That art a votary to fond desire?
"But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
That art a votary to fond desire?"
In the opening scene of this comedy, we met the two gentlemen:
Valentine and Proteus. Valentine is off to Milan to study in the
Duke's court, while Proteus, who is madly in love with Julia, has
opted to stay home and wallow in his misery. It was a routine
custom in those days to send young people to serve in the court of
some noble person. In this way, they learned good manners, received
an education, and often they met potential marriage partners.
Proteus will have none of that, however, as he is hopelessly in
love with Julia in Verona, the sort of love that is paralyzing and
self-pitying. Valentine makes fun of him, and teases that such love
has made Proteus effeminate, weak, and lightheaded. "But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
That art a votary [devoted worshipper] to fond [foolish] desire?" Valentine
accuses Proteus and then departs for Milan where he will soon succumb to
passion of his own for the Duke's daughter.