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The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter LANCE, with his his Dog

LANCE

When a man's servant shall play the cur with him, look you, it goes hard: one that I brought up of a puppy; one that I saved from drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it. I have taught him, even as one would say precisely, 'thus I would teach a dog.' I was sent to deliver him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my master; and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he steps me to her trencher and steals her capon's leg: O, 'tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies! I would have, as one should say, one that takes upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all things. If I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault upon me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged for't; sure as I live, he had suffered for't; you shall judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four gentlemanlike dogs under the duke's table: he had not been there—bless the mark!—a pissing while, but all the chamber smelt him. 'Out with the dog!' says one: 'What cur is that?' says another: 'Whip him out' says the third: 'Hang him up' says the duke. I, having been acquainted with the smell before, knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow that whips the dogs: 'Friend,' quoth I, 'you mean to whip the dog?' 'Ay, marry, do I,' quoth he. 'You do him the more wrong,' quoth I; ''twas I did the thing you wot of.' He makes me no more ado, but whips me out of the chamber. How many masters would do this for his servant? Nay, I'll be sworn, I have sat in the stocks for puddings he hath stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered for't. Thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick you served me when I took my leave of Madam Silvia: did not I bid thee still mark me and do as I do? When didst thou see me heave up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale? Didst thou ever see me do such a trick?

LANCE

When a master's servant behaves like a dog to him, it is tough. I brought this one up from a puppy; I saved this one from drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters drowned. I have taught him, even as one would say precisely, "I would teach a dog like this." I was sent to deliver him as a present from my master to Mistress Silvia, and as soon as I came into the dining room, he comes to her plate and steals her chicken leg. Oh, it's a horrible thing when a dog can't behave himself in different kinds of company! But, as they really should say, I happen to have a dog that is a dog indeed—a dog in everything he does. If I didn't have more wisdom than he does—to plead guilty for his wrongdoing—I really think he would have been hanged for it. For as sure as I live, he's suffered for it, as you'll see. He thrusts me himself into the company of three or four gentlemanly dogs under the Duke's table. He had not been there (pardon my language) as long as the time it takes to piss—and everybody in the room smelled him. "Out with the dog!" someone says. "What dog is that?" someone else says. "Whip him!" a third says. "Hang him up" says the Duke. Since I have known the smell before, I knew it was Crab. So I go to the man that whips the dogs: "Friend," I say, "are you going to whip the dog?" "Yes, I am" he says. "You'll make things even worse for him if you do," I say. "I was the one who did the thing you know about." He makes no more fuss about it, but whips me out of the room. How many masters would do this for their servants? No, I swear, I have sat in the stocks for sausages he has stolen. Otherwise, he would have been executed. I have also been punished for geese he has killed. Otherwise, he would have suffered for it. Don't think about this now. No, I remember the trick you played on me when I left Madam Silvia. Didn't I ask you to always pay attention to me, just like I pay attention to you? When did you see me raise up my leg and urinate onto a gentlewoman's skirt? Have you ever seen me do such a trick?

Enter PROTEUS and JULIA

PROTEUS

Sebastian is thy name? I like thee wellAnd will employ thee in some service presently.

PROTEUS

[To JULIA] Is your name Sebastian? I like you, and so I'll give you a job to do soon.

JULIA

In what you please: I'll do what I can.

JULIA

I'll do whatever you'd like, if I can.

PROTEUS

I hope thou wilt.

PROTEUS

I hope you will.

PROTEUS

[to LANCE] How now, you whoreson peasant!Where have you been these two days loitering?

PROTEUS

[To LANCE] What's this? You bastard peasant! Where have you been these past two days? 

LANCE

Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.

LANCE

I carried the dog to Mistress Silvia like you asked me to, sir. 

PROTEUS

And what says she to my little jewel?

PROTEUS

And what does she say to my pretty little dog?

LANCE

Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells youcurrish thanks is good enough for such a present.

