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He must needs go that the devil drives.

      — All's Well that Ends Well, Act I Scene 3

Two Gentlemen of Verona

(complete text)

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Act I

1. Verona. An open place.

2. The same. Garden of JULIA’s house.

3. The same. ANTONIO’s house.

Act II

1. Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

2. Verona. JULIA’S house.

3. The same. A street.

4. Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

5. The same. A street.

6. The same. The DUKE’S palace.

7. Verona. JULIA’S house.

Act III

1. Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

2. The same. The DUKE’s palace.

Act IV

1. The frontiers of Mantua. A forest.

2. Milan. Outside the DUKE’s palace, under SILVIA’s chamber.

3. The same.

4. The same.

Act V

1. Milan. An abbey.

2. The same. The DUKE’s palace.

3. The frontiers of Mantua. The forest.

4. Another part of the forest.

---
       

Act I, Scene 1

Verona. An open place.

      next scene .
---

[Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS]

  • Valentine. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus:
    Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
    Were't not affection chains thy tender days
    To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, 5
    I rather would entreat thy company
    To see the wonders of the world abroad,
    Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
    Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
    But since thou lovest, love still and thrive therein, 10
    Even as I would when I to love begin.
  • Proteus. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu!
    Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
    Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
    Wish me partaker in thy happiness 15
    When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
    If ever danger do environ thee,
    Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
    For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.
  • Valentine. And on a love-book pray for my success? 20
  • Proteus. Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee.
  • Valentine. That's on some shallow story of deep love:
    How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.
  • Proteus. That's a deep story of a deeper love:
    For he was more than over shoes in love. 25
  • Valentine. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
    And yet you never swum the Hellespont.
  • Proteus. Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.
  • Valentine. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.
  • Valentine. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
    Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth
    With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
    If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
    If lost, why then a grievous labour won; 35
    However, but a folly bought with wit,
    Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
  • Proteus. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
  • Valentine. So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove.
  • Proteus. 'Tis love you cavil at: I am not Love. 40
  • Valentine. Love is your master, for he masters you:
    And he that is so yoked by a fool,
    Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.
  • Proteus. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
    The eating canker dwells, so eating love 45
    Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
  • Valentine. And writers say, as the most forward bud
    Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
    Even so by love the young and tender wit
    Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the bud, 50
    Losing his verdure even in the prime
    And all the fair effects of future hopes.
    But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
    That art a votary to fond desire?
    Once more adieu! my father at the road 55
    Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.
  • Proteus. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
  • Valentine. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
    To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
    Of thy success in love, and what news else 60
    Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
    And likewise will visit thee with mine.
  • Proteus. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
  • Valentine. As much to you at home! and so, farewell.

[Exit]

  • Proteus. He after honour hunts, I after love:
    He leaves his friends to dignify them more,
    I leave myself, my friends and all, for love.
    Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me,
    Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, 70
    War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
    Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

[Enter SPEED]

  • Speed. Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?
  • Proteus. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan. 75
  • Speed. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already,
    And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.
  • Proteus. Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray,
    An if the shepherd be a while away.
  • Speed. You conclude that my master is a shepherd, then, 80
    and I a sheep?
  • Speed. Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.
  • Proteus. A silly answer and fitting well a sheep.
  • Speed. This proves me still a sheep. 85
  • Proteus. True; and thy master a shepherd.
  • Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
  • Proteus. It shall go hard but I'll prove it by another.
  • Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the
    shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks 90
    not me: therefore I am no sheep.
  • Proteus. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd; the
    shepherd for food follows not the sheep: thou for
    wages followest thy master; thy master for wages
    follows not thee: therefore thou art a sheep. 95
  • Speed. Such another proof will make me cry 'baa.'
  • Proteus. But, dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia?
  • Speed. Ay sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her,
    a laced mutton, and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a
    lost mutton, nothing for my labour. 100
  • Proteus. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
  • Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.
  • Proteus. Nay: in that you are astray, 'twere best pound you.
  • Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for
    carrying your letter. 105
  • Proteus. You mistake; I mean the pound,—a pinfold.
  • Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over and over,
    'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to
    your lover.
  • Speed. [First nodding] Ay.
  • Proteus. Nod—Ay—why, that's noddy.
  • Speed. You mistook, sir; I say, she did nod: and you ask
    me if she did nod; and I say, 'Ay.'
  • Proteus. And that set together is noddy. 115
  • Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it together,
    take it for your pains.
  • Proteus. No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.
  • Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
  • Proteus. Why sir, how do you bear with me? 120
  • Speed. Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly; having nothing
    but the word 'noddy' for my pains.
  • Proteus. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
  • Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.
  • Proteus. Come come, open the matter in brief: what said she? 125
  • Speed. Open your purse, that the money and the matter may
    be both at once delivered.
  • Proteus. Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she?
  • Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.
  • Proteus. Why, couldst thou perceive so much from her? 130
  • Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no,
    not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter:
    and being so hard to me that brought your mind, I
    fear she'll prove as hard to you in telling your
    mind. Give her no token but stones; for she's as 135
    hard as steel.
  • Speed. No, not so much as 'Take this for thy pains.' To
    testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned
    me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your 140
    letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
  • Proteus. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,
    Which cannot perish having thee aboard,
    Being destined to a drier death on shore.
    [Exit SPEED] 145
    I must go send some better messenger:
    I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
    Receiving them from such a worthless post.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2

The same. Garden of JULIA’s house.

      next scene .
---

[Enter JULlA and LUCETTA]

  • Julia. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
    Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
  • Lucetta. Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
  • Julia. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
    That every day with parle encounter me, 155
    In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
  • Lucetta. Please you repeat their names, I'll show my mind
    According to my shallow simple skill.
  • Julia. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
  • Lucetta. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine; 160
    But, were I you, he never should be mine.
  • Julia. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?
  • Lucetta. Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.
  • Julia. What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus?
  • Lucetta. Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us! 165
  • Julia. How now! what means this passion at his name?
  • Lucetta. Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame
    That I, unworthy body as I am,
    Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
  • Julia. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest? 170
  • Lucetta. Then thus: of many good I think him best.
  • Lucetta. I have no other, but a woman's reason;
    I think him so because I think him so.
  • Julia. And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him? 175
  • Lucetta. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
  • Julia. Why he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.
  • Lucetta. Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.
  • Julia. His little speaking shows his love but small.
  • Lucetta. Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. 180
  • Julia. They do not love that do not show their love.
  • Lucetta. O, they love least that let men know their love.
  • Julia. I would I knew his mind.
  • Lucetta. Peruse this paper, madam.
  • Julia. 'To Julia.' Say, from whom? 185
  • Lucetta. That the contents will show.
  • Julia. Say, say, who gave it thee?
  • Lucetta. 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 190
    fault I pray.
  • Julia. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
    Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
    To whisper and conspire against my youth?
    Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth 195
    And you an officer fit for the place.
    Or else return no more into my sight.
  • Lucetta. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
  • Lucetta. That you may ruminate. 200

[Exit]

  • Julia. And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter:
    It were a shame to call her back again
    And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
    What a fool is she, that knows I am a maid, 205
    And would not force the letter to my view!
    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 210
    And presently all humbled kiss the rod!
    How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
    When willingly I would have had her here!
    How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
    When inward joy enforced my heart to smile! 215
    My penance is to call Lucetta back
    And ask remission for my folly past.
    What ho! Lucetta!

[Re-enter LUCETTA]

  • Lucetta. What would your ladyship? 220
  • Julia. Is't near dinner-time?
  • Lucetta. I would it were,
    That you might kill your stomach on your meat
    And not upon your maid.
  • Julia. What is't that you took up so gingerly? 225
  • Julia. Why didst thou stoop, then?
  • Lucetta. To take a paper up that I let fall.
  • Julia. And is that paper nothing?
  • Lucetta. Nothing concerning me. 230
  • Julia. Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
  • Lucetta. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns
    Unless it have a false interpeter.
  • Julia. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
  • Lucetta. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune. 235
    Give me a note: your ladyship can set.
  • Julia. As little by such toys as may be possible.
    Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'
  • Lucetta. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
  • Julia. Heavy! belike it hath some burden then? 240
  • Lucetta. Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.
  • Julia. Let's see your song. How now, minion!
  • Lucetta. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out: 245
    And yet methinks I do not like this tune.
  • Lucetta. No, madam; it is too sharp.
  • Julia. You, minion, are too saucy.
  • Lucetta. Nay, now you are too flat 250
    And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
    There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
  • Julia. The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.
  • Lucetta. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
  • Julia. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. 255
    Here is a coil with protestation!
    [Tears the letter]
    Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:
    You would be fingering them, to anger me.
  • Lucetta. She makes it strange; but she would be best pleased 260
    To be so anger'd with another letter.

