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Val. Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant.
Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
Val. Leave off discourse of disability :Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed;
Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
No; that you are worthless.
Come, Sir Thurio, Go with me :-Once more, new servant, welcome: I'll leave you to confer of home affairs; When you have done, we look to hear from you. Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship.
[Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and SPEED. Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you
came? Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much
commended. Val. And how do yours? Pro. I left them all in health. Val. How does your lady? and how thrives your
Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is altered now:
Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes,
your eye: Was this the idol that you worship so?
Val. Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint ?
Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills ; And I must minister the like to you.
Val. Then speak the truth by her; if not divine, Yet let her be a principality," Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth.
Pro. Except my mistress.
Val. Sweet, except not any,
Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own?
Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too: She shall be dignified with this high honor,To bear my lady's train ; lest the base earth Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss, And, of so great a favor growing proud, Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower, And make rough winter everlastingly.
Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing; She is alone.
Pro. Then let her alone.
1. No wo, no misery that can be compared to the punishment inflicted by love.
2 A principality is an angel of the first order.
Val. Not for the world: why, man, she is mine
Pro. But she loves you?
Ay, and we are betrothed;
Pro. Go on before ; I shall inquire you forth:
Val. Will you make haste?
Pro. I will.
And that's the reason I love him so little.
Enter SPEED and LAUNCE. Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan.
Laun. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth; for I am not welcome. I reckon this always—that a man is never undone, till he be hanged; nor never welcome to a place, till some certain shot be paid, and the hostess say, welcome.
Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the ale-house with you presently; where, for one shot of five
pence thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how did thy master part with madam Julia ?
Laun. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.
Speed. But shall she marry him ?
Laun. Marry, thus; when it stands well with him, it stands well with her.
Speed. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.
1 i. e. on further knowledge, on better consideration.
Laun. What a block art thou, that thou canst not? My staff understands me.
Speed. What thou say'st ?
Laun. Ay, and what I do too: look thee I'll but lean, and my staff understands me.
Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
Laun. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will.
Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.
Laun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.
Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
Laun. I never knew him otherwise.
Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy master.
Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot lover.
Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to the alehouse, so; if not, thou art a Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.
Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee, as to go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt
Speed. At thy service.
1 Ales were merry meetings instituted in country places.