William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost in the complete original text.
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Love's Labour's Lost

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Act I. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same.

Enter ARMADO and MOTH.

Arm. Boy, what sign is it when a man of
great spirit grows melancholy?
Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
Arm. Why, sadness is one and the self-same
thing, dear imp.
Moth. No, no; O Lord, sir, no.
Arm. How canst thou part sadness and me-
lancholy, my tender juvenal?
Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the
working, my tough senior.
Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior?
Moth. Why lender Juvenal? why tender juve-
Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a con-
gruent epitheton 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.
Arm. Pretty, and apt.
Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my
saying apt? or I apt, and my saying pretty?
Arm. Thou pretty, because little.
Moth. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore
Arm. And therefore apt, because quick.
Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master?
Arm. In thy condign praise.
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same
Arm. What! that an eel is ingenious?
Moth. That an eel is quick.
Arm. I do say thou art quick in answers:
thou heatest my blood.
Moth. I am answered, sir.
Arm. I love not to be crossed.
Moth. [Aside.] He speaks the mere contrary:
crosses love not him.
Arm. I have promised to study three years
with the duke.
Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.
Arm. Impossible.
Moth. How many is one thrice told?
Arm. I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the
spirit of a tapster.
Moth. You are a gentleman and a gamester,
Arm. I confess both: they are both the var-
nish of a complete man.
Moth. Then, I am sure you know how much
the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
Arm. It doth amount to one more than two
Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three.
Arm. True.
Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study?
Now, here's three studied, ere you'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.
Arm. A most fine figure!
Moth. To prove you a cipher.
Arm. 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 curtsy. I
think scorn to sigh: methinks I should out-
swear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: what great men
have been in love?
Moth. Hercules, master.
Arm. Most sweet Hercules! More authority,
dear hoy, 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.
Arm. 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.
Arm. Of what complexion?
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the
two, or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion.
Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir.
Arm. Is that one of the four complexions?
Moth. As I have read, sir; and the best of
them too.
Arm. 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.
Arm. My love is most immaculate white and.
Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are
masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue;
assist me!
Arm. Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty
and pathetical!
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 rime, master, against the reason of
white and red.
Arm. 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.
Arm. 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 my master.
Ann. Sing, boy: my spirit grows heavy in
Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light
Arm. I say, sing.
Moth. Forbear till this company be past.

Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you
keep Costard safe: and you must let him 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.
Arm. I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
Jaq. Man?
Arm. I will visit thee at the lodge.
Jaq. That's hereby.
Arm. I know where it is situate.
Jaq. Lord, how wise you are!
Arm. I will tell thee wonders.
Jaq. With that face?
Arm. I love thee.
Jaq. So I heard you say.
Arm. And so farewell.
Jaq. Fair weather after you
Dull. Come, Jaquenetta, away!
Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences
ere thou be pardoned.
Cost. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall
da it on a full stomach.
Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished.
Cost. I am more bound to you than your
fellows, for they are but lightly rewarded.
Arm. Take away this villain: shut him up.
Moth. Come, you transgressing slave: away!
Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast,
being loose.
Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou
shalt to prison.
Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of
desolation that I have seen, some shall see—
Moth. What shall some see?
Cost. 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 pa-
tience as another man, and therefore I can be
quiet. [Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD.
Arm. 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 false-
hood,—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 clause 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 rime, for I am sure I shall turn sonneter.
Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole
volumes in folio. [Exit.
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