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Sc. VI

Love bade me swear, and Love bids me forswear:
O sweet-suggesting1 Love, if thou hast sinn'd,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it!
At first I did adore a twinkling star,

But now I worship a celestial sun :
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit that wants resolved will
To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better.
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad,
Whose sovranty so oft thou hast preferr❜d
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths!
I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;

But there I leave to love where I should love.
Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose :

If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
If I lose them, this find I by their loss—
For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend,

For Love is still most precious in itself:

And Silvia (witness Heaven, that made her fair!)
Shews Julia but a swarthy Ethiop.

I will forget that Julia is alive,

Rememb'ring that my love to her is dead;
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,

Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.

I cannot now prove constant to myself,
Without some treachery us'd to Valentine.
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window,
Myself in counsel his competitor.2
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising and pretended3 flight ;
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine,
For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter.
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross
By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift!

1 sweetly tempting.

2 myself, his rival, being privy to his counsel.

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SCENE VII. Verona. A Room in JULIA's House.


JUL. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me;
And, ev'n in kind love, I do conjure thee—
Who art the table1 wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly charácter'd and engrav'd,—

To lesson me; and tell me some good mean,
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.
Luc. Alas, the way is wearisome and long!
JUL. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary

To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps:
Much less shall she that hath Love's wings to fly,
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.
Luc. Better forbear till Proteus make return.

JUL. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,

By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,

Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
JUL. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it burns :
The current that with gentle murmur glides,

Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But, when his fair course is not hindered,

He makes sweet music with the enamell'd stones,

Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge

He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;

And so by many winding nooks he strays,

With willing sport, to the wide ocean.

Then let me go, and hinder not my course:

I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,

And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;

1 note-book.








And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Luc. But in what habit will you go along?
JUL. Not like a woman; for I would
The loose encounters of lascivious men.
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.
Luc. Why, then your Ladyship must cut your
JUL. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots :
To be fantastic may become a youth

Of greater time than I shall shew to be.




Luc. What fashion, Madam, shall I make your breeches?
JUL. That fits as well as Tell me, good my Lord,
What compass will you wear your farthingale?
Why, even what fashion thou best likest, Lucetta.
Luc. You must needs have them with a codpiece, Madam.
JUL. Out, out, Lucetta! that will be ill-favour'd.
Luc. A round hose, Madam, now's not worth a pin,

Unless you have a codpiece to stick pins on.

JUL. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have
What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly.
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me
For undertaking so unstaid a journey?

I fear me, it will make me scandaliz'd.

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not.
JUL. Nay, that I will not.

Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go.

If Proteus like your journey when you come,
No matter who's displeas'd when you are gone:
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal.
JUL. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear:
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
And instances o' the infinite of love,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men.
JUL. Base men, that use them to so base effect!

But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth:
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles ;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate ;



His tears pure messengers sent from his heart;

His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.

Luc. Pray Heaven he prove so, when you come to him!
JUL. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that wrong,

To bear a hard opinion of his truth:

Only deserve my love by loving him,

And presently go with me to my chamber,
To take a note of what I stand in need of,
To furnish me upon my longing journey.
All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation :
Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence.
Come, answer not, but to it presently:
I am impatient of my tarriance.




SCENE I. Milan. An Ante-room in the
DUKE'S Palace.


DUKE. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile:
We have some secrets to confer about.—


Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?
PRO. My gracious Lord, that which I would discover
The law of friendship bids me to conceal;

But, when I call to mind your gracious favours
Done to me, undeserving as I am,

My duty pricks me on to utter that

Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
Know, worthy Prince, Sir Valentine, my friend,
This night intends to steal away your daughter.
Myself am one made privy to the plot;
I know you have determin'd to bestow her
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates;
And, should she thus be stolen away from
It would be much vexation to your age.
Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose




Sc. I

To cross my friend in his intended drift
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
A pack of sorrows, which would press you down,
Being unprevented, to your timeless1 grave.
DUKE. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care;

Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of their's myself have often seen,
Hap❜ly when they have judged me fast asleep;
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid
Sir Valentine her company and my Court:
But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
And so, unworthily, disgrace the man—

A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd


gave him gentle looks; thereby to find
That which thyself hast now disclos'd to me.
And, that thou may'st perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,2
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept;
And thence she cannot be convey'd away.

PRO. Know, noble Lord, they have devis'd a mean
How he her chamber-window will ascend,
And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
For which the youthful lover now is gone,

And this way comes he with it presently;

Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
But, good my Lord, do it so cunningly

That my discovery be not aim'd3 at;

For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.*

DUKE. Upon mine honour, he shall never know
That I had any light from thee of this.
PRO. Adieu, my Lord; Sir Valentine is coming.


DUKE. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?
VAL. Please it your Grace, there is a messenger
That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
And I am going to deliver them.

DUKE. Be they of much import?

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