The Two Gentlemen of Verona, by William Shakespeare

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.

Enter Valentine and Speed

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?

Valentine

To Verona.

First Outlaw

Whence came you?

Valentine

From Milan.

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?

Valentine

I was.

Second Outlaw

For what offence?

Valentine

For that which now torments me to rehearse:
I kill’d a man, whose death I much repent;
Bu t 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.

Exeunt

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

Scene III. The same.

Enter Eglamour

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?

Enter Proteus and Julia

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.

To Launce

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?

Exit Launce

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.

Julia

Alas!

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.

Exit

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.
Farewell.

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!

Exit

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/shakespeare/william/verona/act4.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:30