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The law of friendship bids me to conceal :
Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast? Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger That stays to bear my letters to my friends, And I am going to deliver them.
Duke. Be they of much import?
Val. The tenor of them doth but signify My health, and happy being at your court. Duke. 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. Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match
Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentle
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
Duke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward,
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan, here,
Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words;
Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best con
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; a 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. Duke. But she, I mean, is promis'd by her friends
How he her chamber-window will ascend,
Pro. Adieu, my lord; sir Valentine is coming.
(1) Longed for. (2) Guess. (3) Tempted.
That no man hath recourse to her by night. Val. What lets, but one may enter at her window?
Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground; And built so shelving that one cannot climb it Without apparent hazard of his life.
Val. Why then, a ladder, quaintly made
To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks,
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? of 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. 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.
Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me where I may have such a ladder. Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for every thing that he can come by. Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. Duke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone; How shall I best convey the ladder thither?
Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it
Under a cloak, that is of any length.
Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
Val. Ay, my good lord. Duke.
Then let me see thy cloak: I'll get me one of such another length.
Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my
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 impórtune, Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd 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
Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee:
'Tis so: and here's the ladder for the purpose.-
Thank me for this, more than for all the favours,
Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse,
Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear: friend Valentine, a word.
Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear
So much of bad already hath possess'd them.
Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine, For they are harsh, untunable, and bad. Val. Is Silvia dead?
Pro. No, Valentine.
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
Pro. 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,
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,
Val. No more; unless the next word that thou
Have some malignant power upon my life:
Pro. Čease to lament for that thou canst not
And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my
grandmother: this proves, that thou canst not read. Speed. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper. Laun. There; and Saint Nicholas2 be thy speed!
Speed. Item, She brews good ale.
Laun. And thereof comes the proverb,-
Laun. That's as much as to say, Can she so?
Laun. What need a man care for a stock with
Speed. Item, She can spin.
Laun. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living.
Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues. Laun. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.
Speed. Here follow her vices.
Laun. Close at the heels of her virtues. Speed. Item, She is not to be kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.
Laun. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: read on.
Speed. Item, She hath a sweet mouth.
Laun. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
Speed. Item, She is slow in words.
Ivices! To be slow in words, is a woman's only virLaun. O villain, that set this down among her tue: I pray thee, out with't; and place it for her chief virtue.
Speed. Item, She is proud.
Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north gate. Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. Val. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine! [Exeunt Valentine and Proteus. Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now, that knows me to be in love: yet 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 that woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milk-maid: 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. Here is the cat-log [pulling out a paper] of her conditions. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only car-bite. ry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.
Speed. Let me read them.
and cannot be ta'en from her.
Speed. Item, She hath no teeth.
Laun. I care not for that neither, because I love
Speed. Item, She is curst.
Laun. Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to
Speed. Item, She will often praise her liquor. Laun. If her liquor be good, she shall: If she will not, I will; for good things should be praised. Speed. Item, She is too liberal.3
Laun. 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 I cannot help. Well, proceed.
Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.
Laun. Stop there; I'll have her: she was mine, and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article: rehearse that once more.
Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit,—
Laun. Fie on thee, jolt-head; thou canst not prove it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and
therefore it is more than the salt; the hair that
Speed. And more faults than hairs,-
(3) Licentious in language.
cious: well, I'll have her: and if it be a match, as || By aught that I can speak in his dispraise,
Speed. What then?
Laun. Why, then I will tell thee,-that thy It follows not that she will love sir Thurio. master stays for thee at the north gate. Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Speed. For me?
Laun. For thee? ay; who art thou? he hath Lest it should ravel, and be good to none,
staid for a better man than thee.
Speed. And must I go to him?
Laun. Thou must run to him, for thou hast staid so long, that going will scarce serve the turn. Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? 'pox of your love-letters! [Exit. Laun. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter: an unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets!—I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's [Exit. SCENE II.-The same. A room in the Duke's palace. Enter Duke and Thurio; Proteus behind.
You must provide to bottom it on me :
Because we know, on Valentine's report,
Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love But you, sir Thurio, are not sharp enough;
You must lay lime,3 to tangle her desires,
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure
Pro. Gone, my good lord.
Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously.
Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace,
Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine
Duke. Ay, but she'll think, that it is spoke in
Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Therefore it must, with circumstance, be spoken
Duke. Ay, much the force of heaven-bred poesy.
Visit by night your lady's chamber-window
This, or else nothing, will inherit her.
Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in love.
Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in prac
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
To sort5 some gentlemen well skill'd in music:
Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper,
Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him. SCENE I-A forest, near Mantua. Enter
Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do: 'Tis an ill office for a gentleman; Especially, against his very friend.
Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage
Your slander never can endamage him;
Being entreated to it by your friend.
Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord: if I can do it,
If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.
Speed. Sir, we are undone! these are the villains
1 Out. That's not so, sir; we are your enemies.
3 Out. Ay, by my beard, will we;
For he's a proper1 man.
Love thee as our commander, and our king.
1 Out. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest. 2 Out. Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer'd.
Val. I take your offer, and will live with you; Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women, or poor passengers.
3 Out. No, we detest such vile base practices.
Val. Then know, that I have little wealth to lose; Come, go with us, we'll bring thee to our crews,
A man I am, cross'd with adversity :
Val. To Verona.
1 Out. Whence came you?
3 Out. Have you long sojourn'd there?
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
1 Out. What, were you banish'd thence? Val. I was.
2 Out. For what offence?
Val. For that which now torments me to rehearse:
1 Out. Why ne'er repent it, if it were done so But were you banish'd for so small a fault?
Val. I was, and held me glad of such a doom. 1 Out. Have you the tongues ?2
And show thee all the treasure we have got;
SCENE II.-Milan. Court of the palace. En-
Pro. Already have I been false to Valentine,
She twits me with my falsehood to my friend;
Val. My youthful travel therein made me happy; And give some evening music to her ear.
Or else I often had been miserable.
3 Out. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat
This fellow were a king for our wild faction.
1 Out. We'll have him: sirs, a word.
It is an honourable kind of thievery.
2 Out. Tell us this: have you any thing to take
Val. Nothing, but my fortune.
3 Out. Know then, that some of us are gentle
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
2 Out. And I from Mantua, for a gentleman, Whom, in my mood,4 I stabb'd unto the heart.
1 Out. And I, for such like petty crimes as
But to the purpose-(for we cite our faults,
As we do in our quality much want ;
2 Out. 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?
3 Out. 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,
Enter Thurio, and musicians.
Thu. How now, sir Proteus? are you crept
Pro. Ay, gentle Thurio; for, you know, that love
in service where it cannot go.
Pro. Ay, Silvia-for your sake.
Thu. I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile.
Enter Host, at a distance; and Julia in boy's clothes.
Host. Now, my young guest! methinks you're allycholly; I pray you, why is it?
Jul. Marry, mine host, because I cannot be