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DUKE. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood, Advise me, where I may have such a ladder.

VAL. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me


DUKE. This very night; for love is like a child, That longs for every thing that he can come by. VAL. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. DUKE. But hark thee; I will go to her alone; How shall I best convey the ladder thither?

VAL. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it Under a cloak, that is of any length.

DUKE. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn? VAL. Ay, my good lord.

DUKE. Then let me see thy cloak;

I'll get me one of such another length.

VAL. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord. DUKE. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak ?— I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me.What letter is this same? What's here ?-To Silvia? And here an engine fit for my proceeding! I'll be so bold to break the seal for once.

[Reads. My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly; And slaves they are to me, that send them flying: O, could their master come and go as lightly,

Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying.


My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them ; While I, their king, that thither them impórtune, Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless'd them,

Because myself do want my servants' fortune: I curse myself, for they are sent by me*,

3 My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom, &c.] i. e. the thoughts contained in my letter. See a subsequent note in this scene, on the words, "Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love."



FOR they are sent -] For is the same as for that, since. JOHNSON.

That they should harbour where their lord should be. What's here?

Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee:

"Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose.—
Why, Phaëton, (for thou art Merops' son,)
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
And with thy daring folly burn the world?
Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee?
Go, base intruder! over-weening slave!
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates;
And think, my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence:

Thank me for this, more than for all the favours,
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee.
But if thou linger in my territories,

Longer than swiftest expedition

Will give thee time to leave our royal court,
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself.

Be gone,

I will not hear thy vain excuse, But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence°.

[Exit DUKE.

5 - Merops' son,) ] Thou art Phaeton in thy rashness, but without his pretensions; thou art not the son of a divinity, but a terræ filius, a low-born wretch; Merops is thy true father, with whom Phaeton was falsely reproached. JOHNSON.

This scrap of mythology Shakspeare might have found in the spurious play of K. John, 1591:

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as sometime Phaeton, Mistrusting silly Merops for his sire." Or in Robert Greene's Orlando Furioso, 1594 :

"Why, foolish, hardy, daring, simple groom,

"Follower of fond conceited Phaeton," &c. STEEVENS.

6 But if thou linger in my territories,

Longer than swiftest expedition

Will give thee time to leave our royal court,

By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love

I ever bore my daughter, or thyself.

Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse,

But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence.] So, as

Mr. Boaden suggests to me, in King Lear:

VAL. And why not death, rather than living tor

ment ?

To die, is to be banish'd from myself;
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her,
Is self from self; a deadly banishment!
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be, to think that she is by,
And feed upon the shadow of perfection'.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no musick in the nightingale ;
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon:
She is my essence; and I leave to be,
If I be not by her fair influence
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom":
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life.


PRO. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out.
LAUNCE. So-ho! so-ho!

PRO. What see'st thou ?

"Five days we do allow thee for provision,

"And on the sixth to turn thy hated back

“Upon our kingdom: if on the tenth day following

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Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,

"The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,

"This shall not be revok'd."


7 And feed upon the shadow of perfection.]

Animum pictura pascit inani. VIRG. HENLEY.

8 I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:] To fly his doom, used for by flying, or in flying, is a gallicism. The sense is, By avoiding the execution of his sentence I shall not escape death. If I stay here, I suffer myself to be destroyed; if I go away, I destroy myself. JOHNSON.

LAUNCE. Him we go to find: there's not a hair

on's head, but 'tis a Valentine.

PRO. Valentine?

VAL. No.

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LAUNCE. Can nothing speak? master, shall I strike?

PRO. Who would'st thou strike1?

LAUNCE. Nothing.

PRO. Villain, forbear.

LAUNCE. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray you,— PRO. Sirrah, I say, forbear: Friend Valentine, a


VAL. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good


9-there's not a HAIR-] Launce is still quibbling. He is now running down the hare that he started when he entered. MALONE. I WHO would'st thou strike?] Our author throughout his plays has confounded the personal pronouns, and uses one for the other: (who for whom, she for her, him for he, &c.) Nor was this inaccuracy peculiar to him, being very common when he wrote even among persons of good education.

So, in Othello:

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"He little cares for, and a daughter who

"He not respects at all."

See various other instances to the same purpose in the Essay on Shakspeare's Phraseology:

The reviser of the second folio was so little acquainted with the phraseology of a former period, that he has here, and in various other places, substituted whom for who; in which he has been followed by Mr. Steevens, and all other modern editors. MALONE.


So much of bad already have possess'd them.
PRO. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.
VAL. Is Silvia dead?

PRO. No, Valentine.

VAL. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia !— Hath she forsworn me?

PRO. NO, Valentine.

VAL. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!What is your news?

LAUNCE. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are vanish'd.

PRO. That thou art banish'd, O, that is the news, From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend. VAL. O, I have fed upon this woe already, And now excess of it will make me surfeit 2. Doth Silvia know that I am banished? *

PRO. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, (Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force,) A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears; Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd; With them, upon her knees, her humble self; Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them,

As if but now they waxed pale for woe;

But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chafed him so,
When she for thy repeal was suppliant,

* First folio, banish'd.

2 O, I have fed upon this woe already,

And now EXCESS of it will make me SURFEIT.] So, in Twelfth


"Give me excess of it, that surfeiting,

"The appetite may sicken and so die." MALONE.

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