Love's Labour's Lost

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Princess of France, Rosaline, Maria, and

Katharine, with Boyet and two more attendant



Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.
dear (adj.) 6 heartfelt, earnest, zealous
spirit (n.) 4 intuition, perception, discernment

Consider who the King your father sends,

To whom he sends, and what's his embassy:
embassy (n.) 1 message [especially via an ambassador]

Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem,

To parley with the sole inheritor
inheritor (n.) owner, possessor, acquirer
parle, parley (v.) 2 talk, discuss, enter into conversation

Of all perfections that a man may owe,
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

Matchless Navarre; the plea of no less weight
plea (n.) 1 claim, argument, issue

Than Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.

Be now as prodigal of all dear grace
dear (adj.) 3 of great worth, valuable, precious
prodigal (adj.) 2 effusive, lavish, generous

As Nature was in making graces dear
dear (adj.) 4 expensive, costly

When she did starve the general world beside,
beside (adv.) 4 otherwise, else
general (adj.) 1 common, of everyone, public
starve (v.) 3 withhold [from], diet, be sparing with

And prodigally gave them all to you.


Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
mean (adj.) 4 average, moderate, middling

Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.
flourish (n.) 2 [of language] eloquence, fine words, rhetorical embellishment

Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,

Not uttered by base sale of chapmen's tongues.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
chapman (n.) trader, merchant, dealer
utter (v.) 2 offer for sale, dispense, make available

I am less proud to hear you tell my worth
tell (v.) 2 spell out, narrate, recount

Than you much willing to be counted wise
count (v.) account, consider, regard

In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

But now to task the tasker. Good Boyet,
task (v.) 4 take to task, censure, chastise

You are not ignorant all-telling fame

Doth noise abroad Navarre hath made a vow,

Till painful study shall outwear three years,
outwear (v.) 1 wear away, spend, pass
painful (adj.) 1 painstaking, diligent, laborious

No woman may approach his silent court.

Therefore to's seemeth it a needful course,
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

Before we enter his forbidden gates,

To know his pleasure; and in that behalf,
behalf (n.), especially: in behalf (of) 3 respect, aspect, consideration

Bold of your worthiness, we single you
bold (adj.) 1 confident, certain, sure
single (v.) [hunting] single out, pick out

As our best-moving fair solicitor.
best-moving (adj.) most persuasive
fair (adj.) 6 plausible, flattering, seductive
solicitor (n.) advocate, instigator, go-between

Tell him the daughter of the King of France,

On serious business craving quick dispatch,
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require
dispatch, despatch (n.) 1 settlement of business, sorting out of affairs

Importunes personal conference with his grace.
importune (v.) 2 beg [for], ask persistently [for]

Haste, signify so much, while we attend,
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count
signify (v.) report, make known, declare

Like humble-visaged suitors, his high will.
humble-visaged (adj.) with humble faces


Proud of employment, willingly I go.


All pride is willing pride, and yours is so.

Exit Boyet

Who are the votaries, my loving lords,
votary (n.) 2 someone bound by a special vow

That are vow-fellows with this virtuous Duke?
vow-fellow (n.) person bound by the same vow


Lord Longaville is one.


                         Know you the man?


I know him, madam. At a marriage feast

Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir

Of Jacques Falconbridge, solemnized

In Normandy, saw I this Longaville.

A man of sovereign parts he is esteemed;
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]
sovereign (adj.) 1 excellent, excelling, superlative

Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms.
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss –
soil (n.) 1 blemish, stain, tarnish

If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil –

Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will,
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills

It should none spare that come within his power.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Some merry mocking lord, belike – is't so?
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count


They say so most that most his humours know.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice


Such short-lived wits do wither as they grow.
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

Who are the rest?


The young Dumaine, a well-accomplished youth,

Of all that virtue love for virtue loved;

Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill,
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil

For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

And shape to win grace though he had no wit.

I saw him at the Duke Alençon's once;

And much too little of that good I saw

Is my report to his great worthiness.


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,
beget (v.), past form begot 2 produce, engender, give rise to
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

For every object that the one doth catch

The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,

Which his fair tongue – conceit's expositor –
conceit (n.) 1 imagination, fancy, wit
expositor (n.) expounder, explainer, interpreter

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.
voluble (adj.) 1 fluent, eloquent, articulate


God bless my ladies! Are they all in love,

That every one her own hath garnished

With such bedecking ornaments of praise?


Here comes Boyet.

Enter Boyet
admittance (n.) 3 permission to enter


                         Now, what admittance, lord?


Navarre had notice of your fair approach,

And he and his competitors in oath
competitor (n.) 1 partner, associate, colleague

Were all addressed to meet you, gentle lady,
address (v.) 1 prepare, make ready, poise to act
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learned:

He rather means to lodge you in the field,
field (n.) 4 wasteland, wilderness

Like one that comes here to besiege his court,

Than seek a dispensation for his oath,

To let you enter his unpeopled house.
unpeopled (adj.) devoid of people, lacking retinue, without servants

Here comes Navarre.

Enter the King, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine


Fair Princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.


‘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
base (adj.) 5 low-lying, lowland
field (n.) 4 wasteland, wilderness



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.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count


Not for the world, fair madam, by my will.


Why, will shall break it; will, and nothing else.
will (n.) 1 desire, wish, liking, inclination


Your ladyship is ignorant what it is.


Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise,

Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance.

I hear your grace hath sworn out house-keeping.
house-keeping (n.) hospitality, maintaining a welcoming household
swear out (v.) renounce, abjure, abandon

'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,

And sin to break it.

But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold;
sudden-bold (adj.) hastily presumptious

To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me.
beseem (v.) befit, be fitting [for], be seemly [for]
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

And suddenly resolve me in my suit.
resolve (v.) 1 answer, respond to
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

She offers the King a paper


Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.


