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to one carrying a burthen. This critical period |
of my life proceeds as I could wish. Time
brings forward all the expected events, with-
out faltering under his burthen. STEEVENS.

P. 16. c. 1, l. 25 "his followers."-MALONE.
Id. 30. till your release.] i. e. till you re-
lease them.

Id. 1. 42. sensation.

Id. 1. 44.

a touch, a feeling-] A touch, is a

that relish all as sharply, Passion as they) I feel every thing with the same quick sensibility, and am moved by the same passions as they are.

Id. l. 55. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing
lakes, and groves;] This speech Dr. War-
burton rightly observes to be borrowed from
Medea's in Ovid.

Id. 1. 63. (Weak masters though ye be.)] The
meaning of this passage may be, Though you
are but inferior masters of these superna-
tural powers - though you possess them but
in a low degree; or, ye are powerful auxi-
liaries, but weak if left to yourselves; - your
employment is then to make green ringlets, and
midnight mushrooms, and to play the idle
pranks mentioned by Ariel in his next song;
yet by your aid I have been enabled to invert
the course of nature."
Id. 1. 72. - But this rough magic, &c.] This
speech of Prospero sets out with a long and
distinct invocation to the various ministers of
his art yet to what purpose they were in-
voked does not very distinctly appear. Had
our author written "All this," &c. instead
of But this," &c. the conclusion of the
address would have been more pertinent to its
beginning. STEEVENS.

Id. c. 2, 1. 9. — A solemn air, and the best


To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, &c.] Prospero does not desire them to cure their brains. His expression is optative, not imperative; and means - May music cure thy

Id. 1. 42. Mr. Malone reads, "There I couch
When owls do cry,"
la. 1. 42
when owls do cry ] i, e. at night.
Id. 1. 44 After summer. merrily:] This is the
reading of all the editions. Yet Mr. Theo-
bald has substituted sun-set, because Ariel
talks of riding on the bat in this expedition.
shall I live now,

Id. l. 46.

Under the blosson that hangs on the bough.] This thought is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magical system of these days. The idea was probably first suggested by the description of the venerable elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal shades.

Id. l. 54. I drink the air-] To drink the
air-is an expression of swiftness of the same
kind as to devour the way in K. Henry IV.
Id. l. 65 Whe'r thou beest he, or no,]
Whe'r for whether.
l. 72. Thy dukedom I resign;] The duchy of
Milan being through the treachery of Antonio
made feudatory to the crown of Naples, Alon-
so promises to resign his claim of sovereignty
for the future.




17, c. 1, l. I.

You do yet taste

Some subtilties o'the isle, This is a phrase adopted from ancient cookery and confectionary. When a dish was so contrived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had the like denomination, 1. 18. who three hours since - The unity of time is most rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a greater number of hours than are employed in the representation; and from the very particular care which our author takes to point out this circumstance in so many other passages, as well as here, it should seem as if it were not accidental, but purposely designed to shew the cavillers of the time that he could write a play within all the strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with the critic's fetters. Id. 1. 22. I am woe for't, sir.] i. e. I am sorry for it. To be woe, is often used by old writers to signify, to be sorry.


i. e. settle them.
Id. 1. 11. ———— boil'd within thy skull!] So, in A
Midsummer Night's Dream," seething
brains," &c. occur and in The Winter's
Tale, we have" boil'd brains."
Id. L. 15. -fellowly drops. ] I would read, fel-
low drops. The additional syllable only in- | Id.
jures the metre, without enforcing the sense.
Fellowly, however, is an adjective used by

Id. l. 18. the ignorant fumes -] i. e. the
fumes of ignorance.
Id. 1. 25. Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian.
Flesh and blood,] Thus the old copy:
Theobald points the passage in a different
manner, and perhaps rightly:

"Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian, flesh
and blood."

Id. 1.27 remorse and nature;] Remorse is by
our author and the contemporary writers ge-
nerally used for pity, or tenderness of heart.
Nature is natural affection. MALONE.

