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And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.

Better forbear till Proteus make return. Jul. Oh, 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.
Didst thou but know the inly touch" of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire, But qualify the fire's extreme rage,

Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your doublet ?

Jul. 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 For undertaking so unstaid a journey?

I fear me, it will make me scandalis'd.

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go


Jul. Nay, that I will not.

Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go. If Proteus like your journey when you come, No matter who's displeas'd when you are gone:

Jul. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it I fear me, he will scarce be pleased withal.


The current that with gentle murmur glides

Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage:
But when his fair course is not hindered,

He makes sweet music with the enamell'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
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,
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 blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Luc. But in what habit will you go along?
Jul. Not like a woman; for I would prevent
The rude encounters of assailing men :
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.

Luc. Why, then, your ladyship must cut your hair.

Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings, With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots: To be fantastic may become a youth

Of greater time than I shall show to be.

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear: A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,

| And instances as infinite of love, Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men.
Jul. Base men, that use them to so base

But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth:
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.
Luc. Pray Heaven he prove so, when you come
to him!


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,
To furnish me upon my longing journey.42
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;
I am impatient of my tarriance.



SCENE I.-MILAN. An ante-room in the DUKE's Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?


Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS. Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile; We have some secrets to confer about.


41. Inly touch. Shakespeare uses the word "touch" with varied and powerful meaning. Here-joined with "inly" for inward, or rather innermost-it conveys the idea of that fine and subtle feeling which penetrates to the heart's core.

Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would dis


The law of friendship bids me to conceal;
But when I call to mind your gracious favours
Done to me, undeserving as I am,

42. Longing journey. It has been proposed to exchange this epithet for loving.' But could there be a more Shakespearianly comprehensive word used here than "longing?" Julia, who has just talked of having "pined," "longing" for the sight of

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Launce. 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.

My duty pricks me on to utter that

Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
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;
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
A pack of sorrows, which would press you down,
Being unprevented, to your timeless1 grave.

Proteus, now speaks of the journey that she longs to take, that she longs to reach the end of, and longingly hopes to crown by beholding him.

1. Timeless. Used for untimely, premature.

Act II. Scene V.

Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest


Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of theirs myself have often seen,
Haply when they have judg'd me fast asleep;
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid
Sir Valentine her company and my court;
But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
And so, unworthily, disgrace the man,—
A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,-
I gave him gentle looks; thereby to find
That which thyself hast now disclos'd to me.
And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,"

2. Jealous aim. Suspicion. Shakespeare occasionally uses "aim" and "aimed" thus figuratively for a conjecture pointing at or directed against some object.

3. Suggested. Tempted, enticed, allured.



I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept;
And thence she cannot be convey'd away.

Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean
How he her chamber-window will ascend,
And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
For which the youthful lover now is gone,
And this way comes he with it presently;
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.
But, good my lord, do it so cunningly
That my discovery be not aimed at ;'
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.s

Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know That I had any light from thee of this. Pro. Adieu, my lord; Sir Valentine is coming. [Exeunt.


Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast? Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger That stays to bear my letters to my friends, And I am going to deliver them.

Duke. Be they of much import?

Val. The tenour of them doth but signify My health, and happy being at your court.

Duke. Nay, then, no matter; stay with me


I am to break with thee of some affairs That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 'Tis not unknown to thee that I have sought To match my friend, Sir Thurio, to my daughter. Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match

Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter : Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?

Duke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward,

Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Neither regarding that she is my child,
Nor fearing me as if I were her father:
And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers,
Upon advice,' hath drawn my love from her;
And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty,
I now am full resolv'd to take a wife,
And turn her out to who will take her in:

4. Aimed at. Guessed at.

5. Pretence. Intention, purpose, design.

6. Qualities beseeming, &c. The way in which Valentine here belies his own dignity as a gentleman, and compromises that of his mistress as a lady worthy all excellence in the match she should make, by speaking thus untruly of the husband proposed, affords one of the many evidences that this play was one of Shakespeare's earliest compositions.

7. Upon advice. On consideration.

8. Where. Often used for whereas.

Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
For me and my possessions she esteems not.
Val. What would your grace have me to do in

this ?

Duke. There is a lady in Milano' here, Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy, And naught esteems my agèd eloquence: Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor,For long agone I have forgot to court; Besides, the fashion of the time is chang'd,How, and which way, I may bestow myself, To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:

Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,

More than quick words, do move a woman's mind. Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent


Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her:

Send her another; never give her o'er;
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you:
If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone;
For why 10 the fools are mad, if left alone.
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
For "get you gone," she doth not mean "away!"
Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

Duke. But she I mean is promis'd by her friends
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth;
And kept severely from resort of men,
That no man hath access by day to her.
Val. Why, then, I would resort to her by night.
Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys
kept safe,

That no man hath recourse to her by night.

Val. What lets", but one may enter at her window?

Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the

And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life.

Val. Why, then, a ladder, quaintly 12 made of cords,

9. Milano. The Folio prints 'Verona' here by mistake for "Milano;" and there are one or two similar substitutions of one town's name for another in the old copy of this play. Pope made the corrections.

10. For why. An old form of 'because,' 'for this reason that.'

11. What lets. "Let" formerly bore a precisely opposite sense to the one it bears at present: now meaning allow, permit; formerly, hinder, prevent.

12. Quaintly. Deftly, neatly, cleverly.

To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower,
So bold Leander would adventure it.

Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee.
But if thou linger in my territories
Longer than swiftest expedition

Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love

Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell I ever bore my daughter or thyself.
me that.

Duke. This very night; for Love is like a child, That longs for everything that he can come by. Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder.

Duke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone: How shall I best convey the ladder thither?

Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it

Under a cloak that is of any length.

Be gone! I will not hear thy vain excuse;
But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.

Val. And why not death, rather than living
torment ?

To die, is to be banish'd from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her,
Is self from self,—a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen ?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by ?

Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the Unless it be to think that she is by,


Val. Ay, my good lord.

Then let me see thy cloak:
I'll get me one of such another length.
Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my

Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a
cloak ?-

pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.[Puts open VALENTINE'S cloak. What letter is this same? What's here ?" To Silvia !"

And here an engine fit for my proceeding!

I'll be so bold to break the seal for once. [Reads.

"My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly;

And slaves they are to me, that send them flying:
Oh, could their master come and go as lightly,
Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying!
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them;

While I, their king, that thither them impórtune,

Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them,
Because myself do want my servants' fortune :

I curse myself, for 13 they are sent by me,

That they should harbour where their lord should be.” What's here ?

"Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee."

'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.—
Why, Phaeton, 14-for thou art Merops' son,-
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
And with thy daring folly burn the world?
Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
Go, base intruder! overweening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates,
And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence:

Thank me for this, more than for all the favours

13. For. Used here in the sense of 'because,' 'for that.' 14. Phaeton. The Duke calls Valentine thus for his rash ambition; and alludes to Phaëton's claiming to be the son of the god Phoebus, while reputed to be the son of the mortal Merops. 15. Leave to be. Cease to exist.

And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale;
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon :
She is my essence; and I leave to be,1
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom: 16
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.

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Val. NoValentine, if Silvia have forsworn me !— What is your news?

Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.

Pro. That thou art banished-oh, that's the news!

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

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

As if but now they waxèd pale for woe:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
That to close prison he commanded her,
With many bitter threats of biding there.

Val. No more; unless the next word that thou speak'st


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

Pro. Cease to lament for that thou can'st not


And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that,
And manage it against despairing thoughts.
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence;
Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.18
The time now serves not to expostulate :
Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate;

18. Bosom of thy love. It was formerly the fashion for women's stays to be made with a small pocket, wherein they kept love-letters and love-tokens; hence arose the custom for gallants to address their missives as Hamlet inscribes his to Ophelia :-" In her excellent white bosom, these."

And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
Of all that may concern thy love-affairs.
As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself,
Regard thy danger, and along with me.

Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou see'st my

Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north gate.

Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out.-Come, Valentine.

Val. Oh, my dear Silvia !-Hapless Valentine! [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. 19 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 cat-log of her conditions. [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. "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


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. Oh, 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.

19. But one knave. Possibly Launce means 'but a single knave; that is, an unmarried one. So long as his master does not crown his knavery by making his friend's intended wife his own, Launce thinks it passable; and while he thus indicates his discovery of his master's love-secret, proceeds to the discussion of

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