[Exit]

  • Julia. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!
    O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
    Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey 265
    And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
    I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
    Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia!
    As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
    I throw thy name against the bruising stones, 270
    Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
    And here is writ 'love-wounded Proteus.'
    Poor wounded name! my bosom as a bed
    Shall lodge thee till thy wound be thoroughly heal'd;
    And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. 275
    But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down.
    Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
    Till I have found each letter in the letter,
    Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear
    Unto a ragged fearful-hanging rock 280
    And throw it thence into the raging sea!
    Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,
    'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
    To the sweet Julia:' that I'll tear away.
    And yet I will not, sith so prettily 285
    He couples it to his complaining names.
    Thus will I fold them one on another:
    Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

[Re-enter LUCETTA]

  • Lucetta. Madam, 290
    Dinner is ready, and your father stays.
  • Lucetta. What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?
  • Julia. If you respect them, best to take them up.
  • Lucetta. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down: 295
    Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
  • Julia. I see you have a month's mind to them.
  • Lucetta. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
    I see things too, although you judge I wink.
  • Julia. Come, come; will't please you go? 300

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

The same. ANTONIO’s house.

      next scene .
---

[Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO]

  • Antonio. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
    Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
  • Panthino. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son. 305
  • Panthino. He wonder'd that your lordship
    Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
    While other men, of slender reputation,
    Put forth their sons to seek preferment out: 310
    Some to the wars, to try their fortune there;
    Some to discover islands far away;
    Some to the studious universities.
    For any or for all these exercises,
    He said that Proteus your son was meet, 315
    And did request me to importune you
    To let him spend his time no more at home,
    Which would be great impeachment to his age,
    In having known no travel in his youth.
  • Antonio. Nor need'st thou much importune me to that 320
    Whereon this month I have been hammering.
    I have consider'd well his loss of time
    And how he cannot be a perfect man,
    Not being tried and tutor'd in the world:
    Experience is by industry achieved 325
    And perfected by the swift course of time.
    Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?
  • Panthino. I think your lordship is not ignorant
    How his companion, youthful Valentine,
    Attends the emperor in his royal court. 330
  • Panthino. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither:
    There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
    Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen.
    And be in eye of every exercise 335
    Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
  • Antonio. I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised:
    And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
    The execution of it shall make known.
    Even with the speediest expedition 340
    I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.
  • Panthino. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
    With other gentlemen of good esteem,
    Are journeying to salute the emperor
    And to commend their service to his will. 345
  • Antonio. Good company; with them shall Proteus go:
    And, in good time! now will we break with him.

[Enter PROTEUS]

  • Proteus. Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life!
    Here is her hand, the agent of her heart; 350
    Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn.
    O, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
    To seal our happiness with their consents!
    O heavenly Julia!
  • Antonio. How now! what letter are you reading there? 355
  • Proteus. May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
    Of commendations sent from Valentine,
    Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.
  • Antonio. Lend me the letter; let me see what news.
  • Proteus. There is no news, my lord, but that he writes 360
    How happily he lives, how well beloved
    And daily graced by the emperor;
    Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
  • Antonio. And how stand you affected to his wish?
  • Proteus. As one relying on your lordship's will 365
    And not depending on his friendly wish.
  • Antonio. My will is something sorted with his wish.
    Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
    For what I will, I will, and there an end.
    I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time 370
    With Valentinus in the emperor's court:
    What maintenance he from his friends receives,
    Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
    To-morrow be in readiness to go:
    Excuse it not, for I am peremptory. 375
  • Proteus. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
    Please you, deliberate a day or two.
  • Antonio. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee:
    No more of stay! to-morrow thou must go.
    Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ'd 380
    To hasten on his expedition.

[Exeunt ANTONIO and PANTHINO]

  • Proteus. Thus have I shunn'd the fire for fear of burning,
    And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd.
    I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter, 385
    Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
    And with the vantage of mine own excuse
    Hath he excepted most against my love.
    O, how this spring of love resembleth
    The uncertain glory of an April day, 390
    Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
    And by and by a cloud takes all away!

[Re-enter PANTHINO]

  • Panthino. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you:
    He is in haste; therefore, I pray you to go. 395
  • Proteus. Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,
    And yet a thousand times it answers 'no.'

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 1

Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter VALENTINE and SPEED]

  • Speed. Sir, your glove. 400
  • Speed. Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.
  • Valentine. Ha! let me see: ay, give it me, it's mine:
    Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
    Ah, Silvia, Silvia! 405
  • Speed. Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!
  • Speed. She is not within hearing, sir.
  • Speed. Your worship, sir; or else I mistook. 410
  • Valentine. Well, you'll still be too forward.
  • Speed. And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.
  • Valentine. Go to, sir: tell me, do you know Madam Silvia?
  • Speed. She that your worship loves?
  • Valentine. Why, how know you that I am in love? 415
  • Speed. Marry, by these special marks: first, you have
    learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms,
    like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like a
    robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had
    the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had 420
    lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had
    buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes
    diet; to watch like one that fears robbing; to
    speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were
    wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you 425
    walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you
    fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you
    looked sadly, it was for want of money: and now you
    are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look
    on you, I can hardly think you my master. 430
  • Valentine. Are all these things perceived in me?
  • Speed. They are all perceived without ye.
  • Speed. Without you? nay, that's certain, for, without you
    were so simple, none else would: but you are so 435
    without these follies, that these follies are within
    you and shine through you like the water in an
    urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a
    physician to comment on your malady.
  • Valentine. But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia? 440
  • Speed. She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?
  • Valentine. Hast thou observed that? even she, I mean.
  • Speed. Why, sir, I know her not.
  • Valentine. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet
    knowest her not? 445
  • Speed. Is she not hard-favoured, sir?
  • Valentine. Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured.
  • Speed. Sir, I know that well enough.
  • Speed. That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favoured. 450
  • Valentine. I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.
  • Speed. That's because the one is painted and the other out
    of all count.
  • Valentine. How painted? and how out of count?
  • Speed. Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, that no 455
    man counts of her beauty.
  • Valentine. How esteemest thou me? I account of her beauty.
  • Speed. You never saw her since she was deformed.
  • Speed. Ever since you loved her. 460
  • Valentine. I have loved her ever since I saw her; and still I
    see her beautiful.
  • Speed. If you love her, you cannot see her.
  • Speed. Because Love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes; 465
    or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to
    have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going
    ungartered!
  • Speed. Your own present folly and her passing deformity: 470
    for he, being in love, could not see to garter his
    hose, and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.
  • Valentine. Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for last
    morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
  • Speed. True, sir; I was in love with my bed: I thank you, 475
    you swinged me for my love, which makes me the
    bolder to chide you for yours.
  • Valentine. In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
  • Speed. I would you were set, so your affection would cease.
  • Valentine. Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to 480
    one she loves.
  • Speed. Are they not lamely writ?
  • Valentine. No, boy, but as well as I can do them. Peace! 485
    here she comes.
  • Speed. [Aside] O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
    Now will he interpret to her.

[Enter SILVIA]

  • Valentine. Madam and mistress, a thousand good-morrows. 490
  • Speed. [Aside] O, give ye good even! here's a million of manners.
  • Silvia. Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.
  • Speed. [Aside] He should give her interest and she gives it him.
  • Valentine. As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter
    Unto the secret nameless friend of yours; 495
    Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
    But for my duty to your ladyship.
  • Silvia. I thank you gentle servant: 'tis very clerkly done.
  • Valentine. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off;
    For being ignorant to whom it goes 500
    I writ at random, very doubtfully.
  • Silvia. Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
  • Valentine. No, madam; so it stead you, I will write
    Please you command, a thousand times as much; And yet—
  • Silvia. A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel; 505
    And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not;
    And yet take this again; and yet I thank you,
    Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.
  • Speed. [Aside] And yet you will; and yet another 'yet.'
  • Valentine. What means your ladyship? do you not like it? 510
  • Silvia. Yes, yes; the lines are very quaintly writ;
    But since unwillingly, take them again.
    Nay, take them.
  • Silvia. Ay, ay: you writ them, sir, at my request; 515
    But I will none of them; they are for you;
    I would have had them writ more movingly.
  • Valentine. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.
  • Silvia. And when it's writ, for my sake read it over,
    And if it please you, so; if not, why, so. 520
  • Valentine. If it please me, madam, what then?
  • Silvia. Why, if it please you, take it for your labour:
    And so, good morrow, servant.

[Exit]

  • Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, 525
    As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple!
    My master sues to her, and she hath
    taught her suitor,
    He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
    O excellent device! was there ever heard a better, 530
    That my master, being scribe, to himself should write
    the letter?
  • Valentine. How now, sir? what are you reasoning with yourself?
  • Speed. Nay, I was rhyming: 'tis you that have the reason.
  • Speed. To be a spokesman for Madam Silvia.
  • Speed. To yourself: why, she wooes you by a figure.
  • Speed. By a letter, I should say. 540
  • Speed. What need she, when she hath made you write to
    yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?
  • Speed. No believing you, indeed, sir. But did you perceive 545
    her earnest?
  • Valentine. She gave me none, except an angry word.
  • Speed. Why, she hath given you a letter.
  • Valentine. That's the letter I writ to her friend.
  • Speed. And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end. 550
  • Speed. I'll warrant you, 'tis as well:
    For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty,
    Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply;
    Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover, 555
    Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.
    All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.
    Why muse you, sir? 'tis dinner-time.
  • Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir; though the chameleon Love can 560
    feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my
    victuals, and would fain have meat. O, be not like
    your mistress; be moved, be moved.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

Verona. JULIA’S house.

      next scene .
---

[Enter PROTEUS and JULIA]

  • Proteus. Have patience, gentle Julia.
  • Julia. I must, where is no remedy.
  • Proteus. When possibly I can, I will return.
  • Julia. If you turn not, you will return the sooner.
    Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake. 570

[Giving a ring]

  • Proteus. Why then, we'll make exchange; here, take you this.
  • Julia. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
  • Proteus. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
    And when that hour o'erslips me in the day 575
    Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake,
    The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
    Torment me for my love's forgetfulness!
    My father stays my coming; answer not;
    The tide is now: nay, not thy tide of tears; 580
    That tide will stay me longer than I should.
    Julia, farewell!
    [Exit JULIA]
    What, gone without a word?
    Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak; 585
    For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.

