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To let him spend his time no more at home,
Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to that
Pant. I think, your lordship is not ignorant
Ant. I know it well.
him thither :
Ant. I like thy counsel: well hast thou advis'd ;
3 Here again the Poet is alluding to the practices of his own time. At an earlier period, when war was expressly conducted by the laws of knighthood, “ the tournay, with all its magnificence, its minstrels, and heralds, and damosels in lofty towers, had its hard blows, its wounds, and sometimes its deaths.” But the tournaments of Shakespeare's time, and such as Proteus was sent to practise, were “ the tournaments of gay pennons and pointless lances ;” as magnificent indeed as the old knightly encounters, but “ as harmless to the combatants as those between other less noble actors, – the heroes of the stage.” The Poet had no doubt witnessed some of these courtly pastimes," as held by Her Majesty in the Tilt-yard at Westminster, or by proud Leicester in the Tilt-yard at Kenilworth.
Pant. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Al
Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go: And, in good time,- now will we break with him.“
Enter PROTEUS. Pro. Sweet love! sweet lines! sweet life! Here is her hand, the agent of her heart ; Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn: 0! that our fathers would applaud our loves, To seal our happiness with their consents ! O heavenly Julia ! Ant. How now! what letter are you reading
there? Pro. May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or two Of commendations sent from Valentine, Deliver'd by a friend that came from him.
Ant. Lend me the letter: let me see what news.
Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish ?
Pro. As one relying on your lordship’s will, And not depending on his friendly wish.
Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish:
4 That is, break, or open, the matter to him ; - one of many instances showing how much the use of prepositions has changed. To break with a person, now wears a very different meaning. Antonio's words, in good time, refer to Proteus, whom he just then sees coming.
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed;
Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided :
[Ereunt Ant. and PANT. Pro. Thus have I shunn'd the fire, for fear of
burning; And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd: I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter, Lest he should take exceptions to my love; And with the vantage of mine own excuse Hath he excepted most against my love. O! how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day ; Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.
5 Exhibition is allowance of money; it is still used in the Universities for a stipend.
6 It is curious to note with what accuracy as well as vividness the Poet here paints the manners of April. The play was written in his youth, when he was more at home with external nature than with man, his mind not having yet clomb the height of this latter argument. What a study is traced in the progress of his mind as the gay riches of vision gradually yielded to the sterner and solider riches of thought! the first, however, giving a promise of the last, and the last keeping up a remembrance of the first. The
Pro. Why, this it is! my heart accords thereto; And yet a thousand times it answers, no. (Exeunt.
SCENE I. Milan. A Room in the DUKE'S
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED. Speed. Sir, your glove. Val. Not mine; my gloves are on. Speed. Why, then this may be yours, for this is
Speed. Madam Silvia ! madam Silvia!
fine ecstasy with which, in his earlier plays, as in his poems, he dwells on the movements and aspects of nature has often sent our thoughts to a passage of Wordsworth, describing his youthful self:
"For nature then
An appetite ; a feeling and a love." i On and one were anciently pronounced alike, and frequently written so. VOL. I.
Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her ?
Speed. Marry, by these special marks: First, you have learn’d, like Sir Proteus, to wreath your arms like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a schoolboy that had lost his A B C; to weep, like a young wench that had buried her grandam ; to fast, like one that takes diet ; ? to watch, like one that fears robbing ; to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laugh’d, to crow like a cock ; when you walk'd, to walk like one of the lions ; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you look'd sadly, it was for want of money : and now you are metamorphos'd with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master.
Val. Are all these things perceiv'd in me?
3 The feast of All-hallows, or All Saints, at which time the poor in Staffordshire go from parish to parish a souling, as they call it; that is, begging and puling, (or singing small, as Bailey's Dictionary explains puling,) for soul-cakes, and singing what they call the souler's song. These terms point out the condition of this benevolence, which was, that the beggars should pray for the souls of the giver's departed friends.