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V O L U M E I 1.— C () M E ]) I E S. 



18 4 7. 

V. a 

EiitHnn], ;icc.(jrilini; to Act of Congress, in llic year one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-seven, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

in the Clerk's (^rtiet; of the District Court of the Soathern District 

of New York, 
















[EARES, in his list of the dramatic productions by which Shakespeare had, before the 
year L598, established the general reputation of being " the most excellent among 
the English in both tragedy and comedy," places the Two Gentlemen of Verona 
tlie first in order of thirteen dramas wliich he names. If we add to this list, Pericles, 
and the two parts of Henry VI., which Meares does not mention, though both were 
prior to his date, Shakespeare had, before his thirty-fourth year, been the acknowledged 
author of seventeen dramas; and if the Two Gentlemen of Verona were the first of 
these, it must certainly have been the production of his early youth. His poem of 
Venus and Adonis, first printed in 1592, he himself has (in his dedication) designated 
as " the first heir of his invention," and may probably have been written before he 
removed to London, — and before, or not long after, his twentieth year. The Two Gen- 
tlemen OF Verona, if not his earliest comedy, was in all probability written in the same, 
or at least the next, stage of his intellectual progress. 

Hanmer, and after him, Upton, thought its style so little resembling his general dra- 
matic mamier, that they pronounced with great confidence, that " he could have had no 
other hand in it than enlivening, w^ith some speeches and lines, thrown in here and 
there," the production of some inferior dramatist, from whose thoughts his own are 
easily to be distinguished, " as being of a ditferent stamp from the rest." There seems 
no reasonable ground for such an opinion ; which has, indeed, been fully refuted by 
Johnson, and rejected by all succeeding critics. On the contrary, the play is full of 
undeniable marks of the author, in its strong resemblance in taste and style to his 
earlier plays and poems, as well as in the indications it gives of the author's future power of 
original humour and vivid delineation of character. It, indeed, has the chai-acteristics of a young 
author who had already acquired a ready and familiar mastery of poetic diction and varied 
versification, and who had studied nature with a poet's eye ; for the play abounds in brief pas- 
sages of great beauty and melody. There are here, too, as in his other early dramas, outlines 
of thought and touches of character, sometimes faintly or imperfectly sketched, to which he 
afterwards returned in his maturer years, and wrought them out into his most striking scenes 
and impressive passages. Thus, Julia and Silvia are, both of them, evidently early studies of 
female love and loveliness, from the unpractised " 'prentice hand" of the same great artist, who 
was afterwards to pourtray with matchless delicacy and truth the deeper affections, the nobler intellects, and the 
varied imaginative genius of Viola, of Rosalind, and of Imogen. Indeed, as a drama of character, however inferior 
to his own after-creations, it is, when compared with the works of his predecessors and contemporaries, superior 
alike in biste and in origuiality ; for (as Mr. Hallam justly observes) "it was, probably, the first English comedy 
in which characters are drawn ideal and yet true:" although, when contrasted with the vivid and discriminating 
delineations to which his genius afterwards familiarized his audience, both the truth of nature and the ideal grace 
appear marked with the faint colouring and uncertain drawing of a timid hand. The composition, as a whole, does 
not seem to have been poured forth vdth the rapid abundance of his later works ; but, m its graver parts, bears 
evidence of the yomig author's careful elaboration, seldom daring to deviate from the habits of versification to which 
his muse had been accustomed, and fearful of venturing on any untried novelty of expression. 

Johnson (probably on the authority of his friend. Sir J. Reynolds) has well replied to the objection raised by 
Upton to Shakespeai-e's right of authorship to this piece, founded on the difference of style and manner from his 
other plays, by comparing this difference to the variation of manner between Raphael's fii-st pictures and those of 
his ripened talent. This comparison is more apt and pregnant than Johnson's limited acquaintance with the arts 
of design allowed him to perceive. Raphael, as compared with other great masters of his ai"t, was eminently the 
dramatic painter, — the delineator of human action, passion, character, and expression ; and, as the peculiar powers 





of his genius developed themselves by exercise, so, too, he gradually formed to himself his own taste and style 
of execution and expression ; while, like his great dramatic ante-type, his earlier works, full of grace and mind, 
yet bore the marks of the feebler school in which he had studied, as well as of the timidity and constraint of half- 
formed talent. 

Not only is the language of this piece carefully studied, but there seems no haste or carelessness in the con- 
struction of the plot, unless we may admit the criticism of Judge Blackstone, — whose legally trained acuteness 
has done for Shakespeare almost as much as the clearness and gracefulness of a style acquired in the best school 
of Englisli literature has contributed to metliodizing and elucidating the mysteries of his countiy's law. He 
remarks, that the great fault of the play is " the hastening too abruptly, and without preparation, to the denouement, 
which shove's that it was one of Shakespeare's very early performances." This, liowever, appears to be I'atlier 
the want of dramatic skill, to be acquired by experience, than any effect of negligence or haste, and is, after all, 
no very serious fault. If, as a poem, it has little of that exuberance of thought which afterwards overflowed his 
l)age, yet, in the construction of his story, there is not only no deficiency of invention, but even more labour in that 
way than he was afterwards accustomed to bestow. The chai-acters were not only new and uncopied from any 
dramatic model, but the plot and incidents are substantially equally original ; for, although Skottowe, and the other 
diligent searchers for the origmal materials of his dramas, have found two or three resembling incidents in Syd- 
ney's " Arcadia," and elsewhere, still there is nothing to show that the young dramatist had employed any prior 
story as the groundwork of his plot ; and the incidents he used were such as form part of the common stock of 
romantic narrative. 

In the humorous parts of the play, he is still more unfettered by authority, and more whimsically and boldly 
original. He happened to find the stage mainly abandoned in its comic underplots and interludes to the coarse 
butlbonery of barren-witted clowns, who excited the laughter of their audiences by jokes as coarse and practical 
as may be now witnessed in a modem circus. From the coarse farce of " Gammer Gurton's Needle" to Launce 
and Speed was a gigantic stride, even with reference to the probability of the scene ; although fastidious criticism 
may still find ample cause for objection. But it is now too late to protest against the improbability or the coarse- 
ness of Launce and his dog Crab. They have both of them become real and living persons of the great world 
of fictitious reality, and must continue to amuse generation after generation, along with Sancho and Dapple, 
Clinker and Chowder, and many other squires and dogs of high and low degree, whom " Posterity will not wiU- 
Lugly let die." 

Upon the whole, the Two Gentlemen of Verona, whatever rank of merit may be assigned to it by critics, 
will always be read and studied with deeper interest than it can probably excite as a mere literary performance, 
because it exhibits to us the great dramatist at a most interesting point in his career; giving sti-iking. but imperfect 
and irregular, indications of his future powers. 

This play was never printed until it appeared after the author's death, in the folio of 1623. The text, — whether 
because it contains few deviations from ordinaiy modes of expression and trains of thought ; or, because the piece 
being less popular than others of the Poet's plays, was less exposed to the corruptions of frequent transcription for 
theatrical use, and so was first printed from an early and accurate manuscript, — whatever be the reason, offers 
fewer difficulties and various readings than are found iu any other of Shakespeare's plays. 


"If the Two Gkkti.kmen of Verona were not the offspring merely of the author's invention, we have yet to 
discover the source of its plot. Points of resemblance have been dwelled upon in connection with Sir Philip 
Sydney's ' Arcadia,' (1590,) and the 'Diana' of Montemayor, which was not translated into English Ijy B. Vonge 
until 1598 ; but the incidents, common to the drama and to these two works, are only such as might be found in 
other romances, or would present themselves spontaneously to the mind of a young poet : the one is the command 
of banditti by Valentine ; and the other the assumption of male attire by Julia, for a purpose nearly similar to that 
of Viola in Twelfth Night. Extracts from the 'Arcadia' and the 'Diana' are to be found in 'Shakespeare's 
Librai-y,' vol. ii." — Collier. 


" In the folio of 1623, there are no indications of the localities of the several scenes. The notices, such as ' An 
Open Place in Verona,' ' The Garden of Julia's House,' ' A Room in the Duke's Palace, ' A Forest near Mantua,' 
are additions that have been usefully made from time to time. The text, either specially or by allusion, of course 
furnishes the authority for these directions. 

" Ceasare Vecellio, the brother of Titian, in his curious work, ' Habiti Antiche e Moderni di tutto il Mondo,' 
cx)mpleted in 1539, presents us with the general costume of the noblemen and gentlemen of Italy at tlie commence- 
jnent of the sixteenth century, which has been made familiar to us by the well-known portraits of the contenipo- 
rary monarchs, Francis I. and Henry VIII. He tells us they wore a sort of diadem surmounted by a turban-like 
cap of gold tissue, or embroidered silk, a plaited shirt (low in the neck) with a small baud or ruff, a coat or ca-'^sock 
of the German fashion, short in the waist and reaching to the knee, having sleeves down to the elbow, and from 
thence showing the ann covered only by the shirt with wristbands or ruffles. The cassock was ornamented with 
stripes or borders of cloth, silk, or velvet of different colours, or of gold lace or embroideiy, accorduig to the wealth 
or taste of the wearer. With this dress they sometimes wore doublets and stomachers, or placet? rds, as they were 
called, of different colours, their shoes being of velvet, like those of the Germans, that is, very broad at the toes. 
Over these cassocks again were occasionally worn cloaks or nrantles of silk, velvet, or cloth of golil, with ample 
luru-over collai's of fur or velvet, having lai'ge arm-holes through which the full-puffed sleeves of the cassock passed, 



and sometimes loose hanging sleeves of their own, which could either be worn over the others, or thiown behind, 
at pleasure. 

" Nicholas Hoghenberg, in his curious series of prints exhibiting the triumphal processions and other ceremonies 
attending the entry of Charles V. into Bologna, in 1530, affords us some fine specimens of tlie costume at that 
])eriod, worn by the German and Italian nobles in the train of the empei'or. Some are in the cassocks described by 
Vecellio, others in doublets with slashed hose ; confined both above and below knee by garters of silk or gold. 
The turban head-dress is worn by the principal herald ; but the nobles generally have caps or bonnets of cloth or 
velvet placed on the side of the head, sometimes over a caul of gold, and ornamented with feathers, in some 
instances profusely. These are most probably the Milan caps or bonnets of which we hear so much in wardrobe 
accounts, and other records of the time. They were sometimes slashed and puffed round the edges, and adorned 
with ' points' or ' aglets,' i. e. tags or aiguillettes. The feathers in them, also, were occasionally ornamented with 
drops or spangles of gold, and jewelled up the quills. 

" Milan was likewise celebrated for its silk hose. In the inventory of the wardrobe of Henry VIII., ' Harleian 
MSS.,' Nos. 1419 and 14'20, mention is made of 'a pair of hose of purple silk, and Venice gold, woven like unto a 
caul, lined with blue silver sarcenet, edged with a passemain of purple silk and gold, wrought at Milan, and one 
pair of hose of white silk and gold knits, bought of Christopher Millener.' Our readers need scarcely be told that 
the present term milliner is derived from Mihui, in consequence of the reputation of that city for its fabrication as 
well of ' weeds of peace' as of ' harness for war ;' but it may be necessary to inform them that by hose, at this period, 
is invariably meant breeches, or upper-stocks, — the stockings, or nether-stocks, begiiming now to form a separate 
portion of male attire. 

" The ladies (we leani from Vecellio) wore the same sort of turbaned head-dress as the men, resplendent with 
various colours, and embroidered with gold and silk in the form of rose-leaves and other devices. Their neck- 
chains and girdles were of gold, and of great value. To the latter were attaclied fans of feathers, with richly orna- 
mented gold handles. Instead of a veil, they wore a sort of collar or neckerchief (Bavaro) of lawn or cambric, 
pinched or plaited. The skirts of their gowns were usually of damask, either crimson or purple, with a border-lace 
or trimming round the bottom, a quarter of a yard in depth. The sleeves were of velvet, or other stuff, large and 
slashed, so as to show the lining or under garment, terminating with a small band or ruffle like that round the edge 
of the collar. The body of the dress was of gold stuff or embroidery. Some of the dresses were made with trains, 
which were either held up by the hand when walking, or attached to the girdle. The head-dress of gold brocade 
was not unlike the beretta of the Doge of Venice ; and caps, very similar in form and material, are still worn in the 
neighbourhood of Linz in Upper Austria. 

" The Milan bonnet was also worn by ladies, as well as men, at this period. Hall, the chronicler, speaks of some 
who wore ' Myllaiu bonnets of ciymosyne sattin drawn through (i. e. slashed and puffed) with cloth of gold;' and 
in the roll of provisions for the man-iage of the daughters of Sir John Nevil, tempore Henry VIII., the price of ' a 
Millan bonnet, dressed with agletts,' is marked as lis." — Knirht. 


entlemen of Verona. 

DUKE OF MILAN, Father to Silvia. 

ANTONIO, Father to Protkds. 
THQRIO, a foolish Rival to Valentikr. 
EGLAMODR. Agent for Silvia, in her escape 
SPEED, a clownish Servant to VALiSNxiNE. 
LAUNCE, Servant to I'roteus. 
PANTHINO, Servant to Antonio. 
Host, where Jcilia lodges in Milan. 

TULIA, a Lady of Verona, beloved by Protede. 
SILVIA, the Duke's Daughter, beloved by Valentin 

LUCETTA, Waiting-woman to Julia. 

Servants, Musicians. 

ScHNE— Sometimes in Verona ; sometimes in Mila n , 
and on the Frontiers of Mantoa. 

Scene I. — An Open Place in Verona. 
Enter Valentine and Proteus. 

Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus : 
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits. 
Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days 
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, 
1 rather would entreat thy company 
To see the wonders of the world abroad. 
Than, living dully sluggardiz'd at home. 
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. 
But since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein, 
Even as I would, when I to love begin. 

Pro. Wilt thou begone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu. 
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest 
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel : 


Wish me partaker in thy happiness. 

When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger. 

If ever danger do environ thee, 

Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers, 

For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine. 

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success. 

Pro. Upon some book 1 love, I'll pray for thee. 

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, 
How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont. 

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love, 
For he was more than over shoes in love. 

Val. 'Tis true ; for you are over boots in love. 
And yet you never swam the Hellespont. 

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots. 

Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not. 

Pro. What? 





Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with 
groans ; 
Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs ; one fading mo- 
ment's mirtli, 
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights: 
If haply won, [jerhaps, a hapless gain; 
If lost, why then a grievous labour won : 
However, but a folly bought with wit, 
Or else a wit by folly vanquished. 

Pro. So, by your circumstance you call me fool. 

Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll 

Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at: I am not love. 

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you; 
And he that is so yoked by a fool, 
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise. 

Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud 
The eating canker dwells, so eating love 
Inhabits in the finest wits of all. 

Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud 
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow, 
Even so by love the young and tender wit 
Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud, 
Losing his verdure even in the prime, 
And all the fair effects of future hopes. 
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee, 
'^Phat art a votary to fond desire ? 
Once more adieu. My father at the road 
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd. 

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine. 

Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our 
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters, 
Of thy success in love, and what news else 
Betideth here in absence of thy friend, 
And I likewise will visit thee with mine. 

Saw you my 

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan. 

Val. As much to you at home ; and so, farewell. 


Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love : 
He leaves his friends to dignify them more ; 
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love. 
Thou, Julia, thou hast nietamorphos'd me ; 
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, 
War with good counsel, set the world at nought, 
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with 

Enter Speed. 

Speed. Sir Proteus, save you. 

Pro. But now he parted hence to embark 

SjJeed. Twenty to one, then, he is shipp'd al- 
And I have play'd the sheep in losing him. 

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, 
An if the shepherd be awhile away. 

Speed. You conclude, that my master is a shep- 
herd, then, and I a sheep ? 

Pro. I do. 

SjKcd. Why then, my liorns are his horns, whe- 
ther I wake or sleep. 

Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep. 

Speed. This proves me still a sheep. 

Pro. True, and thy master a shepherd. 

Sjieed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. 

Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another. 

Sj>eed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not 
the sheep the shepherd ; but I seek my master, and 
my master seeks not me; therefore, I am no sheep. 

Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, 





the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou 
for wages fullowest thy master, thy master for wa- 
ges follows not thee : therefore, thou art a sheep. 

Speed. Such another proof will make me cry 

Pro. But, dost thou hear ? gav'st thou my letter 
to Julia? 

Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter 
to her, a laced mutton; and she, a laced nuitton, 
gave ine, a lost mutton, nothing for my labour. 

Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store 
of muttons. 

Speed. If the ground be overcharg'd, you were 
best stick her. 

Pro. Nay, in that you are astray : 'twere best 
poiuid you. 

Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me 
for carrying your letter. 

Pro. You mistake: I mean the pound, the pin- 

Speed. From a pound to a pin ? fold it over and 
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your 

Pro. But what said she ? did she nod ? 

Speed. I. [Speed nods. 

Pro. Nod, I ? why that's noddy. 

Speed. You mistook, sir : I say she did nod, and 
you ask me, if she did nod ? and I say I. 

Pro. And that set together, is noddy. 

Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it 
together, take it for your pains. 

Pro. No, no ; you shall have it for bearing tlie 

Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear 
with you. 

Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me ? 

Speed. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly ; having 
nothinii but the word noddy for my pains. 

Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit. 

Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow 

Pro. Come, come; open the matter in brief: 
what said she ? 

Speed. Open your purse, that the money, and 
the matter, may be both at once deliver'd. 

Pro, Well, sir, here is for your pains. What 
said she ? 

Sftced. Truly, Sir, I think you'll hardly win lier. 

Pro. Why ? Couldst thou perceive so much 
from her? 

Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from 
her; no, not so much as a ducat for delivering your 
letter; and being so hard to me that brought your 
mind, I fear she'll prove as hard to you in telling 
your mind- Give her no token but stones, for she's 
as hard as steel. 

Pro. What ! said she nothing ? 

Speed. No, not so much as — " take this for thy 
pains." To testify j'our bounty, T thank you, you 
have testern'd me ; in requital whereof, henceforth 
carry your letters yourself. And so, sir, I'll com- 
mend you to my master. 

Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from 
Which cannot perish, having thee aboard. 
Being destin'd to a drier death on shore. — 
I must go send some better messenger: 
I fear my Julia would not deign my lines. 
Receiving them from such a worthless post. 


Scene II. — The Same. Julia's Garden. 
Enter Julia and Lucetta. 

Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, 
Wouldst thou, then, counsel me to fall in luvt- ? 

Luc. Ay, madam; so you stumble not uniiccd- 

Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen. 
That every day with parle encounter me. 
In thy opinion which is worthiest love ? 

Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll show 
my mind 
According to my shallow simple skill. 

Jul. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour ? 

Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine; 
But. were I you, he never should be mine. 

Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ? 

Luc. Well, of his wealth; but of himself, so, so. 

Jul. What tliink'st thou of the gentle Proteus? 

Luc. Lord, lord I to see what folly reigns in us! 

Jul. How now ! what means this passion at his 
name ? 

Luc. Pardon, dear madam : 'tis a passing shame, 
That I, unworthy body as I am. 
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen. 

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ? 

Luc. Then thus, — of many good I think him best. 

////. Y'our reason ? 

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason: 
I think him so, because I think him so. 

Jul. And wouldst thou have me cast my love 
on him ? 

Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away. 

Jul. Why, iie, of all the rest, hath never mov'd 

Luc. Y'et he, of all the rest, I think, best loves ye. 

Jul. His little speaking shows his love but small. 

Luc. Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. 

Jul. They do not love, that do not show their 

Luc. O ! they love least, that let men know their 

Jul. I would I knew his mind. 

Luc. Peruse this paper, madam. 

Jul. "To Julia." Say, from whom? 

Luc. That the contents will show. 

Jul. Say, say, who gave it thee ? 

Luc. Sir Valentine's page ; and sent, I think, 
from Proteus. 
He would have given it you, but T, being in the way. 
Did in your name receive it : pardon the fault, I 

Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker! 
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines? 
To whisper and conspire against my youth ? 
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth. 
And you an officer fit for the place. 
There, take the paper : see it be return'd. 
Or else return no more into my sight. 

Luc. To plead for love desei-ves more fee than 

Jul. Will you be gone ? 

Luc That you may i-uminate. [E.nt. 

Jul. And yet, I would I had o'erlook'd the letter. 
It were a shame to call her back again. 
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. 
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid. 
And would not force the letter to my view, 
Since maids, in modesty, say "No," to that 
Which they would have the proflferer construe, 




SCENE 11. 

Fie, fie ! how wayward is this foolish love. 
That like a testy babe will scratch the nurse, 
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod. 
How churlislily I chid Lucetta hence, 
When willingly I would have had her here: 
How angerly I taught my brow to frown, 
When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile. 
My penance is to call Lucetta back. 
And ask remission for my folly past. — 
What ho ! Lucetta ! 

He-enter Lucetta. 

Luc. What would your ladyship ? 

Jul. Is it near dinner-time ? 

Luc. I would it were ; 

That you might kill your stomach on your meat, 
And not upon your maid. 

Jul. What is 't that you took up so gingerly ? 

Luc. Nothing. 

Jul. Why didst thou stoop then? 

Luc. To take a paper up 

That I let fall. 

Jul. And is that paper nothing ? 

Luc. Nothing concerning me. 

Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns. 

Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns. 
Unless it have a false interpreter. 

Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in 

Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune. 
Give me a note : your ladyship can set. 

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible: 
Best sing it to the tune of " Light o' love." 

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune. 

Jul. Heavy ? belike, it hath some burden then. 

Luc. Ay ; and melodious were it, would you 
sing it. 

Jul. And why not you ? 

IjUc. I cannot reach so high. 

Jul. Let 's see your song. — How now, minion ! 

Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out : 
And yet, inethinks, I do not like this tune. 

Jul. You do not ? 

Luc. No, madam ; it is too shai^p. 

Jul. You, minion, are too saucy. 

Lric. Nay, now you are too flat, 

And mar the concord with too harsh a descant : 
There wanteth but a mean to fill your song. 

Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base. 

Luc. Indeed I bid the base for Proteus. 

Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. 
Here is a coil with protestation ! — 

\^Tears the letter. 
Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie : 
You would be fingering them to anger me. 

Luc. She makes it strange, but she would be best 

To be so anger'd with another letter. 


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Jul. Nay, would 1 were so 


with the 


hateful hands ! to tear such loving words : 
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey. 
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings ! 
I'll kiss each several paper for amends. 

Look, here is writ — "kind Julia;" — unkind Julia! 
As in revenge of thy ingratitude, 

1 throw thy name against the bruising stones, 
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. 


And here is writ — "love-wounded Proteus." — 

Poor wounded name ! my bosom, as a bed. 

Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal'd ; 

And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. 

But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written down: 

Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away. 

Till I have found each letter in the letter, 

Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear 

Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock. 

And throw it thence into the raging sea. 




Lo ! here in one line is his name twice writ,— 
"Poor forlorn Proteus; passionate Proteus 
To the sweet Julia:" — that I'll tear away; 
And yet I will not, sith so prettily 
He couples it to his complaining names. 
Thus will 1 fold them one ujjon another: 
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will. 

Re-enter Lucetta. 

Luc. Madam, 
Dinner is ready, and your father stays. 
Jul. Well, let us go. 
Luc. What ! shall these papers lie like tell-tales 

here ? 
Jul. If you respect them, best to take them up. 
Luc. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down; 
Yet here they shall not lie for calching cold. 
Jul. I see, you have a month's mind to them. 
Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you 
see ; 
I see things too, although you judge I wink. 
Jul. Come, come ; will 't please you go ] 


Scexe III. — The Same. A Room in Axtonio's 


Enter Antonio and Panthino. 

Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk was that. 
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister? 

Pant. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son. 

Ant. Why, what of him ? 

Pant. He wonder'd, that jour lordship 

Would suifer him to spend his youth at home, 
While other men, of slender reputation. 
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out: 
Some to the wars, to try their fortune there ; 
Some, to discover islands far away ; 
Some, to the studious universities. 
For any, or for all these exercises, 
He said, that Proteus, your son, was meet. 
And did request me to importune yoix 
To let him spend his time no more at home. 
Which would be great impeachment to his age, 
In having known no travel in his youth. 

Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to that 
Whereon this month I have been hammering. 
I have consider'd well his loss of time. 
And how he cannot be a perfect man. 
Not being tried and tutor'd in the w orld : 
Experience is by industry achiev'd, 
Ajid perfected by the swift course of time. 
Then, tell me, whither were I best to send him ? 

Pant. I think, your lordship is not ignorant 
How his companion, youthful Valentine, 
Attends the emperor in his royal court. 

Ant. I know it well. 

Pant. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent 
him thither. 
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments. 
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen, 
And be in eye of every exercise. 
Worthy his youth, and nobleness of birth. 

Ant. I like thy counsel : well hast thou advis'd ; 
And, that thou may'st perceive how well I like it, 
The execution of it shall make known. 

what letter are you reading 

Even with the speediest expedition 

I will disj)atch him to the emperor's court. 

Pant. To-morrow, may it please you, Don Al- 
With other gentlemen of good esteem, 
Are jotu-neying to salute the emperor. 
And to connnend their service to his will. 

Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go : 
And, in good time, — now will we break with him. 

Enter Proteus. 

Pro. Sweet love ! sweet lines ! sweet life ! 
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart ; 
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn. 
O ! that our fathers would applaud our loves, 
To seal our happiness with their consents ! 

heavenly Julia ! 
Ant. How now 

there ? 

Pro. May 't please your lordship, 'tis a word or 
Of commendations sent from Valentine, 
Delivered by a friend that came from him. 

Ant. Lend me the letter: let me see what news. 

Pro. There is no news, my lord, but that he 
How ha])piiy he lives, how well belov'd, 
And daily graced by the emperor; 
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune. 

Ant. And how stand yoti atlected to his wish ? 

Pro. As one relying on your lordship's will. 
And not depending on his friendly wish. 

-.4/)^ My will is something sorted with his wish. 
Muse not that 1 thus suddenly proceed, 
For what 1 will, I will, and there an end. 

1 am resolv'd, that thou shalt spend some time 
With A'^alentinus in the emperor's coiut : 
What maintenance he from his friends receives, 
Like exhibition thou shalt have from me. 
To-morrow be in readiness to go : 

Excuse it not, for 1 am peremptory. 

Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided: 
Please you, deliberate a day or two. 

Ant. Look, what thou want'st shall be sent after 
thee : 
No more of stay; to-morrow thou must go. — 
Come on, Panthino : you shall be employ'd 
To hasten on his expedition. 

[Exeunt Antonio and Panthino. 

Pro. Thus have I shunn'd the lire for fear of 
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd. 
I fear'd to show my father Julia's letter, 
Lest he should take exceptions to my love ; 
And, with the vantage of mine own excuse, 
Hath he excepted most against my love. 
O I how this spring of love resembleth 

The uncertain glory of an April day, 
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, 

And by and by a cloud takes all away. 

Re-enter Panthino. 

Pant. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you 
He is in haste ; therefore, I pray jou, go. 

Pro. Why, this it is : my heart accords thereto. 
And yet a thousand times it answers, no. [Exeunt. 

Scene I. — Milan. A Room in the Duke's Palace. 
Enter Valentine and Speed. 

Speed. Sir, your glove. 

Val. Not mine ; my gloves are on. 

Speed. Why then this may be yours, for this is 
but one. 

Val. Ha ! let me see : ay, give it me, it's mine. — 
Sweet ornament, that decks a thing divine ! 
Ah Silvia ! Silvia ! 

Speed. Madam Silvia ! madam Silvia! 

Val. How now, sirrah ? 

Speed. She is not within hearing, sir. 

Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her? 

Speed. Your worship, sir; or else I mistook. 

Val. Well, you'll still be too forward. 

Speed. And yet I was last chidden for being too 

Val. Go to, sir. Tell me, do you know madam 
Silvia ? 

Speed. She that your worship loves? 

Val. Why, how know you that I am in love? 

Speed. Marry, by these special marks. First, you 
have learn'd, like sir Proteus, to wreath your arms, 
like a mal-content ; to relish a love-song, like a 
robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one that had 
the pestilence; to si<ih, like a schoolboy that had 
lost his ABC; to weep, like a young wench that 
had buried her srrandam ; to fast, like one that takes 
diet ; to watch, like one that feai's robbing ; to speak 
puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, 
when you laugh'd. to crow like a cock ; when you 
walk'd, to walk like one of the lions ; when you 
fasted, it was presently after dinner ; when you 
look'd sadly, it was for want of money; and now 
you are metamorphosed with a mistress, tliat, when 
I look on you, I can hardly think you my master. 

Val. Are all these things perceived in me ? 

Speed. They are all perceived without ye. 

Val. Without me ? they cannot. 

Speed. Without you ? nay, that's certain ; for, 
without you were so simple, none else would : but 
you are so without these follies, that these follies 
are within you, and shine through you like the 
water in an urinal, that not an eye that sees you, 
but is a physician to comment on your malady. 

Val. But, tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia ? 

Speed. She, that you gaze on so, as she sits at 
supper ? 

Val. Hast thcHU observed that ? even she I mean. 

Speed. Why, sir, I know licr not. 

Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, 
and yet know'st her not? 

Speed. Is she not hard-favotir'd, sir? 

Val. Not so fah', boy, as well-favour'd. 

Speed. Sir, I know that well enough. 

Val. What dost thou know? 

Speed. That she is not so fair, as (of you) well- 

Val. I mean, that her beauty is exquisite, but 
her favour infinite. 

Speed. That's because the one is painted, and the 
other out of all coiuit. 

Val. How painted? and how out of count ? 

Speed. Marry, sir, so painled to make her fair, 
that no man 'counts of her beauty. 

Val. How esteem'st thou me ? I account of her 

Speed. Y"ou never saw her since she was de- 

Val. How long hath she been deform'd ? 

Speed. Ever since you loved her. 

Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her, and 
still I see her beautiful. 

Speed. If j'ou love her, you cannot see her. 

Val. Why? 

Speed. Because love is blind. O! that you had 
mine eyes; or your own eyes had the lights they 
were wont to have, when you chid at sir Proteus 
for going inigartered ! 

Val. What should I see then? 

Speed. Y'our own present folly, and her passing 
deformity ; for he, being in love, could not see to 
garter his hose; and you, being in love, cannot see 
to put on yoin' hose. 

Val. Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last 
morning you could not see to wipe my shoes. 

Speed. True, sir; I was in love with my bed. T 
thank you, you swinged me for my love, which 
makes me the bolder to chide you for yours. 

Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her. 

Speed. I would you were set, so your affection 
wotild cease. 

Val. Last night she enjoin'd me to write some 
lines to one she loves. 

Speed. And have you? 

Val. I have. 

Speed. Are they not lamely writ? 

Val. No, boy, but as well as I can do them. — 
Peace ! here she comes. 

Enter Silvia. 

Speed. O excellent motion ! O exceeding puppet ! 
Now will he interpret to her. 

Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good mor- 

Speed. O ! 'give ye good even : here's a million 
of manners. 

Sil. Sir Valentine and servant, to you two thou- 




Speed. He should give her interest, and she gives 
it him. 

Val. As you enjoin'd nie, I have writ your letter 
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours; 
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in, 
But for my duty to your ladyship. 

S'd. I thank you, gentle servant. 'Tis very clerkly 

Val. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off; 
For, being ignorant to whom it goes, 
I writ at random, very doubtful]y\ 

Sil. Perchance you think too much of so mucn 

Val. No, madam : so it stead you, T will write, 
Please you command, a thousand times as much. 
And yet, — 

Sil. A pretty period. Well, I guess the sequel : 
And yet I will not name it ; — and yet I care not ; — 

And yet take this again ; — and yet I thank you, 
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more. 

Speed. And yet you will ; and yet, another yet. 

Val. What means your ladyship? do you not 
like it? 

Sil. Yes, yes : the lines are very quaintly writ, 
But since unwillingly, take them again. 
Nay, take them. 

Val. Madam, they are for you. 

Sil. Ay, ay ; you writ them, sir, at my request, 
But I will none of them : they are for you. 
I would have had them writ more movingly. 

Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another. 

Sil. And, when its writ, for my sake read it over; 
And, if it please you, so ; if not, why, so. 

Vid. If it please me, madam; what then? 

Sil. Why, if it please you, take it for your labour : 
And so good-morrow, sen'ant. \^Exit. 


Speed. Ojest! unseen, inscrutable, invisible, 
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a 

My master sues to her, and she hath taught her 

He being her pupil, to become her tutor. 
O excellent device ! was there ever heard a better, 
That my master, being scribe, to himself should 
write the letter ? 

Val. How now, sir ! what, are you reasoning 
with yourself? 

Speed. Nay, I was rhyming : 'tis you that have 
the reason. 

Val. To do what ? 

Speed. To be a spokesman from madam Silvia. 

Val. To whom ? 

Speed. To yourself. Why, she woos you by a 

Val. What figure ? 

Speed. By a letter, I should say. 

Val. Why, she hath not writ to me ? 

Speed. What need she, when she hath made you 
write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive the 

Val. No, believe me. 

Speed. No believing you, indeed, sir: but did you 
perceive lier earnest ? 

Val. She gave me none, except an angry word. 

Speed. AVhy, she hath given you a letter. 

Val. That's' the letter I writ to her friend. 

Speed. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and 
there an end. 

Val. I would it were no worse ! 

Speed. I'll wairant you, 'tis as well : 

" For often have you writ to her, and she, in mo- 


AIT 11. 


SCENE U. 111. IV. 

" Or else for want of idle time, could not again re- 
ply ! 
"Or fearing else some messenger, that might her 

mind discover, 
" Her self hath taught her love himself to write 

unto her lover." — 
All this I speak in print, for in print I found it. — 
Why muse jou, sir ? 'tis dinner-time. 
Val. I have dined. 

Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir: though the came- 
leon love can feed on the air, I am one that am 
nourish'd by my victuals, and would fain have meat. 
O! be not like your mistress : be moved, be moved. 


Scene II. — Verona. A Room in Julia's House. 
Enter Proteus and Julia. 

Pro. Have patience, gentle Julia. 
Jul. I must, where is no remedy- 
Pro. When possibly I can, I will return. 
Jul. If you turn not, you will return the sooner. 

Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake. 

[ Giving a ring. 
Pro. Why then, we'll make exchange : here, 

take you this. 
Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss. 
Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy ; 

And when that hour o'er-slips me in the day, 

Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake. 

The next ensuing hour some foul mischance 

Torment me for my love's forgetfuiness. 

My father stays my coming ; answer not. 

The tide is now: nay, not thy tide of tears; 

That tide will stay me longer than I should. 

[Exit. Julia. 

Julia, farewell. — What ! gone without a word ? 

Aj% so true love should do : it cannot speak ; 

For truth hath better deeds, than words, to grace it. 

Enter Panthino. 

Pant. Sir Proteus, you are stay'd for. 
Pro. Go; I come, I come. — 

Alas I this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. 


Scene III. — The Same. A Street. 
Enter Launce, leading a dog. 

Launce. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done 
weeping : all the kind of the Launces have this very 
fault. I have received my proportion, like the pro- 
digious son, and am going with sir Proteus to the 
imperial's court. I think Crab, my dog, be the 
soiirest-natured dog that lives : my mother weep- 
ing, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid 
howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our 
house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel- 
hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a veiy 
pebble-stone, and has no more pity in him than a 
dog ; a Jew would have wept to have seen our 
parting : why, my grandam having no eyes, look 
you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll 
show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father ; 
— no, this left shoe is mj' father : — no, no, this left 
shoe is my mother; — nay, that cannot be so, nei- 
ther : — yes, it is so, it is so ; it hath the worser sole. 
This shoe, with the hole in it, is my mother, and 
this my father. A vengeance on't ! there 'tis : now, 
sir, this staff is my sister ; for, look you, she is as 
white as a lily, and as small as a wand : this hat is 


Nan, our maid : I am the dog ; — no, the dog is him- 
self, and I am the dog. — O ! the dog is me, and I 
am myself: ay, so, so. Now come I to my father; 
" Father, your blessing :" now should not the shoe 
speak a word for weeping : now should I kiss my 
father; well, he weeps on. Now come I to my 
mother, (O, that she could speak now !) like a wood 
woman: — well, I kiss her; why there 'tis; here's 
my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to 
my sister; mark the moan she makes: now, the 
dog ail this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a 
woid, but see how I lay the dust with my tears. 

Enter Panthino. 

Pajit. Launce, away, away, aboard : thy master 
is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. 
What's the matter? why weep'st thou, man? 
Away, ass; you'll lose the tide, if you tarry any 

Launce. It is no matter if the tied were lost ; for 
it is the nnkindest tied that ever any man tied. 

Pant. What's the unkindest tide? 

Launce. Why, he that's tied here ; Crab, my dog. 

Pant. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood ; 
and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage ; and, in 
losing thy voyage, lose thy master; and, in losing 
thy master, lose thy service; and, in losing thy ser- 
vice, — Why dost thou stop my mouth? 

Launce. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue. 

Pant. Where should I lose my tongue ? 

Launce. In thy tale. 

Pant. In thy tail ? 

Launce. Lose the tied, and the voyage, and the 
master, and the service, and the tide. Why, man, 
if the river were dry, I am able to fill it with my 
tears; if the wind were down, I could drive the 
boat with my sighs. 

Pant. Coiue ; come, away, man : I was sent to 
call thee. 

Launce. Sir, call me what thou dar'st. 

Pant. Wilt thou go ? 
Launce. Well, I will go. 


Scene IV.— Milan 

A Boom iri the Duke's Palace. 
Silvia, Thurio, and Speed. 

Enter Valentine. 

Sil. Servant. — 
Val. Mistress. 

Speed. Master, sir Thurio frowns on you. 
Val. Ay, boy, it's for love. 
Speed. Not of you. 
Val. Of my mistress, then. 
Speed. 'Twere good you knock'd him. 
Sil. Servant, you are sad. 
Val. Indeed, madam, I seem so. 
TIni. Seem von that you are not? 
Val. Haply,'l do. 
Thu. So do counterfeits. 
Val. So do you. 

Thu. What seem I that I am not? 
Val. Wise. 

Thu. What instance of the contrary ? 
Val. Yonr folly. 

Thu. And how quote you my folly ? 
Val. I quote it in your jerkin. 
Thu. My jerkin is a doublet. 
Val. Well, then, I'll double your folly. 
Thu. How? 

Sil. What, angry, sir Thurio? do you change 
colour ? 




Val. Give him leave, madam : he is a kind of 

Thu. T)iat hath more mind to feed on your 
blood, than live in your air. 

Val. You have said, sir. 

Thu. Ay, sir, and done too, for this time. 

Val. I know it well, sir : you always end ere you 

Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and 
quickly shot off. 

Val. 'Tis indeed, madam ; we thank the giver. 

Sil. Who is that, servant ? 

Val. Yourself, sweet lady ; for you gave the fire- 
Sir Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship's 
looks, and spends what he borrows kindly in your 

Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, 
I shall make your wit bankrupt, 

Val. I know it well, sir: you have an exchequer 
of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give 
your followers ; for it appears by their bare liveries, 
tliat they live by your bare words. 

Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more. Here comes 
my father. 

Enter the Dure. 

Duke. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset. 
Sir Valentine, your father's in good health : 
What say you to a letter from your friends 
Of m uch sood news ? 

Val. "^ My lord, I will be thankful 

To any happy messenger from thence. 

Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your country- 
man ? 

Val. Ay, my good lord ; I know the gentleman 
To be of worth, and worthy estimation. 
And not without desert so well reputed. 

Duke. HtUh he not a son? 

Val. Ay, my good lord ; a son, that well deseiTcs 
The honour and regard of such a father. 

Duke. You know him well ? 

Val. I knew him, as myself; for from our infancy 
We have convers'd, and spent our hours together: 
And though myself have been an idle truant. 
Omitting the sweet benefit of time 
To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection, 
Yet hath sir Proteus, for that's his name, 
Made use and fair advantage of his dnys : 
His years but young, but his experience old; 
His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe; 
And, in a word, (for far behind his worth 
Come all the praises that I now bestow,) 
He is complete in feature, and in mind, 
With all good grace to grace a gentleman. 

Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good. 
He is as worthy for an empress' love, 
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor. 
Well, sir, this gentleman is come to me 
With commendation from great potentates; 
And here he means to spend his time a-while. 
I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you. 

Val. Should I have wish'd a tiling, it had been he. 

Duke. Welcome him, then, according to his worth. 
Silvia, I speak to you ; and you, sir Thurio : — 
For Valentine, I need not 'cite him to it. 
I'll send him hither to you presently. [Exit Duke. 

Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship. 
Had come along with me, but that his mistress 
Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks. 

Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchis'd them. 
Upon some other pawn for fealty. 


Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them prison- 
ers still. 
Sil. Nay, then he should be blind ; and, being 
How could he see his way to seek out you ? 

Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes. 
Thu. They say, that love hath not an eye at all. 
Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself: 
Upon a homely object love can wink. 

Enter Proteus. 

Sil. Have done, have done. Here comes the 
gentleman. [Exit Thurio. 

Val. Welcome, dear Proteus I — Mistress, 1 be- 
seech you. 
Confirm his welcome with some special favour. 

Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, 
If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from. 

Val. Mistress, it is. Sweet lady, entertain him 
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship. 

Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant. 

Pro. Not so, sweet lady ; but too mean a servant 
To have a look of such a worthy mistress. 

Val. Leave offdiscoiu-se of disability. — 
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant. 

Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else. 

Sil. And duly never yet did want his meed. 
SeiTant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress. 

Pro. I'll die on him that says so, biu yourself. 

Sil. That you are welcome ? 

Pro. That you are worthless. 

Enter TuuRio. 

Thu. Madam, my lord, your father, would speak 
with you. 

Sil. I wait upon his pleasure : come, sir Thurio, 
Go with me. — Once more, new servant, welcome : 
I'll leave you to confer of home-affairs ; 
When you have done, we look to hear from you. 

Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship. 

[Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and Spked. 

Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence you 
came ? 

Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much 

Val. And how do yours ? 

Pro. I left them all in health. 

Val. How does your lady, and how thrives your 

Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you : 
I know, you joy not in a love-discourse. 

Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now: 
I have done penance for contemning love ; 
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me 
With bitter fasts, with penitential groans. 
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs; 
For, in revenge of my contempt of love. 
Love halh chas'd sleep from my enthralled eyes. 
And made them watchers of mine own heart's sorrow. 
O, gentle Proteus ! love's a mighty lord, 
And hath so humbled me, as, I confess. 
There is no woe to his correction, 
Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth. 
Now, no discourse, except it be of love ; 
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep. 
Upon the very naked name of love. 

Pro. Enough; I read your fortune in your eye. 
Was this the idol that you worship so ? 

Val. Even she ; and is she not a heavenly saint ? 

Pro. No, but she is an earthly paragon. 

Val. Call her divine. 


ACT 11. 



Pro. I will not flatter her. 
VaL. O ! flatter me, for love delights in praises. 
Pro. When I was sick you gave me bitter pills, 
And I must minister the like to you. 

Vol. Then speak the truth by her : if not 
Yet let her be a principality. 
Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth. 
Pro. Except my mistress. 
Val. Sweet, except not any. 
Except thou wilt except against my love. 

Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own ? 
Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too: 
She shall be dignified with this liigh honovir, — 
To bear my lady's train, lest the base earth 
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss, 
And, of so great a favour growing proud. 
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower, 
And make rough winter everlastingly. 

Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this? 
Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing 
To her, whose worth makes other worthies no- 
She is alone. 

Pro. Then, let her alone. 

Val. Not for the world. Why, man, she is mine 
own ; 
And I as rich in having such a jewel. 
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl, 
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold. 
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee. 
Because thou seest me dote upon my love. 
My foolish rival, that her father likes 
Only for his possessions ai'e so huge. 
Is gone with her along, and I must after, 
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy. 
Pro. But she loves you? 

Val. Ay, and we are betroth'd ; nay, more, our 
marriage hour. 
With all the cunning manner of our flight 
Determin'd of: how I must climb her window, 
The ladder made of cords, and all the means 
Plotted, and 'greed on for my happiness. 
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber. 
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel. 

Pro. Go on before; I shall enquire you forth. 
I must unto the road, to disembark 
Some necessaries that I needs must use. 
And then I'll presently attend you. 
Val. Will you make haste ? 
Pro. I will. — {Exit Valentine. 

Even as one heat another heat expels. 
Or as one nail by strength drives out another, 
So the remembrance of my former love 
Is by a newer object quite forgotten. 
Is it mine eye, or Valentinus' praise, 
Her true perfection, or my false transgression, 
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus ? 
She's fair, and so is Julia that I love : — 
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd, 
Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire. 
Bears no impression of the thing it was. 
Methinks, my zeal to Valentine is cold, 
And that I love him not, as I was wont 
O ! but I love his lady too too much ; 
And that's the reason I love him so little. 
How shall 1 dote on her with more advice. 
That thus without advice begin to love her? 
'Tis but her picture I have yet beheld. 
And that hath dazzled my reason's light; 
But when I look on her perfections, 


There is no reason but I shall be blind. 
If I can check my erring love, I will; 
If not, to compass her.l'll use my skill. 

Scene V. — The Same. A Street. 


Enter Speed and Launce. 

Sjyeed. Launce ! by mine honesty, welcome to 

Launce. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth, for 
I am not welcome. I reckon this always — that a 
man is never undone, till he be hang'd ; nor never 
welcome to a place, till some certain shot be paid, 
and the hostess say, welcome. 

Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the ale- 
house with you presently ; where for one shot of 
five pence thou shalt have five thousand welcomes. 
But, sirrah, how did thy master part with madam 
Julia ? 

Launce. MniTy, after they closed in earnest, they 
parted very fairly in jest. 

Speed. But shall she marry him? 

Launce. No. 

Speed. How then? Shall he marry her? 

Launce. No, neither. 

Speed. What, are they broken ? 

Launce. No, they are both as whole as a fish. 

Speed. Why then, how stands the matter with 
them ? 

Launce. Mairy, thus : when it stands well with 
him, it stands well with her. 

Speed. What an ass art thou ? T understand thee 

Launce. What a block art thou, that thou canst 
not. My staff understands me. 

Speed. What thou say'st ? 

Launce. Ay, and what I do too : look thee ; I'll 
but lean, and my staff understands me. 

Speed. It stands under thee, indeed. 

Launce. Why, stand-under and under-stand is 
all one. 

Speed. But tell me true, ^yill 't be a match ? 

Launce. Ask my dog : if he say, ay, it will ; if he 
say, no, it will ; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, 
it will. 

Speed. The conclusion is, then, that it will. 

Launce. Thou shalt never get such a secret from 
me, but by a parable. 

Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, 
how say'st thou, that my master is become a nota- 
ble lover? 

Launce. I never knew him othenvise. 

Speed. Than how? 

Launce. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him 
to be. 

Speed. Why, thou whoreson ass, thou mistak'st 

Launce. Why, fool, I meant not thee; I meant 
thy master. 

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot 

Launce. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he 
hiun himself in love, if thou wilt go with me to the 
alehouse : if not, thou art an Hebrew, a Jew, and 
not worth the name of a Christian. 

Speed. Why ? 

Launce. Because thou hast not so much charity 
in thee, as to go to the ale with a Christian. Wilt 
thou go ? 

Speed. At thy service. [Exeunt. 




Scene VI. — The Same. An Apartment in the 

Enter Proteus. 

Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn; 
To love fair Silvia, shall 1 be forsworn ; 
To wrong my friend, 1 shall be much forsworn ; 
And even that power, which gave me first my 

Provokes me to this threefold perjury: 
Love bad me swear, and love bids me forswear. 

sweet-suggesting love I if thou hast sinn'd. 
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it. 
At first I did adore a twinkling star. 

But now I worship a celestial sun. 
Unheedful vows may heedfully be lirokcn ; 
And he wants wit, that wants resolved will 
To learn his wit t' exchange the bad for better. 
Fie, fie, unreverend tongue ! to call her i)ad. 
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd 
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. 

1 cannot leave to love, and yet I do : 

But there I leave to love, where I should love. 
Julia I lose, and Valentine 1 lose: 
If I keep them, I needs must lose myself; 
If I lose them, thus find I, by their loss. 
For Valentine, myself; for .lulia, Silvia. 
I to myself am dearer than a friend. 
For love is still most precious in itself; 
And Silvia, (witness heaven that made her air!) 
Shows .Tulia but a swarthy Ethiope. 
I will forget that Julia is alive. 
Remembering that my love to her is dead ; 
And Valentine I'll hold an enemy. 
Aiming at Silvia, as a sweeter friend. 
I cannot now prove constant to myself 
Without some treachery used to Valentine. 
This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder 
To climb celestial Silvia's chamber window; 
Myself in counsel, his competitor. 
Now, presently I'll give her father notice 
Of their disguising, and pretended flight; 
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine, 
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter: 
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross 
By some sly trick blunt Thurio's dull proceeding. 
^ Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift, 
As thou hast lent me wit to i)lot this drift! [Exit. 

Scene VII. — Verona. A Room in Julia's House. 

Enter Julia and Lucetta. 

Jul. Counsel, Lucetta ; gentle girl, assist me : 
And, e'en in kind love, I do conjure thee. 
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character'd and engrav'd. 
To lesson me; and tell me some good mean, 
How, with my honour, I may undertake 
A journey to my loving Proteus. 

Luc. Alas ! the way is wearisome and long. 

Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary 
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps, 
Much less shall she. that hath love's wings to fly; 
And when the flight is made to one so dear, 
Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus. 

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return. 

Jul. O ! know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's 
Pity the dearth that [ have pined in, 
By longing for that food so long a time. 
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love, 

Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow, 
As seek to quench the fire of love with words. 

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire, 
But qualify the fire's extreme rage. 
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason. 
Jul. The more thou damm'st it up, the more it 
The current, that with gentle murmur glides, 
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage; 
But, when his fair course is not hindered, 
He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stones, 
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge 
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage; 
And so by many winding nooks he strays 
With willing sport to the wild ocean. 
Then, let me go, and hinder not my course. 
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream. 
And make a pastime of each weary step. 
Till the last step have brought me to my love; 
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil, 
A blessed soul doth in Elysium. 

Luc. But in what habit will you go along? 
Jul. Not like a woman, for I would prevent 
The loose encounters of lascivious men. 
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds 
As may beseem some ^vell-reputed page. 

Luc. Why, then your ladyship must cut your 

Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings, 
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots : 
To be fantastic, may become a youth 
Of greater time than I shall show to be. 

Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your 

breeches ? 
Jul. That fits as well, as — "tell me, good my 
What compass will you wear your farthingale?" 
Why, even what fashion thou best lik'st, Lucetta. 
Luc. You must needs have them with a codpiece, 

Jul. Out, out, Lucetta! that will be ill-favour'd. 
Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a 
LTnless you have a codpiece to stick pins on. 

Jul. Lticetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have 
What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly. 
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me 
For undertaking so unstaid a journey ? 
I fear me, it w ill make me scandaliz'd. 

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go 

Jul. Nay, that T will not. 
IjUc. Then never dream on infamy, but go. 
If Proteus like your journey, when you come, 
No matter who's displeas'd, when you are gone. 
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal. 

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta. of my fear. 
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears. 
And instances of infinite of love. 
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus. 

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men. 
Jul. Base men, that use thein to so base effect ; 
But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth: 
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles ; 
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; 
His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart ; 
His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. 
Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come 

to him ! 
Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that 





To bear a hard opinion of his truth : 
Only deserve my love by loving him, 
And presently go witli nie to my chamber, 
To take a note of what I stand in need of, 
To furnish me upon my longing journey. 

All that is mine I leave at thy dispose, 
My goods, my lands, my reputation; 
Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch me hence. 
Come ; answer not, but to it presently : 
I am impatient of my tarriance. 


ScK.N !•: I. — IMilan. An Ante-chamber in the Duke's 

Enter Duke, Thurio, and Proteus. 

Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile : 
We have some secrets to confer about. — 

[Exit Thurio. 
Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me ? 

Pro My gracious lord, that which I would dis- 
The law of friendship bids me to conceal ; 
But, when I call to mind your gracious favours 
Done to me, undeserving as I am. 
My duty pricks me on to utter that, 
Which else no worldly good should draw from me. 
Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, 
This night intends to steal away your daughter: 
Myself am one made privy to the plot. 
I know, you have determin'd to bestow her 
On Thmio, whom your gentle daughter hates ; 
And should she thus be stol'n away from you, 
It would be much vexation to your age. 
Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose 
To cross my friend in his intended drift, 
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head 
A pack of sorrows, which would press you down. 
Being unprevented, to your timeless grave. 

Duke. Proteus, 1 thank thee for thine honest care, 
Which to requite, command me while I live. 
This love of theirs myself have often seen, 
Haply, when they have judg'd me fast asleep, 
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid 
Sir Valentine her company, and my court; 
But, fearing lest my jealous aim might err, 
And so vmworthily disgrace the man, 
(A rashness that I ever yet have shunned,) 
I gave him gentle looks; thereby to find 
That which thyself hast now disclos'd to me. 
And, that thou may'st perceive my fear of this. 
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested, 
1 nightly lodge her in an upper tower, 
The key whereof myself have ever kept; 
And thence she cannot be convey'd away. 

Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean 
How he her chamber-window will ascend, 


And with a corded ladder fetch her down; 
For which the youthful lover now is gone, 
And this way comes he with it presently, 
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him. 
But, good my lord, do it so cunningly, 
That my discovery be not aimed at ; 
For love of jou, not hate unto my friend, 
Hath made me publisher of this pretence. 

Duke. Upon mine honour he shall never know 
That I had any light from thee of this. 

Pro. Adieu, my lord : sir Valentine is coining. 


Enter Valentine. 

Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast? 

Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger 
That stays to bear my letters to my friends, 
And I am going to deliver them. 

Duke. Be they of much import? 

Val. The tenor of them doth but signify 
My health, and happy being at your court. 

Duke. Nay, then no matter : stay with me awhile. 
I am to break with thee of some affairs 
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 
'Tis not unknown to thee, that T have sought 
To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter. 

Val. I know it well, my lord ; and, sure, the 
Were rich and honourable: besides, the gentleman 
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities 
Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter. 
Cannot your grace win her to fancy hiin ? 

Duke. No, trust me : she is peevish, sullen, fro- 
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty ; 
Neither regarding that she is my child. 
Nor fearing lue as if I were her father : 
And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers 
Upon advice hath drawn my love from her; 
And, where I thought tlie remnant of mine age 
Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, 
I now am full resolv'd to take a wife, 
And turn her out to who will take her in: 
Then, let her beauty be her wedding-dower; 
For me and my possessions she esteems not. 




Val. What would your grace have me to do in 

this .' 

Duke. Tliere is a lady, sir, in Milan here, 
Whom I ali'ect ; but she is nice, and coy. 
And nought esteems my aged eloquence : 
Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor, 
(For long agone 1 have forgot to court; 
Besides, the fashion of the time is chang'd,) 
How, and which way, I may bestow myself, 
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye. 

Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not 
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind. 
More than quick words do move a woman's mind. 
Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent 

Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best con- 
tents her. 
Send her another; never give her o'er. 
For scorn at first makes after-love the more. 
If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you, 
But rather to beget more love in you: 
If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone, 
For why, the fools are mad, if left alone. 
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say; 
For, " get you gone," she doth not mean, " away." 
Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces ; 
Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' 

That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no inan, 
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. 

Duke. But she I mean is promis'd by her friends 
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth. 
And kept severely from resort of men. 
That no man hath access by day to her. 

Val. Why, then I would resort to her by night. 
Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd, and keys kept 
That no man hath recourse to her by night. 

Val. What lets, but one may enter at her win- 
Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground, 
And built so shelving, that one cannot climb it 
Without apparent hazard of his life. 

Val. Why then, a ladder quaintly made of cords. 
To cast up, with a pair of anchoring hooks. 
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower. 
So bold Leander would adventiue it. 

Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of blood. 
Advise me where I may have such a ladder. 

Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me 

Duke. This very night ; for love is like a child. 
That longs for every thing that he can come by. 
Val. By seven o'clock I'll get j'ou such a ladder. 
Duke. But hark thee; I will go to her alone. 
How shall I best convey the ladder thither ? 

Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may 
bear it 
Under a cloak that is of any length. 

Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the 

turn ? 
Val. Ay, my good lord. 

Duke. Then, let me see thy cloak : 

I'll get me one of such another length. 

Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my 

Duke. How shall T fashion me to wear a cloak ? — 
I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me. — 
What letter is this same? What's here? — "To 

And here an engine fit for my proceeding! 

ril be so bold to break the seal for once. [Reads. 

"■My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly ; 

And slaves they are to me, that send them flying : 
O! cmdd tlitir master come and go as lightly. 

Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying. 
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest tJienl; 

While I, their king, that thither them importune, 
Do curse the grace that 7tith such grace hath blessed 

Because myself do want my servants^ fortune. 
I curse myself, for they are sent by me. 
That they should harbour where their lord should be." 

What's here ? 

" Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee :" 
'Tis so; and here's the ladder for the purpose. — 
Why, Phaeton, (for thou art Merops' son,) 
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car. 
And with thy daring folly burn the world ? 
Wilt thou reacli stars, because they shine on thee? 
Go, base intruder; over-weening slave: 
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates. 
And think my patience, more than thy desert, 
Is privilege for thy departure hence. 
Thank me for this, more than for all the favours 
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee: 
But if thou linger in my territories 
Longer than swiftest expedition 
Will give thee time to leave our royal court. 
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love 
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself. 
Begone: I will not hear thy vain excuse; 
But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence. 

[Exit DuiCE. 
Val. And why not death, rather than living tor- 
ment ? 
To die is to be banish'd from mvself, 
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her. 
Is self from self; a deadly banishment. 
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen? 
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by? 
Unless it be, to think that she is by. 
And feed upon the shadow of perfection. 
Except I be by Silvia in the night. 
There is no music in the nightingale; 
Unless I look on Silvia in the day. 
There is no day for me to look upon. 
She is my essence ; and I leave to be. 
If I be not by her fair influence 
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive. 
T fly not death, to fly his deadly doom : 
Tarry I here, I but attend on death; 
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life. 

Enter Proteus and Lau>'ce. 

Pro. Run, boy; run, run, and seek him out. 

Launce. So-ho ! so-ho! 

Pro. What seest thou ? 

Launce. Him we go to find : there's not a hair 
en's head, but 'tis a Valentine. 

Pro. Valentine? 

Val. No. 

Pro. Who then? his spirit? 

Val. Neither. 

Pro. What then ? 

Val. Nothing. 

Launce. Can nothing speak ? master, shall 1 

Pro. Whom wouldst thou strike ? 

Launce. Nothing. 





Pro. Villain, forbear. 

Launce. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray 

Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear. — Friend ^^alentine, a 

Val. IMy ears are stopp'd, and cannot bear good 
So much of bad already hath possess'd them. 

Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine, 
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad. 

Val. Is Silvia dead ? 

Pro. No. Valentine. 

Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia ! — 
Hath she forsworn me? 

Pro. No, Valentine. 

Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me ! — 
What is your news ? 

Launce. Sir, there is a proclamation that you are 

Pro. That thou art banish'd : O ! that is the news. 
From hence, from Silvia, and from me, thy friend. 

Val. O ! I have fed upon this woe already, 
And now excess of it will make me surfeit. 
Doth Silvia know that I am banished ? 

Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath olfer'd to the doom, 
(Which, unrevers'd, stands in ellectual force.) 
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears: 
Those at lier father's cliurlish feet she tender'd, 
With them, upon her knees, her humble self; 
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became 

As if but now they waxed pale for woe : 
But neither bended knees, piu'e hands held up. 
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears, 
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire, 
But Valentine, if he be ta'en. must die. 
Besides, her intercession chaf "d him so, 
When she for thy repeal was suppliant. 
That to close prison he commanded her, 
With many bitter threats of 'biding there. 

Val. No more; unless the next word that thou 
Have some malignant power upon my life : 
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear. 
As ending anthem of my emlless dolour. 

Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help. 
And study help for that whicli thou lanient'st. 
Time is the niu'se and breeder of all good. 
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love; 
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life. 
Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, 
And manage it against despairing thoughts. 
Thy letters may be here, thou<:h thou art hence; 
AV'^hich, being writ to me, shall he deliver'd 
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love. 
The time now serves not to expostulate : 
Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate, 
And, ere I part with thee, confer at large 
Of all that may concern thy love affairs. 
As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself 
Regard thy danger, and along with me. 

Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou see'st my 
Bid him make haste, and meet me at the north- 

Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. 

Val. O my dear Silvia ! hapless Valentine ! 

\Eveunt Valentine and Proteus. 

Ttavncr. I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have 
the wit to think, my master is a kind of a knave; 
but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives 

not now, that knows me to be in love : yet I am in 
love ; but a team of horse shall not ])luck that from 
me, nor w'ho 'tis I Iovq; and yet 'tis a woman : but 
what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a 
milk-maid ; yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had 
gossips: yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's 
maid, and serves for wages. She hath more quali- 
ties than a water-spaniel, which is much in a bare 
Christian. Here is the cate-log [Pulling out a 
pap€r.'\ of her conditions. Imprimis, "She can 
fetch and carry.'' Why, a horse can do no more : 
nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only cany : there- 
fore, is she better than a jade. Item, " She can 
milk," look you ; a sweet virtue in a maid with clean 

Enter Speed. 

Speed. How now, signior Launce? Ayhat news 
with your mastership ? 

Launce. With my master's ship? why, it is at sea. 

Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the 
word. What news, then, in your paper? 

Launce. The blackest news that ever thou heard'st. 

Sj^eed. Why, man. how black ? 

Lnunrc. Wliy, as black as ink. 

Speed. Let me read them. 

Launce. Fie on thee, jolt-head ! thou canst not 

Speed. Thou liest, I can. 

Launce. I will try thee. Tell me this : who be- 
got thee ? 

Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather. 

Launce. O, illiterate loiterer! it was the son of 
thy grandmother. This proves that thou canst not 

Speed. Come, fool, come : try me in thy paper. 

Launce. There, and saint Nicliolas be thy speed I 

Speed. Imprimis, " She can milk." 

Launce. Ay, that she can. 

Speed. Item, " She brews good ale." 

Launce. And thereof comes the proverb, — Bless- 
ing of your heart, you brew good ale. 

Speed. Item, " She can sew." 

Launce. That's as much as' to say. Can she so ? 

Speed. Item, " She can knit." 

Launce. What need a man care for a stock Avith 
a wench, when she can knit him a stock ? 

Speed. Item, " .She can wash and scour." 

Launce. A special virtue : for then she need not 
be wash'd and scour'd. 

Speed. Item, "She can spin." 

Launce. Then may I set the world on wheels, 
when she can s))in for her living. 

Speed. Item, "She hath many nameless virtues." 

Launce. That's as much as to say, bastard vir- 
tues ; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and 
therefore have no names. 

Speed. Here follow her vices. 

Launce. Close at the heels of her virtues. 

Speed. Item. " She is not to be kissed fasting, in 
respect of her breath." 

Launce. Well, that fault may be mended with a 
breakfast. Read on. 

Speed. Item, " She hath a sweet mouth." 

Launce. That makes amenrls for her sour breath. 

Speed. Item, " She doth talk in her sleep." 

Launce. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not 
in her talk. 

Speed. Item, " She is slow in words." 

Launce. O villain I that set this down amon<: her 
vices ? To be slow in \yords is a woman's only vir- 




tue : I pray thee, out with't, and place it for her 
chief virtue. 

Speed. Item, " She is proud." 

Launce. Out with that too : it was Eve's legacy, 
and cannot be ta'en from her. 

Speed. Item, "She hath no teeth." 

Launce. I cai-e not for that neither, oecause 1 
love crusts. 

Speed. Item, " She is curst." 

Launce. Well ; the best is, she hath no teeth to 

Speed. Item, "She will often praise her liquor." 

Launce. If her liquor be good, she shall : if she 
will not, I will ; for good tilings should be praised. 

Speed. Item, "She is too liberal." 

Launce. Of her tongue she cannot, for that's 
writ down she is slow of: of her purse she shall 
not, for that I'll keep shut : now, of another thing 
she may, and that cannot I help. Well, proceed. 

Speed. Item, "She hath more hair than wit, 
and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than 

Launce. Stop there; I'llhaveher: she was mine, 
and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article. 
Rehearse that once more. 

Sjieed. Item, " She hath more hair than wit," — 

Launce. More hair than wit. — it may be; I'll 
prove it : the cover of the salt hides the salt, and 
therefore it is more than the salt : the hair, that 
covers the wit, is more than the wit, for the greater 
hides the less. What's next ? 

Speed. — "And more faults than hairs," — 

Launce. That's monstrous : O, that that were out! 

Speed. — "And more wealth than faults." 

Launce. Why. that word makes the faults gra- 
cious. Well. rU have her; and if it be a match, 
as nothing is impossible, — 

Speed. What then ? 

Launce. Why, then will I tell thee, — that thy 
master stays for thee at the north-gate. 

Speed. For me ? 

Launce. For thee? ay; who art thou? he hath 
stay'd for a better man than thee. 

Speed. And must I go to him ? 

Launce. Thou must run to him, for thou hast 
stay'd so Ions:, that going will scarce serve the turn. 

Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner? pox of 
your love-letters ! [Exit. 

Launce. Now will he be swing'd for reading my 
letter. An unmannerly slave, that will thrust him- 
self into secrets. — I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's 
correction. [Exit. 

— —p—^~~'Hz,^^^J^/>!^i^U<^>AAyi^^^^^ =— ^^ fei^^ 




Scene II. — The Same. An Ajjartmenl in the 
Duke's Palace. 

Enter Duke and Thurio ; Proteus behind. 

Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not but that she will 
love you, 
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight. 

Thu. Since his exile she hath despis'd me most ; 
Forsworn iny company, and rail'd at me, 
That I am desperate of obtaining her. 

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure 
Trenclied in ice, which with an hour's heat 
Dissolves to water, and doth lose his form. 
A little time will melt her frozen thoughts. 
And wortliless Valentine shall be forgot. — 
How now, sir Proteus! Is your countryman, 
According to our proclamation, gone ? 

Pro. Gone, ray good lord. 

Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously. 

Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief. 

Duke. So I believe; but Thurio thinks not so. 
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee, 
(For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,) 
Makes me the better to confer with thee. 

Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace, 
Let me not live to look upon your grace. 

Duke. Thou know'st how willingly I would effect 
The match between sir Thurio and my daughter. 

Pro. I do, my lord. 

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant 
How she opjjoses her against my will. 

Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here. 

Duke. Ay, and perversely she persevers so. 
What might we do to make the girl forget 
The love of Valentine, and love sir Thurio? 

Pro. The best way is, to slander Valentine 
With falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent ; 
Three things that women highly hold in hate. 

Duke. Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate. 

Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it : 
Therefore, it must, with circumstance, be spoken 
By one wliom she esteemeth as his friend. 

Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him. 

Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do : 
'Tis an ill office for a gentleman. 
Especially, against his very friend. 

Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage 
Your slander never can endamage him: 
Therefore, the office is indifferent. 
Being entreated to it by your friend. 

Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord. Iflcandoit, 
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise. 

She shall not long continue love to him. 
But say, this weed her love from Valentine, 
It follows not that she will love sir Thurio. 

Thu. Therefore, as you unwind herlove from him, 
Lest it should ravel and be good to none, 
You must provide to bottom it on me ; 
Which must be done, by praising me as much 
As you in worth dispraise sir Valentine. 

Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust jou in this 
Because we know, on Valentine's report. 
You are already love's firm votary. 
And cannot soon revolt, and change your mind. 
Upon this warrant shall you have access 
Where you with Silvia may confer at large; 
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy. 
And for your tViend's sake will be glad of you, 
Where you may temper her, by your persuission. 
To hate young Valentine, and love my friend. 

Pro. As much as I can do I will effect. 
But J'ou, sir Thurio, are not sharp enough; 
You nuist lay lime to tangle her desires 
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes 
Should be full fraught with serviceable vows. 

Duke. Ay, much is the force of heaven-bred poesy. 

Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty 
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart. 
Write, till your ink be dry, and with your tears 
Moist it again ; and frame some feeling line, 
That may discover such integrity : 
For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews. 
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones, 
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans 
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands. 
After your dire-lamenting elegies, 
Visit by night your lady's chamber window 
With some sweet consort : to their instruments 
Tune a deploring dump ; the night's dead silence 
Will well become such sweet complaining grievance. 
This, or else nothing, will inherit her. 

Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in 

Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice. 
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, 
Let us into the city presently. 
To sort some gentlemen well skill'd in music. 
I have a sonnet that will serve the turn 
To give the onset to thy good advice. 

Duke. About it, gentlemen. 

Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper, 
And afterward determine our proceedings. 

Duke. Even now about it : I will pardon you. 



Scene L—A Forest, between Milan and Verona. 
Enter certain Outlaws. 

'l Out. Fellows, stand fast: I see a passene;pr. 

2 Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 


Enter Valentine and Speed. 

3 Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have 

about you ; 
If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you. 

Speed. Sir, we are undone. These are the villains 
That all the travellers do fear so much. 

Val. Mv friends, — 

1 Out. That's not so, sir: we are your enemies. 

2 Out. Peace ! we'll hear him. 

3 Out. Ay, by my beard, will we ; for he is a 
proper man. 

Val. Then know, that I have little wealth to lose. 
A man I am, cross'd with adversity : 
Mv riches are these poor habiliments. 
Of which if you should here disfurnish me, 
You take the sum and substance that I have. 

2 Out. Whither travel you ? 

Val. To Verona. 

1 Out. Whence came you ? 

Val. From INIilan. 

3 Out. Have you long sojourn'd there? 
Val. Some sixteen months ; and longer might 
have stay'd, 
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me. 
2 Out. What ! were you banish'd thence ? 
Val. I was. 

2 Out. For what offence? 

Val. For that which now torments me to re- 
I kill'd a man, whose death I much repent; 
But yet I slew him manfully, in fight. 
Without false vantage, or base treachery. 

1 Out. Why, ne'er repent it, if it were done so. 
But were you banish'd for so small a fault? 

Val. I was, and held me glad of such a doom. 




1 Out. Have you the tongues ? 

Val. My youthful travel therein made nae happy, 
Or else I had been often miserable. 

3 Out. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar, 
This fellow were a king for our wild faction. 

1 Out. We'll have him. Sirs, a word. 
Speed. Master, be one of them : 

It is an honourable kind of thievery. 
Val. Peace, villain ! 

2 Out. Tell us this : have you any thing to take 


Fal. Nothing, but my fortune. 

.3 Out. Know then, that some of us are gentlemen, 
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth 
Thrust from the company of awful men : 
Myself was from Verona banished. 
For practising to steal away a lady, 
An heir, and near allied unto the duke. 

2 Out. And I from Mantua, for a gentleman. 
Who, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart. 

1 Out. And I, for such like petty crimes as these. 
But to the purpose; for we cite our faults. 

That they may hold excus'd our lawless lives; 
And, partly, seeing you are beautify'd 
With goodly shape; and by your own report 
A linguist, and a man of such perfection. 
As we do in our quality much want — 

2 Out. Indeed, because you are a banish'd man, 
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you. 

Are you content to be our general ? 

To make a virtue of necessity. 

And live, as we do, in this wilderness? 

3 Out. What say'st thou? wilt thou be of our 

consort ? 
Say, ay, and be the captain of us all. 
We'll do thee homage, and be rul'd by thee, 
Love thee as our commander, and our king. 

1 Out. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou 


2 Out. Thou shalt not live to brag what we have 

Val. I take your ofter, and will live with you ; 
Provided that you do no outrages 
On silly women, or poor passengers. 

3 Out. No ; we detest such vile, base practices. 
Come, go with us : we'll bring thee to our crews. 
And show thee all the treasure we have got. 
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose. 


Scene II.— Milan. The Court of the Palace. 
Enter Proteus. 

Pro. Already have I been false to Valentine, 
And now I must be as unjust to Thurio. 
Under the colour of commending him, 
I have access my own love to prefer ; 
But Silvia is too fair, too true, too holy. 
To be corrupted with my worthless gifts. 
When I protest true loyalty to her. 
She twits me with my falsehood to my friend; 
When to her beauty I commend my vows. 
She bids me think how I have been forsworn. 
In breaking faith with Julia whom I lov'd : 
And, notwithstanding all her sudden quips, 
■ The least whereof would quell a lover's hope. 
Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love, 
The more it grows, and fawneth on her still. 
But here comes Thurio. Now must we to her 

And give some evening music to her ear. 


Enter Thukio, and Musicians. 

Thu. How now, sir Proteus ! aie you crept be- 
fore us? 
Pro. Ay, gentle Thurio ; for, you know, that 
Will creep in seiTice where it cannot go. 

Thu. Ay; but I hope, sir, that you love not here. 
Pro. Sir, but I do ; or else I would be hence. 
Thu. Whom? Silvia? 
Pro. Ay, Silvia, — for your sake. 
Thu. 1 thank you for your own. Now, gentle- 
Let's tune, and to it lustily awhile. 

Enter Host and Julia, behind ; Julia m boy's 

Host. Now, my young guest; methinks you're 
allycholly : I pray you, why is it ? 

Jul. Marry, mine host, because I cannot be 

Host. Come, we'll have you merry. I'll bring 
you where you shall hear music, and see the gen- 
tleman that you ask'd for. 

Jul. But shall I hear him speak ? 

Host. Ay, that you shall. 

Jul. That will be music. [Music plays. 

Host. Hark! hark! 

Jul. Is he among these ? 

Host. Ay ; but peace ! let's hear 'em. 


Who is Silvia ? ivhat is she, 

That all our sivains commend her? 

Holy, fair, and ivise is she ; 

The heaven, such grace did lend her, 

That she might admired be. 

Is she kind, as she is fair. 

For beauty lives witli kindness ? 

Love doth to her eyes repair. 
To help him of his blindness ; 

And, being help'd, inhabits there. 

Then to Silvia let us sing, 

That Silvia is excelling ; 
She excels each mortal tiling, 

Upon the dull earth dioelling : 
To her let us garlands bring. 

Host. How now ! are you sadder than you were 
before? How do you, man ? the music likes you 

Jul. You mistake : the musician likes me not. 

Host. Why, my pretty youth ? 

Jul. He plays false, father. 

Host. How? out of tune on the strings? 

Jul. Not so ; but yet so false, that he grieves my 
very heart-strings. 

Host. You have a quick ear. 

Jul. Ay ; I would I were deaf ! it makes me have 
a slow heart. 

Host. I perceive, you delight not in music. 

Jul. Not a whit, when it jars so. 

Host. Hark ! what fine change is in the music. 

Jul. Ay, that change is the spite. 

Host. You would have them always play but 
one thing ? 

Jul. I would always have one play but one thing. 
But, Host, doth this sir Proteus, that we talk on, 
Often resort unto this gentlewoman? 

Host. I tell you what Launce, his man, told me, 
he lov'd her out of all nick. 




Jul. Where is Launce ? 

Host. Gone to seek his dog ; which, to-morrow, 
by his master's command, he must carry for a pre- 
sent to his lady. 

Jul. Peace ! stand aside : the company parts. 

Pro. Sir Thurio, fear not you : I will so plead, 
That you shall say my cunning drift excels. 

Thu. Where meet we ? 

Pro. At saint Gregory's well. 

Thu. Farewell. 

[^Exeunt Thurio and Musicians. 

Enter Silvia above, at her vAndow. 

Pro. Madam, good even to your ladyship. 

Sil. I thank you for your music, gentlemen. 
Who is that, that spake ? 

Pro. One, lady, if you knew his pure heart's truth. 
You would quickly learn to know him by his voice. 

Sil. Sir Proteus, as I take it. 

Pro. Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant. 

Sil. What is your will ? 

Pro. That I may compass yours. 

Sil. You have your wish : my will is even this, 
That presently you hie you home to bed. 
Thou subtle, perjur'd, false, disloyal man ! 
Think'st thou, I am so shallow, so conceitless, 
To be seduced by thy flattery, 
That hast deceiv'd so many with thy vows ? 
Return, return, and make thy love amends. 
For me, by this pale queen of night 1 swear, 
I am so far from granting thy request, 
That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit, 
And by and by intend to chide myself, 
Even for this time I spend in talking to thee. 

Pro. I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady ; 
But she is dead. 

Jul. \^Aside.'\ 'Twere false, if I should speak it; 
For, I am sure, she is not buried. 

Sil. Say, that she be ; yet Valentine, thy friend, 
Survives, to whom thyself art witness 
I am betroth'd; and art thou not asham'd 
To wrong him with thy importunacy ? 

Pro. I likewise hear, that Valentine is dead. 

Sil. And so, suppose, am I ; for in his grave, 
Assure thyself, my love is buried. 

Pro. Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth. 

Sil. Go to thy lady's grave, and call her's thence; 
Or, at the least, in her's sepulchre thine. 

Jul. \^Aside.'\ He heard not that. 

Pro. Madam, if your heart be so obdurate. 
Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love, 
The picture that is hanging in your chamber: 
To that I'll speak, to that I'll sigh and weep ; 
For, since the substance of your perfect self 
Is else devoted, I atn but a shadow. 
And to your shadow will I make true love. 

Jul. \_Aside.'\ If 'twere a substance, you would, 
sure, deceive it, 
And make it but a shadow, as I am. 

Sil. I am very loth to be your idol, sir; 
But, since your falsehood shall become you well 
To worship shadows, and adore false shapes, 
Send to me in the morning, and I'll send it. 
And so, good rest. 

Pro. As wretches have o'er night, 

That wait for execution in the morn. 

[Exeunt Proteus, and Sii^via. 

Jul. Host, will you go ? 

Host. By my halidom, I was fast asleep. 

Jul. Pray you, where lies sir Proteus? 

Host. Many, at my house. Trust me, I think, 
'tis almost day. 

Jul. Not so ; but it hath been the longest night 
That e'er I watch'd, and the most heaviest. 


Scene III. — The Same. 

Enter Eglamour. 

Egl. This is the hour that madam Silvia 
Entreated rae to call, and know her mind. 
There's some great matter she'd employ me in. — 
Madam, madam ! 

Enter Silvia above, at her vAndoiv. 

Sil. Who calls ? 

Egl. Your servant, and your friend ; 

One that attends your ladyship's command. 

Sil. Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good mor- 

Egl. As many, worthy lady, to yourself. 
According to your ladyship's impose, 
I am thus early come, to know what service 
It is your pleasure to command me in. 

Sil. O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman. 
Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not, 
Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplish'd. 
Thou art not ignorant what dear good will 
I bear unto the banish'd Valentine; 
Nor how my father would enforce me marry 
Vain Thurio, whom my veiy soul abhorr'd. 
Thyself hast lov'd ; and I have heard thee say, 
No grief did ever come so near thy heart. 
As when thy lady and thy true love died. 
Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity. 
Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine, 
To Mantua, where, I hear, he makes abode ; 
And, for the ways are dangerous to pass, 
I do desire thy worthy company. 
Upon whose faith and honour I repose. 
Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour, 
But think upon my grief, a lady's grief; 
And on the justice of my flying hence. 
To keep me from a most unholy match, 
Which heaven and fortune still reward with plagues. 
I do desire thee, even from a heart 
As full of sorrows as the sea of sands. 
To bear me company, and go with me : 
If not, to hide what I have said to thee. 
That I may venture to depart alone. 

Egl. Madam, I pity much your grievances ; 
Which since I know they virtuously are plac'd, 
I give consent to go along with you ; 
Recking as little what betideth me. 
As much I wish all good befortune you. 
When will you go ? 

Sil. This evening coming. 

Egl. Where shall I meet you ? 

Sil. At friar Patrick's cell. 

Where I intend holy confession. 

Egl. I will not fail your ladyship. Good morrow, 
Gentle lady. 

Sil. Good morrow, kind sir Eglamour. 





Scene IV. — The Same. 
Enter Launce ivith his dog. 

- Launce. Wlien a man's sei-vant shall play the cur 
■with him, look you, it goes hard : one that 1 brought 
up of a puppy ; one that I saved from drowning, 
when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters 
went to it. I have taught him, even as one would 
say precisely, thus I would teach a dog. I was sent 
to deliver him as a present to mistress Silvia from 
my master, and I came no sooner into the dining- 
chamber, but he steps me to her trencher, and 

steals her capon's leg. O ! 'tis a foul thing, when 
a cur cannot keep himself in all companies. I would 
have, as one should say, one that takes upon him 
to be a dog indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all 
things. If I had not had more wit than he, to 
take a fault upon me that he did, I think verily, he 
had been hang'd fort : siu'e as I live, he had suf- 
fered for't. You shall judge. He thrusts me him- 
self into the company of three or four gentleman- 
like dogs under the duke's table : he had not been 
there (bless the mark) a pissing while, but all the 
chamber smelt him. "Out with the dog!" says 

one; "what cur is that?" says another; "whip 
him out," says the third ; " hang him up," says the 
duke. I, having been acquainted with the smell 
before, knew it was Crab, and goes me to the fellow 
that whips the dogs : " Friend," quoth I, '■ you 
mean to whip the dog." "Ay, marry, do I," quoth 
he. " You do him the more wrong," quoth I ; 
"'twas I did the thing you wot of." He makes 
me no more ado, but whips me out of the chamber. 
How many masters would do this for his servant ? 
Nay, I'll be sworn, I have sat in the stocks for pud- 
dings he hath stolen, otherwise he had been execu- 
ted : I have stood on the jiillory for geese he hath 
kill'd, otherwise he had suffer'd for't : thou think'st 
not of this now. — Nay, I remember the trick you 
served me, when I took my leave of madam Silvia. 
Did not I bid thee still mark me, and do as I do ? 
Wlien didst thou see me heave up my leg, and 
make water against a gentlewoman's farthingale ? 
Didst thou ever see me do such a trick ? 

Enter Proteus and Julia. 

Pro. Sebastian is thy name? I like thee well, 

And will employ thee in some service presently. 

Jul. In what you please : I will do what I can. 

Pro. I hope thou wilt. — How, now, you whore- 
son peasant! 
Where have you been these two days loitering? 

Launce. Marry, sir, I canied mistress Silvia the 
dog you bade me. 

Pro. And what says she to my little jewel ? 

Launce. Marry, she says, your dog was a cur; 
and tells you, currish thanks is good enough for 
such a present. 

Pro. But she receiv'd my dog ? 

Launce. No, indeed, did she not. Here have I 
brought him back again. 

Pro. What ! didst tliou ofler her this from me ? 

Launce. Ay, sir: the other sq^uiiTcl was stolen 
from me by the hangman's boys in the market- 
place ; and then I ofi'er'd her mine own, who is a 
dog as big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift 
the greater. 

Pro. Go ; get thee hence, and find my dog 
Or ne'er return again into my sight. 




Away, I say I Stayest thou to vex me here? 
A slave that still aa end turns me to shame. 

[Exit Launce. 
Sebastian, I have entertained thee. 
Partly, that I have need of such a youth, 
Tliat can with some discretion do my business. 
For 'tis no trustina; to vond foolish lowt : 
But, chiefly, for thy face, and thy beliaviour. 
Which (if my augury deceive me not) 
Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth : 
Therefore, know thou, for this I entertain thee. 
Go presently, and take this ring with thee : 
Deliver it to madam Silvia. 
She lov'd me well deUver'd it to me. 

Jul. It seems, you lov'd not her, to leave her 
She's dead, behke ? 

Pro. Not so : I think, she lives. 

Jul. Alas ! 

Pro. Why dost thou cry, alas ? 

Jul. I cannot choose but j)ity her. 

Pro. Wherefore shouldst thou pity her? 

Jul. Because, methinks, that she lov'd you as 
As you do love your lady Silvia. 
She dreams on him, that has forgot her love; 
You dote on her, that cares not for your love. 
'Tis pity, love should be so contrary, 
And thinking on it makes me cry, alas ! 

Pro. Well, give her that ring ; and therewithal 
This letter : — that's her chamber. — Tell my lady 
I claim the promise for her heavenly picture. 
Your message done, hie home unto my chamber. 
Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary. [Exit. 

Jul. How many women would do such a mes- 

sage ? 

Alas, poor Proteus ! thou hast entertain'd 

A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs. 

Alas, poor fool ! why do I pity him. 

That with his very heart despiseth me ? 

Because he loves her, he despiseth me ; 

Because I love him, I must pity him. 

This ring I gave him when he parted from me, 

To bind him to remember my good will, 

And now am I (unhappy messenger!) 

To plead for that which I would not obtain ; 

To carry that which I would have refus'd ; 

To praise his faith which I would have disprais'd. 

I am my master's true confirmed love, 

But cannot be true servant to my master, 

Unless I prove false traitor to myself. 

Yet will I woo for him ; but yet so coldly, 

As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed. 

Enter Silvia, attended. 

Gentlewoman, good day. I pray you, be my 

To bring me where to speak with madam Silvia. 

Sil. What would you with her, if that I be 
she ? 

Jul. If you be she, I do entreat your patience 
To hear me speak the message I am sent on. 

jS'/7. From whom? 

Jul. From my master, sir Proteus, madam. 

Sil. O ! he sends you for a picture ? 

Jul. Ay, madam. 

Sil. Ursula, bring my picture there. 

[A picture brought. 
Go, give your master this : tell him from me, 
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget. 
Would better fit his chamber than this shadow. 

Jul. Madam, please you peruse this letter. — 
Pardon me, madam, I have unadvis'd 
Deliver'd you a paper that I should not : 
This is the letter to your ladyship. 

Sil. 1 i)ray thee, let me look on that again. 

Jul. It may not be : good madam, pardon me. 

Sil. There, hold. 
I will not look upon your master's lines : 
I know, they are stuff'd with protestations, 
And full of new-found oaths, which he will break. 
As easily as I do tear his paper. 

Jul. Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring. 

Sil. The more shame for him that he sends it 
me ; 
For, I have heard him say, a thousand times. 
His Julia gave it him at his departure. 
Though his false finger have profan'd the ring. 
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong. 

Jul. She thanks you. 

Sil. What say'st thou ? 

Jul. I tliank you, madam, that you tender her. 
Poor gentlewoman I my master wrongs her much. 

Sil. Dost thou know her ? 

Jul. Almost-as well as I do know myself: 
To think upon her woes, I do protest. 
That I have w^ept a hundred several times. 

Sil. Belike, she thinks, that Proteus hath forsook 

Jul. I think she doth, and that's her cause of 

Sil. Is she not passing fair? 

Jul. She hath been fairer, madam, than she is. 
When she did think my master lov'd her well, 
She, in my judgment, was as fair as you ; 
But since she did neglect her looking-glass, 
And threw her sun-expelling mask away. 
The air hath staiT'd the roses in her cheeks. 
And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face. 
That now she is become as black as I. 

Sil. How tall was she ? 

Jul. About my stature ; for, at Pentecost, 
When all our pageants of delight were play'd. 
Our youth got me to play the woman's part, 
And I was trimm'd in madam Julia's gown, 
Which sei-ved me as fit, by all men's judgments, 
As if the garment had been made for me : 
Therefore, I know she is about my height. 
And at that time I made her weep a-good, 
For I did play a lamentable part. 
Madam, 'twas Ariadne, passioning 
For Theseus' perjury, and unjust flight ; 
Which I so lively acted with my tears. 
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal, 
Wept bitterly ; and, would I might be dead. 
If I in thought felt not her very soitow. 

Sil. She is beholding to thee, gentle youth. — 
Alas, poor lady ! desolate and left I — 
I weep myself, to think upon thy words. 
Here, youth ; there is my purse : I give thee 

For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lov'st 

Farewell. [Exit Silvia. 

Jul. And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you 
know her. — 
A virtuous gentlewoman, mild, and beautiful. 
I hope my master's suit will be but cold. 
Since she respects my mistress' love so much. 
Alas, how love can trifle with itself! 
Here is her picture. Let me see : I think, 
If I had such a tire, this face of mine 





Were full as lovely as is this of hers ; 

A.nd yet the painter flatter'd her a little, 

Unless I flatter with myself too much. 

Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow : 

If that be all the ditt'erence in his love, 

I'll get me such a colour'd periwig. 

Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine : 

Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine's as high. 

What should it be, that he respects in her, 

But I can make respective in myself. 

If this fond love were not a blinded god ? 

Come, shadow, come« and take this shadow up. 

For 'tis thy rival. O thou senseless form ! 

Thou shalt be worshipp'd, kiss'd, lov'd, and ador'd, 

And, were there sense in his idolatry, 

My substance should be statue in thy stead. 

I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake. 

That us'd me so ; or else, by Jove I vow, 

I should have scratch'd out your unseeing eyes. 

To make my master out of love with thee. [Exit. 

Scene I. — The Same. An Abbey. 
Enter Eglamour. 

Egl. The sun begins to gild the western sky, 
And now it is about the very hour, 
That Silvia at friar Patrick's cell should meet me. 
She will not fail ; for lovers break not hours. 
Unless it be to come before their time, 
So much they spur their expedition. 

Enter Silvia. 

See, where she comes ! — Lady, a happy evening. 

Sil. Amen, amen! go on, good Eglainour, 
Out at the postern by the abbey-wall. 
I fear, I am attended by some spies. 

Egi. Fear not : the forest is not three leagues oft'; 
If we recover that, we ai'e sure enough. [Exeunt. 

Scene II. — The Same. A Room in the Duke's 


Enter Thurio, Proteus, and Julia. 

Thu. Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit? 

Pro. O, sir ! I find her milder than she was ; 
And yet she takes exceptions at your person. 

Thu. What ! that my leg is too long ? 

Pro. No, that it is too little. 

Thu. I'll wear a boot to make it somewhat 

Jul. [Aside.'] But love will not be spurr'd to 
what it loaths. 

Thu. What says she to my face? 

Pro. She says it is a fair one. 

Thu. Nay, then the wanton lies : my face is 

Pro. But pearls are fair, and the old saying is. 
Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' ej'es. 

Jul. [Aside.] 'Tis true, such pearls as put out 
ladies' eyes ; 
For I had rather wink than look on them. 

Thu. How likes she my discourse ? 

Pro. Ill, when you talk of war. 

Thu. But well, when I discourse of love and 
peace ? 

Jul. [Aside.] But better, indeed, when you hold 
your peace. 

Thu. What says she to my valour? 

Pro. O, sir I she makes no doubt of that. 


[Aside.] She needs not, when she knows it 


What says she to my birth ? 

That you are well deriv'd. 

[Aside.] Trae; from a gentleman to a fool. 

, Considers she my possessions ? 

O ! ay ; and pities them. 

Wherefore ? 
[Aside.] That such an ass should owe them. 

That they are out by lease. 
Here comes the duke. 

Enter Duke. 

Duke. How now, sir Proteus ! how now, Thurio ! 
^\^lich of you saw Eglamour of late? 

Thu. Not I. 

Pro. Nor I. 

Duke. Saw you my daughter? 

Pro. Neither. 

Duke. Why, then 
She's fled unto that peasant Valentine, 
And Eglamour is in her company. 
'Tis true ; for friar Laurence met them both, 
As he in penance wander'd through the forest : 
Him he knew well ; and guess'd that it was she, 
But, being mask'd, he was not sure of it : 
Besides, she did intend confession 
At Patrick's cell this even, and there she was not. 
These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence : 
Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse. 
But mount you presently; and meet with me 
Upon the rising of the mountain-foot, 
That leads towards Mantua, whither they are fled. 
Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me. [Exit. 

Thu. Why, this it is to be a peevish girl, 
That flies her fortune when it follows her. 
I'll after, more to be reveng'd on Eglamour, 
Than for the love of reckless Silvia. [Exit. 

Pro. And I will follow, more for Silvia's love. 
Than hate of Eglamour, that goes with her. [Exit. 

Jul. And I will follow, more to cross that love. 
Than hate for Silvia, that is gone for love. [Exit. 

Scene III. — The Forest. 
Enter Silvia, and Outlaics. 

1 Out. Come, come: be patient, we must bring 
you to our captain. 





Sil. A thousand more mischances than this one 
Have learn'd me how to brook this patiently. 

2 Out. Come, bring her away. 

1 Out. Whereis the gentleman that was with her? 

3 Out. Being nimble-footed, he hath outrun us; 
But Moyses, and Valerius, follow him. 

Go thou with her to the west end of the wood; 
There is our captain. We'll follow him that's fled : 
The thicket is beset ; he cannot 'scape. 

1 Out. Come, I must bring you to our captain's 
Fear not ; he bears an honourable mind. 
And will not use a woman lawlessly. 

Sil. O Valentine! this I endure for thee. [E.veunt. 

Scene IV. — Another Part of the Forest. 
jBwter Valentine. 

Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man ! 
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns. 
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, 
And to the nightingale's complaining notes 
Tune my distresses, and record my woes. 
O ! thou that dost inhabit in my breast, 
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless, 
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall. 
And leave no memory of what it was I 
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia ! 
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain ! — 
What halloing, and what stir, is this to-day? 
These are my mates, that make their wills their law, 
Have some unhappy passenger in chace. 
Tliey love me well ; yet I have much to do, 
To keep them from uncivil outrages. 
Withdraw thee, Valentine : who's this comes here ? 

[Stej)s aside. 

Enter Proteus, Silvia, and Julia. 

Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you, 
(Though you respect not aught your servant doth,) 
To hazard life, and rescue you from him, 
That would have forc'd your honour and your love. 
Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look ; 
A smaller boon than this I cannot beg. 
And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give. 

Val. How like a dream is this, I see, and hear ! 
Love, lend me patience. to forbear awhile. 

[ Withdraws. 

Sil. O, miserable ! unhappy that I am ! 

Pro. Unhappy were you, madam, ere 1 came ; 
But by my coming I have made you happy. 

Sil. By thy approach thou mak'st me most un- 

Jul. [Aside.] And me, when he approacheth to 
your presence. 

Sil. Had I been seized by a hungry lion, 
I would have been a breakfast to the beast. 
Rather than have false Proteus rescue me. 
O, heaven ! be judge, how I love Valentine, 
Whose life's as tender to me as my soul ; 
And full as much (for more there cannot be) 
I do detest false, perjur'd Proteus: 
Therefore be gone : solicit me no more. 

Pro. What dangerous action, stood it next to 
Would I not undergo for one calm look. 
O ! 'tis the curse in love, and still approv'd. 
When women cannot love, where they're belov'd. 

Sil. When Proteus cannot love, where he's be- 
Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love. 
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith 
Into a thousand oaths ; and all those oaths 
Descended into perjury to love me. 
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou'dst two. 
And that's far worse than none : better have none 
Than plural faith, which is too much by one. 
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend ! 

Pro. In love 

Who respects friend ? 

Sil. All men but Proteus. 

Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words 
Can no way change you to a milder form, 
I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end. 
And love you 'gainst the nature of love: force you. 

Sil. O heaven ! 

Pro. I'll force thee yield to my desire. 

Enter Valentine. 

Val. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch ; 
Thou friend of an ill fashion ! 

si\w vy^ 



y ^\ 




Pro. Valentine I 

Vol. Thou common friend, that's without faith 
or love ; 
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man! 
Thou hast beguil'd my hopes : nought but mine eye 
Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say, 
I have one friend alive : thou would'st disprove me. 
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand 
Is perjur'd to the bosom? Proteus, 
I am sony I must never trust thee more. 
But count the world a stranger for thy sake. 
The private wound is deepest. O time most ac- 
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst! 

Pro. My shame and guilt confound me. — 
Forgive me, Valentine. If hearty sorrow 
Be a sufficient ransom for offence, 
I tender 't here : I do as truly suffer, 
As e'er I did commit. 

Val. Then, I am paid ; 

And once again I do receive thee honest. 
Who by repentance is not satisfied. 
Is nor of heaven, nor earth ; for these are pleas'd. 
By penitence th' Eternal's wrath's appeas'd: 
And, that my love may appear j)lain and free. 
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee. 
Jul. O me unhappy ! 
Pro. Look to the boy. 

Val. Why, boy ! why, wag ! how now I what's 
the matter? lookup; speak. 

Jul. O good sir ! my master charg'd nie to de- 
liver a ring to madam Silvia, which, out of my 
neglect, was never done. 

Pro. Where is that ring, boy ? 
Jul. Here 'tis : this is it. {Gives a ring. 

Pro. How ! let me see. Why, this is the ring 
I gave to Julia. 

Jul. O ! cry you mercy, sir : I have mistook : 
This is the ring you sent to Silvia. 

\_Shoivs another ring. 
Pro. But, how cam'st thou by this ring? 
At my depart I gave this unto Julia. 

Jul. And Julia herself did give it me ; 
And Julia herself hath brought it hither. 
Pro. How? Julia! 

Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths. 
And entertain'd them deeply in her heart : 
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root! 
O Proteus ! let this habit make thee blush : 
Be thou asham'd, that I have took upon me 
Such an immodest raiment ; if shame live 
In a disguise of love. 
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds, 
Women to change their shapes, than men their 
Pro. Than men their minds : 'tis true. O heaven ! 
were man 
But constant, he were perfect : that one enor 
Fills him with faults ; makes him run through all 

the sins : 
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins. 
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy 
More fresh in Julia's, with a constant eye ? 

Val. Come, come, a hand from either. 
Let me be blest to make this happy close : 
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes. 

Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish for 

Jul. And I mine. 

Enter Outlaws, iciili Duke and Thurio. 

Out. A prize ! a prize ! a prize ! 
Val. Forbear: forbear, I say ; it is my lord the 
duke. — 
Your grace is welcome to a man disgrac'd, 
Banished Valentine. 

Duke. Sir Valentine ! 

Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine. 
Val. Thurio. give back, or else embrace thy death. 
Come not within the measure of my wrath : 
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again, 
Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands : 
Take but possession of her whh a touch. 
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love. 

Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, 1. 
1 hold him but a fool, that will endanger 
His body for a girl that loves him not : 
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine. 

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou, 
To make such means for her as thou hast done, 
And leave her on such slight conditions. 
Now, by the honour of my ancestry, 
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine, 
And think thee worthy of an empress' love. 
Know then, I here forget all former griefs. 
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again. 
Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit, 
To which I thus subscribe. — Sir Valentine, 
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd : 
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast desei-v'd her. 
Val. I thank your grace ; the gift hath made me 
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake. 
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you. 
Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be. 
Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept 
Are men endued with worthy qualities : 
Forgive them what they have committed here, 
And let them be recall'd from their exile. 
They are reformed, civil, full of good. 
And fit for great employment, worthy lord. 

Duke. Thou hast prevail'd ; I pardon them, and 
thee : 
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts. 
Come ; let us go : we will include all jars 
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity. 

Val. And as we walk along, I dare be bold 
With our discourse to make your grace to smile. 
What think you of this page, my lord ? 

Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him : he 

Val. I warrant you, my lord, more grace than 

Duke. What mean you by that saying ? 
Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along. 
That you will wonder what hath fortuned. — 
Come, Proteus ; 'tis your penance, but to hear 
The story of your loves discovered : 
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; 
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. 


(Room in the Ducal Palace at Milan.) 


ACT L— Scene I. 

" — ' icilh SHAPELESS idleness^'' — " 'Idleness' is said to 
be ' shapeless,' as preventing the fonnalion of manners 
anil character." — Warburton. 

" — nay, give vie not the boots" — A proverbial ex- 
pi-essi(jn, frequently met with in the old dramatists, 
signifying, "don't make a laughing-stock of me." Col- 
lier, and the later antiquarians, deny that it has any 
connection with the Scottish punishment of '' the boots," 
to which the older editors supposed it to refer. It is 
more probably derived from an old custom of rustic 
merriment at harvest-home feasts. 

" However, but a folly bought u-ith tcit" — lu whatso- 
ever way, " hajily won," or " lost." 

" — as in the sweetest bud 
The eatiiig caitker dicells," etc. 

" Shakespeare has elsewhci'e used this beautiful image. 
In the ' Seventieth Sonnet,' for instance, we have — 

For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love. 
In King John, — 

Now will eanUer sorrow eat my bud. 
In Hamlet, — 

The canker galls the infants of the spring. 

The peculiar canker which our Poet, a close observer of 
nature, must have noted, is described in the Midsummer 
Night's Dream, — 

Some to kill cankers in the mitsk-rose buds. 
And in the First Part of Hknry VI., — 
Hath not tliy rose a canker.' 

The instrument by which the canker was produced is 
described in — 

The bud bit witli an envious worm — 
of Romeo and Juliet; and in — 

— concealment, like a worm i' the bud, 
Fed on her damask cheek, — 

in Twelfth Night. 

" Shakespeare found the canker-worm in the Old 
Testament, (Joel i. 4.) The Geneva Bible, 1.561, has, 
' That which is left of the palmer-worm hath the grass- 
hopper eaten, and the residue of the grasshopper hath 
the canker-worm eaten, and the residue of the canker- 
worm hath the caterjjillar eaten.' " — Knight. 

"To Milan let me hear from thee by Ifitters.'" 
This is merely an inversion of "Let me hear from 
thee by letters to Milan." The first folio reads " To 
Milan," which the second folio needlessly changes to 
"At Milan," etc. 

" Enter Speed" — Pope, in his edition, stigmatizes 
this scene as " composed of the lovi-est and most triHing 
conceits, to be accounted for only from the gross taste 
of the age. Populo nt ■placcrent.'" He felt inclined to 
omit it altogether, under the notion that it had been 
foisted in by the actors. But so greatly does public 
taste alter with time, that Poj)e's own verse would be 
omitted or thrust to the bottom of the page, if what is 
now deemed coarseness or comparative want of merit 
were to regulate the canon of authenticity. We think, 
with Johnson, that there is no proof of any interpolation. 

''And I have pUn/d (he sheep" — A joke upon the 
resemblance in sound between the words "ship" anil 


"sheep." In many parts of England "sheep" is yet 
pronounced " ship."" This joke is employed again in 
the Comedy of Errors. In writings of the time, 
" Sheep-street," in. Stratford-upon-Avon, is often spelled 
" Ship-stveet." 

" — a LACED mutton" — A phrase which Cotgi-ave's 
old " French and English Dictionary-," and many pas- 
sages which the laljour of his commentators have col- 
lected from the old dramatists, clearly show to have 
been a slang phrase of the day, to express a courtezan. 
But as this seems to some of the editors too coarse an 
epithet for Proteus to allow to be applied, even play- 
fully, to his "ladye love," Knight rejects the slang 
meaning, and intimates, on the authority of Florne 
Tooke's definition of lace, "to catch, to hold," that the 
phrase here means "a caught sheep." Proteus, how- 
ever, is not drawn as a person of any very peculiar 
delicacy, and the use of the words is too familiar to be 
explained away. 

" — did she nod'' — These words, with the stage- 
direction, were supplied by Theobald. They are not 
in the old copies ; but it is clear from what Speed af- 
terwards says, that Proteus had asked the question. 
In Speed's answer, the old spelling of / for at/e is 
retained, as the play on the word is lost in modem 

" — thafs noddy" — " ' Noddy" was a game at cards, 
and to call a person a ' Noddy' was to call him a fool. 
' Noddy' was the Knave or Fool in a pack of cards. The 
practice of calling die Knave ' Nod,' or ' Noddy,' is not 
yet entirely discontinued." — Reed, and Collier. 

" — in telling your mind'" — The second folio, fol- 
lowed by Stevens, and others, has "her vamA." This 
edition retains the original reading, as meaning, (says 
Malone,) "She being so hard to me who was the 
bearer of your mind, I fear she will prove no less 
so to you in telling your mind in person." 

" — you have testern'd nic'' — You have given me 
a teste rn, that is, sixpence. In the time of Henry VIII. 
a tester, testern, or teston, was a shilling: it was so 
called from having a teste, i. e. head, upon it. The 
word is still retained in the cockney dialect, and pro- 
noimced tester. 


"That every day with parle encounter me" — i. e. 
With words or speech. The editor of the "Illustrated" 
Shakespeare well remai-ks — " The whole character of 
Julia in this play is in the best style of Shakespeare's 
domestic heroines: she is a delightful compound of deli- 
cate ardour, and romantic, undoubting devotion ; and 
bears much the same relation to her knowing and 
worldly, (yet not ill-natured,) serving-maid Lucetta, that 
Desdemona exhibits in comparison with lago's better 
(though ambiguous) half Julia's portion of their dia- 
logue in the second act is exquisite." 

" — CENSURE thus on lovely gentlemen" — Pass my 
opinion upon. This word was commonly used, until 
modern times, without any reference to the opinion 

being unfavourable. 


Isaac Walton even uses it where 
e. the opinion,) is that of the highest 

tlie censure, 

" Fire thafs closest kept burns most of all." 
Such woi-ds as "fire," "hour," etc., are often used by 
Shakespeare and Ms contemporaries as if they contained 
two syllables; "monstrous," " countiy," etc., as if con- 
sisting of three ; and "remembrance," " assembly," etc., 
as if consisting of four. This pronunciation is often 
necessary to preserve the metre, and was a frequent 
practice in the Poet's time, when the present mode was 
struggling with the relics of the older oithoepy. 

" — a goodly broker" — The title of " broker" has 
risen ui the world. Although originally meaning one 
who transacts any sort of business on another's account, 

it ViTas used in old English almost wholly for a match- 
maker, (in its best sense,) or, a procuress. It is not 
until the commercial days of Temple and Swift that it 
is foinid familiarly used in its modern sense. 

" Hoiv angerly I taught my brow to frown" — " An- 
gerly" (not angrily, as many modern editions have it) 
was the adverb used in Sliakespeare's time. 

" — too harsh a descant" — " The ' descant' fonnerly 
signified a variation of the oinginal air ; the ' mean,' or 
tenor. ' ' — S t e v e N s . 

" — /bid the base" — "The allusion of Lucetta is 
to the \vell-known game of prison base, or prisoner's 
base, at which to ' bid the base,' seems to have meant, 
to invite a contest." — Collier. 

"Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey" — 
" The economy of bees \vas known to Shakespeare 
with an exactness which he could not liave derived from 
books. The description in Henry V., 'So work the 
honey-bees,' is a study for the naturalist as well as the 
poet. He had doubtless not only observed ' the lazy, 
yawning drone,' lint the ' injurious wasps,' that plun- 
dered the stores which had been collected by those who 

Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds. 
These were the fearless robbers to which the pretty 
pouting Julia compares her fingers : — 

Injurious wasps, who feed on such sweet honey, 
And kill the bees that yield it with your stings. 

The metaphor is as acciu'ate as it is beautiful." — Knight. 

" And thus I search it" — To search a wound is to 
probe it, or, to ie?it it. 

" — a month's mind to them" — A "month's mind" 
is equivalent to a great mind or strong inclination : 
"a month's mind" in its ritual sense, is a month's re- 
membrance ; and Nash, in his " Martin's Month's Mind," 
(1.589,) applied it in that way : "it was a month's re- 
membrance of ;\Iartin Mar-jjrelate." The " mouth's 
mind" was derived from times prior to the Reformation, 
when masses were said for a stated period in memory 
of the dead. Hence they were also called month's 
memories, and month's monuments. For the sake of the 
measure, we ought to read, " a moneth's mind to them," 
and so the word was often printed. 

Scene III. 

" Some, to discover islands far away" — " In Shake- 
speare's time, voyages for the discovery of the islands 
of America were much in vogue. And we find, in the 
journals of the ti-avellers of that time, that the sons of 
noblemen, and of others of the best families in England, 
went very frequently on these adventures : — such as the 
Fortescues, Collitons, Thornhills, Farmers, Pickerings, 
Littletons, Willoughbys, Chesters, Havvleys, Bromleys, 
and others. To this prevailing fashion our Poet fre- 
quently alludes, and not without high commendations 
of it." — \\'arburton. 

"Attends the emperor in his royal court" — "Shake- 
speare has been guiltv of no mistake in placing the 
emperor's court at Milan, in this play. Several of the 
first German emperors held their courts there occasion- 
ally, it being, at that time, their immediate property, 
and the chief town of their Italian dominions. Some 
of them were crowned kings of Italy at Milan, before 
they received the imperial crown at Rome. Nor has 
the Poet fallen into any contradiction by gi\"ing a duke 
to Milan, at the same time that the emperor held his 
com-t there. The first dukes of that, and all the other 
great cities in Italy, were not sovereign princes, as they 
afterwards became ; but were merely governors, or 
viceroys, under the emperors, and removeable at then- 
pleasure. Such was the ' Duke of Milan' mentioned in 
this play." — Stevens. 

M. Mason obsen-es that — " During the wai-s in Italy, 
between Francis I. and Chailes V., the latter frequently 
resided at Milan." 


ACT II.— Scene I. 

" — this is but one" — "One" was formerly pro- 
nounced like "on." In some manuscript letters of 
Lord Burleigh's, written about the year 1585, he very 
generally writes "on" for "one." 

" — that TAKES diet" — i. e. Under a regimen for 

" — like a heggar at Hallowmas" — "That i.s," says 
Johnson, " about the beginning of winter, when the life 
of a vagrant becomes uncomfortable." Formerly, on 
All Saints Day, it was customary for poor people in 
Staffordshire to beg money for v^hat was termed " soul- 
ing." This, no doubt, was a remnant of the practice 
of praying for departed souls. 

" — to walk like one of the lioyis' — Ritson supposes 
that Shakespeare, in using the phrase " the lions," was 
thinking of " the lions" in the Tower, of London ; but it 
seems that the expression was in general use then, 
though probably derived from that ancient show. 

" — for he, being in love, could not see to garter his 
hose" — At the period of this play, garters of great mag- 
nificence appeared around the large slashed hose, both 
above and below the knee. To go ungartered was the 
common trick of a fantastic lover, who thereby implied 
he was too much occupied by his passion to pay atten- 
tion to his dress. 

"O excellent motion! O exceeding puppet" — "A 
' motion,' in Shakespeare's time, meant a puppet-show, 
from the puppets being moved by the master, who in- 
terpreted to (or for) them, as Speed supposes Valentine 
will interpret for Silvia, the ' exceeding puppet' on this 
occasion." — Collier. 

" All this /speak in print" — i. e. " With exactness : 
Speed adds, that he found it ' in print,' perhaps in some 
book or ballad of that time, which has not sunived to 
ours. He has rhymed before, and in the same style, 
just after Silvia made her exit : those lines could hardly 
iiave been quoted." — Collier. 

Scene II. 

" Why then, we'll make exchange" — The Priest, in 
Twelfth Night, (act v. scene i.,) describes the cere- 
monial of betrothing, for which the Catholic church had 
a ritual : — 

A contract of eternal bond of love, 
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands, 
Attested by the holy close of lips, 
Strengthen'd by interchangeraent of your rings. 

This contract was made, in private, by Proteus and 
Julia ; and it was also made by Valentine and Silvia — 
"we ai'e betroth'd." 

Scene III. 

" — this left shoe is my father'^ — A passage in King 
John also shows that each foot was formerly (as now) 
fitted with its shoe ; a fashion which was lost during the 
last centniy, and allusions to it puzzled the commenta- 
tors until it was revived about thirty years ago : — 

Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste 
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet. 

" / am the dog," etc. — Launce is himself puzzled 
w^ith the characters of his own mono-polylogue ; and 
perhaps Shakespeare did not mean him to get out of his 
confusion. Hanmer proposes to read, " I am the dog, 
no, the dog is himself, and I am me, the dog is the dog, 
and I am myself." Although this reading makes the 
text more reasonable, (as Johnson remarks,) it is not 
clear that the author meant to bestow much reason on 
Launce's soliloquy. 

" — like a wood woman" — The old copies print it 
thus — '• like a would-woman," with a hyphen. The pro- 
per orthography seems to be like a " wood woman," 


or frantic woman, icood being the old word for frantic 
or mad : the mother of Launce was " wood" with 
grief at pai-ting from her st)U. 

" — and the tide" — "Thefirst ' tied' refers to the dog, 
and the last to the river, as we see from what foUov^-s — 
' Why man, if the river were dry,' etc. The joke v^-hidi 
has occupied Launce and Panthino is more evident in 
the old copy, where the ' tide' of the river and the ' tied' 
dog are spelled in the same way — • tide.'" — Collier. 

Scene IV. 

" — how quoTE you my folly" — To " quote" is to 
note or observe. Valentine in his answer, perhaps, plays 
upon the word, which was pronounced coat — from the 
French oiiginal. 

" My jerkin is a doublet" — "The jerkin, or jacket, 
was generally worn over the doublet ; but occasionally 
the doublet was worn alone, and, in many instances, is 
confounded with the jerkin. Either had sleeves or not, 
as the wearer fancied ; for by tlie inventories and ward- 
robe accounts of the time, we find that the sleeves were 
frequently separate articles of dress, and attached to the 
doublet, jerkin, coat, or even ^voInan's gown, by laces 
or ribands, at the pleasure of the wearer. A ' doblet 
jaquet' and hose of blue velvet, cut upon cloth of gold, 
embroidered, and a ' doblet hose and jaquet' of pui^ple 
velvet, embroidered, and cut upon cloth of gold, and 
lined with black satin, are entries in an inventory of the 
wardrobe of Henry VHI. 

" In 1535, a jerkin of purple velvet, with purple satin 
sleeves, embroidered all over with Venice gold, was 
presented to the king by Sir Richard Cromwell ; and 
another jerkin of crimson velvet, with wide sleeves of 
the same coloured satin, is mentioned in the same in- 
ventoiy." — Knight. 

"Enter Thurio"— " The editors, from Theobald 
downwai'ds, make "a Servant" enter here, and not 
Thurio, to whom the old copies assign the sentence 
' Madam, my lord, your father, would speak with you.' 
They say also that the commencement of Silvia's an- 
swer is ' addressed to two persons.' This is by no 
means clear: ' I wait uj^on his pleasure : come, Sir Thu- 
rio, go with me,' is spoken to Thurio with more pro- 
priety than to two dLstinct persons. It is more likely 
that Thurio went out on the entrance of Proteus, and 
returned with the message of the Duke to his daughter. 
The economy of the old stage, with many characters 
and with few performers, did not allow the waste of an 
actor in the part of a mere message-carrier. The pro- 
bability is that the old copies are right, and that Thurio 
is employed from the Duke." — Collier. 

" There is 7io woe to his correction" — i. e. There is 
no woe compared to his correction. The idiom was 

"7s it MINE eye, or Valcntinus' praise" — This is the 
reading of Stevens. The folio, 1623, reads, — 

It is mine, or Valentine's praise.' 
which the folio, 1632, alters tlius: — 

Is it mine then, or Valentinian's praise? 
Malone would have it — 

Is it her mein, or Valentinus' praise.' 
and Wai'bui'ton lays it down that the luie was originally 
thus : — 

It is mine eye, or Valentino's praise ; 

which is clearly not inteiTogative, as the punctuation 
of the oldest copies shows it ought to be. Maloiie's 
emendation gives no support to the next two lines — 

Her true perfection, or my false transgression. 
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus .' 

He was right in adopting Valentinus, and wrong in re- 
jecting " eye," which was the cause of the transgression 
of Proteus. Valentinus for Valentine we have had al- 
ready, act i. scene 3. Perhaps the true reading was 
mine eycn, which was corrupted and abbreviated by 
the old printer to 7nine. 


" — like a WAXEN image Against a fire" — This al- 
ludes to the custom attributed to supposed witches, 
of making waxen images of those whom they wished 
to destroy; as the image melted before the fire, the 
original was supposed to melt too. 

" Tts bv.t her picture" — Johnson speaks of this line, 
as "evidendy a slip of attention," as if Proteus could 
have forgotten that he had just seen Sihna herself, and 
not her "jiicture." He uses "picture" figuratively, 
meaniiig merely exterior as compared with inward 

"And that hath dazzled -my reason's light" — "Daz- 
zled" is here used as a tiisyllable. 

Scene VI. 

" — and PRETENDED fight" — i. e. Intended. " So in 
Macbeth, "What could they pretend ?" The French 
word pretendre has an equivalent meaning." — Stevens. 

" — this drift" — " I suspect that the author concluded 
the act with this couplet, and that the next scene should 
begin the third act ; but the change, as it will add no- 
thing to the probability of the action, is of no great im- 
portance." — Johnson. 

Scene VII. 

" Who art the table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character'' d and engraved." 
The allusion is to the table-book, or tables, which 
were used, as at present, for noting down something 
to be remembered. Hamlet says: — 

My tables, — meet it is I stt it down. 
They were made sometimes of ivory and sometimes 
of slate. The Archbishop of York, in Henry IV., says : 
And, therefore, will he wipe his tables clean. 
The table-book of slate is engraved and described in 
Gesner's treatise, De Rerum Fossilium Figuris, 1565: 
and it has been quoted in Douce's " Illustrations." 

" And instances or infinite of love" — " Infinite," — 
infinity. The same form of expression occurs in Much 
Ado about Nothing, where we have " the infinite of 
thought," and also in Chaucer: — "although the life of it 
be stretched with infinite of time." The reading we 
give is that of the first foho, adopted by Knight and 
Singer. The common reading is that of the second 
folio, " Instances as infinite," which is prefeixed by 

" — my longing journey" — Dr. Grey observes that 
"longing" is a participle active, with a passive significa- 
tion, for longed, wished, or desired. 

M. Mason supposes Juha to mean a journey which 
she shall pass in longing. 

ACT III.— Scene I. 

" — fearing lest my jealous aim might err" — "Aim" 
is here used in the sense of "guess," or "supposition," 
as the verb is similarly used in Proteus's answer. 

" — is soon suggested" — i. e. Tempted. Thus, in 
All's Well that Ends Well we have, " I give thee 
not this to suggest thee from thy master's service :" 
and in the same sense, iu act i. scene 4, we have, 
"sweet-suggesting love," which the context shows to 
mcEui sweetly. 

" And, where / thought" — " Where" for whereas ; 
80 used by our author in Coriolanus and Pericles, 
and common in older authors. 

"There is a lady, sir, in Milan here" — The old 
copies concur in reading — 

There is a lady in Verona here. 
An oversight of the author's copyist, like a preceding 
one in act ii. scene 5, where Speed bids Launce wel- 
come to Padua, instead of Milan. Both errors were 
con-ected by Pope. 

" — for thou art Merops' son" — "Thou art Phaeton 
iu thy rashness, but without his pretensions ; thou art 
not the son of a divinity, but a terrce filius, a low-born 
wretch ; Merops is thy true father, with whom Phaeton 
was falsely reproached." — Johnson. 

" — to fly his deadly doom" — " This is a Gallicism. 
The sense is — By avoiding the execution of his sentence 
I shall not escape death. If I stay here, I suffer myself 
to be destroyed ; if I go away, I desti'oy myself." — 

" — even in the milk-white bosom of thy love" — "So, 
in Hamlet — 

These to her excellent white bosom, etc. 

"Again, in Gascoigne's 'Adventures of Master F. I.:' 
'at delivery thereof, [i. e. of a letter,] she understode 
not for what cause he thnist the same mto her bosome.' 

" Trifling as the remark may appear, before the mean- 
ing of tliis address of letters to the bosom of a mistress 
can be understood, it should be known that anciently 
women had a pocket iu the fore part of their stays, iu 
which they not only can-ied love-letters and love-tokens, 
but even then- money and materials for needlework. 
Thus Chaucer, in his ' Marchante's Tale :' — 
This purse hath she in hire bosome hid. 

"In many parts of England, the rustic damsels still 
obsen'e jhe same practice ; and a very old lady informs 
me, that she remembers \vheu it was the fashion to 
wear prominent stays, it was no less the custom for 
stratagem or gallantly to drop its literary favours \Vithin 
the front of them." — Stevens. 

" — if he be but one knave" — i. e. Not a double; 
knave, says .Johnson : and Dr. Farmer has shown, from 
several passages of old poets, etc., that tiro fools — 
two knaves, were often used where we should now say 
a double fool or knave. 

" — for she hath had gossips" — "The meaning 
seems to be that she has had old women attending her 
at her lying-in. Gossip generally means a spoiisor at 
baptism, and Launce may intend to say, that the progeny 
of the girl had required • gossips.' " — Collier. 

" — saint Nicholas be thy speed" — Saint Nicholas, 
besides being the patron-saint of Holland, and of Russia, 
presided over all clerks or learned persons. He was 
exalted to this honour, according to the legend, for 
having miraculously restored the lives of three young 
scholars who had been murdered. By the statutes of 
St. Paul's School, (London,) the scholars are required to 
attend divine service at the cathedral, on the anniversary 
of St. Nicholas. He has also long been knovi-n in Hol- 
land and NeviT York as the special friend of children. 
In addition to these high charges of the care of nations, 
and scholars, and children, the saint was also honoured 
by having thieves called his clerks, why, it is not easy 
to say, unless it be that in the old times of learned beg- 
gaiy, "scholar" and "thief" were thought synonymous 

"She hath a sweet mouth" — "A 'sweet mouth' 
formerly meant a sweet tooth, which is here reckoned 
among the lady's vices ; but Launce turns it to account 
by understanding the words in their literal sense, and 
settmg her ' sweet mouth' against her ' sour breath.' " — 

Scene II. 

" — a7id perversely she perse vers so" — This was 
the old mode of accenting the word. Milton was one 
of the first to write, and to pronounce it, persevere. 

" You must provide to bottom it on me" — Stevens 
has found this housewife's image, as appearing in Eng- 
iish poetry, before the time of Shakespeare: — 

A bottom for your silk, it seems, 

My letters are become. 
Which oft with winding off and on, 

A re wasted wliole and some. 

Grange's "Garden," 1557. 

o— / 


" That may discover such integrity" — Malone "sus- 
pected" that a line following the above had been acci- 
dentally omitted; but any addition seems needless. 
Valentine alludes to the '-integrity" of Sir Thurio's pas- 
sion — " such integrity" as he may be supposed to have 
expressed in his sonnets. 

" 117^7; some sweet consort" — " Consort" meant, in 
our author's time, a band or company of musicians. It 
is so explained by the old dictionaries, and so used and 
spelled in King James's Bible. The substitution of con- 
cert is a modern corruption of the text. 

" Tune a deploring dump" — The term "dump" is 
now used only in a ludicrous sense ; but there were 
formerly regular serious pieces of music so called, one 
of which has been preserved by Stevens, in his editions, 
as "A Dumi>e" of the sixteenth century. 

''This, or else nothing, n-ill inherit her''' — To 
"inherit" is sometimes used by Shakespeare for to ob- 
tain possession of, without any idea of acquiring by in- 
heritance. Milton, in " Comus" has, " disinherit Chaos," 
meaning, only, to dispossess it. 

" To SORT some gentlemen n-ell skilV d in music''' — 
To " sort" is to choose out, or select. When sorted, 
(Collier adds,) they would form a consort. 

" — I u-ill PARDON 7/o?t" — i.e. I will " paixlon," or 
excuse, your attendance. 

ACT IV.— Scene I. 

"Have you the tongues'' — i. e. Do you speak various 
languages ? 

" Bi/ the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar" — 
The jolly Friar Tuck, of the old Robin Hood ballads— 
the almost equally famous Friar Tuck of '| Ivanhoe" — is 
the personage whom the outlaws here invoke. It is 
unnecessary to enter upon the legends — 

Of Tuck, the merry friar, -nho many a sermon made, 
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and his trade. 

Shakespeare has two other allusions to Robin Hood. 
The old duke, in As You Like It, " is already in the for- 
est of Arden, and many merry men with him, and there 
they live, like the old Robin Hood of England." Mas- 
ter Silence, that "merry heai-t," that "man of mettle," 
sings, " in the sweet of the night," of — 

Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John. 
The honourable conditions of Robin's lawless rule over 
his followers were evidently in om- Poet's mind when 
he makes Valentine say — 

I take your offer, and will live with you ; 
Provided that you do no outrages 
On silly women, or poor passengers. 

" Thrust from the company of awful men" — Thus 
all the old editions, and it is probably the right reading — 
"awful" being understood in its literal meaning, for 
full of awe, under aivc of authority, and it is thus 
"used by the Poet, as in Henry IV., " We come within 
our auful banks again ;" and in Henry V., awe is used 
in reference to the same idea of respect for rightful rule. 
Yet this sense seems peculiar to Shakespeare, and the 
comnientators and lexicographers have produced no in- 
stance in any other old author. This gives some colour 
to the conjecture that "awful" is here a misprint for 
lauful; the phrase lawful men being familiar both in 
legal and popular use. 

"An heir, and near allied unto the duhe" — This line 
varies from the old copies, for it there stands thus : — 

And heir, and neecc allide unto the Duke. 
Both the words in Italic are proljably errors of the 
press. The old spelling of "near" was often neere. 
" Heir" was formerly both masculine and feminine, 

" As ice do in our quality much want" — i. e. In om' 
kind, or profession. So, in the Tempest, — 

— Task 
Ariel and all his quality. 

Scene II. 

" — he lov'd her out of 'all nick" — Beyond all reck- 
oning, or count. Reckonings were kept not only by 
hosts upon n'lclicd, or notched sticks, but by such tallies 
in the Exchequer of England ; and it is one of the many 
instances of the attachment of the English to their an- 
cient forms, that this inartificial and primitive form of 
book-keeping was not abolished in the Exchequer until 
the first year of William IV. 

" By my halidom" — Minshew (Dictionaiy) thus ex- 
plains this word: " Halidome, or Holidomc, an old 
word, used by old countrywomen, by manner of swear- 
ing, by my halidome ; of the Saxon word, haligdome, 
ex halig, i. e. sanctum, and dome; dominium aut judi- 
cium." A more common explanation is, that it refers to 
"the holy dame" — the Virgin Mary. But Nares (Glos- 
saiy) and others reject both interpretations, and with 
more probabilitj-, and say it is merely "Holy with the 
termination <7oOT, as KingrZow, ChristeutZow ;" meaning 
thus, holiness, faith; and is equivalent as an oath to 
" By my faith." 

Scene III. 

" — remorseful" — i. e. Compassionate ; a sense 
which the word often bears. (See Notes on Othello.) 

" Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity." 
This alludes to a practice connnon in fonner ages, for 
widows and widowers, (and, probably also, betrothed 
lovers,) to make vow^s of chastity in honour of their de- 
ceased wives or husbands. In Dugdale's " Antiquities 
of Warwickshire," (says Stevens,) there is the form of a 
commission, by the bishop of the diocese, for taking a 
vow of chastity by a widow. It seems that, besides 
observing the vow, the widow was for life to wear a 
veil and a mourning habit. The last distinction we may 
suppose to have been also made in respect of male vo- 

Scene IV. 

"Enter Launce u-'ith his dog." 
" What shdl w'e say to Launce and his dog ? Is it 
probable that even such a fool as Launce should have 
put his feet into the stocks for the puddings which his 
dog had stolen, or poked his head through the pillory 
for the murder of geese which the same dog had kill- 
ed ? — yet the ungi-ateful cur never denies one item of 
the facts with winch Launce so tenderly reproaches him. 
Nay, what is more wonderfid, this enormous outrage on 
the probable excites our common risibilitv. What an 
unconscionable empire over our fanciful faith is assumed 
by those comic geniuses ! They despise the veiy word 
probability. Only think of Smollet making us laugh at 
the unlikely speech of Pipes, spoken to Commodore 
Trunnion down a cliimney — ' Commodore Trunnion, get 
up and be spliced, or lie still and be damned !' And 
think also of Swift amusing us with conti-asted descrip- 
tions of men sis inches and sixty feet high — how very 
improbable ! 

" At the same time, something may be urged on the 
opposite side of the question. A fastidious sense of the 
improbable would be sometimes a nuisance in comic 
fiction. One sees dramatic critics often tiying the pro- 
baljilities of incidents in a play, as if diey were testing 
the evidence of facts at the Old-Bailey. Now, unques- 
tionably, at that august court, when it is a question 
whether a culprit shall be spared, or whipped and 
transported for life, probabilities should be sifted with 
a merciful leaning towards the side of doubt. But the 
theatre is not the Old-Bahey, and as we go to the former 
place for amusement, we open our hearts to whatever 
may most amuse us ; nor do we thank the critic who, 
by his Old-Bailey-like pleadings, would disenchant our 
belief. The imagination is a liberal creditor of its faith 
as to mcidents, when the poet can either touch our af- 
fections, or tickle our ridicule. 

"Nay, we must not overlook an important truth in 


tliis subject. The poet or the fictionist — aiid every great 
fictionist is a ti-ue poet — gives us an image of life at large, 
and not of the narrow and stinted probabilities of eveiy- 
day lil'e. But real life teems with events which, unless 
we knew them to have actually happened, would seem 
as to be next to impossibilities. So that if you chain 
down the poet from representing every thing that may 
seem in dry reasoning to be improbaljle, you v^^ill make 
his fiction cease to be a probable picture of Nature." — 
T. Campbell. 

" — he steps me to her trencher''' — That the daugh- 
ter of a duke of Milan should eat her capon from a 
ti-eucher, may appear somewhat strange. However, | 
the Eai'l of Northumberland, in 1.512, was ordinarily 
served on wooden trenchers ; and plates of pewter, 
mean as we may now think them, were reserved in his 
family for great holidays. In the privy-purse expenses 
of Henry VIII. there are also enti-ies regarding trench- 
ers ; as, for example, in 1530, — "Item, paied to the 
s'geant of the paiitrye for certain trenchors for the king, 
x:siij«. iiijf^." 

" A slave that still an end" — "Still an end," and 
most an end, are old idioms, once used by poets, but 
now retained only in vulgar use, and meaxi perpetually, 

" And threw her sun-expelling maslc away'''' — An ex- 
tract from Stiibbs's " Anatomic of," (1595,) will 
explain this allusion: — " When they use to ride abroad, 
they have masks or v-isors made of velvet, wherewith 
they cover all their faces, haN-ing holes made in them 
against their eyes, whereout they look ; so that if a man 
that knew not their guise before should chance to meet 
one of them, he would think he met a monster or a 
devil; for face he can show [see] none, but two broad 
holes against their eyes, with glasses in them." 

" — / made her iceep a-good" — i. e. In good earnest. 
The expression is common in old English, and corre- 
sponds to the French tout de hon. 

" — such a colour d periwig'''' — It seems, from various 
contemporary authorities, that false hair was much woni 
in Shakespeare's time : the custom, however, had newly 
ai-isen. In " Northwai-d Hoe," (1607,) we find this 
passage: " There is a new trade come up for cast gen- 
tlewomen, of periwig making. Let your wife set up in 
the Strand." There is an allusion to the practice in the 
Merchant of Venice. 

"Her eyes are grey as glass^' — "The glass of 
Shakespeare's time was not of the colourless cjuality 
which now constitutes the perfection of glass, but of a 
light blue tint; hence 'as gi'ey as glass.' 'Even as 
grey as glasse,' in the old romances, expresses the pale 
cerulean blue of those eyes which usually accompany 
a fair complexion — a complexion belonging to the 
'auburn' and 'yellow'hair of Julia and Silvia." — Knight. 

" But I can make respective in myself" — Stevens 
interprets "respective" as respectful, respectable ; but 
the true meaning of the word, and the context, show 
that Julia says, " What he respects in her has equal re- 
lation to mj'self." 

"My substance should be statue in thy stead" — In 
the time of Shakespeare there was frequently some con- 
fusion when writers spoke of statues or paintings ; pos- 
sibly, because it was not unusual to paint statues, in the 
same way that our Poet's bust was originally painted at 
Stratford-upon-Avon ; and as the statue of Hermione, in 
the Winter's Tale, must be supposed to be painted. 
Thus Stowe, speaking of Queen Elizabeth's funeral, 
says, " Her statue or picture upon her coffin." 

ACT v.— Scene II. 

"But love tvill not be spiirr'd to what it loaths" — 
This line is given in the old copies to Proteus ; but, as 
Boswell suggested, it seems to belong to Julia, who 
stands by, and comments on what is said. And this is 

exactly in the style of her other sarcastic speeches, 
while it does not correspond with Proteus's intention. 

" For I had rather wink than look on them" — This 
speech, assigned in the old editions to Thurio, certainly 
belongs to Julia. 

" That they are out by lease" — Lord Hailes sug- 
gested that Thurio and Proteus meant different things 
by the word possessions ; Thurio referring to his lands, 
and Proteus to his mental endowments. If so, the 
point of the answer would be, that as Thurio's mental 
endowments were " out by lease," he had none of them 
in his own keeping. This interpretation seems over- 
sti-ained, and the meaning of Proteus may be only, that 
Thurio's possessions were let (as Stevens says) on dis- 
advantageous terms. 

Scene III. 

" — and RECORD my woes" — "To ' recoi'd' anciently 
signified to sing. So, in ' The Pilgrim,' by Beaumont 
and Fletcher: — 

O sweet, sweet, how the birds record too. 
Sii" John Hawkins informs me, that to ' record' is a term 
still used by jjird-fanciers, to express the first essays of a 
bird in singing." — Stevens. 

"Who should be trusted now, when one's right 
hand" — With Stevens and CoUier, this edition follows 
the reading of the folio of 1632 : the folio of 1623 omits 
" now." Malone and other editors read, on their own 
authority, thus : — 

Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand. 

"All that was mine in Silvia I give thee" — "This 
passage has much perplexed the commentators. Pope, 
naturally enough, thinks it very odd, that Valentine 
should give up his mistress at once, without any reason 
alleged ; and consequently the two lines, spoken by 
Valentine, after his forgiveness of Proteus, — 

And, that my love may appear plain and free, 
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee, — 

are considered to be interpolated or transposed. Sir W. 
Blackstone thinks they should be spoken by Thurio. 
But why then, it is said, if the lines are omitted or re- 
moved, should Julia faint ? Now it must be observed, 
that the stage-direction, Faints, is entirely modern ; it 
is not so old as Rowe's edition. The words, ' O me 
unhappy,' and, ' Look to the boy,' do not imply any 
fainting. The exclamation of Julia is to draw the at- 
tention of Proteus to her story of the rings, after the 
affair of Valentine and Silvia is completed. But how 
is that completed, according to the present reading ? 
Silvia has not said one word since Valentine has rescued 
her from Proteus. This is almost as unnatural as the 
conduct of Valentine in handing her over to the man 
who had insulted her. But let us, with an exti-emely 
slight alteration, put the two disputed lines in the mouth 
of Silvia, without changing their place. Valentine has 
forgiven his false friend : — 

By penitence th' Eternal's wrath's appeas'd. 
Silvia then has necessarily something to declare. She 
turns to Valentine, and says, — 

And, that my love may appear plain and free, 
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee. 

In Other words, ' That there may be no doubt of my 
choice, I give thee all that is mine to give — I give thee 
Silvia ;' the sentiment then is the same as in Moore's 

I give thee all, I can no more, 

Though poor the offering be, — 

and weU becomes a maiden who has forsaken her home. 
Julia, without reference to Silvia, calls out, ' O me un- 
happy,' — and, having obtained attention, tells the story 
of the rings." — Knight. 

'• This sudden renunciation of his mistress by Valen- 
tine is certainly startling, and perhaps unnatural. But 
we are to consider, that his mind is in the first glow of 
returning kindness towards his old and dearest friend, 



. I 

whose penitence touches him, and whose happiness he 
beheves to require the sacrifice. Such romantic gener- 
osity is not uncommon in fiction, and probably not al- 
together unknown in actual Ufe. One of Goldsmitb^s 
best serious essays, called ' Alcander and Septimius,' is 
founded on a similar incident: whether derived from 
fact, we are not pi-epai-ed to say. The editor of the 
'Pictorial' edition of Shakespeare oilers the very in- 
genious suggestion, that these remarkable lines should 
be given to Silvia, and addressed to Valentine ; but, on 
a general view of his character, we have no doubt of the 
genuineness of the present reading." — Illust. Shak. 

This is the hght in which Charles Lamb and his sis- 
ter understood the passage, which is thus paraphrased 
in the " Tales from Shakespeare:" — 

" Proteus was courting Silvia, and he was so much 
ashamed of being caught by his friend, that he was all 
at once seized with penitence and remorse ; and he ex- 
pressed such a lively sorrow for the injuries he had 
done to Valenthie, that Valentine, whose nature was 
noble and generous, even to a romantic degree, not only 
forgave and restored him to his foi-mer place in his friend- 
ship, but in a sudden flight of heroism he said, ' I freely 
do forgive you ; and all the interest I have in Silvia, I 
give it up to you.' Juha, who was standing beside her 
master as a page, hearing this strange offer, and feai-ing 
Proteus would not be able with this new-found virtue 
to refuse Silvia, fainted, and they were all employed in 
recovering her : else would Silvia have been offended 
at bemg thus made over to Proteus, though she could 
scai-cely think that Valentine would long persevere in 
this overstrained and too generous act of friendship." 

It is very likely that the young Poet had intended 
to expand this idea, which would have been much in 
the taste of the romantic heroism of the poetry of his 
age ; but that, finding himself too much cramped by 
the naiTovv limits left him in the last act, or for some 
other cause, he was content to leave this slight intima- 
tion of his thought as it first occurred to him, without 
dwelluig upon it in detail. 

"Behold her thai gave aim (o all thy oaths" — Ste- 
vens confounded the phrases of to cri/ aim (Merry 
Wives of Windsor, act iii. scene 2) and to give aim, 
both terms in archeiy. He who " gave aim" appears to 
have been called the mark, and was stationed near the 
butts, to inform the archers how near their amnvs fell 
to the butt. We are indebted to Mr. Giffbrd for distin- 
guishnig the terms. — {Vide " Massinger," vol. ii-)— 
Julia means to say that she was the mark that gave di- 
rection to his vows. 

" Verona shall not hold thee"—" Valentine had only 
seen Thurio, till now, in Milan, and Milan ought, per- 
haps, to have been the word, and not ' Verona.' How- 
ever, we may imaguie Valentine to be thinking of his 
native city, and, at all events, it is better to leave 
' Verona' as an oversight of the Poet, (duly pointed 
out,) than to make so violent a change as Theobald 
adopted when he printed — 

Milan shall not behold thee, etc. 
which quite penerts the meaning of the passage." — 

" — that I have kept withal" — i. e. "With whom 
I have been living — that I have remained with," ex- 
plains Collier ; from which it would seem that this use 
of keep has become obsolete in England. It is still 
used, colloquially, in many parts of the United States ; 
and was common in good Enghsh writers as late as Pope 
and Addison. 

« — y,e will INCLUDE all jars" — Hanraer arbitrarily 
substituted conclude for " include ;" but all the old 
copies agree in the text; and "include" seems used 
here as Spenser has a similar usage, — " So "hut up all 
in friendly love." 

" With TRIUMPHS," etc. — This term wa applied, in 
Shakespeare's day, to shows, pageants, anH processions 
of a serious nature. 


" It is observable (I know not for what cause) that 
the style of this comedy is less figurative, and more na- 
tural and unaffected, than the greater part of this 
author's, though supposed to be one of the first he 
wrote." — Pope. 

" To this observation of Mr. Pope, which is very 
just, Mr. Theobald has added, that ' this is one of 
Shakespeare's worst plays, and is less corrupted than 
any other.' Mr. Upton peremptorily determines, that 
'if any proof can he drawn from manner and style, 
this play must be sent packing, and seek for its parent 
elsewhere. How otherwise,' says he, 'do painters dis- 
tinguish copies from originals ? And have not authors 
their peculiar style and manner, from which a true 
critic can form as unerring judgment as a painter ?' 
I am alraid this illustration of a critic's science will 
not prove what is desired. A painter knows a copy 
from an original, by rules, somewhat resembling those 
by which critics know a translation, which, if it be 
literal, and literal it must be to resemble the copy of a 
picture, will be easily distinguished. Copies are known 
from originals, exeii when the painter copies his own 
picture ; so, if an author should literally translate his 
work, he would lose the manner of an original. 

" Mr. Upton confounds the copy of a picture with 
the imitation of a painter's manner. Copies are easily 
known ; but good imitations are not detected with equal 
certainty, and are, by the best judges, often mistaken. 
Nor is it irue, that the writer has always peculiarities 
equally distinguishable with those of the painter. The 
peculiar manner of each arises from the desire, natural 
to every performer, of facilitating his subsequent work, 
by recurrence to his former ideas ; this recurrence pro- 
duces that repetition which is called habit. The 
painter, whose work is partly intellectual and partly 
manual, has habits of the mind, the eye, and the hand ; 
the writer has only habits of the mind. Yet, some 
painters have differed as much from themselves, as from 
any other ; and I have been told, that there is little re- 
semblance between the first works of Raphael and the 
last. The same variation may be expected in writers ; 
and if it be true, as it seems, that they are less subject 
to habit, the difference between their works may be yet 

"But, by the internal marks of a composition, we 
may discover the author with probability, though sel- 
dom with certainty. When I read this play, I cannot 
but think, that I find, both in the serious and ludicrous 
scenes, the language and sentiments of Shakespeare. 
It is not, indeed, one of his most powerful effusions— it 
has neither many diversities of character, nor striking 
delineations of life; but it abounds in gnomai, beyond 
most of his plays ; and few have more lines or passages 
which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful. I 
am yet inclined to believe, that it was not very success- 
ful, and suspect that it has escaped corruption only 
because, being seldom played, it was less exposed to 
the hazards of transcription." — Johnson. 

"The Two Gentlemen of Verona ranks above 
the Comedy of Errors, though still in the third class 
of Shakespeare's plays. It was probably the first 
English comedy in which characters are drawn at once 
ideal and true; the cavaliers of Verona and their lady 
loves are graceful personages, with no transgression 
of the probabilities of nature, but they are not exactly 
the real man and woman of the same rank in England. 
The imagination of Shakespeare must have been guided 
by some familiarity with romances before it struck out 
this play. It contains some very poetical lines. 

"Though this play and the Comedy of Errors 
could not give the slightest suspicion of the depth of 
thought which Lear and Macbeth were to display, 
it was already evident that the name of Greene, and 
even of Marlowe, would be eclipsed, without any neces- 
sity for purloining their plumes." — Hai.lam. 



^c -- 

1 ■ ^v l-' ■ '^ 



HERE are about ten or twelve plots of comic incident that have come clown to our times 
from remote antiquity, — some in the narrative form and others in the dramatic, — which 
are so rich in unexpected or ludicrous situations and circumstances, so fertile in new 
suggestions and combuiations, that they have passed along from generation to genera- 
tion, through various languages and widely differing forms of society, always preserving 
the power of interesting and amusing, and affording to one race of wits and authors after 
anotlier a happy gi'omidwork for their own gayety or invention. 

Among these is the story of the MeiKechmi of Plautus, founded on the whimsical mis- 
takes and confusion arising from the perfect resemblance of twin brothers. Plautus is 
to us the original author of this amusing plot ; but it is quite probable that the old Latin 
comic writer stands in the same relation to some Greek predecessor that the modems do 
to him. There are some Greek fragments preserved of a lost play of Menander's, enti- 
tled " Didymi, or The Twins," which, there is great probability, was the original comedy 
here adapted by Plautus, as it is known he did other Greek origmals, to the Latin stage. 
The subject became a favourite one among the dramatists of the continent at an early 
period of our modem literature. A paraphrastic version or adaptation of the Menach- 
mus was, it is supposed, the veiy earliest specimen of dramatic composition in the Italian 
language ; and in various forms and additions, more or less farcical, the subject has kept 
possession of the Italian stage. There is also a Spanish version of it about the date of 
the Comedy of Errors. In France, Rotrou, the acknowledged father of the legitimate 
French drama, mtroduced a free translation or imitation of Plautus's original upon the 
French stage. La Noble farcified it some years after into the " Two Harlequins ;" and 
finally, Regnard, in a free and spirited imitation, transferred the scene from Asia Minor 
to Paris, adapted to French mamiers and habits, clothed his dialogue in gay and polished 
verses worthy of the rival of Moliere, and made the Menachmes a part of the classic 
French comedy. 

Such was the early and wide-spread popularity of this plot, before and soon after 
Shakespeare's time, which I mention merely as a curious fact of literary history, or, 
perhaps, of the philosophy of our lighter literature, than as directly connected with 
Shakespeare's choice of a subject ; for, indeed, there is no clear indication that he had recom-se to any other 
original than the Latin of Plautus himself. Of this there was, indeed, a bald and somewhat paraphrastical 
translation by Wamer, which it is possible (though there is little probability of it) that Shakespeare may 
have seen in manuscript. This was published in 159.5, which is later than the probable date of the Comedy 
OF Errors. There is also evidence of the existence of an old play called " The Historie of EiTor" which was 
acted at court in 1576-7, and again in 1582, and is conjectured by the critics to have been founded on the same 
plot ; but this seems a mere gi-atuitous conjecture, for which no reason but the use of the word " error" in the 
title has been assigned. That title would rather indicate a masque or allegorical pageant of Error than a comedy 
of laughable mistakes. There is no resemblance between Wamer's translation and the Comedy of Errors in 
any peculiarity of language, of names, or any matter, however slight, which could not (like the main plot) have 
been drawn from the original, by a very humble Latinist. The accurate Ritson has ascertained that there is not a 
single name, or thought, or phrase peculiar to Warner to be traced in Shakespeai-e's play. Stevens, and others, 
maintain the opinion (to which Collier also seems to incline) that the old court-drama of the " Historie of Error" 
was the basis of the present play, that much of the dialogue, incident, and character is retained, and that Shake- 
speare merely remodelled the whole, and added some of those scenes and portions which bear their own evadence 
that they could have come from his pen alone. 

All these conjectural opuiions, though made with great confidence by several critics, seem to me wholly un- 
founded. There is no external evidence whatever of the existence of any such play as is alleged to have been 
incorporated in this comedy, and the internal evidence seems to me equally clear against a double authorship by 
writers of different times and tastes. The whole piece is w^ritten in the same buoyant spirit, with no more pause 
to its gayety than was needed to add to the interest by graver narrative dialogue. Broad and farcical as much of 
it is, it has as much miity of purpose and spirit as Macbeth itself. The dramatist used the Latin comedy, (whether 
in the original or a translation is immaterial on this occasion,) as he afterwards did Hollingshed's history, using the 
incidents only as the materials of his o^vn invention ; and this was done in an unbroken strain of joyous humom-, 
as if the author enjoyed all the while his own frolic conceptions and the puzzle of his audience. Plautus had on 



his stage a pair of resembling brothers, to form the central action of his plot. Such a resemblance, though rare, 
is not out of the ordinary probability of life. Resemblances, sufficient to puzzle strangers and occasion ludicrous 
mistakes, are by no means uncommon; while the judicial annals of France (see ^'Causes Celebres" ) in the case 
of Martin Guerre, and of New York in that of Alexander Hoag, (1804,) exhibit a well-attested chain of perplexities 
arising from such similarity of person, etc., even surpassing those of the Menachmi, or the Antipholuses and 
Dromios. Such a resemblance then, however rare, is within the legitimate range of classic comedy as a picture 
of ordinary social life ; and Regnard has treated the subject accordingly in a pure vein of chastised comic wit. 
But Shakespeare, writing for a less polished audience, and himself in the joyous mood of frolic youth, boldly over- 
leaped these bounds, added to the twin gentlemen of his pages a pair of midistinguishable buffoon servants, and 
revelled in the unrestrained uidulgence of broad drollery. 

Now, to my apprehension at least, all this is done with that continuous and unbroken spirit which could not 
have been kept up through a patchwork renovation and improvement of some inferior author. But as this evi- 
dence of general spirit and style cannot well be analyzed in words, or put into the shape of formal argument, the 
reader must decide for himself upon the comedy itself, with the reasons here suggested. The opinion of former 
critics cannot be more briefly or better stated than they have been by Mr. Singer : — 

" The general idea of this play is taken from the Mencechmi of Plautus, but the plot is entirely recast, and ren- 
dered much more diverting by the variety and quick succession of the incidents. To the twin brothers of Plautus 
are added twin servants, and though this increases the improbability, yet, as Schlegel observes, ' when once we 
have lent ourselves to the first, which certainly borders on the incredible, we should not probaljly be disposed to 
cavil about the second ; and if the spectator is to be entertained with mere perplexities, they cannot be too much 
varied.' The clumsy and inartificial mode of informing the spectator by a prologue of events, which it was neces- 
sary for him to be acquainted with in order to enter into the spiiit of tlie piece, is well avoided, and shows the 
superior skill of the modem dramatist over his ancient prototype. With how much more propriety is it placed in 
the mouth of jEgeon, the father of the twin brothers, whose character is sketched with such skill as deeply to 
interest the reader in his griefs and misfortunes. Development of character, however, was not to be expected in 
a piece which consists of an uninterrupted series of mistakes and laughter-moving situations. Stevens most reso- 
lutely maintains his opinion that this was a play only retouched by the hand of Shakespeare, but he has not given 
the grounds upon which his opinion was formed. We may suppose the doggerel verses of the dramas and the 
want of distinct characterization in the dramatis personcB, together with the farcelike nature of some of the inci- 
dents, made him draw this conclusion. Malone has given a satisfactory answer to the first objection, by adducing 
numerous examples of the same kind of long verse from the dramas of several of his contemporaries ; and that 
Shakespeare was swayed by custom in introducing it into his early plays there can be no doubt ; for it sliould be 
remembered that this kind of versification is to be found in Love's Labour Lost, and in the Taming of the 
Shrew. His better judgment made liim subsequently abandon it. The particular translation from Plautus, which 
served as a model, has not come down to us. There was a translation of the Mcnachmi, by W. W., (Wanier,) 
published in 159.5, which it is possible Shakespeare may have seen in manuscript; but, from the circumstance of 
the brothers being, in the folio of 1623, occasionally styled Antipholus Erotes or Errotis, and Antipholus Serephis, 
perhaps for Surrepfus and Erraticus; while, in Warner's translation, the brothers are named Menjr'chmiis Sosicles, 
and Mena?clunus the Traveller, it is concluded that he was not the Poet's authority. It is difficult to pronounce 
decidedly between the contending opinions of the critics, but the general impression upon my mind is that the 
whole of the play is from the hand of Shakespeare. Dr. Drake thinks it ' is visible throughout the entire play, as 
well in the broad exuberance of its mirth, as in the cast of its more chastised parts, a combination of which may 
be found in the character of Pinch, who is sketched in his strongest and most marked style.' We may conclude 
with Schlegel's dictum that 'this is the best of all written or possible MencBchmi; and if the piece is inferior in 
worth to other pieces of Shakespeare, it is merely because nothing more could be made of the materials.' " — 

This play was never printed during the author's lifetime, although it has been ascertained that it was performed 
at court as late as 1604. It was first printed in the folio of 1623. As it was clearly an early production, so it was 
probably one that the author did not care to remodel or improve ; but left it in manuscript to go its rounds, as a 
popular piece for the stage. The text is not very accurately printed in the folio editions, yet, on the other hand, 
the misprints may in general be easily corrected ; and when the precise correction is not very certain, that is sel- 
dom veiy material, as the interest and jest of the scene depend mainly upon the general effect of droll entangle- 
ment or surfjrise, and little is gained or lost by the change or omission of a bold expi'ession or poetical word, often 
so important in the poet's loftier strains. 

Mr. Colher thus states the evidence of the date of the piece : — 

" The earliest notice we have of the Comedy of Errors, is by Meares, in his ' Palladis Tamia,'' 1598, where he 
gives it to Shakespeare under the name of ' Errors.' How much before that time it had been written and pro- 
duced on the stage, we can only speculate. Malone refers to a part of the dialogue in act iii. scene 2, where 
Dromio of Syracuse is conversing with his master about the ' kitchen wench' who insisted upon making love to 
him, and who was so fat and round — ' spherical like a globe' — that Dromio ' could find out countries in her :' — 

Ant. 8. Where France ? 

Dro. S. In her forehead ; arin'd and reverted, making war against her heir. 

" It is supposed that an equivoque was intended on the word ' heir,' (which is printed in the folio of 1623 ' heire,' 
at that period an unusual way of spelling 'hair,') and that Shakespeare alluded to the civil war in France, which 
began in the middle of 1589, and did not tenninate until the close of 1593. This notion seems well founded, for 
otherwise there would be no joke in the reply ; and it accords pretty exactly with the time when we may believe 
the Comedy of Errors to have been written. But here we have a range of four years and a half, and we can 
anive at no nearer approximation to a precise date. As a mere conjecture it may be stated, that Shakespeare 
would not have uiserted the allusion to the hostility between France and her ' heir,' after the war had been so 
long carried on, that interest in, or attention to it, in England would have been relaxed." 



The date of 1593, placing this among the author's earlier works, corresponds with various other indications of" 
style and versification, and cast of tlioiight, not decisive in themselves. Thus the alternate rhymes in which the 
courtship of the Syracusian Antipholu.s is clothed, is in the taste of Shakespeare's earlier poems, and corresponds 
also with the versification of some of the love-scenes in the first edition of Romeo and Juliet, as well as with pas- 
sages in Love's Labour Lost. Tlio long doggerel lines, in which so much of the more farcical part is written, 
is a vestige of the older versification still used on the stage at the commencement of Shakespeare's dramatic career. 
This, in various forms of the longer rhythm, had come down through English literature even from Saxon poetry, 
and had been employed for the gravest subjects, as not miworthy of epic, nan-ative, or devotional poetry. It had 
gradually given way, for such purposes, to more cidtivated metres, such as are now in use ; but was still used in 
dramatic composition by Shakespeare's immediate predecessors, for all purposes of dialogue, whether grave or gay. 
Shakespeare (so far as I can ti-ace the subject) seems to have been the first who perceived the peculiar adaptation 
of these long hobbling measures for ludicrous effect, and who used them for nothing else. 


" In Douce's essay ' On the Anachronisms and some other Incongruities of Shakespeare,' the offences of our 
Poet in the Comedy of Errors ai-e thus sunnned up: — ' In the ancient city of Ephesus we have ducats, marks, 
and guilders, and the Abbess of a Nunnery. Mention is also made of several modem European kingdoms, and 
of America ; of Hemy the Fourth of France,* of Turkish tapestry, a rapier, and a sti-iking-clock ; of Lapland sor- 
cerers, Satan, and even of Adam and Noah. In one place Antipholus calls himself a Christian. As we are unac- 
quainted witli the immediate source whence this play was derived, it is impossible to ascertain whether Shake- 
speare is responsible for these anachronisms.' 

" Douce, seeing that the Comedy of Errors was suggested by the Menachmi of Plautus, considers, no doubt, 
that Shakespeare intended to place his action at the same period as the Roman play. It is manifest to us that he 
intended precisely the contrary. The Menachrni contains invocations in great number to the ancient divinities; — 
Jupiter and Apollo are here familiar words. From the first line of the Comedy of Errors to the last we have not 
the slightest allusion to the classical mythology. Was there not a time, then, even in the ancient city of Ephesus, 
when there might be an abbess, — men might call themselves Christians, — and Satan, Adam, and Noah might be 
names of common use ? We do not mean to affirm that Shakespeare intended to select the Ephesus of Christianity 
— the gi-eat city of churches and councils — for the dvvelhng-place of Antipholus, any more than we think that 
Duke Solinus was a real personage — that ' Duke Menaphon, his most renowned uncle,' ever had any existence — 
or that even his name could be found in any story more trustworthy than that of Greene's ' Arcadia.' The truth 
is, that in the same way that Ardennes was a sort of terra incognita of chivalry, the poets of Shakespeare's time 
had no hesitation in placing the fables of the romantic ages in classical localities, leaving the periods and the names 
perfectly undefined and unappreciable. Who will undertake to fix a period for the action of Sir Philip Sydney's 
great romance, when the author has conveyed his reader into the fairy or pastoral land, and informed him what 
manner of life the inhabitants of that region lead ? We cannot open a page of Sydney's ' Arcadia' without being 
struck with what we are accustomed to call anachronisms, — and these from a very severe critic, who, in his ' De- 
fence of Poesy,' denounces with merciless severity all violation of the unities of the drama. 

" Warton has prettily said, speaking of Spenser, ' exactness in his poem would have been like a cornice which 
a painter introduced in the gi-otto of Calypso.' Those who would define eveiy thing in poetrj' are the makers of 
corniced grottoes. As we are not desirous of belonging to this somewhat obsolete fraternity, to which even Warton 
himself affected to belong when he wrote what is ti-uly an apology for the ' Faery Queen,' we will leave our readers 
to decide, — whether Duke Sohnus reigned at Ephesus before ' the great temple, after having risen with increasing 
splendour from seven repeated misfortunes, was finally burnt by the Goths in their third naval invasion ;' or whether 
he presided over the decaying city, somewhat neai'er to the period when Justinian ' filled Constantinople with its 
statues, and raised liis church of St. Sophia on its columns ;' or, lastly, whether he approached the period of its 
final desolation, when the ' candlestick was removed out of its place,' and the Clunstian Ephesus became the 
Mohammadan Aiasaluck." — Knight. 


" The costume of tliis comedy must, we fear, be left conventional. The two masters, as well as the two ser- 
vants, must of course be presumed to have been attired precisely alike, or the difference of dress would at least 
have called forth some remark, had it not led to an immediate eclaircissement ; and yet that the Syracusian travel- 
lers, both master and man, should by mere chance be clothed in garments not only of the same fashion, but of 
the same colour, as those of their Ephesian brethren, is beyond the bounds of even stage probabihty. Were the 
scene laid during the classical era of Greece, as in the Mencechmi, on which our comedy was founded, the ab- 
surdity would not be quite so startling, as the simple tunic of one slave might accidentally resemble that of an- 
other ; and the chlamys and petasus of the upper classes were at least of one general form, and differed but occa- 
sionally in colour ; but the appearance of an abbess renders it necessary to consider the events as passing at the 
time when Ephesus had become famed among the Christian cities of Asia Minor, and at least as late as the first 
establishment of religious communities, (i. e. in the foiu-th century.) 

" We can only recommend to the artist the Byzantine Greek paintings and illuminations, or the costume adopted 
from them for scriptural designs by the early Italian painters." — Mr. Planche, in " Pictorial Shakespeare" 

* Mention is certainly not made of Henry IV. : there is a supposed allusion to him. 




SOLINUS, Duke of Ephksds. 

.^GEON, a Merchant cf SyiticnsE. 

ANTIPHOLUS of EpHKsns, j twin Brotbers, and Sons to .Egeos and 

ANTIPHOLUS of SYBAcnsE, ) .Emilia, but unknown to each other. 

DROMIO of Ephzsds, j twin Brothers, and Attendants on the 

DROMIO of Straodse, > two ANiiPHomsEa. 

BAXTHAZAR, a Merchant. 

ANGELO, a Goldsmith. 

A Merchant, Friend to Antiphoi-D3 of SrRACOsE 

PINCH, a Schoolmaster and Conjurer. 

.EMILIA, wife to .Eoeon, an Abbess at Ephesub. 
ADRIANA, -wife to Antipholds of Epbebds. 
LUCIANA, her Sister. 
LUCE, her Servant. 
A Courtesan. 

Jailer, OfBcers, and other Attendants. 
Scene — Ephesub 

l^T^|(Iilf^^^v^V;^■rt'Ji^!l!il|j!;l^i'l f. 


Scene I. — A Halt in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Solixus, Duke of Ephesus, iEoEON, a Mer- 
chant of Syracusa, Jailer, Officers, and other 

^ge. Proceed, Soliniis, to procure my fall. 
And by the doom of death end woes and all. 

Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more. 
I am not partial, to infringe our laws : 
The enmity and discord, which of late 
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke 
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, — 
Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives. 
Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods, — 
Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks. 
For, since the mortal and intestine jars 
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us, 
It halli in solemn synods been decreed, 
Both by the Syracusians and ourselves, 

To admit no traffic to our adverse towns : 

Nay, more, if any. born at Ephesus. 

Be seen at any Syracusian marts and fairs; 

Again, if any Syracusian born 

Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies; 

His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose, 

Unless a thousand marks be levied, 

To quit the penalty, and to ransom him. 

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate 

Cannot amount unto a hundred marks ; 

Therefore, by law thou ait condemn'd to die. 

yEge. Yet this my comfort; when your words 
are done. 
My woes end likewise with the evening sun. 

Duke. Well, Syracusian; say, in brief, the cause 
Why thou departedst from thy native home, 
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus. 

^Ege. A heavier task could not have been impos'd. 
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable ; 





Yet, that the world may witness, that my end 

Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence, 

I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. 

In Syracusa was I born ; and wed 

Unto a woman, happy but for me, 

And by me too, had not our hap been bad. 

With her I liv'd in joy : our wealth increas'd, 

By prosperous voyages I often made 

To Epidamnum; till my factor's death, 

And the great care of goods at random left 

Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse : 

From whom my absence was not six months old, 

Before herself (almost at fainting under 

The pleasing punishment that women bear) 

Had made provision for her following me, 

And soon, and safe, arrived where I was. 

There had she not been long, but she became 

A joyful mother of two goodly sons; 

And, which was strange, the one so like the other, 

As could not be distinguish'd but by names. 

That very hour, and in the self-same inn, 

A poor mean woman was delivered 

Of such a burden, male twins, both alike. 

Those, for their parents were exceeding poor, 

I bought, and brought up to attend my sons. 

iMy wife, not meanly proud of two such boys. 

Made daily motions for our home return : 

Unwilling I agreed. Alas, too soon we came 

aboard I 
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd. 
Before the always-wind-obeying deep 
Gave any tragic instance of our harm: 
But longer did we not retain much hope; 
For what obscured light the heavens did grant 
Did but convey unto our fearful minds 
A doubtful warrant of immediate death ; 
Which, though myself would gladly have embrac'd, 
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife. 
Weeping before for what she saw must come. 
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes, 
That mourned for fashion, ignorant what to fear, 
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me. 
And this it was, — for other means was none. — 
The sailors souglit for safety by our boat. 
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us. 
My wife, more careful for the latter-born. 
Hid fasten'd him unto a small spare mast. 
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms : 
To him one of the other twins was boiuid. 
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other. 
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I, 
Fixing our eyes on whom oiu' care was fix'd, 
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast ; 
And floating straight, obedient to the stream. 
Were carried towards Corinth, as we thought. 
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth, 
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us. 
And by the benefit of his wish'd light 
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered 
Two ships from far making amain to us ; 
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this : 
But ere they came, — O, let me say no more ! 
Gather the sequel by that went before. 

Duke. Nay, forward, old man ; do not break off so. 
For we may pity, though not pardon thee. 

^^se- O, had the gods done so, I had not now 
Worthily term'd them merciless to us ! 
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues. 
We were encounter'd by a mighty rock. 
Which being violently borne upon. 
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst; 


So that in this unjust divorce of us 

Fortune had left to both of us alike 

What to delight in, what to sorrow for. 

Her part, poor soul ! seeming as burdened 

With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe. 

Was carried with more speed before the wind, 

And in our sight they three were taken up 

By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought. 

At length another ship had seized on us ; 

And knowing whom it was their liap to save, 

Gave healthful welcome to their shipwreck'd guests; 

And would have reft the fishers of their prey, 

Had not their bark been veiy slow of sail, 

And therefore homeward did they bend their 

coiuse. — 
Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss. 
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd. 
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps. 

Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest 
Do me the favour to dilate at full 
What hath befalln of them, and thee, till now. 

^^i(e. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care, 
At eighteen years became inquisitive 
After his brother; and importun'd me. 
That his attendant (so his case was like. 
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name) 
Might bear him comjiany in the quest of him; 
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see, 
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd. 
Five summers have I spent in furthest Greece, 
Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia 
And, coasting liomeward, came to Ephesus, 
Hopeless to find, yet loth to leave unsought 
Or that, or any place that harbours men. 
But here must end the story of my life ; 
And happy were I in my timely death. 
Could all my travels warrant me they live. 

Dttke. Hapless iEgeon, whom the fates have 
To bear the extremity of dire mishap ! 
Now, trtxst me, were it not against our laws. 
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity. 
Which princes, would they, may not disannul, 
My sold should sue as advocate for thee. 
But though thou art adjudged to the death, 
And passed sentence may not be recall'd 
But to our honour's great dis])aragement. 
Yet will I favour thee in what I can : 
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day. 
To seek thy help by beneficial help. 
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus; 
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum, 
And live ; if no, then thou art doom'd to die. — 
Jailer, take liim to thy custody. 

Jail. I will, my lord. 

JEgc. Hopeless, and helpless, doth jEgeon wend. 
But to procrastinate his lifeless end. \^Excunt. 

Scene II. — A Puhlic Place. 

Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse, and 
a Merchant. 

Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Ei)idamnum, 
Lest that yoiu' goods too soon be confiscate. 
This very day, a Syracusian merchant 
Is apprehended for arrival here; 
And, not being able to buy out his life 
According to the statute of the town. 
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west. 
There is your money that I had to keep. 

ACT 1. 



Ant. S. Go, bear it to the Centaur, where we host, 
And stay there, Droinio, till 1 come to thee. 
Within this hour it will be dinner-time : 
'Till that, ril view tlie manners of the town, 
I'eruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings, 
And then return and sleep within mine inn, 
For with long travel I am stiff and weary. 
Get thee away. 

Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word. 
And go indeed, having so good a mean. [E.vit. 

Ant. S. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft, 
When I am dull with care and melancholy, 
Liiihtens my humour with his merry jests. 
What, will you walk with me about the town, 
And then go to my inn, and dine with me ? 

3Ter. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants, 
Of whom I hoi)e to make much benefit ; 
1 crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock. 
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart, 
And afterwards consort you till bed-time : 
My present business calls me from you now. 

Ant. S. Farewell till then. I will go lose myself. 
And wander up and down to view the city. 

Mer. Sir, I commend j'ou to your own content. 


Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own 
Conuuends me to the thing I cannot get. 
I to the world am like a drop of water, 
That ill the ocean seeks another drop ; 
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth, 
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself: 
So I, to find a mother, and a brother, 
fn quest of them, unhappj', lose myself 

Enter Dromio of Ephesus. 

Here comes the almanack of my true date. — 
What now ? How chance thou art return'd so soon ? 

Dro. E. Return'd so soon I rather approach'd 
too late. 
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit. 
The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell ; 
My mistress made it one upon my cheek : 
She is so hot, because the meat is cold ; 
The meat is cold, because you come not home; 
You come not home, because you have no stomach; 
You have no stomach, having broke your fast ; 
But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray, 
Are penitent for your default to-day. 

Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir. Tell me this, 
I pray ; 
Where have you left the money that I gave you ? 

Dro. E. O ! sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday 
To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper. 
The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not. 

Ant. S. I aiH not in a sportive humour now. 

Tell me, and dally not, where is the money ? 
We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust 
So great a charge from thine own custody ? 

Dro. E. I |)ray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner. 
I from my mistress couie to you in post ; 
If I return, I shall be post indeed, 
For she will score your fault upon my pate. 
Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your 

And strike you home without a messenger. 

Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come ; these jests are 
out of season : 
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this. 
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee ] 

Dro. E. To me, sir? wliy yovi gave no gold to me. 

Ant. S. Come on, sir knave ; have done your 
And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge. 

Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from 
the mart 
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner. 
My mistress, and her sister, stay for you. 

Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me, 
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money, 
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours. 
That stands on tricks when 1 am undispos'd 
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me ? 

Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my 
pate ; 
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders. 
But not a thousand marks between you both. 
If I should pay your worship those again. 
Perchance, you will not bear them patiently. 

Ant. S. Thy luistress' marks ! what mistress, 
slave, hast thou ? 

Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the 
Phoenix ; 
She that doth fast till you come hoiue to dinner, 
And praj's that you will hie you home to dinner. 

Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto ray 
Being forbid ? There, take you that, sir knave. 

[Strikes him. 

Dro. E. What mean you, sir ? for God's sake, 
hold your hands. 
Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels. [ E.vit. 

Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other 
The villain is o'er-raught of all my money. 
They say, this town is full of cozenage ; 
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye. 
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind, 
Soul-killing witches that deform the body. 
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks, 
And many such like liberties of sin : 
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. [E.cit. 


Scene I. — A Public Place. 

Enter Adriana, ivife to Am'ipholus of Ephesus, 
and LuciANA her sister. 

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, 
(xood 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 ill. 

Lvc. O ! know he is the bridle of your will. 

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

Luc. AVliy, 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. 
Lords of the wide world, and wild wat'iy 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 

hue. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. 

Adr. How if your husband start some other 
where ? 

Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear. 

Adr. Patience unmov'd, no marvel though she 
pause ; 
They can be meek, that have no other cause. 
A wretched soul, bruis'd 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 ; 
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee, 
With urging helpless patience would'st relieve me : 
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 ? 
T)rn. E. Nriy, he is at two hands with me, and 
tlr,)t my two ears can witness. 
* 12 

I Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him ? Know'st 
I thou his nund ? 

Dro. E. Ay, ay ; he told his mind upon mine ear. 
1 Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it. 
I Lvc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not 
I feel his meaning? 

I Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too 
well feel his blows ; and withal so doubtfully, that 
I could scarce understand them. 

Adr. But say, 1 pr'ythee, is he coming home? 
It seems, he hath great care to please his wife. 
Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn- 
Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain ! 
Dro. E. I mean not cuckold-mad ; 

But. sure, he is stark mad. 
I 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 dolh burn, quoth I ; my gold, quoth he : 
Will you come, 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: 
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress 
So that my errand, due unto my tongue, 
I thank him, I bear home upon my shoulders ; 
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there. 

Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him 

Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten home ? 
li For God's sake, send some other messenger. 

Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across. 
Dro. E. And he will bless that cross with other 
Between yotx I shall have a holy head. 

Adr. Hence, prating peasant ! fetch thy master 

Dro. E. Am I so round with you, as you with me, 
That like a foot-ball you do spurn me thus ? 
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither: 
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather. 

Luc. Fie, how impatience lowreth in your face ! 
Adr. His company must do his minions grace. 
Whilst I at home stai-ve for a merry look. 
Hath homely age th' alluring beauty took 
From my poor cheek ? then, he hath wasted it •• 
Are my discourses dull? barren my wit? 
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd, 
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble liard. 
Do their gay vestments his affections bait ? 




That's not my fault ; he's master of my state. 

What ruins are in me, that can be found 

By him not ruin'd ? then is he the ground 

Of my defeatures. My decayed fair 

A sunny look of his would soon repair; 

But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale. 

And feeds from home : poor I am but his stale. 

Luc. Self-harming jealousy! — fie! beat it hence. 

Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs 
I know his eye doth homage other where. 
Or else, what lets it but he would be here ? 

Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain : 
Would that alone, alone he would detain, 
So he would keej) fair quarter with his bed ! 
I see, the jewel best enamelled 
Will lose iiis beauty : yet though gold 'bides still, 
That others touch, an often touching will 
Wear gold ; and no man, that hath a name, 
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame. 
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, 
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. 
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy ! 



Scene II. — The Same. 
Enter Antipholus of Syracuse. 

Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up 
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave 
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out. 
By computation, and mine host's report, 
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first 
I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes. 

Enter Dromio of Syracuse. 

How now, sir ? is your merry humour alter'd? 
As you love strokes, so jest with me again. 
You know no Centaur? You receiv'd no gold? 
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner? 
My house was at the Phcenix ? Wast thou mad, 

That thus so madly thou didst answer me ? 

Dro. S. What answer, sir ? when spake I such 

a word ? 
Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour 

Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me 
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. 
Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's re- 
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; 
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd. 

Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein. 
What means thisjest ? I pray you, master, tell me. 
Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the 
teeth ? 





Thiuk'stthoujjest? Hold, take thou that, and that. 

[Beating him. 
Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake ! now your jest 
is earnest : 
Upon what bargain do you give it me ? 

Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes 
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you, 
Yam- sauciness will jest upon my love, 

And make a common of my serious hours. 
When the sun shines let foolish gnats make s])ort. 
But creej) in crannies when he hides his beams. 
If you will jest with me, know my aspect. 
And fashion your demeanour to my looks. 
Or I will beat this method in your sconce. 

Dro. S. Sconce, call you it ? so j'ou would leave 
battering, I had rather have it a head : an you use 


these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, 
and insconce it too ; 6r else I shall seek my wit in 
my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten ? 

Ant. S. Dost thou not know ? 

Dro. S. Nothing, sir; but that I am beaten. 

Ant. S. Shall I tell you why ? 

Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore ; for, they say, 
every why hath a wherefore. 

Anf. S. Why, first, — for flouting me; and then, 
wherefore, — for urging it the second time to me. 

Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out 
of season. 
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither 

rhyme nor reason ? — 
Well, sir, I thank you. 

Ant. S. Tliank me, sir? for what? 

Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something, that you 
gave me for nothing. 

Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you 
nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinner- 
time ? 

Dro. S. No, sir : I think, the meat wants that I 

Ant. S. In good time, sir; what's that? 

Dro. S. Basting. 

Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry. 

Dro. S if it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it. 

Ant. S. Your reason ? 

Dro. S. Lest it make you choleric ; and pur- 
chase me another dry basting. 

Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time : 
there's a time for all things. 

Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you 
were so choleric. 

Ant. S. By what nale, sir? 

Dro. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain 
bald pate of father Time himself. 

Ant. S. Let's hear it. 

Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover 
his hair that grows bald by nature. 

Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery ? 

Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and 
recover the lost hair of another man. 

Ant. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, 
being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement? 

Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows 
on beasts : and what he hath scanted men in hair, 
he hath given them in wit. 

Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more 
hair than wit. 

Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the 
wit to lose his hair. 

Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men 
plain dealers, without wit. 

Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost : yet 
he loseth it in a kind of jollity. 

ACT 11. 


SCK.NK 11. 

Ant. S. For what reason? 

Dro. S. For two ; and sound ones too. 

Ant. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you. 

Dro. S. Sure ones then. 

Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing. 

