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SCENE IV. Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, Silvia, Thurio, and SPEED.
Val. Give him leave, madam; he is a kind of chameleon.
Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your blood, than live in your air.
Val. You have said, sir.
Val. I know it well, sir; you always end ere you begin.
Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.
1 To quote is to mark, to observe.
Val. 'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver.
Val. 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,
Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.
Val. 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.
Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more ; here comes my father.
Val. My lord, I will be thankful
Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your countryman?
Val. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
Duke. Hath he not a son ?
Val. Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves The honor and regard of such a father.
Duke. You know him well ?
Val. I knew him as myself; for from our infancy We have conversed, 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
Come all the praises that I now bestow,)
Duke. Beshrew? me, sir, but, if he make this good,
Val. Should I have wished a thing, it had been he. Duke. Welcome him then according to his worth. Silvia, I speak to you; and you, Sir Thurio :For Valentine, I need not 'cite him to it: I'll send him hither to you presently.
[Exit Duke. Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship, Had come along with me, but that his mistress Did hold his eyes locked in her crystal looks.
Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchised them Upon some other pawn for fealty. Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them prisoners
still. Sil. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind, How could he see his way to seek out you?
Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes. Thu. They say, that love hath not an eye at all.
Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself; Upon a homely object love can wink.
Enter PROTEUS. Sil. Have done, have done; here comes the gen
tleman. Val. Welcome, dear Proteus !—Mistress, I beseech
you, Confirm his welcome with some special favor.
Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, If this be he you oft have wished to hear from.
1 Feature in the Poet's age was often used for form or person in general. 2 Equivalent to ill betide me. VOL. I.
Val. Mistress, it is : sweet lady, entertain him To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
Val. Leave off discourse of disability :Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed;
Pro. "I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
No; that you are worthless.
Enter Servant. Ser. Madam, my lord your father would speak Sil. I'll wait upon his pleasure.
Come, Sir Thurio, Go with me :Once more, new servant, welcome : I'll leave you to confer of home affairs ; When you have done, we look to hear from you. Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship:
[Exeunt Silvia, THURIO, and SPEED. Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you
came? Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much
commended. Val. And how do yours? Pro. I left them ail in health. Val. How does your lady? and how thrives your
Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is altered now:
Love hath chased sleep from
Pro. Enough ; I read your fortune in your eye:
Val. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint ?
Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills; And I must minister the like to you.
Val. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine, Yet let her be a principality, Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.
Pro. Except my mistress.
Val. Sweet, except not any,
Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too:
Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing; She is alone.
Pro. Then let her alone.
No wo, no misery that can be compared to the punishment inflicted by love.
2 A principality is an angel of the first order.