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Act 4. Scene II

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

Enter PROTEUS
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.
SONG.
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
heart-strings.

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
day.

JULIA
Not so; but it hath been the longest night
That e'er I watch'd and the most heaviest.

Exeunt

William Shakespeare