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SCENE IV. Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, SILVIA, THURIO, and SPEED.
Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your blood, than live in your air.
Val. You have said, sir.
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.
Vai. 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,) He is complete in feature, and in mind, With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good, He is as worthy for an empress’ love, As meet to be an emperor's counsellor. Well, sir; this gentleman is come to me, With commendation from great potentates; And here he means to spend his time a while : I think, 't is no unwelcome news to you.
Val. Should I have wished a thing, it had been he.
Duke. Welcome him then according to his worth.
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.
Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself;
Enter PROTEUS. sii. Have done, have done; here comes the gentleman.
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.
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 with you. Sil. I'll wait upon his pleasure. [Exit Servant.
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 com
mended. Val. And how do yours? Pro. I left them all in health. Val. How does your lady ? and how thrives your love?
Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you; I know you joy not in a love-discourse.
Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is altered now:
I have done penance for contemning love;
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;
Val. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
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.
Val. Not for the world: why, man, she is mine own; And I as rich in having such a jewel, As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl, The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee,
Pro. But she loves you?
Ay, and we are betrothed;
Pro. Go on before ; I shall inquire you forth :
Val. Will you make haste?