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Scene Study (Female-Female)


Gentlewoman, good day; I pray you be my mean

To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.


What would you with her, if that I be she?


If you be she, I do entreat your patience

To hear me speak the message I am sent on.


From whom?


From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.


O, he sends you for a picture?


Ay, madam.


Ursula, bring my picture there.

Go give your master this. Tell him from me,

One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,

Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.


Madam, please you peruse this letter—

Pardon me, madam, I have unadvis’d

Deliver’d you a paper that I should not:

This is the letter to your ladyship.


I pray thee let me look on that again.


It may not be; good madam, pardon me.


There, hold!

I will not look upon your master’s lines;

I know they are stuff’d with protestations,

And full of new-found oaths, which he will break

As easily as I do tear his paper.


Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.


The more shame for him that he sends it me;

For I have heard him say a thousand times

His Julia gave it him at his departure:

Though his false finger have profan’d the ring,

Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.


She thanks you.


What say’st thou?


I thank you, madam, that you tender her.

Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.


Dost thou know her?


Almost as well as I do know myself.

To think upon her woes I do protest

That I have wept a hundred several times.


Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her?


I think she doth; and that’s her cause of sorrow.


Is she not passing fair?


She hath been fairer, madam, than she is:

When she did think my master lov’d her well,

She, in my judgment, was as fair as you;

But since she did neglect her looking-glass,

And threw her sun-expelling mask away,

The air hath starv’d the roses in her cheeks,

And pinch’d the lily-tincture of her face,

That now she is become as black as I.


How tall was she?


About my stature; for at Pentecost,

When all our pageants of delight were play’d,

Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,

And I was trimm’d in Madam Julia’s gown,

Which served me as fit, by all men’s judgments,

As if the garment had been made for me;

Therefore I know she is about my height.

And at that time I made her weep agood,

For I did play a lamentable part.

Madam, ’twas Ariadne passioning

For Theseus’ perjury and unjust flight;

Which I so lively acted with my tears

That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,

Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead

If I in thought felt not her very sorrow.


She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.

Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!

I weep myself to think upon thy words.

Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this

For thy sweet mistress’ sake, because thou lov’st her.



And she shall thank you for’t, if e’er you know her.

Exit Silvia with Attendants.

A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful!

I hope my master’s suit will be but cold,

Since she respects my mistress’ love so much.

Alas, how love can trifle with itself!

Here is her picture: let me see; I think

If I had such a tire, this face of mine

Were full as lovely as is this of hers;

And yet the painter flatter’d her a little,

Unless I flatter with myself too much.

Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow:

If that be all the difference in his love,

I’ll get me such a color’d periwig.

Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine;

Ay, but her forehead’s low, and mine’s as high.

What should it be that he respects in her,

But I can make respective in myself,

If this fond Love were not a blinded god?

Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,

For ’tis thy rival. O thou senseless form,

Thou shalt be worshipp’d, kiss’d, lov’d, and ador’d;

And were there sense in his idolatry,

My substance should be statue in thy stead.

I’ll use thee kindly for thy mistress’ sake

That us’d me so; or else, by Jove I vow,

I should have scratch’d out your unseeing eyes,

To make my master out of love with thee.


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