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That used 'me so; or else, by Jove I vow,
I should have scratched-out your unseeing eyes,
To make my master 'out of love with thee.



The Lady Silvia,-still fearing a forced marriage with the hateful. Thurio, having escaped from her father's imprisonment,-resolves to follow her banished lover to Mantua. She takes, for protector as well as companion, an old gentleman named Eglamour; and, having to pass through the forest in which Valentine had been appointed leader of the banditti, she is seized by one of the outlaws, (her guardian, Eglamour, having escaped,) and is about to be brought to the Captain's cave,–when she is rescued by Proteus, attended by the disguised Julia.

We precede them to another part of the Forest, where we overhear the banished Valentine musing on his strange fortune : Val. How use doth breed a 'habit in a man!

These shadowy, desert," unfrequented woods
I better brook, than flourishing peopled 'towns :
Here can I sit 'alone, unseen of any;
And, to the "nightingale's complaining notes,
Tune 'my distresses and record my woes.
O thou that 'didste inhabit in my breast,
Leave not the mansion so long 'tenantless,
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
And leave no 'memory of what it was !
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia !
Ah! what hallooinga and what stir is this?
These are my mates, that make their 'wills their law,
With some unhappy passenger in chase.-
They love me well: yet I have much to do
To 'keep' them from uncivil outrages.
Withdraw thee, Valentine: Who's this comes here ?

(Steps aside into the Cave. Proteus, accompanied by his disguised page Sebastian, now enters, conducting the Lady Silvia. Proteus at once renews his solicitations to her : Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you,

Though you respect not aught your servant doth-


for my meed, but one fair 'look:
A 'smaller boon than this I cannot beg,

And 'less than this, I am sure, you cannot 'give.
Sil. O miserable, unhappy that I am!
Pro. Unhappy 'were you, madam, ere I came;
*0. R. this shadowy desert. b register in musical notes.

Shouts and noises


10. R. hollowing.

e O. R. have.

f restrain.

cO. R. dost. Ereward.

I'll woo you

But, ' by my coming, I have made you 'happy.
Sil. Had I been seizéd-on by a hungry 'lion,

I would bave been a 'breakfast to the beast
Rather than bave false 'Proteus rescue me.
O, Heaven be judge how I love Valentine,
Whose life 's as tender to me as my 'soul ;
And full as much—for 'more there cannot be-
I do 'detest false, perjured 'Proteus.

Therefore be gone! solicit me no more!
Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving 'words
Can no way change you to a 'milder form,

like a 'soldier, at arms' end ! Proteus seizes Lady Silvia : Valentine rushes forward : Val. Ruffian ! let go that rude uncivil touch,

Valentine is about to strike, when, recognizing his faithless companion Proteus, he drops his sword:

Thou “friend” of an ill fashion ! Pro.

Val. Thou 'common friend,-one without faith or love,-

Thou hast beguiled my hopes : naught but mine 'eye
Could have persuaded me. 'Now, I dare not say,
I have 'one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
Who should be trusted, when one's own“ right hand
Is 'perjured to the bosom? ... Proteus,
I am sorry I must never trust thee more,
But count the world a 'stranger for thy sake.
The 'private wound is deepest: O time most accurst,

'Mongst 'all foes, that a 'friend should be the worst ! Pro. My shame and guilt confound me.

Forgive me, Valentine. If hearty 'sorrow
Be a sufficient ransom for offence,
I tenderd it here; I do as truly 'suffer,

As e'er I did 'commit.

Then I am paid ;
And once again I do receive thee honest.-
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
Is nor of Heaven, nor earth; for 'these are pleased ;
By penitence, the 'Eternal's wrath 's appeased :-
And, that my love may show most plain and free,
All that was 'mine in Silvia I give 'thee.

rKneely to Valentine.

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a inserted word. b tender, exciting. CO. R. that's.

d offer. 10. R. that my love may appeare plaine and free.

e He who.

a ring.

-Shows another


So speaks the banished Valentine, now feeling himself unworthy of Lady Silvia by leading a dishonoured, dishonourable, outlawed life. But the disguised Julia is almost speechless at this unexpected renunciation; at length she says: Jul. ... O good sir! my master charged me to deliver a

'ring to Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was
never done.

Proteus asks:
Pro. Where is that ring, boy? How ! let me see:- -["

Julia gives
Why, this is the ring I gave to 'Julia.
Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir ; I have mistook:

'This is the ring you sent to Silvia. Pro. But, how cam'st thou by 'this ring ?

At my depart, I gave this unto Julia.
Jul. And Julia herself did give it 'me; .

And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
Pro.... How? Julia !
Jul. Behold 'her, that gave aim to all thy oaths,

And entertained them deeply in her 'heart:
How oft bast thou with perjury cleft its root!
O Proteus, let this habito make thee blush:
Be'thou ashamed, that I am thus attireda-
If 'shame can live in a disguise of 'love.
It is the 'lesser blot, as modesty still finds,

Women to change their shapes, than men their 'minds. Pro. Than men their minds ! 't is true. O Heaven, were


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But 'constant, he were.'

