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For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend;
For love is still more precious in itself:

And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair!
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.

I will forget that Julia

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 used to Valentine:-
This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window;
Myself in counsel, his competitor:

Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising, and pretended flight;
Who, all enraged, 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!

[Exit.

SCENE VII. VERONA. A Room in JULIA'S House.

Enter JULIA and LUCETTA..

Jul. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me!
And, even in kind love, I do conjure thee,—
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character'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.

C

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 would'st 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 dam'st it up, the more it burns; The current, that with gentle murinur glides,

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

He makes sweet music with the enamel'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 wild 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;
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 prevent
> 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 hair. 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 show to be.

[breeches?

Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your Jul. That fits as well, as- tell me, good my lord, What compass will you wear your farthingale?" Why, even that fashion thou best lik'st, Lucetta.

Luc. You must needs have them with a cod-piece, 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 cod-piece 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 as 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.

[Exeunt.

[graphic][merged small]

MILAN. An Anti-Room in the Duke's Palace.

Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS.
Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray,
We have some secrets to confer about.-

awhile;

[Exit Thurio.

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 knight 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 you,

It would be much vexation to your age.
Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose
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 timeless grave.

Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care; Which to requite, command me while I live. This love of theirs myself have often seen, Haply, 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,) I 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, 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 aimed 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. [Exit.

Enter VALENTINE.

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,

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