Sidor som bilder

The unviolated honour of your

Once this, 3 – Your long experience of her wisdom,
Her sober virtue, years, and modesty,
Plead on her part“ some cause to you unknown;
And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
Why at this time the doors are made against you.5
Be rul'd by me; depart in patience,
And let us to the Tiger all to dinner;
And, about evening, come yourself alone,
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
If by strong hand you offer to break in,
Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made on it;
And that supposed by the common rout6
Against your yet ungailed estimation,
That may with foul intrusion enter in,
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead:
For slander lives upon succession;?
For ever hous’d, where it once gets possession.'

3 Once this,] This expression appears to me so singular, that I cannot help suspecting the passage to be corrupt. Malone.

Once this, may mean, once for all, at once. So, in Sydney's Arcadia, Book 1: “Some perchance loving my estate, others my person. But once, I know all of them,” &c. Again, ibid. B. III:

- She hit him, with his own sworde, such a blowe upon the waste, that she almost cut him asunder: once she sundred bis soule from his body, sending it to Proserpina, an angry goddess against ravishers." Steevens.

Your long experience of her wisdom, Plead on her part -) The old copy reads--your, in both places. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.

the doors are made against you.] Thus the old edition. The modern editors read:

the doors are barr'd against you. To make the door, is the expression used to this day in some counties of England, instead of, to bar the door. Steevens.

supposed by the common rout --] For supposed I once thought it might be more commodious to substitute supported; but there is no need of change: supposed is founded on supposition, made by conjecture. Fohnson.

- upon succession ;] Succession is often used as a quadrisyllable by our author, and his contemporaries. So, Act IV, sc. i, line 5, satisfaction composes half a verse:

“ Therefore make present satisfaction —." Malone.



Ant. E. You have prevaild; I will depart in quiet,
And, in despight of mirth,' mean to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty; wild, and, yet too, gentle;
There will we dine: this woman that I mean,
My wife (but, I protest, without desert)
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal :
To her will we to dinner.-Get you home,
And fetch the chain; by this, I know, 'tis made:
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porcupine;
For there's the house; that chain will I bestow
(Be it for nothing but to spite my wife)
Upon mine hostess there: good sir, make haste:
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they 'll disdain me.

Ang. I'll meet you at that place, some hour hence.
Ant. E. Do so; This jest shall cost me some expense.



The same.

Enter LUCIANA' and ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.

Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot

A husband's office? shall, Antipholus, hate, Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?

Shall love, in building, grow so ruinate ??

For ever hous'd, where it once gets possession.] The adverb once is wanting in the first folio. Steevens.

The second folio has once; which rather improves the sense, and is not inconsistent with the metre. Tyrwhitt.

9 And, in despight of mirth,] Mr. Theobald does not know what to make of this; and, therefore, has put wrath instead of mirth into the text, in which he is followed by the Oxford editor. But the old reading is right, and the meaning is,- I will be merry, even out of spite to mirth, which is now, of all things, the most unpleasing to me. Warburton.

Though mirth hath withdrawn herself from me, and seems determined to avoid me, yet in despight of her, and whether she will or not, I am resolved to be merry. Heath.

1 Enter Luciana --] Here, in the old blundering first folio, we find,—“Enter Juliana.Corrected in the second folio. Steevens. If you did wed my sister for her wealth, Then, for her wealth's sake, use her with more

kindness: Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth;

Muffle your false love with some show of blindness:



you have quite forgot &c.] In former copies:
And may it be that you have quite forgot
A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?

Shall love in buildings grow so ruinate? This passage has hitherto laboured under a double corruption. What conceit could our editors have of love in buildings growing ruinate ? Our poet meant no more than this: Shall thy love-springs rot, even in the spring of love and shall thy love grow ruinous, even while 'tis but building up? The next corruption is by an ac. cident at press, as I take it. This scene for fifty-two lines successively is strictly in alternate rhymes; and this measure is never broken, but in the second and fourth lines of these two couplets. 'Tis certain, I think, a monosyllable dropt from the tail of the second verse; and I have ventured to supply it by, I hope, a probable conjecture. Theobald.

Mr. Theobald's emendations are- -the word-hate, supplied at the end of the second line, and, in the fourth, building given instead of buildings.

Love-springs are young plants or shoots of love. Thus, in. The Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher:

The nightingale among the thick-leav'd springs

" That sits alone in sorrow.” The rhyme which Mr. Theobald would restore, stands thus in the old edition:

shall Antipholus If, therefore, instead of ruinate, we should read ruinous, the passage may remain as it was originally written; and perhaps, indeed, throughout the play we should read Antiphilus, a name which Shakspeare might have found in some quotations from Pliny, B. XXXV, and XXXVII. Antiphilus is also one of the heroes in Sidney's Arcadia.

Ruinous is justified by a passage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, sc. iv:

“ Lest growing ruinous the building fall.” Throughout the first folio, Antipholus occurs much more often than Antipholis, even where the rhyme is not concerned ; and were the rhyme defective here, such transgressions are accounted for in other places. Steevens.

The word-hate, in the first line, is introduced by Theobald, without authority, and certainly injures the sense of the

passage. Hate rotting the springs of love, is a strange idea. It appears to me that the true reading is that suggested, though not adopted, by Steevens :

Let not my sister read it in your eye;

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty ;

Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger:
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;

Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
Be secret-false: What need she be acquainted?

What simple thief brags of his own attaint?3 'Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed,

And let her read it in thy looks at board : Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;

Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. Alas, poor women! make us but believe,

Being compact of credit,5 that you love us; Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;

We in your motion turn, and you may move us.

shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?

Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous ?
Which preserves both the sense and the rhyme. M. Mason.

Shall love, in building, grow so ruinate ?] So, in our author's 119th Sonnet:

“ And ruin'd love, when it is built anew – -." In support of Mr. Theobald's first emendation, a passage in our author's 10th Sonnet may be produced:

thou art so possess'd with murderous hate,
“ That 'gainst thyself thau stick’st not to conspire,
“ Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate,

“ Which to repair should be thy chief desire.” Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:

“ To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours.” Malone.

- his own attaint?] The old copy hasattaine. The emendation is Mr. Rowe's. Malone. 4 Alas, poor women! make us but believe, &c.] The old copy

Steevens. From the whole tenour of the context it is evident, that this negative (not) got place in the first copies instead of but. And these two monosyllables have by mistake reciprocally dispossessed one another in many other passages of our author's works.

Theobald. 5 Being compact of credit,] Means, being made altogether of credulity. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II, 1632:

she's compact “ Merely of blood Again, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

“Love is a spirit all compact of fire.” Steevens.



[ocr errors]

Then, gentle brother, get you in again;

Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife: 'Tis holy sport, to be a little vain,6

When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife. Ant. S. Sweet mistress, (what your name is else, I

know not, Nor by what wonder you do hit on mine,) Less, in your knowledge, and your grace, you show not,

Than our earth's wonder; more than earth divine. 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? Are you a god? would you create me new?

Transform me then, and to your power I 'll yield. But if that I am I, then well I know,

Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe;

Far more, far more, to you do I decline.
O, train me not, sweet mermaid,? with thy note,

To drown me in thy sister's flood 8 of tears;
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote:

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

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

Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink!*

[ocr errors]





vain,] Is light of tongue, not veracious. Johnson.

sweet mermaid,] Mermaid is only another name for sy.

So, in the Index to P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History: “ Mermaids in Homer were witches, and their songs enchauntements.” Steevens.

in thy sister's flood-] The old copy reads-sister. Cor. rected by the editor of the second folio. Malone. as a bed I'll take thee,] The old

reads-as a bud. Mr. Edwards suspects a mistake of one letter in the passage, and would read:


And as a bed I'll take them, and there lie. Perhaps, however, both the ancient readings may be right:

As a bud I'll take thee, &c.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »