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IR THURIO, GIVE US leave, I pray awhile;

We have some secrets to confer


[Exit Thu. Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?

PRO. My gracious lord, that which I would discover

The law of friendship bids me to conceal;

But when I call to mind your gracious favours

Done to me, undeserving as I am,

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:

1 give us leave] withdraw.


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 timeless grave.

DUKE. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care;
Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of theirs myself have often seen,
Haply when they have judged me fast asleep;
And oftentimes have purposed 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,


gave him gentle looks; thereby to find

That which thyself hast now disclosed to me.
And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
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 devised 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,

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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.

DUKE. Upon mine honour, he shall never know

That I had any light from thee of this.

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PRO. Adieu, my Lord; Sir Valentine is coming. [Exit. 50


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 awhile;

I am to break with thee of some affairs

That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
"T is 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 resolved to take a wife,
And turn her out to who will take her in:

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 Verona here
Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy,
And nought esteems my aged 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 changed,
How and which way I may bestow myself,
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

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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 her.

81 in Verona] This is the reading of the Folio. The present scene passes in Milan. Suggested readings are in Milan, or Milano, and of Verona. Of Verona makes the better sense, while the textual change is very slight. Cf. V, iv, 129, infra.

89-91] Cf. Marlowe's Hero and Leander, Sestiad II, "a gift prevails When deep persuading oratory fails."




VAL. A woman sometime scorns what best contents


Send her another; never give her o'er;

For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, 't is not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you:
If she do chide, 't is not to have you gone;
For why, 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 promised 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 ground,
And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life.

VAL. Why, then, a ladder, quaintly made of cords,
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower,

119 Hero] see note on I, i, 22, supra.


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