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  • Title: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

    855(That I did loue, for now my loue is thaw'd,
    Which like a waxen Image 'gainst a fire
    Beares no impression of the thing it was.)
    Me thinkes my zeale to Valentine is cold,
    And that I loue him not as I was wont:
    860O, but I loue his Lady too-too much,
    And that's the reason I loue him so little.
    How shall I doate on her with more aduice,
    That thus without aduice begin to loue her?
    'Tis but her picture I haue yet beheld,
    865And that hath dazel'd my reasons light:
    But when I looke on her perfections,
    There is no reason, but I shall be blinde.
    If I can checke my erring loue, I will,
    If not, to compasse her Ile vse my skill.
    870 Exeunt.

    Scena Quinta.

    Enter Speed and Launce.

    Speed. Launce, by mine honesty welcome to Padua.
    Laun. Forsweare not thy selfe, sweet youth, for I am
    875not welcome. I reckon this alwaies, that a man is neuer
    vndon till hee be hang'd, nor neuer welcome to a place,
    till some certaine shot be paid, and the Hostesse say wel-
    Speed. Come-on you mad-cap: Ile to the Ale-house
    880with you presently; where, for one shot of fiue pence,
    thou shalt haue fiue thousand welcomes: But sirha, how
    did thy Master part with Madam Iulia?
    Lau. Marry after they cloas'd in earnest, they parted
    very fairely in iest.
    885Spee. But shall she marry him?
    Lau. No.
    Spee. How then? shall he marry her?
    Lau. No, neither.
    Spee. What, are they broken?
    890Lau. No; they are both as whole as a fish.
    Spee. Why then, how stands the matter with them?
    Lau. Marry thus, when it stands well with him, it
    stands well with her.
    Spee. What an asse art thou, I vnderstand thee not.
    895Lau. What a blocke art thou, that thou canst not?
    My staffe vnderstands me?
    Spee. What thou saist?
    Lau. I, and what I do too: looke thee, Ile but leane,
    and my staffe vnderstands me.
    900Spee. It stands vnder thee indeed.
    Lau. Why, stand-vnder: and vnder-stand is all one.
    Spee. But tell me true, wil't be a match?
    Lau. Aske my dogge, if he say I, it will: if hee say
    no, it will: if hee shake his taile, and say nothing, it
    Spee. The conclusion is then, that it will.
    Lau. Thou shalt neuer get such a secret from me, but
    by a parable.
    Spee. 'Tis well that I get it so: but Launce, how saist
    910thou that that my mastre is become a notable Louer?
    Lau. I neuer knew him otherwise.
    Spee. Then how?
    Lau. A notable Lubber: as thou reportest him to
    915Spee. Why, thou whorson Asse, thou mistak'st me,
    Lau. Why Foole, I meant not thee, I meant thy
    Spee. I tell thee, my Master is become a hot Louer.
    Lau. Why, I tell thee, I care not, though hee burne
    920himselfe in Loue. If thou wilt goe with me to the Ale-
    house: if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Iew, and not worth
    the name of a Christian.
    Spee. Why?
    Lau. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as
    925to goe to the Ale with a Christian: Wilt thou goe?
    Spee. At thy seruice.

    Scœna Sexta.

    Enter Protheus solus.

    930Pro. To leaue my Iulia; shall I be forsworne?
    To loue faire Siluia; shall I be forsworne?
    To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworne.
    And ev'n that Powre which gaue me first my oath
    Prouokes me to this three-fold periurie.
    935Loue bad mee sweare, and Loue bids me for-sweare;
    O sweet-suggesting Loue, if thou hast sin'd,
    Teach me (thy tempted subiect) to excuse it.
    At first I did adore a twinkling Starre,
    But now I worship a celestiall Sunne:
    940Vn-heedfull vowes may heedfully be broken,
    And he wants wit, that wants resolued will,
    To learne his wit, t'exchange the bad for better;
    Fie, fie, vnreuerend tongue, to call her bad,
    Whose soueraignty so oft thou hast preferd,
    945With twenty thousand soule-confirming oathes.
    I cannot leaue to loue; and yet I doe:
    But there I leaue to loue, where I should loue.
    Iulia I loose, and Valentine I loose,
    If I keepe them, I needs must loose my selfe:
    950If I loose them, thus finde I by their losse,
    For Valentine, my selfe: for Iulia, Siluia.
    I to my selfe am deerer then a friend,
    For Loue is still most precious in it selfe,
    And Siluia (witnesse heauen that made her faire)
    955Shewes Iulia but a swarthy Ethiope.
    I will forget that Iulia is aliue,
    Remembring that my Loue to her is dead.
    And Valentine Ile hold an Enemie,
    Ayming at Siluia as a sweeter friend.
    960I cannot now proue constant to my selfe,
    Without some treachery vs'd to Valentine.
    This night he meaneth with a Corded-ladder
    To climbe celestiall Siluia's chamber window,
    My selfe in counsaile his competitor.
    965Now presently Ile giue her father notice
    Of their disguising and pretended flight:
    Who (all inrag'd) will banish Valentine:
    For Thurio he intends shall wed his daughter,
    But Valentine being gon, Ile quickely crosse
    970By some slie tricke, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
    Loue lend me wings, to make my purpose swift
    As thou hast lent me wit, to plot this drift.