Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ?
Luc. Then thus,—of many good I think him best.
Jul. Your reason ?

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason :
I think him so, because I think him so.
Jul. And wouldst thou have me cast

my

love on him ? Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away. Jul. Why, he, of all the rest, hath never mov'd me. Luc. Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye. Jul. His little speaking shows his love but small. Luc. Fire that is closest kept burns most of all. Jul. They do not love, that do not show their love. Luc. Oh! they love least, that let men know their love. Jul. I would I knew his mind. Luc.

Peruse this paper, madam.

[Giving a letter. Jul. To Julia.” Say, from whom ? Luc.

That the contents will show.
Jul. Say, say, who gave it thee?
Luc. Sir Valentine'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 the fault, I pray.

Jul. Now, 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.
There, take the paper: see it be return'd,

[Giving back the letter. Or else return no more into

my sight. Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate. Jul. Will you be

gone ? Luc.

That you may ruminate. [Exit. Jul. And yet, I would I had o'erlook'd the letter.

places; but the alteration of the old annotator renders it more exact. In the next line, for “a loving gentleman,” the old copies have on lovely gentlemen : that gentlemen is wrong the rhyme may be said to establish, and the next observation of Julia also shows that Proteus only was referred to by Lucetta. The change of lovely to “ loving" seems natural and proper, though by no means imperative, excepting that, if one portion of the emendation be necessarily adopted, it may be thought to give sanction to the rest : besides, lovely seems hardly an epithet that even a waiting-maid would apply to a gentleman, who moreover was certainly “ loving" as regards her mistress.

It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. .
What 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,
When willingly I would have had her here:
How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile.
My penance is to call Lucetta back,
And ask remission for my folly past. —
What ho! Lucetta!

Re-enter LUCETTA.

Luc.

What would your ladyship?
Jul. Is it near dinner-time ?
Luc.

I would, it were ;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat,
And not upon your

maid.

[Dropping the letter, and taking it up again? Jul. What is't that you took up so gingerly? Luc. Nothing Jul. Why didst thou stoop, then ? Luc.

To take a paper up,
That I let fall.
Jul.

And is that paper nothing ?
Luc. Nothing concerning me.
Jul. Then, let it lie for those that it concerns.

Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.

Jul. Some love of your's hath writ to you in rhyme.

Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune. Give me a note : your ladyship can set.

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible :

7 Dropping the lett and taking it up again.] This and other stage-directions about the letter are from the corr. fo. 1632: they relate to the business of the scene, as, we may believe, the comedy was performed in the time of the old annotator. Modern editions are without them, and performers might, therefore, omit to do what was required in the course of the dialogue.

Best sing it to the tune of “ Light o’ love 8.'

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Jul. Heavy ? belike, it hath some burden then.
Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.
Jul. And why not you?
Luc.

I cannot reach so high.
Jul. Let's see your song.-[snatching the letter.] How now,

minion !
Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out.
And yet, methinks, I do not like this tune.

Jul. You do not?
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 descanto:
There wanteth but a mean i 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 !

[Tearing the letter, and throwing it down. 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 pleas'd better To be so anger'd with another letter'.

[Exit. Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! Oh hateful hands, to tear such loving words ! Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey,

8 Best sing it to the tune of “Light o' love."] This tune is often mentioned; the earliest authority for it, perhaps, being the “Gorgeous Gallery of "Gallant Inventions,” 4to, 1578; but see Chappell's “English Song and Ballad Music,” Vol. i. p. 221, second edition. In Deloney's “Strange Histories,” 8vo, 1607, “the doleful lamentation of Lord Matrevers," &c. is “to the tune of Light of love.” Percy Society's Reprint, p. 42.

9 – too harsh a DESCANT :] “Descant" formerly signified what we now denominate variations. See also Vol. iv. p. 298. | There wanteth but a MEAN] The “mean" is what is now called the tenor.

I BID THE BASE] The allusion of Lucetta is to the base cleff in music, and to the well-known game of prison-base, or prisoner's-base, at which “to bid the base"

seems to have meant to invite to a contest who should first arrive at the base. See the note on “ to bid the wind a base,” in “ Venus and Adonis," Vol. vi. p. 494.

3 To be so anger'd with another letter.] This line rhymes with the preceding one, according to the corr. fo. 1632, where best pleas'd is therefore amended to

pleas'd better.” It is almost self-evident that Lucetta rhymed on making her exit; and, although she speaks as if aside, she is overheard by Julia. VOL. I.

H

2

66

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,
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 throughly 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 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 is 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 unto them .

5

4 And thus I SEARCH it] To "search " a wound is to probe it, or tent it. Respecting tent, see Vol. iv. p. 510.

a MONTH'S MIND UNTO them.) A "month's mind” is here equivalent to a great mind” or strong inclination; “A month's mind” in its “ritual sense,” is a month's remembrance; and when Nash wrote his “ Martin's Month's Mind," 4to, 1589, he applied it in that way : it was a month's remembrance of Martin Mar-prelate. The ritual “ Month's Mind” was derived from times prior to the Reformation, when masses were said for a stated period in memory of the dead: hence they were also called “ Month's Memories,and “Month's monuments." Unto,"

,for to, is from the corr. fo. 1632, and it amends the measure without the slightest violence to the meaning.

Luc. Ay, madam, you may see what sights you think '; I see things too, although you judge I wink. Jul. Come, come; will't please you go?

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

The Same. A Room in ANTONIO's House.

Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO.

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

Pant. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Ant. Why, what of him?
Pant.

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 impeachment 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,

6

you see

7

you may see what sights you THINK;] Here again Lucetta rhymes before she goes out, the old copies being most likely corrupt, which read say what sights

for see what sights you think :" the latter is the emendation of the corr. fo. 1632.

what sad talk was that,] “Sad” was generally used of old for serious or grave. See Vol. ii. pp. 38. 289. 692; Vol. iii. pp. 80. 192 ; Vol. iv. p. 164, &c.

8 Which would be great IMPEACHMENT to his age,] “Impeachment” has two senses, that of impediment and imputation, with two different etymologies, though our dictionaries only give one: they are both French, empêcher and pécher, the first meaning to obstruct or hinder, and the last to sin or trespass. Here Panthino means that it would be a great imputation upon Proteus in his age, that he had known no travel in his youth. Impeachment,” in the sense of hindrance, was a word not unfrequently used of old.

66

« EdellinenJatka »