DUKE, father to Silvia.

The two Gentlemen.
ANTONIO, father to Proteus.
THURIO, a foolish rival to Valentine.
EGLAMOUR, agent for Silvia, in her escape.
SPEED, a clownish servant to Valentine.
LAUNCE, the like to Proteus.
PANTHINO, servant to Antonio.


Host, where Julia lodges.
OUTLAWS with Valentine.
JULIA, a lady of Verona, beloved of Proteus.
Silvia, the Duke's daughter, beloved of Valentine.
LUCETTA, waiting-woman to Julia.

Servants, Musicians.
In the original, Proteus is invariably spelt Protheus.


SCENE I.-An open Place in Verona.


Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits;
Wer'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 danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy beadsman, Valentine.

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 boots in love.

Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swom the Hellespont.
Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.b
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

What ?
Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's

With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain ;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.

Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll prove.
Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not love.

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you :
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

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 his4 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 leave.
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.
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
Val. As much to you at home! and so, farewell.

Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love :
He leaves his friends to dignify them more;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter SPEED.

Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : Saw you my master? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.

Speed. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already; And I have played the sheep, in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away.

1 Steevens gives the passage thus :

Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not.

What ?

To be
In love, where scorn is bought with groans; coy looks

With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth, &c. By this reading, the Alexandrine in the line beginning with “coy looks” is avoided ;-but the force and harmony of the entire passage are weakened. Our reading is that of the edit. of 1623. We mention this deviation from the reading of the common octavo edition here; but we shall not often repeat this sort of notice. Steevens having a notion of metre which placed its highest excellence in monotonous regularity, has unsparingly maimed the text, or stuck something upon

it, to satisfy his “finger-counting ear.” We shall silently restore the text, as Malone has in many cases done.

2 However. In whatsoever way, “haply won," or "lost.”

3 Circumstance. The word is used by the two speakers in different senses. Proteus employs it in the meaning of circumstantial deduction ; —Valentine in that of position. 4 According to modern construction, we should read its verdure.

In an elaborate note by Professor Craik, in his valuable " Philological Commentary on Julius Cæsar," he has clearly shown that “ His was formerly neuter as well as masculine, or the genitive of It as well as of He."

5 To Milan. Let me hear from thee by letters, addressed to Milan. To is the reading of the first folio, and has been restored by Malone.

The original copy reads, “ I love myself.”


Act 1.]



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Specd. You conclude that my master is a shepherd then,

and I a sheep? Pro. I do. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether I

wake or sleep.
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.

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? gav'st 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;a '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 over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.

Pro. But what said she did she nod ?3 [SPEED nods.
Speed. 1.4
Pro. Nod, I; why, that's noddy.

Speed. You mistook, sir; I say, she did nod: and you ask me, if she did nod; and I say, I.

Pro. And that set together, is—noddy. 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.
Specd. And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: What said she?

Specd. 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.
Pro. Why? Could'șt thou perceive so much from her?

Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not so much as a ducatd 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

Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love?

Luc. Ay, madam, so you stuinble not unheedfully.

Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, That every day with parle? encounter me, In thy opinion, which is worthiest love?

Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll shew my mind According to my shallow simple skill.

Ful. What think'st thou of the fair sir Eglamour ?

Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
But, were I you, he never should be mine.

Ful. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ?
Luc. Well of his wealth ; but of himself, so, so.
Jul. What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus ?
Luc. Lord, lord! to see what folly reigns in us!
ul. How now! what means this passion at his name?

Luc. Pardon, dear madam; 'tis a passing shame,
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censures thus on lovely gentlemen.

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Luc. Then thus,--of many good I think him best.
Jul. Your reason?

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason;
I think him so, because I think him so.

Jul. And would'st thou have me cast my love on him?
Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away.
Jul. Why, he of all the rest hath never mov'd me.
Luc. Yet he of all the rest, I think, best loves ye.
Jul. His little speaking shews his love but small.
Luc. Fire' that's closest kept burns most of all.
Jul. They do not love that do not shew their love.
Luc. O, they love least that let men know their love.
Jul. I would I knew his mind.

Peruse this paper, madam.
Jul. To Julia,–Say, from whom?

That the contents will shew.
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 way,
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.

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1 A laced mutton. The commentators have much doubtful learning on this passage. They maintain that the epithet “laced” was a very uncomplimentary epithet of Shakspere's time; and that the words taken together apply to a female of loose character. This is probable ; but then the insolent application, by Speed, of the term to Julia is received by Proteus very patiently. The original meaning of the verb lace is to catch-to hold (see Tooke's Diversions, &c., part ii. ch. 4); from which the noun lace,-any thing which catches or holds. Speed might, therefore, without an insult to the mistress of Proteus, say—I, a lost sheep, gave your letter to her, a caught sheep.

2 Ástray. The adjective here should be read “ a stray-a stray sheep.

3 Did she nod? These words, not in the original text, were introduced by Theobald. The stage-direction, “ Speed nods,” is also modern.

41. The old spelling of the affirmative particle Ay.

5 The second folio changes the passage to her mind." The first gives it your mind.”. Speed says,-she was hard to me that brought your mind, by leiter ;-she will be as hard to you in telling it, in person.

6 The same allusion to the proverb, “He that is born to be hanged,” &c., occurs in the Tempest.

? Parle. Speech. The first folio spells it par’le, which shows the abbreviation of the original French parole.

8 Censure. Give an opinion—a meaning which repeatedly occurs.

9 Fire is here used as a dissyllable. Steevens, whose ear received it as a mono. syllable, corrupted the reading. In Act II. Sc. VII., we have this line

“But qualify the fire's extreme rage.” See Walker, on “Shakespeare's Versification,” Ş xviii. The present play furnishes other examples, such as

“ Trenched in ice, which with an hour's heat." When the reader has a key to the reading of such words-fi-er, hou-er-he may dispense with the notes that he will perpetually find on these matters in the pages of Steevens.



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 hate.
Ful. Will you be gone?

That you may ruminate. [Exit.
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.
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 ?

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

To be so anger'd with another letter.

[Exit. 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 writ-love-wounded Proteus :Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed, Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal'd; 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

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Re-enter LUCETTA.

What would your ladyship?
Jul. Is't near dinner time?

I would it were;
That you might kill your stomach on your meat,
And not upon your maid.

What is't you


up So gingerly?

Luc. Nothing

Why didst thou stoop then?
Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall.
Jul. And is that paper nothing?

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 rhyme.

Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune: Give me a note: your ladyship can set.3

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

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
Jul. Heavy? belike, it hath some burden then.
Luc. Ay; and melodious were it, would you sing it.
Jul. And why not you?

I cannot reach so high.
Ful. 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?
Luc. No, madam; 'tis too sharp.
Ful. You, minion, are too saucy.

Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant:4
There wanteth but a mean” to fill your song.

Ful. The mean is drown’d with you, unruly base.
Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.

Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble m
Here is a coil with protestation !

(Tears the letter.

Re-enter LUCETTA. Luc. Madam, dinner is ready, and your father stays. Ful. Well, let us go. Luc. What, shall these papers lie 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.10

Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you see; I see things too, although you judge I wink.

Jul. Come, come, wilt please you go. [Exeunt.

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Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad "I talk was that, Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister?

Pan. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son.
Ant. Why, what of him?

Pan. He wonder'd, that your lordship
Would suffer him to spend his youth at home;
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.h
For any, or for all these exercises,
He said, that Proteus, your son, was meet :
And did request me, to importune you,

1 What’ fool (for what a fool). -Dyce.

2 Angerly, not angrily, as many modern editions have it, was the adverb used in Shakspere's time.

3 Set. ` Compose. Julia plays upon the word, in the next line, in a different sense,-to “set by," being to make account of.

1 Descant. The simple air, in music, was called the “Plain song," or ground. The “descant” was what we now call a “variation.”

5 Mean. The tenor. The whole of the musical allusions in this passage show that the terms of the art were familiar to a popular audience.

6 You in the original. The ordinary reading is “your unruly base." ; . The quibbling Lucetta here turns the allusion to the country game of base, or prison-base, in which one runs and challenges another to pursue.

8 Fearful-hanging, adopted from Delius, in Camb. edit., 1863.

For catching cold. Lest they should catch cold.

10 The month's mind, in one form of the expression, referred to the solemn mass, or other obsequies directed to be performed for the repose of the soul, under the will of a deceased person. The strong desire with which this ceremony was regarded in Catholic times might have rendered the general expression “month's mind” equivalent to an eager longing, in which sense it is generally thought to be here used. But we are not quite sure that it means a strong and abiding desire ; two lines in “Hudibras” would seem to make the “month's mind” only a passing inclination :-

" For if a trumpet sound, or drum beat,

Who hath not a month's mind to combat." 11 Sad. Serious.

Act II.]



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

[Exeunt Ant. and PAN.
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 shew 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 shews all the beauty of the sun,

And by and by a cloud takes all away!

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 that
Whereon this month I have been hammering.
I have considered well his loss of time;
And how he cannot be a perfect man,
Not being try'd, and tutored 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?

Pan. I think, your lordship is no: ignorant,
How his companion, youthful Valentine,
Attends the emperor in his royal court.

Ant. I know it well.
Pan. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent him

thither :
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,k
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.

Pan. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Alphonso,
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 gond time.Now will we break with him.2

Re-enter PANTHINO.

Pan. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you; He is in haste; therefore, I pray you go.

Pro. Why, this it is! my heart accords thereto; And yet a thousand times it answers, no. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.-Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace.



Pro. Sweet love ! sweet lines ! sweet life!
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart;
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn :
O, that our fathers would applaud our loves,
To seal our happiness with their consents!
O, heavenly Julia !

Ant. How now? what letter are you reading there?

Pro. May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two
Of commendation sent from Valentine,
Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.

Ant. Lend me the letter; let me see what news.

Pro. There is no news, my lord; but that he writes How happily he lives, how well-beloved, And daily graced by the emperor ; Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune.

Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish ?

Pro. As one relying on your lordship's will,
And not depending on his friendly wish.

Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish :
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed ;
For what I will, I will, and there an end.
I am resolv'd, that thou shalt spend some time
With Valentinus in the emperor's court;
What maintenance he from his friends receives,
Like exhibition 3 thou shalt have from me.
To-morrow be in readiness to go:
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:

Speed. Sir, your glove."
Val. Not mine; my gloves are on.
Speed. Why then this may be yours, for this is but one.

Val. Ha! let me see : ay, give it me, it's mine :-
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine !
Ah Silvia ! Silvia !

Speed. Madam Silvia ! madam Silvia !
Val. How now, sirrah ?
Speed. She is not within hearing, sir.

Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her ?
Speed. Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.

Val. Well, you'll still be too forward.
Speed. And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.
Val. Go to, sir ; tell me, do you know madam Silvia ?
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 wreath your arms like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like a Robin-red-breast; 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 ;5 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 master.

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


? In good time. As Antonio is declaring his intention Proteus appears; the speaker, therefore, breaks off with the expression, “ in good time”-àpropos.

2 Break with him. Break the matter to him,-a form which repeatedly

3 Exhibition. Stipend, allowance. The word is still used in this sense in our universities.

* The quibble here depends upon the pronunciation of one, which was anciently pronounced as if it were written on.

* To walk like one of the lions, is thus commented on by Ritson: “If Shak

spere had not been thinking of the lions in the Tower, he would have written · like a lion.'”?-Shakspere was thinking dramatically; and he therefore made Speed use an image with which he might be familiar. The firm, decided step of a lion, furnished an apt illustration of the bold bearing of Speed's master before he was a lover. The comparison was not less just, when made with “one of the lions ; ” ---and the use of that comparison was in keeping with Speed's character, whilst the lofty image, “like a lion," would not have been so. The "clownish servant” might compare his master to a caged lion, without being poetical, which Shakspere did not intend him to be.

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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 know'st her not? Speed. Is shenot 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) well favoured.

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.

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 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. 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 ? Speed. Your own present folly, and her passing deformity: for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose;c 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. Speed. And have you? Val. I have. Speed. Are they not lamely writ?

Val. No, boy, but as well as I can do them. Peace, here she comes.

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. And yet you will; and yet another yet. [Aside.
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;
Nay, take them.

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 over : 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.

[Exit SILVIA. 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 rhyming; '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 wooes 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 you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?

Val. No, believe me.

Speed. No believing you indeed, sir: But did you perceive her earnest?

Val. She gave me none, except an angry word. Speed. Why, she hath given you a letter. · Val. That's the letter I writ to her friend.

Speed. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and there an end.

Val. I would it were no worse.
Speed. I'll warrant you 'tis as well.

For often have you writ to her; and she, in modesty,
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply ;
Or fearing else some messenger, that might her mind discover,
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.


Speed. O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet! now will he interpret to her.2

Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good-morrows.

Speed. O, 'give ye good even! here's a million of manners.

Sil. Sir Valentine and servant,d to you. two thousand.
Speed. 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.

All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.-
Why muse you, sir? 'tis dinner time.

Val. I have dined. Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir; though the cameleon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my victuals, and would fain have meat. O, be not like your mistress; be moved, be moved.4


| Motion. A puppet-show. Silvia is the puppet, and Valentine will interpret for her. The master of the show was, in Shakspere's time, often called interpreter to the puppets.

2 Capell and Cambridge edit. give these speeches of Speed as (Aside.

3 In print. With exactness. Speed is repeating, or affects to be repeating, some lines which he has read.

4 Be moved. Have compassion on me.


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