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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 1, Scene 2

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Enter JULlA and LUCETTA

JULIA

But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?

JULIA

Now that we're alone, tell me, Lucetta: would you advise me to fall in love?

LUCETTA

Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.

LUCETTA

Yes, madam. Provided that you won't have sex carelessly.

JULIA

Of all the fair resort of gentlemen That every day with parle encounter me, In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

JULIA

Out of the group of  beautiful gentlemen that talk to me every day, which man do you think deserves my love the most?

LUCETTA

Please you repeat their names, I'll show my mindAccording to my shallow simple skill.

LUCETTA

Could you please repeat their names? I'll reveal what I think as my shallow, simple skill allows. 

JULIA

What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?

JULIA

What do you think of the handsome Sir Eglamour?

LUCETTA

As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;But, were I you, he never should be mine.

LUCETTA

For a knight, he's well-spoken, elegant, and refined. But if I were you, I'd never have him.

JULIA

What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?

JULIA

What do you think of the rich Mercatio?

LUCETTA

Well of his wealth; but of himself, so so.

LUCETTA

I think well of his money. But him? I think he's just so-so.

JULIA

What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus?

JULIA

What do you think of the noble Proteus?

LUCETTA

Lord, Lord! To see what folly reigns in us!

LUCETTA

Oh God, oh God! We are ruled by such foolishness.

JULIA

How now! What means this passion at his name?

JULIA

What? Why such an outburst of passion at the sound of his name?

LUCETTA

Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame That I, unworthy body as I am, Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.

LUCETTA

Excuse me, dear madam. It's very shameful for an unworthy person like myself to pass judgment in this way on lovely gentlemen like him.

JULIA

Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?

JULIA

Why not judge Proteus like we have judged all the others?

LUCETTA

Then thus: of many good I think him best.

LUCETTA

Well, it's like this: I think he is the best one of them all.

JULIA

Your reason?

JULIA

Why do you think that?

LUCETTA

I have no other, but a woman's reason;I think him so because I think him so.

LUCETTA

My reasoning is simply a woman's reasoning. I think he is the best simply because I think he is. 

JULIA

And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?

JULIA

And would you have me give my love to him?

LUCETTA

Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.

LUCETTA

Yes, if you thought your love wouldn't be wasted on him.

JULIA

Why he, of all the rest, hath never moved me.

JULIA

It's interesting that, out of all of them, he has never wooed me. 

LUCETTA

Yet he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.

LUCETTA

Yet I think that, out of all of them, he loves you the most.

JULIA

His little speaking shows his love but small.

JULIA

He gives very few words on the subject; this shows his love is small.

LUCETTA

Fire that's closest kept burns most of all.

LUCETTA

Fire that's the closest to us burns the hottest. 

JULIA

They do not love that do not show their love.

JULIA

You can't love if you don't show your love. 

LUCETTA

O, they love least that let men know their love.

LUCETTA

Oh, those who let men know about their love are the ones who love the least.

JULIA

I would I knew his mind.

JULIA

If only I knew what he's thinking.

LUCETTA

Peruse this paper, madam.

LUCETTA

Read this paper here, madam.

JULIA

'To Julia.' Say, from whom?

JULIA

It says "To Julia." Tell me, who is this from?

LUCETTA

That the contents will show.

LUCETTA

The contents of the letter will reveal that.

JULIA

Say, say, who gave it thee?

JULIA

Tell me, tell me, who gave it to you?

LUCETTA

Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus. He would have given it you; but I, being in the way, Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault I pray.

LUCETTA

Valentine's servant. And I think it was sent from Proteus. He would have given it to you himself. But since I happened to meet him, I took the letter on your behalf. I am sorry if I did the wrong thing. 

JULIA

Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker! Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines? To whisper and conspire against my youth? Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth And you an officer fit for the place. Or else return no more into my sight.

JULIA

I swear by my modesty that you're a good intermediary! Do you dare to presume to hang onto this passionate letter? To whisper and conspire against my young age? Now, trust me, it's a powerful position, and you should be up for the challenge. If not, then don't come to me again. 

LUCETTA

To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.

LUCETTA

To ask for love deserves a greater reward than to ask for hate.

JULIA

Will ye be gone?

JULIA

Will you leave?

LUCETTA

That you may ruminate.

LUCETTA

Yes, to give you some time to think about it.

Exit

JULIA

And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter: It were a shame to call her back again And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. What a fool is she, that knows I am a maid, And would not force the letter to my view! Since maids, in modesty, say 'no' to that Which they would have the profferer construe 'ay.' Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse And presently all humbled kiss the rod! How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence, When willingly I would have had her here! How angerly I taught my brow to frown, When inward joy enforced my heart to smile! My penance is to call Lucetta back And ask remission for my folly past. What ho! Lucetta!

JULIA

And yet, I wish I had read that letter! It would be a shame to call her back again, and beg her to carry out the mistake that I just scolded her for doing. She is such a fool! She knows that I am a young girl, and still she would not force me to read the letter! Young modest women say "no" when they want the hearer to understand they mean "yes." Ugh! This foolish love is so unreasonable that—like an irritable child—it will scratch its nurse and then immediately be obedient! How roughly have I treated Lucetta there, when I would have wanted to have her here! How angrily I made myself frown, when an inside joy has made my heart smile! I can only call Lucetta back to make up for it and to ask for her forgiveness for my recent foolishness.

[To LUCETTA] Hello, Lucetta!

Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA

What would your ladyship?

LUCETTA

What would you like, your Ladyship?

JULIA

Is't near dinner-time?

JULIA

Is it almost time for dinner?

LUCETTA

I would it were,That you might kill your stomach on your meatAnd not upon your maid.

LUCETTA

I wish it would be! That way, you could satisfy your appetite tearing into your meat, instead of tearing into your servant. 

JULIA

What is't that you took up so gingerly?

JULIA

What did you just pick up so carefully?

LUCETTA

Nothing.

LUCETTA

Nothing.

JULIA

Why didst thou stoop, then?

JULIA

Why did you stoop down, then?

LUCETTA

To take a paper up that I let fall.

LUCETTA

To pick up a paper that I dropped.

JULIA

And is that paper nothing?

JULIA

And that paper is nothing?

LUCETTA

Nothing concerning me.

LUCETTA

Nothing that concerns me.

JULIA

Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

JULIA

Let it lie there for the people it's meant for. 

LUCETTA

Madam, it will not lie where it concernsUnless it have a false interpeter.

LUCETTA

Madam, I won't let it lie here, in case someone who it's not meant for intercepts the letter. 

JULIA

Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.

JULIA

Some lover of yours has written you a love poem.

LUCETTA

That I might sing it, madam, to a tune.Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

LUCETTA

So I may sing it to a melody, madam. Give me a starting note, your Ladyship, so this letter can be set to music. 

JULIA

As little by such toys as may be possible.Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'

JULIA

I will indulge you in your joking as little as possible. You'd better sing it to the melody of "Light o' love."

LUCETTA

It is too heavy for so light a tune.

LUCETTA

Its content is too serious for such a light melody.

JULIA

Heavy! Belike it hath some burden then?

JULIA

Serious! Maybe it carries a heavy burden, then?

LUCETTA

Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.

LUCETTA

Yes. And if it were melodious, you'd sing it.

JULIA

And why not you?

JULIA

And why wouldn't you?

LUCETTA

I cannot reach so high.

LUCETTA

I cannot sing at such a high pitch.

JULIA

Let's see your song. How now, minion!

JULIA

Let me see your song! Come on, you minx!

LUCETTA

Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:And yet methinks I do not like this tune.

LUCETTA

Keep the melody going so you can finish the song. Although I don't like this melody.

JULIA

You do not?

JULIA

You don't?

LUCETTA

No, madam; it is too sharp.

LUCETTA

No, madam. It's too sharp.

