The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Original text
Act I, Scene I
Valentine: Protheus, and Speed.

Valentine.
CEase to perswade, my louing Protheus;
Home-keeping youth, haue euer homely wits,
Wer't not affection chaines thy tender dayes
To the sweet glaunces of thy honour'd Loue,
I rather would entreat thy company,
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Then (liuing dully sluggardiz'd at home)
Weare out thy youth with shapelesse idlenesse.
But since thou lou'st; loue still, and thriue therein,
Euen as I would, when I to loue begin.

Pro.
Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine adew,
Thinke on thy Protheus, when thou (hap'ly) seest
Some rare note-worthy obiect in thy trauaile.
Wish me partaker in thy happinesse,
When thou do'st meet good hap; and in thy danger,
(If euer danger doe enuiron thee)
Commend thy grieuance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beades-man, Valentine.

Val.
And on a loue-booke pray for my successe?

Pro.
Vpon some booke I loue, I'le pray for thee.

Val.
That's on some shallow Storie of deepe loue,
How yong Leander crost the Hellespont.

Pro.
That's a deepe Storie, of a deeper loue,
For he was more then ouer-shooes in loue.

Val.
'Tis true; for you are ouer-bootes in loue,
And yet you neuer swom the Hellespont.

Pro.
Ouer the Bootes? nay giue me not the Boots.

Val.
No, I will not; for it boots thee not.

Pro.
What?

Val.
To be in loue; where scorne is bought with grones:
Coy looks, with hart-sore sighes: one fading moments mirth,
With twenty watchfull, weary, tedious nights;
If hap'ly won, perhaps a haplesse gaine;
If lost, why then a grieuous labour won;
How euer: but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit, by folly vanquished.

Pro.
So, by your circumstance, you call me foole.

Val.
So, by your circumstance, I feare you'll proue.

Pro.
'Tis Loue you cauill at, I am not Loue.

Val.
Loue is your master, for he masters you;
And he that is so yoked by a foole,
Me thinkes should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro.
Yet Writers say; as in the sweetest Bud,
The eating Canker dwels; so eating Loue
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val.
And Writers say; as the most forward Bud
Is eaten by the Canker ere it blow,
Euen so by Loue, the yong, and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the Bud,
Loosing his verdure, euen in the prime,
And all the faire effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsaile thee
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu: my Father at the Road
Expects my comming, there to see me ship'd.

Pro.
And thither will I bring thee Valentine.

Val.
Sweet Protheus, no: Now let vs take our leaue:
To Millaine let me heare from thee by Letters
Of thy successe in loue; and what newes else
Betideth here in absence of thy Friend:
And I likewise will visite thee with mine.

Pro.
All happinesse bechance to thee in Millaine.

Val
As much to you at home: and so farewell.
Exit.

Pro.
He after Honour hunts, I after Loue;
He leaues his friends, to dignifie them more;
I loue my selfe, my friends, and all for loue:
Thou Iulia, thou hast metamorphis'd me:
Made me neglect my Studies, loose my time;
Warre with good counsaile; set the world at nought;
Made Wit with musing, weake; hart sick with thought.

Sp.
Sir Protheus: 'saue you: saw you my Master?

Pro.
But now he parted hence to embarque for Millain.

Sp.
Twenty to one then, he is ship'd already,
And I haue plaid the Sheepe in loosing him.

Pro.
Indeede a Sheepe doth very often stray,
And if the Shepheard be awhile away.

Sp.
You conclude that my Master is a Shepheard then,
and I Sheepe?

Pro.
I doe.

Sp.
Why then my hornes are his hornes, whether I wake
or sleepe.

Pro.
A silly answere, and fitting well a Sheepe.

Sp.
This proues me still a Sheepe.

Pro.
True: and thy Master a Shepheard.

Sp.
Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.

Pro.
It shall goe hard but ile proue it by another.

Sp.
The Shepheard seekes the Sheepe, and not the Sheepe
the Shepheard; but I seeke my Master, and my Master
seekes not me: therefore I am no Sheepe.

