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THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
DUKE, father to Silvia.
The two Gentlemen.
Host, where Julia lodges.
SCENE I.-An open Place in Verona.
Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.
Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus;
Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu !
Val. And on a love-book pray for my success?
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love,
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love;
Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll prove.
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you :
Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : Saw you my master? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.
Speed. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd 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.
1 Steevens gives the passage thus :
Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not.
With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth, &c. By this reading, the Alexandrine in the line beginning with “coy looks” is avoided ;-but the force and harmony of the entire passage are weakened. Our reading is that of the edit. of 1623. We mention this deviation from the reading of the common octavo edition here; but we shall not often repeat this sort of notice. Steevens having a notion of metre which placed its highest excellence in monotonous regularity, has unsparingly maimed the text, or stuck something upon
it, to satisfy his “finger-counting ear.” We shall silently restore the text, as Malone has in many cases done.
2 However. In whatsoever way, “haply won," or "lost.”
3 Circumstance. The word is used by the two speakers in different senses. Proteus employs it in the meaning of circumstantial deduction ; —Valentine in that of position. 4 According to modern construction, we should read its verdure.
In an elaborate note by Professor Craik, in his valuable " Philological Commentary on Julius Cæsar," he has clearly shown that “ His was formerly neuter as well as masculine, or the genitive of It as well as of He."
5 To Milan. Let me hear from thee by letters, addressed to Milan. To is the reading of the first folio, and has been restored by Malone.
The original copy reads, “ I love myself.”
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
Specd. 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.
Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.
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.
Speed. Ay, sir ; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton ;' and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour !
Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.
Pro. Nay, in that you are astray;a '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 ?3 [SPEED nods.
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 with you. 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.
Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: What said she?
Specd. 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. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not so much as a ducatd 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?
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love?
Luc. Ay, madam, so you stuinble not unheedfully.
Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, That every day with parle? encounter me, In thy opinion, which is worthiest love?
Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll shew my mind According to my shallow simple skill.
Ful. What think'st thou of the fair sir Eglamour ?
Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
Ful. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ?
Luc. Pardon, dear madam; 'tis a passing shame,
Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason;
Jul. And would'st thou have me cast my love on him?
Peruse this paper, madam.
That the contents will shew.
Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
1 A laced mutton. The commentators have much doubtful learning on this passage. They maintain that the epithet “laced” was a very uncomplimentary epithet of Shakspere's time; and that the words taken together apply to a female of loose character. This is probable ; but then the insolent application, by Speed, of the term to Julia is received by Proteus very patiently. The original meaning of the verb lace is to catch-to hold (see Tooke's Diversions, &c., part ii. ch. 4); from which the noun lace,-any thing which catches or holds. Speed might, therefore, without an insult to the mistress of Proteus, say—I, a lost sheep, gave your letter to her, a caught sheep.
2 Ástray. The adjective here should be read “ a stray”-a stray sheep.
3 Did she nod? These words, not in the original text, were introduced by Theobald. The stage-direction, “ Speed nods,” is also modern.
41. The old spelling of the affirmative particle Ay.
5 The second folio changes the passage to “her mind." The first gives it “ your mind.”. Speed says,-she was hard to me that brought your mind, by leiter ;-she will be as hard to you in telling it, in person.
6 The same allusion to the proverb, “He that is born to be hanged,” &c., occurs in the Tempest.
? Parle. Speech. The first folio spells it par’le, which shows the abbreviation of the original French parole.
8 Censure. Give an opinion—a meaning which repeatedly occurs.
9 Fire is here used as a dissyllable. Steevens, whose ear received it as a mono. syllable, corrupted the reading. In Act II. Sc. VII., we have this line
“But qualify the fire's extreme rage.” See Walker, on “Shakespeare's Versification,” Ş xviii. The present play furnishes other examples, such as
“ Trenched in ice, which with an hour's heat." When the reader has a key to the reading of such words-fi-er, hou-er-he may dispense with the notes that he will perpetually find on these matters in the pages of Steevens.
There, take the paper, see it be return'd;
Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
That you may ruminate. [Exit.
