1595 The Two Gentlemen Of Verona
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SPEED. By a letter, I should say.
VALENTINE. Why, she hath not writ to me.
SPEED. What need she, when she hath made you write to yourself?
Why, do you not perceive the jest?
VALENTINE. No, believe me.
SPEED. No believing you indeed, sir. But did you perceive her
VALENTINE. She gave me none except an angry word.
SPEED. Why, she hath given you a letter.
VALENTINE. That's the letter I writ to her friend.
SPEED. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and there an end.
VALENTINE. I would it were no worse.
SPEED. I'll warrant you 'tis as well.
'For often have you writ to her; and she, in modesty,
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply;
Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover,
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.'
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. Why muse you,
sir? 'Tis dinner time.
VALENTINE. I have din'd.
SPEED. Ay, but hearken, sir; though the chameleon Love can feed on
the air, I am one that am nourish'd by my victuals, and would
fain have meat. O, be not like your mistress! Be moved, be moved.
Verona. JULIA'S house
Enter PROTEUS and JULIA
PROTEUS. Have patience, gentle Julia.
JULIA. I must, where is no remedy.
PROTEUS. When possibly I can, I will return.
JULIA. If you turn not, you will return the sooner.
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.
[Giving a ring]
PROTEUS. Why, then, we'll make exchange. Here, take you this.
JULIA. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
PROTEUS. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
And when that hour o'erslips me in the day
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake,
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
Torment me for my love's forgetfulness!
My father stays my coming; answer not;
The tide is now- nay, not thy tide of tears:
That tide will stay me longer than I should.
Julia, farewell! Exit JULIA
What, gone without a word?
Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.
PANTHINO. Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for.
PROTEUS. Go; I come, I come.
Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. Exeunt
Verona. A street
Enter LAUNCE, leading a dog
LAUNCE. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping; all the
kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have receiv'd my
proportion, like the Prodigious Son, and am going with Sir
Proteus to the Imperial's court. I think Crab my dog be the
sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father
wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her
hands, and all our house in a great perplexity; yet did not this
cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble
stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have
wept to have seen our parting; why, my grandam having no eyes,
look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you
the manner of it. This shoe is my father; no, this left shoe is
my father; no, no, left shoe is my mother; nay, that cannot be so
neither; yes, it is so, it is so, it hath the worser sole. This
shoe with the hole in it is my mother, and this my father. A
vengeance on 't! There 'tis. Now, sir, this staff is my sister,
for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand;
this hat is Nan our maid; I am the dog; no, the dog is himself,
and I am the dog- O, the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so, so.
Now come I to my father: 'Father, your blessing.' Now should not
the shoe speak a word for weeping; now should I kiss my father;
well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother. O that she could
speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her- why there 'tis;
here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister;
mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a
tear, nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my
PANTHINO. Launce, away, away, aboard! Thy master is shipp'd, and
thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? Why weep'st
thou, man? Away, ass! You'll lose the tide if you tarry any
LAUNCE. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
PANTHINO. What's the unkindest tide?
LAUNCE. Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.
PANTHINO. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood, and, in losing
the flood, lose thy voyage, and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy
master, and, in losing thy master, lose thy service, and, in
losing thy service- Why dost thou stop my mouth?
LAUNCE. For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue.
PANTHINO. Where should I lose my tongue?
LAUNCE. In thy tale.
PANTHINO. In thy tail!
LAUNCE. Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and the
service, and the tied! Why, man, if the river were dry, I am able
to fill it with my tears; if the wind were down, I could drive
the boat with my sighs.
PANTHINO. Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.
LAUNCE. Sir, call me what thou dar'st.
PANTHINO. Will thou go?
LAUNCE. Well, I will go. Exeunt
Milan. The DUKE'S palace
Enter SILVIA, VALENTINE, THURIO, and SPEED
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 knock'd 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?
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.
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
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
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.
DUKE. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset.
Sir Valentine, your father is 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 knew him as myself; for from our infancy
We have convers'd 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 unmellowed, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word, for far behind his worth