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As Saksapare was only thirty-first years of age when this pies was first putolished, it must obrique y rank among his early productone. Buri the date publicacion i no siterim to determine the period when i was written or when I was first performed. The words on the titqage of the first edition, “ As it bati bean ofen (Fr great appinust : plnic publiques, by the rigut ionouruvie the L of Hunsdon bis Seruanta," Mzione considers procéshat the play was first acted in 1989, busans Hury, Lord Huion, who led the office of Lord Chamberlain, died in that year, and his son George, Lord Eundon our sneebeded to the office in April, 1587. He is of ommon that the actos wouid only have designated themselves - Lord Hunsdor's servants during the interval of these dates. because they wouid have been called “ The Lord Chamberiain's servants * * a time when the office was realy heid by their poble Patron Tius argument, Mr. Kught remarks, is no douis decisive as to the play being performed before George Lord Hunsdon ; but it is not in any degree decisive as to the play not having been performed without the advantage of this nuteman's patronage Chalmers assigns its composition to the spring of 1542; and Drake places it a year later. The belief in its production at an earber period than that ascribed by Malone, is strengthened by the indications

This seemde WILL E passage in Dants 'Purgatorio e ri Where the poet, sepruerung ** Alberto Tedesce the German empaa tla, Iur suis treatment of Itay, ezeinimas

*Tlení a vela Montsochi e Capelletti, Kunati Filippeschi, som senza cuma!

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The Pubppeschi and Monsidí, man
Who care

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The story must have been eminentis popnle all over Europe from an earis pericli forms the subject of a Spanin play by Lopez de Tegn, entized - Los Castelvias y Montenek,* and another by Dor Francisco de Roxar, under the name of "Los Tanons de Teruna." In Italy, so eaziy as 18?! it had been adapted te the stage by Luigi Grota, under the title of Eadriana :* ani Arthur Brooke, in the preface to the poem above mentioned, speaks of hering seen the same argument lately set forth on stage with more commendation thar I can looks for being there much better set forth them I have or can doge : * un allusion most probably to some representation of it abroad, for the rude condition of our drama at the time. Tenders it unlikely that he should refer to any play of fue kind performed in this country.

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SCEND, during the greater part of the Play, is Tasosa; pace, in the Ati As, « MANTTI

Come, go

with us; we'll look to that anon; Will you walk in to see their gossiping ? Embrace thy brother there; rejoice with him. Dro. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.

[Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS S. and E., ADR. Dro. E. That's a question : how shall we try it? and Luc.

DRO. S. We'll draw cuts for the senior; till Dro. S. There is a fat friend at

your
master's

then, lead thou first.
house,

Dro. E. Nay, then, thus ; That kitchen’d me for you to-day at dinner; We came into the world like brother and broShe now shall be my sister,—not my wife.

ther ; DRO. E. Methinks you are my glass, and not And now let's go hand in hand, not one before my brother:

[Exeunt. I sen by you, I am a sweet-fac'd youth,

another.

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ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTS.

ACT I.

(1) SCENE II.—They say thrs town is full of cozenage, &c.] This was the character attributed to Ephesus in remote ages. Steevens suggests that Shakespeare might have got the hint for this description from Warner's translation of the “ Menachmi,” 1595. “For this assure yourselfe, this Towne Epidamnum is a place of outragious ex. pences, exceeding in all ryot and lasciviousnesse : and (I heare) as full of Ribaulds, Parasites, Drunkards, Catchpoles, Cony-catchers, and Sycophants, as it can hold," &c. But it is observable that Shakespeare, with great propriety, makes Antipholus attach to the Ephesians higher and more poetical qualities of cozenage than those enumerated by the old translator. It is not merely as “catchpoles," "cony-catchers," and the like, but as

“ darkworking sorcerers,” and “ soul-killing witches," that he speaks of them. And hence we are prepared to find him

attribute the cross-purposes of the scene to supernatural agency, and see no inconsistency in his wooing Luciana as an enchantress :

“ Teach me, dear creature! how to think and speak;

Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,
Smother'd 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" Or in his imagining that, to win the sibyl, he must lose himself:

“ Sing, syren, for thyself, and I will dote:

Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bride I'll take thee, and there lie;

And, in that glorious supposition, think
He gains by death, that hath such means to die !"

ACT III.