Go, get you gone; and let the papers lie:
[Exit. Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! O hateful hands, to tear such loving words! Injurious wasps ! to feed on such sweet honey, And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings ! I'll kiss each several paper for amends. Look, here is writ-kind Julia ;-unkind Julia ! As in revenge of thy ingratitude, I throw thy name against the bruising stones, Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. And, here is writ-love-wounded Proteus :Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed, Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal'd; And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written down: Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away, Till I have found each letter in the letter, Except mine own name : that some whirlwind bear Unto a ragged, fearful-hanging rock, And throw it thence into the raging sea! Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, To the sweet Julia ; that I'll tear away; And yet I will not, sith so prettily He couples it to his complaining names; Thus will I fold them one upon another ; Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will
What would your ladyship?
I would it were;
What is't you
up So gingerly?
Why didst thou stoop then?
Nothing concerning me.
Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns, Unless it have a false interpreter.
Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune: Give me a note: your ladyship can set.3
Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
I cannot reach so high.
Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
Jul. You do not?
Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
Ful. The mean is drown’d with you, unruly base.
Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble m
(Tears the letter.
Re-enter LUCETTA. Luc. Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays. Ful. Well, let us go. Luc. What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here? Jul. If you respect them, best to take them up.
Luc. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down : Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.'
Jul. I see you have a month's mind to them.10
Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see; I see things too, although you judge I wink.
Jul. Come, come, wilt please you go. [Exeunt.
Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad "I talk was that, Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
Pan. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Pan. He wonder'd, that your lordship
1 What’ fool (for what a fool). -Dyce.
2 Angerly, not angrily, as many modern editions have it, was the adverb used in Shakspere's time.
3 Set. ` Compose. Julia plays upon the word, in the next line, in a different sense,-to “set by," being to make account of.
1 Descant. The simple air, in music, was called the “Plain song," or ground. The “descant” was what we now call a “variation.”
5 Mean. The tenor. The whole of the musical allusions in this passage show that the terms of the art were familiar to a popular audience.
6 You in the original. The ordinary reading is “your unruly base." ; . The quibbling Lucetta here turns the allusion to the country game of base, or prison-base, in which one runs and challenges another to pursue.
8 Fearful-hanging, adopted from Delius, in Camb. edit., 1863.
For catching cold. Lest they should catch cold.
10 The month's mind, in one form of the expression, referred to the solemn mass, or other obsequies directed to be performed for the repose of the soul, under the will of a deceased person. The strong desire with which this ceremony was regarded in Catholic times might have rendered the general expression “month's mind” equivalent to an eager longing, in which sense it is generally thought to be here used. But we are not quite sure that it means a strong and abiding desire ; two lines in “Hudibras” would seem to make the “month's mind” only a passing inclination :-
" For if a trumpet sound, or drum beat,
Who hath not a month's mind to combat." 11 Sad. Serious.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.-
[Exeunt Ant. and PAN.
The uncertain glory of an April day; Which now shews all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
Pan. I think, your lordship is no: ignorant,
Ant. I know it well.
Ant. I like thy counsel; well hast thou advis'd:
Pan. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go :
Pan. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you; He is in haste; therefore, I pray you go.
Pro. Why, this it is! my heart accords thereto; And yet a thousand times it answers, no. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.-Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.
Pro. Sweet love ! sweet lines ! sweet life!
Ant. How now? what letter are you reading there?
Pro. May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
Ant. Lend me the letter; let me see what news.
Pro. There is no news, my lord; but that he writes How happily he lives, how well-beloved, And daily graced by the emperor ; Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish ?
Pro. As one relying on your lordship's will,
Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish :
Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided;
Ant. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee:
Speed. Sir, your glove."
Val. Ha! let me see : ay, give it me, it's mine :-
Speed. Madam Silvia ! madam Silvia !
Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her ?
Val. Well, you'll still be too forward.
Speed. Marry, by these special marks: First, you have learned, like sir Proteus, to wreath your arms like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like a Robin-red-breast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his A. B. C.; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears robbing ; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions ;5 when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money : and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master.
Val. Are all these things perceived in me?
Speed. Without you! nay, that's certain, for without you were so simple, none else would : but you are so without these follies, that these follies are within you, and shine
? In good time. As Antonio is declaring his intention Proteus appears; the speaker, therefore, breaks off with the expression, “ in good time”-àpropos.
2 Break with him. Break the matter to him,-a form which repeatedly
3 Exhibition. Stipend, allowance. The word is still used in this sense in our universities.
* The quibble here depends upon the pronunciation of one, which was anciently pronounced as if it were written on.
* To walk like one of the lions, is thus commented on by Ritson: “If Shak
spere had not been thinking of the lions in the Tower, he would have written · like a lion.'”?-Shakspere was thinking dramatically; and he therefore made Speed use an image with which he might be familiar. The firm, decided step of a lion, furnished an apt illustration of the bold bearing of Speed's master before he was a lover. The comparison was not less just, when made with “one of the lions ; ” ---and the use of that comparison was in keeping with Speed's character, whilst the lofty image, “like a lion," would not have been so. The "clownish servant” might compare his master to a caged lion, without being poetical, which Shakspere did not intend him to be.
through you like the water in an urinal; that not an eye that sees you but is a physician to comment on your malady.
Val. But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia ? Speed. She that you gaze on so, as she sits at supper? Val. Hast thou observed that? even she I mean. Speed. Why, sir, I know her not.
Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet know'st her not? Speed. Is shenot hard favoured, sir? Val. Not so fair, boy, as well favoured. Speed. Sir, I know that well enough: Val. What dost thou know? Speed. That she is not so fair, as (of you) well favoured.
Val. I mean, that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.
Speed. That's because the one is painted, and the other out of all count.
Val. How painted ? and how out of count?
Speed. Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, that no man counts of her beauty.
Val. How esteemest thou me! I account of her beauty.
Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her; and still I see her beautiful.
Speed. If you love her, you cannot see her. Val. Why? Speed. Because love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes; or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have, when you chid at sir Proteus for going ungartered !
Val. What should I see then ? Speed. Your own present folly, and her passing deformity: for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose;c and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.
Val. Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
Speed. True, sir; I was in love with my bed: I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you for yours.
Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her. Speed. I would you were set; so your affection would cease.
Val. Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves. Speed. And have you? Val. I have. Speed. Are they not lamely writ?
Val. No, boy, but as well as I can do them. Peace, here she comes.
Val. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off;
Sil. Perchance you think too much of so much pains ?
Val. No, madam ; so it stead you, I will write, Please you command, a thousand times as much : And yet,
Sil. A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel; And yet I will not name it :—and yet I care not ;And yet take this again ;—and yet I thank you; Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.
Speed. And yet you will; and yet another yet. [Aside.
Sil. Yes, yes; the lines are very quaintly writ:
Val. Madam, they are for you.
Sil. Ay, ay, you writ them, sir, at my request;
Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.
Sil. And when it's writ, for my sake read it over : And if it please you, so: if not, why so.
Val. If it please me, madam! what then?
Sil. Why, if it please you, take it for your labour. And so good morrow, servant.
[Exit SILVIA. Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple! My master sues to her; and she hath taught her suitor, He being her pupil, to become her tutor. O excellent device! was there ever heard a better? That my master, being scribe, to himself should write the
letter? Val. How now, sir? what are you reasoning with yourself?
Speed. Nay, I was rhyming; 'tis you that have the reason.
Val. To do what?
Speed. What need she, when she hath made you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?
Val. No, believe me.
Speed. No believing you indeed, sir: But did you perceive her earnest?
Val. She gave me none, except an angry word. Speed. Why, she hath given you a letter. · Val. That's the letter I writ to her friend.
Speed. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and there an end.
Val. I would it were no worse.
For often have you writ to her; and she, in modesty,
Speed. O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet! now will he interpret to her.2
Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good-morrows.
Speed. O, 'give ye good even! here's a million of manners.
Sil. Sir Valentine and servant,d to you. two thousand.
Val. As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter,
Sil. I thank you, gentle servant: 'tis very clerkly done.
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.-
Val. I have dined. Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir; though the cameleon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my victuals, and would fain have meat. O, be not like your mistress; be moved, be moved.4
| Motion. A puppet-show. Silvia is the puppet, and Valentine will interpret for her. The master of the show was, in Shakspere's time, often called interpreter to the puppets.
2 Capell and Cambridge edit. give these speeches of Speed as (Aside.
3 In print. With exactness. Speed is repeating, or affects to be repeating, some lines which he has read.
4 Be moved. Have compassion on me.