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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. 8

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.

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.” Steevens.

You are already love's firm votary,
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,2 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;'



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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 ex. quisitely beautiful. For, by his lute, is to be understood his sys. tem 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; 6 the night's dead silence

Orpheus, which were nothing to the purpose. Warburton's ob. servations 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.

5 — 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 fa. vour 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.

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

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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, some. times 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.

Duke. This discipline shews, thou hast been in love.

Thu. And thy advice this night I 'll put in practice: Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, Let us into the city presently, To sort8 some gentlemen, well skill’d in musick: I have a sonnet, that will serve the turn, To give the onset to thy good advice.

Duke. About it, gentlemen.

Pro. We 'll wait upon your grace till after supper: And afterward determine our proceedings. Duke. Even now about it; I will pardon you.




A Forest, near Mantua.

Enter certain Out-laws.

i Out. Fellows, stand fast; I see a passenger. 2 Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.

Enter VALENTINE and SPEED. 3 Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about

you; If not, we 'll make you sit, and rifle you.1

Speed. Sir, we are undone! these are the villains,
That all the travellers do fear so much.

Val. My friends,
1 Out. That's not so, sir; we are your enemies.

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This sense of the word was not wholly disused in the time of Milton, who in his Comus has" disinherit Chaos,"--meaning only, dispossess it. Steevens. 8 To sort – ] i. e. to choose out. So, in K. Richard III:

Yet I will sort a pitchy hour for thee.” Steevens.
I will pardon you.] I will excuse you from waiting.

Fohnson. 1 If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.] The old copy reads as I have printed the passage. Paltry as the opposition between stand and sit may be thought, it is Shakspeare's own. My predecessors read_" we 'll make you, sir,&c. Steevens.

Sir, is the corrupt reading of the third folio. Malone.

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