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Love's Labor's Lost
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Navigate this workLove's Labor's Lost
Act 1, scene 2
Armado confides first to his page Mote and then to Jaquenetta herself that he is in love with Jaquenetta. He is given responsibility for the imprisoned Costard.Enter Armado and Mote, his page.
ARMADO 0316 Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
0317 grows melancholy?
BOY 0318 A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ARMADO 0319 Why, sadness is one and the selfsame thing,
0320 5 dear imp.
BOY 0321 No, no. O Lord, sir, no!
ARMADO 0322 How canst thou part sadness and melancholy,
0323 my tender juvenal?
BOY 0324 By a familiar demonstration of the working, my
0325 10 tough signior.
ARMADO 0326 Why “tough signior”? Why “tough signior”?
BOY 0327 Why “tender juvenal”? Why “tender juvenal”?
ARMADO 0328 I spoke it “tender juvenal” as a congruent
0329 epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which
0330 15 we may nominate “tender.”
p. 29BOY 0331 And I “tough signior” as an appurtenant title to
0332 your old time, which we may name “tough.”
ARMADO 0333 Pretty and apt.
BOY 0334 How mean you, sir? I pretty and my saying apt, or
0335 20 I apt and my saying pretty?
ARMADO 0336 Thou pretty because little.
BOY 0337 Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ARMADO 0338 And therefore apt, because quick.
BOY 0339 Speak you this in my praise, master?
ARMADO 0340 25In thy condign praise.
BOY 0341 I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ARMADO 0342 What, that an eel is ingenious?
BOY 0343 That an eel is quick.
ARMADO 0344 I do say thou art quick in answers. Thou
0345 30 heat’st my blood.
BOY 0346 I am answered, sir.
ARMADO 0347 I love not to be crossed.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0348 He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love
0349 not him.
ARMADO 0350 35I have promised to study three years with the
BOY 0352 You may do it in an hour, sir.
ARMADO 0353 Impossible.
BOY 0354 How many is one thrice told?
ARMADO 0355 40I am ill at reckoning. It fitteth the spirit of a
BOY 0357 You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ARMADO 0358 I confess both. They are both the varnish of a
0359 complete man.
BOY 0360 45Then I am sure you know how much the gross
0361 sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
ARMADO 0362 It doth amount to one more than two.
BOY 0363 Which the base vulgar do call “three.”
ARMADO 0364 True.
BOY 0365 50Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is
0366 “three” studied ere you’ll thrice wink. And how
p. 310367 easy it is to put “years” to the word “three” and
0368 study “three years” in two words, the dancing horse
0369 will tell you.
ARMADO 0370 55A most fine figure.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0371 To prove you a cipher.
ARMADO 0372 I will hereupon confess I am in love; and as it
0373 is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a
0374 base wench. If drawing my sword against the
0375 60 humor of affection would deliver me from the
0376 reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner
0377 and ransom him to any French courtier for a
0378 new-devised curtsy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks
0379 I should outswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy. What
0380 65 great men have been in love?
BOY 0381 Hercules, master.
ARMADO 0382 Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear
0383 boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be
0384 men of good repute and carriage.
BOY 0385 70Samson, master; he was a man of good carriage,
0386 great carriage, for he carried the town gates on his
0387 back like a porter, and he was in love.
ARMADO 0388 O, well-knit Samson, strong-jointed Samson;
0389 I do excel thee in my rapier as much as thou didst
0390 75 me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was
0391 Samson’s love, my dear Mote?
BOY 0392 A woman, master.
ARMADO 0393 Of what complexion?
BOY 0394 Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of
0395 80 the four.
ARMADO 0396 Tell me precisely of what complexion.
BOY 0397 Of the sea-water green, sir.
ARMADO 0398 Is that one of the four complexions?
BOY 0399 As I have read, sir, and the best of them too.
ARMADO 0400 85Green indeed is the color of lovers. But to
0401 have a love of that color, methinks Samson had
0402 small reason for it. He surely affected her for her
p. 33BOY 0404 It was so, sir, for she had a green wit.
ARMADO 0405 90My love is most immaculate white and red.
BOY 0406 Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked
0407 under such colors.
ARMADO 0408 Define, define, well-educated infant.
BOY 0409 My father’s wit and my mother’s tongue, assist
0410 95 me.
ARMADO 0411 Sweet invocation of a child, most pretty and
0413 If she be made of white and red,
0414 Her faults will ne’er be known,
0415 100 For ⌜blushing⌝ cheeks by faults are bred,
0416 And fears by pale white shown.
0417 Then if she fear, or be to blame,
0418 By this you shall not know,
0419 For still her cheeks possess the same
0420 105 Which native she doth owe.
0421 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
0422 white and red.
ARMADO 0423 Is there not a ballad, boy, of “The King and
0424 the Beggar”?
BOY 0425 110The world was very guilty of such a ballad some
0426 three ages since, but I think now ’tis not to be found;
0427 or if it were, it would neither serve for the writing
0428 nor the tune.
ARMADO 0429 I will have that subject newly writ o’er, that I
0430 115 may example my digression by some mighty precedent.
0431 Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in
0432 the park with the rational hind Costard. She deserves
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0434 To be whipped—and yet a better love than
0435 120 my master.
ARMADO 0436 Sing, boy. My spirit grows heavy in love.
BOY, ⌜aside⌝ 0437 And that’s great marvel, loving a light
p. 35ARMADO 0439 I say sing.
BOY 0440 125Forbear till this company be past.
Enter Clown (⌜Costard,⌝) Constable (⌜Dull,⌝) and Wench
DULL, ⌜to Armado⌝ 0441 Sir, the Duke’s pleasure is that you
0442 keep Costard safe, and you must suffer him to take
0443 no delight, nor no penance, but he must fast three
0444 days a week. For this damsel, I must keep her at the
0445 130 park. She is allowed for the dey-woman. Fare you
ARMADO, ⌜aside⌝ 0447 I do betray myself with blushing.—
JAQUENETTA 0449 Man.
ARMADO 0450 135I will visit thee at the lodge.
JAQUENETTA 0451 That’s hereby.
ARMADO 0452 I know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTA 0453 Lord, how wise you are.
ARMADO 0454 I will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTA 0455 140With that face?
ARMADO 0456 I love thee.
JAQUENETTA 0457 So I heard you say.
ARMADO 0458 And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA 0459 Fair weather after you.
⌜DULL⌝ 0460 145Come, Jaquenetta, away.
⌜Dull and Jaquenetta⌝ exit.
ARMADO, ⌜to Costard⌝ 0461 Villain, thou shalt fast for thy
0462 offenses ere thou be pardoned.
COSTARD 0463 Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on
0464 a full stomach.
ARMADO 0465 150Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD 0466 I am more bound to you than your fellows,
0467 for they are but lightly rewarded.
ARMADO, ⌜to Boy⌝ 0468 Take away this villain. Shut him up.
BOY 0469 Come, you transgressing slave, away.
p. 37COSTARD, ⌜to Armado⌝ 0470 155Let me not be pent up, sir. I will
0471 fast being loose.
BOY 0472 No, sir, that were fast and loose. Thou shalt to
COSTARD 0474 Well, if ever I do see the merry days of
0475 160 desolation that I have seen, some shall see.
BOY 0476 What shall some see?
COSTARD 0477 Nay, nothing, Master Mote, but what they
0478 look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in
0479 their words, and therefore I will say nothing. I thank
0480 165 God I have as little patience as another man, and
0481 therefore I can be quiet.
⌜Costard and Boy⌝ exit.
ARMADO 0482 I do affect the very ground (which is base)
0483 where her shoe (which is baser) guided by her foot
0484 (which is basest) doth tread. I shall be forsworn
0485 170 (which is a great argument of falsehood) if I love.
0486 And how can that be true love which is falsely
0487 attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil. There is
0488 no evil angel but love, yet was Samson so tempted,
0489 and he had an excellent strength; yet was Solomon
0490 175 so seduced, and he had a very good wit. Cupid’s
0491 butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules’ club, and therefore
0492 too much odds for a Spaniard’s rapier. The first
0493 and second cause will not serve my turn; the
0494 passado he respects not, the duello he regards not.
0495 180 His disgrace is to be called “boy,” but his glory is to
0496 subdue men. Adieu, valor; rust, rapier; be still,
0497 drum, for your manager is in love. Yea, he loveth.
0498 Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme, for I am
0499 sure I shall turn sonnet. Devise wit, write pen, for I
0500 185 am for whole volumes in folio.