« IndietroContinua »
If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place,
Thou wouldst have changed thy face for a name, or thy name for a face.
Luce. [Within.] What a coil is there, Dromio? who are those at the gate?
Dro. E. Let my master in, Luce.
And so tell your master.
'Faith no; he comes too late ;
O Lord! I must laugh!
Have at you with a proverb;-Shall I set in my staff? Luce. [Within.] Have at you with another: that's—When?
47. a face] I think we are compelled, from reasons both of sense and rhyme, to adopt Collier's reading. As Grant White remarks: "what Dromio could mean by changing a name for an ass, would pose the Sphinx and Oedipus.' I have little doubt that the corruption is simply an example of that metathesis of letters forming a word which is so common in the Folio. Compare "face" with "affe." Dromio E., it will be remembered, was beaten by Antipholus S. (see 1. ii. 92), and Dromio E. undoubtedly means that if Dromio S. had been in his place then, the latter instead of stealing his
would have been glad to change, either his own face or his name, i.e. to have had a different personality with the same name, Dromio, or else to have kept his personality, but with a different name; of course with the object of avoiding the beating.
48. Luce. [Within.]] Dyce says: "Here the Folio has Enter Luce,'
48. coil] uproar, ado: frequent in Shakespeare.
51. set in my staff] proverbial, perhaps, for "make myself at home" (Craig); something perhaps equivalent to the modern expression "hang up my hat."
52. When? can you tell?] Another proverbial expression, used apparently by way of counter question for evading an importunate question. Compare 1 Henry IV. II. i. 43: Ay, when? canst tell?" Craig quotes Heywood, Fortune by Land and Sea, 1. i. (Pearson, 1874, vol. vi. p. 365): "When? can you tel?"; and Day, Law Trickes (1608), 111. i. 35 (Bullen, p. 36).
Dro. S. [Within.] If thy name be called Luce,--Luce, thou hast answered him well.
Ant. E. Do you hear, you minion? you'll let us in, I trow? Luce. [Within.] I thought to have asked you.
Dro. S. [Within.]
And you said, no. 55
Dro. E. So; come, help: well struck! there was blow for
Ant. E. Thou baggage, let me in.
Can you tell for whose sake?
Let him knock till it ache.
Dro. E. Master, knock the door hard.
Ant. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the door down.
Adr. [Within.] Who is that at the door, that keeps all this
Dro. S. [Within.] By my troth, your town is troubled with unruly boys.
Ant. E. Are you there, wife? you might have come before. Adr. [Within.] Your wife, sir knave? go get you from the
54. trow] Theobald; hope Ff; know Crosby conj.; Malone supposes a line omitted ending with rope. 55. asked you. Dro. S. And] ask'd you, had you brought a rope. Dro. S.; I ask'd you to let us in, and Keightley conj. 61. Adr. [within] Rowe; Enter Adriana Ff. 64. go get] go, get Theobald. 54. trow] Compare Merry Wives of Windsor, 1. iv. 140: "Who's within there? ho!-Who's there, I trow!" I think we must adopt Theobald's reading, as the least of the evils. In the mouth of Antiph. E. "hope" damns itself. It is far too weak. "Trow" here would have the meaning "I feel sure," "I'm pretty certain." I see no objection to making the line form a triplet with lines 55 and 56; the more so that within the
next few lines there occur three trip-
Dro. E. If you went in, i' faith, master, this "knave" would go
Ang. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome: we would fain have either.
Bal. In debating which was best, we shall part with neither. Dro. E. They stand at the door, master: bid them welcome hither.
Ant. E. There is something in the wind, that we cannot get
Dro. E. You would say so, master, if your garments were thin. 70
Your cake there is warm within; you stand here in the cold:
It would make a man mad as a buck to be so bought and sold.
Ant. E. Go fetch me something: I'll break ope the gate. Dro. S. [Within.] Break any breaking here, and I'll break your knave's pate.
65. in, i' faith] Editor; in pain, Ff. 67. part] have part Warburton. 71. cake there] Anon. conj.; cake here Ff; cake Capell. 72. mad] F 1; as mad Ff 2, 3, 4. as a buck] omitted by Capell. 73. Go fetch] Go, fetch
65. went in, i' faith] This reading appears to be the best and simplest solution of the somewhat meaningless reading of the Folio. Craig would read "my faith," and with "this knave" he compares Romeo and Juliet, III. i. 130:"Take the villain back again."
67. part with] i.e. depart with. 72. mad as a buck] This probably refers to sexual "madness." See Bartholomew (Berthelet), bk. xviii. §30: "[And in rutting time] the males wax cruel and dig up clods and stones with their feet, and then their snouts
Dro. E. A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind;
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
Dro. S. [Within.] It seems, thou wantest breaking. Out upon thee, hind!
Dro. E. Here's too much "out upon thee"! I pray thee,
let me in.
Dro. S. [Within.] Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and fish have no fin.
Ant. E. Well, I'll break in. Go borrow me a crow.
If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow
Ant. E. Go get thee gone; fetch me an iron crow.
so; Ff 1, 2, 3; feather,
75. you, sir] your sir F 1. 78. much] much, Ff 1, 2, 3; much; F 4. 81. feather? so?] Collier; feather, so? F 4. get Ff.
feather] a feather Steevens (1793). 84. Go get] Dyce; Go,
thus rendered by Sugden, Comedies
So when I got there, a crow was
given me as plaything pretty! the quibble being on crow and crowbar, just as in the Latin upupa means both hoopoe and a kind of hoe or mattock. A variation of the phrase is "to pull a crow"; for which Craig compares Heywood's Proverbs, 1546 (Sharman, p. 122): “If ye leave it not we have a crow to pull,'
Bal. Have patience, sir; O, let it not be so :
And draw within the compass of suspect
The unviolated honour of your wife.
Once this, your long experience of her wisdom,
Plead on her part some cause to you unknown ;
And let us to the Tiger all to dinner;
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
89. Once this,-your] Once this your Ff; Once this; your Rowe; Own this; your Malone conj. her] Rowe; your Ff. 91. her] Rowe; your Ff.
93. made] barr'd Rowe (ed. 2).
89. Once this,-] perhaps meaning once for all." Compare MidsummerNight's Dream, III. ii. 68: "O once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!"; Much Ado About Nothing, 1. i. 320: "'Tis once, thou lovest"; Merry Wives of Windsor, ш. iv. 103:—
"I pray thee once to-night,
Give my sweet Nan this ring"; where Chichester Hart in his note on the passage compares Nash's Have with you to Saffron Waldon, iii. 189 (ed. Grosart); and Coriolanus, II. iii. I: "Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him." Steevens quotes Sidney's Arcadia, bk. i.: "Some perchance loving my estate, others my person. But once, I know
all of them." See also Peele's Old Wives Tale, 490: "Jack shall have his funerals, or some of them shall lie on God's dear earth for it: that's once" [i.e. that's settled once for all].
It is quite possible, however, that the passage, as printed in the Folio, is corrupt. A change to Since would perhaps restore the sense together with the punctuation of the Folio. "You cause your wife's honour to be suspected by your proposed action; since (or inasmuch as) your experience of her wisdom as well as her virtue, years and modesty show some cause unknown to you." In this view there is probably a simple inversion of the protasis and apodasis.
93. the doors are made] i.e. fastened, shut. Compare Merchant of Venice, II. vi. 49: "I will make fast the doors"; As You Like It, ïv. i. 162: "Make the doors upon a woman's wit." The phrase is still used in the north of England, at least in Yorkshire.
95. all] See note to line 1 of this