Imagens da página
PDF

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

Latin. 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. [Exeunt.

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.

■ O nceei suggesting love,— ] To suggest ig to entice, to tempt, to seduce. Thus, in " The Tempest," Act II. Sc. 1 :—

11 For all the rest

They'll take suggestion as a cat laps milk."

And in the present play, Act III, Sc. 1:—

"Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested"

'/ emaof leave to tort,—] i. e. I cannot cease to love. This use of lease is very frequent in the old writers.

I cannot leav$b 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.

I to myself am dearer than a friend,

For love is still most precious in itself:

And Silvia, witness Heaven, that made her fair I

Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.

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 used to Valentine:—

This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder

To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window;

Myself in counsel, his competitor:c

Now presently I 'll give her father notice

Of their disguising, and pretended flight ;d

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, coafederate. 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." a Pretended flights) i. c. intended, purposed flight.

[graphic]
[graphic]

SCENE VII.—Verona. A Room ire 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 engraved, — 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 time 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,''

» Whoarl the table—] Alluding to the table-book, or tablet made of slate and ivory, and used as a note or memorandum-book. Thus Hamlet,—

"My tablet— 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 tone,—] Inly, Halliwell says, is used as an

adjective:—

"Trust me, Lorrique, besides the inlie grief,
That swallowes my content."- The TragedyofHo/ma»,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 '11 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 codpiece 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 scandalized.

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

a And instances of infinite of love,—] So in Fenton's "Tragieall Discourses," 4to. 1567, fol. M: —"Wherewyth hee using the benefit of bys fortune, forgat not to embrace hrs Lady with an infinite of kisses." 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 pleased 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 at infinite of love."

[graphic][graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Enter Duke, Thurio, and Proteus.

Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile; We have some secrets to conferabout. [Exit Thubio. Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?

Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would discover, The law of friendship bids me to conceal: But, when I call to mind your gracious favours Done to me, undeserving as I am, My duty pricks me on to utter that Which else no worldly good should draw from me. Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, This night intends to steal away your daughter; Myself am one made privy to the plot. I know you have determin'd to bestow her On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates; And should she thus be stolen away from you, It would be much vexation to your age. Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose To cross my friend in his intended drift, Than, by concealing it, heap on your head

* My jealous aim might err,—] Aim, as Malone and Steevens remark, in this instance, implies guess, surmise, as in "Romeo and Juliet:"—

A pack of sorrows, which would press you down, Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.

Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care; Which to requite, command me while I live. This love of theirs myself have often seen, Haply, when they have judg'd me fast asleep; And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid Sir Valentine her company, and my court: But, fearing lest my jealous aim * might err, And so, unworthily, disgrace the man, (A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,) I gave him gentle looks; thereby to find That which thyself hast now disclosed to me. And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this, Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,b I nightly lodge her in an upper tower, The key whereof myself have ever kept; And thence she cannot be convey'd away.

Pko. Know, noble lord, they have devised a mean How he her chamber-window will ascend,

[ocr errors]

And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
For which the youthful lover now is gone,
And this way comes he with it presently;
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
But, good my Lord, do it so cunningly,
That my discovery be not aimed at; *
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.b

Dtkx. Upon mine honour, he shall never know That I had any light from thee of this.

Pro. Adieu, my lord; sir Valentine is coming.

[Exit.

Enter Valenttnr.

Dnat. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?

Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger That stays to bear my letters to my friends, And I am going to deliver them.

Duke. Be they of much import?

Val. The tenor of them doth but signify My health, and happy being at your court.

Duke. Nay then, no matter; stay with me a while; I am to break with thee of some affairs, That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. T is not unknown to thee, that I have sought To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter.

Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter: Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?

Dtke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward, Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty; Neither regarding that she is my child, Nor fearing me as if I were her father: And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers, Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her; And, wheree I thought the remnant of mine age Should have been cherish'd by her childlike duty, I now am full resolv'd to take a wife, And turn her out to who will take her in: Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower; For me and my possessions she esteems not.

Val. What would your grace have me to do in this?

Dtke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan*1 here,
Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,
And nought esteems my aged eloquence:

Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor,
(For long agone I have forgot to court;
Besides, the fashion of the time is changed :)
How, and which way, I may bestow myself
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words;
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More than quick words, do move a woman's mind.

Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her.

Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her: Send her another; never give her o'er; For scorn at first makes after-love the more. If she do frown, 't is not in hate of you, But rather to beget more love in you: If she do chide, 't is not to have you gone; For why, the fools are mad, if left alone. Take no repulse, whatever she doth say: For get you gone, she doth not mean away: Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces; Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces. That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

Duke. But she I mean is promis'd by her friends Unto a youthful gentleman of worth; And kept severely from resort of men, That no man hath access by day to her.

Val. Why then I would resort to her by night.

Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept safe, That no man hath recourse to her by night.

Val. What lets," but one may enter at her window?

Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground, And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it Without apparent hazard of his life.

Val. Why, then, a ladder, quaintly made of cords, To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks, Would serve to scale another Hero's tower, So bold Leander would adventure it.

Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.

Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for everything that he can come by.

Val. By seven o'clock I 'll get you such a ladder.

Duke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone;

'Be mot aimed at;) Guessed at. The word has the same meanis* ai in the passage referred to in Note (a), p. 20.

s This pretence.] Design, device.

t judr where I thought—] Where for whereas. It may be •bwrred of these words, as also of tchen and whenas, that, with the writer" of Shakespeare's era. they were "convertible terms."

* Is Milan here,—] The original reads,—

"There is a lady in Verona here."

An error of the same kind occurs in Act II. Sc. 5, where Speed says,—"Welcome to Padua," instead of Milan. The corrections were made by Pope.

P What\ets,—] What stops, what debars. So "Hamlet," Act I, Sc. 4,—

"By Heaven, I 'll make a ghost of him that lets me,"

1 quaintly made of cords,—] Cleverly, skilfully made of cords.

« AnteriorContinuar »