LANCE

She says that your dog is badly-behaved. And she tells you that a snide "thanks" is good enough for a present like that.

PROTEUS

But she received my dog?

PROTEUS

But did she receive my dog?

LANCE

No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought himback again.

LANCE

No, she didn't. I have brought him back here again.

PROTEUS

What, didst thou offer her this from me?

PROTEUS

Wait a second! Did you offer her this dog from me?

LANCE

Ay, sir: the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman boys in the market-place: and then I offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift the greater.

LANCE

Yes, sir. Some mischievous boys in the market square stole the other small dog from me. So then I offered her my own dog, who is as big as ten of yours. And therefore the gift was all the greater. 

PROTEUS

Go get thee hence, and find my dog again, Or ne'er return again into my sight. Away, I say! Stay'st thou to vex me here?

PROTEUS

Get out of here and go find my dog! And if you don't, I don't ever want to see you again. Go away, I say! Are you staying here to make me angry?

Exit LANCE

PROTEUS

A slave, that still an end turns me to shame! Sebastian, I have entertained thee, Partly that I have need of such a youth That can with some discretion do my business, For 'tis no trusting to yond foolish lout, But chiefly for thy face and thy behavior, Which, if my augury deceive me not, Witness good bringing up, fortune and truth: Therefore know thou, for this I entertain thee. Go presently and take this ring with thee, Deliver it to Madam Silvia: She loved me well deliver'd it to me.

PROTEUS

He is a rascal that continuously makes me ashamed! Sebastian, I have taken you into service, partly because I need such a young boy who can carry out my business with discretion. There's no point in trusting that foolish man over there. But I have mostly employed you because of your face and your manners, which—if my prediction is correct—are evidence of a good upbringing, fortune, and truth. Therefore, you should know that I have taken you for these reasons. Go at once and take this ring with you. Deliver it to Madam Silvia. The girl who gave it to me loved me well.

JULIA

It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.She is dead, belike?

JULIA

It seems that you didn't love her, since you parted with her token. Is she dead?

PROTEUS

Not so; I think she lives.

PROTEUS

No, I think she is alive.

JULIA

Alas!

JULIA

Ah!

PROTEUS

Why dost thou cry 'alas'?

PROTEUS

Why do you cry, "Ah?"

JULIA

I cannot chooseBut pity her.

JULIA

I can't help myself: I feel sorry for her.

PROTEUS

Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?

PROTEUS

Why should you feel sorry for her?

JULIA

Because methinks that she loved you as well As you do love your lady Silvia: She dreams of him that has forgot her love; You dote on her that cares not for your love. 'Tis pity love should be so contrary; And thinking of it makes me cry 'alas!'

JULIA

Because I think that she loved you as well as you love your lady Silvia. She dreams of the man who has forgotten her love. You are obsessed with someone who doesn't care to have your love. It's a pity that love should be so contrary. And thinking of it makes me cry, "Ah!"

PROTEUS

Well, give her that ring and therewithal This letter. That's her chamber. Tell my lady I claim the promise for her heavenly picture. Your message done, hie home unto my chamber, Where thou shalt find me, sad and solitary.

PROTEUS

Well, give her that ring, and with it, this letter. That's her room there. Tell my lady that she should keep her promise and give me her heavenly picture. Once you deliver the message, go home to my room, where you will find me sad and alone.

Exit

JULIA

How many women would do such a message? Alas, poor Proteus! Thou hast entertain'd A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs. Alas, poor fool! Why do I pity him That with his very heart despiseth me? Because he loves her, he despiseth me; Because I love him I must pity him. This ring I gave him when he parted from me, To bind him to remember my good will; And now am I, unhappy messenger, To plead for that which I would not obtain, To carry that which I would have refused, To praise his faith which I would have dispraised. I am my master's true-confirmed love; But cannot be true servant to my master, Unless I prove false traitor to myself. Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.

JULIA

How many women would carry such a message? Ah, poor Proteus! You have employed a fox to be the shepherd of your lambs. Oh, I am a poor fool! Why do I pity the man who hates me with his heart? Because he loves her, he hates me.  And because I love him, I have to feel sorry for him. I gave him this ring when we said goodbye—to make him promise to remember me. And now I am an unhappy messenger, who has to ask for the picture that I don't want to get; to carry the ring which I should have refused; to praise his faith—which I should have said bad things about. I am my master's truly-confirmed love. But I cannot be a true servant to my master, unless I betray myself. Yes, I will woo Silvia for him. But I'll do it coldly since I don't want him to succeed, as heaven knows. 

Enter SILVIA, attended

JULIA

Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my meanTo bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.

JULIA

Good day, gentlewoman! I beg you to take me where I can speak with Madam Silvia.

SILVIA

What would you with her, if that I be she?

SILVIA

What do you want with her? Pretend that I'm her.

JULIA

If you be she, I do entreat your patienceTo hear me speak the message I am sent on.

JULIA

If you are her, then I ask you to patiently hear the message I am sent here to deliver. 

SILVIA

From whom?

SILVIA

A message from whom?

JULIA

From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.

JULIA

From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.

SILVIA

O, he sends you for a picture.

SILVIA

Oh, he sends you here for a picture.

JULIA

Ay, madam.

JULIA

Yes, madam.

SILVIA

Ursula, bring my picture here. Go give your master this: tell him from me, One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget, Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.

SILVIA

[To a servant] Ursula, bring my picture here.

[To JULIA] Go and give your master this.
Tell him, from me, that one Julia—whom he has forgotten in his changing thoughts—would better suit his room than this shadow of a picture.

JULIA

Madam, please you peruse this letter.— Pardon me, madam; I have unadvised Deliver'd you a paper that I should not: This is the letter to your ladyship.

JULIA

[She hands SILVIA a letter] Madam, please read this letter—Wait! Pardon me, madam. I have accidentally given you a paper that I shouldn't have. [She hands SILVIA another letter] This is the letter addressed to your Ladyship.

SILVIA

I pray thee, let me look on that again.

SILVIA

Please, let me look at that one again.

JULIA

It may not be; good madam, pardon me.

JULIA

No, I don't think that's a good idea, good madam. Forgive me.

SILVIA

There, hold! I will not look upon your master's lines: I know they are stuff'd with protestations And full of new-found oaths; which he will break As easily as I do tear his paper.

SILVIA

Wait a moment! I will not read your master's lines. I know they are full of declarations of love and recently-invented oaths—which he will break as easily as I tear his letter apart.

JULIA

Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.

JULIA

Madam, he sends your Ladyship this ring.

SILVIA

The more shame for him that he sends it me; For I have heard him say a thousand times His Julia gave it him at his departure. Though his false finger have profaned the ring, Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.

SILVIA

He should be ashamed for sending it to me, because I have heard him say a thousand times that his Julia gave him this ring when they said goodbye. Though his false finger has abused the ring, my finger will not do his Julia so much wrong by wearing the ring. 

JULIA

She thanks you.

JULIA

She thanks you.

SILVIA

What say'st thou?

SILVIA

What did you say?

JULIA

I thank you, madam, that you tender her.Poor gentlewoman! My master wrongs her much.

JULIA

I thank you, madam, that you care for her. Poor gentlewoman! My master has really wronged her. 

SILVIA

Dost thou know her?

SILVIA

Do you know her?

JULIA

Almost as well as I do know myself:To think upon her woes I do protestThat I have wept a hundred several times.

JULIA

Almost as well as I know myself. I have thought about her suffering a hundred times, and it has made me cry. 

SILVIA

Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her.

SILVIA

She probably thinks that Proteus has abandoned her.

JULIA

I think she doth; and that's her cause of sorrow.

JULIA

I think she does, and that's why she is mourning.

SILVIA

Is she not passing fair?

SILVIA

Isn't she beautiful?

JULIA

She hath been fairer, madam, than she is: When she did think my master loved her well, She, in my judgment, was as fair as you: But since she did neglect her looking-glass And threw her sun-expelling mask away, The air hath starved the roses in her cheeks And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face, That now she is become as black as I.

JULIA

She has been more beautiful than she is now, madam. When she thought that my master loved her, I think she was as beautiful as you. But since she stopped looking in the mirror and threw her mask away, the air has starved the rosy blush on her cheeks, and eroded the lily-white color of her face, so now she has become as black as I. 

SILVIA

How tall was she?

SILVIA

How tall was she?

JULIA

About my stature; for at Pentecost, When all our pageants of delight were play'd, Our youth got me to play the woman's part, And I was trimm'd in Madam Julia's gown, Which served me as fit, by all men's judgments, As if the garment had been made for me: Therefore I know she is about my height. And at that time I made her weep agood, For I did play a lamentable part: Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight; Which I so lively acted with my tears That my poor mistress, moved therewithal, Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!

JULIA

About my height, because at Pentecost, when all our enjoyable plays are performed, I played the woman's part. And I dressed up in Madam Julia's dress, which fitted me as well as my men's clothes, as if the dress was made for me. Therefore, I know she is about my height. And, at that time, I made her cry in earnest because I played a tragic role. It was Ariadne's passionate sorrowing for Theseus not keeping his promise and unjustly running away, madam. I was so convincing with my acting, and even shed tears. Because of this, my poor mistress—moved by it all—cried bitterly. If I didn't feel her sorrow in that moment, I should have been dead!

SILVIA

She is beholding to thee, gentle youth. Alas, poor lady, desolate and left! I weep myself to think upon thy words. Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lovest her. Farewell.

SILVIA

She is indebted to you, gentle boy. Ah, poor lady, abandoned and left behind! I cry just thinking about your words. Here, boy, take my purse. I give you this for the sake of your sweet mistress, because you love her. Goodbye. 

Exit SILVIA, with attendants

JULIA

And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you know her. A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful I hope my master's suit will be but cold, Since she respects my mistress' love so much. Alas, how love can trifle with itself! Here is her picture: let me see; I think, If I had such a tire, this face of mine Were full as lovely as is this of hers: And yet the painter flatter'd her a little, Unless I flatter with myself too much. Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow: If that be all the difference in his love, I'll get me such a colour'd periwig. Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine: Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine's as high. What should it be that he respects in her But I can make respective in myself, If this fond Love were not a blinded god? Come, shadow, come and take this shadow up, For 'tis thy rival. O thou senseless form, Thou shalt be worshipp'd, kiss'd, loved and adored! And, were there sense in his idolatry, My substance should be statue in thy stead. I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake, That used me so; or else, by Jove I vow, I should have scratch'd out your unseeing eyes To make my master out of love with thee!

JULIA

And she will thank you for it, if you ever meet her. She is a virtuous, kind and beautiful gentlewoman. I hope my master's wooing will be received coldly, since Silvia respects my mistress Julia's love so much. Ah, how love can play with itself! Here is her picture. Let me see, I think if I had accessories like these, my face would be as lovely as hers. And yet the painter painted her more beautiful than she is, unless I think of myself as more beautiful. Her hair is auburn, mine is perfectly blond. If that's the only difference in his love, I can get myself a wig of that color. Her eyes are as gray as glass—and so are mine. Yes, but her forehead is low, whereas mine is high. What does he admire in her that I can make worthy of respect in myself—if this Love were not a blinded god? Come, shadow. Come and pick up this picture of a shadow, since it's your rival. Oh, you unconscious image: you will be worshiped, kissed, loved and adored! And if Proteus' idolatry were to make sense, I would be the idol instead of you. I'll treat you kindly for the sake of your mistress Silvia, who likewise treated me kindly. Or else I'll swear by Jove that I should have scratched out your unseeing eyes to make my master fall out of love with you!

Exit

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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.