The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4 Page 9

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VALENTINE

Will you make haste?

VALENTINE

Will you hurry?
Exit VALENTINE
VALENTINE exits.

PROTEUS

185I will.
Even as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
190Is it my mind, or Valentine’s praise,
Her true perfection, or my false transgression
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus?
She is fair; and so is Julia that I love—
That I did love, for now my love is thawed,
195Which like a waxen image ’gainst a fire
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks my zeal to Valentine is cold,
And that I love him not as I was wont.
O, but I love his lady too, too much,
200And that’s the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice,
That thus without advice begin to love her!
’Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazzlèd my reason’s light;
205But when I look on her perfections,
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love, I will;
If not, to compass her I’ll use my skill.

PROTEUS

I will. Just as

one heat can extinguish another

At the time, it was believed that applying heat on a burn would take away the pain.

one heat can extinguish another
, or as one nail can drive another out with force, so too has a new love, Sylvia, driven out the memory of my former love, Julia. Is it my own attraction for her, or Valentine’s praise, or her own perfection, or going against my love for Julia that makes me feel this way? She is beautiful, but so is Julia, whom I love—whom I did love, because now my love for her has melted away, like a wax figure melted by a fire that no longer looks as it did. I think that my fondness for Valentine has diminished, too, and that I like him less than I used to. Oh, but I love his lady, Syliva, far too much, and that’s why I like him less now. How can I keep from loving her after further deliberation when I begin to love her with no deliberation at all! It’s only her surface I’ve seen so far, and that has already confused my sense of reason. But when I look at her perfection, there is no doubt I will be blind with love. If I can stop my love, I will. If not, I’ll use my skill to win her.

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