List iconThe Two Gentlemen of VeronaList icon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Entire Play

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona tells the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus. Valentine leaves their home city of…

Act 1, scene 1

Valentine, preparing to leave for Milan, says farewell to Proteus, who stays in Verona to be near Julia. Valentine’s servant,…

Act 1, scene 2

Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.

Act 1, scene 3

Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who…

Act 2, scene 1

Valentine learns (with Speed’s help) that the letter Sylvia had him write conveying her love to an admirer was intended…

Act 2, scene 2

Proteus takes his leave of Julia, promising to be faithful and sealing their love with a kind of “handfasting” or…

Act 2, scene 3

Lance grieves that he must part from his family to travel with Proteus, and he chastises his dog, Crab, for…

Act 2, scene 4

Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 5

Lance describes for Speed the tender parting of Proteus from Julia and hears about Valentine’s love for Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 6

Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for…

Act 2, scene 7

Julia decides to follow Proteus to Milan and asks Lucetta to help her disguise herself as a page.

Act 3, scene 1

Proteus betrays Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father, who banishes Valentine. Proteus pretends to grieve with Valentine and, telling him…

Act 3, scene 2

The Duke enlists Proteus’ aid in making Sylvia fall in love with Thurio. Proteus offers to slander Valentine and to…

Act 4, scene 1

Valentine and Speed are captured by outlaws. Valentine agrees to become their captain.

Act 4, scene 2

Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to…

Act 4, scene 3

Sylvia, determined to escape the pursuit of Thurio and Proteus, persuades Sir Eglamour to accompany her that evening on a…

Act 4, scene 4

Proteus learns to his horror that Lance has tried to present Crab to Sylvia as a gift. Proteus then sends…

Act 5, scene 1

Sylvia and Sir Eglamour set out on their journey.

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke informs Proteus and Thurio of Sylvia’s flight. They each decide to follow her.

Act 5, scene 3

Sylvia is captured by the outlaws, while Sir Eglamour flees.

Act 5, scene 4

As Valentine watches from hiding, Sylvia is brought in by Proteus, who has taken her from the outlaws. Proteus pleads…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
ACT 1
Scene 1
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 honored love,
5 I rather would entreat thy company
 To see the wonders of the world abroad
 Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
 Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
 But since thou lov’st, love still and thrive therein,
10 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
15 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 beadsman, Valentine.
VALENTINE 
 And on a love-book pray for my success?
PROTEUS 
20 Upon some book I love I’ll pray for thee.
7

9
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 1

VALENTINE 
 That’s on some shallow story of deep love,
 How young Leander crossed the Hellespont.
PROTEUS 
 That’s a deep story of a deeper love,
 For he was more than over shoes in love.
VALENTINE 
25 ’Tis true, for you are over boots in love,
 And yet you never swam 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 
30 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;
35 If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
 How ever, but a folly bought with wit,
 Or else a wit by folly vanquishèd.
PROTEUS 
 So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
VALENTINE 
 So, by your circumstance, I fear you’ll prove.
PROTEUS 
40 ’Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.
VALENTINE 
 Love is your master, for he masters you;
 And he that is so yokèd by a fool
 Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.
PROTEUS 
 Yet writers say: as in the sweetest bud

11
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 1

45 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
50 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 thee
 That art a votary to fond desire?
55 Once more adieu. My father at the road
 Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.
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
60 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.He exits.
PROTEUS 
65 He after honor 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 metamorphosed me,
 Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
70 War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
 Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter Speed.


13
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 1

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 shipped already,
75 And I have played the sheep in losing him.
PROTEUS 
 Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
 An if the shepherd be awhile away.
SPEED You conclude that my master is a shepherd,
 then, and I a sheep?
PROTEUS 80I 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 85True, 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
90 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 95Such another proof will make me cry “baa.”
PROTEUS But dost thou hear? Gav’st 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
100 lost mutton, nothing for my labor.
PROTEUS Here’s too small a pasture for such store of
 muttons.

15
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 1

SPEED If the ground be overcharged, you were best
 stick her.
PROTEUS 105Nay, 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 
110 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, nodding Ay.
PROTEUS 115Nod—“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,
120 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
125 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 130Open your purse, that the money and the matter
 may be both at once delivered.
PROTEUS, giving money Well, sir, here is for your
 pains. What said she?
SPEED, looking at the money Truly, sir, I think you’ll
135 hardly win her.
PROTEUS Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from
 her?

17
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

SPEED Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her, no,
 not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter.
140 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 145No, 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 
150 Go, go, begone, to save your ship from wrack,
 Which cannot perish having thee aboard,
 Being destined to a drier death on shore.
Speed exits.
 I must go send some better messenger.
 I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
155 Receiving them from such a worthless post.
He exits.


Scene 2
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
5 That every day with parle encounter me,
 In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

19
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

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 
10 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 
15 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 
20 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 
25 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.

21
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

LUCETTA 
 Yet he of all the rest I think best loves you.
JULIA 
 His little speaking shows his love but small.
LUCETTA 
30 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, handing her a paper Peruse this paper,
35 madam.
JULIA reads “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
40 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 harbor wanton lines?
45 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 returned,
 Or else return no more into my sight.
LUCETTA, taking the paper 
50 To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
JULIA 
 Will you be gone?
LUCETTA  That you may ruminate.She exits.
JULIA 
 And yet I would I had o’erlooked the letter.

23
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

 It were a shame to call her back again
55 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”!
60 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!
65 How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
 When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
 My penance is to call Lucetta back
 And ask remission for my folly past.—
 What ho, Lucetta!

Enter Lucetta.

LUCETTA 70 What would your Ladyship?
JULIA 
 Is ’t near dinner time?
LUCETTA  I would it were,
 That you might kill your stomach on your meat
 And not upon your maid.
She drops a paper and then retrieves it.
JULIA 
75 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 80Nothing concerning me.
JULIA 
 Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

25
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

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 rhyme.
LUCETTA 
85 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 
90 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, taking the paper 
 Let’s see your song. How now, minion!
LUCETTA 
95 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, ’tis too sharp.
JULIA You, minion, are too saucy.
LUCETTA 100Nay, 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 drowned with your unruly bass.
LUCETTA 
 Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

27
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

JULIA 
105 This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
 Here is a coil with protestation.
She rips up the paper. Lucetta begins
to pick up the pieces.

 Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie.
 You would be fing’ring them to anger me.
LUCETTA 
 She makes it strange, but she would be best pleased
110 To be so angered with another letter.She exits.
JULIA 
 Nay, would I were so angered 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!
115 I’ll kiss each several paper for amends.
She picks up some pieces.
 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.
120 And here is writ “love-wounded Proteus.”
 Poor wounded name, my bosom as a bed
 Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly healed,
 And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
 But twice or thrice was “Proteus” written down.
125 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.
130 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.

29
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

135 Thus will I fold them one upon another.
 Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Enter Lucetta.

LUCETTA 
 Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays.
JULIA Well, let us go.
LUCETTA 
 What, shall these papers lie like telltales here?
JULIA 
140 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.
She picks up the rest of the pieces.
JULIA 
 I see you have a month’s mind to them.
LUCETTA 
 Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
145 I see things too, although you judge I wink.
JULIA Come, come, will ’t please you go?
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Antonio and Pantino.

ANTONIO 
 Tell me, Pantino, what sad talk was that
 Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
PANTINO 
 ’Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
ANTONIO 
 Why, what of him?
PANTINO 5 He wondered that your Lordship
 Would suffer him to spend his youth at home

31
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

 While other men, of slender reputation,
 Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
 Some to the wars to try their fortune there,
10 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
15 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.
20 I have considered well his loss of time
 And how he cannot be a perfect man,
 Not being tried and tutored in the world.
 Experience is by industry achieved
 And perfected by the swift course of time.
25 Then tell me whither were I best to send him.
PANTINO 
 I think your Lordship is not ignorant
 How his companion, youthful Valentine,
 Attends the Emperor in his royal court.
ANTONIO I know it well.
PANTINO 
30 ’Twere good, I think, your Lordship sent him thither.
 There shall he practice tilts and tournaments,
 Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
 And be in eye of every exercise
 Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
ANTONIO 
35 I like thy counsel. Well hast thou advised,
 And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
 The execution of it shall make known.

33
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Even with the speediest expedition
 I will dispatch him to the Emperor’s court.
PANTINO 
40 Tomorrow, 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.

Enter Proteus reading.

45 And in good time! Now will we break with him.
PROTEUS, to himself 
 Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life!
 Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
 Here is her oath for love, her honor’s pawn.
 O, that our fathers would applaud our loves
50 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,
55 Delivered 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 beloved
 And daily gracèd by the Emperor,
60 Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
ANTONIO 
 And how stand you affected to his wish?

35
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

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.
65 Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed,
 For what I will, I will, and there an end.
 I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time
 With Valentinus in the Emperor’s court.
 What maintenance he from his friends receives,
70 Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
 Tomorrow 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 
75 Look what thou want’st shall be sent after thee.
 No more of stay. Tomorrow thou must go.—
 Come on, Pantino; you shall be employed
 To hasten on his expedition.
Antonio and Pantino exit.
PROTEUS 
 Thus have I shunned the fire for fear of burning
80 And drenched me in the sea, where I am drowned.
 I feared 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.
85 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 and by a cloud takes all away.

Enter Pantino.


37
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

PANTINO 
 Sir Proteus, your father calls for you.
90 He is in haste. Therefore, I pray you, go.
PROTEUS 
 Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto.
 Aside. And yet a thousand times it answers “no.”
They exit.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter Valentine and Speed, carrying a glove.

SPEED 
 Sir, your 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.
5 Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
 Ah, Sylvia, Sylvia!
SPEED, calling Madam Sylvia! Madam Sylvia!
VALENTINE How now, sirrah?
SPEED She is not within hearing, sir.
VALENTINE 10Why, 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
15 Sylvia?
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 wreathe your arms like
20 a malcontent; to relish a love song like a robin
 redbreast; to walk alone like one that had the
41

43
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

 pestilence; to sigh like a schoolboy that had lost his
 ABC; to weep like a young wench that had buried
 her grandam; to fast like one that takes diet; to
25 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
30 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 you.
VALENTINE 35Without 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
40 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
 Sylvia?
SPEED She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?
VALENTINE 45Hast 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-favored, sir?
VALENTINE 50Not so fair, boy, as well-favored.
SPEED Sir, I know that well enough.
VALENTINE What dost thou know?
SPEED That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favored.
VALENTINE I mean that her beauty is exquisite but her
55 favor infinite.

45
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

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
60 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 65Ever 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 70Because 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 75Your 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
80 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 85I 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 90I have.

47
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

SPEED Are they not lamely writ?
VALENTINE No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
 Peace, here she comes.

Enter Sylvia.

SPEED, aside O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
95 Now will he interpret to her.
VALENTINE Madam and mistress, a thousand
 good-morrows.
SPEED, aside O, give ye good ev’n! Here’s a million of
 manners.
SYLVIA 100Sir Valentine, and servant, to you two
 thousand.
SPEED, aside He should give her interest, and she
 gives it him.
VALENTINE 
 As you enjoined me, I have writ your letter
105 Unto the secret, nameless friend of yours,
 Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
 But for my duty to your Ladyship.
He gives her a paper.
SYLVIA 
 I thank you, gentle servant, ’tis very clerkly done.
VALENTINE 
 Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off,
110 For, being ignorant to whom it goes,
 I writ at random, very doubtfully.
SYLVIA 
 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,
115 And yet—
SYLVIA 
 A pretty period. Well, I guess the sequel;
 And yet I will not name it And yet I care not.

49
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

 And yet take this again.She holds out the paper.
 And yet I thank you,
120 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?
SYLVIA 
 Yes, yes, the lines are very quaintly writ,
 But, since unwillingly, take them again.
125 Nay, take them.She again offers him the paper.
VALENTINE  Madam, they are for you.
SYLVIA 
 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, taking the paper 
130 Please you, I’ll write your Ladyship another.
SYLVIA 
 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?
SYLVIA 
 Why, if it please you, take it for your labor.
135 And so good-morrow, servant.Sylvia exits.
SPEED, aside 
 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
140 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?

51
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

VALENTINE 145How now, sir? What, are you reasoning
 with yourself?
SPEED Nay, I was rhyming. ’Tis you that have the
 reason.
VALENTINE To do what?
SPEED 150To be a spokesman from Madam Sylvia.
VALENTINE To whom?
SPEED To yourself. Why, she woos you by a figure.
VALENTINE What figure?
SPEED By a letter, I should say.
VALENTINE 155Why, 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
160 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
165 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,
170 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
175 muse you, sir? ’Tis dinnertime.
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

53
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 2

 my victuals and would fain have meat. O, be not like
180 your mistress! Be moved, be moved.
They exit.


Scene 2
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.
5 Keep this remembrance for thy Julia’s sake.
She gives him a ring.
PROTEUS, giving her a ring 
 Why, then we’ll make exchange. Here, take you this.
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
10 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;
15 That tide will stay me longer than I should.
 Julia, farewell.Julia exits.
 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 Pantino.

PANTINO 20Sir Proteus, you are stayed for.

55
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 3

PROTEUS Go. I come, I come.
 Aside. Alas, this parting strikes poor lovers dumb.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Lance, weeping, with his dog, Crab.

LANCE Nay,’twill be this hour ere I have done weeping.
 All the kind of the Lances 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
5 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
10 is a stone, a very pibble 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. He takes off his
 shoes. 
15This 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
20 ’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:
25 “Father, your blessing.” Now should not the shoe
 speak a word for weeping. Now should I kiss my
 father. He kisses one shoe. Well, he weeps on. Now

57
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 3

 come I to my mother. O, that she could speak now
 like a wold woman! Well, I kiss her. He kisses the
 other shoe. 
30Why, 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 Pantino.

PANTINO 35Lance, 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.
LANCE It is no matter if the tied were lost, for it is the
40 unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
PANTINO What’s the unkindest tide?
LANCE Why, he that’s tied here, Crab my dog.
PANTINO Tut, man. I mean thou ’lt lose the flood and, in
 losing the flood, lose thy voyage and, in losing thy
45 voyage, lose thy master and, in losing thy master,
 lose thy service and, in losing thy service—Lance
 covers Pantino’s mouth. 
Why dost thou stop my
 mouth?
LANCE For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue.
PANTINO 50Where should I lose my tongue?
LANCE In thy tale.
PANTINO In thy tail!
LANCE Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master,
 and the service, and the tied. Why, man, if the river
55 were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the
 wind were down, I could drive the boat with my
 sighs.
PANTINO Come. Come away, man. I was sent to call
 thee.
LANCE 60Sir, call me what thou dar’st.

59
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

PANTINO Wilt thou go?
LANCE Well, I will go.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter Valentine, Sylvia, Thurio, and Speed.

SYLVIA Servant!
VALENTINE Mistress?
SPEED Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.
VALENTINE Ay, boy, it’s for love.
SPEED 5Not of you.
VALENTINE Of my mistress, then.
SPEED ’Twere good you knocked him.
SYLVIA, to Valentine Servant, you are sad.
VALENTINE Indeed, madam, I seem so.
THURIO 10Seem 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 15Wise.
THURIO What instance of the contrary?
VALENTINE Your folly.
THURIO And how quote you my folly?
VALENTINE I quote it in your jerkin.
THURIO 20My “jerkin” is a doublet.
VALENTINE Well, then, I’ll double your folly.
THURIO How!
SYLVIA What, angry, Sir Thurio? Do you change color?
VALENTINE Give him leave, madam. He is a kind of
25 chameleon.
THURIO That hath more mind to feed on your blood
 than live in your air.

61
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

VALENTINE You have said, sir.
THURIO Ay, sir, and done too for this time.
VALENTINE 30I know it well, sir. You always end ere you
 begin.
SYLVIA A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly
 shot off.
VALENTINE ’Tis indeed, madam. We thank the giver.
SYLVIA 35Who 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 40Sir, 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
45 they live by your bare words.
SYLVIA 
 No more, gentlemen, no more. Here comes my
 father.

Enter Duke.

DUKE 
 Now, daughter Sylvia, you are hard beset.—
 Sir Valentine, your father is in good health.
50 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 you Don Antonio, your countryman?
VALENTINE 
55 Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
 To be of worth and worthy estimation,
 And not without desert so well reputed.

63
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

DUKE Hath he not a son?
VALENTINE 
 Ay, my good lord, a son that well deserves
60 The honor and regard of such a father.
DUKE You know him well?
VALENTINE 
 I knew him as myself, for from our infancy
 We have conversed and spent our hours together,
 And though myself have been an idle truant,
65 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;
70 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 
75 Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good,
 He is as worthy for an empress’ love,
 As meet to be an emperor’s counselor.
 Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me
 With commendation from great potentates,
80 And here he means to spend his time awhile.
 I think ’tis no unwelcome news to you.
VALENTINE 
 Should I have wished a thing, it had been he.
DUKE 
 Welcome him then according to his worth.
 Sylvia, I speak to you—and you, Sir Thurio.
85 For Valentine, I need not cite him to it.
 I will send him hither to you presently.Duke exits.
VALENTINE 
 This is the gentleman I told your Ladyship

65
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

 Had come along with me but that his mistress
 Did hold his eyes locked in her crystal looks.
SYLVIA 
90 Belike that now she hath enfranchised them
 Upon some other pawn for fealty.
VALENTINE 
 Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.
SYLVIA 
 Nay, then, he should be blind, and being blind
 How could he see his way to seek out you?
VALENTINE 
95 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.
SYLVIA 
 Have done, have done. Here comes the gentleman.

Enter Proteus.

VALENTINE 
100 Welcome, dear Proteus.—Mistress, I beseech you
 Confirm his welcome with some special favor.
SYLVIA 
 His worth is warrant for his welcome hither,
 If this be he you oft have wished to hear from.
VALENTINE 
 Mistress, it is. Sweet lady, entertain him
105 To be my fellow-servant to your Ladyship.
SYLVIA 
 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.

67
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

VALENTINE 
 Leave off discourse of disability.
110 Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
PROTEUS 
 My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
SYLVIA 
 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.
SYLVIA 115That you are welcome?
PROTEUS That you are worthless.

Enter Servant.

SERVANT 
 Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.
SYLVIA 
 I wait upon his pleasure. Servant exits. Come, Sir
 Thurio,
120 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.
Sylvia and Thurio exit.
VALENTINE 
 Now tell me, how do all from whence you came?
PROTEUS 
125 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?

69
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

PROTEUS 
130 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 altered now.
 I have done penance for contemning Love,
 Whose high imperious thoughts have punished me
135 With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
 With nightly tears, and daily heartsore sighs,
 For in revenge of my contempt of love,
 Love hath chased sleep from my enthrallèd eyes
 And made them watchers of mine own heart’s
140 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.
145 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 
150 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 
155 When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
 And I must minister the like to you.

71
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

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 
160 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:
165 She shall be dignified with this high honor—
 To bear my lady’s train, lest the base earth
 Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
 And, of so great a favor growing proud,
 Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
170 And make rough winter everlastingly.
PROTEUS 
 Why, Valentine, what braggartism is this?
VALENTINE 
 Pardon me, Proteus, all I can is nothing
 To her whose worth makes other worthies
 nothing.
175 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,
180 The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
 Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
 Because thou seest me dote upon my love.
 My foolish rival, that her father likes
 Only for his possessions are so huge,

73
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 4

185 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 betrothed; nay more, our marriage
 hour,
190 With all the cunning manner of our flight
 Determined 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,
195 In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.
PROTEUS 
 Go on before. I shall inquire you forth.
 I must unto the road to disembark
 Some necessaries that I needs must use,
 And then I’ll presently attend you.
VALENTINE 200Will you make haste?
PROTEUS I will.Valentine and Speed exit.
 Even as one heat another heat expels,
 Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
 So the remembrance of my former love
205 Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
 Is it mine eye, or Valentine’s 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—
210 That I did love, for now my love is thawed,
 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.
215 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?

75
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 5

 ’Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
220 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.
He exits.


Scene 5
Enter Speed and Lance, with his dog, Crab.

SPEED Lance, by mine honesty, welcome to Padua.
LANCE 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
5 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,
10 how did thy master part with Madam Julia?
LANCE Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted
 very fairly in jest.
SPEED But shall she marry him?
LANCE No.
SPEED 15How then? Shall he marry her?
LANCE No, neither.
SPEED What, are they broken?
LANCE No, they are both as whole as a fish.
SPEED Why then, how stands the matter with them?
LANCE 20Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it
 stands well with her.
SPEED What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.
LANCE What a block art thou that thou canst not! My
 staff understands me.

77
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 6

SPEED 25What thou sayst?
LANCE Ay, and what I do too. Look thee, I’ll but lean,
 and my staff understands me.
SPEED It stands under thee indeed.
LANCE Why, “stand under” and “understand” is all
30 one.
SPEED But tell me true, will ’t be a match?
LANCE 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 35The conclusion is, then, that it will.
LANCE Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but
 by a parable.
SPEED ’Tis well that I get it so. But, Lance, how sayst
 thou that my master is become a notable lover?
LANCE 40I never knew him otherwise.
SPEED Than how?
LANCE A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
SPEED Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistak’st me.
LANCE Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
SPEED 45I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
LANCE 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 50Why?
LANCE 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.
They exit.


Scene 6
Enter Proteus alone.

PROTEUS 
 To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn.
 To love fair Sylvia, shall I be forsworn.

79
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 6

 To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn.
 And ev’n that power which gave me first my oath
5 Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
 Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear.
 O sweet-suggesting Love, if thou hast sinned,
 Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
 At first I did adore a twinkling star,
10 But now I worship a celestial sun;
 Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken,
 And he wants wit that wants resolvèd will
 To learn his wit t’ exchange the bad for better.
 Fie, fie, unreverend tongue, to call her bad
15 Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferred
 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;
20 If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
 If I lose them, thus find I by their loss:
 For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Sylvia.
 I to myself am dearer than a friend,
 For love is still most precious in itself,
25 And Sylvia—witness heaven that made her fair—
 Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
 I will forget that Julia is alive,
 Rememb’ring that my love to her is dead;
 And Valentine I’ll hold an enemy,
30 Aiming at Sylvia as a sweeter friend.
 I cannot now prove constant to myself
 Without some treachery used to Valentine.
 This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
 To climb celestial Sylvia’s chamber window,
35 Myself in counsel his competitor.
 Now presently I’ll give her father notice

81
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 7

 Of their disguising and pretended flight,
 Who, all enraged, will banish Valentine,
 For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter.
40 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.
He exits.


Scene 7
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 charactered and engraved—
5 To lesson me and tell me some good mean
 How with my honor 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
10 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 
15 O, know’st thou not his looks are my soul’s food?
 Pity the dearth that I have pinèd in
 By longing for that food so long a time.

83
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 7

 Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
 Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
20 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.
25 The current that with gentle murmur glides,
 Thou know’st, being stopped, impatiently doth rage,
 But when his fair course is not hinderèd,
 He makes sweet music with th’ enameled stones,
 Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
30 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
35 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 blessèd soul doth in Elysium.
LUCETTA 
 But in what habit will you go along?
JULIA 
40 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 
45 No, girl, I’ll knit it up in silken strings
 With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots.

85
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 7

 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 
50 That fits as well as “Tell me, good my lord,
 What compass will you wear your farthingale?”
 Why, ev’n what fashion thou best likes, Lucetta.
LUCETTA 
 You must needs have them with a codpiece, madam.
JULIA 
 Out, out, Lucetta. That will be ill-favored.
LUCETTA 
55 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
60 For undertaking so unstaid a journey?
 I fear me it will make me scandalized.
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.
65 If Proteus like your journey when you come,
 No matter who’s displeased when you are gone.
 I fear me he will scarce be pleased withal.
JULIA 
 That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear.
 A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
70 And instances of infinite of love
 Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
LUCETTA 
 All these are servants to deceitful men.

87
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 7

JULIA 
 Base men that use them to so base effect!
 But truer stars did govern Proteus’ birth.
75 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 
80 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
85 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.
90 I am impatient of my tarriance.
They exit.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Duke, Thurio, and Proteus.

DUKE 
 Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
 We have some secrets to confer about.Thurio exits.
 Now tell me, Proteus, what’s your will with me?
PROTEUS 
 My gracious lord, that which I would discover
5 The law of friendship bids me to conceal,
 But when I call to mind your gracious favors
 Done to me, undeserving as I am,
 My duty pricks me on to utter that
 Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
10 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 determined to bestow her
 On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates,
15 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
20 A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
 Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.
91

93
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

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,
25 Haply when they have judged me fast asleep,
 And oftentimes have purposed to forbid
 Sir Valentine her company and my court.
 But fearing lest my jealous aim might err
 And so, unworthily, disgrace the man—
30 A rashness that I ever yet have shunned—
 I gave him gentle looks, thereby to find
 That which thyself hast now disclosed to me.
 And that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
 Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
35 I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
 The key whereof myself have ever kept,
 And thence she cannot be conveyed away.
PROTEUS 
 Know, noble lord, they have devised a mean
 How he her chamber-window will ascend
40 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
45 That my discovery be not aimèd at;
 For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
 Hath made me publisher of this pretense.
DUKE 
 Upon mine honor, he shall never know
 That I had any light from thee of this.
PROTEUS 
50 Adieu, my lord. Sir Valentine is coming.
Proteus exits.

95
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

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 55Be they of much import?
VALENTINE 
 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
60 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 honorable. Besides, the gentleman
65 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,
70 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
75 Should have been cherished by her childlike 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.

97
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

VALENTINE 
80 What would your Grace have me to do in this?
DUKE 
 There is a lady in Verona here
 Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,
 And nought esteems my agèd eloquence.
 Now therefore would I have thee to my tutor—
85 For long agone I have forgot to court;
 Besides, the fashion of the time is changed—
 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;
90 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,
95 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,
 Forwhy the fools are mad if left alone.
100 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
105 If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
DUKE 
 But she I mean is promised 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.

99
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

VALENTINE 
110 Why, then, I would resort to her by night.
DUKE 
 Ay, but the doors be locked 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,
115 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 tower,
120 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
125 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
130 Under a cloak that is of any length.
DUKE 
 A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
VALENTINE 
 Ay, my good lord.

101
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

DUKE  Then let me see thy cloak;
 I’ll get me one of such another length.
VALENTINE 
135 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.
Pulling off the cloak, he reveals
a rope ladder and a paper.

 What letter is this same? What’s here? (Reads.) To
 Sylvia.

140 And here an engine fit for my proceeding.
 I’ll be so bold to break the seal for once.
(Reads.)
 My thoughts do harbor with my Sylvia nightly,
  And slaves they are to me that send them flying.
 O, could their master come and go as lightly,
145  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
150  them,
  Because myself do want my servants’ fortune.
 I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
 That they should harbor where their lord should be.

 What’s here?
155 (Reads.) Sylvia, this night I will enfranchise thee.
 ’Tis so. And here’s the ladder for the purpose.
 Why, Phaëton—for thou art Merops’ son—
 Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car
 And with thy daring folly burn the world?
160 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,

103
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Is privilege for thy departure hence.
165 Thank me for this more than for all the favors
 Which all too much I have bestowed on thee.
 But if thou linger in my territories
 Longer than swiftest expedition
 Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
170 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.
He exits.
VALENTINE 
 And why not death, rather than living torment?
175 To die is to be banished from myself,
 And Sylvia is myself; banished from her
 Is self from self—a deadly banishment.
 What light is light if Sylvia be not seen?
 What joy is joy if Sylvia be not by—
180 Unless it be to think that she is by
 And feed upon the shadow of perfection?
 Except I be by Sylvia in the night,
 There is no music in the nightingale.
 Unless I look on Sylvia in the day,
185 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
 Fostered, illumined, cherished, kept alive.
 I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom;
190 Tarry I here, I but attend on death,
 But fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Enter Proteus and Lance.

