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The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Act III, Scene 1

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act III, Scene 1

Scene 1

Milan. An anteroom in the Duke’s palace.

  1. Enter Duke, Thurio, Proteus.

Duke of Milan

1 - 3
  1. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, a while,
  2. We have some secrets to confer about.
  3. Exit Thurio.
  4. Now tell me, Proteus, what’s your will with me?

Proteus

4 - 21
  1. My gracious lord, that which I would discover
  2. The law of friendship bids me to conceal,
  3. But when I call to mind your gracious favors
  4. Done to me (undeserving as I am),
  5. My duty pricks me on to utter that
  6. Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
  7. Know, worthy prince, Sir Valentine, my friend,
  8. This night intends to steal away your daughter;
  9. Myself am one made privy to the plot.
  10. I know you have determin’d to bestow her
  11. On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates,
  12. And should she thus be stol’n away from you,
  13. It would be much vexation to your age.
  14. Thus, for my duty’s sake, I rather chose
  15. To cross my friend in his intended drift,
  16. Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
  17. A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
  18. Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.

Duke of Milan

22 - 37
  1. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care,
  2. Which to requite, command me while I live.
  3. This love of theirs myself have often seen,
  4. Haply when they have judg’d me fast asleep,
  5. And oftentimes have purpos’d to forbid
  6. Sir Valentine her company and my court;
  7. But fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
  8. And so, unworthily, disgrace the man
  9. (A rashness that I ever yet have shunn’d),
  10. I gave him gentle looks, thereby to find
  11. That which thyself hast now disclos’d to me.
  12. And that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
  13. Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
  14. I nightly lodge her in an upper tow’r,
  15. The key whereof myself have ever kept;
  16. And thence she cannot be convey’d away.

Proteus

38 - 47
  1. Know, noble lord, they have devis’d a mean
  2. How he her chamber-window will ascend,
  3. And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
  4. For which the youthful lover now is gone,
  5. And this way comes he with it presently,
  6. Where (if it please you) you may intercept him.
  7. But, good my lord, do it so cunningly
  8. That my discovery be not aimed at:
  9. For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
  10. Hath made me publisher of this pretense.

Duke of Milan

48 - 49
  1. Upon mine honor, he shall never know
  2. That I had any light from thee of this.

Proteus

50
  1. Adieu, my lord, Sir Valentine is coming.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Valentine.

Duke of Milan

51
  1. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?

Valentine

52 - 54
  1. Please it your Grace, there is a messenger
  2. That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
  3. And I am going to deliver them.

Duke of Milan

55
  1. Be they of much import?

Valentine

56 - 57
  1. The tenure of them doth but signify
  2. My health and happy being at your court.

Duke of Milan

58 - 62
  1. Nay then no matter; stay with me a while;
  2. I am to break with thee of some affairs
  3. That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
  4. ’Tis not unknown to thee that I have sought
  5. To match my friend Sir Thurio to my daughter.

Valentine

63 - 67
  1. I know it well, my lord, and sure the match
  2. Were rich and honorable; besides, the gentleman
  3. Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
  4. Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter.
  5. Cannot your Grace win her to fancy him?

Duke of Milan

68 - 79
  1. No, trust me, she is peevish, sullen, froward,
  2. Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty,
  3. Neither regarding that she is my child,
  4. Nor fearing me as if I were her father;
  5. And may I say to thee, this pride of hers
  6. (Upon advice) hath drawn my love from her,
  7. And where I thought the remnant of mine age
  8. Should have been cherish’d by her child-like duty,
  9. I now am full resolv’d to take a wife,
  10. And turn her out to who will take her in:
  11. Then let her beauty be her wedding-dow’r,
  12. For me and my possessions she esteems not.

Valentine

80
  1. What would your Grace have me to do in this?

Duke of Milan

81 - 88
  1. There is a lady in Milano here
  2. Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy,
  3. And nought esteems my aged eloquence.
  4. Now therefore would I have thee to my tutor
  5. (For long agone I have forgot to court;
  6. Besides, the fashion of the time is chang’d)
  7. How and which way I may bestow myself
  8. To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

Valentine

89 - 91
  1. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
  2. Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
  3. More than quick words do move a woman’s mind.

Duke of Milan

92
  1. But she did scorn a present that I sent her.

