Page images


SCENE I. The same. An Abbey.


Egl. The sun begins to gild the western sky;
And now, it is about the very hour
That Silvia, at Patrick's cell, should meet me.
She will not fail; for lovers break not hours,
Unless it be to come before their time;
So much they spur their expedition.

Enter Silvia.

See, where she comes : Lady, a happy evening!

Sil. Amen, amen! go on, good Eglamour !
Out at the postern by the abbey-wall;
I fear, I am attended by some spies.

Egl. Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off: If we recover that, we are sure enough. [Exeunt.


The same.

An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. Enter ThuriO, PROTEUS, and JULIA. Thu. Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit?

Pro. O, sir, I find her milder than she was ;
And yet she takes exceptions at your person.

Thu. What, that my leg is too long?
Pro. No; that it is too little.
Thu. I'll wear a boot, to make it somewhat


- sure enough.] Sure is safe, out of danger.

Pro. But love will not be spurr'd to what it loaths.
Thu. What says she to my face?
Pro. She says, it is a fair one.
Thu. Nay, then the wanton lies ; my face is black,

Pro. But pearls are fair; and the old saying is, Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.

Jul. 'Tis true, such pearls as put out ladies' eyes; For I had rather wink than look on them. [Aside.

Thu. How likes she my discourse?
Pro. Ill, when you talk of war.
Thu. But well, when I discourse of love, and


Jul. But better, indeed, when you hold your

Thu. What says she to my valour?
Pro. O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.
Jul. She needs not, when she knows it cowardice,

Thu. What says she to my birth?
Pro. That you are well deriv’d.
Jul. True ; from a gentleman to a fool. [Aside.
Thu. Considers she my possessions ?
Pro. O, ay; and pities them.
Thu. Wherefore?
Jul. That such an ass should owe them. [Aside.
Pro. That they are out by lease."
Jul. Here comes the duke.

8 Black men are pearls, &c.] “ A black man is a jewel in a fair woman's eye,” is one of Ray's proverbial sentences.

9 That they are out by lease. Because Thurio's folly has let them on disadvantageous terms; or, because they are let to others, and are not in his own dear hands; or, by Thurio's possessions, he himself understands his lands and estate. But Proteus chooses to take the word likewise in a figurative sense, as signifying his mental endowments : and when he says they are out by lease, he means they are no longer enjoyed by their master, (who is a fool,) but are leased out to another. VOL. I.


Enter DUKE.
Duke. How now, sir Proteus ? how now, Thurio ?
Which of you saw sir Eglamour of late?

Thu. Not I.
Pro. Nor I.


you my daughter? Pro.

Neither Duke. Why, then she's fled unto that peasant

Valentine; And Eglamour is in her company. "Tis true ; for friar Laurence met them both, As he in penance wanderd through the forest : Him he knew well, and guess'd that it was she; But, being mask’d, he was not sure of it: Besides, she did intend confession At Patrick's cell this even; and there she was not: These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence. Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse, But mount you presently; and meet with me Upon the rising of the mountain-foot That leads towards Mantua, whither they are fled. Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me. [Exit.

Thu. Why, this it is to be a peevish girl,' That flies her fortune when it follows her: I'll after; more to be reveng'd on Eglamour, Than for the love of reckless Silvia,? [Erit.

Pro. And I will follow, more for Silvia's love, Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her. (Exit.

Jul. And I will follow, more to cross that love, Than hate for Silvia, that is gone for love. [Erit.


a peevish girl,] i. e. in ancient language, foolish.
reckless Silvia.] i. e. careless, heedless.


Frontiers of Mantua. The Forest.

Enter Silvia, and Out-laws.
Out. Come, come ;
Be patient, we must bring you to our captain.

Sil. A thousand more mischances than this one Have learn’d me how to brook this patiently.

2 Out. Come, bring her away.
i Out. Where is the gentleman that was with her ?

3 Out. Being nimble-footed, he hath out-run us,
But Moyses, and Valerius, follow him.
Go thou with her to the west end of the wood,
There is our captain : we'll follow him that's fled;
The thicket is beset, he cannot 'scape.

i Out. Come, I must bring you to our captain's


Fear not; he bears an honourable mind,
And will not use a woman lawlessly.

Sil. O Valentine, this I endure for thee. [Exeunt,


Another part of the Forest.

Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns :
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
And to the nightingale's complaining notes,
Tune my distresses, and record my woes.3


record my woes.] To record anciently signified to sing. To record is a term still used by bird-fanciers, to express the first essays of a bird in singing.

O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless ;
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
And leave no memory of what it was !
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia ;
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain !
What halloing, and what stir, is this to-day?
These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
Have some unhappy passenger in chase :
They love me well; yet I have much to do,
To keep them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine; who's this comes here?

[Steps aside.

Enter PROTEUS, Silvia, and JULIA. Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you, (Though you respect not aught your servant doth,) To hazard life, and rescue you from him That wou'd have forc'd your honour and your

love. Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look ; A smaller boon than this I cannot beg, And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give.

Val. How like a dream is this I see and hear! Love, lend me patience to forbear a while. [Aside.

Sil. O miserable, unhappy that I am!

Pro. Unhappy, were you, madam, ere I came; But, by my coming, I have made you happy. Sil. By thy approach thou mak’st me most un

happy. Jul. And me, when he approacheth to your pre

[Aside. Sil. Had I been seized by a hungry lion,


* () thou that dost, &c.] It is hardly possible to point out four lines in any of the plays of Shakspeare, more remarkable for ease and elegance. STEEVENS,

my meed,] i. e. reward.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »