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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 towngates on his back, like a porter: and he was in love.
Arm. 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.
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion.
Moth. As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
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. Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red.
Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, assist me!
Arm. 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;
And fears by pale-white shown:
By this you shall not know;
For still her cheeks possess the same,
Which native she doth owe.1 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.
Arm. 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.
Arm. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digression2 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.
[ Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirits grow heavy in love.
Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
Arm. I say, sing:
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.3 Fare well.
Arm. I do betray myself with blushing.–Maid.
(1) Of which she is naturally possessed.
Arm. I love thee.
(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. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, being loose.
Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose : thou shalt to prison.
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-shaft2 is too hard for Hercules' club,
(1) Love. (2) Arrow to shoot at butts with.
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 tum sonneteer. Devise wit; write pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
vilion and tents at a distance. Enter the Prin-
Than you much willing to be counted wise
1 Lord. Longaville is one. Prin.
Know you the man? Mar. I know him, madam; at a marriage feast, Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir Of Jaques Falconbridye solemnized, In Normandy saw I this Longaville : A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd ; Well fitted in the arts, glorious in arms : Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss, (If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,) Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will; Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still
wills It should none spare that come within his power.
Prin. Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so ? Mar. They say so most, that most his humours