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There is no reason but I shall be blind.
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it. If I can check my erring love, I will ;
At first I did adore a twinkling star, If not, to compass her I'll use my skill. [Exit. But now I worship a celestial sun. SCENE V.-The Same. A Street.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit, that wants resolved will
To learn his wit t' exchange the bad for better.
Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd not welcome. I reckon this always-that a man is with twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. never undone, till he be hang'd; nor never welcome to I cannot leave to love, and yet I do; a place, till some certain shot be paid, and the hostess But there I leave to love, where I should love. say, welcome.
Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose : Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the alehouse If I keep them, I needs must lose myself ; with you presently ; where for one shot of five pence If I lose them, thus find I, by their loss, thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia. how did thy master part with madam Julia ?
I to myself am dearer than a friend, Launce. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they For love is still most precious to itself; parted very fairly in jest.
And Silvia, (witness heaven that made her fair !) Speed. But shall she marry him?
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope. Launce. No.
I will forget that Julia is alive, Speed. How then ? Shall he marry her?
Remembering that my love to her is dead; Launce. No, neither.
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy, Speed. What, are they broken?
Aiming at Silvia, as a sweeter friend. Launce. No, they are both as whole as'a fish. I cannot now prove constant to myself Speed. Why then, how stands the matter with them? Without some treachery used to Valentine.
Launce. Marry, thus : when it stands well with him This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder it stands well with her.
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber window;
Of their disguising, and pretended flight;
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine, Launce. Ay, and what I do too: look thee; I'll but For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter: lean, and my staff understands me.
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding. Launce. Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one. Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift, Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match ? As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift! [Exit.
Launce. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he SCENE VII.-Verona. A Room in Julia's House. say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will,
Enter Julia and LUCETTA. Speed. The conclusion is, then, that it will.
Jul. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me: Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from And, e'en in kind love, I do conjure thee, me, but by a parable.
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.
Launce. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps, master.
Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly; Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover. And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Launce. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus. himself in love, thou wilt go with me to the ale- Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return. house : if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not Jul. O! know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's worth the name of a Christian.
food ? Speed. Why?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in, Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity in By longing for that food so long a time. thee, as to go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go? Didst thou but know the inly touch of love, Speed. At thy service.
[Exeunt. Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow, SCENE VI.—The Same. An Apartment in the
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
Luc. 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.
The current, that with gentle murinur glides, To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn ; Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage; And even that power, which gave me first my oath, But, when his fair course is not hindered, Provokes me to this threefold perjury:
He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stones, Love bad me swear, and love bids me forswear. Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge O sweet-suggesting love! if I have sinn'd,
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays
I fear me, it will make me scandaliz'd. With willing sport to the wide ocean.
Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not. Then, let me go, and hinder not my course.
Jul. Nay, that I will not. I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go. And make a pastime of each weary step,
If Proteus like your journey, when you come, Till the last step have brought me to my love; No matter who's displeas'd, when you are gone. And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal. A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear.
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men. As may beseem some well-reputed page.
Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect; Luc. Why, then your ladyship must cut your hair. But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth :
Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings, His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles; With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots :
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; To be fantastic, may become a youth
His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart; Of greater time than I shall show to be.
His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come to breeches ?
him! Jul. That fits as well, as—"tell me, good my lord, Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that wrong, What compass will you wear your farthingale ?" To bear a hard opinion of his truth : Why, even what fashion thou best lik’st, Lucetta. Only deserve my love by loving him,
Luc. You must needs have them with a codpiece, And presently go with me to my chamber, madam.
To take a note of what I stand in need of, Jul. Out, out, Lucetta! that will be ill-favour'd. To furnish me upon my loving journey.
Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation;
[Exeunt. For undertaking so unstaid a journey?
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,
key whereof myself have ever kept; Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would discover, And thence she cannot be convey'd away. The law of friendship bids me to conceal ;
Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean But, when I call to mind your gracious favours How he her chamber-window will ascend, Done to me, undeserving as I am,
And with a corded ladder fetch her down; My duty pricks nie on to utter that,
For which the youthful lover now is gone, Which else no worldly good should draw from me. And this way comes he with it presently, Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, Where, if it please you, you may intercept him. This night intends to steal away your daughter : But, good my lord, do it so cunningly, Myself am one made privy to the plot.
That my discovery be not aimed at; I know you have determin’d to bestow her
For love of you, not hate unto my friend, On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates; Hath made me publisher of this pretence. And should she thus be stol'n away from you,
Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know It would be much vexation to your age.
That I had any light from thee of this. Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose
Pro. Adieu, my lord: sir Valentine is coming. To cross my friend in his intended drift,
[Exit. Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
Enter VALENTINE, in his cloak.
Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care, That stays to bear my letters to my friends, Which to requite, command me while I live.
