Two Gentlemen of Verona By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 1

VALENTINE.
Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a woman's mind.

DUKE.
But she did scorn a present that I sent her.

VALENTINE.
A woman sometime scorns what best contents her.
Send her another; never give her o'er,
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
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.

VALENTINE.
Why then I would resort to her by night.

DUKE.
Ay, but the doors be lock'd and keys kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night.

VALENTINE.
What lets 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.

VALENTINE.
Why then a ladder, quaintly made of cords,
To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero's tow'r,
So bold Leander would adventure it.

DUKE.
Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

VALENTINE.
When would you use it? Pray, sir, tell me that.

DUKE.
This very night; for Love is like a child,
That longs for everything that he can come by.

VALENTINE.
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?

VALENTINE.
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?

VALENTINE.
Ay, my good lord.

DUKE.
Then let me see thy cloak.
I'll get me one of such another length.

VALENTINE.
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.

[Pulls open VALENTINE'S cloak.]

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 importune,
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath blest 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, Phaethon — 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.

[Exit.]

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