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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 2, Scene 1

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Enter VALENTINE and SPEED

SPEED

Sir, your glove.

SPEED

Sir, your glove.

VALENTINE

Not mine; my gloves are on.

VALENTINE

That's not mine. My gloves are on.

SPEED

Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.

SPEED

Well, then, this one may be yours—because this is only one.

VALENTINE

Ha! Let me see: ay, give it me, it's mine: Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine! Ah, Silvia, Silvia!

VALENTINE

Ha! Let me see! Yes, give it to me. It's mine. Sweet item of clothing that adorns a heavenly thing! Ah, Silvia, Silvia!

SPEED

Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!

SPEED

Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!

VALENTINE

How now, sirrah?

VALENTINE

What's that, sir?

SPEED

She is not within hearing, sir.

SPEED

She's not within earshot, sir.

VALENTINE

Why, sir, who bade you call her?

VALENTINE

Who asked you to call her, sir?

SPEED

Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.

SPEED

Your Worship, sir. Or else I misunderstood you.

VALENTINE

Well, you'll still be too forward.

VALENTINE

Well, you'll always be too hasty.

SPEED

And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.

SPEED

And yet, last time I was told off for being too slow.

VALENTINE

Go to, sir: tell me, do you know Madam Silvia?

VALENTINE

Oh, that's enough, sir! Tell me, do you know Madam Silvia?

SPEED

She that your worship loves?

SPEED

Is that the lady whom your Worship loves?

VALENTINE

Why, how know you that I am in love?

VALENTINE

Oh, but how do you know that I'm in love?

SPEED

Marry, by these special marks: first, you havelearned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms,like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like arobin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch like one that fears robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money: and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master .

SPEED

By these particular signs: first, you have learned—like Sir Proteus—to fold your arms like a discontented person; to enjoy a love song, like a robin; to walk alone, like someone that has the plague; to sigh, like a school boy that has forgotten the alphabet; to cry, like a young girl that buried her grandmother; to fast, like someone on a diet; to remain awake, as if worried about being robbed; to whine like a beggar on All Saints' Day. Before you fell in love, when you laughed, you crowed like a rooster; when you walked, you walked like a lion; and when you didn't eat, it was because you'd just finished your dinner; when you looked sad, it was because you didn't have money. And now you've changed so much because of your mistress, that, when I look at you, I can hardly think that you are my master.

VALENTINE

Are all these things perceived in me?

VALENTINE

Can you spot all these changes in me?

SPEED

They are all perceived without ye.

SPEED

They are easy to see all around you.

VALENTINE

Without me? They cannot.

VALENTINE

They're visible all around me? They can't be.

SPEED

Without you? Nay, that's certain, for, without you were so simple, none else would: but you are so without these follies, that these follies are within you and shine through you like the water in an urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a physician to comment on your malady.

SPEED

All around you? Yes, for sure, because if you could simply hide the signs of love, nobody would perceive them. But you are so madly in love, inside and out, that all of the symptoms of love shine through you like urine in a doctor's test cup, and anyone who just looks at you can diagnose your illness as if they were a physician.

VALENTINE

But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?

VALENTINE

Tell me, though: do you know my lady Silvia?

SPEED

She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?

SPEED

Is she the one that you stare at when she is having dinner?

VALENTINE

Hast thou observed that? Even she, I mean.

VALENTINE

Have you noticed that? I mean, yes, that's her.

SPEED

Why, sir, I know her not.

SPEED

Well, sir, I don't know her.

VALENTINE

Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yetknowest her not?

VALENTINE

So, you know her by my staring at her—and yet you don't know her?

SPEED

Is she not hard-favoured, sir?

SPEED

Isn't she ugly, sir?

VALENTINE

Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured.

VALENTINE

Not so beautiful, boy, as she is attractive.

SPEED

Sir, I know that well enough.

SPEED

Sir, I know that.

VALENTINE

What dost thou know?

VALENTINE

What do you know?

SPEED

That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favoured.

SPEED

That she isn't so much beautiful as preferred by you. 

VALENTINE

I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.

VALENTINE

I mean that her beauty is rare, but her charm is never-ending.

SPEED

That's because the one is painted and the other outof all count.

SPEED

That's because the one is artificial, and the other is beyond calculation.

VALENTINE

How painted? And how out of count?

VALENTINE

What do you mean, "artificial?" And how  is it "beyond calculation?"

SPEED

Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, that noman counts of her beauty.

