Dramatis Personae.

FERDINAND, King of Navarre
BEROWNE, lord attending on the King
LONGAVILLE, " " " " "
DUMAIN, " " " " "
BOYET, lord attending on the Princess of France
MARCADE, " " " " " " "
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, fantastical Spaniard
HOLOFERNES, a schoolmaster
DULL, a constable
COSTARD, a clown
MOTH, page to Armado


ROSALINE, lady attending on the Princess
MARIA, " " " " "
KATHARINE, lady attending on the Princess
JAQUENETTA, a country wench

Lords, Attendants, etc.


Navarre. The King's park


KING. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live regist'red upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
Th' endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors- for so you are
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's desires-
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little Academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Berowne, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here.
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your names,
That his own hand may strike his honour down
That violates the smallest branch herein.
If you are arm'd to do as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
LONGAVILLE. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years' fast.
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine.
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
DUMAIN. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified.
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves;
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die,
With all these living in philosophy.
BEROWNE. I can but say their protestation over;
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances,
As: not to see a woman in that term,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there;
And one day in a week to touch no food,
And but one meal on every day beside,
The which I hope is not enrolled there;
And then to sleep but three hours in the night
And not be seen to wink of all the day-
When I was wont to think no harm all night,
And make a dark night too of half the day-
Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep!
KING. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these.
BEROWNE. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please:
I only swore to study with your Grace,
And stay here in your court for three years' space.
LONGAVILLE. You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.
BEROWNE. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
What is the end of study, let me know.
KING. Why, that to know which else we should not know.
BEROWNE. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from common sense?
KING. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
BEROWNE. Come on, then; I will swear to study so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know,
As thus: to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
When mistresses from common sense are hid;
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
Study to break it, and not break my troth.
If study's gain be thus, and this be so,
Study knows that which yet it doth not know.
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.
KING. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
And train our intellects to vain delight.
BEROWNE. Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain
Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain,
As painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed,
By fixing it upon a fairer eye;
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks;
Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books.
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
That give a name to every fixed star
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.
KING. How well he's read, to reason against reading!
DUMAIN. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!
LONGAVILLE. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow the weeding.
BEROWNE. The spring is near, when green geese are a-breeding.
DUMAIN. How follows that?
BEROWNE. Fit in his place and time.
DUMAIN. In reason nothing.
BEROWNE. Something then in rhyme.
LONGAVILLE. Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
BEROWNE. Well, say I am; why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
But like of each thing that in season grows;
So you, to study now it is too late,
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate.
KING. Well, sit out; go home, Berowne; adieu.
BEROWNE. No, my good lord; I have sworn to stay with you;
And though I have for barbarism spoke more
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.
Give me the paper; let me read the same;
And to the strictest decrees I'll write my name.
KING. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!
BEROWNE. [Reads] 'Item. That no woman shall come within a mile of
my court'- Hath this been proclaimed?
LONGAVILLE. Four days ago.
BEROWNE. Let's see the penalty. [Reads] '-on pain of losing her
tongue.' Who devis'd this penalty?
LONGAVILLE. Marry, that did I.
BEROWNE. Sweet lord, and why?
LONGAVILLE. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.
BEROWNE. A dangerous law against gentility.
[Reads] 'Item. If any man be seen to talk with a woman within
the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the
rest of the court can possibly devise.'
This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For well you know here comes in embassy
The French king's daughter, with yourself to speak-
A mild of grace and complete majesty-
About surrender up of Aquitaine
To her decrepit, sick, and bedrid father;
Therefore this article is made in vain,
Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
KING. What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.
BEROWNE. So study evermore is over-shot.
While it doth study to have what it would,
It doth forget to do the thing it should;
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
'Tis won as towns with fire- so won, so lost.
KING. We must of force dispense with this decree;
She must lie here on mere necessity.
BEROWNE. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years' space;
For every man with his affects is born,
Not by might mast'red, but by special grace.
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
I am forsworn on mere necessity.
So to the laws at large I write my name; [Subscribes]
And he that breaks them in the least degree
Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
Suggestions are to other as to me;
But I believe, although I seem so loath,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?
KING. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted
With a refined traveller of Spain,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One who the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
For interim to our studies shall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I;
But I protest I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
BEROWNE. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight.
LONGAVILLE. Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;
And so to study three years is but short.

Enter DULL, a constable, with a letter, and COSTARD

DULL. Which is the Duke's own person?
BEROWNE. This, fellow. What wouldst?
DULL. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace's
farborough; but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
BEROWNE. This is he.
DULL. Signior Arme- Arme- commends you. There's villainy abroad;
this letter will tell you more.
COSTARD. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.
KING. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
BEROWNE. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
LONGAVILLE. A high hope for a low heaven. God grant us patience!
BEROWNE. To hear, or forbear hearing?
LONGAVILLE. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or, to
forbear both.
BEROWNE. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb
in the merriness.
COSTARD. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.
The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
BEROWNE. In what manner?
COSTARD. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was
seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the form,
and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in
manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner- it is the
manner of a man to speak to a woman. For the form- in some form.
BEROWNE. For the following, sir?
COSTARD. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the
KING. Will you hear this letter with attention?
BEROWNE. As we would hear an oracle.
COSTARD. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.
KING. [Reads] 'Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent and sole
dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's god and body's fost'ring
COSTARD. Not a word of Costard yet.
KING. [Reads] 'So it is'-
COSTARD. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling
true, but so.
KING. Peace!
COSTARD. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight!
KING. No words!
COSTARD. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you.
KING. [Reads] 'So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I
did commend the black oppressing humour to the most wholesome
physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook
myself to walk. The time When? About the sixth hour; when beasts
most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment
which is called supper. So much for the time When. Now for the
ground Which? which, I mean, I upon; it is ycleped thy park. Then
for the place Where? where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene
and most prepost'rous event that draweth from my snow-white pen
the ebon-coloured ink which here thou viewest, beholdest,
surveyest, or seest. But to the place Where? It standeth
north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy
curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain,
that base minnow of thy mirth,'
KING. 'that unlettered small-knowing soul,'
KING. 'that shallow vassal,'
COSTARD. Still me?
KING. 'which, as I remember, hight Costard,'
KING. 'sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed
edict and continent canon; which, with, O, with- but with this I
passion to say wherewith-'
COSTARD. With a wench.
King. 'with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy
more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I, as my ever-esteemed
duty pricks me on, have sent to thee, to receive the meed of
punishment, by thy sweet Grace's officer, Antony Dull, a man of
good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.'
DULL. Me, an't shall please you; I am Antony Dull.
KING. 'For Jaquenetta- so is the weaker vessel called, which I
apprehended with the aforesaid swain- I keep her as a vessel of
thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice,
bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and
heart-burning heat of duty,

BEROWNE. This is not so well as I look'd for, but the best that
ever I heard.
KING. Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to
COSTARD. Sir, I confess the wench.
KING. Did you hear the proclamation?
COSTARD. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the
marking of it.
KING. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment to be taken with a
COSTARD. I was taken with none, sir; I was taken with a damsel.
KING. Well, it was proclaimed damsel.
COSTARD. This was no damsel neither, sir; she was a virgin.
KING. It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed virgin.
COSTARD. If it were, I deny her virginity; I was taken with a maid.
KING. This 'maid' not serve your turn, sir.
COSTARD. This maid will serve my turn, sir.
KING. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week
with bran and water.
COSTARD. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
KING. And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o'er;
And go we, lords, to put in practice that
Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
BEROWNE. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat
These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
Sirrah, come on.
COSTARD. I suffer for the truth, sir; for true it is I was taken
with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore
welcome the sour cup of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile
again; and till then, sit thee down, sorrow.

The park

Enter ARMADO and MOTH, his page

ARMADO. Boy, what sign is it when a man of great spirit grows
MOTH. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad.
ARMADO. Why, sadness is one and the self-same thing, dear imp.
MOTH. No, no; O Lord, sir, no!
ARMADO. How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my tender
MOTH. By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough signior.
ARMADO. Why tough signior? Why tough signior?
MOTH. Why tender juvenal? Why tender juvenal?
ARMADO. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton
appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.
MOTH. And I, tough signior, as an appertinent title to your old
time, which we may name tough.
ARMADO. Pretty and apt.
MOTH. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and
my saying pretty?
ARMADO. Thou pretty, because little.
MOTH. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore apt?
ARMADO. And therefore apt, because quick.
MOTH. Speak you this in my praise, master?
ARMADO. In thy condign praise.
MOTH. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
ARMADO. that an eel is ingenious?
MOTH. That an eel is quick.
ARMADO. I do say thou art quick in answers; thou heat'st my blood.
MOTH. I am answer'd, sir.
ARMADO. I love not to be cross'd.
MOTH. [Aside] He speaks the mere contrary: crosses love not him.
ARMADO. I have promised to study three years with the Duke.
MOTH. You may do it in an hour, sir.
ARMADO. Impossible.
MOTH. How many is one thrice told?
ARMADO. I am ill at reck'ning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.
MOTH. You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.
ARMADO. I confess both; they are both the varnish of a complete
MOTH. Then I am sure you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace
amounts to.
ARMADO. It doth amount to one more than two.
MOTH. Which the base vulgar do call three.
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.
ARMADO. A most fine figure!
MOTH. [Aside] To prove you a cipher.
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-devis'd curtsy. I
think scorn to sigh; methinks I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort
me, boy; what great men have been in love?
MOTH. Hercules, master.
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.
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.
ARMADO. Of what complexion?
MOTH. Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or one of the
ARMADO. Tell me precisely of what complexion.
MOTH. Of the sea-water green, sir.
ARMADO. Is that one of the four complexions?
MOTH. As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.
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.
ARMADO. My love is most immaculate white and red.
MOTH. Most maculate thoughts, master, are mask'd under such
ARMADO. Define, define, well-educated infant.
MOTH. My father's wit my mother's tongue assist me!
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.
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.
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 whipt; and yet a better love than my master.
ARMADO. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love.
MOTH. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench.
ARMADO. I say, sing.
MOTH. Forbear till this company be past.


