The Two Gentlemen of Verona
William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]
Part 2 out of 3
If you think so, then stay at home and go not.
Nay, that I will not.
Then never dream on infamy, but go.
If Proteus like your journey when you come,
No matter who's displeas'd when you are gone.
I fear me he will scarce be pleas'd withal.
That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear:
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
And instances of infinite of love,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
All these are servants to deceitful men.
Base men that use them to so base effect!
But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth;
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles,
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate,
His tears pure messengers sent from his heart,
His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.
Pray heav'n he prove so when you come to him.
Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that wrong
To bear a hard opinion of his truth;
Only deserve my love by loving him.
And presently go with me to my chamber,
To take a note of what I stand in need of
To furnish me upon my longing journey.
All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation;
Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence.
Come, answer not, but to it presently!
I am impatient of my tarriance.
SCENE I. Milan. An anteroom in the DUKE'S palace.
[Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS.]
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?
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 determin'd 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.
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 judg'd me fast asleep,
And oftentimes have purpos'd 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 disclos'd 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.
Know, noble lord, they have devis'd 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.
Upon mine honour, he shall never know
That I had any light from thee of this.
Adieu, my lord; Sir Valentine is coming.
Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?
Please it your Grace, there is a messenger
That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
And I am going to deliver them.
Be they of much import?
The tenour of them doth but signify
My health and happy being at your court.
Nay then, no matter; stay with me awhile;
I am to break with thee of some affairs
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
'Tis not unknown to thee that I have sought
To match my friend Sir Thurio to my daughter.
I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match
Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter.
Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?
No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward,
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Neither regarding that she is my child
Nor fearing me as if I were her father;
And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers,
Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her;
And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should have been cherish'd by her childlike duty,
I now am full resolv'd to take a wife
And turn her out to who will take her in.
Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
For me and my possessions she esteems not.
What would your Grace have me to do in this?
There is a lady of Verona here,
Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,
And nought esteems my aged eloquence.
Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor,
For long agone I have forgot to court;
Besides, the fashion of the time is chang'd,
How and which way I may bestow myself
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.
Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a woman's mind.
But she did scorn a present that I sent her.
A woman sometime scorns what best contents her.
Send her another; never give her o'er,
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you;
If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone;
For why, the fools are mad if left alone.
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
For 'Get you gone' she doth not mean 'Away!'
Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
But she I mean is promis'd by her friends
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth;
And kept severely from resort of men,
That no man hath access by day to her.
Why then I would resort to her by night.
Ay, but the doors be lock'd and keys kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night.
What lets but one may enter at her window?
Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
And built so shelving that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life.
Why then a ladder, quaintly made of cords,
To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero's tow'r,
So bold Leander would adventure it.
Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
When would you use it? Pray, sir, tell me that.
This very night; for Love is like a child,
That longs for everything that he can come by.
By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder.
But, hark thee; I will go to her alone;
How shall I best convey the ladder thither?
It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it
Under a cloak that is of any length.
A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
Ay, my good lord.
Then let me see thy cloak.
I'll get me one of such another length.
Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord.
How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?
I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.
[Pulls open VALENTINE'S cloak.]
What letter is this same? What's here?--'To Silvia'!
And here an engine fit for my proceeding!
I'll be so bold to break the seal for once.
'My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly,
And slaves they are to me, that send them flying.
O! could their master come and go as lightly,
Himself would lodge where, senseless, they are lying!
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them,
While I, their king, that thither them importune,
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath blest them,
Because myself do want my servants' fortune.
I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
That they should harbour where their lord should be.'
'Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee.'
'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.
Why, Phaethon--for thou art Merops' son--
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
And with thy daring folly burn the world?
Wilt thou reach stars because they shine on thee?
Go, base intruder! over-weening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates,
And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence.
Thank me for this more than for all the favours
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee.
But if thou linger in my territories
Longer than swiftest expedition
Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By heaven! my wrath shall far exceed the love
I ever bore my daughter or thyself.
Be gone! I will not hear thy vain excuse;
But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.
And why not death rather than living torment?
To die is to be banish'd from myself,
And Silvia is myself; banish'd from her
Is self from self,--a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by,
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale;
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon.
She is my essence, and I leave to be
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But fly I hence, I fly away from life.
[Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE.]
Run, boy; run, run, seek him out.
What seest thou?
Him we go to find: there's not a hair on 's head but 'tis a
Who then? his spirit?
Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?
Who wouldst thou strike?
Why, sir, I'll strike nothing. I pray you,--
Sirrah, I say, forbear.--Friend Valentine, a word.
My ears are stopp'd and cannot hear good news,
So much of bad already hath possess'd them.
Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.
Is Silvia dead?
No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia.
Hath she forsworn me?
No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me.
What is your news?
Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.
That thou art banished, O, that's the news,
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
O, I have fed upon this woe already,
And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Doth Silvia know that I am banished?
Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom--
Which, unrevers'd, 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 chaf'd him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
That to close prison he commanded her,
With many bitter threats of biding there.
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.
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 lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself,
Regard thy danger, and along with me!
I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy,
Bid him make haste and meet me at the North-gate.
Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.
O my dear Silvia! Hapless Valentine!
[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS.]
I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have the wit to think
my master is a kind of a knave; but that's all one if he be but
one knave. He lives not now that knows me to be in love; yet I am
in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor
who 'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman; but what woman I will not
tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkmaid; yet 'tis not a maid, for
she hath had gossips; yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's
maid and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a
water-spaniel--which is much in a bare Christian. [Pulling out a
Here is the catelog of her condition. 'Inprimis: She
can fetch and carry.' Why, a horse can do no more: nay, a horse
cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore is she better than a
jade. 'Item: She can milk.' Look you, a sweet virtue in a maid
with clean hands.
How now, Signior Launce! What news with your mastership?
With my master's ship? Why, it is at sea.
Well, your old vice still: mistake the word. What news,
then, in your paper?
The blackest news that ever thou heardest.
Why, man? how black?
Why, as black as ink.
Let me read them.
Fie on thee, jolthead! thou canst not read.
Thou liest; I can.
I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee?
Marry, the son of my grandfather.
O, illiterate loiterer! It was the son of thy grandmother.
This proves that thou canst not read.
Come, fool, come; try me in thy paper.
There; and Saint Nicholas be thy speed!
'Inprimis, She can milk.'
Ay, that she can.
'Item, She brews good ale.'
And thereof comes the proverb, 'Blessing of your heart, you
brew good ale.'
'Item, She can sew.'
That's as much as to say 'Can she so?'
'Item, She can knit.'
What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can
knit him a stock?
'Item, She can wash and scour.'
A special virtue; for then she need not be washed and scoured.
'Item, She can spin.'
Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for
'Item, She hath many nameless virtues.'
That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that indeed
know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.
'Here follow her vices.'
Close at the heels of her virtues.
'Item, She is not to be kissed fasting, in respect of her
Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast.
'Item, She hath a sweet mouth.'
That makes amends for her sour breath.
'Item, She doth talk in her sleep.'
It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
'Item, She is slow in words.'
O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow
in words is a woman's only virtue. I pray thee, out with't; and
place it for her chief virtue.
'Item, She is proud.'
Out with that too: it was Eve's legacy, and cannot be ta'en
'Item, She hath no teeth.'
I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.
'Item, She is curst.'
Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
'Item, She will often praise her liquor.'
If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I will;
for good things should be praised.
'Item, She is too liberal.'
Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ down she is slow
of; of her purse she shall not, for that I'll keep shut. Now of
another thing she may, and that cannot I help. Well, proceed.
'Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults
than hairs, and more wealth than faults.'
Stop there; I'll have her; she was mine, and not mine,
twice or thrice in that last article. Rehearse that once more.
'Item, She hath more hair than wit'--
More hair than wit it may be; I'll prove it: the cover of
the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the salt;
the hair that covers the wit is more than the wit, for the
greater hides the less. What's next?
'And more faults than hairs.'--
That's monstrous! O, that that were out!
'And more wealth than faults.'
Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I'll have
her; an if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,--
Why, then will I tell thee,--that thy master stays for thee
at the North-gate.
For thee! ay, who art thou? He hath stay'd for a better man
And must I go to him?
Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long that
going will scarce serve the turn.
Why didst not tell me sooner? Pox of your love letters!
Now will he be swing'd for reading my letter. An unmannerly
slave that will thrust himself into secrets! I'll after, to
rejoice in the boy's correction.
SCENE 2. The same. A room in the DUKE'S palace.
[Enter DUKE and THURIO.]
Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
Since his exile she hath despis'd me most,
Forsworn my company and rail'd at me,
That I am desperate of obtaining her.
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?
Gone, my good lord.
My daughter takes his going grievously.
A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.
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.
Longer than I prove loyal to your Grace
Let me not live to look upon your Grace.
Thou know'st how willingly I would effect
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.
I do, my lord.
And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.
She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
Ay, and perversely she persevers so.
What might we do to make the girl forget
The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio?
The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent,
Three things that women highly hold in hate.
Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate.
Ay, if his enemy deliver it;
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.
Then you must undertake to slander him.
And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do:
'Tis an ill office for a gentleman,
Especially against his very friend.
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.
You have prevail'd, my lord; if I can do it
By aught 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.
Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
You must provide to bottom it on me;
Which must be done by praising me as much
As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine.
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.
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.
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.
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 consort: 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.
This discipline shows thou hast been in love.
And thy advice this night I'll put in practice.
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
Let us into the city presently
To sort some gentlemen well skill'd in music.
I have a sonnet that will serve the turn
To give the onset to thy good advice.
About it, gentlemen!
We'll wait upon your Grace till after-supper,
And afterward determine our proceedings.
Even now about it! I will pardon you.
SCENE 1. A forest between Milan and Verona.
[Enter certain OUTLAWS.]
Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger.
If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.
[Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.]
Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about ye;
If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.
Sir, we are undone: these are the villains
That all the travellers do fear so much.
That's not so, sir; we are your enemies.
Peace! we'll hear him.
Ay, by my beard, will we, for he is a proper man.
Then know that I have little wealth to lose;
A man I am cross'd with adversity;
My riches are these poor habiliments,
Of which if you should here disfurnish me,
You take the sum and substance that I have.
Whither travel you?
Whence came you?
Have you long sojourn'd there?
Some sixteen months, and longer might have stay'd,
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
What! were you banish'd thence?
For what offence?
For that which now torments me to rehearse:
I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent;
But yet I slew him manfully in fight,
Without false vantage or base treachery.
Why, ne'er repent it, if it were done so.
But were you banish'd for so small a fault?
I was, and held me glad of such a doom.
Have you the tongues?
My youthful travel therein made me happy,
Or else I often had been miserable.
By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar,
This fellow were a king for our wild faction!
We'll have him: Sirs, a word.
Master, be one of them; it's an honourable kind of thievery.
Tell us this: have you anything to take to?
Nothing but my fortune.
Know, then, that some of us are gentlemen,
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
Thrust from the company of awful men:
Myself was from Verona banished
For practising to steal away a lady,
An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
And I from Mantua, for a gentleman
Who, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart.
And I for such-like petty crimes as these.
But to the purpose; for we cite our faults,
That they may hold excus'd our lawless lives;
And, partly, seeing you are beautified
With goodly shape, and by your own report
A linguist, and a man of such perfection
As we do in our quality much want--
Indeed, because you are a banish'd man,
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you.
Are you content to be our general?
To make a virtue of necessity
And live as we do in this wilderness?
What say'st thou? Wilt thou be of our consort?
Say 'ay' and be the captain of us all:
We'll do thee homage, and be rul'd by thee,
Love thee as our commander and our king.
But if thou scorn our courtesy thou diest.
Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer'd.
I take your offer, and will live with you,
Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women or poor passengers.
No, we detest such vile base practices.
Come, go with us; we'll bring thee to our crews,
And show thee all the treasure we have got;
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose.
SCENE 2. Milan. The sourt of the DUKE'S palace.
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 lov'd;
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.
[Enter THURIO and Musicians.]
How now, Sir Proteus! are you crept before us?
Ay, gentle Thurio; for you know that love
Will creep in service where it cannot go.
Ay, but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
Sir, but I do; or else I would be hence.
Ay, Silvia, for your sake.
I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile.
[Enter Host, and JULIA in boy's clothes.]
Now, my young guest, methinks you're allycholly; I pray you,
why is it?
Marry, mine host, because I cannot be merry.
Come, we'll have you merry; I'll bring you where you shall
hear music, and see the gentleman that you asked for.
But shall I hear him speak?
Ay, that you shall.
That will be music. [Music plays.]
Is he among these?
Ay; but peace! let's hear 'em.
Who is Silvia? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.
Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness.
Love doth to her eyes repair,
To help him of his blindness;
And, being help'd, inhabits there.
