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Which, being writ to me, shall be delivered
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 a 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 what woman, I will not tell myself: and yet 'tis a milk-maid: 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 cate-log [pulling out a paper) of her condition. 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. Fie on thee, jolt-head; thou canst not read.
Speed. Thou liest, I can.
Laun. I will try thee: Tell me this ; Who begot thee?
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 saint Nicholas be thy speed !
Speed. Imprimis, She can milk.
Laun. Ay, that she can.
Speed. Item, She brews good ale.

Laun. And therefore 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.

Laun. A special virtue; for then she need not be 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. 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.

Speed. Item, She hath no teeth.
Laun. I care not for that neither, because I love crusts.
Speed. Item, She is curst.
Laun. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.
Speed. Item, 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. Item, 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 cannot I 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 : 0, 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 will I 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 did'st not tell me sooner? 'pox of your loveletters?

[Exit. 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 Palace.

Enter DUKE and TAURIO; PROTEUS behind.
Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love you,
Now Valentine is banished from her sight.

Thu. Since his exile she has despised me most,
Forsworn my company, and railed at me,
That I am desperate of obtaining her.

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure
Trenched 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.

Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.-
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee,
(For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,)
Makes me the better to confer with thee.

Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace,
Let me not live to look upon your grace.

Duke. Thou know'st, how willingly I would effect The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter..

Pro. I do, my lord.

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant How she opposes her against my will.

Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.

Duke. Ay, and perversely she persévers so. What might we do, to make the girl forget The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio ?

Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent; Three things that women highly hold in hate.

Duke. Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate.

Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Therefore it must, with circumstance, be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as his friend.

Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him.

Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loath to do: 'Tis an ill office for a gentleman; Especially against his very friend.

Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage him, Your slander never can endamage him; Therefore the office is indifferent, Being entreated to it by your friend.

Pro. You have prevailed, my lord: if I can do it, By aught that I can speak in his dispraise, She shall not long continue love to him. But say, this weed her love from Valentine, It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio.

Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him, Lest it should ravel, and be good to none, You must provide to bottom it on me: Which must be done, by praising me as much As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine.

Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind;
Because we know, on Valentine's report,
You are already love's firm votary,
And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
Upon this warrant shall you have access,
Where you with Silvia may confer at large;
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
And, for your friend's sake, will be glad of you;
Where you may temper her, by your persuasion,
To hate young Valentine, and love my friend.

Pro. As much as I can do, I will effect:
But you, Sir Thurio, are not sharp enough;
You must lay lime, to tangle her desires,
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
should be full fraught with serviceable vows.

Duke. Ay, much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.

Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
Write till your ink be dry; and with your tears
Moist it again; and frame some feeling line,
That may discover such integrity;
For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews;
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
After your dire-lamenting elegies,
Visit by night your lady's chamber window
With some sweet consort: to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump; the night's dead silence
Will well become such sweet complaining grievance.
This, or else nothing, will inherit her.

Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in love.

Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice : Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver Let us into the city presently To sort some gentlemen well skilled in music: I have a sonnet, that will serve the turn, To give the onset to thy good advice.

Duke. About it, gentlemen.

Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper: And afterward determine our proceedings. Duke. Even now about it; I will pardon you.

[Exeunt.

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