Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit
A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.
How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my
By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.
Why tough senior? why tough senior?
Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?
I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
appertaining to thy young days, which we may
And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your
old time, which we may name tough.
How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or
I apt, and my saying pretty?
Thou pretty, because little.
Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
And therefore apt, because quick.
Speak you this in my praise, master?
I will praise an eel with the same praise.
What, that an eel is ingenious?
I do say thou art quick in answers: thou heatest my blood.
I love not to be crossed.
He speaks the mere contrary; crosses love not him.
I have promised to study three years with the duke.
You may do it in an hour, sir.
How many is one thrice told?
I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.
You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
I confess both: they are both the varnish of a
Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of
deuce-ace amounts to.
It doth amount to one more than two.
Which the base vulgar do call three.
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-devised
courtesy. I think scorn to sigh: methinks I should
outswear Cupid. Comfort, me, boy: what great men
have been in love?
Most sweet Hercules! More authority, dear boy, name
more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good
repute and carriage.
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.
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?
Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the four.
Tell me precisely of what complexion.
Of the sea-water green, sir.
Is that one of the four complexions?
As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
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.
It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
My love is most immaculate white and red.
Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under
Define, define, well-educated infant.
My father's wit and my mother's tongue, assist me!
Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty and
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
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.
To be whipped; and yet a better love than
Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.
And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
Forbear till this company be past.
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 allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well.
I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
I will visit thee at the lodge.
I know where it is situate.
I will tell thee wonders.
Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou
Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a
Thou shalt be heavily punished.
I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they
are but lightly rewarded.
Take away this villain; shut him up.
Come, you transgressing slave; away!
Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, being loose.
No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation
that I have seen, some shall see.
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.