DULL. 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 allow'd for the day-woman. Fare you well.
ARMADO. I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
ARMADO. I will visit thee at the lodge.
JAQUENETTA. That's hereby.
ARMADO. I know where it is situate.
JAQUENETTA. Lord, how wise you are!
ARMADO. I will tell thee wonders.
JAQUENETTA. With that face?
ARMADO. I love thee.
JAQUENETTA. So I heard you say.
ARMADO. And so, farewell.
JAQUENETTA. Fair weather after you!
DULL. Come, Jaquenetta, away. Exit with JAQUENETTA
ARMADO. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences ere thou be
COSTARD. Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on a full
ARMADO. Thou shalt be heavily punished.
COSTARD. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but
lightly rewarded.
ARMADO. Take away this villain; shut him up.
MOTH. Come, you transgressing slave, away.
COSTARD. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, being loose.
MOTH. No, sir; that were fast, and loose. Thou shalt to prison.
COSTARD. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I
have seen, some shall see.
MOTH. What shall some see?
COSTARD. 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.
ARMADO. 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.

The park

Enter the PRINCESS OF FRANCE, with three attending ladies,

BOYET. Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
Consider who the King your father sends,
To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,
To parley with the sole inheritor
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
As Nature was in making graces dear,
When she did starve the general world beside
And prodigally gave them all to you.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
Not utt'red by base sale of chapmen's tongues;
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
Than you much willing to be counted wise
In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
You are not ignorant all-telling fame
Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,
Till painful study shall outwear three years,
No woman may approach his silent court.
Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
Bold of your worthiness, we single you
As our best-moving fair solicitor.
Tell him the daughter of the King of France,
On serious business, craving quick dispatch,
Importunes personal conference with his Grace.
Haste, signify so much; while we attend,
Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will.
BOYET. Proud of employment, willingly I go.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
FIRST LORD. Lord Longaville is one.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Know you the man?
MARIA. I know him, madam; at a marriage feast,
Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
A man of sovereign parts, peerless esteem'd,
Well fitted in 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.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so?
MARIA. They say so most that most his humours know.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they grow.
Who are the rest?
KATHARINE. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved;
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill,
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alencon's once;
And much too little of that good I saw
Is my report to his great worthiness.
ROSALINE. Another of these students at that time
Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
Berowne they call him; but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal.
His eye begets occasion for his wit,
For every object that the one doth catch
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor,
Delivers in such apt and gracious words
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. God bless my ladies! Are they all in love,
That every one her own hath garnished
With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
FIRST LORD. Here comes Boyet.

Re-enter BOYET

PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Now, what admittance, lord?
BOYET. Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
And he and his competitors in oath
Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady,
Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt:
He rather means to lodge you in the field,
Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
Than seek a dispensation for his oath,
To let you enter his unpeopled house.


