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Love’s Labour’s Lost

DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWarble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key,
give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately 5
hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love.
MOTHMaster, will you win your love with a French brawl?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOHow meanest thou? brawling in French?
MOTHNo, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at
the tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humour 10
it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and
sing a note, sometime through the throat, as if you
swallowed love with singing love, sometime through
the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling
love; with your hat penthouse-like o’er the shop of 15
your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly
doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in
your pocket like a man after the old painting; and
keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away.
These are complements, these are humours; these 20
betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without
these; and make them men of note–do you note
me?–that most are affected to these.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOHow hast thou purchased this experience?
MOTHBy my penny of observation. 25
MOTH‘The hobby-horse is forgot.’
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOCallest thou my love ‘hobby-horse’?
MOTHNo, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your
love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love? 30
MOTHNegligent student! learn her by heart.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOBy heart and in heart, boy.
MOTHAnd out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWhat wilt thou prove? 35
MOTHA man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon
the instant: by heart you love her, because your
heart cannot come by her; in heart you love her,
because your heart is in love with her; and out of
heart you love her, being out of heart that you 40
cannot enjoy her.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI am all these three.
MOTHAnd three times as much more, and yet nothing at
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOFetch hither the swain: he must carry me a letter. 45
MOTHA message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassador
for an ass.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOHa, ha! what sayest thou?
MOTHMarry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
for he is very slow-gaited. But I go. 50
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOThe way is but short: away!
MOTHAs swift as lead, sir.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOThe meaning, pretty ingenious?
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
MOTHMinime, honest master; or rather, master, no. 55
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI say lead is slow.
MOTHYou are too swift, sir, to say so:
Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSweet smoke of rhetoric!
He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that’s he: 60
I shoot thee at the swain.
MOTHThump then and I flee.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOA most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace!
By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:
Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place. 65
My herald is return’d.
Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD.
MOTHA wonder, master! here’s a costard broken in a shin.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSome enigma, some riddle: come, thy l’envoy; begin.
COSTARDNo enigma, no riddle, no l’envoy; no salve in the
mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no 70
l’envoy, no l’envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOBy virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
thought my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes
me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, my stars!
Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l’envoy, and 75
the word l’envoy for a salve?
MOTHDo the wise think them other? is not l’envoy a salve?
DONADRIANO DE ARMADONo, page: it is an epilogue or discourse, to make plain
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
I will example it: 80
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
There’s the moral. Now the l’envoy.
MOTHI will add the l’envoy. Say the moral again.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOThe fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 85
Were still at odds, being but three.
MOTHUntil the goose came out of door,
And stay’d the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
my l’envoy. 90
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOUntil the goose came out of door,
Staying the odds by adding four.
MOTHA good l’envoy, ending in the goose: would you 95
desire more?
COSTARDThe boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that’s flat.
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:
Let me see; a fat l’envoy; ay, that’s a fat goose. 100
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOCome hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?
MOTHBy saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
Then call’d you for the l’envoy.
COSTARDTrue, and I for a plantain: thus came your
argument in; 105
Then the boy’s fat l’envoy, the goose that you bought;
And he ended the market.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOBut tell me; how was there a costard broken in a shin?
MOTHI will tell you sensibly.
COSTARDThou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that l’envoy: 110
I Costard, running out, that was safely within,
Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOWe will talk no more of this matter.
COSTARDTill there be more matter in the shin.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOSirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee. 115
COSTARDO, marry me to one Frances: I smell some l’envoy,
some goose, in this.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOBy my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured,
restrained, captivated, bound. 120
COSTARDTrue, true; and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.
DONADRIANO DE ARMADOI give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and,
in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:
bear this significant
Giving a letter.
to the country maid Jaquenetta: 125
there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.
MOTHLike the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
COSTARDMy sweet ounce of man’s flesh! my incony Jew!
Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration! 130
O, that’s the Latin word for three farthings: three
farthings–remuneration.–‘What’s the price of this
inkle?’–‘One penny.’–‘No, I’ll give you a
remuneration:’ why, it carries it. Remuneration!
why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I will 135
never buy and sell out of this word.
Enter BIRON.
BIRONO, my good knave Costard! exceedingly well met.
COSTARDPray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man
buy for a remuneration?
BIRONWhat is a remuneration? 140
COSTARDMarry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
BIRONWhy, then, three-farthing worth of silk.
COSTARDI thank your worship: God be wi’ you!
BIRONStay, slave; I must employ thee:
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave, 145
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
COSTARDWhen would you have it done, sir?
BIRONThis afternoon.
COSTARDWell, I will do it, sir: fare you well.
BIRONThou knowest not what it is. 150
COSTARDI shall know, sir, when I have done it.
BIRONWhy, villain, thou must know first.
COSTARDI will come to your worship to-morrow morning.
BIRONIt must be done this afternoon.
Hark, slave, it is but this: 155
The princess comes to hunt here in the park,
And in her train there is a gentle lady;
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name,
And Rosaline they call her: ask for her;
And to her white hand see thou do commend 160
This seal’d-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon; go.
Giving him a shilling.
COSTARDGardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration,
a’leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I
will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!
BIRONAnd I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love’s whip; 165
A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
A domineering pedant o’er the boy;
Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
This whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy; 170
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces, 175
Sole imperator and great general
Of trotting ‘paritors:–O my little heart:–
And I to be a corporal of his field,
And wear his colours like a tumbler’s hoop!
What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife! 180
A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch’d that it may still go right!
Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all; 185
And, among three, to love the worst of all;
A wightly wanton with a velvet brow,
With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes;
Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard: 190
And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!
To pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue and groan: 195
Some men must love my lady and some Joan.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 4, Scene 1