A line-by-line translation

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 2, Scene 7

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter JULIA and LUCETTA

JULIA

Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me; And even in kind love I do conjure thee, Who art the table wherein all my thoughts Are visibly character'd and engraved, To lesson me and tell me some good mean How, with my honour, I may undertake A journey to my loving Proteus.

JULIA

Give me advice, Lucetta. Dear girl, help me. I beg you with kind love. You are like the notebook where all my thoughts are clearly written and engraved. So teach me, and tell me about some good method by which I could travel to my loving Proteus, and still maintain my honor.

LUCETTA

Alas, the way is wearisome and long!

LUCETTA

Ah, the journey is tiring and long!

JULIA

A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps; Much less shall she that hath Love's wings to fly, And when the flight is made to one so dear, Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.

JULIA

A truly devoted traveler doesn't get tired from traveling across kingdoms with his weak steps. And she who flies on Love's wings will be even less tired. Especially when she flies to someone so dear—someone of such heavenly perfection—as Sir Proteus.

LUCETTA

Better forbear till Proteus make return.

LUCETTA

You'd better have patience until Proteus returns.

JULIA

O, know'st thou not his looks are my soul's food? Pity the dearth that I have pined in, By longing for that food so long a time. Didst thou but know the inly touch of love, Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

JULIA

Oh, don't you know that his looks are the food that my soul feeds on? It's a pity that I have to waste away in a famine, because I have been longing for that food for so long. If you only knew the inward touch of love, you would as soon light a fire with snow as try to extinguish the fire of love with words.

LUCETTA

I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire,But qualify the fire's extreme rage,Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

LUCETTA

I don't want to suffocate your love's hot fire, but instead moderate the fire's extreme power—so it doesn't burn beyond what's reasonable.

JULIA

The more thou damm'st it up, the more it burns. The current that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage; But when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet music with the enamell'ed stones, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge He overtaketh in his pilgrimage, And so by many winding nooks he strays With willing sport to the wild ocean. Then let me go and hinder not my course I'll be as patient as a gentle stream And make a pastime of each weary step, Till the last step have brought me to my love; And there I'll rest, as after much turmoil A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

JULIA

The more you try to moderate it, the more it burns. The current that flows gently and slowly impatiently rages when it's stopped. But when its flowing isn't prevented, it creates a pleasing sound as it babbles over the smooth stones, giving a gentle kiss to every plant it passes by on its journey. And so it stops at many twisting corners; it goes off with entertaining activity toward the wild ocean. Then let me go, and don't prevent my going. I'll be as patient as the gentle stream, and make an entertainment out of every tiring step, until the last step brings me to my love. And there I will remain, as a blessed soul would in heaven, after going to a lot of trouble.

LUCETTA

But in what habit will you go along?

LUCETTA

But what clothes will you wear?

JULIA

Not like a woman; for I would prevent The loose encounters of lascivious men: Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds As may beseem some well-reputed page.

JULIA

Not a woman's clothes, since I hope to avoid greedy men's improper advances. Dear Lucetta, give me clothes that are appropriate for some well-regarded servant. 

LUCETTA

Why, then, your ladyship must cut your hair.

LUCETTA

Well, then your Ladyship must cut your hair.

JULIA

No, girl, I'll knit it up in silken strings With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots. To be fantastic may become a youth Of greater time than I shall show to be.

JULIA

No, girl. I'll tie it up with silken strings in twenty elaborately devised knots. Being imaginative is quite appropriate for a boy who's older than I will appear.

LUCETTA

What fashion, madam shall I make your breeches?

LUCETTA

In what style shall I make your pants?

JULIA

That fits as well as 'Tell me, good my lord, What compass will you wear your farthingale?' Why even what fashion thou best likest, Lucetta.

JULIA

That's as if you were asking: "Tell me, my good lord, in what perimeter will you wear your petticoat?" In any style that you like, Lucetta.

LUCETTA

You must needs have them with a codpiece, madam.

LUCETTA

You should have the pants with a codpiece, madam.

JULIA

Out, out, Lucetta! That would be ill-favour'd.

JULIA

Get out, Lucetta! That's unheard of!

LUCETTA

A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin,Unless you have a codpiece to stick pins on.

LUCETTA

Pants aren't worth anything unless you have a codpiece to pin on them.

JULIA

Lucetta, as thou lovest me, let me have What thou thinkest meet and is most mannerly. But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me For undertaking so unstaid a journey? I fear me, it will make me scandalized.

JULIA

Lucetta, since you love me, let me have anything that you think is appropriate. But tell me, girl, what will the world think of me for going on such an immodest journey? I am afraid that it will be a scandal.

LUCETTA

If you think so, then stay at home and go not.

LUCETTA

If you think so, then stay at home and don't go.

JULIA

Nay, that I will not.

JULIA

No, I won't do that.

LUCETTA

Then never dream on infamy, but go. If Proteus like your journey when you come, No matter who's displeased when you are gone: I fear me, he will scarce be pleased withal.

LUCETTA

Then don't worry about getting a bad reputation and just go. If Proteus is happy that you came when you arrive, it doesn't matter who is unhappy when you are gone. I am afraid that he won't be that happy about it.

JULIA

That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear: A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears And instances of infinite of love Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.

JULIA

That is the least of my worries, Lucetta. A thousand promises, an ocean of his tears, and evidence of his never-ending love guarantee that Proteus will welcome my arrival.

LUCETTA

All these are servants to deceitful men.

LUCETTA

All these things simply help deceitful men in their treachery.

JULIA

Base men, that use them to so base effect! But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles, His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate, His tears pure messengers sent from his heart, His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth.

JULIA

They are lowly men that use them to such a lowly effect! But truer stars shone when Proteus was born. His words are binding promises; his love is sincere; his thoughts are pure; his tears are poor messengers sent from his heart; his heart is as far from lies as heaven is from earth.

LUCETTA

Pray heaven he prove so, when you come to him!

LUCETTA

I hope to God that he'll prove to be true when you go to him!

JULIA

Now, as thou lovest me, do him not that wrong To bear a hard opinion of his truth: Only deserve my love by loving him; And presently go with me to my chamber, To take a note of what I stand in need of, To furnish me upon my longing journey. All that is mine I leave at thy dispose, My goods, my lands, my reputation; Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence. Come, answer not, but to it presently! I am impatient of my tarriance.

JULIA

Now since you love me, don't speak like that about him. Don't have such a tough opinion of his sincerity. Earn my love by loving him. And go to my room immediately, to find out what I need to take with me on my journey, which will be full of yearning. I leave everything I have under your control: my things, my lands, my reputation. All I ask for in exchange is that you send me on my way. Come, don't answer, just do it now! I am impatient from your delay.

Exeunt

The two gentlemen of verona
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Two Gentlemen Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 911 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 21,030 quotes covering 911 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.