DUKE OF MILAN, father to Silvia
VALENTINE, one of the two gentlemen
ANTONIO, father to Proteus
THURIO, a foolish rival to Valentine
EGLAMOUR, agent for Silvia in her escape
SPEED, a clownish servant to Valentine
LAUNCE, the like to Proteus
PANTHINO, servant to Antonio
HOST, where Julia lodges in Milan
OUTLAWS, with Valentine
JULIA, a lady of Verona, beloved of Proteus
SILVIA, the Duke's daughter, beloved of Valentine
LUCETTA, waiting-woman to Julia
Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUSVALENTINE
Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus:PROTEUS
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were′t not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour′d love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But since thou lovest, love still and thrive therein,
Even as I would when I to love begin.
Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu!VALENTINE
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.
And on a love-book pray for my success?PROTEUS
Upon some book I love I′ll pray for thee.VALENTINE
That′s on some shallow story of deep love:PROTEUS
How young Leander cross′d the Hellespont.
That′s a deep story of a deeper love:VALENTINE
For he was more than over shoes in love.
′Tis true; for you are over boots in love,PROTEUS
And yet you never swum the Hellespont.
Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.VALENTINE
No, I will not, for it boots thee not.PROTEUS
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;PROTEUS
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment′s mirth
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.VALENTINE
So, by your circumstance, I fear you′ll prove.PROTEUS
′Tis love you cavil at: I am not Love.VALENTINE
Love is your master, for he masters you:PROTEUS
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.
Yet writers say, as in the sweetest budVALENTINE
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
And writers say, as the most forward budPROTEUS
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn′d to folly, blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu! my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp′d.
And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.VALENTINE
Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.PROTEUS
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And likewise will visit thee with mine.
All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!VALENTINE
As much to you at home! and so, farewell.PROTEUS
He after honour hunts, I after love:SPEED
He leaves his friends to dignify them more,
I leave myself, my friends and all, for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me,
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.
Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?PROTEUS
But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.SPEED
Twenty to one then he is shipp′d already,PROTEUS
And I have play′d the sheep in losing him.
Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray,SPEED
An if the shepherd be a while away.
You conclude that my master is a shepherd, then,PROTEUS
and I a sheep?
Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.PROTEUS
A silly answer and fitting well a sheep.SPEED
This proves me still a sheep.PROTEUS
True; and thy master a shepherd.SPEED
Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.PROTEUS
It shall go hard but I′ll prove it by another.SPEED
The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep thePROTEUS
shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks
not me: therefore I am no sheep.
The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd; theSPEED
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.
Such another proof will make me cry ′baa.′PROTEUS
But, dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia?SPEED
Ay sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her,PROTEUS
a laced mutton, and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a
lost mutton, nothing for my labour.
Here′s too small a pasture for such store of muttons.SPEED
If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.PROTEUS
Nay: in that you are astray, ′twere best pound you.SPEED
Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me forPROTEUS
carrying your letter.
You mistake; I mean the pound,—a pinfold.SPEED
From a pound to a pin? fold it over and over,PROTEUS
′Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to
But what said she?SPEED
[First nodding] Ay.PROTEUS
Nod—Ay—why, that′s noddy.SPEED
You mistook, sir; I say, she did nod: and you askPROTEUS
me if she did nod; and I say, ′Ay.′
And that set together is noddy.SPEED
Now you have taken the pains to set it together,PROTEUS
take it for your pains.
No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.SPEED
Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.PROTEUS
Why sir, how do you bear with me?SPEED
Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly; having nothingPROTEUS
but the word ′noddy′ for my pains.
Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.SPEED
And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.PROTEUS
Come come, open the matter in brief: what said she?SPEED
Open your purse, that the money and the matter mayPROTEUS
be both at once delivered.
Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she?SPEED
Truly, sir, I think you′ll hardly win her.PROTEUS
Why, couldst thou perceive so much from her?SPEED
Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no,PROTEUS
not so much as a ducat 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.
What said she? nothing?SPEED
No, not so much as ′Take this for thy pains.′ ToPROTEUS
testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned
me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your
letters yourself: and so, sir, I′ll commend you to my master.
Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,
Which cannot perish having thee aboard,
Being destined to a drier death on shore.
Exit SPEEDI must go send some better messenger:
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.
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