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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
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    Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folio 1, 1623)

    THE Two Gentlemen of Verona.
    1 Actus primus, Scena prima.
    Valentine: Protheus, and Speed.
    CEease to perswade, my louing Protheus;
    5Home-keeping youth, haue euer homely wits,
    Wer't not affection chaines thy tender dayes
    To the sweet glaunces of thy honour'd Loue,
    I rather would entreat thy company,
    To see the wonders of the world abroad,
    10Then (liuing dully sluggardiz'd at home)
    Weare out thy youth with shapelesse idlenesse.
    But since thou lou'st; loue still, and thriue therein,
    Euen as I would, when I to loue begin.
    Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine adew,
    15Thinke on thy Protheus, when thou (hap'ly) seest
    Some rare note-worthy obiect in thy trauaile.
    Wish me partaker in thy happinesse,
    When thou do'st meet good hap; and in thy danger,
    (If euer danger doe enuiron thee)
    20Commend thy grieuance to my holy prayers,
    For I will be thy beades-man, Valentine.
    Val. And on a loue-booke pray for my successe?
    Pro. Vpon some booke I loue, I'le pray for thee.
    Val. That's on some shallow Storie of deepe loue,
    25How yong Leander crost the Hellespont.
    Pro. That's a deepe Storie, of a deeper loue,
    For he was more then ouer-shooes in loue.
    Val. 'Tis true; for you are ouer-bootes in loue,
    And yet you neuer swom the Hellespont.
    30Pro. Ouer the Bootes? nay giue me not the Boots.
    Val. No, I will not; for it boots thee not.
    Pro. What?
    Val. To be in loue; where scorne is bought with(grones:
    Coy looks, with hart-sore sighes: one fading moments (mirth,
    35With twenty watchfull, weary, tedious nights;
    If hap'ly won, perhaps a haplesse gaine;
    If lost, why then a grieuous labour won;
    How euer: but a folly bought with wit,
    Or else a wit, by folly vanquished.
    40Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me foole.
    Val. So, by your circumstance, I feare you'll proue.
    Pro. 'Tis Loue you cauill at, I am not Loue.
    Val. Loue is your master, for he masters you;
    And he that is so yoked by a foole,
    45Me thinkes should not be chronicled for wise.
    Pro. Yet Writers say; as in the sweetest Bud,
    The eating Canker dwels; so eating Loue
    Inhabits in the finest wits of all.
    Val. And Writers say; as the most forward Bud
    50Is eaten by the Canker ere it blow,
    Euen so by Loue, the yong, and tender wit
    Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the Bud,
    Loosing his verdure, euen in the prime,
    And all the faire effects of future hopes.
    55But wherefore waste I time to counsaile thee
    That art a votary to fond desire?
    Once more adieu: my Father at the Road
    Expects my comming, there to see me ship'd.
    Pro. And thither will I bring thee Valentine.
    60 Val. Sweet Protheus, no: Now let vs take our leaue:
    To Millaine let me heare from thee by Letters
    Of thy successe in loue; and what newes else
    Betideth here in absence of thy Friend:
    And I likewise will visite thee with mine.
    65Pro. All happinesse bechance to thee in Millaine.
    Val. As much to you at home: and so farewell. Exit.
    Pro. He after Honour hunts, I after Loue;
    He leaues his friends, to dignifie them more;
    I loue my selfe, my friends, and all for loue:
    70Thou Iulia, thou hast metamorphis'd me:
    Made me neglect my Studies, loose my time;
    Warre with good counsaile; set the world at nought;
    Made Wit with musing, weake; hart sick with thought.
    Sp. Sir Protheus: 'saue you: saw you my Master?
    75 Pro. But now he parted hence to embarque for Millain.
    Sp. Twenty to one then, he is ship'd already,
    And I haue plaid the Sheepe in loosing him.
    Pro. Indeede a Sheepe doth very often stray,
    And if the Shepheard be awhile away.
    80 Sp. You conclude that my Master is a Shepheard then,
    and I Sheepe?
    Pro. I doe.
    Sp. Why then my hornes are his hornes, whether I
    wake or sleepe.
    85Pro. A silly answere, and fitting well a Sheepe.
    Sp. This proues me still a Sheepe.
    Pro. True: and thy Master a Shepheard.
    Sp. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
    Pro. It shall goe hard but ile proue it by another.
    90 Sp. The Shepheard seekes the Sheepe, and not the
    Sheepe the Shepheard; but I seeke my Master, and my
    Master seekes not me: therefore I am no Sheepe.
    Pro. The Sheepe for fodder follow the Shepheard,
    the Shepheard for foode followes not the Sheepe: thou
    95for wages followest thy Master, thy Master for wages
    followes not thee: therefore thou art a Sheepe.
    Sp. Such another proofe will make me cry baâ.
    Pro. But do'st thou heare: gau'st thou my Letter
    to Iulia?
    The two Gentlemen of Verona. 21
    100 Sp. I Sir: I (a lost-Mutton) gaue your Letter to her
    (a lac'd-Mutton) and she (a lac'd-Mutton) gaue mee (a
    lost-Mutton) nothing for my labour.
    Pro. Here's too small a Pasture for such store of
    105 Sp. If the ground be ouer-charg'd, you were best
    sticke her.
    Pro. Nay, in that you are astray: 'twere best pound
    Sp. Nay Sir, lesse then a pound shall serue me for car-
    110rying your Letter.
    Pro. You mistake; I meane the pound, a Pinfold.
    Sp. From a pound to a pin? fold it ouer and ouer,
    'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your louer
    Pro. But what said she?
    Pro. Nod-I, why that's noddy.
    Sp. You mistooke Sir: I say she did nod;
    And you aske me if she did nod, and I say I.
    Pro. And that set together is noddy.
    120 Sp. Now you haue taken the paines to set it toge-
    ther, take it for your paines.
    Pro. No, no, you shall haue it for bearing the letter.
    Sp. Well, I perceiue I must be faine to beare with you.
    Pro. Why Sir, how doe you beare with me?
    125Sp. Marry Sir, the letter very orderly,
    Hauing nothing but the word noddy for my paines.
    Pro. Beshrew me, but you haue a quicke wit.
    Sp. And yet it cannot ouer-take your slow purse.
    Pro. Come, come, open the matter in briefe; what
    130said she.
    Sp. Open your purse, that the money, and the matter
    may be both at once deliuered.
    Pro. Well Sir: here is for your paines: what said she?
    Sp. Truely Sir, I thinke you'll hardly win her.
    135 Pro. Why? could'st thou perceiue so much from her?
    Sp. Sir, I could perceiue nothing at all from her;
    No, not so much as a ducket for deliuering your letter:
    And being so hard to me, that brought your minde;
    I feare she'll proue as hard to you in telling your minde.
    140Giue her no token but stones, for she's as hard as steele.
    Pro. What said she, nothing?
    Sp. No, not so much as take this for thy pains:
    To testifie your bounty, I thank you, you haue cestern'd (me;
    In requital whereof, henceforth, carry your letters your
    145selfe; And so Sir, I'le commend you to my Master.
    Pro. Go, go, be gone, to saue your Ship from wrack,
    Which cannot perish hauing thee aboarde,
    Being destin'd to a drier death on shore:
    I must goe send some better Messenger,
    150I feare my Iulia would not daigne my lines,
    Receiuing them from such a worthlesse post. Exit.