And am going to deliver them. This love of theirs myself have often seen,
Duke. Be they of much import? Haply, when they have judg'd me fast asleep,
Val. The tenor of them doth but signify And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid
My health, and happy being at your court. Sir Valentine her company, and my court;
Duke. Nay, then no matter : stay with me awhile. But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
I am to break with thee of some affairs And so unwortbily disgrace the man,
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
'Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought Under a cloak that is of any length. To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter. Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
Val. I know it well, my lord ; and, sure, the match Val. Ay, my good lord. Were rich and honourable: besides, the gentleman Duke.
Then, let me see thy cloak : Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
I'll get me one of such another length. Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter.
Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord. Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?
Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?Duke. No, trust me: she is peevish, sullen, froward, I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
What letter is this same? What's here !_" To Silvia ?" Neither regarding that she is my child,
And here an engine fit for my proceeding! Nor fearing me as if I were her father :
[Ladder and letter fall out. I say to thee, this pride of hers
I'll be so bold to break the seal for once. [Reads. Upon advice hath drawn my love from her ;
“ My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly ; And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
And slaves they are to me, that send them flying : Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, 0! could their master come and go as lightly, I now am full resolv'd to take a wife,
Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying. And turn her out to who will take her in :
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them; Then, let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
While 1, their king, that thither them importune, For me and my possessions she esteems not.
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them, Val. What would your grace have me to do in this ? Because myself do want my servant's fortune. Duke. There is a lady in Milano here,
I curse myself, for they are sent by me, Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,
That they should harbour where their lord should be." And nought esteems my aged eloquence :
What's here? Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor, “Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee :" (For long agone I have forgot to court;
'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.Besides, the fashion of the time is chang'd)
Why, Phaëton, (for thou art Merops' son) How, and which way, I may bestow myself,
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car, To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.
And with thy daring folly burn the world ? Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words. Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee? Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
Go, base intruder; over-weening slave:
Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her. And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Thank me for this, more than for all the favours Send her another; never give her o'er,
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee: For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
But if thou linger in my territories If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
Longer than swiftest expedition But rather to beget more love in you:
Will give thee time to leave our royal court, If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone,
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love For why, the fools are mad, if left alone.
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself. Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
Begone: I will not hear thy vain excuse ; For “get you gone,” she doth not mean, “away." But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence. Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces ;
[Exit Duke. Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces. Val. And why not death, rather than living torment? That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, To die is to be banish'd from myself, If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her, Duke. But she I mean is promis'd by her friends Is self from self; a deadly banishment. Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen? And kept severely from resort of men,
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by ?
Unless it be, to think that she is by,
Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept safe, Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale ; Val. What lets, but one may enter at her window? Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground, There is no day for me to look upon.
If I be not by her fair influence
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom :
Tarry I here, I but attend on death ; So bold Leander would adventure it.
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life. Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Enter Proteus and LAUNCE. Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
Pro. Run, boy; run, run, and seek him out.
Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. head, but 'tis a Valentine.
the wit to think, my master is a kind of a knave; but Pro. What then?
that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not Val. Nothing.
now, that knows me to be in love: yet I am in love; Launce. Can nothing speak ? master, shall I strike? but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me, nor Pro. Whom wouldst thou strike ?
who 'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman: but what Launce. Nothing
woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkPro. Villain, forbear.
maid; yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips : Launce. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing : I pray you,- yet ’tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear.-Friend Valentine, a for wages. She hath more qualities than a waterword.
spaniel, which is much in a bare Christian. Here is Val. Myears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good news, the cat-log (pulling out a paper] of her conditions. So much of bad already hath possess'd them.
Imprimis, “She can fetch and carry.” Why, a horse Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine, can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.
carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, Val. Is Silvia dead?
“She can milk;" look you, a sweet virtue in a maid Pro. No, Valentine.
with clean hands. Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia !
Enter Speed. Hath she forsworn me?
Speed. How now, signior Launce? what news with Pro. No, Valentine.
your mastership? Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!- Launce. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea, What is your news?
Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word. Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are What news, then, in your paper? vanish'd.
Launce. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st. Pro. That thou art banish'd: 0! that is the news, Speed. Why, man, how black? From hence, from Silvia, and from me, thy friend. Launce. Why, as black as ink. Val. O! I have fed upon this woe already,
Speed. Let me read them. And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Launce. Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not read. Doth Silvia know that I am banished ?
Speed. Thou liest, I can. Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, Launce. I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee? (Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force)
Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather. A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears :
Launce. O, illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd, grandmother. This proves that thou canst not read. With them, upon her knees, her humble self;
Speed. Come, fool, come : try me in thy paper. Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them, Launce. There, and saint Nicholas be thy speed ! As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
Speed. Imprimis, “She can milk.”
Launce. Ay, that she can.
Launce. And thereof comes the proverb, — Blessing But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die.
of your heart, you brew good ale. Besides, her intercession chaf”d him so,
Speed. Item, “She can sew." When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
LO ce. That's as much as to say, Can she so? That to close prison he commanded her,
Speed. Item, “She can knit." With many bitter threats of 'biding there.