[Enter PANTHINO]

  • Panthino. Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for.
  • Proteus. Go; I come, I come.
    Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. 590

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

The same. A street.

      next scene .
---

[Enter LAUNCE, leading a dog]

  • Launce. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping;
    all the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I
    have received my proportion, like the prodigious 595
    son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's
    court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured
    dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father
    wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat
    wringing her hands, and all our house in a great 600
    perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed
    one tear: he is a stone, a very pebble stone, and
    has no more pity in him than a dog: a Jew would have
    wept to have seen our parting; why, my grandam,
    having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my 605
    parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This
    shoe is my father: no, this left shoe is my father:
    no, no, this left shoe is my mother: nay, that
    cannot be so neither: yes, it is so, it is so, it
    hath the worser sole. This shoe, with the hole in 610
    it, is my mother, and this my father; a vengeance
    on't! there 'tis: now, sit, this staff is my
    sister, for, look you, she is as white as a lily and
    as small as a wand: this hat is Nan, our maid: I
    am the dog: no, the dog is himself, and I am the 615
    dog—Oh! the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so,
    so. Now come I to my father; Father, your blessing:
    now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping:
    now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on. Now
    come I to my mother: O, that she could speak now 620
    like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her; why, there
    'tis; here's my mother's breath up and down. Now
    come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now
    the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a
    word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears. 625

[Enter PANTHINO]

  • Panthino. Launce, away, away, aboard! thy master is shipped
    and thou art to post after with oars. What's the
    matter? why weepest thou, man? Away, ass! You'll
    lose the tide, if you tarry any longer. 630
  • Launce. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
    unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
  • Launce. Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.
  • Panthino. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood, and, in 635
    losing the flood, lose thy voyage, and, in losing
    thy voyage, lose thy master, and, in losing thy
    master, lose thy service, and, in losing thy
    service,—Why dost thou stop my mouth?
  • Launce. For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue. 640
  • Panthino. Where should I lose my tongue?
  • Launce. Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and
    the service, and the tied! Why, man, if the river 645
    were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the
    wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.
  • Panthino. Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.
  • Launce. Sir, call me what thou darest.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter SILVIA, VALENTINE, THURIO, and SPEED]

  • Speed. Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.
  • Speed. 'Twere good you knocked him. 660

[Exit]

  • Silvia. Servant, you are sad.
  • Thurio. Seem you that you are not?
  • Thurio. What seem I that I am not?
  • Thurio. What instance of the contrary? 670
  • Thurio. And how quote you my folly?
  • Thurio. My jerkin is a doublet.
  • Valentine. Well, then, I'll double your folly. 675
  • Silvia. What, angry, Sir Thurio! do you change colour?
  • Valentine. Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.
  • Thurio. That hath more mind to feed on your blood than live
    in your air. 680
  • Thurio. Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.
  • Valentine. I know it well, sir; you always end ere you begin.
  • Silvia. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.
  • Valentine. 'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver. 685
  • Silvia. Who is that, servant?
  • Valentine. Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire. Sir
    Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship's looks,
    and spends what he borrows kindly in your company.
  • Thurio. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall 690
    make your wit bankrupt.
  • Valentine. I know it well, sir; you have an exchequer of words,
    and, I think, no other treasure to give your
    followers, for it appears by their bare liveries,
    that they live by your bare words. 695
  • Silvia. No more, gentlemen, no more:—here comes my father.

[Enter DUKE]

  • Duke of Milan. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
    Sir Valentine, your father's in good health:
    What say you to a letter from your friends 700
    Of much good news?
  • Valentine. My lord, I will be thankful.
    To any happy messenger from thence.
  • Valentine. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman 705
    To be of worth and worthy estimation
    And not without desert so well reputed.
  • Valentine. Ay, my good lord; a son that well deserves
    The honour and regard of such a father. 710
  • Valentine. I know him as myself; for from our infancy
    We have conversed and spent our hours together:
    And though myself have been an idle truant,
    Omitting the sweet benefit of time 715
    To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection,
    Yet hath Sir Proteus, for that's his name,
    Made use and fair advantage of his days;
    His years but young, but his experience old;
    His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe; 720
    And, in a word, for far behind his worth
    Comes all the praises that I now bestow,
    He is complete in feature and in mind
    With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
  • Duke of Milan. Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good, 725
    He is as worthy for an empress' love
    As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
    Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me,
    With commendation from great potentates;
    And here he means to spend his time awhile: 730
    I think 'tis no unwelcome news to you.
  • Valentine. Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.
  • Duke of Milan. Welcome him then according to his worth.
    Silvia, I speak to you, and you, Sir Thurio;
    For Valentine, I need not cite him to it: 735
    I will send him hither to you presently.

[Exit]

  • Valentine. This is the gentleman I told your ladyship
    Had come along with me, but that his mistress
    Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks. 740
  • Silvia. Belike that now she hath enfranchised them
    Upon some other pawn for fealty.
  • Valentine. Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.
  • Silvia. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind
    How could he see his way to seek out you? 745
  • Valentine. Why, lady, Love hath twenty pair of eyes.
  • Thurio. They say that Love hath not an eye at all.
  • Valentine. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself:
    Upon a homely object Love can wink.
  • Silvia. Have done, have done; here comes the gentleman. 750

[Exit THURIO]

[Enter PROTEUS]

  • Valentine. Welcome, dear Proteus! Mistress, I beseech you,
    Confirm his welcome with some special favour.
  • Silvia. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, 755
    If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from.
  • Valentine. Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him
    To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
  • Silvia. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
  • Proteus. Not so, sweet lady: but too mean a servant 760
    To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
  • Valentine. Leave off discourse of disability:
    Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
  • Proteus. My duty will I boast of; nothing else.
  • Silvia. And duty never yet did want his meed: 765
    Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.
  • Proteus. I'll die on him that says so but yourself.
  • Silvia. That you are welcome?

[Re-enter THURIO]

  • Thurio. Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.
  • Silvia. I wait upon his pleasure. Come, Sir Thurio,
    Go with me. Once more, new servant, welcome:
    I'll leave you to confer of home affairs;
    When you have done, we look to hear from you. 775
  • Proteus. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.

[Exeunt SILVIA and THURIO]

  • Valentine. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?
  • Proteus. Your friends are well and have them much commended.
  • Proteus. I left them all in health.
  • Valentine. How does your lady? and how thrives your love?
  • Proteus. My tales of love were wont to weary you;
    I know you joy not in a love discourse.
  • Valentine. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now: 785
    I have done penance for contemning Love,
    Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
    With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
    With nightly tears and daily heart-sore sighs;
    For in revenge of my contempt of love, 790
    Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes
    And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow.
    O gentle Proteus, Love's a mighty lord,
    And hath so humbled me, as, I confess,
    There is no woe to his correction, 795
    Nor to his service no such joy on earth.
    Now no discourse, except it be of love;
    Now can I break my fast, dine, sup and sleep,
    Upon the very naked name of love.
  • Proteus. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye. 800
    Was this the idol that you worship so?
  • Valentine. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint?
  • Proteus. No; but she is an earthly paragon.
  • Proteus. I will not flatter her. 805
  • Valentine. O, flatter me; for love delights in praises.
  • Proteus. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
    And I must minister the like to you.
  • Valentine. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
    Yet let her be a principality, 810
    Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.
  • Valentine. Sweet, except not any;
    Except thou wilt except against my love.
  • Proteus. Have I not reason to prefer mine own? 815
  • Valentine. And I will help thee to prefer her too:
    She shall be dignified with this high honour—
    To bear my lady's train, lest the base earth
    Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
    And, of so great a favour growing proud, 820
    Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
    And make rough winter everlastingly.
  • Proteus. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
  • Valentine. Pardon me, Proteus: all I can is nothing
    To her whose worth makes other worthies nothing; 825
    She is alone.
  • Valentine. Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own,
    And I as rich in having such a jewel
    As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl, 830
    The water nectar and the rocks pure gold.
    Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
    Because thou see'st me dote upon my love.
    My foolish rival, that her father likes
    Only for his possessions are so huge, 835
    Is gone with her along, and I must after,
    For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.
  • Valentine. Ay, and we are betroth'd: nay, more, our,
    marriage-hour, 840
    With all the cunning manner of our flight,
    Determined of; how I must climb her window,
    The ladder made of cords, and all the means
    Plotted and 'greed on for my happiness.
    Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber, 845
    In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.
  • Proteus. Go on before; I shall inquire you forth:
    I must unto the road, to disembark
    Some necessaries that I needs must use,
    And then I'll presently attend you. 850
  • Proteus. I will.
    [Exit VALENTINE]
    Even as one heat another heat expels,
    Or as one nail by strength drives out another, 855
    So the remembrance of my former love
    Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
    Is it mine, or Valentine's praise,
    Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
    That makes me reasonless to reason thus? 860
    She is fair; and so is Julia that I love—
    That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
    Which, like a waxen image, 'gainst a fire,
    Bears no impression of the thing it was.
    Methinks my zeal to Valentine is cold, 865
    And that I love him not as I was wont.
    O, but I love his lady too too much,
    And that's the reason I love him so little.
    How shall I dote on her with more advice,
    That thus without advice begin to love her! 870
    'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
    And that hath dazzled my reason's light;
    But when I look on her perfections,
    There is no reason but I shall be blind.
    If I can cheque my erring love, I will; 875
    If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 5

The same. A street.

      next scene .
---

[Enter SPEED and LAUNCE severally]

  • Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!
  • Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not 880
    welcome. I reckon this always, that a man is never
    undone till he be hanged, nor never welcome to a
    place till some certain shot be paid and the hostess
    say 'Welcome!'
  • Speed. Come on, you madcap, I'll to the alehouse with you 885
    presently; where, for one shot of five pence, thou
    shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how
    did thy master part with Madam Julia?
  • Launce. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very
    fairly in jest. 890
  • Speed. But shall she marry him?
  • Speed. How then? shall he marry her?
  • Speed. What, are they broken? 895
  • Launce. No, they are both as whole as a fish.
  • Speed. Why, then, how stands the matter with them?
  • Launce. Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it
    stands well with her.
  • Speed. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not. 900
  • Launce. What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My
    staff understands me.
  • Speed. What thou sayest?
  • Launce. Ay, and what I do too: look thee, I'll but lean,
    and my staff understands me. 905
  • Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
  • Launce. Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.
  • Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match?
  • Launce. Ask my dog: if he say ay, it will! if he say no,
    it will; if he shake his tail and say nothing, it will. 910
  • Speed. The conclusion is then that it will.
  • Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable.
  • Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how sayest
    thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
  • Launce. I never knew him otherwise. 915
  • Launce. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
  • Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.
  • Launce. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
  • Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover. 920
  • Launce. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself
    in love. If thou wilt, go with me to the alehouse;
    if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the
    name of a Christian.
  • Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to
    go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 6

The same. The DUKE’S palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter PROTEUS]

  • Proteus. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
    To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
    To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
    And even that power which gave me first my oath
    Provokes me to this threefold perjury; 935
    Love bade me swear and Love bids me forswear.
    O sweet-suggesting Love, if thou hast sinned,
    Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it!
    At first I did adore a twinkling star,
    But now I worship a celestial sun. 940
    Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken,
    And he wants wit that wants resolved will
    To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better.
    Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad,
    Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd 945
    With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
    I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;
    But there I leave to love where I should love.
    Julia I lose and Valentine I lose:
    If I keep them, I needs must lose myself; 950
    If I lose them, thus find I by their loss
    For Valentine myself, for Julia Silvia.
    I to myself am dearer than a friend,
    For love is still most precious in itself;
    And Silvia—witness Heaven, that made her fair!— 955
    Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
    I will forget that Julia is alive,
    Remembering that my love to her is dead;
    And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,
    Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend. 960
    I cannot now prove constant to myself,
    Without some treachery used to Valentine.
    This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
    To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window,
    Myself in counsel, his competitor. 965
    Now presently I'll give her father notice
    Of their disguising and pretended flight;
    Who, all enraged, will banish Valentine;
    For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter;
    But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross 970
    By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
    Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
    As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift!

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 7

Verona. JULIA’S house.

      next scene .
---

[Enter JULIA and LUCETTA]

  • Julia. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me;
    And even in kind love I do conjure thee,
    Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
    Are visibly character'd and engraved,
    To lesson me and tell me some good mean 980
    How, with my honour, I may undertake
    A journey to my loving Proteus.
  • Lucetta. Alas, the way is wearisome and long!
  • Julia. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
    To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps; 985
    Much less shall she that hath Love's wings to fly,
    And when the flight is made to one so dear,
    Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.
  • Lucetta. Better forbear till Proteus make return.
  • Julia. O, know'st thou not his looks are my soul's food? 990
    Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
    By longing for that food so long a time.
    Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
    Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
    As seek to quench the fire of love with words. 995
  • Lucetta. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
    But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
    Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
  • Julia. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it burns.
    The current that with gentle murmur glides, 1000
    Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
    But when his fair course is not hindered,
    He makes sweet music with the enamell'ed stones,
    Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
    He overtaketh in his pilgrimage, 1005
    And so by many winding nooks he strays
    With willing sport to the wild ocean.
    Then let me go and hinder not my course
    I'll be as patient as a gentle stream
    And make a pastime of each weary step, 1010
    Till the last step have brought me to my love;
    And there I'll rest, as after much turmoil
    A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
  • Lucetta. But in what habit will you go along?
  • Julia. Not like a woman; for I would prevent 1015
    The loose encounters of lascivious men:
    Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
    As may beseem some well-reputed page.
  • Lucetta. Why, then, your ladyship must cut your hair.
  • Julia. No, girl, I'll knit it up in silken strings 1020
    With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots.
    To be fantastic may become a youth
    Of greater time than I shall show to be.
  • Lucetta. What fashion, madam shall I make your breeches?
  • Julia. That fits as well as 'Tell me, good my lord, 1025
    What compass will you wear your farthingale?'
    Why even what fashion thou best likest, Lucetta.
  • Lucetta. You must needs have them with a codpiece, madam.
  • Julia. Out, out, Lucetta! that would be ill-favour'd.
  • Lucetta. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, 1030
    Unless you have a codpiece to stick pins on.
  • Julia. Lucetta, as thou lovest me, let me have
    What thou thinkest meet and is most mannerly.
    But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me
    For undertaking so unstaid a journey? 1035
    I fear me, it will make me scandalized.
  • Lucetta. If you think so, then stay at home and go not.
  • Julia. Nay, that I will not.
  • Lucetta. Then never dream on infamy, but go.
    If Proteus like your journey when you come, 1040
    No matter who's displeased when you are gone:
    I fear me, he will scarce be pleased withal.
  • Julia. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear:
    A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears
    And instances of infinite of love 1045
    Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
  • Lucetta. All these are servants to deceitful men.
  • Julia. Base men, that use them to so base effect!
    But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth
    His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles, 1050
    His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate,
    His tears pure messengers sent from his heart,
    His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.
  • Lucetta. Pray heaven he prove so, when you come to him!
  • Julia. Now, as thou lovest me, do him not that wrong 1055
    To bear a hard opinion of his truth:
    Only deserve my love by loving him;
    And presently go with me to my chamber,
    To take a note of what I stand in need of,
    To furnish me upon my longing journey. 1060
    All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
    My goods, my lands, my reputation;
    Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence.
    Come, answer not, but to it presently!
    I am impatient of my tarriance. 1065

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 1

Milan. The DUKE’s palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS]

  • Duke of Milan. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
    We have some secrets to confer about.
    [Exit THURIO] 1070
    Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?
  • Proteus. My gracious lord, that which I would discover
    The law of friendship bids me to conceal;
    But when I call to mind your gracious favours
    Done to me, undeserving as I am, 1075
    My duty pricks me on to utter that
    Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
    Know, worthy prince, Sir Valentine, my friend,
    This night intends to steal away your daughter:
    Myself am one made privy to the plot. 1080
    I know you have determined to bestow her
    On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates;
    And should she thus be stol'n away from you,
    It would be much vexation to your age.
    Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose 1085
    To cross my friend in his intended drift
    Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
    A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
    Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.
  • Duke of Milan. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care; 1090
    Which to requite, command me while I live.
    This love of theirs myself have often seen,
    Haply when they have judged me fast asleep,
    And oftentimes have purposed to forbid
    Sir Valentine her company and my court: 1095
    But fearing lest my jealous aim might err
    And so unworthily disgrace the man,
    A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,
    I gave him gentle looks, thereby to find
    That which thyself hast now disclosed to me. 1100
    And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
    Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
    I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
    The key whereof myself have ever kept;
    And thence she cannot be convey'd away. 1105
  • Proteus. Know, noble lord, they have devised a mean
    How he her chamber-window will ascend
    And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
    For which the youthful lover now is gone
    And this way comes he with it presently; 1110
    Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
    But, good my Lord, do it so cunningly
    That my discovery be not aimed at;
    For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
    Hath made me publisher of this pretence. 1115
  • Duke of Milan. Upon mine honour, he shall never know
    That I had any light from thee of this.
  • Proteus. Adieu, my Lord; Sir Valentine is coming.

[Exit]

[Enter VALENTINE]

