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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 cross'd the Hellespont.

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love.

Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love; And yet you never swom the Hellespont.

Pro. Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots.1 Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

Pro.

What?

Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with

groans;

Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,

With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labor won ;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
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

prove.

'Do not make a laughing-stock of me. A proverbial expression, deriving its origin from a humorous punishment at harvest-home feasts.

2 Circumstance is used equivocally: it here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction.

Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love. Val. Love is your master, for he masters you; And he that is so yoked by a fool,

Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say; as in the sweetest bud, The eating canker dwells, so eating love Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

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 1

Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our

leave.

At Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Val. As much to you at home! and so, farewell!
[Exit Valentine.
Pro. He after honor hunts, I after love :

1 At the haven where ships anchor.

He leaves his friends, to dignify them more;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at naught;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter SPEED.

Speed. Sir Proteus, save you. Saw

you my master? 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 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. 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; 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? gavest 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 labor.

Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such 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?

Speed. I.

[Speed nods.

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 say, 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 with you.

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. 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? Couldst 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 testern'd me; 1 in requital whereof, henceforth

1 Given me a sixpence.

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