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Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.
Plead a new state ' in thy unrival'd merit,
To which I thus subscribe,-fir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well derivd;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv'd 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 banish'd inen, that I have kept withal,
Are men endu'd with worthy qualities;
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recalls from their exile :
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou haft prevaild: I pardon them, and

thee;
Dispose of them, as thou know'ft 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.

With think you of he boy hath gras

• Should not this begin a new sentence ?

Plead is the same as plead thou. TYRWHITT. So I have printed it. STEEVENS, 2 include all jars] Sir Tho. Hanmer reads conclude.

JOHNSON. To include is to shut up, to conclude. So in Macbeth :

66 and shut up " In measureless content.” Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, b. iv. c9:

"And for to shut up all in friendly love." STEEVENS.

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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, Protheus; '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.

3 Exeunt omnes.

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3 In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ig. norance, of care and negligence. The verfification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and juft; 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 mentions him more; he makes Pro theus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mis. taking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confufion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forfook, sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.

That this play is rightly attributed to Shakespeare, 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 An. dronicus; and it will be found more credible, that Shakespeare might sometimes fink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest. Johnson.

MERRY

MERRY WIVES

OF

WINDSO R.

Persons Represented.

Sir John Falstaff.
Fenton.
Shallow, a country justice.
Slender, cousin to Shallow.
Mr. Page, u
Mr. Ford, s. two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor,
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welch parfon.
Dr. Caius, a French doctor,
Host of the Garter.
Bardolph..
Pistol.
Nym.
Robin, page to Falstaff.
William Page, a boy, fon to Mr. Page.
Simple, servant to Slender.
Rugby, servant to Dr. Caius.

Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Ford.
Mrs. And Page, daughter to Mr. Page, in love with

Fenton.
Mrs. Quickly, Jervant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.
SCENE, Windsor ; and the parts adjacent.

оғ

2W INDSO R.

ACT I. SCENE I.

Before Page's house in Windsor. Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans,

Shal. Sir Hugh }, persuade me not: I will make a Star-chamber matter of it: if he were twenty fir

John

1 A few of the incidents in this comedy might have been taken from some old translation of Il Pecorone by Giovanni Fiorentino. I have lately met with the same story in a very contemptible performance, intitled, The fortunate, the deceived, and the unfortuzate Lovers. Of this book, as I am told, there are several imprefsions ; but that in which I read it, was published in 1632, quarto. A something fimilar story occurs in Piacevoli Notti di Strafarola. Nott. 42. Fav. 4a.

This comedy was first entered at Stationers' Hall, Jan. 18, 1601, by John Busby. STEEVENS.

This play should be read between K. Henry IV. and K. Henry V. JOHNSON.

The adventures of Falsaff in this play feem to have been taken from the Story of the Lovers of Pisa, in an old piece, called " Tarleton's Newes out of Purgatorie." A late editor pretended to much knowledge of this fort; and I am sorry that it proved to be only pretension.

Mr. Warton obferves, in a note to the lait Oxford edition, that the play was probably not written, as we now have it, before 1607 at the earliest. I agree with my very ingenious friend in this sup. position, but yet the argument here produced for it may not be

conclufive.

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