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Enter Speed and Launce. Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to * Milan.

Laun. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth ; for I am not welcome. I reckon this always—that a man is never undone; till he be hang'd; nor never welcome to a place, till some certain shot be paid, and the hoftefs fay, welcome.

Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the alehouse with you presently; where, for one shot of five pence, thou Thalt have five thoufand welcomes. But, firrah, how did thy mafter part with madam Julia ?

Laun. Marry, after they clos'd in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.

Speed. But shall she marry him?
Laun. No.
Speed. How then shall he marry her
Laun. No, neither.
Speed. What, are they broken
Laun. No, they are both as whole as a fish.
Speed. Why then how stands the matter with them

Laun. Marry, thus ; when it stands well with him, it stands well with her.

Speed. What an ass art thou? I understand thee hot. .

Laun. What a block art thou, that thou canst not? * My staff understands me.

Speedo * It is Padua in the former editions. See the note on act III.

Popei 8 My staff understands me.] This equivocation, miserable as it is, has been admitted by Milton in his great poem. B. vi s

" The

Speed. What thou say'st ?

Laun. Ay, and what I do too : look thee, I'll but lean, and my staff understands me.

Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
Laun. Why, stand-under and understand is all one.
Speed. But tell me true, will’t be a match ?

Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will.

Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.

Laun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.

Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?

Laun. I never knew him otherwise.
Speed. Than how ?
Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to


Speed. Why, thou whorson ass, thou mistakest me.

Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.

Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the ale-house, so; if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian. · Speed. Why?

Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee, as to go to the ale-house 9 with a Christian : wilt thou go? - Speed. At thy service.


SCENE “ The terms we sent were terms of weight, “ Such as we may perceive, amaz'd them all, “ And stagger'd many; who receives them right, " Had need from head to foot well understand; Not understood, this gift they have besides, To Thew us when our foes stand not upright."

JOHNSON. - the ale-house] The old copy reads only the ale ; and VOL. I,




Enter Protheus.
Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
And even that power, which gave me first my oath,
Provokes me to this threefold perjury.
Love bad me swear, and love bids me forswear :
2 O sweet-suggesting love, if thou hast finn'd,
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it!
At first I did adore a twinkling star, .
But now I worship a celestial sun.
Unheedful vows may heedfully be broken;
And he wants wit, that wants resolved will
To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better.
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue ! to call her bad,
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths.
I cannot leave to love, and yet I do;
Ales were merry-meetings instituted in country places. Thus Bers
Jonson :

66 And all the neighbourhood, from old records
66 Of antique proverbs drawn from Whitron lords,
" And their authorities at wakes and ales,
« With country precedents and old wives' tales,

“ We bring you now." STEEVENS. 1 It is to be observed, that in the first folio edition, the only edition of authority, there are no directions concerning the scenes ; they have been added by the later editors, and may therefore be changed by any reader that can give more consistency or regularity to the drama by such alterations. I make this remark in this place, because I know not whether the following so. liloquy of Protheus is so proper in the street. JOHNSON.

? O sweet-suggesting love, '] To suggest is to tempt in our author's language. So again :

“ Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested.The sense is. O tempting love, if thou hast influenced me to fin, teach me to excuse it. Dr. Warburton reads, if I have finn'd; but, I think, not only without necessity, but with less elegance.



But there I leave to love, where I should love.
Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose:
If I keep them, I needs must lose myself;
If I lose them, this find I by their loss,
For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia.
I to myself am dearer than a friend ;
For love is still more precious in itself:
And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fait !
Shews Julia but a fwarthy Ethiope.
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Remembring that my love to her is dead;
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy,
Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend.
I cannot now prove constant to myself,
Without some treachery us'd to Valentine :
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window;
3 Myself in counsel, his competitor:
Now presently I'll give her father notice
Of their disguifing, and 4 pretended flight;
Who, all enrag'd, will banish. Valentine ;
For Thurio, he intends, fhall wed his daughter :
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross,
By some sly trick, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding.
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift,
s As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift! [Exit.

3 Myself, who am his coinpetitor or rival, being admitted to his counsel. Johnson.

Competitor is confederate, asifant, partner. So in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ It is not Caefar's natural vice, to hate

“ One great competitor.and he is speaking of Lepidus, one of the triumvirate. STEEVENS.

4 — pretended Äight;] We may read intended flight. JOHNSON. Pretended flight is proposed or intended Aight. So in Macbeth:

" What good could they pretend ?" STEEVENS. 5 I suspect that the author concluded the act with this couplet, and that the next scene should begin the third act; but the change, as it will add nothing to the probability of the action, is of no great importance. JOHNSON.

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Julid's house in Verona.

Enter Julia and Lucetta.. Jul. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, affift me! And, even in kind love, I do conjure thee, Who art the table wherein all iny thoughts Are visibly character'd and engravid, To lesson me ; and tell me some good mean, How, with my honour, I may undertake A journey to my loving Protheus.

Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.

Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps;
Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly;
And when the flight is made to one so dear,
Of such divine perfection, as fir Protheus.

Luc. Better forbear, till Protheus make return.
Jul. Oh, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's

food ?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Left it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Jul. The more thou damm'ft it up, the more it

burns : The current, that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'ft, being stopp’d, impatiently doth rage ; But, when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet musick with the enameld stones, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge


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