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Why didst thou stoop then ?
Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall.
JCL. And is that paper nothing ?
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.
Loc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set a.
Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Best sing it to the tune of “Light o' love."6
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?
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; 't 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 b:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.
Lrc. Indeed, I bid the base a for Proteus.
JUL. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation !
[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
To be so anger'd with another letter.
[Exit. Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!
O hateful hands, to tear such loving words !
• Set-compose. Julia plays upon the word, in the next line, in a different sense,—to “set by ” being to make account of.
Descant. The simple air, in music, was called the “ Plain song," or ground. The “ descant" was what we now call a “variation.”
Mean—the tenor. The whole of the musical allusions in this passage show that the terms of the art were familiar to a popular audience; and that music (of which there can be no doubt) was generally cultivated in Shakspere's time.
• The quibbling Lucetta here turns the allusion to the country game of base, or prison-base, in which one runs and challenges another to pursue.
Injurious wasps ! to feed on such sweet honey?,
And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings !
I 'll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ—“kind Julia;”-unkind Julia !
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
And, here is writ“ love-wounded Proteus :".
Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed,
Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal'd;
And thus I search a it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written down :
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away,
Till I have found each letter in the letter,
Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea !
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,-
“ Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia ;” that I 'll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names ;
Thus will I fold them one upon another;
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
Luc. Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays.
Jul. Well, let us go.
Luc. What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?
JUL. If you respect them, best to take them up.
Luc. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down :
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold b.
JUL. I see you have a month's mind to them.
Luo. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.
Jul. Come, come, will 't please you go?
A Room in Antonio's House.
Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO.
Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sado talk was that,
Wherewith my brother beld you
in the cloister ? Pan. 'T was of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Ant. Why, what of him?
He wonder'd that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home;
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out :
Some, to the wars, to try their fortune there;
Some, to discover islands far away;
Some, to the studious universities'.
For any, or for all these exercises,
He said that Proteus, your son, was meet:
And did request me to importune you,
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In having known no travel in his youth.
Ant. Nor needst thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have consider'd well his loss of time;
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tried and tutor'd in the world :
Experience is by industry achiev'd,
And perfected by the swift course of time:
Then, tell me, whither were I best to send him?
Pax. I think your lordship is not ignorant,
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor in his royal court.
ANT. I know it well.
Pan. 'T were good, I think, your lordship sent him thither:
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments 1",
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen;
And be in eye of every exercise,
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
Ant. I like thy counsel ; well hast thou advis'd:
And, that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
The execution of it shall make known:
Even with the speediest expedition
I will despatch him to the emperor's court.
Pan. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
With other gentlemen of good esteem,
Are journeying to salute the emperor,
And to commend their service to his will.
Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go :
And,-in good time 4-Now will we break with him b.
• In good time. As Antonio is declaring his intention Proteus appears; the speaker, therefore,
breaks off with the expression, “ in good time"—à propos.
Break with him. Break the matter to him, a form which repeatedly occurs.
PRO. Sweet love! sweet lines ! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn:
0, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents !
O heavenly Julia !
Ant. How now? what letter are you reading there?
Pro. May 't please your lordship, 't is a word or two
Of commendation sent from Valentine,
Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.
Ant. Lend me the letter; let me see what news.
PRO. There is no news, my lord; but that he writes
How happily he lives, how well-beloved,
And daily graced by the emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish ?
Pro. As one relying on your lordship's will,
And not depending on his friendly wish.
Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish :
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolv'd that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the emperor's court;
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition a thou shalt have from me.
To-morrow be in readiness to go :
Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.
Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided;
Please you, deliberate a day or two.
Ant. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee:
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.-
Come on, Panthino; you shall be employ'd
To hasten on his expedition.
[Exeunt Ant. and Pan. Pro. Thus have I shunn'd the fire, for fear of burning;
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd:
I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter,
Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
And with the vantage of mine own excuse
Hath he excepted most against my love.
• Exhibition-stipend, allowance. The word is still used in this sense with reference to any special fund for & scholar's maintenance in our universities.
0, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day; Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away!
Pan. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you;
He is in haste; therefore, I pray you go.
Pro. Why, this it is! my heart accords thereto;
And yet a thousand times it answers, No.