Immagini della pagina

Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it,


And that supposed by the common rout
Against your yet ungalled estimation,
That may with foul intrusion enter in,

And dwell upon your grave when you are dead;
For slander lives upon successión;


For e'er hous'd where it gets possessión.

Ant. E. You have prevail'd. I will depart in quiet,
And, in despite of wrath, mean to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle :
There will we dine: this woman that I mean,


My wife-but, I protest, without desert—

Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal :

To her will we to dinner. [To Ang.] Get you home,
And fetch the chain; by this, I know, 'tis made;
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine;


105. slander] lasting slander Johnson conj. upon] upon it's own Capell conj. 106. hous'd... gets] F 1; housed . . .

gets Singer (ed. 1); hous'd

. once gets Ff 2, 3, 4; hous'd where't gets Steevens. 108. wrath] Theobald; mirth Ff; my wife Keightley. 114. [To Ang.] Clark and Glover. 116. Porpentine] Ff; Porcupine Rowe.

99. stirring passage] busy traffic. Compare Othello, v. i. 37: "What, ho! no watch? no passage?"; and Cotgrave, "Passee: a passage, course, passing along."

102. ungalled] "unblemished" (Craig), who compares "galling" in Henry V. v. i. 78.

105. lives upon succession] i.e. exists upon a series of slanders, each slander being succeeded and supported by the next comer.

106. possession] "hous'd" would seem to show Shakespeare's inclination towards the legal meaning of possession,

[blocks in formation]

For there's the house: that chain will I bestow-
Be it for nothing but to spite my wife—
Upon mine hostess there: Good sir, make haste.
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me.
Ang. I'll meet you at that place some hour hence.
Ant. E. Do so.

This jest shall cost me some expense.



SCENE II.—The Same.

Enter LUCIANA and ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot

A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love thy love-springs rot?
Shall love in building grow so ruinous?

117. will I] F 1; I will Ff 2, 3, 4. 122. hour] F 1; hour, sir Ff 2, 3, 4.

119. mine] F 1; my Ff 2, 3, 4.

Scene II.
Enter Luciana.] Ff 2, 3, 4;
Luciana Dyce (ed. 2).
Antipholis, hate Theobald;
Theobald; buildings Ff.

SCENE II.] omitted by Ff. F 1; Enter, from the house, Iulia. Ff. 2. Antipholus] Theobald conj. 4. building] (Theobald conj.); ruinate Ff. word used by Shakespeare. See Hamlet, I. v. 20: "Like quills upon the fretful porpentine." It also occurs in III. ii. 170, IV. i. 49, v. i. 222, 276 of this play. Douce says the word, although written Porpentine in the old editions of Shakespeare, was scarcely so pronounced; for in Eliot's Dictionary, 1545, and Cooper's Dictionary, 1584, it is Porkepyne.

Scene II.

Enter Luciana] Dyce here makes no division of scene, but says that

Enter Juliana. 1. Luc.] Rowe; Antipholis, thus ruinous] Capell

Luciana and Antipholus of Syracuse
were supposed to enter from the door
of the house as soon as the stage had
been left vacant by the departure of
the other characters. The Folio
direction, "Enter Iuliana," is of
course a clear error. Compare III.
i. 48.

3. love-springs] Compare Venus and Adonis, 656: "This canker that eats up Love's tender spring."

4. ruinous] There can be little doubt that this, Capell's reading from Theobald's conjecture, must be substituted for the Folio ruinate. There is ample

If you did wed my sister for her wealth,


Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kindness:

Or if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth;

Muffle your false love with some show of blindness;

Let not my sister read it in your eye;

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;

Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;

Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;

Be secret-false: what need she be acquainted?
What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
'Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed
And let her read it in thy looks at board :
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women! make us but believe,
Being compact of credit, that you love us;
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;
We in your motion turn and you may move us.

16. attaint] Rowe; attaine Ff 1, 2, 3; attain F 4. is F I. 21. but] Theobald; not Ff.

[blocks in formation]




20. are] Ff 2, 3, 4;

[ocr errors]

22. compact of credit] made up of credulity. Compare Venus and Adonis, 149: "Love is a spirit all compact of fire"; Midsummer-Night's Dream, v. i. 8: "The lunatic are of imagination all compact"; As You Like It, II. vii. 5: "If he, compact of jars, grow musical." Rushton, Shakespeare Illustrated by the Lex Scripta, 1870, p. 62, refers to the Statute 24 Henry VIII. cap. 12: “A body politick compact of all sorts and degrees of people."

Then, gentle brother, get you in again:


Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife;

'Tis holy sport, to be a little vain,

When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.

Ant. S. Sweet mistress-what your name is else, I know not, Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine



Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not,
Than our earth's wonder; more than earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak;
Lay open to my earthy-gross conceit,
Smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you
To make it wander in an unknown field ?
Are you a god? would you create me new?
Transform me, then, and to your power I'll yield.
But if that I am I, then well I know

Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe:

Far more, far more, to you do I decline.

26. wife] wise F 1.

30. of] on Steevens (1793). shaddow Ff 2, 3; shadow F 4. 43. no] F 1; a Ff 2, 3, 4. incline Collier.

27. vain] Perhaps here "empty of speech," or as Johnson says, "light of tongue, not veracious"; having regard to "flattery" in the next line. 30. hit of]i.e. hit on, guess.

32. our earth's wonder] possibly "a compliment to Elizabeth. Pronounced with emphasis, it would not fail to make a due impression on the audience" (Douce).

34. conceit] apprehension, understanding. Compare iv. ii. 65 post. 36. folded] concealed,


35. shallow] F1; 44. decline]

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

O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears.
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote:


Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,

And as a bed I'll take them and there lie;

And, in that glorious supposition, think


He gains by death that hath such means to die :

Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink! Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so? Ant. S. Not mad, but mated; how, I do not know. Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. Ant. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by. Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your sight. Ant. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.



46. sister's] Ff 2, 3, 4; sister F 1. 48. hairs] hears Keightley. a bed] Ff 2, 3, 4; a bud F 1. them] Capell (Edwards conj.); thee Ff. 52. Love, being light, be] Love be light, being Hudson (Badham conj.). she] he Capell. 56. For] From Capell conj. 57. where] Rowe (ed. 2);

when Ff.

[ocr errors]

45. train] draw, entice: e.g. 1 Henry IV. v. ii. 21: we did train him on."

45. mermaid] Almost equivalent to "siren" in line 47. Compare also line 166 of this scene. Steevens quotes the index to Holland's Pliny: "Mermaids in Homer were witches, and their songs enchauntements."

[ocr errors]

52. light] With a quibble on the senses of "wanton and opposed to 'heavy." Venus so speaks of herself in Venus and Adonis, 149, 150:"Love is a spirit Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire." According to Malone, Love is here used for the Queen of Love. Dyce compares Marlowe's Ovid's Elegies (bk. i. el. x.): "Love and Love's son are with fierce arms at odds" (Works, ed. Dyce, 1858, p. 321).

53. reason] i.e. talk. Compare IV. ii. 57: "As if Time were in debt!

how fondly [i.e. foolishly] dost thou


54. mated] bewildered, confounded: with a play on the other sense of the word, i.e. partnered or matched with a wife. Compare v. i. 282 post; Taming of the Shrew, III. ii. 246: "That, being mad herself she's madly mated"; and Macbeth, v. i. 86:

[ocr errors]

'My mind she has mated." The form "amated" occurs in Greene's Orlando Furioso (Dyce, 1831, vol. i. p. 21): "Hath love amated him?"; but also "mated" in his Friar Bacon, etc. (ib. p. 155): "What are you mated by this frolic friar?"

58. wink] to close the eyes in sleep: frequent in this sense in Shakespeare, as in the famous passage in Romeo and Juliet, III. ii. 6:


Spread thy close curtain, loveperforming night,

That rude day's eye may wink."

« IndietroContinua »