Two Gentlemen of Verona By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scenes 3-4

ACT IV. SCENE 4. The same.

[Enter LAUNCE with his dog.]

LAUNCE.
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 saved
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 stock for puddings he hath
stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on the
pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had suffered
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, and JULIA in boy's clothes.]

PROTEUS.
Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
And will employ thee in some service presently.

JULIA.
In what you please; I'll do what I can.

PROTEUS.
I hope thou wilt.
[To LAUNCE] How now, you whoreson peasant!
Where have you been these two days loitering?

LAUNCE.
Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Silvia the dog you bade me.

PROTEUS.
And what says she to my little jewel?

LAUNCE.
Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish
thanks is good enough for such a present.

PROTEUS.
But she received my dog?

LAUNCE.
No, indeed, did she not: here have I brought him back
again.

PROTEUS.
What! didst thou offer her this from me?

LAUNCE.
Ay, sir; the other squirrel was stolen from me by the
hangman boys in the market-place; and then I offered her mine
own, who is a dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift
the greater.

PROTEUS.
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?
A slave that still an end turns me to shame!

[Exit LAUNCE.]

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 behaviour,
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.

JULIA.
It seems you lov'd not her, to leave her token.
She's dead, belike?

PROTEUS.
Not so: I think she lives.

JULIA.
Alas!

PROTEUS.
Why dost thou cry 'Alas'?

JULIA.
I cannot choose
But pity her.

PROTEUS.
Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?

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