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Sil. I thank you, gentle servant: 'tis very clerkly done.
Val. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off; For being ignorant to whom it goes, I writ at random, very doubtfully.
Sil. Perchance you think too much of so much pains?
Val. No, madam, so it stead you, I will write, Please you command, a thousand times as much: And yet
Sil. A pretty period! well, I guess the sequel ; And yet I will not name it :- and yet I care not ; And yet take this again ;- and yet I thank you; Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more. Speed. And yet you will; and yet, another yet.
Sil. Yes, yes ! the lines are very quaintly writ;
Val. Madam, they are for you.
Sil. Ay, ay; you writ them, Sir, at my request; But I will none of them; they are for you: I would have had them writ more movingly.
Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.
Sil. And when it's writ, for my fake read it over : And if it please you, so: if not, why, fo.
Val. If it please me, madam, what then?
Sil. Why if it please you, take it for your labour : And so good-morrow, servant.
[Exit. Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a
steeple! My master fues to her; and she hath taught her suitor, He being her pupil, to become her tutor. O excellent device! was there ever heard a better? That my master, being the scribe, to himself should write the letter?
Val. How now, Sir, what are you s reasoning with yourself?
Speed. Nay, I was rhiming ; 'tis you that have the reason.
Val. To do what?
Val. No, believe me.
Speed. No believing you indeed, Sir : but did you perceive her earnest?
Val. She gave me none, except an angry word.
Speed. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and there an end.
Val. I would it were no worse.
Speed. I'll warrant you, 'tis as well : For often you have writ to ber; and me in modesty, Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply ; Or fearing else some messenger, that might ber mind dif
cover, Herself bath taught her love himself to write unto her
lover. All this I speak in print; for in print I found it.Why muse you, Sir ? 'tis dinner time.
Val. I have din'd.
Speed, Ay, but hearken, Sir: tho' the cameleon love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourish'd
- reasoning with yourself?] That is, discoursing, talking. An Italianism. JOHNSON.
by my victuals, and would fain have meat: Oh be not like your mistress; be moved, be moved. (Exeunt.
Ś C É NE II.
Julia's house at Verona.
Enter Protheus and Julia.
Jul. If you turn not, you will return the fooner : Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.
[Giving a ring. Pro. Why then we'll make exchange ; here, take
Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
Enter Panthino. i
Pro. Go; I come, I come :-
SC EN E III.
Enter Launce, leading a dog. Laun. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping; all the kind of the Launces have this very fault: I have receiv'd my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Protheus to the Imperial's court. I think, Crab my dog be the fourest natur'd dog that lives : my mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear : he is a stone, a very pebble-stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog: a Jew would have wept to have seen our parting; why, my grandam having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it: this shoe is my father ;-no, this left shoe is my father ;-no, no, this left shoe is my mother ;-nay, that cannot be fo neither ;-yes, it is so, it is so; it hath the worser sole: this shoe, with the hole in it, is my mother, and this my father, a vengeance on't, there 'tis : now, Sir, this staff is my sister; for, look you, she is as white as a lily, and as small as a wand : this hat is Nan, our maid ; I am the dog :-no, the dog is himself, and 2 I am the dog :--oh, the dog is me,
'- I am the dog, &c.] A fimilar thought occurs in a play of elder date than this. See A Christian turn’d Turk, 1612. "
“ — you shall stand for the lady, you for her dog, and
“ I the page; you and the dog looking one upon
“ another: the page presents himself.” Stevens. 2 – I am the dog, &c.] This passage is much confused, and of confusion the prelent reading makes no end. Sir T. Hanmer reads, I am the dog, no, the dog is himself and I am me, the dog is the dog, and I am myself. This certainly is more reasonable, but I know not how much reason the author intended to bestow on Launce's foliloquy. JOHNSON. Vol. I,
and I am myself; ay, fo, fo. Now come I to my father; Father, your blesing; now should not the shoe fpeak a word for weeping; now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on: now come I to my mother ;-oh that she could speak now!3 like a wood woman! well, I kiss her ;-why there 'tis ; here's my mother's breath up and down : now come I to my sister : mark the njoan she makes : now the dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a word; but fee how I lay the dust with my tears.
Enter Panthino. Pan. Launce, away, away, aboard; thy master is shipp'd, and thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? why weep'st thou, man? Away, ass; you will lose the tide if you carry any longer.
Laun. It is no matter if the tyd were loft; for it is the unkindest ty'd that ever any man ty’d.
Pan. What's the unkindest tide ?
Pon. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood; and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage; and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy master; and, in losing thy master, lose thy service; and, in losing thy service, why dost thou stop my mouth?
Laun. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue.
3 like a wood woman!-] The forft folios agree in would-woman; for which, because it was a mystery to Mr. Pope, he has unmeaningly substituted ould woman. But it must be writ, or at leaft understood, wood woman, i. e. Crazy, frantic with grief; or distracted, from any other cause. The word is very frequently used in Chaucer; and sometimes writ wood, fometimes wode. THEOBALD.
4 Lose the tide, Thus the old copy. The modern editors read the flood. STEEVEX'S,