Two Gentlemen of Verona By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

ACT I. SCENE I. Verona. An open place

[Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.]

VALENTINE.
Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus:
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were't not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardiz'd at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when I to love begin.

PROTEUS.
Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu!
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy headsman, Valentine.

VALENTINE.
And on a love-book pray for my success?

PROTEUS.
Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee.

VALENTINE.
That's on some shallow story of deep love,
How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.

PROTEUS.
That's a deep story of a deeper love;
For he was more than over shoes in love.

VALENTINE.
'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swum the Hellespont.

PROTEUS.
Over the boots? Nay, give me not the boots.

VALENTINE.
No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

PROTEUS.
What?

VALENTINE.
To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won:
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

PROTEUS.
So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.

VALENTINE.
So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove.

PROTEUS.
'Tis love you cavil at: I am not Love.

VALENTINE.
Love is your master, for he masters you;
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.

PROTEUS.
Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

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,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel the
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu! my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.

PROTEUS.
And thither will I bring thee, 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
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

PROTEUS.
All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!

VALENTINE.
As much to you at home! and so farewell!

[Exit.]

PROTEUS.
He after honour hunts, I after love;
He leaves his friends to dignify them more:
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me; —
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

[Enter SPEED.]

SPEED.
Sir Proteus, save you! Saw you my master?

PROTEUS.
But now he parted hence to embark for Milan.

SPEED.
Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already,
And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.

PROTEUS.
Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
An if the shepherd be a while away.

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