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That art a votary to fond desire?
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!
Enter SPEED.1 Speed. Sir Proteus, save you: Saw you my master?
8 At Milan,] The old copy has-To Milan. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. The first copy, however, may be right. “ To Milan”-may here be intended as an imperfect sentence. I am now bound for Milan.
Or the construction intended, may have been-Let me hear from thee, by letters, to Milan, i. e. addressed to me there.
Malone. 9 Made wit with musing weak,] For made read make. Thou Julia, hast made me war with good counsel, and make wit weak with musing. Fohnson.
Surely there is no need of emendation. It is Fulia, who “ has already made wit weak with musing," &c. Steevens.
1 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 tri. Aling conceits, to be accounted for only from the gross taste of the age he lived in; Populo ut placerent. I wish I had authority to leave them out; but I have done all I could, set a mark of re. probation upon them throughout this edition. Pope.
That this, like many other scenes, is mean and vulgar, 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.
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. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep. Speed. This proves me still a sheep. Pro. True; and thy master a shepherd. Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another.
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 sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep.
Speed. Such another proof will make me cry baa.
Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton ;? and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour.
2 I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton;] Speed calls himself a lost 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 pas. sion must, by the metaphor, be the mutton. And Cotgrave, in his English-French Dictionary, explains laced mutton, Une garse, putain, fille de joye. And Mr. Motteux has rendered this passage of Rabelais, in the prologue of his fourth book, Cailles coiphees mignonnement chantans, in this manner; Coated quails and laced mutton, waggishly singing. So, that laced mutton has been a sort of standard phrase for girls of pleasure. Theobald.
Nash, in his Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1595, speaking of Gabriel Harvey's incontinence, says: " he would not stick to extoll rotten lac'd mutton.” So, in the comedy of The Shoemaker's Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, 1610:
" Why here's good lac'd mutton, as I promis'd you."
Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a store of muttons.
Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.
Pro. Nay, in that you are astray ;3 'twere best pound you.
Speed. Nay, sir, 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 she nod?“ (SPEED nods.
Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
" And I smelt he lov'd lac'd mutton well.” Again, Heywood, in his Love's Mistress, 1636, speaking of Cupid, says, he is the “Hero of hie-hoes, admiral of ay-mes, and monsieur of mutton lac'd.” Steevens.
A laced mutton was, in our author's time, so established a term for a courtezan, that a street in Clerkenwell, which was much frequented by women of the town, was then called Mutton Lane. It seems to have been a phrase of the same kind as the French expression--caille coifée, and might be rendered in that language mouton en corset. This appellation appears to have been as old as the time of King Henry III. “ Item sequitur gravis pena corporalis, sed sine amissione vitæ, vel membrorum, si raptus fit de concubina legitimâ, vel alia quæstum faciente, sine delectu personarum: has quidem oves debet rex tueri pro pace suâ.” Bracton, de Legibus, lib. ii. Malone.
3 Nay, in that you are astray;] For the reason Proteus gives, Dr. Thirlby advises that we should read, a stray, i.e. a stray sheep; which continues Proteus's banter upon Speed. Theobald.
From the word astray here, and lost mutton above, it is obvious that the double reference was to the first sentence of the General Confession in the Prayer-book. Henley.
did she nod?] These words were supplied by Theobald, to introduce what follows. Steevens.
In Speed's answer, the old spelling of the afirmative particle has been retained; otherwise the conceit of Proteus (such as it is) would be unintelligible. Malone.
why, that's noddy.] Noddy was a game at cards. So, in The Inner Temple Mask, by Middleton, 1619: “ I leave them wholly (says Christmas) to my eldest son Noddy, whom, during his minority, I commit to the custody of a pair of knaves, and one and thirty."
Speed. You mistook, sir; I say, she did nod: and you ask me, if she did nod; and I
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. Well, I perceive, I must be fain to bear with you.
Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me?
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.
purse. 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 delivered.
Pro. Well, sir, 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 ’li prove as hard to you, in telling her mind.6 Give her no token, but stones; for she 's as hard as steel.
Again, in Quarles's Virgin Widow, 1649: “ Let her forbear chess and noddy, as games too serious.”
Steevens. This play upon syllables is hardly worth explaining. The speakers intend to fix the name of noddy, that is, fool, on each other. So, in The Second Part of Pasquil's Mad Cappe, 1600, sig. E:
“ If such a Noddy be not thought a fool.” Again, E. 1:
If such an asse be noddied for the nounce."
“ When fashions make mens bodies
in telling your mind.” But, as this reading is to me unintelligible, I have adopted the emendation of the second folio. Steevens.
The old copy is certainly right. The meaning is--She being so hard to me, who was the bearer of your mind, I fear she will prove
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:7 in requital whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll commend you to my master.
Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wreck;
Garden of Julia's house.
Enter Julia and LUCETTA.
Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not unheedfully.
Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, That every day with parle encounter me, In thy opinion, which is worthiest love?
Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll shew my mind, According to my shallow simple skill.
Jul. What think’st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour? 9
no less so to you, when you address her in person. The opposition is between brought and telling. Malone.
you have testern'd me;] You have gratified me with a tester, testern, or testen, that is, with a sixpence. Fohnson.
By the succeeding quotation from the Fruitful Sermons, preached by Hugh Latimer, 1584, fol. 94, it appears, that a tester was of greater value, than our sixpence: “ 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 old reading is cestern'd. This typographical error was corrected, by the editor of the second fólio. Malone.
8 Which cannot perish, &c.] The same proverb has already been alluded to, in the first and last scenes of The Tempest. Reed.
9 What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour?] This Sir Eglamour must not be confounded with the persona dramatis of the
The latter lived at Milan, and had vowed “ pure chastity” upon the death of his “true love." Ritson.