Fetch hither the swain

Armado
Fetch hither the swain. He must carry me a letter.
Boy
A message well sympathized—a horse to be ambassador for an ass.
Armado
Ha? Ha? What sayest thou?
Boy
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!
Boy
As swift as lead, sir.
Armado
Thy meaning, pretty ingenious?
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow?
Boy
Minime, honest master, or rather, master, no.
Armado
I say lead is slow.
Boy
You are too swift, sir, to say so.
Is that lead slow which is fired 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.
Boy
Thump, then, and I flee.

Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 50

Spoken by:
,

Source Type:
Notes
Read NoteLearning By Living

In Love's Labors Lost, Armado’s exclamation about the boy’s “Sweet smoke of rhetoric” complements the boy’s previous remark about his “penny of observation.” These two metaphors capture Shakespeare’s genius,