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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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ACT I SCENE II The same. Garden of Julia's house. 
[Enter JULlA and LUCETTA]
JULIABut say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
LUCETTAAy, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
JULIAOf all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
LUCETTAPlease you repeat their names, I'll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill.
JULIAWhat think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
LUCETTAAs of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;10
But, were I you, he never should be mine.
JULIAWhat think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?
LUCETTAWell of his wealth; but of himself, so so.
JULIAWhat think'st thou of the gentle Proteus?
LUCETTALord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us!
JULIAHow now! what means this passion at his name?
LUCETTAPardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
JULIAWhy not on Proteus, as of all the rest?20
LUCETTAThen thus: of many good I think him best.
JULIAYour reason?
LUCETTAI have no other, but a woman's reason;
I think him so because I think him so.
JULIAAnd wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?
LUCETTAAy, if you thought your love not cast away.
JULIAWhy he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.
LUCETTAYet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.
JULIAHis little speaking shows his love but small.
LUCETTAFire that's closest kept burns most of all.30
JULIAThey do not love that do not show their love.
LUCETTAO, they love least that let men know their love.
JULIAI would I knew his mind.
LUCETTAPeruse this paper, madam.
JULIA'To Julia.' Say, from whom?
LUCETTAThat the contents will show.
JULIASay, say, who gave it thee?
LUCETTAValentine'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 the40
fault I pray.
JULIANow, 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.
LUCETTATo plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
JULIAWill ye be gone?
LUCETTAThat you may ruminate.
JULIAAnd yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter:50
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,60
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]
LUCETTAWhat would your ladyship?
JULIAIs't near dinner-time?
LUCETTAI would it were,
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.
JULIAWhat is't that you took up so gingerly?70
JULIAWhy didst thou stoop, then?
LUCETTATo take a paper up that I let fall.
JULIAAnd is that paper nothing?
LUCETTANothing concerning me.
JULIAThen let it lie for those that it concerns.
LUCETTAMadam, it will not lie where it concerns
Unless it have a false interpeter.
JULIASome love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
LUCETTAThat I might sing it, madam, to a tune.80
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.
JULIAAs little by such toys as may be possible.
Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'
LUCETTAIt is too heavy for so light a tune.
JULIAHeavy! belike it hath some burden then?
LUCETTAAy, and melodious were it, would you sing it.
JULIAAnd why not you?
LUCETTAI cannot reach so high.
JULIALet's see your song. How now, minion!
LUCETTAKeep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks I do not like this tune.90
JULIAYou do not?
LUCETTANo, madam; it is too sharp.
JULIAYou, minion, are too saucy.
LUCETTANay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
JULIAThe mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.
LUCETTAIndeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
JULIAThis babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation!
[Tears the letter]
Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:100
You would be fingering them, to anger me.
LUCETTAShe makes it strange; but she would be best pleased
To be so anger'd with another letter.
JULIANay, 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,110
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 bear120
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]
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.
JULIAWell, let us go.
LUCETTAWhat, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?
JULIAIf you respect them, best to take them up.
LUCETTANay, I was taken up for laying them down:
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
JULIAI see you have a month's mind to them.
LUCETTAAy, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.
JULIACome, come; will't please you go?140

Next: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Scene 3

Explanatory notes for Act 1, Scene 2
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society.

19. Censure, in Shakespeare's time, was commonly used in the sense of judging, passing judgement, giving one's judgement or opinion. Thus in The Winter's Tale, II. i. 36, 37: "How blest am I in my just censure, in my true opinion!"

30. Fire is here a dissyllable. The play has other like examples. This and other words, as your, hour, power, etc., were continually used thus by the poets of Shakespeare's time as one or two syllables, as their verse required.

53. What fool is she; the first three Folios read 'what 'fool is she,' indicating the omission of the indefinite article, a not uncommon Elizabethan idiom.

94, 95. descant: - The simple air in music was called the plain song, or ground; the descant was probably what is now called variations; the mean was the part between treble and tenor. This use of musical terms before a popular audience would seem to infer, what was indeed the case, that taste and knowledge in music was a characteristic trait of "merry England in the olden time."

97. I bid the base: - Lucetta is still quibbling, and turns the allusion ofif upon the rustic game of base, or prison-base, in which one ran and challenged another to catch him.

126. Sith: - Since.

136. for catching cold: - That is, lest they should catch cold; anciently a common form of expression.

137. I see you have a moneth's mind to them; Schmidt in his Shakespeare Lexicon explains the phrase 'month's mind' as 'a woman's longing,' as though the expression had its origin in the longing for particular articles of food shown by women, but this interpretation seems to have no authority. Johnson rightly remarks on this passage: - 'A month's mind, in the ritual sense, signifies not desire or inclination, but remembrance; yet I suppose this is the true original of expression,' The Cambridge ed. following Fol. reads 'month's mind,' but the metre clearly requires the contemporary archaic form.

How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society, 1901. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.

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