The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

PROTEUS enters.
Already have I been false to Valentine,
And now I must be as unjust to Thurio.
Under the color of commending him,
I have access my own love to prefer.
5But Sylvia is too fair, too true, too holy
To be corrupted with my worthless gifts.
When I protest true loyalty to her,
She twits me with my falsehood to my friend.
When to her beauty I commend my vows,
10She bids me think how I have been forsworn
In breaking faith with Julia, whom I loved.
And notwithstanding all her sudden quips,
The least whereof would quell a lover’s hope,
Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
15The more it grows and fawneth on her still.
But here comes Thurio. Now must we to her window
And give some evening music to her ear.
I’ve already had to lie to Valentine, and now I must be just as unfair to Thurio. Under the guise of praising him, I now have the ability to express my own feelings of love to Sylvia. But Sylvia is too beautiful, too faithful, too holy to be corrupted by my worthless praises. When I declare my loyalty to her, she criticizes me for being false to my friend, Valentine. When I praise her beauty, she tells me to think about how I’ve been unfaithful to Julia, whom I once loved. And yet, despite all of her scolding, the least of which could kill a lover’s hopes, my love grows and fawns on her like a dog the more she spurns it. But here comes Thurio. Now we must go to her window and play some evening music for her to hear.
Enter THURIO and Musicians
THURIO and musicians enter.
How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?
How’s it going, Sir Proteus? Did you creep over here before us?
Ay, gentle Thurio, for you know that love
20Will creep in service where it cannot go.
Yes, kind Thurio, because you know that love has to creep where it isn’t allowed to walk.
Ay, but I hope, sir, that you love not here.
Yes, but I hope, sir, that you aren’t in love in this situation.