You will the sooner that I were away,

For you'll prove perjured if you make me stay.

The King reads

Berowne and Rosaline converse apart


Lady, I will commend you to my mine own
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over



Pray you, do my commendations; I would be

glad to see it.


I would you heard it groan.


Is the fool sick?
fool (n.) 1 [term of endearment or pity] dear, darling, innocent creature


Sick at the heart.


Alack, let it blood.
blood (v.) bleed, yield blood


Would that do it good?


My physic says ay.
physic (n.) 2 knowledge of the human body, medical science


Will you prick't with your eye?


Non point, with my knife.


Now God save thy life.


And yours from long living


I cannot stay thanksgiving.
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

He leaves her
intimate (v.) refer to, communicate, inform of


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 –

Received that sum, yet there remains unpaid

A hundred thousand more, in surety of the which
surety (n.) 1 guarantee, ratification, warrant

One part of Aquitaine is bound to us,

Although not valued to the money's worth.
value (v.) 3 consider equal in value [to]

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,
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan

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 –
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

Which we much rather had depart withal,
depart withal (v.) surrender, give up

And have the money by our father lent,

Than Aquitaine, so gelded as it is.
geld (v.), past forms gelded, gelt 2 deprive, strip, dispossess

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.


You do the King my father too much wrong,

And wrong the reputation of your name,

In so unseeming to confess receipt
unseeming (adj.) not seeming, not appearing

Of that which hath so faithfully been paid.


I do protest I never heard of it;

And if you prove it, I'll repay it back

Or yield up Aquitaine.
arrest (v.) 2 seize, take hold of, lay hold upon


                         We arrest your word.

Boyet, you can produce acquittances
acquittance (n.) 3 written discharge, final receipt

For such a sum from special officers

Of Charles his father.


                         Satisfy me so.


So please your grace, the packet is not come

Where that and other specialties are bound.
specialty (n.) 2 sealed contract, special agreement

Tomorrow you shall have a sight of them.


It shall suffice me; at which interview
suffice (v.) 2 satisfy, content, be enough [for]

All liberal reason I will yield unto.
liberal (adj.) 5 noble, tasteful, refined
reason (n.) 3 reasonable view, sensible judgement, right opinion

Meantime, receive such welcome at my hand

As honour, without breach of honour, may

Make tender of to thy true worthiness.
tender (n.) 1 offer, offering

You may not come, fair Princess, in my gates;

But here without you shall be so received

As you shall deem yourself lodged in my heart,

Though so denied fair harbour 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.
consort (v.) accompany, attend, go with


Thy own wish wish I thee in every place.

Exeunt King, Berowne, Longaville,

and Dumaine

Enter Dumaine


Sir, I pray you, a word. What lady is that same?


The heir of Alençon, Katharine 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, an you saw her in the light.


Perchance light in the light. I desire her name.
light (adj.) 1 promiscuous, licentious, immoral, wanton
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count


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!


Good sir, be not offended.

She is an heir of Falconbridge.


Nay, my choler is ended.
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

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.
hap (n.) 2 luck, chance, accident


Is she wedded or no?


To her will, sir, or so.


You are welcome, sir! Adieu.


Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you.

Exit Berowne


That last is Berowne, the merry madcap lord.
madcap (adj.) reckless, impulsive, wildly behaved

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!


                         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.

He tries to kiss her
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


                         Not so, gentle beast.

My lips are no common, though several they be.
common (n.) 6 public property, common land, open pasture
several (adj.) 3 [of land] private, enclosed, restricted


Belonging to whom?


                         To my fortunes and me.


Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree.
gentle (n.) 2 (plural) ladies and gentlemen, gentlefolk
jangle (v.) wrangle, squabble, argue

This civil war of wits were much better used
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

On Navarre and his book-men, for here 'tis abused.
abuse (v.) 3 misapply, employ badly
book-man (n.) scholar, student


If my observation, which very seldom lies,

By the heart's still rhetoric disclosed with eyes
rhetoric (n.) oratory, flowery language
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet

Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected.


With what?


With that which we lovers entitle ‘ affected.’
affected (adj.) 2 devoted, totally in love [with]


Your reason?


Why, all his behaviours did make their retire
retire (n.) retreat, withdrawal

To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire.

His heart, like an agate with your print impressed.
impress (v.) 2 imprint, engrave, stamp [as by a seal]
print (n.) imprint, image, stamped impression

Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed.
form (n.) 2 imprinted shape, impressed image

His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
impatient (adj.) 2 frustrated, restless, eagerly longing

Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be.

All senses to that sense did make their repair,
repair (n.) 2 coming, arrival, approach

To feel only looking on fairest of fair.

Methought all his senses were locked in his eye,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;

Who, tendering their own worth from where they were glassed,
glass (v.) enclose in glass
tender (v.) 1 offer, give, present

Did point you to buy them along as you passed.
point (v.) 1 direct, suggest, indicate [to]

His face's own margin did quote such amazes
amaze (n.) amazement, extreme astonishment
margent (n.) 2 margin, edge, border
quote (v.) 3 display, indicate, show

That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.

I'll give you Aquitaine, and all that is his,

An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.


Come, to our pavilion. Boyet is disposed.
disposed (adj.) 4 inclined to be merry, feeling playful


But to speak that in words which his eye hath disclosed.

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 skilfully.
skilfully (adv.) knowledgeably, shrewdly, cleverly


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?
mad (adj.) 1 wild, uncontrollable, excitable, high-spirited




                                                         What then, do you see?


Ay, our way to be gone.


                         You are too hard for me.

hard (adj.) 1 strong, tough, powerful

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