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Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? 'pox of your love-letters! [Exit.

Laun. Now will he be swinged for reading my letter: An unmannerly slave, that will thrust himself into secrets! I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's correction. [Exit.


The same. A room in the Duke's Palace.

Enter DUKE and THURIO; PROTEUS behind.

Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will love you, Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight.

Thu. Since his exíle she hath despis'd me most, Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me,

That I am desperate of obtaining her.

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure
Trenched in ice; which, with an hour's heat,
Dissolves to water, and doth lose its form.
A little time will melt her frozen thoughts,
And worthless Valentine shall be forgot.-
How now, sir Proteus? Is your countryman,
According to our proclamation, gone?

Pro. Gone, my good lord.

Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously. Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief. Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so.Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee,


(For thou hast shown some sign of good desert) Sure Makes me the better to confer with thee.

Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace,

Let me not live to look upon your grace.

Duke. Thou know'st how willingly I would effect The match between sir Thurio and my daughter. Pro. I do, my lord.

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant
How she opposes her against my will.

Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here.
Duke. Ay, and perversely she persévers so.

6 Trenched in ice;] Cut, carved in ice. Trancher, to cut, French. Johnson.

So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:

"Is deeply trenched in my blushing brow." Steevens.

What might we do, to make the girl forget
The love of Valentine, and love sir Thurio?

Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent; Three things, that women highly hold in hate. Duke. Ay, but she 'll think that it is spoke in hate. Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it: Therefore it must, with circumstance, be spoken By one, whom she esteemeth, as his friend.


Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him. Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do: "Tis an ill office for a gentleman;

Especially, against his very friend.

Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage him, Your slander never can endamage him:

Therefore the office is indifferent,

Being entreated to it by your friend.

Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord: if I can do it,
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise,
She shall not long continue love to him.
But say, this"weed' her love from Valentine,
It follows not, that she will love sir Thurio.


Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love from him, Lest it should ravel, and be good to none,

You must provide to bottom it on me:

Which must be done, by praising me as much

As you, in worth, dispraise sir Valentine.

Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this kind; Because we know, on Valentine's report,


with circumstance,] With the addition of such incidental particulars, as may induce belief. Johnson.


his very friend.] Very is immediate. So, in Macbeth: "And the very ports they blow." Steevens.

9 — as you unwind her love-] As you wind off her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The housewife's term for a ball of thread, wound upon a central body, is a bottom of thread. Johnson.

So, in Grange's Garden, 1557: "in answer to a letter written unto him by a Curtyzan:"

"A bottome for your silke it seems
"My letters are become,

"Which oft with winding off and on
"Are wasted whole and some."


You are already love's firm votary,

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And cannot soon revolt and change your mind.
Upon this warrant shall you have access,
Where you with Silvia may confer at large;
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy,
And, for your friend's sake, will be glad of you;
Where you may temper her,1 by your persuasion,
To hate young Valentine, and love my friend.
Pro. As much as I can do, I will effect:-
But you, sir Thurio, are not sharp enough:
You must lay lime, to tangle her desires,
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes
Should be full fraught with serviceable vows.
Duke. Ay, much the force of heaven-bred poesy.
Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
Write till your ink be dry; and with your tears
Moist it again; and frame some feeling line,
That may discover such integrity:3—


For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews;4

1 • you may temper her,] Mould her, like wax, to whatever shape you please. So, in King Henry IV, P. II: "I have him already tempering between my finger and my thumb; and shortly will I seal with him." Malone.



lime,] That is, birdlime. Johnson.

such integrity:] Such integrity may mean such ardour and sincerity, as would be manifested by practising the directions, given in the four preceding lines. Steevens.

I suspect that a line, following this, has been lost; the import of which perhaps was

"As her obdurate heart may penetrate." Malone.

4 For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews;] This shews Shakspeare's knowledge of antiquity. He here assigns Orpheus his true character of legislator. For, under that of a poet only, or lover, the quality given to his lute is unintelligible. But, considered as a lawgiver, the thought is noble, and the imagery exquisitely beautiful. For, by his lute, is to be understood his system of laws; and by the poets' sinews, the power of numbers, which Orpheus actually employed in those laws, to make them received by a fierce and barbarous people. Warburton.

Proteus is describing to Thurio the powers of poetry; and gives no quality to the lute of Orpheus, but those usually and vulgarly ascribed to it. It would be strange indeed, if, in order to prevail upon the ignorant and stupid Thurio to write a sonnet to his mistress, he should enlarge upon the legislative powers of

Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans

Forsake unsounded deeps, to dance on sands.
After your dire lamenting elegies,

Visit by night your lady's chamber-window,
With some sweet concert:5 to their instruments
Tune a deploring dump; the night's dead silence

Orpheus, which were nothing to the purpose. Warburton's observations frequently tend to prove Shakspeare more profound and learned than the occasion required, and to make the Poet of Nature the most unnatural that ever wrote. M. Mason.


with some sweet concert:] The old copy has consort, which I once thought might have meant, in our author's time, a band or company of musicians. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"Tyb. Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo.

"Mer. Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels ?" The subsequent words, "To their instruments-," seem to favour this interpretation; but other instances, that I have since met with, in books of our author's age, have convinced me, that consort was only the old spelling of concert, and I have accordingly printed the latter word in the text. The epithet sweet, annexed to it, seems better adapted to the musick itself than to the band. Consort, when accented on the first syllable (as here), had, I believe, the former meaning; when on the second, it signified a company. So, in the next scene:

"What say'st thou? Wilt thou be of our consórt ?" Malone. 6 Tune a deploring dump;] A dump was the ancient term for a mournful elegy.



Will well become such sweet complaining grievance. This, or else nothing, will inherit her."


For this curiosity the reader is indebted to STAFFORD SMITH, Esq. of his Majesty's Chapel Royal. Steevens.


will inherit her.] To inherit, is, by our author, sometimes used, as in this instance, for to obtain possession of, without any idea of acquiring by inheritance. So, in Titus Andronicus: "He that had wit, would think that I had none, "To bury so much gold under a tree,

"And never after to inherit it."

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