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ACT V.-SCENE 1.
particular manner in our author's time, as appears by
ihe following passage in the • Choice of Change,' 1598: " — TAKE a hous:"-i. e. Go into a house, as we say “Three things are used by monks, which provoke other “ take shelter," and as people used to say, “ take sanc- men to laugh at their follies: 1. They are shaven and tuary,” which Antipholus aud Dromio do inside ** the nolched on the head, like fooles,' etc." priory," as it is called in the stage-direction of the old copy; but, as a lady abbess presides, it is probably an “ - thy master and his man are here"- Meaning abbey, not a priory.
that they are in the abbey; the speaker pointing to it. “ It was the copy of our conference"-i. e. A large “ While she with Harlots feasted in my house"part of our discourse: copy is often used in this sense Harlot was a term of reproach applied to clieats among Ísy old writers, from the Latin copia : thus, Gosson, in men, as well as to wantons among women. Horne his “ School of Abuse," 1579, talks of " copy of abuses," Tooke says it originally meant a hireling, and derives or "abundance of abuses ;” and Cooper, in his Latin it from hire: it is used only to signify a servant in * Thesaurus," translates “copiose et abundanter loqui," Chaucer's “Sompnoure's Tale," and in Ben Jonson's "to use his words with great copie and abundance." “Fox," for a general term of abuse, “out harlot” is apIt was distinguished from copy, in its modern sense, by ' plied to the hero of the piece. being spelled copie, when meaning plenty.
" And this is false you burden me with al”—He retorts “ Sweet recreation barrd, whal doth ensue,
the expression previously used by Adriana. But moody and dull melancholy, Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair," etc.
“All gather to see THEM”—Collier restored the stageGray, the most exquisite culler and imitator of poetic
direction of the old folios, applicable to the two pairs of
twins; while all the other editors, without any reason, images, has thus employed these ideas in his “Ode on
substitute him for " them." Eton College:"Envy wan, and faded Care,
" Why, here begins his morning story right”—The Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair,
"morning story” is what Ægeon has told the Duke in And Sorrow's piercing dart.
the first scene of this play. Lo, in the vale of years beneath,
“And thereupon these errors are arose”—This is A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
the reading of all the folios, but it may be a question More hideous than their queen.
whether Shakespeare did not write" these errors all
arose." “Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair," etc.
Capell, in order to correct the supposed confusion in “ TWENTY-FIVE years have I but gone in travailthe sex of melancholy, reads thus:
The old copies are read thus:-
Thirty-three years have I but gone in travail
of you my sons, and till this present hour Knight compares this to Canning's,
My heavy burthen are delivered. - I studied in the U.
Twenty-five is the correct number; for Ægeon says, in Niversity of Gottingen.
a former part of the play, that he had parted from his While Stevens parallels it with the burlesque on Homer-- son seven years ago, when the boy was only eighteen, - On this, Agam
making together the “ twenty-five years." Mem non began to curse and damn.
There is evidently some error in the next line, which “ And at her heels a huge infectious troop'-So the
seems best removed by Mr. Collier's slight emendation
of undelivered" for are delivered in the last line. The old copies; Heath and Malone needlessly altered her to their, when, in fact, only one person is spoken of, viz. :
common text reads, on Theobald's conjecture• moody and dull melancholy:" the next line
- nor till this present hour Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
My heavy burdens are delivered. is parenthetical. There is no reason why Shakespeare " And you the calendars of their nativity," etc. should not make the personification of melancholy femi- These “ calendars" are the two Dromios. In act i. nine, excepting that he had called her “ kinsmau' in the
Antipholus of Syracuse calls one of them “ the almanack preceding line, which yet means no more than near re
of my true date.” lation, without denoting the sex, just as Portia calls herself
“ Exeunt all, except the two Dromio brothers'' - The
old stage-direction is, “ Exeunt omnes. Mane[n]t the of this fair manor, master of my servants, Queen o'er myself.
two Dromios and two brothers.” Such may have been
the case; but it is more likely that the two Antipholuses Singer proposes to read, just before, “ moody madness.”
went out with Adriana and Luciana, the two Dromios
only remaining to conclude the play. I concur with “ To make of him a FORMAL man again"-i. e. To
Collier's suggestion that and is an error, and should be restore him to his senses: to bring him back to the
omitted ; and have adapted the stage-direction to that forms of sober behaviour.
“ The place of DEATH”—The original copy has depth, which is followed in the second folio. Rowe made the emendation.
SCENERY AND LOCAL EMBELLISHMENTS.—The local
embellishments of this play, in the present edition, are “ At your IMPORTANT letters"-“Important" is used from those of the Pictorial edition, which are all copied for importunate, as in Much Ado About Nothing, or compiled from the best modern authorities, so as to KING LEAR, etc.
give authentic representations of the existing remains
of ancient Ephesus, and views of the present state of - by what strong escape"-i. e. Escape effected
that celebrated city, and of Syracuse. by strength; yet there is some probability that strong
The engraving of the Temple of Diana, restored, is is a misprint for strange.
principally founded upon the descriptions of Pococke, “ Beaten the maids A-ROW'-i. e. One after another,
who has given an imaginary ground-plan.
The “ Autiquities of lonia," published by the Delet
tanti Society, and the Voyage Pittoresque de la “ His man arith scissars Nicks him like a fool''- Grèce," of M. Choiseul Gouffier, hare furnished the an"Fools," says Malone, “were shaved and nicked in a thorities for the other engravings of Ephesian remains.
- the lord
on a roro.
The “Supplementary Notice” of Knight's edition of ceives the “rope's end' instead of his ducats.' His this play closes with an analysis of the peculiar charac- furious passion with his wife, and the foul names he teristics of the two pairs of twin brothers, which, though bestows on her, are quite in character; and when he it may be somewhat over-refined, is yet very original hasand jugenious, and has, too, so much truth in it, that we
Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor,cannot but transfer it to these pages :
we cannot have a suspicion that the doctor was prac** Some one has said, that if our Poet's dramas were tising on the right patient. In a word, we cannot doubt printed without the names of the persons represented that, although the Antipholus of Ephesus may be a being attached to the individual speeches, we should brave soldier, who took deep scars' to save his prince's know who is speaking, by his wonderful discrimination life,--and that he really has a right to consider himself in assigning to every character appropriate modes of much injured,-he is strikingly opposed to the Antiphothought and expression. It appears to us that this is lus of Syracuse; that he is neither sedate, nor gentle, unquestionably ihe case with the characters of each of nor truly-loving;—that he has no habits of self-command; the twin brothers in the COMEDY OF ERRORS.
that his temperament is sensual ;--and that, although *. The Dromio of Syracuse is described by his master the riddle of his perplexity is solved, he will still find as being
causes of unhappiness, and entertainA trusty villain, sir; that very oft,
- a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures.
“ The characters of the two Dromios are not so disBut the wandering Antipholus herein describes himsell:
tinctly marked in their points of difference, at the first he is a prey to .care and melancholy.' He has a holy
aspect. They each have their • merry jests;' they each purpose to execute, which he has for years pursued bear a beating with wonderful good temper; they each without success. Sedate, gentle, loving, the Antipholus
cling faithfully to their master's interests. But there is of Syracuse is one of Shakespeare's amiable creations.
certainly a marked difference in the quality of their He beats his slave according to the custom of slave
mirth. The Dromio of Ephesus is precise and antibeating; but he laughs with him, and is kind to him
thetical, striving to utter his jests with infinite gravity almost at the same moment. He is an enthusiast, for
and discretion, and approaching a pun with a sly sohe falls in love with Luciana in the midst of his per- lemnity that is prodigiously diverting: plexities, and his lips utter some of the most exquisite
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit, poetry. But he is accustomed to habits of self-command,
The clock bath strucken twelve upon the bell, and he resolves to tear himself away even from the
My mistress made it one upon my cheek : syren:
She is so hot, because the meat is cold.
I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders, As his perplexities increase, he ceases to be angry with
But not a thousand marks between you both. his slave
He is a formal humourist, and, we have no doubt, spoke The fellow is distract, and so am I,
with a drawling and monotonous accent, fit for his part And here we wander in illusions. Some blessed power deliver us from hence!
in such a dialogue as this :Unlike the Men:rchmus Sosicles of Plantus, he refuses Ant. E. Were not my doors lock'd up, and I shut out? to dine with the courtesan. He is firm, yet courageous,
Dro. E. Perdy, your doors were lock'd, and you shut out.
Ant, E. And did not she herself revile me there? when assaulted by the Merchant. When the “Errors' Dro. E. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there. are clearing up, he modestly adverts to his love for Ant. E. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me? Luciana ; and we feel that he will be happy.
Dro. E, Certes, she did; the kitchen-vestal scorn'd you. * Antipholus of Ephesus is decidedly inferior to his On the contrary, the 'merry jests' of Dromio of Syrabrother, in the quality of his intellect and the tone of cuse all come from the outpouring of his glarisome heart. his morals. He is scarcely justified in calling his wife He is a creature of prodigious animal spirits, running • shrewish.' Her fault is a too sensitive affection for over with fun and queer similitudes. He makes not him. Her feelings are most beautifully described in the slightest attempt at arranging a joke, but utters what that address to her supposed husband :
comes uppermost with irrepressible volubility. He is
an untutored wit; and we have no doubt gave his tongue Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine; 'Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
as active exercise by hurried pronunciation and variable Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
emphasis, as could alone make his long descriptions enMakes me with thy strength to communicate :
durable by his sensitive master. Look at the dialogue If aught possess thee from me, it is dross, Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss.
in the second scene of act ii., where Antipholus, after
having repressed his jests, is drawn into a tilting-match The classical image of the elm and the vine would have of words with him, in which the merry slave has been sufficient to express the feelings of a fond and con- clearly the victory. Look, again, at his description of fiving woman; the exquisite addition of the
the kitchen-wench,'—coarse, indeed, in parts, but altoUsurping ivy, briar, or idle moss,–
gether irresistibly droll. The twin-brother was quite conveys the prevailing uneasiness of a loving and doubt.
incapable of such a of fun. Again, what a prodi. ing wife. Antipbolus of Ephesus has somewhat hard
gality of wit is displayed in his description of the bailiff! measure dealt to liim throughout the progress of the
His epithets are inexhaustible. Each of the Dromios
is admirable in his way; but we think that he of Syra* Errors;'—but he deserves it. His doors are shut against him, it is true ;-in his impatience he would force his
cuse is as superior to the twin-slave of Ephesus as our way into his house, against the remonstrances of Bal
old friend Lannce is to Speed, in the Two GENTLEMEN thazar. He departs, but not in patience ;'—he is con
of VERONA. These distinctions between the Antipho
luses and Dromios have not, as far as we know, been tent to dine from home, but not at 'the Tiger.' His resolve
before pointed out;-but they certainly do exist, and - That chain will I bestow
appear io us to be defined by the great master of charac(Be it for nothing but to spite my wife)
ter with singular force as well as delicacy. Of course Upon mine hostess,
the characters of the twins could not be violently conwould not have been made by his brother, in a similar
trasted, for that would have destroyed the illusion. sitnation. He has spited his wife ; he has dined with
They must still the courtesan. But he is not satisfied:
Go hand in hand, not one before another.
“ The myriad-minded man, our and all men's ShakeA mong my wife and her confederates.
speare, has in this piece presented us with a legitimate We pity him not when he is arrested, nor when he re- il farce, in exact consonance with the philosophical prin
ciples and character of farce, as distinguished from com- into an opera,) I had not imagined the extent of the edy and from entertainments. A proper farce is mainly mistakes, the drollery of them, their unabated continudistinguished from comedy by the license allowed, and ance, till, at the end of the fourth act, they reached their even required, in the fable, in order to produce strange climax with the assistance of Dr. Pinch, when the auand laughable situations. The story need not be proba
dience in their laughter rolled about like waves. It was ble; it is enough that it is possible. A comedy would the triumph of farce—of Shakespeare's art in all that scarcely allow even the two Antipholuses; because, al- belongs to dramatic action. though there have been instances of almost indistinguish- Here, it might be thought, that puns could be proable likeness in two persons, yet these are mere indi- perly and plentifully introduced, where the twin brothers vidual accidents, casus ludentis naturæ; and the verum set the example of personal puns on one another; yet will not excuse the inverisimile. But farce dares add there are few puns to be found. Truth is, the mistakes the two Dromios, and is justified in so doing by the laws alone are ludicrous, and the action is serious. To the of its end and constitution. In a word, farces commence strange contrast of grave astonishment among the actors in a postulate which must be granted.”—COLERIDGE. with their laughable situations in the eyes of the specta
tors, who are let into the secret, is to be ascribed the "Perhaps Shakespeare, no longer able to restrain his irresistible effect. The two Dromios (Shakespeare's comic humour, gave vent to it in this farce, in a sort of addition, among other matters, lo Plautus) form a requijoyous desperation. Regarding it merely as a farce, site link between the audience and the dramatis per. from the moment the · Errors' commence, nothing has sonæ ;-they invite us to mirth otherwise we might equalled it. Until I saw it on the stage, (not mangled half subdue it out of sheer principle.”—C. A. Brown.