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Val.

My lord, I will be thankful
To any happy messenger from thence.

Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your countryman?
Val. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman
To be of worth, and worthy estimation,
And not without desert so well reputed.

Duke. Hath he not a son?

Val. Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves The honour and regard of such a father.

Duke. You know him well?

Val. I knew him, as myself; for from our infancy
We have convers'd, and spent our hours together:
And though myself have been an idle truant,
Omitting the sweet benefit of time,

To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection;
Yet hath Sir Proteus, for that's his name,
Made use and fair advantage of his days;
His years but young, but his experience old;
His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe;
And, in a word, (for far behind his worth
Come all the praises that I now bestow,)
He is complete in feature, and in mind,
With all good grace to grace a gentleman.

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Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you;
I know, you joy not in a love-discourse.

Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now:
I have done penance for contemning love;
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans,
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs;
For, in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes,
And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow
O, gentle Proteus, love's a mighty lord;
And hath so humbled me, as, I confess,
There is no woe to his correction,
Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth!
Now, no discourse, except it be of love;
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep,

Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good, Upon the very naked name of love."

He is as worthy for an empress' love,

As meet to be an emperor's counsellor.
Well, sir; this gentleman is come to me,
With commendation from great potentates;
And here he means to spend his time a-while :
I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you.

Val. Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.
Duke. Welcome him then according to his worth;
Silvia, I speak to you; and you, sir Thurio:-
For Valentine, I need not 'cite him to it:
I'll send him hither to you presently. [Exit Duke.
Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship,
Had come along with me, but that his mistress
Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks.

Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchis'd them
Upon some other pawn for fealty.
[still.

Val. Nay, sure, I think she holds them prisoners Sil. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind,

How could he see his way to seek out you?

Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes. Thu. They say, that love hath not an eye at all. Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself; Upon a homely object love can wink.

Enter PROTEUS.

Sil. Have done, have done; here comes the gen-
tleman.
[seech you,
Val. Welcome, dear Proteus!-Mistress, I be-
Confirm his welcome with some special favour.
Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither,
If this be he, you oft have wish'd to hear from.
Val. Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.

Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant
To have a look of such a worthy mistress.

Val. Leave off discourse of disability:-
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.

Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed;
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress.
Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
Sil. That you are welcome?
Pro.

No; that you are worthless.
Enter Servant.

Ser. Madam, my lord your father would speak
with you

Sil. I'll wait upon his pleasure. (Exit Servant.)
Come, sir Thurio,

Go with me:-Once more, new servant, welcome :
I'll leave you to confer of home affairs;
When you have done, we look to hear from you.
Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.

[ Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and Speed.

Pro. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye:
Was this the idol that you worship so?
Val. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint"
Pro. No; but she is an earthly paragon.
Val. Call her divine.

Pro.
I will not flatter her.
Val. O, flatter me; for love delights in praises.
Pro. When I was sick you gave me bitter pills,
And I must minister the like to you.

Val. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine,
Yet let her be a principality,

Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.
Pro. Except my mistress.
Val.
Sweet, except not any,
Except thou will except against my love.
Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too:
She shall be dignified with this high honour,-
To bear my lady's train; lest the base earth
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss,
And, of so great a favour growing proud,
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower,
And make rough winter everlasting.

Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this
Val. Pardon me, Proteus: all I can, is nothing
To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing.
She is alone.

Pro. Then let her alone.

Val. Not for the world: why, man, she is me
And I as rich in having such a jewel,
As twenty seas, if all their sands were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee,
Because thou seest me dote upon my love.
My foolish rival, that her father likes,
Only for his possessions are so huge,
Is gone with her along; and I must after,
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy.
Pro. But she loves you?

Val.
Ay, we are betroth'd
Nay, more, our marriage hour,
With all the cunning manner of our flight,
Determin'd of: how I must climb her window;
The ladder made of cords; and all the means
Plotted; and 'greed on, for my happiness.
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber,
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel
Pro. Go on before; I shall enquire you forth:
I must unto the road, to disembark
Some necessaries that I needs must use;
And then I'll presently attend you.
Val. Will you make haste?
Pro. I will.

[Exit Va

Even as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
So the remembrance of my former love

Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Is it mine eye, or Valentinus' praise,
Her true perfection, or my false transgression,
That makes me reasonless, to reason thus?
She's fair; and so is Julia, that I love ;-
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd;
Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire,
Bears no impression of the thing it was.
Methinks, my zeal to Valentine is cold;
And that I love him not, as I was wont:
O but I love his lady too, too much;
And that's the reason I love him so little.
How shall I dote on her with more advice,
That thus without advice begin to love her?
Tis but her picture I have yet beheld,
And that hath dazzled my reason's light;
But when I look on her perfections,
There is no reason but I shall be blind.
If I can check my erring love I will;
If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.

SCENE V.-The same. A street.

[Exit.

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Loun. No.

Speed. How then? shall he marry her?
Laun. No, neither.

Speed. What, are they broken?

Larn. No, they are both as whole as a fish.
Speed. Why then, how stands the matter with
them.?

Laun. Marry, thus; when it stands well with
, it stands well with her.
[not.
Speed. What an ass art thon? I understand thee
Laun. What a block art thou, that thou can'st

My staff understands me.

Speed. What thou say'st?

Lun. Ay, and what I do, too: look thee, I'll but
an, and my staff understands me.
Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.

Laun, Why, stand under and understand is all one.
Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match?
Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he
my, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing,
A will

Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.
Lun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from
se, but by a parable.

Speed. Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?

Lawn. I never knew him otherwise.
Speed. Than how?

> be.

Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him
[me.
Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest
Laun. Why fool, I meant not thee, I meant thy

master.

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover. Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he car himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the ale-honse, so; if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian. Speed. Why?

[blocks in formation]

Sc. VI. The same. An Apartment in the Palace
Enter PROTEUS.

Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
And even that power, which gave me first my oath
Provokes me to this threefold perjury.

Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear:
O sweet-suggesting love, if thou hast sinn'd,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
At first I did adore a twinkling star,

But now I worship a celestial sun.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit, that wants resolved will
To learn his wit to change the bad for better.-
Fye, fye, unreverend tongue! to call her bad,
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;
But there I leave to love, where I should love.
Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose :
If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
If I lose them, thus find I by their loss,
For Valentine, myself: for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend;
For love is still more precious in itself:
And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair!
Shews Julia but a swarthy Ethiope.
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Rememb'ring that my love to her is dead;
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,
Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.
I cannot now prove constant to myself,
Without some treachery used to Valentine:-
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder,
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window;
Myself in counsel, his competitor:
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising, and pretended flight;
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine;"
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter:
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross,
By some sly trick, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift.
SCENE VII.-Verona. A Room in Julia's House.
Enter JULIA and LUCETTA.

[Exit.

Jul. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me !
And, even, in kind love, I do conjure thee,-
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character'd and engrav'd,—
To lesson me; and tell me some good mean,
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.

Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.
Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly;
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus.

[food?

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return.
Jul. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By louging for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns
The current, that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But, when his fair course is not hindered,

Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stones,

Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course:
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Luc. But in what habit will you go along?
Jul. Not like a woman; for I would prevent
The loose encounters of lascivious men:
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.
Luc. Why then, your ladyship must cut your hair.
Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings,
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots:
To be fantastic, may become a youth

Of greater time than I shall show to be. [breeches?
Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your
Jul. That fits as well, as-" tell me, good my lord,
"What compass will you wear your farthingale?"
Why, even that fashion thou best lik'st, Lucetta.
Luc. You must needs have them with a cod-piece,
madam.

Jul. Out, out, Lucetta; that will be ill-favour'd. Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on.

Jul. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly: But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me, For undertaking so unstaid a journey?

I fear me, it will make me scandaliz❜d.

Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend,
This night intends to steal away your daughter;
Myself am one made privy to the plot.
I know, you have determin'd to bestow her
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates,
And should she thus be stolen away from you,
It would be much vexation to your age.
Thus, for my daty's sake, I rather chose
To cross my friend in his intended drift,
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head
A pack of sorrows, which would press you down,
Being unprevented, to your timeless grave.

Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care
Which to requite, command me while I live.
This love of theirs myself have often seen,
Haply, when they have judged me fast asleep;
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid
Sir Valentine her company, and my court:
But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err,
And so, unworthily, disgrace the man,
(A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,)
I gave him gentle looks; thereby to find
That, which thyself hast now disclos'd to me.
And, that thou may'st perceive my fear of this,
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower,
The key whereof myself have ever kept;
And thence she cannot be convey'd away.

Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean
How he her chamber-window will ascend,
And with a corded ladder fetch her down;
For which the youthful lover now is gone,
And this way comes he with it presently;
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him.

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not. But, good my lord, do it so cunningly,
Jul. Nay, that I will not.

Luc. Then never dream of infamy, but go.
If Proteus like your journey, when you come,
No matter who's displeas'd, when you are gone:
I fear me he will scarce be pleas'd withal.

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear:
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
And instances as infinite of love,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men.
Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect;
But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth:
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate;
His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart;
His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth.
Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come
to him!

[wrong,

Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that
To bear a hard opinion of his truth;
Only deserve my love, by loving him;
And presently go with me to my chamber,
To take a note of what I stand in need of,
To furnish me upon my longing journey.
All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation;
Only, in lieu thereof, despatch me hence:
Come, answer not, but to it presently;
I am impatient of my tarriance.

ACT III.

[Exeunt.

SCENE I-Milan. An Anti-room in the Duke's

Palace.

Enter DUKE, THURIO, and PROTEUS.
Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile;
We have some secrets to confer about.-

[Exit Thurio.
Now tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me?
Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would dis-
The law of friendship bids me to conceal: [cover,
But, when I call to mind your gracious favours
Done to me, undeserving as I am,
My duty pricks me on to utter that,
Which else no worldly good should draw from me.

That my discovery be not aimed at;
For love of you, not hate unto my friend,
Hath made me publisher of this pretence.
Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know
That I had any light from thee of this.
Pro. Adieu, my lord; sir Valentine is coming.
Enter VALENTINE.

(Erit

Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast?
Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger
That stays to bear my letters to my friends,
And I am going to deliver them.

Duke. Be they of much import?

[ward

Val. The tenor of them doth but signify
My health, and happy being at your court.
Duke. Nay, then no matter; stay with me awhile:
I am to break with thee of some affairs,
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret.
"Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought
To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter.
Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match
Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities
Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter:
Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?
Duke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, fro
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty:
Neither regarding that she is my child,
Nor fearing me as if I were her father:
And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers,
Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her;
And, where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty,
I now am full resolved to take a wife,
And turn her out to who will take her in:
Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower;
For me and my possessions she esteems not.
Val. What would your grace have me to do in this?
Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan, here,
Whom I affect; but she is nice, and coy,
And nought esteems my aged eloquence:
Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor
(For long agone I have forgot to court:
Besides, the fashion of the time is chang'd ;)
How, and which way, I may bestow myself,

To be regarded in her sun-bright eye.

Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words: Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind, More than quick words, do move a woman's mind. Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her. Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best conSend her another; never give her o'er; [tents her: For scorn at first makes after-love the more. If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you, Bat rather to beget more love in you: If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone; For why, the fools are mad, if left alone. Take no repulse, whatever she doth say; For, get you gone, she doth not mean away: Fatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces; Though ne'er so black, say, they have angels' faces. That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.

Duke. But she, I mean, is promis'd by her friends Into a youthful gentleman of worth; And kept severely from resort of men, That no man hath access by day to her.

Val. Why then I would resort to her by night. Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept That no man hath recourse to her by night. [safe,

Val. What lets, but one may enter at her window? Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground; And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it Without apparent hazard of his life.

Val. Why then, a ladder, quaintly made of cords, To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks, Would serve to scale another Hero's tower, So bold Leander would adventure it.

Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me where I may have such a ladder. [that. Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for every thing that he can come by.

Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. D.ke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone; fox shall I best convey the ladder thither?

Fal. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it Laber a cloak, that is of any length.

[turn.

Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the Val. Ay, my good lord.

Duke. Then let me see thy cloak: It me one of such another length.

[Reads.

Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord. Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak?Iray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.What letter is this same ?What's here?-To Silvia? And here an engine fit for my proceeding! Libe so bold to break the seal for once. My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly; Andslares they are to me, that send them flying: 0. could their master come and go as lightly, Hmself would lodge, where senseless they are lying.

My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them; While I, their king, that thither them impórtune, De curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them,

Because myself do want my servants' fortune: 1urse myself, for they are sent by me, [be. Tt they should harbour where their lord should What's here?

Micia, this night I will enfranchise thee:
Isso: and here's the ladder for the
purpose.-
Way, Phaeton, (for thou art Merops' son,)
Wt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
Ad with thy daring folly burn the world?
Wat thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
G9, base intruder! over-weening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates;
And think, my patience, more than thy desert,
privilege for thy departure hence:

Thank me for this, more than for all the favours,
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee.
Bet if thou linger in my territories,
Longer than swiftest expedition

|

{ment ?

Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself.
Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse;
But as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.
[Exit Duke.
Val. And why not death, rather than living tor-
To die, is to be banish'd from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her,
Is self from self; a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by,
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale :
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon:
She is my essence; and I leave to be,
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE.

Pro. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
Laun. So-ho! so-ho!

Pro. What seest thou?

[blocks in formation]

Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!— What is your news? [vanish'd.

Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are Pro. That thou art banished, O, that's the news; From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.

Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already, And now excess of it will make me surfeit. Doth Silvia know that I am banished?

[them,

Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, (Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force,) A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears: Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd; With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became As if but now they waxed pale for woe: But neither bended knees, pure hands held up, Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears, Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire: But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die. Besides, her intercession chaf'd him so, When she for thy repeal was suppliant, That to close prison he commanded her, With many bitter threats of biding there.

Val. No more; unless the next word, that thou speak'st,

Have some malignant power upon my life.
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,

As ending anthem of my endless dolour.

Pro. Cease to lament for that thou can'st not help, And study help, for that which thou lament'st. Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love; Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life. Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, And manage it against despairing thoughts. Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence; Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love. The time now serves not to expostulate : Come, I'll convey thee through the city gate; And, ere I part with thee, confer at large Of all that may concern thy love-affairs: As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself, Regard thy danger, and along with me.

Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy, Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north-gate. Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out.-Come, Valentine. Val. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine!

[Exeunt Valentine and Proteus.

Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now, that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a woman: but that woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milkmaid; yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips: yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel,-which is much in a bare christian. Here is the cat-log (Pulling out a paper) of her conditions. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.

Enter SPEED.

Speed. How now, signior Launce? what news with your mastership?

Laun. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea. Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word: what news then in your paper?

Laun. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st
Speed. Why, man, how black?
Laun. Why, as black as ink.
Speed. Let me read them.

Laun, Fye on thee, jolt-head; thou canst not read.
Speed. Thou liest, I can.
[thee?
Laun. I will try thee: tell me this: who begot
Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather.
Laun. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy
grandmother: this proves, that thou canst not read.
Speed. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper.
Laun. There; and St. Nicholas be thy speed!
Speed. Imprimis, She can milk.
Laun. Ay, that she can.

Speed. Item, She brews good ale. Laun. And thereof comes the proverb,-Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.

Speed. Item, She can sew.

Laun. That's as much as to say, Can she so?
Speed. Item, She can knit.

Laun. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him a stock? Speed. Item, She can wash and scour.

Speed. Item, She is not to be kissed fasting, in respect of her breath.

Laun. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: read on.

Speed. Item, She hath a sweet mouth. Laun. That makes amends for her sour breath. Speed. Item, She doth talk in her sleep. Laun. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.

Speed. Item, She is slow in words.

Laun. O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow in words, is a woman's only virtue: I pray thee, out with't; and place it for her chief virtue.

Speed. Item, She is proud.

Laun. Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy, and cannot be ta'en from her.

[crusts

Speed. Item, She hath no teeth.
Laun. I care not for that neither, because I love
Speed. Item, She is curst.

Laun. Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
Speed. She will often praise her liquor.
Laun. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will
not, I will; for good things should be praised.
Speed. Ítem, She is too liberal.

Laun. Of her tongue she cannot; for that's writ down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not; for that I'll keep shut: now of another thing she may; and that I cannot help. Well, proceed.

Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.

Laun. Stop there; I'll have her; she was mine, and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article rehearse that once more.

Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit,

Laun. More hair than wit,-it may be; I'll prove it: the cover of the salt hides the salt, and therefore it is more than the salt; the hair that covers the wit, is more than the wit; for the greater hides the less. What's next?

Speed. And more faults than hairs,Laun. That's monstrous: O, that that were out Speed. And more wealth than faults. Laun. Why, that word makes the faults gracious Well, I'll have her: and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,

Speed. What then?

Laun. Why, then I will tell thee, that thy master stays for thee at the north gate. Speed. For me?

Laun. For thee? ay; who art thou? he hath staid for a better man than thee.

Speed. And must I go to him?

Laun. Thou must run to him, for thou hast staid so long, that going will scarce serve the turn. Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? 'pox of your love-letters!

Erit

Laun. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter: an unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets!-I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.

[Exit

SCENE II-The same. A Room in the Duke's Pa-
lace. Enter DUKE and THURIO; PROTEUS behind
Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.
Thu. Since his exile she hath despis'd me most,
Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me,

Laun. A special virtue; for then she need not be That I am desperate of obtaining her. washed and scoured.

Speed. Item, She can spin.

Laun. Then may I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living.

Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues. Laun. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.

Speed. Here follow her vices.

Laun. Close at the heels of her virtues.

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Lyou,

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure Trench'd in ice; which with an hour's heat, Dissolves to water, and doth lose his form. A little time will melt her frozen thoughts, And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.— How now, sir Proteus? Is your countryman, According to our proclamation, gone?

Pro. Gone, my good lord.

Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously. Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.

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