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Eafe to perfuade, my loving Protheus;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits;
Wer't not affection chains thy tender days
To the fweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would intreat thy company,

To fee the wonders of the world abroad,
Than (living dully fluggardiz'd at home)
Wear out thy youth with fhapeless idleness.
But fince thou lov'ft, love still, and thrive therein,
Ev'n as I would when I to love begin!.


(a) It may very well be doubted whether Shakespear had any other hand in this play than the enlivining it with fome speeches and lines thrown in here and there, which are easily diftinguifh'd, as being of a different ftamp from the rest.

Pro. Wilt thou be gone? fweet Valentine, adieu;
Think on thy Protheus, when thou haply feest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
With me partaker in thy happiness,

When thou doft 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 fuccefs?
Pro. Upon fome book I love I'll pray for thee. a
Val. To be in love where fcorn is bought with groans,
Coy looks, with heart-fore fighs; ''one moment's mirth,`
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights;

If haply won, perhaps an hapless gain;
If loft, why then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Orelfe a wit by folly vanquished,

Pro. So by your circumftance you call me fool.
Val. So by your circumftance I fear you'll prove.
Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not love.
Val. Love is your mafter; for he masters you.
And he that is fo yoaked by a fool,

Methinks, fhould not be chronicled for wife.
Pro. Yet writers fay, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells; fo eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. And writers fay, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow;

(a) I'll pray for thee.

Val. That's on fome shallow ftory of deep love,

How young Leander cross'd the Hellefpont.

Pro. That's a deep ftory of a deeper love;

For he was more than over fhoes in love.

Val. 'Tis true, for you are over boots in love,

And yet you never fwom the Hellefpont.

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

Pro. What?

Val. To be in love, c.

one fading moment's mirth,


Even fo by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly, blafting in the bud,
Lofing 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 defire?

Once more adieu: my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to fee me fhipp'd.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.


Val. Sweet Protheus, no: now let us take our leave. At Milan let me hear from thee by letters Of thy fuccefs in love; and what news else Betideth here in abfence of thy friend: And I likewife will vifit thee with mine. Pro. All happinefs bechance to thee in Milan! Val. As much to you at home; and fo farewel. Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love; He leaves his friends to dignifie them more; I leave my felf, my friends, and all for love. Thou, Julia, thou haft metamorphos'd me; Made me neglect my studies, lofe my time, War with good counsel, fet the world at nought; Made wit with musing weak, heart fick with thought.


Enter Speed.

Speed. Sir Protheus, fave you; 'faw you, Sir, my mafter? Pro. But now he parted hence t'embark for Milan. Speed. Twenty to one then he is fhipp'd already. And I have play'd the fheep in lofing him. Pro. Indeed a fheep doth very often stray,

An if the fhepherd be a while away.

Speed. You conclude that my master is a fhepherd then,'

and I a fheep?

Pro. I do.


2 faw you my mafter?

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Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or fleep.

Pro. A filly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed. This proves me ftill a fheep.

Pro. True; and thy mafter a fhepherd.

Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. It fhall go hard but I'll prove it by another. Speed. The fhepherd feeks the fheep, and not the sheep the fhepherd; but I feek my mafter, and my master seeks not me; therefore I am no sheep.

Pro. The fheep for fodder follows the shepherd, the fhepherd for food follows not the fheep; thou for wages followeft thy mafter, thy mafter for wages follows not thee; therefore thou art a fheep.

Speed. Such another proof will make me cry Baâ.

Pro. But doft thou hear? gaveft thou my letter to Julia? Speed. Ay, Sir; J, a loft-mutton, gave your letter to her, a lac'd-mutton a; and fhe, a lac'd-mutton, gave me, a loft-mutton, nothing for my labour.

Pro. Here's too fmall a pafture for fuch ftore of muttons. Speed. If the ground be over-charg'd, you were best stick her.

Pro. Nay, in that you are 'a stray` 'twere best pound


Speed. Nay, Sir, lefs than a pound fhall ferve me for carrying your letter.

Pro. You mistake; I mean the pound, a pin-fold.

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 faid fhe?

Speed. She nodded and faid, I.

Pro. Nod-I? why, that's noddy.

Speed. You miftook, Sir; I faid, she did nod: And you ask me if fhe did nod; and I faid, ay. Pro. And that fet together, is noddy.


(a) Lac'd mutton is a phrafe antiently used for a lady of pleasure.


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you have taken the pains to fet it together, take it for your pains.

Speed, Now

Pro. No, no, you fhall 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. Befhrew me but you have a quick wit.

Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your flow purse. Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief; what faid fhe? Speed. Open your purfe, that the money and the matter may be both deliver'd.

Pro. Well, Sir, here is for your pains; what said she? Speed. Truly, Sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

Pro. Why? could'ft thou perceive fo much from her? Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; No, not fo much as a ducket for delivering your letter. And being fo hard to me that brought your mind, I fear fhe'll prove as hard to you in telling her mind. Give her no token but ftones; for fhe's as hard as steel. Pro. What, faid fhe nothing?

Speed. No, not fo much as take this for thy pains: To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have 3'tefter'd me: In requital whereof, henceforth carry your letter your felf: and fo, Sir, I'll commend you to my mafter.

Pro. Go, go, be gone, to fave your fhip from wreck, Which cannot perish, having thee aboard, Being deftin'd to a drier death on shore. I must go fend fome better meffenger: I fear, my Julia would not deign my lines, Receiving them from fuch a worthless poft.

3 teftern'd me:


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