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TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.

ACT I.

SCENE I. An open Place in Verona

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 honored love,
I rather would

entreat thy company,
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than living dully sluggardized at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when I to love begin.

Pro. Wilt thou begone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest Some 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 my holy prayers, For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine. Val. And on a love-book pray for my success.

. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander crossed the Hellespont.

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

1 The allusion is to Marlow's poem of Hero and Leander.

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Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swam the Hellespont.

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.
Pro.

What?
Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with

groans ;
Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's

mirth,
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights :
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro. So by your circumstance, you call me fool
Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll

prove.
Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at ; I am not Love.

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you:
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. 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 turned to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in 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 father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.

1 A proverbial expression, now disused, signifying, “Don't make a laughing-stock of me.”

2 Circumstance here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction.

so, farewell!

To1 Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Of 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!
Val. As much to you at home! and

[Exit VALENTINE.
Pro. He after honor hunts, I after love.
He leaves his friends, to dignify them more ;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter SPEED. Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : Saw you my master ? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for

Milan. Speed. Twentyto one, then, he is shipped already; And I have played the sheep,” in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away.

Speed. You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and I a sheep?

Pro. I do.

Speed. Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.

Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed. This proves me still a sheep.
Pro. True; and thy master a shepherd.
Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another.

Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my

I , master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep.

i The construction of this passage is, “Let me hear from thee by letters to Milan.”

2 In Warwickshire, and some other counties, a sheep is pronounced a ship

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Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages

follows not thee: therefore thou art a sheep.

Speed. Such another proof will make me cry baa.

Pro. But dost thou hear ? gav’st thou my letter to Julia ?

Speed. Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton ;l and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labor.

Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a store of muttons.

Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.

Pro. Nay, in that you are astray; 'twere best pound you.

Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your letter.

Pro. You mistake; I mean the pound, a pinfold. Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over and

over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your

lover. Pro. But what said she ? did she nod ? ?

[SPEED nods.

Speed. I.

Pro. Nod, I! why, that's noddy.

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

; say,

I. Pro. 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. Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear

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

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

1 A term for a courtezan. 2 These words were supplied by Theobald to introduce what follows.

with you,

your slow

Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
Speed. And yet it cannot overtake

purse. Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: What said she ?

Speed. Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both at once delivered.

Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains: What said she ?

Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

Pro. Why? Could'st thou perceive so much from her ?

Speed. Sir, I could 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 your mind, I fear she'll prove as hard to you in telling your mind. Give her no token but stones, for she's as hard as steel.

Pro. What, said she nothing ?

Speed. No, not so much astake this for thy pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.

Pro. Go, go, begone, to save your ship from wreck; Which cannot perishphaving thee aboard, Being destined to a drier death on shore :I must go send some better messenger; I fear my Julia would not deign my lines, Receiving them from such a worthless post. [Exeunt.

a

SCENE II. The same.

Garden of Julia's House

Enter Julia and LUCETTA.

Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love?

1 Testens, or (as we now commonly call them) testers, from a head that was upon them, were coined in 1542. Sir H. Spelman says they were a French coin of the value of 18d.; and he does not know but that they might have gone for as much in England. They were afterwards reduced to 12d., 9d., and, finally, to sixpence.

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