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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. "T is 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".
VAL. Nay, I will not, for it boots thee not.

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VAL. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;

Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth
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 b, I fear, you '11 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 3, 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 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 leave.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters,
Of thy success in love, and what news else

■ However-in whatsoever way, "haply won," or "lost."

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.

To Milan. Let me hear from thee by letters, addressed to Milan.

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 play'd the sheep in losing him.
PRO. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,

An if the shepherd be a while away.


SPEED. 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.

• The original copy reads, "I love myself." The present reading was introduced by Pope. Sheep is pronounced ship in many English counties; hence Speed's small jest. Mr. Collier observes that in writings of the time "Sheep-street, in Stratford-upon-Avon, is often spelt Ship


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 jest would scarcely cover the coarseness, provided the slang term were of general acceptation.

SPEED. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.

PRO. Nay, in that you are astray a; 't were 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,

"T is threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.

PRO. But what said she? did she nod b?


PRO. Nod, I; why, that 's noddy.

[SPEED nods.

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.

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.

PRO. Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from 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 testern'd 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 wrack;

Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,

Being destined to a drier death on shore:

Astray. The adjective here should be read “a stray"—a stray sheep.

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

• I-the old spelling of the affirmative particle Ay.

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 letter;-she will be as hard to you in telling it, in person.

The same allusion to the proverb, "He that is born to be hanged," &c., occurs in 'The Tempest.'

I must go find some better messenger;
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.

SCENE II.-The same.


Garden of Julia's House.


JUL. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,

Wouldst thou then counsel me to fall in love? Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheedfully. JUL. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen,

That every day with parle a encounter me,

In thy opinion, which is worthiest love?

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

JUL. 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.
JUL. 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!
JUL. How now! what means this passion at his name?
Luc. Pardon, dear madam; 't is a passing shame,
That I, unworthy body as I am,

Should censure 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 reason but a woman's reason;
I think him so, because I think him so.

JUL. And wouldst 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 shows his love but small.
Luc. Fire that 's closest kept burns most of all.
JUL. They do not love that do not show their love.
Luc. O, they love least that let men know their love.

JUL. I would I knew his mind.

Parle-speech. The first folio spells it par'le, which shows the abbreviation of the original French parole.

Censure-give an opinion-a meaning which repeatedly occurs.

* Fire is here used as a dissyllable. When the reader has a key to the reading of such words— fer, hou-er-he may dispense with the notes that he will perpetually find on these matters in the earlier commentators.


Peruse this

paper, madam.

JUL. "To Julia,"-Say, from whom?

JUL. Say, say; who gave it thee?

That the contents will show.

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, 't is 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 hate.
JUL. Will you 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.
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 a 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!


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That you might kill your stomach on your meat,

And not upon your maid.

Took up so gingerly?

What is 't that you

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

Stomach is here used in the double sense of appetite, and obstinacy, or ill temper.

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