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Love's Labor's Lost - Act 2, scene 1
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Navigate this workLove's Labor's Lost - Act 2, scene 1
Act 2, scene 1
The Princess of France and her ladies arrive at Navarre. The King greets them but refuses to admit them into his court, forcing them to stay in tents in the fields. Navarre’s lords each show an interest in one of the Princess’s ladies.Enter the Princess of France, with three attending
Ladies (⌜Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine), Boyet⌝
and ⌜other⌝ Lords.
0501 Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
0502 Consider who the King your father sends,
0503 To whom he sends, and what’s his embassy.
0504 Yourself, held precious in the world’s esteem,
0505 5 To parley with the sole inheritor
0506 Of all perfections that a man may owe,
0507 Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
0508 Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.
0509 Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
0510 10 As nature was in making graces dear
0511 When she did starve the general world besides
0512 And prodigally gave them all to you.
0513 Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
0514 Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
0515 15 Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
0516 Not uttered by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.
0517 I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
0518 Than you much willing to be counted wise
0519 In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
0520 20 But now to task the tasker: good Boyet,
p. 430521 You are not ignorant all-telling fame
0522 Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,
0523 Till painful study shall outwear three years,
0524 No woman may approach his silent court.
0525 25 Therefore to ’s seemeth it a needful course,
0526 Before we enter his forbidden gates,
0527 To know his pleasure, and in that behalf,
0528 Bold of your worthiness, we single you
0529 As our best-moving fair solicitor.
0530 30 Tell him the daughter of the King of France
0531 On serious business craving quick dispatch,
0532 ⟨Importunes⟩ personal conference with his Grace.
0533 Haste, signify so much, while we attend,
0534 Like ⟨humble-visaged⟩ suitors, his high will.
0535 35 Proud of employment, willingly I go.
0536 All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.
0537 Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
0538 That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke?
0539 ⌜Lord⌝ Longaville is one.
PRINCESS 0540 40 Know you the man?
0541 I know him, madam. At a marriage feast
0542 Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
0543 Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnizèd
0544 In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.
0545 45 A man of sovereign ⟨parts⟩ he is esteemed,
0546 Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms.
0547 Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
0548 The only soil of his fair virtue’s gloss,
0549 If virtue’s gloss will stain with any soil,
0550 50 Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will,
0551 Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
0552 It should none spare that come within his power.
0553 Some merry mocking lord, belike. Is ’t so?
0554 They say so most that most his humors know.
0555 55 Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.
0556 Who are the rest?
0557 The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth,
0558 Of all that virtue love for virtue loved.
0559 Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
0560 60 For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
0561 And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
0562 I saw him at the Duke Alanson’s once,
0563 And much too little of that good I saw
0564 Is my report to his great worthiness.
0565 65 Another of these students at that time
0566 Was there with him, if I have heard a truth.
0567 Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
0568 Within the limit of becoming mirth,
0569 I never spent an hour’s talk withal.
0570 70 His eye begets occasion for his wit,
0571 For every object that the one doth catch
0572 The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
0573 Which his fair tongue, conceit’s expositor,
0574 Delivers in such apt and gracious words
0575 75 That agèd ears play truant at his tales,
0576 And younger hearings are quite ravishèd,
0577 So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
0578 God bless my ladies, are they all in love,
0579 That every one her own hath garnishèd
0580 80 With such bedecking ornaments of praise?
0581 Here comes Boyet.
p. 47Enter Boyet.
PRINCESS 0582 Now, what admittance, lord?
0583 Navarre had notice of your fair approach,
0584 And he and his competitors in oath
0585 85 Were all addressed to meet you, gentle lady,
0586 Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learned:
0587 He rather means to lodge you in the field,
0588 Like one that comes here to besiege his court,
0589 Than seek a dispensation for his oath
0590 90 To let you enter his ⟨unpeopled⟩ house.
Enter ⌜King of⌝ Navarre, Longaville, Dumaine, and
0591 Here comes Navarre.
KING 0592 Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
PRINCESS 0593 “Fair” I give you back again, and “welcome”
0594 I have not yet. The roof of this court is too
0595 95 high to be yours, and welcome to the wide fields too
0596 base to be mine.
