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When women cannot love, where they ’re belov’d.
Sil. When Proteus cannot love, where he 's belov’d.
All men, but Proteus.
Sil. O heaven!
I 'll force thee yield to my desire.
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,
Pro. My shame and guilt confounds me.-
Then I am paid;
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
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;
Pro. How! Julia !
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
Jul. 'Cry you mercy, sir,
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:
Pro. Than men their minds! 'tis true: O heaven!
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Val. Come, come, a hand from either:
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:
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
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.