Prospect of a village at a distance.
(Camillo; Julio; Leonora; Don Bernard)
Julio’s father Camillo is trying to work out why the Duke would want Julio to go to court. Julio himself is uncertain whether he wishes to go, as it involves leaving his beloved Leonora behind. He is particularly worried as her father is expecting him to propose to her that night, with Camillo’s consent. Leonora enters and is not impressed with Julio’s unwillingness to talk to his father on the matter, and suggests that they break up. When she finds out he has been summoned to court, however, she is upset, fearing he will find someone more beautiful there. He denies the possibility, and they vow their love to one another, both swearing to remain faithful. Her father Don Bernard enters, disapproving of their public display of affection and reminding Julio that things will move no further without Camillo’s approval. Julio leaves, promising to have Camillo’s consent by morning, and Don Bernard admits his reservations about the lad to his daughter, fearing that he may be a bit feather-brained. However, he is neither opposed nor in favor of the match, so is willing to let Leonora marry Julio so long as Camillo agrees. (164 lines)
Enter Camillo with a letter.
How comes the Duke to take such notice of my son, that he must needs have him in court, and I must send him upon the view of his letter?—Horsemanship! What horsemanship has Julio? I think, he can no more but gallop a hackney, unless he practiced riding in France. It may be, he did so; for he was there a good continuance. But I have not heard him speak much of his horsemanship. That’s no matter: if he be not a good horseman, all’s one in such a case, he must bear. Princes are absolute; they may do what they will in any thing, save what they cannot do.
O, come on, sir; read this paper: no more ado, but read it: it must not be answer’d by my hand, nor yours, but, in gross, by your person; your sole person. Read aloud.
Please you, to let me first o’erlook it, sir.
I was this other day in a spleen against your new suits: I do now think, some fate was the tailor that hath fitted them: for, this hour, they are for the palace of the Duke. Your father’s house is too dusty.
Hem!—to court? Which is the better, to serve a mistress, or a Duke? I am sued to be his slave, and I sue to be Leonora’s.
You shall find your horsemanship much praised there; are you so good a horseman?
I have been,
E’er now, commended for my seat, or mock’d.
Take one commendation with another, every third’s a mock. Affect not therefore to be praised. Here’s a deal of command and entreaty mixt; there’s no denying; you must go; peremptorily he enforces that.
What fortune soever my going shall encounter, cannot be good fortune; what I part withal unseasons any other goodness.
You must needs go; he rather conjures than importunes.
No moving of my love-suit to him now?
Great fortunes have grown out of less grounds.
What may her father think of me, who expects to be solicited this very night?
Those scatter’d pieces of virtue, which are in him, the court will solder together, varnish, and rectify.
He will surely think I deal too slightly, or unmannerly, or foolishly, indeed; nay, dishonestly; to bear him in hand with my father’s consent, who yet hath not been touch’d with so much as a request to it.
Well, sir, have you read it over?
And consider’d it?
As I can.
If you are courted by good fortune, you must go.
So it please you, sir.
By any means, and tomorrow: is it not there the limit of his request?
It is, sir.
I must bethink me of some necessaries, without which you might be unfurnish’d: and my supplies shall at all convenience follow you. Come to my closet by and by; I would there speak with you.
Exit Camillo. Manet Julio solus.
I do not see that fervor in the maid,
Which youth and love should kindle. She consents,
As ’twere to feed without an appetite;
Tells me, she is content; and plays the coy one,
Like those that subtly make their words their ward,
Keeping address at distance. This affection
Is such a feign’d one, as will break untouch’d;
Die frosty, e’er it can be thaw’d; while mine,
Like to a clime beneath Hyperion’s eye,
Burns with one constant heat. I’ll straight go to her;
Pray her to regard my honor: but she greets me.
Enter Leonora, and maid.
See, how her beauty doth enrich the place!
O, add the music of thy charming tongue,
Sweet as the lark that wakens up the morn,
And make me think it paradise indeed.
I was about to seek thee, Leonora,
And chide thy coldness, love.
What says your father?
I have not mov’d him yet.
Then do not, Julio.
Not move him? Was it not your own command,
That his consent should ratify our loves?
Perhaps, it was: but now I’ve chang’d my mind.
You purchase at too dear a rate, that puts you
To woo me and your father too: besides,
As he, perchance, may say, you shall not have me;
You, who are so obedient, must discharge me
Out of your fancy: then, you know, ’twill prove
My shame and sorrow, meeting such repulse,
To wear the willow in my prime of youth.
Oh! Do not rack me with these ill-placed doubts;
Nor think, though age has in my father’s breast
Put out love’s flame, he therefore has not eyes,
Or is in judgment blind. You wrong your beauties,
Venus will frown if you disprize her gifts,
That have a face would make a frozen hermit
Leap from his cell, and burn his beads to kiss it;
Eyes, that are nothing but continual births
Of new desires in those that view their beams.
You cannot have a cause to doubt.
When you that dare not choose without your father,
And, where you love, you dare not vouch it; must not,
Though you have eyes, see with ’em;—can I, think you,
Somewhat, perhaps, infected with your suit,
Sit down content to say, you would, but dare not?
