List iconThe Two Gentlemen of Verona:
Act 2, scene 1
List icon

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 2, scene 1



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 1
Enter Valentine and Speed, carrying a glove.

 Sir, your glove.
VALENTINE  Not mine. My gloves are on.
 Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.
 Ha? Let me see. Ay, give it me, it’s mine.
5 Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
 Ah, Sylvia, Sylvia!
SPEED, calling Madam Sylvia! Madam Sylvia!
VALENTINE How now, sirrah?
SPEED She is not within hearing, sir.
VALENTINE 10Why, sir, who bade you call her?
SPEED Your Worship, sir, or else I mistook.
VALENTINE Well, you’ll still be too forward.
SPEED And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.
VALENTINE Go to, sir. Tell me, do you know Madam
15 Sylvia?
SPEED She that your Worship loves?
VALENTINE Why, how know you that I am in love?
SPEED Marry, by these special marks: first, you have
 learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms like
20 a malcontent; to relish a love song like a robin
 redbreast; to walk alone like one that had the

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

 pestilence; to sigh like a schoolboy that had lost his
 ABC; to weep like a young wench that had buried
 her grandam; to fast like one that takes diet; to
25 watch like one that fears robbing; to speak puling
 like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when
 you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked,
 to walk like one of the lions. When you fasted, it was
 presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it
30 was for want of money. And now you are metamorphosed
 with a mistress, that when I look on you, I
 can hardly think you my master.
VALENTINE Are all these things perceived in me?
SPEED They are all perceived without you.
VALENTINE 35Without me? They cannot.
SPEED Without you? Nay, that’s certain, for without
 you were so simple, none else would. But you are so
 without these follies, that these follies are within
 you and shine through you like the water in an
40 urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a
 physician to comment on your malady.
VALENTINE But tell me, dost thou know my Lady
SPEED She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?
VALENTINE 45Hast thou observed that? Even she I mean.
SPEED Why, sir, I know her not.
VALENTINE Dost thou know her by my gazing on her
 and yet know’st her not?
SPEED Is she not hard-favored, sir?
VALENTINE 50Not so fair, boy, as well-favored.
SPEED Sir, I know that well enough.
VALENTINE What dost thou know?
SPEED That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favored.
VALENTINE I mean that her beauty is exquisite but her
55 favor infinite.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

SPEED That’s because the one is painted, and the other
 out of all count.
VALENTINE How painted? And how out of count?
SPEED Marry, sir, so painted to make her fair, that no
60 man counts of her beauty.
VALENTINE How esteem’st thou me? I account of her
SPEED You never saw her since she was deformed.
VALENTINE How long hath she been deformed?
SPEED 65Ever since you loved her.
VALENTINE I have loved her ever since I saw her, and
 still I see her beautiful.
SPEED If you love her, you cannot see her.
SPEED 70Because love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes,
 or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to
 have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going
VALENTINE What should I see then?
SPEED 75Your own present folly and her passing deformity;
 for he, being in love, could not see to garter his
 hose, and you, being in love, cannot see to put on
 your hose.
VALENTINE Belike, boy, then you are in love, for last
80 morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
SPEED True, sir, I was in love with my bed. I thank you,
 you swinged me for my love, which makes me the
 bolder to chide you for yours.
VALENTINE In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
SPEED 85I would you were set, so your affection would
VALENTINE Last night she enjoined me to write some
 lines to one she loves.
SPEED And have you?

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

SPEED Are they not lamely writ?
VALENTINE No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
 Peace, here she comes.

Enter Sylvia.

SPEED, aside O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
95 Now will he interpret to her.
VALENTINE Madam and mistress, a thousand
SPEED, aside O, give ye good ev’n! Here’s a million of
SYLVIA 100Sir Valentine, and servant, to you two
SPEED, aside He should give her interest, and she
 gives it him.
 As you enjoined me, I have writ your letter
105 Unto the secret, nameless friend of yours,
 Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
 But for my duty to your Ladyship.
He gives her a paper.
 I thank you, gentle servant, ’tis very clerkly done.
 Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off,
110 For, being ignorant to whom it goes,
 I writ at random, very doubtfully.
 Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
 No, madam. So it stead you, I will write,
 Please you command, a thousand times as much,
115 And yet—
 A pretty period. Well, I guess the sequel;
 And yet I will not name it And yet I care not.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

 And yet take this again.She holds out the paper.
 And yet I thank you,
120 Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.
SPEED, aside 
 And yet you will; and yet another “yet.”
 What means your Ladyship? Do you not like it?
 Yes, yes, the lines are very quaintly writ,
 But, since unwillingly, take them again.
125 Nay, take them.She again offers him the paper.
VALENTINE  Madam, they are for you.
 Ay, ay. You writ them, sir, at my request,
 But I will none of them. They are for you.
 I would have had them writ more movingly.
VALENTINE, taking the paper 
130 Please you, I’ll write your Ladyship another.
 And when it’s writ, for my sake read it over,
 And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
VALENTINE If it please me, madam? What then?
 Why, if it please you, take it for your labor.
135 And so good-morrow, servant.Sylvia exits.
SPEED, aside 
 O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible
 As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a
 My master sues to her, and she hath taught her
140 suitor,
 He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
 O excellent device! Was there ever heard a better?
 That my master, being scribe, to himself should
 write the letter?

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 1

VALENTINE 145How now, sir? What, are you reasoning
 with yourself?
SPEED Nay, I was rhyming. ’Tis you that have the
VALENTINE To do what?
SPEED 150To be a spokesman from Madam Sylvia.
SPEED To yourself. Why, she woos you by a figure.
VALENTINE What figure?
SPEED By a letter, I should say.
VALENTINE 155Why, she hath not writ to me!
SPEED What need she when she hath made you write
 to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?
VALENTINE No, believe me.
SPEED No believing you indeed, sir. But did you perceive
160 her earnest?
VALENTINE She gave me none, except an angry word.
SPEED Why, she hath given you a letter.
VALENTINE That’s the letter I writ to her friend.
SPEED And that letter hath she delivered, and there an
165 end.
VALENTINE I would it were no worse.
SPEED I’ll warrant you, ’tis as well.
 For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty
 Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply,
170 Or fearing else some messenger that might her
 mind discover,
 Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto
 her lover.
 All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. Why
175 muse you, sir? ’Tis dinnertime.
VALENTINE I have dined.
SPEED Ay, but hearken, sir, though the chameleon love
 can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 2. SC. 2

 my victuals and would fain have meat. O, be not like
180 your mistress! Be moved, be moved.
They exit.