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A Jester.

This fellow's wise enough to play the fool;
And, to do that well, craves a kind of wit ;
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons and the time;
And, like the haggard,* check at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practice,
As full of labour as a wise man's art:
For folly, that he wisely shews, is fit;
But wise men, folly-fallen, quite taint their wit.

Unsought Love.

Cesario, by the roses of the spring,

By maidhood, honour, truth, and every thing,
I love thee so, that maugre† all thy pride,
Nor wit, nor reason can my passion hide.
Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,
For, that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause;
But, rather, reason thus with reason fetter:
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.



Valentine and Proteus, the two gentlemen of Verona, are in love severally with Silvia, daughter of the Duke of Milan, and Julia, a lady of Verona. Valentine leaves Verona for the court of Milan, where he is joined by Proteus, Julia following her lover in male attire. Proteus proves inconstant and becomes enamoured of Silvia, whose intended elopement and marriage with Valentine

* A hawk not properly trained.


he betrays to her father the Duke, who designs to wed her tc Thurio an empty braggart. On discovering this the Duke banishes Valentine from his dominions, who, journeying towards Mantua, encounters in a forest certain outlaws, who make him their captain. After Valentine's exile, Proteus, dissembling his love for Silvia, promises the Duke to urge her to accept Thurio; she rejects both suitors and follows Valentine, on whom her father at length bestows her. The treachery of Proteus being discovered, he becomes repentant, and is pardoned by Julia, who accepts him as her husband. The more serious parts of the play are relieved by the comic scenes in which Speed and Launce, servants to Valentine and Proteus, appear.


Love Commended and Censured.

PROTEUS. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud The eating canker dwells, so eating love

Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

VALENTINE. And writers say, As the most forward bud

Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,

Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.

Love Froward and Dissembling.

Maids, in modesty say "No" to that
Which they would have the profferer construe Aye.
Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love;
That, like a testy babe will scratch the nurse,
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod!

Advantage of Travelling.

He cannot be a perfect man,

Not being try'd and tutor'd in the world;

Experience is by industry achieved,
And perfected by the swift course of time.
Love compared to an April day.

O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day;
Which now shews all the beauty of the sun,
And by and bye a cloud takes all away!


An accomplished young Gentleman.

His years but young, but his experience old;
His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word (for far behind his worth
Come all the praises that I now bestow),
He is complete in feature, and in mind,
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.

Contempt of Love punished.

I have done penance for contemning love; Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; For, in revenge of my contempt of love, Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes, And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow.

O, gentle Proteus, Love's a mighty lord,

And hath so humbled me, as, I confess,

There is no woe to his correction,

Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth!
Now, no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.


Love increased by Attempts to suppress it.

JULIA. Didst thou but know the inly touch of love; Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow, As seek to quench the fire of love with words. LUCETTA. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;

But qualify the fire's extreme rage,

Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
JULIA. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it

The current, that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But, when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with the enamell'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;

And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

A faithful Lover.

His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate;
His tears pure messengers sent from his heart,
His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.


Presents prevail with Woman.

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words;
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More than quick words do move a woman's mind.

Beauty petitioning in vain.

Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, (Which unreversed, stands in effectual force), A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears: Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd; With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them, As if but now they waxed pale for woe ; But neither bended knees, pure hands held up, Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears, Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire.


Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, And manage it against despairing thoughts.

Three Things in Man disliked by Women.
The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent;
Three things that women highly hold in hate.

The Power of Poetry with Women.

Say, that upon the altar of her beauty
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart
Write till your ink be dry; and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line,
That may discover such integrity :-

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