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And entertain'd them deeply in her heart:
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes, than men their
Pro. Than men their minds? 'tis true: 0
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins :
Val. Come, come, a hand from either :
Jul. And I have mine.
Enter Out-laws, with Duke and Thurio. Out. A prize, a prize, a prize! Val. Forbear, I say; It is my lord the duke. Your grace is welcome to a man disgrac❜d, Banished Valentine.
Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.
Come not within the measure2 of my wrath:
(1) An allusion to cleaving the pin in archery. (2) Length of my sword.
Take but possession of her with a touch!—
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.
Are men endued with worthy qualities;
Duke. Thou hast prevail'd: I pardon them and
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold
(1) Interest. (2) Masks, revels. (3) Conclude.
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he
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.
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