Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are
rank;

You are attaint with faults and perjury;
Therefore if you my favour mean to get,
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick.
Dum. But to what to me, my love? but what

to me?

Kath. A wife -A beard, fair health, and
honesty ;

With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Dum. O shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
Kath. Not so, my lord ;-a twelvemonth and
a day

I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers
say:

Come when the king doth to my lady come,
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till
then.

Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be fors worn
again.

Long. What says Maria ?

Mar. At the twelvemonth's end,

I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.

Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young.
Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me,
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye.
What humble suit attends thy answer there;
Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón,
Before I saw you: and the world's large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts;
Which you on all estates will execute,

That lie within the mercy of your wit:

To weed this wormwood from your fruitful
brain;

And, therewithal, to win me, if you please,
(Without the which I am not to be won,)
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to
day

Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall
be,

With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?

It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing
spirit,

Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear

Of bim that bears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf'd with the clamour of their own dear +
groans,

Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
And I will have you, and that fault withal;
But, if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.

Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,

King. Come, Sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,

And then 'twill end.

Biron. That's too long for a play.

I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. Prin. Ay, sweet my lord: and so I take my leave. [To the KING. King. No, madam: we will bring you on your way.

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play;

Jack bath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.

• Vehement.

+ Immediate.

[blocks in formation]

Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his
nail,

And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in
pail.
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be
foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-who;
To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel⚫ the pot.

IV.
When all aloud the wind doth blow.
And coughing drowns the parson's
saw,

And birds sits brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs ↑ hiss in the bowl.
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-who;
To-whit, to-who, a merry note.

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo, You, that way; we, this way. Exeunt.

+ Wild apples.

• Cool.

[ocr errors]

COMEDY OF ERRORS.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.

THE Menaechmi of Plautus (translated by an anonymous author in 1595,) furnished Shakspeare with the prin cipal incidents of this play. It is one of his earliest productions. Stevens thinks that the piece is not entirely of his writing. The singularity of the plot gives occasion to many amusing perplexities; but they are repeated till they become wearisome, and varied till they become unintelligible. Were it possible to procure in the representation, two Dromios, or two Antipholus's, of whom one should be exactly the counterpart of the other, no powers of perception or of memory, would enable an audience to carry their recollection of each individual beyond the termination of a second act. The very facility of invention with which the re sembling individuals are made to puzzle and to thwart each other, would so confound the senses of a spectater, that he would soon be as much bewildered as the parties themselves: whereas the zest of the entertaiment depends upon his being able accurately to retain the personal identity of each; without which, he may be involved in the intricacy, but cannot enjoy the humour, occasioned by similarity of person, and contrarity of purpose. Mr. Stevens has justly observed, that this comedy "exhibits more intricacy of plot than distine tion of character; and that attention is not actively engaged, since every one can tell how the denourONÉ will be effected."

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

SCENE I-A Hall in the DUKE's Palace.
Enter DUKE, EGEON, Jailer, Officer, and
other Attendants.

ge. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
And, by the doom of death, end woes and all.
Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more;
I am not partial, to infringe our laws:
The enmity and discord, which of late
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,-
Who wanting gilders to redeem their lives,
Have sealed bis rigorous statutes with their
bloods,-

EMILIA, Wife to Ægeon, an Abbess at Ephe

sus.

SCENE-Ephesus.

Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
Both by the Syracusans and ourselves,
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:

Name of a coin.

ADRIANA, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
LUCIANA, her Sister.
LUCE, her Servant.
A COURTEZAN.

Jailer, Officers, and other Attendants.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Was wrought by nature,

not by vile offence, I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. In Syracusa was I born; and wed

Unto a woman, happy but for me,

And by me too, had not our hap been bad.
With her liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd,
By prosperous voyages I often made

To Epidamuum, till my factor's death;
And he (great care of goods at random left)
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:
From whom my absence was not six months old,
Before herself (almost at fainting, under
The pleasing punishment that women bear,)
Had made provision for her following me,
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was,
There she had not been long, but she becane
A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
And, which was strange, the one so like
other,

the

As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inu,
A poor mean woman was delivered

Of such a burden, male twins, both alike:
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return:
Unwilling I agreed; alas, too soon.
We came aboard:

A league from Epidamnum bad we sail'd,
Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instance of our barin:
But longer did we not retain much hope;
For what obscured light the heavens did grant
Did but convey unto our fearful minds

A doubtful warrant of immediate death;

At length, another ship had seiz'd on us;
And, knowing whom it was their hap to save.
Gave helpful welcome to their shipwreck'd
guests;

off so;

For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
Ege. Oh! had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd them merciiess to us!
For, ere the ships could meet by twice
leagues,

five

And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail,
And therefore homeward did they bend their

We were encounter'd by a mighty rock;
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst,
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune bad left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Was carried with more speed before the wind;
And in our sight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.

Natural affection.

course.

Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss ;
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.

Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sor-
rowest for,

Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them, and thee, till now.
Ege. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest
care,

To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,

Which, though myself would gladly have em Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,

brac'd,

Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee,
But, though thou art adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recall'd,
But to our honour's great disparagement,
Yet will I favour thee in what I can :
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day,
To seek thy help by beneficial help :
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live; if not, then thou art doom'd to die :-
Jailer, take him to thy custody.
Jail. I will, my lord.

Ege. Hopeless, and helpless, doth Egeon
wend,
But to procrastinate his lifeless end. [Excunt.

At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother; and impórtun'd me,
That his attendant, (for his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,)
Might bear him company in the quest of him:
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see,
I bazarded the loss of whom I lov’d.
Five summers have I spent in furthest Greece,
Roaming clean + though the bounds of Asia,
And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought,
Or that, or any place that harbours men.
But here must end the story of my life;
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.

Duke. Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have
mark'd

Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignoraut what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
And this it was, for other means was none.-
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us:
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast,
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast;
And floating straight, obedient to the stream,
Were carried towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us;
And, by the benefit of his wish'd light,
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
Two ships from far making amain to us,
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this:
But ere they came,-0 let ine say no more!
Gather the sequel by what went before.
Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break And, not being able to buy out his life,

Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
This very day, a Syracusan merchant
Is apprehended for arrival here;

SCENE II-A public Place.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Syracuse, and a MERCHANT.

Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,

According to the statute of the town,
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
There is your money that I had to keep.
Ant. S. Go bear it to the Centaur, where
we host,

And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time :
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return, and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.

Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word, And go indeed, having so good a mean.

[Exit DRO. S.

[blocks in formation]

Ant. S. A trusty villain, Sir, that very oft, When I am dull with care and melancholy, Lightens my humour with his merry jests. What, will you walk with me about the town, And then, go to my inn, and dine with me?

Mer. I am invited, Sir, to certain merchants, Of whom I hope to make much benefit; I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock, Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart, + And afterwards consort you till bed-time; My present business calls me from you now. Ant. S. Farewell till then: I will go lose myself, And wander up and down, to view the city. Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. [Exit MERCHANT. Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own content,

Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
I to the world am like a drop of water,
That in the ocean seeks another drop;
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.

[blocks in formation]

I from my mistress come to you in post;
If I return, I shall be post indeed;
For she will score your fault upon my pate.
Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your
clock,

And strike you home without a messenger.
Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests
are out of season;

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this:
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
Dro. E. To me, Sir? why you gave no gold

to me.

Ant. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your oolishness,

And tell me, bow thou hast dispos'd thy charge. Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart

Home to your house, the Phoenix, Sir, to din

ner ;

Dro. E. I have some marks of your's upon my pate,

Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders, But not a thousand marks between you both.If I should pay your worship those again, Perchance, you will not bear them patiently. Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress, slave, hast thou ?

My mistress, and her sister, stay for you. Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

In what safe place you have bestow'd my money;

Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;

She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner, And prays, that you will bie you home to

dinner.

Ant. S. What, wilt thou fout me thus unto my face,

Being forbid; There, take you that, sir knave. Dro. E. What mean you, Sir ? för God's saar, hold your hands;

Nay, an you will not, Sir, I'll take my heels.
[Exit DROMs, E.
Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or
other,

The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
They say, this town is full of cozenage;
As nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mini,
Soul-killing witches, that deform the body;
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like liberties of sin :
If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave;
I greatly fear, my money is not safe.

Or, I will break that merry sconce of your's,
That stands on tricks when I am indispos'd:
Where is the thousand marks thou had'st of
me?
L. c. Servant.

+ Exchange, market-place.)

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye,
But bath its bound, in earth, in sea, in sky:
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowis,
Are their males' subject, and at their controls:
Men, more divine, and masters of all these,
Lords of the wide world, and wild watʼry seas,
Indued with intellectual sense and souls,
of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords:
Then let your will attend on their accords.
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep un
wed.

Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage

bed.

Adr Bat, were you wedded, you would bes

some sway.

Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. Adr. How if your husband start some other where ?

Luc. Till he come home again, I would for- If I last in this service, you must case me in bear.

leather.

Adr. Patience unmov'd, no marvel though she pause;

[Exit. Luc. Fie, how impatience lowereth in your face.

Adr. His company must do his minions
grace,

They can be meek, that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
But were we burthen'd with like weight of
pain,

Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it:
Are my discourses duli ? barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bate ?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not rein'd? then is he the ground
Of my defeatures: My decayed fair +
A sunny look of his would soon repair:
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.t
Luc. Self-arming jealousy !-fie, beat it hence.
Adr. Uufeeling fools can with such wrongs
dispense.

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else, what lets it but he would be here ?
Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain ;-
Would that alone alone he would detaia,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see the jewel, best enamelled,
Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides
stifl,

As much, or more, we should ourselves complain :

So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,

With urging helpless patience would'st

relieve

me:

But, if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try;
Here comes your man, now is your husband
nigh.

Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.

Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand? Dro. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness.

Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st thou his mind?

Dro. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine

ear :

Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it. Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them.

Adr. But say, I pr'ythee, is be coming home? It seems, he hath great care to please his wife.

Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.

SCENE II.-The same.

Adr. Horn-mad, thon villain?

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.

Dro. E. 1 mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure,
he's stark mad:

When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
'Tis dinner time, quoth I; My gold, quoth

Ant. S. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out.
By computation, and mine host's report,
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first
I send him from the mart: See here he comes.
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
How now, Sir? is your merry humour alter'd?

he:

Your meat doth burn, quoth 1; My gold,
quoth he:
Will you come home? quoth I; My gold,
quoth be:

lain?

Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, vil-As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you receiv'd no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner t
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
mis-That thus so madly thou didst answer me?

The pig, quoth I, is burn'd, My gold, quoth

Dro. S. What answer, Sir, when spake I such a word?

Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.

Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me

hence.

Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave

he:

My mistress, Sir, quoth I; Hang up thy

tress:

I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!

Luc. Quoth who?

Dro. E. Quoth my master:

I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mis

tress ;

So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bear home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch

him home.

Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten home?

For God's sake, send some other messenger.
Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate

across.

Dro. E. And he will bless that cross with
other beating:
Between you I shall have a holy head.
Adr. Hence, prating peasant; fetch thy master

home.

That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold: and so no man, that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll_weep_what's left away, and weeping dié.
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jea-
lousy!
[Exeunt.

Dro. E. Am 1 so round with you, as you with

me,

That like a football do you spurn me thus?
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me

hither:

⚫1... Scarce stand under them.

me.

Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's re-
ceipt;

And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.
Dro. 8. I am glad to see you in this merry
vein:
What means this jest? I pray you, master,
tell me.

Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the teeth?

Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and
that.
[Beating him.
Dro. S. Hold, Sir, for God's sake: now your
jest is earnest :
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you,

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »