Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[blocks in formation]

His word might bear my wealth at any time.

Some get within him;2 take his sword away.
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house.
Dro. S. Run, master, run; for Heaven's sake,
take a house! 3

This is some priory: in, or we are spoil'd.

[Exeunt ANT. S. and DRO. S. into the Abbey. Enter the Abbess.

Abb. Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?

Adr.

To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.

Sec. Mer. Speak softly: yonder, as I think, he Let us come in, that we may bind him fast,

walks.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse and DROMIO of

Syracuse.

Ang. 'Tis so; and that self chain about his neck, Which he forswore most monstrously to have. Good sir, draw near to me, I'll speak to him.— Signior Antipholus, I wonder much

That you would put me to this shame and trouble;
And, not without some scandal to yourself,
With circumstance and oaths so to deny
This chain, which now you wear so openly:
Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
You have done wrong to this my honest friend;
Who, but for staying on our controversy,
Had hoisted sail, and put to sea to-day:
This chain you had of me; can you deny it?
Ant. S. I think I had; I never did deny it.
Sec. Mer. Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore

it too.

Ant. S. Who heard me to deny it or forswear it? Sec. Mer. These ears of mine, thou know'st, did hear thee.1

Fie on thee, wretch! 'tis pity that thou liv'st
To walk where any honest men resort.

Ant. S. Thou art a villain to impeach me thus:
I'll
prove mine honour and mine honesty
Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand.
Sec. Mer. I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.

[They draw.

Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the Courtesan, and others.

Adr. Hold! hurt him not, for Heaven's sake! he is mad.

1. Did hear thee. "Hear," in this line, like many other monosyllabic words in other passages, is to be sounded like a dissyllable.

2. Get within him. Get within his guard, close with him.

And bear him home for his recovery.

Ang. I knew he was not in his perfect wits. Sec. Mer. I am sorry now that I did draw on him.

Abb. How long hath this possession held the man ?

Adr. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad, And much different from the man he was; But till this afternoon his passion Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.

Abb. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck of sea?

Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye
Stray'd his affection in unlawful love ?----
A sin prevailing much in youthful men,
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing.
Which of these sorrows is he subject to?

Adr. To none of these, except it be the last ; Namely, some love that drew him oft from home. Abb. You should for that have reprehended him. Adr. Why, so I did.

Abb.
Ay, but not rough enough.
Adr. As roughly as my modesty would let me.
Abb. Haply, in private.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Unquiet meals make ill digestions, —
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
And what's a fever but a fit of madness?
Thou say'st his sports were hinder'd by thy brawls:
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue,
But moody and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair;
And at her heels a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest
To be disturb'd, would mad or man or beast:
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Have scar'd thy husband from the use of wits.
Luc. She never reprehended him but mildly,
When he demean'd himself rough, rude, and

wildly.

Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?

Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof.— Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.

Abb. No, not a creature enters in my house. Adr. Then let your servants bring my husband forth.

Abb. Neither: he took this place for sanctuary; And it shall privilege him from your hands Till I have brought him to his wits again, Or lose my labour in assaying it.

Adr. I will attend my husband, be his nurse, Diet his sickness; for it is my office, And will have no attorney but myself; And therefore let me have him home with me.

6

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

5. Melancholy, kinsman to, &ɩ. In this sentence, “kinsman" not agreeing in gender with the subsequent "her," has a somewhat odd effect to modern grammarians; but, in Shakespeare's time, such construction was allowable: as we find by a passage in The Merchant of Venice," iii. 2, where Portia says"But now, I was the lord

Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself."

6. Attorney. Shakespeare uses this word here, and else where, to express a deputed representative, a substitute, a commissioned agent or proxy.

7. A formal man. A man restored to the right use of his intellects. We have seen in "Measure for Measure" [Note 24.

A charitable duty of my order:

Therefore depart, and leave him here with me. Adr. I will not hence, and leave my husband here:

And ill it doth beseem your holiness

To separate the husband and the wife.

Abb. Be quiet, and depart: thou shalt not have him. [Exit.

Luc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity. Adr. Come, go: I will fall prostrate at his feet, And never rise until my tears and prayers Have won his grace to come in person hither, And take perforce my husband from the abbess. Sec. Mer. By this, I think, the dial points at five: Anon, I'm sure, the duke himself in person Comes this way to the melancholy vale, The place of death and sorry execution," Behind the ditches of the abbey here. Ang. Upon what cause?

Sec. Mer.

