ACT III SCENE II

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

 

ACT III SCENE II The same. The Duke’s palace.
[Enter DUKE and THURIO]
DUKE Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will love you,
Now Valentine is banish’d from her sight.
THURIO Since his exile she hath despised me most,
Forsworn my company and rail’d at me,
That I am desperate of obtaining her. 5
DUKE This weak impress of love is as a figure
Trenched in ice, which with an hour’s heat
Dissolves to water and doth lose his form.
A little time will melt her frozen thoughts
And worthless Valentine shall be forgot. 10
[Enter PROTEUS]
How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman
According to our proclamation gone?
PROTEUS Gone, my good lord.
DUKE My daughter takes his going grievously.
PROTEUS A little time, my lord, will kill that grief. 15
DUKE So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee–
For thou hast shown some sign of good desert–
Makes me the better to confer with thee.
PROTEUS Longer than I prove loyal to your grace 20
Let me not live to look upon your grace.
DUKE Thou know’st how willingly I would effect
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.
PROTEUS I do, my lord.
DUKE And also, I think, thou art not ignorant 25
How she opposes her against my will
PROTEUS She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
DUKE Ay, and perversely she persevers so.
What might we do to make the girl forget
The love of Valentine and love Sir Thurio? 30
PROTEUS The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice and poor descent,
Three things that women highly hold in hate.
DUKE Ay, but she’ll think that it is spoke in hate.
PROTEUS Ay, if his enemy deliver it: 35
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.
DUKE Then you must undertake to slander him.
PROTEUS And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do:
‘Tis an ill office for a gentleman, 40
Especially against his very friend.
DUKE Where your good word cannot advantage him,
Your slander never can endamage him;
Therefore the office is indifferent,
Being entreated to it by your friend. 45
PROTEUS You have prevail’d, my lord; if I can do it
By ought that I can speak in his dispraise,
She shall not long continue love to him.
But say this weed her love from Valentine,
It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio. 50
THURIO Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
You must provide to bottom it on me;
Which must be done by praising me as much
As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine. 55
DUKE And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind,
Because we know, on Valentine’s report,
You are already Love’s firm votary
And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
Upon this warrant shall you have access 60
Where you with Silvia may confer at large;
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
And, for your friend’s sake, will be glad of you;
Where you may temper her by your persuasion
To hate young Valentine and love my friend. 65
PROTEUS As much as I can do, I will effect:
But you, Sir Thurio, are not sharp enough;
You must lay lime to tangle her desires
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
Should be full-fraught with serviceable vows. 70
DUKE Ay,
Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.
PROTEUS Say that upon the altar of her beauty
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears 75
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line
That may discover such integrity:
For Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews,
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame and huge leviathans 80
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
After your dire-lamenting elegies,
Visit by night your lady’s chamber-window
With some sweet concert; to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump: the night’s dead silence 85
Will well become such sweet-complaining grievance.
This, or else nothing, will inherit her.
DUKE This discipline shows thou hast been in love.
THURIO And thy advice this night I’ll put in practise.
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, 90
Let us into the city presently
To sort some gentlemen well skill’d in music.
I have a sonnet that will serve the turn
To give the onset to thy good advice.
DUKE About it, gentlemen! 95
PROTEUS We’ll wait upon your grace till after supper,
And afterward determine our proceedings.
DUKE Even now about it! I will pardon you.
[Exeunt]

Next: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 4, Scene 1
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Explanatory notes for Act 3, Scene 2
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society.

54. bottom it:– “As you unwind her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. A bottom is the housewife’s term for that upon which a ball of yarn or thread is wound. Thus in Grange’s Garden, 1557: –

“A bottom for your silk, it seems,
My letters are become,
Which, oft with winding off and on,
Are wasted whole and some.”

88. inherit her:– To inherit is sometimes used by Shakespeare for to gain possession of, without any notion of inheritance. Milton, in Comus, has “disinherit Chaos,” meaning only to dispossess it.

93. To sort, to choose out.

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How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society, 1901.