William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

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Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardooH be,
Let your indulgence net me free*

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_BVn OF MILAN, father to Bllyl*.

VILSNTINB and PROTEUS, gentlemen of Verona.

AN TONIO, father to Proteut.

THUK 0. a foolUh rival to Valentine.

SOL iMOUR, agent for Silvia in her eicapt.

BPEEO, a elownlib lervant to Valentine.

LAVNOE, lenrant to Proteva.

PANTHDrO. Mnraat to i

HOST, where Julia lodge* in 1

JTTLEA, a lady of Verooa, beloved bv Proteui.

8ILVIA, the Dttke'i daughter, beloved hf VaUntiaa.

LUCSTTA, watOng-woman to Jnlia,

Berranta. MnildaM.

BCENE Bometlmei la Verona, •ometimet In ICUan, and on the Frontlera of Kantwk


SCENE I.— An openjpiaee m Veramu
Enter Valentine and Proteus.

VaL Cease to persuade, mj loving Proteus;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits :
Wert not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet eUinces of thy honoured love,
I rather would entreat thy comoany,
To see the wonders of the worla abroad,
Than living dully sluggardiz*d at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
£tet, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive diereiu,
i£ven as I would, when I to love begin.

Pro, Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentme, adieu I
Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest
&.me rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness,
When thou dost meet good hap ; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to mv holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.

VaL And on a love-book pray for my success.

Pro, Upon some book 1 love. 111 pray for thee.

VaL Tnat*s on some sliallow story of deep love.
How young Leander cross 'd the HeilesponL

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love;
For he was more than over shoes in love.

VaL Tis true ; for you are over boots in love ;
And yet you never swam the Hdlespont.

Pro, Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.

VaL No, ni not, for it boots thee not.

Pro, What? [groans;

VaL To be in love, where scorn is bought with
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading

moment's mirth,
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perliaps, a hapless gain ;
If lost, whv then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit.
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro, So, by your circumstance, vou call me fooU

VaL 8o,b V you r circum.stance, 1 fear, you 1 1 prove.

Pro, "Tis love you cavil at ; I am not Love.

VaL Love u yoiit master, for he masters yon :
And be that is so yoked by a fool,
liethinks sliould not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say,* As in the sweetest buJ
rhe eating canker dwells, so eatmg love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

VciL 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 tum'd to folly, blasting in the bud.
Losing Ills verdure even m 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 fifither 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 lea v&
Of Milan, let us hear from thee by letters,
At 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 1

VaL As much to you at home I and so farewelL

{Exit Valentin B.
after love :
He leaves his friends, to dignifv them more ;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, tliou hast metamorphos'd me ;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time.
War with ^ood counsel, set the world at nought I
Made wit with musing weak,heart sick with thought.
Enter Speed.
Speed, Sir Proteus, save you: Saw you my
master ? [Milan.

Pro, But now he parted hence, to embark fv>r
Soeed. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already •
And I have play*d the sheep in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
An if the shepherd be a while away.
Spud, You conclude that my master is a shep-
herd then, and I a sheep ?
Pro, I do. [whether I wake or sleep.

Speed. Why, then, my horns are his horns.
Fro, A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed, This proves me still a sheep.

^ro. True ; and thy master a shepherd.

Speed Nay, that 1 can denv by a clrcumstanre.

Pro. It shall go hard, but 1 11 prove it by another.

Speed The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not
the sheep the shepnerd ; but I seek my master, and
m} master seeks not me ; therefore, I am no sheep.

Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd,
the shepherd for food follows not tl^e sheep ; iboa

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(ior wages followest thy master, thy master for
wages follows not thee ; therefore, thou art a sheep.

Speed. ISuch another proof will make me cry baa.

tro. But dost thou hear? gav^t thou my letter
to Julia?

Speed, Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your
Jetter to her, a laced mutton ; and she, a laced mut-
ton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for mv labour.

Fro, Here's too small a pasture for such a store
of muttons. [best stick her.

Bpeed, If the ground be overcharg'd, you were

PiiK Nay, in that you are astray ; twere best

pound you. [for carrying your letter.

* Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me

Pro, You mistake ; I mean the pound, a pinfold.

J^xed, From a pound to a pin? fold it over and

over, Pover.

Tia threefold too little for carrying a letter to your

Fro, But what said she? did she nod?

Speed, I. [Speed nocb.

Fro, Nod I ? why, thafi noddy.

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

Fro, 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. [with vou.

Aieed, Well, I perceive, I most be iatn to bear

Fro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me ?

J^eed, Marry, sir, the letter very orderly ; having
nothing but the word, noddy, for my pains.

Fro, Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.

J^Med, And yet it cannot overtake your slow
purse. [said she?

Fro, Come, come, open the matter in brief ; what

Speed, Open vonr purse, that the money and the
matter may be both at once delivered (said she?

Fro, Well, sir, here is for your pains: What

£^9eed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

Fro, Why? Could'st thou perceive so much
from her?

S^fteed, Sir, I oould 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 vour
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.

Fro, What, said she nothing?

Speed, No, not so much as — taike this fir thy
wiitti. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you
nave testem'd me ; in requital whereof^ henceforth

According to my shallow simple skill.
Jtd, What think'st thou of the fair Su- Eglamonrf
Lue, As of a knight well spoken, neat and &ie:

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, sa
Jtd, What thmk'st thou of the gentle Proteus ?
Luc Lord, lord 1 to see what fofly reigns in us I
Jul How now, what means this passion at Im

Luc Pardon, dear madam ; 'tis a passing shame^

That I, unworthy body as I am,

Sh.'^uVl censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
Jul Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Luc Thenthus,— of many good I think him beat
JuL Your reason?
Luc I have no other but a woman's reason*

I think him so, because I think hun so. [liimf
JuL And would 'st thou have me cast my love or
Luc Ay, if you thought your love not castaway
JuL Why,he of all therest hath nevermov'dme
Zmc Yet he of all the rest, I thmk, best loves ye
JuL His little speaking shows his love but small
Luc Fire, that is closest kept, bums most of all
JuL Thevdonotlove,that do notshow their lov€
JJuc Oh I they love least, that let men knon

their love.
JuL I would I knew his mind.
Luc Peruse this paper, madam.
JuL TbJiuZia,— Say, from whomi
Luc That the contents will show.
JuL Saj, say; who gave it thee?
Luc Sir Yalentme's page ; and sent, I think
from Proteus :

He would have given it you, but I, being in the war

Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault
I pray.
JuL Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker I

Dare you presume to harbour wanton line*?

To whisper and conspire against my youth?

Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth,

And yon an officer fit for the place.

There, take the paper, see it be retum'd ;

Or else return no more into my sight [hate

Luc To plead for love deserves more fee than
JuL Will you be gone?
Luc That you may ruminate. [ExU

JuL And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter

It were a shame to call her back a^n.

And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.

What fool is sh& that knows I am a maid.

And would not force the letter to my view?

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JvL Why did*st thou stoop then?

Lnc, To take a paper up tliat I let full.

JvL And lA that paper nothing?

Luc Nothing concerning me.

JvL Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

Luc Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a fialse interpreter. [rhyme.

JvL Some love of ^our^s hath writ to you in

Luc That I might sing it, madam, to a tune :
Give me a note : your ladyship can set.

JvL As little by such toys as may be possible :
Best sin^ it to the tune of "Li^ht o^ love."

Luc It is too heavy for so light a tune.

JvL Heavy? belike it hath some burden then.

Lite Ay :and melodious were it, would you singit

JvL Ana why not you?

Luc I cannot readi so high.

JvL Let's see your song ; — How, now, minion ?

Luc Keep tune there still, so on will sing it oat;
And ret, methinks, I do not like this tune.

Jm, You do not?

Luc No, madam ; it is too sharp.

JvL Ton, 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.

JvL The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.

Luc Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

JvL This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
HereisaeoUwithprotestationI— [jtejt/i* fester.
Go, get yoa gone ; and let the papers lie :
Ton would be fingering them, to anger me.

Luc She makes it strange ; but she would be
best pleas'd
To be 60 anger*d with another letter. [Exit,

JuL Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same ;

hatefiil hands, to tear such loving wordsl
Injurious wasps! to feed on such sweet honey
And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stmgs I
111 kiss each several paper for amends.
And here is writ~"kind Julia :"— unkind Julia I
As m revenge of thy mgratitude,

1 throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
Look, here is writ — "love-wounded Proteus:"^
Poor wounded name ! my bosom, as a bed, [heai'd ;
Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be thoroughly
And thus I searcn 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, [bear
Except mine own name; that some whirlwind
Unto a rag^. 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 111 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

B&tnter Lucbtta.

Luc Madam, dinner^ ready, and your fiither stays.
JvL Well, let us go. [here ?

Luc What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales
JvL If you respect them, oest to take them up !
Luc Nay, I was taken up for laying them down :
Tet here they shall not lie, for catching coM.

JvL I see, you have a month*^ mind to them.

lAic Ay, madam, yoa may say what sights you
I Me things too, altheogfa yoa jadfl;e I win)c


JvL Come, oome,wilU please yon go?


SCENE III,— The same— A Room in
Antonio's Mouse,

Enter Antonio and PANnnNO.

Ant, Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was thaf)
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?

Ftm. Twas of hb nephew Proteus, your son.

Ant, Why, what of him?

Pan, He wonder'd tliat your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at homv.
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 hi 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,
Whicli would be great impeachment to his age.
In havine known no travel in his youth.

Ant, Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have considered well his loss of time;
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being try'd and tutord in the world:
Experience is by industry achieved,
And perfected by the swift course of time:
Then, tell me, whither were I best to send himV

Pan, I think your lordship is not i^orant,
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor m his royal court.

Ant, I know it well. Riim thither:

Pan, Twere good, I think, your lordship sent
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
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 advised;
And, that thou may'st perceive how well I like it.
The execution of it shall make known ;
Even with the speediest execution
I will de^atch him to the emperor^ court.

Pant, To-morrow, may it please you, Don
With other gentlemen of good esteem.
Are journeying to salute the emperor.
And to commend then* service to his will.

Ant, Good company; with them shall Proteus^.
And in good time.— Now will we break with him.

Enter ^wotEXsa,

Pro, Sweet lore! sweet lines! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn:
Oh! that our fiEithers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents!
Oh, heavenly Julia!

Ant, How now? what letterare you readingthere?

Pro, May t please your lordship, *tis a word or two •
Of commendation sent from Valentine|
Delivered 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 writer

How happily he lives, how well belov'd,

ily graoed by the emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

And daily graced by the emperor;

"""^ishing me with him, partner of h«, .w..».«-

AnL And how stand you affected to his wish?

Pro, As one relying on your lordship^ will.
And not depending on his friendly wish.

AnL M.J will is something sorted with his w^*"
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^lose 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 thou slialt have from me.
To-morrow be in readiness to go:
Excuse it not, for Tm peremptory.

Pro, My lord, I cannot be so soon provided;
Please 70U, deliberate a day or two. [thee:

AnL Look, what thou want^st shall be sent after
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go. —
Come on, Panthino; you shall be employ 'd
To hasten on his expedition.

[Exeunt Art. and Paw.

Av. Thus have I shimn'd the fire, for fear of

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.
Oh I how this spring of love resembleth

The tmcertain glory of an April day;
Which now sliows all the beauty of the sun,

And by and by a cloud takes all away I

Be-enter Panthiko.

Ban, Sir Proteus, your father calls for you;
He Is in haste ; therefore, I pray you, go.

Pro. Why, thiij it is ! my heart accords thereto;
And yet a thousand times it answers, No.



tiCENE L— JftZon. An ApctrtmerU in ihe Duke's


Enter Valektinb and Speed.

Speed, Sir, your glove.

VaL Not mme; my gloves are on. [but one.

&xed. Why then this may be jours, for this is

VaL Ha! let me see : ay, give it me, it's mine ^—
S?veet ornament that decks a thing divine I
Ahl Silvia! Silvia!

Speed. Madam Silvia I madam Silvia!

VaL How now, sirrah?

Speed, She is not within hearing, sir.

Vol Why, sir, who badn you call her?

j^eed. Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.

VaL Well, you'll still be too forward. [slow.

i^eed. And yet I was last chidden for being too

VaL Go to, sir; tell me, do you know madam

£heed. She that your worship loves?

VaL Why how know you that I am in love?

SjKed, Marry: By these special marks: First,
you have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreath your
arms like a malecontent: to relish a love song.
line a robin redbreast; to walk alone, like one that
bad the pestilence: to sigh, like a schoolboy that
had lost his A, B, C ; to weep, like a young wench
that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that
takes diet; to watch, like one that fears robbing;
to speak puling, Uke a beggar at Hallowmas. You
were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock;
when yon walked, to walk like one of the lions;
when you &sted, it was presently after dinner;
when you looked sadly, it was for want of money:
and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress,
that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you
my master.

Vol, Are all these things perceived m me ?

Speed, They are all perceived without yoo.

VaL Without me? They cannot.

Speed, Without you? nay, that's certam, for,
without you were so simple, none else would : but
70a are so without these follies, that these follies
are within you, and shine through you like the
water in an urinal; that not an eye that sees you
but is a physician to comment on your malady.

VaL But, tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?

Speed. She, that you gaze on so, as she sits at

!((/. Hast thoL obscrv'd that? even she I mean.

Speed. Why, sir, 1 know her not.

Vdi, Dost thou know her by my gazing on her,
imd vet know'st her not.

Speed. Is she not hard favoured, sir ?

VaL Not so fair, boy, as well favoured.

Speed, Su", I know that well enough.

VaL What dost thou know ? [favoured.

I^peed, That she is not so fair, as (of you) well

VaL I mean, that her beauty is exquisite, but
her favour infinite.

Speed, That's because the one is painted, and the
other out of all count?

Val, How painted ? and how out of count?

Speed, Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fiur,
that no man counts of her beau^. [beauty.

Ka/. How esteem'st thoume? I account of her

Speed. You never saw her since she was deformed .

Val, How long hath she been deformed ?

Speed. Ever since you loved her.

Vol. I have loved her ever since I saw her ; and
still I see her beautiful.

Speed, If you love her, you cannot see her.


Speed. Because love is blmd. O that yon had
mine eyes ; or your own had the lights they were
wont to have, when you chid at Sir Proteus for
going ungartered !

VaL What should I see then?

Speed, Your own present folly, and her passing
deformity : for he, being in love, could not see to
garter liis hose; and you, being in love, cannot
see to put on your hose.

VaL Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last
morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.

Speed, True, sir; I was in love with my bed:
I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which
makes me the bolder to chide you for yours.

VaL In conclusion, I stand affected to her.

Sjieed, I would you were set: so, your afkctiou
would cease.

VaL Last night she enjoined me to write some
lines to one she loves.
Speed, And have you?

VaL I have.

Speed, Are they not lamely writ ?

VaL No, boy, but as well I can do them>—
Peace, here she comes.

EvJter Silvia.

Speed. O excellent motion I exceedmg puppet;
now will he interpret to her. [morrows.

VaL Madam and mistress, a thousand ^uod-

^;>«v/. O 'give you good even! Here's a million
of manners. [Aside.

SiL Sir Valentine and servant, to you twv-

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iJKed, He should giro her interest ; and sLti
gires it him.

VaL As jou enjoin*d me, I have writ your letter,
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours ;
Which I wras much unwilling to proceed in,
Bat for my duty to your ladyship.

SO, I thank you, gentle servant: 'tis very
derkly done. [oil;

VaC Now trust me, madam, it came hardly
For, being ignorant to whom it goes,
I writ at random, very doubtfully. [pains.

JSU, Perchance you think too much of so much

V(d, No, madam : so it stead you, I will write,
Please yon command, a thousand times as much :
Andyet, —

Sui A pretty period I Well, I guess the sequel :
And yet i will not name it}-^and yet I care not; —
And yet take this again;— and yet I thank you ;
MeaniuR henceforth to trouble you no more.

SjteecL And yet you will; and yet another yet.


VaL What means your ladyship? do you not

SiL Yes, yes ; the lines are very quaintly writ :
But since unwillingly, take them again I
Nay take them.

VaL Madam, they are for you.

SiL Av, ay ; you writ them, sir, at my request:
But I will none of them, they are for ^rou .
I would have had them writ more movingly.

VaL Please you, HI write your ladyship another.

SU, And when it's ^mt, for my sake read it over;
And if it please you, so : if not, why so.

VaL If it please me, madam I what then ?

SL Why, if it please you, take it for your
And so good-morrow, servant [Exit Silvia.

Spee£ O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible.
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a
steeple I [suitor.

My master sues to her ; and she hath taught her
He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
O excellent device I Mras there ever heard a better?
That my master, being scribe, to himself should
write the letter?

VaL How now, sir? what are you reasoning
with yourself?

JB^md, Nay, I was rhyming; tis you that have
the reason.

VaL To do what?

J^eed, To be a spokesman from madam Silvia.

VaL To whom?

Speed. To yourself; why, she woos you by a

VaL What figure?

Speed, By a fetter, I should say.

VaL Why, she hath not writ to me?

Speed, What need she, when she hath made
you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive

VaL No, believe me,

Speed, No believing you, indeed, sir: But did
yonperoetve her earnest?

VaL She gave mo none, except an angry word.

Speed, Why, she hath given you a letter.

VaL That's the letter I writ to her friend.

Speed, And that letter hath she delivered, and
there an end.

VaL 1 would it were no worse.

Speeil, 111 warrant you, 'tia as well:
"For often vou have writ to her; and she, in

Or eh>e for want ol' idle time, could not again reply ;

Or foaring else some messenger, that might her

mind discover.
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto

her lover." —
All this I speak in print; for in print I found it-
Why muse you, sir? *tis dinner time.
Vol. I have dined.

Speed, Ay, but hearken, sir: though the came
Icon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am
nourishd by m^ victuals, and would £un have meat
Oh! be not like your mistress, be moved, be
moved. [Exeunt

SCENE TL—Verotuu—A Boom in Julia's Houte.
EtUer Proteus omf Julia.
Ihv, Have patience, gentle Julia.
Jul, I must, where is no remedy.
Pro, When possibly I can, I will return.
JuL If you turn not, you will return the sooner:
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.

[Oivitig a ring.
Pro, Why then well make exchange ; here, taks

you this.
JuL And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
And when that hour o'er-bllps me in the day.
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, tor thy sake.
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
Torment me for my love's forgetfulness 1
My fcither stays my coming ; answer not ;
The tide is now : nay not Uie tide of tears ;

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 19 of 224)