JULIA

You, minion, are too saucy.

JULIA

You are too bold, minx.

LUCETTA

Nay, now you are too flat And mar the concord with too harsh a descant: There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

LUCETTA

No, you are too blunt and spoil the harmony with a variation that's too harsh. Your song should be filled with a sweet-sounding tenor.

JULIA

The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.

JULIA

The middle point is drowned out by your uncontrolled bass voice.

LUCETTA

Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

LUCETTA

Yes, I am pretending to sing the male part as Proteus would.

JULIA

This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.Here is a coil with protestation!

JULIA

I won't let this nonsense trouble me anymore. I'll make a fuss with this declaration of love!

Tears the letter

JULIA

Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:You would be fingering them, to anger me.

JULIA

Leave me, and let the papers lie there. You would fiddle with picking up all the pieces, just to make me angry.

LUCETTA

She makes it strange; but she would be best pleasedTo be so anger'd with another letter.

LUCETTA

She pretends she doesn't care. But she would feel so happy to get angry over another letter. 

Exit

JULIA

Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! O hateful hands, to tear such loving words! Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey And kill the bees that yield it with your stings! I'll kiss each several paper for amends. Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia! As in revenge of thy ingratitude, I throw thy name against the bruising stones, Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. And here is writ 'love-wounded Proteus.' Poor wounded name! My bosom as a bed Shall lodge thee till thy wound be thoroughly heal'd; And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down. Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away Till I have found each letter in the letter, Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear Unto a ragged fearful-hanging rock And throw it thence into the raging sea! Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ, 'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, To the sweet Julia:' that I'll tear away. And yet I will not, sith so prettily He couples it to his complaining names. Thus will I fold them one on another: Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

JULIA

Ah, I wish I actually felt angry about the letter! Oh, hateful hands, you tore up such loving words! Harmful wasps, to feed on such sweet honey and use your sting to kill the bees that give it up! I'll kiss each scrap of the torn-up paper to make up for it. Look, here "kind Julia" is written. Cruel Julia!  As if in revenge for your ungratefulness, I throw your name down on these harmful stones. And I trample scornfully all over your disdain. And here "love-wounded Proteus" is written. Poor, wounded name! I shall keep the scrap of paper with your name on it near my heart, and so place a healing kiss on it. Two or three times "Proteus" is written down. Be calm, good wind, don't blow away a word of this, until I have found each letter in this letter. Except for my own name: you can carry that off in a whirlwind to a rugged scary cliff, and throw it from there into the raging sea! Look, here in one line his name is written twice. "Poor, helpless Proteus, passionate Proteus, to the sweet Julia." I will tear that away. No wait, I won't, since he links my name so nicely to his lamenting name. So, I will fold them on one another. Now kiss, embrace, grapple, and do what you want.

Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA

Madam,Dinner is ready, and your father stays.

LUCETTA

Madam: dinner is ready and your father is waiting.

JULIA

Well, let us go.

JULIA

Well, let's go.

LUCETTA

What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?

LUCETTA

What? Will these papers just lie here then? Like sources of gossip?

JULIA

If you respect them, best to take them up.

JULIA

If you value them, you should pick them up.

LUCETTA

Nay, I was taken up for laying them down:Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.

LUCETTA

No, I was told off for dropping them. Yet they shouldn't lie here, or they'll catch a cold. 

JULIA

I see you have a month's mind to them.

JULIA

I see you like them.

LUCETTA

Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;I see things too, although you judge I wink.

LUCETTA

Yes, madam, you can call it like you see it. I also see things, although I pretend that my eyes are closed.

JULIA

Come, come; will't please you go?

JULIA

Come, come. Will you please go?

Exeunt

The two gentlemen of verona
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Nina romancikova
About the Translator: Nina Romancikova

Nina Romancikova is from Slovakia but her love of literature and theater has brought her to the UK and she has been living and studying there for the past six years. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language at University of Glasgow in 2016. Nina is now finishing her Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and is currently working as a Research Intern at Shakespeare's Globe.