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Pro. I left them all in health.
Val. How does your lady? and how thrives your love ?
Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you;
I know, you joy not in a love-discourse.
Val. Ay, Protheus, but that life is alter'd now;
I have done penance for contemning love,
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
With nightly tears, and daily heart-fore sighs.
For, in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chac'd sleep from my enthralled eyes,
And made them watchers of mine own heart's-forrow.
O gentle Protheus, love's a mighty lord,
And hath fo humbled me, as, I confess
There is no wo to his correction;
Nor, to his service, any joy on earth.
Now, no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my faft, dine, sup, and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.
Pro. Enough: I read your fortune in your eye.
Was this the idol that you worship fo?
Val. Even she; and is she not a heav'nly saint?
Pro. No; but she is an earthly paragon.
Val. Call her divine.
Pro. I will not flatter her.
Val. O, flatter me; for love delights in praise.
Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.
Val. Then speak the truth by her : if not divine,
Yet let her be a principality,
Sov’reign to all the creatures on the earth.
Pro. Except my mistress.
Val. Sweet, except not any,
Except thou wilt except against my love.
Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignify'd with this high honour,
To bear my lady's train, left the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss;
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower ;
And make rough winter everlastingly,
Pro. Why, Valentine, what bragadism is this?
Val. Pardon me, Protheus; all I can is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing; She is alone.
Pro. Why, then let her alone.
Val. Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own.
And I as rich in having fuch a jewel,
As twenty seas, if all their fand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou seeft me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes
Only for his possessions are so huge,
with her along, and I must after ; For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.
Pro. But she loves you?
Val. Ay, and we are betroth’d; nay more, our marriage, With all the cunning manner of our fight, Determin’d of; how I must climb her window, The ladder made of cords, and all the means Plotted, and 'greed on, for my happiness. Good Protheus, go with me to my
chamber, In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel. Pro. Go on before ; I shall enquire you
I must unto the road, to disembark
Some neceffaries that I needs must use;
And then I'll presently attend upon you.
Val. Will you make haste?
Pro. I will.
Ev'n as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another;
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Is it mine eyne, or Valentino's praise ?
Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus ?
She’s fair; and fo.is Julia that I love;
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks, my zeal to Valentine is cold,
And that I love him not as I was wont.
O, but I love his lady too, too much;
And that's the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice,
That thus without advice begin to love her?
'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazled so my reason's light:
But when I look on her perfections,
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love, I will;
If not, to compass her I'll use
Enter Speed and Launce.
Speed. Launce, by mine honesty, welcome to Milan.
Laun. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth; for I am not wel-
come: I reckon this always, that a man is never undone 'till he
be hang’d, nor never welcome to a place 'till some certain shot
be pay'd, and the hostess say, welcome.
Speed. Come on, you mad-cap; I'll to the ale-house with
you presently, where, for one shot of five-pence, thou shalt have five thousand welcomes
. But, firrah, how did thy master part with madam Julia?
Laun. Marry, after they clos'd in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.
Speed. But shall she marry him?
Speed. How then? shall he marry her ?
Laun. No, neither.
Speed. What, are they broken?
Laun. No, they are both as whole as a fish.
Speed. Why then, how stands the matter with them?
Laun. Marry, thus; when it stands well with him, it stands well with her. Speed. But, tell me true, will’t be a match?
Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will.
Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.
Laun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.
Speed. 'Tis well, that I get it so: but, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
Laun. I never knew him otherwise.
Speed. Than how ?
Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistak’st me.
Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love: if thou wilt go with me to the ale-house, so; if not, thou art an Hebrew, a few, and not worth the name of a Christian.
Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to go to the ale-house with a Christian : wilt thou go? Speed. At thy service.
it stands well with her.
Speed. What an ass art thou? I understand thee not.
Laun. What a block art thou, that thou canst not?
My staff understands me.
Speed. What thou say'st ?
Laun. Ay, and what I do too : look thee, I'll but lean, and my staff understands me.
Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
Laun. Why, stand-under, and understand, is all one.
Speed. But tell me true, &c.
Enter Protheus folus.
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 ev’n that pow'r which gave me first my oath,
Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
Love bad me swear, and love bids me forfwear :
O sweet suggesting love, if thou hast sinn'd,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
At first I did adore a twinkling star,
But now I worship a celestial fun.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit that wants resolved will
To learn his wit t'exchange the bad for better.
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad,
Whose sov’reignty so oft thou hast preferr’d
With twenty thousand soul-confirmed 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, this 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 heav'n, that made her fair !)
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Remembring 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 us’d to Valentine :