List iconThe Two Gentlemen of VeronaList icon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 1, scene 2

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona tells the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus. Valentine leaves their home city of…

Act 1, scene 1

Valentine, preparing to leave for Milan, says farewell to Proteus, who stays in Verona to be near Julia. Valentine’s servant,…

Act 1, scene 2

Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.

Act 1, scene 3

Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who…

Act 2, scene 1

Valentine learns (with Speed’s help) that the letter Sylvia had him write conveying her love to an admirer was intended…

Act 2, scene 2

Proteus takes his leave of Julia, promising to be faithful and sealing their love with a kind of “handfasting” or…

Act 2, scene 3

Lance grieves that he must part from his family to travel with Proteus, and he chastises his dog, Crab, for…

Act 2, scene 4

Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 5

Lance describes for Speed the tender parting of Proteus from Julia and hears about Valentine’s love for Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 6

Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for…

Act 2, scene 7

Julia decides to follow Proteus to Milan and asks Lucetta to help her disguise herself as a page.

Act 3, scene 1

Proteus betrays Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father, who banishes Valentine. Proteus pretends to grieve with Valentine and, telling him…

Act 3, scene 2

The Duke enlists Proteus’ aid in making Sylvia fall in love with Thurio. Proteus offers to slander Valentine and to…

Act 4, scene 1

Valentine and Speed are captured by outlaws. Valentine agrees to become their captain.

Act 4, scene 2

Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to…

Act 4, scene 3

Sylvia, determined to escape the pursuit of Thurio and Proteus, persuades Sir Eglamour to accompany her that evening on a…

Act 4, scene 4

Proteus learns to his horror that Lance has tried to present Crab to Sylvia as a gift. Proteus then sends…

Act 5, scene 1

Sylvia and Sir Eglamour set out on their journey.

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke informs Proteus and Thurio of Sylvia’s flight. They each decide to follow her.

Act 5, scene 3

Sylvia is captured by the outlaws, while Sir Eglamour flees.

Act 5, scene 4

As Valentine watches from hiding, Sylvia is brought in by Proteus, who has taken her from the outlaws. Proteus pleads…

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Scene 2
Enter Julia and Lucetta.

JULIA 
 But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
 Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love?
LUCETTA 
 Ay, madam, so you stumble not unheedfully.
JULIA 
 Of all the fair resort of gentlemen
5 That every day with parle encounter me,
 In thy opinion which is worthiest love?

19
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

LUCETTA 
 Please you repeat their names, I’ll show my mind
 According to my shallow simple skill.
JULIA 
 What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
LUCETTA 
10 As of a knight well-spoken, neat, and fine;
 But, were I you, he never should be mine.
JULIA 
 What think’st thou of the rich Mercatio?
LUCETTA 
 Well of his wealth, but of himself so-so.
JULIA 
 What think’st thou of the gentle Proteus?
LUCETTA 
15 Lord, Lord, to see what folly reigns in us!
JULIA 
 How now? What means this passion at his name?
LUCETTA 
 Pardon, dear madam, ’tis a passing shame
 That I, unworthy body as I am,
 Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen.
JULIA 
20 Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
LUCETTA 
 Then thus: of many good, I think him best.
JULIA Your reason?
LUCETTA 
 I have no other but a woman’s reason:
 I think him so because I think him so.
JULIA 
25 And wouldst thou have me cast my love on him?
LUCETTA 
 Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
JULIA 
 Why, he of all the rest hath never moved me.

21
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

LUCETTA 
 Yet he of all the rest I think best loves you.
JULIA 
 His little speaking shows his love but small.
LUCETTA 
30 Fire that’s closest kept burns most of all.
JULIA 
 They do not love that do not show their love.
LUCETTA 
 O, they love least that let men know their love.
JULIA I would I knew his mind.
LUCETTA, handing her a paper Peruse this paper,
35 madam.
JULIA reads “To Julia.”—Say from whom.
LUCETTA That the contents will show.
JULIA Say, say who gave it thee.
LUCETTA 
 Sir Valentine’s page; and sent, I think, from
40 Proteus.
 He would have given it you, but I, being in the way,
 Did in your name receive it. Pardon the fault, I pray.
JULIA 
 Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
 Dare you presume to harbor wanton lines?
45 To whisper and conspire against my youth?
 Now trust me, ’tis an office of great worth,
 And you an officer fit for the place.
 There, take the paper; see it be returned,
 Or else return no more into my sight.
LUCETTA, taking the paper 
50 To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
JULIA 
 Will you be gone?
LUCETTA  That you may ruminate.She exits.
JULIA 
 And yet I would I had o’erlooked the letter.

23
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

 It were a shame to call her back again
55 And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
 What fool is she that knows I am a maid
 And would not force the letter to my view,
 Since maids in modesty say “no” to that
 Which they would have the profferer construe “ay”!
60 Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love
 That like a testy babe will scratch the nurse
 And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod!
 How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
 When willingly I would have had her here!
65 How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
 When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
 My penance is to call Lucetta back
 And ask remission for my folly past.—
 What ho, Lucetta!

Enter Lucetta.

LUCETTA 70 What would your Ladyship?
JULIA 
 Is ’t near dinner time?
LUCETTA  I would it were,
 That you might kill your stomach on your meat
 And not upon your maid.
She drops a paper and then retrieves it.
JULIA 
75 What is ’t that you took up so gingerly?
LUCETTA Nothing.
JULIA Why didst thou stoop, then?
LUCETTA 
 To take a paper up that I let fall.
JULIA And is that paper nothing?
LUCETTA 80Nothing concerning me.
JULIA 
 Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

25
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

LUCETTA 
 Madam, it will not lie where it concerns
 Unless it have a false interpreter.
JULIA 
 Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.
LUCETTA 
85 That I might sing it, madam, to a tune,
 Give me a note. Your Ladyship can set—
JULIA 
 As little by such toys as may be possible.
 Best sing it to the tune of Light o’ Love.
LUCETTA 
 It is too heavy for so light a tune.
JULIA 
90 Heavy? Belike it hath some burden then?
LUCETTA 
 Ay, and melodious were it, would you sing it.
JULIA 
 And why not you?
LUCETTA  I cannot reach so high.
JULIA, taking the paper 
 Let’s see your song. How now, minion!
LUCETTA 
95 Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out.
 And yet methinks I do not like this tune.
JULIA You do not?
LUCETTA No, madam, ’tis too sharp.
JULIA You, minion, are too saucy.
LUCETTA 100Nay, now you are too flat
 And mar the concord with too harsh a descant.
 There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
JULIA 
 The mean is drowned with your unruly bass.
LUCETTA 
 Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

27
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 2

JULIA 
105 This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
 Here is a coil with protestation.
She rips up the paper. Lucetta begins
to pick up the pieces.

 Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie.
 You would be fing’ring them to anger me.
LUCETTA 
 She makes it strange, but she would be best pleased
110 To be so angered with another letter.She exits.
JULIA 
 Nay, would I were so angered with the same!
 O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
 Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
 And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
115 I’ll kiss each several paper for amends.
She picks up some pieces.
 Look, here is writ “kind Julia.” Unkind Julia,
 As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
 I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
 Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
120 And here is writ “love-wounded Proteus.”
 Poor wounded name, my bosom as a bed
 Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly healed,
 And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
 But twice or thrice was “Proteus” written down.
125 Be calm, good wind. Blow not a word away
 Till I have found each letter in the letter
 Except mine own name. That some whirlwind bear
 Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock
 And throw it thence into the raging sea.
130 Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
 “Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
 To the sweet Julia.” That I’ll tear away—
 And yet I will not, sith so prettily
 He couples it to his complaining names.

29
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 1. SC. 3

135 Thus will I fold them one upon another.
 Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Enter Lucetta.

LUCETTA 
 Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays.
JULIA Well, let us go.
LUCETTA 
 What, shall these papers lie like telltales here?
JULIA 
140 If you respect them, best to take them up.
LUCETTA 
 Nay, I was taken up for laying them down.
 Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.
She picks up the rest of the pieces.
JULIA 
 I see you have a month’s mind to them.
LUCETTA 
 Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
145 I see things too, although you judge I wink.
JULIA Come, come, will ’t please you go?
They exit.