Dro. S. Certain ones then. 

Ant. S. Name them. 

Dro. S. The one, to save the money that he 
spends in 'tiring; the other, that at dinner they 
should not drop in his porridge. 

Ant. S. You would all this time have proved, 
there is no time for all things. 

Dro. S. Many, and did, sir; namely, e'en no 
time to recover hair lost by nature. 

Ant. S. But your reason was not substantial, 
why there is no time to recover. 

Dro. S. Thus I mend it : Time himself is bald, 
and therefore, to the world's end, will have bald 

Ant. S. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclusion. 
But soft! who wafts us yonder? 

Enter Adriana and Luciaxa. 

Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and frown : 
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects, 
1 am not Adriana, nor thy wife. 
The time was once, when thou unurg'd would'st 

That never words were music to thine ear, 
That never object pleasing in thine eye, 
That never touch well welcome to thy hand. 
That never meat sweet-savoiu-'d in thy taste, 
Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or cai^'d to 

How comes it now, my husband, O ! how comes it. 
That tliou art then estranged from thyself? 
Thyself I call it, being strange to me, 
That, uudividable, incorporate. 
Am better than thy dear self's better part. 

Ah, do not tear away thyself from me ; 

For know, my love, as easy may'st thou fall 

A drop of water in the breaking gulph, 

And lake uniningled thence that drop again, 

Without addition or diminishing. 

As take from me thyself, and not me too. 

How dearly would it touch thee to the quick, 

Should'st thou but hear I were licentious, 

And that this body, consecrate to thee, 

By ruffian lust should be contaminate I 

Would'st thou not spit at me, and spurn at me, 

And hurl the name of liusband in my face. 

And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow. 

And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring, 

And break it with a deep-divorcing vow ? 

I know thou can'st ; and therefore, see, thou do it, 

I am possess'd with an adulterate blot ; 

My blood is mingled with the crime of lust: 

For, if we two be one, and thou play false, 

1 do digest the poison of thy flesh. 

Being strumpeted by thy contagion. 

Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed ; 

I live disstain'd, thou undishonoured. 

Ant, S. Plead you to me, fair dame ? I know 
you not. 
In Ephesus I am but two hours old. 
As strange unto your town, as to your talk; 
Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd, 
Want wit in all one word to understand- 

Luc. Fie, brother: how the world is chang'd with 
you ! 
When were you wont to use my sister thus? 
She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner. 

Ant. S. By Dromio ? 

Dro. S. By me ? 

Adr. By thee ; and this thou didst return from 
him, — 
That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows 
Denied my house for his, me for his wife. 

(Resturation of the second Temple of Diana, at Ejiliesus.) 




Ant. S. Did you converse, sir, with this gentle- 
woman ? 
What is the course and drift of your compact? 

Dro. S. I, sir ? I never saw her till this time. 

Ant. S. Villain, thou liest; for even her very 
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart. 

Dro. S. I never spake with her in all my life. 

Ant. S. How can she thus then call us by our 
Unless it be by inspiration? 

Adr. How ill agrees it with your gravity 
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave, 
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood ! 
Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt. 
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt. 
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine: 
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine. 
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state, 
Makes me with thy strength to communicate : 
If aught possess thee froi7i me, it is dross. 
Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss ; 
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrasion 
Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion. 

Ant. S. To me she speaks ; she moves me for 
her theme ! 
What, was I married to her in my dream. 
Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this? 
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss ? 
Until I know this sure uncertainty, 
I'll entertain the otier'd fallacy. 

Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner. 

Dro. S. O, for my beads ! I cross me for a sinner. 
This is the fairy land : O, spite of spites I 
We talk with goblins, owls, and elvish sprites. 

If we obey them not, this will ensue, 

They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue. 

Luc. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer's! 
not ? 
Dromio, thou Dromio, thou snail, thou slug, thou 

Dro. S. I am transformed, master, am I not ? 

Ant. S. I think thou art, in mind, and so am I. 

Dro. S. Nay, master, both in mind and in my 

Ant. S. Thou hast thine own form. 

Dro. S. No, I am an ape. 

Luc. If thou art chang'd to aught, 'tis to an ass. 

Dro. S. 'Tis tnie ; she rides me, and I long for 
'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be. 
But I should know her, as well as she knows me. 

Adr. Come, come ; no longer will 1 be a fool. 
To put the finger in the eye and weep. 
Whilst man and master laugh my woes to scorn. 
Come, sir, to dinner. — Dromio, keep the gate. — 
Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day. 
And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks. — 
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master. 
Say, he dines forth, and let no creature enter. — 
Come, sister. — Dromio, play the porter w-ell. 

Ant. S. Am I in eaith, in heaven, or in hell ? 
Sleeping or waking ? mad, or well-advis"d ? 
Known unto these, and to m^'self disguis'd ? 
I'll say as they say, and persever so. 
And in this mist, at all adventures, go. 

Dro. S. Master, shall I be porter at the gate? 

Adr. Ay ; and let none enter, lest I break your pate. 

Luc, Come. come. Antipholus ; we dine too late. 


Scene I. — The Same. 

Enter Ay T]pnoi,vs of Ephesus, Dromio of Ephcsus, 
Angelo, and, Balthazar. 

Ant. E. Good signior Angelo, you must excuse 

us all ; 
My wife is shrewish, when I keep not hours. 
Say, that I linger'd with you at your shop 
To see the making of her carkanet. 
And that to-morrow you will bring it home ; 
But here's a villain, that would face me down 
He met me on the mart, and that I beat him. 
And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold ; 
And that I did deny my wife and house. — 
Thou drunkard, thou, what did'st thou mean by 

Dro. E. Say what you will, sir ; but I know what 

I know. 
That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand to 

show : 


; If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave 
were ink. 
Your own hand-writing would tell you what 1 
Ant. E. I think, thou art an ass. 
Dro. E. Marry, so it doth appear. 

By the wrongs I suffer, and the blows I bear. 
I should kick, being kick'd ; and being at that pass. 
You would keep from my heels, and beware of an 
Ant. E. You are sad, signior Balthazar : pray 
God, our cheer 
IMay answer my good-will, and your good welcome 
Bill. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your 

welcome dear. 
Ant. E. O, signior Balthazar, either at flesh or 
i A table-full of welcome makes scarce one dainty 

ACT 111. 



Bal. Good meat, sir, is common ; that every churl 

Ant. E. And welcome more common, for that's 

nothing but words. 
Bal. Small cheer and great welcome makes a 

merry feast. 
Ant. E. Ay, to a niggardly host, and more spar- 
ing guest : 
But though my cates be mean, take them in good 

part ; 
Better cheer may you have, but not with better 

But soft ! my door is lock'd. Go bid them let us in. 
Dro. E. Maud, Biidget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, 

Gin' ! 
Dro. S. [\Vithin.'] Mome, malt-horse, capon, cox- 
comb, idiot, patch ! 
Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the 

Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for 

such store, 
When one is one too many ? Go, get thee from 
tlie door. 
Dro. E. What patch is made our porter ? — My 

master stays in the street. 
Dro. S. Let him walk from whence he came, lest 

he catch cold on 's feet. 
Ant. E. Who talks within there? ho! open the 

Dro. S. Right, sir : I'll tell you when, an you'll 

tell me wherefore. 
Ant. E. Wherefore ? for my dinner : I have not 

din'd to-day. 
Dro. S. Nor to-day here you must not, come 

again wlien you may. 
Ant. E. What art thou that keep'st me out from 

the house I owe ? 
Dro. S. The porter for this time, sir ; and my 

name is Dromio. 
Dro. E. O villain ! thou hast stolen both mine 

office and my name : 
The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle 

Tf thou had'st been Dromio to-day in my place. 
Thou would'st have chang'd thy face for a name, 

or thy name for an ass. 
Luce. [J]^/thin.] What a coil is there Dromio: 

Avho are those at the gate ? 
Dro. E. Let my master in. Luce. 
Li/ce. Faith no ; he comes too late; 

And so tell your master. 

Dro. E. O Lord! 1 must laugh : — 

Have at you with a proverb. — Shall I set in my 

Luce. Have at you with another: that's, — when ? 

can you tell ? 
Dro. S. If thy name be called Luce, Luce, thou 

hast answer'd him well. 

Ant. E. Do you hear, you minion ? you'll let us 

in, I hope ? 
Luce. I thought to have ask'd you. 
Dro. S. And you said, no. 

Dro. E. So; come, help! well struck; there was 

blow for blow. 
Ant. E. Thou baggage, let me in. 
Luce. Can you tell for whose sake? 

Dro. E. Master, knock the door hard. 
Luce. Let him knock till it ache. 

Ant. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the 

door down. 


Luce. What needs all that, and a pair of stocks 

in the town ? 
Adr. [IVithin.] Who is that at the door, that 

keeps all this noise ? 
Dro. S. By my troth, your town is troubled with 

unruly boys. 
Ant. E. Are you there, wife ? you might have 

come before. 
Adr. Your wife, sir knave? go, get you from 

the door. 
Dro. E. If you went in pain, master, this knave 

would go sore. 





Ang. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome : 

we would fain have either. 
Bal. In debating which was best, we shall part 

with neitlier. 
Dm. E. They stand at the door, master: bid 

them welcome hither. 
Ant. E. There is something in the wind, that we 

cannot get in. 
Dro. E. You would say so, master, if your gar- 
ments were thin. 
Your cake here is warm within ; you stand here 

in the cold : 
It would make a man mad as a buck to be so bought 

and sold. 
Ant. E. Go, fetch me something : I'll break ope 

the gate. 
Dro. S. Break any breaking here, and I'll break 

your knave's pate. 
Dro. E. A man may break a word with you, sir, 

and words are but wind ; 
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not 

Dro. S. It seems, thou want'st breaking. Out 

upon thee, hind I 
Dro. E. Here's too much out upon thee ! I pray 

thee, let me in. 
Dro. S. Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and 

fish have no fin. 
Ant. E. Well, I'll break in. Go, boiTow me a 

Dro. E. A crow without feather? master, mean 

you so ? 
For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a 

If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow to- 
Ant. E. Go, get thee gone : fetch me an iron 

Bal. Have patience, sir; O! let it not be so: 

Herein you war against your reputation. 

And draw within the cOmpass of suspect 

Th' unviolated honour of your wife. 

Once this, — 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. 

Be rul'd by me : depart in patience, 

And let us to the Tiger all lo dinner; 

And about evening come yourself alone 

To know the reason of this strange restraint. 

If by strong hand you ofier to break in, 

Now in the stirring passage of the day, 

A vulgar comment will be made of it ; 

And that supposed by the common route, 

Against your yet ungalled estimation. 

That may with foul intrusion enter in. 

And dwell upon your grave when you are dead : 

For slander lives upon succession. 

For ever housed, where it gets possession. 

Ant. E. You have prevail'd : I will depart in quiet, 
And, in despite 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 entei-tain me, 
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me. 

Ano-. I'll meet you at that place, some hour hence. 

Ant. E. Do so. This jest shall cost me some 
expense. [Exeunt. 


(Rcir.uins of Aqueducl at Ephesiis.) 




Scene II. — The Same. 
Enter Luciana, and Antipholus of Syracuse. 

Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot 

A husband's office 1 Shall, Antipholus, 
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot ? 

Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous? 
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 blind- 
ness ; 
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 ? 
'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 ; 

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

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

We in your motion turn, and you may move us. 
Then, gentle brother, get you in again : 

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

When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife. 

Ant. S. Sweet mistress, (what j-our name is else, 
I know not, 

Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine,) 
Less in your knowledge, and your grace you show 

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 voitr words' deceit. 
Agamst my soul's pure truth, why labour you 

To make it wander in an unknown field ? 
Are you a god 1 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 of tears. 
Sing, syren, 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! 

Luc. What ! are you mad, that you do reason so ? 

Ant. S. Not mad, but mated; how, I do not know. 

Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. 

Ant. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, be- 
ing by. 

Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear 
your sight. 

Ant. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on 

Luc. Why call you me love ? call my sister so. 
Anl. S. Thy sister's sister. 
Luc. That's my sister. 

Ant. S. No ; 

It is thyself, mine own self's better part ; 
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart ; 
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim, 
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim. 

Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be. 

Ant. S. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I aim thee. 
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my hfe : 
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife. 
Give me thy hand. 

Luc. O, soft, sir I hold you still : 

I'll fetch my sister, to get her good-will. [Exit. 

Enter Dromio of Syracuse, hastily. 

Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio ! where i-un'st 
thou so fast ? 

Dro. S. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio? 
am I your man ? am I myself? 

Ant. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou 
art thyself. 

Dro. S. I am an ass ; I am a woman's man, and 
besides myself. 

Ant. S. What woman's man? and how besides 

Dro. S. Mam', sir, besides myself, I am due to 
a woman ; one that claims me, one that haunts me, 
one that will have me. 

Ant. S. What claim lays she to thee ? 

Dro. S. Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay 
to your horse ; and she would have me as a beast : 
not that, I being a beast, she would have me ; but 
that she, being a verj' beastly creature, lays claim 
to me. 

Ant. S. What is she ? 

Dro. S. A very reverend body ; ay, such a one 
as a man may not speak of, without he say, sir- 
reverence. I have but lean luck in the match, and 
yet she is a wondrous fat marriage. 

Ant. S. How dost thou mean a fat maiTiage ? 

Dro. S. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and 
all grease ; and I know not what use to put her to, 
but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by her 
own light. T warrant, her rags, and the tallow in 
them, will burn a Poland winter : if she lives till 
doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole 

Ant. S. What complexion is she of? 

Dro. S. Swart, like my shoe, but her face noth- 
ing like so clean kept : for why ? she sweats ; a 
man may go over shoes in the grime of it. 

Ant. S. That's a fault that water will mend. 

Dro. S. No, sir; 'tis in grain: Noah's flood could 
not do it. 

Ant. S. What's her name ? 

Dro. S. Nell, sir: but her name is three quarters, 
that is, an ell ; and three quarters will not measure 
her from hip to hip. 

Ant. S. Then she bears some breadth ? 

Dro. S. No longer from head to foot, than from 
hip to hip : she is spherical, like a globe ; I could 
find out countries in her. 

Ant. S. In what part of her body stands Ireland ? 

Dro. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks : I found it 
out by the bogs. 

Ant. S. Where Scotland ? 

Dro. S. I found it by the baiTenness, hard, in the 
palm of the hand. 

Ant. S. Where France ? 

Dro. S. In her forehead ; arm'd and reverted, 
making war against her heir. 

Ant: S. Where England? 




Dro. S. I look'd for the chalky cliifs, but I could 
find no whiteness in them : but 1 guess, it stood in 
her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France 
and it. 

Ant. S. "Where Spain ? 

Dro. S. Faith, I saw it not ; but I felt it hot in 
her breath. 

Atit. S. Where America, the Indies ? 

Dro. S. O ! sir, upon her nose, all o'er embel- 
lished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining 
their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain, who 
sent whole armadoes of carracks to be ballast at her 

Ant. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands? 

Dro. S. O ! sir, I did not look so low. To con- 
clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me ; 
call'd me Dromio ; swore, I was assured to her : 
told me what privy marks I had about me, as the 
mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the 
great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from 
her as a witch : and, I think, if my breast had not 
been made of faith, and my heart of steel, she had 
transform'd me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn 
i' the wheel. 

Ant. S. Go, hie thee presently post to the road, 
And if the wind blow any way from shore, 
I will not harbour in this town to-night. 
If any bark put forth, come to the mart. 
Where I will walk till thou return to me. 
If evei-y one knows us, and we know none, 
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and begone. 

Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for life. 
So fly 1 from her that would be my wife. [Exit. 

Ant. S. There's none but witches do inhabit here, 
And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence. 

She that doth call me husband, even my soul 
Doth for a wife abhor ; but her fair sister, 
Possess'd with such a gentle sovereign grace. 
Of such enchanting presence and discourse, 
Hath almost made me traitor to myself: 
But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong, 
I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song. 

Enter Angelo. 

Ang. Master Antipholus ? 

Ant. S. Ay, that's my name. 

Ang. I know it well, sir. Lo, here is the chain. 
I thought to have ta'en you at the Porcupine ; 
The chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long. 

Ant. S. What is your will that I shall do with 
this ? 

Ang. What please yourself, sir : I have made it 
for you. 

Ant. S. Made it for me, sir ? I bespoke it not. 

Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you 
Go home with it, and please your wife withal ; 
And soon at supper-time I'll visit you. 
And then receive my money for the chain. 

Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now, 
For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more. 

A?ig. You are a merry man, sir. Fare you well. 


Ant. S. What I should think of this, I cannot tell ; 
But this I think, there's no man is so vain. 
That would refuse so fair an ofter'd chain. 
I see, a man here needs not live by shifts. 
When in the streets he meets such golden gifts. 
I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay : 
If any ship put out, then straight away. [Exit. 

Scene I. — The Same. 
Enter a Merchant, Angelo, and an Officer. 

Mer. You know, since Pentecost the sum is due, 
And since I have not much impoi^tun'd you; 
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound 
To Persia, and want gilders for my voyage: 
Therefore make present satisfaction, 
Or ril attach you by this officer. 

Ang. Even just the sura, that I do owe to you, 
Is growing to me by Antiphohis ; 
And, in the instant that I met with you, 
He had of me a chain : at five o'clock, 
I shall receive the money for the same. 
Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house, 
I will discharge my bond, and thank you too. 

Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, and Dromio of 

Off. That labour may you save : see where he 

Ant. E. While I go to the goldsmith's house, go 
And buy a rope's end, that will I bestow 
Among my wife and her confederates, 
For locking me out of my doors by day. — 
But soft, I see the goldsmith. — Get thee gone; 
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me. 

Dro. E. I buy a thousand pound a-year ? I buy 
a rope ? \^Exit. 

Ant. E. A man is well holp up that trusts to you : 
I promised your presence, and the chain, 
But neither chain, nor goldsmith, came to me. 
Belike, you thought our love would last too long. 
If it were chain'd together, and therefore came not. 

Ang. Saving your merry humour, here's the note 
How much your chain weighs to the utmost caract, 
The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion. 
Which doth amount to three odd ducats more 
Than I stand debted to this gentleman : 
I pray you, see him presently discharg'd. 
For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it. 

Ant. E. I am not furnish'd with the present 
money ; 
Besides, I have some business in the town. 
Good signior, take the stranger to my house. 
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife 
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof: 
Perchance, I will be there as soon as you. 

Ang. Then, you will bring the chain to her 

Ant. E. No ; bear it with you, lest I come not 
time enough. 

Ang. Well, s'u', I will. Have you the chain about 

Ant. E. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have, 
Or else you may return without your money. 

Ang. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the 
chain : 
Both wind and tide stay for this gentleman, 
And I, to blame, have held him here too long. 

Ant. E. Good lord I you use this dalliance, to 
Your breach of promise to the Porcupine. 
I should have chid you for not bringing it. 
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl. 

Mer. The hour steals on : I pray you, sir, dispatch. 

Ang. You hear, how he importunes me : the 
chain — 

Art. E. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your 

Ang. Come, come ; you know, I gave it you even 
Either send the chain, or send me by some token. 

Ant. E. Fie! now you run this humour out of 
Come, where's the chain ? I pray you,' let me see it. 

Mer. 3Iy business cannot brook this dalliance. 
Good sir, say, whe'r you'll answer me, or no ? 
If not, I'll leave him to the officer. 

Ant. E. I answer you I what should 1 answer you ? 

Ang. The money that you owe me for the chain. 

Ant. E. I owe you none, till I receive the chain. 

Ang. You know, I gave it you half an hour since. 

Ant. E. You gave me none : you wrong me much 
to say so. 

Ang. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it: 
Consider how it stands upon my credit. 

Mer. Well, officer, arrest him at my suit. 

Off. I do, and charge you in the duke's name to 
obey me. 

Ang. This touches me in reputation. — 
Either consent to pay this sum for me. 
Or I attach you by this officer. 

Ant. E. Consent to pay thee that T never had? 
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar'st. 

Ang. Here is thy fee : arrest him, officer. — 
I would not spare my brother in this case, 
If he should scorn me so apparently. 

Off. I do aiTest you, sir. You hear the suit. 

Ant. E. I do obey thee, till I give thee bail. — 
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear, 
As all the metal in your shop will answer. 

Ang. Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus, 
To your notorious shame, I doubt it not. 

Enter Dromio of Syracuse. 

Dro. S. Master, there is a bark of Epidamnum, 
That stays but till her owner comes aboard. 
And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir, 





I have convey'd aboard, and I have bought 
The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitfe. 
The ship is in her trim : the merry wind 
Blows fair from land ; they stay for nought at all, 
But for their owner, master, and yourself. 

Ant. E. How now ? a madman ! Why, thou 
peevish sheep, 
What ship of Epidamnum stays for me ? 

Dro. S. A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage. 

Ant. E. Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a 
rope ; 
And told thee to what purpose, and what end. 

Dro. S. Yoti sent me for a rope's end as soon. 
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark. 

Ant. E. I will debate this matter at more leisure, 

And teach your ears to list me with more heed. 
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight; 
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk 
That's cover'd o'er with Turkish tapestry. 
There is a purse of ducats : let her send it. 
Tell her, I am arrested in the street, 
And that shall bail me. Hie thee, slave, be gone. 
On, officer, to prison till it come. 

[Exeunt Merchant, Angelo, Officer, 
and AxT. E. 
Dro. S. To Adriana ? that is where we din'd. 
Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband : 
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass. 
Thither I must, although against my will, 
For servants must their masters' minds fulfil. [Exit. 


Scene II. — Tlie Same. 
Enter Adriana and Luciana. 

Adr. Ah ! Luciana, did he tempt thee so ? 

Might'st thou perceive austerely in his eye 
That he did plead in earnest? yea or no? 

Look'd he or red, or pale? or sad, or merrily? 
What obsen'ation mad'st thou in this case. 
Of his heart's meteor's tilting in his face ? 

Luc. First he denied you had in him no right. 

Adr. He meant, he did me none : the more my 

Luc. Then swore he, that he w^as a stranger here. 

Adr. And true he swore, though yet forsworn he 

Luc. Then pleaded I for you. 

Adr. And what said he ? 

Luc. That love I begg'd for you, he begg'd of me. 

Adr. With what persuasion did he tempt thy 
love ? 

Luc. With words, that in an honest suit might 
First, he did praise my beauty ; then, my speech. 

Adr. Did'st speak him fair ? 

Luc. Have patience, I beseech. 

Adr. 1 cannot, nor 1 will not hold me still : 
My tonsue, though not my heart, shall have his 

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere, 
lU-fac'd, worse bodied, shajieless every where ; 
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind, 
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind. 

Luc. Who would be jealous, then, of such a one ? 
No evil lost is wail'd when it is gone. 

Adr. Ah ! but I think him better than I say, 

And yet would herein others' eyes were worse. 




Far from her nest the lapwing cries away : 

My heart prays for him, though my tongue do 

Enter Dromio of Syracuse. 

Dro. S. Here, go : the desk ! the purse ! sweet, 

now make haste. 
Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath ? 
Dro. S. By iiinniug fast. 

Ai/r. Where is thy master, Dromio ? is he well ? 
l>i-o. S. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse than hell : 
A devil in an everlasting garment hath him, 
One whose hard heart is button'd uj) with steel ; 
A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough ; 
A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buft'; 
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that counter- 
The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands : 
A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot 

well ; 
One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls to 
Adr. Why, man, what is the matter ? 
Dro. S. I do not know the matter : he is 'rested 

on the case. 
Adr. What, is he arrested ? tell me, at whose suit. 
Dro. S. I know not at whose suit he is arrested 
well ; 
But is in a suit of buff which 'rested him, that can 

I tell. 
Will you send him, mistress, redemption? the 
money in his desk ? 
Adr. Go fetch it, sister. — This I wonder at; 

That he, unknown to me, should be in debt : — 
Tell me, was he arrested on a band ? 

Dro. S. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing ; 
A chain, a chain : do you not hear it ring ? 
Adr. What, the chain ? 

Dro. S. No, no, the bell. 'Tis time that I were 

gone : 

It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes 


Adr. The hours come back I that did I never hear. 

Dro. S. O yes ; if any hour meet a serjeant, 'a 

turns back for very fear. 
Adr. As if time were in debt! how fondly dost 

thou reason ! 
Dro. S. Time is a very bankrout, and owes more 
than he's worth, to season. 
Nay, he's a thief too : have you not heard men say. 
That time comes stealing on by night and day? 
If he be in debt and theft, and a serjeant in the way. 
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day ? 

Re-enter Luciaxa. 

Adr. Go, Dromio : there's the money, bear it 

And bring thy master home immediately. — 
Come, sister; I am press'd down w'ith conceit, 
Conceit, my comfort, and my injury. [Exeunt. 

Scene IH. — The Same. 

Enter Antipholus of Syracuse. 

Ant. S. There's not a man I meet but doth salute 
As if 1 were their well acquainted friend ; 
And every one doth call me by my name. 
Some tender money to me, some invite me ; 
Some other give me thanks for kindnesses ; 

Some offer me commodities to buy : 

Even now a tailor call'd me in his shop, 

And show'd me silks that he had bought for me, 

And, therewithal, took measure of my body. 

Sure, these are but imaginary wiles, 

And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here. 

Enter Dromio of Syracuse. 

Dro. S. Master, here's the gold you sent me for. 
What have you got the picture of old Adam new 
apparell'd ? 

Ant. S. What gold is this ? What Adam dost 
thou mean ? 

Dro. S. Not that Adam that kept the paradise, 
but that Adam that keeps the prison: he that goes 
in the calf's-skin that was kill'd for the prodigal : 
he that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and 
bid you forsake your liberty. 

Ant. S. I understand thee not. 

Dro. S. No ? why, 'tis a plain case : he that 
went, like a base-viol, in a case of leather : the man, 
sir, that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a 
sob, and 'rests them : he, sir, that takes pity on de- 
cayed men, and gives them suits of durance ; he 
that sets up his rest to do more exploits with his 
mace, than a morris-pike. 

Ant. S. What, thou mean'st an officer? 

Dro. S. Ay, sir, the serjeant of the band ; he 
that brings any man to answer it, that breaks his 
band ; one that thinks a man always going to bed, 
and says, " God give you good rest !" 

Ant. S. Well, sir, there rest in your fooleiy. Is 
there any ship puts forth to-night ? may we be 

Dro. S. Why, sir. I brought you w'ord an hour 
since, that the "bark Expedition put forth to-night; 
and then were you hindered by the serjeant to tarry 
for the hoy Delay. Here are the angels that you 
sent for to deliver you. 

Ant. S. The fellow is distract, and so am 1, 
And here we wander in illusions. 
Some blessed power deliver us from hence I 

Enter a Courtesan. 

Cour. Well met, well met, master Antipholus. 
I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now : 
Is that the chain, you promis'd me to-day ? 

Ant. S. Satan, avoid ! I charge thee, tempt me 

Dro. S. Master, is this mistress Satan? 

Ant. S. It is the devil. 

Dro. S. Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's 
dam; and here she comes in the habit of a light 
wench : and thereof comes that the wenches say, 
" God damn me," that's as much as to say, " God 
make me a light wench." It is Avritten, they ap- 
pear to men like angels of light : light is an effect 
of fire, and fire will burn ; ergo, light wenches will 
burn. Come not near her. 

Cour. Your man and you are mai-vellous merry, 
Will you go with me ? we'll mend our dinner here. 

Dro. S. Master, if you do, expect spoon-meat, 
or bespeak a long spoon. 

Ant. S. Why"; Dromio ? 

Dro. S. Marry, he must have a long spoon that 
must eat with the devil. 

Ant. S. Avoid then, fiend ! what tell'st thou me 
of supping ? 
Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress : 
I conjure thee to leave me, and be gone. 





Cour. Give me the ring of mine yoi; had at dinner, 
Or for my diamond the chain you promis'd, 
And I'll be gone, sir, and not trouble you. 

Dw. S. Some devils ask but the parings of one's 
A rush, a hair, a drop of blood, a pin, 
A nut, a cherry-stone ; 

But she, more covetous, would have a chain. 
Master, be wise : an if you s;ive it her. 
The devil will shake her chain, and fright us with it. 
Cour. I pray you, sir, my rins, or else the chain. 
I hope you do not mean to cheat me so. 

Ant. S. Avaunt, thou witch ! Come, Dromio, let 

us go. 
Vro. S. Fly pride, says the peacock : mistress, 
that you know. 

[Exeunt Ant. S. and Dro. S. 

Cour. Now, out of doubt, Antipholus is mad, 
Else would he never so demean himself. 
A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats, 
And for the saiue he promis'd me a chain : 
Both one and other he denies me now. 
The reason that I gather he is mad, 
Besides this present instance of his rage, 
Ts a mad tale he told to-day at dinner 
Of his own doors being shut against his entrance. 
Belike, his wife, acquainted with his fits. 
On purpose shut the doors against his way 
My way is now, to hie home to his house, 
And tell his wife, that, being lunatic. 
He rush'd into my house, and took perforce 
My ring away. This course I fittest choose, 
For forty ducats is too much to lose. 


(Remains of Gate at Ephe<!us.) 




Scene IV. — The Same. 
Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, and a Jailer. 

Ant. E. Fear me not, man; I will not break 
away : 
I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money, 
To warrant thee, as I am 'rested for. 
My wile is in a wayward mood to-day. 
And will not li,2;htly trust the messenger : 
That I should be attach'd in Ephesns, 
I tell you, 'twill sound harshly in her ears. 

Enter Dromio of Ephesus, with a rope's-end. 

Here comes my man : I think he brings the money. — 
How now, sir ? have you that I sent you for? 

Dm. E. Here's that, I warrant you, will pay 
them all. 

Ant. E. But where's the money? 

Dro. E. Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope. 

Ant. E. Five hundred ducats, villain, for a rope ? 

Dro. E. I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the 

Ant. E. To what end did I bid thee hie thee 
home ? 
- Dro. E. To a rope's end, sir ; and to that end 
am I return'd. 

Ant. E. And to that end, sir, 1 will welcome you. 

[Beating him. 

Jail. Good sir, be patient. 

Dro. E. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient ; I am in 

Jail. Good now, hold thy tongue. 

Dro. E. Nay, rather persuade him to hold his 

Ant. E. Thou whoreson, senseless villain I 

Dm. E. I would I were senseless, sir; that I 
might not feel your blows. 

Ant. E. Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, 
and so is an ass. 

Dro. E. I am an ass, indeed : you Tiiay prove it 
by my long ears. I have sen''d him from the hour 
of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at 
his hands for ray service, but blows. When I am 
cold, he heats me with beating; when I am warm, 
he cools me with beating : I am wak'd with it, when 
I sleep; rais'd with it, when 1 sit; driven out of 
doors with it, when I go 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. 

Ant. E. Come, go along : my wife is coming 

Enter Adriaxa, Luciana, the Courtesan, and a 
Schoolmaster called Pinch. 

Dro. E. Mistress, respice finem, respect your end ; 
or rather the prophecy, like the parrot, " Beware 
the rope's end." 

Ant. E. Wilt thou still talk ? [Beats him. 

Cour. How say you now? is not your husband 
mad ? 

Adr. His incivility confirms no less. — 
Good doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer; 
Establish him in his true sense again. 
And I will please you what vou will demand. 

Z.?//". Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks ! 

Cour. Mark, how he trembles in his ecstacy ! 

Pinch. Give me your hand, and let me feel your 

Ant. E. There is my hand, and let it feel your ear. 


the kitchen-vestal 

rage depart from 

: — mv bones bear 

Pinch. I charge thee, Satan, hous'd within this 
To vieki possession to my holy prayers. 
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight: 
I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven. 

Ant. E. Peace, doting wizard, peace ! I am not 

Adr. O, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul ! 
Ant. E. You minion, you ; are these your cus- 
tomers ? 
Did this companion with the saffron face 
Revel and feast it at my house to-day, 
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut, 
And I denied to enter in my house ? 

Adr. O, husband, God doth know, you din'd at 
home ; 
Where 'would you had remain'd until this time. 
Free from these slanders, and this open shame ! 

Ant. E. Din'd at home ! Thou, villain, what 
say'st thou ? 

Dro. E. Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine at 

Ant. E. Were not my doors lock'd up, and T 

shut out ? 
Dro. E. Perdy, your doors were lock'd, and you 

shut out. 
Ant. E. And did not she herself revile me there ? 
Dro. E. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there. 
Ant. E. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and 

scorn me ? 
Dro. E. Certes, she did 

scorn 'd you. 
Ant. E. And did not I in 

thence ? 
Dro. E. In verity, you did 
That since have felt the vigour of his rage. 

Adr. Is't good to soothe him in these contraries ? 
Pinch. It is no shame: the fellow finds his vein. 
And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy. 
Ant. E. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to 

arrest me. 
Adr. Alas, I sent you money to redeem you. 
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it. 

Dro. E. Money by me ! heart and good-will you 
might ; 
But, surely, master, not a rag of money. 
. Ant. E. Went'st not thou to her for a purse of 
ducats ? 
Adr. He came to me, and I deliver'd it. 
Luc. And I am witness with her that she did. 
Dro. E. God and the rope-maker bear me witness. 
That I was sent for nothing but a rope ! 

Pinch. Mistress, both man and master is pos- 
sess'd : 
I know it by their pale and deadly looks. 
They must be bound, and laid in some dark room. 
Ant. E. Say, wherefore didst thoii lock me forth 
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold ? 

Adr. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth. 
Dro. E. And, gentle master, I recciv'd no gold ; 
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out. 

Adr. Dissembling villain ! thou speak'st false in 

Ant. E. Dissembling harlot ! thou art false in all. 
And art confederate with a damned pack 
To make a loathsome, abject scorn of me; 
But with these nails I'll pluck out these false 

That would behold in )ne this shameful sport. 





Enter three or four, and hind Antipholus and 

Adr. O bind him, bind him ! let him not come 

near me. 
Pinch. More company! — the fiend is strong 

within him. 
Luc. Ah me ! poor man, how pale and wan he 

Ant. E. What, will you murder me ? Thou, 
jailer, thou, 
I am thy prisoner: wilt thou suffer them 
To make a rescue ? 

Jail. Masters, let him go : 

He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him. 
Pinch. Go, bind this man, for he is frantic too. 
Adr. What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer 1 
Hast thou delisht to see a wretched man 

Do outrage and displeasure to himself? 

Jail. He is my prisoYier : if T let him go, 
The debt he owes will be requir'd of me. 

Adr. I will discharge thee, ere I go from thee. 
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor, 
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it. 
Good master doctor, see him safe convey'd 
Home to my house. — O, most unhappy day ! 
Ant. E. O, most unhappy strumpet! 
Dro. E. Master, I am here enter'd in bond for 

Ant. E. Out on thee, villain ! wherefore dost thou 

mad me ? 
Dro. E. Will you be bound for nothing ? be mad, 
good master; 
Cry, the devil. — 

Luc. God help, poor souls ! how idly do they 

fill 'iP*?;.- '.-' *:' 

Adr. Go bear him hence. — Sister, go you with 
me. — 
[Exeunt Pinch and Assistants, ivith Ant. E. 
and Dro. E. 
Say now, whose suit is he arrested at ? 

Jail. One Angelo, a goldsmith ; do you know 

him ? 
Adr. I know the man. What is the sum he 

owes ? 
Jail. Two hundred ducats. 

Adr. Say, how grows it due? 

Jail. Due for a chain your husband had of 

Adr. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it I 
not. ii 


Cour. When as your husband, all in rage, to- 
Came to my house, and took away my ring, 
(The ring I saw upon his finger now,) 
Straight after did I meet him with a chain. 

Adr. It may be so, but I did never see it. — 
Come, jailer, bring me where the goldsmith is: 
I long to know the truth hereof at large. 

Enter Axtipholus of Syracuse, with his rapier 
draion, and Dromio of Syracuse. 

Luc. God, for thy mercy! they are loose again. 
Adr. And come with naked swords. Let's call 
more help. 
To have them bound again. 




Jail. Away ! they'll kill us. 

[AoRiANA, LuciANA, afid Jiiilcr run out 
Ant. S. I see, these witches are afraid of swords. 
Dro. S- She, that would be your wife, now ran 

from you. 
Ant. .S. Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuff 
from thence : 
I long, that we were safe and sound aboard. 

Dro. S. Faith, stay here this night, they will 
surely do us no harm ; you saw they speak us fair, 
give us gold. Methinks they are such a gentle na- 
tion, that but for the mountain of mad flesh that 
claims marriage of me, I could find in my heart to 
stay here still, and turn witch. 

Ant. S. I will not slay to-night for all the town: 
Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard. 

[ Kxevnt. 

('Sing, Syren.') 

Scene 1. — The Same. Before an Abbey. 
Enter Merchant and Angelo. 

Ang. I am sorry, sir, that I have hinder'd you ; 
But, I protest, he had the chain of me, 
Though most dishonestly he doth deny it. 

Mer. How is tlie man esteem'd here in the city? 

Ang. Of very reverend reputation, sir. 
Of credit infinite, highly belov'd. 
Second to none that lives here in the city : 
His word might bear my wealth at any time. 

Mer. Speak softly : yonder, as I think, he walks. 

Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse. 

Ang. 'Tis so ; and that self chain about his neck. 
Which he forswore most monstrously to have. 
Good sir, draw near to me, I'll speak to him. — 
Signior Antipholus, I wonder much 
That you would put me to this shame and trouble ; 
And not without some scandal to yourself. 
With circumstance and oaths so to deny 
This chain, which now you wear so openly : 
Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment. 
You have done wrong to this my honest friend; 
Who. but for staying on our controversy, 
Had hoisted sail, and put to sea to-day. 
This chain, you had of me : can you deny it ? 

Ant. S. I think, I had : I never did deny it. 

Mer. Yes, that you did, sir; and forswore it too. 

Ant. S. Who heard me to deny it, or forswear it ? 

Mer. These ears of mine, thou know est, did hear 
Fie on thee, wretch! 'tis pity that thou liv'st 
To walk where any honest men resort. 

A7it. S. Thou art a villain to impeach me thus. 
I'll prove mine honour and mine honesty 
Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand. 

Mer. I dare, and do defy thee for a villain. 

[Tliey draiv. 

Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtesan, and others. 

Adr. Hold ! hurt him not, for God's sake ! he is 
mad. — 
•Some get within him ; take his sword away. 
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house. 
T>ro. S. Run, master, run; tor God's sake take 
a house I 
This is some prioiy : — in, or we are spoil'd. 

[Exeunt Antipholus and Dromio to the abbey. 

Enter the Lady Abbess. 

Ahh. Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you 
hither ? 


Adr. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence. 
Let us come in, tliat we may bind him fast. 
And bear him home for his recovery. 

Ang. I knew, he was not in his perfect wits. 

Mer. I am sorry now, that I did draw on him. 

Abb. How long hath this possession held the 
man ? 

Adr. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad ; 
And much difterent from the man he was ; 
But, till this afternoon, his passion 
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage. 

Abb. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck 
of sea ? 
Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye 
Stray'd his affection in unlawful love? 
A sin prevailing much in youthful men. 
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing. 
Which of these sorrows is he subject to ? 

Adr. To none of these, except it be the last ; 
Namely, some love, that drew him oft from home. 

Abb. You should for that have reprehended him. 

Adr. Why, so I did. 

Abb. Ay, but not rough enough. 

Adr. As roughly, as my modesty would Itt me. 

Abb. Haply, injjrivate. 

Adr. And in assemblies too. 

Abb. Ay, but not enough. 

Adr. It was the copy of our conference. 
In bed, lie slept not for my urging it ; 
At board, he fed not for ray urging it; 
Alone, it was the subject of my theme ; 
In company, I often glanc'd it : 
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad. 

Abb. And thereof came it that the man was mad : 
The venom clamours of a jealous woman 
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth. 
It seems, his sleeps were hinder'd by thy railing. 
And thereof comes it, that his head is light. 
Thou say'st, his meat was sauc'd with thy up- 

braidings : 
Unquiet meals make ill digestions ; 
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred : 
And what's a fever but a fit of madness ? 
Thou say'st, his sports were hinder'd by thy brawls : 
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue. 
But moody and dull melancholy. 
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair. 
And at her heels a huge infectious troop 
Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life ? 
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest 
To be disturb'd, would mad or man or beast. 
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits 
Have scar'd thy husband from the use of wits. 




Luc She never reprehended liim but mildly, 
When he demean'd hhnself roiiah, rude, and 

Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not ? 

Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof. — 
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him. 

Ahh. No; not a creature enters in my house. 

Adr. Then, let your servants bring my husband 

Ahh. Neither : he took this place for sanctuary, 
And it shall privilea;e him from your hands. 
Till I have brought him to his wits again. 
Or lose my labour in essaying it. 

Adr. 1 will attend my husband, be his nurse, 
Diet his sickness; for it is my office, 
And will have no attorney but myself. 
And therefore let me have him home with me. 

Ahh. Be patient; for I will not let him stir, 
Till I have us'd the approv'd means I have. 
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers, 
To make of him a formal man again. 
Tt is a branch and parcel of mine oath, 
A charitable duty of my order; 
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me. 

Adr. I will not hence, and leave my husband 
here ; 
And ill it doth beseem your holiness 
To separate the husband and the wife. 

Ahh. Be quiet, and depart: thou shalt not have 
him. [Exit Abhess. 

Imc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity. 

Adr. Come, go : I will fall prostrate at his feet. 
And never rise, until my tears and prayers 
Have won his grace to come in person hither. 
And take perforce my husband from the abbess. 

il/er. By this, I think, the dial points at five: 
Anon, I'm sure, the duke himself in person 
Comes this way to the melancholy vale, 
The place of death and sorry execution, 
Behind the ditches of the abbey here. 

Ang. Upon what cause? 

Mtr. To see a reverend Syracusian merchant, 
Who put unluckily into this bay 
Against the laws and statutes of this town. 
Beheaded publicly for his offence. 

Ang. See, where they come : we will behold his 

ZfMC. Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey. 


(RemaiDs of the Gymnasium, at Ephesus.) 



SCKNF. 1. 

Enter Duke attended; jEgeon bare-headed; with 
the Headsman and other Officers. 

Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publicly, 
If any friend will pay the sum for him, 
He shall not die, so much we tender him. 

Adr. Justice, most sacred duke, against the 

abbess ! 
Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady : 
It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong. 
Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my 
Whom I made lord of me, and all I had, 
At your important letters, this ill day 
A most outrageous fit of madness took him. 
That desperately he hurried through the street, 
(With him his bondman, all as mad as he,) 
Doing displeasure to the citizens 
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence 
Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like. 
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home. 
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went. 
That here and there his fury had committed. 
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape. 
He broke from those that had the guard of him. 
And with his mad attendant and himself. 
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords. 
Met lis again, and, madly bent on us, 
Chas'd us away, till, raising of more aid. 
We came again to bind them. Then they fled 
] nto this abbey, whither we pursued them ; 
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us, 
And will not suffer us to fetch him out. 
Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence. 
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command. 
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for 
Buke. Long since thy husband serv'd me in my 
And I to thee engag'd a prince's word. 
When thou didst make him master of thy bed. 
To do him all the grace and good I could. — 
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey gate 
And bid the lady abbess come to me. 
f will determine this, before I stir. 

Enter a Servant. 

Serv. O mistress, mistress ! shift and save your- 
My inaster and his man are both broke loose. 
Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor. 
Whose beard they have sing'd off with brands of 

fire ; 
And ever as it blazed they threw on him 
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair. 
My master preaches patience to him, and the while 
His man with scissars nicks him like a fool ; 
And, sure, unless you send some present help, 
Between them they will kill the conjurer. 

Adr. Peace, fool ! thy master and his man are 
here : 
And that is false, thou dost report to us. 

Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true; 
I have not breath'd almost, since 1 did see it. 
He cries for yon, and vows, if he can take you. 
To scorch your face, and to disfigure you. 

[Cry ivithin. 
Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress: fly, be gone. 
T>iike. Come, stand by me ; fear nothing. Guard 

with halberds ! 
Adr. Ah me, it is my husband ! Witness vou, 

That he is borne about invisible : 

Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here. 

And now he's there, past thought of human reason 

Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus. 

Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke ! O ! grant 
me justice. 
Even for the service that long since I did thee, 
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took 
Deep scars to save thy life ; even for the blood 
That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice. 
^ge. Unless the fear of death doth make me 
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio ! 

Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that wo- 
man there ! 
She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife, 
That hath abused and dishonour'd me. 
Even in the strength and height of injury. 
Beyond imagination is the wrong. 
That she this day hath shatneless thrown on me. 
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just. 
A7it. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors 
upon me. 
While she with harlots feasted in my house. 
Duke. A grievous fault. Say, woman, did'st thou 

so ? 
Adr. No, my good lord: myself, he, and my 
To-day did dine together. So befal my soul. 
As this is false he burdens me withal. 

Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night. 
But she tells to your highness simple truth. 

Ang. O perjur'd woman ! They are both for- 
sworn : 
In this the madman justly chargeth them. 

Ant. E. My hege, I am advised what I say ; 
Neither disturb'd with the effect of wine. 
Nor heady -rash provok'd with raging ire. 
Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad. 
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner : 
That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her, 
Could witness it, for he was with me then ; 
Who parted with' me to go fetch a chain. 
Promising to bring it to the Porcupine, 
Where Balthazar and I did dine together. 
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither, 
I went to seek him : in the street I met him. 
And in his company, that gentleman. 
There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down, 
That I this day of him receiv'd the chain, 
Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which, 
He did arrest me with an officer. 
I did obey, and sent my peasant home 
For certain ducats : he with none return'd. 
Then fairly I bespoke the officer. 
To go in person with me to my house. 
By the way we met 
My wife, her sister, and a rabble move 
Of vile confederates: along with them 
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac'd villain, 
A mere anatomy, a mountebank, 
A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller, 
A needy, hollow-ey'd, 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 'twere, out-facing me, 
Cries out, I was possess'd. Then, altogether 
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence. 
And in a dark and dankish vault at home 




There left me and my man, both bound together; 

Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, 

I gain'd my freedom, and immediately 

Ran hither to your grace, whom I beseech 

To give me ample satisfaction 

For these deep shames, and great indignities. 

Ang. My lord, in truth, thus fai- I witness with 
That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out. 

Duke. But had he such a chain of thee, or no? 

Ang. He had, my lord ; and when he ran in here, 
These people saw the chain about his neck. 

Mer. Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of mine 
Heard you confess you had the chain of him, 
After you first forswore it on the mart. 
And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you ; 
And then you fled into this abbey here. 
From whence, I think, you are come by miracle. 

Ant. E. I never came within these abbey walls. 
Nor ever did'st thou draw thy sword on me. 
I never saw the chain, so help me heaven ! 
And this is false you burden me withal. 

Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this ! 
I think, you all have drunk of Circe's cup. 
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been ; 
If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly : — 
You say, he dined at home ; the goldsmith here 
Denies that saying. — Sirrah, what say you ? 

Dro. E. Sir, he dined with her, there, at the 

Cour. He did, and from my finger snatch'd that 

Ant. E. 'Tis true, my liege ; this ring I had of 

Duke. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here ? 

Cour. As sure, my liege, as I do sec your grace. 

Duke. Why, this is strange. — Go call the abbess 
hither. — 
I think you are all mated, or stark mad. 

[_E.n7 an Attendant. 

^ge. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a 
Haply, I see a friend will save my life, 
And pay the sum that may deliver me. 

Duke. Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt. 

JEge. Is not your name, sir, call'd Antipholus, 
And is not that your bondman Dromio ? 

Dro. E. Within this hour I was his bondman, 
But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords : 
Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound. 

^ge. I am sure you both of you remember me. 

Dro. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you ; 
For lately we were bound, as you are now. 
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir? 

■3^ge. Why look you strange on me ? you know 
me well. 

Ant. E. I never saw you in my life, till now. 

.^ge. O I grief hath chang'd me, since you saw 
me last ; 
And careful hours, with time's deformed hand. 
Have written strange defeatuies in my face : 
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice ? 

Ant. E. Neither. 

■^ge. Dromio, nor thou? 

Dro. E. No, trust me, sir, nor I. 

-^ge. 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. 

-^ge. Not know my voice ? O, time's 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. 

A7it. E. I never saw my father in my life. 

jEge. 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 
Can witness with me that it is not so. 
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life. 

Duke. I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years 
Have I been patron to Antipholus, 
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa. 
I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote. 

Enter Abbess, uith Antipholus of Syracuse, and 
Dromio of Syracuse. 

Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much 
wrong'd. [All gather to see them. 

Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive 

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 ? 

Dru. S. I, sir, am Dromio : command him away. 

Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio : pray let me stay. 

Ant. S. ^geon, art thou not? or else his ghost? 

Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound him 

Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, 
And gain a husband by his liberty. — 
Speak, old jEgeon, if thou be'st the man 
That hadst a wife once called iEmilia, 
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons. 
O ! if thou be'st the same M^^eon, speak, 
And speak unto the same ^Emilia ! 

^ge. If I dream not, thou art Emilia. 
If thou art she, tell me, where is that son 
That floated with thee on the fatal raft ? 

Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I, 
And the twin Dromio, all were taken up ; 
But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth 
By force took Dromio and my son from them. 
And me they left with those of Epidamnum 
What then became of them, I cannot tell ; 
I, to this fortune that yon see me in. 

Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right. 
These two Antipholus', these two so like. 
And these two Dromios, one in semblance, — 
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea;— 
These are the parents to these children. 
Which accidentally are met together. 
Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth first. 

Ant. S. No, sir, not I: I came from Syracuse. 

Duke. Stay, stand apart : I know not which is 

Ant. E. T came from Corinth, my most gracious 

Dro. E. And I with him. 

Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most fa- 
mous warrior, 
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle. 





Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day 1 

Ant. S. I, gentle mistress. 

Adr. And are not you my husband? 

Ant. E. No ; I say nay to that. 

Ant. S. And so do I, yet did she call me so ; 
And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here, 
Did call me brother. — What I told you then, 
I hope, I shall have leisure to make good, 
If this be not a dream I see, and hear. 

Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me. 

Ant. iS. I think it be, sir: I deny it not. 

Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me. 

Ang. I think I did, sir : I deny it not. 

Adr. I sent you money, sir, to b§ your bail, 
By Dromio ; but I think, he brought it not. 

Dro. E. No, none by me. 

Ant. S. This purse of ducats I received from you. 
And Dromio, my man, did bring them me. 
I see, we still did meet each other's man, 
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me. 
And thereupon these errors are arose. 

Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here. 

Duke. It shall not need : thy father hath his life. 

Cour. Sir, I must have that diamond from you. 

Ant. E. There, take it ; and much thanks for 
my good cheer. 

Ahh. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the pains 
To go with us into the abbey here. 
And hear at large discoiused all our fortunes ; 
And all that are assembled in this place, 
That by this sympathized one day's error 
Have suffered wrong, go, keep us company, 
And we shall make full satisfaction. 
Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail 
Of you, my sons ; and 'till this present hour 

My heavy burden undelivered. — 

The duke, my husbinid, 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, iEcEON, Courtesan, 
Merchant, Angelo, and Attendants. 
Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stufit" from 

ship-board ] 
Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou 

embark'd ? 
Dro. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the 

Ant. S. He speaks 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 all, except tJie tuo Dromio hrothers. 
Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's 
That kitchen 'd me for you to-day at dinner: 
She now shall be my sister, not my wife. 

Dro. E. Methiuks, you are my glass, and not my 
brother : 
I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth. 
Will you walk in to see their gossiping ? 
Dro. S. Not I, sir ; you are my elder. 
Dro. E. That's a question : how shall we try it ? 
Dro. S. We'll 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. [Exeunt. 




'• D, luith 111 solemn synods been decreed, 
Both by the Syraciisians and ourselves, 
To admit no traffic to our adecrsc totcns" etc. 

•■ The offence which ^Egeon had committed, and the 
peiiiilty which he liad incurred, are ]ioiuted out with a 
minuteness by which the Poet doubtless intended to 
convey his sense of the gross injustice of such enact- 
ments. In the Ta.mi.n'G of the Shrew, written most 
probably about the same period as the Co.medy of Er- 
rors, the jealousies of commercial states, exhibiting 
themselves iu violent decrees aud impracticable regtila- 
tious, are also depicted by the same powerful hcmd." — 


*' Was icrotight by nature" — >iot by any criminal 

'■ Unwilling I agreed. Alas, too soon, we came aboard .'" 
With Collier we adhere to the reading of the folios. 
iVlmost all the other editors print, on their own author- 
ity, thus: — 

— I agreed ; alas, too soou, 
AVe came aboard ;— 

The obvious meaning is, that they came '' aboard too 
soou," as a storm immediately followed. 

''So his case was like" — "So" is the reading of the 
first folio — not /or, as iu many editions : his case was so 
like that of Antipholus. 

" To seek thy help by beneficial help" — Pope and 
other editors would substitute life for " help," where it 
first occurs. Stevens recommends means for '' help," at 
the end of the line. Collier suggests— 

To seek thy hope by beneficial help, — 

That is, to seek what you hope by beneficial help to 
acquire — money for yom' ransom. This is consistent 
with ^i^geon's exclamation just afterwards, — -'Hopeless 
and helpless dutli .Egeon wend," etc. The folios have 
it as it stautls iu the text. 


" iSoo.v AT five oV-lock" — i. e. About five o'clock. In 
act iii. scene 2, we have " soon at supper-time." •■ Soon 
at uight" is a common expression. 

*' — CONFOUNDS himself" — Is explained by what An- 
tipholus afterv\-ards says, — 

So I, to find a mother and a brother) 

In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself; — 

as a drop is lost iu the sea, and confounded with the 
mais of waters. 

'• Here comes the almanack of my true date" — i. e. 
Because he and Dromio were born at the same hour. 
He mistakes Dromio of Ephesus for his own man. 

"Are penitent for your default to-day" — In the 
sense of doing peuauce. 

" — SCORE your fault upo/i my pate" — The reference 
is here to the custom of keeping a score upon a posl, 
instead of entering the item in a book. 

" — is o'kr-raught of" — i. e. Over-reached. 

ACT II.— Scene I. 

" — some other \vhkre" — i.e. Somewhere else, us 
we now familiarly express it. Johnson suggests that 
we should read •' start some other hare," and Stevens 
is for taking '• where" as a noun ; but no altenition is 
required. Achiana Says afterwards, " I know his eye 
doth homage other where." 

'• This fool-begg'd patience" — " She seems," says 
Johnson, "to mean by 'fool-begg'd patience,' that pa- 
tience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, tliat your 
next relation would take advantage from it to represent 
you as a fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune." 

This would seem a far-fetched interpretation, were it 
not evident from other dramatic writers, even as late a.-i 
Congreve, that this abuse of that regal prerogati\ e wa* 
a famihai' som'ce of sarcastic cdlusiou. 



" — and withal so doxibtfnUy, that I could scarce 
UNDERSTAND them" — i. 6. '^ Stand underthem. We have 
the same quibble iu the Two Gentlemen of Verona — 
' IMy staff understands me.' IMiltou does not hesitate 
to make BeUal, 'in gamesome mood,' use a similar play 
upon words. (See ' Paiadise Lost,' book ^^. 625.)" — 

"Am I so ROUND irith you, as you with me" — " To be 
round with any one is to be plain spoken; as in Ham- 
let; 'Let her be 7-o?/?ifZ with him.' Dromio uses the 
Avord in a double sense, when he alludes to the foot- 
ball." — Knight. 

" IVhilst I at home starve for a merry look" — In 
Shakespeare's Forty-seventh Sonnet, there is a similar 
phrase : — 

When that mine eye was famished for a look. 
Also, in the Seventy-fifth : — 

Sometimes all full with feeding on his s'ght, 
And, liy and by, clean starved for a look. 

"My decayed fair" — " Fair" is used for fairness, in 
the sense of beauty, by the writers of Shakespeare's 
time, and by himself iu his Sonnets. 

" — poor I am but his stale" — " Stale" here means, 
as Stevens thinks, a pretended wife : the stalking-horse, 
or pretended horse, behind which sportsmen shot, was 
sometimes called " a stale." I rather think, with .John- 
son and Singer, that it is used m the sense of something 
cast off', become stale, which sense is supjiorted by the 
old dictionaries. 

" Would that alone, alone he would detain" — "The 
meaning is — I wish he would only detain me from the 
chain alone. The first folio has it, ' Would that alone 
a love he would detain,' which the second folio cor- 
rected." — Collier. 

" — corruption doth it shame" — In the folio of 1623, 
this passage stands literatim as follows: — 

I see the lewell best enamaled 
Will loose his beautie : yet the gold bides still 
Tliat otlicrs touch, and often touching will, 
Where gold and no man that hath a name, 
By falshood and corruption doth it shame. 

The passage is evidently so grossly misprinted that 
it is impossible to ascertain precisely the true reading. 
All the editors, Pope, Warburton, Stevens, etc., have 
tried their hands at it. We have followed Collier, not 
as certainly right, but being i3robaV)ly as near as any. 
The meaning will then be — I see that the jewel best 
enamelled will lose his beauty : yet though gold that 
others touch remains gold, an often touching will wear 
gold ; no man with a name willingly shames it by false- 
hood and corruplion. 

Scene II. 

" I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce 
it too" — Dromio's joke depends upon the double mean- 
ing of "sconce," a head, or, a small fortification. The 
verb to insconce is used iu the old poets for " fortifying 
one's self" 

"May he not do it by fine and recovery" — In this, 
(says Knight,) as in all Shakespeare's early plays, and 
in his Poems, we have the professional jokes of the at- 
torney's office in abundance. 

" That never words were music to thine ear" — Thus 
imitated by Pope, in his " Sappho to Phaon :" — 

My music then you could for ever hear, 
A nd all my words were music to your ear. 

" Be it my wrong, you are from me exe.mpt" — " Ex- 
empt" is here used in the sense of separated or parted; 
as, in the first part of Henry VI. : — 

And by his reason stand'st thou not attainted, 
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry .' 


" Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine" — " When 
Milton uses this classical image, in ' Paradise Lost,' — 

— they led the vine 
To wed the elm ; she, spous'd, about him twines 
Her marriageable arms, — 

the annotators of our great epic Poet naturally give us 
the parallel passages in Catullus, in Ovid, ui Vugil, in 
Horace. Shakespeare unquestionably had the image 
from the same sources. Farmer does not notice this 
passage ; but had he done so he would, of course, have 
shown that there were translations of the ' Georgics' 
and the ' Metamorphoses' when this play was written. 
It appears to us that this line of Shakespeare's is neither 
a translation, nor an imitation, of any of the well-known 
classical passages ; but a transfusion of the spirit of the 
ancient poets by one who was familiar with them." — 

" This is the fairy land" — " In the first act we have a 
description of the unlawful arts of Ephesus. It was 
observed by Capell that ' the character given of Ephe- 
sus in this place is the very same that it had with the 
ancients, which may pass for some note of the Poet's 
leaniing.' It wss, scarcely necessary, however, for 
Shakespeare to search for this ancient character of Ephe- 
sus in more recondite sources than the interesting narra- 
tive of St. Paul's visit to that city, given in the 19tli 
chapter of the ' Acts.' In the 13tli verse we find men- 
tion of ' certiiin of the vagabond Jews, exorcists ;^ and 
in the 19th verse we are told that ' many of them also 
which used curious arts brought their books together, 
and burned them before all men.' The ancient pro- 
verbial term, Ephesian Letters, was used to express 
every kind of charm or spell." — Knight. 

" fVe talk with goblins, owls, and elvish sprites" — 
Theobald changed " owls" to onphcs, upon the plea 
that owls could not suck breath and pinch. Warburtou 
maintains that the oicl here is the strix of the ancients-^ 
the destroyer of the cradled infant — 

Nocte Tolant, pucrosque pctunt nutricis cgentes, 

Et vitiant cunis corpora rapta suis. — Ovid. Fasti, lib. vi. 

" And shrive you" — i. e. Take confession from you. 
Shrift is confession. 

ACT III.— Scene I. 

il " — the making of her carkanet" — i. e. Necklace: 
1; in this instance it means a chain to be worn round the 

" — the doors are made agai?ist you" — Several edi- 
tions have altered this, which is the original text, to 
" the doors are barred," supposing " made" to be a mis- 
print; but "make the door" is still a provincial phrase, 
signifying to "bar the door." 

"Once this" — "This expression puzzled Malone and 
Stevens, who did not perceive that it was elliptical, and 
meant, ' For once let me tell you this.' " — Collier. 

"And, in despite of mirth, mean to be merry" — The 
meaning is, says Warburton, " I will be merry even out 
of spite to mirth, which is now of all things the most 
unpleasing to me." 

Scene II. 

"Not mad, but mated" — Those words which follow 
"mated" — "how, I do not know" — support the notion 
of Monck Mason, that a play was intended on the double 
meaning of " mated," as confounded and bewildered, or, 
matched with a wife. 

" Gaze where you should" — The old copies read 
when for " where." 

" — without he say, sir-reverence" — A vei-y old 
corruption of save -reverence, or Salve reverentid '. and 
used as a form of apology when any thing gross or offen- 
sive was said. 


'' — that is, AN ell"— " Or a AV//. This reply has 
been straiij:;ely mispnnted aiul iiiisuiRkTstootl by all the 
commentators: they altered 'is' to 'and,' because they 
were puzzled by the old punctuation, and because they 
did not know that 'an ell' Flemish is three quarters of 
a yard. Dromio merely says, that 'an ell,' or three 
quarters of a yard, ' will not measure her from hip to 
hip.' " — Collier. 

" — uDii'd and reverted, maldtig war againxt her 
jjeir" — Theobald thought, and Malone concurred with 
him. that Shakespeare, in this passage about France, in- 
tended a covert reference to the state of that country 
after the assassination of Henry III. in I.jSS), when the 
people were " makingwar against the heir" to the throne, 
Heniy IV. In IS^^l, Elizabeth sent over the Earl of 
Essex to Henry's assistance, and the conjecture is that 
the Comedy of Errors was produced soon afterwards. 
In this opinion Johnson does not concur, and sees in the 
passage nothing more than an e(]uivocation respecting 
the corona veneris, a disorder which he supposes Dromio 
to impute to the kitchen-wench. There can be little 
doubt that Theobald is right; for if no allusion to the 
heir of France had been meant, hair would, probably, 
not have been spelt heire, as it stands in the oldest copy, 
though the second folio converts it into haire. The 
words "arm'd and reverted" also would hardly have 
been employed by Shakespeare, had he not intended 
more than Johnson saw in the passage. 

" Where America, the Indies" — " This is certainly 
one of the boldest anachronisms of Shakespeare; for, 
although the period of the action of the Comedy of 
Errors may include a range of four or five centuries, it 
must certaiulv be placed before the occupation of the 
citv by the Mohammedans, and therefore some centuries 
before the discovery of America." — Knight. 

" — and made me turn V the wheel" — i. e. The wheel 
turning the spit, she being the kitchen-maid. This was 
the old mode, by a cur-dog, as now in this country they 
are made to chum. " Steel" and " wheel" seem intended 
to rhvine, and the elision " i' the," making in the one 
syllable, looks like intended doggerel, as Knight has 
printed it. 

ACT IV.— Scene T. 

"Is GROWING to me" — i. e. Accruing to me. 

"Enter Dromio of Si/raciisc" — ' From the Bay," 
the old copies add, whither his master had not long be- 
fore sent him, to ascertain whether any vessel was about 
to sail. 

Scene II. 

" Of his heart'' s meteors tilting in his face" — This 
is an allusion to those meteors which, in superstitious 
times, were thought to resemble ai-mies meeting in the 
shock of battle. The same thouglit occurs in Henry 
IV., Part I., speaking of civil wai-s: — 

Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven, 
All of one Dutiire, of one substance bred, 
Did lately meet in the intestine shock 
And furious close of civil butchery. 

Milton also finely employs similar imagery in the 
second book of " Paradise Lost:" — 

A s when, to warn proud cities, war appears 

Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush 

To battle in the clouds, before each van 

Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears. 

Till thickest legions close. With feats of arms 

From either end of heaven the welkin rings. 

" — he denied ynu had in him no right" — The modem 
construction would be, " He denied you had in him a 
right;" but this was Shakespeai'e's pliraseology, and that 
of his time. 

" Sticviatical i?i making" — That is, marked or stig- 
matized with deformity. 

" Far from her nest the lapwing cries awai/" — Shake- 
speare has employed this simile in INIeasure for 
Measure, act i. scene 5 : — 

With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest, 

Tongue far from heart. 

It wa.s used by many w-riters, from Chaucer down- 
w^ards, and became proverbial. Rowley, in his " Search 
for Money," 160f), has, " This sir dealt like a lapwing 
with us, and cried furthest oft' the nest." This (juality 
of the lapwing to cry far from its nest, to lead people 
away, is well understood. 

"A devil in an everlasting garment hath him" — 
"Sergeants, such as the one who had arrested Antipholus, 
were clad in buff, (Dromio just afterwards calls him 'a 
fellow all in buft',') and, on account of its durability, 
that dress is here termed' an everlasting garment.' " — 

'• A hound that runs counter" — i. e. " The conti-aiy, 
or wrong w-ay in a chase. The sergeant is said to run 
'counter,' from his caiTj^mg debtors to the j^'ison so 
called." — Collier. 

" — and yet draws dry-foot well" — " To ' draw diy- 
foot' is technical, and means to hunt by the scent of the 
animal's foot." — Collier. 

" One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls 
to hell" — i. e. " Carries them to prison (for which hell 
was the cant term) before judgment had been given 
against them ; or, as Malone truly explains it, up07i 
mesne process." — Collier. 

" — teas he arrested on a band" — "Band" is the 
ancient mode of writing bond, and synonymous with it. 
Ben Jousou uses it iu this sense. 

Scene III. 

•' What HAVE YOU got the picture of old Adam new 
apparelVd" — Theobald, and some others, have mterpo- 
lated this interrogatory by inserting the words rid of 
after "What have you got?" They were not aware 
that "What have you got?" is still a vulgar phrase for 
'• What have you done with ?" or '■ What is become of?" 
and they puzzled themselves, and altered the language 
w4iich Shakespeare thought fit to put into Dromio's 
mouth. The words, " picture of old Adam new ap- 
parell'd," allude to the suit of buff in which sergeants 
dressed officially ; referring to the skins which Adam 
used for attire — a joke very popidar among the old 

" — he that sets up his rest" — " This exjiression be- 
came proverbial, and was applied to a person who took 
up any fixed position. It was generally used in the 
card-game of Primero, but here it has immediate refer- 
ence to the rest of the morris-pike, and to the arrest by 
a sergeant." — Collier. 

" — <feaa a morris-pike" — i. e. A Moorish pike, a 
well-known instrument of war. 

Scene IV. 

" — by my long ears" — Meaning, says Stevens, that 
bis master had lengthened his ears by often jmlliug them. 

" — welcomed home with it, when I return" — The 
writers who maintain Shakespeare's acc[uaintance with 
classical literature, against Dr. Fai-mer and others, insist 
that this passage alludes to the oft-quoted eulogy of 
Cicero upon his favourite studies: — " Hcec studia ado- 
lescentiam agunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res 
ornant, adversis perfugiurn ac solatium pra-bent, delec- 
tant domi, non impediunt foris, pernoctant nobiscum, 
peregi-inautur, rusticantur." 

" — andhind Antipholus and Dromio" — " And offer 
to bind him ; he sU'ives," is the direction of the old 
copies ; but it is clear, from what follows, that they suc- 
ceed in binding both. The stage-direction in our text fol- 
lows Collier, and differs a little from many other editions. 



ACT v.— Scene 1. 

" — TAKK a house" — i. e. Go into a house, as we say 
" take shelter,'' and as people used to say, " take sanc- 
tuary," which Antipiiolus and Dromio do inside "the 
priori/," as it is called in the stage-direction of the old 
copy ; but, as a lady abbess presides, it is probably an 
abbey, not a priory. 

" // was the copy of our conference" — i. e. A large 
fa rt of our discourse : copy is often used in this sense 
by old writers, from the Latin copia : thus, Gosson, in 
his " School of Abuse," 1579, talks of " copy of abuses," 
ov " abiindatice o{ abuses;" and Cooper, in his Latin 
" Thesaurus," translates " copiosc et abundanter loqui" 
"to use his words with great copie and abundance." 
It was distinguished from copy, in its modem sense, by 
being spelled copie, when meaning plenty. 

"Sweet recreation harr'd, what doth, ensve, 
But moody and dull melancholy. 
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair," etc. 
Gray, the most exquisite culler and imitator of poetic 
images, has thus employed these ideas in his " Ode on 
F.toii College:" — 

Envy wan, and faded Care, 

Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair, 

And Sorrow's piercing dart. 


Lo, in the vale of years beneath, 

A grisly troop are seen, 
The painful family of Death, 

More hideous than their queen. 

"KiN.SMAN to grim and comfortless despair," etc. 
Capell, in order to con-ect the supposed confusion in 
tlie sex of melancholy, reads thus : — 

But moody and dull melanoholy, kins- 
Ifoman to grim and comfortless despair. 

Knight compares this to Canning's — 

— I studied in the 17- 
Niversity of Gottingen. 

AVhile Stevens parallels it with the burlesque on Homer — 

— On this, Jlsnm- 
Memnon began to curse and damn. 

"And at HER keels a huge infectious troop" — So the 
old copies; Heath and Malone needlessly altered her to 
their, when, in fact, only one person is spoken of, N-iz. : 
"moody and dull melancholy:" the next line — - 
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair, — 

is parentlietical. There is no reason why Shakespeare 
should not make the personification of melancholy femi- 
nine, excepting that he had called her "kinsman" in the 
pi-eceding line, which yet means no more than near re- 
lation, without denoting the sex, just as Portia calls 
herself — 

— the lord 

Of tliis fair manor, master of my servants, 
Q,ueeu o'er myself, 

Singer proposes to read, just before, " moody madness." 

" To moke of him a format, man again" — i. e. To 
restore him to his senses : to bring him back to the 
forms of sober behaviour. 

" The place of death" — The original copy has depth, 
which is followed in the second folio, Eowe made the 

"At yovr important Ze«c?-«"^" Important" is used 
for importunate, as in Much Ado about Nothing, 
Kino Lear, etc. 

n — ly u'hat strong escape" — i. e. Escape effected 
by strength; yet there is some probability that strong 
is a misjjriiit for strange. 

"Beaten the maids a-row" — i. e. One after another, 
on a row. 

"His man vith. scissors nicks him like a fool"—^ 
"Fools," says Malone, "were shaved and nicked in a 


particular manner in our author's time, as appears by 
the following passage in jhe 'Choice of Change,' 1598: 
' Three things are used by monks, which provoke other 
men to laugh at their follies: 1. They are shaven and 
notched on the head, likefooles,' etc." 

" — thy 7nasfer and his man are here" — ^Meaning 
that they are in the abbey ; the speaker pointing to it. 

" While she vith harlots feasted in my house" — 
Harlot was a term of reproacli applied to cheats among 
men, as well as to wantons among women. Home 
Tooke says it originally meant a hireling, and derives 
it from hire : it is used only to signify a servant in 
Chaucer's " Sompnoure's Tale," and in Ben Jonson's 
" Fox," for a general tenn of abuse, " out harlot" is ap- 
plied to the hero of the piece. 

" And this is false you burden me withal" — He retorts 
the expression previously used by Adriana. 

"All gather to see them"' — ColHer restored the stage- 
direction of the old folios, applicable to the two pairs of 
twins ; while all the other editors, without any reason, 
substitute him for " them." 

" ^Mty, here begins his morning siory right" — The 
"morning story" is what yEgeon has told the Duke in 
the first scene of this play. 

"And thereupon these errors are arose" — This is 
the reading of all the folios, but it may be a question 
whether Shakespeai-e did not write " these errors all 

" T^venty-five years have I but gone in travail" — 
The old copies are read thus : — 

TkirUi-thrce years have I but gone in travail 
Of you my sons, and till this present hour 
My heavy burthen are delivered. 

Twenty-five is the correct number ; for .flgeon says, in 
a fonner part of the play, that he had parted from his 
son seven years ago, when the boy was only eighteen, 
making together the " twenty-five yeai's." 

There is evidently some error in the next line, which 
seems best removed by Mr. Collier's slight emendation 
of " undelivered" for are delivered in the last line. The 
common text reads, on Theobald's conjecture — 

— nor till this present hour 
My Jieavy burdens are delivered. 

"And you the calendars of their nativity," etc. 
These "calendars" ai-e the tvvo Dromios. In act i. 
Antipholus of Syracuse calls one of them " the almanack 
of my ti'ue date." 

"Exeunt all, except the two Dromio brothers" — The 
old stage-direction is, "Exeunt omnes. Mane[n]t the 
two Dromios and two brothers." Such may have been 
the case ; but it is more likely that the two Antipholuses 
went out with Adriana and Luciana, the two Dromios 
only remaining to conclude the play. I concur with 
Collier's suggestion that and is an error, and should be 
omitted ; and have adapted the stage-direction to that 

Scenery and Local Embellishments. — The local 
embellishments of this play, in the present edition, are 
from those of the Pictoriid edition, which are all copied 
or compiled from the best modern authorities, so as to 
give authentic representations of the existing remains 
of ancient Ephesus, and views of the present state of 
that celebrated city, and of Syracuse. 

The engraving of the Temple of Diana, restored, is 
principally founded upon the descriptions of Pococke, 
who has given an imaginary gi-ound-plan. 

The " Antiquities of Ionia," publislied by the Dclet- 
tanti Society, and the " Voyage Pitforesqne de la 
Orece," of AI. Choiseul Gouftier, have furnished the au- 
thoritie.s for the other engravings of Ephesian remains. 


The " Supplementary,' Notice" of Knight's edition of 
this play closes with an analysis of the peculiar charac- 
teristics of the two pairs of twin Ijrotliers, which, tlioiigh 
it may be somewhat over-refined, is yet very original 
and ingenious, and has, too, so much truth in it, that we 
caimot but transfer it to these pages : — 

*' Some one has said, that if our Poet's dramas were 
printed without the names of the persons represented 
l)eing attached to the individual speeches, we should 
know who is speaking, by his wonderful discrimination 
in assigning to every character appropnate mt)des of 
thought and expression. It appears to us that this is 
miquestionablv the case with the characters of each of 
the twin brothers in the Comedt of Ereors. 

" The Dromio of Syracuse is described by his master 
as being — 

A trusty villain, sir; that very oft. 
When I am dull with care and melancholy, 
Lightens my humour with his merry jests. 

But the wandering Antipholus herein describes himself: 
he is a prey to 'care and melancholy.' He h;is a holy 
pui-pose to execute, ■which he has for years pursued 
without success. Sedate, gentle, lox-ing, the Antipholus 
of Syracuse is one of Shakespeare's amiable creations. 
He beats his slave according to the custom of slave- 
beating; but he laughs with him, and is kind to him 
almost at the same moment. He is an enthusiast, for 
he falls in love with Luciana in the midst of his per- 
plexities, and his lips utter some of the most exquisite 
jjoetry. But he is accustomed to habits of self-command, 
and he resolves to tear liimself a^vay even from the 
syren : — 

But, lest myself be guilty to self-WTong, 

I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song. 

As his perplexities increase, he ceases to be angry with 
his slave — 

The fellow is distract, and so am I, 

And here we wander in illusions. 

Some blessed power deliver us from hence I 

Unlike the Men;pchmus Sosicles of Plautus, he refuses 
to dine ^vith the courtesan. He is firm, vet courageous, 
when assaulted by the ilerchant. Wlien the ' Errors' 
are clearing up, he modestly adverts to his love for 
Luciana ; and we feel that he wdl be happy. 

" Antijiholus of Ephesus is decidedly inferior to his 
brother, in the quality of his intellect and the tone of 
his morals. He is scarcely justified in calling his wife 
'shrewish.' Her fault is a too sensitive affection for 
him. Her feelings are most beautifully described in 
that address to her supposed husband : — 

Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine ; 
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine. 
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state, 
Makes me with thy strength to communicate : 
If aught possess thee from me, it is dross, 
Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss. 

The classical image of the elm and the vine would have 
l)een sufficient to express the feelings of a fond and con- 
fiding woman ; tlie exquisite addition of the 

Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss, — 

conveys the prevailing uneasiness of a lo\'ing and doubt- 
ing wife. Antipholus of Ephesus has somewhat hard 
measure dealt to him throughout the progress of the 
' Errors;' — but he desen-es it. His doors areshut against 
him. it is true ; — in his impatience he would force his 
way into his house, against the remonstrances of Bal- 
thazar. He departs, but not ' in patience ;' — he is con- 
tent to dine from home, but not at ' the Tiger.' His 
resolve — 

— That chain will I bestow 

(Be it for nothing but to spite my wife) 

Upon mine hostess, — 

woidd not have been made by his brother, ni a similar 
situation. He has spited his wife ; he has dined with 
the courtesan. But he is not satisfied : — 

— go thou 
And buy a rope's end, that will I bestow 
Among my wife and her confederates. 

We pity him not when he is arrested, nor when he re- 

ceives the ' rope's end' instead of his ' ducats.' His 
fuiious passion with his wife, and the foul names he 
bestows on her, are quite in character; and when he 
has — 

Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor, — 
we camiot have a suspicion that the doctor was prac- 
tising on the right patient. In a word, we cannot doubt 
that, although the Antipliolus of Ephesus may be a 
brave soldier, who took 'deep scars' to save his prince's 
life, — and that he really has a right to con.sider himself 
much injured, — he i.s strikingly opposed to the Antipho- 
lus of Syracuse ; that he is neither sedate, nor gentle, 
nor tndy-loving ; — that he has no habits of self-command ; 
that his temperament is sensual; — and that, although 
the riddle of his pei-plexity is solved, he will still find 
causes of unhappiness, and entertain — 

— a huge infectious troop 
Of pale distemperatures, 

" The characters of the two Dromios are not so dis- 
tinctly marked in their points of difference, at the first 
aspect. They each have their ' merry jests ;' they each 
bear a beatins; with wonderful good temper ; they each 
cling faithfully to their master's interests. But there is 
certainly a marked difference in the quality of their 
mirth. The Dromio of Ephesus is precise and anti- 
thetical, slrivhig to utter his jests with infinite gravity 
and discretion, and approaching a pun with a sly so- 
lemnity that is prodigiously diverting : — 

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit, 
The clock hath struckcn twelve upon the bell , 
My mistress made it one upon my cheek : 
She is so hot, because the meat is cold." 

Again : — 

I have some marks of yours upon my pate, 
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders. 
But not a thousand marks between you both. 

He is a formal humourist, and, we have no doubt, spoke 
with a drawling and monotonous accent, fit for his part 
in such a dialogue as this : — 

^nt. E. Were not my doors lock'd up, and I shut out.' 

Vro. E. Perdy, your doors were lock'd, and you shut out. 

^tit. E. And did not she herself revile me there.' 

Dro. E. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there. 

•^nt. E. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me .' 

Dro. E. Certes, she did ; the kitchen-vestal scorn'd you. 

On the contraiy, the ' merry jests' of Dromio of Syra- 
cuse all come from the outpotiring of his gladsome heart. 
He is a creature of prodigious animal spirits, running 
over with fim and queer simihtudes. He makes not 
the slightest attempt at airanging a joke, but utters what 
comes uppermost with in-epressihle volubility. He is 
an untutored wit ; and we have no doubt gave his tongue 
as active exercise by hurried pronunciation and vanable 
emphasis, as could alone make his long descriptions en- 
durable by his sensitive master. Look at the dialogue 
in the second scene of act ii.. where Antipholus, after 
having repressed his jests, is drawn into a tilting-match 
of words with him, in which the men-y slave has 
clearly the victory. Look, again, at his description of 
the 'kitchen-wench,' — coarse, indeed, in parts, but alto- 
gether irresistibly droll. The twin-brother was quite 
incapable of such a flood of fun. Again, what a prodi- 
gality of wit is displayed in his description of the bailiff! 
His epithets are inexhaustible. Each of the Dromios 
is admirable in his way ; Ijut we think that he of Syra- 
cuse is as superior to the twin-slave of Ephesus as our 
old friend Launce is to Speed, in the Two Gentlkme.-j 
OF Verona. These distinctions between the Autipho- 
luses and Dromios have not, as far as we know, been 
before pointed out ; — but thej- certainly do exist, and 
appear to us to be defined by the great master of charac- 
ter with singidar force as well as delicacy. Of course 
the characters of the twins could not be \-iolently con- 
trasted, for that woidd have destroyed the illusion. 
They must still 

Go hand in hand, not one before another. 

" The myriad-minded man, our and all men's Shake- 
speare, has in this piece presented us with a legitimate 
farce, in exact consonance with the philosopliical prin- 



ciples and character of farce, as disringuished from com- 
edy and from entertainments. A proper farce is mainly 
distinguished from comedy by the Hcense allowed, and 
even required, in the fable, in order to produce strange 
and laughable situations. The story need not be proba- 
ble ; it is enough that it is possible. A comedy would 
scarcely allow even the two Antipholuses ; because, al- 
thougli there have been instances of almost indistinguish- 
able likeness in two persons, yet these are mere indi- 
vidual accidents. cas7ts ludentis natures; and the vervm 
will not excuse the inrerisimilc. But farce dares add 
the two Droniios, and is justified in so doing by the laws 
of its end and constitution. In a word, farces commence 
in a postulate which must be gi-anted." — Coleridge. 

" Perhaps Shakespeare, no longer able to restrain his 
comic humour, gave vent to it in this farce, in a sort of 
joyous desperation. Regarding it merely as a farce, 
from the moment the 'f^irors' commence, nothing has 
equalled it. Until I saw it on the stage, (not mangled 

into an opera,) I had. not imagined the extent of the 
mistakes, the drollery of them, their unabated continu- 
ance, till, at the end of the fourth act, they reached their 
climax with the assistance of Dr. Pinch, when the au- 
dience in their laughter rolled about like waves. It was 
the triumph of farce — of Shakespeare's art in all that 
belongs to dramatic action. 

" Here, it might be thought, that puns could be pro- 
perly and plentifully introduced, where the twin brothers 
set the example of personal puns on one another ; vet 
there are few puns to be found. Truth is, the mistakes 
alone are ludicrous, and the action is serious. To the 
strange contrast of grave astonishment among the actors 
with their laughable situations in the eyes of the specta- 
tors, who are let into the secret, is to be ascribed the 
iiTesistible effect. The two Dromios (Shakespeare's 
addition, among other matters, to Plautus) form a requi- 
site link between the audience and the dramatis per- 
sona- ; — thev invite us to mirth otherwise we might 
half subdue it out of sheer principle." — C. A. Brown. 





I i I a I ^ 

2 * 

5 S 




FN preparing the Taming of the Shrew, as we now have it, for the stage, Shakespeare seems to 
have originally intended nothing more than a revisal or improvement of a play of considerable 
but very miequal merit, verj- popular at the time, under the title of " The Taming of a Shrew," 
which he found iu possession of the stage, and which was printed in 1594. In retaining the well- 
known old title, with the whole plot, and all those striking incidents of the action which tell most 
upon the stage, and become most familiar to the public, it was evident that he made no claim to 
origuiality, and had no thought of concealing the source of his obligations. But it is as e\adent 
that, in the progress of his revision, his busy invention and poetic fancy could not rest contented 
with the mere corrections and alterations of an editor or a manager ; so that he was led to recast 
and reconstruct the whole story, to change the scene of action from Greece to the Italy of his own 
times, and to interweave with its incidents some circumstances from a play of Ariosto's, of a simi- 
lar plot, (the " Suppositi") some time before translated and published (in 1566) under the title of 
" The Supposes." In doing this, he could not refrain from improN-ing and heightening the humour 
and interest, by filling the stage with gay and rapid action, and giving more individuality to the 
characters, such as ti'ansforming a common-place serving-man into Grumio — a worthy kinsman 
of Launcelot Gobbo, Speed, Launce, and the Dromios — yet in no danger of being mistaken for any 
one of them; and elevating the wife-taming hero (Ferando) of the old play, who is but a coarse 
and noisy tj'rant, into the whimsical and boisterous affectations of the good-natured Petruchio, 
so well described by Hazlitt as "acting an assumed character to the life with the most fantastical 
exti-avagance, with imtiring animal spirits, but without a particle of ill-humour from beginning 
to end." 

Finally, he has stamped upon the comedy throughout, and especially in the " Induction," the 
indelible and unquestionable marks of his own mind, by deliberately rejecting many passages 
of elaborate and even splendid imagery, such as no poet of that age would have been ashamed 
of, to substitute other passages and even scenes, of a higher and purer poetry and sweeter melody. 
These (take, for example, the poetic passages of the second scene with Sly) are, in my judgment, 
very much iu the taste, spirit, and style of the poetiy of the Merchant of Venice, and fix the 
reconstruction and decoration of the old play somewhere about the same date, (between 1597 
and 1601,) after the author had thrown off the peculiar defects of his earlier compositions, and before 
his style had acquired its later compressed and thought-burdened character, or his mind that 
habitual tendency to gloomier reflections which casts its shades athwart the most brilliant and 
glowing conceptions of the middle period of his literary life. On this point, however, the critics 
differ. Knight refers the remodelling of this piece to a somewhat earlier period, as a task which 
" Shakespeai'e would not have undertaken iu the ' liigh and palmy' period of his dramatic career," 
after the production of his Histories, Romeo and Juliet, and several of his most successful comedies. In this 
view, he agrees with Malone, who places its production as early as 1594. Collier, on the contrary, thus pronounces 
as to the date : — 

" On the question, when it was originally composed, opinions, including my own, have varied considerably ; but 
I now think we can arrive at a tolerably satisfactory decision. Malone first believed that the Taming of the 
Shrew was written in 1606, and subsequently gave 1596 as its probable date. It appears to me that nobody has 
sufficiently attended to the apparently unimportant fact that in Hamlet Shakespeare mistakenly introduces the 
name of Baptista as that of a woman, while in the Taming of the Shrew Baptista is the father of Katharina and 
Bianca. Had he been aware when he wrote Hamlet that Baptista was the name of a man, he would hardly 
have used it for that of a woman; but before he produced the Taming of the Shrew he had detected his own 
en-or. The great probability is, that Hamlet was written at the earliest in 1601, and the Taming of the Shrew 
perhaps came from the pen of its author not very long afterwards. 

" The recent reprint of the ' Pleasant Comedy of Patient Grissill,' by Decker, Chettle, and Haughton, from the 
edition of 1603, tends to throw light on this point. It contains various allusions to the taming of shrews; and the 
old 'Taming of a Shrew' was acted by Henslowe's company, and is mentioned by him under the date of 11th 
June, 1594. One of the passages in ' Patient Grissill,' which seems to connect the two, occurs in act v. scene 2, 
where Sir Owen, producing his wands, says to the Mai'quess, ' I will learn your medicines to tame shrews.' This 
expression is remarkable, because we find by Henslowe's ' Diarj'' that, in July, 1602, Decker received a payment 
from the old manager, on account of a comedy he was writing under the title of 'A Medicine for a curst Wife.' 
My conjecture is, that Shakespeare, (in coalition, possibly, with some other dramatist, who wrote the portions 
which are admitted not to be in Shakespeare's manner,) produced his Taming of the Shrew, soon after ' Patient 
Grissill' had been brought upon the stage, and as a sort of counterpart to it ; and that Decker followed up the 
subject in the summer of 1602 by his ' Medicine for a curst Wife,' having been incited by the success of Shake- 
speare's Taming of the Shrew at a rival theatre. At this time the old ' Taming of a Shrew' had been laid by 
as a public performance, and Shakespeare having very nearly adopted its title. Decker took a different one, in 
accordance with the expression he had used two or three years before in ' Patient Grissill.' 



" The silence of Meares, in 1598, regarding any such play by Shakespeare/ is also important ; had it then been 
written, he could scarcely have failed to mention it ; so that we have strong negative evidence of its non-existence 
before the appeai-ance of ' Palladis Tamia.' When Sir John Harrington, in his ' Metamorphosis of Ajax,' 1596, 
says, ' Read the booke of ' Taming a Shrew,' which hath made a number of us so perfect that now eveiy one can 
nile a shrew in oui" country, save he that hath her,' he meant the old ' Taming of a Shrew,' reprmted in the same 

The original j^lay and the reconstiniction of it, by Shakespeai'e, are thus contrasted by Mr. Knight : — 

" The ' Taming of a Shrew,' upon which the comedy attributed to Shakespeare is undoubtedly founded, first 
appeared in 1594, under the following title: 'A pleasant conceited Historie called the taming of a Shrew. As it 
was sundry times acted by the Right honourable tlie Earle of Pembiooke his servants. Printed at London by 
Peter Short, and ai-e to be sold by Cuthbert Burbie, at his shop at the Royal Exchange, 1594.'* The comedy 
opens with an Induction, the characters of which are a Lord, She, a Tapster, Page, Players, and Huntsmen. The 
incidents are precisely the same as those of the play which we must call Shakespeare's. There is this ditference 
in the management of the character of Sly in the original comedy, that, during the whole of the performance of 
the ' Taming of a Shrew,' he occasionally makes his remarks ; and is finally carried back to the alehouse door in a 
state of sleep. In Shakespeare we lose this most diverting personage before the end of tlie first act. After our 
Poet had fairly launched him in the Induction, and given a tone to his subsequent demeanour during the play, the 
performer of the character was perhaps allowed to continue the dialogue extemporally. We doubt, by the way, 
whether this would have been permitted after Shakespeare had prescribed that the clowns should ' speak no more 
than what is set down for them.' 

" The scene of the old ' Taming of a Shrew' is laid at Athens ; that of Shakespeare's at Padua. The Athens of 
the one and the Padua of the other are resorts of learning ; the old play opening thus : — 

Welcome to Athens, my beloved friend, 
To Plato's schools, and Aristotle's walks. 

Alfonso, a merchant of Athens, (the Baptista of Shakespeare,) has three daughters, Kate, Emelia, and Phylema. 
Aurelius, son of the Duke of Cestus, (Sestos,) is enamoured of one, Polidor of another, and Ferando (the Peti'uchio 
of Shakespeare) of Kate, the Shrew. The merchant hath sworn, before he will allow his two yoimger daughters 
to be addressed by suitors, that — 

His eldest daughter first shall be espous'd. 

The wooing of the Kate of the old play by Ferando is exactly in the same spirit as the wooing by Petruchio in 
this play ; so is the marriage ; so the Lenten entertainment of the bride in Ferando's countiy -house ; so the 
scene with the Tailor and Haberdasher; so- the prostrate obedience of the tamed Shrew. The under-plot, how- 
ever, is essentially different. The lovers of the younger sisters do not woo them in assumed characters ; though 
a merchant is brought to personate the Duke of Cestus. The real duke arrives, as Vincentio arrives in our play, 
to discover the imposture ; and his indignation occupies much of the latter part of the action, with suflicient 
tediousness. All parties are ultimately happy and pleased ; and the comedy ends with the wager, as in Shake- 
speare, about the obedience of the several wives, the Shrew pronouncing a homily upon the virtue and beauty of 
submission, which sounds much more hypocritical even than that of the Kate of our Poet. There cannot be a 
doubt that the latter author had the original play before him ; that he sometimes adopted particular images and 
forms of expression, — occasionally whole lines ; but that he invariably took the incidents of those scenes in which 
the process of taming the shrew is cai"ried forward. There can only be one solution of the motives which led to 
this bold adaptation of the performance of another, and that not a contemptible production like the ' Famous Vic- 
tories,' upon which Henrv IV. and Henry V. may be said to have bepn founded. Shakespeare found the old 
' Taming of a Shrew' a favourite, in its rude mirth and high-sounding language ; and in presenting a nearly similar 
plot to the audience at his own theatre, he was careful not to disturb their recollections of what had afforded them 
the principal entertainment in what he had to remodel. Infinitely more spirited and characteristic was the drama 
which he produced ; but it would leave the same impressions as the older play upon the majority of his audience. 
They would equally enjoy the surprise and self-satisfaction of the dnmken man when he became a lord ; equally 
relish the rough wooing of the master of ' the taming school ;' rejoice at the dignity of the more worthy gender 
when the poor woman was denied ' beef and mustard ;' and hold their sides with convulsive laughter, when the 
Tailor was driven off" with his gown and the Haberdasher with his cap. Shakespeare took these incidents as ha 
found them ; perhaps, for the purposes of the stage, he could not have improved them." 

The story of Christopher Sly, again, is worked up from one of those pleasant old stories which are either 
founded on facts that have actually occurred in various countries and ages, or have else travelled along from gen- 
eration to generation, and across the globe, from ancient or eastern tradition or invention. 

Mr. Singer has summed up, with his usual perspicuous brevity, much of the curious learning on this subject, 
collected by the several editors, as well as their leading opinions on the comedy itself: — 

' There is an old anonymous play extant with the same title, first printed in 1596, which (as in the case of King 
John and Henry V.) Shakespeare rewrote, ' adopting the order of the scenes, and inserting little more than a few 
Imes which he thought worth preserving, or was in too much haste to alter.' Malone, with great probability, sus- 
pects the old play to have been the production of George Peele or Robert Greene. t Pope ascribed it to Shake- 
speare, and his opinion was current for many years, until a more exact examination of the original piece (which is 
of extreme rarity) undeceived those who were better versed in the literature of the time of Elizabeth than that 
poet. It is remarkable that the Induction, as it is called, has not been continued by Shakespeare so as to com- 
plete the story of Sly, or at least it has not come down to us ; and Pope therefore supplied the deficiencies in this 
play from the elder performance. They have been degraded from their station in the text, as in some places 

* Wecopy this title from Mr. Collier's "History of Dramatic Poetry." Thisedition was unknown to the commentators. That of 1606, 
which Stevens reprinted, has no material variations from this very rare copy. 

t There was a second edition of the anonymous play in 1607; and the curious reader may consult it, in "Six old Plays upon which 
Shakespeare founded, etc.," published by Stevens. 



incompatible with the fable and dramatis persona of Shakespeare; the reader will, however, be pleased to find 
them subjoined to the notes. The origin of this amusing fiction may probably be traced to the sleeper awakened 
of the ' Arabian Nights ;' but similar stories are told of Philip, the good Duke of Burgmidy, and of the Emperor 
Charles the Fifth. Marco Paulo relates something similar of the Ismaelian prince Alo-eddin, or chief of the moun- 
tainous region, whom he calls, in common with other writers of his time, 'the old man of the mountain.' War- 
ton refers to a collection of short comic stories in prose, set forth by ' maister Richard Edwards, master of her 
7najesties revels in 1570,' (which he had seen in the collection of Collins, the poet,) for the immediate source of 
the fable of the old drama. The incidents related by Heuterus, in his ' Eerum Burgund.,' lib. iv., are also to be 
found m Goulart's 'Admirable and Memorable Histories,' translated by E. Grimeston, quarto, 1607. The stoiy 
of Charles V. is related by Sir Richard Barckley, in ' A Discourse on the Felicitie of Miui,' printed in 1593 ; but 
the frolic, as Mr. Holt White observes, seems better suited to the gayety of the gallant Francis, or the revelry of 
our own boisterous Henry. 

"Of the story of the Taming of the Shrew no immediate English source has been pointed out. Mr. Douce 
has referred to a novel in the 'Piaceroli Notti' of Straparola, notte viii. fav. 2, and to 'El Conde Lucanor,' by Don 
Juan Manuel, Prince of Castile, who died in 136'2, — as containing similar stories. He observes that the character 
of Petruchio bears some resemblance to that of Pisardo in Strapaiola's novel, notte viii. fav. 7. 

" Schlegel remarks that this play ' has the air of an Italian comedy ;' and indeed the love-intrigue of Lucentio 
is derived from the 'Suppositi' of Ariosto, througli the translation of George Gascoigne. Johnson has observed 
the skilful combination of the two plots, by which such a variety and succession of comic incident is ensured, 
without running into perplexity. Petruchio is a bold and happy sketch of a humourist, in which Schlegel thinks 
the character and i^ecuhaiities of an Englishman are visible. It affords another example of Shakespeare's deep 
insight hito human character, that in the last scene the meek and mild Biauca shows she is not without a spice of 
eelf-will. The play inculcates a fine moral lesson, which is not always taken as it should be. 

" Every one. who has a true relish for genuine humour, must regret that we are deprived of Shakespeare's con- 
tinuation of this Interlude of Sly, ' who is indeed of kin to Sancho Paiiza.' We think, with Hazlitt, 'the charac- 
ter of Sly, and the remarks with which he accompanies the play, as good as the play itself.' " 

As this play was not printed duruig the author's life, but appeared first in the folio of 1623, there are no clash- 
ing various readings, other than such as have been proposed to correct some evident or probable misprints, which 
are neither very gross or numerous. 


A Lord -------- ^ 

CERISTOPHER SLY. a drunken Tinker, 

Hostess, Page, Players, Huntsmen, and 

otber Servants attending on tbe Lord, 

Persons in tbe 

BAPTISTA, a ricb Gentleman of Paeda. 

VINCENTIO, an old Gentleman of Pisa. 

LUCENTIO, Son to Vincentio, in love with Bianoa. 

PETRUCHIO, a Gentleman of "Veroka, a Suitor to Katharis*. 







Pedant, an old Fello-w, set up to personate Vikcentio. 

Suitors to BiANCA. 

Servants to LucE^:TIO. 

Servants to PsTRtrcEio. 

KATHABINA, tbe Sbrew, 
BIANCA, her Sister, 

Daughters to Baptista. 

Tailor, HaberdMber, and Servants attending on Baptista and 

Scene — Sometimes in Padtta ; and sometimes in Petruchio's 
House in the Countrv. 

Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have 
burst ? 

Sly. No, not a denier. Go, by S. Jeronimy, 
Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee. 

Host. I know my remedy ; I must go fetch the 
third-borough. [Exit. 

Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll an- 
swer him by law. I'll not budge an inch, boy : let 
him come, and kindly. 

[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep. 

Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with 
Huntsmen and Servarits. 

Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well ray 
hounds : 
Brach Merriman, — the poor cur is emboss'd. 
And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach. 
Saw'st thou not, Ijoy, how Silver made it good 
At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault ? 
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound. 

1 Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my 
lord ; 
He cried upon i\ at the merest loss. 
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent : 
Trust me, I take him for the better dog. 

Sly. I'll pheese you, in faith. 
Host. A pair of stocks, you rogue ! 
Shj. Y'are a baggage : the Slys are no rogues ; 
look in the chronicles, we came in with Richard 
Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallahris ; let the -^fl 
world slide. Sessa! 

Lord. Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet, 
I would esteem him worth a dozen such. 
But sup them well, and look unto them all: 
To-morrow I intend to hunt again. 

1 Hun. I will, my lord. 
Lord. What's here ? one dead, or drunk ? See, 

doth he breathe ? 

2 Hun. He breathes, my lord. Were he not 
warm'd with ale. 

This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly. 
Lord. O, monstrous beast ! how like a swine he 
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! 
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man. 
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed, 
Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, 
A most delicious banquet by his bed. 
And brave attendants near him when he wakes, 
Would not the beggar then forget himself? 

1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot 

2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when 
he wak'd. 

Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless 





Then take him up, and manage well the jest. 

Carry him gently to my fairest chamber, 

And hang it round with all my wanton pictures ; 

Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters. 

And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet: 

Procure me music ready when he wakes. 

To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound ; 

And if he chance to speak, be ready straight, 

And, with a low submissive reverence, 

Say, — What is it your honour will command ? 

Let one attend him with a silver bason. 

Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers; 

Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper, 

And say, — Will't please your lordship cool your 

hands ? 
Some one be ready with a costly suit, 
And ask him what apparel he will wear; 
Another tell him of his hounds and horse, 
And that his lady mourns at his disease. 
Persuade him, that he hath been lunatic ; 
And, when he says he is — , say, that he dreams, 
For he is nothing but a mighty lord. 
This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs: 
It will be pastime |)assing excellent, 
If it be husbanded with modesty. 

1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we will play our 

As he shall think, by our true diligence, 
He is no less than what we say he is. 

Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him. 
And each one to his office when he wakes. — 

[Sly ?,s borne out. A Irunipcl sounds. 
Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds: — 

[E.vil Servant. 
Belike, some nol)le gentleman, that means, 
Travelling some journey, to repose him here. — 

Re-enler Servant. 

How now ? who is it? 

Serv. An it please your honour, 

Players that offer service to your lordship. 

Lord. Bid them come near. 

Enter Players. 

Now, fellows, you are welcome. 
Players. We tliank your honour. 
Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night ? 

2 Plai/. So please your lordship to accept our 

Lord. With all my heart. — This fellow I re- 
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son: — 
'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well. 
I have forgot your name ; but, sure, that part 
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd. 

1 Play. I think, 'twas Soto that your honour 
• Lord. 'Tis very true : thou didst it excellent. 
Well, you are come to me in happy time, 
The rather for I have some sport in hand. 
Wherein your cunning can assist me much 
There is a lord will hear you play to-night ; 
But I am doubtful of your modesties. 
Lest, over-eyeing of his odd behaviour, 
(For yet his honour never heard a play,) 
You break into some merry passion. 
And so offend him ; for I tell you, sirs. 
If you should smile he grows impatient. 

i Play. Fear not, my lord: we can contain our- 
Were he the veriest antic in the world. 


Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery, 
And give them friendly welcome every one : 
Let them want nothing that my house affords. — 

[Exeunt Servant and Players. 
Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page, 

[ To a Servant. 
And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady : 
That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber ; 
And call him madam, do him obeisance : 
Tell him from me, as he will win my love, 
He bear himself with honourable action. 
Such as he hath observ'd in noble ladies 
Unto their lords by them accomplished : 
Such duty to the drunkard let him do, 
With soft low tongue, and lowly courtesy; 
And say, — What is't your honour will command, 
Wherein yoiu' lady, and your humble wife 
May show her duty, and make known her love ? 
And then, with kind embracements, templing kisses, 
And with declining head into his bosom. 
Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd 
To see her noble lord restor'd to health, 
Who for this seven years hath esteemed him 
No better than a poor and loathsome beggar. 
And if the boy have not a woman's gift. 
To rain a shower of commanded tears. 
An onion will do well for such a shift, 
Which, in a napkin being close convey'd, 
Shall in despite enforce a watery eye. 
See this despatch'd with all the haste thou canst : 
Anon I'll give thee more instructions. 

[Exit Servant. 
I know, the boy will well usurp the grace. 
Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman : 
I long to hear him call the drunkard husband, 
And how my men will stay themselves from laughter. 
When they do homage to this simple peasant, 
rii in to counsel th«n) : h;iply, my presence 
May well abate the over-merry spleen. 
Which otherwise would grow into extremes. 


ScENK H. — A Bedchamber in the Lord's House. 

Sly is discovered, with Attendants ; some zcith ap- 
parel, others with bason, eicer, and appurtenances. 
Enter Lord, dressed like a Servant. 

Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale. 

1 Serv. Will 't please your lordship drink a cup 

of sack ? 

2 Serv. Will 't please your honour taste of these 


3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to- 


Sly. I am Christophero Sly ; call not me honour, 
nor lordship: I ne'er drank sack in my life; and if 
you give me any consei-ves, give me conserves of 
beef. Ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear, for I 
have no more doublets than backs, no more stock- 
ings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet ; nay, 
sometime, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as 
my toes look through the overleather. 

Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your 
O! that a mighty man, of such descent. 
Of such possessions, and so high esteem, 
Should be infused with so foul a spirit! 

Sly. What! would you make me mad? Am 
not i Christopher Sly, old Sly's son, of Burton- 
heath; by birth a pedlar, by education a card- 
maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now l)y 




present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, 
tlie fat alewife of Wincot, if she know me not ; if 
she say I am not fourteen pence on the score for 
sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in 
Christendom. What! lamnotbestraught. Here's — 

1 Serv. O ! this it is that makes your l.ady mourn. 

2 Sei'v. O ! this it is that makes your servants 

Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shun 
your house, 

As beaten hence by your strange hinacy. 

O, noble lord ! bethink thee of thy birth; 

Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment, 

And banish hence these abject lowly dreams. 

Look how thy sei-vants do attend on thee, 

Each in his office ready at thy beck: 

Wilt thou have music .' hark! Apollo plays, 

And twenty caged nightingales do sing : 
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch, 

Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed 
On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis. 
Say thou wilt walk, we will bestrew the ground : 
Or wilt thou ride, thy horses shall be trapp'd. 
Their harness studded all with gold and pearl. 
Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar 
Ai)ove the morning lark : or wilt thou hunt ? 
Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them. 
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth. 

1 Serv. Say thou wilt course, thy greyhounds 

are as swift 
As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. 

2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch 

thee straight 
Adonis painted by a running brook, 
And Cytherea all in sedges hid. 
Which seem to move and wanton with her breath, 
Even as the waving sedges play with wind. 

Lord. We'll show thee lo as she was a maid. 
And how she was beguiled and surpris'd, 
As lively painted as the deed was done. 

3 Serv. Or Daphne roaming through a thorny 

Scratching her legs, that one shall swear she bleeds ; 
And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep, 
So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn. 

Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord: 
Thou hast a lady, far more beautiful 
Than any woman in this waning age. 

1 Serv. And, till the tears that she hath shed for 
Like envious floods, o'er-ran her lovely face, 
She was the fairest creature in the world ; 
And yet she is inferior to none. 


Sly. Am I a lord ? and have 1 such a lady ? 
Or do I dream? or have I dream'd till now? 
I do not sleep ; I see, I hear, I speak : 
I smell sweet savoiU'S, and 1 feel soft things. — 
Upon my life, I am a lord, indeed. 
And not a tinker, nor Christopher Sly. — 
Well, bring our lady hither to our sight; 
And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale. 

2 Serv. Will 't please your mightiness to wash 

your hands ? 

[Scrvarils present an ewer, bason, and napkin. 
O, how we joy to see your wit restor'd ! 
O, that once more you knew but what you are ! 
These fifteen years you have been in a dream. 
Or, when you wak'd, so wak'd as if you slept. 

Sly. These fifteen years ! by my fay, a goodly 
But did I never speak of all that time? 

1 Serv. O ! yes, my lord, but very idle words ; — 
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber. 
Yet would you say, ye were beaten out of door, 
And rail upon the hostess of the house. 
And say you would present her at the leet. 
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd quarts. 
Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket. 

Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house. 

3 Serv. Why, sir, you know no house, nor no 

such maid. 
Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up, — 
As Stephen Sly, and old John Naps of Greece, 
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell, 
And twenty more such names and men as these, 
Which never were, nor no man ever saw. 

Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends ! 




All. Amen. 

Sly. I thank thee ; thou shall not lose by it. 

Enter the Page, as a Lady, with Attendants. 

Page. How fares my noble lord? 

Sly. Marry, I fare well ; for here is cheer enough. 
Where is my wife ? 

Page. Here, noble lord : what is thy will with her ? 

Sly. Are you my wife, and will not call me hus- 
band ? 
My men should call me lord : I am your good-man. 

Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and 
husband ; 
I am your wife in all obedience. 

Sly. I know it well. — What must I call her? 

Lord. Madam. 

Sly. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam? 

Lord. Madam, and nothing else : so lords call 

Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd. 
And slept above some fifteen year and more. 

Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me, 
Being all this time abandon'd from your bed. 

Sly. 'Tis much. — Servants, leave me and her 
alone. — 
Madam, undress j'ou, and come now to bed. 

Page. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you 
To pardon me yet for a night or two ; 
Or if not so, until the sun be set, 

For your physicians have expressly charg'd. 
In peril to incur your former malady. 
That I should yet absent me from your bed. 
I hope this reason stands for my excuse. 

Sly. Ay, it stands so, that 1 may hardly taiTy so 
long ; but I would be loath to fall into my dreams 
again : I will therefore tarry, in despite of the flesh 
and the blood. 

Enter a Servant. 

Serv. Your honour's players, hearing your amend- 
Are come to play a pleasant comedy ; 
For so your doctors hold it very meet. 
Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood. 
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy : 
Therefore, they thought it good you hear a play, 
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment. 
Which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life. 

Sly. Marry, I will let them play it. Is not a 
commonty a Christmas gambol, or a timibling- 
trick ? 

Page. No, my good lord : it is more pleasing 

Sly. What, household stuff? 

Page. It is a kind of history. 

Sly. Well, we'll see 't. Come, madam wife, sit 
by my side. 
And let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger. 

Scene I. — Padua. A Public Place. 
Enter Lucentio and Tramo. 

Luc. Tranio, since, for the great desire I had 
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts, 
I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy, 
The pleasant garden of great Italy ; 
And, by my father's love and leave, am arm'd 
With his good will, and thy good company, 
My trusty servant, well approv'd in all, 
Here let us breathe, and haply institute 
A course of learning, and ingenious studies. 
Pisa, renowned for grave citizens. 
Gave me my being ; and my father, first 
A merchant of great traffic through the world, 

Vincentio's come of the Bentivolii. 
Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence, 
It shall become, to serve all hopes conceiv'd, 
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds: 
And therefore, Tranio, for the time, I study 
Virtue, and that part of philosophy 
Will I apply, that treats of happiness 
By virtue specially to be achiev'd. 
Tell me thy mind ; for I have Pisa left, 
And am to Padua come, as he that leaves 
A shallow plash, to plunge him in the deep, 
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst. 
Tra. Me perdonato, gentle master mine, 
I am in all affected as yourself. 
Glad that you thus continue your resolve, 





To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy : 

Only, good master, while we do admire 

This virtue, and this moral discipline. 

Let's be no stoics, nor no stocks, I pray; 

Or so devote to Aristotle's ethicks. 

As Ovid be an outcast quite abjur'd. 

Balk logic with acquaintance that you have. 

And practise rhetoric in your common talk: 

Music and poesy use to quicken you : 

The mathematics, and the metaphysics, 

Fall to them as j'ou find your stomach serves you. 

No profit grows, where is no pleasure ta'en : — 

In brief, sir, study what you most affect. 

Luc. Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise. 
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore, 
We could at once put us in readiness, 
And take a lodging fit to entertain 
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget. 
But stay awhile : what company is this? 

Tra. Master, some show, to welcome us to town. 

Enter Baptista, Katharina, Bianca, Gremio, 
and HoRTENSio. Lucentio and Tranio stand 

Bap. Gentlemen, importune me no further, 
For how I firmly am resolv'd you know ; 
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter, 
Before I have a husband for the elder. 
If either of you both love Katharina, 
Because I know you well, and love you well. 
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure. 

Gre. To cart her rather: she's too rough for 
me. — 
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife ? 

Kath. \_To Bap.] I pray you, sir, is it your will 
To make a stale of me amongst these mates ? 

Ilor. Mates, maid ! how mean you that ? no 
mates for you. 
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould. 

Kath. V faith, sir, you shall never need to fear : 
I wis, it is not half way to her heart ; 
But, if it were, doubt not her care should be 
To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool, 
And paint your face, and use you like a fool. 

Hor. From all such devils, good Lord, deliver us! 

G-re. And me too, good Lord ! 

Tra. Hush, master ! here is some good pastime 
toward : 
That wench is stark mad, or wonderful froward. 

Luc. But in the other's silence do I see 
Maids' mild behaviour, and sobriety. 
Peace, Tranio ! 

Tra. Well said, master : mum! and gaze your 

Bap. Gentlemen, that I may soon make good 
What I have said, — Bianca, get you in: 
And let it not displease thee, good Bianca, 
For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl. 

Kath. A pretty peat ! it is best 
Put finger in the eye, — an she knew why. 

Bian. Sister, content you in my discontent. — 
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe : 
My books, and instruments, shall be my company. 
On them to look, and practise by myself. 

Luc. Hark, Tranio ! thou may'st hear Minerva 

Hor. Signior Baptista, will you be so strange ? 
Sorry am I, that our good will eflfects 
Bianca's grief. 

Gre. Why, will you mew her up, 

Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell, 


And make her bear the penance of her toncue ? 

Bap. Gentlemen, content ye ; I am resoiv'd. — 
Go in, Bianca. [Exit Bianca. 

And for I know, she taketh most delight 
In music, instruments, and poetry. 
Schoolmasters will I keep within niv house. 
Fit to iustnict her youth. — If you, Hortensio, 
Or signior Gremio, you, know any such. 
Prefer them hither ; for to cunning men 
I will be very kind, and liberal 
To mine own children in good bringing-up; 
And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay, 
For I have more to commune with Bianca. [Exit. 

Kath. Why, and I trust, I may go too ; may I not ? 
What ! shall I be appointed hours, as though, belike, 
I knew not what to take, and what to leave ? Ha ! 


Gre. You may go to the devil's dam : your gifts 
are so good, here's none will hold you. Their 
love is not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow 
our nails together, and fast it fairly out : our cake's 
dough on both sides. Farewell : — yet, for the love 
I bear my sweet Bianca, if I can by any means 
light on a fit man to teach her that wherein she de- 
lights, I will wish him to her father. 

Hor. So will I, signior Gremio : but a word, I 
pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet 
never brook'd parle, know now upon advice, it 
toucheth us both, that we may yet again have ac- 
cess to our fair mistress, and be happy rivals in 
Bianca's love, to labour and effect one thing 

Gre. What's that, I pray ? 

Hor. Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister. 

Gre. A husband I a devil. 

Hor. I say, a husband. 

Gre. I say, a devil. Think'st thou, Hortensio, 
though her father be very rich, any man is so very 
a fool as to be married to hell ? 

Hor. Tush, Gremio ! though it pass your pa- 
tience, and mine, to endure her loud alarums, why, 
man, there .be good fellows in the world, an a man 
could light on them, would take her with all faults, 
and money enough. 

Gre. I cannot tell, but I had as lief take her 
dowry with this condition, — to be whipped at the 
high-cross every morning. 

Hor. 'Faith, as you say, there's small choice in 
rotten apples. But, come; since this bar in law 
makes us friends, it shall be so far forth friendly 
maintained, till by helping Baptista's eldest daugh- 
ter to a husband, we set his youngest free for a hus- 
band, and then have to't afresh. — Sweet Bianca ! — 
Happy man be his dole ! He that runs fastest gets 
the ring. How say you, signior Gremio ? 

Gre^ I am agreed : and 'would I had given him 
the best horse in Padua to begin his wooing, that 
would thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, 
and rid the house of her. Come on. 

[Exeunt Gremio and Hortensio. 

Tra. [Advancing.'] I pray, sir, tell me, is it 
That love should of a sudden take such hold ? 

Luc. O, Tranio ! till I found it to be true, 
I never thought it possible, or likely; 
But see! while idly I stood looking on, 
I found the eflfect of love in idleness ; 
And now in plainness do confess to thee, 
That art to me as secret, and as dear. 
As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was. — 
Tranio, I burn, 1 pine ; I perish, Tranio, 




If I achieve not this young modest girl. 
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst : 
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt. 

Tra. Master, it is no time to chide you now, 
Affection is not rated from the heart : 
If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so, — 
Redime te captum, quam queas iiiinimo. 

Luc. Gramercies, lad ; go forward : this contents ; 
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound. 

Tra. IVIaster, you look'd so longly on the maid, 
Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all. 

Luc. O I yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face, 
Such as the daughter of Agenor had. 
That made great Jove to humble him to her hand. 
When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand. 

Tra. Saw you no more ? mark'd you not, how 
her sister 
Began to scold, and raise up such a storm, 
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din? 

Luc. Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move. 
And with her breath she did perfume the air : 
Sacred, and sweet, was all I saw in her. 

Tra. Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his 
trance. — 
1 pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid, 
Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it 

stands : 
Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd. 
That, till the father rid his hands of her, 
Master, your love must live a maid at home; 
And therefore has he closely mew'd her up. 
Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors. 

