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A facsimile of the first page of The Two Gentlemen of Verona from the First Folio, published in 1623

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1590 or 1591. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play,[1] and is often seen as his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and tropes with which he would later deal in more detail; for example, it is the first of his plays in which a heroine dresses as a boy. Two Gentlemen also has the smallest cast of any of Shakespeare's plays.

The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behaviour of people in love. The highlight of the play is considered by some to be Launce, the clownish servant of Proteus, and his dog Crab, to whom "the most scene-stealing non-speaking role in the canon" has been attributed.[2]

Contents

Characters

  • Valentine and Proteus — the Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Silvia — beloved of Valentine
  • Julia — beloved of Proteus
  • Duke of Milan — father to Silvia
  • Lucetta — waiting woman to Julia
  • Antonio — father to Proteus
  • Thurio — a foolish rival to Valentine
  • Eglamour — agent for Silvia in her escape
  • Speed — a clownish servant to Valentine
  • Launce[3]— the like to Proteus
  • Panthino — servant to Antonio
  • Host — of the inn where Julia lodges in Milan
  • Outlaws
  • Crab — Launce's dog
  • Servants
  • Musicians

Synopsis

Silvia by Charles Edward Perugini (1888)

In the beginning of the play, Valentine is getting ready to leave Verona to visit Milan and gain life experience. He begs his best friend, Proteus, to come with him, but Proteus is in love with a girl named Julia, and refuses to leave. As such, after bidding Proteus farewell, Valentine goes on alone. Meanwhile, Julia is discussing Proteus with her maid, Lucetta. She tells Julia that she thinks Proteus is fond of her, but Julia acts coyly, embarrassed to admit she likes him. Lucetta then produces a letter. She will not say who gave it to her, but teases Julia that it was Valentine's servant, Speed, who brought it from Proteus. Julia, still unwilling to reveal her love in front of Lucetta, angrily tears up the letter, and then, having sent Lucetta away, kisses the fragments, and tries to piece them together.

Meanwhile, Proteus' father, Antonio, has decided that like Valentine, Proteus should also travel so as to broaden his horizons, and has thus decided to send him to Milan to join Valentine. Antonio informs the dismayed Proteus that he must leave the next day, prompting a tearful farewell with Julia, to whom Proteus swears eternal love. The two exchange rings and vows and Proteus promises to return as soon as he can.

As soon as he arrives in Milan, Proteus finds Valentine in love with Silvia, the daughter of the Duke. Despite his love for Julia, Proteus falls instantly in love with Silvia and vows to do everything he can to ensure he win her, even to the point of betraying Valentine. Unaware of Proteus' feelings, Valentine takes him into his confidence, explaining to him that the Duke wants Silvia to marry the foppish but wealthy Thurio, against her wishes. To ensure that Silvia and Valentine cannot be together, the Duke has locked her in a tower. Valentine however, plans to go free her, and together they plan to flee Milan. Proteus immediately goes to the Duke, telling him that his daughter and Valentine plan to elope. The Duke then catches and banishes Valentine. While wandering outside of Milan, Valentine runs afoul of a band of outlaws. They tell him that they, too, were once gentlemen and were banished from the city. Valentine lies to them, saying he was banished because he killed a man in a fair fight, and the outlaws decide to make him their leader.

Valentine Rescuing Silvia from Proteus by William Holman Hunt (1851)

Back in Verona, Julia decides to join her lover in Milan. She convinces Lucetta to dress her in boy's clothes and help her fix her hair so she will not be harmed on the journey. Once in Milan, Julia quickly discovers Proteus' love for Silvia, watching him attempt to serenade her. She then becomes his page - a youth named Sebastian - until she can decide upon a course of action. Proteus sends Sebastian to Silvia with a gift of the same ring that Julia gave to him before he left Verona, but Julia discovers that Silvia scorns Proteus' affections and is disgusted that he would forget about his love back home ie Julia. Instead, Silvia is deeply mourning the loss of Valentine (whom Proteus has told her is rumoured dead).

Meanwhile, not convinced that Valentine is dead, Silvia has decided to flee the city with the help of Eglamour, a former suitor to Julia. They escape into the forest, but they are confronted by the outlaws. Eglamour flees and Silvia is taken captive. The outlaws head to their leader (Valentine), but on the way, they encounter Proteus and Julia (still disguised as Sebastian). Proteus rescues Silvia, and then pursues her deeper into the forest. Secretly observed by Valentine, Proteus attempts to convince Silvia that he loves her, but she refuses to return his affections, and, furious and mad with desire, he insinuates that he will rape her ("I'll force thee yield to my desire").

At this point, Valentine intervenes, and denounces Proteus. Horrified at what has happened, Proteus vows that the hate Valentine feels for him is nothing compared to the hate he feels for himself. Convinced that Proteus' repentance is genuine, Valentine forgives him and seems to offer Silvia to him. At this point, overwhelmed, Julia faints, revealing her true identity. Upon seeing her, Proteus suddenly remembers his love for her and vows fidelity to her once again. The Duke and Thurio then arrive, and Thurio reminds Valentine that Silvia is his. Valentine warns Thurio that if he makes one move towards her, he will kill him, and terrified, Thurio quickly denounces Silvia. The Duke, impressed by Valentine's actions, approves his and Silvia's love, and vows to allow them to marry. The play ends with the two couples happily unified, and the Duke pardons the outlaws, telling them they may return to Milan.

Sources

In writing The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare drew on the Spanish prose romance Diana Enamorada by the Portuguese writer Jorge de Montemayor. Diana was published in Spanish in 1542, translated into French in 1578, and published in English in 1598, although the translation by Nicholas Collin was made some years earlier, probably in 1582.[4] It is believed that Shakespeare could have read the story in French, or in an unpublished English version, or he could have learned of it from an anonymous English play, The History of Felix and Philiomena, which may have been based on Diana, and which was performed for the court at Greenwich Palace by the Queen's Men on January 3, 1585. The History of Felix and Philiomena is now lost.[5]

In the second book of Diana, Don Felix, who is in love with Felismena, sends her a letter explaining his feelings. Like Julia, Felismena pretends to reject the letter, and to be annoyed with her maid for delivering it. Like Proteus, Felix is sent away by his father, and is followed by Felismena, who, disguised as a boy, becomes his page, only to subsequently learn that Felix has fallen in love with Celia. Felismena is then employed by Felix to act as his messenger in all communications with Celia, who scorns his love. Instead, Celia falls in love with the page (ie Felismena in disguise). Eventually, after a combat in a wood, Felix and Felismena are reunited. Upon Felismena revealing herself however, Celia, having no counterpart to Valentine, dies of grief.

Another major influence on Shakespeare was the story of the intimate friendship of Titus and Gisippus as told in Thomas Elyot's The Boke named the Governour in 1531 (the same story is told in The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, but verbal similarities between The Two Gentlemen and The Governor suggest it was Elyot's work Shakespeare used as his primary source, not Boccaccio's).[6] In this story, Titus and Gisippus are inseparable until Gisippus falls in love. He introduces the woman to Titus, but Titus is overcome with jealousy, and vows to seduce her. Upon hearing of Titus' plan, Gisippus arranges for them to change places on the wedding night, thus placing their friendship above his love for the woman.

Also important to Shakespeare in the composition of the play was John Lyly's Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit, published in 1578. Like The Governor, Euphues presents two close friends who are inseparable until a woman comes between them, and, like both The Governor and Two Gentlemen, the story concludes with one friend sacrificing the woman so as to save the friendship. However, as Geoffrey Bullough argues "Shakespeare's debt to Lyly was probably one of technique more than matter."[7] Lyly's Midas may also have influenced the scene where Launce and Speed run through the milkmaid's virtues and defects, as it contains a very similar scene between Lucio and Petulus.

Other minor sources include Arthur Brooke's narrative poem The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. Obviously Shakespeare's source for Romeo and Juliet, it features a character called Friar Laurence, as does Two Gentlemen, and a scene where a young man attempts to outwit his lover's father by means of a corded ladder (as Valentine does in Two Gentlemen). Philip Sidney's Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia may also have influenced Shakespeare insofar as it contains a character who follows her betrothed, dressed as his page, and later on, one of the main characters becomes captain of a group of Helots.

Date and text

The exact date of the creation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is unknown, but it is generally believed to have been one of Shakespeare's earliest works. The first evidence of its existence is in a list of Shakespeare's plays in Francis Meres's Palladis Tamia, published in 1598, but it is thought to have been written in the early 1590s. Norman Sanders (1968), for example, suggests 1590-1594; Clifford Leech (1969) argues for 1591; The Riverside Shakespeare (1974 and 1996) places the date at 1590-1593; the The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (1986 and 200) suggests 1589-1591; Kurt Schlueter (1990) posits 1593; The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Shakespeare (1997 and 2008) suggests 1591; Mary Beth Rose (2000) suggests 1590; William C. Carroll (2004) posits 1590-1593; Roger Warren (2008) tentatively suggests 1587, but acknowledges 1590/1591 as more likely.

Scene from by Angelica Kauffmann (1789)

It has been argued that Two Gentlemen may have been Shakespeare's first work for the stage. This theory was first suggested by Edmond Malone in 1778, at which time the dominant theory was that the Henry VI trilogy had been Shakespeare's first work.[8] More recently, the play was placed first in both The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works of 1986, and again in the 2nd edition of 2005, and in The Norton Shakespeare of 1997, and again in the 2nd edition of 2008.

A large part of the theory that this may be Shakespeare's first play is the quality of the work itself. Writing in 1968, Norman Sanders argued "All are agreed on the play's immaturity".[9] The argument is that the play betrays a lack of practical theatrical experience on Shakespeare's part, and as such, it must have come extremely early in his career. Stanley Wells, for example, has written that any scenes involving more than, at most, four characters, "betray an uncertainty of technique suggestive of inexperience."[10] This uncertainty can be seen in how Shakespeare handles the distribution of dialogue in such scenes. Whenever there are more than three characters on stage, at least one of those characters tends to fall silent. For example, Speed is silent for almost all of Act 2, Scene 4, as is Thurio, Sylvia and Julia for most of the last half of the final scene. It has also been suggested that the handling of this final scene in general, in which the faithful lover seemingly offers his beloved to the man who has just attempted to rape her as a token of his forgiveness, is a sign of Shakespeare's lack of maturity as a dramatist.[11]

In his 2008 edition of the play for the Oxford Shakespeare, Roger Warren argues that the play is the oldest surviving piece of Shakespearean literature, suggesting a date of composition as somewhere between 1587 and 1591. He hypothesises that the play was perhaps written before Shakespeare came to London, with an idea towards using the famous comic actor Richard Tarlton in the role of Launce (this theory stems from the fact that Tarlton had performed several extremely popular and well known scenes with dogs). However, Tarlton died in September 1588, and Warren notes several passages in Two Gentlemen which seem to borrow from John Lyly's Midas, which wasn't written until at least late-1589. As such, Warren acknowledges that 1590/1591 is most likely the correct date of composition.[12]

The play was not printed until 1623, when it appeared in the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays.

Criticism and analysis

Silvia Rescued by Valentine by Francis Wheatley (1792)

Critical history

Perhaps the most critically discussed issue in the play is the sequence, bizarre by modern Western European standards, in Act 5, Scene 4 in which Valentine seems to 'give' Silvia to Proteus as a sign of his friendship. For many years, the general critical consensus on this issue was that the incident revealed an inherent misogyny in the text. For example, Hilary Spurling wrote in 1970, "Valentine is so overcome [by Proteus' apology] that he promptly offers to hand over his beloved to the man who, not three minutes before, had meant to rape her".[13] Modern scholarship however is much more divided about Valentine's actions at the end of the play, with some critics arguing that he does not give Silvia to Proteus at all. The ambiguity lies in the line "All that was mine in Silvia I give to thee" (5.4.83). Many critics (such as Stanley Wells for example) interpret this to mean that Valentine is indeed handing Silvia over to her would-be rapist, but another school of thought suggests that Valentine simply means "I will love you [Proteus] with as much love as I love Silvia," thus reconciling the dichotomy of friendship and love as depicted elsewhere in the play. This is certainly how Jeffrey Masten, for example, sees it, arguing that the play as a whole "reveals not the opposition of male friendship and Petrarchan love but rather their interdependence." As such, the final scene "stages the play's ultimate collaboration of male friendship and its incorporation of the plot we would label "heterosexual"."[14]

This is also how Roger Warren interprets the final scene. Warren cites a number of productions of the play as evidence for this argument, including Robin Phillips' Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production at the Aldwych Theatre in 1970, where Valentine kisses Silvia, makes his offer and then kisses Proteus. Another production cited by Warren is Edward Hall's in 1998, at the Swan Theatre. In Hall's version of the scene, after Valentine says the controversial line, Silvia approaches him and takes him by the hand. They remain holding hands for the rest of the play, clearly suggesting that Valentine has not 'given' her away. Warren also mentions Leon Rubin's 1984 Ontario production (where the controversial line was altered to "All my love to Silvia I also give to thee"), David Thacker's 1991 Swan Theatre production, and the 1983 BBC Shakespeare television adaptation as supporting the theory that Valentine is not giving Silvia away, but is simply promising to love Proteus as much as he loves Silvia.

