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And so, unworthily, disgrace the man,
Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean,
Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know
Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger
Duke. Be they of much import?
Val. The tenor of them doth but signify My health, and happy being at your court.
Duke. Nay, then no matter; stay with me a while; I am to break with thee of some affairs, That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 'Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter.
be not aimed at ;] Be not guessed. Johnson.
Fohnson. Pretence is design. So, in K. Lear: “—to feel my affection to your honour, and no other pretence of danger."
Again, in the same play: “. - pretence and purpose of unkind. ness.” Steevens.
Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match Were rich and honourable; besides, the gentleman Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities, Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter: Cannot your grace win her to fancy him?
Duke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, froward, Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty; Neither regarding that she is my child, Nor fearing me, as if I were her father; And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers, Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her; And, where4 I thought the remnant of mine age Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, I now am full resolv'd to take a wife, And turn her out to who will take her in : Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower; For me and my possessions she esteems not.
Val. What would your grace have me to do in this?
Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan, here,5
may bestow myself, To be regarded, in her sun-bright eye.
Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words; Dumb jewels, often, in their silent kind, More quick than words, do move a woman's mind.?
4 And, where - Where, in this instance, has the power of whereas. So, in Pericles, Act I. sc. i: “ Where now you 're both a father and a son.” Steevens.
sir, in Milan, here,] It ought to be thus, instead of-in Verona, here—for the scene apparently is in Milan, as is clear from several passages in the first act, and in the beginning of the first scene of the fourth act. A like mistake has crept into the eighth scene of Act II, where Speed bids his fellow-servant, Launce, welcome to Padua. Pope.
the fashion of the time -) The modes of courtship, the acts by which men recommended themselves to ladies. Fohnson. 7 Win her with gifts, if she respect not words ;
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her. 8
So, in our author's Passionate Pilgrim:
“ Spare not to spend,-
“ The golden bullet beats it down.” A line of this stanza
". The strongest castle, tower, and town,” and two in a succeeding stanza
“ What though she strive to try her strength,
thee nay.” remind us of the following verses in The Historie of Graunde Amoure, (sign. 1 2] written by Stephen Hawes, near a century before those of Shakspeare:
“ Forsake her not, though that she saye nay:
“ But busy labour may make it agree.” Another earlier writer than Shakspeare, speaking of women, has also the same unfavourable (and, I hope, unfounded) senti. ment:
“ 'Tis wisdom to give much! a gift prevails,
Marlowe's Hero and Leander.
Malone. Again, in the First Part of Jeronimo, 1605, though written much earlier:
let his protestations be “ Fashioned with rich jewels, for in love " Great gifts and gold have the best tongues to move. “ Let him not spare an oath without a jewel " To bind it fast: oh, I know womens hearts “ What stuff they are made of, my lord: gifts and giving
“ Will melt the chastest seeming female living.” The same rude sentiment was soon after adopted by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Woman Hater, 1607, Act IV. sc. ii:
- your offers must “ Be full of bounty; velvets to furnish a gown, silks “ For petticoats and foreparts, shag for lining; “ Forget not some pretty jewel to fasten after • Some little compliment! If she deny this courtesy, “ Double your bounties; be not wanting in abundance: “ Fulness of gifts, link'd with a pleasing tongue, « Will win an anchorite.” Reed.
- that I sent her.] To produce a more accurate rhyme, we might read:
that I sent, Sir."
Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best contents
her: Send her another; never give her o'er; For scorn at first makes after-love the more. If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you, But rather to beget more love in you: If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone; For why, the fools are mad, if left alone. Take no repulse, whatever she doth say; For, get you gone, she doth not mean, away: Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces; Though ne'er so black, say, they have angels' faces. That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, If, with his tongue, he cannot win a woman.
Duke. But she, I mean, is promis'd by her friends Unto a youthful gentleman of worth; And kept severely from resort of men, That no man hath access, by day, to her.
Val. Why, then, I would resort to her, by night.
Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept safe, That no man hath recourse to her, by night.
Val. What lets, but one may enter at her window?
Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground; And built so shelving that one cannot climb it, Without apparent hazard of his life.
Val. Why, then, a ladder, quaintly made of cords, To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks, Would serve to scale another Hero's tower, So bold Leander would adventure it.
Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me where I may have such a ladder.
Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me that.
Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for every thing, that he can come by.
Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder.
Mr. M. Mason observes, that the rhyme, which was evidently here intended, requires that we should read—“what best content her.” The word what may imply those which, as well as that which. Steevens. 9 What lets,] i. e. what hinders. So, in Hamlet, Act I. sc. iv: “ By heaven, I'll make a.ghost of him that lets me."
Duke. But, hark thee; I will go to her alone; How shall I best convey the ladder thither?
Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it Under a cloak, that is of any length.
Duke. A cloak, as long as thine, will serve the turn?
Duke. Then let me see thy cloak;
Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord.
Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak? I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.What letter is this same? What's here?-To Silvia? And here an engine fit for my proceeding! I'll be so bold to break the seal for once. [Reads. My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly;
And slaves they are to me, that send them flying : 0, could their master come and go, as lightly,
Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying. My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them;
While I, their king, that thither them importune,
Because myself do want my servants" fortune :
-for they are sent by me,] For is the same as for that, since. Fohnson.
Merops' son)] Thou art Phaeton in thy rashness, but without his pretensions; thou art not the son of a divinity, but a terræ filius, a low-born wretch! Merops is thy true father, with whom Phaëton was falsely reproached. Johnson.
This scrap of mythology Shakspeare might have found in the spurious play of K. John, 1591:
as sometime Phaëton
“ Mistrusting silly Merops for his sire.” Or, in Robert Greene's Orlando Furioso, 1594:
" Why, foolish, hardy, daring, simple groom,