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VAL. What means your ladyship? do you not
like it? Sil. Yes, yes! the lines are very quaintly writ : But since unwillingly, take them again ; Nay, take them.
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 sake read it
And, if it please you, so; if not, why, so.
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 SILVIA
SPEED. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a
steeple! My master sues 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 scribe, to himself should
write the letter? VAL. How now, sir ? what are you reasoning with yourself? ?
SPEED. Nay, I was rhiming ; 'tis you that have the reason.
VAL. To do what?
reasoning with yourself?] That is, discoursing, talking. An Italianism. Johnson. So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday.” Steevens.
Speed. To yourself: why, she wooes you by a figure.
VAL. What figure ?
SPEED. What need she, when she hath made you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?
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 have you writ to her; and she, in modesty, Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply; Or fearing else some messenger, that might her
mind discover, Her self hath 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.
and there an end.] i. e. there's the conclusion of the matter. So, in Macbeth :
the times have been,
" And there an end." STEEVENS. 9 All this I speak in PRINT;] In print means with exactness. So, in the comedy of All Fooles, 1605 :
not a hair “ About his bulk, but it stands in print." Again, in The Portraiture of Hypocrisie, bl. 1. 1589:
others lash out to maintaine their porte, which must needes bee in print."
Again, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 539:
VÁL. I have dined.
SPEED. Ay, but hearken, sir: though the cameleon love can feed on the air, I am one that am nourish'd by my victuals, and would fain have meat: O, be not like your mistress; be moved, be moved'.
Verona. A Room in JULIA's House.
Enter PROTEUS and JULIA.
Jul. If you turn not, you will return the sooner: Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.
[Giving a ring. Pro. Why then we'll make exchange; here, take
Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
[Exit Julia. Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak; For truth hath better deeds, than words, to grace it.
he must speake in print, walke in print, eat and drinke in print, and that which is all in all, he must be mad in print.”
STEEVENS. 1-be moved, be moved.] Have compassion on me, though, your mistress has none on you.
The Same. A Street.
Enter LAUNCE, leading a dog. LAUNCE. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping; all the kind of the Launces have this very fault: I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with sir Proteus to the imperial's court. I think, Crab my dog be the sourest-natured 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 cruelhearted 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 so, 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 :
2 - this left shoe-] Shoes in Shakspeare's time appear to have been adapted to the right and left foot, a fashion revived in our time. So, in K. John, Act IV. Sc. II. :
Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste “ Had falsely thrust upon contràry feet.” Malone.
now, sir, this staff is my sister; for, look you, she is as white as a lilly, and as small as a wand : this hat is Nan, our maid ; I am the dog':-no, the dog is himself, and I am the dog -oh, the dog is me, and I am myself; ay, so, so.
Now come I to my father; Father, your blessing ; now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping ; now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on : now come I to my mother, (0, that she could speak now!) like a wood woman * ; -well, I kiss her; why there 'tis ;
- I am the Dog, &c.] This passage is much confused, and of confusion the present 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 soliloquy. Johnson.
A similar thought occurs in a play printed earlier than the present. 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." STEEVENS.
The accidental circumstance, that The Christian turn’d Turk was printed before The Gentlemen of Verona, as Mr. Steevens well knew, gave that play no priority to our poet's, with respect to camposition. The Gentlemen of Verona, we know, was written many years before 1612; and therefore it is not reasonable to have supposed that Shakspeare is here indebted to any other dramatist. See the Essay on the chronological order of his plays.
Malone. like a wood WOMAN;] The first 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 least 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, sometimes wođe.
THEOBALD. Print thus : “ Now come I to my mother, (0, that she could speak now!) like a wood woman.”
Perhaps the humour would be heightened by reading-(0, that the shoe could speak now!) BLACKSTONE.
I have followed the punctuation recommended by Sir W. Blackstone. The emendation proposed by him was made, I find, by Sir T. Hanmer.