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The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst! 'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst !
Pro. My shame and guilt confound me. —
Then I am paid;
4 This is a strange passage. Collier and Knight have tried hard, in different ways, to make it look reasonable ; but there is an extravagance about it that will not yield to editorial skill. The best comment we have seen upon it is in « Tales from Shakespeare' : " « Proteus expressed such a lively sorrow for the injuries he had done to Valentine, that Valentine, whose nature was noble and generous even to a romantic degree, not only forgave and restored him to his former place in his friendship, but in à sudden flight of heroism he said, “I freely do forgive you ; and all the interest I have in Silvia I give it up to you!'" Which shows what Charles Lamb and his sister, “ two highly-gifted and simple-minded persons who had been reading Shakespeare together all their lives," regarded as the true sense of the text. Mr. Dyce, speaking of “ this overstrained and too generous act of friendship,” says : “ Nor would Shakespeare probably, if the play had been written in his maturer years, have made Valentine give way to such «a sudden flight of heroism :' but The Two Gentlemen of Verona was evidently an early production of the great Poet; and in many a volume, popular during his youth, he had found similar instances of romantic generosity." This explanation seems much better than the ingenious efforts of Knight and Collier to bring the representation within the lines of nature and reason. How hard it is for them to get round the plain sense of the passage, may be seen in that Knight makes all refer to wrath in the second line above, construes in by on account of, and understands give in the sense of give up or forego; so that the meaning turns out to be : “ All the wrath that was mine on account of Silvia I forego;” which convicts Julia of a gross
Jul. O me, unhappy! [Struggling with grief. · 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 ; which, out of my neglect, was never done.
Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
[Gives a ring. Pro. How ! let me see: why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
Jul. O! 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, 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 raiment; if shame live In a disguise of love."
blunder in taking on so at what Valentine says. Collier's more plausible method is, to withdraw Valentine, so that he does not hear what passes between Proteus and Silvia just before, and so, from seeing her thus with his friend, he infers that she is unfaithful or indifferent towards himself.
H. 5 He who gave aim appears to have been called the mark, and was stationed near the butts, to inform the archers how near their arrows fell to the butt.
6 That is, of her heart : the allusion to archery is continued, and to cleaving the pin in shooting at the butts.
7 That is, if it be a shame to wear a disguise in such a cause.
It is the lesser blot modesty finds,
were man But constant, he were perfect: that one error Fills him with faults ; makes him run through all
the sins :
Val. Come, come, a hand from either :
Enter "Outlaws, with Duke and THURIO.
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death.
8 « Verona shall not hold thee,” is the reading of the only authentic copy. Theobald proposed the reading, “ Milan shall not behold thee," which has been adopted by all subsequent editors, but there is no authority for the change. If the reading be erroneous Shakespeare must be held accountable for this as well as some other errors in his early productions.
Take but possession of her with a touch ;-
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I.
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
happy. I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal, Are men endued with worthy qualities : Forgive them what they have committed here, And let them be recall'd from their exile : They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord. Duke. Thou hast prevail'd ; I pardon them, and
thee: Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
9" To make such means for her," to make such interest for, to take such disingenuous pains about her.
10 That is, repeal the sentence of banishment. 11 That is, that I have been living with.
Come, let us go: we will include 12 all jars
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold
blushes. Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than
boy. Duke. What mean you by that saying ? · Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along, That you will wonder what hath fortuned. — Come, Proteus ; 'tis your penance, but to hear The story of your loves discovered : That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
12 Include is here used for conclude. This is another of Shakespeare's Latinisms. * 13 Triumphs are pageants, such as masks and shows.