PROTEUS Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
LANCE So-ho, so-ho!
PROTEUS What seest thou?

105
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

LANCE 195Him 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 200Neither.
PROTEUS What then?
VALENTINE Nothing.
LANCE Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?
PROTEUS Who wouldst thou strike?
LANCE 205Nothing.
PROTEUS Villain, forbear.
LANCE Why, sir, I’ll strike nothing. I pray you—
PROTEUS 
 Sirrah, I say forbear.—Friend Valentine, a word.
VALENTINE 
 My ears are stopped and cannot hear good news,
210 So much of bad already hath possessed them.
PROTEUS 
 Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
 For they are harsh, untunable, and bad.
VALENTINE Is Sylvia dead?
PROTEUS No, Valentine.
VALENTINE 
215 No Valentine indeed for sacred Sylvia.
 Hath she forsworn me?
PROTEUS No, Valentine.
VALENTINE 
 No Valentine if Sylvia have forsworn me.
 What is your news?
LANCE 220Sir, there is a proclamation that you are
 vanished.
PROTEUS 
 That thou art banishèd—O, that’s the news—
 From hence, from Sylvia, and from me thy friend.
107
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1


VALENTINE 
 O, I have fed upon this woe already,
225 And now excess of it will make me surfeit.
 Doth Sylvia know that I am banishèd?
PROTEUS 
 Ay, ay, and she hath offered to the doom—
 Which unreversed stands in effectual force—
 A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears;
230 Those at her father’s churlish feet she tendered,
 With them, upon her knees, her humble self,
 Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became
 them
 As if but now they waxèd pale for woe.
235 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 chafed him so,
240 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.
245 If so, I pray thee breathe it in mine ear
 As ending anthem of my endless dolor.
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.
250 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,
255 Which, being writ to me, shall be delivered

109
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

 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
260 Of all that may concern thy love affairs.
 As thou lov’st Sylvia, though not for thyself,
 Regard thy danger, and along with me.
VALENTINE 
 I pray thee, Lance, an if thou seest my boy,
 Bid him make haste and meet me at the North
265 Gate.
PROTEUS 
 Go, sirrah, find him out.—Come, Valentine.
VALENTINE 
 O, my dear Sylvia! Hapless Valentine!
Valentine and Proteus exit.
LANCE 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
270 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 milk-maid; yet ’tis not a
275 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. He takes out a piece of
 paper. 
Here is the catalog of her condition.
280 (Reads.) 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.
 (Reads.) Item, She can milk. Look you, a sweet
 virtue in a maid with clean hands.

Enter Speed.

SPEED 285How now, Signior Lance? What news with your
 Mastership?

111
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

LANCE 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?
LANCE 290The black’st news that ever thou heard’st.
SPEED Why, man? How black?
LANCE Why, as black as ink.
SPEED Let me read them.
LANCE Fie on thee, jolt-head, thou canst not read.
SPEED 295Thou liest. I can.
LANCE I will try thee. Tell me this, who begot thee?
SPEED Marry, the son of my grandfather.
LANCE O, illiterate loiterer, it was the son of thy grandmother.
 This proves that thou canst not read.
SPEED 300Come, fool, come. Try me in thy paper.
LANCE, giving him the paper There, and Saint Nicholas
 be thy speed.
SPEED reads Imprimis, She can milk.
LANCE Ay, that she can.
SPEED 305Item, She brews good ale.
LANCE And thereof comes the proverb: “Blessing of
 your heart, you brew good ale.”
SPEED Item, She can sew.
LANCE That’s as much as to say “Can she so?”
SPEED 310Item, She can knit.
LANCE 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.
LANCE A special virtue, for then she need not be
315 washed and scoured.
SPEED Item, She can spin.
LANCE Then may I set the world on wheels, when she
 can spin for her living.
SPEED Item, She hath many nameless virtues.
LANCE 320That’s as much as to say “bastard virtues,” that
 indeed know not their fathers and therefore have no
 names.

113
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 1

SPEED Here follow her vices.
LANCE Close at the heels of her virtues.
SPEED 325Item, She is not to be kissed fasting in respect of
 her breath.

LANCE Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast.
 Read on.
SPEED Item, She hath a sweet mouth.
LANCE 330That makes amends for her sour breath.
SPEED Item, She doth talk in her sleep.
LANCE It’s no matter for that, so she sleep not in her
 talk.
SPEED Item, She is slow in words.
LANCE 335O 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.
LANCE Out with that too; it was Eve’s legacy and
340 cannot be ta’en from her.
SPEED Item, She hath no teeth.
LANCE I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.
SPEED Item, She is curst.
LANCE Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
SPEED 345Item, She will often praise her liquor.
LANCE 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.
LANCE Of her tongue she cannot, for that’s writ down
350 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.

LANCE 355Stop 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.

115
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 2

LANCE “More hair than wit”? It may be; I’ll prove it:
360 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.
LANCE 365That’s monstrous! O, that that were out!
SPEED And more wealth than faults.
LANCE Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well,
 I’ll have her, and if it be a match, as nothing is
 impossible—
SPEED 370What then?
LANCE Why, then will I tell thee that thy master stays
 for thee at the North Gate.
SPEED For me?
LANCE For thee? Ay, who art thou? He hath stayed for a
375 better man than thee.
SPEED And must I go to him?
LANCE Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so
 long that going will scarce serve the turn.
SPEED, handing him the paper Why didst not tell me
380 sooner? Pox of your love letters!He exits.
LANCE 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.
He exits.


Scene 2
Enter Duke and Thurio.

DUKE 
 Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you
 Now Valentine is banished from her sight.
THURIO 
 Since his exile she hath despised me most,

117
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Forsworn my company and railed at me,
5 That I am desperate of obtaining her.
DUKE 
 This weak impress of love is as a figure
 Trenchèd in ice, which with an hour’s heat
 Dissolves to water and doth lose his form.
 A little time will melt her frozen thoughts,
10 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 
15 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 
20 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 
25 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.

119
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 2

 What might we do to make the girl forget
30 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 
35 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.
40 ’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,
45 Being entreated to it by your friend.
PROTEUS 
 You have prevailed, 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,
50 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
55 As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine.

121
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 2

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.
60 Upon this warrant shall you have access
 Where you with Sylvia 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
65 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 composèd rhymes
70 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
75 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
80 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
85 Will well become such sweet complaining
 grievance.
 This, or else nothing, will inherit her.

123
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 3. SC. 2

DUKE 
 This discipline shows thou hast been in love.
THURIO, to Proteus 
 And thy advice this night I’ll put in practice.
90 Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver,
 Let us into the city presently
 To sort some gentlemen well-skilled in music.
 I have a sonnet that will serve the turn
 To give the onset to thy good advice.
DUKE 95About 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.
They exit.


ACT 4
Scene 1
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 you.
 If not, we’ll make you sit, and rifle you.
SPEED, to Valentine 
5 Sir, we are undone; these are the villains
 That all the travelers 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 
10 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 crossed with adversity;
 My riches are these poor habiliments,
 Of which, if you should here disfurnish me,
15 You take the sum and substance that I have.
127

129
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 1

SECOND OUTLAW Whither travel you?
VALENTINE To Verona.
FIRST OUTLAW Whence came you?
VALENTINE From Milan.
THIRD OUTLAW 20Have you long sojourned there?
VALENTINE 
 Some sixteen months, and longer might have stayed
 If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
FIRST OUTLAW What, were you banished thence?
VALENTINE I was.
SECOND OUTLAW 25For what offense?
VALENTINE 
 For that which now torments me to rehearse;
 I killed a man, whose death I much repent,
 But yet I slew him manfully in fight
 Without false vantage or base treachery.
FIRST OUTLAW 
30 Why, ne’er repent it if it were done so;
 But were you banished 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,
35 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.
The Outlaws step aside to talk.
SPEED Master, be one of them. It’s an honorable kind
40 of thievery.
VALENTINE Peace, villain.
SECOND OUTLAW, advancing 
 Tell us this: have you anything to take to?

131
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 1

VALENTINE Nothing but my fortune.
THIRD OUTLAW 
 Know then that some of us are gentlemen,
45 Such as the fury of ungoverned youth
 Thrust from the company of awful men.
 Myself was from Verona banishèd
 For practicing to steal away a lady,
 An heir and near allied unto the Duke.
SECOND OUTLAW 
50 And I from Mantua, for a gentleman
 Who, in my mood, I stabbed 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 excused our lawless lives,
55 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 banished man,
60 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 sayst thou? Wilt thou be of our consort?
65 Say ay, and be the captain of us all;
 We’ll do thee homage and be ruled 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 offered.

133
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 2

VALENTINE 
70 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
75 And show thee all the treasure we have got,
 Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter Proteus.

PROTEUS 
 Already have I been false to Valentine,
 And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
 Under the color of commending him,
 I have access my own love to prefer.
5 But Sylvia 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,
10 She bids me think how I have been forsworn
 In breaking faith with Julia, whom I loved;
 And notwithstanding all her sudden quips,
 The least whereof would quell a lover’s hope,
 Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
15 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.

135
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 2

Enter Thurio and Musicians.

THURIO 
 How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?
PROTEUS 
20 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, Sylvia?
PROTEUS 25 Ay, Sylvia, for your sake.
THURIO 
 I thank you for your own.—Now, gentlemen,
 Let’s tune, and to it lustily awhile.

Enter Host of the inn, and Julia, disguised as a
page, Sebastian. They stand at a distance and talk.


HOST Now, my young guest, methinks you’re allycholly.
 I pray you, why is it?
JULIA, as Sebastian 30Marry, 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, as Sebastian 35But shall I hear him speak?
HOST Ay, that you shall.
JULIA, as Sebastian That will be music.
HOST Hark, hark.Music plays.
JULIA, as Sebastian Is he among these?
HOST 40Ay. But peace; let’s hear ’em.


137
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 2

Song.


PROTEUS  Who is Sylvia? What is she,
  That all our swains commend her?
 Holy, fair, and wise is she;
  The heaven such grace did lend her
45  That she might admirèd 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;
50  And, being helped, inhabits there.

 Then to Sylvia let us sing,
  That Sylvia is excelling;
 She excels each mortal thing
  Upon the dull earth dwelling.
55  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, as Sebastian You mistake. The musician likes me
 not.
HOST 60Why, my pretty youth?
JULIA, as Sebastian He plays false, father.
HOST How, out of tune on the strings?
JULIA, as Sebastian Not so; but yet so false that he
 grieves my very heart-strings.
HOST 65You have a quick ear.
JULIA, as Sebastian Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes
 me have a slow heart.
HOST I perceive you delight not in music.
JULIA, as Sebastian Not a whit when it jars so.
HOST 70Hark, what fine change is in the music!
JULIA, as Sebastian Ay; that change is the spite.
HOST You would have them always play but one
 thing?

139
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 2

JULIA, as Sebastian 
 I would always have one play but one thing.
75 But, host, doth this Sir Proteus, that we talk on,
 Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
HOST I tell you what Lance his man told me: he loved
 her out of all nick.
JULIA, as Sebastian Where is Lance?
HOST 80Gone to seek his dog, which tomorrow, by his
 master’s command, he must carry for a present to
 his lady.Music ends.
JULIA, as Sebastian Peace. Stand aside. The company
 parts.Host and Julia move away.
PROTEUS 
85 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.
Thurio and the Musicians exit.

Enter Sylvia, above.

PROTEUS 
90 Madam, good even to your Ladyship.
SYLVIA 
 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.
SYLVIA 95Sir Proteus, as I take it.
PROTEUS 
 Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
SYLVIA 
 What’s your will?

141
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 2

PROTEUS  That I may compass yours.
SYLVIA 
 You have your wish: my will is even this,
100 That presently you hie you home to bed.
 Thou subtle, perjured, false, disloyal man,
 Think’st thou I am so shallow, so conceitless,
 To be seducèd by thy flattery,
 That hast deceived so many with thy vows?
105 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
110 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 burièd.
SYLVIA 
115 Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
 Survives, to whom, thyself art witness,
 I am betrothed. And art thou not ashamed
 To wrong him with thy importunacy?
PROTEUS 
 I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
SYLVIA 
120 And so suppose am I, for in his grave,
 Assure thyself, my love is burièd.
PROTEUS 
 Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.
SYLVIA 
 Go to thy lady’s grave and call hers thence,
 Or, at the least, in hers sepulcher thine.
JULIA, aside 125He heard not that.

143
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 3

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,
130 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.
SYLVIA 
135 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.Sylvia exits.
PROTEUS 140 As wretches have o’ernight
 That wait for execution in the morn.Proteus exits.
JULIA, as Sebastian Host, will you go?
HOST By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
JULIA, as Sebastian Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
HOST 145Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think ’tis almost
 day.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Not so; but it hath been the longest night
 That e’er I watched, and the most heaviest.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Eglamour.

EGLAMOUR 
 This is the hour that Madam Sylvia
 Entreated me to call and know her mind;

145
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 3

 There’s some great matter she’d employ me in.
 Madam, madam!

Enter Sylvia, above.

SYLVIA 5Who calls?
EGLAMOUR Your servant, and your friend,
 One that attends your Ladyship’s command.
SYLVIA 
 Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.
EGLAMOUR 
 As many, worthy lady, to yourself.
10 According to your Ladyship’s impose,
 I am thus early come to know what service
 It is your pleasure to command me in.
SYLVIA 
 O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman—
 Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not—
15 Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplished.
 Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
 I bear unto the banished Valentine,
 Nor how my father would enforce me marry
 Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhorred.
20 Thyself hast loved, 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,
25 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 honor I repose.
 Urge not my father’s anger, Eglamour,
30 But think upon my grief, a lady’s grief,
 And on the justice of my flying hence

147
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 To keep me from a most unholy match,
 Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
 I do desire thee, even from a heart
35 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,
40 Which, since I know they virtuously are placed,
 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?
SYLVIA 45 This evening coming.
EGLAMOUR 
 Where shall I meet you?
SYLVIA  At Friar Patrick’s cell,
 Where I intend holy confession.
EGLAMOUR 
 I will not fail your Ladyship. Good morrow, gentle
50 lady.
SYLVIA 
 Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter Lance, with his dog, Crab.

LANCE 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
5 to it. I have taught him even as one would say
 precisely “Thus I would teach a dog.” I was sent to

149
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 deliver him as a present to Mistress Sylvia from my
 master; and I came no sooner into the dining
 chamber but he steps me to her trencher and steals
10 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
15 me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged
 for ’t. Sure as I live, he had suffered for ’t. You shall
 judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of
 three or four gentlemanlike dogs under the Duke’s
 table; he had not been there—bless the mark!—a
20 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
25 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
30 many masters would do this for his servant? Nay,
 I’ll be sworn I have sat in the stocks 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. To Crab. Thou think’st
35 not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick you
 served me when I took my leave of Madam Sylvia.
 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
40 thou ever see me do such a trick?

151
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

Enter Proteus and Julia disguised as Sebastian.

PROTEUS 
 Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
 And will employ thee in some service presently.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 In what you please. I’ll do what I can.
PROTEUS 
 I hope thou wilt. To Lance. How now, you
45 whoreson peasant?
 Where have you been these two days loitering?
LANCE Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Sylvia the dog you
 bade me.
PROTEUS And what says she to my little jewel?
LANCE 50Marry, 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?
LANCE No, indeed, did she not. Here have I brought
55 him back again.
PROTEUS What, didst thou offer her this from me?
LANCE Ay, sir. The other squirrel was stolen from me
 by the hangman’s boys in the market-place, and
 then I offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as
60 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?
Lance exits with Crab.
 A slave that still an end turns me to shame.
65 Sebastian, I have entertainèd 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 behavior,

153
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

70 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 Sylvia.
75 She loved me well delivered it to me.
He gives her a ring.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
 She is dead belike?
PROTEUS  Not so; I think she lives.
JULIA, as Sebastian Alas!
PROTEUS 80Why dost thou cry “Alas”?
JULIA, as Sebastian I cannot choose but pity her.
PROTEUS Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Because methinks that she loved you as well
 As you do love your lady Sylvia.
85 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
90 This letter. He gives her a paper. 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.
Proteus exits.
JULIA 
95 How many women would do such a message?
 Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertained
 A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
 Alas, poor fool, why do I pity him

155
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 That with his very heart despiseth me?
100 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,
105 To plead for that which I would not obtain,
 To carry that which I would have refused,
 To praise his faith, which I would have dispraised.
 I am my master’s true confirmèd love,
 But cannot be true servant to my master
110 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 Sylvia.

 As Sebastian. Gentlewoman, good day. I pray you be
115 my mean
 To bring me where to speak with Madam Sylvia.
SYLVIA 
 What would you with her, if that I be she?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 If you be she, I do entreat your patience
 To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
SYLVIA 120From whom?
JULIA, as Sebastian From my master, Sir Proteus,
 madam.
SYLVIA O, he sends you for a picture?
JULIA, as Sebastian Ay, madam.
SYLVIA, calling 125Ursula, bring my picture there.
She is brought the picture.
 Go, give your master this. Tell him from me,
 One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
 Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.

157
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

JULIA, as Sebastian Madam, please you peruse this
130 letter.She gives Sylvia a paper.
 Pardon me, madam, I have unadvised
 Delivered you a paper that I should not.
 This is the letter to your Ladyship.
She takes back the first paper
and hands Sylvia another.

SYLVIA 
 I pray thee let me look on that again.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
135 It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
SYLVIA There, hold.
 I will not look upon your master’s lines;
 I know they are stuffed with protestations
 And full of new-found oaths, which he will break
140 As easily as I do tear his paper.
She tears the second paper.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Madam, he sends your Ladyship this ring.
She offers Sylvia a ring.
SYLVIA 
 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.
145 Though his false finger have profaned the ring,
 Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
JULIA, as Sebastian She thanks you.
SYLVIA What sayst thou?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 I thank you, madam, that you tender her;
150 Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.
SYLVIA Dost thou know her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Almost as well as I do know myself.

159
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 To think upon her woes, I do protest
 That I have wept a hundred several times.
SYLVIA 
155 Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 I think she doth, and that’s her cause of sorrow.
SYLVIA Is she not passing fair?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 She hath been fairer, madam, than she is;
 When she did think my master loved her well,
160 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 starved the roses in her cheeks
 And pinched the lily tincture of her face,
165 That now she is become as black as I.
SYLVIA How tall was she?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 About my stature; for at Pentecost,
 When all our pageants of delight were played,
 Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,
170 And I was trimmed 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,
175 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, movèd therewithal,
180 Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
 If I in thought felt not her very sorrow.
SYLVIA 
 She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.

161
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
 I weep myself to think upon thy words.
185 Here, youth, there is my purse.
She gives Julia a purse.
 I give thee this
 For thy sweet mistress’ sake, because thou lov’st her.
 Farewell.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 And she shall thank you for ’t if e’er you know her.
Sylvia exits.
190 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
195 If I had such a tire, this face of mine
 Were full as lovely as is this of hers;
 And yet the painter flattered her a little,
 Unless I flatter with myself too much.
 Her hair is auburn; mine is perfect yellow;
200 If that be all the difference in his love,
 I’ll get me such a colored periwig.
 Her eyes are gray 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
205 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 worshipped, kissed, loved, and
210 adored;
 And were there sense in his idolatry,
 My substance should be statue in thy stead.

163
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 I’ll use thee kindly for thy mistress’ sake,
 That used me so, or else, by Jove I vow,
215 I should have scratched out your unseeing eyes
 To make my master out of love with thee.
She exits.


ACT 5
Scene 1
Enter Eglamour.

EGLAMOUR 
 The sun begins to gild the western sky,
 And now it is about the very hour
 That Sylvia at Friar Patrick’s cell should meet me.
 She will not fail, for lovers break not hours,
5 Unless it be to come before their time,
 So much they spur their expedition.

Enter Sylvia.

 See where she comes.—Lady, a happy evening.
SYLVIA 
 Amen, amen. Go on, good Eglamour,
 Out at the postern by the abbey wall.
10 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.
They exit.



167

169
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter Thurio, Proteus, and Julia, disguised as
Sebastian.


THURIO 
 Sir Proteus, what says Sylvia 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 5No, that it is too little.
THURIO 
 I’ll wear a boot to make it somewhat rounder.
JULIA, aside 
 But love will not be spurred to what it loathes.
THURIO What says she to my face?
PROTEUS She says it is a fair one.
THURIO 
10 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 15How 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 valor?
PROTEUS 20O, sir, she makes no doubt of that.
JULIA, aside 
 She needs not when she knows it cowardice.

