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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Act III, Scene 1

Milan. The DUKE's palace.
 
[Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS]
 
DUKE
           ,   2     ,         ,         ,       ,
      Sir Thu|rio, give | us leave |(I pray)| awhile;
           ,          ,        ,       ,       ,
      We have | some se|crets to | confer | about.
            ,        ,    2      ,            ,          ,
      Now tell | me Pro|teus, what's | your will | with me?
 
PROTEUS
          ,          ,      ,       2      ,       ,
      My gra|cious lord,| that which I | would di|scover
           ,          ,          ,        ,        ,
      The law | of friend|ship bids | me to | conceal,
            ,        ,         ,          ,         ,      ->
      But when | I call | to mind | your gra|cious fa||vors
        ,        ,    ,    ,          2   ,
      Done | to me |(unde|serving | as I am)
          ,       ,         ,       ,       ,
      My du|ty pricks | me on | to ut|ter that
              ,         ,        ,             ,          ,
      Which^else | no world|ly good | should draw | from me.
             ,         ,          ,      ,          ,
      Know^(wor|thy prince)| Sir Va|lentine | my friend
             ,         ,          ,       ,           ,       2->
      This night | intends | to steal | away | your daugh||ter:
          ,        ,      ,   ,                ,
      Myself | am one | made pri/vy to | the plot.
          ,          ,       ,         ,       ,        2->
      I know | you have | deter|mined to | bestow || her
          ,   2     ,          ,        ,         ,
      On Thu|rio, whom | your gen|tle daugh|ter hates;
             ,           ,        ,     2  ,          ,
      And should | she thus | be sto|len away | from you,
           ,          ,       ,       ,         ,
      It would | be much | vexa|tion to | your age.
        ,             ,        ,       ,        ,
      Thus (for | my du|ty's sake)| I ra|ther chose
           ,           ,         ,       ,        ,
      To cross | my friend | in his | inten|ded drift
        ,            ,        ,     ,              ,
      Than (by | concea|ling it)| heap on | your head
          ,        ,         ,             ,           ,
      A pack | of sor|rows which | would press | you down
         2    ,     ,        ,          ,         ,
      (Being un|preven|ted) to | your time|less grave.
 
DUKE
       ,   2        ,           ,           ,        ,
      Proteus,| I thank | thee for | thine^ho|nest care,
        ,            ,          ,         ,         ,
      Which to | requite,| command | me while | I live.
             ,          ,         ,          ,       ,
      This love | of theirs | myself | have of|ten seen,
       ,             ,            ,          ,       ,
      Haply | when they | have judged | me fast | asleep,
           ,      ,           ,         ,       ,
      And of|tentimes | have pur|posed to | forbid
           ,      ,         ,    2   ,         ,
      Sir Va|lentine | her com|pany and | my court:
           ,         ,        ,        ,           ,
      But fea|ring lest | my jea|lous aim | might err
           ,      ,      ,        ,          ,
      And so |(unwor|thily)| disgrace | the man
           ,         ,      ,      ,            ,
      (A rash|ness that | I e|ver yet | have shunned)
          ,         ,        ,           ,        ,
      I gave | him gen|tle looks,| thereby | to find
        ,               ,          ,          ,         ,
      That which | thyself | hast now | disclosed | to me.
            ,           ,          ,          ,         ,
      And that | thou mayst | perceive | my fear | of this,
        ,    2        ,         ,          ,       ,
      Knowing that | tender | youth is | soon sug|gested,
          ,        ,          ,       ,       x
      I night|ly lodge | her in | an up|per tower,
           ,          ,       ,         ,       ,
      The key | whereof | myself | have e|ver kept;
             ,          ,       ,        ,       ,
      And thence | she can|not be | conveyed | away.
 
PROTEUS
        T    Tx     ,      ,             ,         ,
      Know (noble lord)| they have | devised | a mean
           ,         ,       ,        ,       ,
      How he | her cham|ber-win|dow will | ascend
            ,       ,       ,        ,           ,
      And with | a cor|ded lad|der fetch | her down:
            ,           ,        ,      ,         ,
      For which | the youth|ful lo|ver now | is gone
            ,          ,          ,        ,       ,
      And this | way comes | he with | it pre|sently.
        ,      2        ,          ,         ,      ,
      Where (if it | please you)| you may | inter|cept him.
             ,         ,     ,          ,       ,
      But (good | my Lord)| do it | so cun|ningly
            ,       ,    ,    ,         ,
      That my | disco|very | be not | aimed at:
            ,        ,     T    T   T   2      ,
      For love | of you,| not hate un|to my friend,
             ,        ,      ,               ,   ,
      Hath made | me pub|lisher | of this / pretence.
 
DUKE
        ,          ,       ,          ,       ,
      Upon | mine^ho|nor, he | shall ne|ver know
           ,       ,      ,            ,         ,
      That I | had a|ny light | from thee | of this.
 
PROTEUS
         ,         ,         ,        x      ,
      Adieu,| my lord,| Sir Va|lentine is | coming.
 
[Exit. Enter VALENTINE]
 
DUKE
           ,      ,     ,          ,         ,
      Sir Va|lentine,| whither | away | so fast?
 
VALENTINE
         ,               ,            ,      ,      ,
      Please it | your grace,| there is | a mes|senger
             ,          ,        ,        ,         ,
      That stays | to bear | my let|ters to | my friends,
          ,        ,       2   ,    2
      And I | am going | to deli|ver them.
 
DUKE
                                           ,       2     ,     ,
                                          Be | they of much | import?
 
VALENTINE
           ,      ,          ,         ,     ,
      The te|nor of | them doth | but sig|nify
            ,          ,      ,      ,          ,
      My health | and hap|py be|ing at | your court.
 
DUKE
       ,             ,         ,          ,      ,
      Nay then | no mat|ter: stay | with me | awhile;
      ,           ,            ,         ,        ,
      I am | to break | with thee | of some | affairs
             ,          ,          ,          ,        ,       ->
      That touch | me near:| wherein | thou must | be se||cret.
        ,       2    ,          ,         ,           ,
      'Tis | not unknown | to thee | that I | have sought
           ,           ,          ,    ,     2     ,       ->
      To match | my friend | Sir Thu|rio,| to my daugh||ter.
 
VALENTINE
          ,         ,         ,          ,          ,
      I know | it well |(my Lord)| and sure | the match
             ,         ,   2  ,         ,         ,      ,
      Were rich | and hon|orable:| besides,| the gen|tleman
           ,        ,         ,        ,          ,      ,
      Is full | of vir|tue, boun|ty, worth,| and qua|lities (hex with prev)
         ,         ,        ,      2       ,      ,
      Besee|ming such | a wife | as your fair | daughter:
       ,              ,      ,            ,      ,
      Cannot | your Grace | win her | to fan|cy him?
 
DUKE
       T    T    T      2    ,         ,        ,       ->
      No, trust me,| she is pee|vish, sul|len, fro||ward,
        ,        2 ,   2      ,          ,       ,    ->
      Proud,| disobe|dient, stub|born, lack|ing du||ty,
       ,      2   ,         ,         ,        ,
      Nei|ther regar|ding that | she is | my child
           ,        ,     2   ,     ,         ,
      Nor fea|ring 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 rem|nant of | mine^age
         ,       2        ,            2      ,      T   T T
      Should have been | cherished | by her child-|like duty,
         ,         ,         ,          ,        ,
      I now | am full | resolved | to take | a wife
            ,         ,        ,           ,         ,
      And turn | her out,| to who | will take | her in:
            ,          ,      ,        ,         x
      Then let | her beau|ty be | her wed|ding-dower:
           ,        ,       ,           2     ,    ,
      For me | and my | posses|sions^she e/steems not.
 
VALENTINE
        ,                 ,           ,       ,        ,
      What would | your Grace | have me | to do | in this?
 
DUKE
        ,           ,     ,      ,      ,
      There is | a la|dy in | Vero|na here
           ,       ,         ,         ,         ,
      Whom^I | affect:| but she | is nice | and coy
             ,         ,        ,     ,      ,
      And nought | esteems | my a|ged e|loquence.
             ,           ,         ,      ,    2       ,
      Now* there|fore* would | I have | thee to my | tutor
             ,       ,        ,        ,         ,
      (For long | agone | I have | forgot | to court,
          ,           ,       ,         ,          ,
      Besides | the fash|ion of | the time | is changed)
       ,                ,       ,        ,        ,
      How, and | which^way | I may | bestow | myself
          ,      ,                 ,     ,    ,
      To be | regar|ded in her // sun-bright eye.
 
VALENTINE
       ,               ,         ,        ,           ,
      Win her | with gifts,| if she | respect | not words:
        T    Tx    T      ,          ,        ,
      Dumb jewels of|ten in | their si|lent kind
        ,           T     T     .   T       ,         ,
      More than | quick words, do move | a wo|man's mind.
 
DUKE
           ,          ,        ,         ,        ,        o
      But she | did scorn | a pre|sent that | I sent | her.
 
VALENTINE
         ,       ,           ,            ,         ,         o
      A wo|man some|times^scorns | what best | contents | her.   (hex with prev)
        ,          ,        ,       ,         ,
      Send her | ano|ther: ne|ver give | her ore;
            ,          ,            ,       ,          ,
      For scorn | at first | makes^af|ter-love | the more.
          ,         ,           ,         ,        ,
      If she | do frown,| 'tis not | in hate | of you,
           ,       ,      ,            ,        ,
      But ra|ther to | beget | more* love | in you.
          ,         ,           ,         ,          ,
      If she | do chide,| 'tis not | to have | you gone;
           ,          ,          ,         ,       ,
      For why,| the fools | are mad,| if left | alone.
        ,           ,         ,      ,          ,
      Take no | repulse,| whate|ver she | doth say;
           ,          ,          ,          ,      ,
      For get | you gone,| she doth | not mean | away.
       ,     2         ,          ,       ,           ,
      Flatter and | praise, com|mend, ex|tol their | graces;
               ,         ,      ,      2        ,        ,
      Though nere | so black,| say they have | angels'| faces.
            ,           ,         ,        ,        ,       o
      That man | that hath | a tongue,| I say | is no | man,
           ,           ,         ,       ,       ,     o
      If with | his tongue | he can|not win | a wo|man.    (hex with prev)
 
DUKE
           ,        ,        ,         ,          ,
      But she | I mean | is pro|mised by | her friends
       ,         ,        ,      ,         ,
      Unto | a youth|ful gen|tleman | of worth,
            ,        ,       ,        ,        ,
      And kept | severe|ly from | resort | of men,
            ,    ,          ,           ,        ,
      That no | man hath | access | by day | to her.
 
VALENTINE
            ,        ,         ,        ,         ,
      Why then | I would | resort | to her | by night.
 
DUKE
       ,      2        ,           ,           T    T    T
      Aye, but the | doors be | locked and | keys kept safe,
            ,         ,         ,         ,         ,
      That no | man hath | recourse | to her | by night.
 
VALENTINE
             ,         ,         ,      ,        ,       2->
      What lets | but one | may en|ter at | her win||dow?
 
DUKE
            ,       ,      ,     ,                ,
      Her cham|ber is | aloft,| far from | the ground,
            ,          ,      2      ,     ,         ,
      And built | so shel|ving that one | cannot | climb it
           ,       ,       ,       ,         ,
      Without | appar|ent ha|zard of | his life.
 
VALENTINE
            ,       ,         ,        ,         ,
      Why then | a lad|der quaint|ly made | of cords
           ,     ,             ,        ,    2      ,
      To cast | up, with | a pair | of an|choring hooks,
              ,          ,       ,       ,        x
      Would serve | to scale | ano|ther He|ro's tower,
           ,       ,       ,        ,        ,
      So bold | Lean|der would | adven|ture it.
 
DUKE
       ,             ,       ,      ,         ,
      Now as | thou art | a gen|tleman | of blood,
          ,         ,        ,           ,       ,      ->
      Advise | me where | I may | have such | a lad||der.
 
VALENTINE
        ,         2     ,          ,           ,         ,
      When | would you use | it? Pray | sir, tell | me that.
 
DUKE
            ,      ,           ,         ,        ,
      This ve|ry night;| for Love | is like | a child
             ,          ,       ,           ,         ,       ->
      That longs | for ev|ery thing | that he | can come || by.
 
VALENTINE
          ,    2    ,           ,          ,       ,       2->
      By se|ven o'clock,| I'll get | you such | a lad||der.
 
DUKE
            ,          ,         ,       ,       ,
      But hark | thee; I | will go | to her | alone,
       ,       2      ,       ,         ,        ,
      How shall I | best con|vey the | ladder | thither?
 
VALENTINE
       ,     2       ,           ,           ,          ,
      It will be | light (my | lord) that | you may | bear it
       ,          ,           ,      ,       ,
      Under | a cloak | that is | of a|ny length.
 
DUKE
          ,          ,         ,            ,           ,
      A cloak | as long | as thine | will serve | the turn?
 
VALENTINE
       ,               ,
      Aye my | good* lord.
 
DUKE
                                ,        ,          ,
                          Then let | me see | thy cloak,
            ,        ,         ,      ,         ,
      I'll get | me one | of such | ano|ther length.
 
VALENTINE
          ,      ,            ,           ,        ,
      Why a|ny cloak | will serve | the turn (my lord).
 
DUKE
       ,              ,       ,        ,        ,
      How shall | I fash|ion me | to wear | a cloak?
          ,      ,     2       ,          ,      ,
      I pray | thee let me | feel thy | cloak u|pon me.
            ,     3  3       ,             ,        ,    ,
      What let|ter is this same?| What's^here?| To Si|lvia?
            ,        ,       ,         ,       ,       ->
      And here | an en|gine fit | for my | procee||ding.
        ,      2     ,         ,           ,          ,
      I'll | be so bold | to break | the seal | for once.
 
[Reads]
             ,          ,        ,        ,   2    ,      o
      My thoughts | do har|bor with | my Sil|via night|ly,
             ,           ,        ,          ,          ,      o
      And slaves | they are | to me | that send | them fly|ing:
       ,                 ,        ,         ,        ,      o
      Oh, could | their mas|ter come | and go | as light|ly,
           ,            ,              ,           ,         ,     o
      Himself | would lodge | where (sense|less) they | are ly|ing.
          ,          ,          ,          ,       ,         o
      My he|rald thoughts | in thy | pure bo|som rest | them:
            ,           ,          ,        ,       ,       o
      While I |(their king)| that hi|ther them | impor|tune,
           ,           ,            ,           ,             ,           o
      Do curse | the grace | that with | such grace | hath blessed | them,
          ,         ,         ,        ,          ,       o
      Because | myself | do want | my ser|vants' for|tune:
          ,         ,          ,          ,        ,
      I curse | myself,| for they | are sent | by me,
             ,            ,         ,            ,           ,
      That they | should har|bor where | their lord | would be.
               ,
      What's^here?  ????
       ,    ,           ,         ,       T   T     T
      Silvi|a, this | night I | will en|franchise thee.
            ,          ,          ,       ,         ,        o ->
      'Tis so:| and here's | the lad|der for | the pur||pose.
            ,     2       ,         ,        ,
      Why Phae|ton (for thou | art Me|rops' son)
        ,            ,          ,            x       ,
      Wilt thou | aspire | to guide | the heaven|ly car?
            ,         ,       ,       ,          ,
      And with | thy da|ring fol|ly burn | the world?
             ,            ,         ,            ,          ,
      Wilt thou | reach^stars,| because | they shine | on thee?
       T    T   . T       ,     ,         ,
      Go, base intru|der, o|verwee|ning slave,
          ,         ,          ,        ,        ,
      Bestow | thy faw|ning smiles | on e|qual mates,
            ,         ,           ,          ,        ,
      And think | my pa|tience (more | than thy | desert)
          ,      ,         ,       ,         ,
      Is pri|vilege | for thy | depar|ture hence:
        ,              ,      ,      2       ,         ,
      Thank me | for this,| more than for | all the | favors
              ,           ,        ,         ,          ,
      Which^(all | too* much)| I have | bestowed | on thee.
       ,             ,       ,       ,     ,       o ->
      But if | thou lin|ger in | my ter|rito||ries
       ,    2         ,         ,    ,
      Longer than | swiftest | expe|dition
             ,           ,         ,          ,       ,
      Will give | thee time | to leave | our roy|al court,
            x          ,            ,        ,          ,
      By heaven,| my wrath | shall far | exceed | the love
        ,       ,         ,        ,        ,
      I e|ver bore | my daugh|ter or | thyself.
          ,        ,          ,          ,        ,
      Begone,| I will | not hear | thy vain | excuse,
           ,          ,           ,           ,            ,
      But as | thou lovst | thy life,| make speed | from hence.
 
[Exit]
 
VALENTINE
           ,          ,      ,    2        ,        ,
      And why | not death,| rather than | living | torment?
          ,     ,          ,          ,        ,
      To die,| is to | be ba|nished from | myself;
           ,   2   ,       ,     ,               ,
      And Sil|via is | myself:| banished | from her
           ,           ,        ,      ,       ,
      Is self | from self.| A dead|ly ba|nishment:
             ,          ,         ,   2   ,         ,
      What light,| is light,| if Sil|via be | not seen?
            ,        ,        ,   2   ,        ,
      What joy | is joy,| if Sil|via be | not by?
          ,        ,        ,         2     ,    ,
      Unless | it be | to think | that she is | by
      <-         ,     ,         ,        ,      ,
        And || feed u|pon the | shadow | of per|fection.
          ,       ,       ,   2   ,         ,
      Except | I be | by Sil|via in | the night,
             ,       ,      ,         ,       ,
      There^is | no mu|sic in | the night|ingale.
          ,        ,        ,   2   ,        ,
      Unless | I look | on Sil|via in | the day,
             ,       ,         ,        ,      ,
      There is | no day | for me | to look | upon.
       ,           ,         ,        ,         ,
      She is | my es|sence, and | I leave | to be;
         ,       ,               ,   ,      ,
      If I | be not | by her / fair in|fluence
       ,            ,         ,            ,       ,
      Fostered,| illu|mined, che|rished, kept | alive.
         ,          ,         ,          ,       ,
      I fly | not death,| to fly | his dead|ly doom,
       ,          ,       ,        ,         ,
      Tarry | I here,| I but | attend | on death:
           ,        ,        ,      ,           ,
      But fly | I hence,| I fly | away | from life.
 
[Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE]
 
PROTEUS
Run (boy) run, run, and seek him out.
 
LAUNCE
Soho, soho--
 
PROTEUS
What seest thou?
 
LAUNCE
Him we go to find, there's not a hair on his head but 'tis a Valentine.
 
PROTEUS
Valentine?
 
VALENTINE
No.
 
PROTEUS
Who then? his spirit?
 
VALENTINE
Neither.
 
PROTEUS
What then?
 
VALENTINE
Nothing.
 
LAUNCE
Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?
 
PROTEUS
Who wouldst thou strike?
 
LAUNCE
Nothing.
 
PROTEUS
Villain, forbear.
 
LAUNCE
Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray you.
 
PROTEUS
Sirrah, I say, forbear. Friend Valentine, a word.
 
VALENTINE
           ,          ,        2    ,      T    T    T
      My ears | are stopt,| and cannot | hear good news,
           ,        ,       ,       ,          ,          2->
      So much | of bad | alrea|dy hath | possessed || them.
 
PROTEUS
            ,     ,   ,                 ,      ,
      Then in | dumb si/lence will | I bu|ry mine,
            ,          ,         ,     ,         ,
      For they | are harsh,| untune|able, | and bad.
 
VALENTINE
          ,    ,     T
      Is Sil|via | dead?
 
PROTEUS
                          T   T      ,
                         No, Va|lentine.
 
VALENTINE
          ,      ,        ,         ,       ,    2  ->
      No Va|lentine | indeed,| for sa|cred Sil||via.
        ,       2     ,
      Hath | she forsworn | me?
 
PROTEUS
                                 ,    ,      ,
                                No,| Valen|tine.
 
VALENTINE
      <-       ,      ,         ,  2      ,        ,
        No || Valen|tine, if | Silvia | have for|sworn me.
        ,              ,
      What is | your news?
 
LAUNCE
      <- ,            ,       ,      ,      o         ,         ,     ,
        Sir, there | is a | proc||lama|tion,  | that you | are va|nished.
 
PROTEUS
             ,         ,      ,         ,           ,
      That thou | art ba|nished:| oh that's | the news,
             ,           ,   2    ,          ,          ,
      From hence,| from Sil|via, and | from me | thy friend.
 
VALENTINE
       ,   2        ,     ,          ,      ,
      Oh, I have | fed u|pon this | woe al|ready,
           ,     ,         x            ,        ,
      And now | excess | of it will | make me | surfeit.
            ,    ,     ,         ,       ,
      Doth Sil|via | know that | I am | banished?
 
PROTEUS
           ,         ,          ,        ,         ,
      Aye^aye:| and she | hath of|fered to | the doom
              ,      ,        ,           ,    2    ,
      (Which^un|reversed | stands in | effec|tual force)
         ,        ,         ,             ,            ,
      A sea | of mel|ting pearl,| which some | call* tears:
        ,     2       ,           ,          ,         ,
      Those at her | father's | churlish | feet she | tendered,
             ,      ,          ,          ,        ,
      With them | upon | her knees,| her hum|ble self,
        ,     2        ,             ,          ,      ,        
      Wringing her | hands, whose^|whiteness | so be|came them
          ,        ,          ,       ,         ,
      As if | but now | they wax|ed pale | for woe:
           ,        ,        ,       T    T     T    __
      But nei|ther ben|ded knees,| pure hands held | up,
       T    T      T       ,           ,        ,         ___
      Sad sighs, deep | groans, nor | silver-|shedding | tears, (hex with prev)
             ,     ,          ,     ,     2      ,
      Could pe|netrate | her un|compas|sionate sire;
           ,      ,        ,        ,          ,
      But Va|lentine,| if he | be tane,| must die.
          ,          ,     ,          ,          ,
      Besides,| her in|terces|sion chafed | him so,
            ,         ,        ,         ,      ,
      When she | for thy | repeal | was sup|pliant,
                  ,    ,       ,       ,       ,
      That to / close pri|son he | comman|ded her,
            ,     ,         ,          ,        ,
      With ma|ny bit|ter threats | of bi|ding there.
 
VALENTINE
           ,        ,          ,      ,                 ,
      No more:| unless | the next | word that | thou speakst
             ,       ,         x       ,         ,
      Have some | malig|nant power | upon | my life:
          ,       ,            ,          ,         ,
      If so:| I pray | thee breathe | it in | mine^ear,
          ,       ,       ,       ,        ,      ->
      As en|ding an|them of | my end|less do||lour.
 
PROTEUS
        ,       2    ,          ,           ,           ,
      Cease | to lament | for that | thou canst | not help,
           ,       ,          ,            ,         ,
      And stu|dy help | for that | which thou | lamentst.
        ,             ,           ,            ,    ,
      Time is | the nurse | and bree|der of / all good.
        ,               ,           ,          ,          ,
      Here, if | thou stay,| thou canst | not see | thy love:
          ,           ,        ,       ,            ,
      Besides,| thy stay|ing will | abridge | thy life.
        ,          ,         ,            ,            ,
      Hope is | a lo|ver's staff,| walk hence | with that
           ,       ,       ,         ,           ,
      And ma|nage it,| against | despai|ring thoughts:
           ,        ,         ,             ,          ,
      Thy let|ters may | be here,| though thou | art hence,
        ,      2       ,        ,           ,     ,
      Which, being | writ to | me, shall | be de|livered
      ,        2      ,     ,    ,                ,
      Even | in the milk-|white bo/som of | thy love.
            ,     T     T    T      2   ,      ,
      The time | now serves not | to expos|tulate:
        ,              ,            ,           ,      ,
      Come, I'll | convey | thee through | the ci|ty-gate.
           ,        ,           ,        ,         ,
      And ere | I part | with thee,| confer | at large
          ,          ,         ,          ,       ,
      Of all | that may | concern | thy love-|affairs:
           ,           ,    ,          ,     2     ,
      As thou | lovst Sil|via (though not for thyself)
          ,         ,        ,       ,          ,
      Regard | thy dan|ger, and | along | with me.
 
VALENTINE
          ,            ,          ,          ,         ,
      I pray | thee Launce,| and if | thou seest | my boy,
       ,               ,           ,         2        ,     ,
      Bid him | make^haste,| and meet | me at the / North-gate.
 
PROTEUS
          ,         ,         ,           ,      ,
      Go sir|rah, find | him out:| Come* Va|lentine.
 
VALENTINE
      ,             ,   2    ,        ,      ,
      O my | dear* Sil|via; hap|less Va|lentine.
 
[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS]
 
LAUNCE
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 one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who 'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman; but what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkmaid; yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips; yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel; which is much in a bare Christian.
 
[Pulling out a paper]
Here is the cate-log of her condition. Imprimis: She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore is she better than a jade. Item: She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.
 
[Enter SPEED]
 
SPEED
How now, Signior Launce! what news with your mastership?
 
LAUNCE
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?
 
LAUNCE
The blackest news that ever thou heardest.
 
SPEED
Why, man, how black?
 
LAUNCE
Why, as black as ink.
 
SPEED
Let me read them.
 
LAUNCE
Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not read.
 
SPEED
Thou liest; I can.
 
LAUNCE
I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee?
 
SPEED
Marry, the son of my grandfather.
 
LAUNCE
O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy grandmother: this proves that thou canst not read.
 
SPEED
Come, fool, come; try me in thy paper.
 
LAUNCE
There; and St. Nicholas be thy speed!
 
SPEED [Reads]
Imprimis: She can milk.
 
LAUNCE
Aye, that she can.
 
SPEED
Item: She brews good ale.
 
LAUNCE
And thereof comes the proverb: Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.
 
SPEED
Item: She can sew.
 
LAUNCE
That's as much as to say, Can she so?
 
SPEED
Item: She can knit.
 
LAUNCE
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.
 
LAUNCE
A special virtue: for then she need not be washed and scoured.
 
SPEED
Item: She can spin.
 
LAUNCE
Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living.
 
SPEED
Item: She hath many nameless virtues.
 
LAUNCE
That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers and therefore have no names.
 
SPEED
Here follow her vices.
 
LAUNCE
Close at the heels of her virtues.
 
SPEED
Item: She is not to be kissed fasting in respect of her breath.
 
LAUNCE
Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on.
 
SPEED
Item: She hath a sweet mouth.
 
LAUNCE
That makes amends for her sour breath.
 
SPEED
Item: She doth talk in her sleep.
 
LAUNCE
It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
 
SPEED
Item: She is slow in words.
 
LAUNCE
O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow in words is a woman's only virtue: I pray thee, out with it, and place it for her chief virtue.
 
SPEED
Item: She is proud.
 
LAUNCE
Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy, and cannot be tane from her.
 
SPEED
Item: She hath no teeth.
 
LAUNCE
I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.
 
SPEED
Item: She is curst.
 
LAUNCE
Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
 
SPEED
Item: She will often praise her liquor.
 
LAUNCE
If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I will; for good things should be praised.
 
SPEED
Item: She is too liberal.
 
LAUNCE
Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ down she is slow of; of her purse she shall not, for that I'll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, and that cannot I help. Well, proceed.
 
SPEED
Item: She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.
 
LAUNCE
Stop there; I'll have her: she was mine, and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article. Rehearse that once more.
 
SPEED
Item: She hath more hair than wit,
 
LAUNCE
More hair than wit? It may be; I'll prove it. The cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the salt; the hair that covers the wit is more than the wit, for the greater hides the less. What's next?
 
SPEED
And more faults than hairs,
 
LAUNCE
That's monstrous: O, that that were out!
 
SPEED
And more wealth than faults.
 
LAUNCE
Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well, I'll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,
 
SPEED
What then?
 
LAUNCE
Why, then will I tell thee--that thy master stays for thee at the North-gate.
 
SPEED
For me?
 
LAUNCE
For thee! aye, who art thou? he hath stayed for a better man than thee.
 
SPEED
And must I go to him?
 
LAUNCE
Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long that going will scarce serve the turn.
 
SPEED
Why didst not tell me sooner? Pox of your love letters.
 
[Exit]
 
LAUNCE
Now will he be swinged for reading my letter; an unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets! I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.
 
[Exit]

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