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Arm. I have promised to study three years with the duke.
Moth. Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to.
Arm. It doth amount to one more than two.
Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three studied, ere you '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.17
Arm. A most fine figure !
[Aside. Arm. 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 sh ld qutswear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: what great men have been in love?
Moth. Hercules, master.
Arm. 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.
Arm. O well-knit Samson! strong-j ated 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.
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion.
Arm. 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.
Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Her faults will ne'er be known;
And fears by pale-white shewn:
By this you shall not know ;
Which native she doth owe.18
Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar ? 19
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.
Arm. I will have the 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. To be whipped ; and yet a better love than my master. 1
[Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love. Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench. Arm. I say, sing. Moth. Förbear till this company be past.
Enter DULL, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA. Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is that you keep Costard safe : and you must let him 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.20 well.
Arm. I do betray myself with blushing.-Maid.
[Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTA. Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou be pardoned.
Cost. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a full stomach.
Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished.
Cost. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but lightly rewarded.
Arm. Take away this villain ; shut him up.
Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I have seen, some shall see
Moth. What shall some see ?
Cost. 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.
[Exeunt Moth and COSTARD. Arm. 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 Samson was 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 sonneter.21 Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
Enter the Princess of France, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE,
BOYET, Lords, and other Attendants.