Then to Silvia let us sing
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling.
' To her let us garlands bring.
How now, are you sadder than you were before?
How do you, man? The music likes you not.
You mistake; the musician likes me not.
Why, my pretty youth?
He plays false, father.
How? out of tune on the strings?
Not so; but yet so false that he grieves my very
You have a quick ear.
Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes me have a slow heart.
I perceive you delight not in music.
Not a whit,--when it jars so.
Hark! what fine change is in the music!
Ay, that change is the spite.
You would have them always play but one thing?
I would always have one play but one thing.
But, Host, doth this Sir Proteus, that we talk on,
Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
I tell you what Launce, his man, told me: he lov'd her out of
Where is Launce?
Gone to seek his dog, which to-morrow, by his master's
command, he must carry for a present to his lady.
Peace! stand aside: the company parts.
Sir Thurio, fear not you; I will so plead
That you shall say my cunning drift excels.
Where meet we?
At Saint Gregory's well.
[Exeunt THURIO and Musicians.]
[Enter SILVIA above, at her window.]
Madam, good even to your ladyship.
I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
Who is that that spake?
One, lady, if you knew his pure heart's truth,
You would quickly learn to know him by his voice.
Sir Proteus, as I take it.
Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
What's your will?
That I may compass yours.
You have your wish; my will is even this,
That presently you hie you home to bed.
Thou subtle, perjur'd, false, disloyal man!
Think'st thou I am so shallow, so conceitless,
To be seduced by thy flattery,
That hast deceiv'd 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.
I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady;
But she is dead.
[Aside] 'Twere false, if I should speak it;
For I am sure she is not buried.
Say that she be; yet Valentine, thy friend,
Survives, to whom, thyself art witness,
I am betroth'd; and art thou not asham'd
To wrong him with thy importunacy?
I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
And so suppose am I; for in his grave,
Assure thyself my love is buried.
Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.
Go to thy lady's grave, and call hers thence;
Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine.
[Aside] He heard not that.
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.
[Aside] If 'twere a substance, you would, sure, deceive it
And make it but a shadow, as I am.
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.
As wretches have o'ernight
That wait for execution in the morn.
[Exeunt PROTEUS and SILVIA, above.]
Host, will you go?
By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think 'tis almost day.
Not so; but it hath been the longest night
That e'er I watch'd, and the most heaviest.
SCENE 3. The same.
This is the hour that Madam Silvia
Entreated me to call and know her mind:
There's some great matter she'd employ me in.
[Enter SILVIA above, at her window.]
Your servant and your friend;
One that attends your ladyship's command.
Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.
As many, worthy lady, to yourself.
According to your ladyship's impose,
I am thus early come to know what service
It is your pleasure to command me in.
O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman--
Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not--
Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplish'd.
Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
I bear unto the banish'd Valentine;
Nor how my father would enforce me marry
Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhors.
Thyself hast lov'd; and I have heard thee say
No grief did ever come so near thy heart
As when thy lady and thy true love died,
Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity.
Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine,
To Mantua, where I hear he makes abode;
And, for the ways are dangerous to pass,
I do desire thy worthy company,
Upon whose faith and honour I repose.
Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour,
But think upon my grief, a lady's grief,
And on the justice of my flying hence,
To keep me from a most unholy match,
Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
I do desire thee, even from a heart
As full of sorrows as the sea of sands,
To bear me company and go with me;
If not, to hide what I have said to thee,
That I may venture to depart alone.
Madam, I pity much your grievances;
Which since I know they virtuously are plac'd,
I give consent to go along with you,
Recking as little what betideth me
As much I wish all good befortune you.
When will you go?
This evening coming.
Where shall I meet you?
At Friar Patrick's cell,
Where I intend holy confession.
I will not fail your ladyship. Good morrow, gentle lady.
Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.
SCENE 4. The same.
[Enter LAUNCE with his dog.]