Id. l. 41. —— In a cowslip's bell I lie :] So, in |
Drayton's Nymphidia :

"At midnight, the appointed hour;
And for the queen a fitting bower,
Quoth he, is that fair cowslip flower
On Hipcut hill that bloweth."
The date of this poem not being ascer-
tained, we know not whether our author was
indebted to it, or was himself copied by Dray-
ton. I believe, the latter was the imitator
Nymphidia was not written, I imagine, till
after the English Don Quixote had appeared
in 1612 MALONE.



l. 30. As great to me, as late ;] My loss is as
great as yours, and has as lately happened to
l. 43.

their words

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Are natural breath :] An anonymous correspondent thinks that their is a corruption, and that we should read these words. His conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero.

1. 63. Yes, for a score of kingdoms, &c.] I take the sense to be only this: Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the world: Yea, answers she, I would allow you to do it for something less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play was fair So, likewise, Dr. Grey. JOHNSON.

c. 2, 1 52. My tricksy spirit!] is, my clever, adroit spirit. Shakspeare uses the same word in The Merchant of Venice.

Id. 1. 56. - dead of sleep,] Thus the old copy. asleep. Mr. Malone has on sleep" as the ancient English


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P. 17, c. 2, l. 76. -- with beating on

The strangeness, &c.] Beating may mean hammering, working in the mind, dwelling long upon. Id. 1. 78. (Which to you shall seem probable,)] I will inform you how all these wonderful accidents have happened; which, though they now appear to you strange, will then seem probable. MALONE.

P. 18, c. 1, l. 10. Coragio!] An exclamation of encouragement.

Id. l. 20. Is a plain fish,] That is, plainly, evidently

a fish; but it is not easy to determine the shape which our author designed to bestow on his monster. That he has hands, &c. we gather from circumstances in the play. Perhaps Shakspeare himself had no settled ideas concerning the form of Caliban.

ld. 1. 22. true:] that is, honest. A true man is, in the language of that time, opposed to a thief.

Id l. 24. His mother was a witch; and one so


That could control the moon, &c.] This was the phraseology of the times. After the statute against witches, revenge or ignorance frequently induced people to charge those against whom they harboured resentment, or entertained prejudices, with the crime of witchcraft, which had just then been declared a capital offence. Id. 1. 25. And deal in her command, without her power: I suppose Prospero means, that Sycorax, with less general power than the moon, could produce the same effects on the sea. STEEVENS.

Id. 1. 35. And Trinculo is reeling ripe: Where should they


Find this grand LIQUOR that hath gilded them?] Warburton thinks that Shakspeare, to be sure, wrote-grand 'LIXIR, alluding to the grand elixir of the alchymists, which they pretend would restore youth and confer immortality. But Mr. Steevens says that, as the alchymist's elixir was supposed to be a liquor, the old reading may stand.

1. 39. fly-blowing.] This pickle alludes to

their plunge into the stinking pool and pickling preserves meat from fly-blowing.

Id. l. 41. but a cramp,] i. e. I am all over a cramp. Prospero had ordered Ariel to shorten up their sinews with aged cramps. Touch me not alludes to the soreness occasioned by them.

Id. 1. 43. I should have been a sore one then.] The same quibble occurs afterwards in the Second Part of King Henry VI.: "Mass, 'twill be sore law then, for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet." Stephano also alludes to the sores about him. STEEVENS.

Id. c.2, 1. 39. With the help of your good hands.] By your applause, by clapping hands. JOHN

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SOME of the incidents in this play may be supposed to have been taken from The Arcadia, book i chap. vi., where Pyrocles consents to head the Helots. (The Arcadia was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, Aug. 23, 1588.) The love adventure of Julia resembles that of Viola in Twelfth Night, and is, indeed, common to many of the ancient novels. STEE


Mrs. Lenox observes, and I think not improbably, that the story of Proteus and Julia might be taken from a similar one in the Diana of George of Montemayor.-"This pastoral romance," says she, "was translated from the Spanish in Shakspeare's time." I have seen no earlier translation than that of Bartholomew Yong, who dates his dedication in November, 1598; and Meres, in his Wit's Treasury, printed the same year, expressly mentions the Two Gentlemen of Verona. Indeed, Montemayor was translated two or three years before, by one Thomas Wilson; but this work, I am persuaded, was never published entirely; perhaps some parts of it were, or the tale might have been translated by others. However, Mr Steevens says, very truly, that this kind of loveadventure is frequent in the old novelists. FAR


There is no earlier translation of the Diana entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, than that of B. Younge, Sept. 1598. Many translations, however, after they were licensed, were capriciously suppressed. Among others, "The Decameron of Mr. John Boccace, Florentine," was "recalled by my lord of Canterbury's commands." STEEVENS.

It is observable (I know not for what cause) that the style of this comedy is less figurative,

and more natural and unaffected, than the greater part of this author's, though supposed to be one of the first he wrote. PoPE.

It may very well be doubted whether Shakspeare had any other hand in this play than the enlivening it with some speeches and lines thrown in here and there, which are easily distinguished, as being of a different stamp from the rest. HANMER.

To this observation of Mr. Pope, which is very just, Mr Theobald has added, that this is one of Shakspeare's worst plays, and is less corrupted than any other. Mr Upton peremptorily determines, that if any proof can be drawn from manner and style, this play must be sent packing, and seek for its parent elsewhere. How otherwise, says he, do painters distinguish copies from originals? and have not authors their peculiar style and manner, from which a true critic can form as unerring judgment as a painter? I am afraid this illustration of a critic's science will not prove what is desired. A painter knows a copy from an original by rules somewhat resembling those by which critics know a translation, which, if it be literal, and literal it must be to resemble the copy of a picture, will be easily distinguished. Copies are known from originals, even when the painter copies his own picture; so, if an author should literally translate his work, he would lose the manner of an original.

Mr Upton confounds the copy of a picture with the imitation of a painter's manner. Copies are easily known, but good imitations are not detected with equal certainty, and are, by the best judges, often mistaken. Nor is it true that the writer has always peculiarities equally distinguishable with those of the painter. The

peculiar manner of each arises from the desire, natural to every performer, of facilitating his subsequent work by recurrence to his former ideas; this recurrence produces that repetition which is called habit. The painter, whose work is partly intellectual and partly manual, has habits of the mind, the eye, and the hand; the writer has only habits of the mind. Yet, some painters have differed as much from themselves as from any other; and I have been told that there is little resemblance between the first works of Raphael and the last. The same variation may be expected in writers; and if it be true, as it seems, that they are less subject to habit, the difference between their works may be yet greater.

But by the internal marks of a composition we may discover the author with probability, though seldom with certainty. When I read this play,

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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 you beyond most of his plays, and few have more lines or passages, which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful. I am yet inclined to believe that it was not very successful, and suspect that it has escaped corruption, only because being seldom played, it was less exposed to the hazards of transcription. JOHNSON.

This comedy was written in 1591, according to Mr Malone, who supposes it to have been our author's first play; and, viewed as a first production, he thinks it may be pronounced a very elegant and extraordinary performance.

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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 gestions him more; he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture: and, if we Bay 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 remem bered, 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 flights, than that any other should rise up to his Johnson.


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SCENE,-Sometimes in Verona; sometimes in Milan; and on the Frontiers of Mantua.


SCENE I.-An open Place in Verona.

Enter VALENTINE and PROTEUS. Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus; Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits: Wert not, affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, I rather would entreat thy company, To see the wonders of the world abroad, Than living dully sluggardiz'd at home, Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. Bat, since thou lov'st, 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,
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 swam the Hellespont. Pro. Over the boots? nay, give me not the boots. Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not.




To be

In love, where scorn is bought with groans; coy looks,

With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain;

If lost, why then a grievous labour 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


Pro. Tis love you cavil at; I am not love.
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you:
And he, that is so yoked by a fool,

Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. And writers say, As the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit

Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
That art a votary to fond desire?
Once more adieu: my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave
At Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here, in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Val. As much to you at home! and so, farewell.
[Exit Valentine

Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love. He leaves his friends, to dignify them more; I leave myself, my friends, and all for love. Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me; Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, War with good counsel, set the world at nought; Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought

Enter SPEED.

Speed. Sir Proteus, save you: saw you my master? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.

Speed. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already; And I have play'd the sheep, in losing him. Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away. Speed. You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and I a sheep?

Pro. I do. [I wake or sleep. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep Speed. This proves me still a sheep. Pro. True; and thy master a shepherd. Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.

Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep.

Speed. Such another proof will make me cry baa. Pro. But dost thou hear? gav'st thou my letter to Julia?

Speed. Ay, sir; I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour.

Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a store

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