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For long agone I have forgot to court;
Val. 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. Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her.
Send her another; never give her o'er,
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.
Val. 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.
Val. Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords,
Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me where I may have such a ladder. Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
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! overweening slave!
To die is to be banish'd from myself;
Val. And why not death rather than living torment?
Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia! Hath she forsworn me?
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!
maid, for she hath had gossips; yet 'tis a maid,
Here is the cate-log of her conditions. Imprimis, 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, Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid are vanished. with clean hands.
What is your news?
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom-
As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
Val. No more; unless the next word that thou
Have some malignant power upon my life:
Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not
And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues. Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers,
Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my and therefore have no names. boy,
Bid him make haste and meet me at the North
Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. Val. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine! Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS. Launce. I am but a fool, look you, and yet 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
Speed. Here follow her vices.
Launce. Close at the heels of her virtues. Speed. Item, She is not to be kissed fusting, in respect of her breath,
Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on.
Speed. Item, She hath a sweet mouth.
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 | How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman it for her chief virtue. According to our proclamation gone? Pro. Gone, my good lord.
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.
Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously.
Launce. I care not for that neither, because I Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee, lore crusts.
Speed. Item, She is curst.
Launce. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
349 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. 363 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. For thee! ay; who art thou? he hath stayed 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 swinged for reading my letter. An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets. I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.
Enter DUKE and THURIO; PROTEUS behind.
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,
Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace
Duke. Thou know'st how willingly I would
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.
Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
Duke. Ay, and perversely she perseveres so.
Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine
Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him.
Duke. Where your good word cannot advan
Your slander never can endamage him:
Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord. If I can
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind,
Because we know, on Valentine's report,
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.
Pro. Say that upon the altar of her beauty 10 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,
This, or else nothing, will inherit her.
Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in love.
Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice.
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, 90 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!
Second Out. Tell us this: have you any thing to take to?
Val. Nothing but my fortune.
Third Out. Know then, that some of us are gentlemen,
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after Myself was from Verona banished
Second Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.
Third Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about you;
If not, we'll make you sit and rifle you.
For practising to steal away a lady,
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you.
Speed. Sir, we are undone; these are the To make a virtue of necessity
That all the travellers do fear so much.
Val. My friends,—
And live, as we do, in this wilderness?
Third Out. What say'st thou? wilt thou be of our consort?
First Out. That's not so, sir: we are your Say 'ay,' and be the captain of us all. enemies.
Second Out. Peace! we'll hear him.
We'll do thee homage and be rul'd by thee,
First Out. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest.
Second Out. Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offer'd.
Val. I take your offer and will live with you, Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women or poor passengers.
Third Out. No; we detest such vile, base practices.
20 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.
Third Out. Have you long sojourned there! Val. Some sixteen months; and longer might have stay'd,
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
Second Out. For what offence?
Val. For that which now torments me to rehearse.
I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent;
SCENE II.-Milan. The Court of the DUKE'S Palace.
Pro. 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;
And give some evening music to her ear.
Enter THURIO, and Musicians.
Thu. How now, Sir Proteus! are you crept before us?
Pro. Ay, gentle Thurio; for you know that love Will creep in service where it cannot go.
Thu. Ay; but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
Pro. Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
That I may compass yours.
Host. Ay; but peace! let's hear 'em.
Who is Silvia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.
Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness:
Love doth to her eyes repair,
To help him of his blindness;
And, being help'd, inhabits there,
Then to Silvia let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling; To her let us garlands bring.
That hast deceiv'd so many with thy vows?
For me, by this pale queen of night I swear, 100
That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit,
Jul. Aside. Twere false, if I should speak it; For I am sure she is not buried.
Sil. Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend Survives; to whom, thyself art witness,
I am betroth'd; and art thou not asham'd
Pro. Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth. Sil. Go to thy lady's grave and call hers thence; Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine. Jul. Aside. He heard not that.
Pro. Madam, if your heart be so obdurate, 120 Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love, The picture that is hanging in your chamber :