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VAL. And on a love-book pray for my success ?
How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.
For he was more than over shoes in love.
And yet you never swom the Hellespont.
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
prove. Pro. 'T is 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.
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters e,
• 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.
He leaves his friends to dignify them more;
And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.
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 muttono;
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 Shipstreet."
• 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.
'T is threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover. PRO. But what said she? did she nod b?
[SPEED nods. SPEED. IC. 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 bave 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
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 d. 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,
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 inThe Tempest.
I must go find some better messenger;
SCENE II.-The same.
Garden of Julia's House.
Enter JULIA and LUCETTA. 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?
According to my shallow simple skill.
But, were I you, he never should be mine.
That I, unworthy body as I am,
Should censureb thus on lovely gentlemen.
I think him so, because I think him so.
• 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 fi-er, hou-er-he may dispense with the notes that he will perpetually find on these matters in the earlier commentators.
madam. JUL.“ To Julia,"—Say, from whom? Luc.
That the contents will show. JUL. Say, say;
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.
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines ?
Or else return no more into my sight.
[Erit. JUL. And yet, I would I had o'erlook'd the letter.
It were a shame to call her back again,
What would your ladyship?
I would it were ;
And not upon your maid.
What is 't that you Took up so gingerly?
Angerly, not angrily, as many modern editions have it, was the adverb used in Shakspere's time.
• Stomach is here used in the double sense of appetite, and obstinacy, or ill temper.