Here comes Navarre.
KING. Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. 'Fair' I give you back again; and 'welcome' I
have not yet. The roof of this court is too high to be yours, and
welcome to the wide fields too base to be mine.
KING. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. I will be welcome then; conduct me thither.
KING. Hear me, dear lady: I have sworn an oath-
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Our Lady help my lord! He'll be forsworn.
KING. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing
KING. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
I hear your Grace hath sworn out house-keeping.
'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
And sin to break it.
But pardon me, I am too sudden bold;
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
And suddenly resolve me in my suit. [Giving a paper]
KING. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. YOU Will the sooner that I were away,
For you'll prove perjur'd if you make me stay.
BEROWNE. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
KATHARINE. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
BEROWNE. I know you did.
KATHARINE. How needless was it then to ask the question!
BEROWNE. You must not be so quick.
KATHARINE. 'Tis long of you, that spur me with such questions.
BEROWNE. Your wit 's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire.
KATHARINE. Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
BEROWNE. What time o' day?
KATHARINE. The hour that fools should ask.
BEROWNE. Now fair befall your mask!
KATHARINE. Fair fall the face it covers!
BEROWNE. And send you many lovers!
KATHARINE. Amen, so you be none.
BEROWNE. Nay, then will I be gone.
KING. Madam, your father here doth intimate
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns;
Being but the one half of an entire sum
Disbursed by my father in his wars.
But say that he or we, as neither have,
Receiv'd that sum, yet there remains unpaid
A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which,
One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
Although not valued to the money's worth.
If then the King your father will restore
But that one half which is unsatisfied,
We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
And hold fair friendship with his Majesty.
But that, it seems, he little purposeth,
For here he doth demand to have repaid
A hundred thousand crowns; and not demands,
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
To have his title live in Aquitaine;
Which we much rather had depart withal,
And have the money by our father lent,
Than Aquitaine so gelded as it is.
Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make
A yielding 'gainst some reason in my breast,
And go well satisfied to France again.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. You do the King my father too much wrong,
And wrong the reputation of your name,
In so unseeming to confess receipt
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
KING. I do protest I never heard of it;
And, if you prove it, I'll repay it back
Or yield up Aquitaine.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. We arrest your word.
Boyet, you can produce acquittances
For such a sum from special officers
Of Charles his father.
KING. Satisfy me so.
BOYET. So please your Grace, the packet is not come,
Where that and other specialties are bound;
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them.
KING. It shall suffice me; at which interview
All liberal reason I will yield unto.
Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
As honour, without breach of honour, may
Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
You may not come, fair Princess, within my gates;
But here without you shall be so receiv'd
As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart,
Though so denied fair harbour in my house.
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
To-morrow shall we visit you again.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Sweet health and fair desires consort your
KING. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
Exit with attendants
BEROWNE. Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.
ROSALINE. Pray you, do my commendations;
I would be glad to see it.
BEROWNE. I would you heard it groan.
ROSALINE. Is the fool sick?
BEROWNE. Sick at the heart.
ROSALINE. Alack, let it blood.
BEROWNE. Would that do it good?
ROSALINE. My physic says 'ay.'
BEROWNE. Will YOU prick't with your eye?
ROSALINE. No point, with my knife.
BEROWNE. Now, God save thy life!
ROSALINE. And yours from long living!
BEROWNE. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Retiring]
DUMAIN. Sir, I pray you, a word: what lady is that same?
BOYET. The heir of Alencon, Katharine her name.
DUMAIN. A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well. Exit
LONGAVILLE. I beseech you a word: what is she in the white?
BOYET. A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.
LONGAVILLE. Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
BOYET. She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a shame.
LONGAVILLE. Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
BOYET. Her mother's, I have heard.
LONGAVILLE. God's blessing on your beard!
BOYET. Good sir, be not offended;
She is an heir of Falconbridge.
LONGAVILLE. Nay, my choler is ended.
She is a most sweet lady.
BOYET. Not unlike, sir; that may be. Exit LONGAVILLE
BEROWNE. What's her name in the cap?
BOYET. Rosaline, by good hap.
BEROWNE. Is she wedded or no?
BOYET. To her will, sir, or so.
BEROWNE. You are welcome, sir; adieu!
BOYET. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
MARIA. That last is Berowne, the merry mad-cap lord;
Not a word with him but a jest.
BOYET. And every jest but a word.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. It was well done of you to take him at his
BOYET. I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
KATHARINE. Two hot sheeps, marry!
BOYET. And wherefore not ships?
No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
KATHARINE. You sheep and I pasture- shall that finish the jest?
BOYET. So you grant pasture for me. [Offering to kiss her]
KATHARINE. Not so, gentle beast;
My lips are no common, though several they be.
BOYET. Belonging to whom?
KATHARINE. To my fortunes and me.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles,
This civil war of wits were much better used
On Navarre and his book-men, for here 'tis abused.
BOYET. If my observation, which very seldom lies,
By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes,
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
BOYET. With that which we lovers entitle 'affected.'
BOYET. Why, all his behaviours did make their retire
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
His heart, like an agate, with your print impressed,
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed;
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
All senses to that sense did make their repair,
To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
Methought all his senses were lock'd in his eye,
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
Who, tend'ring their own worth from where they were glass'd,
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd.
His face's own margent did quote such amazes
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
I'll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE. Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is dispos'd.
BOYET. But to speak that in words which his eye hath disclos'd;
I only have made a mouth of his eye,
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
MARIA. Thou art an old love-monger, and speakest skilfully.
KATHARINE. He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns news of him.
ROSALINE. Then was Venus like her mother; for her father is but
BOYET. Do you hear, my mad wenches?
BOYET. What, then; do you see?
MARIA. Ay, our way to be gone.
BOYET. You are too hard for me. Exeunt

The park


ARMADO. Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing.
[MOTH sings Concolinel]
ARMADO. 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.
MOTH. Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?
ARMADO. How meanest thou? Brawling in French?
MOTH. 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 snuff'd up love by smelling love,
with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of your eyes, with
your arms cross'd 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.
ARMADO. How hast thou purchased this experience?
MOTH. By my penny of observation.
ARMADO. But O- but O-
MOTH. The hobby-horse is forgot.
ARMADO. Call'st thou my love 'hobby-horse'?
MOTH. No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your love
perhaps a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
ARMADO. Almost I had.
MOTH. Negligent student! learn her by heart.
ARMADO. By heart and in heart, boy.
MOTH. And out of heart, master; all those three I will prove.
ARMADO. What wilt thou prove?
MOTH. 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.
ARMADO. I am all these three.
MOTH. And three times as much more, and yet nothing at all.
ARMADO. Fetch hither the swain; he must carry me a letter.
MOTH. A message well sympathiz'd- a horse to be ambassador for an
ARMADO. Ha, ha, what sayest thou?
MOTH. Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the horse, for he is
very slow-gaited. But I go.
ARMADO. The way is but short; away.
MOTH. As swift as lead, sir.
ARMADO. The meaning, pretty ingenious?
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
MOTH. Minime, honest master; or rather, master, no.
ARMADO. I say lead is slow.
MOTH. You are too swift, sir, to say so:
Is that lead slow which is fir'd from a gun?
ARMADO. Sweet smoke of rhetoric!
He reputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he;
I shoot thee at the swain.
MOTH. Thump, then, and I flee. Exit
ARMADO. A most acute juvenal; volable 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

MOTH. A wonder, master! here's a costard broken in a shin.
ARMADO. Some enigma, some riddle; come, thy l'envoy; begin.
COSTARD. No egma, 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!
ARMADO. 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?
MOTH. Do the wise think them other? Is not l'envoy a salve?
ARMADO. 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.
MOTH. I will add the l'envoy. Say the moral again.
ARMADO. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three.
MOTH. 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.
ARMADO. Until the goose came out of door,
Staying the odds by adding four.
MOTH. A good l'envoy, ending in the goose; would you desire more?
COSTARD. 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.
ARMADO. Come hither, come hither. How did this argument begin?
MOTH. By saying that a costard was broken in a shin.
Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
COSTARD. 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.
ARMADO. But tell me: how was there a costard broken in a shin?
MOTH. I will tell you sensibly.
COSTARD. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth; I will speak that
I, Costard, running out, that was safely within,
Fell over the threshold and broke my shin.
ARMADO. We will talk no more of this matter.
COSTARD. Till there be more matter in the shin.
ARMADO. Sirrah Costard. I will enfranchise thee.
COSTARD. O, Marry me to one Frances! I smell some l'envoy, some
goose, in this.
ARMADO. By my sweet soul, I mean setting thee at liberty,
enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured, restrained,
captivated, bound.
COSTARD. True, true; and now you will be my purgation, and let me
ARMADO. 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. Exit
MOTH. Like the sequel, I. Signior Costard, adieu.
COSTARD. 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.


BEROWNE. My good knave Costard, exceedingly well met!
COSTARD. Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man buy for
a remuneration?
BEROWNE. What is a remuneration?
COSTARD. Marry, sir, halfpenny farthing.
BEROWNE. Why, then, three-farthing worth of silk.
COSTARD. I thank your worship. God be wi' you!
BEROWNE. Stay, slave; I must employ thee.
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave,
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat.
COSTARD. When would you have it done, sir?
BEROWNE. This afternoon.
COSTARD. Well, I will do it, sir; fare you well.
BEROWNE. Thou knowest not what it is.
COSTARD. I shall know, sir, when I have done it.
BEROWNE. Why, villain, thou must know first.
COSTARD. I will come to your worship to-morrow morning.
BEROWNE. 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]
COSTARD. Gardon, O sweet gardon! better than remuneration; a
'leven-pence farthing better; most sweet gardon! I will do it,
sir, in print. Gardon- remuneration! Exit
BEROWNE. 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 wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy,
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
Th' 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 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 perjur'd, which is worst of all;
And, among three, to love the worst of all,
A whitely 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. Exit