Love's Labour's Lost By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 2

ARMADO.
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.

ARMADO.
Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, 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.

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.

ARMADO.
Of what complexion?

MOTH.
Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the
four.

ARMADO.
Tell me precisely of what complexion.

MOTH.
Of the sea-water green, sir.

ARMADO.
Is that one of the four complexions?

MOTH.
As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.

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.

ARMADO.
My love is most immaculate white and red.

MOTH.
Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such
colours.

ARMADO.
Define, define, well-educated infant.

MOTH.
My father's wit my mother's tongue assist me!

ARMADO.
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 rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.

ARMADO.
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.

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 park with the rational hind
Costard: she deserves well.

MOTH.
[Aside] To be whipped; and yet a better love than my master.

ARMADO.
Sing, boy: my spirit grows heavy in love.

MOTH.
And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.

ARMADO.
I say, sing.

MOTH.
Forbear till this company be past.

[Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA.]

DULL.
Sir, the Duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard safe: and
you must suffer him to 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.

ARMADO.
I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!

JAQUENETTA.
Man?

ARMADO.
I will visit thee at the lodge.

JAQUENETTA.
That's hereby.

ARMADO.
I know where it is situate.

JAQUENETTA.
Lord, how wise you are!

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Costard has to deliver two notes — one is a love letter, and the other is




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