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The Two Gentlemen of Verona


ACT II SCENE VThe same. A street.
[Enter SPEED and LAUNCE severally]
SPEEDLaunce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!
LAUNCEForswear 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 hostess5
say ‘Welcome!’
SPEEDCome 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?10
LAUNCEMarry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very
fairly in jest.
SPEEDBut shall she marry him?
SPEEDHow then? shall he marry her?15
LAUNCENo, neither.
SPEEDWhat, are they broken?
LAUNCENo, they are both as whole as a fish.
SPEEDWhy, then, how stands the matter with them?
LAUNCEMarry, thus: when it stands well with him, it20
stands well with her.
SPEEDWhat an ass art thou! I understand thee not.
LAUNCEWhat a block art thou, that thou canst not! My
staff understands me.
SPEEDWhat thou sayest?25
LAUNCEAy, and what I do too: look thee, I’ll but lean,
and my staff understands me.
SPEEDIt stands under thee, indeed.
LAUNCEWhy, stand-under and under-stand is all one.
SPEEDBut tell me true, will’t be a match?30
LAUNCEAsk my dog: if he say ay, it will! if he say no,
it will; if he shake his tail and say nothing, it will.
SPEEDThe conclusion is then that it will.
LAUNCEThou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable.
SPEED‘Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how sayest35
thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
LAUNCEI never knew him otherwise.
SPEEDThan how?
LAUNCEA notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
SPEEDWhy, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.40
LAUNCEWhy, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
SPEEDI tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
LAUNCEWhy, 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 the45
name of a Christian.
LAUNCEBecause thou hast not so much charity in thee as to
go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go?
SPEEDAt thy service.50

Next: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 2, Scene 6

Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 5
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society.

38, 39. how sayest thou:- That is, “What say’st thou to this circumstance?” So in Macbeth, III. iv.: “How say’st thou, that Macduff denies his person at our great bidding?”


How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society, 1901.