The Two Gentlemen of Verona Act II, Scene iv


The Two Gentlemen of Verona.         Act 2, Scene 4.             Proteus

(This text is featured in our interview with Jeffrey Hawkins)

(Click here to see a fully scanned version of the speech or here to see the First Folio version)

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

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