There are other theories regarding this final scene however. For example, in his 1990 edition of the play for the Cambridge Shakespeare, Kurt Schlueter suggests that Valentine is indeed handing Silvia over to Proteus, but the audience is not supposed to take it literally; the incident is farcical, and should be interpreted as such. Schlueter argues that the play provides possible evidence it was written to be performed and viewed primarily by a young audience, and as such, to be staged at university theatres, as opposed to public playhouses. Such an audience would be more predisposed to accepting the farcical nature of the scene, and more likely to find humorous the absurdity of Valentine's gift. As such, in Schlueter's theory, the scene does represent what it appears to represent, Valentine does give Silvia to her would-be rapist, but it is done purely for comic effect.[15]

Another theory is provided by William C. Carroll in his 2004 edition for the Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series. Carroll argues, like Schlueter, that Valentine is indeed giving Silvia to Proteus, but unlike Schlueter, Carroll detects no sense of farce. Instead, he sees the action as a perfectly logical one in terms of the notions of friendship which were prevalent at the time; "the idealisation of male friendship as superior to male-female love (which was considered not romantic or compassionate but merely lustful, hence inferior) performs a project of cultural nostalgia, a stepping back from potentially more threatening social arrangements to a world of order, a world based on a 'gift' economy of personal relations among male social equals rather than one based on a newer, less stable economy of emotional and economic risk. The offer of the woman from one male friend to another would therefore be the highest expression of friendship from one point of view, a low point of psycho-sexual regression from another." Again, as in Schlueter, Carroll here interprets Valentine's actions as a gift to Proteus, but unlike Schlueter, and more in line with traditional criticism of the play, Carroll also argues that such a gift, as ridiculous as it is, is perfectly understandable when one considers the cultural and social milieu of the play itself.[16]

Language

Language is of primary importance in the play insofar as Valentine and Proteus speak in blank verse, but Launce and Speed speak (for the most part) in prose. More specifically, the actual content of many of the speeches serve to illustrate the pompousness of Valentine and Proteus' exalted outlook, and the more realistic and practical outlook of the servants. This is most apparent in Act 3, Scene 1. Valentine has just given a lengthy speech lamenting his banishment and musing on how he can possibly survive without Silvia; "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" (ll.178-181). However, when Launce enters only a few lines later, he announces that he too is in love, and proceeds to outline, along with Speed, all of his betrothed's positives; "She brews good ale"; "She can knit"; "She can wash and scour", and negatives; "She hath a sweet mouth"; "She doth talk in her sleep"; "She is slow in words". After weighing his options, Launce decides that the woman's most important quality is that "she hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults" (ll.343-344). He announces that her wealth "makes the faults gracious" (l.356), and chooses for that reason to wed her. This purely materialistic reasoning, as revealed in the form of language, is in stark contrast to the more spiritual and idealised love espoused by Valentine earlier in the scene.

H.C. Selous' illustration of Valentine and Proteus' farewell in Act 1, Scene 1; from The Plays of William Shakespeare: The Comedies, edited by Charles Cowden Clarke and Mary Cowden Clarke (1830)

Themes

One of the dominant theories as regards the value or importance of Two Gentlemen is that thematically, it represents a 'trial run' of sorts, in which Shakespeare deals briefly with themes which he would examine in more detail in later works. E.K. Chambers, for example, argued that the play represents something of a gestation of Shakespeare's great thematic concerns. In 1905, he wrote that Two Gentlemen "was Shakespeare's first essay at originality, at fashioning for himself the outlines of that romantic or tragicomic formula in which so many of his most characteristic dramas were afterwards to be cast. Something which is neither quite tragedy nor quite comedy, something which touches the heights and depths of sentiment and reveals the dark places of the human heart without lingering long enough there to crystallise the painful impression, a love story broken for a moment into passionate chords by absence and inconstancy and intrigue, and then reunited to the music of wedding bells".[17] As such, the play's primary interest for critics has tended to lie in relation to what it reveals about Shakespeare's conception of certain themes before he became an accomplished playwright. A.C. Swinburne, for example, wrote "here is the first dawn of that higher and more tender humour that was never given in such perfection to any man as ultimately to Shakespeare."[18] Similarly, Warwick R. Bond writes "Shakespeare first opens the vein he worked so richly afterwards - the vein of crossed love, of flight and exile under the escort of the generous sentiments; of disguised heroines, and sufferings endured and virtues exhibited under their disguise; and of the Providence, kinder than life, that annuls the errors and forgives the sin."[19]

Other critics have been less kind however, arguing that if the later plays show a skilled and confident writer exploring issues of the human heart, Two Gentlemen represents the initial, primarily unsuccessful attempt to do likewise. H.B. Charlton, for example, writing in 1938, argues that "clearly, Shakespeare's first attempt to make romantic comedy had only succeeded so far as it had unexpectedly and inadvertenly made romance comic."[20] Another such argument is provided by Norman Sanders; "because the play reveals a relatively unsure dramatist and many effects managed with a tiro's lack of expertise, it offers us an opportunity to see more clearly than anywhere else in the canon what were to become characteristic techniques. It stands as an 'anatomie' or show-through version, as it were, of Shakespeare's comic art."[21] Not all critics agree with this however, arguing that the play does stand on its own, that it deals successfully with its themes, and that it possesses its own unique merits, irrespective of what it tells us about Shakespeare's artistic development.[22]

Love and friendship

Norman Sanders calls the play "almost a complete anthology of the practices of the doctrine of romantic love which inspired the poetic and prose Romances of the period".[23] At the very centre of this is the contest between love and friendship; "an essential part of the comicality of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is created by the necessary conflict between highly stylised concepts of love and friendship"[24] This is manifested in the question of whether the relationship between two male friends is more important than that between lovers, encapsulated by Proteus' rhetorical question at 5.4.54; "In love/Who respects friend?". This question "exposes the raw nerve at the heart of the central relationships, the dark reality lurking beneath the wit and lyricism with which the play has in general presented lovers' behaviour".[25] In the program notes for John Barton's 1981 RSC production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Anne Barton, his wife, wrote that the central theme of the play was "how to bring love and friendship into a constructive and mutually enhancing relationship." This is a common theme in Renaissance literature, since some aspects of the culture of the time celebrated friendship as the more important relationship (because it is pure and unconcerned with sexual attraction), and contended that they could not co-exist. As actor Alex Avery argues, "The love between two men is a greater love for some reason. There seems to be a sense that the function of a male/female relationship is purely for the family and to procreate, to have a family. But a love between two men is something that you choose. You have arranged marriages, [but] a friendship between two men is created by the desires and wills of those two men, whereas a relationship between a man and a girl is actually constructed completely peripheral to whatever the feelings of the said boy and girl are."[26]

William C. Carroll sees this societal belief as vital in interpreting the final scene of the play, arguing that Valentine does give Silvia to Proteus, and in so doing, he is merely acting in accordance with the practices of the day. However, if one accepts that Valentine does not give Silvia to Proteus, as critics such as Roger Warren argue, but instead offers to love Proteus as much as he loves Silvia, then the conclusion of the play can be read as a final triumphant reconciliation between friendship and love; Valentine intends to love his friend as much as he does his betrothed. Love and friendship are shown to be co-existent, not exclusive.

Scene from The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Valentine woos Silvia; the Duke sits nearby, pretending to be asleep) by Alfred Elmore (1857)

Foolishness of lovers

Another major theme is the foolishness of lovers, what Roger Warren refers to as "mockery of the absurdity of conventional lovers' behaviour".[27] Valentine for example, is introduced into the play mocking the excesses of love; "To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans/Coy looks with heart-sore sighs, one fading moment's mirth/With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights" (1.1.29-31). Later, however, he becomes as much a prisoner of love as Proteus, exclaiming, "For in revenge of my contempt for love/Love hath chased sleep from my enthrall'd eyes/And made them watchers of my own heart's sorrow" (2.4.131-133).

The majority of the cynicism as regards conventional lovers however comes from Launce and Speed, who serve as foils for Proteus and Valentine and "supply a mundane view of the idealistic flights of fancy indulged in by Proteus and Valentine."[28] Several times in the play, after either Valentine or Proteus has made a grandiose speech about love, Shakespeare introduces either Launce or Speed (or sometimes both), whose speeches undercut what has just been heard, exposing Proteus and Valentine to mockery. A good example is found in Act 2, Scene 1. As Valentine and Silvia engage in a game of flirtation, hinting at their love for one another, Speed provides constant asides which serve to directly mock the couple. For example,

VALENTINE
Peace, here she comes.

Enter Silvia

SPEED (aside)
O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet! Now he will interpret her.

VALENTINE
Madame and mistress, a thousand good-morrows.

SPEED (aside)
O, give ye good e'en. Here's a million of manners.

SILVIA
Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.

SPEED (aside)
He should give her interest, and she gives it him

(2.1.85-94)

Inconstancy

A third major theme is inconstancy, particularly as manifested in Proteus, whose very name hints at his changeable mind (in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Proteus is a sea-god forever changing its shape). At the start of the play, Proteus has only eyes for Julia. However upon meeting Silvia, he immediately falls in love her (although he has no idea why). He then finds himself drawn to the page Sebastian (Julia in disguise) whilst still trying to woo Silvia, and at the end of the play, he announces that Silvia is no better than Julia and vows he now loves Julia again. As Silvia says of Proteus, "O heaven, were man/But constant, he were perfect. That one error/Fills him with faults, makes him run through all th'sins;/Inconstancy falls off ere it begins" (5.4.109-112).

Performance

There is no record of a performance in Shakespeare's era, down to the closing of the theatres in 1642, although due to its inclusion in Francis Meres's Palladis Tamia in 1598, we know it was certainly performed during Shakespeare's lifetime. The earliest known performance occurred at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1762. However, this production was of a version of the play rewritten by Benjamin Victor. The earliest known performance of the straight Shakespearean text was at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in 1784, advertised as "Shaxespeare's with alterations." Although the play was supposed to run for several weeks, it closed after the first night.[29]

From the middle of the eighteenth century, even if staging Shakespeare's original play (as opposed to Victor's rewrite) it was common for directors to cut the lines in the final scene where Valentine seems to offer Silvia to Proteus, who has just attempted to rape her, as a sign of his forgiveness and friendship. This practice prevailed until William Charles Macready reintroduced the lines in 1841 in a production at Drury Lane, although they were still being removed as late as 1952, in Denis Carey's production at the Bristol Old Vic.[30] Other eighteenth century performances include Charles Kean's in 1848 at the Haymarket Theatre, Samuel Phelps' in 1857 at the Sadler's Wells Theatre and William Poel's in 1892 and 1896.[31]

During the twentieth century, the play has been produced sporadically, often with little success, in the English-speaking world; although it has proved more popular in Europe.[32] Indeed, there have been only a handful of major English speaking productions worth noting. Little is known, for example, about Harley Granville-Barker's 1904 production at the Royal Court Theatre, F.R. Benson's at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1910, Robert Atkins' 1926 production at the Apollo Theatre, starring John Gielgud, or Ben Iden Payne's 1938 production at Stratford-upon-Avon. Indeed, most critics now agree that the first major 20th century production didn't take place until 1956, at the Old Vic, directed by Michael Langham and starring Keith Mitchell as Proteus and Barbara Jefford as Julia. In this production, set in late nineteenth century Italy and grounded very much in high Romanticism, Proteus threatens to kill himself with a pistol at the end of the play, prompting Valentine's hasty offer of Silvia.

Perhaps the most notable 20th century production was Peter Hall's 1960 presentation at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, starring Denholm Elliott as Valentine, Derek Godfrey as Proteus, Susan Maryott as Silvia, Frances Cuka as Julia, and featuring a much lauded performance by Patrick Wymark as Launce. Hall had only recently been appointed as Artistic Director of the RSC, and, somewhat unexpectedly, he chose Two Gentlemen as his inaugural production, relocating the play to a late medieval milieu.[33]

Ten years later, in 1970, Robin Phillips' RSC production at the Aldwych Theatre, starred Peter Egan as Valentine, Ian Richardson as Proteus, Helen Mirren as Julia, Estelle Kohler as Silvia, and Patrick Stewart as Launce. This production concentrated on the issues of friendship and treachery, and set the play in a decadent world of social elitism. Valentine and Proteus were presented as aristocratic students, the Duke was a Don, and Eglamour an old scout master. On the other hand, the poverty stricken outlaws were dressed in animal skins.

The RSC again staged the play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1981, under the direction of John Barton, with Peter Land as Proteus, Peter Chelsom as Valentine, Julia Swift as Julia and Diana Hardcastle as Silvia. This production saw the actors not involved in the current on-stage scene sit at the front of the stage and watch the performance. Leon Rubin directed another major performance at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada in 1984, where the actors were dressed in modern clothes and contemporary pop music was featured within the play (for example, the outlaws are portrayed as an anarchic rock group).