When a man's servant shall play the cur with him, look you,
it goes hard; one that I brought up of a puppy; one that I saved
from drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and
sisters went to it. I have taught him, even as one would say
precisely 'Thus I would teach a dog.' I was sent to deliver him
as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master; and I came no
sooner into the dining-chamber, but he steps me to her trencher
and steals her capon's leg. O! 'tis a foul thing when a cur
cannot keep himself in all companies! I would have, as one should
say, one that takes upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, as it
were, a dog at all things. If I had not had more wit than he, to
take a fault upon me that he did, I think verily he had been
hang'd for't; sure as I live, he had suffer'd for't; you shall
judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four
gentleman-like dogs under the duke's table; he had not been
there--bless the mark, a pissing-while, but all the chamber smelt
him. 'Out with the dog!' says one; 'What cur is that?' says
another; 'Whip him out' says the third; 'Hang him up' says the
duke. I, having been acquainted with the smell before, knew it
was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that whips the dogs:
'Friend,' quoth I 'you mean to whip the dog?' 'Ay, marry do I,'
quoth he. 'You do him the more wrong,' quoth I; "twas I did the
thing you wot of.' He makes me no more ado, but whips me out of
the chamber. How many masters would do this for his servant? Nay,
I'll be sworn, I have sat in the stock for puddings he hath
stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the
pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered
for't. Thou think'st not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick
you serv'd me when I took my leave of Madam Silvia: did not I bid
thee still mark me and do as I do? When didst thou see me heave
up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale?
Didst thou ever see me do such a trick?
[Enter PROTEUS, and JULIA in boy's clothes.]
Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
And will employ thee in some service presently.
In what you please; I'll do what I can.
I hope thou wilt.
[To LAUNCE] How now, you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?
Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.
And what says she to my little jewel?
Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish
thanks is good enough for such a present.
But she received my dog?
No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him back
What! didst thou offer her this from me?
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
Go, get thee hence and find my dog again,
Or ne'er return again into my sight.
Away, I say. Stayest 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 behaviour,
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 lov'd me well deliver'd it to me.
It seems you lov'd not her, to leave her token.
She's dead, belike?
Not so: I think she lives.
Why dost thou cry 'Alas'?
I cannot choose
But pity her.
Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
Because methinks that she lov'd you as well
As you do love your lady Silvia.
She dreams on 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 on it makes me cry 'alas!'
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.
How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain'd
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him, I must pity him.
This ring I gave him, when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will;
And now am I--unhappy messenger--
To plead for that which I would not obtain,
To carry that which I would have refus'd,
To praise his faith, which I would have disprais'd.
I am my master's true-confirmed love,
But cannot be true servant to my master
Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.
[Enter SILVIA, attended.]
Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you be my mean
To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.
What would you with her, if that I be she?
If you be she, I do entreat your patience
To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
O! he sends you for a picture?
Ursula, bring my picture there.
[A picture brought.]
Go, give your master this. Tell him from me,
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
Madam, please you peruse this letter.--
Pardon me, madam; I have unadvis'd
Deliver'd you a paper that I should not:
This is the letter to your ladyship.
I pray thee, let me look on that again.
It may not be: good madam, pardon me.
I will not look upon your master's lines:
I know they are stuff'd with protestations
And full of new-found oaths, which he will break
As easily as I do tear his paper.
Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.
The more shame for him that he sends it me;
For I have heard him say a thousand times
His Julia gave it him at his departure.
Though his false finger have profan'd the ring,
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
She thanks you.
What say'st thou?
I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.
Dost thou know her?
Almost as well as I do know myself:
To think upon her woes, I do protest
That I have wept a hundred several times.
Belike she thinks, that Proteus hath forsook her.
I think she doth, and that's her cause of sorrow.
Is she not passing fair?
She hath been fairer, madam, than she is.
When she did think my master lov'd her well,
She, in my judgment, was as fair as you;
But since she did neglect her looking-glass
And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
The air hath starv'd the roses in her cheeks
And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face,
That now she is become as black as I.
How tall was she?
About my stature; for at Pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were play'd,
Our youth got me to play the woman's part,
And I was trimm'd in Madam Julia's gown,
Which served me as fit, by all men's judgments,
As if the garment had been made for me:
Therefore I know she is about my height.
And at that time I made her weep agood;
For I did play a lamentable part.
Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning
For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight;
Which I so lively acted with my tears
That my poor mistress, mov'd therewithal,
Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!
She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.--
Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
I weep myself, to think upon thy words.
Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this
For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lov'st her.
And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you know her.--
[Exit SILVIA with ATTENDANTS]
A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful!
I hope my master's suit will be but cold,
Since she respects my mistress' love so much.
Alas, how love can trifle with itself!
Here is her picture; let me see. I think,
If I had such a tire, this face of mine
Were full as lovely as is this of hers;
And yet the painter flatter'd her a little,
Unless I flatter with myself too much.
