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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Love's Labour's Lost Scenes


Scene 1

The King of Navarre’s park.

(Armado; Moth; Costard; Berowne)


Armado and Moth converse, the page commenting to himself about Armado’s foolishness. With Costard, they discuss certain forms of poetry. Armado gives Costard a letter to deliver to Jaquenetta, giving him some money as remuneration; Costard is delighted with this new word. Berowne then pays Costard to deliver a letter to Rosaline. Left alone, Berowne reflects disbelievingly on the fact that he, the great cynic, is in love. ( line)

Enter Braggart Armado and his Boy Moth.

ARM.

Warble, child, make passionate my sense of hearing.

MOTH.

Sings the song.MOTH.

“Concolinel.”

ARM.

Sweet air! Go, tenderness of years, take this key, give enlargement to the swain, bring him festinately hither. I must employ him in a letter to my love.

MOTH.

Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?

ARM.

How meanest thou? Brawling in French?

MOTH.

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, sometime through the throat, as if you swallow’d love with singing love, sometime through the nose, as if you snuff’d up love by smelling love; with your hat penthouse-like o’er the shop of your eyes; with your arms cross’d on your thin-bellied doublet like a rabbit on a spit; or your hands in your pocket like a man after the old painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a snip and away: these are complements, these are humors, these betray nice wenches that would be betray’d without these; and make them men of note—do you note?—men that most are affected to these.

ARM.

How hast thou purchased this experience?

MOTH.

By my penny of observation.

ARM.

But O—but O—

MOTH.

“The hobby-horse is forgot.”

ARM.

Call’st thou my love “hobby-horse”?

MOTH.

No, master, the hobby-horse is but a colt,

Aside.MOTH.

and your love perhaps a hackney.—

But have you forgot your love?

ARM.

Almost I had.

MOTH.

Negligent student, learn her by heart.

ARM.

By heart and in heart, boy.

MOTH.

And out of heart, master; all those three I will prove.

ARM.

What wilt thou prove?

MOTH.

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 you cannot enjoy her.

ARM.

I am all these three.

MOTH.

And three times as much more—

Aside.

and yet nothing at all.

ARM.

Fetch hither the swain, he must carry me a letter.

MOTH.

A message well sympathiz’d—a horse to be embassador for an ass.

ARM.

Ha, ha? What sayest thou?

MOTH.

Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse, for he is very slow-gaited. But I go.

ARM.

The way is but short, away!

MOTH.

As swift as lead, sir.

ARM.

The meaning, pretty ingenious?

Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?

MOTH.

Minime, honest master, or rather, master, no.

ARM.

I say lead is slow.

MOTH.

You are too swift, sir, to say so.

Is that lead slow which is fir’d from a gun?

ARM.

Sweet smoke of rhetoric!

He reputes me a cannon, and the bullet, that’s he;

I shoot thee at the swain.

MOTH.

Thump then, and I flee.

Exit.

ARM.

A most acute juvenal, volable and free of grace!

By thy favor, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face:

Most rude melancholy, valor gives thee place.

My herald is return’d.

Enter Page Moth and Clown Costard.

MOTH.

A wonder, master! Here’s a costard broken in a shin.

ARM.

Some enigma, some riddle—come, thy l’envoy—begin.

COST.

No egma, no riddle, no l’envoy, no salve in the mail, sir. O sir, plantan, a plain plantan; no l’envoy, no l’envoy, no salve, sir, but a plantan!

ARM.

By virtue thou enforcest laughter—thy silly 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’envoy, and the word “l’envoy” for a salve?

MOTH.

Do the wise think them other? Is not l’envoy a salve?

ARM.

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.

There’s the moral. Now the l’envoy.

MOTH.

I will add the l’envoy. Say the moral again.

ARM.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee

Were still at odds, being but three.

MOTH.

Until the goose came out of door,

And stayed the odds by adding four.

Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with my l’envoy:

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee

Were still at odds, being but three.

ARM.

Until the goose came out of door,

Staying the odds by adding four.

MOTH.

A good l’envoy, ending in the goose; would you desire more?

COST.

The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that’s flat.

Sir, your pennyworth is good, and your goose be fat.

To sell a bargain well is as cunning as fast and loose:

Let me see: a fat l’envoy—ay, that’s a fat goose.

ARM.

Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?

MOTH.

By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.

Then call’d you for the l’envoy.

COST.

True, and I for a plantan; thus came your argument in;

Then the boy’s fat l’envoy, the goose that you bought,

And he ended the market.

ARM.

But tell me, how was there a costard broken in a shin?

MOTH.

I will tell you sensibly.

COST.

Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth. I will speak that l’envoy:

I, Costard, running out that was safely within,

Fell over the threshold, and broke my shin.

ARM.

We will talk no more of this matter.

COST.

Till there be more matter in the shin.

ARM.

Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee.

COST.

O, marry me to one Frances! I smell some l’envoy, some goose, in this.

ARM.

By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty, enfreedoming thy person: thou wert immured, restrained, captivated, bound.

COST.

True, true, and now you will be my purgation and let me loose.

ARM.

I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance, and in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this: bear this significant

Giving a letter

to the country maid Jaquenetta. There is remuneration, for the best ward of mine honor is rewarding my dependants. Moth, follow.

MOTH.

Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.

Exit Armado, followed by Moth.

COST.

My sweet ounce of man’s flesh, my incony Jew!

Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration! O, that’s the Latin word for 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.

Enter Berowne.

BER.

O, my good knave Costard, exceedingly well met!

COST.

Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man buy for a remuneration?

BER.

O, what is a remuneration?

COST.

Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.

BER.

O, why then three-farthing worth of silk.

COST.

I thank your worship, God be wi’ you!

BER.

O, stay, slave; I must employ thee.

As thou wilt win my favor, good my knave,

Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.

COST.

When would you have it done, sir?

BER.

O, this afternoon.

COST.

Well, I will do it, sir; fare you well.

BER.

O, thou knowest not what it is.

COST.

I shall know, sir, when I have done it.

BER.

Why, villain, thou must know first.

COST.

I will come to your worship tomorrow morning.

BER.

It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave, 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 name,

And Rosaline they call her. Ask for her,

And to her white hand see thou do commend

This seal’d-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon; go.

COST.

Garden, O sweet gardon! Better than remuneration, aleven-pence-farthing better; most sweet gardon! I will do it, sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!

Exit.

BER.

O, and I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love’s whip,

A very beadle to a humorous sigh,

A critic, nay, a night-watch constable,

A domineering pedant o’er the boy,

Than whom no mortal so magnificent!

This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,

This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid,

Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,

Th’ anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,

Liege of all loiterers and malecontents,

Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces,

Sole imperator and great general

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,

Still a-repairing, ever out of frame,

And never going aright, being a watch,

But being watch’d that it may still go right!

Nay, to be perjur’d, which is worst of all;

And among three to love the worst of all,

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,

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.

Exit.

 
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