SCENE II. The same. Garden of JULIA's house.



Enter JULlA and LUCETTA

JULIA
But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?

LUCETTA
Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.

JULIA
Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

LUCETTA
Please you repeat their names, I'll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill.

JULIA
What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?

LUCETTA
As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.

JULIA
What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?

LUCETTA
Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.

JULIA
What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus?

LUCETTA
Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us!

JULIA
How now! what means this passion at his name?

LUCETTA
Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.

JULIA
Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?

LUCETTA
Then thus: of many good I think him best.

JULIA
Your reason?

LUCETTA
I have no other, but a woman's reason;
I think him so because I think him so.

JULIA
And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?

LUCETTA
Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.

JULIA
Why he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.

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

JULIA
His little speaking shows his love but small.

LUCETTA
Fire that's closest kept burns most of all.

JULIA
They do not love that do not show their love.

LUCETTA
O, they love least that let men know their love.

JULIA
I would I knew his mind.

LUCETTA
Peruse this paper, madam.

JULIA
'To Julia.' Say, from whom?

LUCETTA
That the contents will show.

JULIA
Say, say, who gave it thee?

LUCETTA
Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus.
He would have given it you; but I, being in the way,
Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault I pray.

JULIA
Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth
And you an officer fit for the place.
Or else return no more into my sight.

LUCETTA
To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.

JULIA
Will ye be gone?

LUCETTA
That you may ruminate.

Exit

JULIA
And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter:
It were a shame to call her back again
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What a fool is she, 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,
When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
My penance is to call Lucetta back
And ask remission for my folly past.
What ho! Lucetta!

Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA
What would your ladyship?

JULIA
Is't near dinner-time?

LUCETTA
I would it were,
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.

JULIA
What is't that you took up so gingerly?

LUCETTA
Nothing.

JULIA
Why didst thou stoop, then?

LUCETTA
To take a paper up that I let fall.

JULIA
And is that paper nothing?

LUCETTA
Nothing concerning me.

JULIA
Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

LUCETTA
Madam, it will not lie where it concerns
Unless it have a false interpreter.

JULIA
Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.

LUCETTA
That I might sing it, madam, to a tune.
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

JULIA
As little by such toys as may be possible.
Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'

LUCETTA
It is too heavy for so light a tune.

JULIA
Heavy! belike it hath some burden then?

LUCETTA
Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.

JULIA
And why not you?

LUCETTA
I cannot reach so high.

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

LUCETTA
Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks I do not like this tune.

JULIA
You do not?

LUCETTA
No, madam; it is too sharp.

JULIA
You, minion, are too saucy.

LUCETTA
Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

JULIA
The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.

LUCETTA
Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

JULIA
This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation!

Tears the letter

Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:
You would be fingering them, to anger me.

LUCETTA
She makes it strange; but she would be best pleased
To be so anger'd with another letter.

Exit

JULIA
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 thoroughly 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 on another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA
Madam,
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.

JULIA
Well, let us go.

LUCETTA
What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?

JULIA
If you respect them, best to take them up.

LUCETTA
Nay, I was taken up for laying them down:
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.

JULIA
I see you have a month's mind to them.

LUCETTA
Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.

JULIA
Come, come; will't please you go?

Exeunt

Act 1, Scene 1 | Act 1, Scene 3

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