List iconLove’s Labor’s Lost:
Act 1, scene 2
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Love’s Labor’s Lost
Act 1, scene 2


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Scene 2
Enter Armado and Mote, his page.

ARMADO Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
 grows melancholy?
BOY A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ARMADO Why, sadness is one and the selfsame thing,
5 dear imp.
BOY No, no. O Lord, sir, no!
ARMADO How canst thou part sadness and melancholy,
 my tender juvenal?
BOY By a familiar demonstration of the working, my
10 tough signior.
ARMADO Why “tough signior”? Why “tough signior”?
BOY Why “tender juvenal”? Why “tender juvenal”?
ARMADO I spoke it “tender juvenal” as a congruent
 epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which
15 we may nominate “tender.”

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

BOY And I “tough signior” as an appurtenant title to
 your old time, which we may name “tough.”
ARMADO Pretty and apt.
BOY How mean you, sir? I pretty and my saying apt, or
20 I apt and my saying pretty?
ARMADO Thou pretty because little.
BOY Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ARMADO And therefore apt, because quick.
BOY Speak you this in my praise, master?
ARMADO 25In thy condign praise.
BOY I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ARMADO What, that an eel is ingenious?
BOY That an eel is quick.
ARMADO I do say thou art quick in answers. Thou
30 heat’st my blood.
BOY I am answered, sir.
ARMADO I love not to be crossed.
BOY, aside He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love
 not him.
ARMADO 35I have promised to study three years with the
BOY You may do it in an hour, sir.
ARMADO Impossible.
BOY How many is one thrice told?
ARMADO 40I am ill at reckoning. It fitteth the spirit of a
BOY You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ARMADO I confess both. They are both the varnish of a
 complete man.
BOY 45Then I am sure you know how much the gross
 sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
ARMADO It doth amount to one more than two.
BOY Which the base vulgar do call “three.”
BOY 50Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is
 “three” studied ere you’ll thrice wink. And how

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

 easy it is to put “years” to the word “three” and
 study “three years” in two words, the dancing horse
 will tell you.
ARMADO 55A most fine figure.
BOY, 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
60 humor 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 outswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy. What
65 great men have been in love?
BOY 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.
BOY 70Samson, 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
75 me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who was
 Samson’s love, my dear Mote?
BOY A woman, master.
ARMADO Of what complexion?
BOY Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of
80 the four.
ARMADO Tell me precisely of what complexion.
BOY Of the sea-water green, sir.
ARMADO Is that one of the four complexions?
BOY As I have read, sir, and the best of them too.
ARMADO 85Green indeed is the color of lovers. But to
 have a love of that color, methinks Samson had
 small reason for it. He surely affected her for her

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

BOY It was so, sir, for she had a green wit.
ARMADO 90My love is most immaculate white and red.
BOY Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked
 under such colors.
ARMADO Define, define, well-educated infant.
BOY My father’s wit and my mother’s tongue, assist
95 me.
ARMADO Sweet invocation of a child, most pretty and
 If she be made of white and red,
  Her faults will ne’er be known,
100 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
105  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?
BOY 110The 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
115 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
BOY, aside To be whipped—and yet a better love than
120 my master.
ARMADO Sing, boy. My spirit grows heavy in love.
BOY, aside And that’s great marvel, loving a light

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

ARMADO I say sing.
BOY 125Forbear till this company be past.

Enter Clown (Costard,) Constable (Dull,) and Wench

DULL, to Armado Sir, the Duke’s pleasure is that you
 keep Costard safe, and you must suffer him to take
 no delight, nor no penance, but he must fast three
 days a week. For this damsel, I must keep her at the
130 park. She is allowed for the dey-woman. Fare you
ARMADO, aside I do betray myself with blushing.—
ARMADO 135I 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 140With that face?
ARMADO I love thee.
JAQUENETTA So I heard you say.
ARMADO And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA Fair weather after you.
DULL 145Come, Jaquenetta, away.
Dull and Jaquenetta exit.
ARMADO, to Costard Villain, thou shalt fast for thy
 offenses ere thou be pardoned.
COSTARD Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on
 a full stomach.
ARMADO 150Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD I am more bound to you than your fellows,
 for they are but lightly rewarded.
ARMADO, to Boy Take away this villain. Shut him up.
BOY Come, you transgressing slave, away.

Love’s Labor’s Lost
ACT 1. SC. 2

COSTARD, to Armado 155Let me not be pent up, sir. I will
 fast being loose.
BOY No, sir, that were fast and loose. Thou shalt to
COSTARD Well, if ever I do see the merry days of
160 desolation that I have seen, some shall see.
BOY What shall some see?
COSTARD Nay, nothing, Master Mote, 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
165 God I have as little patience as another man, and
 therefore I can be quiet.
Costard and Boy exit.
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
170 (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
175 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.
180 His disgrace is to be called “boy,” but his glory is to
 subdue men. Adieu, valor; 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
185 am for whole volumes in folio.
He exits.