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Enter DUKE. Duke. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset. Sir Valentine, your father's in good health. What say you to a letter from your friends Of much good news ? Val.
My lord, I will be thankfu To any happy messenger from thence.
Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your countryman!
Val. Ay, my good lord; I know the gentleman To be of worth, and worthy estimation, And not without desert so well reputed.
Duke. Hath he not a son ?
Val. Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves The honour and regard of such a father
Duke. You know him well ?
Val. I know him, as myself; for from our infancy We have convers’d, and spent our hours together · And though myself have been an idle truant, Omitting the sweet benefit of time, To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection ; Yet hath Sir Proteus, for that's his name, Made use and fair advantage of his days : His years but young, but his experience old; His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe; And, in a word, (for far behind his worth Come all the praises that I now bestow,) He is complete in feature, and in mind, With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good, lle is as worthy for an empress' love,
o fruture in the Poet's age was often used for form or persor in general. So in Ant. and Cleop. Act ii. sc. 5. “Report the featur: of Octavia.” Thus also Spenser : “ Which the fair jeat ure of her limbs did hide.”
• A petty mode of adjuration, equivalent to ill betide me.
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
Val. Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.
Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship, llad come along with me, but that his mistress Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks.
Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchis'd them, l'pon some other pawn for fealty. Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them prisoners
still. Sil. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind How could he see his way to seek out you?
Val. Why, lady, Love hath twenty pair of eyes.
Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself: Upon a homely object love can wink.
gentleman. [Exeunt THUrio and SPEED Val. Welcome, dear Proteus ! -- Mistress, I be.
seech you, Confirm his welcome with some special favour.
Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from.
? Cite, for incite
Val. Mistress, it is : sweet lady, entertain luim To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
Pro. Not so, sweet lady ; but too mean a servant To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
Val. Leave off discourse of disability : Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed: Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress
Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
That you are worthless
(Ereunt Silvia and THURIO. Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you
came ? Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much
commended. & Theobald put « a serrant” in the place of Thurio bere, keeping Thurio on the stage during the preceding dialogue; and tne change has peen received by most editors since. The object was, no doubt, to save the Duke from employing Sir 'Thurio, who is suitor to bis daughter, and the one favoured by himself, as his bearer of despatches. It must be owned that the etiquette of the palacc does give way a little here to the exigencies of the stage, which in the Poet's time often bad more characters than performers, and therefore could not always spare an actor to serve merely as message-carrier. Nevertheless we restore the old order of the
Val. And how do yours?
I left them all in health.
your love ? Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you : I know, you joy not in a love-discourse.
Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now: I have done penance for contemning love ; Whose high imperious o thoughts have punish'd me With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; For, in revenge of my contempt of love, Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes, And inade them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow O! gentle Proteus, Love's a mighty lord ; And hath so humbled me, as, I confess, There is no woe '' to his correction, Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth! Now, no discourse, except it be of love ; Now can I break my fast, 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 so ?
Val. Even she'; and is she not a heavenly saint ?
I will not flatter her
Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills And I must minister the like to you.
9 That is, imperial. Thus in Hamlet : « Imperious Cæsa dead and turn'd to clay.”
10 That is, nio misery compared to that inflicted by love ;-a form of speech not unusal in the old writers : Thus an old ballad
“ There is no comfort in the world
To women that are kind."
Val. Then speak the truth by her: if not divine, Yet let her be a principality," Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth. Pro. Except my mistress.
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:
Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worth as nothing. She is alone.
Pro. Then, - let her alone.
Pro. But she loves you ?
Ay, and we are betroth’d;
" A principality is an angel of the highest order, and there. fore neat to dirine. Speak the truth by her, -- that is, speak the truth of her; another obsolete use of a preposition.