Act 5, Scene 2
The Princess and her ladies gather and the Princess shows them a jewel and some poetry that Ferdinand sent her. She is happy, but the women begin to argue about the validity of his love. Rosaline then shows her own gifts that Berowne bestowed upon her. Katherine then too is asked to show the gifts that Dumaine sent to her. Finally Maria shows the pearls sent to her from Longaville. The women mock their gifts and laugh at the givers vowing not to make it easy for the men to win them. Boyet then enters with news saying that he over heard the King in his men planning to come to the women disguised as Russians to woo them. Because the women will be masked at the gathering, they know them by the gifts that they sent. The Princess decides to play with them however, and the four switch and wear another's gift so the men will court the wrong woman. Rosaline asks the purpose of doing this, and the Princess explains that the men are making a mockery of them, so they will in turn do the same. They vow not to dance or to speak to the man who tries to court them. The men come in their costumes and the women give them the cold shoulder, though each agree to have private conversation with them. The conversation comes to an end and the men exit. The women know that the men are going to return as themselves, so they devise a plan and exit when they see them returning. They come upon the Boyet who offers to retrieve the Princess for them. She comes, but when the King offers hospitality to her, she refuses saying that she would hate it if he broke his vows. The men decide to confess and the women, to their horror, describe their folly of choosing the wrong girl. Costard enters and tells them that they are ready to present the play. The men are worried that the actors will shame them with their altered performance, but they continue with it anyway. During the performance, Costard announces that Jaquenetta is pregnant and the baby is Armando's. A fight breaks out on stage, and while the audience watches a messenger enters for the Princess. The King of France has died and the Princess prepares to return immediately. Ferdinand again professes his love for her and asks her to stay but she refuses because of his so easily broken oath. However, she says that if he spends her year of morning waiting for her and following strict codes like the one he imposed on himself previously, then she will accept his marriage proposal. The other men ask the ladies for marriage, but they follow the Princess' example and tell the men to wait a year. Armando brings in some men, and they sing songs to end the play.