Pro.
The Sheepe for fodder follow the Shepheard, the
Shepheard for foode followes not the Sheepe: thou for
wages followest thy Master, thy Master for wages followes
not thee: therefore thou art a Sheepe.

Sp.
Such another proofe will make me cry baâ.

Pro.
But do'st thou heare: gau'st thou my Letter to
Iulia?

Sp.
I Sir: I (a lost-Mutton) gaue your Letter to her
(a lac'd-Mutton) and she (a lac'd-Mutton) gaue mee (a lost-
Mutton) nothing for my labour.

Pro.
Here's too small a Pasture for such store of
Muttons.

Sp.
If the ground be ouer-charg'd, you were best sticke
her.

Pro.
Nay, in that you are astray: 'twere best pound
you.

Sp.
Nay Sir, lesse then a pound shall serue me for
carrying your Letter.

Pro.
You mistake; I meane the pound, a Pinfold.

Sp.
From a pound to a pin? fold it ouer and ouer,
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your louer

Pro.
But what said she?

Sp.
I.

Pro.
Nod-I, why that's noddy.

Sp.
You mistooke Sir: I say she did nod; / And you aske
me if she did nod, and I say I.

Pro.
And that set together is noddy.

Sp.
Now you haue taken the paines to set it together,
take it for your paines.

Pro.
No, no, you shall haue it for bearing the letter.

Sp.
Well, I perceiue I must be faine to beare with you.

Pro.
Why Sir, how doe you beare with me?

Sp.
Marry Sir, the letter very orderly, / Hauing nothing
but the word noddy for my paines.

Pro.
Beshrew me, but you haue a quicke wit.

Sp.
And yet it cannot ouer-take your slow purse.

Pro.
Come, come, open the matter in briefe; what
said she.

Sp.
Open your purse, that the money, and the matter
may be both at once deliuered.

Pro.
Well Sir: here is for your paines:
what said she?

Sp.
Truely Sir, I thinke you'll hardly win her.

Pro.
Why? could'st thou perceiue so much from
her?

Sp.
Sir, I could perceiue nothing at all from her; / No,
not so much as a ducket for deliuering your letter: / And
being so hard to me, that brought your minde; / I feare / she'll
proue as hard to you in telling your minde. / Giue her no
token but stones, for she's as hard as steele.

Pro.
What said she, nothing?

Sp.
No, not so much as take this for thy pains: / To
testifie your bounty, I thank you, you haue cestern'd me;
In requital whereof, henceforth, carry your letters your selfe;
And so Sir, I'le commend you to my Master.

Pro.
Go, go, be gone, to saue your Ship from wrack,
Which cannot perish hauing thee aboarde,
Being destin'd to a drier death on shore:
I must goe send some better Messenger,
I feare my Iulia would not daigne my lines,
Receiuing them from such a worthlesse post.
Exit.
Original text
Act I, Scene II
Enter Iulia and Lucetta.

Iul.
But say Lucetta (now we are alone)
Would'st thou then counsaile me to fall in loue?

Luc.
I Madam, so you stumble not vnheedfully.

Iul.
Of all the faire resort of Gentlemen,
That euery day with par'le encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest loue?

Lu.
Please you repeat their names, ile shew my minde,
According to my shallow simple skill.

Iu.
What thinkst thou of the faire sir Eglamoure?

Lu.
As of a Knight, well-spoken, neat, and fine;
But were I you, he neuer should be mine.

Iu.
What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?

Lu.
Well of his wealth; but of himselfe, so, so.

Iu.
What think'st thou of the gentle Protheus?

Lu.
Lord, Lord: to see what folly raignes in vs.

Iu.
How now? what meanes this passion at his name?

Lu.
Pardon deare Madam, 'tis a passing shame,
That I (vnworthy body as I am)
Should censure thus on louely Gentlemen.

Iu.
Why not on Protheus, as of all the rest?

Lu.
Then thus: of many good, I thinke him best.

Iul.
Your reason?

Lu.
I haue no other but a womans reason:
I thinke him so, because I thinke him so.

