ACT I
Scene II.
 

The park

[Enter ARMADO and MOTH, his page.]

ARMADO
Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit grows
melancholy?

MOTH
A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.

ARMADO
Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.

MOTH
No, no; O Lord, sir, no!

ARMADO
How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my tender
juvenal?

MOTH
By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough signior.

ARMADO
Why tough signior? Why tough signior?

MOTH
Why tender juvenal? Why tender juvenal?

ARMADO
I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.

MOTH
And I, tough signior, as an appertinent title to your old
time, which we may name tough.

ARMADO
Pretty and apt.

MOTH
How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and
my saying pretty?

ARMADO
Thou pretty, because little.

MOTH
Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?

ARMADO
And therefore apt, because quick.

MOTH
Speak you this in my praise, master?

ARMADO
In thy condign praise.

MOTH
I will praise an eel with the same praise.

ARMADO
That an eel is ingenious?

MOTH
That an eel is quick.

ARMADO
I do say thou art quick in answers; thou heat'st my blood.

MOTH
I am answer'd, sir.

ARMADO
I love not to be cross'd.

MOTH
[Aside] He speaks the mere contrary: crosses love not him.

ARMADO
I have promised to study three years with the Duke.

MOTH
You may do it in an hour, sir.

ARMADO
Impossible.

MOTH
How many is one thrice told?

ARMADO
I am ill at reck'ning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.

MOTH
You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.

ARMADO
I confess both; they are both the varnish of a complete
man.

MOTH
Then I am sure you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace
amounts to.

ARMADO
It doth amount to one more than two.

MOTH
Which the base vulgar do call three.

ARMADO
True.

MOTH
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.

ARMADO
A most fine figure!

MOTH
[Aside] To prove you a cipher.

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-devis'd 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 mask'd 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 whipt; 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 allow'd 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!

ARMADO
I will tell thee wonders.

JAQUENETTA
With that face?

ARMADO
I love thee.

JAQUENETTA
So I heard you say.

ARMADO
And so, farewell.

JAQUENETTA
Fair weather after you!

DULL
Come, Jaquenetta, away.

Exit with JAQUENETTA

ARMADO
Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou be
pardoned.

COSTARD
Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on a full
stomach.

ARMADO
Thou shalt be heavily punished.

COSTARD
I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but
lightly rewarded.

ARMADO
Take away this villain; shut him up.

MOTH
Come, you transgressing slave, away.

COSTARD
Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, being loose.

MOTH
No, sir; that were fast, and loose. Thou shalt to prison.

COSTARD
Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I
have seen, some shall see.

MOTH
What shall some see?

COSTARD
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.

Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD

ARMADO
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.

Exit