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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 4

page Act 5 Scene 4 Page 5

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She offers another ring.
She hands him another ring.

PROTEUS

But how cam’st thou by this ring?
100At my depart I gave this unto Julia.

PROTEUS

But how did you get this ring? I gave it to Julia when I departed from Verona.

JULIA

And Julia herself did give it me;
And Julia herself have brought it hither.

JULIA

And Julia herself gave it to me. And Julia herself has brought it here.
She reveals her identity.
She reveals her identity.

PROTEUS

How? Julia?

PROTEUS

What? Julia?

JULIA

Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths
105And entertained ’em deeply in her heart.
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
110In a disguise of love.
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes than men their minds.

JULIA

It’s me, the woman who was the object of all your oaths and believed them deeply in her heart. Your lies have often cut me to the core! Oh, Proteus, I hope my appearance makes you blush! You should be ashamed that I have put on such an immodest outfit, if shame can live in someone who fakes love. Modesty says it’s better for women to transform their appearances than for men to change their minds.

PROTEUS

Than men their minds! ’Tis true. O heaven! Were man
But constant, he were perfect. That one error
115Fills him with faults, makes him run through all th’ sins;
Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
What is in Sylvia’s face but I may spy
More fresh in Julia’s with a constant eye?

PROTEUS

Than for men to change their minds! It’s true. Oh, God! Were men more constant and less fickle, he would be perfect. That one error leads to numerous faults and makes him commit all the deadly sins. The fickle man begins deceiving before he even tries to be constant. What does Sylvia have that I wouldn’t see to be even better in Julia if I were faithful?

VALENTINE

Come, come, a hand from either.
120Let me be blest to make this happy close;
’Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

VALENTINE

Come, come on, each of you give me a hand. Let me be blessed to bring this to a happy end. It would be a pity if two such good friends as you were enemies forever.

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