Speeches (Lines) for Launce
in "Two Gentlemen of Verona"

Total: 68

---
# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

II,3,593

(stage directions). [Enter LAUNCE, leading a dog]

Launce. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping;
all the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I
have received my proportion, like the prodigious
son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's
court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured
dog that lives: my mother weeping, my father
wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat
wringing her hands, and all our house in a great
perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed
one tear: he is a stone, a very pebble stone, and
has no more pity in him than a dog: a Jew would have
wept to have seen our parting; why, my grandam,
having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my
parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This
shoe is my father: no, this left shoe is my father:
no, no, this left shoe is my mother: nay, that
cannot be so neither: yes, it is so, it is so, it
hath the worser sole. This shoe, with the hole in
it, is my mother, and this my father; a vengeance
on't! there 'tis: now, sit, this staff is my
sister, for, look you, she is as white as a lily and
as small as a wand: this hat is Nan, our maid: I
am the dog: no, the dog is himself, and I am the
dog—Oh! the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so,
so. Now come I to my father; Father, your blessing:
now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping:
now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on. Now
come I to my mother: O, that she could speak now
like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her; why, there
'tis; here's my mother's breath up and down. Now
come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now
the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a
word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears.


2

II,3,631

Panthino. Launce, away, away, aboard! thy master is shipped
and thou art to post after with oars. What's the
matter? why weepest thou, man? Away, ass! You'll
lose the tide, if you tarry any longer.

Launce. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
unkindest tied that ever any man tied.


3

II,3,634

Panthino. What's the unkindest tide?

Launce. Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.


4

II,3,640

Panthino. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood, and, in
losing the flood, lose thy voyage, and, in losing
thy voyage, lose thy master, and, in losing thy
master, lose thy service, and, in losing thy
service,—Why dost thou stop my mouth?

Launce. For fear thou shouldst lose thy tongue.


5

II,3,642

Panthino. Where should I lose my tongue?

Launce. In thy tale.


6

II,3,644

Panthino. In thy tail!

Launce. Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and
the service, and the tied! Why, man, if the river
were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the
wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.


7

II,3,649

Panthino. Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.

Launce. Sir, call me what thou darest.


8

II,3,651

Panthino. Wilt thou go?

Launce. Well, I will go.


9

II,5,880

Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!

Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not
welcome. I reckon this always, that a man is never
undone till he be hanged, nor never welcome to a
place till some certain shot be paid and the hostess
say 'Welcome!'


10

II,5,889

Speed. Come on, you madcap, I'll to the alehouse with you
presently; where, for one shot of five pence, thou
shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how
did thy master part with Madam Julia?

Launce. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very
fairly in jest.


11

II,5,892

Speed. But shall she marry him?

Launce. No.


12

II,5,894

Speed. How then? shall he marry her?

Launce. No, neither.


13

II,5,896

Speed. What, are they broken?

Launce. No, they are both as whole as a fish.


14

II,5,898

Speed. Why, then, how stands the matter with them?

Launce. Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it
stands well with her.


15

II,5,901

Speed. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.

Launce. What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My
staff understands me.


16

II,5,904

Speed. What thou sayest?

Launce. Ay, and what I do too: look thee, I'll but lean,
and my staff understands me.


17

II,5,907

Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.

Launce. Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.


18

II,5,909

Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match?

Launce. Ask my dog: if he say ay, it will! if he say no,
it will; if he shake his tail and say nothing, it will.


19

II,5,912

Speed. The conclusion is then that it will.

Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable.


20

II,5,915

Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how sayest
thou, that my master is become a notable lover?

Launce. I never knew him otherwise.


21

II,5,917

Speed. Than how?

Launce. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.


22

II,5,919

Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.

Launce. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.


23

II,5,921

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.

Launce. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself
in love. If thou wilt, go with me to the alehouse;
if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the
name of a Christian.


24

II,5,926

Speed. Why?

Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to
go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?


25

III,1,1263

Proteus. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.

Launce. Soho, soho!


26

III,1,1265

Proteus. What seest thou?

Launce. Him we go to find: there's not a hair on's head
but 'tis a Valentine.


27

III,1,1273

Valentine. Nothing.

Launce. Can nothing speak? Master, shall I strike?


28

III,1,1275

Proteus. Who wouldst thou strike?

Launce. Nothing.


29

III,1,1277

Proteus. Villain, forbear.

Launce. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray you,—


30

III,1,1290

Valentine. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me.
What is your news?

Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are vanished.


31

III,1,1336

(stage directions). [Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTEUS]

Launce. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to
think my master is a kind of a knave: but that's
all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now
that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a
team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who
'tis I love; and yet 'tis a woman; but what woman, I
will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkmaid; yet
'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips; yet 'tis
a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for
wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel;
which is much in a bare Christian.
[Pulling out a paper]
Here is the cate-log of her condition.
'Imprimis: She can fetch and carry.' Why, a horse
can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only
carry; therefore is she better than a jade. 'Item:
She can milk;' look you, a sweet virtue in a maid
with clean hands.


32

III,1,1357

Speed. How now, Signior Launce! what news with your
mastership?

Launce. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea.


33

III,1,1360

Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word. What
news, then, in your paper?

Launce. The blackest news that ever thou heardest.


34

III,1,1362

Speed. Why, man, how black?

Launce. Why, as black as ink.


35

III,1,1364

Speed. Let me read them.

Launce. Fie on thee, jolt-head! thou canst not read.


36

III,1,1366

Speed. Thou liest; I can.

Launce. I will try thee. Tell me this: who begot thee?


37

III,1,1368

Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather.

Launce. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy
grandmother: this proves that thou canst not read.


38

III,1,1371

Speed. Come, fool, come; try me in thy paper.

Launce. There; and St. Nicholas be thy speed!


39

III,1,1373

Speed. [Reads] 'Imprimis: She can milk.'

Launce. Ay, that she can.


40

III,1,1375

Speed. 'Item: She brews good ale.'

Launce. And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'


41

III,1,1378

Speed. 'Item: She can sew.'

Launce. That's as much as to say, Can she so?


42

III,1,1380

Speed. 'Item: She can knit.'

Launce. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when
she can knit him a stock?


43

III,1,1383

Speed. 'Item: She can wash and scour.'

Launce. A special virtue: for then she need not be washed
and scoured.


44

III,1,1386

Speed. 'Item: She can spin.'

Launce. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can
spin for her living.


45

III,1,1389

Speed. 'Item: She hath many nameless virtues.'

Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that,
indeed, know not their fathers and therefore have no names.


46

III,1,1392

Speed. 'Here follow her vices.'

Launce. Close at the heels of her virtues.


47

III,1,1395

Speed. 'Item: She is not to be kissed fasting in respect
of her breath.'

Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast. Read on.


48

III,1,1397

Speed. 'Item: She hath a sweet mouth.'

Launce. That makes amends for her sour breath.


49

III,1,1399

Speed. 'Item: She doth talk in her sleep.'

Launce. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.


50

III,1,1401

Speed. 'Item: She is slow in words.'

Launce. O villain, that set this down among her vices! To
be slow in words is a woman's only virtue: I pray
thee, out with't, and place it for her chief virtue.


51

III,1,1405

Speed. 'Item: She is proud.'

Launce. Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy, and cannot
be ta'en from her.


52

III,1,1408

Speed. 'Item: She hath no teeth.'

Launce. I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.


53

III,1,1410

Speed. 'Item: She is curst.'

Launce. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.


54

III,1,1412

Speed. 'Item: She will often praise her liquor.'

Launce. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I
will; for good things should be praised.


55

III,1,1415

Speed. 'Item: She is too liberal.'

Launce. Of her tongue she cannot, for that's writ down she
is slow of; of her purse she shall not, for that
I'll keep shut: now, of another thing she may, and
that cannot I help. Well, proceed.


56

III,1,1421

Speed. 'Item: She hath more hair than wit, and more faults
than hairs, and more wealth than faults.'

Launce. Stop there; I'll have her: she was mine, and not
mine, twice or thrice in that last article.
Rehearse that once more.


57

III,1,1425

Speed. 'Item: She hath more hair than wit,'—

Launce. More hair than wit? It may be; I'll prove it. The
cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it
is more than the salt; the hair that covers the wit
is more than the wit, for the greater hides the
less. What's next?


58

III,1,1431

Speed. 'And more faults than hairs,'—

Launce. That's monstrous: O, that that were out!


59

III,1,1433

Speed. 'And more wealth than faults.'

Launce. Why, that word makes the faults gracious. Well,
I'll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing is
impossible,—


60

III,1,1437

Speed. What then?

Launce. Why, then will I tell thee—that thy master stays
for thee at the North-gate.


61

III,1,1440

Speed. For me?

Launce. For thee! ay, who art thou? he hath stayed for a
better man than thee.


62

III,1,1443

Speed. And must I go to him?

Launce. Thou must run to him, for thou hast stayed so long
that going will scarce serve the turn.


63

III,1,1447

(stage directions). [Exit]

Launce. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter; an
unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into
secrets! I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.


64

IV,4,1834

(stage directions). [Enter LAUNCE, with his 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 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 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?


65

IV,4,1881

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.


66

IV,4,1883

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.


67

IV,4,1886

Proteus. But she received my dog?

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


68

IV,4,1889

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.


Return to the "Two Gentlemen of Verona" menu

Plays + Sonnets + Poems + Concordance + Character Search + Advanced Search + About OSS