Open Source Shakespeare

Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Act II, Scene 3

The same. A street.


[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 595
    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 600
    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 605
    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 610
    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 615
    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 620
    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. 625


  • 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. 630
  • Launce. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
    unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
  • Panthino. What's the unkindest tide?
  • Launce. Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.
  • Panthino. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood, and, in 635
    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. 640
  • Panthino. Where should I lose my tongue?
  • Launce. In thy tale.
  • 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 645
    were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the
    wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.
  • Panthino. Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.
  • Launce. Sir, call me what thou darest.
  • Panthino. Wilt thou go? 650
  • Launce. Well, I will go.