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Enter DUKE attended; EGEON bare-headed; with the Headsman and other Officers.
Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publicly, If any friends will pay the sum for him, He shall not die, so much we tender him. Adr. Justice, most sacred duke, against the abboss!
Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady: It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong.
Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my husband,
Whom I made lord of me, and all I had,
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence.
Duke. Long since thy husband serv'd me in my
And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,
I will determine this, before I stir.
Enter a Servant.
Serv. O mistress, mistress! shift and save yourself.
My master and his man are both broke loose, Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor, Whose beard they have sing'd off with brands of fire;
And ever as it blazed they threw on him
Adr. Peace, fool! thy master and his man are here:
And that is false, thou dost report to us.
Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true; I have not breath'd almost, since I did see it. He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you, To scorch your face, and to disfigure you. [Cry within. Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress: fly, be gone. Duke. Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard with halberds!
Adr. Ah me, it is my husband! Witness you,
That he is borne about invisible:
Even for the service that long since I did thee,
Ege. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio!
Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there!
She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife
That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
While she with harlots feasted in my house. Duke. A grievous fault. Say, woman, did'st thou so?
Adr. No, my good lord: myself, he, and my sister,
To-day did dine together. So befal my soul,
Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night, But she tells to your highness simple truth. Ang. O perjur'd woman! They are both for
In this the madman justly chargeth them.
Ant. E. My liege, I am advised what I say; Neither disturb'd with the effect of wine, Nor heady-rash provok'd with raging ire, Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad. This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner: That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her. Could witness it, for he was with me then; Who parted with me to go fetch a chain, Promising to bring it to the Porcupine, Where Balthazar and I did dine together. Our dinner done, and he not coming thither, I went to seek him: in the street I met him, And in his company, that gentleman. There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down, That I this day of him receiv'd the chain, Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which, He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey, and sent my peasant home
To go in person with me to my house.
My wife, her sister, and a rabble more
A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller,
There left me and my man, both bound together;
Ran hither to your grace, whom I beseech
For these deep shames, and great indignities.
That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out. Duke. But had he such a chain of thee, or no? Ang. He had, my lord; and when he ran in here, These people saw the chain about his neck.
Mer. Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of mine Heard you confess you had the chain of him, After you first forswore it on the mart, And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you; And then you fled into this abbey here, From whence, I think, you are come by miracle. Ant. E. I never came within these abbey walls, Nor ever did'st thou draw thy sword on me. I never saw the chain, so help me heaven! And this is false you burden me withal.
Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this! I think, you all have drank of Circe's cup. If here you hous'd him, here he would have been; If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly :You say, he dined at home; the goldsmith here Denies that saying.-Sirrah, what say you?
Dro. E. Sir, he dined with her, there, at the Porcupine.
Cour. He did, and from my finger snatch'd that ring.
Ant. E. 'Tis true, my liege; this ring I had of her.
Ege. I am sure you both of you remember me. Dro. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you; For lately we were bound, as you are now. You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?
Ege. Why look you strange on me? you know me well.
Ant. E. I never saw you in my life, till now. Ege. O! grief hath chang'd me, since you saw me last;
And careful hours, with time's deformed hand,
Ege. Dromio, nor thou?
Dro. E. No, trust me, sir, nor I.
Ege. I am sure thou dost.
Dro. E. Ay, sir; but I am sure I do not; and whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.
Ege. Not know iny voice? O, time's extremity!
Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue
Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life. Ege. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, Thou know'st we parted. But, perhaps, my son, Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery.
Ant. E. The duke, and all that know me in the city,
Can witness with me that it is not so.
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.
Duke. I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years Have I been patron to Antipholus,
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much wrong'd. [All gather to see them. Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me!.
Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other; And so of these: which is the natural man, And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio: command him away. Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio: pray let me stay. Ant. S. Ægeon, art thou not? or else his ghost? Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound him here?
Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, And gain a husband by his liberty.— Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man That hadst a wife once called Æmilia, That bore thee at a burden two fair sons. O! if thou be'st the same Egeon, speak, And speak unto the same Æmilia !
Ege. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia. If thou art she, tell me, where is that son That floated with thee on the fatal raft?
Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I,
Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right.
Ant. S. No, sir, not I: I came from Syracuse. Duke. Stay, stand apart: I know not which is which.
Ant. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.
Dro. E. And I with him.
Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior,
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.
Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day? My heavy burden ne'er delivered.Ant. S. I, gentle mistress.
Adr. And are not you my husband?
Ant. S. And so do I, yet did she call me so;
Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me. Ant. S. I think it be, sir: I deny it not.
Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me. Ang. I think I did, sir: I deny it not. Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail, By Dromio; but I think, he brought it not.
Dro. E. No, none by me.
Ant. S. This purse of ducats I received from you. And Dromio, my man, did bring them me. I see, we still did meet each other's man, And I was ta'en for him, and he for me, And thereupon these errors are arose.
Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here. Duke. It shall not need: thy father hath his life. Cour. Sir, I must have that diamond from you. Ant. E. There, take it; and much thanks for my good cheer.
Abb. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the pains To go with us into the abbey here, And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes; And all that are assembled in this place, That by this sympathized one day's error Have suffered wrong, go, keep us company, And we shall make full satisfaction. Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail Of you, my sons; and 'till this present hour
The duke, my husband, and my children both,
Duke. With all my heart: I'll gossip at this feast. [Exeunt Duke, Abbess, EGEON, Courtesan, Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants. Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from ship-board?
Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embark'd?
Dro. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur.
Ant. S. He speaks to me.-I am your master,
Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon.
[Exeunt all, except the two DROMIO brothers. Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's house,
That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner:
Dro. E. Methinks, you are my glass, and not my brother:
I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth.
Dro. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
Dro. E. That's a question: how shall we try it! Dro. S. We'll draw cuts for the senior: till then, lead thou first.
Dro. E. Nay, then thus:
We came into the world, like brother and brother: And now, let's go hand in hand, not one before another. [Exeunt.
ACT I.-SCENE I.
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns," etc. "The offence which Egeon had committed, and the penalty which he had incurred, are pointed out with a minuteness by which the Poet doubtless intended to convey his sense of the gross injustice of such enactments. In the TAMING OF THE SHREW, Written most probably about the same period as the COMEDY OF ERRORS, the jealousies of commercial states, exhibiting themselves in violent decrees and impracticable regulations, are also depicted by the same powerful hand."KNIGHT.
"This FOOL-BEGG'D patience"-" She seems," says Johnson, "to mean by fool-begg'd patience,' that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that your next relation would take advantage from it to represent you as a fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune."
This would seem a far-fetched interpretation, were it not evident from other dramatic writers, even as late as Congreve, that this abuse of that regal prerogative was a familiar source of sarcastic allusion.
The passage is evidently so grossly misprinted, that it is impossible to ascertain precisely the true reading. All the editors, Pope, Warburton, Stevens, etc., have tried their hands at it. We have followed Collier, not as certainly right, but being probably as near as any. The meaning will then be-I see that the jewel best enamelled will lose his beauty: yet though gold that others touch remains gold, an often touching will wear gold; no man with name willingly shames it by falsehood and corruption.
I must get a SCONCE for my head, and INSCONCE it too"-Dromio's joke depends upon the double meaning of "sconce," a head, or, a small fortification. The verb to insconce is used in the old poets for "fortifying one's
May he not do it by FINE and RECOVERY"-In this, (says Knight,) as in all Shakespeare's early plays, and in his Poems, we have the professional jokes of the attorney's office in abundance.
"That never words were MUSIC to thine ear"-Thus imitated by Pope, in his "Sappho to Phaon :"
My music then you could for ever hear, And all my words were music to your ear.
"Be it my wrong, you are from me EXEMPT"-" Exempt" is here used in the sense of separated or parted; as, in the first part of HENRY VI. :—
And by his reason stand'st thou not attainted, Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
the annotators of our great epic poet naturally give us the parallel passages in Catullus, in Ovid, in Virgil, and in Horace. Shakespeare unquestionably had the image from the same sources. Farmer does not notice this passage; but had he done so, he would, of course, have shown that there were translations of the Georgics' and the Metamorphoses' when this play was written. It appears to us that this line of Shakespeare's is neither a translation, nor an imitation, of any of the well-known classical passages; but a transfusion of the spirit of the ancient poets by one who was familiar with them."
"This is the fairy land"—" In the first act we have a description of the unlawful arts of Ephesus. It was observed by Capell, that the character given of Ephesus in this place is the very same that it had with the ancients, which may pass for some note of the Poet's learning.' It was scarcely necessary, however, for Shakespeare to search for this ancient character of Ephesus in more recondite sources than the interesting narrative of St. Paul's visit to that city, given in the xixth chapter of the Acts.' In the 13th verse we find mention of certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists;' and in the 19th verse we are told that many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men.' The ancient proverbial term, Ephesian Letters, was used to express every kind of charm or spell."-KNIGHT.
"We talk with goblins, owLs, and elvish sprites"— Theobald changed "owls" to ouphes, upon the plea that owls could not suck breath and pinch. Warburton maintains that the owl here is the striz of the ancientsthe destroyer of the cradled infant
Nocte volant, puerosque petunt nutricis egentes,
Et vitiant cunis corpora rapta suis.-Ovid. Fasti. lib. vi.
"And SHRIVE you"-i. e. Take confession from you. Shrift is confession.
ACT III.-SCENE I.
66 the making of her CARKANET"-i. e. Necklace: in this instance it means a chain to be worn round the neck.
-the doors are MADE against you"-Several editors have altered this, which is the original text, to "the doors are barred," supposing "made" to be a misprint; but "make the door" is still a provincial phrase, signifying to "bar the door."
"ONCE this"- -"This expression puzzled Malone and Stevens, who did not perceive that it was elliptical, and meant, For once let me tell you this.'"-COLLIER.
"And, in despite of MIRTH, mean to be merry"-The meaning is, says Warburton, "I will be merry even out of spite to mirth, which is now of all things the most unpleasing to me."
"Not mad, but MATED"-Those words which follow "mated' 14 how, I do not know"-support the notion of Monck Mason, that a play was intended on the double meaning of "mated," as confounded and bewildered, or, matched with a wife.