Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she Forbid the smiling courtesy of love, is gone; she is two months on her way. Arm. What meanest thou?

Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, the poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already; 'tis yours. Arm. Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt die.

Cost. Then shall Hector be whipp'd, for Jaquenetta that is quick by him; and hang'd, for Pompey that is dead by him.

Dum. Most rare Pompey!
Boyet. Renowned Pompey !

The holy suit which fain it would convince;
Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
From what it purpos'd; since, to wail friends
Is not by much so wholesome, profitable, [lost,
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
Prin. I understand you not; my griefs are

Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear
of grief;-

And by these badges understand the king.
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Play'd foul play with our oaths; your beauty, ladies, Pompey, Pompey the huge!

Dum. Hector trembles.

Biron. Pompey is mov'd :-More Ates, Ates; stir them on! stir them on!

Hath much deforın'd us, fashioning our humours
Even to the opposed end of our intents:
more And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,-
As love is full of unbefitting strains :
All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain :
Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye,
Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms,
Varying in subjects as the eye doth roll
nor-To every varied object in his glance:

Dum. Hector will challenge him.
Biron. Ay, if he have no more man's blood
in's belly than will sup a flea.

Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee.
Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a
thern man ; † I'll slash; I'll do it by the sword.
I pray you let me borrow my arms again.
Dum. Room for the incensed worthies.
Cost. I'll do it in my shirt.

Dum, Most resolute Pompey!
Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole
lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for
the combat? What mean you? you will lose your

Arm. Gentlemen, and soldiers, pardon me; will not combat in my shirt.


Dum. You may not deny it; Pompey hath made the challenge.

Arm. Sweet bloods, I both may and will,
Biron. What reason have you for't?
Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no
shirt; I go woolward for penance.

Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome for want of linen since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none, but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta's; and that 'a wears next his heart, for a favour.


Mer. God save you, madam!

Prin. Welcome, Mercade;

But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.

Which party-coated presence of loose love
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecom'd our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make; Therefore, ladies,
Our love being your's, the error that love makes
Is likewise your's: we to ourselves prove false,
By being ouce false for ever to be true
To those that make us both,-fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin
Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace.

Prin. We have receiv'd your letters full o

Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast, and as lining to the time:
But more devout than this, in our respects,
Have we not been; and therefore met your

In their own fashion, like a merriment.
Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much
more than jest.

Long. So did our looks.

Ros. We did not quote them so.

King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour

Mer. I am sorry, madam; for the news I Grant us your loves. bring,

Prin. A time methinks, too short

Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father-To make a world-without-end bargain in ;
Prin. Dead, for my life.

Mer. Even so; my tale is told.
Biron. Worthies, away; the scene begins to

Arm. For mine own part, I breathe free breath I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. [Exeunt Worthies.

King. How fares your majesty ?
Prin. Boyet, prepare; I will away to-night.
King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.
Prin. Prepare, I say.-1 thank you, gracious

For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
In your rich wisdom, to excuse, or hide,
The liberal opposition of our spirits:
If over-boldly we have orne ourselves
In the converse of breath, your gentleness
Was guilty of it.-Farewell, worthy lord!
A heavy heart bears not an humble tongue :
Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks,
For my great suit so easily obtain'd,
King. The extreme parts of time extremely

All causes to the purpose of his speed;
And often, at his very loose, decides
That which long process could not arbitrate:
And though the mourning brow of progeny

[blocks in formation]

No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much
Full of dear guiltiness: and, therefore this,-
If for my love (as there is no such cause)
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath 1 will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about their annual reckoning:
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer made in heat of blood:
If frosts, and fasts, bard lodging, and thin
weeds, t

Nip not the gaudy blossoms of our love,
But that it bear this trial, and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge, challenge me by these deserts,
And, by this virgin palm, now kiɛsing thine,
I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
My woeful self up in a mourning house;
Raining the tears of lamentation,
For the remembrance of my father's death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part;
Neither intitled in the other's heart.

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.
Biron. And what to me, my love? and what
to me?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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 ;

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

And then 'twill end.

Biron. That's too long for a play.


Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,Prin. Was not that Hector? Dum. The worthy knight of Troy. Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take With three-fold love I wish you all these three. leave: I am a votary; I have vow'd to JaqueDum. O shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?netta to hold the plough for her sweet love three Kath. Not so, my lord;-a twelvemonth and a day

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


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

Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn

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

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

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

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

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

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of

It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing

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

Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf'd with the clamour of their own dear t

[blocks in formation]

years. But most esteemed greatness, will you
hear the dialogue that the two learned men have
compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ?
it should have follow'd in the end of our show.
King. Call them forth quickly, we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach.

COSTARD, and others.

This side is hyems, winter; this Ver, the
spring; the one maintained by the owl, the
other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.

[blocks in formation]

• Vehement.


[blocks in formation]


LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. THE Menæchmi 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 resembling individuals are made to puzzle and to thwart each other, would so confound the senses of a spectator, that he would soon be as much bewildered as the parties themselves: whereas the zest of the entertainment 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 contrariety of purpose. Mr. Stevens has justly observed, that this comedy "exhibits more intricacy of plot than distinction of character; and that attention is not actively engaged, since every one can tell how the denouement will be effected."

[blocks in formation]


SCENE 1.-A Hall in the DUKE's Palace
Enter DUKE, ÆGEON, Jailer, Officer, and
other Attendants.

Ege. 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 his rigorous statutes with their


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

Name of a coin.

Nay, more,

If any, born at Ephesus, be seen
At any Syracusan marts and fairs,
Again, If any Syracusan born,
Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose;
Unless a thousand marks be levied,
To quit the penalty, and to ransom him.
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd to die.
Ege. Yet this my comfort; when your words
are done,

My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
Dukc. Well, Syracusan, say in brief, the

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsett »