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TWO G E N T L E M E N
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. THE opinions of commentators are divided upon this play. Hanmer supposes that some particular speeches ars
Shakspeare's : Upton, that he had no hand in its production: Theobald considers it one of his worst pieces : Pope decides that the style is more natural and unaffected than our poet's usually was : and Jobasso declares that both in the serious and ludicrous scenes, the language and sentiments are Shakspeare's; and that few ef his plays have more lines or passages, which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful. One thing, bor ever, appears certain---that this drama was one of his earliest efforts; that it was not very favourably received ; and that, being seldom exhibited, it escaped the corruptions and interpolations, to which bis more popular performances were subjected. The incidents of the play have not been assigned to any definite source; though it is not improbable that The Arcadia, and the common romances so much ia rogue st that period, might have suggested some of them. Dr. Johnson says, that it evinces " a strange mixture of know. ledge and ignorance, of care and negligenco ;" and that the versification is often excellent---the allusions learned and just."
Host, where Julia lodges in Milan.
JULIA, a Lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus. THUR10, a foolish rival to Valentine. SILVIA, the Duke's Daughter, beloved by Fa. EGLAMOUR, Agent for Silvia in her escape.
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers, SCENE I.-An open place in Verona. for I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.
Val. And on a love-book pray for my snccess. Enter VALENTINE and PROTBUS.
Pro. Upon some book i love, I'll pray for l'al. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus ;
thee. Home-keeping youth bave ever homely wits : Val. That's on some shallow story of deep Wer't not, affection ohains thy tender days
love, To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont. I rather would entreat thy company,
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; To see the wonders of the world abroad,
For he was more than over sboes in love. Than living dully sluggardiz'd at home,
Val. 'Tis true ; for you are over boots in Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
love ; But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive And yet you never swam the Hellespont. therein,
Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the Even as I would, wben I to love begin.
boots.. Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not. adieu !
Pro. What 1 Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, secat Val. To be Soine rare note-worthy object in thy travel : In love, where scorn is bought with groans ; coy Wisb me partaker in ihy happincss,
looks, wbeo thou dost meet good hap; and, in thy danger,
• A humorous punishment at harrest-home feasts, ko
With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's Pro, But dost thou hear ? cay'st thou my mirth,
letter to Julia With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights : Speed. Ay, Sir : 1, a lost mutton, gave your If baply won, perhaps, a hapless gain;
letter to her, a laced multon; and she, a laced If lost, why tben a grievous labour won ;
mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my However, but a folly bought with wit,
labour. Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
* Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me store of muttons. fool.
Speed, If the ground be overcharged, you Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll were best stick her. prove.
Pro. Nay, in tbat you are astray ; 'Iwere best Pro. "Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.
pound you. Val. Love is your master, for he masters you : Speed. Nay, Sir, less than a pouud sball serve And be that is so yoked by a fool,
me for carrying your letter. Methinks should not be chronicled for wise. Pro. You mistake ; I mean the pound, a pin
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud fold. The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over Inbabits in the finest wits of all.
and over, Val. Yet writers say, As the most forward | 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to bud
your lover. Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Pro. But what said she did she nod ? Even so by love the young and tender wit
(SPEED nods. Is turn'd to folly, blasting iu the bud,
Speed. I. Losing his verdure even in the prime,
Pro. Nod, I? why, that's noddy. + And all the fair effects of future hopes.
Speed. You mistook, Sir; I say she did nod: Bat wherefore waste I time to counsel thee, and you ask me, if she did nod, and I say, I. That art a votary to fond desire ?
Pro. And that set together, is-noddy. Once more adieu : my father at the road
Speed. Now you have taken the paius to set Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd. it together, take it for your paios. Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valen- Pro. No, no, you shall have it for bearing tine.
the letter. Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our Speed. Well, I perceive, I must be fain to leave.
bear with you. of Milan, let us hear from thee by letters, Pro. Why, Sir, how do you bear with me! At thy success in love, and wbat news else Speed. Marry, Sir, the letter very orderly ; Betideth here in absence of thy friend :
baving nothing but the word, poddy for my And I likewise will visit thee with mine.
pains. Pro. All bappiness bechance to thee in Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit. Milan 1
Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow Val. As much to you at home ! and so farc-purse. well.
(Exit VALENTINE. Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief ; Pro. He after honour hauts, I after love : What said she ? He leaves his friends, to dignify them more ; Speed. Open your purse, that the money and I leave mysell, my friends, and all for love.
the matter may be both at once deliver'd. Thou, Julia, thou bast metamorphos'd me; Pro. Well, Sir, here is for your paius : What Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, said she ? War with good counsel, set the world at
Speed. Truly, Sir, I think you'll hardly win nought!
her, Made wit with musing weak, beart sick with Pro. Why? Could'st thon perceive so much thought.
from her ?
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all Enter SPEED.
from her ; no, not so much as a ducat for deli
vering your letter: And being so hard to me Speed. Sir Proteus, save you; Saw you my that brought your mind, I fear, she'll prove as
master ? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark token but stones; for sbe's as bard as steel.
hard to you in telling her mind. Give her no for Milao.
Pro. What, said she nothing? Speed. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd
No, not so much as-take this for thy already ;
pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, Aud I have play'd the sheep in losing trim. Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
you have testern'd I me; in requital whereof, An if the shepberd be a while away.
benceforth carry your letters yourself : and so,
Sir, I'll commend you to my master. Speed. You conclude that my master is a
Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from shepherd then, and I a sheep?
wreck : Pro. I do. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, Being destined to a drier death on shore :
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
I must go send some better messenger ;
Receiving them from such a worthless post.
(Ereunt. Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circum
stance. Pro. It sball go hard, but I'll prove it by SCENE II.-The same. Garden of JULIA another.
house. Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not
Enter JULAA and LUCETTA. thy sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me ; therefore, I am
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, no sheep.
Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love? Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shep- Luc. Ay, madam ; so you stumble bot un. herd, the shepherd for food foilows not the
heedfully. sbeep ; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep.
A term for a girl of pleasure : Mutton-lane, in Speed. Such another proof will inake me cry soch persons.
Clerkenwell, is so called from being frequented log
* A game at cards. baa.
1 Given mo a sixpence.
Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile! That every day with parle • encounter me, My pedance is, to call Lucetta back, In tby opinion, which is worthiest love?
And ask remission for my folly past : Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll What ho ! Lucetta!
show my mind According to my shallow simple skill.
Re-enter LUCETTA. Jul. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Egla.
Luc. What would your ladyship? mour ? Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and
Jul. Is it near dinner-time ?
Luc. I would it were ; fine ; But, were I you, he never sbonld be mine.
That you might kill your stomach on your Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ?
meat, Luc. Well of his wealth ; but of bimself, so
And not upon your maid.
Jul. What is't you took up Jul. Wbat think'st thou of the gentle Pro
Luc. Notbing. teus 3 Luc. Lord, lord I to see wbat folly reigps in
Jul. Why did'st thou stoop then
Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall. us! Jul. How now! what means this passion at
Jul. And is that paper nothing ! his naine ?
Luc. Nothing concerning me. Luc. Pardon, dear madam; tis a passing
Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it conshaine, That I, unworthy body as I am,
cerns, Should censure † thus on lovely gentlemen.
Unless it have a false interpreter. Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ?
Jul. Some love of your's bath writ to you in Luc. Then thus,-of many good I think him
Luc. Tbat I might sing it, madam, to a Jul. Your reason 1
tube: Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason ;
Give me a note : your ladyship can set. I think bim so, because I think him so.
Jul. As little by such toys as may be posJul. And would'st tbou bave me cast my love
Best sing it to the tune of Light o' lore. on bim? Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast
Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Jul. Heavy ? belike it bath some burden away:
tben. Jul. Why, he of all the rest bath never mov'd
Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you ine. Luc. Yet he of all the rest, I think, best loves
Jul. And why not you ? ye. Jul. His little speaking shows his love but
Luc. I cannot reach so higb. small.
Jul. Let's see your soug ;-How nom, miLuc. Fire, that is closest kept, burns most
nion 7 of all.
Luc. Keep tune there sull, so you will sing Jul. They do not love, that do not show their
it out; love.
And yet methinks, I do not like this tune. Luc. Oh ! they love least, that let men know
Jul. You do not their love.
Luc. No, madam ; it is too sbarp. Jul. I would I knew bis mind.
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy. Luc. Peruse this paper, madam.
Luc. Nay, now you are too fat, Jul. To Julia,-Say, from whom !
And mar the concord with too harsh a des Luc. That the contents will show.
cant : Jul. Say, say; who gave it thee?
There wantetb but a mean * to fill your song. Luc. Sir Valentine's page ; and sent, I think, Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly from Proteus :
base. He would bave given it you, but I, being in the Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
Jul. This babble sball not benceforth trouble Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault,
me. I pray
Here is a coil $ with protestation ! Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker ! I
[Tears the letter. Dare you presume to barbour wanton lines? Go, get you gone ; and let the papers lie: To wbisper and couspire against my youth? You would be fingering them, to anger me. Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth, Luc. She makes it strange ; but she would be And you an omicer fit for the place.
best pleas'a There, take the paper, see it be return'd; To be so anger'd with another letter. [Erit. Or else return no more into my sight.
Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee
same ! than hate.
o bateful bands, to tear such loving words! Jul. Will you be gone ?
Injurious wasps! to feed on such sweet boney Luc. That you may ruminate. (Exlt. Aud kill the bees, that yield it, with your Jul. And yet I would I bad o'erlook'd the
stings ! letter.
I'll kiss each several paper for amends. It were a shame to call her back again,
And bere is writ-kind Julia ;-unkind Julia ! Acd pray her to a fault for which I cuid ber. As in revenge of thy ingratitude, What fool is she, that knows I ain a waid, I throw tby name against the bruising stones And would not force the letter to my view ? Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain, Since maids, in modesty, say, No, to that Look, here is writ-love-toundid Proteus :Which they would have the profferer construe, Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed, Ay.
Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be thoroughly Fie, fie ! how wayward is this foolish love,
heal'd; That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse, And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. And presently, all bumbled, kiss the rod ! But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written How churlishly I chid Lucetta bence,
down? When willingiy I would have had her here! How angrily I taught my brow to frown,
• Passion or obstiuncy.
+ The tenor in music • Talk + Pass senteras. : A matchmaker. * A challenge