0597 You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
0598 I will be welcome, then. Conduct me thither.
0599 Hear me, dear lady. I have sworn an oath.
0600 100 Our Lady help my lord! He’ll be forsworn.
0601 Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.
0602 Why, will shall break it, will and nothing else.
0603 Your Ladyship is ignorant what it is.
0604 Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,
0605 105 Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.
0606 I hear your Grace hath sworn out housekeeping.
0607 ’Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
0608 And sin to break it.
0609 But pardon me, I am too sudden bold.
0610 110 To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
0611 Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
0612 And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
⌜She gives him a paper.⌝
0613 Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
0614 You will the sooner that I were away,
0615 115 For you’ll prove perjured if you make me stay.
⌜They walk aside while the King reads the paper.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to Rosaline⌝
0616 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
0617 Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
0618 I know you did.
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0619 How needless was it then
0620 120 To ask the question.
BEROWNE 0621 You must not be so quick.
0622 ’Tis long of you that spur me with such questions.
0623 Your wit’s too hot, it speeds too fast; ’twill tire.
0624 Not till it leave the rider in the mire.
0625 125 What time o’ day?
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0626 The hour that fools should ask.
BEROWNE 0627 Now fair befall your mask.
p. 51⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0628 Fair fall the face it covers.
BEROWNE 0629 And send you many lovers.
⟨ROSALINE⟩ 0630 130Amen, so you be none.
BEROWNE 0631 Nay, then, will I be gone.
KING, ⌜coming forward with the Princess⌝
0632 Madam, your father here doth intimate
0633 The payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
0634 Being but the one half of an entire sum
0635 135 Disbursèd by my father in his wars.
0636 But say that he or we, as neither have,
0637 Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid
0638 A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which
0639 One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,
0640 140 Although not valued to the money’s worth.
0641 If then the King your father will restore
0642 But that one half which is unsatisfied,
0643 We will give up our right in Aquitaine,
0644 And hold fair friendship with his Majesty.
0645 145 But that, it seems, he little purposeth;
0646 For here he doth demand to have repaid
0647 A hundred thousand crowns, and not demands,
0648 On payment of a hundred thousand crowns,
0649 To have his title live in Aquitaine—
0650 150 Which we much rather had depart withal,
0651 And have the money by our father lent,
0652 Than Aquitaine, so gelded as it is.
0653 Dear Princess, were not his requests so far
0654 From reason’s yielding, your fair self should make
0655 155 A yielding ’gainst some reason in my breast,
0656 And go well satisfied to France again.
0657 You do the King my father too much wrong,
0658 And wrong the reputation of your name,
0659 In so unseeming to confess receipt
0660 160 Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.
0661 I do protest I never heard of it;
0662 And if you prove it, I’ll repay it back
0663 Or yield up Aquitaine.
PRINCESS 0664 We arrest your word.—
0665 165 Boyet, you can produce acquittances
0666 For such a sum from special officers
0667 Of Charles his father.
KING 0668 Satisfy me so.
0669 So please your Grace, the packet is not come
0670 170 Where that and other specialties are bound.
0671 Tomorrow you shall have a sight of them.
0672 It shall suffice me; at which interview
0673 All liberal reason I will yield unto.
0674 Meantime receive such welcome at my hand
0675 175 As honor (without breach of honor) may
0676 Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
0677 You may not come, fair princess, within my gates,
0678 But here without you shall be so received
0679 As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,
0680 180 Though so denied fair harbor in my house.
0681 Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
0682 Tomorrow shall we visit you again.
0683 Sweet health and fair desires consort your Grace.
0684 Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.
He exits ⌜with Dumaine,
Longaville, and Attendants.⌝
BEROWNE, ⌜to Rosaline⌝ 0685 185Lady, I will commend you to
0686 my ⟨own⟩ heart.
ROSALINE 0687 Pray you, do my commendations. I would
0688 be glad to see it.
BEROWNE 0689 I would you heard it groan.
p. 55ROSALINE 0690 190Is the fool sick?
