Love’s Labor’s Lost

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#1/Commitment/Act 1, Scene 1.1

This light, zany, youthful love story is set in Navarre,
a kingdom then located near the French border in present day Spain.  The young Ferdinand, often known here as
Navarre, is king.  Navarre has convinced
three of his young friends to “for three years’ term to live with me,” where
they will live frugally, disavow the company of women, and study hard “where
his court shall be a little academe, still and contemplative in living
art.”  He tells them “Navarre shall be
the wonder of the world.”  It’s an
overstatement!  They have verbally
committed to a demanding regimen.  The
three lords are Longaville, Dumaine and Berowne.  Longaville signs on, saying “I am resolved.
‘Tis but a three years’ fast.”  Dumaine
says “Dumaine is mortified. These world’s delights he throws upon the gross
world’s baser slaves.”  He signs on.  Berowne says “I have already sworn to live
and study here three years.  But these
barren tasks, too hard to keep, not to see ladies, fast, not sleep!  Then I swore in jest.  What is the end of study, let me know?”  Navarre replies “Why, to know which else we
should not know.”  Berowne comes back
with “Things hid and barred, you mean, from common sense.”  The King says “Ay, that is study’s godlike
recompense.”  Berowne continues to
complain about what he’s agreed to.  The
King tells him “Well, sit you out.  Go
home, Berowne.”  Berowne quickly replies
“No, my good lord, I have sworn to stay with you.”  Berowne reads over the agreement the others
have signed, and then offers more comments.
One of the terms reads: “If any man be seen to talk with a woman within
the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the
court can possibly devise.”  Berowne says
to the King “This article, my liege, yourself must break.  In embassy comes the French king’s daughter
with yourself to speak about surrender up of Aquitaine.  Therefore this article is made in vain, or
vainly come th’ admired princess hither.”
The startled King says “Why, this was quite forgot.”  A foretelling Berowne says “I am the one who
keeps his oath longest.”  He signs his
name.

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#2/Humor/Act 1, Scene 1.2

After signing on, Berowne asks the King “Is there no
quick recreation granted?”  Navarre
replies “Ay, that there is.  Our court,
you know, is haunted with a refined traveler of Spain, a child of fancy, as
Armado is called.”  Berowne replies
“Armado is a most illustrious person, fashion’s own knight.”  Longaville tells us that “Costard the rustic
laborer and he shall be our sport, and so to study three years is but
short.”  Costard and Dull, a constable,
enter.  Dull gives Navarre a letter from
Armado.  An apologetic Costard, making
the first move, says “The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.  I was seen with her in the manor house.”  The King asks “Will you hear this letter with
attention?”  Berowne says “As we would
hear an oracle.”  Navarre reads: “As I
walked in the park, there did I see that low-spirited laborer, that base minnow
of thy mirth —-.”  Costard asks
“Me?”  The King continues to read “that
unlettered, small-knowing soul, that shallow vassal which is called Costard.”  Costard says “O, me!”  The King finishes the letter and asks Costard
“What say you to this?”  Costard replies
“I confess the wench.”  The King says “It
was proclaimed a year’s imprisonment to be taken with a wench.”  Costard says “I was taken with a maid.”  The King says “I will pronounce your
sentence: you shall fast a week with bran and water.  Armado shall be your jailer.  My Lord Berowne, see him delivered
over.”  Costard says to himself as he
walks away with Berowne “Prosperity may one day smile again, and till then, sit
thee down, sorrow.”

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#3/Love/Act 1, Scene 2

Armado and his page, Mote, are talking.  Mote is very young, and is often referred to
as Boy.  And Boy, serving a role often
played by a fool, in typical Shakespeare fashion, often appears to be the
wisest of the three, the three being Armado, Costard and himself.  Armado tells Boy “I have promised to study
three years with the Duke.”  Boy replies
“You are a gentleman and a gamester, sir.”
Armado replies “I confess both.
They are both the varnish of a complete man.”  Armado confides in Mote, saying “I will
hereupon confess I am in love.”  Dull,
Costard and Jaquenetta enter.  Dull tells
Armado “Sir, the Duke’s pleasure is that you keep Costard safe.  For this damsel, I must keep her at the
park.”  Aside to Jaquenetta, Armado says
“I do betray myself with blushing.  I
will visit thee at the lodge. I will tell thee wonders. I love thee.”  Jaquenetta replies “So I heard you say.”  Dull and Jaquenetta exit.  Armado says to Costard “Villain, thou shalt
fast for thy offenses.”  Costard replies
“Well, sir, I hope when I do it I shall do it on a full stomach.”  Armado turns to Boy and says “Take away this
villain.  Shut him up.”  Boy says ‘Come, you transgressing slave,
away.”  Costard and Boy exit.

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#4/Enchantment/Act 2, Scene 1.1

Boyet, the talented lord attending the Princess of
France, offers her advice, saying “Consider that the King your father sends
yourself to parley with matchless Navarre the plea of no less weight than
Aquitaine, a dowry for a queen.”  The
Princess replies “Good Boyet, you are not ignorant all-telling fame doth noise
abroad Navarre hath made a vow no woman may approach his silent court.  We single you to tell him the daughter of the
King of France importunes personal conference with his Grace.”  Boyet exits.
The Princess asks her ladies “Who are these vow-fellows with this
virtuous duke?”  Maria, Katherine and
Rosaline are her attending ladies.  Maria
says “Longaville is one.”  She knows him
“from a wedding feast in Normandy.”  She
says he “has a sharp wit with too blunt a will.”  Katherine knows Dumaine, calling him “a
well-accomplished youth who hath a wit to make an ill shape good.”  She goes on to say “I saw him at the duke of
Alencon’s, and much too little of that good I saw is my report to his great
worthiness.”  Rosaline steps in, noting
that she saw Berowne when he too was at the duke of Alencon’s.  She says “His fair tongue such apt and
gracious words that aged ears ignore his tales, but younger hearings are quite
ravished, so sweet and voluble is his discourse.”  The Princess is taken back by the interest
shown by her ladies in the king’s young lords.

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#5/Insight/Act 2, Scene 1.2

Boyet re-enters.
He lets the Princess know that Navarre knows the women have
arrived.  He says “He rather means to
lodge in the field than to let you enter his house.”  Navarre enters.  He says “Fair Princess, welcome to the court
of Navarre.”  She gives him a paper.  The ladies step aside.  He reads the paper.  Berowne and Rosaline have a side
conversation, mostly a have-we-not-met discussion.  Navarre comes forward.  He addresses the Princess.  He says “we will give up our right in Aquitaine
if your father will pay us a hundred thousand crowns, so gelded as it is.”  He goes on to say “But, it seems, he hath
little intention of doing so.”  The
Princess replies “You do the King my father too much wrong,” she and her father
claiming that France has already paid Navarre the hundred thousand crowns.  Ferdinand says “If you prove it, I’ll repay
it back or yield up Aquitaine.”  She says
“The packet is not come where that and other special contracts are bound.  Tomorrow you shall have a sight of
them.”  Ferdinand kindly accepts her
offer, but says “You may not come, fair princess, within my gates, but here
without, you shall be so received and you shall deem yourself lodged in my
heart.”  He exits.  Berowne remains behind.  He tries to encourage Rosaline to warm up to
him; she remains distant.  She’s feisty,
but Berowne doesn’t give up.  Longaville
tries to pry information from Boyet about “she in the white.”  Boyet protects Maria, not releasing much in
the way of information.  The King’s lords
have exited.  Boyet tells the Princess:
“Navarre is infected.” The Princess asks “With what?”  Boyet replies “With that which we lovers
entitle ‘in love.’”  She asks “your
reason?”  He tells her the King couldn’t
keep his eye off of her; that he gazed with desire; that his heart was “like a
crystal with your image on it.”  He says
“His tongue, all eager to speak and not see, did stumble with haste.”  He continues to provide his evidence.  The Princess says to her ladies “Come, Boyet
is in a joking mood.”  They dismiss his
comments. Marie says to him “Thou are an old trafficker in love and speakest
skillfully.”  They exit.

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#6/Love/Act 3, Scene 1

Armado tells Boy to “Fetch hither the swain.  He must carry me a letter.”  Boy releases Costard to Armado; Armado
telling Costard that “I give thee thy liberty, convey thee from
imprisonment.  I impose on thee nothing
but this: bear this letter to the country maid, Jaquenetta.”  He gives Costard a coin. Armado and Boy
exit.  Berowne enters.  Costard begins to exit.  Berowne says “Stay, slave, I must employ
thee. It must be done this afternoon.
The Princess has a gentle lady.
They name her Rosaline.  Ask for
her. See thou do commend to her this sealed-up private matter.”  He gives him money.  Costard cries “I will do it, sir,
perfectly.  Remuneration!”  He exits. Berowne berates himself, saying
“And I forsooth in love!  I that have
been love’s whip, a critic, nay, a night-watch constable.  What?
I love, I sue, I seek a wife?  I
to sigh for her, to lose sleep because of her, to pray for her!  It is a plague that Cupid will impose for my
neglect of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, groan.”

