The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
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
to it, to't to the test, to death

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
capon (n.) 1 chicken, castrated cockerel [bred for eating]
trencher (n.) plate, platter, serving dish

when a cur cannot keep himself in all companies! I
keep (v.) 11 restrain, control, discipline

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.
dog at, be a be adept at, be experienced in

If I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault upon
fault (n.) 2 mistake, error, blunder
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged for't;
verily (adv.) in truth, truly, indeed See Topics: Swearing

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
pissing while 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 (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

quoth he. ‘ You do him the more wrong,’ quoth I,

‘ 'twas I did the thing you wot of.’ He makes me no
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

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
pudding (n.) 1 type of large savoury dish; dumpling, pasty

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
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

do as I do? When didst thou see me heave up my leg
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

and make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale?
farthingale (n.) long skirt extended at the back by a framework of hoops See Topics: Clothing

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.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count


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

bade me.


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.
currish (adj.) mean-spirited, snarling, quarrelsome


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
hangman (adj.) fit for the hangman, infernal, diabolical

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?

Exit Launce

A slave that still an end turns me to shame!
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count
still an end repeatedly, time and again, over and over
turn (v.) 10 bring, put

Sebastian, I have entertained thee,
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service

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,
augury (n.) 2 discernment, prescience, prophetic skill

Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth;

Therefore, know thou, for this I entertain thee.
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service

Go presently, and take this ring with thee,
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Deliver it to Madam Silvia –

She loved me well delivered it to me.
deliver (v.) 4 hand over, convey, commit to the keeping [of someone]


It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
leave (v.) 2 abandon, forsake, relinquish

She is dead, belike?
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count


                         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
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

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;
dote on / upon (v.) 1 be infatuated with, idolize

'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,
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy



How many women would do such a message?

Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertained
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service

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.
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly

As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness

Enter Silvia with Attendants
mean (n.) 1 means, way, method

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 whom?


From my master, Sir Proteus, madam.


O, he sends you for a picture.


Ay, madam.


Ursula, bring my picture there.

Exit one of the Attendants. She returns with a portrait

of Silvia

Go, give your master this. Tell him from me,

One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,

Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance


Madam, please you peruse this letter –

Pardon me, madam; I have unadvised
unadvised (adv.) 1 accidentally, inadvertently, thoughtlessly

Delivered you a paper that I should not.

Julia takes back the letter she offers and gives Silvia

another one

This is the letter to your ladyship.


I pray thee let me look on that again.


It may not be; good madam, pardon me.


There, hold!

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
new-found (adj.) recently invented, freshly created

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,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.


She thanks you.


What sayest thou?


I thank you, madam, that you tender her.
tender (v.) 2 feel concern for, hold dear, care for

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.
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count


Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her.
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count


I think she doth, and that's her cause of sorrow.


Is she not passing fair?
passing (adv.) very, exceedingly, extremely


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;
judgement (n.) 1 opinion, estimation, assessment

But since she did neglect her looking-glass

And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
sun-expelling (adj.) protecting against the sun [to preserve facial beauty]

The air hath starved the roses in her cheeks
starve (v.) 5 destroy, wither, waste away

And pinched the lily-tincture of her face,
lily-tincture (n.) lily-white colouring
pinch (v.) 4 wear away, eat into, corrode

That now she is become as black as I.
black (adj.) 1 dark-complexioned, swarthy


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,
trim (v.) 1 dress, attire, make [oneself] ready

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,
agood (adv.) in earnest, in a heartfelt way

For I did play a lamentable part.

Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning
passion (v.) experience deep feeling, be profoundly moved, grieve

For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight;
unjust (adj.) 2 unfaithful, false [to honour]

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.
beholding (adj.) beholden, obliged, indebted
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

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,
cold (adj.) 5 ineffective, unattended to, coldly received
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

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
tire (n.) 1 head-dress, ornament for the head, raiment

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;
auburn (adj.) yellow-brown, light brown

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;
grey (adj.) 3 [of eyes] grey-blue, blue-tinged

Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine's as high.

What should it be that he respects in her
respect (v.) 3 value, have regard for, prize

But I can make respective in myself,
respective (adj.) 2 worthy of respect, estimable, inspiring admiration

If this fond Love were not a blinded god?
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate

Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance
shadow (n.) 4 illusion, unreal image, delusion

For 'tis thy rival. O, thou senseless form,
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling

Thou shalt be worshipped, kissed, loved, and adored!

And were there sense in his idolatry,

My substance should be statue in thy stead.
substance (n.) 1 real thing, genuine article

I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake,
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage

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!


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