Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act II, Scene 1
The King of Navarre’s park.
- Enter the Princess of France with three attending Ladies
- (Rosaline, Maria, Katherine) and three Lords, one named
Boyet1 - 12
- 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.
Princess13 - 34
- 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.
- Proud of employment, willingly I go.
- Exit Boyet.
Princess36 - 38
- 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 French Lord39
- Lord Longaville is one.
- Know you the man?
Maria41 - 52
- 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.
- Some merry mocking lord belike, is’t so?
- They say so most that most his humors know.
Princess55 - 56
- Such short-liv’d wits do wither as they grow.
- Who are the rest?
Katherine57 - 64
- The young Dumaine, 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 Alanson’s once,
- And much too little of that good I saw
- Is my report to his great worthiness.
Rosaline65 - 77
- 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.
Princess78 - 80
- God bless my ladies! Are they all in love,
- That every one her own hath garnished
- With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
First French Lord81
- Here comes Boyet.
- Enter Boyet.
- Now, what admittance, lord?
Boyet83 - 91
- 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.
- Enter Ferdinand, King of Navarre, Longaville, Dumaine, and
- Berowne, and Attendants.
- Here comes Navarre.
- The ladies-in-waiting mask.
- Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
Princess93 - 95
- “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.
- You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
- I will be welcome then—conduct me thither.
- Hear me, dear lady: I have sworn an oath.
- Our Lady help my lord! He’ll be forsworn.
- Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
- Why, will shall break it, will, and nothing else.
- Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.
Princess103 - 111
- 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.
- Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
Princess113 - 114
- You will the sooner, that I were away,
- For you’ll prove perjur’d if you make me stay.
- Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
- Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
- I know you did.
Rosaline118 - 119
- How needless was it then
- To ask the question?
- You must not be so quick.
- ’Tis long of you that spur me with such questions.
- Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast, ’twill tire.
- Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
- What time a’ day?
- The hour that fools should ask.
- Now fair befall your mask!
- Fair fall the face it covers!
- And send you many lovers!
- Amen, so you be none.
- Nay then will I be gone.
King131 - 155
- 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.
Princess156 - 159
- 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.
King160 - 162
- I do protest I never heard of it;
- And, if you prove it, I’ll repay it back,
- Or yield up Aquitaine.
Princess163 - 166
- We arrest your word.
- Boyet, you can produce acquittances
- For such a sum from special officers
- Of Charles his father.
- Satisfy me so.
Boyet168 - 170
- So please your Grace, the packet is not come
- Where that and other specialties are bound:
- Tomorrow you shall have a sight of them.
King171 - 181
- It shall suffice me; at which interview
- All liberal reason I will yield unto.
- Mean time receive such welcome at my hand
- As honor (without breach of honor) 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 harbor in my house.
- Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
- Tomorrow shall we visit you again.
- Sweet health and fair desires consort your Grace!
- Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
- Exit with Longaville, Dumaine, and Attendants.
- Lady, I will commend you to mine own heart.
- Pray you, do my commendations—I would be glad to see it.
- I would you heard it groan.
- Is the fool sick?
- Sick at the heart.
- Alack, let it blood.
- Would that do it good?
- My physic says ay.
- Will you prick’t with your eye?
- No point, with my knife.
- Now God save thy life!
- And yours from long living!
- I cannot stay thanksgiving.
- Enter Dumaine.
- Sir, I pray you a word. What lady is that same?
- The heir of Alanson, Katherine her name.
- A gallant lady. Monsieur, fare you well.
- Enter Longaville.
- I beseech you a word. What is she in the white?
- A woman sometimes, and you saw her in the light.
- Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
- She hath but one for herself, to desire that were a shame.
- Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
- Her mother’s, I have heard.
- God’s blessing on your beard!
Boyet207 - 208
- Good sir, be not offended,
- She is an heir of Falconbridge.
Longaville209 - 210
- Nay, my choler is ended.
- She is a most sweet lady.
- Not unlike, sir, that may be.
- Exit Longaville.
- Enter Berowne.
- What’s her name in the cap?
- Rosaline, by good hap.
- Is she wedded or no?
- To her will, sir, or so.
- O, you are welcome, sir, adieu.
- Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
- Exit Berowne.
Maria218 - 219
- That last is Berowne, the merry madcap lord.
- Not a word with him but a jest.
- And every jest but a word.
- It was well done of you to take him at his word.
- I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
- Two hot sheeps, marry.
Boyet224 - 225
- And wherefore not ships?
- No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
- You sheep, and I pasture: shall that finish the jest?
- So you grant pasture for me.
- Offering to kiss her.
Katherine228 - 229
- Not so, gentle beast.
- My lips are no common, though several they be.
- Belonging to whom?
- To my fortunes and me.
Princess232 - 234
- Good wits will be jangling, but, gentles, agree:
- This civil war of wits were much better used
- On Navarre and his book-men, for here ’tis abused.
Boyet235 - 237
- If my observation (which very seldom lies),
- By the heart’s still rhetoric, disclosed with eyes,
- Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
- With what?
- With that which we lovers entitle “affected.”
- Your reason?
Boyet241 - 256
- Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
- To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire:
- His heart like an agot 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,
- And you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
- Come to our pavilion—Boyet is dispos’d.
Boyet258 - 260
- 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.
- Thou art an old love-monger and speakest skillfully.
- He is Cupid’s grandfather, and learns news of him.
- Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is but grim.
- Do you hear, my mad wenches?
- What then, do you see?
- Ay, our way to be gone.
- You are too hard for me.
- Exeunt omnes.