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  • Title: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

    The two Gentlemen of Verona.
    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,