Iul.
And would'st thou haue me cast my loue on him?

Lu.
I: if you thought your loue not cast away.

Iul.
Why he, of all the rest, hath neuer mou'd me.

Lu.
Yet he, of all the rest, I thinke best loues ye.

Iul.
His little speaking, shewes his loue but small.

Lu.
Fire that's closest kept, burnes most of all.

Iul.
They doe not loue, that doe not shew their loue.

Lu.
Oh, they loue least, that let men know their loue.

Iul.
I would I knew his minde.

Lu.
Peruse this paper Madam.

Iul.

To Iulia: say, from whom?

Lu.
That the Contents will shew.

Iul.
Say, say: who gaue it thee?

Lu.
Sir Valentines page: & sent I think from Protheus;
He would haue giuen it you, but I being in the way,
Did in your name receiue it: pardon the fault I pray.

Iul.
Now (by my modesty) a goodly Broker:
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper, and conspire against my youth?
Now trust me, 'tis an office of great worth,
And you an officer fit for the place:
There: take the paper: see it be return'd,
Or else returne no more into my sight.

Lu.
To plead for loue, deserues more fee, then hate.

Iul.
Will ye be gon?

Lu
That you may ruminate.
Exit.

Iul.
And yet I would I had ore-look'd the Letter;
It were a shame to call her backe againe,
And pray her to a fault, for which I chid her.
What 'foole is she, that knowes I am a Maid,
And would not force the letter to my view?
Since Maides, in modesty, say no, to that,
Which they would haue the profferer construe, I.
Fie, fie: how way-ward is this foolish loue;
That (like a testie Babe) will scratch the Nurse,
And presently, all humbled kisse the Rod?
How churlishly, I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly, I would haue had her here?
How angerly I taught my brow to frowne,
When inward ioy enforc'd my heart to smile?
My pennance is, to call Lucetta backe
And aske remission, for my folly past.
What hoe: Lucetta.

Lu.
What would your Ladiship?

Iul.
Is't neere dinner time?

Lu.
I would it were,
That you might kill your stomacke on your meat,
And not vpon your Maid.

Iu.
What is't that you / Tooke vp so gingerly?

Lu.
Nothing.

Iu.
Why didst thou stoope then?

Lu.
To take a paper vp, that I let fall.

Iul.
And is that paper nothing?

Lu.
Nothing concerning me.

Iul.
Then let it lye, for those that it concernes.

Lu.
Madam, it will not lye where it concernes,
Vnlesse it haue a false Interpreter.

Iul.
Some loue of yours, hath writ to you in Rime.

Lu.
That I might sing it (Madam) to a tune:
Giue me a Note, your Ladiship can set

Iul.
As little by such toyes, as may be possible:
Best sing it to the tune of Light O, Loue.

Lu.
It is too heauy for so light a tune.

Iu.
Heauy? belike it hath some burden then?

Lu.
I: and melodious were it, would you sing it,

Iu.
And why not you?

Lu.
I cannot reach so high.

Iu.
Let's see your Song: / How now Minion?


Lu.
Keepe tune there still; so you will sing it out:
And yet me thinkes I do not like this tune.


Iu.
You doe not?

Lu.
No (Madam) tis too sharpe.

Iu.
You (Minion) are too saucie.

Lu.
Nay, now you are too flat;
And marre the concord, with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a Meane to fill your Song.

Iu.
The meane is dround with you vnruly base.

Lu.
Indeede I bid the base for Protheus.

Iu.
This babble shall not henceforth trouble me;
Here is a coile with protestation:
Goe, get you gone: and let the papers lye:
You would be fingring them, to anger me.

Lu.

She makes it strãge, but she would be best pleas'd
To be so angred with another Letter.

