Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

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.

Val. 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.
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 in 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 much to you at home! and so, farewell.

[Excit 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 neglect 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 master?
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.

[ocr errors]

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

Speed. Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter 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 pinfold.

Speed. From a pound to a pin? 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 noddy.

Speed. You mistook, sir; I say she did nod: and you ask me if she did nod; and I say, 1.

Pro. And that set together is-noddy.

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

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 win her.
Pro. Why? Could'st thou 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 for thy pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testern'd me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.

Pro. Go, go; begone, to save your ship from wreck, Which cannot perish, having thee aboard, Being destined 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.

SCENE II. —The same. Garden of JULIA's House.

Enter JULIA and LUCETTA. Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love?

Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheedfully.

Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen That every day with parle encounter me, In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

Luc. Please you, repeat their names; I'll show my mind According to my shallow simple skill.

Jul. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?

Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.

Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?
Luc. Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.
Jul. What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus ?

Luc. Lord, lord ! to see what folly reigns in us !
Jul. How now! what means this passion at his name?
Lric. Pardon, dear madam; 'tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Iruc. Then thus,

-of many good I think him best. Jul. Your reason?

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason;
I think him so, because I think him so.

Jul. And would'st thou have me cast my love on him?
Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
Jul. Why, be of all the rest hath never moved me.
Luc. Yet he of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.
Jul. His little speaking shows his love but small

.
Luc. Fire that is closest kept burns most of all.
Jul. They do not love that do not show their love.
Luc. O, they love least that let men know their love.
Jul. I would I knew his mind.
Luc. Peruse this paper, madam.

[Gives a letter.
Jul. [reads] To Julia,'—Say, from whom?
Luc. That the contents will show.
Jul. Say, say; who gave it thee?
Luc. Sir Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from

Proteus:
He would have given it you; but I, being in the way,
Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault, I pray.

Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth,
And you an officer fit for the place.
There, take the paper; see it be return'd;
Or else return no more into my sight.

Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
Jul. Will you be gone?
Luc.

That you may ruminate. [Exit.
Jul. And yet, I would I had o'erlook’d the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
And would not force the letter to my view?
Since maids, in modesty, say No to that
Which they would have the profferer construe Ay.
Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love,
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse,

And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod !
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here!
How angrily I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforced my heart to smile !
My penance is to call Lucetta back,
And ask remission for my folly past :-
What, ho! Lucetta?

Re-enter LUCETTA.
Luc.

What would your ladyship?
Jul. Is it near dinner time?
Luc.

I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat,
And not upon your maid.
Jul.

What is't

you

took up So gingerly?

Luc. Nothing
Jul.

Why did'st thou stoop then?
Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall.
Jul. And is that paper nothing?
Luc.

Nothing concerning me. Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.

Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible;
Best sing it to the tune of Light o' love.

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Jul. Heavy! belike it hath some burden, then.
Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.
Jul. And why not you?
Luc.

I cannot reach so high.
Jul. Let's see your song.—How now, minion?

Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks I do not like this tune.

Jul. You do not?
Luc. No, madam; it is too sharp.
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.

Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.
Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

« ZurückWeiter »