A 1991 RSC production at the Swan Theatre saw director David Thacker use an on-stage live band for the duration of the play, playing music from the 1930s, such as Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Thacker's production featured Barry Lynch as Proteus, Richard Bonneville as Valentine, Clare Holman as Julia and Saskia Reeves as Silvia. In 1992, Thacker's production moved to the Barbican Centre in London, and in 1993 went on regional tour. In 1996, Jack Shepherd directed a modern dress version at the Globe Theatre starring Lenny James as Valentine, Mark Rylance as Proteus, Stephanie Roth Haberle as Julia and Anastasia Hille as Silvia. Another RSC production took place at the Swan in 1998, under the direction of Edward Hall, and starring Tom Goodman-Hill as Valentine, Dominic Rowan as Proteus, Lesley Vickerage as Julia and Poppy Miller as Silvia. This production set the play in a grimy unnamed contemporary city where material obsession was all-encompassing. Another performance took place in 1999 at the Cottesloe Theatre, directed by Julie Ann Robinson.

Valentine (Alex Avery), Silvia (Rachel Pickup) and Proteus (Laurence Mitchell) in the 2004 Fiona Buffini production of The Two Gents

In 2001, Douglas C. Wager directed a version of the play set in the 1950s and featuring the music of Bill Haley and Connie Francis, with Gregory Wooddell as Valentine, Paul Whitthorne as Proteus, Julia Dion as Julia and Louise Zachry as Silvia. In 2004, Fiona Buffini directed a regional touring production for the RSC. Premiering at the Swan, the production starred Alex Avery as Valentine, Laurence Mitchell as Proteus, Vanessa Ackerman as Julia and Rachel Pickup as Silvia, and was performed under the title The Two Gents. Buffini set the play in a swinging 1930s milieu, and featuring numerous dance numbers. Additionally, London and New York replaced Verona and Milan; initially, Valentine and Proteus are shown as living in the English countryside, in a rural paradise devoid of any real vitality, the sons of wealthy families who have retired from the city. When Valentine leaves, he heads to New York to pursue the American Dream and falls in love with Silvia, the famous actress daughter of a powerful media magnate. Another change to the play was that the roles of the outlaws (represented here as a group of paparazzi) were increased considerably. Scenes added to the play show them arriving in New York and going about their daily business, although none of the new scenes featured any dialogue.

Tim Mace as Launce and Abbie as Crab from the October 2009 modern dress performance at the Capitol Center Theater

Another performance worth noting occurred at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford in 2006. A non-professional acting company from Brazil, named Nós do Morro ('We of the hillside'), in collaboration with a Gallery 37 group from Birmingham, gave a single performance of the play during the RSC's presentation of the Complete Works, directed by Guti Fraga. This production was spoken in Portuguese, with the original English text projected as surtitles onto the back of the stage. It also featured two 17 years olds in the roles of Valentine and Proteus (usually, actors in their 20s are cast), and Crab was played not by a dog, but by a human actor. In 2009, Joe Dowling directed the play at the Guthrie Theater as a 1955 live television production, with large black-and-white monitors set on either side of the stage, and cameras feeding the action to them. Additionally, period advertisements appeared both before the show and during the intermission. The actors spoke the original dialogue, but wore 1950s clothing and used 1950s-era sets. Rock and roll music and dance sequences were occasionally mixed with the action.

Taken together, these various productions, with their frequent use of music, their geographical and temporal relocations, and their general modifications of the original serve to lend credence to Stanley Wells' claim that the play "has succeeded best when subjected to adaptation, increasing its musical content, adjusting the emphasis of the last scene so as to reduce the shock of Valentine's donation of Silvia to Proteus, and updating the setting."[34]

Adaptations

Theatrical

Richard Yates as Launce in the 1762 Drury Lane adaptation

Benjamin Victor rewrote the play some time prior to 1762, when it was performed at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Directed by David Garrick, and starring Richard Yates as Launce, and his wife, Mary Anne Yates as Julia, Victor brought all the Verona scenes together, removed Valentine's 'gift' of Silvia to Proteus and increased the roles of Launce and Crab (especially during the outlaw scenes, where both characters are intimately involved in the action). He also switched the emphasis of the play away from the love-friendship divide and instead focused on the issues of fidelity, with the last line of the play altered to, "Lovers must be faithful to be bless'd." This necessitated rewriting Valentine as a near flawless protagonist who represents such faithfulness, and Proteus as a traditional villain, who doesn't care for such notions. The two are not presented as old friends, but simply as acquaintances. Thurio was also rewritten as a harmless, but lovable fool, not unlike Launce and Speed. Although not a major success (the play initially ran for only six performances), it was still being performed as late as 1895. In 1790, John Philip Kemble staged his own production of the play at Drury Lane, maintaining many of Victor's alterations, and again at Covent Garden in 1808. In the 1808 production, Kemble, who was fifty years old at the time, played Valentine.[35]

Frederic Reynolds staged an operatic version in 1821 at Covent Garden as part of his series of adaptations of the works of Shakespeare. Reynolds wrote the lyrics, and Henry Bishop wrote the music. The production ran for twenty-nine performances, and included some of Shakespeare's sonnets set to music. Augustin Daly revived the opera in 1895 at Daly's Theatre, in a production which George Bernard Shaw argued was much better than Shakespeare's original text.[36]

In 1971, Galt MacDermot, John Guare and Mel Shapiro adapted the show into a rock musical under the same name as the play. Guare and Shapiro wrote the book, Guare the lyrics, and MacDermot the music. Opening at the St. James Theatre on December 1, 1971, with Shapiro directing and Jean Erdman as choreographer, it ran for 614 performances, closing on May 20, 1973.[37] During its initial run, the play won two Tony Awards; Best Musical and Best Book. The original cast included Clifton Davis as Valentine, Raúl Juliá as Proteus, Jonelle Allen as Silvia and Diana Dávila as Julia. The play moved to the West End in 1973, playing at the Phoenix Theatre from April 26, and running for 237 performances. It was revived in 1996 at the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, directed by Robert Duke, and again in 2005, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall as part of the Shakespeare in the Park festival. Marshall's production was performed at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and starred Norm Lewis as Valentine, Oscar Isaac as Proteus, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Silvia and Rosario Dawson as Julia

Stuart Draper adapted the play into a gay version called Two Gentlemen of Verona which played at the Greenwich Playhouse in New York City from April 20 to May 18, 2004.[38] In this version of the play, Valentine is in love with Proteus, but Proteus' father would rather see him marry the wealthy Julia. Valentine leaves to seek his fortune in Milan, where he meets and falls in love with Silvia, daughter of the Duke. Leaving Julia behind, Proteus follows Valentine to Milan determined to win him over. Proteus is in turn followed by Julia (disguised as a boy), determined to woo him away from Valentine.

Film

The only cinematic adaptation of the play is Yī jiǎn méi (more commonly known by its English title A Spray of Plum Blossoms), a 1931 silent film from China, directed by Bu Wancang and written by Huang Yicuo. A loose adaptation of the play, the film tells the story of Bai Lede (Wang Chilong) and Hu Luting (Jin Yan), two military cadets who have been friends since they were children. After graduating, Hu, a playboy uninterested in love, is appointed as a captain in Guangdong and leaves his home town in Shanghai. Bai however, deeply in love with Hu's sister, Hu Zhuli (Ruan Lingyu) stays behind. At Guangdong, Hu falls in love with the local general's daughter, Shi Luohua (Lam Cho-Cho), although the general, Shi (Wang Guilin), is unaware of the relationship, and instead wants his daughter to marry the foolish Liao Di'ao (Kao Chien Fei). Meanwhile, Bai's father uses his influence to get Bai posted to Guangdong, and after a sorrowful farewell between himself and Zhuli, he arrives at his new post and instantly falls in love with Luohua. In an effort to have her for himself, Bai betrays his friend, by informing General Shi of his daughter's plans to elope with Hu, leading to Shi dishonourably discharging Hu. Bai tries to win Luohua over, but she is uninterested, only concerned with lamenting the loss of Hu. In the meantime, Hu encounters a group of bandits who ask him to be their leader, to which he agrees, planning on returning for Luohua at some point in the future. Some time passes, and one day, as Luohua, Bai and Liao are passing through the forest, they are attacked. Luohua manages to flee, and Bai pursues her into the forest. They engage in an argument, but just as Bai seems about to lose his temper, Hu intervenes, and he and Luohua are reunited. General Shi arrives in time to see Liao flee the scene, and he now realises that he was wrong to get in the way of the relationship between Hu and his daughter. Hu then forgives Bai his betrayal, and Bai reveals that he has discovered that his only true love is in fact Zhuli back in Shanghai.

The film is notable for being one of many Chinese films of the period which, although performed in Mandarin when filming, used English intertitles upon its original release. In the English intertitles and credits, the characters are named after their counterparts in the play; Hu is Valentine, Bai is Proteus, Zhuli is Julia and Luohua is Silvia. Liao is named Tiburio rather than Thurio.

Television

The first television adaptation was in 1952, when BBC One broadcast Act 1 of the play live from the Bristol Old Vic. Directed by Denis Carey, the production starred John Neville as Valentine, Laurence Payne as Proteus, Gudrun Ure as Silvia and Pamela Ann as Julia.

In 1956, the entire play was broadcast on German TV channel Das Erste from a performance at the Munich Kammerspiele, under the title Zwei herren aus Verona. The theatrical production was directed by Hans Schalla, with the TV adaptation directed by Ernst Markwardt. The cast included Rolf Schult as Valentine, Hannes Riesenberger as Proteus, Helga Siemers as Julia and Isolde Chlapek as Silvia.

In 1964, the play was made into a TV movie in Germany, under the title Die zwei herren aus Verona, directed by Hans Dieter Schwarze and starring Norbert Hansing as Valentine, Rolf Becker as Proteus, Katinka Hoffman as Julia and Heidelinde Weis as Silvia.

Proteus (Tyler Butterworth) and Valentine (John Hudson) in the 1983 BBC Shakespeare adaptation

The play was adapted for the BBC Shakespeare series in 1983. Directed by Don Taylor, it starred Tyler Butterworth as Proteus, John Hudson as Valentine, Tessa Peake-Jones as Julia and Joanne Pearce as Silvia. For the most part, the BBC Shakespeare adaptation is word-for-word taken from the First Folio, with only some very minor and inconsequential differences. For example, omitted lines include the Duke's "Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested" (3.1.34), and Julia's "Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine" (4.4.189). Other differences include a slightly different opening scene to that indicated in the text. Whereas the play seems to open with Valentine and Proteus in mid-conversation, the adaptation begins with Mercatio and Eglamour attempting to formally woo Julia; Mercatio by showing her a coffer overflowing with gold coins, Eglamour by displaying a parchment detailing his family history. However, there is no dialogue in this scene, and the first words spoken are the same as in the text ("Cease to persuade my loving Proteus"). Eglamour is also present in the final scene, albeit once again without any dialogue, and, additionally, the capture of Silvia and the flight of Eglamour is seen, as opposed to merely being described.

In 1995, a production of the play aired on Polish TV channel TVP1 under the title Dwaj panowie z Werony, directed by Roland Rowinski and starring Marek Bukowski as Proteus and Rafal Krolikowski as Valentine.

In 2000, a Season 4 episode of Dawson's Creek entitled "Two Gentlemen of Capeside" loosely adapted the plot of the play. Written by Chris Levinson and directed by Sandy Smolan, the episode depicted how Dawson and Pacey, formally best friends, have been driven apart over their love for the same woman. The play is referenced early in the episode as the characters are reading it for their English class.

Radio[39]

In 1923, extracts from the play were broadcast on BBC Radio 1, performed by the Cardiff Station Repertory Company as the first episode of a series of programs showcasing Shakespeare's plays, entitled Shakespeare Night. In 1924, the entire play was broadcast by the BBC, directed by Joyce Tremayne and R.E. Jeffrey. Treymane played Silvia and Jeffrey played Valentine, along with G.R. Harvey as Proteus and Daisy Moncur as Julia. In 1927, the scenes between Julia and Lucetta were broadcast on BBC Radio 1 as part of the Echoes from Greenwich Theatre series. Betty Rayner played Julia and Joan Rayner played Lucetta. BBC National Programme broadcast the full play in 1934, adapted for radio by Barbara Burnham and produced by Lance Sieveking. Ion Swinley played Valentine, Robert Craven was Proteus, Helen Horsey was Silvia and Lydia Sherwood played Julia.

In 1958, the entire play was broadcast on BBC Third Programme. Produced and directed for radio by Raymond Raikes, the play starred John Westbrook as Valentine, Charles Hodgson as Proteus, Caroline Leigh as Silvia and Perlita Neilson as Julia. It also featured Frankie Howerd as Launce.

BBC Third Programme aired another full production of the play in 1968, produced and directed by R.D. Smith and starring Denys Hawthorne as Valentine, Michael N. Harbour as Proteus and Judi Dench as Julia.

In 2007, producer Roger Elsgood and director Willi Richards adapted the play into a radio play called The Two Gentlemen of Valasna, setting it in two fictional Indian princely states called Malpur and Valasna, in the weeks leading up to the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The play was first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 29 July, 2007.[40] It was recorded on location in Maharashtra, India earlier in 2007 with a cast drawn from Bollywood, Indian television and the Mumbai English-speaking theatre traditions; actors included Nadir Khan as Vishvadev (ie Valentine), Arghya Lahiri as Parminder (Proteus), Anu Menon as Syoni (Silvia), Avantika Akerkar as Jumaana/Servi (Julia/Sebastian), Sohrab Ardishir as The Maharaja (Duke of Milan) and Zafar Karachiwalla as Thaqib (Thurio). Besides the new character names, some other substitutions suitable to the new setting (eg "by Ran" for "by Jove", "Vishnu's shrine for "the north gate", "the mighty gods' wrath's appeased" for "the Eternal's wrath's appeas'd", sahiba for lady, sahib for sir, and sari for robe), and the addition of some Indian dialogue, the production used Shakespeare's text.

References

Notes

All references to The Two Gentlemen of Verona, unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Oxford Shakespeare (Warren), based on the First Folio text of 1623. Under its referencing system, 2.3.14 means act 2, scene 3, line 14.

  1. ^ It is placed first in both the The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (1986 and 2005) and The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Shakespeare (1997 and 2008); see also Leech (1969: xxx), Wells et al. (1987: 3), Carroll (2004: 130) and Warren (2008: 26-27)
  2. ^ Wells et al. (1986: 4)
  3. ^ Most modern editors of the play tend to rename this character 'Lance', on the basis that 'Lance' represents a modernisation of 'Launce'. See, for example, Kurt Schlueter (Cambridge Shakespeare - 1990), William C. Carroll (Arden Shakespeare - 2004) and Roger Warren (Oxford Shakespeare - 2008)
  4. ^ Schlueter (1990: 1)
  5. ^ Greenblatt et al (1997: 80)
  6. ^ Warren (2008: 15-16)
  7. ^ Bullough (1975: 204)
  8. ^ Edmund Malone, Plays and Poems, (1821) 7
  9. ^ Sanders (1968: 7)
  10. ^ Wells et al. (1986: 3)
  11. ^ Greenblatt et al (1997: 79)
  12. ^ Warren (2008: 26-27)
  13. ^ Program notes for 1970 RSC production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  14. ^ Masten (1997: 41, 46-47)
  15. ^ Schlueter (1990: 3)
  16. ^ Carroll (2004: 15-16)
  17. ^ E.K. Chambers, Introduction to The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Red Letter Shakespeare, 1905
  18. ^ Quoted in Carroll (2004: 115)
  19. ^ Bond (1906: xxxiv)
  20. ^ H.B. Charlton, Shakesperean Comedy (London: Routledge, 1938), 43
  21. ^ Sanders (1968: 15)
  22. ^ See, for example, Schlueter (1990), Carroll (2004) and Warren (2008)
  23. ^ Sanders (1968: 8)
  24. ^ Schlueter (1990: 17)
  25. ^ Warren (2008: 53)
  26. ^ The Two Gents
  27. ^ Warren (2008: 44)
  28. ^ Sanders (1968: 10)
  29. ^ Schlueter (1990: 23)
  30. ^ Greenblatt et al (1997: 79)
  31. ^ Carroll (2004: 85)
  32. ^ Halliday (1964: 506)
  33. ^ The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Peter Hall, 1960
  34. ^ Wells et al. (1986: 3)
  35. ^ Schlueter (1990: 23-25)
  36. ^ The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Pre-20th century productions
  37. ^ Green (1980: 350)
  38. ^ Two Gentlemen of Verona homepage
  39. ^ Unless otherwise noted, all information in this section comes from the British Universities Film and Video Council
  40. ^ BBC - Radio 3 - Drama on 3

Editions of The Two Gentlemen of Verona

  • Bate, Jonathan and Rasmussen, Eric (eds.) The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works (London: Macmillan, 2007)
  • Bond, R. Warwick (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Arden Shakespeare, 1st Series; London: Arden, 1906)
  • Carroll, William C. (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Arden Shakespeare, 3rd Series; London: Arden, 2004)
  • Evans, Bertrand (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Signet Classic Shakespeare; New York: Signet, 1964; revised edition, 1988; 2nd revised edition 2007)
  • Evans, G. Blakemore (ed.) The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974; 2nd edn., 1997)
  • Greenblatt, Stephen; Cohen, Walter; Howard, Jean E. and Maus, Katharine Eisaman (eds.) The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Shakespeare (London: Norton, 1997; 2nd edn., 2008)
  • Jackson, Berners A.W. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Pelican Shakespeare; London: Penguin, 1964; revised edition 1980)
  • Jackson, Russell (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The New Penguin Shakespeare 2nd edition; London: Penguin, 2005)
  • Leech, Clifford (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Arden Shakespeare, 2nd Series; London: Arden, 1969)
  • Quiller-Couch, Arthur and Wilson, John Dover (eds.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The New Shakespeare; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1921; 2nd edn. edited by only Dover Wilson, 1955)
  • Rose, Mary Beth (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Pelican Shakespeare, 2nd edition; London: Penguin, 2000)
  • Sanders, Norman (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The New Penguin Shakespeare; London: Penguin, 1968; revised edition 1997)
  • Schlueter, Kurt (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The New Cambridge Shakespeare; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • Warren, Roger (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Oxford Shakespeare; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Wells, Stanley; Taylor, Gary; Jowett, John and Montgomery, William (eds.) The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986; 2nd edn., 2005)
  • Werstine, Paul and Mowat, Barbara A. (eds.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger Shakespeare Library; Washington: Simon & Schuster, 1999)

Secondary Sources

  • Bullough, Geoffrey. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare (Volume 1): Early Comedies, Poems, Romeo and Juliet (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1957)
  • Carlisle, Carol J. and Derrick, Patty S. "The Two Gentlemen of Verona on Stage: Protean Problems and Protean Solutions" in M.J. Collins (editor), Shakespeare's Sweet Thunder: Essays on the Early Comedies (Newark: Associated University Presses, 1997), 126-154
  • Duthie, G.I. Shakespeare (London: Hutchinson, 1951)
  • Ewbank, Inga-Stina. ""Were man but constant, he were perfect": Constancy and Consistency in The Two Gentlemen of Verona", Stratford-Upon-Avon Studies, 14 (1972), 31-57
  • Godshalk, William L. "The Structural Unity of The Two Gentlemen of Verona", Studies in Philology 66 (1969), 168-181
  • Green, Stanley. The World of Musical Comedy (San Diego: Da Capo Press, 1974; 4th edn., 1980)
  • Halliday, F.E. A Shakespeare Companion, 1564-1964 (Baltimore: Penguin, 1964)
  • Holmberg, Arthur. "The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Shakesperean Comedy as a Rite of Passage", Queen's Quarterly, 90:1 (Spring, 1983), 33-44
  • Masten, Jeffrey. Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • Morozov, Mikhail M. Shakespeare on the Soviet Stage (London: Open Library, 1947)
  • Morse, Ruth. "Two Gentlemen and the Cult of Friendship", Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 84:2 (Summer, 1983), 214-224
  • Muir, Kenneth. The Sources of Shakespeare's Plays (London: Routledge, 1977; rpt 2005)
  • Onions, C.T. A Shakespeare Glossary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953; 2nd edn. edited by Robert D. Eagleson, 1986)
  • Rackin, Phyllis. Shakespeare and Women (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • Schlueter, June (ed.) The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Critical Essays (New York: Routledge, 1996)
  • Speaight, Robert. Shakespeare on the Stage: An Illustrated History of Shakespearean Performance (London: Collins, 1973)
  • Tillyard, E.M.W. Shakespeare's Early Comedies (London: The Athlone Press, 1965; rpt. 1992)
  • Wells, Stanley. "The Failure of The Two Gentlemen of Verona", Shakespeare Jahrbüch West, 99 (1963), 161-173
  • Wells, Stanley; Taylor, Gary; Jowett, John and Montgomery, William. William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)
  • Williams, Gordon. A Glossary of Shakespeare's Sexual Language (London: The Athlone Press, 1997)

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is an early comedy by William Shakespeare. Its date of composition is unknown, but it is believed to have been written in the early 1590s.

Contents

Act I

  • Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
    • Valentine, scene i
  • I have no other but a woman's reason:
    I think him so, because I think him so.
    • Lucetta, scene ii
  • O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
    Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey,
    And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings!
    I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
    Look, here is writ — kind Julia. — Unkind Julia!
    As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
    I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
    Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
    And here is writ — love-wounded Proteus.
    Poor wounded name! My bosom, as a bed,
    Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be thoroughly healed;
    And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
    But twice or thrice was Proteus written down.
    Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away,
    Till I have found each letter in the letter,
    Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear
    Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock,
    And throw it thence into the raging sea!
    Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ, —
    Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
    To the sweet Julia.
    That I'll tear away;
    And yet I will not, sith so prettily
    He couples it to his complaining names.
    Thus will I fold them one upon another,
    Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
    • Julia, scene ii
  • O, how this spring of love resembleth
    The uncertain glory of an April day.
    • Proteus, scene iii

Act II

  • And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
    • Silvia, scene i
  • O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
    As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a steeple.
    • Speed, scene i
  • Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping; all the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's court. I think Crab my dog be the sourest-natured dog that lives. My mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have wept to have seen our parting. Why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father. No, this left shoe is my father. No, no, this left shoe is my mother. Nay, that cannot be so neither. Yes, it is so, it is so — it hath the worser sole. This shoe, with the hole in it, is my mother, and this my father. A vengeance on't! There 'tis. Now, sir, this staff is my sister; for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. — no, the dog is himself, and I am the dog — O, the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so, so. Now come I to my father: Father, your blessing. Now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping. Now should I kiss my father — well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother. O, that shoe could speak now, like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her — why, there 'tis: here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears.
    • Launce, scene iii
  • She is mine own,
    And I as rich in having such a jewel
    As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
    The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
    • Valentine, scene iv
  • Lucetta: I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;
    But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
    Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
    Julia: The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns.
    The current that with gentle murmur glides,
    Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
    But, when his fair course is not hindered,
    He makes sweet music with th' enamell'd stones,
    Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
    He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
    And so by many winding nooks he strays
    With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
    Then let me go, and hinder not my course.
    I'll be as patient as a gentle stream
    And make a pastime of each weary step,
    Till the last step have brought me to my love;
    And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
    A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
    • Scene vii

Act III

  • That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
    If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
    • Valentine, scene i
  • 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, illumined, 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.
    • Valentine, scene i

Act IV

  • A man I am, cross’d with adversity.
    • Valentine, scene i
  • Is she not passing fair?
    • Silvia, scene iv

Act V

  • How use doth breed a habit in a man!
    • Valentine, scene iv
  • O heaven! were man
    But constant, he were perfect.
    • Proteus, scene iv
  • Come not within the measure of my wrath.
    • Valentine, scene iv

External links

Wikipedia
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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
by William Shakespeare
Facsimile of the first page of The Two Gentlemen of Verona from the First Folio, published in 1623

DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):

DUKE OF MILAN, father to Silvia
VALENTINE, one of the two gentlemen
PROTEUS, one of the two gentlemen
ANTONIO, father to Proteus
THURIO, a foolish rival to Valentine
EGLAMOUR, agent for Silvia in her escape
SPEED, a clownish servant to Valentine
LAUNCE, the like to Proteus
PANTHINO, servant to Antonio
HOST, where Julia lodges in Milan
OUTLAWS, with Valentine
JULIA, a lady of Verona, beloved of Proteus
SILVIA, beloved of Valentine
LUCETTA, waiting-woman to Julia
SERVANTS, MUSICIANS

SCENE: Verona; Milan; the frontiers of Mantua

Contents

ACT 1.

SCENE I. Verona. An open place

[Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.]

VALENTINE.

Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus:
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were't not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardiz'd at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when I to love begin.

PROTEUS.

Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu!
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy headsman, Valentine.

VALENTINE.

And on a love-book pray for my success?

PROTEUS.

Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee.

VALENTINE.

That's on some shallow story of deep love,
How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.

PROTEUS.

That's a deep story of a deeper love;
For he was more than over shoes in love.

VALENTINE.

'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swum the Hellespont.

PROTEUS.

Over the boots? Nay, give me not the boots.

VALENTINE.

No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

PROTEUS.

What?

VALENTINE.

To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won:
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

PROTEUS.

So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.

VALENTINE.

So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove.

PROTEUS.

'Tis love you cavil at: I am not Love.

VALENTINE.

Love is your master, for he masters you;
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.

PROTEUS.

Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

VALENTINE.

And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel the
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu! my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.

PROTEUS.

And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.

VALENTINE.

Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

PROTEUS.

All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!

VALENTINE.

As much to you at home! and so farewell!

[Exit.]

PROTEUS.

He after honour hunts, I after love;
He leaves his friends to dignify them more:
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me;—
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

[Enter SPEED.]

SPEED.

Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?

PROTEUS.

But now he parted hence to embark for Milan.

SPEED.

Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already,
And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.

PROTEUS.

Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
An if the shepherd be a while away.

SPEED.

You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and
I a sheep?

PROTEUS.

I do.

SPEED.

Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.

PROTEUS.

A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.

SPEED.

This proves me still a sheep.

PROTEUS.

True; and thy master a shepherd.

SPEED.

Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.

PROTEUS.

It shall go hard but I'll prove it by another.

SPEED.

The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the
shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me;
therefore, I am no sheep.

PROTEUS.

The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd; the shepherd for
food follows not the sheep: thou for wages followest thy master;
thy master for wages follows not thee. Therefore, thou art a
sheep.

SPEED.

Such another proof will make me cry 'baa.'

PROTEUS.

But, dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia?

SPEED.

Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced
mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing
for my labour.

PROTEUS.

Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.

SPEED.

If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.

PROTEUS.

