The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4 Page 7

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VALENTINE

Even she. And is she not a heavenly saint?

VALENTINE

That was she. Isn’t she a heavenly saint?

PROTEUS

No, but she is an earthly paragon.

PROTEUS

No, but she is a model of beauty here on earth.

VALENTINE

Call her divine.

VALENTINE

Call her a goddess.

PROTEUS

I will not flatter her.

PROTEUS

I will not fawn over her.

VALENTINE

140O, flatter me, for love delights in praises.

VALENTINE

Oh, flatter me, then, because those who are in love delight in praise.

PROTEUS

When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.

PROTEUS

When I was lovesick, you gave me the hard truth, and now I must give it to you.

VALENTINE

Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
Yet let her be a principality,
145Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.

VALENTINE

Then speak the truth about her. If she isn’t a goddess, then call her an angel who is superior to all the creatures on earth.

PROTEUS

Except my mistress.

PROTEUS

Except my mistress.

VALENTINE

Sweet, except not any,
Except thou wilt except against my love.

VALENTINE

No exceptions, my friend, unless you mean to insult my love.

PROTEUS

Have I not reason to prefer mine own?

PROTEUS

Don’t I have reason to put forward my own girl?

VALENTINE

150And I will help thee to prefer her, too.
She shall be dignified with this high honor:
To bear my lady’s train, lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss
And, of so great a favor growing proud,
155Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower
And make rough winter everlastingly.

VALENTINE

And I will help you to put her forward, too. She shall have the dignity of having this high honor: she can carry the train of my lady’s dress so that the dirty ground can’t steal a kiss of her clothing. If it did, the ground would swell so much with pride that it would no longer accept the roots of the summer flowers, and rough winter would last forever.

PROTEUS

Why, Valentine, what braggartism is this?

PROTEUS

Geez, Valentine, why are you bragging so much?

VALENTINE

Pardon me, Proteus, all I can is nothing
To her whose worth makes other worthies nothing.
160She is alone.

VALENTINE

Pardon me, Proteus, any praise I can give is nothing in comparison with her. She is unique and alone among women.

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