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The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 1, scene 2
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Act 1, scene 2
Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.Enter Julia and Lucetta.
0156 But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
0157 Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
0158 Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
0159 Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
0160 5 That every day with parle encounter me,
0161 In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
0162 Please you repeat their names, I’ll show my mind
0163 According to my shallow simple skill.
0164 What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
0165 10 As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine;
0166 But, were I you, he never should be mine.
0167 What think’st thou of the rich Mercatio?
0168 Well of his wealth, but of himself so-so.
0169 What think’st thou of the gentle Proteus?
0170 15 Lord, Lord, to see what folly reigns in us!
0171 How now? What means this passion at his name?
0172 Pardon, dear madam, ’tis a passing shame
0173 That I, unworthy body as I am,
0174 Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
0175 20 Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
0176 Then thus: of many good, I think him best.
JULIA 0177 Your reason?
0178 I have no other but a woman’s reason:
0179 I think him so because I think him so.
0180 25 And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?
0181 Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
0182 Why, he of all the rest hath never moved me.
0183 Yet he of all the rest I think best loves you.
0184 His little speaking shows his love but small.
0185 30 Fire that’s closest kept burns most of all.
0186 They do not love that do not show their love.
0187 O, they love least that let men know their love.
JULIA 0188 I would I knew his mind.
LUCETTA, ⌜handing her a paper⌝ 0189 Peruse this paper,
0190 35 madam.
JULIA ⌜reads⌝ 0191 “To Julia.”—Say from whom.
LUCETTA 0192 That the contents will show.
JULIA 0193 Say, say who gave it thee.
0194 Sir Valentine’s page; and sent, I think, from
0195 40 Proteus.
0196 He would have given it you, but I, being in the way,
0197 Did in your name receive it. Pardon the fault, I pray.
0198 Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
0199 Dare you presume to harbor wanton lines?
0200 45 To whisper and conspire against my youth?
0201 Now trust me, ’tis an office of great worth,
0202 And you an officer fit for the place.
0203 There, take the paper; see it be returned,
0204 Or else return no more into my sight.
LUCETTA, ⌜taking the paper⌝
0205 50 To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
0206 Will you be gone?
LUCETTA 0207 That you may ruminate.She exits.
0208 And yet I would I had o’erlooked the letter.
p. 230209 It were a shame to call her back again
0210 55 And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
0211 What fool is she that knows I am a maid
0212 And would not force the letter to my view,
0213 Since maids in modesty say “no” to that
0214 Which they would have the profferer construe “ay”!
0215 60 Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love
0216 That like a testy babe will scratch the nurse
0217 And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod!
0218 How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
0219 When willingly I would have had her here!
0220 65 How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
0221 When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
0222 My penance is to call Lucetta back
0223 And ask remission for my folly past.—
0224 What ho, Lucetta!
LUCETTA 0225 70 What would your Ladyship?
0226 Is ’t near dinner time?
LUCETTA 0227 I would it were,
0228 That you might kill your stomach on your meat
0229 And not upon your maid.
⌜She drops a paper and then retrieves it.⌝
0230 75 What is ’t that you took up so gingerly?
LUCETTA 0231 Nothing.
JULIA 0232 Why didst thou stoop, then?
0233 To take a paper up that I let fall.
JULIA 0234 And is that paper nothing?
LUCETTA 0235 80Nothing concerning me.
0236 Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
0237 Madam, it will not lie where it concerns
0238 Unless it have a false interpreter.
0239 Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
0240 85 That I might sing it, madam, to a tune,
0241 Give me a note. Your Ladyship can set—
0242 As little by such toys as may be possible.
0243 Best sing it to the tune of “Light o’ Love.”
0244 It is too heavy for so light a tune.
0245 90 Heavy? Belike it hath some burden then?
0246 Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.
0247 And why not you?
LUCETTA 0248 I cannot reach so high.
JULIA, ⌜taking the paper⌝
0249 Let’s see your song. How now, minion!
0250 95 Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out.
0251 And yet methinks I do not like this tune.
JULIA 0252 You do not?
LUCETTA 0253 No, madam, ’tis too sharp.
JULIA 0254 You, minion, are too saucy.
LUCETTA 0255 100Nay, now you are too flat
0256 And mar the concord with too harsh a descant.
0257 There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
0258 The mean is drowned with ⌜your⌝ unruly bass.
0259 Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
0260 105 This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
0261 Here is a coil with protestation.
⌜She rips up the paper. Lucetta begins
to pick up the pieces.⌝
0262 Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie.
0263 You would be fing’ring them to anger me.
0264 She makes it strange, but she would be best pleased
0265 110 To be so angered with another letter.⌜She exits.⌝
0266 Nay, would I were so angered with the same!
0267 O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
0268 Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
0269 And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
0270 115 I’ll kiss each several paper for amends.
⌜She picks up some pieces.⌝
0271 Look, here is writ “kind Julia.” Unkind Julia,
0272 As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
0273 I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
0274 Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
0275 120 And here is writ “love-wounded Proteus.”
0276 Poor wounded name, my bosom as a bed
0277 Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly healed,
0278 And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
0279 But twice or thrice was “Proteus” written down.
0280 125 Be calm, good wind. Blow not a word away
0281 Till I have found each letter in the letter
0282 Except mine own name. That some whirlwind bear
0283 Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock
0284 And throw it thence into the raging sea.
0285 130 Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
0286 “Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
0287 To the sweet Julia.” That I’ll tear away—
0288 And yet I will not, sith so prettily
0289 He couples it to his complaining names.
p. 290290 135 Thus will I fold them one upon another.
0291 Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
0292 Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays.
JULIA 0293 Well, let us go.
0294 What, shall these papers lie like telltales here?
0295 140 If you respect them, best to take them up.
0296 Nay, I was taken up for laying them down.
0297 Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
⌜She picks up the rest of the pieces.⌝
0298 I see you have a month’s mind to them.
0299 Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
0300 145 I see things too, although you judge I wink.
JULIA 0301 Come, come, will ’t please you go?