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TWO GENTLEMEN

OF
VERONA

ACT I.
SCENE I. An open place in Verona.
Enter Valentine and Proteus.

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

Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu ! Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest Some rare note-worthy 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 bead's.man, Valentine.

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success.
Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.

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

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

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.
Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not.
Pro.

What ?
Val.

To be In love, where scorn is bought with groaps; 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.

Pro. So,' by your circumstance, you call me fool. Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll

prove.. Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.

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

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

Val. 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 turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud. Losing his verdure even in the prime, And all the fair effects of future hopes.

* A humorous punishment at harvest-home feasts, &c.

Phot art a votare my father one me shippine.

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 shipp'd.
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine. .
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our

leave.
At Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Of thy success iu love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
Val. As nsuch to you at home! and so, farewell !

[Exit Valentine,
Pro. 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 metamorphos'd me;
Made me peglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with
- thought. . .

Enter Speed.
Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : saw you my ma-

ster?
Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for

Milan. Speed. “Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already; And I have play'd the sheep, in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away. Speed. You conclude that my master is a shep.

herd then, and I a sheep?
Pro. I do.
Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether

I wake or sleep.
Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed. This proves me still a sheep.
Pro. True ; and thy master a shepherd.

Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. 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. : Pro. 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.

Pro. But dost thou hear? gav'st thou my letter to Julia ? do

Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your let. ter to her, a laced mutton*; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour,

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

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

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

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

Pro. You mistake; I mean the pound, a pin-fold. · Speed. From a pound to a piu ? fold it over and

over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your

lover. Pro. But what said she? did she nod ?

[Speed nods. Speed. I. Pro. Nod, I? why, that's noddyt.

Speed. You mistook, sir; I say, she did nod: and you ask me, if she did nod; and I say, I.

Pro. And that set together, is--noddy.

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

A term for a courtezan. * A game at cards.

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

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

Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me?

Speed. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; having nothing but the word, noddy, for my pains.

Pro. Beshrew* me, but you have a quick wit.

Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

Pro. 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. Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains: what said she? Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly wio her.

Pro. Why? could'st tlou 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 her mind. Give her no token but stones; for she's as hard as steel.

Pro. What, said she nothing? Speed. No, not so much as-take this forthy pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you bave tes. tern'dt me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master. Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from

wreck;
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
Being destin'd 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.

(Exeunt.

• Ill betide.

+ Given me a six-pence.

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