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The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Act 2, Scene 6

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 2, Scene 6

Milan. A room in the Duke’s palace.

  1. Enter Proteus solus.

Proteus

2 - 44
  1. To leave my Juliashall I be forsworn?
  2. To love fair Silviashall I be forsworn?
  3. To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn.
  4. And ev’n that pow’r which gave me first my oath
  5. Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
  6. Love bade me swear, and Love bids me forswear.
  7. O sweet-suggesting Love, if thou hast sinn’d,
  8. Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it!
  9. At first I did adore a twinkling star,
  10. But now I worship a celestial sun.
  11. Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken,
  12. And he wants wit that wants resolved will
  13. To learn his wit t’ exchange the bad for better.
  14. Fie, fie, unreverend tongue, to call her bad,
  15. Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr’d
  16. With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
  17. I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;
  18. But there I leave to love where I should love.
  19. Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose:
  20. If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
  21. If I lose them, thus find I by their loss
  22. For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
  23. I to myself am dearer than a friend,
  24. For love is still most precious in itself,
  25. And Silvia (witness heaven, that made her fair)
  26. Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
  27. I will forget that Julia is alive,
  28. Rememb’ring that my love to her is dead;
  29. And Valentine I’ll hold an enemy,
  30. Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.
  31. I cannot now prove constant to myself,
  32. Without some treachery us’d to Valentine.
  33. This night he meaneth with a corded ladder
  34. To climb celestial Silvia’s chamber-window,
  35. Myself in counsel his competitor.
  36. Now presently I’ll give her father notice
  37. Of their disguising and pretended flight,
  38. Who, all enrag’d, will banish Valentine;
  39. For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter;
  40. But, Valentine being gone, I’ll quickly cross
  41. By some sly trick blunt Thurio’s dull proceeding.
  42. Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
  43. As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift.
  1. Exit.
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