  • Valentine. Please it your grace, there is a messenger
    That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
    And I am going to deliver them.
  • Valentine. The tenor of them doth but signify
    My health and happy being at your court.
  • Duke of Milan. Nay then, no matter; stay with me awhile;
    I am to break with thee of some affairs
    That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 1130
    'Tis not unknown to thee that I have sought
    To match my friend Sir Thurio to my daughter.
  • Valentine. I know it well, my Lord; and, sure, the match
    Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman
    Is full of virtue, bounty, worth and qualities 1135
    Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter:
    Cannot your Grace win her to fancy him?
  • Duke of Milan. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward,
    Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty,
    Neither regarding that she is my child 1140
    Nor fearing me as if I were her father;
    And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers,
    Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her;
    And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
    Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, 1145
    I now am full resolved to take a wife
    And turn her out to who will take her in:
    Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
    For me and my possessions she esteems not.
  • Valentine. What would your Grace have me to do in this? 1150
  • Duke of Milan. There is a lady in Verona here
    Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy
    And nought esteems my aged eloquence:
    Now therefore would I have thee to my tutor—
    For long agone I have forgot to court; 1155
    Besides, the fashion of the time is changed—
    How and which way I may bestow myself
    To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.
  • Valentine. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
    Dumb jewels often in their silent kind 1160
    More than quick words do move a woman's mind.
  • Valentine. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her.
    Send her another; never give her o'er;
    For scorn at first makes after-love the more. 1165
    If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
    But rather to beget more love in you:
    If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone;
    For why, the fools are mad, if left alone.
    Take no repulse, whatever she doth say; 1170
    For 'get you gone,' she doth not mean 'away!'
    Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
    Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
    That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
    If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. 1175
  • Duke of Milan. But she I mean is promised by her friends
    Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
    And kept severely from resort of men,
    That no man hath access by day to her.
  • Valentine. Why, then, I would resort to her by night. 1180
  • Duke of Milan. Ay, but the doors be lock'd and keys kept safe,
    That no man hath recourse to her by night.
  • Valentine. What lets but one may enter at her window?
  • Duke of Milan. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
    And built so shelving that one cannot climb it 1185
    Without apparent hazard of his life.
  • Valentine. Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords,
    To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
    Would serve to scale another Hero's tower,
    So bold Leander would adventure it. 1190
  • Duke of Milan. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
    Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
  • Valentine. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
  • Duke of Milan. This very night; for Love is like a child,
    That longs for every thing that he can come by. 1195
  • Valentine. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder.
  • Duke of Milan. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone:
    How shall I best convey the ladder thither?
  • Valentine. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it
    Under a cloak that is of any length. 1200
  • Duke of Milan. Then let me see thy cloak:
    I'll get me one of such another length.
  • Valentine. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord. 1205
  • Duke of Milan. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?
    I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.
    What letter is this same? What's here? 'To Silvia'!
    And here an engine fit for my proceeding.
    I'll be so bold to break the seal for once. 1210
    [Reads]
    'My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly,
    And slaves they are to me that send them flying:
    O, could their master come and go as lightly,
    Himself would lodge where senseless they are lying! 1215
    My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them:
    While I, their king, that hither them importune,
    Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them,
    Because myself do want my servants' fortune:
    I curse myself, for they are sent by me, 1220
    That they should harbour where their lord would be.'
    What's here?
    'Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee.'
    'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.
    Why, Phaeton,—for thou art Merops' son,— 1225
    Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car
    And with thy daring folly burn the world?
    Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
    Go, base intruder! overweening slave!
    Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates, 1230
    And think my patience, more than thy desert,
    Is privilege for thy departure hence:
    Thank me for this more than for all the favours
    Which all too much I have bestow'd on thee.
    But if thou linger in my territories 1235
    Longer than swiftest expedition
    Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
    By heaven! my wrath shall far exceed the love
    I ever bore my daughter or thyself.
    Be gone! I will not hear thy vain excuse; 1240
    But, as thou lovest thy life, make speed from hence.

[Exit]

  • Valentine. And why not death rather than living torment?
    To die is to be banish'd from myself;
    And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her 1245
    Is self from self: a deadly banishment!
    What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
    What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
    Unless it be to think that she is by
    And feed upon the shadow of perfection 1250
    Except I be by Silvia in the night,
    There is no music in the nightingale;
    Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
    There is no day for me to look upon;
    She is my essence, and I leave to be, 1255
    If I be not by her fair influence
    Foster'd, illumined, cherish'd, kept alive.
    I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
    Tarry I here, I but attend on death:
    But, fly I hence, I fly away from life. 1260

[Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE]

  • Proteus. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
  • Launce. Him we go to find: there's not a hair on's head 1265
    but 'tis a Valentine.
  • Launce. Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?
  • Launce. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray you,—
  • Proteus. Sirrah, I say, forbear. Friend Valentine, a word.
  • Valentine. My ears are stopt and cannot hear good news,
    So much of bad already hath possess'd them. 1280
  • Proteus. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
    For they are harsh, untuneable and bad.
  • Valentine. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia. 1285
    Hath she forsworn me?
  • Valentine. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me.
    What is your news?
  • Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished. 1290
  • Proteus. That thou art banished—O, that's the news!—
    From hence, from Silvia and from me thy friend.
  • Valentine. O, I have fed upon this woe already,
    And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
    Doth Silvia know that I am banished? 1295
  • Proteus. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom—
    Which, unreversed, stands in effectual force—
    A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears:
    Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd;
    With them, upon her knees, her humble self; 1300
    Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them
    As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
    But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
    Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
    Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire; 1305
    But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die.
    Besides, her intercession chafed him so,
    When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
    That to close prison he commanded her,
    With many bitter threats of biding there. 1310
  • Valentine. No more; unless the next word that thou speak'st
    Have some malignant power upon my life:
    If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,
    As ending anthem of my endless dolour.
  • Proteus. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, 1315
    And study help for that which thou lament'st.
    Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
    Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
    Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
    Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that 1320
    And manage it against despairing thoughts.
    Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence;
    Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd
    Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
    The time now serves not to expostulate: 1325
    Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate;
    And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
    Of all that may concern thy love-affairs.
    As thou lovest Silvia, though not for thyself,
    Regard thy danger, and along with me! 1330
  • Valentine. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy,
    Bid him make haste and meet me at the North-gate.
  • Proteus. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.
  • Valentine. O my dear Silvia! Hapless Valentine!

[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS]

  • Launce. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to
    think my master is a kind of a knave: but that's
    all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now
    that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a
    team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who 1340
    'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman; but what woman, I
    will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkmaid; yet
    'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips; yet 'tis
    a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for
    wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel; 1345
    which is much in a bare Christian.
    [Pulling out a paper]
    Here is the cate-log of her condition.
    'Imprimis: She can fetch and carry.' Why, a horse
    can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only 1350
    carry; therefore is she better than a jade. 'Item:
    She can milk;' look you, a sweet virtue in a maid
    with clean hands.

[Enter SPEED]

  • Speed. How now, Signior Launce! what news with your 1355
    mastership?
  • Launce. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea.
  • Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word. What
    news, then, in your paper?
  • Launce. The blackest news that ever thou heardest. 1360
  • Speed. Why, man, how black?
  • Launce. Why, as black as ink.
  • Speed. Let me read them.
  • Launce. Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not read.
  • Speed. Thou liest; I can. 1365
  • Launce. I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee?
  • Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather.
  • Launce. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy
    grandmother: this proves that thou canst not read.
  • Speed. Come, fool, come; try me in thy paper. 1370
  • Launce. There; and St. Nicholas be thy speed!
  • Speed. [Reads] 'Imprimis: She can milk.'
  • Speed. 'Item: She brews good ale.'
  • Launce. And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your 1375
    heart, you brew good ale.'
  • Speed. 'Item: She can sew.'
  • Launce. That's as much as to say, Can she so?
  • Speed. 'Item: She can knit.'
  • Launce. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when 1380
    she can knit him a stock?
  • Speed. 'Item: She can wash and scour.'
  • Launce. A special virtue: for then she need not be washed
    and scoured.
  • Speed. 'Item: She can spin.' 1385
  • Launce. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can
    spin for her living.
  • Speed. 'Item: She hath many nameless virtues.'
  • Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that,
    indeed, know not their fathers and therefore have no names. 1390
  • Speed. 'Here follow her vices.'
  • Launce. Close at the heels of her virtues.
  • Speed. 'Item: She is not to be kissed fasting in respect
    of her breath.'
  • Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on. 1395
  • Speed. 'Item: She hath a sweet mouth.'
  • Launce. That makes amends for her sour breath.
  • Speed. 'Item: She doth talk in her sleep.'
  • Launce. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
  • Speed. 'Item: She is slow in words.' 1400
  • Launce. O villain, that set this down among her vices! To
    be slow in words is a woman's only virtue: I pray
    thee, out with't, and place it for her chief virtue.
  • Speed. 'Item: She is proud.'
  • Launce. Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy, and cannot 1405
    be ta'en from her.
  • Speed. 'Item: She hath no teeth.'
  • Launce. I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.
  • Speed. 'Item: She is curst.'
  • Launce. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite. 1410
  • Speed. 'Item: She will often praise her liquor.'
  • Launce. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I
    will; for good things should be praised.
  • Speed. 'Item: She is too liberal.'
  • Launce. Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ down she 1415
    is slow of; of her purse she shall not, for that
    I'll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, and
    that cannot I help. Well, proceed.
  • Speed. 'Item: She hath more hair than wit, and more faults
    than hairs, and more wealth than faults.' 1420
  • Launce. Stop there; I'll have her: she was mine, and not
    mine, twice or thrice in that last article.
    Rehearse that once more.
  • Speed. 'Item: She hath more hair than wit,'—
  • Launce. More hair than wit? It may be; I'll prove it. The 1425
    cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it
    is more than the salt; the hair that covers the wit
    is more than the wit, for the greater hides the
    less. What's next?
  • Speed. 'And more faults than hairs,'— 1430
  • Launce. That's monstrous: O, that that were out!
  • Speed. 'And more wealth than faults.'
  • Launce. Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well,
    I'll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing is
    impossible,— 1435
  • Launce. Why, then will I tell thee—that thy master stays
    for thee at the North-gate.
  • Launce. For thee! ay, who art thou? he hath stayed for a 1440
    better man than thee.
  • Speed. And must I go to him?
  • Launce. Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long
    that going will scarce serve the turn.
  • Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? pox of your love letters! 1445

[Exit]

  • Launce. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter; an
    unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into
    secrets! I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

The same. The DUKE’s palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter DUKE and THURIO]

  • Duke of Milan. Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you,
    Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
  • Thurio. Since his exile she hath despised me most,
    Forsworn my company and rail'd at me, 1455
    That I am desperate of obtaining her.
  • Duke of Milan. This weak impress of love is as a figure
    Trenched in ice, which with an hour's heat
    Dissolves to water and doth lose his form.
    A little time will melt her frozen thoughts 1460
    And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.
    [Enter PROTEUS]
    How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman
    According to our proclamation gone?
  • Proteus. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.
  • Duke of Milan. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.
    Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee—
    For thou hast shown some sign of good desert— 1470
    Makes me the better to confer with thee.
  • Proteus. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace
    Let me not live to look upon your grace.
  • Duke of Milan. Thou know'st how willingly I would effect
    The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter. 1475
  • Duke of Milan. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
    How she opposes her against my will
  • Proteus. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
  • Duke of Milan. Ay, and perversely she persevers so. 1480
    What might we do to make the girl forget
    The love of Valentine and love Sir Thurio?
  • Proteus. The best way is to slander Valentine
    With falsehood, cowardice and poor descent,
    Three things that women highly hold in hate. 1485
  • Proteus. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
    Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
    By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.
  • Proteus. And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do:
    'Tis an ill office for a gentleman,
    Especially against his very friend.
  • Duke of Milan. Where your good word cannot advantage him,
    Your slander never can endamage him; 1495
    Therefore the office is indifferent,
    Being entreated to it by your friend.
  • Proteus. You have prevail'd, my lord; if I can do it
    By ought that I can speak in his dispraise,
    She shall not long continue love to him. 1500
    But say this weed her love from Valentine,
    It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio.
  • Thurio. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
    Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
    You must provide to bottom it on me; 1505
    Which must be done by praising me as much
    As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine.
  • Duke of Milan. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind,
    Because we know, on Valentine's report,
    You are already Love's firm votary 1510
    And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
    Upon this warrant shall you have access
    Where you with Silvia may confer at large;
    For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
    And, for your friend's sake, will be glad of you; 1515
    Where you may temper her by your persuasion
    To hate young Valentine and love my friend.
  • Proteus. As much as I can do, I will effect:
    But you, Sir Thurio, are not sharp enough;
    You must lay lime to tangle her desires 1520
    By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
    Should be full-fraught with serviceable vows.
  • Proteus. Say that upon the altar of her beauty 1525
    You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
    Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
    Moist it again, and frame some feeling line
    That may discover such integrity:
    For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews, 1530
    Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
    Make tigers tame and huge leviathans
    Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
    After your dire-lamenting elegies,
    Visit by night your lady's chamber-window 1535
    With some sweet concert; to their instruments
    Tune a deploring dump: the night's dead silence
    Will well become such sweet-complaining grievance.
    This, or else nothing, will inherit her.
  • Duke of Milan. This discipline shows thou hast been in love. 1540
  • Thurio. And thy advice this night I'll put in practise.
    Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
    Let us into the city presently
    To sort some gentlemen well skill'd in music.
    I have a sonnet that will serve the turn 1545
    To give the onset to thy good advice.
  • Proteus. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper,
    And afterward determine our proceedings.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 1

The frontiers of Mantua. A forest.

      next scene .
---

[Enter certain Outlaws]

[Enter VALENTINE and SPEED]

  • Third Outlaw. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about ye:
    If not: we'll make you sit and rifle you.
  • Speed. Sir, we are undone; these are the villains
    That all the travellers do fear so much.
  • Third Outlaw. Ay, by my beard, will we, for he's a proper man.
  • Valentine. Then know that I have little wealth to lose:
    A man I am cross'd with adversity; 1565
    My riches are these poor habiliments,
    Of which if you should here disfurnish me,
    You take the sum and substance that I have.
  • Valentine. Some sixteen months, and longer might have stay'd,
    If crooked fortune had not thwarted me. 1575
  • Valentine. For that which now torments me to rehearse:
    I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent; 1580
    But yet I slew him manfully in fight,
    Without false vantage or base treachery.
  • First Outlaw. Why, ne'er repent it, if it were done so.
    But were you banish'd for so small a fault?
  • Valentine. I was, and held me glad of such a doom. 1585
  • Valentine. My youthful travel therein made me happy,
    Or else I often had been miserable.
  • Third Outlaw. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar,
    This fellow were a king for our wild faction! 1590
  • Speed. Master, be one of them; it's an honourable kind of thievery.
  • Third Outlaw. Know, then, that some of us are gentlemen,
    Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
    Thrust from the company of awful men:
    Myself was from Verona banished
    For practising to steal away a lady, 1600
    An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
  • Second Outlaw. And I from Mantua, for a gentleman,
    Who, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart.
  • First Outlaw. And I for such like petty crimes as these,
    But to the purpose—for we cite our faults, 1605
    That they may hold excus'd our lawless lives;
    And partly, seeing you are beautified
    With goodly shape and by your own report
    A linguist and a man of such perfection
    As we do in our quality much want— 1610
  • Second Outlaw. Indeed, because you are a banish'd man,
    Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you:
    Are you content to be our general?
    To make a virtue of necessity
    And live, as we do, in this wilderness? 1615
  • Third Outlaw. What say'st thou? wilt thou be of our consort?
    Say ay, and be the captain of us all:
    We'll do thee homage and be ruled by thee,
    Love thee as our commander and our king.
  • First Outlaw. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest. 1620
  • Second Outlaw. Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer'd.
  • Valentine. I take your offer and will live with you,
    Provided that you do no outrages
    On silly women or poor passengers.
  • Third Outlaw. No, we detest such vile base practises. 1625
    Come, go with us, we'll bring thee to our crews,
    And show thee all the treasure we have got,
    Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 2

Milan. Outside the DUKE’s palace, under SILVIA’s chamber.

      next scene .
---

[Enter PROTEUS]

  • Proteus. Already have I been false to Valentine
    And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
    Under the colour of commending him,
    I have access my own love to prefer:
    But Silvia is too fair, too true, too holy, 1635
    To be corrupted with my worthless gifts.
    When I protest true loyalty to her,
    She twits me with my falsehood to my friend;
    When to her beauty I commend my vows,
    She bids me think how I have been forsworn 1640
    In breaking faith with Julia whom I loved:
    And notwithstanding all her sudden quips,
    The least whereof would quell a lover's hope,
    Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
    The more it grows and fawneth on her still. 1645
    But here comes Thurio: now must we to her window,
    And give some evening music to her ear.

[Enter THURIO and Musicians]

  • Thurio. How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?
  • Proteus. Ay, gentle Thurio: for you know that love 1650
    Will creep in service where it cannot go.
  • Thurio. Ay, but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
  • Proteus. Sir, but I do; or else I would be hence.
  • Proteus. Ay, Silvia; for your sake. 1655
  • Thurio. I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
    Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile.

[Enter, at a distance, Host, and JULIA in boy's clothes]

  • Host. Now, my young guest, methinks you're allycholly: I
    pray you, why is it? 1660
  • Julia. Marry, mine host, because I cannot be merry.
  • Host. Come, we'll have you merry: I'll bring you where
    you shall hear music and see the gentleman that you asked for.
  • Julia. But shall I hear him speak?
  • Host. Ay, that you shall. 1665
  • Julia. That will be music.

[Music plays]

  • Julia. Is he among these?
  • Host. Ay: but, peace! let's hear 'em. 1670
    SONG.
    Who is Silvia? what is she,
    That all our swains commend her?
    Holy, fair and wise is she;
    The heaven such grace did lend her, 1675
    That she might admired be.
    Is she kind as she is fair?
    For beauty lives with kindness.
    Love doth to her eyes repair,
    To help him of his blindness, 1680
    And, being help'd, inhabits there.
    Then to Silvia let us sing,
    That Silvia is excelling;
    She excels each mortal thing
    Upon the dull earth dwelling: 1685
    To her let us garlands bring.
  • Host. How now! are you sadder than you were before? How
    do you, man? the music likes you not.
  • Julia. You mistake; the musician likes me not.
  • Host. Why, my pretty youth? 1690
  • Julia. He plays false, father.
  • Host. How? out of tune on the strings?
  • Julia. Not so; but yet so false that he grieves my very
    heart-strings.
  • Host. You have a quick ear. 1695
  • Julia. Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes me have a slow heart.
  • Host. I perceive you delight not in music.
  • Julia. Not a whit, when it jars so.
  • Host. Hark, what fine change is in the music!
  • Julia. Ay, that change is the spite. 1700
  • Host. You would have them always play but one thing?
  • Julia. I would always have one play but one thing.
    But, host, doth this Sir Proteus that we talk on
    Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
  • Host. I tell you what Launce, his man, told me: he loved 1705
    her out of all nick.
  • Host. Gone to seek his dog; which tomorrow, by his
    master's command, he must carry for a present to his lady.
  • Julia. Peace! stand aside: the company parts. 1710
  • Proteus. Sir Thurio, fear not you: I will so plead
    That you shall say my cunning drift excels.