Launce. What need a man care for a stock with a Val. No more; unless the next word that thou wench, when she can knit him a stock? speak'st
Speed. Item, “She can wash and scour.” Have some malignant power upon my life :
Launce. A special virtue; for then she need not be If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,
wash'd and scour'd. As ending anthem of my endless dolour.
Speed. Item, “She can spin." Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, Launce. Then may I set the world on wheels, when And study help for that which thou lamentest. she can spin for her living. Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
Speed. Item, “She hath many nameless virtues." Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues ; Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that,
have no names. And manage it against despairing thoughts.
Speed. Here follow her vices.
Speed. Item, “She is not to be kissed fasting, in Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
respect of her breath." The time now serves not to expostulate :
Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate,
breakfast. Read on. And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
Speed. Item, “She hath a sweet mouth." Of all that may concern thy love affairs.
Launce. That makes amends for her sour breath. As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself,
Speed. Item, “She doth talk in her sleep." Regard thy danger, and along with me.
Launce. It's no matter for that, so she slip not in Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy, her talk. Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north-gate. Speed. Item, “She is slow in words."
Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. Launce. O villain ! that set this down among her Val. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine ! vices? To be slow in words is a woman's only virtue :
[Exeunt Valentine and Proteus. I pray thee, out with’t, and place it for her chief virtue. Launce. I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have Speed. Item, “She is proud."
Launce. Out with that too: it was Eve's legacy, Makes me the better to confer with thee. and cannot be ta'en from her.
Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace, Speed. Item, “She hath no teeth."
Let me not live to look upon your grace. Launce. I care not for that neither, because I love Duke. Thou know'st how willingly I would effect crusts.
The match between sir Thurio and my daughter. Speed. Item, “She is curst.”
Pro. I do, my lord. Launce. Well; the best is, she bath no teeth to bite. Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant Speed. Item, “She will often praise her liquor." How she opposes her against my will.
Launce. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here. not, I will; for good things should be praised.
Duke. Ay, and perversely she persevers so. Speed. Item, “ She is too liberal.”
What might we do to make the girl forget Launce. Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ The love of Valentine, and love sir Thurio? down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not, for Pro. The best way is, to slander Valentine that I'll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, and with falsehood, cowardice, and
descent; that cannot I help. Well, proceed.
Three things that women highly hold in hate. Speed. Item, “She hath more hair than wit, and Duke. Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate. more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults." Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it :
Launce. Stop there; I'll have her : she was mine, Therefore, it must, with circumstance, be spoken and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article. By one whom she esteemeth as his friend. Rehearse that once more.
Duke. Then, you must undertake to slander him. Speed. Item, "She hath more hair than wit," Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do:
Launce. More hair than wit,-it may be; I'll prove 'Tis an ill office for a gentleman, it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore Especially, against his very friend. it is more than the salt: the hair, that covers the wit, Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage him, is more than the wit, for the greater hides the less. Your slander never can endamage him : What's next?
Therefore, the office is indifferent, Speed. -“And more faults than hairs,"
Being entreated to it by your
friend. Launce. That's monstrous: 0, that that were out! Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord. If I can do it, Speed. -“And more wealth than faults."
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise, Launce. Why, that word makes the faults gracious. She shall not long continue love to him. Well, I'll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing But say, this wean her love from Valentine, is impossible,
It follows not that she will love sir Thurio. Speed. What then?
Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him, Launce. Why, then will I tell thee,--that thy master Lest it should ravel and be good to none, stays for thee at the north-gate.
You must provide to bottom it on me; Speed. For me?
Which must be done, by praising me as much Launce. For thee? ay; who art thou ? he hath As you in worth dispraise sir Valentine. stay'd for a better man than thee.
Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind, Speed. And must I go to him?
Because we know, on Valentine's report, Launce. Thou must run to him, for thou hast stay'd You are already love's firm votary, so long, that going will scarce serve the turn.
And cannot soon revolt, and change your
mind. Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? pox of your Upon this warrant shall you
have access love letters !
[Exit, running. Where you with Silvia may confer at large; Launce. Now will he be swing'd for reading my For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy, letter. An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself And for your friend's sake will be glad of
you, into secrets.—I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correc- When you may temper her, by your persuasion, tion.
[Exit. To hate young Valentine, and love my friend. SCENE II.— The Same. An Apartment in the
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 rhymes
Duke. Ay, much is the force of heaven-bred poesy. Thu. Since his exile she hath despis'd me most; Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me,
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart. That I am desperate of obtaining her.
Write, till your ink be dry, and with your tears Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure Moist it again; and frame some feeling line, Trenched in ice, which with an hour's heat
That may discover strict integrity : Dissolves to water, and doth lose his form.
For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews, A little time will melt her frozen thoughts,
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones, And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
Visit by night your lady's chamber window
With some sweet consort: to their instruments Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously. Tune a deploring dump; the night's dead silence Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief. Will well become such sweet complaining grievance.
Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so. This, or else nothing, will inherit her. Proteus, the good conceit 1 hold of thee,
Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in love. (For thou hast shown sure sign of good desert)
Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice.