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We have some secrets to confer about.
[Exit Thurio. Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me? Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would dis
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 Valenti
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 stolen 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 judged me fast asleep;
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid
Sir Valentine her company, and my court:
But, fearing lest my jealous aim1 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 may'st perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,2
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept;
And thence she cannot be convey'd away.
Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a
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 aimed1 at;
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.2
Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know That I had any light from thee of this.
Pro. Adieu, my lord; sir Valentine is coming. [Exit.
Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast? Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger That stays to bear my letters to my friends, And I am going to deliver them.
Duke. Be they of much import?
Val. The tenor of them doth but signify My health, and happy being at your court.
Duke. Nay, then no matter; stay with me awhile;
I am to break with thee of some affairs,
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 'Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter.
Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the
Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentle
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 child-like duty,
I now am full resolved 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.
Val. What would your grace have me to do in
Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan, 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.
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
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
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. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground; And built so shelving that one cannot climb it Without apparent hazard of his life.
Val. Why then, a ladder, quaintly made of
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
Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for every thing that he can come by.
Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. Duke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone; How shall I best convey the ladder thither?
Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may
Under a cloak, that is of any length.
Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the
turn? Val. Ay, my good lord.
Then let me see thy cloak:
Duke. I'll get me one of such another length. Val. 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. 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. [reads.
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
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 bless'd them,
Because myself do want my servants' fortune: I curse myself, for they are sent by me, That they should harbour where their lord should
Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee:
'Tis so and here's the ladder for the purpose.-
Why, Phaeton (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,