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in his banishment; and these worthy followers, though they had patiently shared his adverse fortune, were very well pleased to return in peace and prosperity to the palace of their lawful duke.

TALE THE SIXTH.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF

VERONA.

THERE lived in the city of Verona two young gentlemen, whose names were Valentine and Protheus, between whom a firm and uninterrupted friendship had long subsisted. They pursued their studies together, and their hours of leisure were always passed in each other's company, except when Protheus visited a lady he was in love with; and these visits to his mistress, and this passion of Protheus for the fair Julia, were the only topics on which these two friends disagreed: for Valentine, not being himself a lover, was sometimes a little weary of hearing his friend for ever talking of his Julia, and then he would laugh at Protheus, and in pleasant terms ridicule the passion of love, and declare that no such idle fancies should ever enter his head, greatly preferring (as he said) the

free and happy life he led, to the anxious hopes and fears of the lover Protheus.

One morning Valentine came to Protheus to tell him that they must for a time be separated, for that he was going to Milan. Protheus, unwilling to part with his friend, used many arguments to prevail upon Valentine not to leave him; but Valentine said, "Cease to persuade me, my loving Protheus. I will not, like a sluggard, wear out my youth in idleness at home. Homekeeping youths have ever homely wits. If your affection were not chained to the' sweet glances of your honoured Julia, I would intreat you to accompany me, to see the wonders of the world abroad but since you are a lover, love on still, and may your love be prosperous !"

They parted with mutual expressions of unalterable friendship. "Sweet Valentine, adieu !" said Protheus ; "think on me, when you see some rare object worthy of notice in your travels, and wish me partaker of your happiness."

Valentine began his journey that same day towards Milan; and when his friend had left him, Protheus sat down to write a letter to Julia, which he gave to her maid Lucetta to deliver to her mistress.

Julia loved Protheus as well as he did her, but she was a lady of a noble spirit, and she thought it did not become her maiden dignity too easily to be won; therefore she affected to be insensible of his passion, and gave him much uneasiness in the prosecution of his suit.

And when Lucetta offered the letter to Julia, she would not receive it, and chid her maid for taking letters from Protheus, and ordered her to leave the room. But she so much wished to see what was written in the letter, that she soon called in her maid again, and when Lucetta returned, she said, "What o'clock is it?" Lucetta, who knew her mistress more desired to see the letter than to know the time of day, without answering her question, again offered the rejected letter. Julia, angry that her maid should thus take the liberty of seeming to know what she really wanted, tore the letter in pieces, and threw it on the floor, ordering her maid once more out of the room. As Lucetta was retiring, she stooped to pick up the fragments of the torn letter; but Julia, who meant not so to part with them, said, in pretended anger, "Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie; you would be fingering them to anger me."

Julia then began to piece together as well as she could the torn fragments. She first made out these words, "Love-wounded Protheus ;" and lamenting over these and such-like loving words, which she made out though they were all torn asunder, or, she said, wounded (the expression "Love-wounded Protheus," giving her that idea), she talked to these kind words, telling them she would lodge them in her bosom as in a bed, till their wounds were healed, and that she would kiss each several piece, to make amends.

In this manner she went on talking with a pretty lady-like childishness, till finding herself unable to make out the whole, and vext at her own ingratitude in destroying such sweet and loving words, as she called them, she wrote a much kinder letter to Protheus than she had ever done before.

Protheus was greatly delighted at receiving this favourable answer to his letter; and while he was reading it, he exclaimed, "Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life!" In the midst of his raptures he was interrupted by his father. "How now !" said the old gentleman; "what letter are you reading there?"

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