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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
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you:
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
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.
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
[Exit VALENTINE. Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love:
3 At Milan,] The old copy has-To Milan, and may be right. “ To Milan"-may here be intended as an imperfect sentence. I am now bound for Milan; or let me hear from thee by letters addressed to me at Milan. MALONE.
He leaves his friends, to dignify them more ;
Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : Saw you my mas
ter? 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 awhile away. Speed. You conclude that my master is a shep
herd 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 an
other. 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,
6 Mr. Pope's opinion that this scene was interpolated by the players scems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence to criticism. Johnson.
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 a 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.
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your
Speed. You mistook, sir ; I say, she did nod: and you ask me, if she did nod; and I I.
Pro. And that set together, is--noddy.
7 a laced mutton;] A laced mutton was in our author's time so established a term for a courtezan, that a street in Clerkenwell, which was much frequented by women of the town, was then called Mutton-lane.
8 — why that's noddy.] Mr. Steevens says noddy was a game at cards, but this play upon syllables is hårdly worth explaining. The speakers intend to fix the name of noddy, that is, fool, on each other.
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
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 :
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'st 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 her 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
- in telling her mind.] The old copy has“ –in telling your mind”—which Mr. Malone thinks is right. The meaning
-She being so hard to me who was the bearer of your mind, I fear she will prove no less so to you, when you address her in person. The opposition is between brought and telling.
have testern'd me;' in requital whereof, henceforth
Garden of Julia's house.
Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone,
Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll shew
According to my shallow simple skill.
- you have testern'd me ;) You have gratified me with a tester, testern, or testen, that is, with a sixpence. JOHNSON.
2 What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?] This Sir Eglamour must not be confounded with the persona dramatis of the same name. The latter lived at Milan, and had vowed “
pure chastity" upon the death of his “true love.” Perhaps Sir Églamour was once the common cant term for an insignificant inamorato.