Abbildungen der Seite

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.



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

* Clothed.

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."


Man's Pre-eminence.

THERE's nothing situate under Heaven's eye
But hath its bound, in earth, in sea, in sky;
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Are their males' subjects, and at their controls:
Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
Lords of the wide world, and wild watery seas,
Endued with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords:
Then let your will attend on their accords.

Patience more easily taught than practised.
Patience, unmoved, no marvel though she pause,
They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;

But were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.


I see the jewel, best enamelled,

Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold; and so no man, that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame.


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 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.



Description of a Fortune-teller.

A hungry lean-faced villain

A mere anatomy, a mountebank,


A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller
A needy hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man: this pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer;
And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 't were, outfacing me,
Cries out I was possess❜d.

Old Age.

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 lamp some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear :

*Is accustomed to carry.

† Wrinkled, furrowed.

All these old witnesses (I cannot err)
Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus.



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."

Аст І.


BRAVE conquerors! for so you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge army of the world's desires.

Vanity of Pleasures.

Why all delights are vain; but that most vain, Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain.

On Study.

Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,

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.

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
One, whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny;
This child of fancy, that Armado hight,*
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.



My beauty, though but mean,

Needs not the painted flourish of your praise;


« ZurückWeiter »