Valentine

93 - 105
  1. A woman sometime scorns what best contents her.
  2. Send her another; never give her o’er,
  3. For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
  4. If she do frown, ’tis not in hate of you,
  5. But rather to beget more love in you.
  6. If she do chide, ’tis not to have you gone,
  7. For why, the fools are mad, if left alone.
  8. Take no repulse, what ever she doth say;
  9. For get you gone,” she doth not mean away!”
  10. Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
  11. Though ne’er so black, say they have angels’ faces.
  12. That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,
  13. If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

Duke of Milan

106 - 109
  1. But she I mean is promis’d by her friends
  2. Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
  3. And kept severely from resort of men,
  4. That no man hath access by day to her.

Valentine

110
  1. Why then I would resort to her by night.

Duke of Milan

111 - 112
  1. Ay, but the doors be lock’d, and keys kept safe,
  2. That no man hath recourse to her by night.

Valentine

113
  1. What lets but one may enter at her window?

Duke of Milan

114 - 116
  1. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
  2. And built so shelving that one cannot climb it
  3. Without apparent hazard of his life.

Valentine

117 - 120
  1. Why then a ladder, quaintly made of cords,
  2. To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
  3. Would serve to scale another Hero’s tow’r,
  4. So bold Leander would adventure it.

Duke of Milan

121 - 122
  1. Now as thou art a gentleman of blood,
  2. Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

Valentine

123
  1. When would you use it? Pray, sir, tell me that.

Duke of Milan

124 - 125
  1. This very night; for Love is like a child,
  2. That longs for every thing that he can come by.

Valentine

126
  1. By seven a’ clock I’ll get you such a ladder.

Duke of Milan

127 - 128
  1. But hark thee: I will go to her alone.
  2. How shall I best convey the ladder thither?

Valentine

129 - 130
  1. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it
  2. Under a cloak that is of any length.

Duke of Milan

131
  1. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?

Valentine

132
  1. Ay, my good lord.

Duke of Milan

133 - 134
  1.                   Then let me see thy cloak
  2. I’ll get me one of such another length.

Valentine

135
  1. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord.

Duke of Milan

136 - 170
  1. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?
  2. I pray thee let me feel thy cloak upon me.
  3. What letter is this same? What’s here? To Silvia”?
  4. And here an engine fit for my proceeding!
  5. I’ll be so bold to break the seal for once.
  6. Reads.
  7. My thoughts do harbor with my Silvia nightly,
  8. And slaves they are to me that send them flying:
  9. O, could their master come and go as lightly,
  10. Himself would lodge where, senseless, they are lying!
  11. My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them,
  12. While I, their king, that thither them importune,
  13. Do curse the grace that with such grace hath blest them,
  14. Because myself do want my servants’ fortune.
  15. I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
  16. That they should harbor where their lord should be.”
  17. What’s here?
  18. Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee.”
  19. ’Tis so; and here’s the ladder for the purpose.
  20. Why, Phaëton (for thou art Merops’ son),
  21. Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
  22. And with thy daring folly burn the world?
  23. Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
  24. Go, base intruder, overweening slave,
  25. Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates,
  26. And think my patience (more than thy desert)
  27. Is privilege for thy departure hence.
  28. Thank me for this more than for all the favors
  29. Which (all too much) I have bestowed on thee.
  30. But if thou linger in my territories
  31. Longer than swiftest expedition
  32. Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
  33. By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love
  34. I ever bore my daughter, or thyself.
  35. Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse,
  36. But as thou lov’st thy life, make speed from hence.
  1. Exit.

Valentine

171 - 188
  1. And why not death, rather than living torment?
  2. To die is to be banish’d from myself,
  3. And Silvia is myself: banish’d from her
  4. Is self from self, a deadly banishment.
  5. What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
  6. What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
  7. Unless it be to think that she is by,
  8. And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
  9. Except I be by Silvia in the night,
  10. There is no music in the nightingale;
  11. Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
  12. There is no day for me to look upon.
  13. She is my essence, and I leave to be,
  14. If I be not by her fair influence
  15. Foster’d, illumin’d, cherish’d, kept alive.
  16. I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
  17. Tarry I here, I but attend on death,
  18. But fly I hence, I fly away from life.
  1. Enter Proteus and Launce.

Proteus

189
  1. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.

Launce

190
  1. Soho, soho!

Proteus

191
  1. What seest thou?

Launce

192 - 193
  1. Him we go to find. There’s not a hair on ’s head but ’tis a
  2. Valentine.

