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Laun. What a block art thou, that thou canst not? My staff understands me.

Speed. What thou say'st ?

Laun. Ay, and what I do too: look thee I'll but lean, and my staff understands me.

Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
Laun. Why, stand under and understand is all one.
Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match ?

Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing; it will.

Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.

Laun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.

Speed." 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?

Laun. I never knew him otherwise.
Speed. Than how?
Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be.
Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me.

Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.

Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the alehouse, so; if not, thou art a Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.

Speed. Why?

Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee, as to go to the ale' with a Christian. Wilt thou go? Speed. At thy service.

[Exeunt.

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1 Ales were merry meetings instituted in country places.

SCENE VI. The same. An Apartment in the

Palace.

Enter PROTEUS.

Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn; To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn; To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn; And even that power, which gave me first my oath, Provokes me to this threefold perjury. Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear: O sweet suggesting love, if thou hast sinned, Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it. At first I did adore a twinkling star, But now I worship a celestial sun. Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken: And he wants wit, that wants resolved will To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better.Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad, Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferred With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. I cannot leave to love, and yet I do; But there I leave to love, where I should love. Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose : If I keep them, I needs must lose myself; If I lose them, thus find I by their loss, For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia. I to myself am dearer than a friend; For love is still most precious in itself: And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair ! Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope. I will forget that Julia is alive, Remembering that my love to her is dead; And Valentine I'll hold an enemy, Aiming at Silvia, as a sweeter friend. I cannot now prove constant to myself, Without some treachery used to Valentine :

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1 To suggest, in the language of our ancestors, was to tempt.

This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window;
Myself in counsel, his competitor ::
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguising, and pretended a flight;
Who,—all enraged, will banish Valentine;
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter:
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross,
By some sly trick, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift! [Exit.

SCENE VII. Verona. A Room in Julia's House.

.

Enter Julia and LUCETTA.

Jul. Counsel, Lucetta ; gentle girl, assist me!
And, e'en in kind love, I do conjure thee,-
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly charactered and engraved, -
To lesson me; and tell me some good mean,
How, with my honor, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.

Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.

Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly;
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return.
Jul. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's

food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

1 i. e. myself, who am his competitor, being admitted to his counsel Competitor here means confederate.

2 Proposed or intended flight.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire ; But qualify the fire's extreme rage, Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.

Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns; The current, that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'st, being stopped, impatiently doth rage ; But, when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet music with th' enameled stones, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge He overtaketh in his pilgrimage; And so by many winding nooks he strays, With willing sport to the wild ocean. Then let me go, and hinder not my course : I'll be as patient as a gentle stream, And make a pastime of each weary step, Till the last step have brought me to my love ; And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil, A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Luc. But in what habit will you go along?

Jul. Not like a woman ; for I would prevent
The loose encounters of lascivious men:
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.

Luc. Why then your ladyship must cut your hair.

Jul. No, girl ; I'll knit it up in silken strings, With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots ; To be fantastic may become a youth Of greater time than I shall show to be. Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your

breeches ? Jul. That fits as well, as—" tell me, good my lord, What compass will you wear your farthingale ? » Why, even what fashion thou best lik’st, Lucetta. Luc. You must needs have them with a cod-piece,

madam. Jul. Out, out, Lucetta ; that will be ill favored.

Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on.

Jul. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly:

15

VOL. I.

my fear:

But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me,
For undertaking so unstaid a journey?
I fear me, it will make me scandalized.

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not.
Jul. Nay, that I will not.

Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go.
If Proteus like your journey, when you come,
No matter who's displeased, when you are gone:
I fear me, he will scarce be pleased withal.

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,
And instances of infinite of love,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men.

Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect ! But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth : His words are bonds, his oaths arc oracles; His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart; His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come to

him ! Jul. Now, as thou lov’st me, do him not that wrong, To bear a hard opinion of his truth; Only deserve my love, by loving him ; And presently go with me to my chamber, To take a note of what I stand in need of, To furnish me upon my longing journey. All that is mine I leave at thy dispose, My goods, my lands, my reputation ; Only, in heu thereof, despatch me hence: Come, answer not, but to it presently; I am iinparient of my tarriance.

[Exeunt.

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A journey which she shall pass in longing.

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