The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act I, Scene 1
Verona. An open place.
- Enter Valentine, Proteus.
Valentine1 - 10
- 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 honor’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.
Proteus11 - 18
- Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu,
- Think on thy Proteus, when thou, happ’ly, 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 beadsman, Valentine.
- And on a love-book pray for my success?
- Upon some book I love I’ll pray for thee.
Valentine21 - 22
- That’s on some shallow story of deep love,
- How young Leander cross’d the Hellespont.
Proteus23 - 24
- That’s a deep story of a deeper love,
- For he was more than over shoes in love.
Valentine25 - 26
- ’Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
- And yet you never swom the Hellespont.
- Over the boots? Nay, give me not the boots.
- No, I will not; for it boots thee not.
Valentine30 - 36
- 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 happ’ly won, perhaps a hapless gain;
- If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
- However—but a folly bought with wit,
- Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
- So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
- So, by your circumstance, I fear you’ll prove.
- ’Tis love you cavil at, I am not Love.
Valentine40 - 42
- Love is your master, for he masters you;
- And he that is so yoked by a fool,
- Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.
Proteus43 - 45
- Yet writers say: as in the sweetest bud
- The eating canker dwells, so eating love
- Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
Valentine46 - 55
- 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 turn’d 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 thee
- That art a votary to fond desire?
- Once more adieu. My father at the road
- Expects my coming, there to see me shipp’d.
- And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Valentine57 - 61
- 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.
- All happiness bechance to thee in Milan.
- As much to you at home; and so farewell.
Proteus64 - 70
- He after honor 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 metamorphis’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.
- Sir Proteus! ’Save you! Saw you my master?
- But now he parted hence to embark for Milan.
Speed73 - 74
- Twenty to one then he is shipp’d already,
- And I have play’d the sheep in losing him.
Proteus75 - 76
- Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
- And if the shepherd be awhile away.
Speed77 - 78
- You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and I a
- I do.
- Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.
- A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
- This proves me still a sheep.
- True; and thy master a shepherd.
- Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
- It shall go hard but I’ll prove it by another.
Speed86 - 88
- 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.
Proteus89 - 92
- 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.
- Such another proof will make me cry “baa.”
- But dost thou hear? Gav’st thou my letter to Julia?
Speed95 - 97
- Ay, sir; I (a lost mutton) gave your letter to her (a lac’d
- mutton), and she (a lac’d mutton) gave me (a lost mutton)
- nothing for my labor.
- Here’s too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
- If the ground be overcharg’d, you were best stick her.
- Nay, in that you are astray; ’twere best pound you.
Speed101 - 102
- Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your
- You mistake; I mean the pound—a pinfold.
Speed104 - 106
- From a pound to a pin? Fold it over and over,
- ’Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your
- But what said she?
- Speed nods, and Proteus looks at him questioningly.
- Nod-ay—why, that’s “noddy.”
Speed110 - 111
- You mistook, sir: I say, she did nod; and you ask me if she
- did nod, and I say, “Ay.”
- And that set together is “noddy.”
Speed113 - 114
- Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for
- your pains.
- No, no, you shall have it for bearing the letter.
- Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
- Why, sir, how do you bear with me?
Speed118 - 119
- Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly, having nothing but the
- word “noddy” for my pains.
- Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
- And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.
- Come, come, open the matter in brief: what said she?
Speed123 - 124
- Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both
- at once deliver’d.
- Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she?
- Truly, sir, I think you’ll hardly win her.
- Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from her?
Speed128 - 132
- 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.
- What said she? Nothing?
Speed134 - 137
- No, not so much as “Take this for thy pains.” To testify
- your bounty, I thank you, you have testern’d me; in requital
- whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so,
- sir, I’ll commend you to my master.
Proteus138 - 143
- Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wrack,
- Which cannot perish having thee aboard,
- Being destin’d to a drier death on shore.
- Exit Speed.
- I must go send some better messenger:
- I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
- Receiving them from such a worthless post.