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Love’s Labour’s Lost: Act I, Scene 1

Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act I, Scene 1

Scene 1

The King of Navarre’s park.

  1. Enter Ferdinand, King of Navarre, Berowne, Longaville, and
  2. Dumaine.

King

1 - 23
  1. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
  2. Live regist’red upon our brazen tombs,
  3. And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
  4. When spite of cormorant devouring Time,
  5. Th’ endeavor of this present breath may buy
  6. That honor which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge,
  7. And make us heirs of all eternity.
  8. Therefore, brave conquerorsfor so you are,
  9. That war against your own affections
  10. And the huge army of the world’s desires
  11. Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
  12. Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
  13. Our court shall be a little academe,
  14. Still and contemplative in living art.
  15. You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,
  16. Have sworn for three years’ term to live with me,
  17. My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes
  18. That are recorded in this schedule here.
  19. Your oaths are pass’d, and now subscribe your names,
  20. That his own hand may strike his honor down
  21. That violates the smallest branch herein.
  22. If you are arm’d to do, as sworn to do,
  23. Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.

Longaville

24 - 27
  1. I am resolved, ’tis but a three years’ fast:
  2. The mind shall banquet, though the body pine;
  3. Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
  4. Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.

Dumaine

28 - 32
  1. My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified:
  2. The grosser manner of these world’s delights
  3. He throws upon the gross world’s baser slaves;
  4. To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die,
  5. With all these living in philosophy.

Berowne

33 - 48
  1. I can but say their protestation over:
  2. So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
  3. That is, to live and study here three years.
  4. But there are other strict observances:
  5. As not to see a woman in that term,
  6. Which I hope well is not enrolled there;
  7. And one day in a week to touch no food,
  8. And but one meal on every day beside,
  9. The which I hope is not enrolled there;
  10. And then to sleep but three hours in the night,
  11. And not be seen to wink of all the day
  12. When I was wont to think no harm all night,
  13. And make a dark night too of half the day
  14. Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
  15. O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
  16. Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

King

49
  1. Your oath is pass’d to pass away from these.

Berowne

50 - 52
  1. Let me say no, my liege, and if you please:
  2. I only swore to study with your Grace,
  3. And stay here in your court for three years’ space.

Longaville

53
  1. You swore to that, Berowne, and to the rest.

Berowne

54 - 55
  1. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
  2. What is the end of study, let me know.

King

56
  1. Why, that to know which else we should not know.

Berowne

57
  1. Things hid and barr’d (you mean) from common sense.

King

58
  1. Ay, that is study’s godlike recompense.

Berowne

59 - 69
  1. Com’ on then, I will swear to study so,
  2. To know the thing I am forbid to know:
  3. As thusto study where I well may dine,
  4. When I to feast expressly am forbid;
  5. Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
  6. When mistresses from common sense are hid;
  7. Or having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath,
  8. Study to break it and not break my troth.
  9. If study’s gain be thus, and this be so,
  10. Study knows that which yet it doth not know.
  11. Swear me to this, and I will ne’er say no.

King

70 - 71
  1. These be the stops that hinder study quite,
  2. And train our intellects to vain delight.

Berowne

72 - 93
  1. Why? All delights are vain, but that most vain
  2. Which, with pain purchas’d, doth inherit pain:
  3. As, painfully to pore upon a book
  4. To seek the light of truth, while truth the while
  5. Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
  6. Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile;
  7. So ere you find where light in darkness lies,
  8. Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
  9. Study me how to please the eye indeed
  10. By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
  11. Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
  12. And give him light that it was blinded by.
  13. Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun,
  14. That will not be deep search’d with saucy looks;
  15. Small have continual plodders ever won,
  16. Save base authority from others’ books.
  17. These earthly godfathers of heaven’s lights,
  18. That give a name to every fixed star,
  19. Have no more profit of their shining nights
  20. Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
  21. Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
  22. And every godfather can give a name.

King

94
  1. How well he’s read, to reason against reading!

Dumaine

95
  1. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding!

Longaville

96
  1. He weeds the corn and still lets grow the weeding.

Berowne

97
  1. The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.

Dumaine

98
  1. How follows that?

Berowne

99
  1.                   Fit in his place and time.

Dumaine

100
  1. In reason nothing.

Berowne

101
  1.                    Something then in rhyme.

King

102 - 103
  1. Berowne is like an envious sneaping frost
  2. That bites the first-born infants of the spring.

Berowne

104 - 111
  1. Well, say I am, why should proud summer boast
  2. Before the birds have any cause to sing?
  3. Why should I joy in any abortive birth?
  4. At Christmas I no more desire a rose
  5. Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows;
  6. But like of each thing that in season grows.
  7. So you, to study now it is too late,
  8. Climb o’er the house to unlock the little gate.

King

112
  1. Well, sit you out; go home, Berowne; adieu.

Berowne

113 - 119
  1. No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you;
  2. And though I have for barbarism spoke more
  3. Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
  4. Yet, confident, I’ll keep what I have sworn,
  5. And bide the penance of each three years’ day.
  6. Give me the paper, let me read the same,
  7. And to the strictest decrees I’ll write my name.

King

120
  1. How well this yielding rescues thee from shame!

Berowne

121 - 122
  1. Reads.
  2. Item, That no woman shall come within a mile of my
  3. court”—Hath this been proclaim’d?

Longaville

123
  1. Four days ago.

Berowne

124 - 125
  1. Let’s see the penalty.
  2. Reads.
  3. “—on pain of losing her tongue.” Who devis’d this penalty?

Longaville

126
  1. Marry, that did I.

Berowne

127
  1. Sweet lord, and why?

Longaville

128
  1. To fright them hence with that dread penalty.

Berowne

129 - 140
  1. A dangerous law against gentility.
  2. Reads.
  3. Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the
  4. term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as
  5. the rest of the court can possible devise.”
  6. This article, my liege, yourself must break,
  7. For well you know here comes in embassy
  8. The French king’s daughter with yourself to speak
  9. A maid of grace and complete majesty
  10. About surrender up of Aquitaine
  11. To her decrepit, sick, and bedred father;
  12. Therefore this article is made in vain,
  13. Or vainly comes th’ admired Princess hither.

King

141
  1. What say you, lords? Why, this was quite forgot.

Berowne

142 - 146
  1. So study evermore is overshot:
  2. While it doth study to have what it would,
  3. It doth forget to do the thing it should;
  4. And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
  5. ’Tis won as towns with fireso won, so lost.

King

147 - 148
  1. We must of force dispense with this decree,
  2. She must lie here on mere necessity.

Berowne

149 - 161
  1. Necessity will make us all forsworn
  2. Three thousand times within this three years’ space;
  3. For every man with his affects is born,
  4. Not by might mast’red, but by special grace.
  5. If I break faith, this word shall speak for me:
  6. I am forsworn on mere necessity.”
  7. So to the laws at large I write my name,
  8. Subscribes.
  9. And he that breaks them in the least degree
  10. Stands in attainder of eternal shame.
  11. Suggestions are to other as to me;
  12. But I believe, although I seem so loath,
  13. I am the last that will last keep his oath.
  14. But is there no quick recreation granted?

King

162 - 176
  1. Ay, that there is. Our court you know is haunted
  2. With a refined traveler of Spain,
  3. A man in all the world’s new fashion planted,
  4. That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
  5. One who the music of his own vain tongue
  6. Doth ravish like enchanting harmony;
  7. A man of complements, whom right and wrong
  8. Have chose as umpeer of their mutiny.
  9. This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
  10. For interim to our studies shall relate,
  11. In high-borne words, the worth of many a knight
  12. From tawny Spain, lost in the world’s debate.
  13. How you delight, my lords, I know not, I,
  14. But I protest I love to hear him lie,
  15. And I will use him for my minstrelsy.

Berowne

177 - 178
  1. Armado is a most illustrious wight,
  2. A man of fire-new words, fashion’s own knight.

Longaville

179 - 180
  1. Costard the swain and he shall be our sport,
  2. And so to study three years is but short.
  1. Enter a Constable Dull with a letter, with Costard.

Dull

181
  1. Which is the Duke’s own person?

Berowne

182
  1. This, fellow. What wouldst?

Dull

183 - 185
  1. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace’s
  2. farborough; but I would see his own person in flesh and
  3. blood.

Berowne

186
  1. This is he.

Dull

187 - 188
  1. Signior ArmeArmecommends you. There’s villainy abroad;
  2. this letter will tell you more.

Costard

189
  1. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.

King

190
  1. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Berowne

191
  1. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Longaville

192
  1. A high hope for a low heaven. God grant us patience!

Berowne

193
  1. To hear, or forbear hearing?

Longaville

194 - 195
  1. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear
  2. both.

Berowne

196 - 197
  1. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb
  2. in the merriness.

Costard

198 - 199
  1. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta: the
  2. manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.

Berowne

200
  1. In what manner?

Costard

201 - 206
  1. In manner and form following, sir, all those three: I was
  2. seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the
  3. form, and taken following her into the park, which, put
  4. together, is in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the
  5. mannerit is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for
  6. the formin some form.

Berowne

207
  1. For the following, sir?

Costard

208 - 209
  1. As it shall follow in my correction, and God defend the
  2. right!

King

210
  1. Will you hear this letter with attention?

Berowne

211
  1. As we would hear an oracle.

Costard

212
  1. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King

213 - 215
  1. Reads.
  2. Great deputy, the welkin’s viceregent, and sole dominator
  3. of Navarre, my soul’s earth’s god, and body’s fost’ring
  4. patron”—

Costard

216
  1. Not a word of Costard yet.

King

217
  1. Reads.
  2. So it is”—

Costard

218 - 219
  1. It may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling
  2. truebut so.

King

220
  1. Peace!

Costard

221
  1. be to me, and every man that dares not fight!

King

222
  1. No words!

Costard

223
  1. of other men’s secrets, I beseech you.

King

224 - 238
  1. Reads.
  2. So it is, besieged with sable-colored melancholy, I did
  3. commend the black oppressing humor to the most wholesome
  4. physic of thy health-giving air; and as I am a gentleman,
  5. betook myself to walk: the time When? About the sixth hour,
  6. when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to
  7. that nourishment which is called supper: so much for the
  8. time When. Now for the ground Which? Which, I mean, I walk’d
  9. upon: it is ycliped thy park. Then for the place Where?
  10. Where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most
  11. prepost’rous event that draweth from my snow-white pen the
  12. ebon-colored ink which here thou viewest, beholdest,
  13. surveyest, or seest. But to the place Where? It standeth
  14. north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy
  15. curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited
  16. swain, that base minnow of thy mirth”—

Costard

239
  1. Me?

King

240
  1. Reads.
  2. that unlettered small-knowing soul”—

Costard

241
  1. Me?

King

242
  1. Reads.
  2. that shallow vassal”—

Costard

243
  1. Still me?

King

244
  1. Reads.
  2. which, as I remember, hight Costard”—

Costard

245
  1. O! Me.

King

246 - 248
  1. Reads.
  2. sorted and consorted, contrary to thy established
  3. proclaimed edict and continent canon; which withO, withbut
  4. with this I passion to say wherewith”—

Costard

249
  1. With a wench.

King

250 - 255
  1. Reads.
  2. with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or for thy
  3. more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my
  4. ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to
  5. receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet Grace’s
  6. officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage,
  7. bearing, and estimation.”

Dull

256
  1. Me, an’t shall please you: I am Anthony Dull.

King

257 - 262
  1. Reads.
  2. For Jaquenetta (so is the weaker vessel called), which I
  3. apprehended with the aforesaid swain, I keep her as a vessel
  4. of thy law’s fury, and shall, at the least of thy sweet
  5. notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all complements of
  6. devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,
  7. Don Adriano de Armado.”

Berowne

263 - 264
  1. This is not so well as I look’d for, but the best that ever
  2. I heard.

King

265 - 266
  1. Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to
  2. this?

Costard

267
  1. Sir, I confess the wench.

King

268
  1. Did you hear the proclamation?

Costard

269 - 270
  1. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the
  2. marking of it.

King

271 - 272
  1. It was proclaim’d a year’s imprisonment to be taken with a
  2. wench.

Costard

273
  1. I was taken with none, sir, I was taken with a damsel.

King

274
  1. Well, it was proclaim’d damsel.

Costard

275
  1. This was no damsel neither, sir, she was a virgin.

King

276
  1. It is so varied too, for it was proclaim’d virgin.

Costard

277
  1. If it were, I deny her virginity; I was taken with a maid.

King

278
  1. This maid will not serve your turn, sir.

Costard

279
  1. This maid will serve my turn, sir.

King

280 - 281
  1. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week
  2. with bran and water.

Costard

282
  1. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

King

283 - 286
  1. And Don Armado shall be your keeper.
  2. My Lord Berowne, see him delivered o’er,
  3. And go we, lords, to put in practice that
  4. Which each to other hath so strongly sworn.
  1. Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumaine.

Berowne

287 - 289
  1. I’ll lay my head to any good man’s hat,
  2. These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.
  3. Sirrah, come on.

Costard

290 - 293
  1. I suffer for the truth, sir; for true it is, I was taken
  2. with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl, and
  3. therefore welcome the sour cup of prosperity! Affliction may
  4. one day smile again, and till then, sit thee down, sorrow!
  1. Exeunt.
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