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SCENE.-Sometimes in Verona, sometimes in Milan, and on the frontiers of Mantua.
Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.
Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine,
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy
If ever danger do environ thee,
Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Val. And on a love-book pray for my success?
Pro. A silly answer and fitting well a sheep. Speed. This proves me still a sheep. Pro. True, and thy master a shepherd. Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. It shall go hard but I'll prove it by another. Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep. 89
Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore thou art a sheep. Speed. Such another proof will make me cry 'baa.'
Pro. But dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia?
Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour.
Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.
Pro. Nay, in that you are astray: 'twere best pound you.
Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your letter.
Pro. You mistake: I mean the pound,-a pinfold.
Speed. From a pound to a pin ? fold it over and
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover. SPEED nods. Did she nod?
Pro. But what said she?
Pro. Nod, Ay? why, that's noddy. Speed. You mistook, sir: I say she did nod; and you ask me if she did nod; and I say, Ay. Pro. And that set together is noddy.
Pro. Why? Could'st thou perceive so much from her?
Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for your pains.
Pro. No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.
Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me? Speed. Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly; having nothing but the word 'noddy' for my pains. Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit. Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.
Pro. Come, come; open the matter in brief: what said she?
Speed. Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both at once delivered.
Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she? Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter. And being so hard to me that brought your mind, I fear she 'll prove as hard to you in telling your mind. Give her no token but stones, for she 's as hard as steel.
Pro. What! said she nothing?
Speed. No, not so much as 'Take this for thy pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself. And so, sir, I'll commend you to my master. Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,
Jul. To Julia.' Say, from whom?
That the contents will show.
He would have given it you, but I, being in the
Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault,
Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than
Jul. Will ye be gone?
That you may ruminate.
Here a coil with protestation! Tears the letter.
Luc. She makes it strange, but she would be
To be so anger'd with another letter.
Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!
O hateful hands, to tear such loving words!
Jul. Why didst thou stoop then?
That I let fall.
Jul. What is 't that you took up so gingerly?
Jul. And why not you?
To take a paper up
I cannot reach so high. Jul. Let's see your song. How now, minion! Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing
it out: And yet methinks I do not like this tune. Jul. You do not?
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rime.
Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Dinner is ready, and your father stays.
Luc. What shall these papers lic like tell-
Jul. If you respect them, best to take them up. Luc. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down; Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold. Jul. I see you have a month's mind to them. Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see;
I see things too, although you judge I wink.
Enter ANTONIO and PANTHINO.
Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
With Valentinus in the emperor's court:
10 Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.
Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
Ant. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.
While other men, of slender reputation,
He said that Proteus your son was meet,
Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
Ant. I know it well.
Pant. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither.
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments, 30
Ant. I like thy counsel; well hast thou advis'd:
I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.
With other gentlemen of good esteem
Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go:
And in good time. Now will we break with him.
Exeunt ANTONIO and PANTHINO. Pro. Thus have I shunned the fire for fear of burning,
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd.
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Speed. She that your worship loves?
Val. Why, how know you that I am in love? Speed. Marry, by these special marks. First, you have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like a malecontent; to relish a lovesong, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam ; to fast, like one that takes diet; to watch, like one that fears robbing; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you
looked sadly, it was for want of money : and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my
Val. Are all these things perceived in me? Speed. They are all perceived without ye. Val. Without me? they cannot.
Speed. Without you? nay, that's certain; for, without you were so simple, none else would : but you are so without these follies, that these follies are within you and shine through you like the water in an urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a physician to comment on your malady.
Val. But, tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia? Speed. She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper
Val. Hast thou observed that? even she I mean. Speed. Why, sir, I know her not.
Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet knowest her not?
Speed. Is she not hard-favoured, sir? Val. Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured. Speed. Sir, I know that well enough. Val. What dost thou know? Speed. That she is not so fair, as, of you, wellfavoured.
Val. I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.
Speed. That's because the one is painted and the other out of all count.
Speed. Because Love is blind. O! that you had mine eyes; or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going ungartered.
Val. What should I see then?
Val. How painted? and how out of count? Speed. Marry, sir, so painted to make her fair, that no man counts of her beauty.
Val. How esteemest thou me? I account of Nay, take them. her beauty.
Speed. You never saw her since she was deformed.
Val. How long hath she been deformed?
Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her, and still I see her beautiful.
Speed. If you love her you cannot see her.
Speed. Your own present folly and her passing deformity; for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose; and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.
Val. Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes. Speed. True, sir; I was in love with my bed. I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you for yours.
Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her. Speed. I would you were set, so your affection would cease.
Val. Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves.
Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good
Speed. Aside. O! give ye good even: here's a million of manners.
Sil. Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.
Speed. Aside. He should give her interest, and she gives it him.
Val. As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter Unto the secret nameless friend of yours; Which I was much unwilling to proceed in But for my duty to your ladyship. Sil. I thank you, gentle servant. "Tis very clerkly done.
Val. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off; For being ignorant to whom it goes I writ at random, very doubtfully.
Sil. Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
Val. No, madam: so it stead you, I will write, Please you command, a thousand times as much. And yet
Sil. A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel; And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not; And yet take this again; and yet I thank you, Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more. Speed. Aside. And yet you will; and yet another yet. Val. What means your ladyship? do you not like it?
Sil. Yes, yes the lines are very quaintly writ, But since unwillingly, take them again.
Val. Madam, they are for you.
Sil. Ay, ay; you writ them, sir, at my request, But I will none of them; they are for you. I would have had them writ more movingly. Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.
Sil. And when it's writ, for my sake read it
And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
Val. If it please me, madam, what then? Sil. Why, if it please you, take it for your labour:
And so good morrow, servant.
Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple!
My master sues to her, and she hath taught her suitor,
He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
write the letter?
Val. How now, sir! what are you reasoning with yourself?
Speed. Nay, I was riming: 'tis you that have
Val. To do what?
Speed. To be a spokesman from Madam Silvia.
Val. To whom?
Speed. To yourself. Why, she woos you by a figure.
Val. What figure?
Speed. By a letter, I should say.
Val. Why, she hath not writ to me?
Speed. What need she, when she hath made