Det. 2.2.1. Gabriel Harvey - Love's Labour's Lost

(See also 10.1.2 , The Date of LLL)

 

1

The traditional edition of Love’s Labour’s Lost (Quarto 1598) is, as we know, the revised version of a first, older version. The older, lost version appears to have been released in 1583/84. (See also 3.1.9 Shakespeare, Loves labors Lost.)

It is no secret that in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare makes ironic, satirical reference to the quarrel involving Harvey and Nashe (159/93). At the same time the comedy contains numerous allusions to Gabriel Harvey's ‘Speculum Tuscanismi’, a satirical poem in the Three proper and wittie Letters to the Earl of Oxford from 1580. Harvey's performance in front of the queen and her peers in Audley End (1578) was also a comedic one. This – alongside an observation by Thomas Nashe in Strange Newes (1593) – are indicative of the fact that the playwright had already picked out the mannered rhetorician to be the target of his derision in the first version of his play. Nashe had pushed “Master William, that learned writer Rhenish wine & Sugar” into taking part in a literary showdown against Harvey: “let Chaucer be new scored [new arranged] against the day of battle, and Terence come but in now and then with the snuff of a sentence.” Along with this Nashe asked: “Have you any odd shreds of Latin to make this letter-monger a coxcomb of?”

In the 1598 printed edition of Love’s Labour’s Lost we can discern the outcome of this “literary showdown”. Gabriel Harvey is portrayed as the figure of the grotesque Spaniard  “Don Adriano de Armado” and is pelted with ridicule. Thomas Nashe appears alongside Armado as a page and intelligent half-pint (moth, or mote). In no other play of his did Shakespeare react to his contemporaries in such a manner –  in this case two literati, whose pamphlets he studied and parodied in his plays. The fact that Gabriel Harvey drew the short straw should come as no surprise. The notorious squabble with the Earl of Oxford had polemicised by 1580, culminating in the reviling of the deceased Robert Greene twelve years later in 1592 and the denouncement of his rival Tom Nashe before the city's leaders in October 1593.

The fact that Shakespeare responded to his opponents Harvey and Nashe (and their request for backing from Oxford) in Love’s Labour’s Lost, signals that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and William Shake-speare are one and the same. Furthermore, we can get a concrete indication as to when the piece was composed, as it cannot have originated long after the peak  of the quarrel involving Harvey and Nashe – thus most probably in 1594.

 

Below is a list detailing the most important textual parallels between Harvey, Nashe and Shakespeare.

In 2) is a list containing the parallels to Nashe's pamphlet Have with You to Saffron Walden, which was printed in 1596, showing that the comedy Loves labors lost was already known at the time.

 

 

HARVEY – NASHE, 1580-1593

 

SHAKESPEARE, Love’s Labour’s Lost

 

I/1

 

Blessed and happy Travail, Travailer most blessed and happy. (Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

Gallant Gentlemen, bethink yourselves of the old Roman Discipline and the new Spanish industry, and I am not to trouble you with any other accusation of them that condemn themselves… (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

KING. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, is haunted With a refined traveller of Spain

 

(IV/1).

ARMADO [concludes his letter].

“Thine in the dearest design of industry”.

For the lousy circumstance of his [Greene’s] poverty before his death, and sending that miserable writ to his wife, it cannot be but thou liest, learned Gabriel… (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

KING. But I protest I love to hear him lie,

And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

 

Since Galatea came in, and Tuscanism gan usurp, / Vanity above all: Villainy next her.

 (Harvey, Three Letters, 1580) 

 

what the glory of his [Nashe’s] ruffian Rhetoric and courtesan Philosophy, but excellent villainy?

 (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

Strange News of Villainy

(Harvey, A new Letter, 1593)

 

DULL. Signior Arme- Arme- commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more.

 

the only high pole Arctic and deep Mineral of an incomparable style. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

BEROWNE. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.

 

 

The two Causes which the Logicians call the material, and the formal…

The formall Cause, is nothing but the very manner of this same Motion, and shaking of the Earth without: and the violent kinde of striving, and wrastling of the windes, and Exhalations within. (Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

It is little of Value, either for matter, or manner, that can be performed in such perfunctory Pamphlets on either side. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

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.

