The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 3

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VALENTINE

And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly, blasting in the bud,
50Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu! My father at the road
55Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.

VALENTINE

And writers also say that just as the caterpillar eats the greatest flower bud before it blooms, so too does love make young and fragile minds foolish. It destroys the young lover, who loses his youth while still in his prime, and takes away all his future hopes. But why am I wasting my time giving advice to you, a man who is devoted to foolish love? So, once again, farewell! My father expects to meet me at the harbor to see my ship off.

PROTEUS

And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.

PROTEUS

I’ll go with you, Valentine.

VALENTINE

Sweet Proteus, no. Now let us take our leave.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
60Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

VALENTINE

My dear Proteus, no. We should say goodbye to each other now. Write to me in Milan, and tell me of your luck with love and whatever other news happens while I’m away. I’ll likewise write to you.

PROTEUS

All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!

PROTEUS

May you find happiness in Milan!

VALENTINE

As much to you at home! And so, farewell!

VALENTINE

And the same to you here at home! Farewell!
Exit VALENTINE
VALENTINE exits.

PROTEUS

He after honor hunts, I after love.
65He leaves his friends to dignify them more;
I leave myself, my friends, and all, for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me,
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at naught;
70Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

PROTEUS

He hunts for honor, while I hunt for love. He leaves his friends to bring them more honor, but I neglect myself, my friends, and everything else for love. Oh, Julia, you’ve transformed me. You’ve made me neglect my studies, waste my time, argue against all reasonable advice, and set myself against the world. You’ve made my brain weak from thinking about you so much, and my heart sick with melancholy.

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