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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.


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,
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.

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. What lets but one may enter at her window?
Duke. Herchamber is aloft, far from the ground,
And built so shelving that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life.

Val. Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords,
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower,
So bold Leander would adventure it.


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.

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I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
That they should harbour where their lord would 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! overweening 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.
Begone! I will not hear thy vain excuse;
But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.

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 is deadly doom :
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.


Val. And why not death rather than living torment?



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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,
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 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?

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From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
Val. O! I have fed upon this woe already,
And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Doth Silvia know that I am banished?

Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom-
Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force-
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears:
Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd;
With them, upon her knees, her humble self;
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became


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.

Val. No more; unless the next word that thou

Have some malignant power upon my life:
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,
As ending anthem of my endless dolour.


Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not

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. 250
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!

Enter SPEED.


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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.
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 | 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.
Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.
Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.

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. That's monstrous! O! that that were

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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.


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Enter DUKE and THURIO; PROTEUS behind.
Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will

love you,

Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
Thu. 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, with which 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.

For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,
Makes me the better to confer with thee.

Pro. 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

The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.
Pro. I do, my lord.

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.
Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was

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


Pro. 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.
Pro. 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.
Pro. 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 advan
tage him,

Your slander never can endamage him:
Therefore the office is indifferent,
Being entreated to it by your friend.


Pro. 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.
Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from

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.
Pro. 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 rimes
Should be full-fraught with serviceable vows. 70
Duke. Ay,

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,
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 concert: to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump; the night's dead silence
Will well become such sweet - complaining

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!

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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
Thrust from the company of awful men:

Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after Myself was from Verona banished

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


Third Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about you;

If not, we'll make you sit and rifle you.

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For practising to steal away a lady,
An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
Second Out. And I from Mantua, for a gentle-

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Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you.
Are you content to be our general?

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.


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We'll do thee homage and be rul'd by thee,
Love thee as our commander and our king.

First Out. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest.

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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.
First Out. What! were you banish'd thence?
Val. I was.

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;
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 10
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

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, but I do; or else I would be hence.
Thu. Who? Silvia ?

Ay, Silvia, for your sake.
Thu. I thank you for your own. Now, gentle-

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Pro. Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
Sil. What is your will?

That I may compass yours.
Sil. You have your wish; my will is even this:
Music plays. 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,

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.



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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, 100
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.
Pro. I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady;
But she is dead.

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
To wrong him with thy importunacy?
Pro. I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
Sil. And so suppose am I; for in his grave
Assure thyself my love is buried.


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 :

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