BEROWNE 0691 Sick at the heart.
ROSALINE 0692 Alack, let it blood.
BEROWNE 0693 Would that do it good?
ROSALINE 0694 My physic says “ay.”
BEROWNE 0695 195Will you prick ’t with your eye?
ROSALINE 0696 No point, with my knife.
BEROWNE 0697 Now God save thy life.
ROSALINE 0698 And yours from long living.
BEROWNE 0699 I cannot stay thanksgiving.He exits.
DUMAINE, ⌜to Boyet⌝
0700 200 Sir, I pray you, a word. What lady is that same?
0701 The heir of Alanson, ⌜Katherine⌝ her name.
0702 A gallant lady, monsieur. Fare you well.He exits.
LONGAVILLE, ⌜to Boyet⌝
0703 I beseech you, a word. What is she in the white?
0704 A woman sometimes, an you saw her in the light.
0705 205 Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
0706 She hath but one for herself; to desire that were a
LONGAVILLE 0708 Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
BOYET 0709 Her mother’s, I have heard.
LONGAVILLE 0710 210God’s blessing on your beard!
BOYET 0711 Good sir, be not offended. She is an heir of
LONGAVILLE 0713 Nay, my choler is ended. She is a most
0714 sweet lady.
p. 57BOYET 0715 215Not unlike, sir, that may be.
BEROWNE, ⌜to Boyet⌝ 0716 What’s her name in the cap?
BOYET 0717 ⌜Rosaline,⌝ by good hap.
BEROWNE 0718 Is she wedded or no?
BOYET 0719 To her will, sir, or so.
BEROWNE 0720 220You are welcome, sir. Adieu.
BOYET 0721 Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.
0722 That last is Berowne, the merry madcap lord.
0723 Not a word with him but a jest.
BOYET 0724 And every jest but
0725 225 a word.
0726 It was well done of you to take him at his word.
0727 I was as willing to grapple as he was to board.
0728 Two hot sheeps, marry.
BOYET 0729 And wherefore not ships?
0730 230 No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips.
0731 You sheep and I pasture. Shall that finish the jest?
0732 So you grant pasture for me.⌜He tries to kiss her.⌝
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 0733 Not so, gentle beast,
0734 My lips are no common, though several they be.
0735 235 Belonging to whom?
⌜KATHERINE⌝ 0736 To my fortunes and me.
0737 Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree,
0738 This civil war of wits were much better used
0739 On Navarre and his bookmen, for here ’tis abused.
0740 240 If my observation, which very seldom lies,
0741 By the heart’s still rhetoric, disclosèd wi’ th’ eyes,
0742 Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.
PRINCESS 0743 With what?
0744 With that which we lovers entitle “affected.”
PRINCESS 0745 245Your reason?
0746 Why, all his behaviors did make their retire
0747 To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.
0748 His heart like an agate with your print impressed,
0749 Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed.
0750 250 His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
0751 Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
0752 All senses to that sense did make their repair,
0753 To feel only looking on fairest of fair.
0754 Methought all his senses were locked in his eye,
0755 255 As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy,
0756 Who, tend’ring their own worth from where they
0757 were glassed,
0758 Did point you to buy them along as you passed.
0759 His face’s own margent did quote such amazes
0760 260 That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
0761 I’ll give you Aquitaine, and all that is his,
0762 An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
PRINCESS, ⌜to her Ladies⌝
0763 Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is disposed.
0764 But to speak that in words which his eye hath
0765 265 disclosed.
0766 I only have made a mouth of his eye
0767 By adding a tongue which I know will not lie.
0768 Thou art an old lovemonger and speakest skillfully.
0769 He is Cupid’s grandfather, and learns news of him.
0770 270 Then was Venus like her mother, for her father is
0771 but grim.
0772 Do you hear, my mad wenches?
⌜MARIA⌝ 0773 No.
BOYET 0774 What then, do
0775 275 you see?
0776 Ay, our way to be gone.
BOYET 0777 You are too hard for me.
They all exit.