The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
Tell me, Panthino, what were you and my brother talking so seriously about in the walkway back there?
’Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
We were talking about his nephew, your son, Proteus.
Why, what of him?
Why? What about him?
5He wondered that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,
While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out,
Some to the wars, to try their fortune there,
10Some to discover islands far away,
Some to the studious universities.
For any or for all these exercises
He said that Proteus your son was meet,
And did request me to importune you
15To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age
In having known no travel in his youth.
He wondered why your lordship would let him spend his youth here at home. Other men with lesser reputations send their sons to seek opportunities abroad, or to find their fortunes fighting in the wars, or to discover far away islands, or to study in the universities. He said that Proteus was capable of doing any or all of these things, and he asked me to urge you not to let him spend any more time at home. It would be a shame for him in old age not to have traveled in his youth.
Nor need’st thou much importune me to that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
20I have considered well his loss of time,
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tried and tutored in the world.
Experience is by industry achieved
And perfected by the swift course of time.
25Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?
You don’t need to urge me on this matter. I’ve thought about it a lot this month. I’ve considered how much time he’s wasting, and how he cannot be a complete man without having some real-world trials and tests. Experience comes from hard work and is perfected over the course of time. Tell me, though, where would it be best to send him?

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