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Love's Labor's Lost

Love's Labor's Lost Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL

HOLOFERNES

Satis quod sufficit.

HOLOFERNES

Enough is enough.

SIR NATHANIEL

I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner 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- nated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

SIR NATHANIEL

I thank God for you sir, your remarks at dinner were clever and wise, humorous without needing vile language, witty without being snobby, confident without being immodest, learned without showing your opinion, and you mentioned unusual things without being offensive. I was talking about this the other day with one of the King's companions, who is entitled, nominated, or simply 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 too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it.

HOLOFERNES

I know the man like I know you. His humor is proud, his speech is arrogant, his tongue is too smooth, his eye too ambitious, his walk is too grand and his general behavior is vain, ridiculous and boastful. He is too fussy, too fashionable, too emotional, too peculiar, or I could even say too foreign.

SIR NATHANIEL

A most singular and choice epithet.

SIR NATHANIEL

A remarkable and appropriate description.

Draws out his table-book

HOLOFERNES

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer 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, sine b, when he should say doubt; det, when he should pronounce debt,—d, 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: ne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.

HOLOFERNES

[Drawing out his table-book] He prolongs his argument for so long that the topic itself is forgotten. I hate such extravagant people who live in a fantasy world, companions who are unsociable and too precise. He cares far too much about spelling, he insists on pronouncing dout, without the "b" when he should say doubt; det when he should pronounce debt. It is d, e, b, t, not d, e, t. He calls a calf, a cauf, a half, hauf. He calls a neighbor, a nebor, and even neigh he shortens to ne. This is all abhominable, or as he would say abbominable. It makes me mad - do you understand, sir? In short, he's a lunatic.

SIR NATHANIEL

Laus Deo, bone intelligo.

SIR NATHANIEL

God be praised, I understand good.

HOLOFERNES

Bon, bon, for bene! Priscian a little scratch'd,'twill serve.

HOLOFERNES

Good, good, when you should have said well! Your language is slightly wrong, but it will do.

SIR NATHANIEL

Videsne quis venit?

SIR NATHANIEL

Do you see who is coming?

HOLOFERNES

Video, et gaudeo.

HOLOFERNES

I see, and I am glad.

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, MOTH, and COSTARD

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Chirrah!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Greetings sir!

HOLOFERNES

Quare chirrah, not sirrah?

HOLOFERNES

[To MOTH] Why does he say chirrah and not sir?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Men of peace, well encountered.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Men of peace, it is lovely to meet you.

HOLOFERNES

Most military sir, salutation.

HOLOFERNES

What a soldierly greeting, hello to you too.

MOTH

[Aside to COSTARD] They have been at a great feastof languages, and stolen the scraps.

MOTH

[Aside to COSTARD] These men have been at a feast with people who speak many different languages, and they only remember little snippets of things that they have heard.

COSTARD

O, they have lived long on the alms-basket of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

COSTARD

Oh I know, these men have lived for ages, speaking only the words which other people have rejected. I am amazed that your master hasn't tried to steal even your name, Moth, since it is a lot easier to say than "honorificabilitudinitatibus"—your name can be digested a lot better than a raisin floating in burning brandy!

MOTH

Peace! the peal begins.

MOTH

Hang on, their conversation is starting.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

[To HOLOFERNES] Monsieur, are you not lettered?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

[To HOLOFERNES] Sir, are you very clever?

MOTH

Yes, yes; he teaches boys the hornbook. What is a,b, spelt backward, with the horn on his head?

MOTH

Yes he is! He teaches young boys their alphabet, their numbers, their prayers, you name it! Sir, what is A, B, spelt backwards, with a horn on its head?

HOLOFERNES

Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.

HOLOFERNES

It's Ba, my child, with an added horn.

MOTH

Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his learning.

MOTH

Baaaaa, you silly sheep with a horn. Did you hear his clever line?

HOLOFERNES

Quis, quis, thou consonant?

HOLOFERNES

Who, who are you talking to, you insignificant boy?

MOTH

The third of the five vowels, if you repeat them; orthe fifth, if I.

MOTH

To the third of the five vowels, if you say them. Or to the fifth vowel, if I say them.

HOLOFERNES

I will repeat them,—a, e, i,—

HOLOFERNES

Okay I will repeat them—a, e, i—

MOTH

The sheep: the other two concludes it,—o, u.

MOTH

Oh there's the sheep! And the other two vowels prove my point, -o, u, or "Oh, ewe!"

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a sweettouch, a quick venue of wit! snip, snap, quick andhome! it rejoiceth my intellect: true wit!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Oh wow, like a wave of the Mediterranean as it hits the coast, a lovely blow, a quick hit of wit! A quick snip snap that hit its target! It pleases my mind, what true wit!

MOTH

Offered by a child to an old man; which is wit-old.

MOTH

The wit of a child to an old man, which is wit-old!

HOLOFERNES

What is the figure? what is the figure?

HOLOFERNES

What is this figure of speech? What is this figure of speech?

MOTH

Horns.

MOTH

One which has horns.

HOLOFERNES

Thou disputest like an infant: go, whip thy gig.

HOLOFERNES

You argue like a child, go and spin your head around somewhere.

MOTH

Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip aboutyour infamy manu cita.—a gig of a cuckold's horn.

MOTH

Lend me your horn then to put on the top of my head, and I will spin around with the shame of your horn eagerly, doing the jig of a cuckold!

COSTARD

An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy gingerbread: hold, there is the very 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' ends, as they say.

COSTARD

If I had even one penny in this world, I would give it to you to buy gingerbread! Hang on, I could give you that remuneration that I got from your master, you small bundle of wit, you little person of good judgement. Oh, if God would even let you be my bastard son, I would be a very happy father! Carry on, you have him at the dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as people say.

HOLOFERNES

O, I smell false Latin; dunghill for unguem.

HOLOFERNES

Oh, I smell false Latin; he uses dunghill instead of "unguem!"

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Arts-man, preambulate, we will be singled from thebarbarous. Do you not educate youth at thecharge-house on the top of the mountain?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

You clever man, walk with me. Let's set ourselves apart from the uncultured people. Is it true that you teach young people at the school on the top of the mountain?

HOLOFERNES

Or mons, the hill.

HOLOFERNES

Or on the top of the hill.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Use it when you want, to mean a mountain.

HOLOFERNES

I do, sans question.

HOLOFERNES

I do, without question.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure andaffection to congratulate the Princess at herpavilion in the posteriors of this day, which therude multitude call the afternoon.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sir, the King greatly desires and hopes to be able to greet the Princess in her tent later today, a time which the uneducated people call the "afternoon."

HOLOFERNES

The posterior of the day, most generous sir, isliable, congruent and measurable for the afternoon:the word is well culled, chose, sweet and apt, I doassure you, sir, I do assure.

HOLOFERNES

The later part of the day, my noble friend, is a suitable and fitting phrase to call the afternoon. The word has been well chosen, it is pleasant and appropriate, you can be sure of that sir.

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 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 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. 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 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.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my close friend, indeed he is a very good friend of mine; the secrets that we share will stay as secrets. I ask you to remember your place, and I ask you to put your hat back on for this. There are several urgent and serious things we could discuss, and they are important as well, but let's leave them for now. For I must tell you the truth. The King sometimes likes to lean on my shoulder and play with the hair of my mustache with his finger, but let's say no more about that. I promise you, this is no lie. The King has trusted me with important and special honors, as he knows that I am a soldier and a man who has traveled and seen the world. But let's say no more about me. Most importantly, this must be kept a secret! The King wants me to present the Princess, that sweet girl,  with some kind of entertaining show, or spectacle, or crazy performance, or a firework display. Now, as I know that you and Sir Nathaniel are very good at organizing sudden moments of entertainment, I have told you this, because I would like your help with it.

HOLOFERNES

Sir, you shall present before her the Nine Worthies. Sir Nathaniel, 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 Nine Worthies.

HOLOFERNES

Sir, you shall present her with the story of the "Nine Worthies." Sir Nathaniel, when it comes to thinking up entertainment for this time, for a show that will be performed in the afternoon, with our help, on the King's orders, and with this worthy, renowned and clever gentleman, to be performed before the Princess, I tell you, there is no story more suitable than that of the Nine Worthies.

SIR NATHANIEL

Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?

SIR NATHANIEL

Where are you going to find men worthy enough to play these men?

HOLOFERNES

Joshua, yourself; this gallant gentleman,Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his greatlimb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; thepage, Hercules,—

HOLOFERNES

You will play Joshua; [Gesturing at DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO] This brave gentleman will play Judas Maccabaeus; Costard, because he is a large boy, will pass for Pompey the Great; Moth will play Hercules.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough forthat Worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of hisclub.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Excuse me sir, that's a mistake. Moth is not big enough to play Hercules, he wouldn't even be able to hold his club.

HOLOFERNES

Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules inminority: his enter and exit shall be strangling asnake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.

HOLOFERNES

Can I be heard? He will play Hercules as a child. He will simply come on, strangle a snake and exit and I will explain to the audience why.

MOTH

An excellent device! so, if any of the audiencehiss, you may cry 'Well done, Hercules! now thoucrushest the snake!' that is the way to make anoffence gracious, though few have the grace to do it.

MOTH

That's an excellent plan! It also means that if anyone in the audience hisses at me, you can simply shout "Well done, Hercules! Now you have killed the snake!" That is how we can make such an offense acceptable, even though few people would have been able to think up such a clever idea!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

For the rest of the Worthies?—

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

What about the rest of the Worthies?

HOLOFERNES

I will play three myself.

HOLOFERNES

I will play three of them myself.

MOTH

Thrice-worthy gentleman!

MOTH

That makes you three times as worthy!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Shall I tell you a thing?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Can I tell you something?

HOLOFERNES

We attend.

HOLOFERNES

We are listening.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. Ibeseech you, follow.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

If this does not succeed, we will be a laughing stock. I beg you, follow me now.

HOLOFERNES

Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.

HOLOFERNES

Come on, my good Dull! You haven't said anything this whole time.

DULL

Nor understood none neither, sir.

DULL

I haven't understood anything that's been said either.

HOLOFERNES

Allons! we will employ thee.

HOLOFERNES

Let's go! You will be involved as well.

DULL

I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will playOn the tabour to the Worthies, and let them dance the hay.

DULL

I'll take part in one dance or something, or I could play the drum for the Worthies, while they do a country dance.

HOLOFERNES

Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport, away!

HOLOFERNES

Come boring and honest Dull! Let's go and prepare!

Exeunt

Loves labors lost
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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.