Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

with you."

SIL. I wait upon his pleasure. [Exit SERVANT. Come, sir Thurio, Go with me:-once more, new servant, welcome: I'll leave you to confer of home affairs; When you have done, we look to hear from you. PRO. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.

[Exeunt SILVIA, THURIO, and SPEED. VAL. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?

PRO. Your friends are well, and have them much commended.

VAL. And how do yours?

PRO.
I left them all in health.
VAL. How does your lady? and how thrives

your love?

PRO. My tales of love were wont to weary you; I know you joy not in a love-discourse.

VAL. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now: I have done penance for contemning love; Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; For, in revenge of my contempt of love, Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthrall'd eyes, And made them watchers of mine own heart's

sorrow.

O, gentle Proteus, Love 's a mighty lord;

a The first folio assigns this to Thurio.

b Whose high imperious thoughts-] Dr. Johnson proposed to read "Those high imperious thoughts;" conceiving the sense to be, "I have contemned love, and am punished." The misprint, if there is any, I rather take to be in the word thoughts, which our author has never elsewhere adopted to express behests, dictates, commands, &c.

There is no woe to his correction,-] No sorrow equal to the punishment he inflicts. A very common idiom of the time. "There is no comfort in the world,

To women that are kind."-Cupid's Whirligig. An analogous ellipsis occurs in the very next line

C

And hath so humbled me, as, I confess,
There is no woe to his correction,
Nor to his service no such joy on earth!
Now, no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.

PRO. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye; Was this the idol that you worship so?

VAL. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint? PRO. No; but she is an earthly paragon.

VAL. Call her divine.

PRO. I will not flatter her. VAL. O, flatter me, for love delights in praises. PRO. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills; And I must minister the like to you.

d

VAL. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine, Yet let her be a principality, Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth. PRO. Except my mistress. VAL.

Sweet, except not any; Except thou wilt except against my love.

PRO. Have I not reason to prefer mine own? VAL. And I will help thee to prefer her too : She shall be dignified with this high honour: To bear my lady's train; lest the base earth Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss, And, of so great a favour growing proud, Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower, And make rough winter everlastingly.

PRO. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this? VAL. Pardon me, Proteus: all I can is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing; She is alone.

PRO. Then let her alone.

VAL. Not for the world: why, man, she is

mine own;

And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou seest me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes,
Only for his possessions are so huge,
Is gone with her along; and I must after,
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.
PRO. But she loves you?

VAL. Ay, and we are betroth'd: Nay, more, our marriage hour,

"Nor to his service no such joy on earth,"

i. e. "Nor, compared to his service," &c.

d Yet let her be a principality,-] If not a divinity, admit she is celestial. "The first he calleth Seraphim, the second, Cherubim, the third, thrones, the fourth, denominations, the fifth, virtues, the sixth, powers, the seventh, principalities, the eighth, archangels, the ninth and inferior sort, he calleth angels."-Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584, p. 500.

e The summer-swelling flower,-] Mr. Collier's old corrector changes this fine epithet to summer-smelling. Steevens also says, "I once thought that our poet had written summer-smelling; but the epithet which stands in the text, I have since met with in the translation of Lucan by Sir Arthur Gorges, 1614, b. viii. p. 354."

With all the cunning manner of our flight,
Determin'd of: how I must climb her window ;
The ladder made of cords; and all the means
Plotted and 'greed on, for my happiness.
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber,
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.
PRO. Go on before; I shall inquire you forth:
I must unto the road, to disembark
Some necessaries that I needs must use;
And then I'll presently attend you.
VAL. Will you make haste?
PRO. I will.-

Even as one heat another heat expels,

[Exit VAL.

Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Is it her mien, or Valentinus' praise,
Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus?
She is fair; and so is Julia, that I love ;-
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire,(4)
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks, my zeal to Valentine is cold;
And that I love him not, as I was wont:
O! but I love his lady too-too much;
And that's the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice,
That thus without advice begin to love her!
"T is but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazzled my reason's light;
But when I look on her perfections,
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love, I will;

If not, to compass her I 'll use my skill. [Exit.

[blocks in formation]

house with you presently; where, for one shot of fivepence, thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how did thy master part with madam Julia?

LAUN. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.

SPEED. But shall she marry him?

LAUN. No.

SPEED. How then? shall he marry her?
LAUN. No, neither.

SPEED. What, are they broken?

LAUN. No, they are both as whole as a fish. SPEED. Why then, how stands the matter with them?

LAUN. Marry, thus; when it stands well with him, it stands well with her.

SPEED. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.

LAUN. What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My staff understands me.

SPEED. What thou say'st?

LAUN. Ay, and what I do, too: look thee, I'll but lean, and my staff understands me. SPEED. It stands under thee, indeed. LAUN. Why, stand under and understand is all

[blocks in formation]

genuine compound Archaism, used both as an adjective and an adverb, meaning excessive or excessively."

'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,-] He has seen but her exterior yet, and that has dazzled his "reason's light;" when he looks upon her intellectual endowments, they will blind him quite. So in "Cymbeline," Act I. Sc. 7:

"All of her that is out of door, most rich!
If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird :-&c."

e Dazzled-] This word must be read here as a trisyllable dazzeled; so in the quotation Malone adduces from Drayton :"A diadem once dazzling the eye, The day too darke to see affinitie."

the alehouse; if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.

SPEED. Why?

LAUN. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to go to the ale (5) with a Christian: Wilt thou go?

SPEED. At thy service.

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, thus find I, by their loss,
For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
[Exeunt. I to myself am dearer than a friend,
For love is still most precious in itself:
And Silvia, witness Heaven, that made her fair!
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.

SCENE VI.-The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter PROTEUS.

PRO. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn ;
And even that power, which gave me first my oath,
Provokes me to this threefold perjury.

Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear:
O sweet-suggesting 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 sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

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:
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising, and pretended 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! [Exit.

c Myself in counsel, his competitor:] In counsel is in secret; and competitor here, as in other places, means coadjutor, auxiliary, confederate. In "Richard III." Act IV. Sc. 4, we have,

"The Guildfords are in arms,

And every hour more competitors
Flock to the rebels;"

and in "Love's Labour's Lost,"

"The king and his competitors in oath."

d Pretended flight;] i. e. intended, purposed flight.

[graphic]
[graphic]

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. 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,"

a Who art the table-] Alluding to the table-book, or tables made

of slate and ivory, and used as a note or memorandum-book. Thus Hamlet,

"My tables-meet it is I set it down."

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 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.

b The inly touch of love,-] Inly, Halliwell says, is used as an adjective:

"Trust me, Lorrique, besides the inlie grief,

That swallowes my content."- The Tragedy of Hoffman, 4to. 1631.

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.

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, ev'n what fashion thou best lik'st, 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 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 scandalis'd.

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not.

a And instances of infinite of love,-] So in Fenton's "Tragicall Discourses," 4to. 1567, fol. 45:-"Wherewyth hee using the benefit of hys fortune, forgat not to embrace hys Lady with an infinite of kysses." The construction in the text seems harsh;

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 of 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, despatch me hence;
Come, answer not, but to it presently:
I am impatient of my tarriance.

[Exeunt.

but we are not for that reason to conclude the passage is corrupt. The second folio reads:

"And instances as infinite of love."

« ÎnapoiContinuă »