Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

Love's Labour's Lost

print/save print/save view


Act III, Scene 1

The same.




  • Don Adriano de Armado. Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years; take this key,
    give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately
    hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love. 770
  • Moth. Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
  • Moth. No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at
    the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, humour
    it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and 775
    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
    your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly 780
    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
    betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without 785
    these; and make them men of note—do you note
    me?—that most are affected to these.
  • Moth. By my penny of observation.
  • Moth. 'The hobby-horse is forgot.'
  • Moth. No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your
    love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
  • Moth. Negligent student! learn her by heart.
  • Moth. And out of heart, master: all those three I will prove.
  • Moth. A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon 800
    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
    cannot enjoy her. 805
  • Moth. And three times as much more, and yet nothing at
  • Moth. A message well sympathized; a horse to be ambassador 810
    for an ass.
  • Moth. Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse,
    for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
  • Moth. As swift as lead, sir.
  • Moth. Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.
  • Moth. You are too swift, sir, to say so:
    Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
  • Don Adriano de Armado. Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
    He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he:
    I shoot thee at the swain. 825
  • Moth. Thump then and I flee.


  • Don Adriano de Armado. A 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. 830
    My herald is return'd.

[Re-enter MOTH with COSTARD]

  • Moth. A wonder, master! here's a costard broken in a shin.
  • Costard. No enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no salve in the 835
    mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no
    l'envoy, no l'envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
  • Don Adriano de Armado. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly
    thought my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes
    me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, my stars! 840
    Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l'envoy, and
    the word l'envoy for a salve?
  • Moth. Do the wise think them other? is not l'envoy a salve?
  • Don Adriano de Armado. No, page: it is an epilogue or discourse, to make plain
    Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. 845
    I will example it:
    The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
    Were still at odds, being but three.
    There's the moral. Now the l'envoy.
  • Moth. I will add the l'envoy. Say the moral again. 850
  • Moth. Until 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 855
    my l'envoy.
    The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
    Were still at odds, being but three.
  • Moth. A good l'envoy, ending in the goose: would you
    desire more?
  • Costard. The 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: 865
    Let me see; a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goose.
  • Moth. By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
    Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
  • Costard. True, and I for a plantain: thus came your 870
    argument in;
    Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought;
    And he ended the market.
  • Moth. I will tell you sensibly. 875
  • Costard. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth: I will speak that l'envoy:
    I Costard, running out, that was safely within,
    Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
  • Costard. Till there be more matter in the shin. 880
  • Costard. O, marry me to one Frances: I smell some l'envoy,
    some goose, in this.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
    enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured, 885
    restrained, captivated, bound.
  • Costard. True, true; and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.
  • Don Adriano de Armado. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and,
    in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this:
    bear this significant 890
    [Giving a letter]
    to the country maid Jaquenetta:
    there is remuneration; for the best ward of mine
    honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.


  • Moth. Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
  • Costard. My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony Jew!
    [Exit MOTH]
    Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration!
    O, that's the Latin word for three farthings: three 900
    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
    never buy and sell out of this word. 905

[Enter BIRON]

  • Biron. O, my good knave Costard! exceedingly well met.
  • Costard. Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man
    buy for a remuneration?
  • Biron. What is a remuneration? 910
  • Costard. Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
  • Biron. Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.
  • Costard. I thank your worship: God be wi' you!
  • Biron. Stay, slave; I must employ thee:
    As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave, 915
    Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
  • Costard. When would you have it done, sir?
  • Costard. Well, I will do it, sir: fare you well.
  • Biron. Thou knowest not what it is. 920
  • Costard. I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
  • Biron. Why, villain, thou must know first.
  • Costard. I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.
  • Biron. It must be done this afternoon.
    Hark, slave, it is but this: 925
    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 930
    This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon; go.

[Giving him a shilling]

  • Costard. Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration,
    a'leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I
    will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration! 935


  • Biron. And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love's whip;
    A very beadle to a humorous sigh;
    A critic, nay, a night-watch constable;
    A domineering pedant o'er the boy; 940
    Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
    This whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
    This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
    Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
    The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, 945
    Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
    Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
    Sole imperator and great general
    Of trotting 'paritors:—O my little heart:—
    And I to be a corporal of his field, 950
    And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
    What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
    A woman, that is like a German clock,
    Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
    And never going aright, being a watch, 955
    But being watch'd that it may still go right!
    Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all;
    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; 960
    Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed
    Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard:
    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 965
    Of his almighty dreadful little might.
    Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue and groan:
    Some men must love my lady and some Joan.