Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three
studied ere ye'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.
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-devis'd curtsy. I
think scorn to sigh; methinks I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort
me, boy; what great men have been in love?
My father's wit my mother's tongue assist me!
Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty, and pathetical!
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.
Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?
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.
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 whipt; and yet a better love than my master.
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 allow'd for the day-woman. Fare you well.
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 patience as
another man, and therefore I can be quiet.
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 falsehood- 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 cause
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 rhyme, for I am sure I shall turn sonnet.
Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.