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SCENE IV. Another Part of the Forest.
Enter VALENTINE. Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man! This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, I better brook than flourishing, peopled towns : Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, And, to the nightingale's complaining notes, Tune my distresses, and record my woes. O thou that dost inhabit in my breast, Leave not the mansion so long tenantless; Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall, And leave no memory of what it was ! Repair me with thy presence, Silvia ; Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain ! What hallooing, and what stir, is this to-day? These are my mates, that make their wills their law, Have some unhappy passenger in chase : They love me well; yet I have much to do To keep them from uncivil outrages. Withdraw thee, Valentine; who's this comes here?
[Steps aside. Enter PROTEUS, Silvia, and Julia. Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you, Though you respect not aught your servant doth,) To hazard life, and rescue you from him That would have forced your honor and your love. Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look; A smaller boon than this I cannot beg, And less than this, I'm sure, you cannot give.
Val. How like a dream is this I see and hear! Love, lend me patience to forbear a while. [Aside.
Sil. O miserable, unhappy that I am!
Pro. Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came; But, by my coming, I have made you happy.
1 To record anciently signified to sing.
Sil. By thy approach thou mak'st me most unhappy. Jul. And me, when he approacheth to your pres
[Aside. Sil. Had I been seized by a hungry lion, I would have been a breakfast to the beast, Rather than have false Proteus rescue me. O, heaven be judge, how I love Valentine, Whose life's as tender to me as my soul; And full as much (for more there cannot be) I do detest false, perjured Proteus : Therefore begone, solicit me no more.
Pro. What dangerous action, stood it next to death, Would I not undergo for one calm look! 0, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved, When women cannot love where they're beloved.
Sil. When Proteus cannot love where he's beloved.
All men but Proteus.
Sil. O heaven!
I'll force thee yield to my desire.
Valentine ! Val. Thou common friend, that's without faith or
1 Approved is confirmed by proof
I am sorry
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man!
I must never trust thee more,
Pro. My shame and guilt confound me.-
Then I am paid ;
[Faints. Pro. Look to the boy.
Val. Why, boy! why, wag! how now? what is the matter? Look up; speak.
Jul. O good sir, my master charged me to deliver a ring to madam Silvia ;, which, out of my neglect, was never done.
Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
[Gives a ring. Pro. How! let me see: why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir ; I have mistook; this is the ring you sent to Silvia. [Shows another ring.
Pro. But, how cam’st thou by this ring ? at my depart, I gave this unto Julia.
Jul. And Julia herself did give it me; And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
Pro. How! Julia !
Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths, And entertained them deeply in her heart: How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root !1 O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush ! Be thou ashamed, that I have took upon me Such an immodest raiment; if shame live In a disguise of love: It is the lesser blot modesty finds, Women to change their shapes, than men their minds.
Pro. Than men their minds? 'tis true: O heaven!
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
the sins ; Inconstancy falls off
, ere it begins : What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye?
Val. Come, come, a hand from either : Let me be blest to make this happy close ? 'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever. Jul. And I mine.
Enter Outlaws, with Duke and Thurio. Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!
Val. Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Sir Valentine !
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death ;
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
li. e. of her heart: the allusion to archery is continued, and to cleaving the pin in shooting at the butts.
I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
Val. These banished men, that I have kept withal,
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold
blushes. Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy.
1 Include is here used for conclude. 2 Triumphs are pageants.