least degree

Stands in attainder of eternal shame.

154

Suggestions are to other as to me;

155

But I believe, although I seem so loath,

I am the last that will last keep his oath.

157

But is there no quick recreation granted?

158

king

Ay, that there is. Our court you know is haunted

159

 With a refind traveler of Spain,

160

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,

161

 That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;

One who the music of his own vain tongue

163

 Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;

A man of complements, whom right and wrong

165

 Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.

166

This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

167

 For interim to our studies shall relate

168

In highborn words the worth of many a knight

169

 From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.

170

How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;

But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,

And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

173

berowne

Armado is a most illustrious wight,

A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.

175

longaville

Costard the swain and he shall be our sport,

176

And so to study three years is but short.

Enter [Dull,] a Constable with a letter, with Costard.

dull Which is the duke's own person?

178

berowne This, fellow. What wouldst?

dull I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's farborough; but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

180

181

berowne This is he.

dull Se–or Arm-Arm-commends you. There's villainy abroad. This letter will tell you more.

184

costard Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

186

king A letter from the magnificent Armado.

187

berowne How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

longaville A high hope for a low heaven. God grant us patience!

190

berowne To hear, or forbear hearing?

192

longaville To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.

berowne Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

195

costard The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

197

198

berowne In what manner?

costard In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is "in manner and form following." Now, sir, for the manner: it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman. For the form: in some form.

200

202

berowne For the following, sir?

costard As it shall follow in my correction, and God defend the right!

208

king Will you hear this letter with attention?

210

berowne As we would hear an oracle.

costard Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

212

king [Reads.] "Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron-"

214

costard Not a word of Costard yet.

king "So it is-"

costard It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so.

220

king Peace!

costard Be to me and every man that dares not fight.

king No words!

costard Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

king "So it is, besieged with sable-colored melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humor to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour, when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper: so much for the time when. Now for the ground which-which, I mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where- where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-colored ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to the place where; it standeth north-northeast and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth-"

225

226

227

230

233

235

236

239

240

costard Me?

king "that unlettered small-knowing soul-"

costard Me?

king "that shallow vassal-"

244

costard Still me.

king "which, as I remember, hight Costard-"

246

costard O me!

king "sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with, with, O with-but with this I passion to say wherewith-"

248

249

250

costard With a wench.

king "with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female, or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation."

254

255

dull Me, an't shall please you, I am Anthony Dull.

king "For Jaquenetta (so is the weaker vessel called), which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain, I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty, Don Adriano de Armado."

260

261

262

berowne This is not so well as I looked for, but the best that ever I heard.

king Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to this?

267

costard Sir, I confess the wench.

king Did you hear the proclamation?

270

costard I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.

272

king It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.

costard I was taken with none, sir, I was taken with a damsel.

king Well, it was proclaimed "damsel."

costard This was no damsel neither, sir, she was a virgin.

king It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed "virgin."

279

costard If it were, I deny her virginity. I was taken with a maid.

280

king This maid will not serve your turn, sir.

282

costard This maid will serve my turn, sir.

king Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week with bran and water.

costard I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

286

king

And Don Armado shall be your keeper.

My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o'er,

And go we, lords, to put in practice that
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About

The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare

Excerpt

Love's Labor's Lost

¥    I.1 Enter Ferdinand King of Navarre, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine.

king

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,

Live registered upon our brazen tombs

2

And then grace us in the disgrace of death,

3

When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,

4

Th' endeavor of this present breath may buy

5

That honor which shall bate his scythe's keen edge

6

And make us heirs of all eternity.

Therefore, brave conquerors-for so you are

That war against your own affections

9

And the huge army of the world's desires-

10

Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:

11

Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;

Our court shall be a little academe,

13

Still and contemplative in living art.

14

You three-Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville-

Have sworn for three years' term to live with me

My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes

That are recorded in this schedule here.

