Графични страници
PDF файл

And, with his mad attendant and himself,2
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
Met us again, and, madly bent on us,
Chased us away; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind them: then they filed
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them;
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us,
And will not suffer us to fetch him out,

Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence.
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command,
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help.
Duke. Long since, thy husband serv'd me in my wars;
And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,

When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.-
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey-gate,
And bid the lady abbess come to me;
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,3 and bound the doctor, Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire;*

2 And, with his mad attendant and himself,] We should read: mad himself. Warburton.

We might read:

And here his mad attendant and himself.

Yet, as Mr. Ritson observes, the meeting to which Adriana alludes, not having happened before the abbey, we may more properly suppose our author wrote

"And then his mad attendant and himself. Steevens.

I suspect, Shakspeare is himself answerable for this inaccuracy. Malone.

3 Beaten the maids a-row,] i. e. successively, one after another. So, in Chaucer's Wife of Bathes Tale, v. 6,836, Mr. Tyrwhitt's


"A thousand time a-row he gan hire kisse."

Again, in Turberville's translation of Ovid's Epistle from Penelope to Ulysses:


and drawes with wine

"The Troian tentes arowe." Steevens. Again, in Hormanni Vulgaria, p. 288:

"I shall tell thee arowe all that I sawe."

"Ordine tibi visa omnia exponam." Douce

And ever as it blazed, they threw on him
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair:
My master preaches patience to him, while
His man with scissars nicks him like a fool:6
And, sure, unless you send some present help,
Between them they will kill the conjurer.

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.

4 Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire;] Such a ludicrous circumstance is not unworthy of the farce in which we find it introduced; but it is rather out of place in an epick poem, amidst all the horrors and carnage of a battle:

"Obvius ambustum torrem Corinæus ab ara

“Corripit, et venienti Ebuso, plagamque ferenti,
"Occupat os flammis: Illi ingens barba reluxit,

[ocr errors]

Nidoremque ambusta dedit." Virg. Æneis, Lib. XII.


Shakspeare was a great reader of Plutarch, where he might have seen this method of shaving in the life of Dion, p. 167, 4to. See North's translation, in which vegaxis may be translated brands. S. W.

North gives it thus-"with a hot goodly bush of heare rounde about."

burning cole to burne his Steevens.

5 My master preaches patience to him, while-] The old copy redundantly reads—and the while. I have followed Sir Thomas Hanmer, by omitting the unnecessary syllables. Steevens.

6 His man with scissars nicks him like a fool:] The force of this allusion I am unable to explain with certainty. Perhaps it was once the custom to cut the hair of idiots close to their heads. There is a proverbial simile-" Like crop the conjurer;" which might have been ironically applied to these unfortunate beings.


There is a penalty of ten shillings in one of King Alfred's ecclesiastical laws, if one opprobriously shave a common man like a fool. Tollet.

Fools, undoubtedly, were shaved and nicked in a particular manner, in our author's time, as is ascertained by the following passage in The Choice of Change, containing the Triplicitie of Divinitie, Philosophie, and Poetrie, by S. R. Gent. 4to. 1598: Three things used by monks, which provoke other men to laugh at their follies. 1. They are shaven and notched on the head, like fooles." See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598, in v. "Zuccone. pate, a notted poule; a poule-pate; a gull, a ninnie." The hair of idiots is still cut close to their heads, to prevent

the consequences of uncleanliness. Ritson.

A shaven


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 now we hous'd him in the abbey here;

And now he's there, past thought of human reason.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Ephesus.
Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke, oh, grant me

Even for the service that long since I did thee,
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
Deep scars to save thy life; even for the blood
That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.
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


She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife;
That hath abused and dishonour'd me,

Even in the strength and height of injury!

Beyond imagination is the wrong,

That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
Ant. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors
upon me,

While she, with harlots feasted in my house.

7 To scorch your face,] We should read-scotch; i. e. hack, cut. Warburton.

To scorch, I believe, is right. He would have punished her as he had punished the conjurer before. Steevens.

8 with harlots-] Antipholus did not suspect his wife of having entertained courtezans, but of having been confederate with cheats to impose on him and abuse him. Therefore, he says to her-Act IV, sc. iv.

66 are these your customers?

"Did this companion with the saffron face
"Revel and feast it at my house to-day?"

By this description he points out Pinch and his followers. Harlot was a term of reproach applied to cheats among men as well as to wantons among women. Thus, in The Fox, Corbacchio says to Volpone—

[ocr errors]

Out harlot!"

Duke. A grievous fault: Say, woman, didst thou so? Adr. No, my good lord;-myself, he, and my sister, To-day did dine together: So befal my soul,

As this is false, he burdens me withal!

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 forsworn.
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
For certain ducats: he with none return'd.

Again, in The Winter's Tale:


for the harlot king

"Is quite beyond mine arm."

Again, in the ancient mystery of Candlemas-Day, 1512, Herod says to Watkin-"Nay, harlott, abyde stylle with my knyghts I warne the."

The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 5 vols. 8vo. 1775, observes, that in The Romaunt of the Rose, v. 6068, King of Harlots is Chaucer's translation of Roy des ribaulx. Chaucer uses the word more than once:

"A sturdy harlot went hem ay behind,

"That was hir hosts man," &c. Sompnoures Tale, v. 7336. Again, in The Dyers Play, among the Chester Collection, in the Museum, Antichrist says to the male characters on the stage, "Out on ye harlots, whence come ye?" Steevens.


I am advised-] i. e. I am not going to speak precipitately or rashly, but on reflection and consideration. Steevens.


Then fairly I bespoke the officer,

To go in person with me to my house.

By the way we met

My wife, her sister, and a rabble more
Of vile confederates; along with them

They brought one Pinch; a hungry lean-faced villain,
A meer anatomy, a mountebank,

A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller;
A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man:1 this pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer;

And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
Cries out, I was possess'd: then altogether
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence;
And in a dark and dankish vault at home

"There" left me and my man, both bound together;
Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
I gain'd my freedom, and immediately

Ran hither to your grace; whom I beseech
To give me ample satisfaction

For these deep shames and great indignities.

Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him;
That he dined 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 didst 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!

1 A living dead man:] This thought appears to have been borrowed from Sackvil's Induction to The Mirror for Magistrates:

[ocr errors]

but as a lyiung death,

"So ded aliue of life hee drew the breath." Steevens.

« ПредишнаНапред »