List iconThe Two Gentlemen of Verona:
Act 5, scene 4
List icon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 5, scene 4



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona tells the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus. Valentine leaves their home city of…

Act 1, scene 1

Valentine, preparing to leave for Milan, says farewell to Proteus, who stays in Verona to be near Julia. Valentine’s servant,…

Act 1, scene 2

Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.

Act 1, scene 3

Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who…

Act 2, scene 1

Valentine learns (with Speed’s help) that the letter Sylvia had him write conveying her love to an admirer was intended…

Act 2, scene 2

Proteus takes his leave of Julia, promising to be faithful and sealing their love with a kind of “handfasting” or…

Act 2, scene 3

Lance grieves that he must part from his family to travel with Proteus, and he chastises his dog, Crab, for…

Act 2, scene 4

Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 5

Lance describes for Speed the tender parting of Proteus from Julia and hears about Valentine’s love for Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 6

Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for…

Act 2, scene 7

Julia decides to follow Proteus to Milan and asks Lucetta to help her disguise herself as a page.

Act 3, scene 1

Proteus betrays Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father, who banishes Valentine. Proteus pretends to grieve with Valentine and, telling him…

Act 3, scene 2

The Duke enlists Proteus’ aid in making Sylvia fall in love with Thurio. Proteus offers to slander Valentine and to…

Act 4, scene 1

Valentine and Speed are captured by outlaws. Valentine agrees to become their captain.

Act 4, scene 2

Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to…

Act 4, scene 3

Sylvia, determined to escape the pursuit of Thurio and Proteus, persuades Sir Eglamour to accompany her that evening on a…

Act 4, scene 4

Proteus learns to his horror that Lance has tried to present Crab to Sylvia as a gift. Proteus then sends…

Act 5, scene 1

Sylvia and Sir Eglamour set out on their journey.

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke informs Proteus and Thurio of Sylvia’s flight. They each decide to follow her.

Act 5, scene 3

Sylvia is captured by the outlaws, while Sir Eglamour flees.

Act 5, scene 4

As Valentine watches from hiding, Sylvia is brought in by Proteus, who has taken her from the outlaws. Proteus pleads…

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Scene 4
Enter Valentine.

 How use doth breed a habit in a man!
 This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
 I better brook than flourishing peopled towns;
 Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,
5 And to the nightingale’s complaining notes
 Tune my distresses and record my woes.
 O thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
 Leave not the mansion so long tenantless
 Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall
10 And leave no memory of what it was.
 Repair me with thy presence, Sylvia;
 Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain.
Shouting and sounds of fighting.
 What hallowing and what stir is this today?
 These are my mates, that make their wills their law,
15 Have some unhappy passenger in chase.
 They love me well, yet I have much to do
 To keep them from uncivil outrages.
 Withdraw thee, Valentine. Who’s this comes here?
He steps aside.

Enter Proteus, Sylvia, and Julia, disguised as

 Madam, this service I have done for you—

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

20 Though you respect not aught your servant doth—
 To hazard life, and rescue you from him
 That would have forced your honor and your love.
 Vouchsafe me for my meed but one fair look;
 A smaller boon than this I cannot beg,
25 And less than this I am sure you cannot give.
 How like a dream is this I see and hear!
 Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
 O miserable, unhappy that I am!
 Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came,
30 But by my coming, I have made you happy.
 By thy approach thou mak’st me most unhappy.
JULIA, aside 
 And me, when he approacheth to your presence.
 Had I been seizèd by a hungry lion,
 I would have been a breakfast to the beast
35 Rather than have false Proteus rescue me.
 O heaven, be judge how I love Valentine,
 Whose life’s as tender to me as my soul;
 And full as much, for more there cannot be,
 I do detest false perjured Proteus.
40 Therefore begone; solicit me no more.
 What dangerous action, stood it next to death,
 Would I not undergo for one calm look!
 O, ’tis the curse in love, and still approved,
 When women cannot love where they’re beloved.
45 When Proteus cannot love where he’s beloved.
 Read over Julia’s heart, thy first best love,
 For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
 Descended into perjury to love me.
50 Thou hast no faith left now unless thou ’dst two,
 And that’s far worse than none; better have none
 Than plural faith, which is too much by one.
 Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!
PROTEUS  In love
55 Who respects friend?
SYLVIA  All men but Proteus.
 Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
 Can no way change you to a milder form,
 I’ll woo you like a soldier, at arms’ end,
60 And love you ’gainst the nature of love—force you.
He seizes her.
 O, heaven!
PROTEUS  I’ll force thee yield to my desire.
VALENTINE, advancing 
 Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
 Thou friend of an ill fashion.
PROTEUS 65 Valentine!
 Thou common friend, that’s without faith or love,
 For such is a friend now. Treacherous man,
 Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
 Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
70 I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
 Who should be trusted when one’s right hand
 Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
 I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
 But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
75 The private wound is deepest. O, time most
 ’Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

PROTEUS My shame and guilt confounds me.
 Forgive me, Valentine. If hearty sorrow
80 Be a sufficient ransom for offense,
 I tender ’t here. I do as truly suffer
 As e’er I did commit.
VALENTINE  Then I am paid,
 And once again I do receive thee honest.
85 Who by repentance is not satisfied
 Is nor of heaven nor Earth, for these are pleased;
 By penitence th’ Eternal’s wrath’s appeased.
 And that my love may appear plain and free,
 All that was mine in Sylvia I give thee.
JULIA, aside 
90 O me unhappy!She swoons.
PROTEUS  Look to the boy.
VALENTINE  Why, boy!
 Why, wag, how now? What’s the matter? Look up.
JULIA, as Sebastian 95O, good sir, my master charged
 me to deliver a ring to Madam Sylvia, which out of
 my neglect was never done.
PROTEUS Where is that ring, boy?
JULIA, as Sebastian Here ’tis; this is it.
She rises, and hands him a ring.
PROTEUS 100How, let me see.
 Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook.
 This is the ring you sent to Sylvia.
She offers another ring.
 But how cam’st thou by this ring? At my depart
105 I gave this unto Julia.
 And Julia herself did give it me,
 And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
She reveals herself.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

PROTEUS How? Julia!
 Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths
110 And entertained ’em deeply in her heart.
 How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
 O, Proteus, let this habit make thee blush.
 Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
 Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
115 In a disguise of love.
 It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
 Women to change their shapes than men their minds.
 “Than men their minds”? ’Tis true. O heaven, were
120 But constant, he were perfect; that one error
 Fills him with faults, makes him run through all th’
 Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
 What is in Sylvia’s face but I may spy
125 More fresh in Julia’s, with a constant eye?
VALENTINE, to Julia and Proteus Come, come, a
 hand from either.
 Let me be blest to make this happy close.
 ’Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Valentine joins the hands of Julia and Proteus.
130 Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever.
 And I mine.

Enter Thurio, Duke, and Outlaws.

OUTLAWS  A prize, a prize, a prize!
 Forbear, forbear, I say. It is my lord the Duke.
The Outlaws release the Duke and Thurio.
 Your Grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
135 Banished Valentine.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Sir Valentine?
THURIO  Yonder is Sylvia, and Sylvia’s mine.
 Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
 Come not within the measure of my wrath.
140 Do not name Sylvia thine; if once again,
 Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands;
 Take but possession of her with a touch—
 I dare thee but to breathe upon my love!
 Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I.
145 I hold him but a fool that will endanger
 His body for a girl that loves him not.
 I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.
 The more degenerate and base art thou
 To make such means for her as thou hast done,
150 And leave her on such slight conditions.—
 Now, by the honor of my ancestry,
 I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
 And think thee worthy of an empress’ love.
 Know, then, I here forget all former griefs,
155 Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
 Plead a new state in thy unrivaled merit,
 To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
 Thou art a gentleman, and well derived;
 Take thou thy Sylvia, for thou hast deserved her.
160 I thank your Grace, the gift hath made me happy.
 I now beseech you, for your daughter’s sake,
 To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
 I grant it for thine own, whate’er it be.
 These banished men, that I have kept withal,

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 5. SC. 4

165 Are men endued with worthy qualities.
 Forgive them what they have committed here,
 And let them be recalled from their exile;
 They are reformèd, civil, full of good,
 And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
170 Thou hast prevailed; I pardon them and thee.
 Dispose of them as thou know’st their deserts.
 Come, let us go; we will include all jars
 With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.
 And as we walk along, I dare be bold
175 With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
 Pointing to Julia. What think you of this page, my
 I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.
 I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
DUKE 180What mean you by that saying?
 Please you, I’ll tell you as we pass along,
 That you will wonder what hath fortunèd.—
 Come, Proteus, ’tis your penance but to hear
 The story of your loves discoverèd.
185 That done, our day of marriage shall be yours,
 One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
They exit.