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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1913  Tuesday, 31 July 2001

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Mon, 30 Jul 2001 12:41:18 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1897 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold

[2]     From:   Rainbow Saari <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 20:09:07 +1200
        Subj:   RE; 12. Two Gents

[3]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Monday, 30 Jul 2001 17:56:28 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold and rape scene (long)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Mon, 30 Jul 2001 12:41:18 -0400
Subject: 12.1897 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1897 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold

>do you
>envision Lucetta taking up the pieces?

The 3 times I have seen this play, SOMEBODY picked up the pieces.
Leaving them to be dealt with in a scene change is just too awkward.

Geralyn Horton, Newton, Mass. 02460
<http://www.stagepage.org>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rainbow Saari <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Jul 2001 20:09:07 +1200
Subject:        RE; 12. Two Gents

Susan St John wrote,

This would make sense if Lucetta leaned down to pick them up; "yet there
[here] they shall not lie" *doesn't* sound like she's suggesting Julia
should pick them up in order that her love not grow cold...do you
envision Lucetta taking up the pieces? and then perhaps Julia snatches
them back on her line??

I do think it likely Lucetta says her line ( for catching cold ) while
picking them up; that's how I'd play it. But it seems less likely that
Julia would reclaim them as she is still feigning disinterest. Pervez
Rizvi informed me that ' a month's mind' comes from a Roman Catholic
practice; a Mass said a month after a person's death. Perhaps Julia is
saying 'I see you have a mind to give them proper burial rites' , which
would suggest she sees Lucetta gathering them up.

Cheers,
Rainbow

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Monday, 30 Jul 2001 17:56:28 EDT
Subject: 12.1897 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold and rape scene
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1897 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold and rape scene
(long)

Here's how we play the scene in my production of Two Gents, (closing
this Saturday at the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival in San Luis
Obispo, California.)  Billy Houck

Stage directions are in caps.

JULIA  I would I knew his mind.

LUCETTA  Peruse this paper, madam.  SHE GIVES JULIA THE LETTER

JULIA 'To Julia.' Say, from whom?

LUCETTA   That the contents will show.

JULIA  Say, say, who gave it thee?

LUCETTA   Valentine's page; and sent, I think, from Proteus.
       He would have given it you; but I, being in the way,
       Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault I pray.

JULIA  Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
       Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
       To whisper and conspire against my youth?
       Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth
       And you an officer fit for the place.
       Or else return no more into my sight.     SHE ANGRILY HANDS THE
LETTER
BACK TO LUCETTA

LUCETTA To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.

JULIA Will ye be gone?

LUCETTA That you may ruminate.      SHE PUTS THE LETTER ON THE FLOOR IN
PLAIN
VIEW
        Exit

JULIA HUNGRILY LOOKING AT THE LETTER, BUT TOO PROUD TO PICK IT UP:
       And yet I would I had o'erlooked the letter:
       It were a shame to call her back again
       And pray her to a fault for which I chid her.
       What a fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
       And would not force the letter to my view!
       Since maids, in modesty, say 'no' to that
       Which they would have the profferer construe 'ay.'
       Fie, fie, how wayward is this foolish love
       That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse
       And presently all humbled kiss the rod!
       How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
       When willingly I would have had her here!
       How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
       When inward joy enforced my heart to smile!
       My penance is to call Lucetta back
       And ask remission for my folly past.
       What ho! Lucetta!        Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA  What would your ladyship?

JULIA  Is't near dinner-time?

LUCETTA  I would it were,
       That you might kill your stomach on your meat
       And not upon your maid.  PICKS UP THE LETTER.

JULIA What is't that you took up so gingerly?

LUCETTA Nothing.

JULIA  Why didst thou stoop, then?

LUCETTA  To take a paper up that I let fall.

JULIA  And is that paper nothing?

LUCETTA  Nothing concerning me.

JULIA  Then let it lie for those that it concerns.

LUCETTA Madam, it will not lie where it concerns
       Unless it have a false interpeter.

JULIA  Some love of yours hath writ to you in rhyme.

LUCETTA That I might sing it, madam, to a tune.
       Give me a note: your ladyship can set.  TORMENTING HER WITH THE
UNOPENED  LETTER

JULIA As little by such toys as may be possible.
       Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'

LUCETTA OPENS THE LETTER, REACTS "HOT STUFF":    It is too heavy for so
light
a tune.

JULIA Heavy! belike it hath some burden then?

LUCETTA PLAYING KEEP AWAY WITH THE LETTER:  Ay, and melodious were it,
would
you sing it.

JULIA  And why not you?

LUCETTA  I cannot reach so high.

JULIA  Let's see your song. How now, minion!

LUCETTA Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out:
       JULIA GRABS HER HAIR TO STOP HER FROM GETTING AWAY:
    And yet methinks I do not like this tune.

JULIA  You do not?

LUCETTA No, madam; it is too sharp.

JULIA  You, minion, are too saucy. SHE TAKES THE LETTER BACK FROM
LUCETTA

LUCETTA Nay, now you are too flat
       And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
       There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.

JULIA The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.

LUCETTA Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

JULIA This babble shall not henceforth trouble me.
       Here is a coil with protestation!
SHE TEARS THE LETTER UP, STILL UNREAD, AND THROWS THE PIECES ON THE
GROUND
       Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:
       You would be fingering them, to anger me.

LUCETTA   She makes it strange; but she would be best pleased
       To be so anger'd with another letter.        Exit

JULIA Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!
       O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!  PICKING UP THE
PIECES OF
THE LETTER
       Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
       And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
       I'll kiss each several paper for amends.  KISSES SEVERAL
PIECES..READS
ONE
       Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia!
       As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
       I throw thy name against the bruising stones,  WADS UP ONE PIECE
AND
STOMPS ON IT
       Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.  READS ANOTHER
       And here is writ 'love-wounded Proteus.'  CLUTCHES THE PIECE OF
PAPER
TO HER BREAST
       Poor wounded name! my bosom as a bed
       Shall lodge thee till thy wound be thoroughly heal'd;
       And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. KISSES IT HUNGRILY,
TUCKS
IT INTO HER BOSOM
       But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down.
THROWS HERSELF ACROSS THE PAPERS THAT ARE STILL DOWN, SO THEY WON.T BLOW
AWAY
       Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
       Till I have found each letter in the letter,
       Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear
       Unto a ragged fearful-hanging rock
       And throw it thence into the raging sea!  READING ANOTHER
       Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,
       'Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
       To the sweet Julia:' that I'll tear away. STARTS TO TEAR, STOPS
       And yet I will not, sith so prettily
       He couples it to his complaining names.
       Thus will I fold them one on another: DOES A LITTLE "SHOW" OF THE
PAPER KISSING ITSELF,
       Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.   LIES BACK,
CARRIED
AWAY WITH THE MOMENT
                       Re-enter LUCETTA

LUCETTA Madam,
       Dinner is ready, and your father stays. JUMPS UP, STARTLED,
EMBARRASSED

JULIA Well, let us go.  STARTS OFF

LUCETTA  What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales here?

JULIA   If you respect them, best to take them up. ORDERING LUCETTA TO
PICK
THEM UP

LUCETTA  REFUSING TO DO IT:
    Nay, I was taken up for laying them down:
       Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.

JULIA  I see you have a month's mind to them.  SHE PICKS THEM UP

LUCETTA   HELPING HER TO PICK THEM UP
    Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
       I see things too, although you judge I wink.

JULIA  Come, come; will't please you go?        THEY EXIT, FRIENDS
AGAIN.

One further note: this is a modern dress production. At first I was
stuck
about what to do with the attempted rape (if that's what it really is)
in the
last scene.
 I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has any other solutions to
how
to stage this rather bizarre ending.
Here's what we wound up doing:

PROTEUS   Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
       Can no way change you to a milder form,
       I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end,   HE GRABS HER ROUGHLY
       And love you 'gainst the nature of love,--force ye.

