SCENE I. Milan. The DUKE's palace.



Enter VALENTINE and SPEED

SPEED
Sir, your glove.

VALENTINE
Not mine; my gloves are on.

SPEED
Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.

VALENTINE
Ha! let me see: ay, give it me, it's mine:
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine!
Ah, Silvia, Silvia!

SPEED
Madam Silvia! Madam Silvia!

VALENTINE
How now, sirrah?

SPEED
She is not within hearing, sir.

VALENTINE
Why, sir, who bade you call her?

SPEED
Your worship, sir; or else I mistook.

VALENTINE
Well, you'll still be too forward.

SPEED
And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.

VALENTINE
Go to, sir: tell me, do you know Madam Silvia?

SPEED
She that your worship loves?

VALENTINE
Why, how know you that I am in love?

SPEED
Marry, by these special marks: first, you have
learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms,
like a malecontent; to relish a love-song, like a
robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had
the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy that had
lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had
buried her grandam; to fast, like one that takes
diet; to watch like one that fears robbing; to
speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were
wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you
walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you
fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you
looked sadly, it was for want of money: and now you
are metamorphosed with a mistress, that, when I look
on you, I can hardly think you my master.

VALENTINE
Are all these things perceived in me?

SPEED
They are all perceived without ye.

VALENTINE
Without me? they cannot.

SPEED
Without you? nay, that's certain, for, without you
were so simple, none else would: but you are so
without these follies, that these follies are within
you and shine through you like the water in an
urinal, that not an eye that sees you but is a
physician to comment on your malady.

VALENTINE
But tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?

SPEED
She that you gaze on so as she sits at supper?

VALENTINE
Hast thou observed that? even she, I mean.

SPEED
Why, sir, I know her not.

VALENTINE
Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet
knowest her not?

SPEED
Is she not hard-favoured, sir?

VALENTINE
Not so fair, boy, as well-favoured.

SPEED
Sir, I know that well enough.

VALENTINE
What dost thou know?

SPEED
That she is not so fair as, of you, well-favoured.

VALENTINE
I mean that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.

SPEED
That's because the one is painted and the other out
of all count.

VALENTINE
How painted? and how out of count?

SPEED
Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, that no
man counts of her beauty.

VALENTINE
How esteemest thou me? I account of her beauty.

SPEED
You never saw her since she was deformed.

VALENTINE
How long hath she been deformed?

SPEED
Ever since you loved her.

VALENTINE
I have loved her ever since I saw her; and still I
see her beautiful.

SPEED
If you love her, you cannot see her.

VALENTINE
Why?

SPEED
Because Love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes;
or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to
have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going
ungartered!

VALENTINE
What should I see then?

SPEED
Your own present folly and her passing deformity:
for he, being in love, could not see to garter his
hose, and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.

VALENTINE
Belike, boy, then, you are in love; for last
morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.

SPEED
True, sir; I was in love with my bed: I thank you,
you swinged me for my love, which makes me the
bolder to chide you for yours.

VALENTINE
In conclusion, I stand affected to her.

SPEED
I would you were set, so your affection would cease.

VALENTINE
Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to
one she loves.

SPEED
And have you?

VALENTINE
I have.

SPEED
Are they not lamely writ?

VALENTINE
No, boy, but as well as I can do them. Peace!
here she comes.

SPEED
Aside O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet!
Now will he interpret to her.

Enter SILVIA

VALENTINE
Madam and mistress, a thousand good-morrows.

SPEED
Aside O, give ye good even! here's a million of manners.

SILVIA
Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thousand.

SPEED
Aside He should give her interest and she gives it him.

VALENTINE
As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours;
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in
But for my duty to your ladyship.

SILVIA
I thank you gentle servant: 'tis very clerkly done.

VALENTINE
Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off;
For being ignorant to whom it goes
I writ at random, very doubtfully.

SILVIA
Perchance you think too much of so much pains?

VALENTINE
No, madam; so it stead you, I will write
Please you command, a thousand times as much; And yet--

SILVIA
A pretty period! Well, I guess the sequel;
And yet I will not name it; and yet I care not;
And yet take this again; and yet I thank you,
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more.

SPEED
Aside And yet you will; and yet another 'yet.'

VALENTINE
What means your ladyship? do you not like it?

SILVIA
Yes, yes; the lines are very quaintly writ;
But since unwillingly, take them again.
Nay, take them.

VALENTINE
Madam, they are for you.

SILVIA
Ay, ay: you writ them, sir, at my request;
But I will none of them; they are for you;
I would have had them writ more movingly.

VALENTINE
Please you, I'll write your ladyship another.

SILVIA
And when it's writ, for my sake read it over,
And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.

VALENTINE
If it please me, madam, what then?

SILVIA
Why, if it please you, take it for your labour:
And so, good morrow, servant.

Exit

SPEED
O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a steeple!
My master sues to her, and she hath
taught her suitor,
He being her pupil, to become her tutor.
O excellent device! was there ever heard a better,
That my master, being scribe, to himself should write
the letter?

VALENTINE
How now, sir? what are you reasoning with yourself?

SPEED
Nay, I was rhyming: 'tis you that have the reason.

VALENTINE
To do what?

SPEED
To be a spokesman for Madam Silvia.

VALENTINE
To whom?

SPEED
To yourself: why, she wooes you by a figure.

VALENTINE
What figure?

SPEED
By a letter, I should say.

VALENTINE
Why, she hath not writ to me?

SPEED
What need she, when she hath made you write to
yourself? Why, do you not perceive the jest?

VALENTINE
No, believe me.

SPEED
No believing you, indeed, sir. But did you perceive
her earnest?

VALENTINE
She gave me none, except an angry word.

SPEED
Why, she hath given you a letter.

VALENTINE
That's the letter I writ to her friend.

SPEED
And that letter hath she delivered, and there an end.

VALENTINE
I would it were no worse.

SPEED
I'll warrant you, 'tis as well:
For often have you writ to her, and she, in modesty,
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply;
Or fearing else some messenger that might her mind discover,
Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto her lover.
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it.
Why muse you, sir? 'tis dinner-time.

VALENTINE
I have dined.

SPEED
Ay, but hearken, sir; though the chameleon Love can
feed on the air, I am one that am nourished by my
victuals, and would fain have meat. O, be not like
your mistress; be moved, be moved.

Exeunt

Act 1, Scene 3 | Act 2, Scene 2

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