18

Your oaths are passed; and now subscribe your names,

19

That his own hand may strike his honor down

20

That violates the smallest branch herein.

21

If you are armed to do as sworn to do,

22

Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.

longaville

I am resolved. 'Tis but a three years' fast.

The mind shall banquet though the body pine.

Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits

26

Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.

dumaine

My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified.

28

The grosser manner of these world's delights

He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves.

30

To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die,

With all these living in philosophy.

32

berowne

I can but say their protestation over.

33

So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,

34

That is, to live and study here three years.

But there are other strict observances:

As not to see a woman in that term,

Which I hope well is not enrolld there;

38

And one day in a week to touch no food,

And but one meal on every day beside,

40

The which I hope is not enrolld there;

And then to sleep but three hours in the night,

And not be seen to wink of all the day

43

(When I was wont to think no harm all night

44

And make a dark night too of half the day),

Which I hope well is not enrolld there.

O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep-

Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

king

Your oath is passed to pass away from these.

berowne

Let me say no, my liege, an if you please.

50

I only swore to study with your grace

And stay here in your court for three years' space.

longaville

You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.

berowne

By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.

54

What is the end of study, let me know?

king

Why, that to know which else we should not know.

berowne

Things hid and barred, you mean, from common sense?

57

king

Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.

berowne

Come on then, I will swear to study so,

59

To know the thing I am forbid to know,

60

As thus-to study where I well may dine

 When I to feast expressly am forbid;

Or study where to meet some mistress fine

 When mistresses from common sense are hid;

Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,

Study to break it and not break my troth.

If study's gain be thus, and this be so,

Study knows that which yet it doth not know.

68

Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.

king

These be the stops that hinder study quite,

70

And train our intellects to vain delight.

71

berowne

Why, all delights are vain, but that most vain

72

Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain:

73

As, painfully to pore upon a book,

 To seek the light of truth, while truth the while

Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.

76

 Light seeking light doth light of light beguile;

77

So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,

Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.

79

Study me how to please the eye indeed,

80

 By fixing it upon a fairer eye,

81

Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,

82

 And give him light that it was blinded by.

83

Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

 That will not be deep-searched with saucy looks:

85

Small have continual plodders ever won,

 Save base authority from others' books.

These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,

88

 That give a name to every fixd star,

Have no more profit of their shining nights

90

 Than those that walk and wot not what they are.

91

Too much to know is to know nought but fame;

92

And every godfather can give a name.

93

king

How well he's read to reason against reading!

94

dumaine

Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!

95

longaville

He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.

96

berowne

The spring is near, when green geese are a-breeding.

97

dumaine

How follows that?

98

berowne     Fit in his place and time.

dumaine

In reason nothing.

99

berowne     Something then in rhyme.

king

Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost

100

That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

101

berowne

Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast

102

Before the birds have any cause to sing?

Why should I joy in any abortive birth?

At Christmas I no more desire a rose

Than wish a snow in May's newfangled shows,

But like of each thing that in season grows.

107

So you, to study now it is too late,

108

Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.

109

king

Well, sit you out. Go home, Berowne. Adieu.

110

berowne

No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you;

And though I have for barbarism spoke more

112

 Than for that angel knowledge you can say,

Yet confident I'll keep what I have sworn,

 And bide the penance of each three years' day.

115

Give me the paper, let me read the same,

And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name.

king [Handing over the paper]

How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

berowne [Reads.] "Item: that no woman shall come within a mile of my court-" Hath this been proclaimed?

120

longaville Four days ago.

berowne Let's see the penalty. "-on pain of losing her tongue." Who devised this penalty?

longaville

Marry, that did I.

124

berowne     Sweet lord, and why?

longaville

To fright them hence with that dread penalty.

berowne

A dangerous law against gentility!

126

[Reads.]

 "Item: if any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possible devise."

This article, my liege, yourself must break;

130

 For well you know here comes in embassy

The French king's daughter with yourself to speak,

 A maid of grace and complete majesty,

About surrender up of Aquitaine

134

 To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father.

Therefore this article is made in vain,

 Or vainly comes th' admird princess hither.

king

What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.

berowne

So study evermore is overshot.

While it doth study to have what it would,

140

It doth forget to do the thing it should,

And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,

'Tis won as towns with fire-so won, so lost.

143

king

We must of force dispense with this decree;

144

She must lie here on mere necessity.

145

berowne

Necessity will make us all forsworn

 Three thousand times within this three years' space:

For every man with his affects is born,

148

 Not by might mastered, but by special grace.

149

If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:

150

I am forsworn "on mere necessity."

So to the laws at large I write my name;

[Signs.]

And he that breaks them in the least degree

Stands in attainder of eternal shame.

154

Suggestions are to other as to me;

155

But I believe, although I seem so loath,

I am the last that will last keep his oath.

157

But is there no quick recreation granted?

158

king

Ay, that there is. Our court you know is haunted

159

 With a refind traveler of Spain,

160

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,

161

 That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;

One who the music of his own vain tongue

163

 Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;

A man of complements, whom right and wrong

165

 Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.

166

This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

167

 For interim to our studies shall relate

168

In highborn words the worth of many a knight

169

 From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.

170

How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;

But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,

And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

173

berowne

Armado is a most illustrious wight,

A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.

175

longaville

Costard the swain and he shall be our sport,

176

And so to study three years is but short.

Enter [Dull,] a Constable with a letter, with Costard.

dull Which is the duke's own person?

178

berowne This, fellow. What wouldst?

dull I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's farborough; but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

180

181

berowne This is he.

dull Se–or Arm-Arm-commends you. There's villainy abroad. This letter will tell you more.

184

costard Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

186

king A letter from the magnificent Armado.

187

berowne How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

longaville A high hope for a low heaven. God grant us patience!

190

berowne To hear, or forbear hearing?

192

longaville To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.

berowne Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

195

costard The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

197

198

berowne In what manner?

costard In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is "in manner and form following." Now, sir, for the manner: it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman. For the form: in some form.

200

202

berowne For the following, sir?

costard As it shall follow in my correction, and God defend the right!

208

king Will you hear this letter with attention?

210

berowne As we would hear an oracle.

costard Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

212

king [Reads.] "Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron-"

214

costard Not a word of Costard yet.

king "So it is-"

costard It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so.

220

king Peace!

costard Be to me and every man that dares not fight.

king No words!

costard Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.

king "So it is, besieged with sable-colored melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humor to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour, when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper: so much for the time when. Now for the ground which-which, I mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where- where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-colored ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to the place where; it standeth north-northeast and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth-"

225

226

227

230

233

235

236

239

240

costard Me?

king "that unlettered small-knowing soul-"

costard Me?

king "that shallow vassal-"

244

costard Still me.

king "which, as I remember, hight Costard-"

246

costard O me!

king "sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with, with, O with-but with this I passion to say wherewith-"

248

249

250

costard With a wench.

king "with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female, or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation."

254

255

dull Me, an't shall please you, I am Anthony Dull.

king "For Jaquenetta (so is the weaker vessel called), which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain, I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty, Don Adriano de Armado."

260

261

262

berowne This is not so well as I looked for, but the best that ever I heard.

king Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to this?

267

costard Sir, I confess the wench.

king Did you hear the proclamation?

270

costard I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.

272

king It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.

costard I was taken with none, sir, I was taken with a damsel.

king Well, it was proclaimed "damsel."

costard This was no damsel neither, sir, she was a virgin.

king It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed "virgin."

279

costard If it were, I deny her virginity. I was taken with a maid.

280

king This maid will not serve your turn, sir.

282

costard This maid will serve my turn, sir.

king Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week with bran and water.

costard I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

286

king

And Don Armado shall be your keeper.

My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o'er,

And go we, lords, to put in practice that

Praise

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Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University 

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