The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Act IV

Scene I The frontiers of Mantua. A forest.

[Enter certain Outlaws]
First Outlaw Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger.
Second Outlaw If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.
Third Outlaw Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about ye:
If not: we'll make you sit and rifle you.
SPEED Sir, we are undone; these are the villains
That all the travellers 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 Ay, by my beard, will we, for he's a proper man.
VALENTINE Then know that I have little wealth to lose:
A man I am cross'd with adversity;
My riches are these poor habiliments,
Of which if you should here disfurnish me,
You take the sum and substance that I have.
Second Outlaw Whither travel you?
First Outlaw Whence came you?
Third Outlaw Have you long sojourned there?
VALENTINE Some sixteen months, and longer might have stay'd,
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
First Outlaw What, were you banish'd thence?
Second Outlaw For what offence?
VALENTINE For that which now torments me to rehearse:
I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent;
But yet I slew him manfully in fight,
Without false vantage or base treachery.
First Outlaw Why, ne'er repent it, if it were done so.
But were you banish'd 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,
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.
SPEED Master, be one of them; it's an honourable kind of thievery.
VALENTINE Peace, villain!
Second Outlaw Tell us this: have you any thing to take to?
VALENTINE Nothing but my fortune.
Third Outlaw Know, then, that some of us are gentlemen,
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
Thrust from the company of awful men:
Myself was from Verona banished
For practising to steal away a lady,
An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
Second Outlaw And I from Mantua, for a gentleman,
Who, in my mood, I stabb'd 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 excus'd our lawless lives;
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 banish'd man,
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 say'st thou? wilt thou be of our consort?
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 offer'd.
VALENTINE 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 practises.
Come, go with us, we'll bring thee to our crews,
And show thee all the treasure we have got,
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose.

Scene II Milan. Outside the DUKE's palace, under SILVIA's chamber.

PROTEUS Already have I been false to Valentine
And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
Under the colour of commending him,
I have access my own love to prefer:
But Silvia 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,
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,
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.
[Enter THURIO and Musicians]
THURIO How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?
PROTEUS 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? Silvia?
PROTEUS Ay, Silvia; for your sake.
THURIO I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen,
Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile.
[Enter, at a distance, Host, and JULIA in boy's clothes]
Host Now, my young guest, methinks you're allycholly: I
pray you, why is it?
JULIA Marry, 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 But shall I hear him speak?
Host Ay, that you shall.
JULIA That will be music.
[Music plays]
Host Hark, hark!
JULIA Is he among these?
Host Ay: but, peace! let's hear 'em.
Who is Silvia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired 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,
And, being help'd, inhabits there.
Then to Silvia let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling:
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 You mistake; the musician likes me not.
Host Why, my pretty youth?
JULIA He plays false, father.
Host How? out of tune on the strings?
JULIA Not so; but yet so false that he grieves my very
Host You have a quick ear.
JULIA Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes me have a slow heart.
Host I perceive you delight not in music.
JULIA Not a whit, when it jars so.
Host Hark, what fine change is in the music!
JULIA Ay, that change is the spite.
Host You would have them always play but one thing?
JULIA I would always have one play but one thing.
But, host, doth this Sir Proteus that we talk on
Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
Host I tell you what Launce, his man, told me: he loved
her out of all nick.
JULIA Where is Launce?
Host Gone to seek his dog; which tomorrow, by his
master's command, he must carry for a present to his lady.
JULIA Peace! stand aside: the company parts.
PROTEUS 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.
[Exeunt THURIO and Musicians]
[Enter SILVIA above]
PROTEUS Madam, good even to your ladyship.
SILVIA 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.
SILVIA Sir Proteus, as I take it.
PROTEUS Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
SILVIA What's your will?
PROTEUS That I may compass yours.
SILVIA You have your wish; my will is even this:
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 seduced by thy flattery,
That hast deceived so many with thy vows?
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
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 buried.
SILVIA Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
Survives; to whom, thyself art witness,
I am betroth'd: and art thou not ashamed
To wrong him with thy importunacy?
PROTEUS I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
SILVIA And so suppose am I; for in his grave
Assure thyself my love is buried.
PROTEUS Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.
SILVIA Go to thy lady's grave and call hers thence,
Or, at the least, in hers sepulchre thine.
JULIA [Aside] He heard not that.
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:
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.
SILVIA 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.
PROTEUS As wretches have o'ernight
That wait for execution in the morn.
[Exeunt PROTEUS and SILVIA severally]
JULIA Host, will you go?
Host By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
JULIA Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
Host Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think 'tis almost
JULIA Not so; but it hath been the longest night
That e'er I watch'd and the most heaviest.

Scene III The same.

EGLAMOUR This is the hour that Madam Silvia
Entreated me to call and know her mind:
There's some great matter she'ld employ me in.
Madam, madam!
[Enter SILVIA above]
SILVIA Who calls?
EGLAMOUR Your servant and your friend;
One that attends your ladyship's command.
SILVIA Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good morrow.
EGLAMOUR As many, worthy lady, to yourself:
According to your ladyship's impose,
I am thus early come to know what service
It is your pleasure to command me in.
SILVIA O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman--
Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not--
Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplish'd:
Thou art not ignorant what dear good will
I bear unto the banish'd Valentine,
Nor how my father would enforce me marry
Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhors.
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,
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 honour I repose.
Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour,
But think upon my grief, a lady's grief,
And on the justice of my flying hence,
To keep me from a most unholy match,
Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues.
I do desire thee, even from a heart
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;
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?
SILVIA This evening coming.
EGLAMOUR Where shall I meet you?
SILVIA At Friar Patrick's cell,
Where I intend holy confession.
EGLAMOUR I will not fail your ladyship. Good morrow, gentle lady.
SILVIA Good morrow, kind Sir Eglamour.
[Exeunt severally]

Scene IV The same.

[Enter LAUNCE, with his his Dog]
LAUNCE 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 to it.
I have taught him, even as one would say precisely,
'thus I would teach a dog.' I was sent to deliver
him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master;
and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he
steps me to her trencher and steals 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 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 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 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 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.
Thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I remember the
trick you served me when I took my leave of Madam
Silvia: 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
thou ever see me do such a trick?
PROTEUS Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
And will employ thee in some service presently.
JULIA In what you please: I'll do what I can.
PROTEUS I hope thou wilt.
How now, you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?
LAUNCE Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.
PROTEUS And what says she to my little jewel?
LAUNCE Marry, 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?
LAUNCE No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him
back again.
PROTEUS What, didst thou offer her this from me?
LAUNCE Ay, sir: the other squirrel was stolen from me by
the hangman boys in the market-place: and then I
offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as 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! stay'st thou to vex me here?
A slave, that still an end turns me to shame!
Sebastian, I have entertained 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,
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 Silvia:
She loved me well deliver'd it to me.
JULIA It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
She is dead, belike?
PROTEUS Not so; I think she lives.
PROTEUS Why dost thou cry 'alas'?
JULIA I cannot choose
But pity her.
PROTEUS Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
JULIA Because methinks that she loved you as well
As you do love your lady Silvia:
She dreams of 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 of it makes me cry 'alas!'
PROTEUS Well, give her that ring and therewithal
This letter. 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.
JULIA How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain'd
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
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,
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-confirmed love;
But cannot be true servant to my master,
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 SILVIA, attended]
Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my mean
To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.
SILVIA What would you with her, if that I be she?
JULIA If you be she, I do entreat your patience
To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
SILVIA From whom?
JULIA From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
SILVIA O, he sends you for a picture.
JULIA Ay, madam.
SILVIA Ursula, bring my picture here.
Go give your master this: tell him from me,
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
JULIA Madam, please you peruse this letter.--
Pardon me, madam; I have unadvised
Deliver'd you a paper that I should not:
This is the letter to your ladyship.
SILVIA I pray thee, let me look on that again.
JULIA It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
SILVIA There, hold!
I will not look upon your master's lines:
I know they are stuff'd with protestations
And full of new-found oaths; which he will break
As easily as I do tear his paper.
JULIA Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.
SILVIA 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.
Though his false finger have profaned the ring,
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
JULIA She thanks you.
SILVIA What say'st thou?
JULIA I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
Poor gentlewoman! my master wrongs her much.
SILVIA Dost thou know her?
JULIA Almost as well as I do know myself:
To think upon her woes I do protest
That I have wept a hundred several times.
SILVIA Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her.
JULIA I think she doth; and that's her cause of sorrow.
SILVIA Is she not passing fair?
JULIA She hath been fairer, madam, than she is:
When she did think my master loved her well,
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 pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face,
That now she is become as black as I.
SILVIA How tall was she?
JULIA About my stature; for at Pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were play'd,
Our youth got me to play the woman's part,
And I was trimm'd 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,
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, moved therewithal,
Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!
SILVIA She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.
Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
I weep myself to think upon thy words.
Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this
For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lovest her.
[Exit SILVIA, with attendants]
JULIA And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you know her.
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,
If I had such a tire, this face of mine
Were full as lovely as is this of hers:
And yet the painter flatter'd her a little,
Unless I flatter with myself too much.
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow:
If that be all the difference in his love,
I'll get me such a colour'd periwig.
Her eyes are grey 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
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 worshipp'd, kiss'd, loved and adored!
And, were there sense in his idolatry,
My substance should be statue in thy stead.
I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake,
That used me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
I should have scratch'd out your unseeing eyes
To make my master out of love with thee!

Next Act

Complete Works Cliff Notes Free Papers! Biography Shakespeare Links Shakespeare discussion