Pro. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye: Was this the Idoll, that you worship so? Val. Euen She; and is she not a heauenly Saint? Pro. No; But she is an earthly Paragon

Val. Call her diuine

Pro. I will not flatter her

Val. O flatter me: for Loue delights in praises

Pro. When I was sick, you gaue me bitter pils, And I must minister the like to you

Val. Then speake the truth by her; if not diuine, Yet let her be a principalitie, Soueraigne to all the Creatures on the earth

Pro. Except my Mistresse

Val. Sweet: except not any, Except thou wilt except against my Loue

Pro. Haue I not reason to prefer mine owne? Val. And I will help thee to prefer her to: Shee shall be dignified with this high honour, To beare my Ladies traine, lest the base earth Should from her vesture chance to steale a kisse, And of so great a fauor growing proud, Disdaine to roote the Sommer-swelling flowre, And make rough winter euerlastingly

Pro. Why Valentine, what Bragadisme is this? Val. Pardon me (Protheus) all I can is nothing, To her, whose worth, make other worthies nothing; Shee is alone

Pro. Then let her alone

Val. Not for the world: why man, she is mine owne, And I as rich in hauing such a Iewell As twenty Seas, if all their sand were pearle, The water, Nectar, and the Rocks pure gold. Forgiue me, that I doe not dreame on thee, Because thou seest me doate vpon my loue: My foolish Riuall that her Father likes (Onely for his possessions are so huge) Is gone with her along, and I must after, For Loue (thou know'st is full of iealousie.) Pro. But she loues you? Val. I, and we are betroathd: nay more, our mariage howre, With all the cunning manner of our flight Determin'd of: how I must climbe her window, The Ladder made of Cords, and all the means Plotted, and 'greed on for my happinesse. Good Protheus goe with me to my chamber, In these affaires to aid me with thy counsaile

Pro. Goe on before: I shall enquire you forth: I must vnto the Road, to dis-embarque Some necessaries, that I needs must vse, And then Ile presently attend you

Val. Will you make haste?


Pro. I will. Euen as one heate, another heate expels, Or as one naile, by strength driues out another. So the remembrance of my former Loue Is by a newer obiect quite forgotten, It is mine, or Valentines praise? Her true perfection, or my false transgression? That makes me reasonlesse, to reason thus? Shee is faire: and so is Iulia that I loue, (That I did loue, for now my loue is thaw'd, Which like a waxen Image 'gainst a fire Beares no impression of the thing it was.) Me thinkes my zeale to Valentine is cold, And that I loue him not as I was wont: O, but I loue his Lady too-too much, And that's the reason I loue him so little. How shall I doate on her with more aduice, That thus without aduice begin to loue her? 'Tis but her picture I haue yet beheld, And that hath dazel'd my reasons light: But when I looke on her perfections, There is no reason, but I shall be blinde. If I can checke my erring loue, I will, If not, to compasse her Ile vse my skill.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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