William Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona in the complete original text.
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Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Act II. Scene I.

Act II. Scene I.—Milan. A Room in the
DUKE'S Palace.

Enter VALENTINE and SPEED.

Speed. Sir, your glove. [Offering a glove.
Val. Not mine; my gloves are on.
Speed. Why, then this may be yours, for this
is but one.
Val. Ha! let me see; ay, give it me, it's
mine;
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
Ah Silvia! Silvia!
Speed. [Calling.] Madam Silvia! Madam
Silvia!
Val. How now, sirrah?
Speed. She is not within hearing, sir.
Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her?
Speed. Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.
Val. Well, you'll still be too forward.
Speed. And yet I was last chidden for being
too slow.
Val. Go to, sir. Tell me, do you know
Madam Silvia?
Speed. She that your worship loves?
Val. 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 a malecontent; to relish a love-
song, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like
one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a
schoolboy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like
a young wench that had buried her grandam;
to fast, like one that takes diet; to 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 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.
Val. Are all these things perceived in me?
Speed. They are all perceived without ye.
Val. Without 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 urinal, that not an eye that
sees you but is a physician to comment on your
malady.
Val. But tell me, dost thou know my lady
Silvia?
Speed, She that you gaze on so as she sits at
supper?
Val. Hast thou observed that? even she, I
mean.
Speed. Why, sir, I know her not.
Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on
her, and yet knowest her not?
Speed. Is she not hard-favoured, sir?
Val. Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured.
Speed. Sir, I know that well enough.
Val. What dost thou know?
Speed. That she is not so fair, as, of you, well-
favoured.
Val. I mean that her beauty is exquisite,
but her favour infinite.
Speed. That's because the one is painted
and the other out of all count.
Val. How painted? and how out of count?
Speed. Marry, sir, so painted to make her
fair, that no man counts of her beauty.
Val. How esteemest thou me? I account of
her beauty.
Speed. You never saw her since she was
deformed.
Val. How long hath she been deformed?
Speed. Ever since you loved her.
Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her,
and still I see her beautiful.
Speed. If you love her you cannot see her.
Val. Why?
Speed. Because 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 ungartered!
Val. What should I see then?
Speed. Your own present folly and her pass-
ing 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.
Val. Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for
last 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,
Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
Speed. I would you were set, so your affec-
tion would cease.
Val. Last night she enjoined me to write
some lines to one she loves.
Speed. And have you?
Val. I have.
Speed. Are they not lamely writ?
Val. No, boy, but as well as I can do them.
Peace! here she comes.

Enter SILVIA.
Speed. [Aside.] O excellent motion! O ex-
ceeding puppet! now will he interpret to her.
Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good
morrows.
Speed. [Aside.] O! give ye good even: here's
a million of manners.
Sil. Sir Valentine and servant, to you two
thousand.
Speed. [Aside.] He should give her interest,
and she gives it him.
Val. As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your
letter
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours;
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
But for my duty to your ladyship. [Gives a letter.
Sil. I thank you, gentle servant. 'Tis very
clerkly done.
Val. Now, trust me, madam, it came hardly
Off?
For, being ignorant to whom it goes
I writ at random, very doubtfully,
Sil. Perchance you think too much of so
much pains?
Val. No, madam; so it stead you, I will write,
Please you command, a thousand times as much.
And yet—
Sil. A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel;
And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not;
And yet take this again; and yet I thank you,
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.
Speed. [Aside.] And yet you will; and yet
another yet.
Val. What means your ladyship? do you
not like it?
Sil. Yes, yes: the lines are very quaintly writ,
But since unwillingly, take them again:
Nay, take them. [Gives back the letter.
Val. Madam, they are for you.
Sil. 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.
Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship
another.
Sil. And when it's writ, for my sake read it
over:
And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
Val. If it please me, madam, what then?
Sil. Why, if it please you, take it for your
labour:
And so, good morrow, servant. [Exit.
Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on
a steeple!
My master sues to her, and she hath taught her
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?
Val. How now, sir! what are you reasoning
with yourself?
Speed. Nay, I was riming: 'tis you that have
the reason.
Val. To do what?
Speed. To be a spokesman from Madam
Silvia.
Val. To whom?
Speed. To yourself. Why, she wooes you by a
figure.
Val. What figure?
Speed. By a letter, I should say.
Val. Why, 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?
Val. No, believe me.
Speed. No believing you, indeed, sir. But did
you perceive her earnest?
Val. she gave me none, except an angry
word.
Speed. Why, she hath given you a letter.
Val. That's the letter I writ to her friend.
Speed. And that letter hath she delivered, and
there an end.
Val. 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;
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 muse you, sir? 'tis dinner-time.
Val. I have dined.
Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir: though the
chameleon Love can feed on the air, I am one
that am nourished by my victuals and would
fain have meat. O! be not like your mistress:
be moved, be moved. [Exeunt.
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