1. Dearest. Best, highest. Cf. Temp. p. 124, note on The dear'st o' the loss.
2. Who. The reading of the quartos and 1st folio. Gr. 274.
6. Owe. See on i. 2. 100 above.
16. Chapmen. Here = sellers; but usually = buyers, as in T.and C. iv. I. 75. Johnson remarks: "cheap or cheaping was anciently the market; chapman therefore is marketman." Cf. [Wharburton.] Uttered is here used in the commercial sense of "made to pass from one hand to another."
See R. and J. p. 212. The meaning of the passage is that the estimation of beauty depends not on the tongue of the seller, but on the eye of the buyer. Cf. Sonn. 102. 4.
25. To's seemeth. The reading of all the early eds.; changed by Pope to "to us seems." Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 65: "friends to's welcome," etc.
28. Bold of. Confident of, trusting in.
32. Importunes. Accented on the penult by S[hakespeare]. Cf. Ham. p. 190.
39. Lord Longaville. The early eds. omit Lord, which Capell supplied.
42. Jaques. Always a dissyllable in S. Cf. A. W. p. 160. Solemnized
is here accented on the second syllable. See Gr. 491.
45. Well fitted in the arts. The reading of the 2d folio; the 1st folio and the quartos omit the. W[hite] conjectures "In arts well fitted." "Well fitted is well qualified" (Johnson).
57. Of all. That is, by all. Gr. 170.
60. Though he. The 1st folio misprints "she" for he.
62. And much too little, etc. "And my report of the good I saw is much too little compared to his great worthiness" (Heath). For to, see Gr. 187.
68. Hour's. A dissyllable; as often. Gr. 480.
72. Conceit's expositor. The exponent of his thought. For the use of conceit in S., see Rich. II. p. 181.
82. Competitors. Associates, partners. See T. N. p. 158, or A. and C. p. 175.
83. Address'd. Prepared, ready. See J. C. p. 156, or A. Y. L. p. 200.
88. Unpeopled. The reading of the folios. The 1st quarto has "impeded," which the Camb. editors adopt.
102. Where. Whereas; as often. See Lear, p. 179, or 1 Hen. IV. p, 187.
105. And sin to break it. Hanmer changes And to "Not;" but, as Johnson remarks, "the princess shows an inconvenience very frequently attending rash oaths, which, whether kept or broken, produce guilt."
109. Resolve. Answer. Cf. T. of S. iv. 2. 7: "What, master, read you? First resolve me that," etc.
118. Long of. Owing to, because of; as in M. N. D. iii. 2. 339: "all this coil is long of you," etc. It is generally printed "'long of" in the modern eds., but not in the early ones. Along of in this sense does not occur in S.
123. Fair befall, etc. Cf. Rich. III. i. 3. 282: "Now fair befall thee and thy noble house!" etc. Fair fall in the next line is used in the same sense; as in K. John, i. 1. 78, etc.
130. Being but the one half, etc. Cf. the reference to Monstrelet's
146. Depart. Part. Cf. K. John, ii. 1. 563: "Hath willingly departed with a part;" and see the note in our ed. p. 150.
148. Gelded. Maimed; a favourite figure with S., as Steevens notes.
Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 623, Rich. II. ii. 1. 237, I Hen. IV. iii. 1. 110, etc.
167. I will. The reading of 1st quarto; "would I" in the other early eds.
173. As you. That you. Gr. 109.
174. Fair harbour. As in 1st quarto; the other early eds. have "farther" for fair. The Coll. MS. reads "free."
176. Shall we. The folios have "we shall."
179. Lady, I will, etc. The folios give this and the next five speeches
of Biron to "Boy."
183. Fool. The reading of 1st quarto; the folios have "soule" or "soul."
189. No point. A play on the French negative point; as in v. 2. 278
below. No point was sometimes used as an emphatic negative. Steevens quotes The Shoemaker's Holiday, 1600: " No point. Shall I betray my brother?"
193. What lady, etc. Steevens remarks: "It is odd that S. should make Dumain inquire after Rosaline, who was the mistress of Biron, and neglect Katherine, who was his own. Biron behaves in the same manner. Perhaps all the ladies wore masks but the princess." That they did is evident from 123 above. D[yce]. believes that the masks have nothing to do with the matter, and that "Katherine" should be substituted for Rosaline in 194, and "Rosaline" for Katherine in 209 below.
198. Light in the light. See on i. 2. 115 above.
202. God's blessing on your beard! "That is, mayst thou have sense and seriousness more proportionate to thy beard, the length of which suits ill with such idle catches of wit!" (Johnson).
209. Rosaline. The early eds. have "Katherine;" corrected by S[inger].
217. Grapple. Like board, a figure taken from naval warfare. The
play on ships and sheeps indicates that the words were pronounced nearly
alike. We find the same quibble in C. of E. iv. 1. 93 (see our ed. p. 134)
and T. G. of V. i. 1. 73.
222. Though several they be. A play on several, which meant an enclosed field in distinction from a common. Steevens quotes, among other examples of the word, Holinshed, Hist. of England: "not to take and pale in the commons, to enlarge their severalls." Though seems used somewhat peculiarly, and has been explained as = since. Cf. T. N. p. 145, note on Though it be. We prefer Staunton's explanation: "If we take both as places devoted to pasture — the one for general, the other for particular use — the meaning is easy enough. Boyet asks permission to graze on her lips. 'Not so,' she answers; 'my lips, though intended for the
purpose, are not for general use.'"
233. Retire. For the noun, cf. K. John, pp. 145, 146, 178.
234. Thorough. Used by S. interchangeably with through. See M.
of V. p. 144, note on Throughfares.
235. Like an agate. For the figures cut in agates, see Much Ado,
p. 141, or 2 Hen. IV. p. 153.
237. All impatient to speak and not see, etc. "If we take not see to imply 'not see, because it is not the tongue's faculty to see,' the sentence means that his tongue hurried to his eyes that it might express what they
beheld" (Clarke). A writer in the Edin. Mag. (Nov. 1786) explains it: "his tongue envied the quickness of his eyes, and strove to be as rapid in his utterance as they in their perception." Perhaps Johnson is right in making it — "being impatiently desirous to see as well as speak." D., after remarking that the passage has been "utterly misunderstood" by Johnson, paraphrases it thus: "His tongue, not able to endure the having merely the power of speaking without that of seeing."
240. To feel only looking. Apparently = to have no perception but that
of looking, to have their own sense transformed to that of sight.
244. Point you. Direct you, suggest to you; the reading of 1st quarto. The folios have "point out."
245. Margent. Alluding to the practice of putting notes, etc., in the
margin of books. See M. N. D. p. 142, or Ham. p. 272 (note on Edified by the margent).
249. Dipos'd. "Inclined to merriment" (Schmidt); "inclined to rather loose mirth, somewhat wantonly merry" (D.). Schmidt gives the word the same sense in v. 2. 468 below, and in T. N. ii. 3. 88. D. cites
examples of it from Peele and B[eamount]. and F[letcher]. Boyet parries the reproof by taking the word in its ordinary meaning.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. William Rolfe. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1899. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_2_1.html >.
How to cite the sidebars:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Love's Labour's Lost. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_2_1.html >.
Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. James Finch Royster. New York: MacMillan, 1912. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_2_1.html >
Notes on Love's Labour's Lost
The earliest text of the comedy, the quarto edition printed in 1598, is significant because it marks the first time Shakespeare's name appeared on the title page of a published play (although it was not the firstpublished work). It tells us that Love's Labour's Lost, "Newly corrected and augmented by W. Shakespere," was performed in 1597 for Queen Elizabeth herself during the Christmas season. Such recognition must have filled Shakespeare with great pride and excitement. However, as we read in the sonnets, the temptations that come with success caused him much grief in his personal life. For more on this topic please see the analysis of Sonnet 111.
Do You Agree? ... "The comedy points to a very pretty moral. A system of education which seeks to contradict the decrees of nature is founded upon a false notion of what true learning is and will be overthrown by the very forces that it opposes. There is no real learning without love" (James Finch Royster, in his edition of Love's Labour's Lost, p. xiii).