Page images

Pro. I'll force thee yield to my desire.

Val. Ruffian let go that rude uncivil touch; Thou friend of an ill fashion!

Pro. Valentine!

Val. Thou common friend, that's without faith or love; (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 wouldst 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 curst!
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst!
Pro. My shame and guilt confounds 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.

Val. 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 the 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.

Pro. How! let me see:

Why this is the ring I gave to Julia.

Jul. O, cry your mercy, Sir, I have mistook;

This is the ring you sent to Silvia.

Gives a ring.

[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 entertain'd 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

* Direction.

† An allusion to cleaving the pin in archery.

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! were man

But constant, he were perfect: that one error

Fills him with faults; makes him run through all 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 for ever.
Jul. And I have mine.

Enter OUTLAWS, with DUKE and THURIO.

Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!

Val. Forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke. Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced, Banish'd Valentine.

Duke. Sir 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,
Milan shall not behold 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;
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 meanst for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.---
Now, by the honour 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 unrivall'd 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 banish'd men, that I have kept withal, Are men endued with worthy qualities;

Forgive them what they have committed here,

Length of my sword.

1 Interest.

And let them be recall'd from their exile:
They are reform'd, civil, full of good,

And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevail'd: I pardon them and thee;
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include 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 blushes.
Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy.
Duke. What mean you by that saying?

Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned.-
Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear
The story of your loves discover'd:

That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

[blocks in formation]


[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-An apartment in the DUKE's Palace.

Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants. Duke. Escalus,

Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
Since I am put to know, that your own science,
Exceeds, in that, the lists* of all advice

My strength can give you: Then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms

For common justice, you are as pregnant in,
As art and practice hath enriched any

That we remember: There is our commission,

From which we would not have you warp.-Call hither,
I say, bid come before us Angelo.-

* Bounds.

[Exit an Attendant.

+ Full of.

What figure of us think you he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply;

Lent him our terror, dress'd him with our love;
And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: What think you of it?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth

To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.


Duke. Look, where he comes.

Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.

Duke. Angelo,

There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to the observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold: Thyself and thy belongings*
Are not thine own so proper,† as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do;
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine issues: nor nature never lends

The smallest scruple of her excellence,

But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines

Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use.§ But I do bend my speech

To one that can my part in him advertise;

Hold, therefore, Angelo;

In our remove, be thou at full ourself;

Mortality and mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,

Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.

Ang. Now, good my lord,

Let there be some more test made of my metal
Before so noble and so great a figure

Be stamp'd upon it.

Duke. No more evasion:

We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
As time and our concernings shall impórtune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befall you here.. So, fare you well:
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.


For high purposes.

So much thy own proper § Interest.

« PreviousContinue »