Act 3 - Scene 1
Milan. The DUKE's palace.
Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS
Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
We have some secrets to confer about.
Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?
My gracious lord, that which I would discover
The law of friendship bids me to conceal;
But when I call
to mind your gracious favours
Done to me, undeserving as I am,
My duty pricks me on to utter that
else no worldly good should draw from me.
Know, worthy prince, Sir Valentine, my friend,
This night intends
to steal away your daughter:
Myself am one made privy to the plot.
I know you have determined to bestow
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates;
And should she thus be stol'n away from you,
be much vexation to your age.
Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose
To cross my friend in his intended
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
unprevented, to your timeless grave.
Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care;
Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of theirs
myself have often seen,
Haply when they have judged me fast asleep,
And oftentimes have purposed to
Sir Valentine her company and my court:
But fearing lest my jealous aim might err
And so unworthily
disgrace the man,
A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,
I gave him gentle looks, thereby to find
which thyself hast now disclosed to me.
And, that thou mayst perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender
youth is soon suggested,
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept;
thence she cannot be convey'd away.
Know, noble lord, they have devised a mean
How he her chamber-window will ascend
And with a corded
ladder fetch her down;
For which the youthful lover now is gone
And this way comes he with it presently;
if it please you, you may intercept him.
But, good my Lord, do it so cunningly
That my discovery be not
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.
Upon mine honour, he shall never know
That I had any light from thee of this.
Adieu, my Lord; Sir Valentine is coming.
Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?
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