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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 5

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DUKE

But she I mean is promised by her friends
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
And kept severely from resort of men,
That no man hath access by day to her.

DUKE

But the family of the woman I’m talking about has promised her to a young, worthy gentleman, and they’ve strictly kept her away from other men so that no man can meet with her during the day.

VALENTINE

110Why then I would resort to her by night.

VALENTINE

Why, then I would see her at night.

DUKE

Ay, but the doors be locked and keys kept safe,
That no man hath recourse to her by night.

DUKE

Yes, but the doors are locked and the keys tightly guarded so that no man has access to her at night.

VALENTINE

What lets but one may enter at her window?

VALENTINE

What’s stopping anyone from entering her room through the window?

DUKE

Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground,
115And built so shelving that one cannot climb it
Without apparent hazard of his life.

DUKE

Her room is high up, far from the ground, and it projects out like a shelf so that one cannot climb it without risking his life.

VALENTINE

Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks,
Would serve to scale another Hero’s tower,
120So bold Leander would adventure it.

VALENTINE

Why then, a skillfully made ladder of rope to toss up, with a pair of grappling hooks to anchor it, would work to scale this

new Hero’s tower

In Greek myth, Hero and Leander were lovers. Leander would swim across the Hellespont each night to see her, guided by a light she set at the top of a tower.

new Hero’s tower
, allowing another daring Leander to climb it.

DUKE

Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood,
Advise me where I may have such a ladder.

DUKE

Now, from one nobleman by birth to another, tell me where I can get such a ladder.

VALENTINE

When would you use it? Pray, sir, tell me that.

VALENTINE

When would you need to use it? Please, sir, tell me that.

DUKE

This very night; for Love is like a child,
125That longs for everything that he can come by.

DUKE

Tonight, because Love is like a child that wants everything he sees.

VALENTINE

By seven o’clock I’ll get you such a ladder.

VALENTINE

I’ll get you such a ladder by seven o’clock.

DUKE

But, hark thee, I will go to her alone;
How shall I best convey the ladder thither?

DUKE

But listen, I will go see her alone. What’s the best way to carry the ladder there?

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