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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. Why, stand under and understand is all one. Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match?
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.
Speed. Than how?
Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him to be. Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistakest me. Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant thy
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 ale1 with a Christian. thou go?
Speed. At thy service.
1 Ales were merry meetings instituted in country places.
SCENE VI. The same. An Apartment in the Palace.
Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn;
Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear:
But now I worship a celestial sun.
But there I leave to love, where I should love.
And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair!
I will forget that Julia is alive,
Remembering that my love to her is dead;
I cannot now prove constant to myself,
1 To suggest, in the language of our ancestors, was to tempt.
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder
SCENE VII. Verona. A Room in Julia's House.
Enter JULIA and LUCETTA.
Jul. Counsel, Lucetta; gentle girl, assist me!
Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.
Of such divine perfection, as Sir Proteus.
Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return. Jul. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
1 i. e. myself, who am his competitor, being admitted to his counsel Competitor here means confederate.
2 Proposed or intended flight.
Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire ; But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns;
He makes sweet music with th' enameled stones,
Luc. But in what habit will you go along
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.
Luc. Why then your ladyship must cut your hair. Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings,
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots;
To be fantastic may become a youth
greater time than I shall show to be.
Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your breeches?
Jul. That fits as well, as-" tell me, good my lord, What compass will you wear your farthingale ?" Why, even what fashion thou best lik'st, Lucetta. Luc. You must needs have them with a cod-piece, madam.
Jul. Out, out, Lucetta; that will be ill favored. Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a pin, Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on.
Jul. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly:
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me,
I fear me, it will make me scandalized.
Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go not.
Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go.
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.
Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men. Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect! But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth: His words are bonds, his oaths arc oracles; His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart; His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come to him!
Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that wrong, To bear a hard opinion of his truth;
Only deserve my love, by loving him;
And presently go with me to my chamber,
A journey which she shall pass in longing.