Love's Labour's Lost By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 1

PRINCESS.
What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?

BOYET.
I am much deceiv'd but I remember the style.

PRINCESS.
Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.

BOYET.
This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
A phantasime, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the Prince and his book-mates.

PRINCESS.
Thou fellow, a word.
Who gave thee this letter?

COSTARD.
I told you; my lord.

PRINCESS.
To whom shouldst thou give it?

COSTARD.
From my lord to my lady.

PRINCESS.
From which lord to which lady?

COSTARD.
From my Lord Berowne, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France that he call'd Rosaline.

PRINCESS.
Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords, away.
Here, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another day.

[Exeunt PRINCESS and TRAIN.]

BOYET.
Who is the suitor? who is the suitor?

ROSALINE.
Shall I teach you to know?

BOYET.
Ay, my continent of beauty.

ROSALINE.
Why, she that bears the bow.
Finely put off!

BOYET.
My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

ROSALINE.
Well then, I am the shooter.

BOYET.
And who is your deer?

ROSALINE.
If we choose by the horns, yourself: come not near.
Finely put on indeed!

MARIA.
You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes at the
brow.

BOYET.
But she herself is hit lower: have I hit her now?

ROSALINE.
Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man
when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit
it?

BOYET.
So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when
Queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit
it.

ROSALINE.
Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it,
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

BOYET.
An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.

[Exeunt ROSALINE and KATHARINE.]

COSTARD.
By my troth, most pleasant: how both did fit it!

MARIA.
A mark marvellous well shot; for they both did hit it.

BOYET.
A mark! O! mark but that mark; A mark, says my lady!
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.

MARIA.
Wide o' the bow-hand! I' faith, your hand is out.

COSTARD.
Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.

BOYET.
An' if my hand be out, then belike your hand is in.

COSTARD.
Then will she get the upshoot by cleaving the pin.

MARIA.
Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul.

COSTARD.
She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; challenge her to bowl.

BOYET.
I fear too much rubbing. Good-night, my good owl.

[Exeunt BOYET and MARIA.]

COSTARD.
By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown!
Lord, Lord! how the ladies and I have put him down!
O' my troth, most sweet jests, most incony vulgar wit!
When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were, so fit.
Armado, o' the one side, O! a most dainty man!
To see him walk before a lady and to bear her fan!
To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a' will swear!
And his page o' t'other side, that handful of wit!
Ah! heavens, it is a most pathetical nit.
[Shouting within.] Sola, sola!

[Exit running.]

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Costard has to deliver two notes — one is a love letter, and the other is




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