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The Two Gentlemen of Verona
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Navigate this workThe Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 4, scene 2
Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to Sylvia, woos her, and, having been rejected by her, succeeds in getting her promise to give him her portrait.Enter Proteus.
1625 Already have I been false to Valentine,
1626 And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
1627 Under the color of commending him,
1628 I have access my own love to prefer.
1629 5 But Sylvia is too fair, too true, too holy
1630 To be corrupted with my worthless gifts.
1631 When I protest true loyalty to her,
1632 She twits me with my falsehood to my friend;
1633 When to her beauty I commend my vows,
1634 10 She bids me think how I have been forsworn
1635 In breaking faith with Julia, whom I loved;
1636 And notwithstanding all her sudden quips,
1637 The least whereof would quell a lover’s hope,
1638 Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
1639 15 The more it grows and fawneth on her still.
1640 But here comes Thurio. Now must we to her
1642 And give some evening music to her ear.
p. 135⌜Enter⌝ Thurio ⌜and Musicians.⌝
1643 How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?
1644 20 Ay, gentle Thurio, for you know that love
1645 Will creep in service where it cannot go.
1646 Ay, but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
1647 Sir, but I do, or else I would be hence.
1648 Who, Sylvia?
PROTEUS 1649 25 Ay, Sylvia, for your sake.
1650 I thank you for your own.—Now, gentlemen,
1651 Let’s tune, and to it lustily awhile.
⌜Enter⌝ Host ⌜of the inn, and⌝ Julia, ⌜disguised as a
page, Sebastian. They stand at a distance and talk.⌝
HOST 1652 Now, my young guest, methinks you’re allycholly.
1653 I pray you, why is it?
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1654 30Marry, mine host, because I
1655 cannot be merry.
HOST 1656 Come, we’ll have you merry. I’ll bring you where
1657 you shall hear music and see the gentleman that you
1658 asked for.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1659 35But shall I hear him speak?
HOST 1660 Ay, that you shall.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1661 That will be music.
HOST 1662 Hark, hark.⌜Music plays.⌝
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1663 Is he among these?
HOST 1664 40Ay. But peace; let’s hear ’em.
⌜PROTEUS⌝ 1665 Who is Sylvia? What is she,
1666 That all our swains commend her?
1667 Holy, fair, and wise is she;
1668 The heaven such grace did lend her
1669 45 That she might admirèd be.
1670 Is she kind as she is fair?
1671 For beauty lives with kindness.
1672 Love doth to her eyes repair
1673 To help him of his blindness;
1674 50 And, being helped, inhabits there.
1675 Then to Sylvia let us sing,
1676 That Sylvia is excelling;
1677 She excels each mortal thing
1678 Upon the dull earth dwelling.
1679 55 To her let us garlands bring.
HOST 1680 How now? Are you sadder than you were before?
1681 How do you, man? The music likes you not.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1682 You mistake. The musician likes me
HOST 1684 60Why, my pretty youth?
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1685 He plays false, father.
HOST 1686 How, out of tune on the strings?
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1687 Not so; but yet so false that he
1688 grieves my very heart-strings.
HOST 1689 65You have a quick ear.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1690 Ay, I would I were deaf; it makes
1691 me have a slow heart.
HOST 1692 I perceive you delight not in music.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1693 Not a whit when it jars so.
HOST 1694 70Hark, what fine change is in the music!
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1695 Ay; that change is the spite.
HOST 1696 You would have them always play but one
p. 139JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝
1698 I would always have one play but one thing.
1699 75 But, host, doth this Sir Proteus, that we talk on,
1700 Often resort unto this gentlewoman?
HOST 1701 I tell you what Lance his man told me: he loved
1702 her out of all nick.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1703 Where is Lance?
HOST 1704 80Gone to seek his dog, which tomorrow, by his
1705 master’s command, he must carry for a present to
1706 his lady.⌜Music ends.⌝
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1707 Peace. Stand aside. The company
1708 parts.⌜Host and Julia move away.⌝
1709 85 Sir Thurio, fear not you. I will so plead
1710 That you shall say my cunning drift excels.
1711 Where meet we?
PROTEUS 1712 At Saint Gregory’s well.
THURIO 1713 Farewell.
⌜Thurio and the Musicians exit.⌝
⌜Enter⌝ Sylvia, ⌜above.⌝
1714 90 Madam, good even to your Ladyship.
1715 I thank you for your music, gentlemen.
1716 Who is that that spake?
1717 One, lady, if you knew his pure heart’s truth,
1718 You would quickly learn to know him by his voice.
SYLVIA 1719 95Sir Proteus, as I take it.
1720 Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant.
1721 What’s your will?
p. 141PROTEUS 1722 That I may compass yours.
1723 You have your wish: my will is even this,
1724 100 That presently you hie you home to bed.
1725 Thou subtle, perjured, false, disloyal man,
1726 Think’st thou I am so shallow, so conceitless,
1727 To be seducèd by thy flattery,
1728 That hast deceived so many with thy vows?
1729 105 Return, return, and make thy love amends.
1730 For me, by this pale queen of night I swear,
1731 I am so far from granting thy request
1732 That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit
1733 And by and by intend to chide myself
1734 110 Even for this time I spend in talking to thee.
1735 I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady,
1736 But she is dead.
JULIA, ⌜aside⌝ 1737 ’Twere false if I should speak it,
1738 For I am sure she is not burièd.
1739 115 Say that she be; yet Valentine thy friend
1740 Survives, to whom, thyself art witness,
1741 I am betrothed. And art thou not ashamed
1742 To wrong him with thy importunacy?
1743 I likewise hear that Valentine is dead.
1744 120 And so suppose am I, for in ⌜his⌝ grave,
1745 Assure thyself, my love is burièd.
1746 Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth.
1747 Go to thy lady’s grave and call hers thence,
1748 Or, at the least, in hers sepulcher thine.
JULIA, ⌜aside⌝ 1749 125He heard not that.
1750 Madam, if your heart be so obdurate,
1751 Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love,
1752 The picture that is hanging in your chamber;
1753 To that I’ll speak, to that I’ll sigh and weep,
1754 130 For since the substance of your perfect self
1755 Is else devoted, I am but a shadow;
1756 And to your shadow will I make true love.
1757 If ’twere a substance you would sure deceive it
1758 And make it but a shadow, as I am.
1759 135 I am very loath to be your idol, sir;
1760 But since your falsehood shall become you well
1761 To worship shadows and adore false shapes,
1762 Send to me in the morning, and I’ll send it.
1763 And so, good rest.⌜Sylvia exits.⌝
PROTEUS 1764 140 As wretches have o’ernight
1765 That wait for execution in the morn.⌜Proteus exits.⌝
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1766 Host, will you go?
HOST 1767 By my halidom, I was fast asleep.
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝ 1768 Pray you, where lies Sir Proteus?
HOST 1769 145Marry, at my house. Trust me, I think ’tis almost
JULIA, ⌜as Sebastian⌝
1771 Not so; but it hath been the longest night
1772 That e’er I watched, and the most heaviest.