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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO

ANTONIO

Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was thatWherewith my brother held you in the cloister?

ANTONIO

Tell me, Panthino: what were you talking about so seriously with my brother in the cloister?

PANTHINO

'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.

PANTHINO

It was about his nephew Proteus—your son.

ANTONIO

Why, what of him?

ANTONIO

What about him?

PANTHINO

He wonder'd that your lordship Would suffer him to spend his youth at home, While other men, of slender reputation, Put forth their sons to seek preferment out: Some to the wars, to try their fortune there; Some to discover islands far away; Some to the studious universities. For any or for all these exercises, He said that Proteus your son was meet, And did request me to importune you To let him spend his time no more at home, Which would be great impeachment to his age, In having known no travel in his youth.

PANTHINO

He was wondering why you had him spend his young days at home while other men—of less significant status—send their sons into the world. Some go to the wars, to try their luck there; some go to discover islands far away; some go to study at universities. He said that Proteus is fit for any and all of these tasks, and he asked me to urge you to not have him spend any more time at home. That would be a great discredit to him when he's older, since he wouldn't have traveled in his younger days.

ANTONIO

Nor need'st thou much importune me to that Whereon this month I have been hammering. I have consider'd well his loss of time And how he cannot be a perfect man, Not being tried and tutor'd in the world: Experience is by industry achieved And perfected by the swift course of time. Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?

ANTONIO

And you don't need to urge me to do what I've already been thinking about doing all month. I have considered how he's losing time, and how he can't be a fully-experienced man if he isn't tested and tutored abroad. Experience is achieved by activity, and perfected by the quick passing of time. So, where do you think I should send him?

PANTHINO

I think your lordship is not ignorantHow his companion, youthful Valentine,Attends the emperor in his royal court.

PANTHINO

I think your Lordship is aware that Proteus' friend—the young Valentine—is waiting on the Duke of Milan in his royal court.

ANTONIO

I know it well.

ANTONIO

I know about that.

PANTHINO

'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither: There shall he practise tilts and tournaments, Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen. And be in eye of every exercise Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.

PANTHINO

I think it would be good to send him there, your Lordship. There, he can take part in jousts and tournaments; hear elegant conversation; and speak with noblemen. And he can see for himself every task worthy of his youth and noble social status.

ANTONIO

I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised: And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it, The execution of it shall make known. Even with the speediest expedition I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.

ANTONIO

I like your advice; you have given a good recommendation. And you can see just how much I liked your counsel; I will make it happen. I will send him to the emperor's court with the fastest haste. 

PANTHINO

To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso, With other gentlemen of good esteem, Are journeying to salute the emperor And to commend their service to his will.

PANTHINO

Don Alphonso, let him go tomorrow, if you like. He can go with other respected gentlemen who are already planning to travel there in order to pay their respects to the emperor, and to commit their services to him.

ANTONIO

Good company; with them shall Proteus go:And, in good time! Now will we break with him.

ANTONIO

Good company! Proteus will go with them. And just at the right moment! I will tell him now. 

Enter PROTEUS

PROTEUS

Sweet love! Sweet lines! Sweet life! Here is her hand, the agent of her heart; Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn. O, that our fathers would applaud our loves, To seal our happiness with their consents! O heavenly Julia!

PROTEUS

Sweet love! Sweet lines! Sweet life! Here is her handwriting—her heart's representative. Here is her promise of love—her honor's pledge. Oh, I hope that our fathers will be happy with our love, and accept our happiness by approving our relationship.  Oh, heavenly Julia!

ANTONIO

How now! What letter are you reading there?

ANTONIO

What's all this? What letter are you reading?

PROTEUS

May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two Of commendations sent from Valentine, Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.

PROTEUS

If it's all right with your Lordship, it's a word or two of greeting sent from Valentine, delivered by one of his friends who came from him.

ANTONIO

Lend me the letter; let me see what news.

ANTONIO

Give me the letter. Let me see what news it brings.

PROTEUS

There is no news, my lord, but that he writes How happily he lives, how well beloved And daily graced by the emperor; Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

PROTEUS

There is no news, my lord! He only writes how happily he lives in Milan; how he is well-loved; and how the emperor shows Valentine his favor every day. He wishes I were there with him, to share in his good fortune.

ANTONIO

And how stand you affected to his wish?

ANTONIO

And what do you think of his wish?

PROTEUS

As one relying on your lordship's willAnd not depending on his friendly wish.

PROTEUS

I rely on what you tell me to do, your Lordship. I don't depend upon his friendly wish.

ANTONIO

My will is something sorted with his wish. Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed; For what I will, I will, and there an end. I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time With Valentinus in the emperor's court: What maintenance he from his friends receives, Like exhibition thou shalt have from me. To-morrow be in readiness to go: Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.

ANTONIO

My wish is somewhat in agreement with his wish. Don't wonder why I decided so suddenly. Because I will have what I want—and that's that. I have decided that you will spend some time with Valentine in the emperor's court. I'll give you the same amount of money that he gets for allowance from his relatives. Be ready to go tomorrow. Make no excuses, because it's already decided.

PROTEUS

My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:Please you, deliberate a day or two.

PROTEUS

My lord, I can't be ready that soon. Please, let me have a day or two more.

ANTONIO

Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after thee: No more of stay! To-morrow thou must go. Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ'd To hasten on his expedition.

ANTONIO

Look, anything you're missing will be sent to you after you go. No further talk of lingering around here! You must go tomorrow.

[To PANTHINO] Come on, Panthino. You will make sure that this expedition is hastened. 

Exeunt ANTONIO and PANTHINO

PROTEUS

Thus have I shunn'd the fire for fear of burning, And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd. I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter, Lest he should take exceptions to my love; And with the vantage of mine own excuse Hath he excepted most against my love. O, how this spring of love resembleth The uncertain glory of an April day, Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away!

PROTEUS

And so I have avoided the fire, because I was afraid I'd burn. And I avoided being drenched in the sea, where I would drown. I was scared to show Julia's letter to my father because he would have made objections to my love. And with the benefit of my own excuse about Valentine sending me this letter, my father has caused the greatest obstacle to my love. Oh, how similar is this spring of love to the uncertain weather of a beautiful April day! Days in April can be gloriously sunny—until a cloud comes along to take all of that beauty away. 

Re-enter PANTHINO

PANTHINO

Sir Proteus, your father calls for you:He is in haste; therefore, I pray you to go.

PANTHINO

Sir Proteus, your father is calling for you. He is in a hurry, so please go now.

PROTEUS

Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto,And yet a thousand times it answers 'no.'

PROTEUS

This is it! My heart agrees to the journey, and yet it answers "no" a thousand times over. 

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.