Iu.
Nay, would I were so angred with the same:
Oh hatefull hands, to teare such louing words;
Iniurious Waspes, to feede on such sweet hony,
And kill the Bees that yeelde it, with your stings;
Ile kisse each seuerall paper, for amends:
Looke, here is writ, kinde Iulia: vnkinde Iulia,
As in reuenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruzing-stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdaine.
And here is writ, Loue wounded Protheus.
Poore wounded name: my bosome, as a bed,
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly heal'd;
And thus I search it with a soueraigne kisse.
But twice, or thrice, was Protheus written downe:
Be calme (good winde) blow not a word away,
Till I haue found each letter, in the Letter,
Except mine own name: That, some whirle-winde beare
Vnto a ragged, fearefull, hanging Rocke,
And throw it thence into the raging Sea.
Loe, here in one line is his name twice writ:
Poore forlorne Protheus, passionate Protheus:
To the sweet Iulia: that ile teare away:
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it, to his complaining Names;
Thus will I fold them, one vpon another;
Now kisse, embrace, contend, doe what you will.

Lu.
Madam:
dinner is ready: and your father staies.

Iu.
Well, let vs goe.

Lu.
What, shall these papers lye, like Tel-tales here?

Iu.
If you respect them; best to take them vp.

Lu.
Nay, I was taken vp, for laying them downe.
Yet here they shall not lye, for catching cold.


Iu.
I see you haue a months minde to them.

Lu.
I (Madam) you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you iudge I winke.

Iu
Come, come, wilt please you goe.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act I, Scene III
Enter Antonio and Panthino. Protheus.

Ant.
Tell me Panthino, what sad talke was that,
Wherewith my brother held you in the Cloyster?

Pan.
'Twas of his Nephew Protheus, your Sonne.

Ant.
Why? what of him?

Pan.
He wondred that your Lordship
Would suffer him, to spend his youth at home,
While other men, of slender reputation
Put forth their Sonnes, to seeke preferment out.
Some to the warres, to try their fortune there;
Some, to discouer Islands farre away:
Some, to the studious Vniuersities;
For any, or for all these exercises,
He said, that Protheus, your sonne, was meet;
And did request me, to importune you
To let him spend his time no more at home;
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In hauing knowne no trauaile in his youth.

Ant.
Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
Whereon, this month I haue bin hamering.
I haue consider'd well, his losse of time,
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tryed, and tutord in the world:
Experience is by industry atchieu'd,
And perfected by the swift course of time:
Then tell me, whether were I best to send him?

Pan.
I thinke your Lordship is not ignorant
How his companion, youthfull Valentine,
Attends the Emperour in his royall Court.

Ant.
I know it well.

Pan.
'Twere good, I thinke, your Lordship sent him thither,
There shall he practise Tilts, and Turnaments;
Heare sweet discourse, conuerse with Noblemen,
And be in eye of euery Exercise
Worthy his youth, and noblenesse of birth.

Ant.
I like thy counsaile: well hast thou aduis'd:
And that thou maist perceiue how well I like it,
The execution of it shall make knowne;
Euen with the speediest expedition,
I will dispatch him to the Emperors Court.

Pan.
To morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
With other Gentlemen of good esteeme
Are iournying, to salute the Emperor,
And to commend their seruice to his will.

Ant.
Good company: with them shall Protheus go:

And in good time: now will we breake with him.

Pro.
Sweet Loue, sweet lines, sweet life,
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for loue, her honors paune;
O that our Fathers would applaud our loues
To seale our happinesse with their consents.
Oh heauenly Iulia.

Ant.
How now? What Letter are you reading there?

Pro.
May't please your Lordship, 'tis a word or two
Of commendations sent from Valentine;
Deliuer'd by a friend, that came from him.

Ant.
Lend me the Letter: Let me see what newes.

Pro.
There is no newes (my Lord) but that he writes
How happily he liues, how well-belou'd,
And daily graced by the Emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

Ant.
And how stand you affected to his wish?

Pro.
As one relying on your Lordships will,
And not depending on his friendly wish.

Ant.
My will is something sorted with his wish:
Muse not that I thus sodainly proceed;
For what I will, I will, and there an end:
I am resolu'd, that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus, in the Emperors Court:
What maintenance he from his friends receiues,
Like exhibition thou shalt haue from me,
To morrow be in readinesse, to goe,
Excuse it not: for I am peremptory.

Pro.
My Lord I cannot be so soone prouided,
Please you deliberate a day or two.

Ant.
Look what thou want'st shal be sent after thee:
No more of stay: to morrow thou must goe;
Come on Panthino; you shall be imployd,
To hasten on his Expedition.

Pro.
Thus haue I shund the fire, for feare of burning,
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd.
I fear'd to shew my Father Iulias Letter,
Least he should take exceptions to my loue,
And with the vantage of mine owne excuse
Hath he excepted most against my loue.
Oh, how this spring of loue resembleth
The vncertaine glory of an Aprill day,
Which now shewes all the beauty of the Sun,
And by and by a clowd takes all away.

Pan.
Sir Protheus, your Fathers call's for you,
He is in hast, therefore I pray you go.

Pro.
Why this it is: my heart accords thereto,
And yet a thousand times it answer's no.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act I, Scene I
Enter Valentine and Proteus

VALENTINE
Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were't not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honoured love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad
Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But, since thou lovest, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would when I to love begin.

PROTEUS
Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu.
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel.
Wish me partaker in thy happiness,
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger –
If ever danger do environ thee –
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.

VALENTINE
And on a love-book pray for my success?

PROTEUS
Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee.

VALENTINE
That's on some shallow story of deep love,
How young Leander crossed the Hellespont.

PROTEUS
That's a deep story of a deeper love,
For he was more than over-shoes in love.

VALENTINE
'Tis true; for you are over-boots in love,
And yet you never swam the Hellespont.

PROTEUS
Over the boots? Nay, give me not the boots.

VALENTINE
No, I will not; for it boots thee not.

PROTEUS
What?

VALENTINE
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,
With twenty, watchful, weary, tedious nights;
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

PROTEUS
So, by your circumstance, you call me fool?

VALENTINE
So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove.

PROTEUS
'Tis Love you cavil at; I am not Love.

VALENTINE
Love is your master, for he masters you;
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.

PROTEUS
Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

VALENTINE
And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly, blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu. My father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.

PROTEUS
And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.

VALENTINE
Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

PROTEUS
All happiness bechance to thee in Milan.

VALENTINE
As much to you at home. And so farewell.
Exit

PROTEUS
He after honour hunts, I after love.
He leaves his friends to dignify them more;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me,
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at naught;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.
Enter Speed

SPEED
Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?

PROTEUS
But now he parted hence to embark for Milan.

SPEED
Twenty to one then he is shipped already,
And I have played the sheep in losing him.

PROTEUS
Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray,
An if the shepherd be a while away.

SPEED
You conclude that my master is a shepherd then,
and I a sheep?

PROTEUS
I do.

SPEED
Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake
or sleep.

PROTEUS
A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.

SPEED
This proves me still a sheep.

PROTEUS
True; and thy master a shepherd.

SPEED
Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.

PROTEUS
It shall go hard but I'll prove it by another.

SPEED
The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep
the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master
seeks not me. Therefore I am no sheep.

PROTEUS
The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd; the
shepherd for food follows not the sheep. Thou for
wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows
not thee. Therefore thou art a sheep.

SPEED
Such another proof will make me cry, ‘baa'.

PROTEUS
But dost thou hear? Gavest thou my letter to
Julia?

SPEED
Ay, sir. I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her,
a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost
mutton, nothing for my labour.

PROTEUS
Here's too small a pasture for such store of
muttons.

SPEED
If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick
her.

PROTEUS
Nay, in that you are astray; 'twere best pound
you.

SPEED
Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for
carrying your letter.

PROTEUS
You mistake; I mean the pound – a pinfold.

SPEED
From a pound to a pin? Fold it over and over,
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.

PROTEUS
But what said she?
Speed nods
A nod?

SPEED
Ay.

PROTEUS
Nod-ay? Why, that's noddy.

SPEED
You mistook, sir. I say she did nod; and you ask
me if she did nod, and I say ‘ Ay.’

PROTEUS
And that set together is ‘ noddy.’

SPEED
Now you have taken the pains to set it together,
take it for your pains.

