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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 8

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LANCE

Him we go to find. There’s not a hair on ’s head but ’tis a Valentine.

LANCE

The man we were looking for. It’s a Valentine, down to the last hair.

PROTEUS

Valentine?

PROTEUS

Valentine?

VALENTINE

No.

VALENTINE

No.

PROTEUS

195Who then? His spirit?

PROTEUS

Who are you then? His ghost?

VALENTINE

Neither.

VALENTINE

Not his ghost either.

PROTEUS

What then?

PROTEUS

What are you then?

VALENTINE

Nothing.

VALENTINE

Nothing.

LANCE

Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?

LANCE

Can “nothing” speak? Master, should I attack?

PROTEUS

200Who wouldst thou strike?

PROTEUS

Who would you attack?

LANCE

Nothing.

LANCE

“Nothing.”

PROTEUS

Villain, forbear.

PROTEUS

Stop, man.

LANCE

Why, sir, I’ll strike nothing. I pray you—

LANCE

But, sir, I’m going to attack “nothing.” Please—

PROTEUS

Sirrah, I say, forbear.—Friend Valentine, a word.

PROTEUS

Man, I say stop. Valentine, my friend, let’s talk.

VALENTINE

205My ears are stopped and cannot hear good news,
So much of bad already hath possessed them.

VALENTINE

My ears are plugged up and cannot hear good news—they are already filled with bad news.

PROTEUS

Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.

PROTEUS

Then I’ll stay silent and not tell you, because my news is harsh, uncomfortable to hear, and bad.

VALENTINE

Is Sylvia dead?

VALENTINE

Is Sylvia dead?

PROTEUS

210No, Valentine.

PROTEUS

No, Valentine.

VALENTINE

No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Sylvia.
Hath she forsworn me?

VALENTINE

There is no Valentine, indeed, for sacred Sylvia. Has she renounced her love for me?

PROTEUS

No, Valentine.

PROTEUS

No, Valentine.

VALENTINE

No Valentine, if Sylvia have forsworn me.
215What is your news?

VALENTINE

There’s no Valentine if Sylvia ever stops loving me. What’s your news?

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