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Specd. “ Item, She can spin."

Laun. Then may 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.” 16
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 crusts.

Speed. “ Item, She is curst."
Laun. Well, the best is, she hath no teeth to bite
Speed. Item, She will often praise her liquor."

16 A sweet mouth formerly meant a sweet tooth, and so was reckoned a vice : but Launce chooses to take it literally, that he may have something to offset the sour breath.

H.

[graphic]

Laun, If her liquor be good, she shall : it she will not, I will; for good things should be praised.

Speed. “ Item, She is too liberal.” 17

Laun. Of her tongue she cannot ; for that's writ down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not ; for that I'll keep shut : now, of another thing she may; and that cannot I help. Well, proceed.

Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.”

Laun. Stop there; I'll have her : she was mine, and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article : Rehearse that once more.

Speed. “ Item, She hath more hair than wit,” —

Laun. More hair than wit, - it may be; I'll prove it: The cover of the salt hides the salt,'s and therefore it is more than the salt: the hair, that covers the wit, is more than the wit; for the greater hides the less. What's next?

Speed. -- " and more faults than hairs," –

Laun. That's monstrous: O, that that were out !

Speed. -- " and more wealth than faults.”

Laun. Why, that word makes the faults gracious : Well, I'll have her; and if it be a match, as nothing is impossible, —

Speed. What then ?

17 That is, free beyond the allowings of modesty. Thus in Othello Desdemona says of lago : “Is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor?She will often praise her liquor; — that is, by drinking of it Curst is peevish, scolding. Thus in The Taming of The Shrew one of the persons calls Kate a curst shrew.

H. 18 The ajcient English saltcellar was very different from the modern, being a large piece of plate, generally much omamented, with a cover to keep the salt clean. There was but one on the dinner table, which was placed near the top, and those who sai below it were for the most part, of inferior condition to those who sat above.

Laun. -- why, then will I tell thee, - that thy master stays for thee at the north gate.

Speed. For me?

Laun. For thee? ay : who art thou ? he hath stay'd for a better man than thee.

Speed. And must I go to him ?

Laun. Thou must run to him, for thou hast stay'd su long, that going will scarce serve the turn.

Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner ? 'pox of your love-letters !

[Exit. Laun. Now will he be swing'd for reading my letter: An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets! I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction.

[Erit. SCENE II.

The same.

A Room in the Duke's Palace.

Enter Duke and THURIO; PROTEUS behind. Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love

you, Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.

Thu. Since his exile she hath despis'd' me most; Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me, That I am desperate of obtaining her.

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure Trenched'in ice ; which with an hour's heat Dissolves to water, and doth lose his form. A little time will melt her frozen thoughts, And worthless Valentine shall be forgot. – How now, Sir Proteus! Is your countryman, According to our proclamation, gone ?

'ro. Gone, my good lord.

I That is, cut, carred; from the Fr. trancher.

[graphic]

Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously.
Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief.

Duke. So I believe ; but Thurio thinks not so. —
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee,
(For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,)
Makes me the better to confer with thee.

Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace, Let me not live to look upon your grace.

Duke. Thou know'st how willingly I would effect The match between Sir Thurio and my daughter.

Pro. I do, my lord.

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant How she opposes her against my will.

Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here

Duke. Ay, and perversely she persévers so. What might we do, to make the girl forget The love of Valentine, and love Sir Thurio ?

Pro. The best way is, to slander Valentine With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent; Three things that women highly hold in hate.

Duke. Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate.

Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Therefore it must, with circumstance, be spoken
By one whom she esteemeth as bis friend.

Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him.

Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do:
'Tis an ill office for a gentleman;
Especially against his very friend.
Duke. Where. your good word cannot advantage

him,
Your slander never can endamage him :
Therefore the office is indifferent,
Being entreated to it by your friend.

? That is, true; from the Lat. verus. Massinger calls one of his plays “ A Very Womas

Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord: if I can do it. By aught that I can speak in his dispraise, She shall not long continue love to him. But say, this weed her love from Valentine, It follows not that she will love Sir Thurio.

Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him, Lest it should ravel, and be good to none, You must provide to bottom it on me ; 3 Which must be done, by praising me as much As you in worth dispraise Sir Valentine. Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this

kind;
Because we know, on Valentine's report,
You are already love's firm votary,
And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
Upon this warrant shall you have access,
Where you with Silvia may confer at large ;
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
And, for your friend's sake, will be glad of you ;
Where you may temper her, by your persuasion,
To hate young Valentine, and love my friend.

Pro. As much as I can do, I will effect:-
But you, Sir Thurio, are not sharp enough ;
You must lay lime,' to tangle her desires,
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
Should be full fraught with serviceable vows.

Duke. Ay, much is the force of heaven-bred poesy
Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty

8 As you unwind her love from him, make ine the hotto n un which you wind it. A bottom is the housewife s term for that upon which a ball of yarn or thread is wound. Thus in Grasr ge's Garden :

A bottom for your silk, it seems,
My letters are become,
Which, oft with winding off and on,
Are wasted whole and some.”

• That is, birdlime

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