SILVIA O heaven!

PROTEUS   I'll force thee yield to my desire.
HE KISSES HER HARD
SHE SCRATCHES HIS FACE
HE PULLS BACK IN PAIN
SHE GRABS HIS HAIR AND SLAMS HIS FACE INTO A PLATFORM
HE STAGGERS BACK, STUNNED
SHE KICKS HIM SQUARELY IN THE CROTCH
HE FALLS ON HIS BACK IN PAIN
SHE JUMPS ON HIM, ONE HAND ON HIS THROAT, THE OTHER SQUEEZING HIS
TESTICLES
HE WRITES IN PAIN (the audience is always cheering by this point)

VALENTINE  (coming forward)  Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch,
       Thou friend of an ill fashion!

PROTEUS Valentine!

VALENTINE Thou common friend, that's without faith or love,
       For such is a friend now; treacherous man!
SYLVIA LETS GO OF PROTEUS' THROAT, DISCOVERS SHE HAS CHIPPED A NAIL,
GRABS
HIS THROAT AGAIN.
       Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
       Could have persuaded me: now I dare not say
       I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
       Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand
       Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
       I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
       But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
       The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst,
       'Mongst all foes that a friend should be the worst!

PROTEUS   My shame and guilt confounds me.
       Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
       Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
       I tender 't here; I do as truly suffer
       As e'er I did commit.

VALENTINE (CONSIDERS IT, THEN:) Then I am paid;
HE PRIES SYLVIA OFF OF PROTEUS AND HELPS HIM UP.
       And once again I do receive thee honest.
       Who by repentance is not satisfied
       Is nor of heaven nor earth, for these are pleased.
       By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeased:
ONE HAND ON SYLVIA, ONE HAND ON PROTEUS
       And, that my love may appear plain and free,
       All that was mine in Silvia I give thee.
HE EASES SYLVIA TOWARD PROTEUS. PROTEUS, STILL IN PAIN, BACKS AWAY.
SYLVIA,
FURIOUS, BUNCHES VALENTINE IN THE STOMACH.

JULIA (Sebastian)  O me unhappy!     FAINTS

PROTEUS  Look to the boy.

VALENTINE  HELPING JULIA UP Why, boy! why, wag! how now! what's the
matter?
       Look up; speak.

JULIA  (Sebastian) O good sir, my master charged me to deliver a ring
       to Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done.

PROTEUS   Where is that ring, boy?

JULIA  (Sebastian)  Here 'tis; this is it.  GIVES HIM THE "WRONG" RING.

PROTEUS How! let me see:
       Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.

JULIA   (Sebastian)  O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook:
       This is the ring you sent to Silvia.
 SHOWS HIM THE OTHER RING BY RAISING HER MIDDLE FINGER TO HIM. (American
signal for "fuck you")

PROTEUS   But how camest thou by this ring? At my depart
       I gave this unto Julia.

JULIA (Sebastian) And Julia herself did give it me;
       And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
SHE TAKES OFF HER HAT AND GLASSES. HE RECOGNIZES HER.

PROTEUS   How! Julia!

JULIA   Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
       And entertain'd 'em deeply in her heart.
       How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
       O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
       Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
       Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
       In a disguise of love:
       It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
       Women to change their shapes than men their minds.

PROTEUS   Than men their minds! 'tis true.
       O heaven! were man
       But constant, he were perfect. That one error
       Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins:
       Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
       What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
       More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?

VALENTINE   Come, come, a hand from either:
JOINING JULIA AND PROTEUS' HANDS
       Let me be blest to make this happy close;
       'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

PROTEUS    Bear witness, Heaven, I have my wish for ever.

JULIA   And I mine.
SHE GRABS HIM BY THE EAR, AND DRAGS HIM TO A BENCH, WHERE THEY SIT AND
MAKE
UP DURING THE OUTLAW SCENE THAT FOLLOWS.

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