[Exeunt THURIO and Musicians]

[Enter SILVIA above]

  • Proteus. Madam, good even to your ladyship.
  • Silvia. I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
    Who is that that spake? 1720
  • Proteus. One, lady, if you knew his pure heart's truth,
    You would quickly learn to know him by his voice.
  • Silvia. Sir Proteus, as I take it.
  • Proteus. Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
  • Silvia. What's your will? 1725
  • Proteus. That I may compass yours.
  • Silvia. You have your wish; my will is even this:
    That presently you hie you home to bed.
    Thou subtle, perjured, false, disloyal man!
    Think'st thou I am so shallow, so conceitless, 1730
    To be seduced by thy flattery,
    That hast deceived so many with thy vows?
    Return, return, and make thy love amends.
    For me, by this pale queen of night I swear,
    I am so far from granting thy request 1735
    That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit,
    And by and by intend to chide myself
    Even for this time I spend in talking to thee.
  • Proteus. I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady;
    But she is dead. 1740
  • Julia. [Aside] 'Twere false, if I should speak it;
    For I am sure she is not buried.
  • Silvia. Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
    Survives; to whom, thyself art witness,
    I am betroth'd: and art thou not ashamed 1745
    To wrong him with thy importunacy?
  • Proteus. I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
  • Silvia. And so suppose am I; for in his grave
    Assure thyself my love is buried.
  • Proteus. Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth. 1750
  • Silvia. Go to thy lady's grave and call hers thence,
    Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine.
  • Julia. [Aside] He heard not that.
  • Proteus. Madam, if your heart be so obdurate,
    Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love, 1755
    The picture that is hanging in your chamber;
    To that I'll speak, to that I'll sigh and weep:
    For since the substance of your perfect self
    Is else devoted, I am but a shadow;
    And to your shadow will I make true love. 1760
  • Julia. [Aside] If 'twere a substance, you would, sure,
    deceive it,
    And make it but a shadow, as I am.
  • Silvia. I am very loath to be your idol, sir;
    But since your falsehood shall become you well 1765
    To worship shadows and adore false shapes,
    Send to me in the morning and I'll send it:
    And so, good rest.
  • Proteus. As wretches have o'ernight
    That wait for execution in the morn. 1770

[Exeunt PROTEUS and SILVIA severally]

  • Julia. Host, will you go?
  • Host. By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
  • Julia. Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
  • Host. Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think 'tis almost 1775
    day.
  • Julia. Not so; but it hath been the longest night
    That e'er I watch'd and the most heaviest.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 3

The same.

      next scene .
---

[Enter EGLAMOUR]

  • Eglamour. This is the hour that Madam Silvia
    Entreated me to call and know her mind:
    There's some great matter she'ld employ me in.
    Madam, madam!

[Enter SILVIA above]

  • Eglamour. Your servant and your friend;
    One that attends your ladyship's command.
  • Silvia. Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.
  • Eglamour. As many, worthy lady, to yourself: 1790
    According to your ladyship's impose,
    I am thus early come to know what service
    It is your pleasure to command me in.
  • Silvia. O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman—
    Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not— 1795
    Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplish'd:
    Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
    I bear unto the banish'd Valentine,
    Nor how my father would enforce me marry
    Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhors. 1800
    Thyself hast loved; and I have heard thee say
    No grief did ever come so near thy heart
    As when thy lady and thy true love died,
    Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity.
    Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine, 1805
    To Mantua, where I hear he makes abode;
    And, for the ways are dangerous to pass,
    I do desire thy worthy company,
    Upon whose faith and honour I repose.
    Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour, 1810
    But think upon my grief, a lady's grief,
    And on the justice of my flying hence,
    To keep me from a most unholy match,
    Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
    I do desire thee, even from a heart 1815
    As full of sorrows as the sea of sands,
    To bear me company and go with me:
    If not, to hide what I have said to thee,
    That I may venture to depart alone.
  • Eglamour. Madam, I pity much your grievances; 1820
    Which since I know they virtuously are placed,
    I give consent to go along with you,
    Recking as little what betideth me
    As much I wish all good befortune you.
    When will you go? 1825
  • Silvia. At Friar Patrick's cell,
    Where I intend holy confession.
  • Eglamour. I will not fail your ladyship. Good morrow, gentle lady. 1830
  • Silvia. Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.

[Exeunt severally]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 4

The same.

      next scene .
---

[Enter LAUNCE, with his his Dog]

  • Launce. When a man's servant shall play the cur with him,
    look you, it goes hard: one that I brought up of a 1835
    puppy; one that I saved from drowning, when three or
    four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it.
    I have taught him, even as one would say precisely,
    'thus I would teach a dog.' I was sent to deliver
    him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master; 1840
    and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he
    steps me to her trencher and steals her capon's leg:
    O, 'tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself
    in all companies! I would have, as one should say,
    one that takes upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, 1845
    as it were, a dog at all things. If I had not had
    more wit than he, to take a fault upon me that he did,
    I think verily he had been hanged for't; sure as I
    live, he had suffered for't; you shall judge. He
    thrusts me himself into the company of three or four 1850
    gentlemanlike dogs under the duke's table: he had
    not been there—bless the mark!—a pissing while, but
    all the chamber smelt him. 'Out with the dog!' says
    one: 'What cur is that?' says another: 'Whip him
    out' says the third: 'Hang him up' says the duke. 1855
    I, having been acquainted with the smell before,
    knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that
    whips the dogs: 'Friend,' quoth I, 'you mean to whip
    the dog?' 'Ay, marry, do I,' quoth he. 'You do him
    the more wrong,' quoth I; 'twas I did the thing you 1860
    wot of.' He makes me no more ado, but whips me out
    of the chamber. How many masters would do this for
    his servant? Nay, I'll be sworn, I have sat in the
    stocks for puddings he hath stolen, otherwise he had
    been executed; I have stood on the pillory for geese 1865
    he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered for't.
    Thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I remember the
    trick you served me when I took my leave of Madam
    Silvia: did not I bid thee still mark me and do as I
    do? when didst thou see me heave up my leg and make 1870
    water against a gentlewoman's farthingale? didst
    thou ever see me do such a trick?

[Enter PROTEUS and JULIA]

  • Proteus. Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
    And will employ thee in some service presently. 1875
  • Julia. In what you please: I'll do what I can.
  • Proteus. I hope thou wilt.
    [To LAUNCE]
    How now, you whoreson peasant!
    Where have you been these two days loitering? 1880
  • Launce. Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.
  • Proteus. And what says she to my little jewel?
  • Launce. Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you
    currish thanks is good enough for such a present.
  • Proteus. But she received my dog? 1885
  • Launce. No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him
    back again.
  • Proteus. What, didst thou offer her this from me?
  • Launce. Ay, sir: the other squirrel was stolen from me by
    the hangman boys in the market-place: and then I 1890
    offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as ten of
    yours, and therefore the gift the greater.
  • Proteus. Go get thee hence, and find my dog again,
    Or ne'er return again into my sight.
    Away, I say! stay'st thou to vex me here? 1895
    [Exit LAUNCE]
    A slave, that still an end turns me to shame!
    Sebastian, I have entertained thee,
    Partly that I have need of such a youth
    That can with some discretion do my business, 1900
    For 'tis no trusting to yond foolish lout,
    But chiefly for thy face and thy behavior,
    Which, if my augury deceive me not,
    Witness good bringing up, fortune and truth:
    Therefore know thou, for this I entertain thee. 1905
    Go presently and take this ring with thee,
    Deliver it to Madam Silvia:
    She loved me well deliver'd it to me.
  • Julia. It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
    She is dead, belike? 1910
  • Proteus. Not so; I think she lives.
  • Proteus. Why dost thou cry 'alas'?
  • Julia. I cannot choose
    But pity her. 1915
  • Proteus. Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
  • Julia. Because methinks that she loved you as well
    As you do love your lady Silvia:
    She dreams of him that has forgot her love;
    You dote on her that cares not for your love. 1920
    'Tis pity love should be so contrary;
    And thinking of it makes me cry 'alas!'
  • Proteus. Well, give her that ring and therewithal
    This letter. That's her chamber. Tell my lady
    I claim the promise for her heavenly picture. 1925
    Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
    Where thou shalt find me, sad and solitary.

[Exit]

  • Julia. How many women would do such a message?
    Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain'd 1930
    A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
    Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
    That with his very heart despiseth me?
    Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
    Because I love him I must pity him. 1935
    This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
    To bind him to remember my good will;
    And now am I, unhappy messenger,
    To plead for that which I would not obtain,
    To carry that which I would have refused, 1940
    To praise his faith which I would have dispraised.
    I am my master's true-confirmed love;
    But cannot be true servant to my master,
    Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
    Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly 1945
    As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.
    [Enter SILVIA, attended]
    Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my mean
    To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.
  • Silvia. What would you with her, if that I be she? 1950
  • Julia. If you be she, I do entreat your patience
    To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
  • Julia. From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
  • Silvia. O, he sends you for a picture. 1955
  • Silvia. Ursula, bring my picture here.
    Go give your master this: tell him from me,
    One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
    Would better fit his chamber than this shadow. 1960
  • Julia. Madam, please you peruse this letter.—
    Pardon me, madam; I have unadvised
    Deliver'd you a paper that I should not:
    This is the letter to your ladyship.
  • Silvia. I pray thee, let me look on that again. 1965
  • Julia. It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
  • Silvia. 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 1970
    As easily as I do tear his paper.
  • Julia. Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.
  • Silvia. 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. 1975
    Though his false finger have profaned the ring,
    Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
  • Julia. I thank you, madam, that you tender her. 1980
    Poor gentlewoman! my master wrongs her much.
  • Julia. Almost as well as I do know myself:
    To think upon her woes I do protest
    That I have wept a hundred several times. 1985
  • Silvia. Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her.
  • Julia. I think she doth; and that's her cause of sorrow.
  • Silvia. Is she not passing fair?
  • Julia. She hath been fairer, madam, than she is:
    When she did think my master loved her well, 1990
    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 starved the roses in her cheeks
    And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face, 1995
    That now she is become as black as I.
  • Julia. 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, 2000
    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, 2005
    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, 2010
    Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
    If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!
  • Silvia. She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.
    Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
    I weep myself to think upon thy words. 2015
    Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this
    For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lovest her.
    Farewell.

[Exit SILVIA, with attendants]

  • Julia. And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you know her. 2020
    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, 2025
    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: 2030
    If that be all the difference in his love,
    I'll get me such a colour'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 2035
    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, loved and adored! 2040
    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 used me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
    I should have scratch'd out your unseeing eyes 2045
    To make my master out of love with thee!

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 1

Milan. An abbey.

      next scene .
---

[Enter EGLAMOUR]

  • Eglamour. The sun begins to gild the western sky;
    And now it is about the very hour 2050
    That Silvia, at Friar Patrick's cell, should meet me.
    She will not fail, for lovers break not hours,
    Unless it be to come before their time;
    So much they spur their expedition.
    See where she comes. 2055
    [Enter SILVIA]
    Lady, a happy evening!
  • Silvia. Amen, amen! Go on, good Eglamour,
    Out at the postern by the abbey-wall:
    I fear I am attended by some spies. 2060
  • Eglamour. Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off;
    If we recover that, we are sure enough.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

The same. The DUKE’s palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter THURIO, PROTEUS, and JULIA]

  • Thurio. Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit? 2065
  • Proteus. O, sir, I find her milder than she was;
    And yet she takes exceptions at your person.
  • Thurio. What, that my leg is too long?
  • Proteus. No; that it is too little.
  • Thurio. I'll wear a boot, to make it somewhat rounder. 2070
  • Julia. [Aside] But love will not be spurr'd to what
    it loathes.
  • Thurio. What says she to my face?
  • Proteus. She says it is a fair one.
  • Thurio. Nay then, the wanton lies; my face is black. 2075
  • Proteus. But pearls are fair; and the old saying is,
    Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.
  • Julia. [Aside] 'Tis true; such pearls as put out
    ladies' eyes;
    For I had rather wink than look on them. 2080
  • Thurio. How likes she my discourse?
  • Proteus. Ill, when you talk of war.
  • Thurio. But well, when I discourse of love and peace?
  • Julia. [Aside] But better, indeed, when you hold your peace.
  • Thurio. What says she to my valour? 2085
  • Proteus. O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.
  • Julia. [Aside] She needs not, when she knows it cowardice.
  • Thurio. What says she to my birth?
  • Proteus. That you are well derived.
  • Julia. [Aside] True; from a gentleman to a fool. 2090
  • Thurio. Considers she my possessions?
  • Julia. [Aside] That such an ass should owe them.
  • Proteus. That they are out by lease. 2095
  • Julia. Here comes the duke.

[Enter DUKE]

  • Duke of Milan. How now, Sir Proteus! how now, Thurio!
    Which of you saw Sir Eglamour of late?
  • Duke of Milan. Why then,
    She's fled unto that peasant Valentine; 2105
    And Eglamour is in her company.
    'Tis true; for Friar Laurence met them both,
    As he in penance wander'd through the forest;
    Him he knew well, and guess'd that it was she,
    But, being mask'd, he was not sure of it; 2110
    Besides, she did intend confession
    At Patrick's cell this even; and there she was not;
    These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence.
    Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse,
    But mount you presently and meet with me 2115
    Upon the rising of the mountain-foot
    That leads towards Mantua, whither they are fled:
    Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.

[Exit]

  • Thurio. Why, this it is to be a peevish girl, 2120
    That flies her fortune when it follows her.
    I'll after, more to be revenged on Eglamour
    Than for the love of reckless Silvia.

[Exit]

  • Proteus. And I will follow, more for Silvia's love 2125
    Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her.

[Exit]

  • Julia. And I will follow, more to cross that love
    Than hate for Silvia that is gone for love.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

The frontiers of Mantua. The forest.

      next scene .
---

[Enter Outlaws with SILVIA]

  • First Outlaw. Come, come,
    Be patient; we must bring you to our captain.
  • Silvia. A thousand more mischances than this one
    Have learn'd me how to brook this patiently. 2135
  • Third Outlaw. Being nimble-footed, he hath outrun us,
    But Moyses and Valerius follow him.
    Go thou with her to the west end of the wood; 2140
    There is our captain: we'll follow him that's fled;
    The thicket is beset; he cannot 'scape.
  • First Outlaw. Come, I must bring you to our captain's cave:
    Fear not; he bears an honourable mind,
    And will not use a woman lawlessly. 2145
  • Silvia. O Valentine, this I endure for thee!

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

Another part of the forest.

       
---

[Enter VALENTINE]

  • Valentine. How use doth breed a habit in a man!
    This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 2150
    I better brook than flourishing peopled towns:
    Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
    And to the nightingale's complaining notes
    Tune my distresses and record my woes.
    O thou that dost inhabit in my breast, 2155
    Leave not the mansion so long tenantless,
    Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
    And leave no memory of what it was!
    Repair me with thy presence, Silvia;
    Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain! 2160
    What halloing and what stir is this to-day?
    These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
    Have some unhappy passenger in chase.
    They love me well; yet I have much to do
    To keep them from uncivil outrages. 2165
    Withdraw thee, Valentine: who's this comes here?

[Enter PROTEUS, SILVIA, and JULIA]

  • Proteus. Madam, this service I have done for you,
    Though you respect not aught your servant doth,
    To hazard life and rescue you from him 2170
    That would have forced your honour and your love;
    Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look;
    A smaller boon than this I cannot beg
    And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give.
  • Valentine. [Aside] How like a dream is this I see and hear! 2175
    Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
  • Silvia. O miserable, unhappy that I am!
  • Proteus. Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;
    But by my coming I have made you happy.
  • Silvia. By thy approach thou makest me most unhappy. 2180
  • Julia. [Aside] And me, when he approacheth to your presence.
  • Silvia. Had I been seized by a hungry lion,
    I would have been a breakfast to the beast,
    Rather than have false Proteus rescue me.
    O, Heaven be judge how I love Valentine, 2185
    Whose life's as tender to me as my soul!
    And full as much, for more there cannot be,
    I do detest false perjured Proteus.
    Therefore be gone; solicit me no more.
  • Proteus. What dangerous action, stood it next to death, 2190
    Would I not undergo for one calm look!
    O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved,
    When women cannot love where they're beloved!
  • Silvia. When Proteus cannot love where he's beloved.
    Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love, 2195
    For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith
    Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
    Descended into perjury, to love me.
    Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou'dst two;
    And that's far worse than none; better have none 2200
    Than plural faith which is too much by one:
    Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!
  • Proteus. In love
    Who respects friend?
  • Silvia. All men but Proteus. 2205
  • Proteus. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
    Can no way change you to a milder form,
    I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end,
    And love you 'gainst the nature of love,—force ye.
  • Proteus. I'll force thee yield to my desire.
  • Valentine. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
    Thou friend of an ill fashion!
  • Valentine. Thou common friend, that's without faith or love, 2215
    For such is a friend now; treacherous man!
    Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
    Could have persuaded me: now I dare not say
    I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
    Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand 2220
    Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
    I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
    But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
    The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst,
    'Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst! 2225
  • Proteus. My shame and guilt confounds me.
    Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
    Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
    I tender 't here; I do as truly suffer
    As e'er I did commit. 2230
  • Valentine. Then I am paid;
    And once again I do receive thee honest.
    Who by repentance is not satisfied
    Is nor of heaven nor earth, for these are pleased.
    By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased: 2235
    And, that my love may appear plain and free,
    All that was mine in Silvia I give thee.

[Swoons]

  • Valentine. Why, boy! why, wag! how now! what's the matter?
    Look up; speak.
  • Julia. O good sir, my master charged me to deliver a ring
    to Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done.
  • Proteus. Where is that ring, boy? 2245
  • Julia. Here 'tis; this is it.
  • Proteus. How! let me see:
    Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
  • Julia. O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook:
    This is the ring you sent to Silvia. 2250
  • Proteus. But how camest thou by this ring? At my depart
    I gave this unto Julia.
  • Julia. And Julia herself did give it me;
    And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
  • Julia. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
    And entertain'd 'em deeply in her heart.
    How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
    O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
    Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me 2260
    Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
    In a disguise of love:
    It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
    Women to change their shapes than men their minds.
  • Proteus. Than men their minds! 'tis true. 2265
    O heaven! were man
    But constant, he were perfect. That one error
    Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins:
    Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
    What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy 2270
    More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?
  • Valentine. Come, come, a hand from either:
    Let me be blest to make this happy close;
    'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
  • Proteus. Bear witness, Heaven, I have my wish for ever. 2275

[Enter Outlaws, with DUKE and THURIO]

  • Outlaws. A prize, a prize, a prize!
  • Valentine. Forbear, forbear, I say! it is my lord the duke.
    Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced, 2280
    Banished Valentine.
  • Thurio. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.
  • Valentine. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
    Come not within the measure of my wrath; 2285
    Do not name Silvia thine; if once again,
    Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands;
    Take but possession of her with a touch:
    I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.
  • Thurio. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I; 2290
    I hold him but a fool that will endanger
    His body for a girl that loves him not:
    I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.
  • Duke of Milan. The more degenerate and base art thou,
    To make such means for her as thou hast done 2295
    And leave her on such slight conditions.
    Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
    I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
    And think thee worthy of an empress' love:
    Know then, I here forget all former griefs, 2300
    Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
    Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit,
    To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
    Thou art a gentleman and well derived;
    Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her. 2305
  • Valentine. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy.
    I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
    To grant one boom that I shall ask of you.
  • Valentine. These banish'd men that I have kept withal 2310
    Are men endued with worthy qualities:
    Forgive them what they have committed here
    And let them be recall'd from their exile:
    They are reformed, civil, full of good
    And fit for great employment, worthy lord. 2315
  • Duke of Milan. Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them and thee:
    Dispose of them as thou know'st their deserts.
    Come, let us go: we will include all jars
    With triumphs, mirth and rare solemnity.
  • Valentine. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold 2320
    With our discourse to make your grace to smile.
    What think you of this page, my lord?
  • Valentine. I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
  • Valentine. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
    That you will wonder what hath fortuned.
    Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear
    The story of your loves discovered:
    That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; 2330
    One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

[Exeunt]

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