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Enter Out-laws, with Duke and THURIO. Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!
Val. Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Sir Valentine !
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
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 is erroneous Shakspeare must be held accountable for this as well as some other errors in his early productions,
9" To make such means for her,” to make such interest for, to take such disingenuous pains about her.
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv’d;
Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banish’d men, that I have kept withal,
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your grace to smile: What think you of this page, my lord ?
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he 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.
[Exeunt. In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more; he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook, sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.
10 Include is here used for conclude. This is another of Shakspeare's Latinisms : “ includo, to include, to shutin, to close in."Cooper.
11 Triumphs are pageants, such as masks and shows.
That this play is rightly attributed to Shakspeare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given? This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except Titus ANDRONICUS ; and it will be found more credible, that Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest.
Johnson's general remarks on this play are just, except that part in which he arraigns the conduct of the poet, for making Proteus say he had only seen the picture of Silvia, when it appears that he bad had a personal interview with her. This however is not a blunder of Shakspeare's, but a mistake of Johnson's, who considers the passage alluded to in a more literal sense than the author intended it. Sir Proteus, it is true, had seen Silvia for a few moments; but though he could form from thence some idea of her person, he was still unacquainted with her temper, manners, and the qualities of her mind. He therefore considers himself as having seen her picture only.—The thought is just, and elegantly expressed.—So, in The Scornful Lady, the elder Loveless says to her :
I was mad once, when I loved pictures;