Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)


The two Gentlemen of Verona.
29
Sir Valentine her companie, and my Court.
But fearing lest my iealous ayme might erre,
And so (vnworthily) disgrace the man
(A rashnesse that I euer yet haue shun'd)
1100I gaue him gentle lookes, thereby to finde
That which thy selfe hast now disclos'd to me.
And that thou maist perceiue my feare of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soone suggested,
I nightly lodge her in an vpper Towre,
1105The key whereof, my selfe haue euer kept:
And thence she cannot be conuay'd away.
Pro. Know (noble Lord) they haue deuis'd a meane
How he her chamber-window will ascend,
And with a Corded-ladder fetch her downe:
1110For which, the youthfull Louer now is gone,
And this way comes he with it presently.
Where (if it please you) you may intercept him.
But (good my Lord) doe it so cunningly
That my discouery be not aimed at:
1115For, loue of you, not hate vnto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.
Duke. Vpon mine Honor, he shall neuer know
That I had any light from thee of this.
Pro. Adiew, my Lord, Sir Valentine is comming.
1120Duk. Sir Valentine, whether away so fast?
Val. Please it your Grace, there is a Messenger
That stayes to beare my Letters to my friends,
And I am going to deliuer them.
Duk. Be they of much import?
1125Val. The tenure of them doth but signifie
My health, and happy being at your Court.
Duk. Nay then no matter: stay with me a while,
I am to breake with thee of some affaires
That touch me neere: wherein thou must be secret.
1130'Tis not vnknown to thee, that I haue sought
To match my friend Sir Thurio, to my daughter.
Val. I know it well (my Lord) and sure the Match
Were rich and honourable: besides, the gentleman
Is full of Vertue, Bounty, Worth, and Qualities
1135Beseeming such a Wife, as your faire daughter:
Cannot your Grace win her to fancie him?
Duk. No, trust me, She is peeuish, sullen, froward,
Prowd, disobedient, stubborne, lacking duty,
Neither regarding that she is my childe,
1140Nor fearing me, as if I were her father:
And may I say to thee, this pride of hers
(Vpon aduice) hath drawne my loue from her,
And where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should haue beene cherish'd by her child-like dutie,
1145I now am full resolu'd to take a wife,
And turne her out, to who will take her in:
Then let her beauty be her wedding dowre:
For me, and my possessions she esteemes not.
Val. What would your Grace haue me to do in this?
1150Duk. There is a Lady in Verona heere
Whom I affect: but she is nice, and coy,
And naught esteemes my aged eloquence.
Now therefore would I haue thee to my Tutor
(For long agone I haue forgot to court,
1155Besides the fashion of the time is chang'd)
How, and which way I may bestow my selfe
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.
Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words,
Dumbe Iewels often in their silent kinde
1160More then quicke words, doe moue a womans minde.
Duk. But she did scorne a present that I sent her,
Val. A woman somtime scorns what best cōtents her.
Send her another: neuer giue her ore,
For scorne at first, makes after-loue the more.
1165If she doe frowne, 'tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more loue in you.
If she doe chide, 'tis not to haue you gone,
For why, the fooles are mad, if left alone.
Take no repulse, what euer she doth say,
1170For, get you gon, she doth not meane away.
Flatter, and praise, commend, extoll their graces:
Though nere so blacke, say they haue Angells faces,
That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
1175Duk. But she I meane, is promis'd by her friends
Vnto a youthfull Gentleman of worth,
And kept seuerely from resort of men,
That no man hath accesse by day to her.
Val. Why then I would resort to her by night.
1180 Duk. I, but the doores be lockt, and keyes kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night.
Val. What letts but one may enter at her window?
Duk. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
And built so sheluing, that one cannot climbe it
1185Without apparant hazard of his life.
Val. Why then a Ladder quaintly made of Cords
To cast vp, with a paire of anchoring hookes,
Would serue to scale another Hero's towre,
So bold Leander would aduenture it.
1190Duk. Now as thou art a Gentleman of blood
Aduise me, where I may haue such a Ladder.
Val. When would you vse it? pray sir, tell me that.
Duk. This very night; for Loue is like a childe
That longs for euery thing that he can come by.
1195Val. By seauen a clock, ile get you such a Ladder.
Duk But harke thee: I will goe to her alone,
How shall I best conuey the Ladder thither?
Val. It will be light (my Lord) that you may beare it
Vnder a cloake, that is of any length.
1200Duk. A cloake as long as thine will serue the turne?
Val. I my good Lord.
Duk. Then let me see thy cloake,
Ile get me one of such another length.
Val. Why any cloake will serue the turn (my Lord)
1205Duk. How shall I fashion me to weare a cloake?
I pray thee let me feele thy cloake vpon me.
What Letter is this same? what's here? to Siluia?
And heere an Engine fit for my proceeding,
Ile be so bold to breake the seale for once.

1210
My thoughts do harbour with my Siluia nightly,
And slaues they are to me, that send them flying.
Oh, could their Master come, and goe as lightly,
Himselfe would lodge where (senceles) they are lying.
My Herald Thoughts, in thy pure bosome rest-them,
1215While I (their King) that thither them importune
Doe curse the grace, that with such grace hath blest them,
Because my selfe doe want my seruants fortune.
I curse my selfe, for they are sent by me,
That they should harbour where their Lord should be.

1220What's here? Siluia, this night I will enfranchise thee.
'Tis so: and heere's the Ladder for the purpose.
Why Phaeton (for thou art Merops sonne)
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heauenly Car?
And with thy daring folly burne the world?
1225Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
C3
Goe