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Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.
Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus ;' Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits ; Wer 't not affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, I rather would entreat thy company, To see the wonders of the world abroad, Than, living dully sluggardiz’d at home, Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when to love begin.
VAL. And on a love-book pray for my success ?
* Proteus ;] Throughout the old copy (folio 1623), the ancient spelling of Proteus, which was Protheus, is invariably adopted. “Our ancestors," Malone observes, “were fond of introducing the letter h into proper names to which it does not belong: and hence even to this day, our common Christian name, Antony, is written improperly Anthony."
6 Homely wits ;] Steevens has noted the same play of words in Milton's Comus :
“ It is for homely features to keep home,
They had their name thence." c Bead's-man,-) A beadsman is one who offers up prayers for another. Bead, in Anglo-Saxon, meaning a prayer. “To count one's beads," means, to say the Rosary, a favourite devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, composed for meditating on the principal events in the life of our Saviour. The better to fix the attention during this exercise, recourse is had to a chaplet con
Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee. Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, VAL. As much to you at home! and so, fareHow young Leander cross'd the Hellespont."
[Exit VALENTINE. Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; Pro. Ile after honour hunts, I after lore: For he was more than over shoes in love.
He leaves his friends to dignify them more ; VAL. 'T is true ; for you are over boots in love, I leave' myself, my friends, and all for love. And yet you never swom the Hellespont.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me; Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, boots.(1)
War with good counsel, set the world at nought: Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not. Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with PRO.
thought. Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans ;
Enter SPEED, Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,
SPEED. Sir Proteus, save you: Saw you my With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights : master? If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain ;
Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for If lost, why then a grievous labour won ;
Milan. However, but a folly bought with wit,
SPEED. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already; Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
And I have play'd the sheep 8 in losing him.
SPEED. You conclude that my master is a shepPro. ”T is love you cavil at; I am not love. herd then, and I a sheep ? h
VAL. Love is your master, for he masters you : Pro. I do. And he that is so yoked by a fool,
SPEED. Why, then my horns are his horns, Methinks should not be chronicled for wise. whether I wake or sleep.
Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep. The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Speed. This proves me still a sheep. Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
Pro. True; and thy master a shepherd. VAL. And writers say, as the most forward bud SPEED. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Pro. It shall go hard but I'll prove it by Even so by love the young and tender wit
another. Is turn'd to folly ; blasting in the bud,
SPEED. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and vot Losing his verdure even in the prime,
the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, And all the fair effects of future hopes.
and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee, no sheep. That art a votary to fond desire ?
Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, Once more adieu: my father at the road
the shepherd for food follows not the sheep ; Expects my coming, there to see me shipp’d. thou for wages followest thy master, thy master
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine. for wages follows not thee : therefore, thou art Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our a sheep. leave.
SPEED. Such another proof will make me cry To Milan let me hear from thee by letters,
baa. Of thy success in love, and what news else
Pro. But dost thou hear? gav'st thou my Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
letter to Julia ? And I likewise will visit thee with mine.
SPEED. Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your
sisting of either fifty or a hundred and fifty beads, on each of which is repeated a short prayer.
a How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.] This is believed to have reference to the poem of Musæus, entitled, “Hero and Leander:" but as Marlowe's translation of this piece, though entered on the Stationers' books in 1593, was not published till 1598, a probability is raised that Shakespeare took his allusion from a classical source. The commentators, however, prefer the supposition that he saw Marlowe's version in MS.
b For you are orer boots in love,--] for appears to be a misprint, perhaps instead of and or but.
c Flowerer,-) That is, any way.
d So, by your circumstance,-) Malone says, “circumstance is used equivocally. It here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction."
