Is it near dinner time?
I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.
What is't that you took up so gingerly?
Why didst thou stoop, then?
To take a paper up
That I let fall.
And is that paper nothing?
Nothing concerning me.
Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.
Some love of yours hath writ to you in rime.
That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.
As little by such toys as may be possible;
Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' Love.'
It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Heavy! belike it hath some burden then?
Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.
And why not you?
I cannot reach so high.
Let's see your song. [Taking the letter.]
How now, minion!
Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks, I do not like this tune.
You do not?
No, madam; it is too sharp.
You, minion, are too saucy.
Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant;
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.
Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
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.
She makes it strange; but she would be best pleas'd
To be so anger'd with another letter.
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 throughly 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 upon another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.
Well, let us go.
What! shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?
If you respect them, best to take them up.
Nay, I was taken up for laying them down;
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
I see you have a month's mind to them.
Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.
Come, come; will't please you go?