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Val. What means your ladyship? do you not like it?
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,
Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.
Sil. And, when it's writ, for my sake read it over; 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. 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 rhyming : ’tis you that have the reason.
Val. To do what?
as if Speed had said, “ And yet," and then paused to see if Silvia would not add “another yet.” We only mention this trifle because some modern editors have not attended to it. Of course these speeches by Speed are supposed to be uttered aside.
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!
I'll warrant you, 'tis as well :
discover, Her self hath taught her love himself to write unto her
lover.All this I speak in printo, for in print I found it. Why muse you, sir ? 'tis dinner time.
Val. 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.
[Exreunt. SCENE II.
9 All this I speak in print,] i. e. with exactness : Speed adds, that he found it “in print,” perhaps, in some book or ballad of that time, which has not survived to ours. He has rhymed before, and in the same style, just after Silvia made her erit : those lines could hardly have been quoted.
Verona. A Room in Julia's House.
Enter PROTEUS and JULIA.
Jul. If you turn not, you will return the sooner.
[Giving a Ring. Pro. Why then, we'll make exchange: here, take you
Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy;
Enter PANTHINO. Pant. Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for. Pro.
Go; I come, I come.Alas! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. [Exeunt.
The Same. A Street.
Enter LAUNCE, leading a Dog. Launce. Nay, 't will 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 sourestnatured 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 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 : 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 I am the dog,–0! the dog is me, and I am myself: ay, so, so. Now come I to my father; “Father, your blessing :” now should
1 I am the dog, &c.] Launce is himself puzzled with the characters of his own mono-polylogue; and perhaps Shakespeare did not mean him to get out of his confusion. Sir T. Hanmer proposed to read, I am the dog, no, the dog is himself, and I am me, the dog is the dog, and I am myself. Although this reading makes the text “ more reasonable,” (as Johnson remarks) the additions to it are unwarrantable.
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; here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes: now, the dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a word, but see how I lay the dust with my tears.
Enter PANTHINO. Pant. Launce, away, away, aboard : thy master is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? why weep’st thou, man? Away, ass; you'll lose the tide, if you tarry any longer.
Launce. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
Pant. What's the unkindest tide?
Pant. 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?
Launce. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue.
1 – like a wood woman :-) The old copies print it thus—“like a wouldwoman,” with a hyphen. The proper orthography seems to be “like a wood woman,” or frantic woman, wood being the old word for frantic or mad: the mother of Launce was wood with grief at parting from her son. It was, however, very unusual in the time of Shakespeare, or in any other time, to spell wood“ would,” and the hyphen was needless. It reads as if the editors of the folio did not themselves understand what was meant by “ like a would-woman.” The parenthesis is not in the old folios, and with the very slight alteration of she to shoe it would be unnecessary : “0, that shoe could speak now, like a wood woman !” Launce's wish being that the shoe, representing his mother, could speak like a frantic woman, such as his mother was at their parting.