Luc. Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he! 
But art thou not advis'd, he took some care 
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her? 

Tra. Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 'tis plotted. 

Luc. I have it, Tranio. 

Tra. Master, for my hand. 

Both our inventions meet and jump in one. 

Luc. Tell me thine first. 

Tra. You will be schoolmaster, 

And undertake the teaching of the maid : 
That's your device. 

Luc. It is : may it be done ? 

Tra. Not possible ; for who shall bear your part. 
And be in Padua, here, Vincentio's son ; 
Keep house, and ply his book ; welcome his friends ; 
Visit his countiymen, and banquet them ? 

Luc. Basta ; content thee ; for I have it full. 
We have not yet been seen in any house. 
Nor can we be distinguished by our faces. 
For man, or master: then, it follows thus; 
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead, 
Keep house, and port, and servants, as I should. 
I will some other be; some Florentine, 
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa. 
'Tis hatch'd, and shall be so : — Tranio, at once 
Uncase thee ; take my colour'd hat and cloak : 
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee, 
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue. 

Tra. So had you need. [ They exchange habits. 
In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is, 
And I am tied to be obedient; 
(For so your father charg'd me at our parting; 
"Be serviceable to my son," quoth he. 
Although, I think, 'twas in another sense,) 
1 am content to be Lucentio, 
Because so well I love Lucentio. 

Luc. Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves. 
And let me be a slave, t' achieve that maid 
Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye. 

Enter Biondello. 

Here comes the rogue. — Sirrah, where have you 
been ? 
Bion. Where have I been? Nay, how now? 
where are you ? 
Master, has my fellow Tranio stol'n your clothes. 
Or you stol'n his, or both? pray, what's the news? 

Luc. Sirrah, come hither: 'tis no time to jest, 
And therefore frame your manners to the time. 
Your fellow Tranio, here, to save my life, 
Puts my apparel and my countenance on, 
And I for my escape have put on his; 
For in a quarrel, since 1 came ashore, 
I kill'd a man, and fear I was descried. 
Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes. 
While J make way from hence to save my life. 
You understand me ? 

Bion. I, sir? ne'er a whit. 

Luc. And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth : 
Tranio is chang'd into Lucentio. 

Bion. The better for him ; 'would I were so too ! 
Tra. So would I, 'faith, boy, to have the next 
wish after, 
That Lucentio, indeed, had Baptista's youngest 

But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master's, I 

You use your manners discreetly in all kind of 

companies : 
When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio ; 
But in all places else, your master, Lucentio. 

Luc. Tranio, let's go. — 
One thing more rests, that thyself execute ; 
To make one among these wooers: if thou ask me 

Sufficeth, my reasons are both good and weighty. 

1 Serv. My lord, you nod; you do not mind the 

Slj/. Yes, by saint Anne, do I. A good matter, 
surely : comes there any more of it ? 
Page. My lord, 'lis but begun. 
Sly. 'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam 
lady ; 'would 'twere done! 

Scene II. — The Same. Before Hortensio's House. 

Enter Petruchio and Grumio. 

Pet. Verona, for a while I take my leave, 
To see my friends in Padua ; luit, of all. 
My best beloved and approved friend, 
Hortensio ; and, I trow, this is his house. — 
Here, sirrah Grumio ! knock, I say. 

Gru. Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is 
there any man has rebused your worship? 

Pet. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly. 

Gru. Knock you here, sir? why, sir, what am I, 
sir, that I should knock you here, sir? 

Pet. Villain, I say, knock me at this gate ; 
And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate. 

Gru. My master is grown quarrelsome. — I should 
knock you first. 
And then T know after who conies by the worst. 

Pet. Will it not be ? 
'Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll wring it: 
I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it. 

[He icrings Grumio hy the ears. 

Gru. Help, masters, help! my master is mad. 

Pet. Now, knock when I bid you: sirrah! vil- 
lain ! 





Enter Hortensio. 

Hor. How now ! what's the matter ? — My old 
friend Grumio, and my good friend Petruchio ! — 
How do you all at Verona ? 

Pet. Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray ? 
Coji tutto il core ben trocato, may 1 say. 

Hor. Alia nostra casa ben venule, molto konorato 
signior mio Petruchio. 
Rise, Grumio, rise : we will compound this quarrel. 

Gru. Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in 
Latin. — If this be not a lawful cause for me to leave 
his service, — look you, sir, — he bid me knock him, 
and rap him soundly, sir : well, was it fit for a ser- 
vant to use his master so ; being, perhaps, (for 
aught I see,) two and thirty, — a pip out ? 
Whom, 'would to God, I had well knock'd at first. 
Then had not Grumio come by the worst. 

Pel. A senseless villain ! — Good Hortensio, 
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate. 
And could not get him for my heart to do it. 

Gru. Knock at the gate? — O heavens! Spake 
you not these words plain, — " Sirrah, knock me 
here ; rap me here, knock me well, and knock me 
soundly?" And come you now with knocking at 
the gate ? 

Pet. Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you. 

Hor. Petruchio, patience : I am Grumio's pledge. 
Why this? a heavy chance 'twixt him and you; 
Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio. 
And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale 
Blows you to Padua, here, from old Verona? 

Pet. Such wind as scatters young men through 
the world. 
To seek their fortunes further than at home. 
Where small experience grows, but in a few. 
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me: 
Antonio, my father, is deceas'd. 
And I have thrust myself into this maze, 
Haply to wive, and thrive, as best I may. 
Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home, 
And so am come abroad to see the world. 

Hor. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to 
And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife ? 
Thou'dst thank me but a little for my counsel ; 
And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich. 
And very rich: — but thou'rt too much my friend. 
And I'll not wish thee to her. 

Pet. Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we 
Few words suffice ; and therefore if thou know 
One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife, 
(As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance,) 
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love. 
As old as Sybil, and as curst and shrewd 
As Socrates' Xantippe, or a worse. 
She moves me not, or not removes, at least. 
Affection's edge in me. Were she as rough 
As are the swelling Adriatic seas, 
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua, 
If wealthily, then happily in Padua. 

Gru. Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what 
his mind is : why, give him gold enough and marry 
him to a puppet, or an aglet-baby ; or an old trot 




with ne'er a tooth in her head, though she have as 
many diseases as two and fifty horses. Why, no- 
thing comes amiss, so money comes withal. 

Hor. Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in, 
I will continue that I broach'd in jest. 
I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife 
With wealth enough, and young, and beauteous ; 
Brought up, as best becomes a gentlewoman : 
Her only fault, and that is faults enough. 
Is, that she is intolerable curst. 
And shrewd, and froward ; so beyond all measure. 
That, were my state far worser tlian it is, 
I would not wed her for a mine of gold. 

Pet. Hortensio, peace ! thou know'st not gold's 
effect. — "" 

Tell me her fathers name, and 'tis enough. 
For I will board her, though she chide as loud 

As thundei", when the clouds in autumn crack. 

Hor. Her f^ither is Baptista 3Iinola, 
An affable and courteous gentleman : 
Her name is Katharina Minola, 
Henown'd in Padua tor her scolding tongue. 

Pet. I know her father, though I know not her, 
And he knew my deceased father well. 
I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her; 
And therefore let me be thus bold with you. 
To give j^ou over at this first encounter, 
Unless you will accompany me thither. 

Grii. I pray you, sir, let him go while the hu- 
mour lasts. O' my word, an she knew him as well 
as I do, she would think scolding would do little 
good uiJon him. She may, perhaps, call him half 
a score knaves, or so ; why, that's nothing : an he 
begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks. I'll tell 

you what, sir, — an she stand him but a little, he 
will throw a figitre in her face, and so disfigure her 
with it, that she shall have no more eyes to see 
withal than a cat. You know him not, sir. 

Hor. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee, 
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is : 
He hath the jewel of my life in hold, 
His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca, 
And her withholds from me, and other more 
Suitors to her, and rivals in my love; 
Supposing it a thing impossible, 
For those defects I have before rehears'd, 
That ever Katharina will be woo'd : 
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en, 
That none shall have access unto Bianca, 
Till Katharine the curst have got a husband. 

Gru. Katharine the curst ! 
A title for a maid of all titles the worst. 

Hor. Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace. 
And offer me, disguis'd in sober robes. 
To old Baptista as a school-master 
Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca; 
That so I may by this device, at least 

Have leave and leisure to make love to her, 
And unsuspected court her by herself. 

Enter Gremio, and Luce>'tio disguised, with 
books voider his arm. 

Gru. Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old 
folks, how the young folks lay their heads together! 
Master, master, look about you : who goes there ? ha ! 

Hur. Peace, Grumio : 'tis the rival of my love. 
Petruchio, stand by a while. 

Gru. A proper stripling, and an amorous ! 

[The]/ retire. 

Gre. O ! very well ; I have perus'd the note. 
Hark you, sir; I'll have them very fairly bound : 
All books of love, see that at any hand. 
And see you read no other lectures to her. 
You understand me. — Over and beside 
Signior Baptista's liberality, 

I'll mend it with a largess. — Take your papers, too, 
And let me have them very well perfum'd. 
For she is sweeter than perfume itself. 
To whom they go. What will you read to her? 

Luc. Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you, 




As for my patron, stand you so assui-'d, 
As firmly as yourself were still in place : 
Yea, and perhaps with more successful words 
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir. 

Gre. O, this learning ! what a thing it is I 

Gru. O, this woodcock ! what an ass it is ! 

Pet. Peace, sirrah I 

Hor. Gruraio, mum I — [Coming forward .] — God 
save you, signior Gremio ! 

Gre. And you are well met, signior Hortensio. 
Trow you, whither I am going? — To Baptista 

I promis'd to inquire carefully 
About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca : 
And, by good fortune, I have lighted well 
On this young man ; for learning, and behaviour, 
Fit for her turn ; well read in poetry. 
And other books, — good ones, I warrant ye. 

Hor. 'Tis well : and I have met a gentleman 
Hath promis'd me to help me to another, 
A fine musician to instmct our mistress : 
So shall I no whit be behind in duty 
To fair Bianca, so belov'd of me. 

Gre. Belov'd of me, and that my deeds shall prove. 

Gru. And that his bags shall prove. 

Hor. Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love. 
Listen to me, and if you speak me fair, 
rU tell you news indifferent good for either. 
Here is a gentleman, whom by chance I met, 
Upon agreement from us to his liking. 
Will undertake to woo curst Katharine; 
Yea, and to many her, if her dowry please. 

Gre. So said, so done, is well. — 
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults? 

Pet. I know, she is an irksome, brawling scold : 
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm. 

Gre. No,say'stmeso,friend? What countryman? 

Pet. Born in Verona, old Antonio's son : 
My father dead, my fortune lives for me ; 
And I do hope good days, and long, to see. 

Gre. O ! sir, such a life, with such a wife, were 
strange ; 
But if you have a stomach, to't o' God's name : 
You shall have me assisting you in all. 
But will you woo this wild cat? 

Pel. Will I live ? 

Gru. Will lie woo her? ay, or I'll hang lier. 

Pet. Why came I hither, but to that intent ? 
Think you, a little din can daunt mine ears ? 
Have I not in my time heard lions roar? 
Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds, 
Rage like an angry boar, chafed with sweat ? 
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field. 
And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies ? 
Have I not in a pitched battle heard 
Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang ? 
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue, 
That gives not half so great a blow to" the ear, 
As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire ? 
Tush! tush I fear boys with bugs. 

Gru. For he fears none. 

Gre. Hortensio, hark. 
This gentleman is happily arriv'd, 
My mind presumes, for his own good, and yours. 

Hor. I promis'd we would be contributors. 
And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er. 

Gre. And so we will, provided that he win her. 

Gru. I would, 1 were as sure of a good dinner. 

EnterTRATSio, bravely apparelled ; a«rfBio.\DELLO. 

Tra. Gentlemen, God save you ! If I may be bold, 

Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way 
To the house of signior Baptista Minola? 

Bion. He that has the two fair daughters: — is't 
he you mean ? 

Tra. Even he, Biondello. 

Gre. Hark you, sir: you mean not her to — 

2Va. Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have you 
to do? 

Pet. Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray. 

Tra. I love no cinders, sir. — Biondello, let's 

Luc. Well begun, Tranio. [Aside. 

Hor. Sir, a word ere you go. 
Are you a suitor to the maid jou talk of, yea, or no ? 

Tra. An if I be, sir, is it any offence ? 

Gre. No ; if without more words you will get 
you hence. 

Tra. Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free 
For me, as for you ? 

Gre. But so is not she. 

Tra. For what reason, I beseech you? 

Gre. For this reason, if you'll know. 
That she's the choice love of signior Gremio. 

Hor. That she's the chosen of signior Hortensio. 

Tra. Softl_y, my masters! if you be gentlemen. 
Do me this right; hear me with patience. 
Baptista is a noble gentleman, 
To whom my father is not all unknown. 
And were his daughter fairer than she is. 
She may more suitors have, and me for one. 
Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers; 
Then, well one more may fair Bianca have. 
And so she shall. Lucentio shall make one, 
Though Paris came in hope to speed alone. 

Gre. What ! this gentleman will out-talk us all. 

Luc. Sir, give him head : 1 know, he'll prove a 

Pet. Hortensio, to what end are all these words ? 

Hor. Sir, let me be so bold as ask you. 
Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter? 

Tra. No, sir; but hear I do, that he hath two. 
The one as famous for a scolding tongue. 
As is the other for beauteous modesty. 

Pet. Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by. 

Gre. Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules, 
And let it be more than Alcides' twelve. 

Pet. Sir, understand j'ou this of me ; insoofh. 
The youngest daughter, whom you hearken for, 
Her father keeps from all access of suitors, 
And will not promise her to any man, 
Until the elder sister first be wed ; 
The younger then is free, and not before. 

Tra. If it be so, sir, that you are the man 
Must stead us all, and me among the rest ; 
And if you break the ice, and do this seek. 
Achieve the elder, set the younger free 
For our access, whose hap shall be to have her 
Will not so graceless be, to be ingrate. 

Hor. Sir, you say well, and well you do conceive ; 
And since you do profess to be a suitor. 
You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman. 
To whom we all rest generally beholding. 

Tra. Sir, I shall not be slack : in sign whereof. 
Please ye we may contrive this afternoon. 
And quaff carouses to our mistress' health ; 
And do as adversaries do in law. 
Strive misrhtily, but eat and drink as friends. 

Gru. Bion. O, excellent motion ! Fellows, let's 

Hor. The motion's good indeed, and be it so. — 
Petruchio, I shall be your henvenuto. [Exeunt. 

Scene I. — The Same. A Room in Baptista's 


Enter Katharina and Bianca. 

Bian. Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong 
To make a bondmaid, and a slave of me . 
That I disdain ; but for these other goods, 
Unbind my hands I'll put them off myself, 
Yea, all ray raiment, to my petticoat; 
Or what you will cominaud me will I do. 
So well I know my duty to my elders. 

Kath. Of all thy suitors, here I charge thee, tell 
Whom thou lov'st best : see thou dissemble not. 

Bian. Believe me, sister, of all the men alive, 
I never yet beheld that special face 
Which I could fancy more than any other. 

Kath. Minion, thou liest. Is't not Hortensio ? 

Bian. If j'ou affect him, sister, here I swear, 
I'll plead for you myself, bvit you shall have him. 

Kath. O ! then, belike, you fancy riches more : 
You will have Greraio to keep you fair. 

Bian. Is it for him you do envj' me so ? 
Nay then, you jest ; and now I well perceive, 
Y''ou have but jested with me all this while. 
I pr'ythee, sister Kate, untie my hands. 

Kath. If that be jest, then all the rest was so. 

[Strikes her. 

Enter Baptista. 

Bajj. Why, how now, dame I whence grows 
this insolence ? — 
Bianca, stand aside : — poor girl ! she weeps. — 
Go ply thy needle ; meddle not with her. — 
For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit. 
Why dost thou wrong her that did ne'er wrong thee ? 
When did she cross thee with a bitter word ? 
Kath. Her silence flouts me, and Til be reveng'd, 

[Flies after Biaxca. 
Bap. What ! in my sight ? — Bianca, get thee in. 

[Exit Bianca. 
Kath. What ! will you not suffer me ? Nay, 
now I see. 
She is your treasure, she must have a husband : 
I must dance barefoot on her wedding-day. 
And for your love to her lead apes in hell. 

Talk not to me : I will go sit and weep. 
Till I can find occasion of revenge. 

[Exit Katharina. 
Bap. Was ever gentleman thus griev'd as 1 ] 
But who comes here ? 

Enter GRETtUO, tcith Lucentio in a 7nean habit; 
Petruchio, uitli HoRTENSio as a Musician ; 
and Tramo, with Biondello bearing a lute and 

Gre. Good-morrow, neighbour Baptista. 

Bap. Good-morrow, neighbour Gremio. God 
save you, gentlemen ! 

Pet. And you, good sir. Pray, have you not a 
Call'd Katharina, fair, and virtuous ? 

Bap. I have a daughter, sir, call'd Katharina. 

Gre. Y''ou are too blunt : go to it orderly. 

Pet. Y^ou wrong me, signior Gremio : give me 
leave. — 
I am a gentleman of Verona, sir. 
That, hearing of her beauty, and her wit, 
Her affability, and bashful modesty. 
Her wondrous qualities, and mild behaviour, 
Am bold to show myself a forsvard guest 
Within your house, to make mine eye the witness 
Of that report which I so oft have heard. 
And, for an entrance to my entertainment, 
I do present you with a man of mine, 

[Presenting Hortensio. 
Cunning in music, and the mathematics. 
To instrvict her fully in those sciences. 
Whereof, I know, she is not ignorant. 
Accept of him, or else you do me wrong : 
His name is Licio, born in Mantua. 

Bap. Y'^ou're welcome, sir, and he, for your good 
But for my daughter Katharine, this I know, 
She is not for your turn, the more my grief. 

Pet. I see, you do not mean to part with her, 
Or else you like not of my company. 

Bap. Mistake me not ; I speak but as I find. 
Whence are you, sir ? what may I call your 
name ? 

Pet. Petruchio is my name, Antonio's son ; 
A man well known throuchout all Italy. 





Bap. I know him well; you are welcome for his 

Gre. Saving your tale. Petruchio, T pray, 
Let us, that are poor petitioners, speak too. 
Backare : you are marvellous forward. 

Pet. O ! pardon me, signior Gremio ; I would 
fain be doing. 

Gre. I doubt it not, sir; but you will curse your 
wooing. — 
Neighbour, this is a gift very grateful, I am sure 
of it. To express the like kindness myself, that 
have been more kindly beholding to you than any, 
I freely give unto you this young scholar, [Pre- 
senting LucENTio.] that hath been long studying 
at Rheims; as cunning in Greek, Latin, and other 
languages, as the other in music and mathematics. 
His name is Cambio : pray accept his service. 

Bap. A thousand thanks, signior Gremio : w^el- 
come, good Cambio. — But, gentle sir, [ To Tranio.] 
methinks, you walk like a stranger: may I be so 
bold to know the cause of your coming? 

Tra. Pardon me, sir, the boldness is mine own, 
That, being a stranger in this city here. 
Do make myself a suitor to your daughter, 
Unto Bianca, fair, and virtuous. 
Nor is your firm resolve unknown to me, 
In the preferment of the eldest sister. 
This liberty is all that I request, — 
That, upon knowledge of my parentage, 
I may have welcome 'mongst the rest that woo 
And free access and favour as the rest: 
And, toward the education of your daughters, 
I here bestow a simple instrument. 
And this small packet of Greek and Latin books : 
If you accept them, then tlieir worth is great. 

Baj). Lucentio is your name ? of whence, I pray ? 

Tra. Of Pisa, sir; son to Vincentio. 

Bap. A mighty man of Pisa : by report 
I know him well. You are very welcome, sir. — 
Take you [3'o Hor.] the lute, and you \_Tu Luc] 

the set of books; 
You shall go see your pupils presently. 
Holla, within ! 

Enter a Servant. 

Sirrah, lead these gentlemen 

To my daughters ; and tell them both. 

These are their tutors : bid them use them well. 

[Exit Servant, icith Hortensio, Lucentio, 
and BioNDELLo. 
We will go walk a little in the orchard, 
And then to dinner. You are passing welcome, 
And so I pray you all to think yourselves. 

Pet. Signior Baptista, my business asketh haste, 
And every day I cannot come to woo. 
You knew my father well, and in him, me, 
Left solely heir to all his lands and goods. 
Which I have better'd rather than decreas'd : 
Then, tell me, — if I get your daughter's love. 
What dowry shall I have with her to wife ? 

Bap. After my death, the one half of my lands, 
And in possession, twenty thousand crowns. 

Pet. And, for that dowry, I'll assure her of 
Her widowhood, be it that she survive me, 
In all my lands and leases whatsoever. 
Let specialties be therefore drawn between us, 
That covenants may be kept on either hand. 

Bap. Ay, when the special thing is well obtain'd, 
That is, her love ; for that is all in all. 

Pet. Why, that is nothing ; for I tell you, father, 
T am as peremptory as she proud-minded; 


And whore two raging fires meet together. 
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury. 
Though little fire grows great with little wind. 
Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all ; 
So I to her, and so she yields to me. 
For I am rough, and woo not like a babe. 

Bap. Well may'st thou woo, and happy be ihy 

speed ! 
But be thou arm'd for some unhappy words. 

Pet. Ay, to the proof; as mountains are for 

That shake not, though they blow perpetually 

Re-enter HoKTE>fsio, icilh his head broJcen. 

Bap. How now, my friend ! why dost thou look 
so pale ? 

Hor. For fear, I promise you, if I look pale. 

Bap. What, will my daughter prove a good mu 
sician ? 

Hor. I think, she'll sooner prove a soldier: 
Iron may hold with her, but never lutes. 

Bap. Whv, then thou canst not break her to the 
lute ?■ 

Hor. Why no, for she hath broke the lute to me. 
I did but tell her she mistook her frets, 
And bow'd her hand to teach her fingering, 
When, with a most impatient, devilish spirit, 
"Frets, call you these?" cpioth she: "I'll fume 

with them :" 
And with that word she struck me on the head. 
And through the instrument my pate made way ; 
And there I stood amazed for a while. 
As on a pillory looking through the lute. 
While she did call me rascal fiddler, 
And twangling .Jack; with twenty such vile terms. 
As had she studied to misuse me so. 

Pet. Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench ! 
I love her ten times more than e'er I did : 
O, how I long to have some chat with her! 

Bap. Well, go with me, and be not so dis- 
Proceed in practice with my younger daughter ; 
She's apt to learn, and thankful for good turns. — 
Signior Petruchio, will you go with us. 
Or shall I send my daughter Kate to j^ou ? 

Pet. I pray you do ; I will attend her here, 

[Exetint Baptista, Gremio, Tranio, 
and Hortensio. 
And woo her with some spirit when she comes. 
Say, that she rail; why, then I'll tell her plain, 
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale : 
Say, that she frown ; I'll say, she looks as clear 
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew: 
Say, she be mute, and will not speak a word ; 
Then I'll commend her volubility. 
And say, she uttereth piercing eloquence : 
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks. 
As though she bid me stay by her a week : 
If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day 
When I shall ask the banns, and when be married. — 
But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak. 

Enter Katharina. 

Good-morrow, Kate, for that's your name, I hear. 
Kath. Well have you heard, but something hard 
of hearing : 
They call me Katharine, that do talk of me. 

Pet. You lie, in faith ; for you are call'd plain 
And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst; 
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom; 




Kate of Kate-Hall, my super-daiiity Kate, 
For dainties are all cates : and therefore, Kate, 
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation : — 
Hearing thy mildness prais'd in every town. 
Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded, 
Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs, 
Myself am mov'd to woo thee for my wife. 

Kath. Mov'd ! in good time : let him that mov'd 
you hither. 
Remove you hence. 1 knew you at the first, 
You were a moveable. 

Pet. Why, what's a moveable ? 

Kath. A joint-stool. 

Pet. Thou hast hit it : come, sit on me. 

Kath. Asses are made to bear, and so are you. 

Pet. Women are made to bear, and so are you. 

Kath. No such jade as you, if me you mean. 

Pet. Alas, good Kate I I will not burden thee ; 
For, knowing thee to be but yoiuig and light, — 

Kath. Too light for such a swain as you to catch, 
And yet as heavy as my weight should be. 

Pet. Should be ? should ? buz — 

Kalh. Well ta'en, and like a buzzard. 

Pet. O, slow-wing'd turtle ! shall a buzzard take 

Kath. Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard. 

Pet. Come, come, you wasp ; i'faith, you are too 

Kath. If I be waspish, best beware my sting. 

Pet. My remedy is, then, to pluck it out. 

Kath. Ay, if the fool could find it where it 

Pet. Who knows not where a wasp does weai' 

his sting ? 

In his tongue. 

In his tail. 


Pet. Whose tongue? 

Kath. Yours, if you talk of tails ; and so farewell. 

Pet. What! with my tongue in your tail? nay, 
come again : 
Good Kate, I am a gentleman. 

Kath. That I'll try. 

[Striking Jiim. 

Pet. I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again. 

Kath. So may you lose your arms : 
If you strike me you are no gentleman, 
And if no gentleman, w4iy, then no arms. 

Pet. A herald, Kate ? O ! put me in thy books. 

Kath. What is your crest ? a coxcomb ? 

Pet. A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen. 

Kath. No cock of mine ; you crow too like a 

Pet. Nay, come, Kate, come ; you must uol look 

so sour. 
Kath. It is my fashion when 1 see a crab. 
Pet. Why, here's no crab, and therefore look not 

Kath. There is, there is. 
Pet. Then show it me. 

Kath. Had 1 a glass, 1 would. 

Pet. What, you mean my face ? 
Kath. Well aim'd of such a young one. 

Pet. Now, by Saint George, I am too young for 

Kath. Yet you are wither'd. 
Pet. 'Tis with cares. 

Kath. 1 care not. 

Pet. Nay, hear you, Kate : in sooth, you 'scape 

not so. 
Kath. I chafe you, if I tarry : let me go. 
Pet. No, not a whit : 1 find you passing gentle. 
'Twas told me, you were rough, and coy, and sullen, 
And now I find report a very liar ; 
For thou art pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous, 





But slow ia speech, yet sweet as spring-time 

Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance. 
Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will ; 
Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk ; 
But thou with mildness entertain'st thy wooers, 
With gentle conference, soft and aftable. 
Why does the world report that Kate doth limp? 
O, slanderous world ! Kate, like the hazel-twig. 
Is straight, and slender; and as brown in hue 
As hazel nuts, and sweeter than the kernels. 

! let me see thee walk : thou dost not halt. 
Kaih. Go, fool, and whom thou keep'st command. 
Pet. Did evei Dian so become a grove. 

As Kate this chamber with her princely gait? 

O ! be thovx Dian, and let her be Kate, 

And then let Kate be chaste, and Dian sportful. 

Kath. Where did you study all this goodly speech ? 

Pet. It is extempore, from my mother-wit. 

Kaih. A witty mother ! witless else her son. 

Pet. Am I not wise ? 

Kath. Yes ; keep you warm. 

Pet. Marry, so 1 mean, sweet Katharine, in thy 
And therefore, setting all this chat aside. 
Thus in plain terms : — your father hath consented 
That you shall be my wife ; your dowry 'greed on, 
And, will you, nill you, I will marry you. 
Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn ; 
For. by this light, whereby I see thy beauty, 
Thy beauty that doth make me like thee well, 
Thou must be married to no man but me: 
For I am he, am born to tame j'ou, Kate, 
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate 
Conformable, as other household Kates. 
Here comes your father : never make denial ; 

1 must and will have Katharine to my wife. 

Re-enter Baptista, Gremio, and Tranio. 

Bap. Now, signior Petrachio. how speed you 

with my daughter? 
Pet. How but well, sir? how but well? 
It were impossible I should speed amiss. 

Bap. Why, how now, daughter Katharine ! in 

your dumps ? 
Kath. Call you me daughter ? now, I promise you, 
You have show'd a tender fatherly regard, 
To wish me wed to one half lunatic ; 
A mad-cap ruffian, and a swearing Jack, 
That thinks with oaths to face the matter out. 

Pet. Father, 'tis thus : — yourself and all the world, 
That talk'd of her, have talk'd amiss of her. 
If she be curst, it is for policy. 
For she's not froward, but modest as the dove ; 
She is not hot, but temperate as the morn; 
For patience she will prove a second Grissel, 
And Roman Lucrece for her chastity ; 
And to conclude, — we have 'greed so well together. 
That upon Sunday is the wedding-day. 
Kath. I'll see thee hang'd on Sunday first. 
Gre. Hark, Petruchio : she says, she'll see thee 

hang'd first. 
Tra. Is this your speeding ? nay then, good night 

our part. 
Pet. Be patient, gentlemen ; I choose her for 
If she and I be pleas'd, what's that to you ? 
'Tis bargained 'twixt us twain, being alone. 
That she shall still be curst in company. 
I tell you, 'tis incredible to believe 
How much she loves me. O, the kindest Kate \ 


She hung about my neck, and kiss on kiss 
She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath. 
That in a twink she won me to her love. 

! you are novices : 'tis a world to see, 
How tame, when men and women are alone, 

A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew. — 
Give me thy hand, Kate : I will unto Venice, 
To buy apparel 'gainst the wedding-day. — 
Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests; 

1 will be sure, my Katharine shall be fine. 

Bap. I know not what to say ; but give me youi* 
hands : 
God send you joy, Petruchio ! 'tis a match. 

Gre. Tra. Amen, say we : we will be witnesses. 

Pet. Father, and wife, and gentlemen, adieu. 
I will to Venice; Sunday comes apace. 
We will have rings, and things, and fine array ; 
And, kiss me Kate, we will be married o' Sunday. 

\^Exeunt Petruchio and Katharina, severally. 

Gre. Was ever match clapp'd up so suddenly ? 

Bap. Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant's 
And venture madly on a desperate tnart. 

Tra. 'Twas a commodity lay fretting by you : 
'Twill bring you gain, or perish on the seas. 

Bap. The gain I seek is — quiet in the match. 

Gre. No doubt but he hath got a quiet catch. — 
But now, Baptista, to your younger daughter. 
Now is the day we long have looked for : 
I am your neighbour, and was suitor first. 

Tra. And I am one, that love Bianca more 
Than words can witness, or your thoughts can guess. 

Gre. Youngling, thou canst not love so dear as I. 

Tra. Grey-beard, thy love doth freeze. 

Gre. But thine doth fiy^. 

Skipper, stand back : 'tis age, that nourisheth. 

Tra. But youth, in ladies' eyes that flourisheth. 

Bap. Content you, gentlemen ; I'll compound 
this strife : 
'Tis deeds, must win the prize ; and he, of both. 
That can assure my daughter greatest dower. 
Shall have my Bianca's love. — 
Say, signior Gremio, what can you assure her ? 

Gre. First, as yoix know, my house within the 
Is richly furnished with plate and gold : 
Basons, and ewers, to lave her dainty hands; 
My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry : 
In ivory coffers I have stuff''d my crowns ; 
In cypress chests my airas, counterpoints. 
Costly apparel, tents, and canopies, 
Fine linen, Turkey cushions boss'd with pearl, 
Valance of Venice gold in needle-work. 
Pewter and brass, and all things that belong 
To house, or housekeeping : then, at my farm, 
I have a hundred milch-kine to the pail. 
Six score fat oxen standing in my stalls. 
And all things answerable to this portion. 
Myself am struck in years, I must confess ; 
And if I die to-morrow this is hers. 
If whilst I live she will be only mine. 

Tra. That " only" came well in. — Sir, list to me : 
I am my father's heir, and only son : 
If I may have your daughter to my wife, 
I'll leave her houses three or four as good, 
Within rich Pisa walls, as any one 
Old signior Gremio has in Padua; 
Besides two thousand ducats by the year 
Of fruitful land, all which shall be her jointure. — 
What, have I pinch'd yoti, signior Gremio ? 

Gre- Two thousand ducats by the year of land I 




My land amounts not to so much in all : 
That she shall have ; besides an argosy, 
That now is lying in Marseilles' road. — 
What, have 1 chok'd you with an argosy ? 

Tra. Gremio, 'tis known, my father hath no less 
Than three great argosies, besides two galliasses, 
And twelve tight galleys : these I will assure her, 
And twice as much, whate'er thou ofter'st next. 

Gre. Nay, I have oflfer'd all, I have no more ; 
And she can have no more than all I have : — 
li you like me, she shall have me and mine. 

Tra. Why, then, the maid is mine from all the 
By your firm promise : Gremio is out-vied. 

Bap. I must confess, your offer is the best; 
And, let your father make her the assurance. 
She is your own ; else, you must pardon me : 
If you should die before him, where's her dower? 

Tra. That's but a cavil : he is old, I young. 

Gre. And may not young men die, as well as old ? 

Bap. Well, gentlemen, 

I am thus resolv'd. — On Sunday next, you know, 
My daughter Katharine is to be married : 
Now, on the Sunday following shall Bianca 
Be bride to you, if you make this assurance; 
If not, to signior Gremio : 
Arid so I take my leave, and thank you both. 


Gre. Adieu, good neighbour. Now I fear thee not : 
Sirrah, young gamester, your father were a fool 
To give thee all, and, in his waning age. 
Set foot under thy table. Tut ! a toy ! 
An old Italian fox is not so kind, my boy. [Exit. 

Tra. A vengeance on your crafty witlier'd hide ! 
Yet I have faced it with a card of ten. 
'Tis in my head to do my master good : — 
I see no reason, but suppos'd Lucentio 
Must get a father, call'd — suppos'd Vincentio; 
And that's a wonder : fathers, commonly, 
Do get their children ; but in this case of wooing, 
A child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my cunning. 


Scene I. — A Room in Baptista's House. 
Enter Lucentio, Hortensio, and Bianca. 

Luc. Fiddler, forbear : you grow too forward, sir. 
Have you so soon forgot the entertainment 
Her sister Katharine welcom'd you withal? 

Hor. But, wrangling pedant, this is 
The patroness of heavenly harmony: 
Then, give me leave to have prerogative; 
And when in music we have spent an hour, 
Your lecture shall have leisure for as much. 

Luc. Preposterous ass, that never read so far 
To know the cause why nuisic was ordain'd ! 
Was it not to refresh the mind of man, 
After his studies, or his usual pain ? 
Then give me leave to read philosophy, 
And while I pause serve in your harmony. 

Hor. Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine. 

Bian. Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong. 
To strive for that which resteth in my choice. 
I am no breeching scholar in the schools; 
I'll not be tied to hours, nor 'pointed times, 
But learn my lessons as I please myself. 
And, to cut off all strife, here sit we down : — 
Take you your instrument, play you the whiles ; 
His lecture will be done, ere you have tun'd. 

Hor. You'll leave his lecture when I am in tune ? 

[Hortensio retires. 

Luc. That will be never : — tune your instrument. 

Bian. Where left we last ? 

Luc. Here, madam : 

Hac that Simois ; hie est Sigeia tellus ; 
Hie steterat Priami regia celsa senis. 

Bian. Construe them. 

Luc. Hac ibat, as I told you before, — Si7nois, I 
am Lucentio, — hie est, sonunto Vincentioof Pisa, — 
Sigeia tellus, disguised thus to get your love ; — Hie 
steterat, and that Lucentio that comes a wooing, — 
Priami, is my man Tranio, regia, bearing my port, — 
celsa senis, that we might beguile the old pantaloon. 

Hor. [Returning.] Madam, my instrument's in 

Bian. Let 'shear. [Hortensio pZays. 

O fie ! the treble jars. 

Luc. Spit in the hole, man, and tune again. 

Bian. Now let me see if T can construe it : Hac 

ibat Simois, I know you not ; — hie est Sigeia tellus, 
I trust you not ; — trie steterat Priami, take heed 
he hear us not; — regia, presume not; — celsa senis, 
despair not. 

Hor. Madam, 'tis now in tune. 

Luc. All but the base. 

Hor. The base is right ; 'tis the base knave that 
How fiery and forward our pedant is ! 
Now, for my life, the knave doth court my love : 
Pedascule, I'll watch you better yet. 

Bian. In time I may believe, yet I mistrust. 

Luc. Mistrust it not ; for, sure, il'^acides 
Was Ajax, call'd so from his grandfather. 

Bian. I must believe my master; else, I promise 
I should be arguing still upon that doubt : 
But let it rest. — Now, Licio, to you. — 
Good masters, take it not unkindly, pray, 
That I have been thus pleasant with you both. 

Hor. [To Lucentio.] You may go walk, and 
give me leave awhile: 
My lessons make no nmsic in three parts. 

Luc. Are you so formal, sir ? [Aside.] Well, I 
must wait. 
And watch withal ; for, but I be deceiv'd. 
Our fine musician groweth amorous. 

Hor. Madam, before you touch the instrument, 
To learn the order of my fingering, 
I must begin with rudiments of art ; 
To teach you gamut in a briefer sort. 
More pleasant, pithy, and effectual, 
Than hath been taught by any of my trade : 
And there it is in writing fairly drawn. 

Bian. Why, I am past my gamut long ago. 

Hor. Yet read the gamut of Hortensio. 

Bian. [Reads.] Gamut / am, the ground of all 
A re, to plead Hortensio'' s passion ; 

B mi, Bianca, take him for thy lord, 
C faut, that loves trith all affection : 

T> sol re, one cliff, two notes have I: 

E la mi, shoiv pity, or I die. 
Call you this gamut? tut! I like it not: 
Old fashions please me best : I am not so nice, 
To change true rules for odd inventions. 

ACT 111. 



Enter a Servant. 

Sew. Mistress, your lather prays you leave your 
And help to dress your sister's chamber up : 
You know, to-morrow is the wedding-day. 

Bian. Farewell, sweet masters, both : I must be 
gone. {^Exeunt Bianca and Servant. 

Luc. 'Faith, mistress, then I have no cause to 
stay. [jK.rii. 

Hor. But I have cause to pry into this pedant: 
Methinks, he looks as though he were in love. — 
Yet if thy thoiights, Bianca, be so humble, 
To cast thy wandering eyes on every stale, 
Seize thee that list : if once I find thee ranging, 
Hortensio will be quit with thee by changing. 


Scene II. — The Same. Before Baptista's House. 

Enter Baptista, Gremio, Tranio, Katharina, 
Bianca, Lucentio, and Attendants. 

Bap. Signior Lucentio, this is the 'pointed day 
That Katharine and Petruchio should be married. 
And yet we hear not of our son-in-law. 
What will be said ? what mockery will it be. 
To want the bridegroom, when the priest attends 
To speak the ceremonial rites of marriage ? 
What says Lucentio to this shame of ours ? 

Kath. No shame but )iiine : I must, forsooth, be 
To give my hand, oppos'd against my heart, 
Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen ; 
Who woo'd in haste, and means to wed at leisure. 
I told you, I, he was a frantic fool, 
Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behaviour ; 
And to be noted for a merry man, 
He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriase. 
Make friends, invite, yes, and proclaim the banns ; 
Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd. 
Now must the world point at poor Katharine, 
And say, — " Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife. 
If it would please him come and many her." 

Tra. Patience, good Katharine, and Baptista too. 
Upon my life, Petruchio means but well. 
Whatever fortune stays him from his word : 
Though he be blunt, I know him passing wise ; 
Though he be merry, yet withal he's honest. 

Kath. Would Katharine had never seen him 
though ! 

[Exit, weeping;, folloiced by Bianca, and others. 

Bap. Go, girl ; I cannot blame thee now to weep. 
For such an injury would vex a very saint. 
Much more a shrew of thy impatient humour. 

Enter Biondello. 

Bion. Master, master ! old news, and such news 
as you never heard of! 

Bap. Is it new and old too ? how may that be ? 

Bion. Why, is it not news to hear of Petruchio's 
coming ? 

Bap. Is he come ? 

Bion. Why, no, sir. 

Bap. What then ? 

Bion. He is coming. 

Bap. When will he be here ? 

Bion. When he stands where I am, and sees you 

Tra. But, say, what to thine old news? 

Bion. Why, Petruchio is coming, in a new hat, 
and an old jerkin ; a pair of old breeches, thrice 

turned ; a pair of boots that have been candle-cases, 
one buckled, another laced; an old rusty sword 
ta'en out of the town armoury, with a broken hilt, 
and chapeless ; with two broken points : his horse 
hipped with an old mothy saddle, and stirrups of 
no kindred : besides, possessed with the glanders, 
and like to mose in the chine ; troubled with the 
lampass, infected with the fashions, full of wind- 
galls, sped with spavins, raied with the yellows, 
past cure of the fives, stark spoiled with the stag- 
gers, bcgnawn with the bots ; swayed in the back, 
and shoulder-shotten ; ne'er-legged before, and with 
a half-cheeked bit, and a head-stall of sheep's lea- 
ther ; which, being restrained to keep him from 
stumbling, hath been often burst, and now repaired 
with knots: one girth six times pieced, and a wo- 
man's crupper of velure, which hath two letters for 
her name iairly set down in studs, and here and 
there pieced with packthread. 

Bap. Who comes Avith him? 

Bion. O, sir ! his lackey, for all the world capa- 
risoned like the horse; with a linen stock on one 
leg, and a kersey boot-hose on the other, gartered 
with a red and blue list; an old hat, and "the hu- 
mour of forty fancies" pricked in't for a feather: a 
monster, a very monster in ap])arel, and not like a 
Christian footboy, or a gentleman's lackey. 

7Va. 'Tis some odd humour pricks him to this 
fashion ; 
Yet oftentimes he goes but mean apparell'd. 

Bap. I am glad he is come, howsoe'er he comes. 

Bion. Why, sir, he comes not. 

Baj). Didst thou not say, he comes? 

Bion. Who? that Petruchio came? 

Bap. Ay, that Petrucliio came. 

Bion. No, sir; I say, his horse comes, with him 
on his back. 

Bap. Why, that's all one. 

Bion. Nay, by Saint Jamy, 

I hold you a penny, 
A horse and a man 
Is more than one. 
And yet not many. 

Enter Petruchio and Grumio. 

Pet. Come, where be these gallants? who is at 
home ? 

Bap. You are welcome, sir. 

Pet. And yet I come not well 

Bap. And yet you halt not. 

Tra. Not so well apparell'd. 

As I wish you were. 

Pet. Were it better, I should rush in thus. 
But where is Kate? where is mv lovely bride? — 
How does my father? — Gentles, methinks you 

frown : 
And wherefore gaze this goodly company. 
As if they saw some wondrous monument. 
Some comet, or unusual prodiiry? 

Bap. Why, sir, you know, this is your wedding- 
day : 
First were we sad, fearing you would not come ; 
Now sadder, that you come so unprovided. 
Fie! doft'this habit, shame to your estate. 
An eye-sore to our solemn festival. 

Tra. And tell us what occasion of import 
Hath all so long detain'd you from your wife, 
And sent you hither so unlike yourself? 

Pet. Tedious it were to tell, and harsh to hear: 
Sufficeth, I am come to keep mv word. 
Though in some part enforced to digress ; 





Which, at more leisure, I will so excuse 

As you shall well be satisfied withal. 

But, where is Kate? I stay too long from her: 

The morning wears, 'tis time we were at church. 

Tra. See not your bride in these unreverent robes. 
Go to my chamber: put on clothes of mine. 

Pel. Not I, believe me : thus I'll visit her. 

Bap. But thus, I trust, you will not marry her. 

Pet. Good sooth, even thus ; therefore have done 
Avith words : 
To me she's married, not unto my clothes. 
Could I repair what she will wear in me. 
As I can change these poor accoutrements, 
'Twere well for Kate, and better for myself. 
But wliat a fool am I to chat with you, 
When I should bid good-morrow to my bride, 
And seal the title with a lovely kiss ! 

[Exeunt Petruchio, Grumio, and Biondello. 

Tra. He hath some meaning in his mad attire. 
We will persuade him, be it jjossible, 
To put on better ere he go to church. 

Bap. I'll after him, and see the event of this. 


Tra. But, sir, to love, concerneth us to add 
Her father's liking ; which to bring to pass, 
As I before imparted to your worship, 
I am to get a man, — whate'er he be, 
It skills not much, we'll fit him to our turn, — 
And he shall be Vincentio of Pisa, 
And make assurance, here in Padua, 
Of greater sums than I have promised. 
So shall you quietly enjoy your hope. 
And marry sweet Bianca with consent. 

Luc. Were it not that my fellow schoolmaster 
Doth watch Biauca's stej)s so narrowly, 
'Twere good, methinks, to steal our marriage ; 
Which once perform'd, let all the world say no, 
I'll keep mine own, despite of all the world. 

Tra. That by degrees we mean to look into, 
And watch our vantage in this business. 
We'll over-reach the grey-beard, Gremio, 
The narrow-prying father, Minola, 
The quaint musician, amorous Licio; 
All for my master's sake, Lucentio. 

Re-enter Gremio. 

Signior Gremio, came you from the church ? 

Chre. As willingly as e'er I came from school. 

Tra. And is the bride, and bridegroom, coming 
home ? 

Gre. A-bridegroom say you? 'tis a groom indeed; 
A grumbling groom, and that the girl shall find. 

Tra. Curster than she ? why, 'tis impossible. 

Gre. Why, he's a devil, a devil, a very fiend. 

Tra. Why, she's a devil, a devil, the devil's dam. 

Gre. Tut ! she's a Iamb, a dove, a fool to him. 
I'll tell you, sir, Lucentio : when the priest 
Should ask — if Katharine should be his wife, 
"Ay, by go^s-wouns," quoth he ; and swore so loud. 
That, all amaz'd, the priest let fall the book, 
And, as he stoop'd again to take it up. 
This mad-brain'd bridegroom took him such a cuff, 
That down fell priest and book, and book and priest : 
" Now take them up," quoth he, " if any list." 

Tra. What said the wench when he arose again 1 

Gre. Treml)led and shook ; for why, he stamp' d, 
and swore. 
As if the Aacar meant to cozen him. 
But after many ceremonies done, 
He calls for wine : — " A health !" quoth he ; as if 
He had been aboard, carousing to his mates 


After a storm: — quaff'd off the muscadel, 
And threw the sops all in the sexton's face ; 
Having no other reason. 
But that his beard grew thin and hungerly, 
And seem'd to ask him sops as he was drinking. 
This done, he took the bride about the neck, 
And kiss'd her lips with such a clamorous smack. 
That, at the parting, all the church did echo : 
And I, seeing this, came thence for very shame ; 
And after me, I know, the rout is coming : 
Such a mad marriage never was before. 
Hark, hark ! I hear the minstrels play. [JSLisic. 

Enter Petruchio, Katharina, Bia>ca, Bap- 
TisTA, Hortensio, Grumio, and train. 

Pet. Gentlemen and friends, I thank you for your 
I know, you think to dine with me to-day. 
And have prepar'd great store of wedding cheer; 
But, so it is, my haste doth call me hence, 
And therefore here I mean to take my leave. 

Bap. Is't possible you will away to-night ? 

Pet. I must away to-day, before night come. 
Make it no wonder: if you knew my business, 
You would entreat me rather go than stay. — 
And, honest company, I thank j'ou all. 
That have belield me give away myself 
To this most patient, sweet, and virtuous wife: 
Dine with my father, drink a health to me. 
For I mtist hence ; and farewell to you all. 

Tra. Let us entreat you stay till after dinner. 

Pet. It may not be. 

Gre. Let me entreat you. 

Pet. It cannot be. 

Kath. Let me entreat you. 

Pet. 1 am content. 

Kath. Are you content to stay? 

Pet. I am content you shall entreat me stay, 
But yet not stay, entreat me how you can. 

Kath. Now, if you love me, stay. 

Pet. Grumio, my horse ! 

Gru.^ Ay, sir, they be ready : the oats have eaten 
the horses. 

Kath. Nay, then, 
Do what thou canst, I will not go to-day; 
No, nor to-morrow, not till I please myself. 
The door is open, sir, there lies your way ; 
You may be jogging whiles your boots are green; 
For me, I'll not be gone, till I please myself. — 
'Tis like you'll prove a jolly surly groom. 
That take it on you at the first so roundly. 

Pet. O, Kate ! content thee : pr'ythee, be not 

Kath. I will be angiy. What hast thou to do ? — 
Father, be quiet; he shall stay my leisure. 

Gre. Ay, marry, sir, now it begins to work. 

Kath. Gentlemen, forward to the bridal dinner. 
I see, a woman may be made a fool. 
If she had not a spirit to resist. 

Pet. They shall go forward, Kate, at thy com- 
mand. — 
Obey the bride, you that attend on her : 
Go to the feast, revel and domineer, 
Carouse full measure to her maidenhead, 
Be mad and merry, or go hang yourselves. 
But for my bonny Kate, she must with me. 
Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret ; 
I will be master of what is mine own. 
She is mv goods, my chattels ; she is my house. 
My household-stuff, my field, my barn. 
My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing ; 




And here she stands ; touch her whoever dare : 

I'll bring jiiine action on the proudest he 

That stops my way in Padua. — Gramio, 

Draw forth thy weapon ; we're beset with thieves : 

Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man. — 

Fear not, sweet wench ; they shall not touch thee, 

Kate : 
I'll buckler thee against a million. 

[Exeu/it Petruchio, Katharina, and 
Bap. Nay, let thein go, a couple of quiet ones. 
Gre. Went they not quickly, I should die with 

Tra. Of all mad matches never was the like ! 

Luc. Mistress, what's your opinion of your sister? 

Bian. That, being mad herself, she's madly mated. 

Gre. I warrant him, Petnachio is Kated. 

Bap. Neighbours and friends, though bride and 
bridegroom wants 
For to supply the places at the table. 
You know, there wants no junkets at the feast. — 
Lucentio, you shall supply the bridegroom's place, 
And let Bianca take her sister's room. 

Tra. Shall sweet Bianca practise how to bride it ? 

Baj). She shall, Lucentio. — Come, gentlemen ; 
let's go. \_Exeunt. 



■d^"r /# 

/ , ^^ — ^ -A ^.1 j>' ' 

Scene I. — A Hall in Petruchio's Country-house. 
Enter Grumto. 

Gru. Fie, fie, on all tired jades, on all mad mas- 
ters, and all foul ways ! Was ever man so beaten ? 
was ever man so rayed] was ever man so weary? 
I am sent before to make a fire, and they are coming 
after to warm them. Now, were not I a little pot, 
and soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my 
teeth, my tongue to the roof of my mouth, my 
heart in my belly, ere I should come by a fire to 
thaw me ; but, I, with blowing the fire, shall warm 
myself, for, considering the weather, a taller man 
than I will take cold. Holla, hoa! Curtis! 

Enter Curtis. 

Curt. Who is that, calls so coldly ? 

Gru. A piece of ice : if thou doubt it, thou 
may'st slide from my shoulder to my heel, with no 
greater a nin but my head and my neck. A fire, 
good Curtis. 

Curt. Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio ? 

Gru. O ! ay, Curtis, ay ; and therefore fire, fire : 
cast on no water. 

Curt. Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported ? 

Gru. She was, good Curtis, before this frost; 
but, thou know'st, winter tames man, woman, and 
beast, for it hath tamed my old master, and my 
new mistress, and myself, fellow Curtis. 

Curt. Away, you three-inch fool ! I am no beast. 

Gru. Am I bvxt three inches? why, thy horn is 
a foot; and so long am I at the least. But wilt 
thou make a fire, or shall I complain on thee to our 
mistress, whose hand (she being now at hand) thou 
shall soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being slow 
in thy hot office? 

Curt. I pr'ythee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes 
the world ? 

Gru. A cold world, Curtis, in every office but 
thine ; and, therefore, fire. Do thy duty, and have 
thy duty, for my master and mistress are almost 
frozen to death. 

Curt. There's fire ready ; and therefore, good 
Grumio, the news? 

Gru. Why, "Jack, boy ! ho boy !" and as much 
news as thou wilt. 


Curt. Come, you are so full of cony-catching. — 

Gru. Why, therefore, fire : for I have caught 
extreme cold. Where's the cook? is supper 
ready, the house trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs 
swept: the serving-men in their new fustian, the 
white stockings, and every officer his wedding-gar- 
ment on? Be the Jacks fair within, the Jills fair 
without, the carpets laid, and everything in order? 

Curt. All ready ; and therefore, I pray thee, news ? 

Gru. First, know, my horse is tired ; my master 
and mistress fallen out. 

Curt. How? 

Gru. Out of their saddles into the dirt; and 
thereby hangs a tale. 

Curt. Let's ha't, good Grumio. 

Gru. Lend thine ear. 

Curt. ^Here. 

Gru. There. [SlriJcins^ Mm. 

Curt. This 'tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale. 

Gru. And therefore 'tis called, a sensible tale ; 
and this cuff was but to knock at your ear, and be- 
seech listening. Now I begin : Imprimis, we came 
down a foul hill, my master riding behind my mis- 
tress. — 

Curt. Both of one horse ? 

Gru. What's that to thee ? 

Curt. Why, a horse. 

Gru. Tell thou the tale : — but hadst thou not 
crossed me, thou should'st have heard how her 
horse fell, and she under her horse ; thou should'st 
have heard, in how miry a place ; how she was be- 
moiled; how he left her with the horse upon her; 
how he beat me because her horse stumbled ; how 
she waded through the dirt to pluck him off me ; 
how he swore ; how she prayed, that never prayed 
before ; how I cried ; how the horses ran away ; 
how her bridle was bui'st ; how I lost my crupper ; — 
with many things of worthy memory, which now 
shall die in oblivion, and thou return unexperienced 
to thy grave. 

Curt. By this reckoning he is more shrew than 

Gru. Ay ; and that thou and the proudest of 
you all shall find, when he comes home. But what 
talk I of this ? — Call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nich- 
olas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest : let 




their heads be sleekly combed, their blue coats 
brushed, and their garters of an iiidili'erent knit : 
let them curtsey with their left legs, and not pre- 
sume to touch a hair of my master's horse-tail, till 
they kiss their hands. Are they all ready ? 

Curt. They are. 
Gru. Call them forth. 

Curt. Do you hear? ho! you must meet my 
master, to countenance my mistress. 

Gru. Why, she hath a face of her own. 

Curt. Who knows not that? 
Gru. Thou, it seems, that callest for company 
to countenance her. 

Curt. I call them forth to credit her. 

Gru. Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them. 

Enter several Servants. 

Nath. Welcome home, Grumio. 

Phil. How now, Grumio ? 

Jos. What, Grumio! 

Nick. Fellow Grumio ! 

Nath. How now, old lad ? 

Gru. Welcome, you ; — how now, you ; what, 
you ; — fellow, you ; — and tiius much for greeting. 
Now, my spruce companions, is all ready, and all 
things neat ? 

Nath. All things is ready. How near is our 
jnaster ? 

Gru. E'en at hand, alighted by this; and there- 
fore be not, — Cock's passion, silence ! — I hear my 

Enter Petrdchio and Katharina. 

Pet. Where be these knaves ? What ! no man at 
To hold my stirnip, nor to take my horse. 
Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Philip ? — 

All Serv. Here, here, sir; here, sir. 

Pet. Here, sir! here, sir! here, sir! here, sir? 
You logger-headed and un])olish"d grooms I 
What, no attendance ? no regard ? no duty ? — 
Where is the foolish knave I sent before ? 

Gru. Here, sir; as foolish as I was before. 

Pet. You peasant swain ! you whoreson malt- 
horse drudge ! 
Did I not bid tliee meet me in the park. 
And bring along these rascal knaves with thee ? 

Gru. Nathaniel's coat, sir, was not fully made. 
And Gabriel's pumps were all unpink'd i' the heel; 
There was no link to colour Peter's hat. 
And Walter's dagger was not come from sheathing : 
There were none fine, but Adam, Ralph, and Gre- 
gory ; 
The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly ; 
Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you. 

Pet. Go, rascals, go, and fetch my supper in. 

[Exeunt some of the Servants. 

" Where is the life that late I led" — 

Where are those — ? Sit down, Kate, and welcome. 
Soud, soud, soud, soud! 

Re-enter Servants, icith supper. 

Why, when, I say ? — Nay, good sweet Kate, be 

Off with my boots, you rogues ! you villains, when ? 





" It was the friar of orders grey, 
As he forth walked ou his way :" — 

Out, you rogue! you pluck my foot awry : 
Take that, and mend the plucking of the other.— 

[Strikes him. 
Be merry, Kate: — Some water here; what, ho! — 

Enter Servant, tvith water. 

Where's my spaniel Troilus?— Sirrah, get you 

And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither : — 

[Exit Servant. 
One, Kate, that you must kiss, and be acquainted 

with. — 
Where are my slippers ? — Shall I have some wa- 
ter? [A bason is in-esented to him. 
Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily. — 
You whoreson villain ! will you let it fall ? 

[Strikes him. 
Kath. Patience, I pray you; 'twas a fault un- 

Pet. A whoreson, beetleheaded, flap-ear'd knave ! 
Come, Kate, sit down ; I know you have a stomach. 
Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I ? — 
What's this ? mutton ? 
1 Serv. Ay. 

Pel. Who brought it ? 

1 Serv. 1- 

Pet. 'Tis burnt; and so is all the meat. 
What dogs are these ! — Where is the rascal cook ? 
How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser. 
And serve it thus to me that love it not ? 
There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all. 

[Throws the meat, Si^r., at them. 
You heedless joltheads, and unmanner'd slaves ! 
What ! do you grumble ? I'll be with you straight. 

Kath. I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet : 
The meat was well, if you were so contented. 

Pet. I tell thee, Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away, 
And I expressly am forbid to touch it. 
For it engenders choler, planteth anger: 
And better 'twere, that both of us did fast, 
Since, of ourselves, ourselves are choleric. 
Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh. 
Be patient ; to-morrow it shall be mended. 
And for this night we'll fast for company. 
Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber. 
[Exennt Petruchio, Katharina, and Curtis. 
Nath. Peter, didst ever see the like ? 
Peter. He kills her in her own humour. 

