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Speeches (Lines) for Proteus
in "Two Gentlemen of Verona"

Total: 147

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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,
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,
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
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?

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.



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.

Proteus. What?



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;
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.



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
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,
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
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
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And likewise will visit thee with mine.

Proteus. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!



(stage directions). [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,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.



Speed. Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?

Proteus. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.



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,
and I a sheep?

Proteus. I do.



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.

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
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.



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.

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.

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.

Proteus. But what said she?



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.



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?



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?



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?



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
hard as steel.

Proteus. What said she? nothing?



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
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]
I must go send some better messenger:
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.



(stage directions). [Enter PROTEUS]

Proteus. Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
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?

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
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
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
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.

Proteus. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
Please you, deliberate a day or two.



(stage directions). [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,
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,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!



Panthino. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you:
He is in haste; therefore, I pray you to go.

Proteus. Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,
And yet a thousand times it answers 'no.'



(stage directions). [Enter PROTEUS and JULIA]

Proteus. Have patience, gentle Julia.



Julia. I must, where is no remedy.

Proteus. When possibly I can, I will return.



(stage directions). [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
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;
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;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.



Panthino. Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for.

Proteus. Go; I come, I come.
Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb.



Silvia. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.

Proteus. Not so, sweet lady: but too mean a servant
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:
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.

Proteus. I'll die on him that says so but yourself.



Silvia. That you are welcome?

Proteus. That you are worthless.



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.

Proteus. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.



Valentine. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?

Proteus. Your friends are well and have them much commended.



Valentine. And how do yours?

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:
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,
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,
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.
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.



Valentine. Call her divine.

Proteus. I will not flatter her.



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,
Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.

Proteus. Except my mistress.



Valentine. Sweet, except not any;
Except thou wilt except against my love.

Proteus. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?



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,
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;
She is alone.

Proteus. Then let her 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,
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,
Is gone with her along, and I must after,
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.

Proteus. But she loves you?



Valentine. Ay, and we are betroth'd: nay, more, our,
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,
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.



Valentine. Will you make haste?

Proteus. I will.
Even as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
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?
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,
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!
'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;
If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.



(stage directions). [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;
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.
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
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;
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!—
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.
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.
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
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!



Duke of Milan. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
We have some secrets to confer about.
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,
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.
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
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;
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:
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.
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.

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;
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.



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.



(stage directions). [Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE]

Proteus. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.



Launce. Soho, soho!

Proteus. What seest thou?



Launce. Him we go to find: there's not a hair on's head
but 'tis a Valentine.

Proteus. Valentine?



Valentine. No.

Proteus. Who then? his spirit?



Valentine. Neither.

Proteus. What then?



Launce. Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?

Proteus. Who wouldst thou strike?



Launce. Nothing.

Proteus. Villain, forbear.



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.

Proteus. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable and bad.



Valentine. Is Silvia dead?

Proteus. No, Valentine.



Valentine. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia.
Hath she forsworn me?

Proteus. No, Valentine.



Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.

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?

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;
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;
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.



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,
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
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:
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!



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.



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
And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.
How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman
According to our proclamation gone?

Proteus. Gone, my good lord.



Duke of Milan. My daughter takes his going grievously.

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—
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.

Proteus. I do, my lord.



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.
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.



Duke of Milan. Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate.

Proteus. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.



Duke of Milan. Then you must undertake to slander him.

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;
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.
But say this weed her love from Valentine,
It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio.



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
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;
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
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
Should be full-fraught with serviceable vows.



Duke of Milan. Ay,
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.

Proteus. Say that upon the altar of her beauty
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,
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
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. About it, gentlemen!

Proteus. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper,
And afterward determine our proceedings.



(stage directions). [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,
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
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.
But here comes Thurio: now must we to her window,
And give some evening music to her ear.



Thurio. How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?

Proteus. Ay, gentle Thurio: for you know that love
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.



Thurio. Who? Silvia?

Proteus. Ay, Silvia; for your sake.



Julia. Peace! stand aside: the company parts.

Proteus. Sir Thurio, fear not you: I will so plead
That you shall say my cunning drift excels.



Thurio. Where meet we?

Proteus. At Saint Gregory's well.



(stage directions). [Enter SILVIA above]

Proteus. Madam, good even to your ladyship.



Silvia. I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
Who is that that spake?

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?

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,
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
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.



Silvia. Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
Survives; to whom, thyself art witness,
I am betroth'd: and art thou not ashamed
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.



Julia. [Aside] He heard not that.

Proteus. Madam, if your heart be so obdurate,
Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love,
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.



Silvia. I am very loath to be your idol, sir;
But since your falsehood shall become you well
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.



(stage directions). [Enter PROTEUS and JULIA]

Proteus. Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
And will employ thee in some service presently.



Julia. In what you please: I'll do what I can.

Proteus. I hope thou wilt.
How now, you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?



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?



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
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?
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,
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.
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?

Proteus. Not so; I think she lives.



Julia. Alas!

Proteus. Why dost thou cry 'alas'?



Julia. I cannot choose
But pity her.

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.
'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.
Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
Where thou shalt find me, sad and solitary.



Thurio. Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit?

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. What says she to my face?

Proteus. She says it is a fair one.



Thurio. Nay then, the wanton lies; my face is black.

Proteus. But pearls are fair; and the old saying is,
Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.



Thurio. How likes she my discourse?

Proteus. Ill, when you talk of war.



Thurio. What says she to my valour?

Proteus. O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.



Thurio. What says she to my birth?

Proteus. That you are well derived.



Thurio. Considers she my possessions?

Proteus. O, ay; and pities them.



Julia. [Aside] That such an ass should owe them.

Proteus. That they are out by lease.



Thurio. Not I.

Proteus. Nor I.



Duke of Milan. Saw you my daughter?

Proteus. Neither.



(stage directions). [Exit]

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



(stage directions). [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
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.



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. 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,
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,
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,
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
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.

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.



Silvia. O heaven!

Proteus. I'll force thee yield to my desire.



Valentine. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
Thou friend of an ill fashion!

Proteus. Valentine!



Valentine. Thou common friend, that's without faith or love,
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
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!

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.



(stage directions). [Swoons]

Proteus. Look to the boy.



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?



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.

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.

Proteus. How! Julia!



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
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.
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
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.

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