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Pro.

I'll force thee yield to my desire.
Val. Ruffian, let go that rude, uncivil touch;
Thou friend of an ill fashion.
Pro.

Valentine !
Val. Thou common friend, that's without faith or love,
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man!
Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me: Now I dare not say
I have one friend alive; thou would'st disprove me.
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand
Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus,
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a stranger for thy sake.
The private wound is deepest: O time most accurst!
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst!

Pro. My shame and guilt confound me.
Forgive me, Valentine: if hearty sorrow
Be à sufficient ransom for offence,
I tender it here; I do as truly suffer,
As e'er I did commit.
Val.

Then I am paid;
And once again I do receive thee honest :
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of heaven nor earth; for these are pleased;
By penitence th’ Eternal's wrath's appeased :
And, that my love may appear plain and free,
All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.
Jul. O me, unhappy!

[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 charged me to deliver a ring to madam Silvia ; which, out of my neglect, was never done.

Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
Jul. Here 'tis: this is it.

[Gives a ring. Pro. How! let me see : why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.

Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir; I have mistook : this is the ring you sent to Silvia.

[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; And Julia herself hath brought it hither.

Pro. How! Julia !

Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths, And entertained them deeply in her heart:

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How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
0 Proteus, let this habit make thee blush !
Be thou ashamed, that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment; if shame live
In a disguise of love:
It is the lesser blot modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes, than men their minds.
Pro. Than men their minds? 't is true: O heaven! were

man
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins;
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins :
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye?

Val. Come, come, a hand from either: Let me be blest to make this happy close ? 'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish forever. Jul. And I mine.

Enter Outlaws, with DUKE and THURIO. Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!

Val. Forbear, forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
Banished Valentine.
Duke.

Sir Valentine!
Thu. Yonder is Silvia ; and Silvia's mine.

Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death;
Come not within the measure of my wrath :
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again,
Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands;
Take but possession of her with a touch ;-
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.

Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.-
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again. -
Plead a new state in thy unrivalled merit,

To which I thus subscribe, - Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well derived;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.

Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy.
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.

Val. These banished men, that I have kept withal, Are men endued with worthy qualities ; Forgive them what they have committed here, And let them be recalled from their exile : They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevailed; I pardon them, and thee: Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts. Come, let us go; we will include all jars With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.

Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your grace to smile: What think you of this page, my lord ?

Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he 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, one mutual happiness. [Exeunt.

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

VOL. I.

- 9

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