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Disdain to root the summer-smelling flower,
Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this?
Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing To her, whose worth makes other worthies nothing. She is alone.
Pro. Then, let her alone.
Val. Not for the world. Why, man, she is mine own;
Pro. But she loves you ?
Val. Will you make haste ?
[Exit VALENTINE. Even as one heat another heat expels, Or as one nail by strength drives out another, So the remembrance of my former love Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
4 Disdain to root the summer-SMELLING fower,] i. e. The flower that gives fragrance in summer. This is the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632 for “summerswelling" of the old copies : w and m were often confounded by old printers. The reading is one of those which has hitherto been disputed.
5 And then I'll presently attend on you.] “On” is from the corr. fo. 1632, and as it completes the line by a small word, which probably had escaped in the process of printing, we accept it without much hesitation.
Is it mine eyen, or Valentino's praiseo,
6 It is mine byen, or VALENTINO's praise,] This line has presented a difficulty. The folio, 1623, reads,
" It is mine, or Valentine's praise?" which the folio, 1632, alters thus:
“ Is it mine then, or Valentinean's praise ?" in order to cure the defect of the metre. Malone would have it,
Is it her mien, or Valentinus' praise ?” and Warburton lays it down that “the line was originally this:"
“ It is mine eye, or Valentino's praise;" which is clearly not interrogative, as the punctuation of all the old copies shows it ought to be. The corr. fo. 1632 alters the line to
“ Is it mine own, or Valentino's praise ?" which is open to the objection, that Proteus had not praised Silvia, but had “preferred his own mistress." On the whole, we are inclined to abide by the suggestion in our first edition, that the poet wrote
“ Is it mine eyen, or Valentino's praise ?" which the old scribe or compositor misheard, and merely printed mine, when he ought to have printed “mine eyen,” the Saxon plural of eye. Mr. Singer mentions that it has been proposed to read “ Is it mine eyen,” &c., but he forgets, or omits, to give credit to our first edition for it.
7 'Tis but her PICTURE] Johnson speaks of this line, as “evidently a slip of attention,” as if Proteus could have forgotten that he had just seen Silvia herself, and not her“ picture.” Proteus uses “ picture " figuratively, meaning merely exterior, as compared with inward“ perfections.”
8 And that hath DAZZLED] “Dazzled " must be read as a trisyllable: in the second folio so is unnecessarily inserted after it, in order to complete the supposed deficiency in the measure.
9 There is no REASON] “Reason” is here to be taken in the sense of doubt.
The Same. A Street.
Enter SPEED and LAUNCE.
Speed. Launce! by mine honesty, welcome to Milan'.
Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for I am not welcome. I reckon this always--that a man is never undone, till he be hang’d; nor never welcome to a place, till some certain shot be paid, and the hostess say, welcome.
Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the ale-house with you presently; where for one shot of five pence thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. But, sirrah, how did thy master part with madam Julia ?
Launce. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they parted very fairly in jest.
Speed. But shall she marry him ?
Launce. Marry, thus: when it stands well with him, it stands well with her.
Speed. What an ass art thou! I understand thee not.
Launce. What a block art thou, that thou canst not. My staff understands me.
Speed. What thou say'st ?
Launce. Ay, and what I do too: look thee; I'll but lean, and my staff understands me.
Speed. It stands under thee, indeed.
Launce. Ask my dog: if he say, ay, it will; if he say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, it will.
Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will.
Milan.] Padua in the old editions-amended in the corr. fo. 1632.
Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from me, but by a parable.
Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
Launce. I never knew him otherwise.
Launce. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he burn himself in love, if thou wilt go with me to the ale-house ?: if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian.
Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity in thee, as to go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt thou go? Speed. At thy service.
The Same. An Apartment in the Palace.
Pro. To leave my Julia shall I be forsworn;
I care not though he burn himself in love, if thou wilt go with me to the ale-house :] This passage has been misunderstood from defective pointing : instead of a period after “ love," as in the old copies, we ought to place a comma, the meaning being that Launce does not care whether Valentine burn himself in love or not, if Speed will but go to the ale-house with him. This reading renders the word so, inserted in the second folio, and subsequently adopted by all the commentators, unnecessary. We do not, of course, dispute the point, argued somewhat at large by the Rev. Mr. Dyce (“ Remarks,” p. 10), that so often occurs in Shakespeare; but we cannot agree in his logic, that our text is “dislocated" because we make a sentence continuous, that has hitherto-been divided.
– if I have sinn'd,] “ If thou hast sinn'd” are the words in the folios, but
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it.
Love had not sinned, but had sweetly suggested, i. e. tempted Proteus to sin, and Proteus calls upon Love to teach him how to excuse it. Johnson puts it, “ if thou hast influenced me to sin ;" but still, it was Proteus who had sinned, and the corr. fo. 1632 tells us, naturally enough, to read “if I have sinn'd” for “if thou hast sinn'd.” It was no sin in Cupid to make Proteus fall in love with Silvia; it was his business and occupation : Proteus knew that it was his own sin, and therefore required Cupid to prompt him to excuse it.
– precious in itself;] The corr. fo. 1632 has to for “in," which may be right, but, with the license then used as regards prepositions, the change can hardly be called expedient.
PRETENDED flight;] “ Pretended flight,” in the language of the time, is intended flight. See Vol. iii. pp. 701. 703, &c.