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Love’s Labour’s Lost

DONADRIANO DE ARMADOBoy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
grows melancholy?
MOTHA great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWhy, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp. 5
MOTHNo, no; O Lord, sir, no.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOHow canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my
tender juvenal?
MOTHBy a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWhy tough senior? why tough senior? 10
MOTHWhy tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
appertaining to thy young days, which we may
nominate tender.
MOTHAnd I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your 15
old time, which we may name tough.
MOTHHow mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or
I apt, and my saying pretty?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOThou pretty, because little. 20
MOTHLittle pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOAnd therefore apt, because quick.
MOTHSpeak you this in my praise, master?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOIn thy condign praise.
MOTHI will praise an eel with the same praise. 25
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWhat, that an eel is ingenious?
MOTHThat an eel is quick.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.
MOTHI am answered, sir.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI love not to be crossed. 30
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI have promised to study three years with the duke.
MOTHYou may do it in an hour, sir.
MOTHHow many is one thrice told?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster. 35
MOTHYou are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI confess both: they are both the varnish of a
complete man.
MOTHThen, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of
deuce-ace amounts to. 40
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOIt doth amount to one more than two.
MOTHWhich the base vulgar do call three.
MOTHWhy, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here
is three studied, ere ye’ll thrice wink: and how 45
easy it is to put ‘years’ to the word ‘three,’ and
study three years in two words, the dancing horse
will tell you.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOA most fine figure!
MOTHTo prove you a cipher. 50
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI will hereupon confess I am in love: and as it is
base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a
base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour
of affection would deliver me from the reprobate
thought of it, I would take Desire prisoner, and 55
ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised
courtesy. I think scorn to sigh: methinks I should
outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
have been in love?
MOTHHercules, master. 60
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOMost sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name
more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good
repute and carriage.
MOTHSamson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great
carriage, for he carried the town-gates on his back 65
like a porter: and he was in love.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOO well-knit Samson! strong-jointed Samson! I do
excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst me in
carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was Samson’s
love, my dear Moth? 70
MOTHA woman, master.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOOf what complexion?
MOTHOf all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOTell me precisely of what complexion.
MOTHOf the sea-water green, sir. 75
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOIs that one of the four complexions?
MOTHAs I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOGreen indeed is the colour of lovers; but to have a
love of that colour, methinks Samson had small reason
for it. He surely affected her for her wit. 80
MOTHIt was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOMy love is most immaculate white and red.
MOTHMost maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
such colours.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADODefine, define, well-educated infant. 85
MOTHMy father’s wit and my mother’s tongue, assist me!
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSweet invocation of a child; most pretty and
MOTHIf she be made of white and red,
Her faults will ne’er be known, 90
For blushing cheeks by faults are bred
And fears by pale white shown:
Then if she fear, or be to blame,
By this you shall not know,
For still her cheeks possess the same 95
Which native she doth owe.
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
white and red.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOIs there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?
MOTHThe world was very guilty of such a ballad some 100
three ages since: but I think now ’tis not to be
found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for
the writing nor the tune.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI will have that subject newly writ o’er, that I may
example my digression by some mighty precedent. 105
Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in the
park with the rational hind Costard: she deserves well.
my master.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.
MOTHAnd that’s great marvel, loving a light wench. 110
MOTHForbear till this company be past.
DULLSir, the duke’s pleasure is, that you keep Costard
safe: and you must suffer him to take no delight
nor no penance; but a’ must fast three days a week. 115
For this damsel, I must keep her at the park: she
is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI will visit thee at the lodge. 120
JAQUENETTAThat’s hereby.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTALord, how wise you are!
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTAWith that face? 125
JAQUENETTASo I heard you say.
JAQUENETTAFair weather after you!
DULLCome, Jaquenetta, away! 130
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOVillain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou
be pardoned.
COSTARDWell, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a
full stomach.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOThou shalt be heavily punished. 135
COSTARDI am more bound to you than your fellows, for they
are but lightly rewarded.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOTake away this villain; shut him up.
MOTHCome, you transgressing slave; away!
COSTARDLet me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose. 140
MOTHNo, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
COSTARDWell, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation
that I have seen, some shall see.
MOTHWhat shall some see?
COSTARDNay, nothing, Master Moth, but what they look upon. 145
It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their
words; and therefore I will say nothing: I thank
God I have as little patience as another man; and
therefore I can be quiet.
Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI do affect the very ground, which is base, where 150
her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, which
is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, which
is a great argument of falsehood, if I love. And
how can that be true love which is falsely
attempted? Love is a familiar; Love is a devil: 155
there is no evil angel but Love. Yet was Samson so
tempted, and he had an excellent strength; yet was
Solomon so seduced, and he had a very good wit.
Cupid’s butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules’ club;
and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard’s rapier. 160
The first and second cause will not serve my turn;
the passado he respects not, the duello he regards
not: his disgrace is to be called boy; but his
glory is to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust rapier!
be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, 165
he loveth. Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme,
for I am sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise, wit;
write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 2, Scene 1