William Shakespeare: Love's Labor's Lost, Act III
Enter Don Adriano de Armado and Moth
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.
No, my complete master: but to jig off a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, humour it with turning up your eyelids, sigh a note and sing a note, sometime through the throat, as if you swallowed love with singing love, sometime through the nose, as if you snuffed up love by smelling love; with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of your eyes; with your arms crossed on your thin-belly 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 humours; these betray nice wenches, that would be betrayed without these; and make them men of note—do you note me?—that most are affected to these.
No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your love perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
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.
Sweet smoke of rhetoric! He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he: I shoot thee at the swain.
A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of grace! By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face: Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place. My herald is return'd.
Re-enter Moth with Costard
No enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no salve in the mail, sir: O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain! no l'envoy, no l'envoy; no salve, sir, but a plantain!
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?
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.
Until the goose came out of door, And stay'd 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.
The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that's flat. Sir, your pennyworth is good, an 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.
True, and I for a plantain: thus came your argument in; Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought; And he ended the market.
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.
By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty, enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured, restrained, captivated, bound.
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 honour is rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow.
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.
Stay, slave; I must employ thee: As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave, Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
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.
Giving him a shilling
Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration, a'leven-pence farthing better: most sweet gardon! I will do it sir, in print. Gardon! Remuneration!
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 whimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy; This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, Liege of all loiterers and malcontents, 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 colours like a tumbler's hoop! What, I! 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 perjured, which is worst of all; And, among three, to love the worst of all; A wightly 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 and groan: Some men must love my lady and some Joan.