The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4
No Fear Act 5 Scene 4 Page 3

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PROTEUS

In love,
55Who respects friend?

PROTEUS

Who honors their friendships when it comes to love?

SYLVIA

All men but Proteus.

SYLVIA

All men but you, Proteus.

PROTEUS

Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form,
I’ll woo you like a soldier, at arms’ end,
60And love you ’gainst the nature of love—force ye.

PROTEUS

No, if the gentle spirit of heartfelt words can’t persuade you to think kindly of me, then I’ll woo you at knifepoint like a soldier and make love to you in a manner contrary to the nature of love—by raping you.

SYLVIA

O heaven!

SYLVIA

Oh, heaven!

PROTEUS

[Assailing her] I’ll force thee yield to my desire.

PROTEUS

(Proteus assaults her.) I’ll force you to yield to my desire.

VALENTINE

[Coming forward] Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
Thou friend of an ill fashion!

VALENTINE

(Valentine comes out of hiding.) Scoundrel, keep your savage hands off her, you foul friend!

PROTEUS

65Valentine!

PROTEUS

Valentine!

VALENTINE

Thou common friend, that’s without faith or love!
For such is a friend now. Treacherous man,
Thou hast beguiled my hopes. Naught but mine eye
Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
70I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
Who should be trusted, when one’s right hand
Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
75The private wound is deepest. O time most accurst,
’Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

VALENTINE

You lying friend, without loyalty or love! That’s what you are now. Treacherous man, you tricked me with my hopes. Nothing could have persuaded me of what you really are but seeing it with my eyes. Now I won’t even say I have one friend alive—if I did, you’d prove me wrong. Who can you trust when your closest friend is false down to his core? Proteus, I’m sorry I must never trust you again, and because of you I’ll never think again that I know the world. Personal treachery makes the deepest wounds. Curse the day when a friend is the worst of all your enemies!

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