The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 6

Original Text

Modern Text

VALENTINE

That’s the letter I writ to her friend.

VALENTINE

That’s the letter I wrote to her friend.

SPEED

And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end.

SPEED

And she’s delivered that letter, and that’s the end of it.

VALENTINE

I would it were no worse.

VALENTINE

I wish it were that good.

SPEED

115I’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.
120All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. Why muse you, sir? ’Tis dinner time.

SPEED

I promise you, it is that good. Because you’ve often written to her, and she, whether out of modesty or because she didn’t have the time, or out of fear that the messenger carrying the letter would discover her feelings, couldn’t reply. So she taught the man she loves to write to himself. I say all this very carefully, because I read it in her as if it were printed on a page. Why do you look so pensive, sir? It’s lunchtime.

VALENTINE

I have dined.

VALENTINE

I’ve already eaten.

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!

SPEED

Yes, but listen, sir: even though

the chameleon Love

Chameleons were thought to feed on air since they can go long periods without eating. Here it also refers to love’s fickleness, since chameleons can change their color.

the chameleon Love
can feed off the air, I need real food for nourishment, and I’m eager to have meat. Oh, don’t be like your mistress—have a heart!
Exeunt
They exit.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Popular pages