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v E RO
A C Τ Ι.
Enter Valentine and Protheus.
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits;
Wert not, affection chains thy tender days
I rather would intreat thy company,
Pro. Wilt thou be gone? sweet Valentine, adieu';
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel :
Val. And on a love. book pray for my füccess.
for thee. Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love. How young
Leander cross'd the Hellefpont.
Val. -'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
Pro. Over the boots i nay give me not the boots. (1)
Pal. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans;
Pro.' So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. Love is your master; for he masters you.
Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
(1) nay, give me not the Boots.] A proverbial Expression, tho' now difused, fignifying, don't make a laughing Stock of me; don't play wpoo me. The French have a Phrase, Bailler foin en Corne; which Crgrave thus interpreti, To give one tbe Boris; to fell him a Bargain.
Is eaten by the canker, ere it blow;
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine,
Val. Sweet Protheus, no: now let us take our leave.
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love' ;
master? Pro. But now he parted hence, t'imbark for Milan.
Speed. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already, And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.
Pro. Indeed, a theep doth very often ftray, And if the shepherd be a while away.
Speed. You conclude that my master is a fhepherd then, and I a sheep?
Pro. I do,
Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep,
Pro. A ally answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumftance.
Speed. The shepherd seeks the theep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my Master seeks not me; therefore I am no fheep.
Pro. The sheep for fodder follows the shepherd, the Mhepherd for the food follows not the sheep'; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for
follows not thee; therefore thou art a sheep.
Speed. Such another proof will make me cry Baa.
Speed. Ay, Sir, I, a loft mutton, gave your letter to her, a lac'd mutton (2), and the, a lac'd mutton, gave me, a loft mutton, nothing for
labour. Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons,
Speed. If the ground be over-charg'd, you were beft stick her.
Pro, Nay, in that you are a stray (3), 'twere best pound you.
Speed. Nay, Sir, less than a pound shall serve 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,
(2) I, a los Mutton, gave your letter to ber, a lac'd Mutton;] Speed calls himself a loft Mutton, because he had lost his Master, and because Protbeus had been proving him a Sheep. But why does he call the Lady a lac'd Mutton. Your notable Wenchers are to this Day cali’d Mutton-Mongers: and consequently the Object of their Passion must, by the Metaphor, be the Mutton. And Cotgrave, in his English-French Dictionary, explains Lac'd Mutton, Une Garse, putain, fille de Joye. And Mr. Motteux has rendered this Passage of Rabelais, in the Prologue of his fourth Book, Cailles coiphees mignonnement chantans, in this manner; Coated Quails and laced Mutton waggisbly finging. So that lac'd Mutton has been a sort of Standard Phrase for Girls of Pleasure.
(3) Nay, in that you are aftray.] For the Reason Protheus gives, Dr. Thirlby advises that we thould read, Stray, i. c. a stray Sheep; which continues Protbeus's Banter upon Speed.
Pro. But what said she : did the nod? [Speed xods.
Pro. Nod-I? why, that's noddy.
you ask me, if she did nod; and I said, I.
Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for your pains.
Pro. No, no, you shall have it for bearing the letter.
Speed. Marry, Sir, the letter very orderly;
Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
- Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: what
be both at once deliver'd.
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her ;
Pro, What, said she nothing?
Speed. No, not so much as-take this for thy pains : To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testern'd me: : In requital whereof, henceforth carry your letter yourfelf: and fo, Sir, I'll commend you to my master.
Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck,