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Act 2. Scene IV

SCENE IV. Milan. The DUKE's palace.

Enter SILVIA, VALENTINE, THURIO, and SPEED
SILVIA
Servant!

VALENTINE
Mistress?

SPEED
Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.

VALENTINE
Ay, boy, it's for love.

SPEED
Not of you.

VALENTINE
Of my mistress, then.

SPEED
'Twere good you knocked him.

Exit

SILVIA
Servant, you are sad.

VALENTINE
Indeed, madam, I seem so.

THURIO
Seem 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
Wise.

THURIO
What instance of the contrary?

VALENTINE
Your folly.

THURIO
And how quote you my folly?

VALENTINE
I quote it in your jerkin.

THURIO
My jerkin is a doublet.

VALENTINE
Well, then, I'll double your folly.

THURIO
How?

SILVIA
What, angry, Sir Thurio! do you change colour?

VALENTINE
Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.

THURIO
That hath more mind to feed on your blood than live
in your air.

VALENTINE
You have said, sir.

THURIO
Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.

VALENTINE
I know it well, sir; you always end ere you begin.

SILVIA
A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.

VALENTINE
'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver.

SILVIA
Who 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
Sir, 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 they live by your bare words.

SILVIA
No more, gentlemen, no more:--here comes my father.

Enter DUKE

DUKE
Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
Sir Valentine, your father's in good health:
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 ye Don Antonio, your countryman?

VALENTINE
Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
To be of worth and worthy estimation
And not without desert so well reputed.

DUKE
Hath he not a son?

VALENTINE
Ay, my good lord; a son that well deserves
The honour and regard of such a father.

DUKE
You know him well?

VALENTINE
I know him as myself; for from our infancy
We have conversed and spent our hours together:
And though myself have been an idle truant,
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;
His head unmellow'd, 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
Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good,
He is as worthy for an empress' love
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me,
With commendation from great potentates;
And here he means to spend his time awhile:
I think 'tis no unwelcome news to you.

VALENTINE
Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.

DUKE
Welcome him then according to his worth.
Silvia, I speak to you, and you, Sir Thurio;
For Valentine, I need not cite him to it:
I will send him hither to you presently.

Exit

VALENTINE
This is the gentleman I told your ladyship
Had come along with me, but that his mistress
Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks.

SILVIA
Belike that now she hath enfranchised them
Upon some other pawn for fealty.

VALENTINE
Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.

SILVIA
Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind
How could he see his way to seek out you?

VALENTINE
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.

SILVIA
Have done, have done; here comes the gentleman.

Exit THURIO

Enter PROTEUS

VALENTINE
Welcome, dear Proteus! Mistress, I beseech you,
Confirm his welcome with some special favour.

SILVIA
His worth is warrant for his welcome hither,
If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from.

VALENTINE
Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.

SILVIA
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.

VALENTINE
Leave off discourse of disability:
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.

PROTEUS
My duty will I boast of; nothing else.

SILVIA
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.

SILVIA
That you are welcome?

PROTEUS
That you are worthless.

Re-enter THURIO

THURIO
Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.

SILVIA
I wait upon his pleasure. Come, Sir Thurio,
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.

Exeunt SILVIA and THURIO

VALENTINE
Now, tell me, how do all from whence you came?

PROTEUS
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?

PROTEUS
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 alter'd now:
I have done penance for contemning Love,
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
With nightly tears and daily heart-sore sighs;
For in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes
And made them watchers of mine own heart's 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.
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
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
When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.

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
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:
She shall be dignified with this high honour--
To bear my lady's train, lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
And make rough winter everlastingly.

PROTEUS
Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?

VALENTINE
Pardon me, Proteus: all I can is nothing
To her whose worth makes other worthies nothing;
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,
The water nectar and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou see'st me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes
Only for his possessions are so huge,
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 betroth'd: nay, more, our,
marriage-hour,
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,
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
Will you make haste?

PROTEUS
I will.

Exit VALENTINE

Even as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Is it mine, 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--
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
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.
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!
'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
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 cheque my erring love, I will;
If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.

Exit

William Shakespeare