Julia/Lucetta “Two Gentlemen of Verona” (Act 1, Scene 2)

JULIA and LUCETTA stroll in.
JULIA: But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
LUCETTA: Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
JULIA: Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
LUCETTA: Please you repeat their names; I’ll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill.
JULIA: What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
LUCETTA: As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.
JULIA: What think’st thou of the rich Mercatio?
LUCETTA: Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.
JULIA: What think’st thou of the gentle Proteus?
LUCETTA: Lord, Lord! To see what folly reigns in us!
JULIA: How now? What means this passion at his name?
LUCETTA: Pardon, dear madam, ’tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
JULIA: Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
LUCETTA: Then thus: of many good I think him best.
JULIA: Your reason?
LUCETTA: I have no other, but a woman’s reason:
I think him so because I think him so.
JULIA: And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?
LUCETTA: Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
JULIA: Why he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.
LUCETTA: Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.
JULIA: His little speaking shows his love but small.
LUCETTA: Fire that’s closest kept burns most of all.
JULIA: They do not love that do not show their love.
LUCETTA: O, they love least that let men know their love.
JULIA: I would I knew his mind.
LUCETTA pulls out a letter and gives it to JULIA.
LUCETTA: Peruse this paper, madam.
JULIA: ‘To Julia.’ Say, from whom?
LUCETTA: That the contents will show.
JULIA: Say, say, who gave it thee?
LUCETTA: Sir 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.
JULIA: 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.
JULIA thrusts the letter back at LUCETTA.
LUCETTA: To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
JULIA: Will ye be gone?
LUCETTA: That you may ruminate.
LUCETTA exits. JULIA paces for a moment in her anger, which quickly fades. She looks offstage after LUCETTA.
JULIA: 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! What ho! Lucetta!
LUCETTA slowly enters.
LUCETTA: What would your ladyship?
JULIA: Is’t near dinner-time?
LUCETTA: I would it were,
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.
— END —