A line-by-line translation

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Translation Act 5, Scene 4

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Enter VALENTINE.

VALENTINE

How use doth breed a habit in a man! This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, I better brook than flourishing peopled towns: Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, And to the nightingale's complaining notes Tune my distresses and record my woes. O thou that dost inhabit in my breast, Leave not the mansion so long tenantless, Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall And leave no memory of what it was! Repair me with thy presence, Silvia; Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain! What halloing and what stir is this to-day? These are my mates, that make their wills their law, Have some unhappy passenger in chase. They love me well; yet I have much to do To keep them from uncivil outrages. Withdraw thee, Valentine: who's this comes here?

VALENTINE

Increasing familiarity can make people feel more at home, no matter where they are! This shadowy deserted place—a forest that no one ever visits—now feels better to me than towns bustling with people. Here, I can sit alone, and no one sees me. I can tune the sad songs I sing to the nightingale's sorrowful notes. Oh, you that live in my breast: don't leave my love's dwelling place so long without a tenant. Otherwise, it will become a ruin, and the building will fall and leave no memory of what it was! Revive me with your presence, Silvia. You gentle, beautiful creature: treasure me, your abandoned lover! What's this shouting and what hustle do we have here today? These are my friends that make their desires into their laws. They are following some unfortunate traveler. They love me, but I have a lot to do to keep them from committing uncivil and shocking acts. Valentine, keep away for now. Who's coming here? 

Enter PROTEUS, SILVIA, and JULIA

PROTEUS

Madam, this service I have done for you, Though you respect not aught your servant doth, To hazard life and rescue you from him That would have forced your honour and your love; Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look; A smaller boon than this I cannot beg And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give.

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

[Aside] How like a dream is this I see and hear!Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.

VALENTINE

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SILVIA

O miserable, unhappy that I am!

SILVIA

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PROTEUS

Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came;But by my coming I have made you happy.

PROTEUS

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SILVIA

By thy approach thou makest me most unhappy.

SILVIA

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JULIA

[Aside] And me, when he approacheth to your presence.

JULIA

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SILVIA

Had I been seized by a hungry lion, I would have been a breakfast to the beast, Rather than have false Proteus rescue me. O, Heaven be judge how I love Valentine, Whose life's as tender to me as my soul! And full as much, for more there cannot be, I do detest false perjured Proteus. Therefore be gone; solicit me no more.

SILVIA

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PROTEUS

What dangerous action, stood it next to death, Would I not undergo for one calm look! O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved, When women cannot love where they're beloved!

PROTEUS

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SILVIA

When Proteus cannot love where he's beloved. Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love, For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths Descended into perjury, to love me. Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou'dst two; And that's far worse than none; better have none Than plural faith which is too much by one: Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!

SILVIA

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PROTEUS

In loveWho respects friend?

PROTEUS

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SILVIA

All men but Proteus.

SILVIA

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PROTEUS

Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words Can no way change you to a milder form, I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end, And love you 'gainst the nature of love,—force ye.

PROTEUS

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SILVIA

O heaven!

SILVIA

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PROTEUS

I'll force thee yield to my desire.

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,Thou friend of an ill fashion!

VALENTINE

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PROTEUS

Valentine!

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

Thou common friend, that's without faith or love, For such is a friend now; treacherous man! Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye Could have persuaded me: now I dare not say I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me. Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus, I am sorry I must never trust thee more, But count the world a stranger for thy sake. The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst, 'Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

VALENTINE

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PROTEUS

My shame and guilt confounds me. Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow Be a sufficient ransom for offence, I tender 't here; I do as truly suffer As e'er I did commit.

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

Then I am paid; And once again I do receive thee honest. Who by repentance is not satisfied Is nor of heaven nor earth, for these are pleased. By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased: And, that my love may appear plain and free, All that was mine in Silvia I give thee.

VALENTINE

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JULIA

O me unhappy!

JULIA

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Swoons

PROTEUS

Look to the boy.

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

Why, boy! Why, wag! How now! What's the matter?Look up; speak.

VALENTINE

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JULIA

O good sir, my master charged me to deliver a ringto Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done.

JULIA

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PROTEUS

Where is that ring, boy?

PROTEUS

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JULIA

Here 'tis; this is it.

JULIA

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PROTEUS

How! Let me see:Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.

PROTEUS

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JULIA

O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook:This is the ring you sent to Silvia.

JULIA

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PROTEUS

But how camest thou by this ring? At my departI gave this unto Julia.

PROTEUS

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JULIA

And Julia herself did give it me;And Julia herself hath brought it hither.

JULIA

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PROTEUS

How! Julia!

PROTEUS

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JULIA

Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths, And entertain'd 'em deeply in her heart. How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root! O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush! Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me Such an immodest raiment, if shame live In a disguise of love: It is the lesser blot, modesty finds, Women to change their shapes than men their minds.

JULIA

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PROTEUS

Than men their minds! 'Tis true. O heaven! Were man But constant, he were perfect. That one error Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins: Inconstancy falls off ere it begins. What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?

PROTEUS

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VALENTINE

Come, come, a hand from either: Let me be blest to make this happy close; 'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

VALENTINE

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PROTEUS

Bear witness, Heaven, I have my wish for ever.

PROTEUS

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JULIA

And I mine.

JULIA

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Enter Outlaws, with DUKE and TURIO

OUTLAWS

A prize, a prize, a prize!

OUTLAWS

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VALENTINE

Forbear, forbear, I say! It is my lord the duke.Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced,Banished Valentine.

VALENTINE

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DUKE

Sir Valentine!

DUKE

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TURIO

Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.

TURIO

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VALENTINE

Turio, give back, or else embrace thy death; Come not within the measure of my wrath; Do not name Silvia thine; if once again, Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands; Take but possession of her with a touch: I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.

VALENTINE

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TURIO

Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I; I hold him but a fool that will endanger His body for a girl that loves him not: I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

TURIO

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DUKE

The more degenerate and base art thou, To make such means for her as thou hast done And leave her on such slight conditions. Now, by the honour of my ancestry, I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine, And think thee worthy of an empress' love: Know then, I here forget all former griefs, Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again, Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit, To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine, Thou art a gentleman and well derived; Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.

DUKE

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VALENTINE

I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy. I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, To grant one boom that I shall ask of you.

VALENTINE

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DUKE

I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.

DUKE

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VALENTINE

These banish'd men that I have kept withal Are men endued with worthy qualities: Forgive them what they have committed here And let them be recall'd from their exile: They are reformed, civil, full of good And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

VALENTINE

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DUKE

Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them and thee: Dispose of them as thou know'st their deserts. Come, let us go: we will include all jars With triumphs, mirth and rare solemnity.

DUKE

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VALENTINE

And, as we walk along, I dare be boldWith our discourse to make your grace to smile.What think you of this page, my lord?

VALENTINE

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DUKE

I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.

DUKE

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VALENTINE

I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.

VALENTINE

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DUKE

What mean you by that saying?

DUKE

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VALENTINE

Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along, That you will wonder what hath fortuned. Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear The story of your loves discovered: That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

VALENTINE

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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.