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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)

    Enter Armado and Moth his page.
    Armado. Boy, What signe is it when a man of great spi-
    rite growes melancholy?
    Boy. A great signe sir that he will looke sadd.
    315Ar. Why? sadnes is one & the selfe same thing deare imp.
    Boy. No no, O Lord sir no.
    Arm. How canst thou part sadnes and melancholy, my
    tender Iuuenall?
    320Boy. By a familier demonstration of the working, my
    tough signeor.
    Arma. Why tough signeor? Why tough signeor?
    Boy. Why tender iuuenall? Why tender iuuenall?
    Arm. I spoke it tender iuuenal, as a congruent apethaton
    325apperteining to thy young dayes, which we may nominate
    Boy. And I tough signeor, as an appertinent title to your
    olde time, which we may name tough.
    Arma. Prettie and apt.
    330Boy. How meane you sir, I prettie, and my saying apt?
    or I apt, and my saying prettie?
    Arma. Thou prettie because little.
    Boy. Little prettie, because little: wherefore apt.
    Arma. And therfore apt, because quicke.
    335Boy. Speake you this in my praise Maister?
    Arma. In thy condigne praise.
    Boy. I will praise an Eele with the same praise.
    Arma. What? that an Eele is ingenious.
    Boy. That an Eele is quicke.
    340Arma. I do say thou art quicke in answeres. Thou heatst
    my blood.
    Boy. I am answerd sir.
    Arma. I loue not to be crost.
    Boy. He speakes the meer contrarie, crosses loue not him.
    345Ar. I haue promised to studie three yeeres with the duke.
    Boy. You may do it in an houre sir.
    Arma. Impossible.
    Boy. How many is one thrice tolde?
    Arm. I am ill at reckning, it fitteth the spirit of a Tapster.
    350Boy. You are a Gentleman and a Gamster sir.
    Arma. I confesse both, they are both the varnish of a com-
    pleat man.
    Boy. Then I am sure you know how much the grosse
    summe of deus-ace amountes to.
    355Arm. It doth amount to one more then two.
    Boy. Which the base vulgar do call three.
    Arma. True.
    Boy. Why sir is this such a peece of studie? Now heere is
    three studied ere yele thrice wincke: and how easie it is to
    put yeeres to the worde three, and studie three yeeres in two
    360wordes, the dauncing Horse will tell you.
    Arm. A most fine Figure.
    Boy. To proue you a Cypher.
    Arm. I will hereupon confesse I am in loue: and as it is
    base for a Souldier to loue; so am I in loue with a base wench.
    365If drawing my Sword against the humor of affection, would
    deliuer me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take
    Desire prisoner, and ransome him to anie French Courtier
    for a new deuisde cursie. I thinke scorne to sigh, mee thinks
    I should outsweare Cupid. Comfort mee Boy, What great
    370men haue bin in loue?
    Boy. Hercules Maister.
    Arm. Most sweete Hercules: more authoritie deare Boy,
    name more; and sweete my childe let them be men of good
    375repute and carriage.
    Boy. Sampson Maister, he was a man of good carriage,
    great carriage: for he carried the Towne-gates on his backe
    like a Porter: and he was in loue.
    Arm. O wel knit Sampson, strong ioynted Sampson; I do excel
    380thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carying gates.
    I am in loue too. Who was Sampsons loue my deare Moth?
    Boy. A Woman, Maister.
    Arm. Of what complexion?
    385Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one of
    the foure.
    Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
    Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
    Arm. Is that one of the foure complexions?
    390Boy. As I haue read sir, and the best of them too.
    Arm. Greene in deede is the colour of Louers: but to
    haue a loue of that colour, mee thinkes Sampson had small
    reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
    Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.
    395Arm. My loue is most immaculate white and red.
    Boy. Most maculate thoughts Maister, are maskt vnder
    such colours.
    Ar. Define, define, well educated infant.
    Boy. My fathers wit, and my mothers tongue assist me.
    Ar. Sweet inuocation of a child, most pretty & pathetical.
    Boy. Yf she be made of white and red,
    Her faultes will nere be knowne:
    405For blush-in cheekes by faultes are bred,
    And feares by pale white showne:
    Then if she feare or be to blame,
    By this you shall not know,
    For still her cheekes possesse the same,
    410Which natiue she doth owe
    A dangerous rime maister against the reason of white & red.
    Ar. Is there not a Ballet Boy, of the King & the Begger?
    415Boy. The worlde was very guiltie of such a Ballet some
    three ages since, but I thinke now tis not to be found: or if it
    were, it would neither serue for the writing, nor the tune.
    Ar. I will haue that subiect newly writ ore, that I may
    420example my digression by some mightie presedent. Boy,
    I do loue, that Countrey girle that I tooke in the Parke
    with the rational hinde Costard: she deserues well.
    Boy. To be whipt: and yet a better loue then my maister.
    Ar. Sing Boy, My spirit growes heauie in loue.
    Boy. And thats great maruaile, louing a light Wench.
    Ar. I say sing.
    Boy. Forbeare till this companie be past.
    430Enter Clowne, Constable, and Wench.
    Constab. Sir, the Dukes pleasure is that you keepe C stard
    safe, and you must suffer him to take no delight, nor no pe-
    nance, but a'must fast three dayes a weeke: for this Damsell
    I must keepe her at the Parke, she is alowde for the Day
    435womand. Fare you well.
    Ar. I do betray my selfe with blushing: Maide.
    Maide. Man.
    Ar. I will visit thee at the Lodge.
    Maid. Thats hereby.
    440Ar. I know where it is situate.
    Ma. Lord how wise you are.
    Ar. I will tell thee wonders.
    Ma. With that face.
    Ar. I loue thee.
    445Ma. So I heard you say.
    Ar. And so farewell.
    Ma. Faire weather after you.
    Clo. Come Iaquenetta, away. Exeunt.
    Ar. Villaine, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou be
    Clo. Well sir I hope when I do it, I shall do it on a full
    Ar. Thou shalt be heauely punished.
    Clo. I am more bound to you then your fellowes, for they
    455are but lightly rewarded.
    Ar. Take away this villaine, shut him vp.
    Boy. Come you transgressing slaue, away.
    Clo. Let me not be pent vp sir, I will fast being loose.
    460Boy. No sir, that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
    Clo. Well, if euer I do see the merry dayes of desolation
    that I haue seene, some shall see.
    Boy. What shall some see?
    465Clo. Nay nothing M. Moth, but what they looke vppon.
    It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their wordes, and
    therfore I will say nothing: I thanke God I haue as litle pa-
    tience as an other man, & therfore I can be quiet. Exit.
    470Arm. I do affect the verie ground (which is base) where her
    shoo (which is baser) guided by her foote (which is basest)
    doth tread. I shall be forsworne (which is a great argument
    of falsehood) if I loue. And how can that be true loue, which
    is falsely attempted? Loue is a familiar; Loue is a Diuell.
    475There is no euill angel but Loue, yet was Sampson so temp-
    ted, and he had an excellent strength: Yet was Salomon so
    seduced, and he had a very good wit. Cupids Butshaft is too
    hard for Hercules Clubb, and therefore too much oddes for a
    Spaniards Rapier: The first and second cause will not serue
    my turne: the Passado he respects not, the Duella he regards
    not; his disgrace is to be called Boy, but his glorie is to sub-
    due men. Adue Valoure, rust Rapier, be still Drum, for your
    manager is in loue; yea he loueth. Assist me some extempo-
    485rall God of Rime, for I am sure I shall turne Sonnet. Deuise
    Wit, write Pen, for I am for whole volumes in folio. Exit.