 

Siste, Harveie, inquit, jam jamque videbis Elissam:

 

Stay, Harvey, thou shalt see Eliza soon ;

Eliza soon shall see thee and thy verses.

Quick from her chamber came the Royal Virgin.

A star, I swear, more bright than stars themselves.

Bowed low she sees me; seen, she welcomed me

Kindly, and with ambrosial hand outstretcht,

To me she grants a sweet kiss to impress,

A kiss more heavenly than heaven itself,

And almost more divine than deity ;

A kiss imprinted there by faithful lips

Which reckon that one kiss of greater worth

Than thousand golden talents. Fain would I

Cry, and with verses crown Fate and the planets.

Enhancing things Divine with blissful dreams.

And setting my high hope amongst the gods.

(Harvey, Gratlationes Valdinenses, 1578)

 

KING. [reads Armado’s letter]

Great Deputy, the welkin's Vicegerent and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God and body's fost'ring patron-

 

 

“that the Earth under us quaked, and the house shaked above: besides the moving, and ratling of the table, and forms, where we sat...And the last final, which we are to judge of as advisedly, and providently, as possibly we can, by the consideration, & comparison of Circumstances, the time when: the place where: the qualities, and dispositions of the persons, amongst whom such, and such an Ominous token is given.”

 (Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

KING. [reads]

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?

 

the Gentlewoman, my Patroness, or rather Championess, in this quarrel, is meeter by nature, and fitter by nurture, to be an enchanting Angel with her white quill than a tormenting Fury with her black ink. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

KING. [reads]

where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most prepost'rous event that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink

 

Oh, oh, and oh a thousand times, / That thirsty ear might hear archangels’ rimes.

(Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

KING. [reads]

contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon; which, with, O, with- but with this I passion to say wherewith-

 

Some familiar friends pricked me forward, and I, neither fearing danger nor suspecting ill measure (poor credulity soon beguiled), was not unwilling to content them. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

KING. [reads]

Him I, as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on, have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment,

 

 

I/2

 

Harvey, Pierce’s Supererogation

“The Ægyptian Mercury would provide to plant his foot upon a square; and his image in Athens was quadrangular, whatsoever the figure of his hat: and although he were sometime a ball of Fortune (who can assure himself of Fortune?) yet was he never a wheel of folly, or an eel of Ely.”

 

What locks, or bars of Iron, can hold that quicksilver Mercury, whose nimble vigour disdaineth the prison, and will display itself in his likeness, maugre whatsoever impeachment of iron Vulcan, or wooden Daedalus?  I hoped to find that I lusted to see, the very singular subject of that invincible & omnipotent Eloquence, that in the worthiest age of the world, entitled heroical, put the most barbarous tyranny of men, and the most savage wildness of beasts, to silence.

 

(LLL, I.2.)

Armado. Pretty and apt… Thou pretty, because little… And therefore apt, because quick…

 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.

 

(LLL, V.1.)

Armado. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.

You that way: we this way.                           

It will then appear, as it were in a clear Urinal, whose wit hath the greene-sickness: and I would deem it a greater marvel than the mightiest wonder that happened in the famous year '88, if his cause should not have the falling-sickness…

Vain Nashe, whom all posterity shall call vain Nashe; were thou the wisest man in England, though wouldst not, or were thou the valiantest man in England, thou durst not have written as thou hast desperately written, according to thy greene wit: but thou art the boldest bayard in Print (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

But Greene (although pitifully blasted, & how woefully faded?) still flourisheth in the memory of some green wits. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

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.

 

the matter is nothing correspondent to the manner, and myself must either grossly forget myself, or frankly acknowledge my simple self an unworthy subject of so worthy commendations. Which I cannot read without blushing, repeat without shame, or remember without grief (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

ARMADO. I do betray myself with blushing. Maid!
JAQUENETTA. Man!

 

such a famous pillar of the Press, now in the fourteenth or fifteenth year of the reign of his Rhetoric, giving money to have this illiterate Pamphlet of Letters printed (whereas others have money given them to suffer themselves to come in Print). (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

ARMADO. Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.

