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SCENE.-Sometimes in Verona, sometimes in Milan, and on the frontiers of Mantua.

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Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus :
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Were 't not affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardiz'd at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But since thou lov'st, love still and thrive therein,
Even as I would when I to love begin.


Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine,
adieu !

Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
Wish me partaker in thy happiness

When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy

If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.

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Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu! My father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our

To Milan let me hear from thee by letters
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.
22 Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
Val. As much to you at home! and so, farewell.

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success?
Pro. Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love,
How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love,
For he was more than over shoes in love.
Val. "Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swum the Hellespont.
Pro. Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with

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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?

Speed. Ay.

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,


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Jul. To Julia.' Say, from whom?

That the contents will show.
Jul. Say, say, who gave it thee?
Luc. Sir Valentine's page; and sent, I think,
from Proteus.

He would have given it you, but I, being in the

Did in your name receive it: pardon the fault,
I pray.

Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines?
To whisper and conspire against my youth?
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth
And you an officer fit for the place.
There, take the paper: see it be return'd;
Or else return no more into my sight.

Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than

Jul. Will ye be gone?


That you may ruminate.
Jul. And yet I would I had o'erlook'd the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. 50
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
And would not force the letter to my view!
Since maids, in modesty, say 'No' to that
Which they would have the profferer construe 'Ay.'
Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse
And presently all humbled kiss the rod.
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence,
When willingly I would have had her here:
How angerly I taught my brow to frown,
When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile.
My penance is, to call Lucetta back
And ask remission for my folly past.
What ho! Lucetta!

No, madam; it is too sharp.
Jul. You, minion, are too saucy.
Nay, now you are too flat
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song.
Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly bass.
Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.
Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble




Here a coil with protestation! Tears the letter.
Go get you gone, and let the papers lie:
You would be fingering them, to anger me.

Luc. She makes it strange, but she would be
best pleas'd

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!
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings!
I'll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ 'kind Julia.' Unkind Julia!
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
And here is writlove-wounded Proteus.'
Poor wounded name! my bosom as a bed
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be throughly

Jul. Why didst thou stoop then?

That I let fall.

Re-enter LUCETTA.

What would your ladyship?
Jul. Is it near dinner-time?
I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat
And not upon your maid.

Jul. What is 't that you took up so gingerly?
Luc. Nothing.


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.
But twice or thrice was 'Proteus' written down:
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away
Till I have found each letter in the letter,
Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful-hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea!
Lo! here in one line is his name twice writ,
Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus,
To the sweet Julia': that I'll tear away;
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names.
Thus will I fold them one upon another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Re-enter LUCETTA.

And is that paper nothing? 71
Luc. Nothing concerning me.
Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns,
Unless it have a false interpreter.

Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in rime.
Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune:
Give me a note: your ladyship can set.

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Jul. Heavy! belike it hath some burthen then? SCENE III.-The Same. A Room in ANTONIO'S
Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you


sing it.


Luc. Madam,

Dinner is ready, and your father stays.
Jul. Well, let us go.

Luc. What shall these papers lic like tell-
tales here?


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.
Jul. Come, come; will 't please you go?



Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?
Pant. Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Ant. Why, what of him?
He wonder'd that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home,

With Valentinus in the emperor's court:
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
To-morrow be in readiness to go:

10 Excuse it not, for I am peremptory.

Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided:
Please you, deliberate a day or two.

Ant. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent
after thee:

No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go.
Come on, Panthino: you shall be employ'd
To hasten on his expedition.


While other men, of slender reputation,
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out:
Some to the wars, to try their fortune there;
Some to discover islands far away;
Some to the studious universities.
For any or for all these exercises

He said that Proteus your son was meet,
And did request me to importune you
To let him spend his time no more at home,
Which would be great impeachment to his age,
In having known no travel in his youth.

Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to


Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have consider'd well his loss of time
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being tried and tutor'd in the world:
Experience is by industry achiev'd
And perfected by the swift course of time.
Then tell me, whither were I best to send him?
Pant. I think your lordship is not ignorant
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor in his royal court.

Ant. I know it well.


Pant. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him thither.

There shall he practise tilts and tournaments, 30
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen,
And be in eye of every exercise
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.

Ant. I like thy counsel; well hast thou advis'd:
And that thou may'st perceive how well I like it
The execution of it shall make known.
Even with the speediest expedition

I will dispatch him to the emperor's court.
Pant. To-morrow, may it please you, Don

With other gentlemen of good esteem
Are journeying to salute the emperor
And to commend their service to his will.

Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go:

And in good time. Now will we break with him.


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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.
I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter,
Lest he should take exceptions to my love;
And with the vantage of mine own excuse
Hath he excepted most against my love.
O! how this spring of love resembleth

The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.


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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

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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?
Speed. Ever since you loved her.

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.
Val. Why?


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.


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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.
O excellent device! was there ever heard a better,
That my master, being scribe, to himself should

write the letter?

Val. How now, sir! what are you reasoning with yourself?

Speed. Nay, I was riming: 'tis you that have

the reason.

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

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