The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by

William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Page 01

Actus primus, Scena prima.

Valentine: Protheus, and Speed.

Valentine. Cease to perswade, my louing Protheus; Home-keeping youth, haue euer homely wits, Wer't not affection chaines thy tender dayes To the sweet glaunces of thy honour'd Loue, I rather would entreat thy company, To see the wonders of the world abroad, Then (liuing dully sluggardiz'd at home) Weare out thy youth with shapelesse idlenesse. But since thou lou'st; loue still, and thriue therein, Euen as I would, when I to loue begin

Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine adew, Thinke on thy Protheus, when thou (hap'ly) seest Some rare note-worthy obiect in thy trauaile. Wish me partaker in thy happinesse, When thou do'st meet good hap; and in thy danger, (If euer danger doe enuiron thee) Commend thy grieuance to my holy prayers, For I will be thy beades-man, Valentine

Val. And on a loue-booke pray for my successe?

Pro. Vpon some booke I loue, I'le pray for thee

Val. That's on some shallow Storie of deepe loue, How yong Leander crost the Hellespont

Pro. That's a deepe Storie, of a deeper loue, For he was more then ouer-shooes in loue

Val. 'Tis true; for you are ouer-bootes in loue, And yet you neuer swom the Hellespont

Pro. Ouer the Bootes? nay giue me not the Boots

Val. No, I will not; for it boots thee not

Pro. What?

Val. To be in loue; where scorne is bought with grones: Coy looks, with hart-sore sighes: one fading moments mirth, With twenty watchfull, weary, tedious nights; If hap'ly won, perhaps a haplesse gaine; If lost, why then a grieuous labour won; How euer: but a folly bought with wit, Or else a wit, by folly vanquished

Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me foole

Val. So, by your circumstance, I feare you'll proue

Pro. 'Tis Loue you cauill at, I am not Loue

Val. Loue is your master, for he masters you; And he that is so yoked by a foole, Me thinkes should not be chronicled for wise

Pro. Yet Writers say; as in the sweetest Bud, The eating Canker dwels; so eating Loue Inhabits in the finest wits of all

Val. And Writers say; as the most forward Bud Is eaten by the Canker ere it blow, Euen so by Loue, the yong, and tender wit Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the Bud, Loosing his verdure, euen in the prime, And all the faire effects of future hopes. But wherefore waste I time to counsaile thee That art a votary to fond desire? Once more adieu: my Father at the Road Expects my comming, there to see me ship'd

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona Page 02

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