 

 

III/1

 

Right magnanimity never droopeth, sweet music requickeneth the heaviest spirits of dumpish melancholy, fine poetry abhorreth the loathsome and ugly shape of forlorn pensiveness. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

ARMADO. Warble, child; make passionate my sense of hearing

[MOTH sings Concolinel]

 

I hate brawls with my heart, and can turn over a volume of wrongs with a wet finger. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

MOTH. Master, will you win your love with a French brawl [branle]?
ARMADO. How meanest thou? Brawling in French?

 

how might a man purchase the sight of those puissant and hideous terms? (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

How hast thou purchased this experience?

Harvey, A New Letter of Notable Contents

“Did I not intend to deal with a bountiful alms of courtesy, who in my case would give ear to the law of oblivion that hath the law of talion in his hands,  or accept of a filthy recantation, as it were a sorry plaister to a broken shin, that could knock malice on the head, and cut the windpipe of the railing throat?”

 

“L’envoy

The hugest miracle remains behind,

The second Shakerley rash-swash to bind.”

 

“L’envoy

Paul’s steeple, and a hugier thing is down;

Beware, the next bull-beggar of the town.”

 

(LLL, III.i.)

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?

 

Costard. 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.

 

Harvey, Four Letters

“... they can tell parlous Tales of Bears and Foxes, as shrewdly as Mother Hubbard’s Tale.

 

Pierce’s Supererogation

Though I be not greatly employed, yet my leisure will scarcely serve to moralize fables of Bears, Apes, and Foxes (for some men can give a shrewd guess at a courtly allegory) –

 

But what should I dally with honey-bees, or presume upon the Patience of the gentlest Spirits that English Humanity affordeth?

 

I will confer with thee somewhat gravely, although thou beest a goose-cap, and hast no judgement. (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

Be it known unto all men by these presents that Thomas Nashe, from the top of his wit, looking down upon simple creatures, calleth Gabriel Harvey a dunce, a fool, an idiot, a dolt, a Goose-cap, an Ass… (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

(LLL, III.i.)
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.

 

 

 

 



 

This professed political braggart, hath railed upon me without wit or art in certain four pennyworth of letters and three farthingworth of sonnets (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

COSTARD. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, that's flat.
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat.

 

COSTARD. Remuneration! O, that's the Latin word for three farthings. Three farthings- remuneration.

 

 

IV/1

 

not a look but Tuscanish always … With forefinger kiss, and brave embrace to the footward. (Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

There she standeth, that with the finger of industry, and the tongue of affability…

 (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

BOYET [reads Armado’s letter]

Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part.

Thine in the dearest design of industry,

DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO.

 

O muses, may a woman poor and blind,

A Lion-dragon or a Bull-bear bind?

(Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

BOYET [reads]

Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar
'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey;
Submissive fall his princely feet before,
And he from forage will incline to play.

 

 

till Greene awaked him out of his self-admiring contemplation, he had nothing to do but walk under the yew-tree at Trinity Hall, and … make verses of weathercocks on the top of steeples, as he did once of the weathercock of All Hallows in Cambridge:

‘O thou weathercock that stands on the top of the church of All Hallows’

(Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

PRINCESS. What plume of feathers is he that indited this letter?
What vane? What weathercock? Did you ever hear better?

 

Nosti [=nosci] manum tanquam tuam (You know the hand just as yours)

nosti manum et stylum (You know the hand and the style).

(Harvey (Three Letters, 1580)

 

BOYET. I am much deceived but I remember the style.

 

 

IV/2

 

She [the excellent Gentlewoman] knew what she said, that entitled Pierce the hogshead of wit

(Harvey, Pierces Supererogation, 1593)

 

HOLOFERNES. Master Person, quasi pers-one. And if one should be pierc'd which is the one?

COSTARD. Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.

HOLOFERNES. Piercing a hogshead! A good lustre of conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a swine; 'tis pretty; it is well.

 

Eyed like to Argus, Eared like to Midas, Nos'd like to Naso.

(Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

HOLOFERNES. Ovidius Naso was the man. And why, indeed, 'Naso' but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention?