Urge not suspicions of what cannot be;
You deal unkindly; misbecomingly,
I’m loathe to say: for all that waits on you,
Is graced, and graces. No impediment
Shall bar my wishes, but such grave delays
As reason presses patience with; which blunt not,
But rather whet our loves. Be patient, sweet.
Patient! What else? My flames are in the flint.
Haply, to lose a husband I may weep;
Never, to get one: when I cry for bondage,
Let freedom quit me.
From what a spirit comes this?
I now perceive too plain, you care not for me.
Duke, I obey thy summons, be its tenor
Whate’er it will: if war, I come thy soldier:
Or if to waste my silken hours at court,
The slave of fashion, I with willing soul
Embrace the lazy banishment for life;
Since Leonora has pronounc’d my doom.
What do you mean? Why talk you of the Duke?
Wherefore of war, or court, or banishment?
How this new note is grown of me, I know not;
But the Duke writes for me. Coming to move
My father in our bus’ness, I did find him
Reading this letter; whose contents require
My instant service, and repair to court.
Now I perceive the birth of these delays;
Why Leonora was not worth your suit.
Repair to court? Ay, there you shall, perhaps,
(Rather, past doubt) behold some choicer beauty,
Rich in her charms, train’d to the arts of soothing,
Shall prompt you to a spirit of hardiness,
To say, “So please you, father, I have chosen
This mistress for my own.”
Still you mistake me:
Ever your servant I profess myself;
And will not blot me with a change, for all
That sea and land inherit.
But when go you?
Tomorrow, love; so runs the Duke’s command;
Stinting our farewell-kisses, cutting off
The forms of parting, and the interchange
Of thousand precious vows, with haste too rude.
Lovers have things of moment to debate,
More than a prince, or dreaming statesman, know:
Such ceremonies wait on cupid’s throne.
Why heav’d that sigh?
O Julio, let me whisper
What, but for parting, I should blush to tell thee:
My heart beats thick with fears, lest the gay scene,
The splendors of a court, should from thy breast
Banish my image, kill my int’rest in thee,
And I be left, the scoff of maids, to drop
A widow’s tear for thy departed faith.
O let assurance, strong as words can bind,
Tell thy pleas’d soul, I will be wond’rous faithful;
True, as the sun is to his race of light,
As shade to darkness, as desire to beauty:
And when I swerve, let wretchedness o’ertake me,
Great as e’er falsehood met, or change can merit.
Enough. I’m satisfied: and will remain
Yours, with a firm and untir’d constancy.
Make not your absence long: old men are wav’ring;
And sway’d by int’rest more than promise giv’n.
Should some fresh offer start, when you’re away,
I may be press’d to something, which must put
My faith, or my obedience, to the rack.
Fear not, but I with swiftest wing of time
Will labour my return. And in my absence,
My noble friend, and now our honor’d guest,
The lord Henriquez, will in my behalf
Hang at your father’s ear, and with kind hints,
Pour’d from a friendly tongue, secure my claim;
And play the lover for thy absent Julio.
Is there no instance of a friend turn’d false?
Take heed of that: no love by proxy, Julio.
Enter Don Bernard.
What, Julio, in public? This wooing is too urgent. Is your father yet moved in the suit, who must be the prime unfolder of this business?
I have not yet, indeed, at full possess’d
My father, whom it is my service follows;
But only that I have a wife in chase.
Chase!—let chase alone; no matter for that. You may halt after her, whom you profess to pursue, and catch her too; marry, not unless your father let you slip.—Briefly, I desire you, (for she tells me, my instructions shall be both eyes and feet to her) no farther to insist in your requiring, ’till, as I have formerly said, Camillo make known to me, that his good liking goes along with us; which but once breath’d, all is done; ’till when, the business has no life, and cannot find a beginning.
Sir, I will know his mind, e’er I taste sleep:
At morn, you shall be learn’d in his desire.
I take my leave. O virtuous Leonora,
Repose, sweet as thy beauties, seal thy eyes;
Once more, adieu. I have thy promise, love;
Remember, and be faithful.
His father is as unsettled, as he is wayward, in his disposition. If I thought young Julio’s temper were not mended by the metal of his mother, I should be something crazy in giving my consent to this match: and, to tell you true, if my eyes might be the directors to your mind, I could in this town look upon twenty men of more delicate choice. I speak not this altogether to unbend your affections to him: but the meaning of what I say is, that you set such price upon yourself to him, as many, and much his betters, would buy you at; (and reckon those virtues in you at the rate of their scarcity) to which if he come not up, you remain for a better mart.
My obedience, sir, is chain’d to your advice.
’Tis well said, and wisely. I fear, your lover is a little folly-tainted; which, shortly after it proves so, you will repent.
Sir, I confess, I approve him of all the men I know; but that approbation is nothing, ’till season’d by your consent.
We shall hear soon what his father will do, and so proceed accordingly. I have no great heart to the business, neither will I with any violence oppose it: but leave it to that power which rules in these conjunctions, and there’s an end. Come, haste we homeward, girl.