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When women cannot love, where they ’re belov’d.

Sil. When Proteus cannot love, where he 's belov’d.
Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love,
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith
Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths
Descended into perjury, to love me.
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou hadst two,
And that's far worse than none; better have none,
Than plural faith, which is too much by one:
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend!

In love,
Who respects friend?

All men, but Proteus.
Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words
Can no way change you to a milder form,
I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end;
And love you ’gainst the nature of love, force you.

Sil. O heaven!

I 'll force thee yield to my desire.
Val. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch;
Thou friend of an ill fashion!

Val. Thou common friend, that 's without faith or

(For such is a friend now) treacherous man!
Thou hast beguild my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive: thou would'st disprove me.
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hando

that's without faith or love;] That's is perhaps here used, not for who is, but for id est, that is to say. Malone.

9 Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand —] The word now is wanting in the first folio. Steevens. The second folio, to complete the metre, reads:

“Who shall be trusted now, when one's right hand —" The addition, like all those made in that copy, appears to have been merely arbitrary; and the modern word [own, whic' was introduced by Sir Thomas Hanmer] is, in my opinion, more likely to have been the author's than the other. Malone.

What! all at one fell swoop!” are they all arbitrary, when Mr. Malone has honoured so many of them with a place in his text? Being completely satisfied with the reading of the second folio, I have followed it. Steevens.

Is perjur'd to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry, I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deepest:1 O time, most curst!
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst!

Pro. My shame and guilt confounds me.-
Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender it here; I do as truly suffer,
As e'er I did commit.

Then I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest:-
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of heaven nor earth; for these are pleas'd;
By penitence the Eternal's wrath 's appeas’d:-
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.?

1 The private wound, &c.] I have a little mended the measure. The old editions, and all but Sir Thomas Hanmer's, read: The private wound is deepest: O time most accurs’d.”

Johnson. Deepest, highest, and other similar words, were sometimes used by the poets of Shakspeare's age, as monosyllables. So, in our poet's 133d Sonnet:

“ But slave to slavery my sweetest friend must be.” Malone. Perhaps our author only wrote—" sweet,” which the transcriber, or printer, prolonged into the superlative—“sweetest.Steevens.

2 All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.] It is (I think) very odd, to give up his mistress thus at once, without any reason alleged. But our author probably followed the stories, just as he found them in his novels as well as histories. Pope.

This passage either hath been much sophisticated, or is one great proof, that the main parts of this play did not proceed from Shakspeare; for it is impossible he could make Valentine act and speak so much out of character, or give to Silvia so unnatural a behaviour, as to take no notice of this strange concession, if it had been made. Hanmer.

Valentine, from seeing Silvia in the company of Proteus, might conceive she had escaped with him from her father's court, for the purposes of love, though she could not foresee the violence which his villany might offer, after he had seduced her, under the pretence of an honest passion. If Valentine, however, be supposed to hear all that passed between them in this scene, I am afraid I have only to subscribe to the opinions of my prede.



Jul. O me, unhappy!

[Faints. Pro. Look to the boy. Val. Why, boy! why, wag! how now? what is the

matter! Look up; speak. Jul.

O good sir, my master charg'd me
To deliver a ring to madam Silvia ;3
Which, out of my neglect, was never done.

Pro. Where is that ring, boy?

Here 'tis: this is it.

[Gives a ring. Pro. How! let me see:4 Why this is the ring I gave to Julia.

Jui. (), cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook; This is the ring you sent to Silvia. [Shows another ring.

Pro. But, how cam’st thou by this ring? at my depart, I

gave this unto Julia.

Jul. And Julia herself did give it me;
And Julia herself hath brought it hither.

Pro. How! Julia !
Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,5

I give thee.] Transfer these two lines to the end of Thurio's speech in page 237, and all is right. Why then should Julia faint? It is only an artifice, seeing Silvia given up to Valentine, to discover herself to Proteus, by a pretended mistake of the rings. One great fault of this play is, the hastening too abrupt. ly, and without due preparation, to the denouëment, which shews that, if it be Shakspeare's, (which I cannot doubt) it was one of his very early performances. Blackstone.

3 To deliver a ring to madam Silvia ;] Surely our author wrote -Deliver a ring,” &c. A verse, so rugged as that in the text, must be one of those corrupted by the players, or their transcribers. Steevens.

4 Pro. How ! let me see: &c.] I suspect that this unmetrical passage should be regulated as follows:

Pro. How ! let me see it: Why, this is the ring
I gave to Julia.

Jul. 'Cry you mercy, sir,
I have mistook: this is the ring you sent
To Silvia.

Pro. But how cam’st thou by this?

At my depart, I gave this unto Julia Steevens. 5 Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,] So, in Titus Andronicus, Act V, sc. iii:

“ But, gentle people, give me aim a while.” ,

And entertain'd them deeply in her heart:
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root ?6
O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush!
Be thou asham'd, that I have took upon me
Such an immodest rayment; if shame live?
In a disguise of love:
It is the lessser blot, modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes, than men their minds.

Pro. Than men their minds! 'tis true: O heaven!

were man

But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all sins:
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins:
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye?.

Val. Come, come, a hand from either:
Let me be blest to make this happy close;
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish for ever. Jul. And I have mine. 8

Enter Out-laws, with Duke and THURIO. Out.

A prize, a prize, a prize! Val. Forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.o Your grace is welcome to a man disgrac'd, Banished Valentine. Duke.

Sir Valentine! Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia 's mine. Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;

Both these passages allude to the aim-crier in archery. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, sc. ii: “ - all my neighbours shall cry aim." See note, ibid. Steevens.

6 How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root?] Sir T. Hanmer reads-cleft the root on 't. Johnson.

cleft the root?] i. e. of her heart. Malone. An allusion to cleaving the pin in archery. Steevens.

- if shame live - ] That is, if it be any shame to wear a disguise for the purposes of love. Fohnson.

8 And I have mine.] The old copy reads—" And I mine.”-I have inserted the word have, which is necessary to metre, by the advice of Mr. Ritson. Steevens.

9' Forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.] The old copy, without regard to metre, repeats the word forbear, which is here omitted. Steevens.


Come not within the measure of my wrath:
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again,
Milan shall not behold thee.2 Here she stands;
Take but possession of her with a touch;
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.-

Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done, 3
And leave her, on such slight conditions.-
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,5
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.
Plead a new state6 in thy unrivall'd merit,
To which I thus subscribesir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd;


the measure —] The length of my sword, the reach of my anger. Fohnson.

2 Milan shall not behold thee.] All the editions—Verona shall not behold thee. But whether through the mistake of the first editors, or the poet's own carelessness, this reading is absurdly faulty. For the threat here is to Thurio, who is a Milanese; and has no concern, as it appears, with Verona. Besides, the scene is between the confines of Milan and Mantua, to which Silvia follows Valentine, having heard that he had retreated thither. And, upon these circumstances, I ventured to adjust the text, as I imagine the poet must have intended; i. e. Milan, thy country, shall never see thee again: thou shalt never live to go back thither. Theobald.

3 To make such means for her as thou hast done,] i. e. to make such interest for, to take such disingenuous pains about her. So, in King Richard III:

“One that made means to come by what he hath.” Steevens. 4 And think thee worthy of an empress' love.] This thought has already occurred in the fourth scene of the second act:

“ He is as worthy for an empress' love." Steevens.

- all former griefs,] Griefs, in old language, frequently signified grievances, wrongs. Malone.

6 Plead a new state -] Should not this begin a new sentence ? Plead is the same as plead thou. Tyrwhitt.


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