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  • Title: Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

    Sp. Marry, the son of my Grand-father.
    La. Oh illiterate loyterer; it was the sonne of thy
    1360Grand-mother: this proues that thou canst not read.
    Sp. Come foole, come: try me in thy paper.
    La. There: and S. Nicholas be thy speed.
    Sp. Inprimis she can milke.
    La. I that she can.
    1365Sp. Item, she brewes good Ale.
    La. And thereof comes the prouerbe: (Blessing of
    your heart, you brew good Ale.)
    Sp. Item, she can sowe.
    La. That's as much as to say (Can she so?)
    1370Sp. Item she can knit.
    La. What neede a man care for a stock with a wench,
    When she can knit him a stocke?
    Sp. Item, she can wash and scoure.
    La. A speciall vertue: for then shee neede not be
    1375wash'd, and scowr'd.
    Sp. Item, she can spin.
    La. Then may I set the world on wheeles, when she
    can spin for her liuing.
    Sp. Item, she hath many namelesse vertues.
    1380 La. That's as much as to say Bastard-vertues: that
    indeede know not their fathers; and therefore haue no
    Sp. Here follow her vices.
    La. Close at the heeles of her vertues.
    1385 Sp. Item, shee is not to be fasting in respect of her
    La. Well: that fault may be mended with a break-
    fast: read on.
    Sp. Item, she hath a sweet mouth.
    1390La. That makes amends for her soure breath.
    Sp. Item, she doth talke in her sleepe.
    La. It's no matter for that; so shee sleepe not in her
    Sp. Item, she is slow in words.
    1395 La. Oh villaine, that set this downe among her vices;
    To be slow in words, is a womans onely vertue:
    I pray thee out with't, and place it for her chiefe vertue.
    Sp. Item, she is proud.
    La. Out with that too:
    1400It was Eues legacie, and cannot be t'ane from her.
    Sp. Item, she hath no teeth.
    La. I care not for that neither: because I loue crusts.
    Sp. Item, she is curst.
    La. Well: the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
    1405Sp. Item, she will often praise her liquor.
    La. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not,
    I will; for good things should be praised.
    Sp. Item, she is too liberall.
    La. Of her tongue she cannot; for that's writ downe
    1410she is slow of: of her purse, shee shall not, for that ile
    keepe shut: Now, of another thing shee may, and that
    cannot I helpe. Well, proceede.
    Sp. Item, shee hath more haire then wit, and more
    faults then haires, and more wealth then faults.
    1415 La. Stop there: Ile haue her: she was mine, and not
    mine, twice or thrice in that last Article: rehearse that
    once more.
    Sp. Item, she hath more haire then wit.
    La. More haire then wit: it may be ile proue it: The
    1420couer of the salt, hides the salt, and therefore it is more
    then the salt; the haire that couers the wit, is more
    then the wit; for the greater hides the lesse: What's
    Sp. And more faults then haires.
    1425La. That's monstrous: oh that that were out.
    Sp. And more wealth then faults.
    La. Why that word makes the faults gracious:
    Well, ile haue her: and if it be a match, as nothing is
    1430Sp. What then?
    La. Why then, will I tell thee, that thy Master staies
    for thee at the North gate.
    Sp. For me?
    La. For thee? I, who art thou? he hath staid for a bet-
    1435ter man then thee.
    Sp. And must I goe to him?
    La. Thou must run to him; for thou hast staid so long,
    that going will scarce serue the turne.
    Sp. Why didst not tell me sooner? 'pox of your loue
    La. Now will he be swing'd for reading my Letter;
    An vnmannerly slaue, that will thrust himselfe into se-
    crets: Ile after, to reioyce in the boyes correctiō. Exeunt.

    Scena Secunda.

    1445 Enter Duke, Thurio, Protheus.

    Du. Sir Thurio, feare not, but that she will loue you
    Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
    Th. Since his exile she hath despis'd me most,
    Forsworne my company, and rail'd at me,
    1450That I am desperate of obtaining her.
    Du. This weake impresse of Loue, is as a figure
    Trenched in ice, which with an houres heate
    Dissolues to water, and doth loose his forme.
    A little time will melt her frozen thoughts,
    1455And worthlesse Valentine shall be forgot.
    How now sir Protheus, is your countriman
    (According to our Proclamation) gon?
    Pro. Gon, my good Lord.
    Du. My daughter takes his going grieuously?
    1460Pro. A little time (my Lord) will kill that griefe.
    Du. So I beleeue: but Thurio thinkes not so:
    Protheus, the good conceit I hold of thee,
    (For thou hast showne some signe of good desert)
    Makes me the better to confer with thee.
    1465Pro. Longer then I proue loyall to your Grace,
    Let me not liue, to looke vpon your Grace.
    Du. Thou know'st how willingly, I would effect
    The match betweene sir Thurio, and my daughter?
    Pro. I doe my Lord.
    1470Du. And also, I thinke, thou art not ignorant
    How she opposes her against my will?
    Pro. She did my Lord, when Valentine was here.
    Du. I, and peruersly, she perseuers so:
    What might we doe to make the girle forget
    1475The loue of Valentine, and loue sir Thurio?
    Pro. The best way is, to slander Valentine,
    With falsehood, cowardize, and poore discent:
    Three things, that women highly hold in hate.
    Du. I, but she'll thinke, that it is spoke in hate.
    1480Pro. I, if his enemy deliuer it.
    Therefore it must with circumstance be spoken
    By one, whom she esteemeth as his friend.
    Du. Then you must vndertake to slander him.