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Pro. What seest thou ?

Laun. Him we go to find : there's not a hair on's head, but 'tis a Valentine.

Pro. Valentine ?
Val. No.
Pro. Who then? his spirit ?
Val. Neither.
Pro. What then ?
Val. Nothing.
Laun. Can nothing speak? master, shall I strike?
Pro. Whom wouldst thou strike?
Laun. Nothing.
Pro. Villain, forbear.
Laun. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing : I pray you,
Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear : friend Valentine, a

word. Val. My ears are stopp’d, and cannot hear good

news, So much of bad already hath possess'd them.

Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untunable, and bad.

Val. Is Silvia dead?
Pro. No, Valentine.

Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia ! Hath she forsworn ine?

Pro. No, Valentine.

Val. No, Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me! -What is your news? Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are

vanish'd. Pro. That thou art banish'd, O, that's the news; Fyom hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.

Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already, And now excess of it will make me surfeit. Doth Silvia know that I am banish'd ?

Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom (Which, unrevers’d, stands in effectual force) A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears : Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd;

With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became

them,
As if but now they waxed pale for woe:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
But Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf’d him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
That to close prison he commanded her,
With many bitter threats of 'biding there.
Val. No more; unless the next word that thou

speak'st,
Have some malignant power upon my life :
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear,
As ending anthem of my endless dolour*.

Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that,
And manage it against despairing thoughts.
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence;
Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
The time now serves not to expostulate :
Come, I'll convey thee through the city gate;
And, ere I part with thee, confer at large
Of all that may concern thy love-affairs :.
As thou lov’st Silvia, though not for thyself,
Regard thy danger, and along with me.

Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy, Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north-gate.

Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.
Val. O my dear Silvia ! hapless Valentine !

(Exeunt Valentine and Proteus. Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave : but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now, that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a team of horses shall not pluck that from me; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a woman: but what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet ’tis a milk-maid : yet ’tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips : yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel, which is much in a bare Christian. Here is the cat-log [pulling out a paper) of her conditions. Imprimus, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.

* Grief.

Enter Speed. Speed. How now, Signor Launce, what news with your mastership?

Laun. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea.

Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word: what news then in your paper ?

Laun. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st.
Speed. Why, man, how black ?
Laun. Why, as black as ink.
Speed. Let me read them.

Laun. Fie 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 in thy paper.
Laun. There; and Saint Nicholas * be thy speed!
Speed. Imprimus, She can milk.
Laun. Ay, that she can.
Speed. Item, She brews good ale.

* St. Nicholas presided over young scholars.

speed. Close at the is not to

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?

Speed. Item, She can wash and scour.

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

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 kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.

Laun. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: read on.

Speed. Item, She hath a sweet 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. Item, She will often praise her liquor.

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

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,

Laun. 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 t : well, I'll have her : and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible,

Speed. What then?

Laun. Why, then will I 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. Laun. Now will he be swinged for reading my

* Licentious in language. + Graceful.

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