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Luc. No, madam ; it is too sharp.
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.

Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:6
There wanteth but a mean’ to fill your song.

Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.
Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

Jul. 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. Luc. She makes it strange; but she would be best

pleas'd To be so anger’d with another letter. [Exit.

Jul. 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. And, 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. Look, here is writ-love-wounded Proteus:Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed, Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heald; 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,

6 -- too harsh a descant:] Descant is a term in music, sig. nifying in general that kind of harmony in which one part is broken, and formed into a kind of paraphrase on the other.

but a mean, &c.] The mean is the tenor in music. To bid the base means here, I believe, to challenge to a contest.


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 upon another
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Re-enter LUCETTA.

Luc. Madam, dinner's ready, and your father

stays. Jul. Well, let us go. Luc. What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales

here? Jul. If you respect them, best to take them up.

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

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

Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you I see things too, although you judge I wink. Jul. Come, come, wilt please you go?


see ;

9 Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.] i. e. lest they should catch cold. This mode of expression is not frequent in Shakspeare, but occurs in every play of Beaumont and Fletcher,

* I see, you have a month's mind to them.] A month's mind was an anniversary in times of popery. There was also a year's mind, and week's mind. But a month's mind, in the ritual sense, signifies not desire or inclination, but remembrance.


The same.

A room in Antonio's House.



Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talkwas that, Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister ?

Pan. "Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Ant. Why, what of him?

He wonder'd, that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home;
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
Some, to the wars, to try their fortune there;
Some, to discover islands far away ;*
Some, to the studious universities.
For any, or for all these exercises,
He said, that Proteus, your son, was meet :
And did request me, to importune you,
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great inpeachment to his age,
In having known no travel in his youth.

Ant. Nor need’st thou much importune me to that Whereon this month I have been hammering. I have consider'd well his loss of time; And how he cannot be a perfect man, Not being try’d, and tutor’d in the world :


what sad talk ] Sad is the same as grave or serious.

of slender reputation,] i. e. who are thought slightly of. * Some to discover islands far away ;] In Shakspeare's time, voyages for the discovery of the islands of America were much in vogue. And the sons of the best families in England, went very frequently on these adventures. WARBURTON.

great impeachment to his age,] Impeachment, i. e. re. proach or imputation. VOL. I.



Experience is by industry atchiev'd,
And perfected by the swift course of time :
Then, tell me, whither were I best to send him?

Pan. I think, your lordship is not ignorant,
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor in his royal court."

Ant. I know it well.
Pan. "Twere good, I think, your lordship sent

him thither :
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen ;
And be in eye of every exercise,
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.

Ant. I like thy counsel ; well hast thou advis'd:
And, that thou may'st perceive how well I like it,
The execution of it shall make known ;
Even with the speediest execution
I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.
Pan. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Al-

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With other gentlemen of good esteem,
Are journeying to salute the emperor,
And to commend their service to his will.

6 Attends the emperor in his royal court.] Shakspeare has been guilty of no mistake in placing the emperor's court at Milan in this play. Several of the first German emperor's held their courts there occasionally, it being, at that time, their immediate property, and the chief town of their Italian dominions. Some of them were crowned kings of Italy at Milan, before they received the imperial crown at Romne. Nor has the poet fallen into any contradiction by giving a duke to Milan at the same time that the emperor held his court there. The first dukes of that, and all the other great cities in Italy, were not sovereign princes, as they afterwards became ; but were merely governors, or viceroys, un. der the emperors, and removeable at their pleasure. Such was the Duke of Milan mentioned in this play. Mr. M. Mason adds, that.“ during the wars in Italy between Francis I. and Charles V. the latter frequently resided at Milan." STEEVENS.

Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go: And, in good time,—now will we brcak with him.

Enter Proteus.

Pro. Sweet love! sweet lines ! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn :
0, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents !
O heavenly Julia !

Ant. How now? what letter are you reading there?
Pro. May't please your Lordship, 'tis a word or

two Of commendation sent from Valentine, Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.

Ant. Lend me the letter; let me see what news.

Pro. There is no news, my lord; but that he writes How happily he lives, how well-belov’d, And daily graced by the emperor ; Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish?

Pro. As one relying on your lordship’s will, And not depending on his friendly wish.

Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish : Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed ; For what I will, I will, and there an end. I am resolv'd that thou shalt spend some time With Valentinus in the emperor's court ; What maintenance he from his friends receives, Like exhibition shalt thou have from me. To-morrow be in readiness to go :


1-- in good time,] In good time was the old expression when something happened that suited the thing in hand.

now will we break with him.] That is, break the matter to him. · Like exhibition i.e. allowance.

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