(*) First folio, and. e The eating canker-) Allusions to the canker are common in the old writers. It is mentioned both in Shakespeare's plays, in his “ Sonnets," and in the “ Rape of Lucrece." Topsell in his * Serpents," 1608, gives a dissertation which he heads, or Caterpillars or Palmer-worms, called of some Cankers," and he tells us, “They gnaw off and consume by eating both leaves, boughs, and flowers, yea, and some fruits also, as I have often seen in peaches."
f I leave myself,–] The original reads, “I love myself," which Pope corrected.
& And I have play'd the sheep-] In many English counties, a sheep is commonly pronounced a ship, even to this day.
b And I a sheep?j So the second folio, 1632. The first omits the article.
letter to her, a laced mutton ;(2) and she, a laced to you in telling your mind. Give her no token mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my but stones; for she's as hard as steel. labour !
Pro. What, said she nothing ? Pro. IIere's too small a pasture for such store SPEED. No, not so much as—Take this for of muttons.
thy pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, SPEED. If the ground be overcharged, you you have testern’d me ;(3) in requital whereof were best stick her.
henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir Pro. Nay, in that you are astray;a 't were best I'll commend you to my master. pound you.
Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from SPEED. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve
wrack; me for carrying your letter.
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard, Pro. You mistake; I mean the pound, a pin- Being destin'd to a drier death on shore :fold.
I must go send some better messenger; Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post. ”T is threefold too little for carrying a letter to
Pro. But what said she? [SPEED nods.] Did
she nod ? SPEED. I. Pro. Nod, I; why, that's noddy."
SCENE II.-The same. Garden of Julia's SPEED. You mistook, sir ; I say she did nod:
House. and you ask if she did nod; and I
I. PRO. And that set together is--noddy.
Enter Julia and LUCETTA. 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
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, letter.
Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love ? SPEED. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear
Luc. Ay, madam ; so you stumble not un
heedfully. Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me?
Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, SPEED. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; o
every day with parle encounter me, having nothing but the word, noddy, for my pains. In thy opinion, which is worthiest love? Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I 'll show SPEED. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.
According to my shallow simple skill.
JUL. What think'st thou of the fair sir Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: what said she ?
Eglamour ? SPEED. Open your purse, that the money,
Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and and the matter, may be both at once delivered.
fine; Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains : what
But, were I
you, he never should be mine. said she ?
JUL. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ? SPEED. Truly, sir, I think you 'll hardly win
Luc. Well of his wealth ; but of himself, so so. her.
Jul. What think’st thou of the gentle Proteus? Pro. Why? Couldst thou perceive so much Luc. Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us ! from her?
JUL. How now! what means this passion at SPEED. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from
his name? her; no, not so much as a ducat for delivering
Luc. Pardon, dear madam ; 't is a passing your letter: and being so hard to me that
shame, brought your mind, I fear she 'll prove as hard That I, unworthy body as I am,
* In that you are astray:] It has been proposed, to keep up this bout of petty quibbles, that we should read a stray, i. e, a stray sheep.
b Did she nod?] This query, and the stage-direction, Speed nods, were added by Theobald. The latter seems essential to what follows; but I have ventured to insert it at a different place to that in which it has hitherto been given.
€ 1.) The old spelling of the affirmative particle Ay, without which the conceit of Proteus would be unintelligible.
d Why, that's noddy.) There is a game at cards called Noddy, but the allusion is rather to the common acceptation of Noddy,
which is, a noodle, a simpleton. In “Wit's Private Wealth,” 1612, we fird, “If you see a trull, scarce give her a nod, but do not follow her, lest you prove a noddy."
e The letter tery orderly :) For orderly, I have sometimes thought we should read, motherly, or, according to the ancient spelling, moderly. From the words bearing, bear with you, my pains, a quick wit, and delivered, the humour appears to consist of allusions to child-bearing. None of the editors have noticed this ; and yet, unless such conceit be understood, there seems no significance whatever in the last few passages.
Should censure’ thus on lovely gentlemen.
