The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

SECOND OUTLAW

50And I from Mantua, for a gentleman
Who, in my mood, I stabbed unto the heart.

SECOND OUTLAW

And I am from Mantua. I stabbed a gentleman in the heart out of anger.

FIRST OUTLAW

And I for suchlike petty crimes as these.
But to the purpose—for we cite our faults
That they may hold excused our lawless lives;
55And partly, seeing you are beautified
With goodly shape, and by your own report
A linguist, and a man of such perfection
As we do in our quality much want—

FIRST OUTLAW

And I was banished for such petty crimes like these. But to get to the point, we state our crimes in part because they explain why we live lives of lawlessness, and also partly because seeing that you’re attractive, and by your own description a linguist, and since we are in need of a man of such qualities in our profession—

SECOND OUTLAW

Indeed, because you are a banished man,
60Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you.
Are you content to be our general?
To make a virtue of necessity
And live, as we do, in this wilderness?

SECOND OUTLAW

In fact, because you are a banished man, and for that more than any other reason, we’d like to speak to you. Would you like to be our leader, to consider poverty an asset, and live as we do in this forest?

THIRD OUTLAW

What sayst thou? Wilt thou be of our consort?
65Say ay, and be the captain of us all.
We’ll do thee homage, and be ruled by thee,
Love thee as our commander and our king.

THIRD OUTLAW

What do you say? Will you join our band of highwaymen?
Say yes, and become our captain. We’ll respect you, be ruled by you, and love you as our leader and our king.

FIRST OUTLAW

But if thou scorn our courtesy thou diest.

FIRST OUTLAW

But if you reject our offer you die.

SECOND OUTLAW

Thou shalt not live to brag what we have offered.

SECOND OUTLAW

You won’t live to brag about what we’ve offered.

VALENTINE

70I take your offer and will live with you,
Provided that you do no outrages
On silly women or poor passengers.

VALENTINE

I accept your offer and will live with you, provided that you do not harm any helpless women or poor passengers.

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