SPEED

Well, sir, she's so artificial, to make herself beautiful, that no man values her beauty.

VALENTINE

How esteemest thou me? I account of her beauty.

VALENTINE

Do you think nothing of my judgment, then? I value her beauty.

SPEED

You never saw her since she was deformed.

SPEED

You haven't seen her since she was disfigured.

VALENTINE

How long hath she been deformed?

VALENTINE

How long has she been disfigured?

SPEED

Ever since you loved her.

SPEED

Ever since you fell in love with her.

VALENTINE

I have loved her ever since I saw her; and still Isee her beautiful.

VALENTINE

I have loved her ever since I saw her. And she is still beautiful in my eyes.

SPEED

If you love her, you cannot see her.

SPEED

You can't see her if you love her.

VALENTINE

Why?

VALENTINE

Why?

SPEED

Because Love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes; or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going ungartered!

SPEED

Because Love is blind. Oh, if only you had my eyes! Or if your own eyes had the clear-sighted ability they used to have when you told Sir Proteus off for being disheveled! 

VALENTINE

What should I see then?

VALENTINE

What would I see then?

SPEED

Your own present folly and her passing deformity: for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose, and you, being in love, cannot see to put on yourhose.

SPEED

Your own foolishness and her extreme deformity. Because Proteus—who is in love—at least made himself presentable by putting on his pants properly. And you—also blindly in love—can't even do that.

VALENTINE

Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for lastmorning you could not see to wipe my shoes.

VALENTINE

In that case, boy, you are in love. Because yesterday morning, you couldn't see well enough to clean my shoes.

SPEED

T rue, sir; I was in love with my bed: I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you for yours.

SPEED

That's true, sir. I was in love with my bed. Thank you for beating me for my love. It makes me braver to tell you off for yours.

VALENTINE

In conclusion, I stand affected to her.

VALENTINE

To sum it up, I am in love with her.

SPEED

I would you were set, so your affection would cease.

SPEED

I wish you were calm, so that your affection would stop.

VALENTINE

Last night she enjoined me to write some lines toone she loves.

VALENTINE

Last night she told me to write some lines to someone she loves.

SPEED

And have you?

SPEED

And have you?

VALENTINE

I have.

VALENTINE

I have.

SPEED

Are they not lamely writ?

SPEED

Are they not written badly?

VALENTINE

No, boy, but as well as I can do them. Peace!Here she comes.

VALENTINE

No, boy, I wrote them as well as I could. Be quiet! Here she is.

SPEED

[Aside] O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!Now will he interpret to her.

SPEED

[To himself] Oh, that's a great puppet-show! Oh, that's a great puppet! Now he will provide the words for the puppet.

Enter SILVIA

VALENTINE

Madam and mistress, a thousand good-morrows.

VALENTINE

Madam, beloved, I wish you a thousand good mornings.

SPEED

[Aside] O, give ye good even! Here's a million of manners.

SPEED

[To himself] Oh, good grief! This is a very excessive display of manners.

SILVIA

Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.

SILVIA

Sir Valentine, lover, I wish you two thousand.

SPEED

[Aside] He should give her interest and she gives it him.

SPEED

[To himself] He should show his interest in her, but she pays him interest instead by offering him twice as many good mornings. 

VALENTINE

As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter Unto the secret nameless friend of yours; Which I was much unwilling to proceed in But for my duty to your ladyship.

VALENTINE

As you have instructed, I have written your letter to your secret, unnamed lover. I didn't want to do it, but I did it because of my duty to you. 

SILVIA

I thank you gentle servant: 'tis very clerkly done.

SILVIA

Thank you, kind servant. You've done it very scholarly.

VALENTINE

Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off; For being ignorant to whom it goes I writ at random, very doubtfully.

VALENTINE

Trust me, madam, it was difficult to do. Since I didn't know who it was meant for, I wrote randomly and with much hesitation. 

SILVIA

Perchance you think too much of so much pains?

SILVIA

Perhaps you think it's not worth making so much effort?

VALENTINE

No, madam; so it stead you, I will writePlease you command, a thousand times as much; And yet—

VALENTINE

No, madam. As long as it is helpful to you, I will write. Order me to write a thousand times as much. And yet— 

SILVIA

A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel; And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not; And yet take this again; and yet I thank you, Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.

SILVIA

A clever pause! Well, I guess what follows. And yet I won't say it. And yet I don't care. And yet take this again. And yet I thank you. I don't mean to trouble you any longer.

SPEED

[Aside] And yet you will; and yet another 'yet.'

SPEED

[To himself] And yet you will. And yet another "yet."

VALENTINE

What means your ladyship? Do you not like it?

VALENTINE

What do you mean, your Ladyship? Don't you like the letter?

SILVIA

Yes, yes; the lines are very quaintly writ; But since unwillingly, take them again. Nay, take them.

SILVIA

Yes, yes, the lines are written very skillfully. But since they are written unwillingly, take them back. No, take them.

VALENTINE

Madam, they are for you.

VALENTINE

They are for you, madam.

SILVIA

Ay, ay: you writ them, sir, at my request; But I will none of them; they are for you; I would have had them writ more movingly.

SILVIA

Yes, yes, you wrote them, sir, because I asked you to. But I don't want them. They are for you. I would have had them written with more emotion.

VALENTINE

Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.

VALENTINE

If you'd like, I can write your Ladyship another one.

SILVIA

And when it's writ, for my sake read it over,And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.

SILVIA

And when it's written, read it over for my sake. And if you're happy with it, so be it; if not, well, so be it.

VALENTINE

If it please me, madam, what then?

VALENTINE

Madam, if I'm happy with it, then what?

SILVIA

Why, if it please you, take it for your labour:And so, good morrow, servant.

SILVIA

Well, if you're happy with it, take it as a payment for your efforts. And so, good day, servant.

Exit

SPEED

O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple! My master sues to her, and she hath taught her suitor, He being her pupil, to become her tutor. O excellent device! Was there ever heard a better, That my master, being scribe, to himself should write the letter?

SPEED

Oh, an unseen, mysterious, invisible joke! It's like the nose on your face; or a weathervane on top of a spire! My master courts her, and she taught her suitor. He is her student in order to become her teacher. Oh, that's a genius scheme! Has anyone heard of a better one, than that my master—who is the writer— should write the letter to himself?

VALENTINE

How now, sir? What are you reasoning with yourself?

VALENTINE

What's that, sir? What is it you're talking to yourself about?

SPEED

Nay, I was rhyming: 'tis you that have the reason.

SPEED

No, I was rhyming. You are the one who has a reason.

VALENTINE

To do what?

VALENTINE

To do what?

SPEED

To be a spokesman for Madam Silvia.

SPEED

To speak for Madam Silvia.

VALENTINE

To whom?

VALENTINE

To whom?

SPEED

To yourself: why, she wooes you by a figure.

SPEED

To yourself! She courts you by an ingenious device.

VALENTINE

What figure?

VALENTINE

What device?

SPEED

By a letter, I should say.

SPEED

The letter!

VALENTINE

Why, she hath not writ to me?

VALENTINE

But she didn't write it to me.

SPEED

What need she, when she hath made you write toyourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?

SPEED

Why would she need to, when she has already made you write it to yourself? Don't you get the joke?

VALENTINE

No, believe me.

VALENTINE

No, believe me.

SPEED

No believing you, indeed, sir. But did you perceiveher earnest?

SPEED

I don't believe it, that's for sure, sir. But did you really think she was serious?

VALENTINE

She gave me none, except an angry word.

VALENTINE

She gave me nothing except for an angry word. 

SPEED

Why, she hath given you a letter.

SPEED

She gave you a letter.

VALENTINE

That's the letter I writ to her friend.

VALENTINE

That's the letter I wrote for her lover.

SPEED

And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end.

SPEED

And she has delivered the letter. And there's the end to the matter.

VALENTINE

I would it were no worse.

VALENTINE

I wish it weren't so bad.

SPEED

I'll warrant you, 'tis as well: For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty, Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply; Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover, Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover. All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. Why muse you, sir? 'Tis dinner-time.

SPEED

I assure you, it's all good. You have written to her a lot, and she couldn't reply because of her modesty, or because she doesn't have enough down-time. Or she was afraid that some messenger might find out what she thinks. So she has taught her love to write a letter to her lover. I am speaking very precisely about all of this—exactly as I see it. Why are you lost in thought, sir? It's time for dinner.

VALENTINE

I have dined.

VALENTINE

I've already dined on beauty. 

SPEED

Ay, but hearken, sir; though the chameleon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my victuals, and would fain have meat. O, be not like your mistress; be moved, be moved.

SPEED

Yes, but listen, sir. Although Love is changeable like the chameleon, and can feed on air, I can only feed on food and would like to have meat. Oh, don't be like your mistress. Be persuaded, be persuaded. 

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.