Proteus

194
  1. Valentine?

Valentine

195
  1. No.

Proteus

196
  1. Who then? His spirit?

Valentine

197
  1. Neither.

Proteus

198
  1. What then?

Valentine

199
  1. Nothing.

Launce

200
  1. Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?

Proteus

201
  1. Who wouldst thou strike?

Launce

202
  1. Nothing.

Proteus

203
  1. Villain, forbear.

Launce

204
  1. Why, sir, I’ll strike nothing. I pray you

Proteus

205
  1. Sirrah, I say forbear. Friend Valentine, a word.

Valentine

206 - 207
  1. My ears are stopp’d and cannot hear good news,
  2. So much of bad already hath possess’d them.

Proteus

208 - 209
  1. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
  2. For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.

Valentine

210
  1. Is Silvia dead?

Proteus

211
  1. No, Valentine.

Valentine

212 - 213
  1. No Valentine indeed, for sacred Silvia.
  2. Hath she forsworn me?

Proteus

214
  1. No, Valentine.

Valentine

215
  1. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me. What is your news?

Launce

216
  1. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanish’d.

Proteus

217 - 218
  1. That thou art banish’dO, that’s the news!—
  2. From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.

Valentine

219 - 221
  1. O, I have fed upon this woe already,
  2. And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
  3. Doth Silvia know that I am banished?

Proteus

222 - 236
  1. Ay, ay; and she hath offered to the doom
  2. (Which unrevers’d stands in effectual force)
  3. A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears;
  4. Those at her father’s churlish feet she tender’d,
  5. With them, upon her knees, her humble self,
  6. Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them
  7. As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
  8. But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
  9. Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears
  10. Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
  11. But Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.
  12. Besides, her intercession chaf’d him so,
  13. When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
  14. That to close prison he commanded her,
  15. With many bitter threats of biding there.

Valentine

237 - 240
  1. No more; unless the next word that thou speak’st
  2. Have some malignant power upon my life;
  3. If soI pray thee breathe it in mine ear,
  4. As ending anthem of my endless dolor.

Proteus

241 - 256
  1. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
  2. And study help for that which thou lament’st.
  3. Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
  4. Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
  5. Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
  6. Hope is a lover’s staff; walk hence with that
  7. And manage it against despairing thoughts.
  8. Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence,
  9. Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver’d
  10. Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
  11. The time now serves not to expostulate:
  12. Come, I’ll convey thee through the city-gate;
  13. And ere I part with thee, confer at large
  14. Of all that may concern thy love-affairs.
  15. As thou lov’st Silvia (though not for thyself)
  16. Regard thy danger, and along with me.

Valentine

257 - 258
  1. I pray thee, Launce, and if thou seest my boy,
  2. Bid him make haste and meet me at the North-gate.

Proteus

259
  1. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.

Valentine

260
  1. O my dear Silvia! Hapless Valentine!
  1. Exeunt Valentine and Proteus.

Launce

261 - 275
  1. I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have the wit to think
  2. my master is a kind of a knave; but that’s all one, if he be
  3. but one knave. He lives not now that knows me to be in love,
  4. yet I am in love, but a team of horse shall not pluck that
  5. from me; nor who ’tis I love; and yet ’tis a woman; but what
  6. woman, I will not tell myself; and yet ’tis a milkmaid; yet
  7. ’tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips; yet ’tis a maid,
  8. for she is her master’s maid, and serves for wages. She hath
  9. more qualities than a water-spaniel, which is much in a bare
  10. Christian.
  11. Pulling out a paper.
  12. Here is the cate-log of her condition. Imprimis, She can
  13. fetch and carry.” Why, a horse can do no more; nay, a horse
  14. cannot fetch, but only carry, therefore is she better than a
  15. jade. Item, She can milk.” Look you, a sweet virtue in a
  16. maid with clean hands.
  1. Enter Speed.

Speed

276
  1. How now, Signior Launce? What news with your mastership?

Launce

277
  1. With my master’s ship? Why, it is at sea.

Speed

278 - 279
  1. Well, your old vice still: mistake the word. What news then
  2. in your paper?

Launce

280
  1. The blackest news that ever thou heardst.

Speed

281
  1. Why, man? How black?

Launce

282
  1. Why, as black as ink.

Speed

283
  1. Let me read them.

Launce

284
  1. Fie on thee, jolthead, thou canst not read.

Speed

285
  1. Thou liest; I can.

