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Begone, I will not hear thy vain excuse,
Val. And why not death, rather than living torment?
Enter PROTEUS and LAUNCE.
Laun. Him we go to find : there's not a hair on's head, but tis a Valentine.
Pro. Valentine ?
Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good news,
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 !-
Pro. No, Valentine.
Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are vanish’d.
Pro. That thou art banish'd, O, that's the news; From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already,
Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom
Val. No more; unless the next word that thou speak’st,
Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my boy,
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 a 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 horse 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 pot 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 a cat-log [Pulling out a paper] of her conditions. Imprimis, 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.
Enter SPEED. Speed. How now, signior 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.
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. And therefore comes the proverb, -Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.
Speed. Item, Šhe can sew.
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.
Speed. Item, She not to be kissed 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.
* St. Nicholas presided over young scholars.
Speed. Item, She doth talk in her sleep.
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. 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, Taun. 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 I will 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 loveletters !
[Exit. Laun. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter: An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets !-I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.
[Exit. SCENE II.-The same. A Room in the Duke's Palace.
* Licentious in language.
Enter DUKE and THURIO; PROTEUS behind.
Thu. Since his exile she hath despised me most,
Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure
Pro. Gone, my good lord.
Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.-
Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace,
Duke. Thou know'st, how willingly I would effect
Pro. I do, my lord.
Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine
Duke. Ay, but she'll think, that it is spoke in hate.
it must, with circumstance, be spoken By one, whom shé esteemeth as his friend.
Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him.
against his very friend.
Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord: if I can do it,