JUL. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ? Luc. 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 wouldst thou have me cast my
love on him ? Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast
away. Jul. Why, he of all the rest hath never mov’d
JUL. To Julia,Say, from whom?
from Proteus : He would have given it you, but I, being in the
way, Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault,
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, 't is 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.
Ecit. Jul. And yet, I would I had o’erlook'd the
letter, It were a shame to call her back again,
a Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.) The corrector of Mr. Collier's folio reads, for the sake of rhyme
“ That I, unworthy body as I can,
Should censure thus a lovely gentleman." The alteration is specious, but uncalled for. To censure, in Shakespeare's time, usually meant to pass judgment or opinion, and
Julia's “Why not on Proteus ?" &c. proves, I think, that on occurred in the preceding line.
b Fire, that's closest kepi,-) Fire in old times was often spelt fyer, and appears here, as in other portions of these plays, to be used as a dissyllable.
C A goodly broker!] A pander, a go-between, a procuress.
Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
Juk. You do not?
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant : How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song. When willingly I would have had her here !
Jul. The meano is drown’d with your unruly How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
base." When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile ! Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.(7) My penance is, to call Lucetta back,
Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. And ask remission for my folly past :
Here is a coil with protestation ! What ho! Lucetta !(4)
[Tears the letter. Go, get you gone; and let the
You would be fingering them, to anger me.
Luc. She makes it strange; but she would be
best pleas'd Luc.
What would your ladyship? To be so anger'd with another letter. [Erit. Jul. Is 't near dinner-time?
JUL. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the Luc. I would it were ;
same ! That you might kill your stomach on your meat, O hateful hands, to tear such loving words ! And not upon your maid.
Injurious wasps ! to feed on such sweet honey, JuL.
What is 't that you And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings ! Took up so gingerly ?
I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ-kind Julia :-unkind Julia! JUL.
Why didst thou stoop then ? As in revenge of thy ingratitude, Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall. I throw thy name against the bruising stones, Jul. And is that paper nothing ?
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. Luc.
Nothing concerning me. And, here is writ-love wounded Proteus : JUL. Then let it lie for those that it concerns. Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed,
Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns, Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly Unless it have a false interpreter.
heal'd; Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. rhyme.
But twice, or thrice, was—Proteus—written down : Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away, tune:
Till I have found each letter in the letter, Give me a note: your ladyship can set."
Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible: Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock, Best sing it to the tune of Light o' love.(5) And throw it thence into the raging sea ! Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,Jul. Heavy? belike it hath some burthen then. (6) Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you
To the sweet Julia ; that I'll tear away ;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily Jul. And why not you?
He couples it to his complaining names ; Luc.
I cannot reach so high. Thus will I fold them one upon another : Jul. Let's see your song;-Ilow now, minion? Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
a Your ladyship can set.) “When Lucetta says 'Give me a note [to sing to]: your ladyship can set (a song to music),' it adds one more to the many proofs of the superior cultivation of the science in those days. We should not now readily attribute to ladies, even to those who are generally considered to be well educated and accomplished, enough knowledge of harmony to enable them to set a song correctly to music, however agile their fingers may be."-CHAPPELL's Popular Music of the Olden Time,
b Too harsh a descant:). “The name of Descant is usurped of the musicians in divers significations; sometime they take it for the whole harmony of many voices; others sometime, for one of the voices or parts. Last of all, they take it for singing a part extempore upon a plain song, in which sense.we commonly use
it."- MORLEY's Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music, 1597.
© The mean-] That is, the intermediate part between the tenor and the treble.
d Your unruly base.) The original has, "you unruly base." The alteration was made in the second folio.
Nay, tould I were so anger'll with the same !) It is surprising that no one has hitherto pointed out the inconsistency of Julia's replying to an observation evidently intended to be spoken by her attendant aside, or remarked the utter absence of all meaning in such reply. I have little doubt that the line above is part of Lucetta's side speech. The expression of the wish " would I were so anger'd with the same!" from her is natural and consistent. In the mouth of her mistreas it seems senseless and absurd.