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Loves Labours Lost Act III
Enter Braggart Armado and his Boy.
ARMADO Warble, child, make passionate my sense of
BOY sings Concolinel.
ARMADO Sweet air. Go, tenderness of years. He hands
over a key. Take this key, give enlargement to the 5
swain, bring him festinately hither. I must employ
him in a letter to my love.
BOY Master, will you win your love with a French
ARMADO How meanest thou? Brawling in French? 10
BOY No, my complete master, but to jig off a tune at the
tongue’s end, canary to it with your feet, humor it
with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and sing a
note, sometimes through the throat as if you
swallowed love with singing love, sometimes 15
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 doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your
hands in your pocket like a man after the old 20
painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a
snip and away. These are compliments, these are
humors; these betray nice wenches that would be
betrayed without these, and make them men of
note—do you note me?—that most are affected 25
ARMADO How hast thou purchased this experience?
BOY By my penny of observation.
ARMADO But O— but O—.
BOY “The hobby-horse is forgot.” 30
ARMADO Call’st thou my love “hobby-horse”?
BOY No, master. The hobby-horse is but a colt, aside
and your love perhaps a hackney.—But have you
forgot your love?
ARMADO Almost I had. 35
BOY Negligent student, learn her by heart.
ARMADO By heart and in heart, boy.
BOY And out of heart, master. All those three I will
ARMADO What wilt thou prove? 40
BOY A man, if I live; and this “by, in, and without,”
upon 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 45
you cannot enjoy her.
ARMADO I am all these three.
BOY And three times as much more, aside and yet
nothing at all.
ARMADO Fetch hither the swain. He must carry me a 50
BOY A message well sympathized—a horse to be ambassador
for an ass.
ARMADO Ha? Ha? What sayest thou?
BOY Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse, 55
for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.
ARMADO The way is but short. Away!
BOY As swift as lead, sir.
ARMADO Thy meaning, pretty ingenious?
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow? 60
Minime, honest master, or rather, master, no.
I say lead is slow.
BOY You are too swift, sir, to say so.
Is that lead slow which is fired from a gun?
ARMADO Sweet smoke of rhetoric! 65
He reputes me a cannon, and the bullet, that’s
I shoot thee at the swain.
BOY Thump, then, and I flee.
A most acute juvenal, voluble and free of grace. 70
By thy favor, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face.
Most rude melancholy, valor gives thee place.
My herald is returned.
Enter Boy and Clown Costard.
BOY A wonder, master!
Here’s a costard broken in a shin. 75
Some enigma, some riddle. Come, thy l’envoi begin.
COSTARD No egma, no riddle, no l’envoi, no salve in
the mail, sir. O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! No
l’envoi, no l’envoi, no salve, sir, but a plantain.
ARMADO By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly 80
thought, my spleen. The heaving of my lungs
provokes me to ridiculous smiling. O pardon me,
my stars! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for
l’envoi, and the word l’envoi for a salve?
Do the wise think them other? Is not l’envoi a salve? 85
No, page, it is an epilogue or discourse to make plain
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
I will example it:
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
Were still at odds, being but three. 90
There’s the moral. Now the l’envoi.
BOY I will add the l’envoi. Say the moral again.
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
Were still at odds, being but three.
Until the goose came out of door 95
And stayed the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee
Were still at odds, being but three. 100
Until the goose came out of door,
Staying the odds by adding four.
BOY A good l’envoi, ending in the goose. Would you
The boy hath sold him a bargain—a goose, that’s 105
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.
To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and
Let me see: a fat l’envoi—ay, that’s a fat goose. 110
Come hither, come hither. How did this argument
By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
Then called you for the l’envoi.
COSTARD True, and I for a plantain. Thus came your 115
argument in. Then the boy’s fat l’envoi, the goose
that you bought; and he ended the market.
ARMADO But tell me, how was there a costard broken
in a shin?
BOY I will tell you sensibly. 120
COSTARD Thou hast no feeling of it, Mote. I will speak
I, Costard, running out, that was safely within,
Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
ARMADO We will talk no more of this matter. 125
COSTARD Till there be more matter in the shin.
ARMADO Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.
COSTARD O, marry me to one Frances! I smell some
l’envoi, some goose, in this.
ARMADO By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at 130
liberty, enfreedoming thy person. Thou wert immured,
restrained, captivated, bound.
COSTARD True, true; and now you will be my purgation,
and let me loose.
ARMADO I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance, 135
and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but
this: bear this significant to the country maid
Jaquenetta. (He gives him a paper.) There is remuneration
(giving him a coin,) for the best ward of
mine honor is rewarding my dependents.—Mote, 140
follow. He exits.
BOY Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
My sweet ounce of man’s flesh, my incony Jew!
Now will I look to his remuneration. He looks at the
coin. “Remuneration”! O, that’s the Latin word for 145
three farthings. Three 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. 150
BEROWNE My good knave Costard, exceedingly well
COSTARD Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon
may a man buy for a remuneration?
BEROWNE What is a remuneration? 155
COSTARD Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
BEROWNE Why then, three farthing worth of silk.
COSTARD I thank your Worship. God be wi’ you.
He begins to exit.
BEROWNE Stay, slave, I must employ thee.
As thou wilt win my favor, good my knave, 160
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
COSTARD When would you have it done, sir?
BEROWNE This afternoon.
COSTARD Well, I will do it, sir. Fare you well.
BEROWNE Thou knowest not what it is. 165
COSTARD I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
BEROWNE Why, villain, thou must know first.
COSTARD I will come to your Worship tomorrow
BEROWNE It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave, 170
it is but this:
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
And Rosaline they call her. Ask for her,
And to her white hand see thou do commend
This sealed-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon. He
gives him money. Go.
COSTARD Gardon. He looks at the money. O sweet 180
gardon! Better than remuneration, a ’levenpence
farthing better! Most sweet gardon. I will do it, sir,
in print. Gardon! Remuneration! He exits.
And I forsooth in love! I that have been love’s whip,
A very beadle to a humorous sigh, 185
A critic, nay, a nightwatch constable,
A domineering pedant o’er the boy,
Than whom no mortal so magnificent.
This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
This Signior Junior, giant dwarf, Dan Cupid, 190
Regent of love rhymes, lord of folded arms,
Th’ anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,
Sole imperator and great general 195
Of trotting paritors—O my little heart!
And I to be a corporal of his field
And wear his colors like a tumbler’s hoop!
What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife?
A woman, that is like a German clock, 200
Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watched that it may still go right.
Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all.
And, among three, to love the worst of all, 205
A whitely wanton with a velvet brow,
With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes.
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, 210
To pray for her! Go to. It is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan.
Some men must love my lady, and some Joan. 215