Nay, in that you are astray: 'twere best pound you.

SPEED.

Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your
letter.

PROTEUS.

You mistake; I mean the pound,—a pinfold.

SPEED.

From a pound to a pin? fold it over and over,
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.

PROTEUS.

But what said she? [SPEED nods.] Did she nod?

[SPEED] Ay.

PROTEUS. Nod, ay? Why, that's noddy.

SPEED. You mistook, sir; I say she did nod; and you ask me if she

did nod; and I say, Ay.

PROTEUS.

And that set together is—noddy.

SPEED.

Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for
your pains.

PROTEUS.

No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.

SPEED.

Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.

PROTEUS.

Why, sir, how do you bear with me?

SPEED.

Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly; having nothing but the
word 'noddy' for my pains.

PROTEUS.

Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.

SPEED.

And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

PROTEUS.

Come, come; open the matter; in brief: what said she?

SPEED.

Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both
at once delivered.

PROTEUS.

Well, sir, here is for your pains [giving him money]. What said
she?

SPEED.

Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

PROTEUS.

Why, couldst thou perceive so much from her?

SPEED.

Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not so
much as a ducat for delivering your letter; and being so hard to
me that brought your mind, I fear she'll prove as hard to you in
telling your mind. Give her no token but stones, for she's as
hard as steel.

PROTEUS.

What! said she nothing?

SPEED.

No, not so much as 'Take this for thy pains.' To testify
your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me; in requital
whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself; and so, sir,
I'll commend you to my master.

PROTEUS.

Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wrack;
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
Being destin'd to a drier death on shore.—

[Exit SPEED.]

I must go send some better messenger.

I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.

[Exit.]

SCENE 2. THe same. The garden Of JULIA'S house.

[Enter JULIA and LUCETTA.]

JULIA.

But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?

LUCETTA.

Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheedfully.

JULIA.

Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
That every day with parle encounter me,
In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

LUCETTA.

Please you, repeat their names; I'll show my mind
According to my shallow simple skill.

JULIA.

What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?

LUCETTA.

As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.

JULIA.

What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?

LUCETTA.

Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.

JULIA.

What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus?

LUCETTA.

Lord, Lord! to see what folly reigns in us!

JULIA.

How now! what means this passion at his name?

LUCETTA.

Pardon, dear madam; 'tis a passing shame
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.

JULIA.

Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?

LUCETTA.

Then thus,—of many good I think him best.

JULIA.

Your reason?

LUCETTA.

I have no other but a woman's reason:
I think him so, because I think him so.

JULIA.

And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?

LUCETTA.

Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.

JULIA.

Why, he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.

LUCETTA.

Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.

JULIA.

His little speaking shows his love but small.

LUCETTA.

Fire that's closest kept burns most of all.

JULIA.

They do not love that do not show their love.

LUCETTA.

O! they love least that let men know their love.

JULIA.

I would I knew his mind.

LUCETTA.

Peruse this paper, madam. [Gives a letter.]

JULIA.

'To Julia'—Say, from whom?

LUCETTA.

That the contents will show.

JULIA.

Say, say, who gave it thee?

LUCETTA.

Sir Valentine's page, and sent, I think, from Proteus.
He would have given it you; but I, being in the way,
Did in your name receive it; pardon the fault, I pray.

JULIA.

Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth,
And you an officer fit for the place.
There, take the paper; see it be return'd;
Or else return no more into my sight.

LUCETTA.

To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.

JULIA.

Will ye be gone?

LUCETTA.

That you may ruminate.

[Exit.]

JULIA.

And yet, I would I had o'erlook'd the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again,
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid
And would not force the letter to my view!
Since maids, in modesty, say 'No' to that
Which they would have the profferer construe 'Ay.'
Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love,
That like a testy babe will scratch the nurse,
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod!
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here:
How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile.
My penance is, to call Lucetta back
And ask remission for my folly past.
What ho! Lucetta!

[Re-enter LUCETTA.]

LUCETTA.

What would your ladyship?

JULIA.

Is it near dinner time?

LUCETTA.

I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.

JULIA.

What is't that you took up so gingerly?

LUCETTA.

Nothing.

JULIA.

Why didst thou stoop, then?

LUCETTA.

To take a paper up
That I let fall.

JULIA.

And is that paper nothing?

LUCETTA.

Nothing concerning me.

JULIA.

Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

LUCETTA.

Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.

JULIA.

Some love of yours hath writ to you in rime.

LUCETTA.

That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

JULIA.

As little by such toys as may be possible;
Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' Love.'

LUCETTA.

It is too heavy for so light a tune.

JULIA.

Heavy! belike it hath some burden then?

LUCETTA.

Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.

JULIA.

And why not you?

LUCETTA.

I cannot reach so high.

JULIA.

Let's see your song. [Taking the letter.]
How now, minion!

LUCETTA.

Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
And yet methinks, I do not like this tune.

JULIA.

You do not?

LUCETTA.

No, madam; it is too sharp.

JULIA.

You, minion, are too saucy.

LUCETTA.

Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant;
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

JULIA.

The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.

LUCETTA.

Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

JULIA.

This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
Here is a coil with protestation!—[Tears the letter.]
Go, get you gone; and let the papers lie:
You would be fingering them, to anger me.

LUCETTA.

She makes it strange; but she would be best pleas'd
To be so anger'd with another letter.

[Exit.]

JULIA.

Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!
O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia!
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
And here is writ 'love-wounded Proteus':
Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed,
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly heal'd;
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down:
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
Till I have found each letter in the letter
Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful-hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea!
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia':—that I'll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names:
Thus will I fold them one upon another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

[Re-enter LUCETTA.]

LUCETTA.

Madam,
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.

JULIA.

Well, let us go.

LUCETTA.

What! shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?

JULIA.

If you respect them, best to take them up.

LUCETTA.

Nay, I was taken up for laying them down;
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.

JULIA.

I see you have a month's mind to them.

LUCETTA.

Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.

JULIA.

Come, come; will't please you go?

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 3. The same. A room in ANTONIO'S house.

[Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO.]

ANTONIO.

Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?

PANTHINO.

'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.

ANTONIO.

Why, what of him?

PANTHINO.

He wonder'd that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
Some to the wars, to try their fortune there;
Some to discover islands far away;
Some to the studious universities.
For any, or for all these exercises,
He said that Proteus, your son, was meet;
And did request me to importune you
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In having known no travel in his youth.

ANTONIO.

Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have consider'd well his loss of time,
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tried and tutor'd in the world:
Experience is by industry achiev'd,
And perfected by the swift course of time.
Then tell me whither were I best to send him?

PANTHINO.

I think your lordship is not ignorant
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor in his royal court.

ANTONIO.

I know it well.

PANTHINO.

'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither:
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
And be in eye of every exercise
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.

ANTONIO.

I like thy counsel; well hast thou advis'd;
And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
The execution of it shall make known:
Even with the speediest expedition
I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.

PANTHINO.

To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso
With other gentlemen of good esteem
Are journeying to salute the emperor
And to commend their service to his will.

ANTONIO.

Good company; with them shall Proteus go.
And in good time:—now will we break with him.

[Enter PROTEUS.]

PROTEUS.

Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn.
O! that our fathers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents!
O heavenly Julia!

ANTONIO.

How now! What letter are you reading there?

PROTEUS.

May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
Of commendations sent from Valentine,
Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.

ANTONIO.

Lend me the letter; let me see what news.

PROTEUS.

There is no news, my lord; but that he writes
How happily he lives, how well belov'd
And daily graced by the emperor;
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

ANTONIO.

And how stand you affected to his wish?

PROTEUS.

As one relying on your lordship's will,
And not depending on his friendly wish.

ANTONIO.

My will is something sorted with his wish.
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolv'd that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the Emperor's court:
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
To-morrow be in readiness to go:
Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.

PROTEUS.

My lord, I cannot be so soon provided;
Please you, deliberate a day or two.

ANTONIO.

Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee:
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.
Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ'd
To hasten on his expedition.

[Exeunt ANTONIO and PANTHINO.]

PROTEUS.

Thus have I shunn'd the fire for fear of burning,
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd.
I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter,
Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
And with the vantage of mine own excuse
Hath he excepted most against my love.
O! how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by an by a cloud takes all away!

[Re-enter PANTHINO.]

PANTHINO.

Sir Proteus, your father calls for you;
He is in haste; therefore, I pray you, go.

PROTEUS.

Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,
And yet a thousand times it answers 'no.'

[Exeunt.]

ACT 2.

SCENE I. Milan. A room in the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.]

SPEED.

Sir, your glove. [Offering a glove.]

VALENTINE.

Not mine; my gloves are on.

SPEED.

Why, then, this may be yours; for this is but one.

VALENTINE.

Ha! let me see; ay, give it me, it's mine;
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
Ah, Silvia! Silvia!

SPEED.

[Calling.] Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!

VALENTINE.

How now, sirrah?

SPEED.

She is not within hearing, sir.

VALENTINE.

Why, sir, who bade you call her?

SPEED.

Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.

VALENTINE.

Well, you'll still be too forward.

SPEED.

And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.

VALENTINE.

Go to, sir. tell me, do you know Madam Silvia?

SPEED.

She that your worship loves?

VALENTINE.

Why, how know you that I am in love?

SPEED.

Marry, by these special marks: first, you have learned, like
Sir Proteus, to wreath your arms like a malcontent; to relish a
love-song, like a robin redbreast; to walk alone, like one that
had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his
A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam;
to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears
robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were
wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to
walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently
after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money.
And now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look
on you, I can hardly think you my master.

VALENTINE.

Are all these things perceived in me?

SPEED.

They are all perceived without ye.

VALENTINE.

Without me? They cannot.

SPEED.

Without you? Nay, that's certain; for, without you were so
simple, none else would; but you are so without these follies
that these follies are within you, and shine through you like the
water in an urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a
physician to comment on your malady.

VALENTINE.

But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?

SPEED.

She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?

VALENTINE.

Hast thou observed that? Even she, I mean.

SPEED.

Why, sir, I know her not.

VALENTINE.

Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet know'st
her not?

SPEED.

Is she not hard-favoured, sir?

VALENTINE.

Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured.

SPEED.

Sir, I know that well enough.

VALENTINE.

What dost thou know?

SPEED.

That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favoured.

VALENTINE.

I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour
infinite.

SPEED.

That's because the one is painted, and the other out of all
count.

VALENTINE.

How painted? and how out of count?

SPEED.

Marry, sir, so painted to make her fair, that no man counts
of her beauty.

VALENTINE.

How esteem'st thou me? I account of her beauty.

SPEED.

You never saw her since she was deformed.

VALENTINE.

How long hath she been deformed?

SPEED.

Ever since you loved her.

VALENTINE.

I have loved her ever since I saw her, and still
I see her beautiful.

SPEED.

If you love her, you cannot see her.

VALENTINE.

Why?

SPEED.

Because Love is blind. O! that you had mine eyes; or your own
eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir
Proteus for going ungartered!

VALENTINE.

What should I see then?

SPEED.

Your own present folly and her passing deformity; for he,
being in love, could not see to garter his hose; and you, being
in love, cannot see to put on your hose.

VALENTINE.

Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last morning you
could not see to wipe my shoes.

SPEED.

True, sir; I was in love with my bed. I thank you, you
swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you
for yours.

VALENTINE.

In conclusion, I stand affected to her.

SPEED.

I would you were set, so your affection would cease.

VALENTINE.

Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one
she loves.

SPEED.

And have you?

VALENTINE.

I have.

SPEED.

Are they not lamely writ?

VALENTINE.

No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
Peace! here she comes.

[Enter SILVIA.]

SPEED.

[Aside] O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
Now will he interpret to her.

VALENTINE.

Madam and mistress, a thousand good morrows.

SPEED.

[Aside] O, give ye good even: here's a million of manners.

SILVIA.

Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.

SPEED. [Aside] He should give her interest, and she gives it him.

VALENTINE.

As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours;
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in,
But for my duty to your ladyship.

[Gives a letter.]

SILVIA.

I thank you, gentle servant. 'Tis very clerkly done.

VALENTINE.

Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off;
For, being ignorant to whom it goes,
I writ at random, very doubtfully.

SILVIA.

Perchance you think too much of so much pains?

VALENTINE.

No, madam; so it stead you, I will write,
Please you command, a thousand times as much;
And yet—

SILVIA.

A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel;
And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not.
And yet take this again; and yet I thank you,
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.

SPEED.

[Aside] And yet you will; and yet another yet.

VALENTINE.

What means your ladyship? Do you not like it?

SILVIA.

Yes, yes; the lines are very quaintly writ;
But, since unwillingly, take them again:
Nay, take them.

[Gives hack the letter.]

VALENTINE.

Madam, they are for you.

SILVIA.

Ay, ay, you writ them, sir, at my request;
But I will none of them; they are for you.
I would have had them writ more movingly.

VALENTINE.

Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.

SILVIA.

And when it's writ, for my sake read it over;
And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.

VALENTINE.

If it please me, madam, what then?

SILVIA.

Why, if it please you, take it for your labour.
And so good morrow, servant.

[Exit.]

SPEED.

O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple!
My master sues to her; and she hath taught her suitor,
He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
O excellent device! Was there ever heard a better,
That my master, being scribe, to himself should write the letter?

VALENTINE.

How now, sir! What are you reasoning with yourself?

