The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 6

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110O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
I’ll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ “kind Julia.” Unkind Julia!
115As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
Stupid hands, to tear up such lovely words! Destructive fingers, to feed on such sweet words and then rip up the letter they came from! I’ll apologize by kissing each piece of paper. Here, this one says “kind Julia.” It should say “unkind Julia”! Out of revenge for my own ingratitude I’ll throw the paper on the floor and hatefully trample my name in disdain.
She throws down a fragment.
She throws down a fragment.
And here is writ “love-wounded Proteus.”
Poor wounded name! My bosom as a bed
120Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly healed;
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice or thrice was “Proteus” written down.
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
Till I have found each letter in the letter,
125Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock
And throw it thence into the raging sea!
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,
“Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
130To the sweet Julia.” That I’ll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names.
Thus will I fold them, one upon another.
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.
And here’s one that says “love-wounded Proteus.” Poor wounded name! My breast will serve as your bed until your wounds are completely healed. I cleanse them with a healing kiss. But “Proteus” was written down two or three times. Be still, good wind, and don’t blow these pieces of paper away until I’ve found each word in the letter, except for the piece with my own name on it—may some whirlwind take that piece, hurl it onto a frightening cliff, and from there throw it into the raging sea! Look, his name is written twice in this line: “Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, to the sweet Julia.” I’ll tear that last part off. Then again, maybe I won’t, since he tied it so prettily to his own sorrowful names. I’ll fold them up, one on top of another. Now the names may kiss, hug, battle, or do what they will.

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