A line-by-line translation

Love's Labor's Lost

Love's Labor's Lost Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Enter the PRINCESS, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and MARIA

PRINCESS

Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,If fairings come thus plentifully in:A lady wall'd about with diamonds!Look you what I have from the loving king.

PRINCESS

My sweet friends, we are going to be rich before we leave here, if gifts keep arriving so often. I will be a lady surrounded by jewels! Look what the loving king has sent me this time!

ROSALINE

Madame, came nothing else along with that?

ROSALINE

Madam, was anything else sent with that?

PRINCESS

Nothing but this! yes, as much love in rhymeAs would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper,Writ o' both sides the leaf, margent and all,That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name.

PRINCESS

Just this. [Showing a piece of paper] Yes, he has sent as many loving verses as he could fit onto one piece of paper. He has written on both sides, he has even written in the margins, so much so that he was forced to write his name on top of Cupid's.

ROSALINE

That was the way to make his godhead wax,For he hath been five thousand years a boy.

ROSALINE

That was his way of making his name bigger, since he was and always will be a boy.

KATHARINE

Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.

KATHARINE

Yes, and he has been a naughty, trouble-making boy who deserves to be hanged.

ROSALINE

You'll ne'er be friends with him; a' kill'd your sister.

ROSALINE

You'll never be friends with him, if he kills your sister.

KATHARINE

He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy; And so she died: had she been light, like you, Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit, She might ha' been a grandam ere she died: And so may you; for a light heart lives long.

KATHARINE

He made her so sad and so depressed that she died. If she had been cheerful, and had a merry, lively and energetic spirit like you do, then she might have lived to be a grandmother. I hope you will too, for a light heart lives a long time.

ROSALINE

What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this light word?

ROSALINE

What's your hidden meaning, dear, in using the word"light?"

KATHARINE

A light condition in a beauty dark.

KATHARINE

That your promiscuity could be hidden by your dark beauty.

ROSALINE

We need more light to find your meaning out.

ROSALINE

Shed more light on the subject and we'll work out what you mean.

KATHARINE

You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff;Therefore I'll darkly end the argument.

KATHARINE

You'll ruin the light by getting offended; therefore I'll end this argument and leave you in the dark.

ROSALINE

Look what you do, you do it still i' the dark.

ROSALINE

Whatever you do, just make sure you do it in the dark.

KATHARINE

So do not you, for you are a light wench.

KATHARINE

You wouldn't need to bother, since you don't care about being indecent.

ROSALINE

Indeed I weigh not you, and therefore light.

ROSALINE

Indeed, I guess I don't weigh as much as you do, and so in that way I'm light.

KATHARINE

You weigh me not? O, that's you care not for me.

KATHARINE

You don't value me? Oh, you mean that you don't care about me.

ROSALINE

Great reason; for 'past cure is still past care.'

ROSALINE

For good reason, for it's not worth worrying about something which isn't going to improve.

PRINCESS

Well bandied both; a set of wit well play'd.But Rosaline, you have a favour too:Who sent it? and what is it?

PRINCESS

Well played both of you, well played! Rosaline, you have a love token as well. Who sent it to you and what is it?

ROSALINE

I would you knew: An if my face were but as fair as yours, My favour were as great; be witness this. Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron: The numbers true; and, were the numbering too, I were the fairest goddess on the ground: I am compared to twenty thousand fairs. O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter!

ROSALINE

Just you wait. If my face was as beautiful as yours, my gifts would be beautiful too. Look at this! [Holds up her gift] Oh and I have verses of poetry too! I thank Biron, the meter is correct and by his judgement, I am the most gorgeous goddess on this earth, he has compared me to twenty thousand other fair women. Oh and he has also drawn a picture of me in his letter!

PRINCESS

Any thing like?

PRINCESS

Does it seem accurate to you?

ROSALINE

Much in the letters; nothing in the praise.

ROSALINE

The color of the black ink on the white paper does, but the contents of the letter itself is nonsense.

PRINCESS

Beauteous as ink; a good conclusion.

PRINCESS

You are as pretty as ink, that's a good conclusion.

KATHARINE

Fair as a text B in a copy-book.

KATHARINE

You are as beautiful as the large letter B written in a writing manual.

ROSALINE

'Ware pencils, ho! let me not die your debtor,My red dominical, my golden letter:O, that your face were not so full of O's!

ROSALINE

Take care paintbrushes! Make sure that I don't repay your insult. I could paint yours in a red color, for Dumain's golden character. Oh, if only your face wasn't so full of little scars!

KATHARINE

A pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows.

KATHARINE

Curse that joke! I wish a plague on all chatty women like you.

PRINCESS

But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumain?

PRINCESS

Katharine, what did the lovely Dumain send you?

KATHARINE

Madam, this glove.

KATHARINE

Madam, this glove.

PRINCESS

Did he not send you twain?

PRINCESS

Did he not send you two?

KATHARINE

Yes, madam, and moreoverSome thousand verses of a faithful lover,A huge translation of hypocrisy,Vilely compiled, profound simplicity.

KATHARINE

Yes he did, madam, and with it he sent a thousand verses of the poetry of a "faithful lover," which were a huge pack of lies, badly put together and incredibly silly.

MARIA

This and these pearls to me sent Longaville:The letter is too long by half a mile.

MARIA

Longaville sent me these pearls and this letter, which is far too long.

PRINCESS

I think no less. Dost thou not wish in heartThe chain were longer and the letter short?

PRINCESS

I think you're right. Would it be better if the necklace was longer and the letter shorter?

MARIA

Ay, or I would these hands might never part.

MARIA

Yes, and then these hands would never have to part.

PRINCESS

We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

PRINCESS

We are clever girls to mock our lovers like this.

ROSALINE

They are worse fools to purchase mocking so. That same Biron I'll torture ere I go: O that I knew he were but in by the week! How I would make him fawn and beg and seek And wait the season and observe the times And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes And shape his service wholly to my hests And make him proud to make me proud that jests! So pair-taunt-like would I o'ersway his state That he should be my fool and I his fate.

ROSALINE

Or they are huge fools for earning this level of mockery. I'll make Biron suffer before I go, if only I'd have known how deeply he was in love sooner! How I would make him flatter me, look for me and beg to have me, and wait until the moment that I want and do what seems right to me. I would force his incredible wit to make-up pointless rhymes for me, and would shape him to be just like I want him to be and make him proud to be the object of my jokes! So I would rule over him with my better hand, so that he would be my fool and I would control his fate.

PRINCESS

None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of schoolAnd wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

PRINCESS

No men can be caught so easily, as when they are charmed and their wit turns into stupidity. Stupidity comes out of wisdom, it has wisdom's approval and the help of study and the charm of wit to add to the charm of a clever fool.

ROSALINE

The blood of youth burns not with such excessAs gravity's revolt to wantonness.

ROSALINE

A young man's blood isn't even as uncontrollable as when serious matters become indecent.

MARIA

Folly in fools bears not so strong a noteAs foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote;Since all the power thereof it doth applyTo prove, by wit, worth in simplicity.

MARIA

Stupidity in fools isn't so offensive, as when a wise person acts stupid, and when it is noticed. Since a wise fool has thrown away his intelligence, they are forced to prove the wisdom of simple thoughts.

PRINCESS

Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.

PRINCESS

Here comes Boyet, and he is full of cheer.

Enter BOYET

BOYET

O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's her grace?

BOYET

Oh, I hurt from laughing so much! Where is her grace?

PRINCESS

Thy news Boyet?

PRINCESS

What's happened Boyet?

BOYET

Prepare, madam, prepare! Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are Against your peace: Love doth approach disguised, Armed in arguments; you'll be surprised: Muster your wits; stand in your own defence; Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

BOYET

Get ready, madam, get ready! There are men here to disrupt your peaceful chat. Your lovers are about to come here in disguise, armed with words for you, you will be so surprised! Gather up your wits ladies, prepare to defend yourselves, or hide like cowards, and run away quickly.

PRINCESS

Saint Denis to Saint Cupid! What are theyThat charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.

PRINCESS

Saint Denis now stands against Saint Cupid! Who are the men that come to speak with us? Tell us, spy, tell us.

BOYET

Under the cool shade of a sycamore I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour; When, lo! to interrupt my purposed rest, Toward that shade I might behold addrest The king and his companions: warily I stole into a neighbour thicket by, And overheard what you shall overhear, That, by and by, disguised they will be here. Their herald is a pretty knavish page, That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage: Action and accent did they teach him there; 'Thus must thou speak,' and 'thus thy body bear:' And ever and anon they made a doubt Presence majestical would put him out, 'For,' quoth the king, 'an angel shalt thou see; Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.' The boy replied, 'An angel is not evil; I should have fear'd her had she been a devil.' With that, all laugh'd and clapp'd him on the shoulder, Making the bold wag by their praises bolder: One rubb'd his elbow thus, and fleer'd and swore A better speech was never spoke before; Another, with his finger and his thumb, Cried, 'Via! we will do't, come what will come;' The third he caper'd, and cried, 'All goes well;' The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell. With that, they all did tumble on the ground, With such a zealous laughter, so profound, That in this spleen ridiculous appears, To cheque their folly, passion's solemn tears.

BOYET

I was having a nap in the shade of a sycamore tree for half an hour, when suddenly, my nap was interrupted. I heard the King and his companions talking nearby and I carefully hid in a bush nearby, and heard them discussing what you will hear them tell you again in a minute; that they will be here soon, in disguise. Their messenger is a pretty dishonest attendant, who has learned his message off by heart, using the gestures and the vocal technique that they have taught him. They said to him, "You must speak like this," and "You must stand like this," and they kept worrying that the presence of you, your majesty might confuse him. The King said to him, "For even though you are going to see an angel standing before you, don't be scared, but speak with courage!" The boy replied, "An angel isn't evil so why would I fear her? I would only fear her if she was a devil." At that remark they all laughed and patted him on the shoulder, becoming more brave by the minute and adding more and more of this bravery into their praises of you. One of them rubbed his elbow like this, and grinned and stated that he didn't think there had ever been a speech as good as theirs before. Another one of them snapped his fingers and cried, "Come on! let's do it, no matter what happens." The third Lord did a little dance and cried, "I hope everything goes well." The fourth tripped over himself and fell on the ground. At that moment, they all fell to the ground with him, cackling with such a strong laughter, so loud, that their merriment became ridiculous and the serious emotion of passion was forced to stop their silliness.

PRINCESS

But what, but what, come they to visit us?

PRINCESS

But what, but what, they have come to visit us?

BOYET

They do, they do: and are apparell'd thus. Like Muscovites or Russians, as I guess. Their purpose is to parle, to court and dance; And every one his love-feat will advance Unto his several mistress, which they'll know By favours several which they did bestow.

BOYET

They have, they are coming now and are dressed in this way. They are dressed like Muscovites or Russians it looks like. Their aim is to speak with you, to flirt and to dance, and each of them has an act of love that they will perform for their own mistress, identifying her by the presents which they gave you.

PRINCESS

And will they so? the gallants shall be task'd; For, ladies, we shall every one be mask'd; And not a man of them shall have the grace, Despite of suit, to see a lady's face. Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear, And then the king will court thee for his dear; Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine, So shall Biron take me for Rosaline. And change your favours too; so shall your loves Woo contrary, deceived by these removes.

PRINCESS

Will they now? These men will be tested then. For ladies, we shall all wear masks, so that none of them will have the honor, even when they ask, to see our faces. Hang on Rosaline, you will wear this gift and then the King will flirt with you, thinking that you are me. Here, take this, my sweet, and give me yours, and Biron will also think that I am Rosaline. You two swap your presents too, so that your lovers will woo the wrong women, deceived by these exchanges.

ROSALINE

Come on, then; wear the favours most in sight.

ROSALINE

Come on then, let's make sure we wear these gifts in an obvious place.

KATHARINE

But in this changing what is your intent?

KATHARINE

What is the point of these exchanges?

PRINCESS

The effect of my intent is to cross theirs: They do it but in mocking merriment; And mock for mock is only my intent. Their several counsels they unbosom shall To loves mistook, and so be mock'd withal Upon the next occasion that we meet, With visages displayed, to talk and greet.

PRINCESS

The point of these exchanges is to trick them before they can trick us. They do it as a light bit of mockery, and mocking this mockery is my only purpose. They will reveal secrets to mistaken lovers, and will be mocked in front of everyone when we next meet them, at which time we will be ourselves again, ready to greet them and talk to them.

ROSALINE

But shall we dance, if they desire to't?

ROSALINE

But do we dance with them, if they want us to?

PRINCESS

No, to the death, we will not move a foot;Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace,But while 'tis spoke each turn away her face.

PRINCESS

No, we would rather die than move a foot. We will also pay no attention to the speech they have written for us, but we will turn our faces away from them instead.

BOYET

Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's heart,And quite divorce his memory from his part.

BOYET

Oh wow, that disgust will upset the speaker and he will completely forget what he was going to say.

PRINCESS

Therefore I do it; and I make no doubt The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out There's no such sport as sport by sport o'erthrown, To make theirs ours and ours none but our own: So shall we stay, mocking intended game, And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame.

PRINCESS

And so I will do it, and I am certain that the rest of them will not try again, if the speaker is puzzled. There's no game that's better than a game which outdoes another game, making their sport our sport and letting us have our own fun as well. So we will stay, mocking their actions and they will run away in shame when we have done this. 

Trumpets sound within

BOYET

The trumpet sounds: be mask'd; the maskers come.

BOYET

That's the trumpets! Put your masks on ladies, the masked men are coming.

The Ladies mask

Enter Blackamoors with music; MOTH; FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in Russian habits, and masked

MOTH

All hail, the richest beauties on the earth!—

MOTH

All hail the richest beauties on the earth!

BOYET

Beauties no richer than rich taffeta.

BOYET

Their beauties are no better than a good piece of silk.

MOTH

A holy parcel of the fairest dames.

MOTH

A divine collection of the most beautiful women.

The Ladies turn their backs to him

MOTH

That ever turn'd their—backs—to mortal views!

MOTH

That ever turned away from mortal opinions.

BIRON

[Aside to MOTH] Their eyes, villain, their eyes!

BIRON

[So only MOTH can hear] Their eyes, you idiot, their eyes!

MOTH

That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views!—Out—

MOTH

That ever turned their eyes away from mortal opinions. Out!

BOYET

True; out indeed.

BOYET

Yes, get out.

MOTH

Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafeNot to behold—

MOTH

Although we are not liked by you, you heavenly goddesses, promise not to look—

BIRON

[Aside to MOTH] Once to behold, rogue.

BIRON

[So only MOTH can hear] Promise to look at us, you rascal.

MOTH

Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes,—with your sun-beamed eyes—

MOTH

Promise to look at us with your sun-beamed eyes—with your shining, glistening eyes—

BOYET

They will not answer to that epithet;You were best call it 'daughter-beamed eyes.'

BOYET

They will not answer to a name like that, it would be better if you called them "daughter-beamed" eyes instead.

MOTH

They do not mark me, and that brings me out.

MOTH

They aren't paying attention to me, and that annoys me.

BIRON

Is this your perfectness? be gone, you rogue!

BIRON

Is that the best that you have to say? Get out of here, you scoundrel!

Exit MOTH

ROSALINE

What would these strangers? know their minds, Boyet:If they do speak our language, 'tis our will:That some plain man recount their purposesKnow what they would.

ROSALINE

What do these foreign men want? Find out from them Boyet. If they speak English then we would appreciate it if one of them would tell us what they're doing here in simple language. Go, find out from them.

BOYET

What would you with the Princess?

BOYET

What do you want with the Princess?

BIRON

Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

BIRON

Simply a peaceful and a friendly visit.

ROSALINE

What would they, say they?

ROSALINE

What did they say they wanted?

BOYET

Nothing but peace and gentle visitation.

BOYET

Simply a peaceful and a friendly visit.

ROSALINE

Why, that they have; and bid them so be gone.

ROSALINE

Well, they have had that now, so tell them they can leave.

BOYET

She says, you have it, and you may be gone.

BOYET

[To FERDINAND] She says you have had a peaceful and friendly visit and now you may leave.

FERDINAND

Say to her, we have measured many milesTo tread a measure with her on this grass.

FERDINAND

Tell her that we have traveled for many miles to dance with her on this grass.

BOYET

They say, that they have measured many a mileTo tread a measure with you on this grass.

BOYET

[To ROSALINE] They say that they have traveled for many miles to dance with you on this grass.

ROSALINE

It is not so. Ask them how many inchesIs in one mile: if they have measured many,The measure then of one is easily told.

ROSALINE

That's not true. Ask them how many inches there are in a mile. If they have traveled many miles, then they should at least have counted how many is in one.

BOYET

If to come hither you have measured miles,And many miles, the princess bids you tellHow many inches doth fill up one mile.

BOYET

If you have traveled many miles to get there, the Princess would like to know how many inches are in one mile.

BIRON

Tell her, we measure them by weary steps.

BIRON

Tell her that we measured our journey by the weary steps that we took.

BOYET

She hears herself.

BOYET

She heard you herself.

ROSALINE

How many weary steps,Of many weary miles you have o'ergone,Are number'd in the travel of one mile?

ROSALINE

Okay then, out of the many weary miles that you have traveled, how many weary steps did you take in one mile?

BIRON

We number nothing that we spend for you: Our duty is so rich, so infinite, That we may do it still without accompt. Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face, That we, like savages, may worship it.

BIRON

We don't count anything that we do for you. Our sense of duty is so strong, so limitless that we will always do it without counting. Promise to show us the sunshine of your face so that we can adore it, like beasts.

ROSALINE

My face is but a moon, and clouded too.

ROSALINE

My face is just a reflection, and it is masked as well.

FERDINAND

Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do!Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine,Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne.

FERDINAND

How lucky are the masks, which cover the ladies faces, as clouds cover the sky! Be safe bright moon, and your stars will shine on our weeping eyes, once your masks have been removed.

ROSALINE

O vain petitioner! beg a greater matter;Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water.

ROSALINE

Oh what a pointless wish! Ask for something more important. All you have now requested is to see the reflection of the moon in the water.

FERDINAND

Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe one change.Thou bid'st me beg: this begging is not strange.

FERDINAND

Then, while we are here, just let us have one dance. You asked me to beg, and we're used to doing that.

ROSALINE

Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon.

ROSALINE

Let the music play then! We must dance soon.  

Music plays

ROSALINE

Not yet! no dance! Thus change I like the moon.

ROSALINE

Not yet! No dancing yet! I change as quickly as the moon does.

FERDINAND

Will you not dance? How come you thus estranged?

FERDINAND

Why won't you dance? Why do you stay so far away from me?

ROSALINE

You took the moon at full, but now she's changed.

ROSALINE

You thought that it was a full moon, but now it's already changed to something else.

FERDINAND

Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.The music plays; vouchsafe some motion to it.

FERDINAND

Yet if you are still the moon, then I can be the man in the moon. The music is starting, lets organize some dancing to it.

ROSALINE

Our ears vouchsafe it.

ROSALINE

Our ears can listen to it.

FERDINAND

But your legs should do it.

FERDINAND

But your legs should dance to it.

ROSALINE

Since you are strangers and come here by chance,We'll not be nice: take hands. We will not dance.

ROSALINE

As you are foreigners and happened to come here, we don't have to do what you want. Take my hand now, we will not dance with you.

FERDINAND

Why take we hands, then?

FERDINAND

Well, why are we holding hands then?

ROSALINE

Only to part friends:Curtsy, sweet hearts; and so the measure ends.

ROSALINE

Only to say goodbye as friends. Curtsy to your men, my dears, here is where the music stops.

FERDINAND

More measure of this measure; be not nice.

FERDINAND

Let us have more of this, please.

ROSALINE

We can afford no more at such a price.

ROSALINE

We can't let you have more just because you ask.

FERDINAND

Prize you yourselves: what buys your company?

FERDINAND

Then value yourselves, what will buy us your company?

ROSALINE

Your absence only.

ROSALINE

Only your absence.

FERDINAND

That can never be.

FERDINAND

That will never happen.

ROSALINE

Then cannot we be bought: and so, adieu;Twice to your visor, and half once to you.

ROSALINE

Well we can't be bought, so goodbye.

FERDINAND

If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat.

FERDINAND

If you won't dance with me, then let's at least chat more.

ROSALINE

In private, then.

ROSALINE

Okay, but in private.

FERDINAND

I am best pleased with that.

FERDINAND

I am happy with that.

They converse apart

BIRON

White-handed mistress, one sweet word with thee.

BIRON

My pale-handed mistress, let me have one word with you.

PRINCESS

Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is three.

PRINCESS

Honey, milk, sugar—there, that's three words.

BIRON

Nay then, two treys, and if you grow so nice,Metheglin, wort, and malmsey: well run, dice!There's half-a-dozen sweets.

BIRON

No then, let me have two lots of three, or if you are feeling nice, I'll have three more. Well played dice! That's six more words for me.

PRINCESS

Seventh sweet, adieu:Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.

PRINCESS

Then here's your seventh, goodbye. Since you're a cheat, I don't want to play with you anymore. 

BIRON

One word in secret.

BIRON

One word in secret.

PRINCESS

Let it not be sweet.

PRINCESS

As long as it's not sweet.

BIRON

Thou grievest my gall.

BIRON

You hurt my wound.

PRINCESS

Gall! bitter.

PRINCESS

Your wound! How bitter!

BIRON

Therefore meet.

BIRON

Let's talk.

They converse apart

DUMAIN

Will you vouchsafe with me to change a word?

DUMAIN

Will you give me the chance to call you by another name?

MARIA

Name it.

MARIA

Name it.

DUMAIN

Fair lady,—

DUMAIN

Fair lady—

MARIA

Say you so? Fair lord,—Take that for your fair lady.

MARIA

Do you think so? Fair lord, take that in exchange for your "fair lady."

DUMAIN

Please it you,As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.

DUMAIN

If you want to, let's talk more in private and then I'll bid you goodbye.

They converse apart

KATHARINE

What, was your vizard made without a tongue?

KATHARINE

Sorry, does your mask not allow you to speak?

LONGAVILLE

I know the reason, lady, why you ask.

LONGAVILLE

I know why you ask me that, lady.

KATHARINE

O for your reason! quickly, sir; I long.

KATHARINE

Oh okay then, tell me the reason! Quickly, I can't wait to hear it.

LONGAVILLE

You have a double tongue within your mask,And would afford my speechless vizard half.

LONGAVILLE

You have two mouths beneath that mask, so you could give me one of them and then I would speak. 

KATHARINE

Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not "veal" a calf?

KATHARINE

The Dutchman says "Veal." Isn't veal a calf?

LONGAVILLE

A calf, fair lady!

LONGAVILLE

A calf, fair lady!

KATHARINE

No, a fair lord calf.

KATHARINE

No, a fair lord calf!

LONGAVILLE

Let's part the word.

LONGAVILLE

Can't we share the word?

KATHARINE

No, I'll not be your halfTake all, and wean it; it may prove an ox.

KATHARINE

No I don't want to be your partner. Have it and wean it and it might end up as an ox

LONGAVILLE

Look, how you butt yourself in these sharp mocks!Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not so.

LONGAVILLE

Look how you strike me with your hurtful mockery! Will you give your husband horns, chaste lady? Don't do that.

KATHARINE

Then die a calf, before your horns do grow.

KATHARINE

Then you should die while you're young, before your horns can grow. 

LONGAVILLE

One word in private with you, ere I die.

LONGAVILLE

One word in private with you then, before I die. 

KATHARINE

Bleat softly then; the butcher hears you cry.

KATHARINE

Talk softly then, you wouldn't want the butcher to hear you. 

They converse apart

BOYET

The tongues of mocking wenches are as keen As is the razor's edge invisible, Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen, Above the sense of sense; so sensible Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.

BOYET

The tongues of mocking women are as sharp as a razor, able to cut hairs that can't even be seen. Their conversations are so clever that they are more than even the senses can understand, their clever ideas come quicker than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, or even quicker things. 

ROSALINE

Not one word more, my maids; break off, break off.

ROSALINE

No more words, my maids. Stop talking to them now. 

BIRON

By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff!

BIRON

My goodness, we've all been severely beaten by their mockery. 

FERDINAND

Farewell, mad wenches; you have simple wits.

FERDINAND

Goodbye, you mad women, your wits are quite plain. 

PRINCESS

Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovits.

PRINCESS

Twenty goodbyes to you, you cold Muscovites. 

Exeunt FERDINAND, Lords, and Blackamoors

PRINCESS

Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at?

PRINCESS

Are these the kind of wits that you saw earlier?

BOYET

Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths puff'd out.

BOYET

They were like candles, blown out by your words.

ROSALINE

Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.

ROSALINE

They have large minds, that are wide and fat.

PRINCESS

O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!Will they not, think you, hang themselves tonight?Or ever, but in vizards, show their faces?This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.

PRINCESS

Oh what a lack of wit, what feeble mockery for a King! Don't you think they might hang themselves tonight in shame? Or only show their faces when hidden behind masks? The lively Biron seemed very upset.

ROSALINE

O, they were all in lamentable cases!The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

ROSALINE

Oh they were all in sorry states! The King was ready to cry in trying to find something to say to you.

PRINCESS

Biron did swear himself out of all suit.

PRINCESS

Biron swore that he had nothing left to say.

MARIA

Dumain was at my service, and his sword:Non point, quoth I; my servant straight was mute.

MARIA

Dumain was under my control, and so was his sword. "No point," I said, when he didn't even say anything.

KATHARINE

Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart;And trow you what he called me?

KATHARINE

Lord Longaville said that I had taken possession of his heart, and do you know what he called me?

PRINCESS

Qualm, perhaps.

PRINCESS

A qualm perhaps?

KATHARINE

Yes, in good faith.

KATHARINE

Yes he did.

PRINCESS

Go, sickness as thou art!

PRINCESS

Go, you must be a sickness!

ROSALINE

Well, better wits have worn plain statute-caps.But will you hear? the king is my love sworn.

ROSALINE

Well I've talked to cleverer people who have worn plain woolen caps. But did you hear? The King swore that he loved me.

PRINCESS

And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me.

PRINCESS

And the impatient Biron committed to loving me.

KATHARINE

And Longaville was for my service born.

KATHARINE

And Longaville to being my love.

MARIA

Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree.

MARIA

Dumain is mine, as certain as the fact that there is bark on a tree.

BOYET

Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear:Immediately they will again be hereIn their own shapes; for it can never beThey will digest this harsh indignity.

BOYET

Madam, and pretty mistresses, listen to me. They will be back in a minute dressed as themselves again, for I know they won't be able to put up with this shame.

PRINCESS

Will they return?

PRINCESS

They will come back?

BOYET

They will, they will, God knows,And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows:Therefore change favours; and, when they repair,Blow like sweet roses in this summer air.

BOYET

They will, they will, that's for sure, and they will be happy and excited even though they are crushed inside. Therefore, exchange your gifts back again and when they come back, blossom like sweet roses in this summer air.

PRINCESS

How blow? how blow? speak to be understood.

PRINCESS

What do you mean blossom? How can we blossom? Speak simply.

BOYET

Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud;Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.

BOYET

When fair ladies are masked they are like new roses, when they are unmasked and their beautiful red and white complexion is revealed, they are like angels removing clouds from the sky, or roses blossoming.

PRINCESS

Avaunt, perplexity! What shall we do,If they return in their own shapes to woo?

PRINCESS

Get rid of such puzzling lines! What shall we do if they come back to woo us dressed as themselves?

ROSALINE

Good madam, if by me you'll be advised, Let's, mock them still, as well known as disguised: Let us complain to them what fools were here, Disguised like Muscovites, in shapeless gear; And wonder what they were and to what end Their shallow shows and prologue vilely penn'd And their rough carriage so ridiculous, Should be presented at our tent to us.

ROSALINE

Good madam, if you'll let me offer some advice, I think that we should carry on mocking them, like we did when they were disguised. Let's complain to them about the idiots who have just been here, dressed as Muscovites, in shapeless clothes. Let's tell them we were amazed by them and wondered why their superficial performance, their poorly written verses and their ridiculous behavior were presented to us in our tent.

