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SOME of the incidents in this play may be fuppofed to have been taken from The Arcadia, Book I. chap. 6, where Pyrocles confents to head the Helots. (The Arcadia was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, Aug. 23d, 1588.) The love-adventure of Julia refembles that of Viola in Twelfth Night, and is indeed common to many of the ancient novels. STEEVENS.

Mrs. Lenox obferves, and I think not improbably, that the ftory of Proteus and Julia might be taken from a fimilar one in the Diana of George of Montemayor." This pastoral romance," fays fhe, "was tranflated from the Spanish in Shakspeare's time." I have feen no earlier tranflation than that of Bartholomew Yong, who dates his dedication in November 1598; and Meres, in his Wit's Treasury, printed the fame year, exprefsly mentions the Two Gentlemen of Verona. Indeed Montemayor was tranflated two or three years before, by one Thomas Wilfon; but this work, I am perfuaded, was never published entirely perhaps fome parts of it were, or the tale might have been tranflated by others. However, Mr. Steevens fays, very truly, that this kind of love-adventure is frequent in the old novelifts. FARMER.

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

It is obfervable (I know not for what cause,) that the ftyle of this comedy is lefs figurative, and more natural and unaffected, than the greater part of this author's, though fuppofed 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 fome fpeeches and lines thrown in here and there, which are easily diftinguifhed, as being of a different stamp from the reft. HANMER.


To this obfervation of Mr. Pope, which is very juft, Mr. Theobald has added, that this is one of Shakspeare's worst plays, and is lefs corrupted than any other. Mr. Upton peremptorily determines, that if any proof can be drawn from manner and flyle, this play must be fent packing, and feek for its parent elsewhere. How otherwife, fays he, do painters diftinguish copies from criginals? and have not authors their peculiar ftyle and manner, from which a true critic can form as unerring judgement as a painter? I am afraid this illuftration of a critic's fcience will not prove what is defired. A painter knows a copy from an original by rules fomewhat resembling thofe by which critics know a tranflation, which if it be literal, and literal it must be to resemble the copy of a picture, will be easily diftinguifhed. Copies are known from originals, even when the painter copies his own picture; so, if an author should literally tranflate his work, he would lofe 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 diftinguifhable with those of the painter. The peculiar manner of each arifes from the defire, natural to every performer, of facilitating his fubfequent 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, fome painters have differed as much from themselves as from any other; and I have been told, that there is little refemblance between the firft works of Raphael and the laft. The fame variation may be expected in writers; and if it be true, as it feems, that they are less fubject to habit, the difference between their works may be yet greater.

But by the internal marks of a compofition we may discover the author with probability, though seldom with certainty. When I read this play, I cannot but think that I find, both in the ferious and ludicrous fcenes, the language and fentiments of Shakspeare. It is not indeed one of his most powerful effufions; it has neither many diverfities of character, nor ftriking delineations of life; but it abounds in yvwual beyond most of his plays, and few have more lines or paffages, which, fingly confidered, are eminently beautiful. I am yet inclined to believe that it was not very fuccessful, and fufpect that it has escaped corruption, only because, being feldom played, it was lefs exposed to the hazards of tranfcription. JOHNSON.

This Comedy, I believe, was written in 1595. MALONE,


Duke of MILAN, father to Silvia.

VALENTINE, Gentlemen of Verona.


ANTONIO, father to Proteus.

THURIO, a foolish rival to Valentine.
EGLAMOUR, agent for Silvia in her escape.
SPEED, a clownish servant to Valentine.
LAUNCE, fervant to Proteus.
PANTHINO, fervant to Antonio.
Hoft, where Julia lodges in Milan.

JULIA, a lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus.
SILVIA, the duke's daughter, beloved by Valentine.
LUCETTA, waiting-woman to Julia.

Servants, musicians.

SCENE, fometimes in Verona; fometimes in Milan; and on the frontiers of Mantua.



An open place in Verona.



EASE to perfuade, my loving Proteus;


Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits:

Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days
To the fweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company,

To fee the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully fluggardiz'd at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But, fince thou lov'ft, 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, feeft
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel:
With 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 fuccefs.

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Pro. Upon fome book I love, I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow ftory of deep love,
How young Leander crofs'd the Hellefpont.
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 fwam the Hellefpont.

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 fcorn is bought with groans; coy looks,
With heart-fore fighs; one fading moment's mirth,
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain;
If loft, why then a grievous labour won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or elfe a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll prove.
Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.
Val. Love is your master, for he masters you;

And he that is fo yoked by a fool,

Methinks fhould not be chronicled for wife.
Pro. Yet writers fay, As in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, fo eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. And writers fay, As the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,

Even fo by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly; blafting in the bud,
Lofing his verdure even in the prime,

And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore wafte I time to counsel thee,


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