PROTEUS
No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.

SPEED
Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.

PROTEUS
Why, sir, how do you bear with me?

SPEED
Marry, sir, the letter very orderly, having nothing
but the word ‘ noddy ’ for my pains.

PROTEUS
Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.

SPEED
And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

PROTEUS
Come, come, open the matter in brief; what
said she?

SPEED
Open your purse, that the money and the matter
may be both at once delivered.

PROTEUS
Well, sir, here is for your pains.
He gives Speed money
What said she?

SPEED
Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

PROTEUS
Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from
her?

SPEED
Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no,
not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter; and
being so hard to me that brought your mind, I fear she'll
prove as hard to you in telling your mind. Give her no
token but stones, for she's as hard as steel.

PROTEUS
What said she? Nothing?

SPEED
No, not so much as ‘ Take this for thy pains.’ To
testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me;
in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself.
And so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
Exit

PROTEUS
Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
Being destined to a drier death on shore.
I must go send some better messenger.
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.
Exit
Modern text
Act I, Scene II
Enter Julia and Lucetta

JULIA
But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?

LUCETTA
Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.

JULIA
Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

LUCETTA
Please you repeat their names, I'll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill.

JULIA
What thinkest thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?

LUCETTA
As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.

JULIA
What thinkest thou of the rich Mercatio?

LUCETTA
Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.

JULIA
What thinkest thou of the gentle Proteus?

LUCETTA
Lord, lord, to see what folly reigns in us!

JULIA
How now, what means this passion at his name?

LUCETTA
Pardon, dear madam; 'tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.

JULIA
Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?

LUCETTA
Then thus: of many good, I think him best.

JULIA
Your reason?

LUCETTA
I have no other but a woman's reason:
I think him so, because I think him so.

JULIA
And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?

LUCETTA
Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.

JULIA
Why, he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.

LUCETTA
Yet he, of all the rest, I think best loves ye.

JULIA
His little speaking shows his love but small.

LUCETTA
Fire that's closest kept burns most of all.

JULIA
They do not love that do not show their love.

LUCETTA
O, they love least that let men know their love.

JULIA
I would I knew his mind.

LUCETTA
Peruse this paper, madam.

JULIA
(reads)
To Julia. – Say, from whom?

LUCETTA
That the contents will show.

JULIA
Say, say, who gave it thee?

LUCETTA
Sir Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus.
He would have given it you; but I, being in the way,
Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault, I pray.

JULIA
Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth,
And you an officer fit for the place.
There take the paper. See it be returned,
Or else return no more into my sight.

LUCETTA
To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.

JULIA
Will ye be gone?

LUCETTA
That you may ruminate.
Exit

JULIA
And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What ' fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
And would not force the letter to my view,
Since maids, in modesty, say no to that
Which they would have the profferer construe ay.
Fie, fie! How wayward is this foolish love,
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse,
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod.
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here.
How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforced my heart to smile.
My penance is to call Lucetta back
And ask remission for my folly past.
What ho! Lucetta!
Enter Lucetta

LUCETTA
What would your ladyship?

JULIA
Is't near dinner-time?

LUCETTA
I would it were,
That you might kill your stomach on your meat,
And not upon your maid.
She drops and picks up the letter

JULIA
What is't that you took up so gingerly?

LUCETTA
Nothing.

JULIA
Why didst thou stoop then?

LUCETTA
To take a paper up that I let fall.

JULIA
And is that paper nothing?

LUCETTA
Nothing concerning me.

JULIA
Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

LUCETTA
Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.

JULIA
Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.

LUCETTA
That I might sing it, madam, to a tune.
Give me a note; your ladyship can set.

JULIA
As little by such toys as may be possible.
Best sing it to the tune of ‘ Light o' love.’

LUCETTA
It is too heavy for so light a tune.

JULIA
Heavy? Belike it hath some burden then?

LUCETTA
Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.

JULIA
And why not you?

LUCETTA
I cannot reach so high.

JULIA
Let's see your song. How now, minion!
Julia snatches at the letter which Lucetta retains

LUCETTA
Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out;
And yet methinks I do not like this tune.
Julia seizes the letter

JULIA
You do not?

