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The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 2, scene 4
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Navigate this workThe Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 2, scene 4
Act 2, scene 4
Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.Enter Valentine, Sylvia, Thurio, ⌜and⌝ Speed.
SYLVIA 0658 Servant!
VALENTINE 0659 Mistress?
SPEED 0660 Master, Sir Thurio frowns on you.
VALENTINE 0661 Ay, boy, it’s for love.
SPEED 0662 5Not of you.
VALENTINE 0663 Of my mistress, then.
SPEED 0664 ’Twere good you knocked him.
SYLVIA, ⌜to Valentine⌝ 0665 Servant, you are sad.
VALENTINE 0666 Indeed, madam, I seem so.
THURIO 0667 10Seem you that you are not?
VALENTINE 0668 Haply I do.
THURIO 0669 So do counterfeits.
VALENTINE 0670 So do you.
THURIO 0671 What seem I that I am not?
VALENTINE 0672 15Wise.
THURIO 0673 What instance of the contrary?
VALENTINE 0674 Your folly.
THURIO 0675 And how quote you my folly?
VALENTINE 0676 I quote it in your jerkin.
THURIO 0677 20My “jerkin” is a doublet.
VALENTINE 0678 Well, then, I’ll double your folly.
THURIO 0679 How!
SYLVIA 0680 What, angry, Sir Thurio? Do you change color?
VALENTINE 0681 Give him leave, madam. He is a kind of
0682 25 chameleon.
THURIO 0683 That hath more mind to feed on your blood
0684 than live in your air.
p. 61VALENTINE 0685 You have said, sir.
THURIO 0686 Ay, sir, and done too for this time.
VALENTINE 0687 30I know it well, sir. You always end ere you
SYLVIA 0689 A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly
0690 shot off.
VALENTINE 0691 ’Tis indeed, madam. We thank the giver.
SYLVIA 0692 35Who is that, servant?
VALENTINE 0693 Yourself, sweet lady, for you gave the fire.
0694 Sir Thurio borrows his wit from your Ladyship’s
0695 looks and spends what he borrows kindly in your
THURIO 0697 40Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall
0698 make your wit bankrupt.
VALENTINE 0699 I know it well, sir. You have an exchequer
0700 of words and, I think, no other treasure to give your
0701 followers, for it appears by their bare liveries that
0702 45 they live by your bare words.
0703 No more, gentlemen, no more. Here comes my
0705 Now, daughter Sylvia, you are hard beset.—
0706 Sir Valentine, your father is in good health.
0707 50 What say you to a letter from your friends
0708 Of much good news?
VALENTINE 0709 My lord, I will be thankful
0710 To any happy messenger from thence.
0711 Know you Don Antonio, your countryman?
0712 55 Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
0713 To be of worth and worthy estimation,
0714 And not without desert so well reputed.
p. 63DUKE 0715 Hath he not a son?
0716 Ay, my good lord, a son that well deserves
0717 60 The honor and regard of such a father.
DUKE 0718 You know him well?
0719 I knew him as myself, for from our infancy
0720 We have conversed and spent our hours together,
0721 And though myself have been an idle truant,
0722 65 Omitting the sweet benefit of time
0723 To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection,
0724 Yet hath Sir Proteus—for that’s his name—
0725 Made use and fair advantage of his days:
0726 His years but young, but his experience old;
0727 70 His head unmellowed, but his judgment ripe;
0728 And in a word—for far behind his worth
0729 Comes all the praises that I now bestow—
0730 He is complete in feature and in mind,
0731 With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
0732 75 Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good,
0733 He is as worthy for an empress’ love,
0734 As meet to be an emperor’s counselor.
0735 Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me
0736 With commendation from great potentates,
0737 80 And here he means to spend his time awhile.
0738 I think ’tis no unwelcome news to you.
0739 Should I have wished a thing, it had been he.
0740 Welcome him then according to his worth.
0741 Sylvia, I speak to you—and you, Sir Thurio.
0742 85 For Valentine, I need not cite him to it.
0743 I will send him hither to you presently.⌜Duke exits.⌝
0744 This is the gentleman I told your Ladyship
p. 650745 Had come along with me but that his mistress
0746 Did hold his eyes locked in her crystal looks.
0747 90 Belike that now she hath enfranchised them
0748 Upon some other pawn for fealty.
0749 Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners still.
0750 Nay, then, he should be blind, and being blind
0751 How could he see his way to seek out you?
0752 95 Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes.
0753 They say that Love hath not an eye at all.
0754 To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself.
0755 Upon a homely object, Love can wink.
0756 Have done, have done. Here comes the gentleman.
0757 100 Welcome, dear Proteus.—Mistress, I beseech you
0758 Confirm his welcome with some special favor.
0759 His worth is warrant for his welcome hither,
0760 If this be he you oft have wished to hear from.
0761 Mistress, it is. Sweet lady, entertain him
0762 105 To be my fellow-servant to your Ladyship.