'perfect: that 'one error
'Fills bim with faults; makes him run-through all

'sins :
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins.

Valentine advances :
Val. Come, come, a hand from either.

Let me be blest to make this happy

'T were pity two such 'friends should be long 'foes. The Robbers enter rejoicingly, bringing to their Captain two well-equipped prisoners — the bedizened Duke, and the dumfounded Thurio. Valentine at once recognizes his former patron. Val. Forbear, I say! it is my lord the Duke.

Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced-
The banished Valentine.


He joins their


a direction. 50. R. the root: (in archery the root is the central part of the butt.) cher disguised dress as a Page.

d three inserted words. e O. R. It is the lesser blot modesty findes. fO. R. all th' sins.



The ill-judging Thurio exclaims :
Thu. Yonder is 'Silvia; and Silvia 's 'mine!
Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death!

Do not name Silvia 'thine; if once again,
Milan shall not behold thee. Here she stands.

I dare thee but to 'breathe upon my love!
Thu. . . Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I:

I hold him but a 'fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:

I claim her 'not, and therefore she is 'thine.
Duke. The more degenerate and 'base art thou !-

Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an 'Empress' love:
Know, then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.

"Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast 'deserved her. Val. ... I'thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy

I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,

To grant 'one boon that I shall ask of you.
Duke. I grant it for thine 'own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banished men, that I have kept withal,

Are men endued with 'worthy qualities:
'Forgive them what they have committed here,

And let them be 'recalled from their exile.
Duke. Thou hast prevailed; I pardon 'them and 'thee.

Come, let us go: we will conclude all jars

With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity. Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold

With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.

What think you of this 'Page, my lord ? [
Duke. ... I think, the boy bath grace in him ;-he blushes!
Val. I warrant you, my lord; 'more grace than 'boy.
Duke. What 'mean you by that saying ?
Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along:-

Come, Proteus ; 't is your penance, but to 'hear
The story of your secret' loves discovered:
That done, 'our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

He takes Julia



*0. R. Verona shall not hold thee. grievances. c recall.

public pageants. fingerted word.

10. R. include.



The “Comedy" of Errors would be, according to the modern use of the word, more correctly named a “Farce.” It is, undoubtedly, one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, probably untouched and unrevised by its author :' the text throughout is manifestly corruptdoubtless suffering from the stage “gaggery" of clowns who speak “more than is set down for them.” Many of the scenes abound in doggerel rhymes or long hobbling couplets-a distinguishing mark of early English comedy.

The plot is evidently suggested by the “Menechmus" of Plautus, a loose translation of which had been performed in 1577: One of the most reliable chronologers of Shakespeare's plays assigns his composition to the year 1593; it differs from its Latin original by the introduction of the Two Dromios, whose fun is all Shakespeare's. It is the second Comedy mentioned in Meres' list, (1598,) but it was not printed till the collected works appeared in 1623.—The adherence to the old classical unities of Time and Place will be observed as very peculiar.

The Characters retained in this Condensation are : Solinus, Duke of Ephesus.b A Merchant, Friend to Antipholus ÆGEON, a Merchant of Syracuse.° of Syracuse. ANTIPHOLUS,

1 Twin Brothers, A Merchant trading with Angelo. of Ephesus,

Sons to Ægeon PINCH, a Schoolmaster, and a Con

and Æmilia, but iurer. ANTIPHOLUS,

unknown tu each of Syracuse, other.

ÆMILIA, Wife to Ægeon. Dromio, of) Trin Brothers, At

ADRIANA, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus,

tendants on the two

LUCIANA, her Sister.

LUCE, Servant to Adriana.
BALTHAZAR, a Merchant.

LESBIA. ANGELO, a Goldsmith.

Gaoler, Officers, and Attendants. Scene-Ephesus.”—Time-One Day.

a This version—a free translation from Plautus-was not printed till 1595 - after the production of Shakespeare's Comedy, (which was written presumably in 1593.) It appeared as “A pleasant and fine-conceited Comedie called Menechmus, taken out of the most excellent poet Plautus. By W. W. (William Warner) 1595."-But there can be little doubt that the early manuscript had been perused by Shakespeare. The earliest (supposed) performance of Shakespeare's Comedy is presumed to have taken place in 1594, at Gray's Inn, London: for we are told, in the “Gesta Grayorum," that, in the December of that year, “a Comedy of Errors, like to Plautus, his Menechmus, was played by the players,”-(and not, as usual, by the law students of the Inn,)-probably by the company of which Shakespeare was then a member. The writer adds: “ So that night was begun, and continued to the end, in nothing but confusion and errors. Whereupon it was ever afterwards called the Night of Errors."

b Ephesus, in Asia Minor; once the metropolis of the East, but now a miserable Turkish village. In it stood the great Temple to the goddess Diana.

Syracuse, a seaport in the island of Sicily; then the centre of Mediterranean commerce,

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