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Julia. "To Julia,"-Say, from whom?
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.
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
There, take the paper, see it be return'd;
Or else return no more into my sight.
Lucetta. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
Julia. And yet, I would I had o'erlook'd the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
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 angrily I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.-Act I. Scene II.
Julie. Je ne veux plus à l'avenir être importunée de ce bavardage: tiens, voilà le cas que j'en fais. (Elle déchire la lettre.) Va-t'-en, et laisse les morceaux par terre; si tu y touches, je me fâcherai.
Lucette. (A part.) Elle fait beaucoup de bruit; mais elle serait charmée qu'une seconde lettre vint encore lui causer le même déplaisir.
Julie. Oh! que n'ai-je encore à me fâcher contre la première! oh! que j'en veux à mes mains d'avoir déchiré des mots aussi pleins d'amour! Injurieux frelons, d'oser s'abreuver d'un si doux miel, et tuer avec leurs dards les abeilles qui l'ont produit! En réparation de cette offense, je veux baiser l'un après l'autre tous ces fragments de papier. Que vois-je écrit sur celui-ci? Douce Julie! Ah! plutôt cruelle Julie! Pour me venger de ton ingratitude, je jette ton nom sur la pierre âpre et rude, et, pleine de mépris, je foule aux pieds tes dédains. Sur cet autre je lis: Protée blessé par l'amour. Pauvre nom blessé! repose sur mon sein comme dans un lit, jusqu'à ce que ta blessure soit complétement guérie: en attendant laisse-moi imprimer sur elle un baiser salutaire. Mais le nom de Protée n'est-il pas reproduit deux ou trois fois? Aimable vent, ne souffle pas, n'emporte pas un seul mot jusqu'à ce que j'aie retrouvé chacune des lettres de ce billet, à l'exception de mon nom; pour celui-là qu'un tourbillon l'emporte sur un roc aride, affreux et menaçant, et que de là il le jette à la mer irritée! Oh! voilà une ligne où son nom est tracé deux fois. L'infortuné Protée, lamoureux Protée à la douce Julie. Pour ce dernier nom, je vais le déchirer; mais je n'en ferai rien, puisqu'il s'associe d'une manière si charmante à son nom affligé; je vais les plier ensemble; maintenant embrassez-vous, querellez-vous, comme il vous plaira.
LES DEUX GENTILSHOMMES DE VÉRONE.-Acte I. Scène II.
"So young, my lord, and truc."
THIS line affords a cue to the character of CORDELIA, as exhibited throughout the drama. Shakspeare has painted her as a model of fidelity, and here gives us a glimpse of the very spirit of the heroine, as it guides her in every subsequent position in which she is placed.
From weakness and instability of mind, KING LEAR is led to reject CORDELIA; who, affianced to the king of France, departs, bidding farewell to her sisters. She thus closes the parting scene
"The jewels of our father, with washed eyes
Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loth to call
Your faults as they are named. Use well our father."
So completely does Shakspeare depict human character in all its lights and shades, as to give us the idea of his having almost an inspiration. How well he unfolds the gradual progress of the madness of LEAR! His best-loved daughter is the first and most hated-those who once had all his confidence become the objects of his dislike. For a time we observe him the subject of passionate sorrow at the conduct of GONERIL and REGAN, breaking out in piteous laments at their ingratitude, until his mind can bear no more; and at last, bereft of reason, an outcast in his own dominions, we see him braving the very elements, raging in all their fury around him.
The second, third, and a greater portion of the fourth acts are filled with incidents, which, whilst they complicate the plot, add deeply to its interest. The base characters of GONERIL and REGAN are gradually unfolded. False to their father, they prove equally so to all; and thus prepare a background, which throws into bold relief CORDELIA's love and constancy towards her afflicted parent. Suddenly the scene changes to the French camp at Dover, and CORDELIA again appears before us. She gives an affecting picture of her father's condition, and passionately calls for help for him :
"What can man's wisdom do
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth."
CORDELIA is again introduced in Scene VII., where she is represented as watching the hoped-for return of reason; with an agony of soul she cries:
"O you kind gods,
Cure the great breach in his abused nature:
Leaving the painful scene, we at last arrive at the end of the drama, as depicted in the fifth act. Anxiously we watch the unfolding of the plot; and when CORDELIA is once more restored to her father, and his reason returns to him, we are just prepared to sympathise in their happiness, when their wretched end completes the scene. We scem to enter into all the grief of the father as he passionately cries
"Oh! she is gone for ever.
I know when one is dead, and when one lives.
In this play, parental fondness, and filial duty and baseness, are represented with a vivid expression, only second in strength to that of nature; and on rising from its perusal, we feel that we have been touched by a master-mind, alike able to paint virtue in its beauty, as to make vice hateful in its deformity.