0763 Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
0764 Not so, sweet lady, but too mean a servant
0765 To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
0766 Leave off discourse of disability.
0767 110 Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
0768 My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
0769 And duty never yet did want his meed.
0770 Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.
0771 I’ll die on him that says so but yourself.
SYLVIA 0772 115That you are welcome?
PROTEUS 0773 That you are worthless.
0774 Madam, my lord your father would speak with you.
0775 I wait upon his pleasure. ⌜Servant exits.⌝ Come, Sir
0777 120 Go with me.—Once more, new servant, welcome.
0778 I’ll leave you to confer of home affairs.
0779 When you have done, we look to hear from you.
0780 We’ll both attend upon your Ladyship.
⌜Sylvia and Thurio exit.⌝
0781 Now tell me, how do all from whence you came?
0782 125 Your friends are well and have them much
0784 And how do yours?
PROTEUS 0785 I left them all in health.
0786 How does your lady? And how thrives your love?
0787 130 My tales of love were wont to weary you.
0788 I know you joy not in a love discourse.
0789 Ay, Proteus, but that life is altered now.
0790 I have done penance for contemning Love,
0791 Whose high imperious thoughts have punished me
0792 135 With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
0793 With nightly tears, and daily heartsore sighs,
0794 For in revenge of my contempt of love,
0795 Love hath chased sleep from my enthrallèd eyes
0796 And made them watchers of mine own heart’s
0797 140 sorrow.
0798 O gentle Proteus, Love’s a mighty lord
0799 And hath so humbled me as I confess
0800 There is no woe to his correction,
0801 Nor, to his service, no such joy on Earth.
0802 145 Now, no discourse except it be of love.
0803 Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep
0804 Upon the very naked name of Love.
0805 Enough; I read your fortune in your eye.
0806 Was this the idol that you worship so?
0807 150 Even she. And is she not a heavenly saint?
0808 No, but she is an earthly paragon.
0809 Call her divine.
PROTEUS 0810 I will not flatter her.
0811 O, flatter me, for love delights in praises.
0812 155 When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
0813 And I must minister the like to you.
0814 Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
0815 Yet let her be a principality,
0816 Sovereign to all the creatures on the Earth.
0817 160 Except my mistress.
VALENTINE 0818 Sweet, except not any,
0819 Except thou wilt except against my love.
0820 Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
0821 And I will help thee to prefer her too:
0822 165 She shall be dignified with this high honor—
0823 To bear my lady’s train, lest the base earth
0824 Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
0825 And, of so great a favor growing proud,
0826 Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
0827 170 And make rough winter everlastingly.
0828 Why, Valentine, what braggartism is this?
0829 Pardon me, Proteus, all I can is nothing
0830 To her whose worth ⌜makes⌝ other worthies
0832 175 She is alone—
PROTEUS 0833 Then let her alone.
0834 Not for the world! Why, man, she is mine own,
0835 And I as rich in having such a jewel
0836 As twenty seas if all their sand were pearl,
0837 180 The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
0838 Forgive me that I do not dream on thee,
0839 Because thou seest me dote upon my love.
0840 My foolish rival, that her father likes
0841 Only for his possessions are so huge,
p. 730842 185 Is gone with her along, and I must after,
0843 For love, thou know’st, is full of jealousy.
PROTEUS 0844 But she loves you?
0845 Ay, and we are betrothed; nay more, our marriage
0847 190 With all the cunning manner of our flight
0848 Determined of: how I must climb her window,
0849 The ladder made of cords, and all the means
0850 Plotted and ’greed on for my happiness.
0851 Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber,
0852 195 In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel.
0853 Go on before. I shall inquire you forth.
0854 I must unto the road to disembark
0855 Some necessaries that I needs must use,
0856 And then I’ll presently attend you.
VALENTINE 0857 200Will you make haste?
PROTEUS 0858 I will.⌜Valentine and Speed⌝ exit.
0859 Even as one heat another heat expels,
0860 Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
0861 So the remembrance of my former love
0862 205 Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
0863 ⌜Is it⌝ mine ⌜eye,⌝ or Valentine’s praise,
0864 Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
0865 That makes me reasonless to reason thus?
0866 She is fair, and so is Julia that I love—
0867 210 That I did love, for now my love is thawed,
0868 Which like a waxen image ’gainst a fire
0869 Bears no impression of the thing it was.
0870 Methinks my zeal to Valentine is cold,
0871 And that I love him not as I was wont.
0872 215 O, but I love his lady too too much,
0873 And that’s the reason I love him so little.
0874 How shall I dote on her with more advice
0875 That thus without advice begin to love her?
p. 750876 ’Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
0877 220 And that hath dazzled my reason’s light;
0878 But when I look on her perfections,
0879 There is no reason but I shall be blind.
0880 If I can check my erring love, I will;
0881 If not, to compass her I’ll use my skill.