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Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus ;
Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu !
success, Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.s
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; For he was more than over shoes in love.
Val. 'Tis true ; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swam the Hellespont.
Pro. 4 The expression is fine, as implying that idleness prevents the giving any form or character to the manners. WARBURTON. $ The poem of Mufæus, entitled HERO AND LEANDER, is meant,
Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots, 6
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you ;
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
Val. And writers say, As the most forward bud
But 6 A proverbial expression, though now disused, fignifying, don't make a laughing stock of me; don't play with me. The French have a phrase, Bailler foin en corne; which Cotgrave thus interprets, To give one the boots ; to fell him a bargain. THEOBALD.
Perhaps this expression took its origin from a sport the country people in Warwickihire use at their harvest home, where one fits as judge to try misdemeanors committed in harvest, and the punishment for the men is to be laid on a bench, and flapped on the breech with a pair of boots. This they call giving them the boots. The boots, however, were an ancient engine of torture.
STEEVENS. The boot was an instrument of torture used only in Scotland. Bishop Burnet in The History of his own Times, Vol. I. p. 332, edit. 1754, mentions one Maccarl, a preacher, who, being sufpeéted of treasonable prac. tices underwent the punishment fo late as 1666. REED.
? This love will end in a foolish action, to produce which you ng to spend your wit, or it will end in the loss of your wit, which will be overpowered by the folly of love. JOHNSON.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
: my father at the road Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
me neglect my studies, lose my time, War with good counsel, set the world at nought ; Made wit with mufing weak, heart fick with thought.
Enter Speed. Speed. Sir Proteus, save
mafter ? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan,
Speed. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already ; And I have play'd the sheep, in losing him.
Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away. Speed. You conclude, that my master is a shepherd then;
and I a sheep? Pro. I do. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.
Pro. 8 This whole scene, like many others in these plays (some of which I believe were written by Shakspeare, and others interpolated by the players) is composed of the lowest and most trifling conceits, to be accounted for only from the gross taste of the age he lived in; Populo ut placerent. I wih I had authority to leave them out. PoPE.
That this, like many other scenes, is mean and valgar, will be universally allowed; but that it was interpolated by the players seems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence to criticism. JOHNSON.
you : Saw
Pro. A filly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
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 Theep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee therefore, thou art a Theep.
Speed. Such another proof will make me cry baa. Pro. But doft thou hear? gav'st thou my letter to Julia ? Speed. Ay, fir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton ; 9 and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a loft mutton, nothing for my labour.
Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a 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, fir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your letter.
Pro, You mistake; I mean the pound, a pinfold.
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 the nod. [SPEED nods.
Speed 9 Speed calls himself a loft mutton, because he had lost his master, and because Proteus had been proving him a sheep. But why does he call the lady a laced mutton ? Wenchers are to this day called mutton-mongers; and consequently the object of their passion muít, by the metaphor, be the mutton. THEOBALD.
A laced mutton was in our author's time fo established a term for a cour. tezan, that a street in Clerkenwell, which was much frequented by wo. men of the town, was then called Mutton-lane. MALONE.
2 From the word astray here, and loft mutton above, it is obvious that the double reference was to the first sentence of the General Contestion in the Prayer-book. HENLEY.
3 Noddy was a game at cards. STEEVINS.
Speed. You mistook, fir ; 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. 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, fir, here is for your pains: What said she?
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; 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 her mind. Give her no token but
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, io save your ship from wreck;
I must 4 You have gratified me with a tefter, testern, or testen, that is, with a fixpence. JOHNSON.
By the succeeding quotation from the Fruitful Sermons preached by Hugh Latimer, 1584. fol. 94. it appears that a tister was of greater value than our fixpence : " They brought him a denari, a piece of their current coyne that was worth ten of our usual pence, such another piece as our testerne.”
HOLT WHITE. The same proverb has already been alluded to in the firic and lait scenes of The Tempeft. REED.