A scene for 2 characters from the play "Love's Labour's Lost" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Characters: Don Armado?Moth???
  • Scene type / Who are: Friends, Giving advice on relationships
  • Type: Serio-comic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Description: Don Armado confesses to his page Moth that he has fallen in love with Jaquenetta
  • Location: ACT II, Scene 1

Summary

The King of Navarre, together with his three lords Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine, make an oath to scolarship for three years. In order to dedicate themselves to their studies they swear to fasting, to give up women and to sleep as little as possible. The King decides not to allow any women in his court. Don Armado, a Spaniard who is visiting the king, falls in love with Jaquenetta, a country girl. He writes a love letter to her and asks Costant, the court fool, to deliver the letter to her.

In this scene Don Armado confesses to his page Moth that he is in love with a country girl, Jaquenetta. Moth tries to comfort ...

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Excerpt

[SCENE II. The same.]

[Enter DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO and MOTH]

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

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

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

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

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

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

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Why tough senior? why tough senior?

MOTH
Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?

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

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

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Pretty and apt.

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

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Thou pretty, because little.

MOTH
Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
And therefore apt, because quick.

MOTH
Speak you this in my praise, master?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
In thy condign praise.

MOTH
I will praise an eel with the same praise.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
What, that an eel is ingenious?

MOTH
That an eel is quick.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.

MOTH
I am answered, sir.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I love not to be crossed.

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

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I have promised to study three years with the duke.

MOTH
You may do it in an hour, sir.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Impossible.

MOTH
How many is one thrice told?

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.

MOTH
You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
It doth amount to one more than two.

MOTH
Which the base vulgar do call three.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
A most fine figure!

MOTH
To prove you a cipher.

DON ADRIANO DE 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-devised
courtesy. I think scorn to sigh: methinks I should
outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
have been in love?

MOTH
Hercules, master.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Of what complexion?

MOTH
Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Tell me precisely of what complexion.

MOTH
Of the sea-water green, sir.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Is that one of the four complexions?

MOTH
As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
My love is most immaculate white and red.

MOTH
Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
such colours.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Define, define, well-educated infant.

MOTH
My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me!

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE 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.

DON ADRIANO DE 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 whipped; and yet a better love than
my master.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.

MOTH
And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO
I say, sing.

MOTH
Forbear till this company be past.



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