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I am sorry


(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man!
Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me: Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive; thou would'st disprove me.
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand
Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,

I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
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.-
Forgive me, Valentine : if hearty sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender it here; I do as truly suffer,
As e'er I did commit.

Then I am paid ;
And once again I do receive thee honest :-
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of heaven, nor earth; for these are pleased;
By penitence th’ Eternal's wrath's appeased :-
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.

Jul. O me, unhappy!
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 charged me to deliver a ring to madam Silvia; which, out of my neglect, was never done.

Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
Jul. Here 'tis : this is it.

[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 !

[Faints. Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths, And entertained them deeply in her heart : How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root !! O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush! Be thou ashamed, that I have took upon me Such an immodest raiment; if shame live In a disguise of love: It is, the lesser blot modesty finds, Women to change their shapes, than men their minds.

Pro. Than men their minds? 'tis true: O heaven!


were man

But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all

the sins;
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins :
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye?

Val. Come, come, a hand from either :
Let me be blest to make this happy close ?
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever. Jul. And I mine.

Enter Outlaws, with Duke and Thurio. Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!

Val. Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
Banished Valentine.

Sir Valentine !
Thu. Yonder is Silvia ; and Silvia's mine.

Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
Come not within the measure of my wrath :
Do not name Silvia thine: if once again,
Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands ;
Take but possession of her with a touch;-
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.

Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I ;

11. e. of her heart: the allusion to archery is continued, and to cleaving the pin in shooting at the butts.


I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.-
Now, by the honor of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.-
Plead a new state in thy unrivalled merit,
To which I thus subscribe, -Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well derived ;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.
Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me

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 banished men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endued with worthy qualities;
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recalled from their exile :
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou hast prevailed; I pardon them, and

thee :
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include all jars
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.

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.



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1 Include is here used for conclude. 2 Triumphs are pageants.

Duke. What mean you by that saying?
Val. Please

I'll tell

you as we pass along, .

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

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 had 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 ;
For what are shape and colors else, but pictures ?

M. Mason.

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