Enter Launce, with his dog
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 hanged for't;
sure as I live, he had suffered for't. You shall judge. He
thrusts me himself into the company of three or four
gentlemanlike dogs under the Duke's table; he had not
been there, bless the mark, a pissing while but all the
a very short time; also: with enough time to urinate
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
stolen, otherwise he had been executed; I have stood on
the pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he had
suffered for't. Thou thinkest not of this now. Nay, I
remember the trick you served 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 a page's costume
Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
And will employ thee in some service presently.
In what you please; I will do what I can.
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
And what says she to my little jewel?
Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you
currish thanks is good enough for such a present.
But she received my dog?
No, indeed, did she not; here have I brought
him back again.
What, didst thou offer her this from me?
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.
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!
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 loved me well delivered it to me.
It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
She is dead, belike?
Not so; I think she lives.
Why dost thou cry ‘ Alas ’?
I cannot choose
But pity her.
Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
Because methinks that she loved 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!’
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.
How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertained
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 refused,
To praise his faith, which I would have dispraised.
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 with Attendants
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?
If you be she, I do entreat your patience
To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.
O, he sends you for a picture.
Ursula, bring my picture there.
Exit one of the Attendants. She returns with a portrait
Go, give your master this. Tell him from me,
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
Madam, please you peruse this letter –
Pardon me, madam; I have unadvised
Delivered you a paper that I should not.
Julia takes back the letter she offers and gives Silvia
This is the letter to your ladyship.
I pray thee let me look on that again.
It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
She tears the letter
I will not look upon your master's lines.
I know they are stuffed 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.
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 profaned the ring,
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
She thanks you.
What sayest thou?
I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
Poor gentlewoman! My master wrongs her much.
Dost thou know her?
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?
She hath been fairer, madam, than she is.
When she did think my master loved her well,
She, in my judgement, was as fair as you;
But since she did neglect her looking-glass
And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
The air hath starved the roses in her cheeks
And pinched the lily-tincture of her face,
That now she is become as black as I.
How tall was she?
About my stature; for, at Pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were played,
Our youth got me to play the woman's part
And I was trimmed in Madam Julia's gown,
Which served me as fit, by all men's judgements,
serve (v.) 4
be of use, render service, be an advantage [to]
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
experience deep feeling, be profoundly moved, grieve
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.
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 lovest her.
Exeunt Silvia and attendants
And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you know her.
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 flattered 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 coloured 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 worshipped, kissed, loved, and adored!
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 used me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
I should have scratched out your unseeing eyes,
To make my master out of love with thee!