Enter Protheus solus.

Pro. To leaue my Iulia; shall I be forsworne? To loue faire Siluia; shall I be forsworne? To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworne. And ev'n that Powre which gaue me first my oath Prouokes me to this three-fold periurie. Loue bad mee sweare, and Loue bids me for-sweare; O sweet-suggesting Loue, if thou hast sin'd, Teach me (thy tempted subiect) to excuse it. At first I did adore a twinkling Starre, But now I worship a celestiall Sunne: Vn-heedfull vowes may heedfully be broken, And he wants wit, that wants resolued will, To learne his wit, t' exchange the bad for better; Fie, fie, vnreuerend tongue, to call her bad, Whose soueraignty so oft thou hast preferd, With twenty thousand soule-confirming oathes. I cannot leaue to loue; and yet I doe: But there I leaue to loue, where I should loue. Iulia I loose, and Valentine I loose, If I keepe them, I needs must loose my selfe: If I loose them, thus finde I by their losse, For Valentine, my selfe: for Iulia, Siluia. I to my selfe am deerer then a friend, For Loue is still most precious in it selfe, And Siluia (witnesse heauen that made her faire) Shewes Iulia but a swarthy Ethiope. I will forget that Iulia is aliue, Remembring that my Loue to her is dead. And Valentine Ile hold an Enemie, Ayming at Siluia as a sweeter friend. I cannot now proue constant to my selfe, Without some treachery vs'd to Valentine. This night he meaneth with a Corded-ladder To climbe celestiall Siluia's chamber window, My selfe in counsaile his competitor. Now presently Ile giue her father notice Of their disguising and pretended flight: Who (all inrag'd) will banish Valentine: For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter, But Valentine being gon, Ile quickely crosse By some slie tricke, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding. Loue lend me wings, to make my purpose swift As thou hast lent me wit, to plot this drift.


Scoena septima.

Enter Iulia and Lucetta.

Iul. Counsaile, Lucetta, gentle girle assist me, And eu'n in kinde loue, I doe coniure thee, Who art the Table wherein all my thoughts Are visibly Character'd, and engrau'd, To lesson me, and tell me some good meane How with my honour I may vndertake A iourney to my louing Protheus

Luc. Alas, the way is wearisome and long

Iul. A true-deuoted Pilgrime is not weary To measure Kingdomes with his feeble steps, Much lesse shall she that hath Loues wings to flie, And when the flight is made to one so deere, Of such diuine perfection as Sir Protheus

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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