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Speed. Why, man, how black ?
Laun. Why, as black as ink.
Speed. Let me read them.

Laun. Fye 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 i 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 thereof 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.S.

Speed. Item, She can wash and scour.

Laun. A special virtue; for then she need not be washed and scoured,

the son of thy grandmother :) It is undoubtedly true that the mother only knows the legitimacy of the child. I suppose Launce infers, that if he could read, he must have read this well-known observation. STEEVENS.

2-saint Nicholas be thy speed!] St. Nicholas presided over scholars, who were therefore called St. Nicholas's clerks. That this saint presided over young scholars, may be gathered from Knight's Life of Dean Colet, p. 362, for by the statutes of Paul's school there inserted, the children are required to attend divine service at the cathedral on his anniversary. The legend of this saint makes him to have been a bishop, while he was a boy,

3 - knit him a stock.] i. e. stocking,

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 swect 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. She will often praise her liquor.4

Laun. If her liquor be good, she shall: if she will not, I will; for good things should be praised.

- praise her liquor.] i. e. often shew how well she likes

it.

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 I cannot 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, 6

aun. 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 I will 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 didst not tell me sooner ? 'pox of your love-letters!

[Exit.

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s—She is too liberal.] Liberal, is licentious and gross in language.

She hath more hair than wit,] An old English proverb. - makes the faults gracious:] Gracious, in old language, means graceful.

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 THURIO; PROTEUS behind.

Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love

you,
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.

Thu. Since his exíle she hath despis'd me most,
Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me,
That I am desperate of obtaining her.

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure
Trenched in ice ;8 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 s0.-
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. .

* Trenched in ice ; ] Cut, carved in ice. From Trancher, to cut.

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 falshood, 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 loth to do: "Tis an ill office for a gentleman; Especially, against his very friend.'

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

Pro. You have prevail'd, 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,

him,

9 -- with circumstance,] With the addition of such incidental particulars as may induce belief. Johnson.

his very friend.] Very is immediate.

as you unwind her love -] As you wind off her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The housewife's term for a ball of thread wound upon a central body, is a bottom of thread.

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