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good play! I am not furnished* like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you ; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you : and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women (as I perceive by your simpering none of you hate them), that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
The chief incidents in this comedy arise out of the close similitude between the two brothers Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse, who, with their attendants, Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse, also twins, and bearing the same exact likeness to each other, have been shipwrecked in their infancy; Antipholus of Ephesus, with his attendant, being separated in the wreck from his brother and his attendant. Twenty-five years have elapsed, and the brothers meet at Ephesus, where, owing to the resemblance each bears to the other, numerous amusing mistakes occur. At last Ægeon and Æmilia, the father and mother of the Antipholus twins, who have also been separated in the wreck, meet each other, and their long-lost children at Ephesus, and the play concludes with the pardon of Ægeon by the Duke of Ephesus, for unwittingly breaking a recently enacted
law. Mr. Steevens, the learned commentator on Shakspere, remarks, that this comedy " exhibits more intricacy of plot than distinction of character; and that attention is not actively engaged, since every one can tell how the denouement will be effected."
Patience more easily taught than practised.
Act IV. Description of a Cruel Master. I have served him from the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at his hands for my service but blows. When I am cold, he heats me with beating ; when I am warm, he cools me with beating : I am waked with it when I sleep; raised with it when I sit ; driven out of doors with it when I go from home; welcomed home with it when I return; nay, I bear it on my shoulders as a beggar wont* her brat; and, I think, when he hath lamed me, I shall beg with it from door to door.
* Is accustomed to carry. . t Wrinkled, furrowed.
All these old witnesses (I cannot err)
LOVE'S LABOUR’S LOST.
Biron, Longaville, and Dumain, lords of the Court of Navarre, together with Ferdinand, King of Navarre, agree to spend three years in entire seclusion from female society, and to devote their time to the pursuit of knowledge. No sooner have they decided on this than the Princess of France, attended by three of her ladies, Rosaline, Maria, and Katharine, arrives at Navarre, in embassy, respecting the restitution of the province of Aquitain to her sick and bed-ridden father. Notwithstanding the misanthropical resolution he has made, the king grants audience to the princess, and falls in love with her, whilst his three courtiers become enamoured with Rosaline, Maria, and Katharine. After much good-humoured raillery from the ladies, the gentlemen repent of their cynical resolve, and each of them is promised the hand of the lady of his heart, at the end of a year, during which period a penance of retirement from the world is imposed by the princess and her friends on their lovers. This comedy is said to have been played before Queen Elizabeth at the Christmas of 1597. Dr. Johnson says, “There are many passages in it mean, childish, and vulgar ; but there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspere."
Vanity of Pleasures.
That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks : Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from other's books : These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are : Too much to know, is to know naught but fame; And every godfather can give a name.
A conceited Courtier.
That hath a niint of phrases in his brain :
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny ;
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.