Actus Tertius, Scena Prima.

Enter Duke, Thurio, Protheus, Valentine, Launce, Speed.

Duke. Sir Thurio, giue vs leaue (I pray) a while, We haue some secrets to confer about. Now tell me Protheus, what's your will with me? Pro. My gracious Lord, that which I wold discouer, The Law of friendship bids me to conceale, But when I call to minde your gracious fauours Done to me (vndeseruing as I am) My dutie pricks me on to vtter that Which else, no worldly good should draw from me: Know (worthy Prince) Sir Valentine my friend This night intends to steale away your daughter: My selfe am one made priuy to the plot. I know you haue determin'd to bestow her On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates, And should she thus be stolne away from you, It would be much vexation to your age. Thus (for my duties sake) I rather chose To crosse my friend in his intended drift, Then (by concealing it) heap on your head A pack of sorrowes, which would presse you downe (Being vnpreuented) to your timelesse graue

Duke. Protheus, I thank thee for thine honest care, Which to requite, command me while I liue. This loue of theirs, my selfe haue often seene, Haply when they haue iudg'd me fast asleepe, And oftentimes haue purpos'd to forbid Sir Valentine her companie, and my Court. But fearing lest my iealous ayme might erre, And so (vnworthily) disgrace the man (A rashnesse that I euer yet haue shun'd) I gaue him gentle lookes, thereby to finde That which thy selfe hast now disclos'd to me. And that thou maist perceiue my feare of this, Knowing that tender youth is soone suggested, I nightly lodge her in an vpper Towre, The key whereof, my selfe haue euer kept: And thence she cannot be conuay'd away

Pro. Know (noble Lord) they haue deuis'd a meane How he her chamber-window will ascend, And with a Corded-ladder fetch her downe: For which, the youthfull Louer now is gone, And this way comes he with it presently. Where (if it please you) you may intercept him. But (good my Lord) doe it so cunningly That my discouery be not aimed at: For, loue of you, not hate vnto my friend, Hath made me publisher of this pretence

Duke. Vpon mine Honor, he shall neuer know That I had any light from thee of this

Pro. Adiew, my Lord, Sir Valentine is comming

Duk. Sir Valentine, whether away so fast? Val. Please it your Grace, there is a Messenger That stayes to beare my Letters to my friends, And I am going to deliuer them

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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