Document: All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Love's Labour's Lost > Act I, scene II
[Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH]
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
MOTH: A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.
MOTH: No, no; O Lord, sir, no.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my
MOTH: By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Why tough senior? why tough senior?
MOTH: Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
appertaining to thy young days, which we may
MOTH: And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your
old time, which we may name tough.
DON ADRIANO DE
ARMADO: Pretty and apt.
MOTH: How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or
I apt, and my saying pretty?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Thou pretty, because little.
MOTH: Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: And therefore apt, because quick.
MOTH: Speak you this in my praise, master?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: In thy condign praise.
MOTH: I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: What, that an eel is ingenious?
MOTH: That an eel is quick.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.
MOTH: I am answered, sir.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I love not to be crossed.
MOTH: [Aside] He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love not him.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I have promised to study three years with the duke.
MOTH: You may do it in an hour, sir.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Impossible.
MOTH: How many is one thrice told?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.
MOTH: You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I confess both: they are both the varnish of a
MOTH: Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of
deuce-ace amounts to.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: It doth amount to one more than two.
MOTH: Which the base vulgar do call three.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: True.
MOTH: Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here
is three studied, ere ye'll thrice wink: and how
easy it is to put 'years' to the word 'three,' and
study three years in two words, the dancing horse
will tell you.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: A most fine figure!
MOTH: To prove you a cipher.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I 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
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?
MOTH: Hercules, master.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name
more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good
repute and carriage.
MOTH: Samson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great
carriage, for he carried the town-gates on his back
like a porter: and he was in love.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: O 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?
MOTH: A woman, master.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Of what complexion?
MOTH: Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Tell me precisely of what complexion.
MOTH: Of the sea-water green, sir.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Is that one of the four complexions?
MOTH: As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Green 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.
MOTH: It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: My love is most immaculate white and red.
MOTH: Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Define, define, well-educated infant.
MOTH: My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me!
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty and
MOTH: If she be made of white and red,
Her faults will ne'er be known,
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
Which native she doth owe.
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
white and red.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?
MOTH: The world was very guilty of such a ballad some
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.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I will have that subject newly writ o'er, that I may
example my digression by some mighty precedent.
Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in the
park with the rational hind Costard: she deserves well.
MOTH: [Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love than
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.
MOTH: And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I say, sing.
MOTH: Forbear till this company be past.
[Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA]
DULL: Sir, 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.
For this damsel, I must keep her at the park: she
is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I will visit thee at the lodge.
JAQUENETTA: That's hereby.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTA: Lord, how wise you are!
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTA: With that face?
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I love thee.
JAQUENETTA: So I heard you say.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA: Fair weather after you!
DULL: Come, Jaquenetta, away!
[Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTA]
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou
COSTARD: Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD: I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they
are but lightly rewarded.
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: Take away this villain; shut him up.
MOTH: Come, you transgressing slave; away!
COSTARD: Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose.
MOTH: No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
COSTARD: Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation
that I have seen, some shall see.
MOTH: What shall some see?
COSTARD: Nay, nothing, Master Moth, but what they look upon.
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]
ADRIANO DE ARMADO: I do affect the very ground, which is base, where
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:
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.
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,
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 LABOURS LOST