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What might we do, to make the girl forget
Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine
Duke. Ay, but she ’ll think that it is spoke in hate.
Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it:
Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do:
Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage him,
Pro. You have prevailid, my lord: if I can do it,
Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love' from him,
Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind; Because we know, on Valentine's report,
with circumstance,] With the addition of such incidental particulars, as may induce belief. Johnson.
his very friend.] Very is immediate. So, in Macbeth: “ And the very ports they blow.” Steevens. as you
unwind her love – ] As you wind off her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The housewife's term for a ball of thread, wound upon a central body, is a bottom of thread. Johnson.
So, in Grange's Garden, 1557 : “ in answer to a letter written unto him by a Curtyzan:”
“ A bottome for your silke it seems
“ My letters are become,
“ Are wasted whole and some.” Steevens.
You are already love's firm votary,
Pro. As much as I can do, I will effect :-
Duke. Ay, much the force of heaven-bred poesy.
Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty
- you may temper her,] Mould her, like wax, to whatever shape you please. So, in King Henry IV, P. II: “ I have him already tempering between my finger and my thumb; and shortly will I seal with him." Malone.
- lime,] That is, birdlime. Johnson.
such integrity:] Such integrity may mean such ardour and sincerity, as would be manifested by practising the directions, given in the four preceding lines. Steevens.
I suspect that a line, following this, has been lost; the import of which perhaps was
“ As her obdurate heart may penetrate.” Malone. 4 For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews;] This shews Shakspeare's knowledge of antiquity. He here assigns Orpheus his true character of legislator. For, under that of a poet only, or lover, the quality given to his lute is unintelligible. But, considered as a lawgiver, the thought is noble, and the imagery exquisitely beautiful. For, by his lute, is to be understood his system of laws; and by the poets' sinews, the power of numbers, which Orpheus actually employed in those laws, to make them received by a fierce and barbarous people. Warburton.
Proteus is describing to Thurio the powers of poetry; and gives no quality to the lute of Orpheus, but those usually and vulgarly ascribed to it. It would be strange indeed, if, in order to prevail upon the ignorant and stupid Thurio to write a sonnet to his mistress, he should enlarge upon the legislative powers of
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Orpheus, which were nothing to the purpose. Warburton's observations frequently tend to prove Shakspeare more profound and learned than the occasion required, and to make the Poet of Nature the most unnatural that ever wrote. M. Mason.
with some sweet concert:] The old copy has consort, which I once thought might have meant, in our author's time, a band or company of musicians. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
Tyb. Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo.
“ Mer. Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels ?” The subsequent words, “ To their instruments
seem to fa. vour this interpretation; but other instances, that I have since met with, in books of our author's age, have convinced me, that consort was only the old spelling of concert, and I have accordingly printed the latter word in the text. The epithet sweet, annexed to it, seems better adapted to the musick itself than to the band. Consort, when accented on the first syllable (as here), had, I be. lieve, the former meaning; when on the second, it signified a company. So, in the next scene:
“ What say'st thou? Wilt thou be of our consórt.?” Malone. 6 Tune a deploring dump;] A dump was the ancient term for a mournful elegy.
Will well become such sweet complaining grievance. This, or else nothing, will inherit her.?
For this curiosity the reader is indebted to STAFFORD SMITH, Esq. of his Majesty's Chapel Royal. Steevens.
- will inherit her.] To inherit, is, by our author, sometimes used, as in this instance, for to obtain possession of, without any idea of acquiring by inheritance. So, in Titus Andronicus:
“ He that had wit, would think that I had none,
Duke. This discipline shews, thou hast been in love.
Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice: Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, Let us into the city presently, To sort8 some gentlemen, well skill'd in musick: I have a sonnet, that will serve the turn, To give the onset to thy good advice.
Duke. About it, gentlemen.
Pro. We 'll wait upon your grace till after supper: And afterward determine our proceedings. Duke. Even now about it; I will pardon you.
ACT IV..... SCENE I.
A Forest, near Mantua.
Enter certain Out-laws.
1 Out. Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger. 2 Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED. 3 Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about
you; If not, we 'll make you sit, and rifle you."
Speed. Sir, we are undone! these are the villains,
Val. My friends,
This sense of the word was not wholly disused in the time of Milton, who in his Comus has—" disinherit Chaos,"--meaning only, dispossess it. Steevens. 8 To sort --] i. e. to choose out. So, in K. Richard III:
“ Yet I will sort a pitchy hour for thee.” Steevens.
Johnson. i If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.] The old copy reads as I have printed the passage. Paltry as the opposition between stand and sit may be thought, it is Shakspeare's own. My predecessors read~" we 'll make you, sir,” &c. Steevens.
Sir, is the corrupt reading of the third folio. Malone.