BOYET

Ladies, withdraw: the gallants are at hand.

BOYET

Ladies, withdraw, the men will be here soon.

PRINCESS

Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er land.

PRINCESS

Let's dash to our tents, like deer when they run across land.

Exeunt PRINCESS, ROSALINE, KATHARINE, and MARIA

Re-enter FERDINAND, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, in their proper habits

FERDINAND

Fair sir, God save you! Where's the princess?

FERDINAND

Hello sir, God bless you! Where is the Princess?

BOYET

Gone to her tent. Please it your majestyCommand me any service to her thither?

BOYET

She's gone to her tent, would your majesty like me to ask her something?

FERDINAND

That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.

FERDINAND

I would like to ask her to speak with me for just a minute.

BOYET

I will; and so will she, I know, my lord.

BOYET

I will ask her, and she will come, I know it my lord.

Exit

BIRON

This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease, And utters it again when God doth please: He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs; And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know, Have not the grace to grace it with such show. This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve; Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve; A' can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy; This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice In honourable terms: nay, he can sing A mean most meanly; and in ushering Mend him who can: the ladies call him sweet; The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet: This is the flower that smiles on every one, To show his teeth as white as whale's bone; And consciences, that will not die in debt, Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

BIRON

This man eats up our wit, like a pigeon pea, and speaks the same line again when the time is right. He is a seller of wit, and makes his money at festivals and parties, meetings, markets and fairs. People like him, who sell wit in large quantities, the Lord knows they don't have the ability to put on a performance like we can. He has complete power over women; if he had been Adam it would have been him who would have tempted Eve, not the other way around. He can also fail to deliver and stutter on his words. The same person who wore his hand out by kissing it so much is also a very polite man, he's Mr Nice Guy. He's so nice that when he plays backgammon, he even tells the dice off politely. He can sing a tenor role fairly well, and when acting as an usher he lets anyone who he thinks can do better try it instead. The ladies call him sweet, and he has climbed up the social ladder easily. He smiles at everyone he sees, to prove that his teeth are as white as ivory; people with consciences, so as not to die in debt, pay him the honor of calling him "Sweet speaking Boyet."

FERDINAND

A blister on his sweet tongue, with my heart,That put Armado's page out of his part!

FERDINAND

Let a blister grow on the tongue of the man that made Moth forget his lines!

BIRON

See where it comes! Behavior, what wert thouTill this madman show'd thee? and what art thou now?

BIRON

Look, he is coming! What were good manners until Boyet showed us what they could be? And where are they now? 

Re-enter the PRINCESS, ushered by BOYET, ROSALINE, MARIA, and KATHARINE

FERDINAND

All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of day!

FERDINAND

Hail, my sweet madam, and a good day to you!

PRINCESS

"Fair" in "all hail" is foul, as I conceive.

PRINCESS

To call a hailstorm fair is an offense, I think.

FERDINAND

Construe my speeches better, if you may.

FERDINAND

Interpret my speeches better, if you can.

PRINCESS

Then wish me better; I will give you leave.

PRINCESS

If you want me to be better than I am, then I'll just leave.

FERDINAND

We came to visit you, and purpose nowTo lead you to our court; vouchsafe it then.

FERDINAND

We came to visit you and now would like to take you to our court. Accept this offer.

PRINCESS

This field shall hold me; and so hold your vow:Nor God, nor I, delights in perjured men.

PRINCESS

I will stay in this field, so that you can stay true to your vow. Neither God nor I are a fan of liars.

FERDINAND

Rebuke me not for that which you provoke:The virtue of your eye must break my oath.

FERDINAND

Don't judge me for something which you have made me do. The virtuous power of your eye must make me break my oath.

PRINCESS

You nickname virtue; vice you should have spoke; For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. Now by my maiden honour, yet as pure As the unsullied lily, I protest, A world of torments though I should endure, I would not yield to be your house's guest; So much I hate a breaking cause to be Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity.

PRINCESS

You call this power I have virtuous when you should have called it evil, since something that is virtuous will never make a man break his oath. Now, by my maiden honor, which is still as pure as the whitest lily, I am determined that I should endure horrible things before I agree to be a guest in your house. This is how much I hate men who break the oaths that they agreed to with such integrity.

FERDINAND

O, you have lived in desolation here,Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.

FERDINAND

Oh but you have had to stay here and be lonely, unnoticed and unvisited, which is shameful to us.

PRINCESS

Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;We have had pastimes here and pleasant game:A mess of Russians left us but of late.

PRINCESS

No it isn't my lord, I swear it isn't. We have had amusements here and pleasant games, only just now a group of four Russians left us.

FERDINAND

How, madam! Russians!

FERDINAND

Really, madam! Russians?!

PRINCESS

Ay, in truth, my lord;Trim gallants, full of courtship and of state.

PRINCESS

Yes, truthfully my lord. They were stylish suitors, full of manners and dignity. 

ROSALINE

Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord: My lady, to the manner of the days, In courtesy gives undeserving praise. We four indeed confronted were with four In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour, And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord, They did not bless us with one happy word. I dare not call them fools; but this I think, When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.

ROSALINE

Madam, tell the truth, that was not the case, my lord. My lady is giving them praise that they don't deserve because it is polite. The four of us were confronted with four men in Russian clothing. They stayed here for an hour and chattered away and in that whole hour, they didn't say anything interesting. I don't want to call them fools, but I think that when they are thirsty, it would be fools that were drinking.

BIRON

This jest is dry to me. Fair gentle sweet, Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we greet, With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye, By light we lose light: your capacity Is of that nature that to your huge store Wise things seem foolish and rich things but poor.

BIRON

This joke is not amusing to me. My gentle lady, you make even wise things seem silly. When we look directly at the sun with our eyes, we are blinded and can no longer see. You knowledge is similar to that, in the sense that when you talk wise things seem foolish and rich things seem poor. 

ROSALINE

This proves you wise and rich, for in my eye,—

ROSALINE

Then you must be wise and rich, for in my mind—

BIRON

I am a fool, and full of poverty.

BIRON

I am a fool, and a poor one at that.

ROSALINE

But that you take what doth to you belong,It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

ROSALINE

But there you take the words that I was about to say about you, it is not nice to take words from my tongue.

BIRON

O, I am yours, and all that I possess!

BIRON

Oh I am all yours, and so is everything I own!

ROSALINE

All the fool mine?

ROSALINE

So the whole fool is mine?

BIRON

I cannot give you less.

BIRON

I can't give you any less.

ROSALINE

Which of the vizards was it that you wore?

ROSALINE

Which mask did you wear?

BIRON

Where? when? what vizard? why demand you this?

BIRON

Where? When? What mask? Why do you ask me this?

ROSALINE

There, then, that vizard; that superfluous caseThat hid the worse and show'd the better face.

ROSALINE

There, then, that mask, that ridiculous covering, that hid the worst of you and showed a better face.

FERDINAND

We are descried; they'll mock us now downright.

FERDINAND

We are found out! They'll mock us completely.

DUMAIN

Let us confess and turn it to a jest.

DUMAIN

Let's confess and turn it into a joke.

PRINCESS

Amazed, my lord? why looks your highness sad?

PRINCESS

You look bewildered my lord? Or are you sad?

ROSALINE

Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look you pale?Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.

ROSALINE

Help, hold his brows! He might faint! Why do you look so pale? Perhaps you're sea-sick, having travelled all the way from Muscovy...?

BIRON

Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury. Can any face of brass hold longer out? Here stand I, lady, dart thy skill at me; Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance; Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; And I will wish thee never more to dance, Nor never more in Russian habit wait. O, never will I trust to speeches penn'd, Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue, Nor never come in vizard to my friend, Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song! Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, Three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation, Figures pedantical; these summer-flies Have blown me full of maggot ostentation: I do forswear them; and I here protest, By this white glove;—how white the hand, God knows!— Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd In russet yeas and honest kersey noes: And, to begin, wench,—so God help me, la!— My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

BIRON

Therefore do whatever you want to us for our lies. Can a shameless face like mine last much longer? I stand here, my lady, give me everything you've got. Hurt me with your scorn, destroy me with a joke, make your sharp wit go right through my stupidity. Cut me into pieces with your keen tongue and I will never again invite you to dance and never come to you in Russian clothing again. Oh I will never rely on speeches that we have written, or trust a boy to deliver them. I will never come to my lover wearing a mask, nor woo her with rhymes like the song of a blind harper. I will never use rich phrases, flattering and over-precise words, excessive exaggeration, smart affection, pedantic rhetorical devices. The flies that come out in summer have laid their eggs on me and made me a pretentious show-off. I give these things up and I promise by your white glove, how white your hand is who knows! From here on I shall only woo you in simple ways with honest, plain words. So to begin, wench, may God help me, aha! My love for you is strong, without a crack or a flaw.

ROSALINE

Sans sans, I pray you.

ROSALINE

Speak without, without, I beg of you.

BIRON

Yet I have a trick Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick; I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see: Write, 'Lord have mercy on us' on those three; They are infected; in their hearts it lies; They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes; These lords are visited; you are not free, For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.

BIRON

Yet I still have a touch of my old madness. Bear with me, I am sick, I will gradually get rid of this illness. So let's see, let's write "Lord have mercy on us" on these three men. They are truly sick, it is deep in their hearts. They have the plague of love and caught it by looking in your eyes. These lords are attacked by this illness, and you are not safe yourself, since I see you are wearing the Lord's presents.

