The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Act 2, scene 1
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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 for himself.Enter Valentine ⌜and⌝ Speed, ⌜carrying a glove.⌝
0394 Sir, your glove.
VALENTINE 0395 Not mine. My gloves are on.
0396 Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.
0397 Ha? Let me see. Ay, give it me, it’s mine.
0398 5 Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
0399 Ah, Sylvia, Sylvia!
SPEED, ⌜calling⌝ 0400 Madam Sylvia! Madam Sylvia!
VALENTINE 0401 How now, sirrah?
SPEED 0402 She is not within hearing, sir.
VALENTINE 0403 10Why, sir, who bade you call her?
SPEED 0404 Your Worship, sir, or else I mistook.
VALENTINE 0405 Well, you’ll still be too forward.
SPEED 0406 And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.
VALENTINE 0407 Go to, sir. Tell me, do you know Madam
0408 15 Sylvia?
SPEED 0409 She that your Worship loves?
VALENTINE 0410 Why, how know you that I am in love?
SPEED 0411 Marry, by these special marks: first, you have
0412 learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms like
0413 20 a malcontent; to relish a love song like a robin
0414 redbreast; to walk alone like one that had the
0416 ABC; to weep like a young wench that had buried
0417 her grandam; to fast like one that takes diet; to
0418 25 watch like one that fears robbing; to speak puling
0419 like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when
0420 you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked,
0421 to walk like one of the lions. When you fasted, it was
0422 presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it
0423 30 was for want of money. And now you are metamorphosed
0424 with a mistress, that when I look on you, I
0425 can hardly think you my master.
VALENTINE 0426 Are all these things perceived in me?
SPEED 0427 They are all perceived without you.
VALENTINE 0428 35Without me? They cannot.
SPEED 0429 Without you? Nay, that’s certain, for without
0430 you were so simple, none else would. But you are so
0431 without these follies, that these follies are within
0432 you and shine through you like the water in an
0433 40 urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a
0434 physician to comment on your malady.
VALENTINE 0435 But tell me, dost thou know my Lady
SPEED 0437 She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?
VALENTINE 0438 45Hast thou observed that? Even she I mean.
SPEED 0439 Why, sir, I know her not.
VALENTINE 0440 Dost thou know her by my gazing on her
0441 and yet know’st her not?
SPEED 0442 Is she not hard-favored, sir?
VALENTINE 0443 50Not so fair, boy, as well-favored.
SPEED 0444 Sir, I know that well enough.
VALENTINE 0445 What dost thou know?
SPEED 0446 That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favored.
VALENTINE 0447 I mean that her beauty is exquisite but her
0448 55 favor infinite.
0450 out of all count.
VALENTINE 0451 How painted? And how out of count?
SPEED 0452 Marry, sir, so painted to make her fair, that no
0453 60 man counts of her beauty.
VALENTINE 0454 How esteem’st thou me? I account of her
SPEED 0456 You never saw her since she was deformed.
VALENTINE 0457 How long hath she been deformed?
SPEED 0458 65Ever since you loved her.
VALENTINE 0459 I have loved her ever since I saw her, and
0460 still I see her beautiful.
SPEED 0461 If you love her, you cannot see her.
VALENTINE 0462 Why?
SPEED 0463 70Because love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes,
0464 or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to
0465 have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going
VALENTINE 0467 What should I see then?
SPEED 0468 75Your own present folly and her passing deformity;
0469 for he, being in love, could not see to garter his
0470 hose, and you, being in love, cannot see to put on
0471 your hose.
VALENTINE 0472 Belike, boy, then you are in love, for last
0473 80 morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
SPEED 0474 True, sir, I was in love with my bed. I thank you,
0475 you swinged me for my love, which makes me the
0476 bolder to chide you for yours.
VALENTINE 0477 In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
SPEED 0478 85I would you were set, so your affection would
VALENTINE 0480 Last night she enjoined me to write some
0481 lines to one she loves.
SPEED 0482 And have you?
VALENTINE 0483 90I have.
VALENTINE 0485 No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
0486 Peace, here she comes.
SPEED, ⌜aside⌝ 0487 O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
0488 95 Now will he interpret to her.
VALENTINE 0489 Madam and mistress, a thousand
SPEED, ⌜aside⌝ 0491 O, give ye good ev’n! Here’s a million of
SYLVIA 0493 100Sir Valentine, and servant, to you two
SPEED, ⌜aside⌝ 0495 He should give her interest, and she
0496 gives it him.
0497 As you enjoined me, I have writ your letter
0498 105 Unto the secret, nameless friend of yours,
0499 Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
0500 But for my duty to your Ladyship.
⌜He gives her a paper.⌝
0501 I thank you, gentle servant, ’tis very clerkly done.
0502 Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off,
0503 110 For, being ignorant to whom it goes,
0504 I writ at random, very doubtfully.
0505 Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
0506 No, madam. So it stead you, I will write,
0507 Please you command, a thousand times as much,
0508 115 And yet—
0509 A pretty period. Well, I guess the sequel;
0510 And yet I will not name it And yet I care not.
0512 And yet I thank you,
0513 120 Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.
0514 And yet you will; and yet another “yet.”
0515 What means your Ladyship? Do you not like it?
0516 Yes, yes, the lines are very quaintly writ,
0517 But, since unwillingly, take them again.
0518 125 Nay, take them.⌜She again offers him the paper.⌝
VALENTINE 0519 Madam, they are for you.
0520 Ay, ay. You writ them, sir, at my request,
0521 But I will none of them. They are for you.
0522 I would have had them writ more movingly.
VALENTINE, ⌜taking the paper⌝
0523 130 Please you, I’ll write your Ladyship another.
0524 And when it’s writ, for my sake read it over,
0525 And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
VALENTINE 0526 If it please me, madam? What then?
0527 Why, if it please you, take it for your labor.
0528 135 And so good-morrow, servant.Sylvia exits.
0529 O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible
0530 As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a
0532 My master sues to her, and she hath taught her
0533 140 suitor,
0534 He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
0535 O excellent device! Was there ever heard a better?
0536 That my master, being scribe, to himself should
0537 write the letter?
0539 with yourself?
SPEED 0540 Nay, I was rhyming. ’Tis you that have the
VALENTINE 0542 To do what?
SPEED 0543 150To be a spokesman from Madam Sylvia.
VALENTINE 0544 To whom?
SPEED 0545 To yourself. Why, she woos you by a figure.
VALENTINE 0546 What figure?
SPEED 0547 By a letter, I should say.
VALENTINE 0548 155Why, she hath not writ to me!
SPEED 0549 What need she when she hath made you write
0550 to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?
VALENTINE 0551 No, believe me.
SPEED 0552 No believing you indeed, sir. But did you perceive
0553 160 her earnest?
VALENTINE 0554 She gave me none, except an angry word.
SPEED 0555 Why, she hath given you a letter.
VALENTINE 0556 That’s the letter I writ to her friend.
SPEED 0557 And that letter hath she delivered, and there an
0558 165 end.
VALENTINE 0559 I would it were no worse.
SPEED 0560 I’ll warrant you, ’tis as well.
0561 For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty
0562 Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply,
0563 170 Or fearing else some messenger that might her
0564 mind discover,
0565 Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto
0566 her lover.
0567 All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. Why
0568 175 muse you, sir? ’Tis dinnertime.
VALENTINE 0569 I have dined.
SPEED 0570 Ay, but hearken, sir, though the chameleon love
0571 can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by
0573 180 your mistress! Be moved, be moved.