The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

JULIA and LUCETTA enter.
Counsel, Lucetta. Gentle girl, assist me;
And ev’n in kind love I do conjure thee,
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly charactered and engraved,
5To lesson me and tell me some good means
How, with my honor, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.
I need your advice, Lucetta. Kind girl, help me. And even in kind love I ask you to help me. You are my drawing board where all my thoughts can be visibly laid out and arranged. Teach me and tell me a good way I can make a journey to my loving Proteus with my honor intact.
Alas, the way is wearisome and long!
Unfortunately, the way is exhausting and long!
A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
10To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she that hath Love’s wings to fly,
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.
A truly devoted traveler doesn’t fear crossing entire kingdoms with small steps. She who has Love’s wings to help her fly will get much less tired, especially when she makes the flight to one who so dear and of such divine perfection as Sir Proteus.
Better forbear till Proteus make return.
It would be better if you waited until Proteus returns.
15O, know’st thou not his looks are my soul’s food?
Pity the dearth that I have pinèd in
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
20As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
Oh, don’t you know that his looks are food for my soul? Pity the famine I’ve endured by being without that food for so long. If you only knew the inner touch of love, you would as soon try to start a fire with snow as you would try to snuff the love’s fire with words.
I do not seek to quench your love’s hot fire,
But qualify the fire’s extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
I do not seek to snuff your love’s hot fire but merely want to reduce the intensity of the fire so that it doesn’t burn out of your control.