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The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 2, scene 6
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Navigate this workThe Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 2, scene 6
Act 2, scene 6
Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for himself.Enter Proteus alone.
0935 To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn.
0936 To love fair Sylvia, shall I be forsworn.
p. 790937 To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn.
0938 And ev’n that power which gave me first my oath
0939 5 Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
0940 Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear.
0941 O sweet-suggesting Love, if thou hast sinned,
0942 Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
0943 At first I did adore a twinkling star,
0944 10 But now I worship a celestial sun;
0945 Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken,
0946 And he wants wit that wants resolvèd will
0947 To learn his wit t’ exchange the bad for better.
0948 Fie, fie, unreverend tongue, to call her bad
0949 15 Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferred
0950 With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
0951 I cannot leave to love, and yet I do.
0952 But there I leave to love where I should love.
0953 Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose;
0954 20 If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
0955 If I lose them, thus find I by their loss:
0956 For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Sylvia.
0957 I to myself am dearer than a friend,
0958 For love is still most precious in itself,
0959 25 And Sylvia—witness heaven that made her fair—
0960 Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
0961 I will forget that Julia is alive,
0962 Rememb’ring that my love to her is dead;
0963 And Valentine I’ll hold an enemy,
0964 30 Aiming at Sylvia as a sweeter friend.
0965 I cannot now prove constant to myself
0966 Without some treachery used to Valentine.
0967 This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
0968 To climb celestial Sylvia’s chamber window,
0969 35 Myself in counsel his competitor.
0970 Now presently I’ll give her father notice
p. 810971 Of their disguising and pretended flight,
0972 Who, all enraged, will banish Valentine,
0973 For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter.
0974 40 But Valentine being gone, I’ll quickly cross
0975 By some sly trick blunt Thurio’s dull proceeding.
0976 Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
0977 As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift.