William Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona in the complete original text.
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Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Act IV. Scene I.

Act IV. Scene I.—A Forest between Milan
and Verona.

Enter certain Outlaws.

First Out.. Fellows, stand fast; I see a pas-
senger.
Sec. Out.. If there be ten, shrink not, but
down with 'em.

Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.
Third Out.. Stand, sir, and throw us that you
have about ye;
If not, we'll make you sit and rifle you.
Speed. Sir, we are undone: these are the
villains
That all the travellers do fear so much
Val. My friends,—
First Out.. That's not so, sir; we are your
enemies.
Sec. Out. Peace! we'll hear him.
Third Out.. Ay, by my beard, will we, for he
is a proper man.
Val. Then know, that I have little wealth to
lose.
A man I am cross'd with adversity:
My riches are these poor habiliments,
Of which if you should here disfurnish me,
You take the sum and substance that I have.
Sec. Out. Whither travel you?
Val. To Verona.
First Out.. Whence came you?
Val. From Milan.
Third Out.. Have you long sojourn'd there?
Val. Some sixteen months; and longer might
have stay'd
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me.
Sec. Out. What! were you banish'd thence?
Val. I was.
Sec. Out.. For what offence?
Val. For that which now torments me to
rehearse.
I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent;
But yet I slew him manfully, in fight,
Without false vantage or base treachery.
First Out.. Why, ne'er repent it, if it were
done so.
But were you banish'd for so small a fault?
Val. I was, and held me glad of such a doom.
Sec. Out.. Have you the tongues?
Val. My youthful travel therein made me
happy,
Or else I often had been miserable.
Third Out.. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's
fat friar,
This fellow were a king for our wild faction!
First Out., We'll have him: Sirs, a word.
Speed. Master, be one of them;
It is an honourable kind of thievery.
Val. Peace, villain!
Sec. Out.. Tell us this: have you anything to
take to?
Val. Nothing, but my fortune.
Third Out.. Know then, that some of us are
gentlemen,
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
Thrust from the company of awful men:
Myself was from Verona banished
For practising to steal away a lady,
An heir, and near allied unto the duke.
Sec. Out.. And I from Mantua, for a gentleman,
Who, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart.
First Out.. And I for such like petty crimes
as these.
But to the purpose; for we cite our faults,
That they may hold excus'd our lawless lives;
And, partly, seeing you are beautified
With goodly shape, and by your own report
A linguist, and a man of such perfection
As we do in our quality much want—
Sec. Out.. Indeed, because you are a banish'd
man,
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you.
Are you content to be our general?
To make a virtue of necessity
And live, as we do, in this wilderness?
Third Out.. What say'st thou? wilt thou be
of our consort?
Say 'ay,' and be the captain of us all:
We'll do thee homage and be ruled by thee,
Love thee as our commander and our king.
First Out.. But if thou scorn our courtesy,
thou diest.
Sec. Out.. Thou shall not live to brag what we
have offer'd.
Val. I take your offer and will live with
you,
Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women, or poor passengers.
Third Out.. No; we detest such vile, base
practices.
Come, go with us; we'll bring thee to our crews,
And show thee all the treasure we have got,
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose.
[Exeunt.
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