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TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
SCENE I. An open Place in Verona
Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS.
entreat thy company,
Pro. Wilt thou begone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel : Wish me partaker in thy happiness, When thou dost meet good hap; and, in thy danger, If ever danger do environ thee, Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers, For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine. Val. And on a love-book pray for my success.
. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander crossed the Hellespont.
Pró. That's a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love.
1 The allusion is to Marlow's poem of Hero and Leander.
Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.
Pro. So by your circumstance, you call me fool
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
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
1 A proverbial expression, now disused, signifying, “Don't make a laughing-stock of me.”
2 Circumstance here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction.
To1 Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Enter SPEED. Speed. Sir Proteus, save you : Saw you my master ? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for
Milan. Speed. Twentyto one, then, he is shipped already; And I have played 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 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. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my
I , master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep.
i The construction of this passage is, “Let me hear from thee by letters to Milan.”
2 In Warwickshire, and some other counties, a sheep is pronounced a ship
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 mutton ;l and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labor.
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. Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over and
over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your
lover. Pro. But what said she ? did she nod ? ?
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
I. Pro. And that set together is-noddy.
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.
1 A term for a courtezan. 2 These words were supplied by Theobald to introduce what follows.
Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
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? 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 your 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 have testerned me; in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
Pro. Go, go, begone, to save your ship from wreck; Which cannot perishphaving thee aboard, Being destined to a drier death on shore :I must go send some better messenger; I fear my Julia would not deign my lines, Receiving them from such a worthless post. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. The same.
Garden of Julia's House
Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love?
1 Testens, or (as we now commonly call them) testers, from a head that was upon them, were coined in 1542. Sir H. Spelman says they were a French coin of the value of 18d.; and he does not know but that they might have gone for as much in England. They were afterwards reduced to 12d., 9d., and, finally, to sixpence.