« AnteriorContinuar »
Have written strange defeatures in my face:
Ant. E. Neither.
Dromio, nor thou?
I am sure, thou dost. Dro. E. Ay, sir? but I am sure, I do not; and whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.
Æge. Not know my voice! O, times extremity! Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue, In seven short years, that here my only son Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares?? Though now this grained face of mine be hid In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow, And all the conduits of my blood froze up; Yet hath my night of life some memory, My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left, My dull deaf ears a little use to hear: All these old witnesses (I cannot err,) Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus.
Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life.
Æge. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, Thou know'st, we parted: but, perhaps, my son, Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery. Ant. E. The duke, and all that know me in the
city, Can witness with me that it is not so; I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.
6- strange defeatures - ] Defeatures are certainly neither more nor less than features; as demerits are neither more nor less than merits. Time, says Ægeon, hath placed new and strange features in my face; i. e. given it quite a different appearance: no wonder therefore thou dost not know me. Ritson.
i- my feeble key of untun'd cares?] i. e. the weak and dis- . cordant tone of my voice, that is changed by grief. Douce.
s — this grained face-] i. e. furrowed, like the grain of wood,
Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years
Enter the Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS Syracusan,
and DROMIO Syracusan. Abb. Most mighty Duke, behold a man much wrong'd.
[All gather to see him. Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive
me. Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other; And so of these: Which is the natural man, And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio; command him away. Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio; pray, let me stay. Ant. S. Ægeon, art thou not? or else his ghost? Dro. S. O, my old master, who hath bound him
here? Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, And gain a husband by his liberty:Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man That had'st a wife once called Æmilia, That bore thee at a burden two fair sons: O, if thou be'st the same Ægeon, speak, And speak unto the same Æmilia!
Æge. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia;
Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I,
Duke. Why, here begins his morning story
Ant. S. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse.
lord. Dro. E. And I with him. Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most
Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day?
And are not you my husband ?
Ant. S. And so do I, yet did she call me so;
Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.
Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
Dro. E. No, none by me.
9 Why, here begins his morning story right:] “ The morning story" is what Ægeon tells the duke in the first scene of this play.
And Dromio my man did bring them me:
Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here.
my good cheer.
pains To go with us into the abbey here, And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes:And all that are assembled in this place, That by this sympathized one day's error Have suffer'd wrong, go, keep us company, And we shall make full satisfaction.Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail Of you, my sons; nor, till this present hour, My heavy burdens are delivered: The duke, my husband, and my children both, And you the calendars of their nativity, Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me; After so long grief, such nativity! Duke. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this feast.
[Exeunt Duke, Abbess, Ægeon, Courtezan,
Merchant, Angelo, and Attendants. Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from
shipboard ? Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou
embark'd? Dro. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the
Centaur. · Ant. S. He speaks to me; I am your master,
After so long grief, such nativity!] She has just said, that to her, her sons were not born till now. STEEVENS.
Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon:
[Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS S. and E. ADR. and Luc. Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's
house, That kitchen’d me for you to-day at dinner; She now shall be my sister, not my wife. Dro. E. Methinks, you are my glass, and not
Dro. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
Dro. S. We will draw cuts for the senior: till then, lead thou first.
Dro. E. Nay, then thus: We came into the world, like brother and brother; And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another.
? On a careful revision of the foregoing scenes, I do not hesitate to pronounce them the composition of two very unequal writers. Shakspeare had undoubtedly a share in them; but that the entire play was no work of his, is an opinion which (as Bene. dick says) • fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake." Thus, as we are informed by Aulus Gellius, Lib. III. cap. 3, some plays were absolutely ascribed to Plautus, which in truth had only been (retractatæ et expolitæ) retouched and polished by him.
In this comedy we find more intricacy of plot than distinction of character; and our attention is less forcibly engaged, because we can guess in great measure how the denoüement will be brought about. Yet the subject appears to have been reluctantly dismissed, even in this last and unnecessary scene, where the same mistakes are continued, till their power of affording entertainment is entirely lost. STEEVENS.
The long doggrel verses that Shakspeare has attributed in this play to the two Dromios, are written in that kind of metre which was usually attributed, by the dramatick poets before his time, in their comick pieces, to some of their inferior characters; and this circumstance is one of many that authorize us to place the preceding comedy, as well as Love's Labour's Lost, and The Taming of