• Enter, meeting, SPEED and LANCE with his dog Crab

    SPEED

    Lance, by mine honesty, welcome to Milan!

    LANCE

    Forswear 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 hostess say “Welcome!”

    SPEED

    Come 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?

    LANCE

    Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.

    SPEED

    5But shall she marry him?

    LANCE

    No.

    SPEED

    How then? Shall he marry her?

    LANCE

    No, neither.

    SPEED

    What, are they broken?

    LANCE

    10No, they are both as whole as a fish.

    SPEED

    Why, then, how stands the matter with them?

    LANCE

    Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it stands well with her.

    SPEED

    What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.

    LANCE

    What a block art thou, that thou canst not! My staff understands me.

    SPEED

    15What thou sayest?

    LANCE

    Ay, and what I do too. Look thee, I’ll but lean, and my staff understands me.

    SPEED

    It stands under thee, indeed.

    LANCE

    Why, stand-under and under-stand is all one.

    SPEED

    But tell me true, will ’t be a match?

    LANCE

    20Ask my dog. If he say ay, it will; if he say no, it will; if he shake his tail and say nothing, it will.

    SPEED

    The conclusion is then that it will.

    LANCE

    Thou shalt never get such a secret from me but by a parable.
  • SPEED and LANCE, with his dog, Crab, enter and meet.

    SPEED

    Lance, honestly, welcome to Milan!

    LANCE

    Don’t lie, my friend, because I am not welcome. I always believe a man is never sunk until he’s hanged, nor ever welcome to a place until the bill has been paid and the hostess says, “Welcome!”

    SPEED

    Come you, you lunatic, I’ll go to the pub with you soon, where you can have five thousand welcomes for five pence. But tell me, pal, how did your master say goodbye to Madame Julia?

    LANCE

    You know, after they said their earnest goodbyes, they parted with a few jokes.

    SPEED

    But will she marry him?

    LANCE

    No.

    SPEED

    What then? Will he marry her?

    LANCE

    No, not that either.

    SPEED

    What, have they broken up?

    LANCE

    No, they’re as whole as ever.

    SPEED

    Well, then, where do they stand on the matter?

    LANCE

    Indeed, that’s the way it is: when he stands erect, he’s in good standing with her.

    SPEED

    What an ass you are! I don’t understand you.

    LANCE

    What a blockhead you are, since you can’t understand me! My wooden staff understands me.

    SPEED

    What are you talking about?

    LANCE

    Yes, and it’s what I do, too. Look here—I simply have to lean, and my staff understands me.

    SPEED

    It stands under you, indeed.

    LANCE

    Well, standing-under, under-standing—it’s all the same.

    SPEED

    But tell me honestly, will they get married?

    LANCE

    Ask my dog. If he says yes, then they will. If he says no, then they will. If he shakes his tail and says nothing, then they will.

    SPEED

    So no matter what then, they will get married.

    LANCE

    You’ll never get me to reveal the secret except in riddles.