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Of you, my fons; nor, till this present hour,9
My heavy burdens are delivered :-

The duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you the calendars of their nativity,

Go to a goffip's feaft, and go with me ;'
After fo long grief, fuch nativity!2

DUKE. With all my heart, I'll goflip at this feat.
[Exeunt Duke, Abbefs, ÆGEON, Courtezan,
Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants.

DRO. S. Mafier, fhall I fetch your ftuff from fhipboard?

9 nor, till this prefent hour,] The old copy readsand till. The emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. Burden, in the next line, was corrected by the editor of the fecond folio.



and go with me;] We should read:

and gaude with me;

i. e. rejoice, from the French, gaudir. WARBURTON. The fenfe is clear enough without the alteration. The Revifal offers to read, more plaufibly, I think :

joy with me.

Dr. Warburton's conjecture may, however, be countenanced by the following paffage in Acolaftus, a comedy, 1540:"I have good caufe to fet the cocke on the hope, and make gaudye chere."

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, A&t III. fc. xi :

"Let's have one other gaudy night."

In the novel of M. Alberto, of Bologna, the author adviseth gentlewomen" to beware how they contrive their holyday talke, by wafte wordes iffuing forth their delicate mouths in carping, gauding, and jefting at young gentlemen, and speciallye old men," &c. Palace of Pleafure, 1582, Vol. I. fol. 60.



After fo long grief, fuch nativity!] We fhould furely read:

After fo long grief, fuch feftivity.

Nativity lying fo near, and the termination being the fame of both words, the mistake was eafy. JOHNSON.

The old reading may be right. She has juft faid, that to her, her fons were not born till now. STEEVENS.

ANT. E. Dromio, what ftuff of mine haft thou


DRO. S. Your goods, that lay at hoft, fir, in the Centaur.

ANT. S. He fpeaks to me; I am your master, Dromio:

Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon:
Embrace thy brother there, rejoice with him.
[Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS S. and E. ADR. and Luc.
DRO. S. There is a fat friend at your master's

That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner;
She now fhall be my fifter, not my wife.

DRO. E. Methinks, you are my glass, and not my brother:

I fee by you, I am a fweet-faced youth.
Will you walk in to fee their goffiping?

DRO. S. Not I, fir; you are my elder.

DRO. E. That's a question: how fhall we try it? DRO. S. We will draw cuts for the fenior: 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 an[Exeunt.3


3 On a careful revifion of the foregoing fcenes, I do not hefitate to pronounce them the compofition of two very unequal writers. Shakspeare had undoubtedly a fhare in them; but that the entire play was no work of his, is an opinion which (as Benedick fays) "fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the ftake." Thus, as we are informed by Aulus Gellius, Lib. III. cap. 3, fome plays were abfolutely afcribed to Plautus, which in truth had only been- (retractate et expolite) retouched and polished by him.

In this comedy we find more intricacy of plot than diftinction of character; and our attention is lefs forcibly engaged, because we can guess in great meature how the denouement will be brought about. Yet the fubject appears to have been reluctantly difmiffed, even in this last and unneceffary fcene, where the fame mistakes are continued, till their power of affording entertainment is entirely loft. STEEVENS.

The long doggrel verfes that Shakspeare has attributed in this play to the two Dromios, are written in that kind of metre which was ufually attributed, by the dramatick poets before his time, in their comick pieces, to fome of their inferior characters; and this circumftance is one of many that authorize us to place the preceding comedy, as well as Love's Labour's Loft, and The Taming of the Shrew, (where the fame kind of verfification is likewife found,) among our author's earliest productions; compofed probably at a time when he was imperceptibly infected with the prevailing mode, and before he had completely learned "to deviate boldly from the common track." As these early pieces are now not eafily met with, I fhall fubjoin a few extracts from fome of them :

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Royft. If your name to me you will declare and fhowe, "You may in this matter my minde the fooner knowe. "Tof. Few wordes are beft among freends, this is true, "Wherefore I shall briefly show my name unto you. "Tom Tofpot it is, it need not to be painted,

"Wherefore I with Raife Roifter muft needs be acquainted," &c.


[About 1570.]


Shift. By gogs bloud, my maifters, wee were not beft
longer here to ftaie,

"I thinke was never fuche a craftie knave before this daie.

[Exeunt Ambo.

* This dramatick piece, in its entire ftate, has not been met with. The only fragment of it known to be exifting, is in my poffeffion. STEEVENS.

"Cond. Are thei all gone? Ha, ha, ha, wel fare old Shift at a neede:

"By his woundes had I not devised this, I had hanged indeede. "Tinkers, (qd you) tinke me no tinks; Ile meddle with them

no more;

"I thinke was never knave fo used by a companie of tinkers before.

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By your leave Ile bee fo bolde as to looke about me and spie, "Leaft any knaves for my commyng doune in ambush doe lie. By your licence I minde not to preache longer in this tree, "My tinkerly flaves are packed hence, as farre as I maie fee." &c.

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"The wind is yl blows no man's gaine; for cold I neede not


"Here is nine and twentie futes of apparel for my fhare; “And some, berlady, very good, for fo ftandeth the cafe, "As neither gentleman nor other Lord Promos fheweth any


"But I marvel much, poore flaves, that they are hanged fo foone,


They were wont to staye a day or two, now scarce an afternoone." &c.



"You think I am going to market to buy roft meate, do ye


"I thought fo, but you are deceived, for I wot what I wot: "I am neither going to the butchers, to buy veale, mutton, or


"But I am going to a bloodfucker, and who is it? faith Ufurie, that theefe."



"Quoth Nicenefs to Newfangle, thou art fuch a Jacke, "That thou devifeft fortie fashions for my ladie's backe. "And thou, quoth he, art fo poffefst with everie frantick toy, "That following of my ladie's humour thou doft make her coy.

"For once a day for fashion-fake my lady must be sicke, “No meat but mutton, or at moft the pinion of a chicke: "To-day her owne haire best becomes, which yellow is as gold, "A periwig is better for to-morrow, blacke to behold:

"To-day in pumps and cheveril gloves to walk fhe will be bold, "To-morrow cuffes and countenance, for feare of catching cold: "Now is the barefaft to be feene, ftraight on her muffler goes; "Now is the hufft up to the crowne, straight nufled to the nose.' See alfo Gammer Gurton's Needle, Damon and Pythias, &c. MALONE.


J. PLYMSELL, Printer, Leather Lane, Holborn, London.

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