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The Two Gentlemen of Verona


ACT II SCENE IIVerona. Julia’s house.
PROTEUSHave patience, gentle Julia.
JULIAI must, where is no remedy.
PROTEUSWhen possibly I can, I will return.
JULIAIf you turn not, you will return the sooner.
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia’s sake.
[Giving a ring]
PROTEUSWhy then, we’ll make exchange; here, take you this.
JULIAAnd seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
PROTEUSHere is my hand for my true constancy;
And when that hour o’erslips me in the day
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake,10
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance
Torment me for my love’s forgetfulness!
My father stays my coming; answer not;
The tide is now: nay, not thy tide of tears;
That tide will stay me longer than I should.
Julia, farewell!
[Exit JULIA]
What, gone without a word?
Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.
PANTHINOSir Proteus, you are stay’d for.
PROTEUSGo; I come, I come.20
Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb.

Next: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 2, Scene 3

Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 2
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society.

[Verona.] About fifteen months elapse between the first Scene and this. For in that, the ship waits for Valentine to embark for Milan, while on the next day after the occurrences in this, Proteus also leaves Verona for the same city, where he arrives in the middle of Act II, and where the subsequent events of that Act and of Act III occupy but a few days; and as in the first Scene of Act IV Valentine tells the Outlaws that he sojourned in Milan “some sixteen months,” nearly all of that period must have passed before the departure of Proteus from Verona. The division of this comedy into acts might be improved; but we have no right to remove this evidence of Shakespeare’s inexperience when he wrote it, even if we admit that he was much solicitous at any period about the probabilities of time.

5. et seqKeep this remembrance, etc.: – The ceremonial of betrothing, for which a ritual was formerly provided, is thus set down by the Priest in Twelfth Night, V. i.: –

“A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm’d by mutual joinder of your hands,
Attested by the holy close of lips,
Strengthen’d by interchangement of your rings,” etc.


How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society, 1901.