Re-enter Curtis. 

Gru. Where is he? 

Curt. In her chamber, 
Making a sermon of continency to her; 
And vails, and swears, and rates, that she, poor soul. 
Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak. 
And sits as one new-risen froiu a dream. 
Away, away ! for he is coming hither. [Exeunt. 

Re-enter Petruchio. 

Pet. Thus have I politicly begun my reign. 
And 'tis luy hope to end successfully. 
My falcon now is sharp, and passing empty, 
And, till she stoop, she must not be full-gorg'd. 
For then she never looks upon her lure. 
Another way I have to man my haggard. 
To make her come, and know her keeper's call; 
That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites. 
That bate, and beat, and will not be obedient. 


She eat no meat to-day, nor none shall eat ; 

Last night she slept not, nor to-night she shall not : 

As with the meat, some undeserved fault 

I'll find about the making of the bed. 

And here I'll fling the pillow, there the bolster. 

This way the coverlet, another way the sheets: — 

Ay, and amid this hurly, 1 intend. 

That all is done in reverend care of her ; 

And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night: 

And, if she chance to nod, I'll rail, and brawl, 

And with the clamour keep her still awake. 

This is a way to kill a wife with kindness; 

And thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humour. 

He that knows better how to tame a shrew. 

Now let him speak: 'tis charity to shew. [JE.r(^ 

Scene II. — Padua. Before Baptista's House. 

Enter Tranio and Hortensio. 

Tra. Is't possible, friend Licio, that mistress 
Doth fancy any other but Lucentio ? 
I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand. 

Hor. Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said, 
Stand by, and mark the manner of his teaching. 

[They stand aside. 

Enter Bianca and Lucentio. 

Lnc. Now, mistress, profit you in what you read ? 
Bian. What, master, read you? first resolve me 

Luc. I read that I profess, the Art to Love. 
Bian. And may you prove, sir, master of your 

art ! 
Luc. While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of 
my heart. [They retire. 

Hor. [CominfT forward.] Quick proceeders, mar- 
ry ! Now, tell me, I pray. 
You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca 
Lov'd none in the world so well as Lucentio. 

Tra'. O, despiteful love ! unconstant womankind ! 
I tell thee, Licio, this is wonderful. 

Hor. Mistake no more : I am not Licio, 
Nor a musician, as I seem to be. 
But one that scorns to live in this disguise, 
P^or such a one, as leaves a gentleman. 
And makes a god of such a cullion. 
Knows sir, that I am call'd Hortensio. 

Tra. Signior Hortensio, I have often heard 
Of your entire afi"ection to Bianca; 
And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness, 
I will with you, if you be so contented. 
Forswear Bianca and her love for ever. 

Hor. See, how they kiss and court! — Signior 
Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow 
Never to woo her more ; but do forswear her. 
As one unworthy all the former favours 
That I have fondly flatter'd her withal. 

Tra. And herel take the like unfeigned oath. 
Never to marry with her, though she would entreat. 
Fie on her! see, how beastly she doth court him. 
Hor. Would all the world, but he, had quite 
forsworn ! 
For me, that I may surely keep mine oath, 
I will be married to a wealthy widow. 
Ere three days pass, which hath as long lov'd me. 
As I have lov'd this proud disdainful haggard. 
And so farewell, signior Lxicentio. — 
Kindness in women ! not their beauteous looks, 



SCENE in. 

Shall win my love : — and so I take my leave, 
In resolution as I swore before. 

[Exit HoRTEXsio. — LucENTio and Bianca 

Tra- Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace, 
As 'longeih to a lover's blessed case ! 
Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love, 
And have forsworn you, with Hortensio. 

Bian. Tranio, you jest. But have you both 
forsworn me ? 

Tra. Mistress, we have. 

Luc. Then we are rid of Licio. 

2Va. rfyith, he'll have a lusty widow now, 
That shall be \yoo'd and wedded in a day. 

Bian. God give him joy ! 

Tra. Ay, and he'll tame her. 

Bian. He says so, Tranio. 

Tra. 'Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school. 

Bian. The taming-school I what, is there such a 
place ? 

Tra. Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master; 
That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long. 
To tame a shrew, and charm her chattering tongue. 

Enter Biondello, running. 

Bion. O master, master ! I have watch'd so long 
That I'm dog-weary; but at last I spied 
An ancient angel coming down the hill, 
Will serve the turn. 

Tra. What is he, Biondello ? 

Bion. Master, a mercatante, or a pedant, 
I know not what ; but formal in apparel. 
In gait and countenance surely like a father. 

Luc. And what of liim, Tranio ? 

Tra. If he be credulous, and trust my tale, 
I'll make him glad to seem Vincentio, 
And give assurance to Baptista Minola, 
As if he were the right Vincentio. 
Take in your love, and then let me alone. 

{^Exeunt LucEJfTio and Bianca. 

Enter a Pedant. 

Fed. God save you, sir ! 

Tra. And you, sir: you are welcome. 

Travel you far on, or are you at the furthest ? 

Ptd. Sir, at the furthest for a week or two ; 
But then up further, and as far as Rome, 
And so to Tripoly, if God lend me life. 

Tra. What countryman, I pray ? 

Fed. Of Mantua. 

Tra. Of Mantua, sir? — mariT, God forbid I 
And come to Padua, careless of your life? 

Ped. My life, sir ! how, I pray ? for that goes 

Tra. 'Tis death for any one in Mantua 
To come to Padua. Know you not the cause ? 
Your ships are stay'd at Venice; and the duke. 
For private quan-el 'twixt your duke and him. 
Hath publish'd and proclaim'd it openly. 
'Tis marvel ; but that you are but newly come. 
You might have heard it else proclaim'd about 

Ped . Alas, sir ! it is worse for me than so ; 
For I have bills for money by exchange 
From Florence, and must here deliver them. 

Tra. Well, sir, to do you courtesy 
This will I do, and this I will advise you. 
First, tell me, have you ever been at Pisa? 

Ped. Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been ; 
Pisa, renowned for grave citizens. 

Tra. Among them, know you one Vincentio ? 

Ped. I know^ him not, but I have heard of him : 
A merchant of incomparable wealth. 

Tra. He is my father, sir ; and, sooth to say. 
In countenance somewhat doth resemble 30U. 

Bion. \^Aside.'\ As much as an apple doth an 
oyster, and all one. 

Tra. To save your life in this extremity, 
This favour will I do you for his sake. 
And think it not the worst of all your fortunes, 
That you are like to sir Vincentio. 
His name and credit shall you undertake. 
And in my house you shall be friendly lodg'd. 
Look, that you take upon you as you should: 
You understand me, sir; — so shall you stay 
Till you have done your business in the city. 
If this be courtesy, sir, accept of it. 

Ped. O I sir, I do ; and will repute you ever 
The patron of my life and liberty. 

Tra. Then go with me, to make the matter 
This, by the way, I let you understand : 
My father is here look'd for every day. 
To pass assurance of a dower in marriage 
'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here: 
In all these circumstances I'll instruct you. 
Go with me, to clothe you as becomes you. 


Scene III. — A Room in Petruchio's House. 
Enter Katharina and. Grumio. 

Gru. No, no, forsooth ; I dare not, for my life. 

Kath. The more my wrong, the more his spile 
What, did he marry me to famish me ? 
Beggars, that come unto my father's door, 
Upon entreaty, have a present alms ; 
If not, elsewhere they meet with charity : 
But, I, who never knew how to entreat. 
Nor never needed that I should entreat, 
Am starv'd for meat, giddy for lack of sleep; 
With oaths kept waking, and with brawling fed. 
And that which spites me more than all these 

He does it under name of perfect love; 
As who should say, if I should sleep, or eat, 
'Twere deadly sickness, or else present death. 
I pr'ythee go, and get me some repast ; 
I care not what, so it be wholesome food, 

Gru. What say you to a neat's foot ? 

Kath. 'Tis passing good: I pr'ythee let me have it. 

Gru. I fear, it is too choleric a meat. 
How say you to a fat tripe, finely broil'd? 

Kath. i like it well : good Grumio, fetch it me, 

Gru. I cannot tell ; I fear, 'tis choleric. 
What say you to a piece of beef, and mustard ? 

Kath. A dish that I do love to feed upon. 

Gru. Av. but the nnistard is too hot a little. 

Kath. Why, then the beef, and let the mustard 

Gru. Nay, then I will not : you shall have the 
Or else yon get no beef of Grumio. 

Kath. Then both, or one, or any thing thou wilt. 

Gru. Why then, the mustard without the beef. 

Kath. Go, get thee gone, thou false deluding 
slave, [Beats him. 

That feed'st me with the very name of meat. 
Sorrow on thee, and all the pack of you. 
That triumph thus upon ray misery I 
Go ; get thee gone, T say. 





Enter Petruchio with a dish of meat, and Hor- 


Pet. How fares my Kate ? What, sweeting, all 
amort ? 

Hor. Mistress, what cheer ? 

Kath. 'Faith, as cold as can be. 

Pet. Pluck up thy spirits ; look cheerfully upon 
Here, love ; thou seest how diligent I am. 
To dress thy meat myself, and bring it thee : 

\_Sets the dish on a tahle. 
I am sure, sweet Kate, this kindness merits thanks. 
What ! not a word ? Nay then, thou lov'st it not. 
And all my pains is sorted to no proof. — 
Here, take away this dish. 

Kath. I pray you, let it stand. 

Pet. The poorest service is repaid with thanks. 
And so shall mine, before you touch the meat. 

Kath. I thank you, sir. 

Hor. Signior Petruchio, fie ! you are to blame. 
Come, mistress Kate, I'll bear yovi company. 

Pet. [Aside.] Eat it up all, Hortensio, if thou 
lov'st me. — 
[To her.] Much good do it unto thy gentle heart ! 
Kate, eat apace. — And now, my honey love, 
Will we return unto thy father's house, 
And revel it as bravely as the best. 
With silken coats, and caps, and golden rings, 
With rutis, and cuffs, and farthingales, and things; 
With scarfs, and fans, and double change of bravery. 
With amber bracelets, beads, and all this knavery. 
What ! hast thou din'd ? The tailor stays thy leisure. 
To deck thy body with his ruffling treasure. 

Enter Tailor. 
Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments ; 

Enter Haberdasher. 

Lay forth the gown. — What news with you, sir? 

Hab. Here is the cap your worship did bespeak. 

Pet. Why, this was moulded on a porringer; 
A velvet dish : — fie, fie ! 'tis lewd and filthy. 
Why, 'tis a cockle or a walnut shell, 
A knack, a toy, a trick, a baby's cap ; 
Away with it ! come, let me have a bigger. 

Kath. I'll have no bigger : this doth fit the time. 
And gentlewomen wear such caps as these. 

Pet. When you are gentle, you shall have one 
too ; 
And not till then. 

Hor. [Aside.] That will not be in haste. 

Kath. Why, sir, I trust, I may have leave to 
And speak I will; I am no child, no babe: 
Your betters have endur'd me say my mind. 
And, if you cannot, best you stop your ears. 
My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, 
Or else my heart, concealing it, will break: 
And, rather than it shall, I will be free. 
Even to the uttermost, as I please, in words. 

Pet. Why, thou say'st true : it is a paltry cap, 
A custard-coffin, a bauble, a silken pie. 
I love thee well, in that thou lik'st it not. 

Kath. Love me, or love me not, I like the cap. 
And it I will have, or I will have none. 

Pet. Thy gown ? why, ay : — come, tailor, lot its 
see 't. 
O, mercy, God! what masking stuff is here? 
What's this? a sleeve? 'tis like a demi-oannon : 
What ! up and down, carv'd like an apple-tart ? 


Here's snip, and nip, and cut, and slish, and slash. 

Like to a censer in a barber's shop. — 

Why, what, o' devil's name, tailor, call'st thou this ? 

Hor. [Aside] I see, she's like to have neither 
cap nor gown. 

Tai. You bid me make it orderly and well. 
According to the fashion, and the time. 

Pet. Marry, and did; but if you be remember'd, 
I did not bid you mar it to the time. 
Go, hop me over every kennel home, 
For you shall hop without my custom, sir. 
I'll none of it : hence ! make your best of it. 

Kath. I never saw a better-fashion'd gown. 
More quaint, more pleasing, nor more commendable. 
Belike, you mean to make a puppet of me. 

Pet. Why, true ; he means to make a puppet of 

Tai. She says, your worship means to make a 
puppet of her. 

Pet. O, monstrous arrogance ! Thou liest, thou 
Thou thimble. 

Thou yard, three-quarters, half-yard, quarter, nail ! 
Thou flea, thou nit, thou winter cricket thou I — 
Brav'd in mine own house with a skein of thread ? 
Away ! thou rag, thou quantity, thou remnant. 
Or I shall so be-mete thee with thy yard. 
As thou shalt think on prating whilst thou liv'st. 
I tell thee, I, that thou hast marr'd her gown. 

Tai. Your worship is deceiv'd : the gown is made 
Just as my master had direction. 
Grumio gave order how it should be done. 

Gru. I gave him no order; I gave him the stuff. 

Tai. But how did you desire it should be made ? 

Gni. Marry, sir, with needle and thread. 

Tai. But did you not request to have it cut? 

Gru. Thou hast faced many things. 

Tai. I have. 

Gru. Face not me : thou hast braved many men ; 
brave not me : I will neither be faced nor braved. 
I say unto thee, — I bid thy master cut otxt the 
gown ; but I did not bid him cut it to pieces : ergo, 
thou liest. 

Tai. Why, here is the note of the fashion to 

Pet. Read it- 

Gru. The note lies in's throat, if he say I said so. 

Tai. "Imprimis, a loose-bodied gown." 

Gru. Master, if ever I said loose-bodied gOAvn, 
sew me in the skirts of it, and beat me to death with 
a bottom of brown thread : I said, a gown. 

Pet. Proceed. 

Tai. "With a small compassed cape." 

Gru. I confess the cape. 

Tai. " With a tnmk sleeve." 

Gru. I confess two sleeves. 

Tai. " The sleeves curiously cut." 

Pet. Ay, there's the villany. 

Gru. Error i' the bill, sir; error i' the bill. I 
commanded the sleeves should be cut out, and 
sewed up again ; and that I'll prove upon thee, 
though thy little finger be armed in a thimble. 

Tai. This is true, that I say : an I had thee in 
place where, thou should'st know it. 

Gru. I am for thee straight : take tliou the bill, 
give me thy mete-yard, and spare not me. 

Hor. God-a-mercy, Grumio, then he shall have 
no odds. 

Pet. Well, sir, in brief, the gown is not for me. 

Gru. You are i' the right, sir : 'tis for my mis- 



SCENE 111. 

Pet. Go, take it up unto thy master's use. 
Gru. Villain, not for thy life ! Take up my 
mistress' gown for thy master's use ! 

Pet. Why, sir, what's your conceit in that ? 
Gru. O, sir, the conceit is deeper than you think 
Take up my mistress' gown to his master's use ! 
O, fie, fie, fie I 

Pet. [Aside.'] Hortensio, say thou wilt see the 
tailor paid. — 
Go take it hence ; be gone, and say no more. 
Hor. Tailor, I'll pay thee for thy gown to- 
morrow : 
Take no unkindness of his hasty words. 
Away, I say ; commend me to thy master. 

[Exeunt Tailor and Haberdasher. 
Pet. Well, come, my Kate ; we will unto your 
Even in these honest mean habiliments. 
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor : 
For 'tis the mind tliat makes the body rich ; 
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, 
So honour peereth in the meanest habit. 

What, is the jay more precious than the lark, 
Because his feathers are more beautiful ? 
Or is the adder better than the eel, 
Because his painted skin contents the eye ? 
O ! no, good Kate ; neither art thou the worse 
For this poor furniture, and mean array. 
If thou account'st it shame, lay it on me ; 
And therefore frolic : we will hence forthwith, 
To feast and sport us at thy father's house. — 
Go, call my men, and let us straight to him; 
And bring our horses unto Long-lane end, 
There will we mount, and thither walk on foot. — 
Let's see ; I think, 'tis now some seven o'clock. 
And well we may come there by dinner-time. 

Kath. I dare assure you, sir, 'tis almost two. 
And 'twill be supper-time, ere you come there. 

Pet. It shall be seven, ere I go to horse. 
Look, what I speak, or do, or think to do. 
You are still crossing it. — Sirs, let 't alone: 
I will not go to-day ; and ere I do. 
It shall be what o'clock I say it is. 

Hor. Why, so this gallant will command the sun. 

[ Exeunt. 





Scene IV. — Padua. Before Baptista's House. 
Enter Tranio, and the Pedant dressed like 


Tra. Sir, this is the house : please it you, that 
I call ? 

Fed. Ay, what else ? and, but I be deceived, 
Signior Baptista may remember me. 
Near twenty years ago, in Genoa, 
Where we were lodgers at the Pegasus. 

Tra. 'Tis well; and hold your own, in any case, 
With such austerity as 'longeth to a father. 

Enter Biondello. 

Fed. I warrant you. But, sir, here comes your 
'Twere good, he were school'd. 

Tra. Fear you not him. Sirrah, Biondello, 
Now do your duty throughly, I advise you: 
Imagine 'twere the right Vincentio. 

Blon. Tut! fear not me. 

Tra. But hast thou done thy errand to Baptista? 

Blon. I told him, that your father was at Venice, 
And that you look'd for him this day in Padua. 

Tra. Thou'rt a tall fellow: hold thee that to 
Here comes Baptista. — Set your countenance, sir. 

Enter Baptista and Lucentio. 

Signior Baptista, you are happily met. — 
Sir, this is the gentleman I told you of. — 
I pray you, stand good father to me now. 
Give me Bianca for my patrimony. 

Fed. Soft, son ! — 
Sir, by your leave: having come to Padua 
To gather in some debts, my son, Lucentio, 
Made me acquainted with a weighty cause 
Of love between your daughter and himself: 
And, for the good report I hear of you. 
And for the love he beareth to your daughter. 
And she to him, to stay him not too long, 
I am content, in a good father's care. 
To have him match'd; and, if you please to hke 
No worse than I, upon some agreement. 
Me shall you find ready and willing 
With one consent to have her so bestow'd ; 
For curious I cannot be with you, 
Signior Baptista, of whom I hear so well. 

Bap. Sir, pardon me in what I have to say : 
Your plainness, and your shortness please me well. 
Right true it is, you son Lucentio, here, 
Doth love my daughter, and she loveth him, 
Or both dissemble deeply their affections ; 
And, therefore, if you say no more than this, 
That like a father you will deal with him. 
And pass my daughter a sufficient dower, 
The match is made, and all is done : 
Your son shall have my daughter with consent. 

Tra. I thank you, sir. Where, then, do you 
know best, 
AVe be affied, and such assurance ta'en. 
As shall with either part's agreement stand ? 

Bap. Not in my house, Lucentio ; for, you know. 
Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants : 
Besides, old Gremio is hearkening still. 
And, happily, we might be interrupted. 

Tra. Then at my lodging, an it like you : 
There doth my flither lie, and there this night 
We'll pass the business privately and well. 
Send for your daughter by your servant here ; 
My boy shall fetch the scrivener presently. 


The worst is this, — that, at so slender warning. 
You're like to have a thin and slender pittance. 

Bap. It likes me well : — Cambio, hie you home. 
And bid Bianca make her ready straight ; 
And, if you will, tell what hath happened: 
Lucentio's father is arriv'd in Padua, 
And how she 's like to be Lucentio's wife. 

Luc. I pray the gods she may with all my heart ! 

Tra. Dally not with the gods, b\it gel thee gone. 
Signior Baptista, shall I lead the way? 
Welcome : one mess is like to be your cheer. 
Come, sir ; we will better it in Pisa. 

Ba}]. I follow you. 

[Exeunt Tranio, Pedant, and Baptista. 

Blon. Cambio ! 

Luc. What say'st thou, Biondello? 

Blon. You saw my master wink and laugh upon 
you ? 

Luc. Biondello, what of that? 

Blon. 'Faith, nothing; but he has left me here 
behind, to expound the meaning or moral of his 
signs and tokens. 

Luc. I pray thee, moralize them. 

Blon. Then thus. Baptista is safe, talking with 
the deceiving father of a deceitful son. 

Luc. And what of him ? 

Blon. His daughter is to be brought by you to 
the supper. 

Luc. And then? — 

Blon. The old jniest at St. Luke's church, is at 
your command at all hours. 

Luc. And what of all this ? 

Blon. I cannot tell, expect they are busied about 
a counterfeit assurance: take you assurance of her, 
cum prlvUeglo ad imprlmcnduni solum. To the 
church ! — take the priest, clerk, and some suf- 
ficient honest witnesses. 
If this be not that you look for, I have no more to 

But bid Bianca farewell for ever and a day. 

Luc. Hear'st thovi, Biondello? 

Blon. I cannot tariy : I knew a wench married 
in an afternoon as she went to the garden for par- 
sley to stuff a rabbit; and so may you, sir; and so 
adieu, sir. My master hath appointed me to go to 
St. Luke's to bid the priest be ready to come against 
you come with your appendix. [Exit. 

Luc. I may, and will, if she be so contented : 
She will be pleas'd, then wherefore should I doubt ? 
Hap what hap may, I'll roundly go about her: 
It shall go hard, if^ Cambio go without her. [Exit. 

Scene V. — A Public Road. 
Enter Petruchio, Katharina, and Hortensio. 

Pet. Come on, o' God's name : once more toward 
our father's. 
Good lord ! how bright and goodly shines the moon. 

iCath. The moon ! the sun : it is not moonlight 

Pet. I say, it is the moon that shines so bright. 

Kafh. I know, it is the sun that shines so bright. 

Pet. Now, by my mother's son, and that's myself. 
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list. 
Or ere I journey to your father's house. — 
Go on, and fetch our horses back again. — 
Evermore cross'd, and cross'd ; nothing but cross'd. 

Hor. Say as he says, or we shall never go. 

Kath. Forward, I pray, since we have come so 
And be it moon, or sun, or what you please. 




An if you please to call it a rush candle, 
Henceforth, I vow, it shall be so for me. 

Pet. I say, it is the moon. 

Kath. I know, it is the moon. 

Pet. Nay, then you lie : it is the blessed sun. 

Kath. Then, God be bless'd, it is the blessed sun ; 
But sun it is not, when you say it is not. 
And the moon changes, even as your mind. 
What you will have it nam'd, even that it is ; 
And so it shall be so for Katharine. 

Hor. Petruchio, go thy waj^s : the field is won. 

Pet. Well, forward, forward ! thus the bowl 
should run, 
And not unluckily against the bias. — 
But soft!, company is coming here. 

Enter Vincentio, in a travelling dress. 

[To ViNCENTic] Good-morrow, gentle mistress: 

where away ? 
Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly too, 
Hast thou beheld a fresher gentlewoman ? 
Such war of white and red within her cheeks ! 
What stars do spangle heaven with such beauty. 
As those two eyes become that heavenly face ? — 
Fair lovely maid, once more good day to thee. — 
Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty's sake. 

Hor. 'A will make the man mad, to make a wo- 
man of him. 

Kath. Young budding virgin, fair, and fresh, and 

Whither away, or where is thy abode ? 
Happy the parents of so fair a child ; 
Happier the man, whom favourable stars 
Allot thee for his lovely bed-fellow ! 

Pet. Why, how now, Kate ! I hope thou art not 

mad : 
This is a man, old, wrinkled, faded, wither'd, 
And not a maiden, as thou say'st he is. 

Kath. Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes, 

That have been so bedazzled with the sun. 
That every thing I look on seemeth green. 
Now I perceive thou art a reverend father; 
Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking. 

Pet. Do, good old grandsire ; and, withal, make 
Which way thoii travellest : if along with us. 
We shall be joyful of thy company. 

Vin. Fair sir, and you my merry mistress. 
That with your strange encounter much amaz'd me, 
My name is call'd Vincentio ; my dwelling — Pisa, 
And bound I am to Padua, there to visit 
A son of mine, which long I have not seen. 

Pet. What is his name ? 

Vin. Lucentio, gentle sir. 

Pet. Happily met; the happier for thy son. 
And now by law, as well as reverend age, 
I may entitle thee — my loving father : 
The sister to my wife, this gentlewoman, 
Thy son by this hath married. Wonder not, 
Nor be not griev'd : she is of good esteem. 
Her dowry wealthy, and of worthy birth ; 
Beside, so qualified as may beseem 
The spouse of any noble gentleman. 
Let me embrace with old Vincentio ; 
And wander we to see thy honest son, 
Who will of thy arrival be full joyous. 

Vin. But is this true ? or is it else your pleasure, 
Like pleasant travellers, to break a jest 
Upon the company you overtake ? 

Hor. I do assure thee, father, so it is. 

Pet. Come, go along, and see the truth hereof; 
For our first merriment hath made thee jealous. 

[^Exeunt Petruchio, Katharina, and 

Hor. Well, Petruchio, this has put me in heart. 
Have to my widow; and if she be froward. 
Then hast thou taught Hortensio to be untoward. 


Scene 1. — Padua. Before Lucentio's Home. 

Enter on one side Bio>'dello, Lucentio, and 
BiANCA ; Gremio tvalking on the other side. 

Bion. Softly and swiftly, sir, for the priest is 

Luc. I fly, Biondello; but they may chance to 
need thee at home : therefore leave us. 

Bivn. Nay, faith, I'll see the church o' your 
back ; and then come back to my master as soon 
as I can. 

[Exeunt Lucentio, Bianca, and Biondello. 

Gre. I marvel Cambio comes not all this while. 

Enter Petruchio, Katharina, Vincentio, and 


Pet. Sir, here's the door, this is Lucentio's house ; 
My father's bears more toward the market-place ; 
Thither must I, and here I leave you, sir. 

Vin. You shall not choose but drink before you 

I think, I shall command your welcome here, 
And, by all likelihood, some cheer is toward. 

Gre. They're busy within ; you were best knock 

Enter Pedant above, at a window. 

Ped. What's he, that knocks as he would beat 
down the gate ? 

Vin. Is signior Lucentio within, sir? 

Ped. He's within, sir, but not to be spoken withal. 

Vin. What, if a man bring him a hundred pound 
or two to make merry withal ? 

Ped. Keep your hundred pounds to yourself: he 
shall need none, so long as I live. 

Pet. Nay, T told you, your son was beloved in 
Padua. — Do j"ou hear, sir ? to leave frivolous cir- 
cumstances, I pray you, tell signior Lucentio, that 
his father is come from Pisa, and is here at the 
door to speak with him. 

Ped. Thou liest : his father is come from Pisa, 
and here looking out at the window. 

Vin. Art thou his father? 

Ped. Ay, sir ; so his mother says, if I may be- 
lieve her. 


Pet. Why, how now, gentleman I [To Vincen.] 
why, this is flat knavery, to lake upon jou another 
man's name. 

Ped. Lay hands on the villain. I believe, 'a 
means to cozen somebody in this city under my 

Re-enter Biondello. 

Bion. I have seen them in the church together : 
God send 'em good shipping! — But who is here? 
mine old master, Vincentio ! now we are undone, 
and brought to nothing. 

Vin. Come hither, crack-hemp. 

[Seeing Biondello. 

Bion. I hope I may choose, sir. 

Vin. Come hither, you rogue. What, have you 
forgot me ? 

Bion. Forgot you? no, sir: I could not forget 
you, for I never saw you before in all my life. 

Vin. What, you notorious villain, didst thou 
never see thy master's father, Vincentio ? 

Bion. What, my old, worshijjful old master? 
yes, marry, sir : see where he looks out of the 

Vin. Is't so, indeed? [Sfa^s Biondello. 

Bion. Help, help, help! here's a madman Avill 
murder me. [Exit. 

Ped. Help, son ! help, signior Baptista ! 

[Exit, from the icindow. 

Pet. Pr'ythee, Kate, let's stand aside, and see the 
end of this controversy. [They retire. 

Re-enter Pedant beloiv ; Baptista, Tranio, ajid 

Tra. Sir, what are you, that offer to beat my 
servant ? 

Vin. What am I, sir? nay, what are you, sir? — 
O, immortal gods! O, fine villain ! A silken doublet ! 
a velvet hose ! a scarlet cloak ! and a copatain hat I — 
O, I am undone ! I am undone ! while I play the 
good husband at home, my son and my servant spend 
all at the university- 

Tra. How now ! what's the matter? 

Bap. What, is the man lunatic ? 

Tra. Sir, you seem a sober ancient gentleman 
by your habit, but your words show you a madman. 




Why, sir, what 'cerns it you if I wear pearl and 
gold ? I thank my good father, 1 am able to main- 
tain it. 

Vin. Thy father ? O, villain I he is a sail-maker 
in Bergamo. 

Bap. Yon mistake, sir: you mistake, sir. Pray 
what do you think is his name ? 

Vin. His name? as if I knew not his name: I 
have brouszht him up ever since he was three years 
old, and his name is Tranio. 

Fed. Away, away, mad ass! his name is Lu- 
centio ; and he is mine only son, and heir to the 
lands of me, signior Vincentio. 

Vin. Lucentio ! O ! he hath murdered his mas- 
ter. — Lay hold on him, 1 charge you, in the duke's 
name. — O, my son, my son ! — tell me, thou villain, 
where is my son Lucentio ? 

Tra. Call forth an officer. 

Enter one icith an Officer. 

Carry this mad knave to the jail. — Father Baptista, 
I charge you see that he be forthcoming. 

Vin. Carry me to the jail I 

Gre. Stay, officer : he shall not go to prison. 

Bap. Talk not, signior Gremio. I say, he shall 
go to prison. 

Gre. Take heed, signior Baptista, lest you be 
cony-catched in this business. I dare swear this 
is the right Vincentio. 

Fed. Swear, if thou darest. 

Gre. Nay, I dare not swear it. 

Tra. Then thou wert best say, that I am not 

Gre. Yes, I know thee to be signior Lucentio. 

Bap. Away with the dotard ! to the jail with 
him ! 

Vin. Thus strangers may be haled and abused. — 
O, monstrous villain I 

Re-enter Bio^jdello uitli Lucextio, and Biaxca. 

Bion. O, we are spoiled I and yonder he is : deny 
him, forswear Ijim, or else we are all undone. 

Luc. Pardon, sweet father. [Kneelino-. 

Vin. Lives my sweet son ? 

[BioNDELLO, Tranio, and Fedant run out. 

Bian. Pardon, dear father. [^Kneeling. 

Bap. How hast thou offended ? — 

Where is Lucentio ? 

Luc. Here's Lucentio, 

Right son to the right Vincentio : 
That have by marriage made thy daughter mine, 
While counterfeit supposes blear'd thine eyne. 

Gre. Here's packing, with a witness, to deceive 
us all ! 

Vin. Where is that damned villain, Tranio, 
That fac'd and brav'd me in this matter so ? 

Bap. Why, tell me, is not this ray Cambio ? 

Bian. Cambio is chans'd into Lucentio. 

Luc. Love wrought these miracles. Bianca's 
Made me exchange my state with Tranio, 
While he did bear my countenance in the town ; 
And happily I have arrived at the last 
Unto the wislied haven of my bliss. 
What Tranio did, myself enforc'd him to. 
Then pardon him. sweet father, for my sake. 

Vin. I'll slit the villain's nose, that w^ould have 
sent me to the jail. 

Bap. [To Lucentio.] But do you hear, sir? 
Have you married my daughter without asking my 
good- will ? 

Vin. Fear not, Baptista; we will content you: 
go to; but I will in, to be revenged for this viilanj^. 

Bap. And I, to sound the depth of this knavery. 

Luc. Look not pale, Bianca ; thy father will not 

frown. \^Excunt Luc. and Bia.n. 

Chre. My cake is dough ; but I'll in among the 
Out of hope of all, but my share of the feast. \^Exit. 

Petruchio and advance. 

Kath. Husband, let's follow, to see the end of 

this ado. 
Fet. First kiss me, Kate, and we will. 
Kath. What, in the midst of the street? 
Fet. What ! art thou ashamed of me ? 
Kath. No, sir, God forbid ; but ashamed to kiss. 
Fet. Why, then let's home again. — Come, sirrah, 

let's away. 
Kath. Nay, I will give thee a kiss : now pray 

thee, love, stay. 
Fet. Is not this well ? — Come, my sweet Kate : 
Better once than never, for never too late. \^Exeunt. 

Scene II. — A Boom in Lucentio's House. 

A Banquet set out; Enter Baptista, Vincentio, 
Gremio, the Fedant, Lucentio, Bianca, Pe- 
truchio, Katharina, Hortensio, and Widow. 
Tranio, Biondello, Grumio, and others, at- 

Luc. At last, though long, our jarring notes 
agree : 
And time it is, when raging war is done. 
To smile at 'scapes and perils overblown. — 
My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome. 
While I with self-same kindness welcome thine. — 
Brother Petruchio, — sister Katharina, — 
And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow. 
Feast with the best, and welcome to my house : 
My banquet is to close our stomachs up. 
After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down ; 
For now we sit to chat, as well as eat. 

[They sit at table. 
Fet. Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat ! 
Bap. Padua affijrds this kindness, son Petruchio. 
Fet. Padua affords nothing but what is kind. 
Hor. For both our sakes I would that word were 

Fet. Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow. 
Wid. Then never trust me if I be afeard. 
Fet. You are very sensible, and yet you miss 
my sense: 
I mean, Hortensio is afeard of you. 

Wid. He that is giddy thinks the world turns 

Fet. Roundly replied. 

Kath. Mistress, how^ mean you that ? 

Wid. Thus I conceive by him. 
Fet. Conceives by me I — How likes Hortensio 

that ? 
Hor. My widow says, thus she conceives her tale. 
Fet. Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good 

KatJi. He that is giddy thinks the world turns 
round : — 
I pray you, tell me \vhat you meant by that. 

Wid. Your husband, being troubled with a shrew, 
Measures my husband's sorrow by his woe. 
And now you know my meaning. 





Kath. A very mean meaning. 

Wid. Right, I mean you. 

Kath. And I am mean, indeed, respecting you. 

Pet. To her, Kate ! 

Hor. To her, widow ! 

Fet. A hundred marks, my Kate does put her 

Hor, That's my office. 

Pet. Spoke like an officer : — Ha' to thee, lad. 

[Dritiks to Hortensio. 

Bap. How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks ? 

Gre. Believe me, sir, they butt together well. 

Bian. Head and butt? an hasty-witted body 
Would say, your head and butt were head and horn. 

Vin. Ay, mistress bride, hath that awaken'd you ? 

Bian. Ay, but not frighted me ; therefore, I'll 
sleep again. 

Pet. Nay, that you shall not ; since you have 
Have at you for a better jest or two. 

Bian. Am I your bird ? I mean to shift my bush. 
And then pursue me as you draw your bow. — 
You are welcome all. 

[Exeunt Bianca, Katuauina, and Widow. 

Pet. She hath prevented me. — Here, signior 
Tranio ; 
This bird you aim'd at, though you hit her not : 
Therefore, a health to all that shot and miss'd. 

Tra. O sir ! Lucentio slipp'd me, like his grey- 
Which luns himself, and catches for his master. 

Pet. A good swift simile, but something currish. 

Tra. 'Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself: 
'Tis thought, your deer does hold you at a bay. 

Baj). O ho, Petruchio ! Tranio hits you now. 

Luc. I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio. 

Hor, Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here ? 

Pet. 'A has a little gall'd me, I confess ; 
And, as the jest did glance away from me, 
'Tis ten to one it maim'd you two outright. 

Bap. Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio, 
I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all. 

Pet. Well, I say no : and therefore, for assurance. 
Let's each one send unto his wife. 
And he, whose wife is most obedient 
To come at first when he doth send for her, 
Shall win the wager which we will propose. 

Hor. Content. What is the wager ? 

Luc. Twenty crowns. 

Pet. Twenty crowns ! 
I'll venture so much of my hawk, or hound. 
But twenty times so much upon my wife. 

Luc, A hundred then. 

Hor, Content. 

Pet. A match ! 'tis done. 

Hor. Who shall begin ? 

Lvc. " That will I. 

Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me. 

Bion. I go. [Exit, 

Bap, Son, I will be your half, Bianca comes. 

Luc. I'll have no halves ; I'll bear it all myself. 

Re-enter Biondello. 

How now ! what news ? 

Bion. Sir, my mistress sends you word, 

That she is busy, and she cannot come. 

Pet. How ! she is busy, and she cannot come ! 
Is that an answer? 

G-re. Ay, and a kind one too : 

Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse. 

Pet. I hope better. 


Hor. Sinah, Biondello, go, and entreat my wife 
To come to me forthwith. [Exit Biondello. 

Pet. O ho ! entreat her ! 

Nay, then she must needs come. 

Hor. I am afraid, sir, 

Do what you can, yours will not be entreated. 

He-enter Biondello. 

Now, where's my wife ? 

Bion. She says, you have some goodly jest in 
hand ; 
She will not come : she bids you come to her. 

Pet. Worse and worse : she will not come I O 
vile ! 
Intolerable, not to be endur'd ! 
Sirrah, Gruniio, go to your mistress ; say, 
I command her come to me. [Exit Grumio. 

Hor. I know her answer. 

Pet. What? 

Hor. She will not. 

Pet. The fouler fortune mine, and there an end. 

Enter Katharina. 

Bap. Now, by my holidame, here comes Kath- 
arina ! 

Kath. What is your will, sir, that you send for 
me ? 

Pet. Where is your sister, and Hortensio's wife ? 

Kath. They sit conferring by the parlour fire. 

Pet. Go, fetch them hither: if they deny to come, 
Swinge me them soundly forth luito their husbands. 
Away, I say, and bring them hitlier straiglit. 

[Exit Katharina. 

Luc. Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder. 

Hor. And so it is. I wonder what it bodes. 

Pet. Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet 
An awful rule, and right supremacy; 
And, to be short, what not that's sweet and happy. 

Bap. Now fair befal thee, good Petruchio ! 
Th-e wager thou hast won ; and I will add 
Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns ; 
Another dowry to another daughter. 
For she is chang'd, as she had never been. 

Pet. Nay, I will win my wager better yet, 
And show more sign of her obedience, 
Her new-built virtue and obedience. 

Re-enter Katharina, uith Bianca, and Widow. 

See, where she comes, and brings your froward 

As prisoners to her womanly persuasion. — 
Katharine, that cap of yours becomes you not; 
Off with that bauble, throw it under foot. 

[Katharina ^mMs off her cap, and thrcncs it 
down , 
Wid. Lord ! let me never have a cause to sigh, 
Till I be brought to such a silly pass ! 

Bian. Fie! what a foolish duty call you this? 
Luc. I would, yoiu' duty were as foolish too : 
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca, 
Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-time. 
Bian. The more fool you for laying on my duty. 
Pet. Katharine, I charge thee, tell these head- 
strong women 
What duty they do owe their lords and husbands. 
Wid. Come, come, you're mocking : we will 

have no telling. 
Pet. Come on, I say ; an'd first begin with her. 
Wid. She shall not. 
Pet. I say, she shall : — and first begin with her. 



SCEiNK 11. 

Katli. Fie, fie ! unknit that threatening unkind 
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes, 
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor : 
It blots thy beauty, as frosts do bite the meads, 
Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds, 
And in no sense is meet, or amiable. 
A woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled, 
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty ; 
And, while it is so, none so dry or thirsty 
Will deign to sip, or totich one drop of it. 
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper 
Thy head, thy sovereign ; one that cares for thee, 
And for thy maintenance ; commits his body 
To painful labour, both by sea and land, 
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, 
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe ; 
And craves no other tribute at thy liands. 
But love, fair looks, and true obedience, — 
Too little payment for so great a debt. 
Such duty as the subject owes the prince, 
Even such a woman oweth to her husband ; 
And when she's froward, peevish, sullen, sour, 
And not obedient to his honest will, 
What is she but a foul contending rebel, 
And graceless traitor to her loving lord ? — 
I am asham'd, that women are so simple 
To offer war where they should kneel for peace, 
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway. 
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey. 
Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth, 
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world, 

But that our soft conditions, and our hearts. 
Should well agree with our external parts ? 
Come, come, you froward and tmable worms. 
My mind hath been as big as one of yours. 
My heart as great, my reason, haply, more 
To bandy word for word, and frown for frown ; 
But now I see our lances are but straws. 
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare, 
That seeming to be most, which we indeed least 

Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot. 
And place your hands below your husband's foot: 
In token of which duty, if he please. 
My hand is ready, may it do him ease. 

Pet. Why, there's a wench! — Come on, and kiss 
me, Kate. 

Luc. Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shall 

Vin. 'Tis a good hearing, when children are to- 

Luc. But a harsh hearing, when women are fro- 

Pet. Come, Kate, we'll to bed. — 
We three are married, but you two are sped. 
'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white; 


And, being a winner, God give you good night. 

[Exeunt Pktruchio and Kath. 
Hor. Now go thy ways, thou liast tara'd a curst 

Luc. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be 
tam'd so. [^Exeunt. 




" /'// PHEESE you, in faith" — In the old "Taming 
of a Shrew" this is printed /ese. Ben Jonson uses the 
word in his " Alchemist," and spells it, in his folio of 
\G\G, feize. It is the same word, however spelled; 
and Gilford, a West-of-England man, says that in that 
part of England it means "to beat, chastise, or humble," 
etc. See " Jonson's Works," vol. iv. p. 188. Dr. John- 
son, on the authority of Sir Th. Smith, " De Sermone 
Anglico," says that it means " to separate a rope, or 
twist into single threads." Such may have been its 
original sense, but there is no doubt that it is used fig- 
uratively ill the way Giftbrd has explained. 

" Therefore, paucas pallabris ; let the world slide. 

" Pocas palabras" is Spanish for " few words," a 
phrase common in the time of Shakespeare. "Sessa" 
is the Spanish word cessa. cease. It occurs also in 
the form of "sessy," in King Lear, act iii. scene 4. 

" — the frlasses ynu have burst" — i. e. Broken. John 
of Gaunt " burst Shallow's head for crowding in among 
the marshal's men." 

" Go, by S. Jeronimy," etc. — This sentence is gen- 
erally printed, in the majority of modern editions, " Go 
by, says Jeronimy: — Go to thy cold bed," etc. Theo- 
bald pointed out that in the old play of" Hieronymo" 
there is the expression "Go by, go by." On this au- 
thority. Mason altered the "Go by S. Jeronimie" of the 
original copy to " Go by, says Jeronimy." With Knight 
we retain the old readine. and agree with him that 


" the tinker swears by Saint Jerome, calling him Saint 
Jeronimy, ' Go, by S. Jeronimy,' etc." 

" — I must go fetch the thirdborough" — In the 
original folio this is printed headborovgh, by which mis- 
take the humour of Sly's answer is lost. The " third- 
borough" is a name given in old law-books, and in the 
statute of 28 Hen. VIII., to the officer more generally 
since called constable. The name appears, from a quo- 
tation of Ritson's, to be still retained in Warv^dckshire. 

" ni not budge an inch, boy: let him come, and 
kindly. [Lies down on the gi-ouud," etc. 

The older play opens thus : — 

Enter a Tapster, hcatins. out of fiis doors, Slie, drunken. 
Tap. You whoreson, drunken slave, ynu had hest be gone 
And empty your drunken paunch somewhere else. 
For in this house thou shalt not rest to-night. 

Slie. Tilly vally ; by erisee. Tapster, I '11 fese you anon, 
Fill 's the other pot, and all 's paid for, look you. 
I do drink it of mine own instigation. 
Here I '11 lie a while. Why, Tapster, I say, 
Fill 's a fresh cushen here. 
Heigh-ho, here 's good warm lying. [He falls asleep. 

The comic part of the original drama is feeble. The 
more serious portions are better, and not unworthy of 
Greene, to whom the play is ascribed by Knight and 
others, with much probaliility. 

The next extract, which immediately follows the above, 
affords a fair specimen : — 

Enter a Nobleman, andhis Men, /roin hunting. 

Lord. Now that the gloomy shadow of the night, 
Longing to view Orion's drisling looks, 
Leaps from th' antarctic world unto the sky, 


And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath, 
And darksome night o'crshades the crystal heavens, 
Here break wc off our hunting for to-night. 
Couple up the hounds, let us hie us home. 
And bid the huntsman see them mcated well, 
For they have all deserved it well to-day. 
But soft, what sleepy fellow is this lies here? 
Or is he dead ? See one what he doth lack. 

Serv. My lord, 'tis nothing but a drunken sleep: 
His head is too heavy for his body, 
And he hath drunk so much that he can go no further. 

Lord. Fie, how the slavish villain stinks of drink I 
Ho, sirrah, arise! What, so sound asleep.' — 
Go take him up, and bear him to my house. 
And bear him easily, for fear he wake ; 
And in my fairest chamber make a lire. 
And seta sumptuous banquet on the board, 
And put my richest garments on his back. 
Then set him at the table in a chair; 
When that is done, against he shall awake. 
Let heavenly music play about him still. — 
Go two of you away, and bear him hence. 
And then I '11 tell you what I have devised. 

[Exeunt two, with Sue, 
Now take my cloak, and give me one of yours: 
All fellows now, and see you take me so : 
For We will wait upon this drunken man. 
To see his countenance when he doth awake 
And find himself clothed in such attire. 
With heavenly music sounding in his ears. 
And such a banquet set before his eyes ; 
The fellow sure will think he is in heaven ; 
But we will be about him when he wakes ; 
And see you call him lord at every %vord ; 
And offer thou him his horse to ride abroad ; 
And thou his hawk, and hounds to hunt the deer; 
And I will ask what suit he means to wear ; 
And whatsoe'er he saith, see you do not laugh, 
But still persuade him that he is a lord. 

"Brack Merriman, — the poor cur is emboss'd," etc. 
" In Lear, act. iii. scene 5, Shakespeare uses the 
word ' brach' as iudicatiiig a dog of a particular species, 
or class : — 

Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel prim, 
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym. 

But he in other places employs it in the way indicated 
in an old book on sports, called ' The Gentleman's Re- 
creation:' — ' A brack is a mannerly name for all hound 
bitches.' The Lord is pointing out one of his pack — 
' Brach Merriman' — adding, 'the poor cur is emboss'd,' 
that is, swollen by hard running. Ritson, however, 
would read — ' Bathe Merriman,' and Hanmer — 'Leech 
Merriman.' " — Kmght. 

" A dog, when strained with hard running, will have 
his knees swelled, and then he is said to be embossed." 
T. Wartos. 

"And, ichen he says he is — , say, that he dreams," etc. 

" The sentence is left imperfect," observes Black- 
stone, "because the Lord does not know what to call 
him, — as if he had said, ' when he says he is so and so.' " 
Hanmer would insert poor, and Johnson Sly, although 
the Lord could not know the name of the beggar. No 
change is necessary, and the metre of the hne is perfect 
as it stands. 

Thus the editors generally ; yet there is some prob- 
ability^ in the correction suggested by the tj-pographical 
experience of Z. Jackson: — "And what he says he is, 
say that he dreams," which corresponds with the First 
Huntsman's replv : — 

— he shall think, by our true diligence, 
He is no less than what we say he is. 

Scene II. 

"Sly is discovered," etc. — "The old stage-direction 
is, ' Enter aloft the drunkard with attendants,' etc. ; 
the meaning of which is, that Sly and those about him 
were represented in a balcony at" the back of the stage, 
whence they were to witness the perfonnance of the 
actors. Such appears to have been invariably the case 
when ' a play within a play' was represented" in the old 
theatres ; the reverse of our modern practice, where the 
play within a play is exhibited on a raised platform at 
the back of the stage, and the actors in the main play 
are in front." — Collier. 

"For God's sake, a pot o/ small ale" — This beverage 
is mentioned in the accounts of the Stationers' Company 
for the year 1558: — "For a stande of small ale." It 
is supposed to be the same liquor as is now called small 
beer; no mention being made of the last in the same 
accounts, though "duble here" and " duble ale" are 
frequently recorded. Sly subsequently reverts to his 
first request: — "Once again, a pot o' the smallest ale." 
Its thinness, which might have been an objection on the 
preceding day, is now its most desirable quality to the 
parched palate of the recovering drunkard. 

" — by transmutafion a bear-herd" — i. e. Bear- 
ward, or keeper of bears for baiting. 

"Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot" — 
Doubtletis, Marian Hacket was living and well known 
at AVincot, about four miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, 
about the time this play was written. Afterwai'ds, 
" Cicely Hacket" is spoken of by one of the servants. 

" What '. I am not bestraught" — " Bestraught" was 
used by Warner, and also Lord Surrey. It is explained 
by Minshew aa synonymous with distraught, or dis- 

" — nor Christopher Sly'^ — The modem editions 
print this Christophero, to make out the metre. I have 
preferred retaining the old reading, because it marks 
a change in pronunciation ; " Christopher" havmg an- 
ciently the accent on the syllable before the last. 

" — present her at the leet" — i. e. At the court-leet 
or manor-court, which had special jurisdiction over 
inuholders and abuses in selling liquor by other mea- 
sures than the sealed or licensed quarts. 

" — and old John Naps of Greece" — Blackstone 
suggested that we ought to read, o' the Green, instead 
"of Greece;" and it is the more probable, as green 
was fonuerly almost invariably spelled with a final e. 
" John Naps of Greece" seems nonsense, notwithstand- 
ing Stevens shows " a hart of greece," or grease, meant 
a fat hart ; and hence he argues that it was only a mode 
of calling John Naps a fat man. 

ACT I.— Scene I. 

" To see fair Padua, nursery of arts," etc. 
" During the ages when books were scarce and sem- 
inaries of learning few, men of accomplishment in lit- 
erature, science, and art, crowded into cities which were 
graced by universities. Nothing could be more natural 
and probable than that a tutor, like Licio, should repair 
to Padua from Mantua : — 

His name is Licio, born in Mantua — 
or, a student, like Lucentio, from Pisa, — 

— as he tnat leaves 
The shallow plash, to plunge him in the deep, — 

or, 'a Pedant,' (act iv. scene 2,) turning aside from the 
road to ' Rome and Tripoly,' to spend ' a week or two' 
in the great ' nursery of arts' of the Italian peninsula. 
The University of Padua was in all its glory in Shake- 
speai-e's day; and it is difficult to those who have ex- 
plored the city to resist the persuasion that the Poet him- 
self had been one of the travellers who had come from 
afar to look upon its seats of learning, if not to partake 
of its ' ingenious studies.' There is a pure Paduan atmo- 
sphere hanging about this play ; and the visitor of 
to-day sees other Lucentios and Tranios in the knots 
of students who meet and accost in the ' public places,' 
and the servants who buy in the market ; while there 
may be many an accomplished Bianca among the citi- 
zens' daughters who take their walks along the arcades 
of the venerable streets. Influences of learning, love, 
and mirth, are still abroad in the place, breathing as 
they do in the play. 

" The University of Padua was foimded by Frederick 
Barbarossa, early in the thirteenth century, and was, for 
several hundred years, a favourite resort of learned men. 
Among other great personages, Petrarch, Galileo, and 



Christopher Cohimbus studied there. The number of 
stiideuts was once (we beheve in Shakesjieare's age) 
eighteen thousand. Now that universities have multi- 
plied, none are so thronged ; but that of Padua still 
numbers from fifteen hundred to twenly-tlu-ee hundi-ed. 
Most of the educated youth of Lombai-dy pursue their 
sUidies there, and numbers from a greater distance. 
' The mathematics' are stiU a favourite branch of leanimg, 
with some ' Greek, Latin, and other languages ;' also 
naUu-al philosophy and medicine. Histoiy and morals, 
and consequently politics, seem to be discouraged, if 
not omitted. The aspect of the University of Padua is 
now somewhat forlorn, though its halls are respectably 
tenanted by students. Its mouldering courts and dim 
staircases ai-e thickly hung with the heraldic blazoniy 
of the pious benefactors of the institution. The num- 
ber of these coats-of-anns is so vast as to convey a strong 
impression of what the splendour of this seat of learn- 
ing must once have been." — Knight. 

" — fruitful Lomhardy, 
The pleasant garden of great Italy." 
" The rich plain of Loml.tardy is still like ' a pleasant 
garden,' and appears as if it must ever continue to be 
so, sheltered as it is by the vast barrier of the Alps, and 
fertilized by the streams which descend from their gla- 
ciers. From the walls of the Lombard cities, which ai-e 
usually reai-ed on rising grounds, the prospects are en- 
chanting, presenting a fertile expanse, rarely disfigured 
by fences, intersected by the gi-eat Via iEmilia — one 
long avenue of mulberry ti-ees ; gleaming here and there 
with transparent lakes, and adorned with scattered 
towns, villas, and chm-ches, rising from among the \-ines. 
Com, oil, and wine, are everywhere ripening together; 
and not a speck of barrenness is visible, from the north- 
ern Alps and eastern Adriatic, to the unobsti-ucted south- 
ern horizon, where the plain melts away in sunshine." 

" My tr7isfy servatif'— So the folio. The word has 
been changed by some editors to most. 

"—and HAPLY institute'"—" In the modeni editions, 
'haply' is misprinted happily, which is a distinct word, 
with a different etymology. ' Haply' means perhaps, 
and not fortunately. So, at the end of the first scene 
of the Induction, the Lord says — 

— haply, my presence 
May well abate, etc. 

In both cases, the line requires a word of two and not 
of three syllables. AVhen the line requires that ' haply' 
should be pronounced as a trisyllable, it was generally 
spelled ' happily.' Act iv. scene 4, of this comedy affords 
examples of ' happily' used in both senses." — Collier. 

" Gave me my being; my father, first 
A merchant of great traffic through the world, 
Vincentio 's come of the Bentivolii." 

This is the original folio reading, and though not with- 
out obscurity, may well be understood and intended to 
say thus — "My father, who is firstly a merchant of the 
highest class, is also a noble, Vincentio, descended from 
the illustrious Bentivolii. It shall, therefore, become 
his son, myself, to deck that name and fortune with vir- 
tuous acts." Few of the later editors, however, are 
satisfied with tliis reading and explanation, and they 
adopt Hanmer's emendation — " Vincentio 's come of the 
Bentivolii," as meanmg, that " Pisa gave me being, and 
before me my father, that father descended of the Ben- 

" Me perdonato" — " Me Pardonato''' is the original 
text, for which Stevens and Malone say that we should 
read Mi Par donate ; and this emendation has been gen- 
erally adopted. We retain the old text, with the change 
of a letter, for the reason well stated by Mr. C. Armi- 
tage Brown, who thus objects to Mi Pardonatc : — 

" Indeed we should read no such thing as two silly 
errors in two common words. Shakespeare may have 
written Mi perdoni, or Perdonatcmi; but why disturb 


the text further than by changing the syllable par into 
per? It then expresses, (uistead oi pardon me,) me 
being pardoned; and is suitable both to the sense and 
the metre — 

Me perdonato, — gentle master mine." 

" Or so devote to Aristotle's ethicks" — The original 
text has " Aristotle's checks," which Knight and other 
editors retain. There is no very evident sense of checks 
which will suit the context, and therefore Judge Black- 
stone considered this as a misprint or eiTor of a copyist 
for " ethicks;" which supposition is right. The error is 
natural for a copyist or compositor, and the context sup- 
ports the correction. Tranio, speaking of the sciences, 
runs over the circle of them according to the familiar 
division of the times, and speaks of logic, riietoric, music, 
poetiy, mathematics, metaphysics ; and "ethicks" would 
follow of course in such an enumeration. Besides, Aris- 
totle's " Ethicks" were familiar to the stage, for Ben 
Jonson mentions them in his " Silent Woman." 

"Balk logic" — This word of the original was changed 
into talk, by Rowe, and is adopted in most editions, ex- 
cept those of Knight and Singer. " Balk" seems to me 
used in its primitive sense, " to pass over ; to leave un- 
touched ;" and Tranio means — Leave logic alone with 
your acquaintance, and talk rhetoric with them, etc. 

" To make a stale of me"—" She means, ' Do you 
intend to make a strumpet of me among these compan- 
ions?' But the e.xjiressiou seems to have a quibblmg 
allusion to the chess tenn of stale-mate. So in Bacon's 
' Twelfth Essay' — ' They stand like a stale at chess, 
where it is no 7nate, but yet the game cannot stir.' 
Shakespeare sometimes uses ' stale' for a decoy, as in 
the second scene of the third act of this play." — 

" A pretty peat !" — " Peat or pet," says Johnson, " is 
a word of endeannent, from petit, little." 

" — for to cunning men" — i. e. Knovvang, learned. 
" Cunning," or conni7ig, was originally knowledge, or 
skill; and is so used in our translation of the Bible. 
Shakespeare, in general, uses " cunning" in the modeni 
sense, as in Lear: — 

Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides. 
But, in this play, the adjective is used in two other in- 
stances in its older sense : — 

Cunning in music, and the mathematics. 
— cunning in Greek, Latin, and other languages. 

"Their love is not so great" — "It seems that we 
should read ' Your love :' yr in old writing, stood ibr 
either their or your. If 'thek' love be right, it must 
mean — The goodwill of Baptista and Bianca towards 
us." — Malone. 

" I will wish him to her father" — i. e. I will recom- 
mend him : to wish was often used in this sense. In 
act i. scene 2, of this play, Hortensio says, " And wish 
thee to a shrewd ill-favoured wife." 

" Happy manhe his dole" — A proverbial expression. 
" Dole" is any thing dealt out or distributed. The phrase 
is equivalent to " happy man be his lot or portion." 

"He that runs fastest gets the ring"— " An allu- 
sion," as Douce remarks, " to the sport of running at the 

" Redime te captum," etc.— This Ime is in Lily's 
"Grammai-," and, as Dr. Farmer observes, it is quoted 
as it stands ui the Grammai-, and not as iu Terence. 

" Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors" — 
Thus the old folios; the meaning being, that Bianca 
wishes not to be fruitlessly annoyed with suitors. 
Rowe, and other editors, substituted shall for "will." 

"Basta; content thee" — i. e. Enough; Italian and 
Spanish. The same word is used by Beaumont and 


" — and PORT, and servants'" — i. e. State, or show. 
Thus, iu the Mkrchant of Vexice : — 

And the magnificocs of greatest jiort. 

