Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

Two Gentlemen of Verona

print/save print/save view


Act II, Scene 4

Milan. The DUKE’s palace.



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


  • 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.


  • 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



  • 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.