Imagens das páginas

than the greater part of this author's, though supposed to be one of the first he wrote.'

Dr. Johnson remarks, that “in this play there is a strange mixture of knowlege 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.'-'When I read this play,' adds the same writer, “I cannot but think that I find, both in the serious and ludicrous scenes the language and sentiments of Shakspeare. It is not, indeed, one of his most powerful effusions ; it has neither many diversities of character, nor striking delineations of life; but it abounds in yr@ual beyond most of his plays; and few have more lines or passages which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful.'


A young gentleman of Verona, named Valentine, after taking leave of his friend Proteus, visits the court of Milan, where he becomes captivated by the charms of Silvia, the duke's daughter, who secretly favors his addresses, in preference to those of a rich suitor provided by her father. In the mean time, Proteus, who had become enamored of Julia, a Veronese lady, successfully prosecutes his suit, and obtains from his mistress assurances of mutual regard. The satisfaction of these lovers is soon interrupted by the young gentleman's father, who, ignorant of his son's attachment, is anxious to send him to Milan, where Valentine still resides. After quitting Julia with professions of unalterable constancy, Proteus joins his friend, who receives him with the utmost tenderness; confides to him the secret of his love ; and, having introduced him into the presence of Silvia, informs him of his intended elopement with her: but he has soon reason to repent his misplaced confidence; for Proteus, who by this time had forgotten his former vows, and was resolved to supplant Valentine, treacherously informs the duke of his daughter's purposed flight, which procures the banishment of Valentine and the imprisonment of Silvia. During this period, Julia, unable to endure the absence of her lover, travels to Milan in the disguise of a youth, and contrives to hire herself as a page to Proteus, whose perfidy she soon discovers. Silvia soon after effects her escape from confinement, but is overtaken in a forest by Proteus, who endeavors to obtain her consent by threats of violence, when she is unexpectedly rescued by Valentine, whose life had recently been spared by a band of outlaws settled here, on condition of becoming their leader. The remonstrances of Valentine awaken the remorse of Proteus : he entreats forgiveness, which is readily granted him; and Julia, having discovered herself, is united to her lover; while the duke, after pardoning the outlaws and recalling them from exile, willingly consents to the nuptials of his daughter with Valentine.



Duke of Milan, father to Silvia.

{gentlemen of Verona.

Antonio, father to Proteus.
Thurio, a foolish rival to Valentine.
EGLAMOUR, agent for Silvia in her escape.
SPEED, a clownish servant to Valentine.
LAUNCE, servant to Proteus.
PanthINO, servant to Antonio.
Host, where Julia lodges in Milan.

Julia, a lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus.
Silvia, the duke's daughter, beloved by Valentine.
LUCETTA, waiting-woman to Julia.

Servants, Musicians.

SCENE, sometimes in Verona ; sometimes in Milan; and on

the frontiers of Mantua.


ACT 1.

An open place in Verona.

Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus ;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits :
Were 't not, affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honor'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company,
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.1
But, since thou lovest, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when I to love begin.
Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine,

adieu ! Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel : Wish me partaker in thy happiness, When thou dost meet good hap; and, in thy danger,


1 Idleness, which prevents the giving any form or character to the manners.

If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine.

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success.
Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross’d the Hellespont.

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; For he was more than over shoes in love.

Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love; And yet you never swom the Hellespont.

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots, 1
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with

groans; Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading mo

ment's mirth,
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights :
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. So, by your circumstance,? I fear, you 'll


· Do not make a laughing-stock of me. A proverbial expression, deriving its origin from a humorous punishment at harvest-home feasts.

2 Circumstance is used equivocally : it here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction.

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