Excerpt from

The School of Compliment  (1625)

by James Shirley

Infortunio.     I must have other answer, for I love you.

Selina.       Must !  but I don't see any necessity that
            I must love you.   I do confess you are
            A proper man.

Inf.             O, do not mock, Selina ; let not excellence,
            Which you are full of, make you proud and scornful.
            I am a gentleman ;  though my outward part
            Cannot attract affection, yet some have told me,
            Nature hath made me what she need not shame.
            Yet look into my heart ;  there you shall see
            What you cannot despise, for there you are
            With all your graces waiting on you ; there
            Love hath made you a throne to sit, and rule
            O'er Infortunio ;  all my thoughts obeying
            And honouring you as queen.   Pass by my outside,
            My breast I dare compare with any man.

Sel.             But who can see this breast you boast of so ?

Inf.             O, tis an easy work ; for though it be
            Not to be pierced by the dull eye, whose beam
            Is spent on outward shapes, there is a way
            To make a search into its hiddenest passage.
            I know you would not love, to please your sense.
            A tree, that bears the ragged unleaved top
            In depth of winter, may when summer comes
            Speak by his fruit he is not dead but youthful,
            though once he show'd no sap : my heart's a plant
            Kept down by colder thoughts and doubtful fears.
            Your frowns like winter storms make it seem dead,
            But yet it is not so ; make it but yours,
            And you shall see it spring, and shoot forth leaves
            Worthy your eye, and the oppressed sap
            Ascend to every part to make it green,
            And pay your love with fruit when harvest comes.

Sel.             Then you confess your love is cold as yet,
            And winter's in your heart.

Inf.             Mistake me not, Selina, for I say
            My heart is cold, not love.

Sel.             And yet your love is from your heart, I'll warrant.

Inf.             O, you are nimble to mistake.
            My heart is cold in your displeasures only,
            And yet my love is fervent ;  for your eye,
            Casting out beams, maintains the flame it burns in.
            Again, sweet love,
            My heart is not mine own, 'tis yours, you have it.

Garnett, Richard and Edmund Gosse, Eds.
English Literature, An Illustrated Record. Vol 2, Part 2.
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1904.  361-362.


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