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow:
If that be all the difference in his love,
I'll get me such a colour'd periwig.
Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine;
Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine's as high.
What should it be that he respects in her
But I can make respective in myself,
If this fond Love were not a blinded god?
Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,
For 'tis thy rival. O thou senseless form!
Thou shalt be worshipp'd, kiss'd, lov'd, and ador'd,
And, were there sense in his idolatry,
My substance should be statue in thy stead.
I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake,
That us'd me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
I should have scratch'd out your unseeing eyes,
To make my master out of love with thee.
SCENE I. Milan. An abbey
The sun begins to gild the western sky,
And now it is about the very hour
That Silvia at Friar Patrick's cell should meet me.
She will not fail; for lovers break not hours
Unless it be to come before their time,
So much they spur their expedition.
See, where she comes.
Lady, a happy evening!
Amen, amen! Go on, good Eglamour,
Out at the postern by the abbey wall.
I fear I am attended by some spies.
Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off;
If we recover that, we are sure enough.
SCENE 2. The same. A room in the DUKE'S palace.
[Enter THURIO, PROTEUS, and JULIA.]
Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit?
O, sir, I find her milder than she was;
And yet she takes exceptions at your person.
What! that my leg is too long?
No; that it is too little.
I'll wear a boot to make it somewhat rounder.
[Aside] But love will not be spurr'd to what it loathes.
What says she to my face?
She says it is a fair one.
Nay, then, the wanton lies; my face is black.
But pearls are fair; and the old saying is:
'Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.'
[Aside] 'Tis true, such pearls as put out ladies' eyes;
For I had rather wink than look on them.
How likes she my discourse?
Ill, when you talk of war.
But well when I discourse of love and peace?
[Aside] But better, indeed, when you hold your peace.
What says she to my valour?
O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.
[Aside] She needs not, when she knows it cowardice.
What says she to my birth?
That you are well deriv'd.
[Aside] True; from a gentleman to a fool.
Considers she my possessions?
O, ay; and pities them.
[Aside] That such an ass should owe them.
That they are out by lease.
Here comes the duke.
How now, Sir Proteus! how now, Thurio!
Which of you saw Sir Eglamour of late?
Saw you my daughter?
She's fled unto that peasant Valentine;
And Eglamour is in her company.
'Tis true; for Friar Lawrence met them both
As he in penance wander'd through the forest;
Him he knew well, and guess'd that it was she,
But, being mask'd, he was not sure of it;
Besides, she did intend confession
At Patrick's cell this even; and there she was not.
These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence.
Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse,
But mount you presently, and meet with me
Upon the rising of the mountain-foot
That leads toward Mantua, whither they are fled.
Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.
Why, this it is to be a peevish girl
That flies her fortune when it follows her.
I'll after, more to be reveng'd on Eglamour
Than for the love of reckless Silvia.
And I will follow, more for Silvia's love
Than hate of Eglamour, that goes with her.
And I will follow, more to cross that love
Than hate for Silvia, that is gone for love.
SCENE 3. Frontiers of Mantua. The forest.
[Enter OUTLAWS with SILVA.]
Be patient; we must bring you to our captain.
A thousand more mischances than this one
Have learn'd me how to brook this patiently.
Come, bring her away.
Where is the gentleman that was with her?
Being nimble-footed, he hath outrun us;
But Moyses and Valerius follow him.
Go thou with her to the west end of the wood;
There is our captain; we'll follow him that's fled.
The thicket is beset; he cannot 'scape.
[Exeunt all except the First Outlaw and SYLVIA.]
Come, I must bring you to our captain's cave.
Fear not; he bears an honourable mind,
And will not use a woman lawlessly.
O Valentine, this I endure for thee!
SCENE 4. Another part of the forest.
How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
And to the nightingale's complaining notes
Tune my distresses and record my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless,
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
And leave no memory of what it was!
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia!
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain. [Noise within.]
What halloing and what stir is this to-day?
These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
Have some unhappy passenger in chase.
They love me well; yet I have much to do
To keep them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine: who's this comes here?
[Enter PROTEUS, SILVIA, and JULIA.]
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 forc'd 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.
VALENTINE. [Aside] How like a dream is this I see and hear!
Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
O miserable, unhappy that I am!
Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;
Back to Full Books