The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4 Page 1

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How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
5And to the nightingale’s complaining notes
Tune my distresses and record my woes.
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless,
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
10And leave no memory of what it was!
Repair me with thy presence, Sylvia;
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain!


Repetition can make a man accustomed to anything! This shadowy deserted place, these woods that are rarely visited—I can take them better than bustling towns with lots of people. Here I can sit alone without anyone seeing me, and accompanied by the nightingale’s sad song I can sing about my worries and list all my troubles. Oh you, Sylvia, who lives in my heart, don’t leave your home empty for long, or rotting from within, the entire building falls and leaves no trace of what it was! Heal me with your presence, Sylvia. Gentle nymph, cherish your sad lover!
Shouting within.
Shouting is heard inside.
What halloing and what stir is this to-day?
These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
15Have some unhappy passenger in chase.
They love me well, yet I have much to do
To keep them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine. Who’s this comes here?
What’s all this shouting and commotion I hear? Those are my friends, the outlaws who do whatever they like, who are chasing some unfortunate traveler. They like me enough, but I have to work hard to keep them from violent crimes. Hide yourself, Valentine. Who is this that comes here?
He stands aside.
He stands off to the side.
Enter PROTEUS, SYLVIA, and JULIA disguised as Sebastian
PROTEUS, SYLVIA, and JULIA, who is disguised as Sebastian, all enter


Madam, this service I have done for you—
20Though you respect not aught your servant doth—
To hazard life and rescue you from him
That would have forced your honor and your love.
Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look;
A smaller boon than this I cannot beg,
25And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give.


Madame, I’ve helped you—even though you don’t value what I do—and risked my life to rescue you from that man who would have raped you. For my reward, give me just one kind look. I can’t beg for a smaller favor than this, and I’m sure that you can’t give anything less than this.

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