A line-by-line translation

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

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PANTHINO

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

PANTHINO

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ANTONIO

I know it well.

ANTONIO

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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

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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

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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

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ANTONIO

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

ANTONIO

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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

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ANTONIO

How now! What letter are you reading there?

ANTONIO

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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

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ANTONIO

Lend me the letter; let me see what news.

ANTONIO

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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

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ANTONIO

And how stand you affected to his wish?

ANTONIO

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PROTEUS

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

PROTEUS

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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

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PROTEUS

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

PROTEUS

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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

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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

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Re-enter PANTHINO

PANTHINO

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

PANTHINO

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PROTEUS

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

PROTEUS

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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.