• 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 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 Sylvia 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 think’st 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 thou ever see me do such a trick?
    Enter PROTEUS and JULIA disguised

    PROTEUS

    [To JULIA] Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well,
    And will employ thee in some service presently.

    JULIA

    In what you please. I’ll do what I can.

    PROTEUS

    5I hope thou wilt.
    To LANCE
    How now, you 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

    10Marry, she says your dog was a cur, and tells you currish thanks is good enough for such a present.

    PROTEUS

    But she received my dog?

    LANCE

    No, indeed, did she not. Here have I brought him back again.
    He points to his dog.

    PROTEUS

    What, didst thou offer her this from me?

    LANCE

    Ay, sir: the other squirrel was stolen from me by the hangman boys in the marketplace, and then I offered her mine own, who is a dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift the greater.

    PROTEUS

    15Go 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?
    Exit LANCE with Crab
    A slave, that still an end turns me to shame!—
    Sebastian, I have entertainèd thee,
    20Partly 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,
    Which, if my augury deceive me not,
    25Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth.
    Therefore know thou, for this I entertain thee.
    Go presently, and take this ring with thee.
  • LANCE enters with his dog, Crab.

    LANCE

    When a man’s pet behaves like a stupid mongrel, mind you, it’s hard to take—a dog that I brought up from a puppy, one that I saved from drowning when three or four of his newborn brothers and sisters were drowned. I have trained him quite literally “as I would teach a dog,” as the saying goes. I was sent to deliver him as a present to Mistress Sylvia from my master, but no sooner had I stepped into the dining room than he ran ahead of me to the plate and stole her drumstick. Oh, it is a foul thing when a mongrel can’t behave himself in front of company! It seems I have a dog that tries to be a dog indeed—dog-gone good at all things, as one would say. If I hadn’t had the brains to take the blame for what he’d done, I honestly think he would have been hanged for it. As sure as I’m alive he would have been punished for it. You be the judge. He thrusts himself under the duke’s table and into the company of three or four fancier dogs. He hadn’t been there a second or two before everyone in the whole room could smell his piss—pardon my French! “Out with the dog!” says one person; “What mangy mutt is that?” asks another. “Whip him,” says a third. “Hang him!” says the duke. I, having smelled that smell before, knew it was Crab, so I went to the fellow whose job it is to whip the dogs. “Friend,” I said, “are you going to whip the dog?” “Yes, in fact, I am,” he replied. “Then you’re doing him a great injustice,” I answered back, “because it was I who peed all over the place.” He didn’t say anything else but just whipped me out of the room. How many masters would do this for their pets? No, I swear I’ve sat in the stocks for meat pies he has stolen—otherwise he would have been executed. I have stood on the pillory for geese he has killed—otherwise he would have suffered the consequences. You don’t remember any of this now, do you, Crab? No, I remember the trick you pulled on me when I said goodbye to Madame Sylvia. Didn’t I tell you that you should still obey me and do as I do? When did you ever see me lift up my leg and urinate on a noble woman’s undergarments? Did you ever see me do such a thing?
    PROTEUS and JULIA enter in disguise.

    PROTEUS

    (to Julia) Your name is Sebastian, right? I like you, and I’d like to hire you for a job I need done.

    JULIA

    Name it. I’ll do what I can.

    PROTEUS

    I hope you will.
    To LANCE
    How’s it going, you poor son of a bitch? Where have you been hanging around these past two days?

    LANCE

    Well, sir, I brought the dog to Mistress Sylvia, as you instructed.

    PROTEUS

    What did she say about my little jewel of a gift?

    LANCE

    Actually, she said your dog was a mongrel and said that a shabby thanks is good enough for such a present.

    PROTEUS

    But she accepted my dog?

    LANCE

    No, indeed, she didn’t. Here, I’ve brought him back again.
    He points to his dog.

    PROTEUS

    What, did you offer her this mutt from me?

    LANCE

    Yes, sir. The other runt was stolen from me by a gang of boys in the marketplace. So, I offered her my own, which is a bigger dog than ten of your little dogs, and so a better gift.

    PROTEUS

    Go on and get out of here, and find my dog again, or never let me see you again. Away, I say! Are you staying here to make me angry?
    LANCE exits with Crab.
    What a scoundrel, who never fails to disgrace me! Sebastian, I’ve hired you partly because I have need of a young man who can take care of some business for me quietly, and there’s no trusting that foolish lout Lance. But I’ve chiefly hired you for the way you look and act, which if my intuition doesn’t deceive me mean you are honest, lucky, and have been brought up well. Know that this is why I hired you. Now go, and take this ring with you.