The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 4, Scene 4
Milan. Outside the Duke’s palace.
- Enter Launce with his dog.
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- When a man’s servant shall play the cur with him, look you,
- it goes hard: one that I brought up of a puppy; one that I
- sav’d from drowning, when three or four of his blind
- brothers and sisters went to it. I have taught him, even as
- one would say precisely, “Thus I would teach a dog.” I was
- sent to deliver him as a present to Mistress Silvia from my
- master; and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber but he
- steps me to her trencher and steals her capon’s leg. O, ’tis
- a foul thing when a cur cannot keep himself in all
- companies! I would have (as one should say) one that takes
- upon him to be a dog indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all
- things. If I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault
- upon me that he did, I think verily he had been hang’d
- for’t; sure as I live he had suffer’d for’t. You shall
- judge: he thrusts me himself into the company of three or
- four gentleman-like dogs, under the Duke’s table. He had not
- been there (bless the mark!) a pissing-while, but all the
- chamber smelt him. “Out with the dog,” says one. “What cur
- is that?” says another. “Whip him out,” says the third.
- “Hang him up,” says the Duke. I, having been acquainted with
- the smell before, knew it was Crab, and goes me to the
- fellow that whips the dogs: “Friend,” quoth I, “you mean to
- whip the dog?” “Ay, marry, do I,” quoth he. “You do him the
- more wrong,” quoth I, “’twas I did the thing you wot of.” He
- makes me no more ado, but whips me out of the chamber. How
- many masters would do this for his servant? Nay, I’ll be
- sworn, I have sat in the stocks for puddings he hath stol’n,
- otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the pillory
- for geese he hath kill’d, otherwise he had suffer’d for’t.
- Thou think’st not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick you
- serv’d me, when I took my leave of Madam Silvia. Did not I
- bid thee still mark me, and do as I do? When didst thou see
- me heave up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman’s
- farthingale? Didst thou ever see me do such a trick?
- Enter Proteus, Julia disguised as Sebastian.
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- Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
- And will employ thee in some service presently.
- In what you please; I’ll do what I can.
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- I hope thou wilt.
- To Launce.
- How now, you whoreson peasant,
- Where have you been these two days loitering?
- Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.
- And what says she to my little jewel?
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- Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish
- thanks is good enough for such a present.
- But she receiv’d my dog?
- No indeed did she not; here have I brought him back again.
- What, didst thou offer her this from me?
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- Ay, sir, the other squirrel was stol’n from me by the
- hangman’s boys in the market-place; and then I offer’d her
- mine own, who is a dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore
- the gift the greater.
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- Go, get thee hence, and find my dog again,
- Or ne’er return again into my sight.
- Away, I say! Stayest thou to vex me here?
- Exit Launce.
- A slave, that still an end turns me to shame!
- Sebastian, I have entertained thee,
- Partly that I have need of such a youth
- That can with some discretion do my business—
- For ’tis no trusting to yond foolish lout—
- But chiefly for thy face and thy behavior,
- Which (if my augury deceive me not)
- Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth:
- Therefore know thou, for this I entertain thee.
- Go presently, and take this ring with thee,
- Deliver it to Madam Silvia—
- She lov’d me well deliver’d it to me.
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- It seems you lov’d not her, to leave her token:
- She is dead, belike?
- Not so; I think she lives.
- Why dost thou cry “alas”?
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- I cannot choose
- But pity her.
- Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
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- Because methinks that she lov’d you as well
- As you do love your lady Silvia:
- She dreams on him that has forgot her love;
- You dote on her that cares not for your love.
- ’Tis pity love should be so contrary;
- And thinking on it makes me cry “alas!”
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- Well, give her that ring and therewithal
- This letter; that’s her chamber. Tell my lady
- I claim the promise for her heavenly picture.
- Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
- Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary.
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- How many women would do such a message?
- Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertain’d
- A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
- Alas, poor fool, why do I pity him
- That with his very heart despiseth me?
- Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
- Because I love him, I must pity him.
- This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
- To bind him to remember my good will;
- And now am I (unhappy messenger)
- To plead for that which I would not obtain,
- To carry that which I would have refus’d,
- To praise his faith which I would have disprais’d.
- I am my master’s true confirmed love;
- But cannot be true servant to my master,
- Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
- Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
- As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.
- Enter Silvia attended.
- Gentlewoman, good day; I pray you be my mean
- To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.
- What would you with her, if that I be she?
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- If you be she, I do entreat your patience
- To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
- From whom?
- From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
- O, he sends you for a picture?
- Ay, madam.
Silvia119 - 122
- Ursula, bring my picture there.
- Go give your master this. Tell him from me,
- One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
- Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
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- Madam, please you peruse this letter—
- Pardon me, madam, I have unadvis’d
- Deliver’d you a paper that I should not:
- This is the letter to your ladyship.
- I pray thee let me look on that again.
- It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
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- There, hold!
- I will not look upon your master’s lines;
- I know they are stuff’d with protestations,
- And full of new-found oaths, which he will break
- As easily as I do tear his paper.
- Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.
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- The more shame for him that he sends it me;
- For I have heard him say a thousand times
- His Julia gave it him at his departure:
- Though his false finger have profan’d the ring,
- Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
- She thanks you.
- What say’st thou?
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- I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
- Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.
- Dost thou know her?
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- Almost as well as I do know myself.
- To think upon her woes I do protest
- That I have wept a hundred several times.
- Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her?
- I think she doth; and that’s her cause of sorrow.
- Is she not passing fair?
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- She hath been fairer, madam, than she is:
- When she did think my master lov’d her well,
- She, in my judgment, was as fair as you;
- But since she did neglect her looking-glass,
- And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
- The air hath starv’d the roses in her cheeks,
- And pinch’d the lily-tincture of her face,
- That now she is become as black as I.
- How tall was she?
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- About my stature; for at Pentecost,
- When all our pageants of delight were play’d,
- Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,
- And I was trimm’d in Madam Julia’s gown,
- Which served me as fit, by all men’s judgments,
- As if the garment had been made for me;
- Therefore I know she is about my height.
- And at that time I made her weep agood,
- For I did play a lamentable part.
- Madam, ’twas Ariadne passioning
- For Theseus’ perjury and unjust flight;
- Which I so lively acted with my tears
- That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,
- Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
- If I in thought felt not her very sorrow.
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- She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.
- Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
- I weep myself to think upon thy words.
- Here, youth, there is my purse; I give thee this
- For thy sweet mistress’ sake, because thou lov’st her.
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- And she shall thank you for’t, if e’er you know her.
- Exit Silvia with Attendants.
- A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful!
- I hope my master’s suit will be but cold,
- Since she respects my mistress’ love so much.
- Alas, how love can trifle with itself!
- Here is her picture: let me see; I think
- If I had such a tire, this face of mine
- Were full as lovely as is this of hers;
- And yet the painter flatter’d her a little,
- Unless I flatter with myself too much.
- Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow:
- If that be all the difference in his love,
- I’ll get me such a color’d periwig.
- Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine;
- Ay, but her forehead’s low, and mine’s as high.
- What should it be that he respects in her,
- But I can make respective in myself,
- If this fond Love were not a blinded god?
- Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,
- For ’tis thy rival. O thou senseless form,
- Thou shalt be worshipp’d, kiss’d, lov’d, and ador’d;
- And were there sense in his idolatry,
- My substance should be statue in thy stead.
- I’ll use thee kindly for thy mistress’ sake
- That us’d me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
- I should have scratch’d out your unseeing eyes,
- To make my master out of love with thee.