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Love's Labour's Lost

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Act I, Scene 2

The same.



  • Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
  • Moth. No, no; O Lord, sir, no.
  • Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
  • Moth. Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?
  • Don Adriano de Armado. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton 320
    appertaining to thy young days, which we may
    nominate tender.
  • Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your
    old time, which we may name tough.
  • Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or
    I apt, and my saying pretty?
  • Moth. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
  • Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master?
  • Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
  • Moth. That an eel is quick. 335
  • Moth. I am answered, sir.
  • Moth. [Aside] He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love not him.
  • Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.
  • Moth. How many is one thrice told?
  • Moth. You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir. 345
  • Moth. Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of
    deuce-ace amounts to.
  • Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three.
  • 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 355
    study three years in two words, the dancing horse
    will tell you.
  • Moth. To prove you a cipher.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. I will hereupon confess I am in love: and as it is 360
    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 365
    courtesy. I think scorn to sigh: methinks I should
    outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
    have been in love?
  • Moth. Hercules, master.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name 370
    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. 375
  • Don 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. 380
  • Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
  • Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir.
  • Moth. As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
  • Don 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. 390
  • Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
    such colours.
  • Moth. My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me! 395
  • Moth. If she be made of white and red,
    Her faults will ne'er be known,
    For blushing cheeks by faults are bred 400
    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. 405
    A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
    white and red.
  • Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some
    three ages since: but I think now 'tis not to be 410
    found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for
    the writing nor the tune.
  • Don 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 415
    park with the rational hind Costard: she deserves well.
  • Moth. [Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love than
    my master.
  • Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench. 420
  • Moth. Forbear till this company be past.


  • Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard
    safe: and you must suffer him to take no delight 425
    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.
  • Dull. Come, Jaquenetta, away!


  • Costard. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a 445
    full stomach.
  • Costard. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they
    are but lightly rewarded.
  • 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. 455
  • 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 460
    therefore I can be quiet.

[Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD]

  • Don 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 465
    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 470
    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 475
    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; 480
    write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.