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Duke. But she I mean is promis'd 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 a, 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,

So bold Leander would adventure it.
DUKE. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,

Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
DUKE. This very night; for love is like a child,

That longs for everything that he can come by.
Val. By seven o'clock I 'll get you such a ladder.
DUKE. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone;

How sball I best convey the ladder thither?
VAL. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it

Under a cloak, that is of any length.
DUKE. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn?
Val. Ay, my good lord.
DUKE. Then let me see thy cloak:

I'll get me one of such another length.
Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord.
DUKE. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak ?-

I pray thee let me feel thy cloak upon me.
What letter is this same? What 's here?_" To Silvia "?
And here an engine fit for my proceeding!
I 'll be so bold to break the seal for once.


“My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly;

And slaves they are to me, that send them flying :
0, could their master come and go as lightly,

Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying.
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them;

While I, their king, that thither them importune,
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them,

Because myself do want my servants' fortune.


I curse myself, for they are sent by me,

That they should harbour where their lord should be."
What 's here?

"Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee :"
"T is so; and here 's the ladder for the purpose.
Why, Phaëton, (for thou art Merops' son,)
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
And with thy daring folly burn the world ?
Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?.
Go, base intruder! overweening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates;
And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence:
Thank me for this, more than for all the favours,
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee.
But if thou linger in my territories,
Longer than swiftest expedition
Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By Heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself.
Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse,

But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.
VAL. And why not death, rather than living torment?

To die, is to be banish'd from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her,
Is self from self: a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen ?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by,
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale ;
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon :
She is my essence: and I leave to be,
If I be not, by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom :
Tarry I here, I but attend on death ;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.

[Exit DUKE.

Pro. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
Laun. So-ho! so-ho!

PRO. What seest thou ?
Laun. Him we go to find :

There's not a hair on 's head, but 't is a Valentine.
PRO. Valentine?
VAL. No.
Pro. Who then, his spirit?
VAL. Neither.
PRO. What then ?
Val. Nothing.
Laun. Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike ?
PRO. Who wouldst thou strike ?
Laun. Nothing
PRO. Villain, forbear.
Laun. Why, sir, I 'll strike nothing: I pray you, -
Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear: Friend Valentine, a word.
Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good news,

So much of bad already hath possess'd them.
Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,

For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.
VAL. Is Silvia dead ?
Pro. No, Valentine.
VAL. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia !

Hath she forsworn me?
Pro. No, Valentine.
VAL. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!-

What is your news?
LAUN. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.
Pro. That thou art banished. O, that 's the news;

From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend. Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already,

And now excess of it will make me surfeit.

Doth Silvia know that I am banished?
Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom

(Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force)
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears :
Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd;
With them, upon her knees, her humble self;
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them,
As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
But Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,

That to close prison he commanded her,

With many bitter threats of 'biding there.
VAL No more; unless the next word that thou speak'st

Have some malignant power upon my life :
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,

As ending anthem of my endless dolour.
PBO. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,

And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love ;
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that,
And manage it against despairing thoughts.
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence :
Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love 20.
The time now serves not to expostulate :
Come, I ll convey thee through the city gate;
And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
Of all that may concern thy love-affairs :
As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself,

Regard thy danger, and along with me.
VAL. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy,

Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north gate.
Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.
VAL. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine! [Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS.
LAUN. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think my master

is a kind of a knave: but that 's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now that knows me to be in love: yet I am in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who 't is I love, and yet it is a woman: but what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 't is a milkmaid; yet 't is not a maid, for she hath had gossips : yet 't is a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel—which is much in a bare christian. Here is the cate-log (pulling out a paper) of her conditions. Imprimis, “ she can fetch and carry." Why, a horse can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore is she better than a jade. Item, “she can milk;' look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.

Enter SPEED. SPEED. How now, signior Launce? what news with your mastership? Laun. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea. SPEED. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word: What news then in

your paper ? LAUN. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st.

SPEED. Why, man, how black?
Laun. Why, as black as ink.
SPEED. Let me read them.
Laun. Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not read.
SPEED. Thou liest, I can.
Laun. I will try thee: Tell me this: Who begot thee?
SPEED. Marry, the son of my grandfather.
Laun. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy grandmother: this proves

that thou canst not read.
SPEED. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper.
Laun. There; and St. Nicholas be thy speed"'!
SPEED. Imprimis, " She can milk.”
Laun. Ay, that she can.
SPEED. Item, “She brews good ale."
Laun. And thereof comes the proverb, -Blessing of your heart, you brew

good ale. SPEED. Item, “ She can sew.” Laun. That 's as much as to say, can she so ? SPEED. Item, “ She can knit." Laun. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him

a stock a ? SPEED. Item, “ She can wash and scour." Laun. A special virtue ; for then she need not be washed and scoured. SPEED. “ She can spin.” Laun. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living. SPEED. Item, She hath many nameless virtues." Laun. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues ; that, indeed, know not their

fathers, and therefore have no names.
SPEED." Here follow her vices.”
Laun. Close at the heels of her virtues.
SPEED. Item, “ She is not to be kissed fasting, in respect of her breath."
Laur. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: Read on.
SPEED. Item, She hath a sweet mouth."
Laun. That makes amends for her sour breath.
SPEED. Item, “ She doth talk in her sleep."
Laur. It 's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
SPEED. Item, « She is slow in words."
Laun. O villain, that set this down among her vices !

To be slow in words is a woman's only virtue :

pray thee out with 't; and place it for her chief virtue.
SPEED. Item, “She is proud."
Laun. Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy,
And cannot be ta'en from her.


Kissed is not in the original. It was introduced by Rowe.

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