Imatges de pàgina

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave;
I greatly fear, my money is not safe.



A publick Place.


ADR. Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd, That in such haste I sent to seek his master! Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him, And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner. Good sister, let us dine, and never fret:

A man is master of his liberty:

Time is their master; and, when they see time,
They'll go, or come: If so, be patient, sister.

ADR. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
Luc. Because their business still lies out o'door.
ADR. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill3.
Luc. O, know, he is the bridle of
your will.

as the author has been enumerating not acts but persons, seems right. JOHNSON.

By liberties of sin, I believe Shakspeare meant licensed offenders, such as mountebanks, fortune tellers, &c. who cheat with impunity.

Thus, says Ascham: "I was once in Italie myself, but I thank God my abode there was but nine days; and yet I saw in that little tyme in one citie, [Venice,] more libertie to sinne, than ever I yet heard tell of in London in nine years." STEEvens.

By liberties of sin, I understand, not licensed offenders, but licentious actions; sinful liberties. MALONE.

5-ill.] This word, which the rhyme seems to countenance, was furnished by the editor of the second folio. The first hasthus. MALONE.

ADR. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so. Luc. Why head-strong liberty is lash'd with woe". There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye, But hath his 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 3,

6 Adr. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so.

Luc. Why, head-strong liberty is LASH'D with woe.] Should it not rather be leash'd, i. e, coupled like a headstrong hound?

The high opinion I must necessarily entertain of the learned lady's judgment, who furnished this observation, has taught me to be diffident of my own, which I am now to offer.

The meaning of this passage may be, that those who refuse the bridle must bear the lash, and that woe is the punishment of headstrong liberty. It may be observed, however, that the seamen still use lash in the same sense as leash; as does Greene, in his Mamillia, 1593: "Thou didst counsel me to beware of love, and I was before in the lash." Again, in George Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576: "Yet both in lashe at length this Cressid leaves." Lace was the old English word for a cord, from which verbs have been derived very differently modelled by the chances of pronunciation. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578: "To thee Cassandra which dost hold my freedom in a lace." When the mariner, however, lashes his guns, the sportsman leashes his dogs, the female laces her clothes, they all perform one act of fastening with a lace or cord. Of the same original is the word windlass, or more properly windlace, an engine, by which a lace or cord is wound upon a barrel.

To lace likewise signified to bestow correction with a cord, or rope's end. So, in the Second Part of Decker's Honest Whore, 1630:

the lazy lowne

"Gets here hard hands, or lac'd correction."

[ocr errors]

Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, 1599:


So, now my back has room to reach; I do not love to be

laced in, when I go to lace a rascal." STEEVENS.

7 Are their males' SUBJECTS,] So the original copy; for which Mr. Steevens and the other modern editors have given us-subject. I had also fallen into the same errour; which was obligingly pointed out to me by Mr. James Boaden. MALONE.

MEN-the MASTERS, &c.] The old copy has man-the master, &c. and in the next line-lord. Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. MALONE.

Lords of the wide world, and wild watry seas,
Indued 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.

ADR. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
ADR. But, were you wedded, you would bear
some sway.

Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. ADR. How if your husband start some other where ? ?

Luc. Till he come again, I would forbear.

ADR. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though she pause1;

They can be meek, that have no other cause 2.

9 start some other WHERE ?] I cannot but think, that our author wrote:


start some other hare? So, in Much Ado About Nothing, Cupid is said to be a good hare-finder. JOHNSON.

I suspect that where has here the power of a noun. So, in King Lear :

[ocr errors]


"Thou losest here, a better where to find.”

Again, in Tho. Drant's translation of Horace's Satires, 1567: they ranged in eatche where,


"No spousailes knowne," &c.

The sense is,-How, if your husband fly off in pursuit of some other woman? The expression is used again, Scene III.: his eye doth homage otherwhere." Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I.:

"This is not Romeo, he's some otherwhere."

Otherwhere signifies-in other places. So, in King Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. II. :

"The king hath sent me otherwhere.” Again, in Chapman's version of the Second Book of Homer's Odyssey:

"For we will never go, where lies our good,
"Nor any other where; till," &c.



she PAUSE;] To pause is to rest, to be in quiet. JOHNSON. 2 They can be meek, that have NO OTHER CAUSE.] That is, who have no cause to be otherwise. M. MASON.


A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry 3;
But were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain :
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
With urging helpless patience would'st relieve


But, if thou live to see like right bereft,

This fool-begg'd' patience in thee will be left.

Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try;Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.

Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.

ADR. Say, is your tardy master now at hand? DRO. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness.

ADR. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know'st thou his mind?

DRO. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear: Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.

Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

DRO. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too

3 A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,

We bid be quiet, &c.] Shakspeare has the same sentiment, in Much Ado About Nothing, where Leonato says



"Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
"Which they themselves not feel."

And again:


[ocr errors]

'tis all men's office to speak patience

"To those that wring under the load of sorrow." DOUCE. 4 With urging HELPLESS patience-] By exhorting me to patience, which affords no help. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :


"As those poor birds that helpless berries saw." MALONE. fool-begg'd-] She seems to mean, by fool-begg'd patience, that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that your next relation would take advantage from it to represent you as a fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune. JOHNSON.

well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them".

ADR. But say, I pr'ythee, is he coming home? It seems, he hath great care to please his wife. DRO. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is hornmad.

ADR. Horn-mad, thou villain?

DRO. E. I mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure, he is stark mad:

When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold':
'Tis dinner-time, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Will you come home, quoth I? My gold, quoth he:
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?
The pig, quoth I, is burn'd; My gold, quoth he:
My mistress, sir, quoth I; Hang up thy mistress;
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress"!
Luc. Quoth who?


DRO. E. Quoth my master:

6 that I could scarce UNDERSTAND them.] i. e. that I could scarce stand under them. This quibble, poor as it is, seems to have been the favourite of Shakspeare. It has been already introduced in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: " - my staff under


stands me."


7 - a THOUSAND marks in gold:-] The old copy reads—a hundred marks. The correction was made in the second folio.


8 Will you come HOME, quoth I?] The word home, which the metre requires, but is not in the authentick copy of this play, was suggested by Mr. Capell. MALONE.

9 I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress !] We have a no less unmetrical line in the former act:

"Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day."

Mr. Steevens, however, has not noticed it; but with his usual attention to metrical smoothness, he here proposes to re-write this line thus:

"I know no mistress; out upon thy mistress." So we are to suppose that in the same line the transcriber wrote, or the compositor printed, not thy for no, and on for upon! MALONE.

« AnteriorContinua »