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#7/Mistaken Delivery/Act 4, Scene 1

Costard finds the Princess and her ladies.  They’re out on a hunting trip.  Costard asks the Princess “Pray you, which is
the head lady?”  The Princess replies
“Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.”  She then says ‘What’s your will, sir?”  He says “I have a letter from Monsieur
Berowne to one Lady Rosaline.”  The
Princess asks Boyet to open the letter.
Boyet looks at the letter and says ‘This letter is mistook; it is writ
to Jaquenetta.”  The Princess says “We
will read it, I swear.”  Boyet reads: “By
heaven, that thou art fair is most infallible, true that thou art beauteous,
truth itself that thou art lovely.  Shall
I command thy love? I may. Shall I enforce thy love? I could. Thus expecting
thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture.”  Signed, Armado.  The Princess says “What plume of feathers is
he that composed this letter?  Did you
ever hear better?”  Boyet says “This
Armado is a Spaniard that resides here in court; one that makes sport to the
Prince and his bookmates.”  The Princess
says “Thou hast mistaken his letter.
Come, lords, away.”  To Rosaline
she says “Here, sweet, put up this; ‘twill be thine another day.”

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#8/Mistaken Delivery/Act 4, Scene 2

Holofernes, Nathaniel and Dull are with the Princess on
the hunting trip.  Jaquenetta and Costard
enter.  Jaquenetta asks Nathaniel, a
school teacher, to “be so good as read me this letter.”  She hands the letter to Nathaniel.  He reads: “Of love make me forsworn, how
shall I swear to love?  Ah, never faith
could hold, if not to beauty vowed! Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll
faithful prove.  O, pardon love this
wrong, that sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.”  Holofernes asks “But damsel virgin, was this
directed to you?” She replies “Ay, sir.”
Holofernes reads “To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady
Rosaline.”  He says “Sir Nathaniel, this
Berowne is one of the votaries with the King and here he hath framed a letter
which accidentally hath miscarried.”  He
tells Jaquenetta “Deliver this paper into the royal hand of the King.  It may concern much. Adieu.”  Costard and Jaquenetta exit.

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#9/Love/Act 4, Scene 3.1

Berowne is alone on a wooded trail in a park thinking
about Rosaline, the love of his life, when the King comes by reading a
poem.  Berowne steps aside. Navarre reads
his poem intended for the Princess. In part it reads: “But behold the tears
that swell in me, and they thy glory through my grief will show.”  He says “How shall she know my griefs?”  He steps aside, saying “Who is he comes
here?”  Longaville enters with a
paper.  A hidden Berowne says “one more
fool appear!”  The hidden King says “In
love, I hope!  Sweet fellowship in
shame.”  Berowne says “One drunkard loves
another of the name.”  Longaville reads
his poem, which in part reads: “Did not heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
persuade my heart to this false perjury?”
Berowne says to himself “This is passion’s style, which makes flesh a
deity, a young girl a goddess.”
Longaville steps aside. Dumaine enters, saying “O most divine
Kate!”  Berowne says “All hid, all hid,
an old infant play.  Like a demigod here
sit I in the sky. O heavens, I have a wish, Dumaine transformed! Four woodcocks
in a dish.”  Dumaine says “Once more I’ll
read the ode that I have writ.”  Aside,
Berowne says “Once more I’ll mark how love can alter intelligence.”  Dumaine reads his sonnet. He says “This will
I send. O, would the King, Berowne, and Longaville were lovers too!”

Abridged Love’s Labor’s Lost/#10/Humor/Act 4, Scene 3.2

Having
come forward, Longaville says “Dumaine, you may look pale, but I should blush,
I know.”  Navarre comes forward, saying
“I have been closely shrouded in this bush and marked you both, and for you
both did blush, I heard your guilty rhymes, noted well your passion.”  He says to both of them “What will Berowne
say when that he shall hear faith infringed, which such zeal did swear?  How will he scorn?  How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it!”  Berowne comes forward and says “Now step I
forth to whip hypocrisy.  Tush, none but
minstrels derive pleasure from writing poetry! But are you not ashamed?  Nay, are you not, all three of you, to be
thus much defeated.  O me, with what
strict patience have I sat, to see a king transformed to a gnat!  Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good
Dumaine?  And gentle Longaville, where
lies thy pain?”  The King says “Too
bitter is thy jest.  Are we betrayed thus
to thy overview?”  Berowne responds “Not
you to me, but I am betrayed by you.”
What shall you see me write a thing in rhyme?”  Jaquenetta, with a paper, and Costard
enter.  Berowne tries to walk away.