PRINCESS

No, they are free that gave these tokens to us.

PRINCESS

No, the men who gave us these presents are generous.

BIRON

Our states are forfeit: seek not to undo us.

BIRON

We have stopped being honorable men already, please don't try to ruin us.

ROSALINE

It is not so; for how can this be true,That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?

ROSALINE

That's not true. How can that be true that you risk being ruined, when you're the ones that started this all in the first place?

BIRON

Peace! for I will not have to do with you.

BIRON

Quiet! I'll have nothing more to do with you.

ROSALINE

Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.

ROSALINE

Neither will I, if I get what I want.

BIRON

Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end.

BIRON

I'm done with speaking to you, my wits are done for.

FERDINAND

Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude transgressionSome fair excuse.

FERDINAND

Tell us, sweet madam, what we can do to make up for our bad behavior.

PRINCESS

The fairest is confession.Were not you here but even now disguised?

PRINCESS

The fairest way is by confessing. Was it you that come here before in disguise?

FERDINAND

Madam, I was.

FERDINAND

Madam, it was.

PRINCESS

And were you well advised?

PRINCESS

And were you in your right mind?

FERDINAND

I was, fair madam.

FERDINAND

I was, fair madam.

PRINCESS

When you then were here,What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

PRINCESS

When you were here before, what did you whisper in your lady's ear?

FERDINAND

That more than all the world I did respect her.

FERDINAND

That more than anything else, I valued her. 

PRINCESS

When she shall challenge this, you will reject her.

PRINCESS

When she will lay claim to this, you will reject her. 

FERDINAND

Upon mine honour, no.

FERDINAND

Upon my honor, I won't.

PRINCESS

Peace, peace! forbear:Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.

PRINCESS

Peace, peace! Don't say anymore, having broken your oath once already, you won't care if you break it again.

FERDINAND

Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.

FERDINAND

Hate me, if I break another oath.

PRINCESS

I will: and therefore keep it. Rosaline,What did the Russian whisper in your ear?

PRINCESS

I will and therefore make sure you keep it. Rosaline, what did the Russian whisper in your ear?

ROSALINE

Madam, he swore that he did hold me dearAs precious eyesight, and did value meAbove this world; adding thereto moreoverThat he would wed me, or else die my lover.

ROSALINE

Madam, he swore that I was as important to him as precious eyesight and that he valued me more than the world, adding also that he would marry me, or die my lover.

PRINCESS

God give thee joy of him! the noble lordMost honourably doth unhold his word.

PRINCESS

God may you have him! This noble lord most honorably has forgotten what he promised.

FERDINAND

What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth,I never swore this lady such an oath.

FERDINAND

What do you mean madam? By my life, my dear, I never swore this lady such an oath.

ROSALINE

By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain,You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.

ROSALINE

By heaven, you did and to prove it even more, you gave me this! [She presents the gift] Take it back again sir.

FERDINAND

My faith and this the princess I did give:I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

FERDINAND

I did give the Princess my love and this gift. I knew her by the jewel she had on her sleeve.

PRINCESS

Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear;And Lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear.What, will you have me, or your pearl again?

PRINCESS

Excuse me sir, she was wearing my jewel. Lord Biron, thanks to you, for being my dear. What, do you want your pearl back, or will you have me instead?

BIRON

Neither of either; I remit both twain. I see the trick on't: here was a consent, Knowing aforehand of our merriment, To dash it like a Christmas comedy: Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany, Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some Dick, That smiles his cheek in years and knows the trick To make my lady laugh when she's disposed, Told our intents before; which once disclosed, The ladies did change favours: and then we, Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. Now, to our perjury to add more terror, We are again forsworn, in will and error. Much upon this it is: and might not you.

BIRON

I'll have neither of them, I give up both of them. I see the trick you have played on us, knowing that we were coming here, you made a pact to ruin it like a Christmas comedy. It was some kind of tell-tale, a creep, a humble assistant, a gossip, a hanger-on, a fellow who looked old with wrinkles and knows how to make my lady laugh when she wants to be merry that told you of our plan. Once they knew the ladies swapped their gifts and then we, following these gifts, woo'ed the lady that wore them. Now, we have betrayed ourselves even more, and have again broken another oath, by doing this wrong. This is pretty much what has happened. 

To BOYET

BIRON

Forestall our sport, to make us thus untrue? Do not you know my lady's foot by the squier, And laugh upon the apple of her eye? And stand between her back, sir, and the fire, Holding a trencher, jesting merrily? You put our page out: go, you are allow'd; Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud. You leer upon me, do you? there's an eye Wounds like a leaden sword.

BIRON

[To BOYET] Couldn't you have prevented this from happening, stopped us from breaking our oath? Don't you know the exact size of my lady's foot, and look pleasantly at her pupil? Don't you act almost as a fire screen, standing between her and the fire, ready to serve her, making jokes? You made Moth upset, go, you are allowed. Whenever you die, we can bury you like the woman you are. You stare at me like that, do you? Your eye wounds about as much as a wooden sword. 

BOYET

Full merrilyHath this brave manage, this career, been run.

BOYET

Well done, your argument has moved at full speed, good job.

BIRON

Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace! I have done.

BIRON

Oh, he is going back immediately to his witty lines. Peace, I am done with this. 

Enter COSTARD

BIRON

Welcome, pure wit! thou partest a fair fray.

BIRON

Welcome, you witty thing! You're breaking up a good fight. 

COSTARD

O Lord, sir, they would knowWhether the three Worthies shall come in or no.

COSTARD

Oh Lord sir, I was just sent to find out whether the three Worthies can come in yet or not.

BIRON

What, are there but three?

BIRON

What? Are there only three of them?

COSTARD

No, sir; but it is vara fine,For every one pursents three.

COSTARD

No sir, it is perfectly all right, it's just that each person is playing three parts.

BIRON

And three times thrice is nine.

BIRON

And three times three is nine.

COSTARD

Not so, sir; under correction, sir; I hope it is not so.You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir we knowwhat we know:I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir,—

COSTARD

That is not so sir, I hope it is not so. You can't take us for fools sir—I can assure you, we know what we know. I hope sir, three times three is—

BIRON

Is not nine.

BIRON

Is not nine. 

COSTARD

Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil it doth amount.

COSTARD

To correct you sir, we know what it amounts to. 

BIRON

By Jove, I always took three threes for nine.

BIRON

My goodness, I always thought that three threes were nine. 

COSTARD

O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get your livingby reckoning, sir.

COSTARD

Oh Lord sir, it would be difficult for you if you had to make your living by doing calculations. 

BIRON

How much is it?

BIRON

How much is it then?

COSTARD

O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the actors,sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount: for mineown part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one manin one poor man, Pompion the Great, sir.

COSTARD

Oh Lord sir, the men themselves, the actors, will show you what it amounts to. For my own part, as they say, I will be a poor man playing the part of a great man, Pompion the Great, sir. 

BIRON

Art thou one of the Worthies?

BIRON

Are you one of the Worthies?!

COSTARD

It pleased them to think me worthy of Pompion theGreat: for mine own part, I know not the degree ofthe Worthy, but I am to stand for him.

COSTARD

They thought that I was worthy enough to play Pompion the Great and although I don't know the rank of this Worthy, I am happy to play him. 

BIRON

Go, bid them prepare.

BIRON

Go, tell them to get ready.

COSTARD

We will turn it finely off, sir; we will takesome care.

COSTARD

We will pull it off sir, we will take care we do. 

Exit

FERDINAND

Biron, they will shame us: let them not approach.

FERDINAND

Biron, let's not let them perform, they will shame us!

BIRON

We are shame-proof, my lord: and tis some policyTo have one show worse than the king's and his company.

BIRON

We are shame-proof my lord and anyway, it is a clever device to have a show that is worse than the King's and his company. 

FERDINAND

I say they shall not come.

FERDINAND

I am telling you, they aren't coming.

PRINCESS

Nay, my good lord, let me o'errule you now: That sport best pleases that doth least know how: Where zeal strives to content, and the contents Dies in the zeal of that which it presents: Their form confounded makes most form in mirth, When great things labouring perish in their birth.

PRINCESS

No, my good lord, I'm going to overrule you now, as it is often the thing that we least expect that pleases us the most. It is only an issue when enthusiasm tries to please, and the contents of the show get lost in the enthusiasm. This ruins what the play is actually about, but has its own reward in the fact that it makes people laugh—great things can sometimes be ruined before they even get started. 

BIRON

A right description of our sport, my lord.

BIRON

A good description of what we just did as Russians, my lord. 

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Anointed, I implore so much expense of thy royalsweet breath as will utter a brace of words.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

King, I was wondering if you would use up some of your royal, sweet breath to say a few words before the show begins. 

Converses apart with FERDINAND, and delivers him a paper

PRINCESS

Doth this man serve God?

PRINCESS

Is this man religious?

BIRON

Why ask you?

BIRON

Why do you ask?

PRINCESS

He speaks not like a man of God's making.

PRINCESS

He doesn't speak like a man of God.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

That is all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch; for, I protest, the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical; too, too vain, too too vain: but we will put it, as they say, to fortuna de la guerra. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

It's all the same to me my fair, sweet, lovely monarch. Yet I have to say the schoolmaster Holofernes is incredibly imaginative, and certainly far, far too in love with himself. But I guess we will have to leave it up to the chance of war. I wish you peace of mind, my royal pair!

Exit

FERDINAND

Here is like to be a good presence of Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, Pompey the Great; the parish curate, Alexander; Armado's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Maccabaeus: And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive, These four will change habits, and present the other five.

FERDINAND

You are about to see a good company of Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy, Costard is Pompey the Great, the parson is Alexander the Great, Armado's attendant is Hercules and the pedantic teacher is Judas Maccabaeus. If these four Worthies do well in the first show, they will change their costumes and show us the other five Worthies.

BIRON

There is five in the first show.

BIRON

There are five in the first show.

FERDINAND

You are deceived; 'tis not so.

FERDINAND

You are wrong, that's not true. 

BIRON

The pedant, the braggart, the hedge-priest, the fooland the boy:—Abate throw at novum, and the whole world againCannot pick out five such, take each one in his vein.

BIRON

The pedantic teacher, the show-off, the priest, the fool and the boy. Forget your luck, no-one in the world could pick out five men like this, given what they're each like.

FERDINAND

The ship is under sail, and here she comes amain.

FERDINAND

The ship has set off, and here she comes with all speed.

Enter COSTARD, for Pompey

COSTARD

I Pompey am,—

COSTARD

I Pompey am—

BOYET

You lie, you are not he.

BOYET

That's a lie, you are not Pompey.

COSTARD

I Pompey am,—

COSTARD

I Pompey am—

BOYET

With leopard's head on knee.

BOYET

With a leopard's head on his knee!

BIRON

Well said, old mocker: I must needs be friendswith thee.

BIRON

Well said, my good man, I should be friends with you.

COSTARD

I Pompey am, Pompey surnamed the Big—

COSTARD

I Pompey am, with the surname of "the Big."

DUMAIN

The Great.

DUMAIN

You mean "The Great."

COSTARD

It is, 'Great,' sir:— Pompey surnamed the Great; That oft in field, with targe and shield, did make my foe to sweat: And travelling along this coast, I here am come by chance, And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass of France, If your ladyship would say, 'Thanks, Pompey,' I had done.

COSTARD

Oh yes, it is "Great" sir. Pompey's surname is "The Great," a man that was always in battle, with a shield, making his enemies scared. When I was traveling along the coast, I arrived at Navarre by chance, and lay my weapons before the legs of this Princess of France. If your ladyship will just say "Thanks, Pompey," then my work here is done.

PRINCESS

Great thanks, great Pompey.

PRINCESS

Great thanks to you, great Pompey.

COSTARD

'Tis not so much worth; but I hope I was perfect: Imade a little fault in 'Great.'

COSTARD

It wasn't very good, but I hope I was at least word perfect. I made that small error when I forgot to say "Great."

BIRON

My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves the best Worthy.

BIRON

I'll bet anything that Pompey ends up being the best Worthy.

Enter SIR NATHANIEL, for Alexander

SIR NATHANIEL

When in the world I lived, I was the world'scommander;By east, west, north, and south, I spread myconquering might:My scutcheon plain declares that I am Alisander,—

SIR NATHANIEL

When I was alive, I was the world's commander, I conquered in every direction, east, west, north and south. My coat of arms clearly shows that I am Alexander—

BOYET

Your nose says, no, you are not for it stands too right.

BOYET

Your nose would suggest that you aren't, because it is too straight for you to be Alexander the Great.

BIRON

Your nose smells 'no' in this, most tender-smelling knight.

BIRON

Maybe it's your nose that says he isn't Alexander, my soft-smelling knight.

PRINCESS

The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, good Alexander.

PRINCESS

The conqueror is upset. Carry on, good Alexander.

SIR NATHANIEL

When in the world I lived, I was the world'scommander,—

SIR NATHANIEL

When I was alive, I was the world's commander—

BOYET

Most true, 'tis right; you were so, Alisander.

BOYET

That's true, that's right, you were Alexander.

BIRON

Pompey the Great,—

BIRON

Pompey the Great?!

COSTARD

Your servant, and Costard.

COSTARD

Your servant sir, and also Costard.

BIRON

Take away the conqueror, take away Alisander.

BIRON

Take away the conquerer, take away Alexander.

COSTARD

[To SIR NATHANIEL] O, sir, you have overthrown Alisander the conqueror! You will be scraped out of the painted cloth for this: your lion, that holds his poll-axe sitting on a close-stool, will be given to Ajax: he will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror, and afeard to speak! run away for shame, Alisander.

COSTARD

[To SIR NATHANIEL] Oh sir, you have ruined Alexander the Great! You will be taken out of the painting for this! Your lion, that holds your battle axe and sits by you, will be given to Ajax instead—he will be the ninth Worthy! A conquerer and yet too afraid to talk. Run away for shame, Alexander!

SIR NATHANIEL retires

COSTARD

There, an't shall please you; a foolish mild man; an honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a marvellous good neighbour, faith, and a very good bowler: but, for Alisander,—alas, you see how 'tis,—a little o'erparted. But there are Worthies a-coming will speak their mind in some other sort.

COSTARD

I am sorry about that. He is a silly man, an honest man mind you, but soon put to shame. He is a very good neighbor though, and a very good bowler! But when he plays Alexander, well, you saw what happened, it was a bit too difficult for him. But there are other Worthies coming who will speak their minds in other ways.

Enter HOLOFERNES, for Judas; and MOTH, for Hercules

HOLOFERNES

Great Hercules is presented by this imp, Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed canis; And when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp, Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus. Quoniam he seemeth in minority, Ergo I come with this apology. Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.

HOLOFERNES

Great Hercules will be played by this young boy, whose club killed Cerberus, the three-headed dog. When he was a baby, a child, a young thing, he strangled snakes with his bare hands. Since he looks like a child, I therefore come to apologize. Behave in a dignified manner when you exit, and now leave.

MOTH retires

HOLOFERNES

Judas I am,—

HOLOFERNES

I am Judas—

DUMAIN

A Judas!

DUMAIN

A traitor!

HOLOFERNES

Not Iscariot, sir.Judas I am, ycliped Maccabaeus.

HOLOFERNES

Not Judas Iscariot sir, I am called Judas Maccabaeus.

DUMAIN

Judas Maccabaeus clipt is plain Judas.

DUMAIN

Judas Maccabaeus shortened is just Judas.

BIRON

A kissing traitor. How art thou proved Judas?

BIRON

A kissing traitor. What do you say, does that prove you're Judas?

HOLOFERNES

Judas I am,—

HOLOFERNES

I am Judas—

DUMAIN

The more shame for you, Judas.

DUMAIN

Shame on you Judas.

HOLOFERNES

What mean you, sir?

HOLOFERNES

What do you mean sir?

BOYET

To make Judas hang himself.

BOYET

To make Judas hang himself.

HOLOFERNES

Begin, sir; you are my elder.

HOLOFERNES

You should hang yourself first sir, as you are my elder.

BIRON

Well followed: Judas was hanged on an elder.

BIRON

A nice line, as Judas was hanged on an elder tree.

HOLOFERNES

I will not be put out of countenance.

HOLOFERNES

I will not allow my face to show I am upset.

BIRON

Because thou hast no face.

BIRON

Because you have no face.

HOLOFERNES

What is this?

HOLOFERNES

What is this?

BOYET

A cittern-head.

BOYET

A grotesque head.

DUMAIN

The head of a bodkin.

DUMAIN

Or the head of a hairpin, elaborately decorated.

BIRON

A Death's face in a ring.

BIRON

The face of death on a ring.

LONGAVILLE

The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen.

LONGAVILLE

The face of an old Roman coin, that can barely be seen because it has worn away.

BOYET

The pommel of Caesar's falchion.

BOYET

The knob at the end of Caesar's sword.

DUMAIN

The carved-bone face on a flask.

DUMAIN

The carved-bone face on a flask.

BIRON

Saint George's half-cheek in a brooch.

BIRON

The face of Saint George in profile on a brooch.

DUMAIN

Ay, and in a brooch of lead.

DUMAIN

Yes, and a brooch made of lead at that.

BIRON

Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer.And now forward; for we have put thee in countenance.

BIRON

Yes, and one that is worn in the cap of a dentist. Now let's carry on, for we have stopped you from feeling embarrassed.

HOLOFERNES

You have put me out of countenance.

HOLOFERNES

Actually you have made me feel quite embarrassed and my face is blushing.

BIRON

False; we have given thee faces.

BIRON

Lies! Since we've given you loads of faces to choose from!

HOLOFERNES

But you have out-faced them all.

HOLOFERNES

But you have made them all shameful things.

BIRON

An thou wert a lion, we would do so.

BIRON

Even if you were a lion, we would do the same.

BOYET

Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go.And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay?

BOYET

Yet, he's an ass, so let him go. And so goodbye, sweet Jude! Why are you staying here?

DUMAIN

For the latter end of his name.

DUMAIN

To hear the rest of his name.

BIRON

For the ass to the Jude; give it him:—Jud-as, away!

BIRON

Give the ass to the Jude, give it to him—Jude-ass away!

HOLOFERNES

This is not generous, not gentle, not humble.

HOLOFERNES

That is not kind, not nice, not worthy.

BOYET

A light for Monsieur Judas! it grows dark, he may stumble.

BOYET

Get Monsieur Judas a light! It is getting dark, he might stumble.

HOLOFERNES retires

PRINCESS

Alas, poor Maccabaeus, how hath he been baited!

PRINCESS

Oh, poor Maccabaeus, how he's been mocked!

Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, for Hector

BIRON

Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes Hector in arms.

BIRON

Achilles you'd better hide, here comes Hector with weapons.

DUMAIN

Though my mocks come home by me, I will now be merry.

DUMAIN

Although I'll pay for my mockery later, I'll keep having fun for now.

FERDINAND

Hector was but a Troyan in respect of this.

FERDINAND

Hector was a Trojan who did the same.

BOYET

But is this Hector?

BOYET

But is this Hector?

FERDINAND

I think Hector was not so clean-timbered.

FERDINAND

I don't think Hector was that well-built.

LONGAVILLE

His leg is too big for Hector's.

LONGAVILLE

His leg is too big to be Hector's.

DUMAIN

More calf, certain.

DUMAIN

He has more calf, that's for certain.

BOYET

No; he is best endued in the small.

BOYET

No actually, he's best endowed just below the calf.

BIRON

This cannot be Hector.

BIRON

This cannot be Hector.

DUMAIN

He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces.

DUMAIN

He must be either a god or a painter, because he creates some interesting faces.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty,Gave Hector a gift,—

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Mars, mighty in arms, with his powerful spears, gave Hector a gift.

DUMAIN

A gilt nutmeg.

DUMAIN

Was it a nutmeg covered in the yolk of an egg?

BIRON

A lemon.

BIRON

Was it a lemon?

LONGAVILLE

Stuck with cloves.

LONGAVILLE

Filled with garlic?

DUMAIN

No, cloven.

DUMAIN

No, split down the middle.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Peace!— The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion; A man so breathed, that certain he would fight; yea From morn till night, out of his pavilion. I am that flower,—

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Quiet! Mars, mighty in arms, with his powerful spears, gave Hector, the heir of Troy, a gift. He was so strong that he could fight you from morning until evening in front of his tent. I am that flower—

DUMAIN

That mint.

DUMAIN

A mint maybe.

LONGAVILLE

That columbine.

LONGAVILLE

A columbine.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sweet Lord Longaville, please watch your tongue.

LONGAVILLE

I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.

LONGAVILLE

I'm afraid I'm going to have to let it run free, since it runs after Hector.

DUMAIN

Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.

DUMAIN

Yes, and Hector was very fast.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks,beat not the bones of the buried: when he breathed,he was a man. But I will forward with my device.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The sweet warrior is long dead and gone but sweet people, do not speak badly about the dead. When he breathed he was a man. I will continue with my performance.

To the PRINCESS

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

[To the PRINCESS] Sweet royalty, please listen to what I have to say.

PRINCESS

Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted.

PRINCESS

Speak, brave Hector, we are delighted to hear what you have to say.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

I love your sweet grace's shoe.

BOYET

[Aside to DUMAIN] Loves her by the foot,—

BOYET

[So only DUMAIN can hear] He loves her foot.

DUMAIN

[Aside to BOYET] He may not by the yard.

DUMAIN

[So only BOYET can hear] He isn't allowed to love three feet.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,—

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

This Hector was even greater than Hannibal.

COSTARD

The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; sheis two months on her way.

COSTARD

Fellow Hector she is pregnant, she is pregnant! She is two months along!

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

What meanest thou?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

What do you mean?

COSTARD

Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poorwench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags inher belly already: tis yours.

COSTARD

Faith, unless you are actually Hector, the poor girl is ruined, she is pregnant and the child is already strutting around in her belly. It's yours.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shaltdie.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Are you trying to ruin me in front of these powerful people? You shall die for it.

COSTARD

Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that isquick by him and hanged for Pompey that is dead byhim.

COSTARD

Hector will have to be whipped as well because Jaquenetta is pregnant by him and then he will have to be hanged for killing me, Pompey.

DUMAIN

Most rare Pompey!

DUMAIN

Well said Pompey!

BOYET

Renowned Pompey!

BOYET

Renowned Pompey!

BIRON

Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey!Pompey the Huge!

BIRON

You are even greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! You are now Pompey the Huge!

DUMAIN

Hector trembles.

DUMAIN

Hector trembles.

BIRON

Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir themon! stir them on!

BIRON

Pompey is moved. More conflict, more conflict, encourage them! Encourage them!

DUMAIN

Hector will challenge him.

DUMAIN

Hector will challenge him.

BIRON

Ay, if a' have no man's blood in's belly than willsup a flea.

BIRON

Yes, but he won't be able to hurt Pompey enough to even draw enough blood to feed a flea.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

By the north pole, I do challenge thee.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

I challenge you by the north pole.

COSTARD

I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man:I'll slash; I'll do it by the sword. I bepray you,let me borrow my arms again.

COSTARD

I'm not going to fight you with a spear, like a northern man. I will stab you and I will do it with a sword. I pray, let me borrow my weapons again.

DUMAIN

Room for the incensed Worthies!

DUMAIN

Make room for the angry Worthies!

COSTARD

I'll do it in my shirt.

COSTARD

I'll fight just in my shirt.

DUMAIN

Most resolute Pompey!

DUMAIN

Pompey is so determined!

MOTH

Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do younot see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What meanyou? You will lose your reputation.

MOTH

Master, I'll help you to take off your clothes. Do you not see that Pompey is undressing ready to fight you? What are you doing? You will ruin your reputation if you don't.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combatin my shirt.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Gentlemen and soldiers, excuse me. I will not fight him now in my shirt.

DUMAIN

You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.

DUMAIN

You can't refuse, Pompey has challenged you.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sweet bloods, I both may and will.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Fiery men, I both can and I will.

BIRON

What reason have you for't?

BIRON

What reason do you have for doing that?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I gowoolward for penance.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The real truth of it is, I'm not wearing a shirt. I wear wool against my bare skin as punishment for my behavior.

BOYET

True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want oflinen: since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none buta dishclout of Jaquenetta's, and that a' wears nexthis heart for a favour.

BOYET

True, and it was imposed on him in Rome because there was a lack of linen. Since then he hasn't worn anything except a dishcloth of Jaquenetta's which he wears next to his heart as a gift.

Enter MERCADE

MERCADE

God save you, madam!

MERCADE

God save you, madam!

PRINCESS

Welcome, Mercade;But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.

PRINCESS

Welcome Mercade, but you have interrupted our entertainment.

MERCADE

I am sorry, madam; for the news I bringIs heavy in my tongue. The king your father—

MERCADE

I am sorry madam, but the news I bring is hard to report. The king your father—

PRINCESS

Dead, for my life!

PRINCESS

Is dead, I know it!

MERCADE

Even so; my tale is told.

MERCADE

It is true, that's what I came here to say.

BIRON

Worthies, away! the scene begins to cloud.

BIRON

Worthies, leave! The scene has become darker.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I haveseen the day of wrong through the little hole ofdiscretion, and I will right myself like a soldier.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

For my own part I am relieved that I can breathe the air freely. I have seen how you can be humiliated for doing bad things, and I am going to punish myself like a soldier.

Exeunt Worthies

FERDINAND

How fares your majesty?

FERDINAND

How are you, your majesty?

PRINCESS

Boyet, prepare; I will away tonight.

PRINCESS

Boyet, prepare our things, we will leave tonight.

FERDINAND

Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.

FERDINAND

Madam, don't leave, I ask you to stay.

PRINCESS

Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious lords, For all your fair endeavors; and entreat, Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide The liberal opposition of our spirits, If over-boldly we have borne ourselves In the converse of breath: your gentleness Was guilty of it. Farewell worthy lord! A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue: Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks For my great suit so easily obtain'd.

PRINCESS

Prepare our things, I said. Thank you, kind lords, for everything that you have done. I hope, now that I am sad, that you clever men promise to excuse and overlook the great jokes we have played on you. If we have acted too boldly when speaking to you, then your kindness was responsible for it. Goodbye my worthy lord! A heavy heart does not lead to a witty tongue, I apologize for not being able to thank you enough due to a lack of time. 

FERDINAND

The extreme parts of time extremely forms All causes to the purpose of his speed, And often at his very loose decides That which long process could not arbitrate: And though the mourning brow of progeny Forbid the smiling courtesy of love The holy suit which fain it would convince, Yet, since love's argument was first on foot, Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lost Is not by much so wholesome-profitable As to rejoice at friends but newly found.

FERDINAND

Having so little time left makes a person have to act quickly, and often in these final moments he decides the things that he has debated over for a long time. Even though the sad face of a child that has lost her father doesn't allow you to love, and marriage hardly seems like the first thing on your mind. Yet, since love was just getting started, don't let your sadness push it aside and ignore it, since it is just as important to cry for people we have lost, as it is to rejoice at people we have found. 

PRINCESS

I understand you not: my griefs are double.

PRINCESS

I don't understand you, I am grieving too much.

BIRON

Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief; And by these badges understand the king. For your fair sakes have we neglected time, Play'd foul play with our oaths: your beauty, ladies, Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours Even to the opposed end of our intents: And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,— As love is full of unbefitting strains, All wanton as a child, skipping and vain, Form'd by the eye and therefore, like the eye, Full of strange shapes, of habits and of forms, Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll To every varied object in his glance: Which parti-coated presence of loose love Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities, Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults, Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies, Our love being yours, the error that love makes Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false, By being once false for ever to be true To those that make us both,—fair ladies, you: And even that falsehood, in itself a sin, Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.