Launce

286
  1. I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee?

Speed

287
  1. Marry, the son of my grandfather.

Launce

288 - 289
  1. O illiterate loiterer! It was the son of thy grandmother.
  2. This proves that thou canst not read.

Speed

290
  1. Come, fool, come; try me in thy paper.

Launce

291
  1. Thereand Saint Nicholas be thy speed!

Speed

292
  1. Reads.
  2. Imprimis, She can milk.”

Launce

293
  1. Ay, that she can.

Speed

294
  1. Reads.
  2. Item, She brews good ale.”

Launce

295 - 296
  1. And thereof comes the proverb: Blessing of your heart, you
  2. brew good ale.”

Speed

297
  1. Item, She can sew.”

Launce

298
  1. That’s as much as to say, Can she so?”

Speed

299
  1. Item, She can knit.”

Launce

300 - 301
  1. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can
  2. knit him a stock?

Speed

302
  1. Item, She can wash and scour.”

Launce

303 - 304
  1. A special virtue; for then she need not be wash’d and
  2. scour’d.

Speed

305
  1. Item, She can spin.”

Launce

306 - 307
  1. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for
  2. her living.

Speed

308
  1. Item, She hath many nameless virtues.”

Launce

309 - 310
  1. That’s as much as to say bastard virtues,” that indeed know
  2. not their fathers, and therefore have no names.

Speed

311
  1. Here follow her vices.

Launce

312
  1. Close at the heels of her virtues.

Speed

313 - 314
  1. Item, She is not to be kiss’d fasting, in respect of her
  2. breath.”

Launce

315
  1. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on.

Speed

316
  1. Item, She hath a sweet mouth.”

Launce

317
  1. That makes amends for her sour breath.

Speed

318
  1. Item, She doth talk in her sleep.”

Launce

319
  1. It’s no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.

Speed

320
  1. Item, She is slow in words.”

Launce

321 - 323
  1. O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow in
  2. words is a woman’s only virtue. I pray thee out with’t, and
  3. place it for her chief virtue.

Speed

324
  1. Item, She is proud.”

Launce

325 - 326
  1. Out with that too; it was Eve’s legacy, and cannot be ta’en
  2. from her.

Speed

327
  1. Item, She hath no teeth.”

Launce

328
  1. I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.

Speed

329
  1. Item, She is curst.”

Launce

330
  1. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.

Speed

331
  1. Item, She will often praise her liquor.”

Launce

332 - 333
  1. If her liquor be good, she shall; if she will not, I will;
  2. for good things should be prais’d.

Speed

334
  1. Item, She is too liberal.”

Launce

335 - 338
  1. Of her tongue she cannot, for that’s writ down she is slow
  2. of; of her purse she shall not, for that I’ll keep shut.
  3. Now, of another thing she may, and that cannot I help. Well,
  4. proceed.

Speed

339 - 340
  1. Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than
  2. hairs, and more wealth than faults.”

Launce

341 - 342
  1. Stop there; I’ll have her. She was mine and not mine twice
  2. or thrice in that last article. Rehearse that once more.

Speed

343
  1. Item, She hath more hair than wit”—

Launce

344 - 347
  1. More hair than wit? It may be; I’ll prove it: the cover of
  2. the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the
  3. salt; the hair that covers the wit is more than the wit, for
  4. the greater hides the less. What’s next?

Speed

348
  1. And more faults than hairs”—

Launce

349
  1. That’s monstrous. O that that were out!

Speed

350
  1. And more wealth than faults.”

Launce

351 - 352
  1. Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I’ll have
  2. her; and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible

Speed

353
  1. What then?

Launce

354 - 355
  1. Why, then will I tell theethat thy master stays for thee at
  2. the North-gate.

Speed

356
  1. For me?

Launce

357 - 358
  1. For thee? Ay, who art thou? He hath stay’d for a better man
  2. than thee.

Speed

359
  1. And must I go to him?

Launce

360 - 361
  1. Thou must run to him, for thou hast stay’d so long that
  2. going will scarce serve the turn.

Speed

362
  1. Why didst not tell me sooner? Pox of your love-letters!
  1. Exit.

Launce

363 - 365
  1. Now will he be swing’d for reading my letteran unmannerly
  2. slave, that will thrust himself into secrets. I’ll after, to
  3. rejoice in the boy’s correction.
  1. Exit.
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