Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[blocks in formation]

Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear Wouldst thou, then, counsel me to fall in love?

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. Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheed

fully.

Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle 13 encounter me,

In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

Luc. Please you repeat their names, I'll show my mind

Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: According to my shallow simple skill.

what said she?

Speed. Open your purse, that the money and the
matter may be both at once delivered.
Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains. [Giving
bim money.] What said she?
Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.
Pro. Why, couldst thou perceive so much from
her?

Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, 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.

Pro. What, said she nothing?

Speed. No, not so much as "Take this for thy pains." To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me;12 in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.

Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,

Which cannot perish having thee aboard,

Being destin'd to a drier death on shore. [Ex. SPEED. I must go send some better messenger:

[blocks in formation]

Jul. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour: 14

Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine; But, were I you, he never should be mine. Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio? Luc. Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so. Jul. What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus? Luc. Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us! Jul. How now! what means this passion at his name?

Luc. Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame That I, unworthy body as I am,

Should censure 15 thus on lovely gentlemen.

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?

Luc. Then thus,-of many good I think him best.

Jul. Your reason?

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason;

I think him so, because I think him so.

Jul. And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?

Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away. Jul. Why, he, of all the rest, hath never mov'd

me.

Luc. Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.

gentleman and lover, Speed had not dared to twit him so broadly with his niggard and reluctant recompence, or to speak in such free terms of the lady Proteus addresses.

13. Parle. Talk; from French parler. We have still a form of the word in 'parley.'

14. Sir Eglamour. The gentleman here alluded to is, of course, not the same with his namesake who appears in a subsequent part of the play. We are to suppose the one a Veronese, the other a Milanese.

15. Censure. This word was formerly often used without involying blame or ill-opinion; it merely signified to judge or criticise.

Jul. His little speaking shows his love but small. Luc. Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. Jul. They do not love that do not show their love.

Luc. Oh, they love least that let men know their love.

Jul. I would I knew his mind.

Luc. Peruse this paper, madam. [Gives a letter.
Jul. [reads] "To Julia."-Say, from whom?
Luc. That the contents will show.
Jul. Say, say, who gave it thee?

Luc. Sir Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus.

He would have given it you; but I, being in the

[blocks in formation]

It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What fool is she,1s that knows I am a maid,
And would not force the letter to my view!
Since maids, in modesty, say "No" to that
Which they would have the profferer construe,
"Ay."

Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love,
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse,
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here !
How angerly I taught my brow to frown,

16. Fire. Here pronounced as a dissyllable. It was used either thus or monosyllabically at the pleasure of former writers, according as the need of their rhythm demanded.

17. Broker. Used for a match-maker, a go-between; and sometimes with the utmost degradation and infamy attaching to such agents.

18. What fool is she. A form of phraseology formerly used, where we should now say-'What a fool is she.'

19. Stomach. Here used in the combined sense of 'anger' and 'hunger.'

When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile!
My penance is to call Lucetta back,
And ask remission for my folly past.—
What, ho! Lucetta!

Luc.

Re-enter LUCETTA.
What would your ladyship?
I would it were;

Jul. Is it near dinner-time?
Luc.

That you might kill your stomach 19 on your meat,
And not upon your maid.

Jul. What is that you took up so gingerly?
Luc. Nothing.

Jul. Why didst thou stoop, then?

Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall.
Jul. And is that paper nothing?
Luc. Nothing concerning me.

Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns. 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.20

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible. Best sing it to the tune of "Light o' love." Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune. Jul. Heavy! belike it hath some burden, then? Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.

ful. And why not you?
Luc.

Jul. Let's see your song.
How now, minion!

I cannot reach so high. [Taking the Letter.]

Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it

out:

And yet methinks I do not like this tune.
Jul. You do not?

Luc.
No, madam; it is too sharp.
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.
Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant: 22
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

20. Set. Said, in the sense of setting words to music; taken, in the sense of setting store by, prizing, or valuing. 21. Light o Love. The name of a then popular song; and more than once alluded to by Shakespeare.

22. Descant. A musical term, signifying what we now call 'a variation.' By "a mean," Lucetta intends to say a tenor voice; and she afterwards plays on the word "base," which applies to a voice of low register, and to a period in the game called 'prison-base,' when one player runs, challenging another to pursue. This introduction of quibbles upon musical terras,

[blocks in formation]

Oh, 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.

[blocks in formation]

I see things too, although you judge I wink.27 Jul. Come, come; will't please you go? [Exeunt.

Look, here is writ—" kind Julia :”—unkind Julia! SCENE III-VERONA. A room in ANTONIO's 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.

shows that they were not unfamiliar to the general audience; while the indication that, among other accomplishments, Julia was sufficient mistress of musical composition to set verses to music, gives evidence of the state of cultivation of the art by

ladies at that time.

23. Coil. Turmoil, uproar; in familiar parlance, fuss. 24. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! One of the best modern editors thinks this should form part of Lucetta's speech; adding-" In the mouth of her mistress it seems senseless and absurd." But is it not natural that Julia, overhearing Lucetta's parting muttered fling, should reply by a confession, the moment she is alone, that she would fain be so angered (that is, pretendedly) by the very same letter which she soon flies to, picks up, and eagerly reads? We can fancy her, after this confession, coyly eyeing the torn letter for a few seconds, thenwith a shy, furtive glance around, lest she be observed-speeding to the spot where it lies, gathering up the fragments, devouring their contents, and pressing the "loving words" to her lips and

House.

Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO.

Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad 28 talk was that

Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister? Pan. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son. Ant. Why, what of him?

Pan. He wonder'd that your lordship Would suffer him to spend his youth at home, While other men, of slender reputation, Put forth their sons to seek preferment out: Some to the wars, to try their fortune there; Some to discover islands far away; Some to the studious universities. For any, or for all these exercises, He said that Proteus your son was meet; And did request me to impòrtune you To let him spend his time no more at home, Which would be great impeachment to his age, 29 In having known no travel in his youth.

bosom. Without this line as its introduction, the speech would come abruptly; and there would be nothing to explain that Julia's previous aversion was assumed.

25. For catching cold. An elliptical mode of expressing, 'for fear of catching cold.'

26. A month's mind. This expression, which passed into familiar use as signifying an earnest wish or longing for anything, is said to have originated in a much more solemn application,-the periodical celebration of mass for the souls of deceased persons, called a month's mind.' It probably arose from the strong yearning and devout desire supposed to possess those who offered these obsequial observances on behalf of departed friends.

27. Wink. Shakespeare almost always uses this word to express closing the eyes to the exclusion of sight.

28. Sad. Serious, sedate, grave.

29. Impeachment. Used here in the sense of imputation, ground of reproach; and in the sense of hindrance, drawback,

[graphic]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »