Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)


Actus Tertius, Scena Prima.
Enter Duke, Thurio, Protheus, Valentine,
Launce, Speed.
1070Duke. Sir Thurio, giue vs leaue (I pray) a while,
We haue some secrets to confer about.
Now tell me Protheus, what's your will with me?
Pro. My gracious Lord, that which I wold discouer,
The Law of friendship bids me to conceale,
1075But when I call to minde your gracious fauours
Done to me (vndeseruing as I am)
My dutie pricks me on to vtter that
Which else, no worldly good should draw from me:
Know (worthy Prince) Sir Valentine my friend
1080This night intends to steale away your daughter:
My selfe am one made priuy to the plot.
I know you haue determin'd to bestow her
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates,
And should she thus be stolne away from you,
1085It would be much vexation to your age.
Thus (for my duties sake) I rather chose
To crosse my friend in his intended drift,
Then (by concealing it) heap on your head
A pack of sorrowes, which would presse you downe
1090(Being vnpreuented) to your timelesse graue.
Duke. Protheus, I thank thee for thine honest care,
Which to requite, command me while I liue.
This loue of theirs, my selfe haue often seene,
Haply when they haue iudg'd me fast asleepe,
1095And oftentimes haue purpos'd to forbid
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?
Goe base Intruder, ouer-weening Slaue,
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equall mates,
And thinke my patience, (more then thy desert)
Is priuiledge for thy departure hence.
1230Thanke me for this, more then for all the fauors
Which (all too-much) I haue bestowed on thee.
But if thou linger in my Territories
Longer then swiftest expedition
Will giue thee time to leaue our royall Court,
1235By heauen, my wrath shall farre exceed the loue
I euer bore my daughter, or thy selfe.
Be gone, I will not heare thy vaine excuse,
But as thou lou'st thy life, make speed from hence.
Val. And why not death, rather then liuing torment?
1240To die, is to be banisht from my selfe,
And Siluia is my selfe: banish'd from her
Is selfe from selfe. A deadly banishment:
What light, is light, if Siluia be not seene?
What ioy is ioy, if Siluia be not by?
1245Vnlesse it be to thinke that she is by
And feed vpon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Siluia in the night,
There is no musicke in the Nightingale.
Vnlesse I looke on Siluia in the day,
1250There is no day for me to looke vpon.
Shee is my essence, and I leaue to be;
If I be not by her faire influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept aliue.
I flie not death, to flie his deadly doome,
1255Tarry I heere, I but attend on death,
But flie I hence, I flie away from life.
Pro. Run (boy) run, run, and seeke him out.
Lau. So-hough, Soa hough---
Pro. What seest thou?
1260Lau. Him we goe to finde,
There's not a haire on's head, but t'is a Valentine.
Pro. Valentine?
Val. No.
Pro. Who then? his Spirit?
1265Val. Neither,
Pro. What then?
Val. Nothing.
Lau. Can nothing speake? Master, shall I strike?
Pro. Who wouldst thou strike?
1270Lau. Nothing.
Pro. Villaine, forbeare.
Lau. Why Sir, Ile strike nothing: I pray you.
Pro. Sirha, I say forbeare: friend Valentine, a word.
Val. My eares are stopt, & cannot hear good newes,
1275So much of bad already hath possest them.
Pro. Then in dumbe silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, vn-tuneable, and bad.
Val. Is Siluia dead?
Pro. No, Valentine.
1280Val. No Valentine indeed, for sacred Siluia,
Hath she forsworne me?
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, if Siluia haue forsworne me.
What is your newes?
1285 Lau. Sir, there is a proclamation, yt you are vanished.
Pro. That thou art banish'd: oh that's the newes,
From hence, from Siluia, and from me thy friend.
Val. Oh, I haue fed vpon this woe already,
And now excesse of it will make me surfet.
1290Doth Siluia know that I am banish'd?
Pro. I, I: and she hath offered to the doome
(Which vn-reuerst stands in effectuall force)
A Sea of melting pearle, which some call teares;
Those at her fathers churlish feete she tenderd,
1295With them vpon her knees, her humble selfe,
Wringing her hands, whose whitenes so became them,
As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held vp,
Sad sighes, deepe grones, nor siluer-shedding teares
1300Could penetrate her vncompassionate Sire;
But Valentine, if he be tane, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,
When she for thy repeale was suppliant,
That to close prison he commanded her,
1305With many bitter threats of biding there.
Val. No more: vnles the next word that thou speak'st
Haue some malignant power vpon my life:
If so: I pray thee breath it in mine eare,
As ending Antheme of my endlesse dolor.
1310Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not helpe,
And study helpe for that which thou lament'st,
Time is the Nurse, and breeder of all good;
Here, if thou stay, thou canst not see thy loue:
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life:
1315Hope is a louers staffe, walke 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 deliuer'd
Euen in the milke-white bosome of thy Loue.
1320The time now serues not to expostulate,
Come, Ile conuey thee through the City-gate.
And ere I part with thee, confer at large
Of all that may concerne thy Loue-affaires:
As thou lou'st Siluia (though not for thy selfe)
1325Regard thy danger, and along with me.
Val. I pray thee Launce, and if thou seest my Boy
Bid him make haste, and meet me at the North-gate.
Pro. Goe sirha, finde him out: Come Valentine.
Val. Oh my deere Siluia; haplesse Valentine.
1330 Launce. I am but a foole, looke you, and yet I haue
the wit to thinke my Master is a kinde of a knaue: but
that's all one, if he be but one knaue: He liues not now
that knowes me to be in loue, yet I am in loue, but a
Teeme of horse shall not plucke that from me: nor who
1335'tis I loue: and yet 'tis a woman; but what woman, I
will not tell my selfe: and yet 'tis a Milke-maid: yet 'tis
not a maid: for shee hath had Gossips: yet 'tis a maid,
for she is her Masters maid, and serues for wages. Shee
hath more qualities then a Water-Spaniell, which is
1340much in a bare Christian: Heere is the Cate-log of her
Condition. Inprimis. Shee can fetch and carry: why
a horse can doe no more; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but
onely carry, therefore is shee better then a Iade. Item.
She can milke, looke you, a sweet vertue in a maid with
1345cleane hands.
Speed. How now Signior Launce? what newes with
your Mastership?
La. With my Mastership? why, it is at Sea:
Sp. Well, your old vice still: mistake the word: what
1350newes then in your paper?
La. The black'st newes that euer thou heard'st.
Sp. Why man? how blacke?
La. Why, as blacke as Inke.
Sp. Let me read them?
1355La. Fie on thee Iolt-head, thou canst not read.
Sp. Thou lyest: I can.
La. I will try thee: tell me this: who begot thee?
Sp. Marry, the son of my Grand-father.
La. Oh illiterate loyterer; it was the sonne of thy
1360Grand-mother: this proues that thou canst not read.
Sp. Come foole, come: try me in thy paper.
La. There: and S. Nicholas be thy speed.
Sp. Inprimis she can milke.
La. I that she can.
1365Sp. Item, she brewes good Ale.
La. And thereof comes the prouerbe: (Blessing of
your heart, you brew good Ale.)
Sp. Item, she can sowe.
La. That's as much as to say (Can she so?)
1370Sp. Item she can knit.
La. What neede a man care for a stock with a wench,
When she can knit him a stocke?
Sp. Item, she can wash and scoure.
La. A speciall vertue: for then shee neede not be
1375wash'd, and scowr'd.
Sp. Item, she can spin.
La. Then may I set the world on wheeles, when she
can spin for her liuing.
Sp. Item, she hath many namelesse vertues.
1380 La. That's as much as to say Bastard-vertues: that
indeede know not their fathers; and therefore haue no
names.
Sp. Here follow her vices.
La. Close at the heeles of her vertues.
1385 Sp. Item, shee is not to be fasting in respect of her
breath.
La. Well: that fault may be mended with a break-
fast: read on.
Sp. Item, she hath a sweet mouth.
1390La. That makes amends for her soure breath.
Sp. Item, she doth talke in her sleepe.
La. It's no matter for that; so shee sleepe not in her
talke.
Sp. Item, she is slow in words.
1395 La. Oh villaine, that set this downe among her vices;
To be slow in words, is a womans onely vertue:
I pray thee out with't, and place it for her chiefe vertue.
Sp. Item, she is proud.
La. Out with that too:
1400It was Eues legacie, and cannot be t'ane from her.
Sp. Item, she hath no teeth.
La. I care not for that neither: because I loue crusts.
Sp. Item, she is curst.
La. Well: the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
1405Sp. Item, she will often praise her liquor.
La. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not,
I will; for good things should be praised.
Sp. Item, she is too liberall.
La. Of her tongue she cannot; for that's writ downe
1410she is slow of: of her purse, shee shall not, for that ile
keepe shut: Now, of another thing shee may, and that
cannot I helpe. Well, proceede.
Sp. Item, shee hath more haire then wit, and more
faults then haires, and more wealth then faults.
1415 La. Stop there: Ile haue her: she was mine, and not
mine, twice or thrice in that last Article: rehearse that
once more.
Sp. Item, she hath more haire then wit.
La. More haire then wit: it may be ile proue it: The
1420couer of the salt, hides the salt, and therefore it is more
then the salt; the haire that couers the wit, is more
then the wit; for the greater hides the lesse: What's
next?
Sp. And more faults then haires.
1425La. That's monstrous: oh that that were out.
Sp. And more wealth then faults.
La. Why that word makes the faults gracious:
Well, ile haue her: and if it be a match, as nothing is
impossible.
1430Sp. What then?
La. Why then, will I tell thee, that thy Master staies
for thee at the North gate.
Sp. For me?
La. For thee? I, who art thou? he hath staid for a bet-
1435ter man then thee.
Sp. And must I goe to him?
La. Thou must run to him; for thou hast staid so long,
that going will scarce serue the turne.
Sp. Why didst not tell me sooner? 'pox of your loue
1440Letters.
La. Now will he be swing'd for reading my Letter;
An vnmannerly slaue, that will thrust himselfe into se-
crets: Ile after, to reioyce in the boyes correctiō.
Exeunt.