Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE IV. Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace.

Enter VALENTINE, Silvia, Thurio, and SPEED. Sil. ServantVal. Mistress? Speed. Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you. Val. Ay, boy, it's for love. Speed. Not of you. Val. Of my mistress then. Speed. 'Twere good you knocked him. Sil. Servant, you are sad. Val. Indeed, madam, I seem so. Thu. Seem you that you are not ? Val. Haply I do. Thu. So do counterfeits. Val. So do you. Thu. What seem I, that I am not? Val. Wise. Thu. What instance of the contrary? Val. Your folly. Thu. And how quote you my folly ? Val. I quote it in your jerkin. Thu. My jerkin is a doublet. Val. Well, then, I'll double your folly. Thau. How? Sil. What, angry, Sir Thurio ? do you change color ? Val. Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.

Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your blood, than live in your air.

Val. You have said, sir.
Thu. Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.

Val. I know it well, sir ; you always end ere you begin.

Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.

1 To quote is to mark, to observe.

Val. 'Tis indeed, madam ; we thank the giver.
Sil. Who is that, servant ?

Val. Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire Sir Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship's looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly in your company.

Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.

Val. I know it well, sir : you have an exchequer of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers; for it appears by their bare liveries, that they live by your bare words.

Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more; here comes my father.

Enter DUKE.
Duke. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
Sir Valentine, your father's in good health:
What say you to a letter from your friends
Of much good news?

Val. My lord, I will be thankful
To any happy messenger from thence.

Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your countryman?

Val. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
To be of worth, and worthy estimation,
And not without desert so well reputed.

Duke. Hath he not a son ?
Val. Ay, my good lord ; a son, that well deserves
The honor and regard of such a father.

Duke. You know him well ?

Val. I knew him as myself; for from our infancy We have conversed, and spent our hours together : And though myself have been an idle truant, Omitting the sweet benefit of time, To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection ; Yet hath Sir Proteus, for that's his name, Made use and fair advantage of his days; His years but young, but his experience old; His head unmellowed, but his judgment ripe; And, in a word, (for far behind his worth

Come all the praises that I now bestow,)
He is complete in feature, and in mind,
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.

Duke. Beshrew ? me, sir, but, if he make this good,
He is as worthy for an empress' love,
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
Well, sir ; this gentleman is come to me,
With commendation from great potentates;
And here he means to spend his time a while :
I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you.

Val. Should I have wished a thing, it had been he.

Duke. Welcome him then according to his worth. Silvia, I speak to you; and you, Sir Thurio :For Valentine, I need not 'cite him to it: I'll send him hither to you presently. [Exit Duke.

Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship, Had come along with me, but that his mistress Did hold his eyes locked in her crystal looks.

Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchised them Upon some other pawn for fealty. Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them prisoners

still. Sil. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind, How could he see his way to seek out you?

Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes. Thu. They say, that love hath not an eye at all.

Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself;
Upon a homely object love can wink.

Enter PROTEUS.
Sil. Have done, have done; here comes the gen-

tleman.
Val. Welcome, dear Proteus !—Mistress, I beseech

you, Confirm his welcome with some special favor.

Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, If this be he you oft have wished to hear from.

1 Feature in the Poet's age was often used for form or person in general. 2 Equivalent to ill betide me.

VOL. I.

Val. Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.

Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.

Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant To have a look of such a worthy mistress.

Val. Leave off discourse of disability :Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.

Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.

Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed;
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.

Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
Sil. That you are welcome ?
Pro.

No; that you are worthless.

Enter Servant. Ser. Madam, my lord your father would speak

with you. Sil. I'll wait upon his pleasure. [Exit Servant.

Come, Sir Thurio, Go with me :-Once more, new servant, welcome: I'll leave you to confer of home affairs; When you have done, we look to hear from you. Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.

[Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and SPEED. Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you

came? Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much

commended. Val. And how do yours? Pro. I left them all in health. Val. How does your lady? and how thrives your

love ?
Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you;
I know you joy not in a love-discourse.

Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is altered now:
I have done penance for contemning love ;
Whose high imperious thoughts have punished me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs;
For, in revenge of my contempt of love,

Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes,
And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow.
0, gentle Proteus, love's a mighty lord;
And hath so humbled me, as, I confess,
There is no wo? to his correction,
Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth!
Now, no discourse, except it be of love :
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.

*Pro. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye: Was this the idol that you worship so ?

Val. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint ?
Pro. No; but she's an earthly paragon.
Val. Call her divine.
Pro. I will not flatter her.
Val. O, flatter me; for love delights in praises.

Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills; And I must minister the like to you.

Val. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine, Yet let her be a principality,” Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.

Pro. Except my mistress.

Val. Sweet, except not any,
Except thou wilt except against my love.

Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?

Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignified with this high honor,-
To bear my lady's train ; lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss,
And, of so great a favor growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower,
And make rough winter everlastingly.

Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?

Val. Pardon me, Proteus: all I can, is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing; She is alone.

Pro. Then let her alone.

1 No wo, no misery that can be compared to the punishment inflicted by love.

? A principality is an angel of the first order.

« PreviousContinue »