 

 

V/1

 

Iin gratiam quorundam illustrium Anglofrancitalorum, hic & ubique apud nos volitantium. Agedum vero, nosti homines, tanquam tuam ipsius cutem...

(Dedicated to some famous Anglo-franco-italians who skulks amongst our midst. Well, you know the people as well as your own skin.)

In deed most frivolous, not a look but Tuscanish always…

Delicate in speech, quaint in array: conceited in all points: / In Courtly guiles [deceits], a passing singular odd man, / For Gallants a brave Mirror, a Primrose of Honour, / A Diamond for nonce, a fellow peerless in England. / Not the like Discourser for Tongue, and head to be found out:

/ Not the like resolute Man, for great and serious affairs.

(Harvey, Three Letters, 1580)

 

HOLOFERNES. Novi hominem tanquam te.

(I know the man as well as I know you)

His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate [foreign-fashioned], as I may call it.

 

by John Davies’ soul and the blue boar in the Spittle I conjure thee, to draw out thy purse and give me nothing for the dedication of my pamphlet. (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)    

 

and when Nashe will indeed accomplish a work of supererogation, let him publish Nashe's Pennyworth of Discretion. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

COSTARD. An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy ginger-bread. Hold, there is the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion.

 

We want an Aretine here among us, that might strip these golden asses out of their gay trappings, and after he had ridden them to death with railing, leave them on the dunghill for carrion. (Nashe, Pierces Pennilesse, 1592)

 

see, how the daggle-tailed rampallion bustleth for the frank-tenement of the dunghill…

Sweet gossip, disquiet not your lovely self: the dunghill is your freehold. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

COSTARD. Go to; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they say.
HOLOFERNES. O, I smell false Latin; 'dunghill' for unguem.

 

So it is that a good gown and a well pruned pair of mustachios, having studied sixteen year to make thirteen ill English hexameters (Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

ARMADO. for I must tell thee it will please his Grace, by the world, sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder, and with his royal finger thus dally with my excrement, with my mustachio; but, sweet heart, let that pass.

 

Give him his peremptory white rod [herald’s wand] in his hand, and good night all distinction of persons, and all difference of estates; his pen is his mace, his lance, his two-edged sword, his scepter, his Hercules club, and will bear a predominant sway in despite of vainglorious Titles and ambitious Degrees. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

ARMADO. Pardon, sir; error: he is not quantity enough for that Worthy's thumb; he is not so big as the end of his [Hercules] club.

 

 

V/2

 

He [the dead Robert Greene], they say, was the Monarch of Crossbiters, and the very Emperor of shifters. I was altogether unacquainted with the man, and never once saluted him by name, but who in London hath not heard of his dissolute and licentious living, his fond disguising of a Master of Art with ruffianly hair, unseemly apparel, and more unseemly Company…

 

The dead bite not, and I am none of those that bite the dead. (Harvey, Foure Letters, 1592)

 

ARMADO. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried; when he breathed, he was a man.

 

The best is, where my Answer is, or may be deemed, Unsufficient, (as it is commonly over-tame for so wild a Bullock),  there She, with as Visible an Analysis as any Anatome, strippeth his Art into his doublet, his wit into his shirt. (Harvey, Pierces Supereogation, 1593)

 

’Gentlemen’, quoth She, ‘though I lack that you have, the Art of confuting, yet I have some suds of my mother wit to souse such a Dish-clout in’. (Harvey, A new Letter, 1593)

ARMADO. Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.
DUMAIN. You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.
ARMADO. Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
BEROWNE. What reason have you for 't?
ARMADO. The naked truth of it is: I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

BOYET. True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen; since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none but a dishclout of Jaquenetta's, and that 'a wears next his heart for a favour.

 

The text will not bear it, good Gilgilis Hobbledehoy.

(Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

Your trencher-attendant, Gamaliel Hobgoblin, intends to tickle up a treatise of the barley-kernel which you set in your garden, out of which there sprung (as you avouched) twelve several ears of corn at one time… Poet Hobbinoll, having a gallant wit and a brazen pen -

(Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

III/1

ARMADO. But O- but O-
MOTH. The hobby-horse is forgot.