(1) SCENE I.Once this.] The following note in Gifford's Ben Jonson" (vol. iii. p. 218) helps to confirm our opinion that once in this place, and in many

other instances, is only another form of noncé, and means for the occasion, for the time being, &c. “For the nonce, is simply for the once, for the one thing in question, whatever it may be. This is invariably its meaning. The aptitude of many of our monosyllables beginning with a vowel to assume the n is well known; but the progress of this expression is distinctly marked in our early writers, 'a ones,' an anes,' 'for the anes,' 'for the nanes,' 'for the nones,' 'for the

Borne on a foamy-crested wave,
She reach'd amain the bounding prow,
Then clasping fast the Chieftain brave,

She, plunging, sought the deep below." The reader desirous of particular information concerning the supposed existence and habits of these seductive beings, may consult Maillet's “Telliamed,” Pontopiddan's “Natural History of Norway," and Waldron's “Account of the Isle of Man."

nonce.'

(2) SCENE II.He gains by death, that hath such means to die.] The allusion is obýiously to the long current opinion that the syren, or mermaid, decoyed mortals to destruction by the witchery of her songs. This superstition has been charmingly illustrated by Leyden, in his poem, “The Mermaid," (vide Scott's “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," vol. iv. p. 294.)

(3) SCENE II.

ANT. S. Where France ?

Dro. S. In her forehead ; arm'd and reverted, making war against her heir.] As Theobald first observed, an equivoque was, no doubt, intended between the words hair and heir ; and by the latter, was meant Henry IV. the heir of France, con. cerning whose succession to the throne there was a civil war in the country from 1589 for several years. Henry, after struggling long against the League, extricated himself from all his difficulties by embracing the Roman Catholic religion at St. Denis, on Sunday, the 25th of July, 1593, and was crowned King of France in February, 1594. In '1691, Lord Essex was dispatched with 4,000 troops to tho French king's assistance, and his brother Walter was killed before Rouen, in Normandy. From that time till Henry was peaceably settled on the throne, many bodies of troops were sent by Queen Elizabeth to his aid : so that his situation must at that period have been a matter of notoriety, and a subject of conversation in England. From the reference to this circumstance, Malono imagines the “Comedy of Errors" to have been written before 1594.

" Thus, all to soothe the Chieftain's woe,

Far from the maid he loved so dear,
The song arose, so soft and slow,
He seem'd her parting sigh to hear.

That sea-maid's form, of pearly light, Was whiter than the downy spray, And round her bosom, heaving bright, Her glossy, yellow ringlets play.

me.

b

DRO. E. Will you be bound for nothing? Be Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, with his rapier mad, good master; Cry, the devil !

drawn, and DROMIO of Syracuse. Luc. God help poor souls, how idly do they talk! ADR. Go bear him bence. Sister, go you with Luc. God, for thy mercy! they are loose

again! [Exeunt Pinch and Assistants, with Ant. E. ADR. And come with naked swords : let's call and DRO. E.

more help, Say, now, whose suit is he arrested at?

To have them bound again. OFF. One Angelo, a goldsmith ; do you know

OFF.

Away; they'll kill us. him ?

[Exeunt Officer, Adr. and Luc. ADR. I know the man. What is the sum he ANT. S. I see these witchies are afraid of swords. owes ?

DRO. S. She that would be your wife now ran OFF. Two hundred ducats. ADR.

Say, how grows it due ? Ant. S. Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuff OFF. Due for a chain your husband had of him.

from thence: ADR. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had I long that we were safe and sound aboard. it not.

DRO. S. Faith, stay here this night; they will Cour. Whenas“ your husband, all in rage, surely do us no harm.—You saw, they speak us to-day

fair, give us gold: methinks they are such a gentle Came to my house, and took away my ring, nation, that, but for the mountain of mad flesh that (The ring I saw upon his finger now,)

claims marriage of me, I could find in my heart to Straight after did I meet him with a chain. stay here still, and turn witch.

ADR. It may be so, but I did never see it. Ant. S. I will not stay to-night for all the town; Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is ; Therefore

away, to get our stuff aboard. I long to know the truth hereof at large.

[Exeunt.

from you.

& Whenas your husband,-) This is commonly printed when as, &c.; in some editions when, as, &c. As we remarked in note (C) p. 21, when as and when, whereas and where, were of old used interchangeably.

b Ereunt, &c.] The old copy has two stage directions here. One, "Runne all out," and immediately after, Exeunt omnes,

as fast as may , frighted."

c To get our stuff aboard.] One of the meanings attached to this commonly-used word, stuff, in early times, was luggage. In the orders issued for the royal progresses, Malone says, the king's baggage was always thus denominated.

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