LUCETTA
No, madam; it is too sharp.

JULIA
You, minion, are too saucy.

LUCETTA
Nay, now you are too flat;
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant.
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

JULIA
The mean is drowned with your unruly bass.

LUCETTA
Indeed, I bid the bass for Proteus.

JULIA
This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation.
She tears the letter
Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie.
You would be fingering them, to anger me.

LUCETTA
(aside)
She makes it strange, but she would be best pleased
To be so angered with another letter.
Exit

JULIA
Nay, would I were so angered with the same!
O, hateful hands, to tear such loving words.
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey,
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings.
I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ, kind Julia. Unkind Julia,
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
And here is writ, love-wounded Proteus.
Poor wounded name, my bosom, as a bed,
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly healed;
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice or thrice was Proteus written down.
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
Till I have found each letter in the letter,
Except mine own name. That some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea.
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
Poor, forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia. That I'll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names.
Thus will I fold them one upon another.
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
Enter Lucetta

LUCETTA
Madam,
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.

JULIA
Well, let us go.

LUCETTA
What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?

JULIA
If you respect them, best to take them up.

LUCETTA
Nay, I was taken up for laying them down.
Yet here they shall not lie for catching cold.
She picks up the pieces of the letter

JULIA
I see you have a month's mind to them.

LUCETTA
Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.

JULIA
Come, come, will't please you go?
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene III
Enter Antonio and Panthino

ANTONIO
Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?

PANTHINO
'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.

ANTONIO
Why, what of him?

PANTHINO
He wondered that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
Some to the wars to try their fortune there;
Some to discover islands far away;
Some to the studious universities.
For any or for all these exercises
He said that Proteus your son was meet,
And did request me to importune you
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In having known no travel in his youth.

ANTONIO
Nor needest thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have considered well his loss of time,
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tried and tutored in the world.
Experience is by industry achieved,
And perfected by the swift course of time.
Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?

PANTHINO
I think your lordship is not ignorant
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the Emperor in his royal court.

ANTONIO
I know it well.

PANTHINO
'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither.
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
And be in eye of every exercise
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.

ANTONIO
I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised;
And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
The execution of it shall make known.
Even with the speediest expedition
I will dispatch him to the Emperor's court.

PANTHINO
Tomorrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso
With other gentlemen of good esteem
Are journeying to salute the Emperor,
And to commend their service to his will.

ANTONIO
Good company; with them shall Proteus go.
Enter Proteus, reading a letter
And in good time; now will we break with him.

PROTEUS
(aside)
Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn.
O, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents!
O heavenly Julia!

ANTONIO
How now? What letter are you reading there?

PROTEUS
May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
Of commendations sent from Valentine,
Delivered by a friend that came from him.

ANTONIO
Lend me the letter. Let me see what news.

PROTEUS
There is no news, my lord, but that he writes
How happily he lives, how well beloved,
And daily graced by the Emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

ANTONIO
And how stand you affected to his wish?

PROTEUS
As one relying on your lordship's will,
And not depending on his friendly wish.

ANTONIO
My will is something sorted with his wish.
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the Emperor's court.
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
Tomorrow be in readiness to go.
Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.

PROTEUS
My lord, I cannot be so soon provided.
Please you deliberate a day or two.

ANTONIO
Look what thou wantest shall be sent after thee.
No more of stay; tomorrow thou must go.
Come on, Panthino; you shall be employed
To hasten on his expedition.
Exeunt Antonio and Panthino

PROTEUS
Thus have I shunned the fire for fear of burning,
And drenched me in the sea, where I am drowned.
I feared to show my father Julia's letter,
Lest he should take exceptions to my love,
And with the vantage of mine own excuse
Hath he excepted most against my love.
O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.
Enter Panthino

PANTHINO
Sir Proteus, your father calls for you.
He is in haste; therefore, I pray you go.

PROTEUS
Why, this it is; my heart accords thereto,
And yet a thousand times it answers, ‘ No.’
Exeunt
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