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Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Act II, Scene 5

The same. A street.


[Enter SPEED and LAUNCE severally]

  • Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!
  • Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not 880
    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!'
  • Speed. Come on, you madcap, I'll to the alehouse with you 885
    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. 890
  • Speed. But shall she marry him?
  • Speed. How then? shall he marry her?
  • Speed. What, are they broken? 895
  • Launce. No, they are both as whole as a fish.
  • Speed. Why, then, how stands the matter with them?
  • Launce. Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it
    stands well with her.
  • Speed. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not. 900
  • Launce. What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My
    staff understands me.
  • Speed. What thou sayest?
  • Launce. Ay, and what I do too: look thee, I'll but lean,
    and my staff understands me. 905
  • Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
  • Launce. Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.
  • 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. 910
  • Speed. The conclusion is then that it will.
  • Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable.
  • 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. 915
  • Launce. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
  • Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.
  • Launce. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
  • Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover. 920
  • 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.
  • Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee as to
    go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?