SPEED.

Nay, I was rhyming: 'tis you that have the reason.

VALENTINE.

To do what?

SPEED.

To be a spokesman from Madam Silvia.

VALENTINE.

To whom?

SPEED.

To yourself; why, she woos you by a figure.

VALENTINE.

What figure?

SPEED.

By a letter, I should say.

VALENTINE.

Why, she hath not writ to me?

SPEED.

What need she, when she hath made you write to yourself?
Why, do you not perceive the jest?

VALENTINE.

No, believe me.

SPEED.

No believing you indeed, sir. But did you perceive her
earnest?

VALENTINE.

She gave me none except an angry word.

SPEED.

Why, she hath given you a letter.

VALENTINE.

That's the letter I writ to her friend.

SPEED.

And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end.

VALENTINE.

I would it were no worse.

SPEED.

I'll warrant you 'tis as well.
'For often have you writ to her; and she, in modesty,
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply;
Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover,
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.'
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.
Why muse you, sir? 'Tis dinner time.

VALENTINE.

I have dined.

SPEED.

Ay, but hearken, sir; though the chameleon Love can feed on
the air, I am one that am nourished by my victuals, and would
fain have meat. O! be not like your mistress! Be moved, be moved.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 2. Verona. A room in JULIA'S house.

[Enter PROTEUS and JULIA.]

PROTEUS.

Have patience, gentle Julia.

JULIA.

I must, where is no remedy.

PROTEUS.

When possibly I can, I will return.

JULIA.

If you turn not, you will return the sooner.
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.

[Gives him a ring.]

PROTEUS.

Why, then, we'll make exchange. Here, take you this.

[Gives her another.]

JULIA.

And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.

PROTEUS.

Here is my hand for my true constancy;
And when that hour o'erslips me in the day
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake,
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
Torment me for my love's forgetfulness!
My father stays my coming; answer not;
The tide is now: nay, not thy tide of tears:
That tide will stay me longer than I should.
Julia, farewell!

[Exit JULIA.]

What, gone without a word?

Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.

[Enter PANTHINO.]

PANTHINO.

Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for.

PROTEUS.

Go; I come, I come.
Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 3. The same. A street

[Enter LAUNCE, leading a dog.]

LAUNCE.

Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping; all the
kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my
proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir
Proteus to the imperial's court. I think Crab my dog be the
sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father
wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her
hands, and all our house in a great perplexity; yet did not this
cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble
stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog; a Jew would have
wept to have seen our parting; why, my grandam having no eyes,
look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you
the manner of it. This shoe is my father; no, this left shoe is
my father; no, no, left shoe is my mother; nay, that cannot be so
neither; yes, it is so, it is so, it hath the worser sole. This
shoe with the hole in it is my mother, and this my father. A
vengeance on 't! There 'tis: now, sir, this staff is my sister,
for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand;
this hat is Nan our maid; I am the dog; no, the dog is himself,
and I am the dog—O! the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so, so.
Now come I to my father: 'Father, your blessing.' Now should not
the shoe speak a word for weeping; now should I kiss my father;
well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother;—O, that she could
speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her; why there 'tis;
here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister;
mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a
tear, nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my
tears.

[Enter PANTHINO.]

PANTHINO.

Launce, away, away, aboard! Thy master is shipped, and
thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? Why weep'st
thou, man? Away, ass! You'll lose the tide if you tarry any
longer.

LAUNCE.

It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
unkindest tied that ever any man tied.

PANTHINO.

What's the unkindest tide?

LAUNCE.

Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.

PANTHINO.

Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood, and, in losing
the flood, lose thy voyage, and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy
master, and, in losing thy master, lose thy service, and, in
losing thy service,—Why dost thou stop my mouth?

LAUNCE.

For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue.

PANTHINO.

Where should I lose my tongue?

LAUNCE.

In thy tale.

PANTHINO.

In thy tail!

LAUNCE.

Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and the
service, and the tied! Why, man, if the river were dry, I am able
to fill it with my tears; if the wind were down, I could drive
the boat with my sighs.

PANTHINO.

Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.

LAUNCE.

Sir, call me what thou darest.

PANTHINO.

Will thou go?

LAUNCE.

Well, I will go.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 4. Milan. A room in the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter SILVIA, VALENTINE, THURIO, and SPEED.]

SILVIA.

Servant!

VALENTINE.

Mistress?

SPEED.

Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.

VALENTINE.

Ay, boy, it's for love.

SPEED.

Not of you.

VALENTINE.

Of my mistress, then.

SPEED.

'Twere good you knock'd him.

SILVIA.

Servant, you are sad.

VALENTINE.

Indeed, madam, I seem so.

THURIO.

Seem you that you are not?

VALENTINE.

Haply I do.

THURIO.

So do counterfeits.

VALENTINE.

So do you.

THURIO.

What seem I that I am not?

VALENTINE.

Wise.

THURIO.

What instance of the contrary?

VALENTINE.

Your folly.

THURIO.

And how quote you my folly?

VALENTINE.

I quote it in your jerkin.

THURIO.

My jerkin is a doublet.

VALENTINE.

Well, then, I'll double your folly.

THURIO.

How?

SILVIA.

What, angry, Sir Thurio! Do you change colour?

VALENTINE.

Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.

THURIO.

That hath more mind to feed on your blood than live in your
air.

VALENTINE.

You have said, sir.

THURIO.

Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.

VALENTINE.

I know it well, sir; you always end ere you begin.

SILVIA.

A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.

VALENTINE.

'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver.

SILVIA.

Who is that, servant?

VALENTINE.

Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire. Sir Thurio
borrows his wit from your ladyship's looks, and spends what he
borrows kindly in your company.

THURIO.

Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your
wit bankrupt.

VALENTINE.

I know it well, sir; you have an exchequer of words,
and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers; for it
appears by their bare liveries that they live by your bare words.

[Enter DUKE]

SILVIA.

No more, gentlemen, no more. Here comes my father.

[Enter DUKE.]

DUKE.

Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
Sir Valentine, your father is in good health.
What say you to a letter from your friends
Of much good news?

VALENTINE.

My lord, I will be thankful
To any happy messenger from thence.

DUKE.

Know ye Don Antonio, your countryman?

VALENTINE.

Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
To be of worth and worthy estimation,
And not without desert so well reputed.

DUKE.

Hath he not a son?

VALENTINE.

Ay, my good lord; a son that well deserves
The honour and regard of such a father.

DUKE.

You know him well?

VALENTINE.

I knew him as myself; for from our infancy
We have convers'd and spent our hours together;
And though myself have been an idle truant,
Omitting the sweet benefit of time
To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection,
Yet hath Sir Proteus,—for that's his name,—
Made use and fair advantage of his days:
His years but young, but his experience old;
His head unmellowed, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word,—for far behind his worth
Comes all the praises that I now bestow,—
He is complete in feature and in mind,
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.

DUKE.

Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good,
He is as worthy for an empress' love
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me
With commendation from great potentates,
And here he means to spend his time awhile.
I think 'tis no unwelcome news to you.

VALENTINE.

Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.

DUKE.

Welcome him, then, according to his worth.
Silvia, I speak to you, and you, Sir Thurio:—
For Valentine, I need not cite him to it.
I will send him hither to you presently.

[Exit.]

VALENTINE.

This is the gentleman I told your ladyship
Had come along with me but that his mistresss
Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks.

SILVIA.

Belike that now she hath enfranchis'd them
Upon some other pawn for fealty.

VALENTINE.

Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.

SILVIA.

Nay, then, he should be blind; and, being blind,
How could he see his way to seek out you?

VALENTINE.

Why, lady, Love hath twenty pair of eyes.

THURIO.

They say that Love hath not an eye at all.

VALENTINE.

To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself:
Upon a homely object Love can wink.

SILVIA.

Have done, have done; here comes the gentleman.

[Enter PROTEUS]

VALENTINE.

Welcome, dear Proteus! Mistress, I beseech you
Confirm his welcome with some special favour.

SILVIA.

His worth is warrant for his welcome hither,
If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from.

VALENTINE.

Mistress, it is; sweet lady, entertain him
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.

SILVIA.

Too low a mistress for so high a servant.

PROTEUS.

Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant
To have a look of such a worthy mistress.

VALENTINE.

Leave off discourse of disability;
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.

PROTEUS.

My duty will I boast of, nothing else.

SILVIA.

And duty never yet did want his meed.
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.

PROTEUS.

I'll die on him that says so but yourself.

SILVIA.

That you are welcome?

PROTEUS.

That you are worthless.

[Enter a servant.]

SERVANT.

Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.

SILVIA.

I wait upon his pleasure. [Exit Servant.] Come, Sir Thurio,
Go with me. Once more, new servant, welcome.
I'll leave you to confer of home affairs;
When you have done we look to hear from you.

PROTEUS.

We'll both attend upon your ladyship.

[Exeunt SILVIA, THURIO, and SPEED.]

VALENTINE.

Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?

PROTEUS.

Your friends are well, and have them much commended.

VALENTINE.

And how do yours?

PROTEUS.

I left them all in health.

VALENTINE.

How does your lady, and how thrives your love?

PROTEUS.

My tales of love were wont to weary you;
I know you joy not in a love-discourse.

VALENTINE.

Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now;
I have done penance for contemning Love;
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs;
For, in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes
And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow.
O, gentle Proteus! Love's a mighty lord,
And hath so humbled me as I confess,
There is no woe to his correction,
Nor to his service no such joy on earth.
Now no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep,
Upon the very naked name of love.

PROTEUS.

Enough; I read your fortune in your eye.
Was this the idol that you worship so?

VALENTINE.

Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint?

PROTEUS.

No; but she is an earthly paragon.

VALENTINE.

Call her divine.

PROTEUS.

I will not flatter her.

VALENTINE.

O! flatter me; for love delights in praises.

PROTEUS.

When I was sick you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.

VALENTINE.

Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
Yet let her be a principality,
Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.

PROTEUS.

Except my mistress.

VALENTINE.

Sweet, except not any,
Except thou wilt except against my love.

PROTEUS.

Have I not reason to prefer mine own?

VALENTINE.

And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignified with this high honour,—
To bear my lady's train, lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss,
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
And make rough winter everlastingly.

PROTEUS.

Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?

VALENTINE.

Pardon me, Proteus; all I can is nothing
To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing;
She is alone.

PROTEUS.

Then, let her alone.

VALENTINE.

Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own;
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou see'st me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes
Only for his possessions are so huge,
Is gone with her along; and I must after,
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.

PROTEUS.

But she loves you?

VALENTINE.

Ay, and we are betroth'd; nay more, our marriage-hour,
With all the cunning manner of our flight,
Determin'd of: how I must climb her window,
The ladder made of cords, and all the means
Plotted and 'greed on for my happiness.
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber,
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.

PROTEUS.

Go on before; I shall enquire you forth:
I must unto the road to disembark
Some necessaries that I needs must use;
And then I'll presently attend you.

VALENTINE.

Will you make haste?

PROTEUS.

I will.

[Exit VALENTINE.]

Even as one heat another heat expels

Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Is it my mind, or Valentinus' praise,
Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
That makes me reasonless to reason thus?
She is fair; and so is Julia that I love,—
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
Which like a waxen image 'gainst a fire
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks my zeal to Valentine is cold,
And that I love him not as I was wont.
O! but I love his lady too-too much,
And that's the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice
That thus without advice begin to love her?
'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazzled my reason's light;
But when I look on her perfections,
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love, I will;
If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.

[Exit.]

SCENE 5. The same. A street

[Enter SPEED and LAUNCE.]

SPEED.

Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!

LAUNCE.

Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not welcome. I
reckon this always, that a man is never undone till he be hanged,
nor never welcome to a place till some certain shot be paid, and
the hostess say 'Welcome!'

SPEED.

Come on, you madcap; I'll to the alehouse with you
presently; where, for one shot of five pence, thou shalt have
five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how did thy master part with
Madam Julia?

LAUNCE.

Marry, after they clos'd in earnest, they parted very
fairly in jest.

SPEED.

But shall she marry him?

LAUNCE.

No.

SPEED.

How then? Shall he marry her?

LAUNCE.

No, neither.

SPEED.

What, are they broken?

LAUNCE.

No, they are both as whole as a fish.

SPEED.

Why then, how stands the matter with them?

LAUNCE.

Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it stands well
with her.

SPEED.

What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.

LAUNCE.

What a block art thou that thou canst not! My staff
understands me.

SPEED.

What thou sayest?

LAUNCE.

Ay, and what I do too; look thee, I'll but lean, and my
staff understands me.

SPEED.

It stands under thee, indeed.

LAUNCE.

Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.

SPEED.

But tell me true, will't be a match?

LAUNCE.

Ask my dog. If he say ay, it will; if he say no, it will; if
he shake his tail and say nothing, it will.

SPEED.

The conclusion is, then, that it will.

LAUNCE.

Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a
parable.

SPEED.

'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how sayest thou
that my master is become a notable lover?

LAUNCE.

I never knew him otherwise.

SPEED.

Than how?

LAUNCE.

A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.

SPEED.

Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistak'st me.

LAUNCE.

Why, fool, I meant not thee, I meant thy master.

SPEED.

I tell thee my master is become a hot lover.

LAUNCE.

Why, I tell thee I care not though he burn himself in love.
If thou wilt, go with me to the alehouse; if not, thou art an
Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.

SPEED.

Why?

LAUNCE.

Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to go to
the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?

SPEED.

At thy service.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 6. The same. The DUKE's palace.

[Enter PROTEUS.]

PROTEUS.

To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
And even that power which gave me first my oath
Provokes me to this threefold perjury:
Love bade me swear, and Love bids me forswear.
O sweet-suggesting Love! if thou hast sinn'd,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
At first I did adore a twinkling star,
But now I worship a celestial sun.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit that wants resolved will
To learn his wit t' exchange the bad for better.
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue, to call her bad,
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;
But there I leave to love where I should love.
Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose;
If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
If I lose them, thus find I by their loss,
For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend,
For love is still most precious in itself;
And Silvia—witness heaven, that made her fair!—
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Remembering that my love to her is dead;
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,
Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.
I cannot now prove constant to myself
Without some treachery us'd to Valentine.
This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber window,
Myself in counsel, his competitor.
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising and pretended flight;
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine;
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter;
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross,
By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift!

[Exit.]

SCENE 7. Verona. A room in JULIA'S house.

[Enter JULIA and LUCETTA.]

JULIA.

Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me:
And, ev'n in kind love, I do conjure thee,
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character'd and engrav'd,
To lesson me and tell me some good mean
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.

LUCETTA.

Alas, the way is wearisome and long.

JULIA.

A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she that hath Love's wings to fly,
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.

LUCETTA.

Better forbear till Proteus make return.

JULIA.

O! know'st thou not his looks are my soul's food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love.
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

LUCETTA.

I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

JULIA.

The more thou damm'st it up, the more it burns.
The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with th' enamell'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course.
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

LUCETTA.

But in what habit will you go along?

JULIA.

Not like a woman, for I would prevent
The loose encounters of lascivious men.
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.

LUCETTA.

Why then, your ladyship must cut your hair.

JULIA.

No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots:
To be fantastic may become a youth
Of greater time than I shall show to be.

LUCETTA.

What fashion, madam, shall I make your breeches?

JULIA.

That fits as well as 'Tell me, good my lord,
What compass will you wear your farthingale?'
Why even what fashion thou best likes, Lucetta.

LUCETTA.

You must needs have them with a codpiece, madam.

JULIA.

Out, out, Lucetta, that will be ill-favour'd.

LUCETTA.

A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin,
Unless you have a codpiece to stick pins on.

JULIA.

Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have
What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly.
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me
For undertaking so unstaid a journey?
I fear me it will make me scandaliz'd.

LUCETTA.

If you think so, then stay at home and go not.

JULIA.

Nay, that I will not.

LUCETTA.

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.

JULIA.

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.

LUCETTA.

All these are servants to deceitful men.

JULIA.

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.

LUCETTA.

Pray heav'n he prove so when you come to him.

JULIA.

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.

[Exeunt.]

ACT 3.

SCENE I. Milan. An anteroom in the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS.]

DUKE.

Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
We have some secrets to confer about.

[Exit THURIO.]

Now tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?

PROTEUS.

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.

DUKE.

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.

PROTEUS.

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.

DUKE.

Upon mine honour, he shall never know
That I had any light from thee of this.

PROTEUS.

Adieu, my lord; Sir Valentine is coming.

[Exit.]

[Enter VALENTINE]

DUKE.

Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?

VALENTINE.

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?

VALENTINE.

The tenour 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.

VALENTINE.

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?

DUKE.

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.

VALENTINE.

What would your Grace have me to do in this?

DUKE.

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.

VALENTINE.

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.

DUKE.

But she did scorn a present that I sent her.

VALENTINE.

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.

DUKE.

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.

VALENTINE.

Why then I would resort to her by night.

DUKE.

Ay, but the doors be lock'd and keys kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night.

VALENTINE.

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.

VALENTINE.

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.

DUKE.

Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

VALENTINE.

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

DUKE.

This very night; for Love is like a child,
That longs for everything that he can come by.

VALENTINE.

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?

VALENTINE.

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?

VALENTINE.

Ay, my good lord.

DUKE.

Then let me see thy cloak.
I'll get me one of such another length.

VALENTINE.

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

DUKE.

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.'

What's here?

'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.

[Exit.]

VALENTINE.

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.]

PROTEUS.

Run, boy; run, run, seek him out.

LAUNCE.

Soho! soho!

PROTEUS.

What seest thou?

LAUNCE.

Him we go to find: there's not a hair on 's head but 'tis a
Valentine.

PROTEUS.

Valentine?

VALENTINE.

No.

PROTEUS.

Who then? his spirit?

VALENTINE.

Neither.

PROTEUS.

What then?

VALENTINE.

Nothing.

LAUNCE.

Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?

PROTEUS.

Who wouldst thou strike?

LAUNCE.

Nothing.

PROTEUS.

Villain, forbear.

LAUNCE.

Why, sir, I'll strike nothing. I pray you,—

PROTEUS.

Sirrah, I say, forbear.—Friend Valentine, a word.

VALENTINE.

My ears are stopp'd and cannot hear good news,
So much of bad already hath possess'd them.

PROTEUS.

Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.

VALENTINE.

Is Silvia dead?

PROTEUS.

No, Valentine.

VALENTINE.

No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia.
Hath she forsworn me?

PROTEUS.

No, Valentine.

VALENTINE.

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

LAUNCE.

Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.

PROTEUS.

That thou art banished, O, that's the news,
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.

VALENTINE.

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

PROTEUS.

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.

VALENTINE.

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.

PROTEUS.

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!

VALENTINE.

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

PROTEUS.

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

VALENTINE.

O my dear Silvia! Hapless Valentine!

[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS.]

LAUNCE.

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
paper.]
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.

[Enter SPEED.]

SPEED.

How now, Signior Launce! What news with your mastership?

LAUNCE.

With my master's ship? Why, it is at sea.

SPEED.

Well, your old vice still: mistake the word. What news,
then, in your paper?

LAUNCE.

The blackest news that ever thou heardest.

SPEED.

Why, man? how black?

LAUNCE.

Why, as black as ink.

SPEED.

Let me read them.

LAUNCE.

Fie on thee, jolthead! thou canst not read.

SPEED.

Thou liest; I can.

LAUNCE.

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

SPEED.

Marry, the son of my grandfather.

LAUNCE.

O, illiterate loiterer! It was the son of thy grandmother.
This proves that thou canst not read.

SPEED.

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

LAUNCE.

There; and Saint Nicholas be thy speed!

SPEED.

'Inprimis, She can milk.'

LAUNCE.

Ay, that she can.

SPEED.

'Item, She brews good ale.'

LAUNCE.

And thereof comes the proverb, 'Blessing of your heart, you
brew good ale.'

SPEED.

'Item, She can sew.'

LAUNCE.

That's as much as to say 'Can she so?'

SPEED.

'Item, She can knit.'

LAUNCE.

What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can
knit him a stock?

SPEED.

'Item, She can wash and scour.'

LAUNCE.

A special virtue; for then she need not be washed and scoured.

SPEED.

'Item, She can spin.'

LAUNCE.

Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for
her living.

SPEED.

'Item, She hath many nameless virtues.'

LAUNCE.

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.'

LAUNCE.

Close at the heels of her virtues.

SPEED.

'Item, She is not to be kissed fasting, in respect of her
breath.'

LAUNCE.

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

SPEED.

'Item, She hath a sweet mouth.'

LAUNCE.

That makes amends for her sour breath.

SPEED.

'Item, She doth talk in her sleep.'

LAUNCE.

It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.

SPEED.

'Item, She is slow in words.'

LAUNCE.

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.

SPEED.

'Item, She is proud.'

LAUNCE.

Out with that too: it was Eve's legacy, and cannot be ta'en
from her.

SPEED.

'Item, She hath no teeth.'

LAUNCE.

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

SPEED.

'Item, She is curst.'

LAUNCE.

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

SPEED.

'Item, She will often praise her liquor.'

LAUNCE.

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.'

LAUNCE.

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.

SPEED.

'Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults
than hairs, and more wealth than faults.'

LAUNCE.

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'—

LAUNCE.

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?

SPEED.

'And more faults than hairs.'—

LAUNCE.

That's monstrous! O, that that were out!

SPEED.

'And more wealth than faults.'

LAUNCE.

Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I'll have
her; an if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,—

SPEED.

What then?

LAUNCE.

Why, then will I tell thee,—that thy master stays for thee
at the North-gate.

SPEED.

For me?

LAUNCE.

For thee! ay, who art thou? He hath stay'd for a better man
than thee.

SPEED.

And must I go to him?

LAUNCE.

Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long that
going will scarce serve the turn.

SPEED.

Why didst not tell me sooner? Pox of your love letters!

[Exit.]

LAUNCE.

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.

[Exit.]

SCENE 2. The same. A room in the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter DUKE and THURIO.]

DUKE.

Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.

THURIO.

Since his exile she hath despis'd me most,
Forsworn my company and rail'd at me,
That I am desperate of obtaining her.

DUKE.

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.

[Enter PROTEUS.]

How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman,

According to our proclamation, gone?

PROTEUS.

Gone, my good lord.

DUKE.

My daughter takes his going grievously.

PROTEUS.

A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.

DUKE.

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.

PROTEUS.

Longer than I prove loyal to your Grace
Let me not live to look upon your Grace.

DUKE.

Thou know'st how willingly I would effect
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.

PROTEUS.

I do, my lord.

DUKE.

And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.

PROTEUS.

She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.

DUKE.

Ay, and perversely she persevers so.
What might we do to make the girl forget
The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio?

PROTEUS.

The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent,
Three things that women highly hold in hate.

DUKE.

Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate.

PROTEUS.

Ay, if his enemy deliver it;
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.

DUKE.

Then you must undertake to slander him.

PROTEUS.

And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do:
'Tis an ill office for a gentleman,
Especially against his very friend.

DUKE.

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.

PROTEUS.

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.

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.

DUKE.

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.

PROTEUS.

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.

DUKE.

Ay,
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.

PROTEUS.

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.

DUKE.

This discipline shows thou hast been in love.

THURIO.

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.

DUKE.

About it, gentlemen!

PROTEUS.

We'll wait upon your Grace till after-supper,
And afterward determine our proceedings.

DUKE.

Even now about it! I will pardon you.

[Exeunt.]

ACT 4.

SCENE 1. A forest between Milan and Verona.

[Enter certain OUTLAWS.]

FIRST OUTLAW.

Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger.

SECOND OUTLAW.

If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.

[Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.]

THIRD OUTLAW.

Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about ye;
If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.

SPEED.

Sir, we are undone: these are the villains
That all the travellers do fear so much.

VALENTINE.

My friends,—

FIRST OUTLAW.

That's not so, sir; we are your enemies.

SECOND OUTLAW.

Peace! we'll hear him.

THIRD OUTLAW.

Ay, by my beard, will we, for he is a proper man.

VALENTINE.

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.

SECOND OUTLAW.

Whither travel you?

VALENTINE.

To Verona.

FIRST OUTLAW.

Whence came you?

VALENTINE.

From Milan.

THIRD OUTLAW.

Have you long sojourn'd there?

VALENTINE.

Some sixteen months, and longer might have stay'd,
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.

FIRST OUTLAW.

What! were you banish'd thence?

VALENTINE.

I was.

SECOND OUTLAW.

For what offence?

VALENTINE.

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.

FIRST OUTLAW.

Why, ne'er repent it, if it were done so.
But were you banish'd for so small a fault?

VALENTINE.

I was, and held me glad of such a doom.

SECOND OUTLAW.

Have you the tongues?

VALENTINE.

My youthful travel therein made me happy,
Or else I often had been miserable.

THIRD OUTLAW.

By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar,
This fellow were a king for our wild faction!

FIRST OUTLAW.

We'll have him: Sirs, a word.

SPEED.

Master, be one of them; it's an honourable kind of thievery.

VALENTINE.

Peace, villain!

SECOND OUTLAW.

Tell us this: have you anything to take to?

VALENTINE.

Nothing but my fortune.

THIRD OUTLAW.

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.

SECOND OUTLAW.

And I from Mantua, for a gentleman
Who, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart.

FIRST OUTLAW.

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—

SECOND OUTLAW.

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?

THIRD OUTLAW.

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.

FIRST OUTLAW.

But if thou scorn our courtesy thou diest.

SECOND OUTLAW.

Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer'd.

VALENTINE.

I take your offer, and will live with you,
Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women or poor passengers.

THIRD OUTLAW.

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.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 2. Milan. The sourt of the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter PROTEUS.]

PROTEUS.

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.]

THURIO.

How now, Sir Proteus! are you crept before us?

PROTEUS.

Ay, gentle Thurio; for you know that love
Will creep in service where it cannot go.

THURIO.

Ay, but I hope, sir, that you love not here.

PROTEUS.

Sir, but I do; or else I would be hence.

THURIO.

Who? Silvia?

PROTEUS.

Ay, Silvia, for your sake.

THURIO.

I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile.

[Enter Host, and JULIA in boy's clothes.]

HOST.

Now, my young guest, methinks you're allycholly; I pray you,
why is it?

JULIA.

Marry, mine host, because I cannot be merry.

HOST.

Come, we'll have you merry; I'll bring you where you shall
hear music, and see the gentleman that you asked for.

JULIA.

But shall I hear him speak?

HOST.

Ay, that you shall.

JULIA.

That will be music. [Music plays.]

HOST.

Hark! hark!

JULIA.

Is he among these?

HOST.

Ay; but peace! let's hear 'em.

[SONG]

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.

HOST.

How now, are you sadder than you were before?
How do you, man? The music likes you not.

JULIA.

You mistake; the musician likes me not.

HOST.

Why, my pretty youth?

JULIA.

He plays false, father.

HOST.

How? out of tune on the strings?

JULIA.

Not so; but yet so false that he grieves my very
heart-strings.

HOST.

You have a quick ear.

JULIA.

Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes me have a slow heart.

HOST.

I perceive you delight not in music.

JULIA.

Not a whit,—when it jars so.

HOST.

Hark! what fine change is in the music!

JULIA.

Ay, that change is the spite.

HOST.

You would have them always play but one thing?

JULIA.

I would always have one play but one thing.
But, Host, doth this Sir Proteus, that we talk on,
Often resort unto this gentlewoman?

HOST.

I tell you what Launce, his man, told me: he lov'd her out of
all nick.

JULIA.

Where is Launce?

HOST.

Gone to seek his dog, which to-morrow, by his master's
command, he must carry for a present to his lady.

JULIA.

Peace! stand aside: the company parts.

PROTEUS.

Sir Thurio, fear not you; I will so plead
That you shall say my cunning drift excels.

THURIO.

Where meet we?

PROTEUS.

At Saint Gregory's well.

THURIO.

Farewell.

[Exeunt THURIO and Musicians.]

[Enter SILVIA above, at her window.]

PROTEUS.

Madam, good even to your ladyship.

SILVIA.

I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
Who is that that spake?

PROTEUS.

One, lady, if you knew his pure heart's truth,
You would quickly learn to know him by his voice.

SILVIA.

Sir Proteus, as I take it.

PROTEUS.

Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.

SILVIA.

What's your will?

PROTEUS.

That I may compass yours.

SILVIA.

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.

PROTEUS.

I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady;
But she is dead.

JULIA.

[Aside] 'Twere false, if I should speak it;
For I am sure she is not buried.

SILVIA.

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?

PROTEUS.

I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.

SILVIA.

And so suppose am I; for in his grave,
Assure thyself my love is buried.

PROTEUS.

Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.

SILVIA.

Go to thy lady's grave, and call hers thence;
Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine.

JULIA.

[Aside] He heard not that.

PROTEUS.

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.

JULIA.

[Aside] If 'twere a substance, you would, sure, deceive it
And make it but a shadow, as I am.

SILVIA.

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.

PROTEUS.

As wretches have o'ernight
That wait for execution in the morn.

[Exeunt PROTEUS and SILVIA, above.]

JULIA.

Host, will you go?

HOST.

By my halidom, I was fast asleep.

JULIA.

Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?

HOST.

Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think 'tis almost day.

JULIA.

Not so; but it hath been the longest night
That e'er I watch'd, and the most heaviest.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 3. The same.

[Enter EGLAMOUR.]

EGLAMOUR.

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.
Madam, madam!

[Enter SILVIA above, at her window.]

SILVIA.

Who calls?

EGLAMOUR.

Your servant and your friend;
One that attends your ladyship's command.

SILVIA.

Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.

EGLAMOUR.

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.

SILVIA.

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.

EGLAMOUR.

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?

SILVIA.

This evening coming.

EGLAMOUR.

Where shall I meet you?

SILVIA.

At Friar Patrick's cell,
Where I intend holy confession.

EGLAMOUR.

I will not fail your ladyship. Good morrow, gentle lady.

SILVIA.

Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.

[Exeunt severally.]

SCENE 4. The same.

[Enter LAUNCE with his dog.]

LAUNCE.

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.]

PROTEUS.

Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
And will employ thee in some service presently.

JULIA.

In what you please; I'll do what I can.

PROTEUS.

I hope thou wilt.
[To LAUNCE] How now, you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?

LAUNCE.

Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.

PROTEUS.

And what says she to my little jewel?

LAUNCE.

Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish
thanks is good enough for such a present.

PROTEUS.

But she received my dog?

LAUNCE.

No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him back
again.

PROTEUS.

What! didst thou offer her this from me?

LAUNCE.

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
the greater.

PROTEUS.

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!

[Exit LAUNCE.]

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.

JULIA.

It seems you lov'd not her, to leave her token.
She's dead, belike?

PROTEUS.

Not so: I think she lives.

JULIA.

Alas!

PROTEUS.

Why dost thou cry 'Alas'?

JULIA.

I cannot choose
But pity her.

PROTEUS.

Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?

JULIA.

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!'

PROTEUS.

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.

[Exit.]

JULIA.

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.

SILVIA.

What would you with her, if that I be she?

JULIA.

If you be she, I do entreat your patience
To hear me speak the message I am sent on.

SILVIA.

From whom?

JULIA.

From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.

SILVIA.

O! he sends you for a picture?

JULIA.

Ay, madam.

SILVIA.

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.

JULIA.

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.

SILVIA.

I pray thee, let me look on that again.

JULIA.

It may not be: good madam, pardon me.

SILVIA.

There, hold.
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.

JULIA.

Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.

SILVIA.

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.

JULIA.

She thanks you.

SILVIA.

What say'st thou?

JULIA.

I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.

SILVIA.

Dost thou know her?

JULIA.

Almost as well as I do know myself:
To think upon her woes, I do protest
That I have wept a hundred several times.

SILVIA.

Belike she thinks, that Proteus hath forsook her.

JULIA.

I think she doth, and that's her cause of sorrow.

SILVIA.

Is she not passing fair?

JULIA.

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.

SILVIA.

How tall was she?

JULIA.

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!

SILVIA.

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.
Farewell.

JULIA.

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.

[Exit.]

ACT 5.

SCENE I. Milan. An abbey

[Enter EGLAMOUR.]

EGLAMOUR.

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.

[Enter SILVIA.]

Lady, a happy evening!

SILVIA.

Amen, amen! Go on, good Eglamour,
Out at the postern by the abbey wall.
I fear I am attended by some spies.

EGLAMOUR.

Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off;
If we recover that, we are sure enough.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 2. The same. A room in the DUKE'S palace.

[Enter THURIO, PROTEUS, and JULIA.]

THURIO.

Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit?

PROTEUS.

O, sir, I find her milder than she was;
And yet she takes exceptions at your person.

THURIO.

What! that my leg is too long?

PROTEUS.

No; that it is too little.

THURIO.

I'll wear a boot to make it somewhat rounder.

JULIA.

[Aside] But love will not be spurr'd to what it loathes.

THURIO.

What says she to my face?

PROTEUS.

She says it is a fair one.

THURIO.

Nay, then, the wanton lies; my face is black.

PROTEUS.

But pearls are fair; and the old saying is:
'Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.'

JULIA.

[Aside] 'Tis true, such pearls as put out ladies' eyes;
For I had rather wink than look on them.

THURIO.

How likes she my discourse?

PROTEUS.

Ill, when you talk of war.

THURIO.

But well when I discourse of love and peace?

JULIA.

[Aside] But better, indeed, when you hold your peace.

THURIO.

What says she to my valour?

PROTEUS.

O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.

JULIA.

[Aside] She needs not, when she knows it cowardice.

THURIO.

What says she to my birth?

PROTEUS.

That you are well deriv'd.

JULIA.

[Aside] True; from a gentleman to a fool.

THURIO.

Considers she my possessions?

PROTEUS.

O, ay; and pities them.

THURIO.

Wherefore?

JULIA.

[Aside] That such an ass should owe them.

PROTEUS.

That they are out by lease.

JULIA.

Here comes the duke.

[Enter DUKE.]

DUKE.

How now, Sir Proteus! how now, Thurio!
Which of you saw Sir Eglamour of late?

THURIO.

Not I.

PROTEUS.

Nor I.

DUKE.

Saw you my daughter?

PROTEUS.

Neither.

DUKE.

Why then,
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 towards Mantua, whither they are fled.
Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.

[Exit.]

THURIO.

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.

[Exit.]

PROTEUS.

And I will follow, more for Silvia's love
Than hate of Eglamour, that goes with her.

[Exit.]

JULIA.

And I will follow, more to cross that love
Than hate for Silvia, that is gone for love.

[Exit.]

SCENE 3. Frontiers of Mantua. The forest.

[Enter OUTLAWS with SILVA.]

FIRST OUTLAW.

Come, come.
Be patient; we must bring you to our captain.

SILVIA.

A thousand more mischances than this one
Have learn'd me how to brook this patiently.

SECOND OUTLAW.

Come, bring her away.

FIRST OUTLAW.

Where is the gentleman that was with her?

SECOND OUTLAW.

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.]

FIRST OUTLAW.

Come, I must bring you to our captain's cave.
Fear not; he bears an honourable mind,
And will not use a woman lawlessly.

SILVIA.

O Valentine, this I endure for thee!

[Exeunt.]

SCENE 4. Another part of the forest.

[Enter VALENTINE.]

VALENTINE.

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?

[Steps aside.]

[Enter PROTEUS, SILVIA, and JULIA.]

PROTEUS.

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.

SILVIA.

O miserable, unhappy that I am!

PROTEUS.

Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;
But by my coming I have made you happy.

SILVIA.

By thy approach thou mak'st me most unhappy.

JULIA. [Aside] And me, when he approacheth to your presence.

SILVIA.

Had I been seized by a hungry lion,
I would have been a breakfast to the beast,
Rather than have false Proteus rescue me.
O! heaven be judge how I love Valentine,
Whose life's as tender to me as my soul,
And full as much—for more there cannot be—
I do detest false, perjur'd Proteus.
Therefore be gone; solicit me no more.

PROTEUS.

What dangerous action, stood it next to death,
Would I not undergo for one calm look!
O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approv'd,
When women cannot love where they're belov'd!

SILVIA.

When Proteus cannot love where he's belov'd!
Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love,
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith
Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
Descended into perjury, to love me.
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou'dst two,
And that's far worse than none: better have none
Than plural faith, which is too much by one.
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!

PROTEUS.

In love,
Who respects friend?

SILVIA.

All men but Proteus.

PROTEUS.

Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form,
I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end,
And love you 'gainst the nature of love,—force ye.

SILVIA.

O heaven!

PROTEUS.

I'll force thee yield to my desire.

VALENTINE. [Coming forward.]

Ruffian! let go that rude uncivil touch;
Thou friend of an ill fashion!

PROTEUS.

Valentine!

VALENTINE.

Thou common friend, that's without faith or love—
For such is a friend now—treacherous man,
Thou hast beguil'd my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive: thou wouldst disprove me.
Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand
Is perjur'd to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deep'st. O time most curst!
'Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

PROTEUS.

My shame and guilt confounds me.
Forgive me, Valentine; if hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender 't here; I do as truly suffer
As e'er I did commit.

VALENTINE.

Then I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest.
Who by repentance is not satisfied
Is nor of heaven nor earth, for these are pleas'd.
By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeas'd:
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee.

JULIA.

O me unhappy! [Swoons]

PROTEUS.

Look to the boy.

VALENTINE.

Why, boy! why, wag! how now!
What's the matter? Look up; speak.

JULIA.

O good sir, my master charg'd me to deliver a ring to Madam
Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done.

PROTEUS.

Where is that ring, boy?

JULIA.

Here 'tis; this is it. [Gives a ring.]

PROTEUS.

How! let me see. Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.

JULIA.

O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook;
This is the ring you sent to Silvia. [Shows another ring.]

PROTEUS.

But how cam'st thou by this ring?
At my depart I gave this unto Julia.

JULIA.

And Julia herself did give it me;
And Julia herself have brought it hither.

PROTEUS.

How! Julia!

JULIA.

Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
And entertain'd them deeply in her heart:
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
O Proteus! let this habit make thee blush.
Be thou asham'd that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment; if shame live
In a disguise of love.
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes than men their minds.

PROTEUS.

Than men their minds! 'tis true. O heaven! were man
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins:
Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?

VALENTINE.

Come, come, a hand from either.
Let me be blest to make this happy close;
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

PROTEUS.

Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish for ever.

JULIA.

And I mine.

[Enter OUTLAWS, with DUKE and THURIO.]

OUTLAW.

A prize, a prize, a prize!

VALENTINE.

Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Your Grace is welcome to a man disgrac'd,
Banished Valentine.

DUKE.

Sir Valentine!

THURIO.

Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.

VALENTINE.

Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
Come not within the measure of my wrath;
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again,
Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands
Take but possession of her with a touch;
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.

THURIO.

Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
I hold him but a fool that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

DUKE.

The more degenerate and base art thou
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit,
To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv'd her.

VALENTINE.

I thank your Grace; the gift hath made me happy.
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

DUKE.

I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.

VALENTINE.

These banish'd men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endu'd with worthy qualities:
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recall'd from their exile:
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

DUKE.

Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them, and thee;
Dispose of them as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include all jars
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.

VALENTINE.

And, as we walk along, I dare be bold
With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
What think you of this page, my lord?

DUKE.

I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.

VALENTINE.

I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.

DUKE.

What mean you by that saying?

VALENTINE.

Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned.
Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear
The story of your loves discovered:
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

[Exeunt.]

PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.







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