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By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love
[Exit Duke. Val. And why not death, rather than living torment?
To die, is to be banish'd from myself;
Enter Proteus and Launce,
Pro. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
Pro. What seest thou?
Laun. Him we go to find; there's not a hair
On's head, but 'tis a Valentine.
Pro. Who then? his spirit?
Pro. What then?
Laun. Can nothing speak? master, shall I strike? Pro. Whom would'st thou strike?
Laun. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray
Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear: friend Valentine, a word.
Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear
So much of bad already hath possess'd them.
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia !-Hath she forsworn me?
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!
What is your news?
Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are vanish'd.
Pro. That thou art banish'd, O, that's the
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend.
Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom (Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force) A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears: Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd; With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became
As if but now they waxed pale for wo:
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,
Have some malignant power upon my life :
Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not
And study help for that which thou lament'st.
Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seest my
Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north gate. Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. Val. O my dear Silvia! hapless Valentine! [Exeunt Valentine and Proteus. Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives not now, that knows me to be in love: yet I am in love; but a team of horse shall not pluck that from me; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a woman: but that woman, will not tell myself;
and yet 'tis a milk-maid: yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips: yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel,—which is much in a bare Christian. Here is the cat-log [pulling out a paper] of her conditions. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can do no more; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.
Speed. How now, Signior Launce? what news with your mastership?
Laun. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea. Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word: what news then in your paper?
Laun. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st.
Speed. Why, man, how black?
Laun. Why, as black as ink.
Laun. Fie on thee, jolt-head; thou canst not
Speed. Thou liest, I can.
Laun. I will try thee: tell me this: who begot thee?
Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather. Laun. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy grandmother: this proves, that thou canst not read. Speed. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper. Laun. There; and Saint Nicholas be thy speed!
Speed. Item, She brews good ale.
Laun. And thereof comes the proverb,Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.
(1) St. Nicholas presided over young scholars.
Speed. Item, She can sew.
Laun. That's as much as to say, Can she so? Speed. Item, She can knit.
Laun. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him a stock?
Speed. Item, She can wash and scour. Laun. A special virtue; for then she need not be washed and scoured.
Speed. Item, She can spin.
Laun. Then I set the world on wheels, when she can spin for her living.
Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues. Laun. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.
Speed. Here follow her vices.
Laun. Close at the heels of her virtues.
Speed. Item, She is not to be kiss'd fasting, in respect of her breath.
Laun. Well, that fault may be mended with a breakfast: read on.
Speed. Item, She hath a sweet mouth.
Laun. That makes amends for her sour breath. Speed. Item, She doth talk in her sleep. Laun. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not in her talk.
Speed. Item, She is slow in words.
Laun. O villain, that set this down among her vices! To be slow in words, is a woman's only virtue : I pray thee, out with't; and place it for her chief virtue.
Speed. Item, She is proud.
Laun. Out with that too; it was Eve's legacy, and cannot be ta'en from her.
Speed. Item, She hath no teeth.
Laun. I care not for that neither, because I love
Speed. Item, She is curst.
Laun. Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to bite.