171
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 2

THURIO What says she to my birth?
PROTEUS That you are well derived.
JULIA, aside True, from a gentleman to a fool.
THURIO 25Considers 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, as Sebastian 30 Here comes the Duke.

Enter Duke.

DUKE 
 How now, Sir Proteus?—How now, Thurio?
 Which of you saw Eglamour of late?
THURIO 
 Not I.
PROTEUS  Nor I.
DUKE 35 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
40 As he, in penance, wandered through the forest;
 Him he knew well and guessed that it was she,
 But, being masked, he was not sure of it.
 Besides, she did intend confession
 At Patrick’s cell this even, and there she was not.
45 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 toward Mantua, whither they are fled.
50 Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.
He exits.

173
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 3

THURIO 
 Why, this it is to be a peevish girl
 That flies her fortune when it follows her.
 I’ll after, more to be revenged on Eglamour
 Than for the love of reckless Sylvia.He exits.
PROTEUS 
55 And I will follow, more for Sylvia’s love
 Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her.
He exits.
JULIA 
 And I will follow, more to cross that love
 Than hate for Sylvia, that is gone for love.
She exits.


Scene 3
Enter Sylvia and Outlaws.

FIRST OUTLAW 
 Come, come, be patient. We must bring you to our
 captain.
SYLVIA 
 A thousand more mischances than this one
 Have learned me how to brook this patiently.
SECOND OUTLAW 5Come, bring her away.
FIRST OUTLAW 
 Where is the gentleman that was with her?
THIRD 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;
10 There is our captain. We’ll follow him that’s fled.
 The thicket is beset; he cannot ’scape.
Second and Third Outlaws exit.
FIRST OUTLAW 
 Come, I must bring you to our captain’s cave.

175
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Fear not; he bears an honorable mind
 And will not use a woman lawlessly.
SYLVIA 
15 O Valentine, this I endure for thee!
They exit.


Scene 4
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,
5 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
10 And leave no memory of what it was.
 Repair me with thy presence, Sylvia;
 Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain.
Shouting and sounds of fighting.
 What hallowing and what stir is this today?
 These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
15 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?
He steps aside.

Enter Proteus, Sylvia, and Julia, disguised as
Sebastian.


PROTEUS 
 Madam, this service I have done for you—

177
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

20 Though you respect not aught your servant doth—
 To hazard life, and rescue you from him
 That would have forced your honor and your love.
 Vouchsafe me for my meed but one fair look;
 A smaller boon than this I cannot beg,
25 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.
SYLVIA 
 O miserable, unhappy that I am!
PROTEUS 
 Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came,
30 But by my coming, I have made you happy.
SYLVIA 
 By thy approach thou mak’st me most unhappy.
JULIA, aside 
 And me, when he approacheth to your presence.
SYLVIA 
 Had I been seizèd by a hungry lion,
 I would have been a breakfast to the beast
35 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 perjured Proteus.
40 Therefore begone; 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 approved,
 When women cannot love where they’re beloved.
SYLVIA 
45 When Proteus cannot love where he’s beloved.
 Read over Julia’s heart, thy first best love,
 For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith

179
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
 Descended into perjury to love me.
50 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
55 Who respects friend?
SYLVIA  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,
60 And love you ’gainst the nature of love—force you.
He seizes her.
SYLVIA 
 O, heaven!
PROTEUS  I’ll force thee yield to my desire.
VALENTINE, advancing 
 Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
 Thou friend of an ill fashion.
PROTEUS 65 Valentine!
VALENTINE 
 Thou common friend, that’s without faith or love,
 For such is a friend now. Treacherous man,
 Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
 Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
70 I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
 Who should be trusted when one’s right hand
 Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
 I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
 But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
75 The private wound is deepest. O, time most
 accursed,
 ’Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

181
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

PROTEUS My shame and guilt confounds me.
 Forgive me, Valentine. If hearty sorrow
80 Be a sufficient ransom for offense,
 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.
85 Who by repentance is not satisfied
 Is nor of heaven nor Earth, for these are pleased;
 By penitence th’ Eternal’s wrath’s appeased.
 And that my love may appear plain and free,
 All that was mine in Sylvia I give thee.
JULIA, aside 
90 O me unhappy!She swoons.
PROTEUS  Look to the boy.
VALENTINE  Why, boy!
 Why, wag, how now? What’s the matter? Look up.
 Speak.
JULIA, as Sebastian 95O, good sir, my master charged
 me to deliver a ring to Madam Sylvia, which out of
 my neglect was never done.
PROTEUS Where is that ring, boy?
JULIA, as Sebastian Here ’tis; this is it.
She rises, and hands him a ring.
PROTEUS 100How, let me see.
 Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook.
 This is the ring you sent to Sylvia.
She offers another ring.
PROTEUS 
 But how cam’st thou by this ring? At my depart
105 I gave this unto Julia.
JULIA 
 And Julia herself did give it me,
 And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
She reveals herself.

183
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

PROTEUS How? Julia!
JULIA 
 Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths
110 And entertained ’em deeply in her heart.
 How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
 O, Proteus, let this habit make thee blush.
 Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
 Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
115 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
120 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.
 What is in Sylvia’s face but I may spy
125 More fresh in Julia’s, with a constant eye?
VALENTINE, to Julia and Proteus Come, come, a
 hand from either.
 Let me be blest to make this happy close.
 ’Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Valentine joins the hands of Julia and Proteus.
PROTEUS 
130 Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever.
JULIA 
 And I mine.

Enter Thurio, Duke, and Outlaws.

OUTLAWS  A prize, a prize, a prize!
VALENTINE 
 Forbear, forbear, I say. It is my lord the Duke.
The Outlaws release the Duke and Thurio.
 Your Grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
135 Banished Valentine.

185
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

DUKE 
 Sir Valentine?
THURIO  Yonder is Sylvia, and Sylvia’s mine.
VALENTINE 
 Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
 Come not within the measure of my wrath.
140 Do not name Sylvia 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.
145 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,
150 And leave her on such slight conditions.—
 Now, by the honor 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,
155 Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
 Plead a new state in thy unrivaled merit,
 To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
 Thou art a gentleman, and well derived;
 Take thou thy Sylvia, for thou hast deserved her.
VALENTINE 
160 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 banished men, that I have kept withal,

187
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

165 Are men endued with worthy qualities.
 Forgive them what they have committed here,
 And let them be recalled from their exile;
 They are reformèd, civil, full of good,
 And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
DUKE 
170 Thou hast prevailed; 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
175 With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
 Pointing to Julia. 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 180What mean you by that saying?
VALENTINE 
 Please you, I’ll tell you as we pass along,
 That you will wonder what hath fortunèd.—
 Come, Proteus, ’tis your penance but to hear
 The story of your loves discoverèd.
185 That done, our day of marriage shall be yours,
 One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
They exit.