Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE VI.-The Same. An Apartment in the Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow, Palace.

As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire, Enter PROTEUS.

But qualify the fire's extreme rage, Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn

Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason. To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;

Jul. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;

burns. And even that power, which gave me first my The current, that with gentle murmur glides, oath,

Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage; Provokes me to this threefold perjury :

But, when his fair course is not hindered, Love bad me swear, and love bids me forswear. He makes sweet music with the enainel'd stones, O sweet-suggesting love! if thou hast sinn'd, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.

He overtaketh in his pilgrimage ; At first I did adore a twinkling star,

And so by many winding nooks he strays But now I worship a celestial sun.

With willing sport to the wild ocean. Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;

Then, let me go, and hinder not my course. And he wants wit, that wants resolved will

I'll be as patient as a gentle stream, To learn his wit t' exchange the bad for better. And make a pastime of each weary step, Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad, Till the last step have brought me to my love ; Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil, With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. A blessed soul doth in Elysium. I cannot leave to love, and yet I do ;

Luc. But in what habit will you go along ? But there I leave to love, where I should love. Jul. Not like a woman, for I would prevent Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose :

The loose encounters of lascivious men. If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;

Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds If I lose them, thus find I, by their loss,

As may beseem some well-reputed page. For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.

Luc. Why, then your ladyship must cut your I to myself am dearer than a friend,

hair. For love is still most precious in itself;

Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings, And Silvia, (witness heaven that made her air!) With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots : Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.

To be fantastic may become a youth I will forget that Julia is alive,

Of greater time than I shall show to be. Remembering that my love to her is dead;

Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,

breeches ? Aiming at Silvia, as a sweeter friend.

Jul. That fits as well, as—“Tell me, good my I cannot now prove constant to myself

lord, Without some treachery used to Valentine. What compass will you wear your farthingale ?'' This night, be meaneth with a corded ladder Why, even what fashion thou best lik’st, Lucetta. To climb celestial Silvia's chamber window;

Luc. You must needs have them with a codpiece, Myself in counsel, his competitor.

madam. Now, presently I'll give her father notice

Jul. Out, out, Lucetta! that will be ill-favoured. Of their disguising, and pretended fight;

Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine,

pin, For Thurio, be intends, shall wed his daughter : Unless you have a codpiece to stick pins on. But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross

Jul. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding. What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly. Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift, But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift! (Exit. For undertaking so unstaid a journey ?

I fear me, it will make me scandaliz’d. SCENE VII.-Verona. A Room in Julia's House. Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go

not. Enter Julia, and LUCETTA.

Jul. Nay, that I will not. Jul. Counsel, Lucetta ; gentle girl, assist me: Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go. And, e'en in kind love, I do conjure thee,

If Proteus like your journey, when you come, Who art the table wherein all my thoughts No matter who's displeas’d, when you are gone. Are visibly character'd and engravid,

I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal. To lesson me; and tell me some good mean,

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear. How, with my honour, I may undertake

A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
A journey to my loving Proteus.

And instances of infinite of love,
Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long. Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men. To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps,

Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect ; Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly ; But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth : And when the flight is made to one so dear, His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles ; Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus.

His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate ; Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return. His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart ; Jul. O! know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. food?

Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come Pity the dearth that I have pined in,

to him! By longing for that food so long a time.

Jul. Now, as thou Joy'st me, do him not that Didst thou but know the joly touch of love,

"wrong,

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

SCENE I.-Milan. An Ante-chamber in the Duke's And with a corded ladder fetch her down ;
Palace.

For which the youthful lover now is gone,

And this way comes he with it presently,
Enter DUKE, Thurio, and PROTEUS.

Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile: But, good my lord, do it so cunningly,
We have some secrets to confer about.-

That my discovery be not aimed at; [Exit THURIO.

For love of you, not hate unto my friend, Now. tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me? Hath made me publisher of this pretence. Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would dis Duke. Upon mine honour he shall never know cover,

That I had any light from thee of this. The law of friendship bids me to conceal ;

Pro. Adieu, my lord: sir Valentine is coming. But, when I call to mind your gracious favours

[Exit. Done to me, undeserving as I am,

Enter VALENTINE. My duty pricks me on to utter that, Which else no worldly good should draw from me. Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast ? Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger This night intends to steal away your daughter : That stays to bear my letters to my friends, Myself am one made privy to the plot.

And I am going to deliver them.
I know, you have determin'd to bestow her

Duke. Be they of much import ?
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates ; Val. The tenor of them doth but signify
And should she thus be stol'n away from you, My health, and happy being at your court.
It would be much vexation to your age.

Duke. Nay, then no matter: stay with me awhile. Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose

I am to break with thee of some affairs To cross my friend in his intended drift,

That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. Than, by concealing it, heap on your head

'Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought A pack of sorrows, which would press you down To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter. Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.

Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care,

match Which to requite, command me while I live. Were rich and honourable: besides, the gentleman This love of theirs myself have often seen,

Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities Haply, when they have judg'd me fast asleep, Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter. And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid

Cannot your grace win her to fancy him ? Sir Valentine her company, and my court;

Duke. No, trust me : she is peevish, sullen, froBut, fearing lest by jealous aim might err,

ward, And so unworthily disgrace the man,

Proud, disobedient, stubborn, Jacking duty; (A rashness that I ever yet have shunned,)

Neither regarding that she is my child, I gave him gentle looks; thereby to find

Nor fearing me as if I were her father: That which thyself hast now disclos'd to me. And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers And, that thou may'st perceive my fear of this, Upon advice hath drawn my love from her; Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested, And, where I thought the remnant of mine age I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,

Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, The key whereof myself have ever kept ;

I now am full resolv'd to take a wife, And thence she cannot be convey'd away.

And turn her out to who will take her in : Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean Then, let her beauty be her wedding-dower ; How he hur chamber-window will ascend, r. For me and my possessions she esteems not.

66

Val. What would your grace have me to do in And here an engine fit for my proceeding! this ?

l'll be so bold to break the seal for once. [Reads. Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan here, Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,

** My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly; And nought esteems my aged eloquence :

And slaves they are to me, that send them flying:

0! could their master come and go as lightly, Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor,

Himself would lodge, where senseless they arelying. (For long agone I have forgot to court; Besides, the fashion of the time is chang’d,)

My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them;

While I, thcir king, that thither them importune, How, and which way, I may bestow myself, To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

Do curse the grace that with such grace haih bless'd Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not

them,

Because myself do want my servants' fortune. words.

I curse myself, for they are sent by me, Dunib jewels often, in their silent kind,

That they should harbour where their lord should be." More than quick words do move a woman's mind. Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent

What's here? her.

Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee :" Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best con 'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.tents her.

Why, Phaëton, (for thou art Merops' son,) Send her another; never give her o'er,

Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car, For scorn at first makes after-love the more. And with thy daring folly burn the world ? If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,

Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee? But rather to beget more love in you :

Go, base intruder; over-weening slave : If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone,

Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates, For why, the fools are mad, if left alone.

And think my patience, more than thy desert, Take no repulse, whatever she doth say ;

Is privilege for thy departure hence. For. “ get you gone,” she doth not mean, " away.” Thank me for this, more than for all the favours Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces ;

Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee: Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' But if thou linger in my territories faces.

Longer than swiftest expedition That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,

Will give thee tiine to leave our royal court, If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love Duke. But she I mean is promis'd by her friends I ever bore my daughter, or thyself. Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,

Begone : I will not hear thy vain excuse; And kept severely from resort of men,

But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence. That no man bath access by day to her.

[Exit Duke. Val. Why, then I would resort to her by night. Val. And why not death, rather than living tor Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock’d, and keys kept ment? safe,

To die is to be banish'd from myself, That no man hath recourse to her by night.

And Silvia is myself : banish'd from her, Val. What lets, but one may enter at her win Is self from self; a deadly banishment. dow?

What light is light, if Silvia be seen ?
Duke. Her chamber is aloft far from the ground, What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by ?
And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it Unless it be, to think that she is by,
Without apparent hazard of his life.

And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Val. Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords, Except I be by Silvia in the night,
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,

There is no music in the nightingale ;
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower,

Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
So bold Leander would adventure it.

There is no day for me to look upon.
Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, She is my essence ; and I leave to be,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder. If I be not by her fair influence
Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
that.

I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom :
Duke. This very night ; for love is like a child, Tarry I here, I but attend on death ;
That longs for every thing that he can come by. But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder.
Duke. But hark thee; I will go to her alone.

Enter Proteus, and Launce.
How shall I best convey the ladder thither?

Pro. Run, boy ; run, run, and seek him out. Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may

Launce. So-ho! so-ho! bear it

Pro. What seest thou ? Under a cloak that is of any length.

Launce. Him we go to find: there's not a hair Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the on's head, but 'tis a Valentine. turn?

Pro. Valentine ? Val, Ay, my good lord.

Val. No. Duke.

Then, let me see thy cloak : Pro. Who then ? his spirit ? I'll get me one of such another length.

l'al. Neither. Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my Pro. What then? lord.

Val. Nothing. Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak? Launce. Can nothing speak ? master, shall 1 I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.

strike? What letter is this same? What's here?" To Pro. Whom wouldst thou strike ? Silvia ?"

Launce. Nothing.

news,

Pro. Villain, forbear.

not now, that knows me to be in love: yet I am in Launce. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray love ; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from you,

me, nor who 'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman: but Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear.–Friend Valentine, what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a a word.

milk-maid; yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good gossips : yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's

maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualiSo much of bad already hath possess'd them. ties than a water-spaniel, which is much in a bare

Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine, Christian. Here is the cate-log-[Pulling out a For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.

paper.]—of her conditions. Imprimis, “ She can Val. Is Silvia dead ?

fetch and carry.” Why, a horse can do no more: Pro. No, Valentine.

nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; thereVal. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia ! - fore, is she better than a jade. Item, " She can Hath she forsworn me ?

milk," look you; a sweet virtue in a maid with clean Pro. No, Valentine.

hands. Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!

Enter SPEED. What is your news ? Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are Speed. How now, signior Launce ? what news vanishid.

with your mastership? Pro. That thou art banish'd: O! that is the news, Launce. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea. From hence, from Silvia, and from me, thy friend. Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the Val. O! I have fed upon this woe already,

word. What news, then, in your paper ? And now excess of it will make me surfeit.

Launce. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st. Doth Silvia know that I am banished ?

Speed. Why, man, how black ? Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, Launce. Why, as black as ink. (Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force,) Speed. Let me read them. A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears : Launce. Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd,

read. With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Speed. Thou liest, I can. Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became Launce. I will try thee. Tell me this : who them,

begot thee? As if but now they waxed pale for woe:

Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather. But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,

Launce. O, illiterate loiterer! it was the son of Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears, thy grandmother. This proves that thou canst not Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire,

read. But Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.

Speed. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper. Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,

Launce. There, and saint Nicholas be thy speed' When she for thy repeal was suppliant,

Speed. Imprimis, “ She can milk.” That to close prison he commanded her,

Launce. Ay, that she can. With many bitter threats of 'biding there.

Speed. Item, “ She brews good ale.” Val. No more ; unless the next word that thou Launce. And thereof comes the proverb,—Blessspeak'st

ing of your heart, you brew good ale. Have some malignant power upon my life:

Speed. Item, " She can sew.” If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,

Launce. That's as much as to say, Can she so ! As ending anthem of my endless dolour.

Speed. Item, “ She can knit.” Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, Launce. What need a man care for a stock with And study help for that which thou lament'st. a wench, when she can knit him a stock ? Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.

Speed. Itern, • She can wash and scour." Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love; Launce. A special virtue ; for then she need not Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.

be wash'd and scour'd. Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that,

Speed. Item, “ She can spin.” And manage it against despairing thoughts.

Launce. Then may I set the world on wheels, Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence ; when she can spin for her living. Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd

Speed. Item, “She hath many nameless virtues.” Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.

Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard virThe time now serves not to expostulate:

tues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate, therefore have no names. And, ere I part with thee, confer at large

Speed. Here follow her vices. Of all that may concern thy love affairs.

Launce. Close at the heels of her virtues. As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself

Speed. Item, “She is not to be kissed fasting, in Regard thy danger, and along with me.

respect of her breath.” Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou see'st my Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a boy,

breakfast. Read on. Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north Speed. Item, “ She hath a sweet mouth." gate.

Launce. That makes amends for her sour breath. Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. Speed. Item, “ She doth talk in her sleep." Val. O my dear Silvia ! hapless Valentine! Launce. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not

[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS. in her talk. Launce. I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have Speed. Item, “ She is slow in words." the wit to think, my master is a kind of a krave; Launce. () villain! that set this down among her but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives vices ? To be slow in words is a woman's only vir

tue: I pray thee, out with't, and place it for her Launce. More hair than wit,-it may be ; I'll chief virtue.

prove it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and Speed. Item, “She is proud."

therefore it is more than the salt: the hair, that Launce. Out with that too: it was Eve's legacy, covers the wit, is more than the wit, for the greater and cannot be ta'en from her.

hides the less. What's next? Speed. Item, “She hath no teeth.”

Speed. “And more faults than hairs," – Launce. I care not for that neither, because I Launce. That's monstrous! O, that that were out. love crusts.

Speed. • And more wealth than faults." Speed. Item, “ She is curst."

Launce. Why, that word makes the faults graLaunce. Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to cious. Well, I'll have her; and if it be a match, bite.

as nothing is impossible,Speed. Item, “She will often praise her liquor." Speed. What then? Launce. If her liquor be good, she shall : if she Launce. Why, then will I tell thee,—that thy will not, I will; for good things should be praised. master stays for thee at the north-gate. Speed. Item, “ She is too liberal.”

Speed. For me? Launce. Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ Launce. For thee? ay; who art thou ? he hath down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not, for stay'd for a better man thau thee. that I'll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, Speed. And must I go to him? and that cannot I help. I help. Well, proceed.

Launce. Thou must run to him, for thou hast Speed. Item, “She hath more hair than wit, stay'd so long, that going will scarce serve the turn. and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner ? pox of faults."

your love-letters!

Exit. Launce. Stop there; I'll have her: she was mine, Launce. Now will he be swing'd for reading my and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article. letter. An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himRehearse that once more.

self into secrets.—I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's Speed. Item, “She hath more hair than wit,”– correction.

[Erit.

23

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »