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Æge. Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a Can witness with me that it is not so: word :
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life. Haply I see a friend will save my life,
Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years And pay the sum that may deliver me.
Have I been patron to Antipholus,
Æge. Is not your name, sir, called Antipholus ? I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.
cuse, and Dromio of Syracuse. But he, I thank him, gnawed in two my cords: All. Most mighty Duke, behold a man much Now am I Drumio, and his man, unbound.
wronged. [AU gather to see him. Æge. I am sure you both of you remember me. Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive
Dro. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you; For late we were bound, as you are now.
Duke. One of these men is genius to the other; You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir? And so of these : which is the natural man, Æge. Why look you strange on me? You know and which the spirit? Who deciphers them? me well.
Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio; command him away. Ant. E. I never saw you in my life till now. Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio; pray let me stay. Æge. Oh! grief hath changed me since you saw Ant. S. Ægeon, art thou not? or else his ghost ? me last;
Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound And careful hours, with Time's deforméd hand,
him here? Have written strange defeatures in my face : Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds. But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice ? | And gain a husband by his liberty. Ant. E. Neither.
Speak, old Ægeon, if thou beest the man Æge. Dromio, nor thou?
That hadst a wife once, called Æmilia, Dro. E. No, trust me, sir, nor I.
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons : Æge. I am sure thou dost.
O, if thou beest the same Ægeon, speak, Dro. E. Ay, sir? but I am sure I do not; and And speak unto the same Æmilia! whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to Æge. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia : believe him.
If thou art she, tell me where is that son Æge. Not know my voice! O time's extremity! That floated with thee on the fatal raft? Hast thou so cracked and splitted my poor tongue, Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he and I, In seven short years, that here my only son And the twin Dromio, all were taken up; Knows not my feeble key of untuned cares? But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth Though now this grainéd face of mine be hid By force took Dromio and my son from them, In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow, And me they left with those of Epidamnum; And all the conduits of my blood froze up; What then became of them I cannot tell : Yet hath my night of life some memory,
I to this fortune that you see me in. My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left, Duke. Why here begins his morning story right. My dull deaf ears a little use to hear:
These two Antipholuses, these two so like, All these old witnesses (I cannot err)
And these two Dromios, one in semblance,Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus.
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea, Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life. These are the parents to these children,
Æge. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, Which accidentally are met together.Thou know'st we parted; but perhaps, my son, Antipholus, thou cam’st from Corinth first. Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery. Ant. S. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse. Ant. E. The Duke, and all that know me in the Duke. Stay, stand apart; I know not which is city,
Ant. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious That by this sympathizéd one day's error
Have suffered wrong, go keep us company,
And we shall make full satisfaction.-
Of you, my sons; por, till this present hour,
And you the calendars of their nativity!
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me:
Duke. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this
feast. And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
[Exeunt DUKE, Abbess, Ægeon, Courtesan, Did call me brother.— What I told you then,
Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants. I hope I shall have leisure to make good;
Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from 1. If this be not a dream I see and hear.
shipboard ? Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou
embarked ? Ant. S. I think it be, sir; I deny it not. Dro. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the . Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested
Ant. S. He speaks to me. I am your master,
[Exeunt the two ANTIPHOLUSES, Ant. S. This purse of ducats I received from
ADRIANA, and LUCIANA. you,
Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's And Dromio, my man, did bring them me.
house, I see we still did meet each other's man,
That kitchened me for you to-day at dinner:
Dro. E. Methinks you are my glass, and not
Will you walk in to see their gossiping ?
Dro. S. We will draw cuts for the senior: till Abb. Renowned Duke, vouchsafe to take the then, lead thou first. pains
| Dro. E. Nay, then, thus : To go with us into the abbey here.
We came into the world like brother and brother; And hear at large discourséd all our fortunes : And now let's go hand in hand, not one before And all that are assembled in this place,
“ My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
“ Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt,
Act II., Scene 2. This appears to be a lapse of memory in the poet. Ægeon says pre Exempt is here probably used in the sense of separated or parted. viously, in his account of the shipwreck:
In the first part of “ HIENRY VI.," there is a similar use of the word:“My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
“And by bis treason stand 'st thou not attainted,
Corrupted and exempt from ancient gentry?"
“ This is the fairy land; 0, spite of spites !
We talk with goblins, owls, and elvish spriles:
If we obey them not, this will ensue,
They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue."
Act II., Scene 2
Act I., Scene 2.
| The striges, or screech-owls, are here meant. In the Cambridge
Latin Dictionary (1591), we find:-"Strix, & scritche-owl; an un. A kind of rough reckoning seems to have been generally kept in a luckie kind of bird (as they of old time said), which sucked out the merchant's warehouse, by means of a post. In Ben Jonson's blood of infants lying in their cradles. A witch, that changeth the fa. « EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOR,” Kitely makes jealous inquiries of
vor of children; an hagge, or fairie.” “THE LONDON PRODIGAL," a Cob concerning his wife; to which the servant replies, “If I saw any comedy (1605), also has: - "Soul, I think I am sure crossed or witch. ' body to be kissed, unless they would have kissed the post in the middle
ed with an owl." of the warehouse," &c. So, also, in " EVERY WOMAN IN HER HUMOR,” we find :
Host. Out of my doors, knave, thou enterest not my doors. I have uo chalk in my house; my posts shall not be guarded with a little
“ Mome, mall-horse, capon," &c. - Act III., Scene 1. sing-song."
Mome signifies a dull, stupid blockhcad, a stock, a post. This owes
its original to the French word momon, which signifies the gaming at “ But if thon live to see like right bereft,
dice in masquerade; the custom and rule of which is, that a strict si. This fool-begged patience in thee will be lefl." - Act II., Scene 1.
lence is to be observed : whatever sum one stakes another covers, but Allusion is here made to an old prerogative of the crown. Adriana not a word is to be spoken. From hence, also, comes our word appears to mean that sort of patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that some relation would take advantage from it to represent the possessor as a fool, and beg the guardianship of her fortune.
“ And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
Why at this time the doors are made against you." “ His company must do his minions grace,
Act 111., Scene 2 While I at home starve for a merry look ! ” — Act 11., Scene 1. In Shakspeare's 47th Sonnet, there is a similar phrase: –
To make the door is still a provincial phrase, signifying to bar the
door. “When that mine eye is famished for a look.”
“ You have prevailed: I will depart in quiet; Also in the 75th:
And in despite of mirth, mean to be merry." “Sometimes all full with feeding on his sight,
Act III., Scene 1. And, by and by, clean starved for a look.”
That is, though mirth has withdrawn herself from me, and seems -"My decayed fair
determined to avoid me, yet, in despite of her, and whether she will A sunny look of his would soon repair." — Act II., Scene 1. I
or not, I am resolved to be merry.- HEATII. Fair is here used substantively, meaning beauty. Shakspeare has several times employed the word in a similar sense; and in one of
“Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink !" Marston's satires we find:
Act III., Scene 2. " As the green meads, whose native outward fair
Love here means the queen of love. As in “ ANTONY AND CLEOPABreathes sweet perfumes into the neighbor air.”
“Now for the love of Love and her soft bours." “That never words were music to thine ear.” — Act II., Scene 2.
And, more appositely, in “ VENUS AND ADONIS," Venus says, speak. This passage appears to be imitated by Pope, in his “ SAPPHO TO
ing of herself: -PRAX:"“My music then you could for ever hear,
“Love is a spirit all compact of fire, And all my words were music to your ear.”
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire."
which is familiarly called “ everlasting;” and this was probably the case also when Shakspeare wrote.
« Ant. S. Where France !
Dro. S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her hair.” – Act III., Scene 2.
Allusion is here supposed to be made to the war of the League against Henry IV. of France, which was terminated, in 1593, by Henry's renunciation of the Protestant faith. In 1591, Elizabeth sent over four thousand men to his assistance, under the Earl of Essex. The present play was probably written about the same period.
“ A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough." — Act IV., Scene 2. There were faries, like hobgoblins, pitiless and rough, and described as malevolent and mischievous. As in Milton's “Coxus:"
“No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine,
« And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart
of steel, She had transformed me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn i' the
wheel.” - Act III., Scene 2. It was a popular belief that a great share of faith was a protection from witchcraft. These lines are usually printed as prose; but we adopt the opinion of a contemporary, that they were intended for dog gerel rhyme.
" A hound that runs counter and yet draws dry-fool well.”
Act IV., Scene 2 To run counter, is to run backward, by mistaking the course of the animal pursued. To draw dry-foot, is when the dog pursues the game by the scent of the foot, for which the bloodhound is famed. The jest consists in the ambiguity of the word counter, which means the wrong way in the chase, and a prison in London. In “EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOR,” Brainworm says, “Well, the truth is, my old master intends to follow my young master, dry-foot, over Moorfields to London this morning."
“ One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls to hell." " Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband.”
Act IV., Scene 2. Act IV., Scene 1. This name occurs in one of Drayton's Pastorals:
The arrest here spoken of is that upon mesne process, now abolish
ed. Hell appears to have been the cant term for a dungeon in any of “He bad, as antique stories tell,
our prisons. It is also said to have been the designation of a place of A daughter cleped Dowsabel.”
confinement under the Exchequer Chamber, for debtors of the crown. " What observation mad'st thou in this case,
“I do not know the matter; he is 'rested on the case." of his heart's meteors tilting in his face."
Act IV., Scene 2. Act IV., Scene 2.
An action upon the case is a general action given for the redress of This is an allusion to those meteors which, in more superstitious
& wrong done any man without force, and not especially provided for timer, were sometimes thought to resemble armies meeting in the shock of battle. The same thought occurs in “ HENRY IV.,” Part 1.,
by law.-GREY. speaking of civil wars:
“ Tell me, was he arrested on a band ?"- Act IV., Scene 2. “Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
Band is here used in the sense of bond; it also signifies a neck-
cloth; hence the equivoque arises.
“ What, have you got rid of the picture of old Adam new apparal Milton also finely employs similar imagery in the second book of ed?" - Act IV., Scene 3. « PARADISE Lost:"
The two words “rid of” were inserted by Theobald, and on suffi" As when, to warn proud cities, war appears
cient ground, as it seems to us. His reasons are thus stated by himWaged in the troubled sky, and armies rush
self:-"A short word or two must have slipped out by some accident, To battle in the clouds, before each van
in copying, or at press; otherwise I have no conception of the meaning Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears,
of the passage. The case is this: Dromio's master had been arrested, Till thickest legions close. With feats of arms
and sent his servant home for money to redeem hiin; he, running From either end of Heaven the welkin burps.”
back with the money, meets the twin Antipbolus, whom he mistakes
for his master, and seeing him clear of the officer before the inoney “ Stigmatical in making, worse in mind." -- Act IV., Sceno 2. was come, he cries, in a surprise, 'What, have you got rid of the picThat is, marked or stigmatized by nature with deformity, as a to
ture of old Adam new apparaled?' for so I have ventured to sup
ply by conjecture. ken of his vicious disposition.
“But why is the officer called 'Old Adam new apparaled?' The
allusion is to Adam in his state of innocence going naked, and imme“ Far from her nest the lapwing cries away."
diately after the fall being clothed in a frock of skins. Thus he was Act IV., Scene 2.
new apparaled; and, in like manner, the sergeants of the Counter This image is frequent in writers of the same period. Shakspeare were formerly clad in buff, or calf's-skin, as the author humorously has it again in “MEASURE FOR MEASURE," Act I., Scene 5:
a little lower calls it." "With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest
Similar allusions to Adam's primitive suit are frequent in the old
writers. Tongue far from heart." In Lily's "CAMPASPE" (1584), we have, “ You resemble the lapwing
" Mistress, respice finem, respect your end, or rather the prophesy, who crioth most where her nest is not.”
like the parrot, . Beware the rope's end."” – Act IV., Scene 4.
“A devil in an everlasting garment hath him."
* These words," says Warburton, “ seem to allude to a famous Act IV., Scene 2. pamphlet of that time, wrote by Buchanan against the lord of Lid
dington, which ends with these words, respice finem, respice funem. The buff or leather jerkin of the sergeant is called an everlasting
As for prophesying like the parrot, this alludes to people's teaching garment, on account of its durability. As in “HENRY IV.,” Part 1.:
that bird unlucky words; with which, when any passenger was of“And is not a bufl jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?”
fended, it was the standing joke of the wise owner to say, 'Take There is a particular kind of stuff, worn by the working classes, heed, sir, my parrot prophesies.” In support of his explanation, War.
burton quotes the following lines from Butler, in reference to Ral
“Could tell what subtlest parrots mean,
That speak, and think contrary clean;
“ This day, great Duke, she shud the doors upon me,
Act V., Scene 1. Pinch and his companions are here alluded to. The term "har. lot" originally meant merely a hireling, and was afterwards applied contemptuously to both sexes. In Ben Jonson's“ VOLPOXE," Corbaccio says to the impostor, “Out, harlot."
“I will not stay tonight for all the town;
Act IV., Scene 4. This use of the word “stuff” now seems strange, but in the orders that were formerly issued for the royal progresses, even the monarch's baggage was always thus denominated.
“ And careful hours, with Time's deformed hand,
Act V., Scene 1.
“And these two Dromios, one in semblance,
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea, -
Act V., Scene 1.
A line is plausibly supposed to be lost after tho second of those (Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair);
quoted, which would have given connection to the passage.
“The Duke, my husband, and my children both,
Act V., Scene 1. In this passage we have probably the nucleus of some striking lines in Gray's "ODE ON ETON COLLEGE:—"
These " calendars” are the two Dromios. In Act I. Antipholus of
Syracuse calls one of them "the almanack of my true date."
“We came into the world like brother and brother ;
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another."
Act V., Scene 1.
These lines very pleasantly wind up the “COMEDY OF ERRORS,"
and leave a favorable impression of the good sense and good temper More hideous than their queen."
of the two slave brothers. In reference to the loose kind of meter in which they are occasionally made to speak, a few similar specimons
from old dramas may be found amusing. Malone introduces them “ With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
with the subjoined observations: To make of him a formal man again."
“ The long doggerel verses that Shakspeare has attributed in this Act V., Scene 1.
play to the two Dromios, are written in that kind of meter which That is, to bring him back to his senses, and the forms of sober be was usually attributed by the dramatic poets before his time, in their havior. In “MEASURE FOR MEASURE,” the phrase "informal women" comic pieces, to some of their inferior characters; and this circumis used in the contrary sense.
stance is one of many that authorize us to place the preceding com
edy, as well as 'Love's LABOR'S Lost,' and 'Tax TAMING OF THE “ The place of death and sorry execution.” - Act V., Scene 1. SUREW' (where the same kind of versification is likewise found),
among our author's earliest productions; composed probably at a The word "sorry” had anciently a stronger meaning than it has at time when he was imperceptiby infected with the prevailing mode, present. Chaucer says, in the prologue to the “SOMPNOURE'S
and before he had completely learned to deviate boldly from the TALE:
common track.' As these early pieces are now not easily met with, I “ This Frere, when he looked had his fill
shall subjoin a few extracts from some of them:Upon the torments of this sorry place."
LIKE WILL TO LIKE' (1568). And in the “KNIGOT'S TALE,” describing the temple of Mars:“All full of chirking was that sorry place."
Royst. If your name to me you will declare and showe,
You may in this matter my minde the sooner knowe.
Tos. Few wordes are best among friends, this is true,
Wherefore I shall briefly show my name unto you.
Tom Tospot it is, it need not to be printed, “ Important” is here used in the sense of importunate. The allu Wherefore I with Raife Roister must needs be acquainted, &c. sion is probably to the Court of Wards, which was always considered a grievous oppression.
Commons CONDITIONS' (about 1570). "My master preaches patience to him, while
Shift. By gogs bloud, my maisters, we were not best longer here His man with scissors nicks him like a fool."
to staie, Act V., Scene 1. I think was never such a crafty knave before this daie. (Exit AMBO.
Cond. Are thei all gone? Ha, ha, well fare old Shift at a neede: Fools appear to have had their hair cut close and nicked in a par. By his woundes had I not devised this, I had hanged indeed. ticular manner. In the “ CHOICE OF CHANGE” (1598), we find:- Tinkers (ad you), tink me no tinkes: l'ul meddle with them no more. “Three things used by monks, which provoke mon to laugh at their
I thinke was never knave so used by a companie of tinkers before. follies: 1. They are shaved and notched on the head, like fools."
By your leave I'll be so bold as to looke about me and spio, Mr. Tollet states that there is a penalty of ten shillings in one of Lest any kdave for my coming down in ambush do lie. King Alfred's ecclesiastical laws, if one opprobriously shavo a com- By your license I minde not to preach longer in this tree, mon man like a fool.
My tinkerly slaves are packed hence, as farro as I male soe.