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I am sorry, I must never trust thee more,
Pro. My shame and guilt confounds me.
Then I am paid;
[Faints. 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
Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
Pro. How! let me see:
Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook;
(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;
Pro. How! Julia!
And entertain'd them deeply in her heart:
were man But constant, he were perfect: that one error Fills him with faults; makes him run through all
Val. Come, come, a hand from either:
ever. Jul. And I have mine.
Enter Out-laws, with Duke and Thurio.
A prize, a prize, a prize!
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
An allusion to cleaving the piu in archery. + Length of my sword. VOL.I.
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
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
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, ove 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 bis scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that be 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 fights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest.