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Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match;
Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will ; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will.
Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.
Laun. Thou shall never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.
Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover ?
Laun. I never knew him otherwise,
Speed. Than how ?
Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
Speed. Why, thou ass, thou mistakest me.
Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the alehouse, so; wilt thou go? Speed. At thy service.
An Apartment in the Palace.
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;
which gave me first my oath,
Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear :
O sweet-suggesting 7 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 preferred
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
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.
I to myself am dearer than a friend ;
For love is still more precious in itself:
And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair!
Shews 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 :
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.
Verona. A Room in Julia's House.
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 engravid,
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
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,
Thou would'st 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 dam'st it up, the more it
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 enamel'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, 2
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
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
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. But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me, For undertaking so unstaid a journey ? I fear me, it will make me scandaliz’d. Luc. If
think so, then stay at home, and
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 as 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
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.
Milan. An Anti-room in the Duke's palace.
Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS. Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile; We have some secrets to confer about..
[Exit THURIO. Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me? Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would discover,