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SCENE VI. The same. An Apartment in the
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 bade me swear, and love bids me forswear: O sweet suggesting love, if thou hast sinned, 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 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 :
1 To suggest, in the language of our ancestors, was to tempt.
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder
SCENE VII. Verona.
Verona. A Room in Julia's House.
Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.
Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return.
1 i. e. myself, who am his competitor, being admitted to his counsel Competitor here means confederate.
Proposed or intended flight.
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 burns; The current, that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'st, being stopped, impatiently doth rage; But, when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet music with th' enameled 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
Luc. Why then your ladyship must cut your hair. .
Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, Unless
have a cod-piece 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,
you think so, then stay at home, and go not. . Jul. Nay, that I will not.
Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go.
Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear :
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 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, despatch me hence: Come, answer not, but to it presently; I am impatient of my tarriance.
1 A journey which she shall pass in longing.
Milan. An Anteroom in the Duke's
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 favors 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. I know you have determined to bestow her On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates; And should she thus be stolen away from you, It would be much vexation to your age. Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose To cross my friend in his intended drift, Than, by concealing it, heap on your head A pack of sorrows, which would press you down, Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.
Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care, Which to requite, command me while I live. This love of theirs myself have often seen, Haply, when they have judged me fast asleep; And oftentimes have purposed to forbid Sir Valentine her company, and my court: But, fearing lest my jealous aim' might err, And so unworthily disgrace the man,
1 i. e. guess.