Two Gentlemen of Verona By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

SPEED.
You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and
I a sheep?

PROTEUS.
I do.

SPEED.
Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.

PROTEUS.
A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.

SPEED.
This proves me still a sheep.

PROTEUS.
True; and thy master a shepherd.

SPEED.
Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.

PROTEUS.
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.

PROTEUS.
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.'

PROTEUS.
But, dost thou hear? gavest thou my letter to Julia?

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.

PROTEUS.
Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.

SPEED.
If the ground be overcharged, you were best stick her.

PROTEUS.
Nay, in that you are astray: 'twere best pound you.

SPEED.
Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your
letter.

PROTEUS.
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.

PROTEUS.
But what said she? [SPEED nods.] Did she nod?

[SPEED] Ay.

PROTEUS. Nod, ay? Why, that's noddy.

SPEED. You mistook, sir; I say she did nod; and you ask me if she
did nod; and I say, Ay.

PROTEUS.
And that set together is — noddy.

SPEED.
Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for
your pains.

PROTEUS.
No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.

SPEED.
Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.

PROTEUS.
Why, sir, how do you bear with me?

SPEED.
Marry, sir, the letter, very orderly; having nothing but the
word 'noddy' for my pains.

PROTEUS.
Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit.

SPEED.
And yet it cannot overtake your slow purse.

PROTEUS.
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.

PROTEUS.
Well, sir, here is for your pains [giving him money]. What said
she?

SPEED.
Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her.

PROTEUS.
Why, couldst thou perceive so much from her?

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 your mind. Give her no token but stones, for she's as
hard as steel.

PROTEUS.
What! said she nothing?

SPEED.
No, not so much as 'Take this for thy pains.' To testify
your bounty, I thank you, you have testerned me; in requital
whereof, henceforth carry your letters yourself; and so, sir,
I'll commend you to my master.

PROTEUS.
Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from wrack;
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard,
Being destin'd to a drier death on shore. —

[Exit SPEED.]

I must go send some better messenger.
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,
Receiving them from such a worthless post.

[Exit.]

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