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SCENE VI.

The Same. An Apartment in the Palace.

me.

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 bad 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 t' 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. 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 most precious in itself; And Silvia, (witness heaven that made her fair!) Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope. I will forget that Julia is alive, Remembering 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.

SCENE VII.5.

Verona. A Room in JULIA's House.

Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Jul. Counsel, Lucetta ; gentle girl, assist me:
And, e'en in kind love, I do conjure thee,
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character'd and engrav’d,
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,

4- PRETENDED flight ;] Pretended flight, in the language of the time, is intended flight. See Vol. v. p. 67, Vol. viii. p. 431.

5 Scene VII.] Johnson suggested, with plausibility, that this ought to be the first scene of the third act, and not the last scene of the second act, as it is marked in the folio, 1623.

Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus.

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return.
Jul. 0! 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,
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 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 enameld 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.

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'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.

1

WPAT

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, even 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 scandaliz’d.

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

6 And instances as infinite of love,] i. e. instances as infinite of love, as the “ocean of his tears," mentioned in the preceding line. This is the reading of the folio of 1632, and it seems correct, although the older copy has the line, “ And instances of infinite of love." So to read it, we must take “infinite" for infinity. Malone read, “And instances of the infinite of love,” which is warranted by no old authority.

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, dispatch me hence. Come; answer not, but to it presently: I am impatient of my tarriance.

[Exeunt.

ACT III. SCENE I.

Milan. An Ante-chamber 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, 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.

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