To see a reverend Syracusan merchant,

Who put unluckily into this bay

Against the laws and statutes of this town,—
Beheaded publicly for his offence.

Ang. See where they come: we will behold his death.

Luc. Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey.

[blocks in formation]

Act v.], that Shakespeare uses "informal" for deranged or disordered intellect.

8. Parcel of mine oath. 'Portion of my oath.' "Parcel," meaning a part, or portion of a whole, is from the French, parcelle.

9. The place of death and sorry execution. In this passage, the Folio prints 'depth' instead of "death;" and it has been contended that by the place of depth' Shakespeare meant to introduce into this Greek story the Barathrum, or deep pit into which offenders were cast. But there is something in such a periphrasis which does not sound in keeping with our poet's style, and which implies a mode of punishment that does not accord so well as "the place of death" with the word "beheaded" a little farther on. "Sorry" was used with stronger effect formerly than now, and meant sorrowful,' 'dreadful,'

'dismal.'

10. So much we tender him. To "tender" here is used for 'regard with kindness,' 'feel compassion for.'

11. Sacred duke. "Sacred" is here used for 'entitled to reverence,' 'worthy of homage:' as we have "sacred Silvia," "Two Gentlemen of Verona," iii. 1.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

At your important letters, 2-this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness took him;
That desperately he hurried through the street,-
With him his bondman, all as mad as he,-
Doing displeasure to the citizens.

By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Rings, jewels, anything his rage did like.
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home,
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,13
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,11
He broke from those that had the guard of him;

12. Your important letters. Shakespeare, and other writers of his time, occasionally used "important" for 'importunate,' 'urgent.' By the word "letters" he alludes to a custom belonging to feudal times, when the 'wardship' of heiresses pertained to the Crown, and Royal Letters were sent to ladies of large fortune on behalf of suitors desirous of obtaining them.

And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
Met us again, and, madly bent on us,
Chas'd us away; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind them. Then they fled
Into this abbey, whither we pursu'd 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.

[blocks in formation]

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. Oh, mistress, mistress! shift and save yourself!

My master and his man are both broke loose, Beaten the maids a-row,15 and bound the doctor, Whose beard they have singe'd off with brands of fire; 16

And ever, as it blaz'd, they threw on him

Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair.
My master preaches patience to him, and the while
His man with scissors nicks him like a fool;"
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. 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 of Ephesus and DROMIO of

Ephesus.

Even for the service that long since I did thee,
When I bestrid thee in the wars, 19 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 wo

man there!

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 20 feasted in my house. 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 befall 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. Oh, perjur'd woman!-They are both for-

Sworn:

In this the madman justly chargeth them.

Ant. E. My liege, I am advised what I say;22
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 23 with
her,

Could witness it, for he was with me then;
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,

Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke! Oh, Promising to bring it to the Porcupine, grant me justice!

15. Beaten the maids a-row. "A-row" was formerly used in the same way that the common phrase 'all of a row' is now employed: and means 'one after another,' 'in succession.' It may be observed that this servant characteristically uses the wrong grammar of "are" for 'have' in the previous line.

16. Whose beard they have singe'd off with brands of fire. That the process of shaving was upon some peculiar occasions performed by means of "fire," we find from a passage in Sir Thos. North's translation of "Plutarch," a book much used by Shakespeare. In the life of Dion, North says that the "father Dionysius was so fearful and mistrustful of everybody, that he would suffer no man with a pair of barber's scissors to poll the hair of his head; but caused an image-maker of earth to come unto him, and with a hot burning coal to burn his goodly bush of hair round about."

17. Nicks him like a fool. It was the custom to shave and to "nick" or notch the heads of professional fools: so that allu

Where Balthazar and I did dine together.

sion to this practice became synonymous with an accusation of folly.

18. Scorch your face. To 'scotch' was formerly sometimes spelt to "scorch;" and here, probably, the double threat of singeing" and "nicking" is implied.

Shakespeare has

19. When I bestrid thee in the wars. many allusions to this act of military friendship, which was of generous frequency in chivalrous times.

20. Harlots. An old term of reproach for base hireling persons, and applied to both men and women.

21. Nor sleep on night. "On" was often used formerly for 'of;' and here "on night" is equivalent to the more modern idiom, of a night.'

22. I am advised what I say. 'I speak advisedly what I say.' Antipholus uses the word "advised" in the sense of 'composedly,' 'considerately,' 'with a due amount of knowledge and reflection.'

23. Pack'd. Confederated, joined in conspiracy.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »