The Two Gentlemen of Verona


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Valentine and Proteus


VALENTINE

Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus;

Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
wit (n.) 5 mind, brain, thoughts

Were't not affection chains thy tender days
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion

To the sweet glances of thy honoured love,

I rather would entreat thy company

To see the wonders of the world abroad

Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
sluggardized (adj.) like a sluggard, made lazy

Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
shapeless (adj.) 2 aimless, without guidance, desultory

But, since thou lovest, love still, and thrive therein,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

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
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

Some rare noteworthy object in thy travel.

Wish me partaker in thy happiness,

When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger –
hap (n.) 1 fortune, lot, fate

If ever danger do environ thee –
environ (v.) surround, envelop, encircle, engulf

Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over
grievance (n.) 1 distress, suffering, pain

For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.
beadsman (n.) almsman, pensioner [who prays for others]


VALENTINE

And on a love-book pray for my success?
love-book (n.) book dealing with matters of love, courtship manual


PROTEUS

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


VALENTINE

That's on some shallow story of deep love,

How young Leander crossed the Hellespont.


PROTEUS

That's a deep story of a deeper love,

For he was more than over-shoes in love.
overshoes, over-shoes (adj.) (plural) shoe-deep, following a reckless course


VALENTINE

'Tis true; for you are over-boots in love,
over-boots (adj.) (plural) boot-deep, following a reckless course

And yet you never swam the Hellespont.


PROTEUS

Over the boots? Nay, give me not the boots.
boots, give someone the make fun of someone, make a fool of someone


VALENTINE

No, I will not; for it boots thee not.
boot (v.) 1 help, serve, benefit, be useful [to]


PROTEUS

                         What?


VALENTINE

To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;

Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,
coy (adj.) 2 unresponsive, distant, standoffish, disdainful

With twenty, watchful, weary, tedious nights;
watchful (adj.) wakeful, unsleeping, vigilant

If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
hapless (adj.) luckless, unfortunate, unlucky
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

If lost, why then a grievous labour won;

However, but a folly bought with wit,

Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


PROTEUS

So, by your circumstance, you call me fool?
circumstance (n.) 3 special argument, detailed explanation


VALENTINE

So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove.
circumstance (n.) 4 condition, state, situation


PROTEUS

'Tis Love you cavil at; I am not Love.
cavil (v.) dispute over details, raise pointless objections


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.
chronicle (v.) 1 register, log, put on record [as]
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


PROTEUS

Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud

The eating canker dwells, so eating love
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite

Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)


VALENTINE

And writers say, as the most forward bud
forward (adj.) 7 promising, early-maturing, precocious

Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
blow (v.) 1 blossom, bloom, flower
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite

Even so by love the young and tender wit

Is turned to folly, blasting in the bud,
blast (v.) 1 blight, wither, destroy

Losing his verdure even in the prime,
prime (n.) 2 early years, prime of life, fullness of youth
verdure, verdour (n.) sap, vitality, vigour, freshness

And all the fair effects of future hopes.
effect (n.) 1 result, end, outcome, fulfilment
fair (adj.) 4 fine, pleasing, splendid, excellent

But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee

That art a votary to fond desire?
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate
votary (n.) 1 devotee, disciple, worshipper [of]

Once more adieu. My father at the road
road (n.) 1 harbour, anchorage, roadstead

Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.
expect (v.) await, wait for


PROTEUS

And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
bring (v.) 1 accompany, conduct, escort


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
success (n.) 2 fortune, destiny

Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
betide (v.) 1 happen (to), befall, come (to)

And I likewise will visit thee with mine.
visit (v.) 2 supply, furnish, provide


PROTEUS

All happiness bechance to thee in Milan.
bechance (v.) happen to, befall


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 metamorphosed me,
metamorphose (v.) transform, alter one's disposition, change one's shape

Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
lose (v.) 2 waste, throw away, give unprofitably

War with good counsel, set the world at naught;

Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.
thought (n.) 2 melancholic reflection, anxiety, sorrow, worry

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 shipped already,

And I have played the sheep in losing him.


PROTEUS

Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray,

An if the shepherd be a while away.


SPEED

You conclude that my master is a shepherd then,

and I a sheep?


PROTEUS

I do.


SPEED

Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake

or sleep.


PROTEUS

A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.


SPEED

This proves me still a sheep.


PROTEUS

True; and thy master a shepherd.


SPEED

Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
circumstance (n.) 3 special argument, detailed explanation


PROTEUS

It shall go hard but I'll prove it by another.
hard (adv.) 3 badly, poorly, ill


SPEED

The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep

the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master

seeks not me. Therefore I am no sheep.


PROTEUS

The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd; the

shepherd for food follows not the sheep. Thou for

wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows

not thee. Therefore thou art a sheep.


SPEED

Such another proof will make me cry, ‘baa'.


PROTEUS

But dost thou hear? Gavest thou my letter to

Julia?


SPEED

Ay, sir. I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her,

a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost
mutton (n.) 2 prostitute, courtesan

mutton, nothing for my labour.


PROTEUS

Here's too small a pasture for such store of

muttons.


SPEED

If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick
overcharged (adj.) 2 overburdened, overstocked, overfilled
stick (v.) 4 slaughter, kill [by stabbing]

her.


PROTEUS

Nay, in that you are astray; 'twere best pound
pound (v.) shut up, confine [as animals in a pound]

you.


SPEED

Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for

carrying your letter.


PROTEUS

You mistake; I mean the pound – a pinfold.
pinfold (n.) pound, place for keeping stray animals


SPEED

From a pound to a pin? Fold it over and over,
pin (n.) 1 trifle, triviality, insignificant amount

'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.


PROTEUS

But what said she?

Speed nods

A nod?


SPEED

Ay.


PROTEUS

Nod-ay? Why, that's noddy.
noddy (n.) fool, simpleton, buffoon


SPEED

You mistook, sir. I say she did nod; and you ask

me if she did nod, and I say ‘ Ay.’


PROTEUS

And that set together is ‘ noddy.’


SPEED

Now you have taken the pains to set it together,

take it for your pains.


PROTEUS

No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.


SPEED

Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
fain (adj.) 1 obliged, forced, compelled


PROTEUS

Why, sir, how do you bear with me?


SPEED

Marry, sir, the letter very orderly, having nothing
orderly (adv.) according to the rules, properly, in the prescribed way

but the word ‘ noddy ’ for my pains.


PROTEUS

Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
beshrew, 'shrew (v.) 1 curse, devil take, evil befall See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count


SPEED

And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.


PROTEUS

Come, come, open the matter in brief; what
brief, in quickly, speedily, expeditiously
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance
open (v.) 1 reveal, uncover, disclose

said she?


SPEED

Open your purse, that the money and the matter

may be both at once delivered.


PROTEUS

Well, sir, here is for your pains.

He gives Speed money

What said she?


SPEED

Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.


PROTEUS

Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from
perceive (v.) receive, get, obtain

her?


SPEED

Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no,

not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter; and

being so hard to me that brought your mind, I fear she'll

prove as hard to you in telling your mind. Give her no

token but stones, for she's as hard as steel.


PROTEUS

What said she? Nothing?


SPEED

No, not so much as ‘ Take this for thy pains.’ To

testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me;
bounty (n.) 2 special gift, present
testern (v.) give a sixpence [tester] as a tip

in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself.
requital (n.) recompense, reward, repayment

And so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

Exit


PROTEUS

Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,

Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,

Being destined to a drier death on shore.

I must go send some better messenger.

I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
deign (v.) 1 willingly accept, not disdain

Receiving them from such a worthless post.
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

Exit

 
  Next scene