BIRON

Honest, simple words are a better choice when someone is grieving, so I will try to explain to you what the King means. For you, my beautiful ladies, we didn't pay attention to time and we broke our oaths without thinking. Your beauty, ladies, has changed us, making us act in ways that we never expected. The things we have done seem ridiculous, because love makes people act in ridiculous ways, like a foolish child skipping around. Love is made by the eye, and so, like an eye, it is full of strange shapes, strange behavior and strange appearances, changing from one person to another, just like an eye looks from one thing to another. It was your heavenly eyes that led us to forget our oaths and promises in the first place, and for which we behaved in such a silly way, because we needed to love you. Therefore ladies, because our love belongs to you, you are partly to blame for the mistakes we have made. We too are liars, for going against one vow to try to make another vow for love, for you, our beautiful ladies. Even though we broke our vows, and that was a sin, we have redeemed ourselves and found our virtue again in you.

PRINCESS

We have received your letters full of love; Your favours, the ambassadors of love; And, in our maiden council, rated them At courtship, pleasant jest and courtesy, As bombast and as lining to the time: But more devout than this in our respects Have we not been; and therefore met your loves In their own fashion, like a merriment.

PRINCESS

We have received your love letter, your presents, your messengers of love. As a group of young women, we thought that they were no more than flirting, an enjoyable game and a way to be polite, an extra touch to our visit. But we haven't taken this whole business any more seriously than this, and therefore played along with your jokes like you did with ours, like it was a game. 

DUMAIN

Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.

DUMAIN

Our letters madam, were much more than just jokes.

LONGAVILLE

So did our looks.

LONGAVILLE

Our looks were too.

ROSALINE

We did not quote them so.

ROSALINE

We didn't fully notice them.

FERDINAND

Now, at the latest minute of the hour,Grant us your loves.

FERDINAND

Now in this final moment, give us your loves.

PRINCESS

A time, methinks, too short To make a world-without-end bargain in. No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much, Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this: If for my love, as there is no such cause, You will do aught, this shall you do for me: Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed To some forlorn and naked hermitage, Remote from all the pleasures of the world; There stay until the twelve celestial signs Have brought about the annual reckoning. If this austere insociable life Change not your offer made in heat of blood; If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love, But that it bear this trial and last love; Then, at the expiration of the year, Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts, And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine I will be thine; and till that instant shut My woeful self up in a mourning house, Raining the tears of lamentation For the remembrance of my father's death. If this thou do deny, let our hands part, Neither entitled in the other's heart.

PRINCESS

This time is too short to make a decision which is going to last forever. No, no my lord, you have broken your oath and are now full of guilt. I will say this though, if you will do anything for my love, though I don't see why you would, then do this for me. I won't trust your oath, but go quickly to some abandoned and unfurnished place, far away from all the pleasures of this world and stay there until a year has gone by and you have made up for what you have done. If this difficult and lonely lifestyle doesn't change the loving offer you have just made me; if the cold and the lack of food, difficult conditions and bad clothes doesn't stop your love from growing, then come and find me at the end of this year, and show me that your love has stayed strong. Come and find me to get what you deserve to have, and by the hand I now kiss, I will be yours. Until then I am going to hide myself away in mourning and weep and cry about the death of my father. If you can't agree to this, let's leave it now, and agree to never be together. 

FERDINAND

If this, or more than this, I would deny,To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.

FERDINAND

If I would not agree to this, just because it will be difficult, then I don't even deserve to live! Therefore, I will love you faithfully until then. 

DUMAIN

But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?

DUMAIN

But what's there for me, my love? What's there for me? A wife?

KATHARINE

A beard, fair health, and honesty;With three-fold love I wish you all these three.

KATHARINE

A beard, good health and honesty. With three lots of my love, I wish you all three of these things.

DUMAIN

O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?

DUMAIN

Then, can I say, I thank you, my sweet wife?

KATHARINE

Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a dayI'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:Come when the king doth to my lady come;Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.

KATHARINE

Not now my lord. For just over a year I will not listen to anything that men say to me in love. When the King comes to see my lady, come with him—if I have love in my heart, you can have some of it.

DUMAIN

I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.

DUMAIN

I'll be faithful to you and wait until then.

KATHARINE

Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.

KATHARINE

Don't swear to that, I would hate for you to break another oath.

LONGAVILLE

What says Maria?

LONGAVILLE

What does Maria say?

MARIA

At the twelvemonth's endI'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.

MARIA

After twelve months I will change out of my black gown, for a faithful lover. 

LONGAVILLE

I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.

LONGAVILLE

I'll wait with patience, but it's a long time.

MARIA

The liker you; few taller are so young.

MARIA

That's more like you, you may be tall but you're also young.

BIRON

Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,What humble suit attends thy answer there:Impose some service on me for thy love.

BIRON

Are you deep in thought my lady? Mistress, look at me and see the love that I have for you in my eyes. What do I have to do to get an answer, tell me to do something so that you can love me. 

ROSALINE

Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron, Before I saw you; and the world's large tongue Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks, Full of comparisons and wounding flouts, Which you on all estates will execute That lie within the mercy of your wit. To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain, And therewithal to win me, if you please, Without the which I am not to be won, You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day Visit the speechless sick and still converse With groaning wretches; and your task shall be, With all the fierce endeavor of your wit To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

ROSALINE

I have heard a lot about you, my Lord Biron, and before I met you, all I knew is what I had heard from rumors and stories. People say that you are a man who always mocks people, you are full of satire and hurtful jokes which you use on everyone you meet to destroy them with your wit. To get rid of this bitterness from your clever mind, and in doing so to win me, if that's what you want, as there is no other way we will be together, you must spend the next year visiting mutes and sick people and speak with ill women. Your task is to use all of the power of your wit to try to make helpless and weak people laugh. 

BIRON

To move wild laughter in the throat of death?It cannot be; it is impossible:Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

BIRON

To make people laugh when they are about to die? That's impossible I tell you, hilarity cannot affect a person who is in pain.

ROSALINE

Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit, Whose influence is begot of that loose grace Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools: A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it, never in the tongue Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears, Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans, Will hear your idle scorns, continue then, And I will have you and that fault withal; But if they will not, throw away that spirit, And I shall find you empty of that fault, Right joyful of your reformation.

ROSALINE

Why, that's how to get rid of your sarcastic nature, which seems to have the same charm as people imagine fools to have. The success of a joke comes with how people hear it, not in how the person says it. So, if sick ears, so fed up of the sounds of their own awful groans, will listen to your pointless jokes, carry on and you will win my love, jokes and all. But if they won't listen to you, then get rid of your sarcasm, and I will think you have been cured and be pleased about how you have changed.  

BIRON

A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall,I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.

BIRON

Twelve months! Okay well maybe if I get injured, I could spend the year in a hospital waiting for you.

PRINCESS

[To FERDINAND] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.

PRINCESS

[To FERDINAND] Yes my lord, and so I will go.

FERDINAND

No, madam; we will bring you on your way.

FERDINAND

No madam, we will accompany you when you leave.

BIRON

Our wooing doth not end like an old play;Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesyMight well have made our sport a comedy.

BIRON

Our wooing hasn't ended like you'd expect a play to end—Jack doesn't have Jill. The politeness of these ladies could have easily led to a happy ending for us.

FERDINAND

Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,And then 'twill end.

FERDINAND

Come sir, it is only for just over a year, and then it will be over.

BIRON

That's too long for a play.

BIRON

That's too long for a play.

Re-enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,—

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Your majesty, hear what I have to say.

PRINCESS

Was not that Hector?

PRINCESS

Wasn't he Hector?

DUMAIN

The worthy knight of Troy.

DUMAIN

The worthy knight of Troy.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo? It should have followed in the end of our show.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

I will kiss your royal finger and leave. I will stick to my vows. I have promised Jaquenetta that I will be a farmer for three years in order to win her love. But, your highness, would you like to hear the dialogue that the two clever men created about the owl and the cuckoo? It should have come at the end of the show.

FERDINAND

Call them forth quickly; we will do so.

FERDINAND

Call them here quickly, we will hear it.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Holla! approach.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Hey! Come here.

Re-enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring;the one maintained by the owl, the other by thecuckoo. Ver, begin.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

This side is Winter, this side is Spring. The first half will be performed by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Spring, begin.

THE SONG

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

SPRING. When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear! When shepherds pipe on oaten straws And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, And maidens bleach their summer smocks The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo: O word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear!


WINTER.
When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

Spring.
When there are colorful daisies and blue violets
And silver-white cuckoo flowers
And yellow cuckoo-buds
Covering the meadows so wonderfully,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for he sings "Cuckoo!"
"Cuckoo, cuckoo!" Oh what a terrifying word,
That scares the ears of married people!

When shepherds play songs on straws made out of oat,
And cheerful birds wake ploughmen up in the morning.
When turtle-doves mate, along with rooks and jackdaws,
And young girls dye their dresses ready for the summer.
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for her sings "Cuckoo!"
"Cuckoo, cuckoo!" Oh what a terrifying word,
That scares the ears of married people!

Winter.
When icicles hang from the ceiling,
Dick the shepherd blows on his hands to warm them up,
Tom carries logs into the hall,
And the milk arrives already frozen.
When blood is painfully affected by the cold, and everywhere is muddy,
Then every night the staring owl sings, "Tu-whit,
Tu-who," a merry note,
While sweaty Joan keeps stirring the pot.

When the wind blows incredibly loudly,
When there is so much coughing in church that you can't hear the sermon,
When birds sit on the snow, like hens on their eggs,
And Marian's nose is red raw.
When roasted crab-apples hiss in a bowl of ale,
Then every night the staring owl sings, "Tu-whit,
Tu-who," a merry note,
While sweaty Joan keeps stirring the pot.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs ofApollo. You that way: we this way.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO

It is jarring to speak any words after a song like that. You go this way, we will go this way.

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.