The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

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Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS
DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS enter.
DUKE
Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile.
We have some secrets to confer about.
DUKE
Sir Thurio, leave us alone a while, please. We have some private matters to discuss.
Exit THURIO
THURIO exits.
Now tell me, Proteus, what’s your will with me?
Now tell me, Proteus, why did you want to see me?
PROTEUS
My gracious lord, that which I would discover
5The law of friendship bids me to conceal;
But when I call to mind your gracious favors
Done to me, undeserving as I am,
My duty pricks me on to utter that
Which else no worldly good should draw from me.
10Know, 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 her
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates;
15And should she thus be stolen away from you,
It would be much vexation to your age.
Thus, for my duty’s sake, I rather chose
To cross my friend in his intended drift
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
20A pack of sorrows which would press you down,
Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.
PROTEUS
My gracious lord, the rules of friendship require that I keep secret what I’m about to reveal to you. But when I think of all you’ve graciously done for me, undeserving as I am, my duty urges me to divulge what nothing else in the world could pull out of me. You should know, your highness, that Sir Valentine, my friend, intends to run away with your daughter tonight. I was informed of the plot. I know you’ve decided to marry her to Thurio, whom your lovely daughter hates. And should she be taken away from you this way, it would greatly upset you in your old age. So, for the sake of my duty, I chose to go against my friend and his intended scheme rather than hide it and burden your mind with a pack of sorrows that would weigh you down and send you to an early grave.

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