« PreviousContinue »
SCENE IV. Another Part of the Forest.
Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing, peopled towns:
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
And, to the nightingale's complaining notes,
Tune my distresses, and record1 my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless;
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
And leave no memory of what it was!
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia;
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain!-
What hallooing, and what stir, is this to-day?
These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
Have some unhappy passenger in chase:
They love me well; yet I have much to do
To keep them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine; who's this comes here?
Enter PROTEUS, SILVIA, and JULIA.
Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you,
(Though you respect not aught your servant doth,)
To hazard life, and rescue you from him
That would have forced your honor and your love.
Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look;
A smaller boon than this I cannot beg,
And less than this, I'm sure, you cannot give.
Val. How like a dream is this I see and hear!
Love, lend me patience to forbear a while.
Sil. O miserable, unhappy that I am!
Pro. Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;
But, by my coming, I have made you happy.
1 To record anciently signified to sing.
Sil. By thy approach thou mak'st me most unhappy. Jul. And me, when he approacheth to your pres
Sil. Had I been seized by a hungry lion,
I would have been a breakfast to the beast,
Rather than have false Proteus rescue me.
O, heaven be judge, how I love Valentine,
Whose life's as tender to me as my soul;
And full as much (for more there cannot be)
I do detest false, perjured Proteus:
Therefore begone, solicit me no more.
Pro. What dangerous action, stood it next to death,
Would I not undergo for one calm look!
O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved,1
When women cannot love where they're beloved.
Sil. When Proteus cannot love where he's beloved.
Read over Julia's heart, thy first, best love,
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith
Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
Descended into perjury, to love me.
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou hadst two,
And that's far worse than none; better have none
Than plural faith, which is too much by one:
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!
Who respects friend?
All men but Proteus.
Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form,
I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end;
And love you 'gainst the nature of love, force you.
Sil. O heaven!
I'll force thee yield to my desire. Val. Ruffian, let go that rude, uncivil touch; Thou friend of an ill fashion.
Val. Thou common friend, that's without faith or
1 Approved is confirmed by proof.
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man!
Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me: Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive; thou would'st disprove me.
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand
Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst!
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst!
Pro. My shame and guilt confound me.-
Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender it here; I do as truly suffer,
As e'er I did commit.
Then I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest:-
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of heaven, nor earth; for these are pleased;
By penitence th' Eternal's wrath's appeased :-
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.
Jul. O me, unhappy!
Pro. Look to the boy.
Val. Why, boy! why, wag! how now? what is the matter? Look up; speak.
Jul. O good sir, my master charged me to deliver a ring to madam Silvia; which, out of my neglect, was never done.
Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
Jul. Here 'tis : this is it.
[Gives a ring.
Pro. How! let me see: why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir; I have mistook; this is the ring you sent to Silvia. [Shows another ring. Pro. But, how cam'st thou by this ring? at my depart, I gave this unto Julia.
Jul. And Julia herself did give it me; And Julia herself hath brought it hither. Pro. How! Julia!
Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
And entertained them deeply in her heart:
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!'
O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
Be thou ashamed, that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment; if shame live
In a disguise of love:
It is the lesser blot modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes, than men their minds. Pro. Than men their minds? 'tis true: O heaven!
But constant, he were perfect: that one error Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins;
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins:
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye ?
Val. Come, come, a hand from either:
Let me be blest to make this happy close?
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever.
Jul. And I mine.
Enter Outlaws, with DUKE and THURIO.
Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!
Val. Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke. Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced, Banished Valentine.
Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death; Come not within the measure of my wrath: Do not name Silvia thine: if once again, Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands ; Take but possession of her with a touch;I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
1 i. e. of her heart: the allusion to archery is continued, and to cleaving the pin in shooting at the butts.
I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.-
Now, by the honor of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.—
Plead a new state in thy unrivalled merit,
To which I thus subscribe,-Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well derived;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.
Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy.
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banished men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endued with worthy qualities;
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recalled from their exíle :
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou hast prevailed; I pardon them, and thee:
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include1 all jars
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your grace to smile : What think you of this page, my lord?
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he
Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy.
1 Include is here used for conclude.
2 Triumphs are pageants.