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Duke of Milan, father to Silvia.
Gentlemen of Verona.
Julia, a lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus. Silvia, the duke's daughter, beloved by Valentine. Lucetta, waiting-woman to Julia.
Servants, musicians. Scene, Sometimes in Verona ; sometimes in Milan;
and on the frontiers of Mantua.
SCENE I.-An open place in Verona. Enter
Valentine and Proteus.
Valentine. CEASE to persuade, my loving Proteus ; Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits : Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, I rather would entreat thy company, To see the wonders of the world abroad, Than living dully sluggardiz'd at home, Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein, Even as I would, when I to love begin. Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine,
adieu ! Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel : Wish me partaker in thy happiness, When thou dost meet good hap; and, in thy dan
ger, If ever danger do environ thee, Commend thy grievance to my boly prayers,
For I will be thy beads-man, Valentine.
Val. And on a love-book pray for my success. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love. For he was more than over shoes in love.
Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swam the Hellespont. Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the
boots. 1 Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not. Pro.
To be In love, where scorn is bought with groans; coy
looks, With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth, With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights : If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain ; If lost, why then a grievous labour.won; However, but a folly bought with wit, Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool. Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll
prove. Pro. 'T'is love you cavil at; I am not Love.
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you: And he that is so yoked by a fool, Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud The eating canker dwells, so eating love Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
Val. And writers say, As the most forward bud Is eaten by the canker ere it blow, Even so by love the young and tender wit Is turn'd to folly ; blasting in the bud, Losing his verdure even in the prime,
(1) A humorous punishment at harvest-home feasts, &c.