The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 2

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DUKE

Thou know’st how willingly I would effect
The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.

DUKE

You know how much I would like to arrange a marriage between Sir Thurio and my daughter.

PROTEUS

I do, my lord.

PROTEUS

I do, my lord.

DUKE

25And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.

DUKE

And also, I think, you’re aware that she refuses to obey my will?

PROTEUS

She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.

PROTEUS

She refused when Valentine was here, my lord.

DUKE

Ay, and perversely she persevers so.
What might we do to make the girl forget
30The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio?

DUKE

Yes, and oddly enough she continues to oppose me. What can we do to make this girl forget her love for Valentine and love Sir Thurio?

PROTEUS

The best way is to slander Valentine
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent,
Three things that women highly hold in hate.

PROTEUS

The best way is to slander Valentine and make up lies about his infidelity, cowardice, and poor parentage—three things women strongly hate.

DUKE

Ay, but she’ll think that it is spoke in hate.

DUKE

Yes, but she’ll think these things are only said out of hatred for him.

PROTEUS

35Ay, if his enemy deliver it;
Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.

PROTEUS

Yes, if his enemy tells her these things. Therefore, someone she believes to be his friend must tell her the details.

DUKE

Then you must undertake to slander him.

DUKE

Then you must make it your job to slander him.

PROTEUS

And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do.
40’Tis an ill office for a gentleman,
Especially against his very friend.

PROTEUS

I would hate to do that, my lord. It’s a job unsuitable for a gentleman, especially against his own friend.

DUKE

Where your good word cannot advantage him,
Your slander never can endamage him;
Therefore the office is indifferent,
45Being entreated to it by your friend.

DUKE

If your praise can’t help him, then your slander can’t do him any harm. Therefore the task is neither good nor bad, since I, your friend, ask you to do it.

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