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The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Act 1 Scene 3
Scene III The same. ANTONIO's house.
- [Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO]
- Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
- Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
- 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
- Why, what of him?
- He wonder'd that your lordship
- Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
- While other men, of slender reputation,
- Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
- Some to the wars, to try their fortune there;
- Some to discover islands far away;
- Some to the studious universities.
- For any or for all these exercises,
- He said that Proteus your son was meet,
- And did request me to importune you
- To let him spend his time no more at home,
- Which would be great impeachment to his age,
- In having known no travel in his youth.
- Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
- Whereon this month I have been hammering.
- I have consider'd well his loss of time
- And how he cannot be a perfect man,
- Not being tried and tutor'd in the world:
- Experience is by industry achieved
- And perfected by the swift course of time.
- Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?
- I think your lordship is not ignorant
- How his companion, youthful Valentine,
- Attends the emperor in his royal court.
- I know it well.
- 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither:
- There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
- Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen.
- And be in eye of every exercise
- Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
- I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised:
- And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
- The execution of it shall make known.
- Even with the speediest expedition
- I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.
- To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
- With other gentlemen of good esteem,
- Are journeying to salute the emperor
- And to commend their service to his will.
- Good company; with them shall Proteus go:
- And, in good time! now will we break with him.
- [Enter PROTEUS]
- Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life!
- Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
- Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn.
- O, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
- To seal our happiness with their consents!
- O heavenly Julia!
- How now! what letter are you reading there?
- May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
- Of commendations sent from Valentine,
- Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.
- Lend me the letter; let me see what news.
- There is no news, my lord, but that he writes
- How happily he lives, how well beloved
- And daily graced by the emperor;
- Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
- And how stand you affected to his wish?
- As one relying on your lordship's will
- And not depending on his friendly wish.
- My will is something sorted with his wish.
- Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
- For what I will, I will, and there an end.
- I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time
- With Valentinus in the emperor's court:
- What maintenance he from his friends receives,
- Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
- To-morrow be in readiness to go:
- Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.
- My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
- Please you, deliberate a day or two.
- Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee:
- No more of stay! to-morrow thou must go.
- Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ'd
- To hasten on his expedition.
- [Exeunt ANTONIO and PANTHINO]
- Thus have I shunn'd the fire for fear of burning,
- And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd.
- I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter,
- Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
- And with the vantage of mine own excuse
- Hath he excepted most against my love.
- O, how this spring of love resembleth
- The uncertain glory of an April day,
- Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
- And by and by a cloud takes all away!
- [Re-enter PANTHINO]
- Sir Proteus, your father calls for you:
- He is in haste; therefore, I pray you to go.
- Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,
- And yet a thousand times it answers 'no.'