William Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, Scene II
Enter Julia and Lucetta
Of all the fair resort of gentlemen That every day with parle encounter me, In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame That I, unworthy body as I am, Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus. He would have given it you; but I, being in the way, Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault I pray.
Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker! Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines? To whisper and conspire against my youth? Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth And you an officer fit for the place. Or else return no more into my sight.
And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter: It were a shame to call her back again And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. What a fool is she, that knows I am a maid, And would not force the letter to my view! Since maids, in modesty, say 'no' to that Which they would have the profferer construe 'ay.' Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse And presently all humbled kiss the rod! How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence, When willingly I would have had her here! How angerly I taught my brow to frown, When inward joy enforced my heart to smile! My penance is to call Lucetta back And ask remission for my folly past. What ho! Lucetta!
Nay, now you are too flat And mar the concord with too harsh a descant: There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. Here is a coil with protestation!
Tears the letter
Go get you gone, and let the papers lie: You would be fingering them, to anger me.
Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! O hateful hands, to tear such loving words! Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey And kill the bees that yield it with your stings! I'll kiss each several paper for amends. Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia! As in revenge of thy ingratitude, I throw thy name against the bruising stones, Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. And here is writ 'love-wounded Proteus.' Poor wounded name! my bosom as a bed Shall lodge thee till thy wound be thoroughly heal'd; And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down. Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away Till I have found each letter in the letter, Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear Unto a ragged fearful-hanging rock And throw it thence into the raging sea! Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ, 'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, To the sweet Julia:' that I'll tear away. And yet I will not, sith so prettily He couples it to his complaining names. Thus will I fold them one on another: Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.