Immagini della pagina

I do desire thy worthy company,
Upon whose faith and honour I repose.
Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour,
But think upon my grief, a lady's grief,
And on the justice of my flying hence,
To keep me from a most unholy match,
Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
I do desire thee, even from a heart

As full of sorrows as the sea of sands,
To bear me company and go with me:
If not, to hide what I have said to thee,
That I may venture to depart alone.

Egl. Madam, I pity much your grievances;
Which since I know they virtuously are placed,
I give consent to go along with you,

Recking as little what betideth me

As much I wish all good befortune you.
When will you go?


This evening coming.

Egl. Where shall I meet you?


At Friar Patrick's cell,

Where I intend holy confession.

Egl. I will not fail your ladyship. Good

morrow, gentle lady.

Sil. Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.

[Exeunt severally.


SCENE IV. The same.

Enter LAUNCE, with his Dog.

Launce. When a man's servant shall play the cur with him, look you, it goes hard: one that I

37. grievances. . . are placed,


sorrowful affections
bestowed. Sir Eglamour, a
chivalrous lover, passes from the

notion of sorrow to that of love-sorrow, and thence to the object upon which the love is 'placed.'

[ocr errors]

brought up of a puppy; one that I saved from drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it. I have taught him, even as one would say precisely, 'thus I would teach a dog.' I was sent to deliver him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master; and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he steps me to her trencher and steals her capon's leg: O, 'tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies! I would have, as one should say, one that takes upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all things. If I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault upon me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged for 't; sure as I live, he had suffered for 't: you shall judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four gentlemanlike dogs, under the duke's table: he had not been there-bless 20 the mark a pissing while, but all the chamber smelt him. 'Out with the dog!' says one: 'What cur is that?' says another: 'Whip him out' says the third: 'Hang him up' says the duke. I, having been acquainted with the smell before, knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that whips the dogs: 'Friend,' quoth I, 'you mean to whip the dog?' 'Ay, marry, do I,' quoth he. 'You do him the more wrong,' quoth I; "'twas I did the thing you wot of.' He makes me no 30 more ado, but whips me out of the chamber. How many masters would do this for his servant? Nay, I'll be sworn, I have sat in the stocks for puddings he hath stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered for 't. Thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I remember

11. keep, restrain.

the trick you served me when I took my leave of Madam Silvia: did not I bid thee still mark me and do as I do? when didst thou see me heave up 40 my leg and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale? didst thou ever see me do such a trick?


Pro. Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
And will employ thee in some service presently.
Jul. In what you please: I'll do what I can.
Pro. I hope thou wilt. [To Launce] How now,
you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?
Launce. Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the
dog you bade me.

Pro. And what says she to my little jewel? Launce. Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish thanks is good enough for such a present.

Pro. But she received my dog?

Launce. No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him back again.


Pro. What, didst thou offer her this from me? Launce. Ay, sir; the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman boys in the market- 60 place and then I offered her mine own, who is a


59. the other squirrel, a playful name for Proteus' 'little jewel.' Possibly there is an allusion to the feminine fancy for tame squirrels. Mr. Marshall refers to Lyly's Endymion (ii. 2), where Scintilla is introduced leading one in a chain. The word had probably equivocal associations, and Lyly coins the

word squirrilitie as a variant for obscenity (Pap with the Hatchet).

60. hangman, rascally. The first Folio has hangman's, and Delius thought of an official confiscation of the dog by the hangman's servants; but it is more natural to attribute its loss to mischievous boys.

dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift the greater.

Pro. Go get thee hence, and find my dog


Or ne'er return again into my sight.

Away, I say! stay'st thou to vex me here?

[Exit Launce.
A slave, that still an end turns me to shame!
Sebastian, I have entertained thee,
Partly that I have need of such a youth
That can with some discretion do my business,
For 'tis no trusting to yond foolish lout,
But chiefly for thy face and thy behaviour,
Which, if my augury deceive me not,

Witness good bringing up, fortune and truth:
Therefore know thou, for this I entertain thee.
Go presently and take this ring with thee,
Deliver it to Madam Silvia :

She loved me well deliver'd it to me.

Jul. It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.

She is dead, belike?


Jul. Alas!


Not so; I think she lives. 8.

[blocks in formation]

As you do love your lady Silvia:

She dreams on him that has forgot her love; You dote on her that cares not for your love. 'Tis pity love should be so contrary;

And thinking on it makes me cry 'alas!'

67. still an (on) end, continually.

79. leave, part with.

Pro. Well, give her that ring and therewithal
This letter. That's her chamber. Tell my lady
I claim the promise for her heavenly picture.

Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
Where thou shalt find me, sad and solitary. [Exit.
Jul. How many women would do such a mes-
sage ?

Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain'd
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him, I must pity him.

This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will;

And now am I, unhappy messenger,

To plead for that which I would not obtain,

To carry that which I would have refused,

To praise his faith which I would have dispraised.
I am my master's true-confirmed love;

But cannot be true servant to my master,
Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.

Enter SILVIA, attended.

Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my mean
To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.

Sil. What would you with her, if that I be she?
Jul. If you be she, I do entreat your patience
To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
Sil. From whom?

Jul. From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
Sil. O, he sends you for a picture.

Jul. Ay, madam.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« IndietroContinua »