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And pray your mother's blessing.-Turn, good lady; Our Perdita is found.
[Presenting PERDITA, who kneels to HERMIONE. Her. You gods, look down, And from your sacred vials pour your graces Upon my daughter's head!-Tell me, mine own, Where hast thou been preserv'd? where liv'd? how found
Thy father's court? for thou shalt hear, that I,— Knowing by Paulina, that the oracle
Gave hope thou wast in being,-have preserv'd
Paul. There's time enough for that; Lest they desire, upon this push to trouble Your joys with like relation.-Go together, You precious winners all; your exultation Partake to every one. I, an old turtle, Will wing me to some wither'd bough; and there My mate, that's never to be found again, Lament till I am lost.
Thou hast found
But how, is to be question'd: for I saw her,
You precious winners all;] You who by this discovery have gained what you desired, may join in festivity, in which I, who have lost what never can be recovered, can have no part.
Partake to every one.] Partake here means participate.
Is richly noted; and here justified
By us, a pair of kings.-Let's from this place.What?-Look upon my brother:-both your pardons,
That e'er I put between your holy looks
And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)
7This play, as Dr. Warburton justly observes, is, with all its absurdities, very entertaining. The character of Autolycus is naturally conceived, and strongly represented. JOHNSON.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.] Shakspeare might have taken the general plan of this comedy from a translation of the Menæchmi of Plautus, by W. W. i. e. (according to Wood) William Warner, in 1595, whose version of the acrostical argument hereafter quoted is as follows:
"Two twinne borne sonnes a Sicill marchant had, "Menechmus one, and Sosicles the other;
"The first his father lost, a little lad;
"Where th' other dwelt inricht, and him so like,
"Father, wife, neighbours, each mistaking either, "Much pleasant error, ere they meet togither." Perhaps the last of these lines suggested to Shakspeare the title for his piece.
See this translation of the Menæchmi, among six old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published by S. Leacroft, Charing
At the beginning of an address Ad Lectorem, prefixed to the errata of Decker's Satiromastix, &c. 1602, is the following passage, which apparently alludes to the title of the comedy before us:
"In steed of the Trumpets sounding thrice before the play begin, it shall not be amisse (for him that will read) first to beholde this short Comedy of Errors, and where the greatest enter, to give them instead of a hisse, a gentle correction.”
I suspect this and all other plays where much rhyme is used, and especially long hobbling verses, to have been among Shakspeare's more early productions. BLACKSTONE.
I am possibly singular in thinking that Shakspeare was not under the slightest obligation, in forming this comedy, to Warner's translation of the Menæchmi. The additions of Erotes and Sereptus, which do not occur in that translation, and he could never invent, are, alone, a sufficient inducement to believe that he was no way indebted to it. But a further and more convincing proof is, that he has not a name, line, or word, from the old play, nor any one incident but what must, of course, be common to every translation. Sir William Blackstone, I observe, suspects this and all other plays where much rhyme is used, and especially long hobbling verses, to have been among Shakspeare's more early productions." But I much doubt whether any of these " long hobbling verses" have the honour of procceding from his pen: and, in fact, the superior elegance and harmony of his language is no less distinguishable in his earliest than his latest production. The truth is, if any inference can