List iconThe Two Gentlemen of Verona:
Act 4, scene 4
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Act 4, scene 4



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Two Gentlemen of Verona tells the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus. Valentine leaves their home city of…

Act 1, scene 1

Valentine, preparing to leave for Milan, says farewell to Proteus, who stays in Verona to be near Julia. Valentine’s servant,…

Act 1, scene 2

Julia receives Proteus’ letter and pretends to be very angry at his presumption.

Act 1, scene 3

Proteus, reading a letter from Julia, encounters his father, Antonio, and tells him that the letter is from Valentine, who…

Act 2, scene 1

Valentine learns (with Speed’s help) that the letter Sylvia had him write conveying her love to an admirer was intended…

Act 2, scene 2

Proteus takes his leave of Julia, promising to be faithful and sealing their love with a kind of “handfasting” or…

Act 2, scene 3

Lance grieves that he must part from his family to travel with Proteus, and he chastises his dog, Crab, for…

Act 2, scene 4

Proteus arrives and is greeted by Valentine and Sylvia. He immediately falls in love with Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 5

Lance describes for Speed the tender parting of Proteus from Julia and hears about Valentine’s love for Sylvia.

Act 2, scene 6

Proteus decides to betray Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father as a step on the way to winning Sylvia for…

Act 2, scene 7

Julia decides to follow Proteus to Milan and asks Lucetta to help her disguise herself as a page.

Act 3, scene 1

Proteus betrays Valentine’s elopement plans to Sylvia’s father, who banishes Valentine. Proteus pretends to grieve with Valentine and, telling him…

Act 3, scene 2

The Duke enlists Proteus’ aid in making Sylvia fall in love with Thurio. Proteus offers to slander Valentine and to…

Act 4, scene 1

Valentine and Speed are captured by outlaws. Valentine agrees to become their captain.

Act 4, scene 2

Proteus serenades Sylvia, supposedly on Thurio’s behalf. As Julia watches, disguised as a page, Proteus sings his love song to…

Act 4, scene 3

Sylvia, determined to escape the pursuit of Thurio and Proteus, persuades Sir Eglamour to accompany her that evening on a…

Act 4, scene 4

Proteus learns to his horror that Lance has tried to present Crab to Sylvia as a gift. Proteus then sends…

Act 5, scene 1

Sylvia and Sir Eglamour set out on their journey.

Act 5, scene 2

The Duke informs Proteus and Thurio of Sylvia’s flight. They each decide to follow her.

Act 5, scene 3

Sylvia is captured by the outlaws, while Sir Eglamour flees.

Act 5, scene 4

As Valentine watches from hiding, Sylvia is brought in by Proteus, who has taken her from the outlaws. Proteus pleads…

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Scene 4
Enter Lance, with his dog, Crab.

LANCE 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
5 to it. I have taught him even as one would say
 precisely “Thus I would teach a dog.” I was sent to

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 deliver him as a present to Mistress Sylvia from my
 master; and I came no sooner into the dining
 chamber but he steps me to her trencher and steals
10 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
15 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
20 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
25 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
30 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. To Crab. Thou think’st
35 not of this now. Nay, I remember the trick you
 served me when I took my leave of Madam Sylvia.
 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
40 thou ever see me do such a trick?

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

Enter Proteus and Julia disguised as Sebastian.

 Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well
 And will employ thee in some service presently.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 In what you please. I’ll do what I can.
 I hope thou wilt. To Lance. How now, you
45 whoreson peasant?
 Where have you been these two days loitering?
LANCE Marry, sir, I carried Mistress Sylvia the dog you
 bade me.
PROTEUS And what says she to my little jewel?
LANCE 50Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells
 you currish thanks is good enough for such a
PROTEUS But she received my dog?
LANCE No, indeed, did she not. Here have I brought
55 him back again.
PROTEUS What, didst thou offer her this from me?
LANCE Ay, sir. The other squirrel was stolen from me
 by the hangman’s boys in the market-place, and
 then I offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as
60 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?
Lance exits with Crab.
 A slave that still an end turns me to shame.
65 Sebastian, I have entertainèd thee,
 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 behavior,

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

70 Which, if my augury deceive me not,
 Witness good bringing-up, fortune, and truth.
 Therefore, know thou, for this I entertain thee.
 Go presently, and take this ring with thee;
 Deliver it to Madam Sylvia.
75 She loved me well delivered it to me.
He gives her a ring.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 It seems you loved not her, to leave her token.
 She is dead belike?
PROTEUS  Not so; I think she lives.
JULIA, as Sebastian Alas!
PROTEUS 80Why dost thou cry “Alas”?
JULIA, as Sebastian I cannot choose but pity her.
PROTEUS Wherefore shouldst thou pity her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Because methinks that she loved you as well
 As you do love your lady Sylvia.
85 She dreams on him that has forgot her love;
 You dote on her that cares not for your love.
 ’Tis pity love should be so contrary,
 And thinking on it makes me cry “Alas.”
 Well, give her that ring and therewithal
90 This letter. He gives her a paper. That’s her
 chamber. Tell my lady
 I claim the promise for her heavenly picture.
 Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
 Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary.
Proteus exits.
95 How many women would do such a message?
 Alas, poor Proteus, thou hast entertained
 A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
 Alas, poor fool, why do I pity him

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 That with his very heart despiseth me?
100 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,
105 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 confirmèd love,
 But cannot be true servant to my master
110 Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
 Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
 As—Heaven it knows!—I would not have him

Enter Sylvia.

 As Sebastian. Gentlewoman, good day. I pray you be
115 my mean
 To bring me where to speak with Madam Sylvia.
 What would you with her, if that I be she?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 If you be she, I do entreat your patience
 To hear me speak the message I am sent on.
SYLVIA 120From whom?
JULIA, as Sebastian From my master, Sir Proteus,
SYLVIA O, he sends you for a picture?
JULIA, as Sebastian Ay, madam.
SYLVIA, calling 125Ursula, bring my picture there.
She is brought the picture.
 Go, give your master this. Tell him from me,
 One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget,
 Would better fit his chamber than this shadow.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

JULIA, as Sebastian Madam, please you peruse this
130 letter.She gives Sylvia a paper.
 Pardon me, madam, I have unadvised
 Delivered you a paper that I should not.
 This is the letter to your Ladyship.
She takes back the first paper
and hands Sylvia another.

 I pray thee let me look on that again.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
135 It may not be; good madam, pardon me.
SYLVIA There, hold.
 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
140 As easily as I do tear his paper.
She tears the second paper.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Madam, he sends your Ladyship this ring.
She offers Sylvia a 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.
145 Though his false finger have profaned the ring,
 Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.
JULIA, as Sebastian She thanks you.
SYLVIA What sayst thou?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 I thank you, madam, that you tender her;
150 Poor gentlewoman, my master wrongs her much.
SYLVIA Dost thou know her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 Almost as well as I do know myself.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 To think upon her woes, I do protest
 That I have wept a hundred several times.
155 Belike she thinks that Proteus hath forsook her?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 I think she doth, and that’s her cause of sorrow.
SYLVIA Is she not passing fair?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 She hath been fairer, madam, than she is;
 When she did think my master loved her well,
160 She, in my judgment, was as fair as you.
 But since she did neglect her looking-glass
 And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
 The air hath starved the roses in her cheeks
 And pinched the lily tincture of her face,
165 That now she is become as black as I.
SYLVIA How tall was she?
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 About my stature; for at Pentecost,
 When all our pageants of delight were played,
 Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,
170 And I was trimmed in Madam Julia’s gown,
 Which served me as fit, by all men’s judgments,
 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,
175 For I did play a lamentable part;
 Madam, ’twas Ariadne, passioning
 For Theseus’ perjury and unjust flight,
 Which I so lively acted with my tears
 That my poor mistress, movèd therewithal,
180 Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead
 If I in thought felt not her very sorrow.
 She is beholding to thee, gentle youth.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 Alas, poor lady, desolate and left!
 I weep myself to think upon thy words.
185 Here, youth, there is my purse.
She gives Julia a purse.
 I give thee this
 For thy sweet mistress’ sake, because thou lov’st her.
JULIA, as Sebastian 
 And she shall thank you for ’t if e’er you know her.
Sylvia exits.
190 A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beautiful.
 I hope my master’s suit will be but cold,
 Since she respects my mistress’ love so much.—
 Alas, how love can trifle with itself!
 Here is her picture; let me see. I think
195 If I had such a tire, this face of mine
 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;
200 If that be all the difference in his love,
 I’ll get me such a colored periwig.
 Her eyes are gray as glass, and so are mine.
 Ay, but her forehead’s low, and mine’s as high.
 What should it be that he respects in her
205 But I can make respective in myself
 If this fond Love were not a blinded god?
 Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up,
 For ’tis thy rival. O, thou senseless form,
 Thou shalt be worshipped, kissed, loved, and
210 adored;
 And were there sense in his idolatry,
 My substance should be statue in thy stead.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
ACT 4. SC. 4

 I’ll use thee kindly for thy mistress’ sake,
 That used me so, or else, by Jove I vow,
215 I should have scratched out your unseeing eyes
 To make my master out of love with thee.
She exits.