Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

VAL. The tenor of them doth but signify

My health, and happy being at your Court.
DUKE. Nay, then no matter; stay with me a while:
I am to break with thee of some affairs
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
"Tis 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 childlike duty,
I now am full resolv'd 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 Milano 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 chang'd),
How, and which way, I may bestow myself,
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.
VAL. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words :
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

More than quick words do move a woman's mind.
DUKE. But she did scorn a present that I sent her.
VAL. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her:
Send her another; never give her o'er;

For scorn at first makes after-love the more.

[ocr errors]

ACT III
Sc. I

If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you.
If she do chide, 'tis 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 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.

[merged small][ocr errors]

DUKE. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept safe,

That no man hath recourse to her by night.

VAL. What lets1 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 every thing 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 shall 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.

120

130

1 hinders.

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:
O, 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 impórtune,

140

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:

"Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.

Why, Phaeton (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! over-weening 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.

150

160

[Exit DUKE.

VAL. And why not death, rather than living torment? 170
To die, is to be banish'd from myself;

ACT III

Sc.. I

ACT III
Sc. I

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 leave1 to be,
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly is deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE.

PRO. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.

LAUNCE. So-ho, so-ho!

180

PRO. What see'st thou ?

190

LAUNCE. Him we go to find: there's not a hair on's

head but 'tis a Valentine.

PRO. Valentine!

VAL. NO.

PRO. Who then? his spirit?

VAL. Neither.

PRO. What then?

VAL. Nothing.

LAUNCE. Can nothing speak? master, shall I strike?
PRO. Whom would'st thou strike?

LAUNCE. Nothing.

PRO. Villain, forbear.

LAUNCE. 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, untunable, and bad.
VAL. Is Silvia dead?

1 cease.

200

[blocks in formation]

VAL. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!

What is your news?

LAUNCE. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are
vanish'd-

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 pow'r upon my life:

If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,
As ending amen of my endless dolour.

PRO. 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;

220

230

240

« IndietroContinua »