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Pro. I do.
wake or sleep.
Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.
Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep.
Speed. Such another proof will make me cry“ baa.”
Pro. But, dost thou hear? gav'st thou my letter to Julia ?
Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton"; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour.
Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.
Speed. If the ground be overcharg’d, you were best stick her.
Pro. Nay, in that you are astray: '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, the pinfold.
5 A LACED MUTTON ;) Many authorities prove that mutton and courtezan were synonymous terms in the time of Shakespeare and long afterwards ; and hence (as Malone tells us) the place called Mutton-lane in Clerkenwell. The question is, what was meant by a “laced mutton," for the participle and substantive are often found together. Laced probably meant dressed or adorned; and in Deloney’s “ Thomas of Reading," chap. ii., we read this passage : “ No meat pleased him so well as mutton, such as was laced in a red petticoat.” Speed's jest, such as it is, may have reconciled Proteus to the ill compliment to his mistress.
Speed. From a pound to a pin? fold it over and
over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your
lover. Pro. But what said she ? did she nod? Speed. I.
[SPEED nods. Pro. Nod, I? why that's noddy?.
Speed. You mistook, sir: I say she did nod, and you ask me, if she did nod? and I say I.
Pro. And that set together, is noddy.
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. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me?
Speed. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; having nothing but the word noddy for my pains.
Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.
Pro. Come, come; open the matter in brief: what said she?
Speed. Open your purse, that the money, and the matter, may be both at once deliver'd.
Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she?
Speed. Truly, Sir, I think you'll hardly win her.
Pro. Why? Couldst thou perceive so much from her?
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her;
did she nod ?] These words were supplied by Theobald, and seem to be necessary. They are not in the old copies ; but it is clear from what Speed afterwards says that Proteus had asked the question. In Speed's answers the old spelling of the affirmative particle has been retained ; otherwise the conceit of Proteus would be less intelligible.
1 – that's NODDY.] Noddy was a game at cards, and to call a person a Noddy was the same as to call him a fool. Noddy was the Knave or Fool in a pack of cards. The practice of calling the knave Nod, or Noddy, is not yet entirely discontinued.
no, not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter; and being so hard to me that brought your mind, I fear she'll prove as hard to you in telling your mind'. Give her no token but stones, for she's as hard as steel.
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 letters yourself. And so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck, Which cannot perish, having thee aboard, Being destin’d to a drier death on shore.I must go send some better messenger: I fear my Julia would not deign my lines, Receiving them from such a worthless post. [Exeunt.
The Same. Julia's Garden.
Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, Wouldst thou, then, counsel me to fall in love?
Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheedfully.
Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, That every day with parle encounter me, In thy opinion which is worthiest love?
8 – in telling your mind.) The meaning (says Malone) is,-She being so hard to me who was the bearer of your mind, I fear she will prove no less so to you in the act of telling your mind.
9 — you have TESTERN'D me;] You have given me a testern, that is, sixpence. In the time of Henry VIII. a tester, testern, or teston, was of the value of a shilling: it was so called from having a teste, i. e. head, upon it. In the folio, 1623,“ testern'd” is misprinted cestern'd.
Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll show my
mind According to my shallow simple skill.
Jul. What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?
Luc. As of a knight10 well-spoken, neat and fine; But, were I you, he never should be mine.
Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?
Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ?
Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason:
him? Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away. Jul. Why, he, of all the rest, hath never mov'd me. Luc. Yet be, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye. Jul. His little speaking shows his love but small. Luc. Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. Jul. They do not love, that do not show their love. Luc. O! they love least, that let men know their
love. Jul. I would I knew his mind. Luc.
Peruse this paper, madam. Jul. “To Julia.” Say, from whom? Luc.
That the contents will show.
10 As Of A knight-) In Malone's Shakespeare, by Boswell, it is misprinted As our knight,” &c.
CENSURE thus on-) Pass my opinion upon. See Vol. v. pp. 125. 397. VOL. I.
Jul. Say, say, who gave it thee?
Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!
Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than hate.
That you may ruminate. [Exit.
her to a fault for which I chid her. What fool is she, that knows I am a maid, And would not force the letter to my view, Since maids, in modesty, say “No,” to that Which they would have the profferer construe, " Ay." Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love, That like a testy babe will scratch the nurse, And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod. How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence, When willingly I would have had her here: How angerly I taught my brow to frown, When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile. My penance is to call Lucetta back, And ask remission for my folly past.What ho! Lucetta!
Re-enter LUCETTA. Luc.
What would your ladyship? Jul. Is it near dinner-time?