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The Two Gentlemen of Verona
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workThe Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 1, scene 3
Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who wishes Proteus were with him in Milan. Antonio informs Proteus that he is to leave immediately to join Valentine in Milan.Enter Antonio and Pantino.
0302 Tell me, Pantino, what sad talk was that
0303 Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
0304 ’Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
0305 Why, what of him?
PANTINO 0306 5 He wondered that your Lordship
0307 Would suffer him to spend his youth at home
p. 310308 While other men, of slender reputation,
0309 Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
0310 Some to the wars to try their fortune there,
0311 10 Some to discover islands far away,
0312 Some to the studious universities.
0313 For any or for all these exercises
0314 He said that Proteus your son was meet,
0315 And did request me to importune you
0316 15 To let him spend his time no more at home,
0317 Which would be great impeachment to his age
0318 In having known no travel in his youth.
0319 Nor need’st thou much importune me to that
0320 Whereon this month I have been hammering.
0321 20 I have considered well his loss of time
0322 And how he cannot be a perfect man,
0323 Not being tried and tutored in the world.
0324 Experience is by industry achieved
0325 And perfected by the swift course of time.
0326 25 Then tell me whither were I best to send him.
0327 I think your Lordship is not ignorant
0328 How his companion, youthful Valentine,
0329 Attends the Emperor in his royal court.
ANTONIO 0330 I know it well.
0331 30 ’Twere good, I think, your Lordship sent him thither.
0332 There shall he practice tilts and tournaments,
0333 Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
0334 And be in eye of every exercise
0335 Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
0336 35 I like thy counsel. Well hast thou advised,
0337 And that thou mayst perceive how well I like it,
0338 The execution of it shall make known.
p. 330339 Even with the speediest expedition
0340 I will dispatch him to the Emperor’s court.
0341 40 Tomorrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
0342 With other gentlemen of good esteem,
0343 Are journeying to salute the Emperor
0344 And to commend their service to his will.
0345 Good company. With them shall Proteus go.
⌜Enter⌝ Proteus ⌜reading.⌝
0346 45 And in good time! Now will we break with him.
PROTEUS, ⌜to himself⌝
0347 Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life!
0348 Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
0349 Here is her oath for love, her honor’s pawn.
0350 O, that our fathers would applaud our loves
0351 50 To seal our happiness with their consents.
0352 O heavenly Julia!
0353 How now? What letter are you reading there?
0354 May ’t please your Lordship, ’tis a word or two
0355 Of commendations sent from Valentine,
0356 55 Delivered by a friend that came from him.
0357 Lend me the letter. Let me see what news.
0358 There is no news, my lord, but that he writes
0359 How happily he lives, how well beloved
0360 And daily gracèd by the Emperor,
0361 60 Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.
0362 And how stand you affected to his wish?
0363 As one relying on your Lordship’s will,
0364 And not depending on his friendly wish.
0365 My will is something sorted with his wish.
0366 65 Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed,
0367 For what I will, I will, and there an end.
0368 I am resolved that thou shalt spend some time
0369 With Valentinus in the Emperor’s court.
0370 What maintenance he from his friends receives,
0371 70 Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
0372 Tomorrow be in readiness to go.
0373 Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.
0374 My lord, I cannot be so soon provided.
0375 Please you deliberate a day or two.
0376 75 Look what thou want’st shall be sent after thee.
0377 No more of stay. Tomorrow thou must go.—
0378 Come on, Pantino; you shall be employed
0379 To hasten on his expedition.
⌜Antonio and Pantino exit.⌝
0380 Thus have I shunned the fire for fear of burning
0381 80 And drenched me in the sea, where I am drowned.
0382 I feared to show my father Julia’s letter
0383 Lest he should take exceptions to my love,
0384 And with the vantage of mine own excuse
0385 Hath he excepted most against my love.
0386 85 O, how this spring of love resembleth
0387 The uncertain glory of an April day,
0388 Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
0389 And by and by a cloud takes all away.
0390 Sir Proteus, your ⌜father⌝ calls for you.
0391 90 He is in haste. Therefore, I pray you, go.
0392 Why, this it is: my heart accords thereto.
0393 ⌜Aside.⌝ And yet a thousand times it answers “no.”