 

And I wonder very much that you sampsoned not yourself into a consumption with the profound cogitation of it.

(Nashe, Strange Newes, 1593)

 

I/2

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?

 

 

2

In his pamphlet Have with You to Saffron Walden (1596), Thomas Nashe alludes in no uncertain terms to Loves labors lost  and its author: “here is the tuft or label of a rime or two, the trick or habit of which I got by looking on a red nose Ballad-maker that resorted to our Printing-house. They are to the tune of Labore Dolore.” – The ‘red nose Ballad-maker’ pertains to Shakespeare as the creator of Sir John Falstaff (see 3.1.5 Nashe, Strange Newes); “Labore Dolore” can be translated as “through labour’s pain”.

Moreover, several parallels exists that make it clear that Nashe was already familiar with Shakespeare's comedy. If this were not the case, saying “Gabriel Harvey ... Is made a gosling” would be incomprehensible – it would not be clear as to why Nashe addresses Harvey as “Don Pedant”, “Doctor Deuce-ace” and “Domine Deuce-ace” - and it is completely out of the question that the comedy writer Shakespeare borrowed from Nashe for the lines: “Dan Cupid … Liege of all loiterers and malcontents, / Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces, / Sole imperator, and great general / Of trotting paritors.” An argument for the opposite having occurred could, however, be made.

 

SHAKESPEARE, Love’s Labour’s Lost
 
NASHE, Have with You to Saffron Walden, 1596
 
I/1
 
 
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 ...
 
Dieu vous garde, Monsieur; go and prate in the yard, Don Pedant, there is no place for you here.

and so proceeds with complement, and a little more complement, and a crust of quips, and a little more complement after that.

his final entrancing from the earth to the skies was his key-cold defence of the clergy, intermingled, like a small fleet of galleys, in the huge Armada against me.
 
I/2
 

 

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.

 

What, a grave Doctor a base John Doleta [Spanish astrologer], the almanacmaker, Doctor Deuce-ace and Doctor Merryman [a doctor against melancholy humours]?

 

Domine Deuce-Ace

 

ARMADO. Boy, I do love that country girl that I took in the park with the rational hind Costard; she deserves well.

 

NATHANIEL. Sir ... his [Dull’s] intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in the duller parts

 

 

once he would needs defend a rat to be animal rational, that is, to have as reasonable a soul as any academic.

 

III/1

 

 

ARMADO. But O- but O-
MOTH. The hobby-horse is forgot.

 

I have a tale at my tongue's end, if I can happen upon it, of his hobby-horse revelling & domineering at Audley End when the Queen was there…

 

ARMADO.
       The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
       Were still at odds, being but three.
There's the moral. Now the l'envoy...
MOTH.   

        Until the goose came out of door,
        And stay'd the odds by adding four.

 

Gabriel Harvey, fame's duckling,/ hey noddy, noddy, noddy,

Is made a gosling and a suckling, / hey noddy, noddy, noddy.

 

BEROWNE.

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.

 

& let him take it [his prick-madam] to himself, and reign entire Cod-piece Kinko, and Sir Murdred of placards [plackets], durante bene placito [during good pleasure]

 

IV/1

 

 

ROSALINE.

Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when King Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit it?

 

See him & see him not I will, about that his measled invention of the goodwife my mother's finding her daughter in the oven, where she would never have sought her if she had not been there first herself (a hackney proverb in men's mouths ever since K. Lud was a little boy…); therefore there is no more to be said to it but if he could have told how to have made a better lie, he would.

 

MOTH. Master, let me take you a buttonhole lower. Do you not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat?

 

ARMADO. Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.
DUMAIN. You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.
ARMADO. Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
BEROWNE. What reason have you for 't?
ARMADO. The naked truth of it is: I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

 

Wherefore (good Dick), on with thy apron [to protect the clothes from dirt], & arm thyself to set him down at the first word: Stand to him, I say, and take him a button lower, fear not to show him a knack of thy occupation (Barbers knacking their fingers), and once in thy life let it be said that a Doctor wears thy cloth (their lousy napery they put about men's necks whiles they are trimming), or that thou hast caused him to do penance, and wear Hair-cloth for his sins.