" — colour'd hat and cloak" — "Fashions have now 
clianged. Servants formerly wore clothes of sober hue ; 
black or sad colour: their masters bore about the hues 
of ihe rainbow in their doublets and mantles, and hats 
and feathers. Such gay vestments were called empha- 
tically coloured." — KXIGHT. 

"Ml/ lord, you nod; you do not mind the play" — 
The old stage-direction before these interlocutions is, 
"The Presenters above sjieak;" meaning, Sly, the at- 
tendants, etc., in the balcony. Afler\vai"ds, before the 
next scene, the mai-iriual direction is, " They sit and 

SCE>'E H. 

" — tiro and thirty, — a rip out ?" — " Tills passage has 
escaped the commentators ; yet it is more obscure than 
many they have cxjilained. Perhajis it was passed over 
because It was not understood? The allusion is to the 
old game of ' Bone-ace,' or ' One-and-thirty.' A ' pip' is 
a spot upon a card. The old copy has it pcepe. The 
same allusion is in iMassiuger's ' Fatal Dowry,' act ii. 
scene ii. : — ' You tliuik, because you sei-\-ed my lady's 
mother [you] ai'e thirty-two years old, which is a pip 
out, you know.' There is a secondary allusion (in which 
the joke lies) to a populai- mode of inflicting punishment 
upon certain offenders. For a curious illustration of 
this, the reader may consult Florio's ' Italian Dictionaiy,' 
ill y. Trcntuno." — Singer. 

" — what HE 'leges in Latin" — Grumio is supposed to 
mistake Italian for Latin ; for though Italian were his 
native hmguage, as Monck Mason observes, he speaks 
English, and Shakespeare did not mean to ti-eat him 
otherwise than as an Englishman. Tyrwhitt's sugges- 
tion for reading be leges, instead of "he 'leges," is, 
however, ingenious. 

" Where small experience grows, but in a few." 
AVith Collier we preserve the old reading, the mean- 
ing being, that only a few have the jiower to gain much 
e.xperience at home. The common reading is, "But 
iu a few," meaning, as Johnson says, "iu a few words — 
in short." 

"Be she as foul as u-as Flnrentius' loi^c" — Thestoiy 
of Florentius, or Florent, is told m Gower's " Confessio 
Amavtis," lib. i.; and also in Lupton's "Thousand 
Notable Things," the earliest edition of which was 
printed in 1.586. Florentius married over-night, for the 
sake of wealth, and next morning found his wife — 

— the lotlicst wighte ever man caste on his eye. 

" TT> rt' she as rough 
As arc the swelling Adriatic seas." 
" The Adriatic, though well land-locked, and in sum- 
mer often as still as a mirror, is subject to severe and 
sudden storms. The gi-eat sea-wall which protects 
Venice, distant eighteen miles from the city, and built, 
of course, in a direction where it is best sheltered and 
supported Ijy the islands, is, for three miles abreast of 
Palestrina, a vast work for width and loftiness ; yet it 
is h-equeutly surmounted iu winter by 'the swelling 
Adriatic seas,' wliich pour over into the Lagunes." — 


" — or an Aci^Ei-baby" — Aglets, or properly aiguil- 
lettcs, Fr., were the ends or tags of the strings used to 
fasten or sustain dress. In the~"Twentv--fifth Coventry 
Play," edited by Mr. Halhwell, the Devil, disguised as a 
gallant, says that he has — 

Twodosejn poyntys of chcverelle, the aglottcs of sylver feyn. 
These aglets not unfrequently represented figures; and 
hence Gnmiio's joke about "an aglet-baby." 

" — he'll railinhis rope-trxcks" — A blunder on the 

part of Grumio for rhetorics. Sir T. Hanmer substituted 
rhetoric, not seeing the joke. 

" i?o/)c-tricks," says Seymour, " seems to tally with 
the modem vulgar phrase — " gallou-s-iv'icks." 

" — eyes to see withal than a cat" — The learned ef- 
forts to explain this seem to be lost labour. Mr. Bos- 
well justly remarks, "that nothing is more common in 
ludicrous or jjlayfid di.';course than to use a comparison 
where no resemblance is intended." 

" — half so great a blow to the ear" — The old copies 
have to hear; which, with Hanmer, Stevens, and othere, 
I think is a natural misprint for " the ear," — a more pro- 
bable as well as poetical phrase, and one familial- to the 
Poet: as, in Joh.v — 

Our cnrs are cudgelled ; not a word of Lis 
But buifets, etc. 

" — fear boys with bugs" — i. e. Frighten boys with 
hobgoblins. Douce has given us a curious passage from 
.Alathews's Bible, Psalm xci. .5, "Thou shalt not nede 
to be afraied for any bugs by night." The English name 
of the punaise was not applied till late in the seven- 
teenth century, and is evidently metaphorical. 

" Hark you, sir : you mean not her to — " 
In the old copies there is a dash after " to," as if Gre- 
mio were inteniipted bj' Tranio, who appears to have 
anticipated that Gremio meant to conclude by the word 

" And if you break ihe ice, and do tJds seek" — Rowe 
substituted feat for " seek," but unnecessarily. Tranio 
refers to Petnichio's enteiTirise to "seek" and "achieve 
the elder." Modem editors have here abandoned the 
ancient authorities. " And do this seek" is equivalent 
to " and do this one seek." 

" — we all rest generally beholding" — "Such was 
the language of the time, though modem editors have 
substituted beholden. Shakespeare employs the active 
participle, and it was the universal practice of his con- 
temporaries." — Collier. 

"Please ye rce may contrive this aftei-rioon" — i. e. 
Spend the afternoon, or wear out the afternoon: from 
the Latin contero. The word is used in this sense iu 
the novel of " Romeo and Juliet," in Painter's " Palace 
of Pleasure :" — " Juliet, knowing the fuiy of her father, 
etc., retired for the day into her chamber, and contrived 
that whole night more iu weeping than sleeping." 

" And do as adversaries do in law" — " By ' adver- 
saries in law,' our author meant, not suitors, but barris- 
ters ; who, however wann in their opposition to each 
other in the courts, live in greater harmony and friend- 
ship in private than those of any other of the liberal pro- 
fessions. Their clients seldom ' eat and druik with their 
adversaries as friends.' " — Malone. 

ACT n.— Scene I. 

"For shame, thou hilding" — A mean-spirited person. 

"Backare: you are marvellous forward" — This is 
a word of doubtful etymology- and frequent occurrence : 
it is possibly only a corruption of " Back there !" for it 
is always used as a reproof to over-confidence. In 
" Ralf Roister Doister," act i. scene 2, we meet with it: 

Ah, sir! Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow. 
And this expression is introduced by old John Heywood 
into his " Proverbs." The mode of emplojTng the word 
is uniform. 

"And this small packet of Greek and Latin books." 
" It is not to be supposed that the daughters of Bap- 
tista were more learned than other ladies of their city 
and their time. 

"Under the walls of universities, then the only centres 
of intellectual li^ht, knowledfje was shed aI>road like sun- 
shine at !ioon, and was naturally more or less enjoyed 
by all. At the time when Shakespeare and the Univer- 



sity of Tadua flourished, the higher classes of women 
were not deemed unfitted for a learned education. 
Queen Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey, the daughters of Sir 
Thomas Wore, and others, will at once occur to the 
reader's recollection in proof of this. 'Greek, Latin, 
and other languages,' 'the mathematics,' aiid 'to read 
philosophy,' then'came as naturally as 'music' within 
the scope of female education. Any association of 
pedantry with the training of the young ladies of this 
play is in the prejudices of the reader, not in the mind 
of the Toet." — Knight. 

" As morning roses nctdy wash'd tcith dew'''' — Milton 
has honoured this fine image by adopting it in his " // 
Allegro ;" — 

And fresh-blown roses washed in dew. 

"Good-morroto, Kate, for that 's your name, Ihear." 

This is founded upon a similar scene in the old play. 
Our readers may compare Shakespeai-e and his prede- 
cessor : — 

" Alf. Ha, Kate, come hither, wench, and list to me: 
Use tliis gentleman friendly as thou canst. 

Fer. Twenty good-moiTows to my lovely Kate. 
Kate. You jest, I am sure; is she yours already? 
Fer. I tell thee. Kate, I know thou lov'st me well. 
Kafc. The devil you do! who told you so ? 
Fer. My mind, sweet Kate, doth say I am the man, 
Must wed, and bed, and marry bonny Kate. 
Kate. Was ever seen so gross an ass as this? ^ 
Fer. Ay, to stand so long, and never get a kiss. 
Kate. Hands oft", I say, and get you from this place; 
Or I will set my ten commandments in your face. 

Fer. I prithee do, Kate ; they say thou art a shrew. 
And I like thee the better, for I would have thee so. 
Kale. Let go my hand for fear it reach your ear. 
Fer. No, Kate, this hand is mine, and I thy love. 
Kate. I'faith, sir, no, the woodcock wants his tail. 
Fer. But yet his Ijill will serve if the other fail. 
Alf. How now, Ferando? what, my daughter? 
Fer. She 's willing, sir, and loves me as her life. 
Kate. 'Tis for your skin, then, but not to be your wife. 
Alf. Come hither, Kate, and let me give thy hand 
To him that I have chosen for thy love, 
And thou to-moiTow shalt be wed to him. 

Kate. Why, father, what do you mean to do with me, 
To give me tlms unto this brainsick man. 
That in his mood cares not to murder me ? 

[(SV^e turns aside and speaks. 
And yet I will consent and many him, 
(For I, methinks, have liv'd too long a maid,) 
And match him too, or else his manhood's good. 

Alf. Give me thy hand; Ferando loves thee well, 
And will with wealth and ease maintain thy state. 
Here, Forando, take her for thy wife. 
And Sunday next shdl bo our wedding-day. 

Fer. Why so, did I not tell thee I should be the man ? 
Father, I leave my lovely Kate with you. 
Provide yourselves against our, 
For I must hie me to my countiy house 
In haste, to see provision may be made 
To entertain my Kate when she doth come, 

Alf. Do so ; come, Kate, why dost thou look 
So sad ? Be merry, wench, thy wedding-day 's at hand ; 
Son, fare you well, and see you keep your promise. 

\^Exit Alfonso and Kate." 

"Should he? should? J»:"— This has been orduiarily 


Sliould be .' Should buz. 

We follow the original with Knight, understanding with 
him, "buz" to be an interjection of ridicule; as, in 
ILv.mlet: — 

Pol. The actors are come h'.thcr, my lord. 
Ham. Buz, l)uz. 

"—you crow too like a craven" — "A 'craven' 
cock, and a 'craven' knight were each contemptible. 
The knight who had craven, or craved, Ufe from an 


antagonist, was branded with the name which he had 
uttered in preferring safet)' to honour. The terms of 
chivalry and cock-fighting were synonymous in the 
feudal "times, as those of the cock-pit and the boxing- 
ring ai-e equivalent now. 7'o show a white feather is 
now a term of pugilism, derived from the ruffled plumes 
of the frightened bird." — Knight. 

" And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate 
Conformable, as other household Kates." 
This is the original text. Doubtless, a play on words 
was meant, which anciently, when a was more broadly 
sounded than now, would be obvious — " wild Kate" and 
wild cat. This, however, does not authorize our print- 
in" it wild cat, as Stevens and others have done. 

" — she will prove a second Grissel" — Alluding to 
the story of " Griselda," so beautifully related by Chau- 
cer, and taken by him from Boccaccio. It is thought 
to be older than the time of the Florentine, as it is to be 
foimd among the old fabliaux, according to Douce. 

" She VIED so fast"— To " vie" was a term at cards, 
and sometimes we meet with re vie ; outvie occurs m 
this play afterwards. It meant to challenge, or stake, 
or brag ; and the phrases were used in the old games 
of Gleek and Primero, superseded by the Brag of the 
present day. 

" — His a WORLD to see" — The meaning is — It is 
worth a world to see. So, in B. C. Rydley's "Brief 
Declaration," (15.5.5,) quoted by CoUier:— " It is aworld 
to see the answer of the Papists to this statement of 

"^ MEACOCK wretch"— \. e. A cowardly wretch. 
" IMeacock" has been derived by some from meek and 
cock, (but mes coq, Fr., Skinner,) and it is used by old 
\\T.-itei-s both as an adjective and as a substantive. 

" — T will iinto Venice, 
To buy apparel 'gainst the wedding-day." 
" — my house within the city 
Is richly furnished with plate and gold," etc. 
"If Shakespeai-e had not seen the interior of Italian 
houses when he wrote this play, he must have possessed 
some effectual means of knowing and realizing in his 
imagination the particulars of such an interior. Any edu- 
cated Uian might be aware that the extensive commerce 
of Venice must bring within the reach of the neighbour- 
ing cities a multitude of ai'ticles of foreign production 
and taste. But there is a particularity in his mention 
of these articles, which strongly indicates the experience 
of an eye-witness. The ' cypress chests,' and 'ivoiy 
coff'ers,'"'rich in antique caning, are still existing, with 
some remnants of ' Tyrian tapestry,' to carry back the 
imagination of the traveller to the days of the glory of 
the republic. The 'plate and gold' are, for the most 
part, gone, to supply the needs of the impoverished 
aristocracy, who (to their credit) will part with every- 
thing sooner than their pictures. The 'tents and can- 
opies,' and ' Turkey cushions 'boss'd with peari,' now 
no longer seen, were appropriate to the days when 
Cyprus, Candia, and the Morea were dependencies of 
Venice, scattering dieir productions through the eastern 
cities of Italy, aiid actually establishing many of their 
customs intlie singular capital of the Venetian dominion. 
After Venice, Padua was naturally first sened with im- 
portations of luxury. 

"Venice was, and is still, remarkable for its jeweller)-, 
especially its fine works in gold, 'Venice gold' was 
wrought into ' valence'— tapestry— by the needle, and 
was used for every variety of ornament, from chains as 
fine as if made of woven hair, to the most massive form 
in which gold can be worn. At the present day, the 
traveller who walks round the Piazza of St. Mark's is 
surprised at the large proportion of jeweller's shops, 
and at the variety aiid elegance of the ornaments they 
contain,— the shell necklaces, the jewelled rings and 
tiaras, and the profusion of gold chains." — Knight. 


" — ,pc qriU be married o' Sunday'' — " Tarts of these 
Imcs read as if from a ballad. If any such l)e in iiriiit, 
it has never been pointed out by the commentators ; 
but the following, from the recitation of an old lady, 
who heai'd it from her mother, (then forty,) at least 
sixty years ago, bears a strong resemblance to what Pe- 
truchio seems to quote : 

To church away ! 

We will have rings 
And fine array. 

With other things, 
Ag.iinst tlie day, 
For I'm to be married o' Sunday. 

There are other ballads with the same burden, but none 
so nearly in the words of Petruchio." — Collier. 

"Shall have my Bianca's love" — Malone and Ste- 
vens omit " my," without any rea.son; the line, being a 
hemistich, could require no amendment. 

"Basons and eweus, to lave her dainty hands" — 
These were aiticles formerly of great account. They 
were usually of silver, and probably their fashion was 
much attended to, because they were regularly exhibit- 
ed to the guests before and after dinner, it being the 
custom to wa-sli the hands at both those times. 

" CouN'TERPOiNTs" — i. 6. Countei-paHcs, as we now 
call them ; and thus named origmally because composed 
of contrasted points, or panes, of various colours. They 
were a favourite article of ancient pomp. Among the 
other complaints against Wat Tyler's men was, their 
having destroyed in the royal wardrobe at the Savoy, 
a counterpane worth a thousand marks. 

" Coaflij apparel, texts, and canopies" — "Tents" 
■were hangings, — tentcs, Fr., probably being so named 
from the tenters upon which they were hung; tenlure 
de tapisserie signified a suit of hangings. The fol- 
lowing i^assage shows that a " canopy" was sometimes a 
tester : " A canoj^y properly, that hangeth aboute beddes 
to keepe away gnattes ; sometimes a tent or pavilion ; 
some have used it for a testome to hange over a bed." — 
Barct, ill voce. 

" Pewter and brass" — " Pewter" was considered as 
such costly furniture, that we find in the Northumber- 
land household-book, vessels of pctcter were hired by 
the year. 

" — is lying in Marseilles' road" — This name is 
spelled Marcclhis in the old copy, and was jirobably 
pronounced as a trisyllable. 

" — tcilh a card of ten" — This expression seems to 
have been proverbial : cards " of ten" were the highest 
in the pack. 

At the end of this act, Mr. Pope introduced the fol- 
lowing speeches of the Presenters, as they are called, 
from the old play : — 

She. When will the fool come again.' 
Sim. Anon, my lord. 

iS'/ic. Give 's some more drink here ; Where's the tapster? 
Here, Sim, eat some of these things. 
Sun. I do, my lord. 
Site. Here, Sim, I drink to thee. 

ACT in.— SCE.NE I. 

" — REGiA CEi.sA sESis" — The liues are from Ovid's 
" Epist. Her. Penelope TJlyssi," v. 33. 

" To CHANGE true rules for odd inventions" — The 
reading of the folio, 1G23, is, "To charge true rules for 
old inventions." The folio, 1632, reads " change" for 
charge, and Theobald altered old into " odd." Old 
would be inconsistent with the meaning of the speaker, 
who has already said, " Old fashions please me best." 
Both eiTors were mere misprints. 

Scene II. 

" — OLD news" — "Old" is wanting in the early edi- 
tions. Rowe added it in consequence of Baptista's 
following question "Is it new and old too?" wliich 

shows that the word has been accidentally omitted. It 
was veiy common in the time of Shakespeare to use 
" old" as a species of superlative. 

" — and CHAPELEss" — i.e. \Vithout a hook to the 
scabbard; according to Todd. 

" — with TWO BROKEN poiNTs" — Johiison says, " How 
a sword should have two broken points 1 cannot tell." 
The points were among the most costly and elegant 
parts of the dress of Elizabeth's time; and to have two 
broken was certainly indicative of more than ordinary 

" — his horse hipped with an old moth y saddle" — 
Shakespeare (says Knight) describes the imperfections 
and unsoundness of a horse with as much precision as 
if he had been bred in a fanner's shop. In the same 
way, in the Venus and Adonis, he is equally circum- 
stantial in summing up the qualities of a noble courser : — 

Round hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long. 
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrils wide. 
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong. 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttocks, tender hide. 

" — infected icith the fashions" — i. e. Farcins, a 
well-known disease in horses, often mentioned by old 
^vriters ; as in Rowland's " Looke to it, for I'll Stabbe 
you," 1G04:— 

You gentle puppets of the proudest size. 

That are, like horses, troubled with ihe fashions, 

" — past cure of the fives" — i. e. Vives, or a\'ives, 
another disorder in horses. 

" — SWAYED in the back" — " Waid in the back," old 

" — ne'er-legged before" — The folio has it " neere 
legged ;" which some editors have given as here, and 
others Kear-legged. Malone thus supports the first : — 

" Xe''er-legged before, i. e. foundered in his forefeet; 
having, as the jockeys term it, never a /ore leg to stand 
on. The subsequent words — ' which being restrained 
to keeji him from stumbling' — seem to countenance this 
uitei-pretation. The modem editors I'ead near-legged 
before ; but to go near before is not reckoned a defect, 
but a perfection, in a horse." 

Lord Chadworth (an accomplished and unfortunate 
nobleman, of whose taste and acquirements many traces 
are to be found in the literature of his times) thus main- 
tains the other reading: — "I believe near-legged is 
right ; the near leg of a horse is the left, and to set off 
with that leg first is an imperfection. This horse had 
(as Dryden describes old Jacob Tonson) two left legs ; 
i. e. he was awkward in the use of them; he used his 
right leg like the left." 

" — an old hat, and 'the hnmour of forty fancies^ 
prick' d in't for a feather" — It seems likely that this 
"humour of forty fancies" was either a ballad so called, 
or a collection of ballads, stuck m the "lackey's" hat 
instead of a feather. 

" And yet not many" — This is undoubtedly a scrap 
of some old ballad, which Biondello was led to recollect 
by his mention of "the humour of forty fancies" just 

"— quaff' d off the muscadel" — T. Warton and Reed 
have shown, from numerous quotations, that the custom 
of having wine and sops distributed immediately after 
the marriage ceremony in the church, is very ancient. 
It existed even among our Gothic ancestors, and is men- 
tioned in the ordinances of the household of Henry VII. 
"For the Mtu-riage of a Princess:" — " Then pottes of 
Ipocrice to be ready, and to bee put mto cupps \\i\h. 
soppe, and to be borne to the estates; and to take a 
soppe and drinke." It was also practised at the mar- 
riage of Philip and Mary, in Winchester Cathedral ; and 
at the marriage of the Elector-Palatine to the daughter 
of James I., in 1612-13. It appears to have been the 
custom at all marriages. In Jouson's " Magnetic Lady" 
it is called a knitting cup : in Middleton's " No Wit like 



a Woman's,'' the confrac/iftg- cnp. The kixs ^vas also 
part of the ancient marriage ceremony, as appears from 
a rubric iu one of the Salisbury Missals. 

" Imrist airay to-day, hrforc flight come." 
We subjoin the parallel scene iu the earlier play : — 

" Fcr. Father, farewell, my Kate and I must home. 
Sirrah, go mal^e ready my horse j^resently. 

Alf. Your horse ! what, sou, I hope you do but jest ; 
I am sure you will not go so suddenly. 

Knte. Let him go or tarry, I am resolved to stay, 
And not to travel on my wedding-day. 

Fer. Tut, Kate, I tell thee we must ueeds go home. 
Villain, hast thou saddled my horse ? 

San. Which horse — your curtail ? 

Fer. Zounds! you slave, stand you prating here ! 
Saddle the bay gelding for your mistress. 

Kate. Not for me, for I will not go. 

San. The ostler will not let me have him; you owe 
For his meat, and sixpence for stuffing my mistress' 

Fer. Here, villain, go pay him straight. 

San. Shall I give them another peck of lavender? 

Fer. Out, slave ! and bring them presently to the door. 

Alf. Why, son, I hope at least you '11 dine with us. 

San. I pray you, master, let 's stay till dinner be done. 

Fcr. Zounds, villain, art thou here yet? 

[^Exit Saxder. 
Come, Kate, our dinner is provided at home. 

Kate. But not for me, for here I mean to dine : 
I'll have my will in tliis as well as you ; 
Though you in madding mood would leave your friends. 
Despite of you I'll tarry with them still. 

Fer. Ay, Kate, so thou shalt, but at some other time: 
When as thy sisters here shall be espoused. 
Then thou and I will keep our wedding-day 
In better sort than now we can provide ; 
For here I promise thee before them all, 
"We will ere long return to them again. 
Come, Kate, stand not on tenns, we will away ; 
This is my day, to-morrow thou shalt rule. 
And I will do whatever thou command'st. 
Gentlemen, farewell, we'll talce oiu- leaves. 
It will be late before that we come home. 

l^E.vcunl I'erando and Kate." 

" — the oats have eaten the horses" — Grumio, (ac- 
cording to Stevens,) means to disparage Petruchio's 
horses by saying that they are not worth the oats they 
have eaten. 


" — icas ever man so kayed" — i. e. Bewrayed, or 
made dirty. 

'■ — fire, fire : cast on no water" — This is an allusiou 
to an old popular catch, consisting of these lines : — 

Scotlan'1 burneth, Scotland biirneth. 
Fire, lire ; — Fire, fire ; 
Cast on some mare water. 

" / am no least" — Grumio impliedly calls Curtis a 
beast by calling him his fellow, having first called liim- 
self a beast. 

" — '.lack, hoy! ho hoy!''" — "The commencement 
of an old drinking-round: 'jack' was tlie name for the 
l)lack-leather jug in which drink was served." — Coll. 

" Come, you arc so full of coxt-catchixg" — "Cony- 
catching" means cheating or deceiving, and is a word 
of common occurrence. Its etymology has reference to 
the facility with which coneys, or rabbits, ai-e caught. 

" — the carpets laid" — To cover the tables. The 
floors were strewed with rushes. 

" Both OF one horse" — With Collier we here preserve 
the phraseology- of the time, which other editors have 
modernized to "both on one horse." They take the 


same liberty later in this fHay, (act v. scene 2,) where 
Fetruchio says, " I'll venture so much of my hawk, or 

" — hoic she 7i^(zs bemoiled" — Bemired. 

" — a7id their garters of an indifferest knit" — 
Grumio is not accurate enough iu his diction to deserve 
the critical pains that learned aunotators have taken to 
explain this phrase. Malone, on no veiy cle:U' authorit\-, 
maintains it to mean " part>'-coloured garters;" while 
Johnson and others assert that the garters ought to cor- 
respond, aiul that " indift'ereut" here meant jiof different. 
A more obvious sense is that intimated by Nares, in his 
" Glossary :" — " Tolerable, or ordinary." Then — " Let 
their garters (which were worn outside) be decent." 

" Where be these knaves" — This scene is one of the 
most spirited and characteristic in the play ; and we see 
a joyous, revelling spirit shining through Petruchio's 
affected violence. The Ferando of the old " Taming 
of a Shrew' is a coarse bully, ■without the fine animal 
spirits and the real self-conuiiand of our Petruchio. The 
following is the jiarallel scene iu that play; and it is 
remarkable how closely Shakespeare copies the in- 
cidents : — 

"Enter Ferando and Kate. 
Fer. Now welcome, Kate. Where 's these villains 
Here? what, not supper yet upon the board. 
Nor table spread, nor nothing done at all ? 
Where 's that villain that I sent before ? 
San. Now, adsum, sir. 

Fer. Come hither, you villain, I'll cut your nose. 
You rogue, help me off with my boots ; will 't jilease 
You to lay the cloth ? Zounds ! the villain 
Hurts my foot : pull easily, I say, yet again ! 

[i/e heats them all. 
\_Thcy cover the hoard, and fetch in the meat. 
Zoimds, burnt and scorch'd ! Who dress'd this meat ? 
IVil. Forsooth, John Cook. 

[//c thron-s down the table, and meat, and all, 
and beats them all. 
Fcr. Go, you vilhuns, bring me such meat! 
Out of my siglit, I say, and bear it hence : 
Cfbme, Kate, we'll have other meat provided. 
Is there a fire in my chamber, sir ? 

San. Av, forsooth. \_E.veuntYzTS.!i.sTio and Kxt^. 

\_Manent Serving-men, and eat vp all the meat. 
Tom. Zounds! I think of my couscieuce my master's 
mad since he was married. 

Wil. I laughed, what a box he gave Sander for pull- 
ing off his boots. 

Enter Yeb-K'^'do again. 
San. I hurt his foot for the nonce, man. 
Fer. Did you so, you damned villain ? 

\_He beats them all out again. 
This humour must I hold me to awhile, 
To bridle and hold back my headstrong wife, 
With curbs of hunger, ease, and want of sleep : 
Nor sleep, nor meat shall she enjoy to-night. 
I'll mew her up as men do mew their hawks, 
And make her gently come imto the hu'e : 
Were she as stubborn, or as full of strength. 
As was the Thracian horse Alcides tamed. 
That king Egeus fed with flesh of men. 
Yet would I pull her down, and make her come. 
As hungiy hawks do fly unto their lure. \^E.vil." 

"It was the friar of orders grey. 
As he forth walhcd on his way." 
These lines, and those that precede them iu the text, 
"Where is the life that lave I led," are, no doubt, scraps 
of some ancient ballad. There arc many such dispersed 
through Shakespeare's plays. Dr. Percy has, too, avail- 
ed himself of some of them in tiie " modern Gothic," 
entitled " The Friar of Orders Grey :" — 

It was a Friar of orders prey, 

Wall;cd forth to tell his tiejids; 
And he met with a lady fair, 

Clad in a pilgrim's weeds. 


Now, heaven thee save, thou reverend friar ; * 

I pray thee tell to ine 
If ever, at your holy slirine 

My true-love thou did see. 

And how should I your true-love know 

From any other one ? 
O, by his cockle-hat and staff. 

And by his sandal-shoon. 

The holy father thus replied : 

O lady, he is dead and gone , 
And at his head a grreen g^rass turf, 

And at his heels a stone. 

Weep no more, lady ; lady, weep no more. 

Thy sorrow is in vain ; 
For violets plucked, the sweetest showers 

Will ne'er make grow again. 

Tet stay, fair lady, rest awhile, 
Beneath yon cloister wall : 
• See through the hawthorn blows the wind, 
And drizzling rain doth fall. 

O stay me not, thou holy friar, 

O stay me not, I pray : 
No drizzling rain that falls on me 

Can wash my fault away. 

" — fo MA.v MT HAGGARTi" — To tame HIV liawk. lu 
the technical lansniage of hawking, to watch or u-ake, 
was one of tlie means of taming, by preventing sleep. 
To bate is to flutter. 


"An ancient axgel coining down the hilV — "For 
'angel,' Theobald, and after him, Hanmer and Warbur- 
ton, read engle ; which Ibuinier calls a gull, deriving it 
from cnglner, Fr., to catch with bird-lime ; but without 
sufficient reason. Mr. Gifford, in a note on Jonson's 
'Poetaster,' is decidedly in favour of enghle, with Han- 
mer's explanation, and supports it Ijy refening to Gas- 
coigne's ' Supposes,' from which Shakes2:)eare took this 
part of his plot: — 'There Erostrato (the Bioudello of 
Shakespeare) looks out for a person to gull bj- an idle 
story, judges from appearances that he has found him, 
and is not deceived : — ' At the foot of the hill I met a 
gendenian, and, as methovght by his habits and his 
loolcs, he should be none of the wisest.' Again: 'this 
gentleman being, as I guessed at the first, a man of small 
sapientia.' And Dulippo, (the Lucentio of Shakespeare,) 
as soon as he spies him coming, exclaims: 'Is this he? 
go meet him : by my trotli, he looks like a good soul ; 
he that fisheth for him misht be sure to catch a cods- 
head.' — Act ii. scene i. These are the passages,' says 
Mr. Gilford, ' which our great Poet had in view ; and 
these, I ti-ust, ai-e more than sufficient to explain why 
Biondello concludes, at first sight, that this ' ancient piece 
of fonnality' \^•ill ser\-e his turn.' This is very tiaie ; and 
yet it is not necessary to change the reading of the old 
copy, which is undoubtedly correct, though the com- 
mentators could not explain it. ' An ancient angel,' 
then, was neither more nor less than the good soul of 
Gascoigne; or, as Cotgrave (often the best commentator 
on Shakespeare) explains it: — ' An old axgel. by met- 
aphor, a fellow of th' old sound honest and worthie 
stamp — un angelot a gros escaille.' One who, being 
honest himself, suspects no guile in others, and is there- 
fore easily duped. I am quite of Mr. Nares's opinion, 
that enghle is only a different spelling of ingle, which is 
often used for ?i favourite, and originally meant one of 
the most detestable kind : we have no example adduced 
of its ever hanug been used for a gull." — Sisger. 

"Master, a mercatnnte." eXc. — Marcantant is the word 
given in the old folio; "mercatante" is the Italian for 
merchant : Biondello did not know whether he was a 
merchant or a pedant. " Mercatante" is the amendment 
of Stevens. 

"Nor never needed that I should entreat" — This 
line (b}^ mere typographical carelessness) is omitted 
in •' Malone's Shakespeare," by Boswell, and in very 
many of the best editions since 180.3, when it was first 
dropped in Reed's edition of Johnson and Stevens's text. 

The omission has been corrected in Knight's "Picto- 
rial," and in some other modern editions. 

" No, no, forsooth ; I dare not, for my life." 
" We subjoin the parallel scene from the old play : — 

' Enter Sander and his Mistress. 

San. Come, mistress. 

Kate. Sander, I prithee help me to some meat, 
I am so faint that I can scarcely stand. 

San. Ay, many, mistress, but you know mv ma.ster 
has given me a charge that you must eat nothing, but 
that wliicb he himself giveth vou. 

Kate. ^Vhy, man, thy master needs never know it. 

San. You say true, indeed. Why look you, mistress, 
what say you to a piece of beef and mustard now ? 

Kate. Why, I say 'tis excellent meat; canst thou 
help me to some ? 

San. Ay, I could help j^ou to some, but that I doubt 
the mustard is too choleric for you. But what say you 
to a slieep's head and garlic ? 

Kate. Why, anything, I care not what it be. 

San. Ay, but the garhc I doubt will make your breath 
stink, and then my master will curse me for letting you 
eat it. But what say you to a fat capon ? 

Kate. That 's meat for a kmg, sweet Sander, help mo 
to some of it. 

San. Nay, by'rlady ! then 'tis too dear for us; we 
must not meddle witii the king's meat. 

Kate. Out, villain! dost thou mock me? 
Take that for thy sauciness. [^She beats him.' 

" Grey has been hastily betrayed into a remark, upon 
this scene in Shakespeare, which is smgularly opposed 
to his usual accuracy : — ' This seems to be borrowed 
from Cervantes's account of Sancho Panza's treatment 
by his physician, when sham governor of the island of 
Barataria.' The first part of ' Don Quixote' was not 
published till 160-5 ; and our Poet unquestionably took 
the scene from the old ' Taming of a Shrew,' which was 
published in 1594." — Knight. 

" — is sorted to no proof 

i. e. Approof, or appro- 

" — his ruffling treasure" — Pope changed this to 
rustling. "Ruffling" was familiar to the Elizabethan 
literature. In Lily's " Euphues" we have, " Shall I 
ruffle in new devices, v^-ith chains, with bracelets, with 
rmgs, with robes ?" In Ben Jonson's " Cynthia's Revels," 
we find, "Lady, I cannot ruffle it in red and yellow." 

" Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments." 

The imitation by Shakespeare of the scene in the 
old play, in which the Shrew is tiied to the utmost by 
her husband's interference with her dress, is closer than 
in almost any other part. The " face not me," and 
" brave not me,'' of Grumio, are literal transcripts of 
the elder jokes. In the speech of Peti'uchio after the 
Tailor is driven out, \ve have three lines taken, with the 
slightest alteration, from the following: — 

Come, Kate, we now will go see thy father's house, 
Even in these honest, mean habiliments; 
Our purses shall be rich, our garments plain. 

And yet how superior in spirit and taste is the rifaci- 
mento ! — 

" E?iter Fer\st>o andKxTTS., and Sander. 

San. Master, the haberdasher has brought my mis- 
tress home her cap. 

Fer. Come hither, sirrah : what have you there ? 

Haberdasher. A velvet cap, sir, an it please you. 

Fer. Who spoke for it? didst thou, Kate ? 

Kate. What if I did ? Come hither, sirrah, give me 
the cap ; I'll see if it wiU fit me. 

\^She sets it on her head. 

Fer. O monstrous! why, it becomes thee not: 
Let me see it, Kate. Here, sirrah, take it hence, 
This cap is out of fashion quite. 

Kate. The fashion is good enough: behke you meau 
to make a fool of me. 



Fcr. Why, true, he means to make a fool of thee, 
To have thee put on such a cui-tal'il cap. 
Sirrah, begone with it. 

Enter the Tailor icith a Gown. 

San. Here is the tailor, too, with my mistress' gown. 

Fe?-. Let me see it, tailor: what, with cuts and jags? 
Zounds, thou villain, thou hast spoiled the gown ! 

Tailor. Why, sir, I made it as your man gave me 
direction. You may read the note here. 

Fer. Come hither, sirrah. Tailor, read the note. 

Tailor. Item, a fair round compassed cape. 

San. Ay, that 's true. 

Tailor. And a large trunk sleeve. 

San. That 's a lie, master, I said two trunk sleeves. 

Fer. Well, sir, go forward. 

Tailor. Item, a loose-bodied gown. 

San. Master, if ever I said loose bodied gown, sew 
me in a seam, and beat me to death with a bottom of 
brown thread. 

Tailor. I maile it as the note bade me. 

San. I say the note lies iu his throat, an thou too an 
thou sayest it. 

Tailor. Nay, nay, ne'er be so hot, sirrah, for I fear 
you not. 

San. Dost thou hear. Tailor, thou hast braved many 
men : lirave not me. Thou hast faced many men — 

Tailor. Well, Sir ? 

San. Face not me: I'll neither be faced nor braved 
at thy hands, I can tell thee. 

Kate. Come, come, I like the fashion of it well enough; 
Here's more ado than needs ; I'll have it, ay, 
And if you do not like it, hide your eyes ; 
I think I shall have nothing by your will." 

"A custard-coFFis" — A coffin, (says Stevens,) was 
the ancient culinary term for the raised crust of a pie or 

" — a CENSER in a barber^ shop" — Stevens tells us 
that these " censers" were like modern brasiers. They 
were probably curiously ornamented. 

" — take thou the bill, give me thy mete-yabd, and 
spare not. me" — " The joke intended is lost, unless we 
remember that ' bill' meant either a piece of paper, or, 
a weapon such as was carried by watchmen, etc., in the 
time of Shakespeare. On the title-page of Decker's 
' Lanthorne and Candle-light,' quarto, (160!),) is a repre- 
sentation of a watchman armed with a ' bill.' " — Coll. 

" Exemit Tailor and Haberdasher" — Collier was 
the first editor who took pity on tlie Haberdasher, and 
dismissed him from the stage, for his exit is not men- 
tioned in any prior edition. He had, perhaps, stood 
trembling by, after producing the cap. 

After this exeunt (conclusion of scene iii.) the charac- 
ters, before whom the play is supposed to be exhibited, 
were introduced, from the old play, by ISIr. Pope, ui his 
edition : — 

iorrf. Who's within here .' [Enter f^ervnnts.] Asleep again.' 
Go take him easily up, and put him in his own apparel again. 
But see you wake him not in any ease. 

Serf. It shall be done, my lord ; come help to bear him hence. 

(They bear off Siate. 

Johnson thought the fifth act should begin here. 

Scene IV. 

" I cannot tell, expect they are busied about a coun- 
terfeit assurance" — The first folio reads "expect," 
which is changed to except in the later editions. " Ex- 
pect" is here used, as frequently by old authors, in what 
is now its Yankee sense, i. e. Believe, think, that they 
are busied, etc. 

Here, in the old play, (conclusion of scene iv.,) the 
tinker speaks again : — 

She. Sim, must they be married now ? 
Lord. I, my lord. 

Enter Ferasdo and Sander. 

Slie, Look, Sim, the foole is come againe now. 


Scene V. 

"Good lord! hoic bright and goodly shines the moon." 

We follow Knight's example in gomg on with the 
more stinking scenes from the old play. The incidents 
are literally cojjied by Shakespeare, and although the 
poetic imagery substituted iu the improved play has 
more truth and spirit, yet there is some splendour (how- 
ever overloaded) in the more elaborate passages of the 
original, so that, indeed. Pope thought them worth ex- 
tracting and preserving iu liis edition, as " seeming to 
have been from the hand of Shakespeare himself," as a 
part autlior even of the earlier jjlay. 
" Fer. Come, Kate, the moon shines clear to-night, 

Kate. The moon? why, husband, you are deceiv'd, 
It is the sun. 

Fer. Yet again, come back again, it shall be 
The moon ere we come at your father's. 

Kate. Why, I'll say as you say ; it is the moon. 

Fer. Jesus, save the glorious moon! 

Kate. Jesus, save the glorious moon ! 

Fer. I am glad, Kate, your stomach is come down ; 
I know it well thou know'st it is the sun. 
But I did try to see if thou wouldst speak, 
And cross me now as thou hast done before; 
And trust me, Kate, hadst thou not named the moon. 
We had gone back again as sure as death. 
But soft, who's this that's coming here ? 

Enter the Duke of Cestus, alone. 

Duke. Thus all alone from Cestus am I come, 
And left my princely court and noble train, 
To come to Athens, and in this disguise. 
To see what coui'se my son Aurelius takes. 
But stay, here's some, it may be, travels thither ; 
Good sir, can you direct me the way to Athens ? 

Fer. [^speaks to the old ?«a«.] Fair, lovely maiden, 
young and affable. 
More clear of hue, and far more beautiful 
Than precious sardonix or purjile rocks 
Of amethysts or glittering hyacinth, 
, More amiable far than is the plain, 
Where glittering Cepherus in silver bowers 
Gazeth upon the Giant, Andromede. 
Sweet Kate, entertain this lovely woman. 

T>nke. I think the man is mad; he calls me a woman. 

Kate. Fair, lovely lady, bright and crystalline, 
Beauteous and stately as the eye-train'd bird. 
As gloiious as the morning washed with dew. 
Within whose eyes she takes her dawning beams, 
And golden summer sleeps upon thy cheeks, 
Wraj) up thy radiations in some cloud, 
Lest that thy beauty make this stately town 
Inhabitable like tlie burning zone. 
With sweet reflections of thy lovely face." 

"I know, it is the moos" — " The repetition by Kath- 
arine is most characteristic of her humbled deportment. 
Stevens sti-ikes out 'the moon,' and says 'the old copy 
redundantly reads,' etc." — Knight. 

" — seemeth green" — "This is anotherproof of Shake- 
speare's accurate observation of all natiu'al phenomena. 
When one has been long in the smishine, the suiTOund- 
ing objects will often appear tinged with gi-een. The 
reason is assigned by writers on optics." — Singer. 

ACT v.— Scene I. 

" — a scarlet cloak! and a copatain hat" — The last 
article is the conical or sugar-loaf hat, once much in 
vogue. Stubbs says, (159.5,) " Sometimes they use them 
sharpe on the crowne, jiearking up like the spear or 
shaft of a steeple, standing a quarter of a yard above 
the crowns of their heads." 

" Why, sir, what 'cerns it you" — Thus the folio of 
1623 : it is a colloquial abbreviation of concerns, which 
is substituted in the folio of 1632, and in very many later 


" While counterfeit supposes blear'd thine eyne" — 
This may be aii allusion to Gascoigne's comedy, en- 
titled " Supposes," from which several of the incidents 
were borrowed. Gascoigne's original was Ariosto's " 7 
Stippositi." The word "supposes" was often used by 
Shakespeare's contemporaries ; one instance, from Dray- 
ton's epistle of King John to Matilda may suffice : — 
And tell me those are shadows and supposes. 

To " blear the eye" anciently signified to deceive, to 
cheat. The reader will remember Milton's — 

— spells 
Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion. 

"My cake is dough" — A proverbial expression, when 
any disai)pointment was sustained. Gremio has already 
used it, act i. scene 1, of this play, with an addition, 
" our cake 's dough on both sides," more emphatically 
to indicate how completely expectation had failed. 

Scene II. 

"Tranio, Biosdello, Grumio, a7id others, attend- 
ing" — According to the old stage-direction, "the serving- 
men with Tranio bring in a banquet." A banquet, as 
Stevens ol)serves, projierly meant what we now call a 
dessert, though often taken generally for a feast; and 
to this Lucentio refers when he says — 

My banquet is to close our stomachs up, 
After our great good cheer. 

"Have at you for a better jest or two" — So the old 
copies; but Capell suggested " bitter ^est or two," and 
he has been usually ibllowed. I'etruchio means " a 
better jest or two" than Biauca's last, about "head and 

" /'/Z venture so much of my havk," etc. — " So all 
the old copies. The modern editors, objecting to Shake- 
speare's phraseology, have uniformly represented him 
to have written ' on my hawk,' etc." — Collier. 

" Then VAIL your stomachs" — i. e. Lower, or abate, 

your pride. 

" — though you hit the white" — To " hit the white'' 
is a phrase boirowed from aixhery ; the " white" being 
the centre of the target. 

" Exeunt" — The old play continues thus: — 

Then enter two, bearing Slie in his own apparel againe, and 

leaves him where they found him, and then goes out ; then enters 

the Tapster. 

Tapster. Now that the darksome night is overpast, 
And dawning day appeares in christall skic, 
Now must I haste aliroade : but softe! who's this.' 
What, Slie .' O wondrous.' hath he laine heere all night ! 
lie wake him; I think he's starved by this, 
But that his t)elly w;is so stufft with ale : 
What now, Slie.' awake for shame. 

Slie. {Awaking.) Siin, give 's more wine. — What all the players 
gone.' — Am I not a lord.' 

Tap. A lord, with a murrain .' come, art thou drunk still .' 

iSlte. Who's this.' Tapster.' — Oh I have had the bravest dream 
that ever thou heard'st in all thy life. 

Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst best get thee home, for your wife 
will curse you for dreaming here all night. 

Slie. Will she.' I know how to tame a shrew. I dreamt upon it 
all this night, and thou hast wak'd me out of the best dream that 
ever I had ; but I'll to ray wife, and tame her too, if she anger me. 

Mr. Brown's remarks on this play, as a comedy bearing 
tlie "peculiar feature and stamp" of Italy are very curious, 
and show that if Shakespeare did not actually visit Italy 
(according to Mr. Brown's supposition) some time be- 
tween the composition of the eai'lier Romeo and Juliet 
and the date of the Merchant of Venice, and the re- 
modelling of this play, — he had certainly, in that interval, 
become very familiar with the scenery, manners, cus- 
toms, and cities of Italy, through some other source. 
They serve also to stiengthen the conclusion to which 
the internal evidence of style had led my mind, as to 
the date of this piece ; that it was not one of his very 

eai-ly works, (in which no such familiarity with Italy is 
manifest,) but belongs to the period of the Merchant 

OF Venice : — 

" This comedy was entirely rewritten from an older 
one by an unknown hand, with some, but not many, 
additions to the fable. It should first be observed that 
in the older comedy, wliich we possess, the scene is laid 
in and near Athens, and that Shakespeare removed it 
to Padua and its neighbourhood ; an unnecessary change, 
if he knew no more of one country than of the other. 

" The dramatis personce next attract our attention. 
Baptista is no longer erroneously the name of a woman, 
as in Hamlet, but of a man. All the other names, e.x- 
cept one, are pure Italian, though most of them are 
adapted to the English ear. Biondello, the name of a 
bo}', seems chosen with a knowledge of the language, — 
as it signifies a little fair-haired fellow. Even the shrew 
has the Italian termination to her name, Katharina. 
The exception is Curtis, Petnichio's servant, seemingly 
the housekeeper at his villa ; which, as it is an insignifi- 
cant part, may have been the name of the player ; but, 
more probably, it is a corrujition of Cortese. 

" ' Act I. Scene I. A Puhlic Place.^ For an open 
place or a square in a city, this is not a home-bred ex- 
pression. It may be accidental ; yet it is a literal trans- 
lation of una piazza publica, exactly what was meant 
for the scene. 

" The opening of the comedy, which speaks of Lom- 
bardy and the University of Padua, might have been 
written by a native Italian : — 

Tranio, since — for the great desire I had 
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts, — 
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy, 
The pleasant garden of great Italy. — 

Here let us breathe, and happily institute 
A course of learning, and ingenious studies. 

" The very next line I found myself involuntarily re- 
peating, at the sight of the grave countenances within 
the walls of Pisa: — 

Pisa, renowned for grave citizens. 

They are altogether a grave people, in their demeanour, 
their histoiy, and their literature, such as it is. I never 
met with the anomaly of a merry Pisan. Curiously 
enough, this line is repeated, word for word, in the 
fourth act. 

"Lucentio says, his father came 'of the Bentivolii:' 
this is an old Italian plural ; a mei-e Englishman would 
write 'of the Bentivolios.' Besides, there was, and is, 
a branch of the Bentivolii in Florence, where Lucentio 
says he was brought up. 

" But these indications, just at the commencement of 
the play, are not of great force. We now come to some- 
thing more important ; a remarkable proof of his having 
been awai'e of the law of the country in respect to the 
betrothment of Katharina and Petruchio, of which there 
is not a vestige in the older play. The father gives her 
hand to him, both parties consenting, before two wit- 
nesses, who declare themselves such, to the act. Such 
a ceremony is as indissoluble as that of marriage, unless 
both parties should consent to annul it. The betroth- 
ment takes place in due forai, exactly as in many of 
Goldoni's comedies : — 

Bap. * * Give me your hands; 
God send you joy, Petruchio ! 'tis a match. 

Gre. and Tra. Amen ! say we ; we will be witnesses. 

Instantly Petruchio addresses them as ' father and wife ;' 
because, from that moment, he possesses the legal power 
of a husband over her, saving that of taking her to his 
own house. Unless the betrothment is understood in 
this light, we cannot account for the father's so tamely 
yielding afterwards to Petruchio's whim of going in his 
' mad attire' with her to the church. Authority is no 
longer with the father ; in vain he hopes and requests 
the bridegroom will change his clothes; Petruchio is 
peremptory in his lordly will and pleasure, which ho 
could not possibly be, without the previous ItaUaii be- 



" Padua lies between Verona and Venice, at a suitable 
distance from both, for the conduct of the comedy. 
Fetriichio, after being securely betrothed, sets oft' for 
Venice, tlie veiy place for finery, to buy ' rings and 
tilings, and fine airay' for the wedding; and, when mar- 
ried, he takes her to liis country-house, in the direction 
of Verona, of which city he is a native. All this is com- 
plete ; and in marked ojiposition to tlie worse tlian mis- 
takes in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, which was 
written when he knew nothing whatever of the 

" The rich old Gremio, when questioned respecting 
tlie dower he can assure to Bianca, boasts, as a primary 
consideration, of his richly funiished house : — 

First, as you know, my house within the city 
Is riclily furnished with plate ami gold ; 
Basons and ewers, to lave her dainty hands; 
My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry : 
In ivory coffers I have stuff'd my crowns, 
In cypress clicsts my arras, counterpoints, 
Costly apparel, tents, and canopies; 
Fine linen, Turkey cushions 'boss'd with pearl, 
Valance of Venice gold in needlework : 
Pewter and lirass, and all things that belong 
To house or house-keeping. 

'* Lady Morgan, in her ' Italy,' says, (and my own 
observation corroborates her account,) " tliere is not an 
article here described, that I have not found in some one 
or other of the palaces of Florence, Venice, and Genoa 
— the mercantile repnl)lics of Italy — even to the ' Tur- 
key cushions 'boss'd with pearl.' She then adds, ' this is 
the knowledge of genius, acquired by the rapid 2>er- 
ce^ition and intuitive appreciation,'- etc. ; never once 
suspecting tliat Shakespeare had been an eye-witness of 
such fimiiture. For my part, (unable to comprehend 

the inttiitive knowledge of genius,) in opposition to her 
ladyship's opinion, I beg leave to quote Dr. Johnson : 
' Shakespeare, however favoured by nature, coidd im- 
part only what he had learned.' With this text as our 
guide, it behooves us to point out how he could obtain 
such an intimate knowledge of facts, without having 
been, like Lady Morgan, an eye-witness to them. 

" In addition to these instances, the whole comedy 
bears an Italian character, and seems written as if the 
author had said to his friends, — ' Now I will give you a 
comedy, built on Italian maimers, neat as I myself have 
imported.' Indeed, did I not know its archetype, with 
the scene in Athens, I might suspect it to be tui adapta- 
tion of some unknown Italian play, retaining ratlier too 
many local allusions for the English stage. 

" Some may argue that it w-as possible for him to 
learn all this from books of travels now lost, or in con- 
versation with travellers ; but my faitli recoils from so 
bare a possibility, when the belief that he saw what he 
described, is, in every 2)oint of view, without difficulty, 
and 2'robable. Books and conversation may do 7nuch 
for an author; but should he descend to particular de- 
scriptions, or venture to sjieak of manners and customs 
intimately, is it possible he should not once fall into 
error with no better instruction ? An objection has been 
made, imputing an error, in Grumio's inquiring alter the 
'rushes strewed.' But the custom of strewing rushes, 
as in England, belonged also to Italy : this may be seen 
in old authors ; and their very word ghtncare, now out 
' of use, is a proof of it. Englisli Christian-names, inci- 
dentiiUy introduced, are but translations of the same 
Italian names, as Catarina is ctdled Katharine and Kate ; 
and, if tliey were not, comedy may well be allowed to 
take a liberty of that nature." — C. A. Brown. 

(An Argosy.) 



''* lit 'll^'*'' 



HIS comedy was first printed in 1600, when it appeared in the small quarto pamphlet 
customary in those days for such publications. Its title was " Much Adoe about 
Nothing; as it hath been sundry times publickly acted," etc., etc. This phrase of 
"sundry times publickly acted" would seem to intimate that it had not been long 
enough on the stage to have become a stock-piece; though, as this was rather a com- 
mon-place expression of theatrical title-pages in that day, it is by no means conclusive 
that it might not have been some few years on the stage. But it is not among the 
titles of those plays, in the often-cited list given by Meares, 1598, as the works upon 
which Shakespeare's i'ame had already been securely placed among the contemporaries of his 
earlier days ; nor is there any quotation from it, in the collection called " England's Parnas- 
sus," (1600,) which has aided in adjusting several literary dates of this period. 

This last-mentioned fact is probably to be accounted for from the comedy not having been 
in print long enough to fall into the hands of the compiler of the "Parnassus," or not having 
been published until after the collection was printed, as they both bear the date of the same 
year. The circumstance of the title not being found in Meares's catalogue, is conclusive 
that the play had not appeared in any way before 1593 ; for the critic who then enumerated 
the Comedy of Errors, the Two Gentlemen of Verona, etc., as the works which had 
gained and justified the dramatic reputation of his contemporary, could not well have 
omitted in liis list the title of this brilliant and always very popular comedy. That it was 
thus popular soon after its first representation, Mr. Collier has furnished us with very strong 
presumptive e%-ideuce, by showing, from extracts from the " Stationers' Register," that in 
1600 a caveat had been entered to stay its publication, evidently to prevent the publication 
of some pirated or unfairly obtained copy of this play, and also of Henry V. 

Thus the date of authorship may, with the highest probability, be placed in or about 1599, that is 
to say — for this is the chief point of interest in such inquiries — about the author's thirty -fifth or sixth year, after 
the production of the Merchant of Venice, and between the first and second editions of Romeo and Juliet. 
It may be added that it was probably written not long before or after the composition of Hamlet, in that form in 
which it first reached the press. It may seem exti^avagant to associate this play with Romeo and Juliet, or Ham let, 
for, to a hasty consideration, there may appear to be little in common in these dramas with the comedy ; as if, 
though the work of the same author, they were the productions of wholly different and distinct faculties. Yet there 
is more than one point indicating their common origin ; but that which led to tliis comparison was the indication given 
iuthis comedy, as compared with the earlier ones, (the Two Gentlemen of Verona, for instance,) of the author's 
personal ascent in social life, and the wider as well as nearer means of observation of life and manners thus 
opened to him. This appears from the ease, familiarity and truth, such as are gained by actual converse alone, with 
which he had learned to depict the social manners and conversation of that class of society who have leisure and 
taste to cultivate the elegances of life, and the ornamental graces and decorations of mind and manners. Much 
of this is always conventional and transitory^ but much is also the result of habitual attention to the minor graces, 
and of variety of association wearing away the peculiarities of the individual, or his occupation. But as the most 
successful personators either of broad humour or of deep passion, and tragic dignity, — the great tragedians, or 
the laugh-provoking drolls of the stage, — are often alike awkward in the gay man of fashion ; so the young poet, who 
might study truth and nature, and the intricacies of the human heart, and the capricious oddities of human charac- 
ter, in his humble native village, and idealize them all in exquisite fancy, yet could not have learned to pourtray the 
high gentlemanly bearing of Hamlet, or the careless pleasantry of the wits, nobles, and ladies of Much Ado 
about Nothing, without something more than a distant glance at such scenes in real life. The Valentine and 
Proteus, of 1585, are but gentlemen and lovers painted at second-hand from books, when compared with the char 
acters and scenes of this play, all drawn rapidly and boldly from the life, and caiTying throughout the plot the 
lively grace and brilliant effect of one of Watteau's pictures of courtly gayety. 

In the occasional passages of a higher poetic strain, into which the Poet sometimes rises, as his subject happens 
to suggest, such especially as the Friar's speeches, in act iv., the versification and imageiy are clearly those of the 
middle stage of his genius, with little of the peculiarity of his later diction. But it is very clear that the Poet did 



not here propose to his own mind either a drama of stin-ing passion, or even a dramatic tale around which the 
more dehcate flowers of fancy might spontaneously cluster. He meant obviously only to interest and amuse, by 
an exhibition of life and character, and dwelt no more on the graver incidents and stronger emotions involved in 
his plot, or suggested by it, than was necessaiy to keep up the interest of the stoiy, while he luxuriates now in 
gay dialogue and the keen encounters of wit, and now in the broadest drollery ; entering with his whole soul 
into the invention of Benedick and Beatrice, and the immortal Dogberry and Verges. The main object he always 
keeps in view is lively dramatic effect on the stage, and this is apparent, not only in liis characters and dialogue, but 
in his plot and incidents. 

" The story (says Pope) is taken from Ariosto, (' Orlando Furioso,' book v.") Others find its original in Phe- 
don's tale of Philemon's treachery in the " Faerie Queene," (book ii., canto 4 ;) of which Sj^enser, with the rightful 
license of genius, took the outline from Ariosto, and turned it to a nobler moral. Shakespeare was certainly 
familiar with the " Faerie Queene," and had doubtless read Ariosto, if not in the original, yet at least in 
Hamngton's translation of the whole of the "Orlando," (1591,) or in Beverley's older one of the tale of 
"Ariodant and Genevi-a." Yet I see no ground for thinking that he had either of these poets in his mind ; and 
the resemblance of his comedy to their tales extends little beyond the incident common to romance-writers, 
of the deception of the lover by a personation of his lady-love by a false "maiden." Its origin is to be 
traced more distinctly to a tale, or short romance, of Bandello, the same Italian novelist to whom, through Arthur 
Brooke, Shakespeare had been much more largely indebted for the materials of Romeo and Juliet. Most of the 
editors have chosen to trace the plot to Ariosto, or Spenser, in preference to this source, because it has not been 
ascertained that Bandello's novels had been translated ; and it did not suit their theory to allow that Shakespeare 
had, after fifteen or more years of literary pursuits, acquired enough of the fashionable tongue of Europe to read 
a short and simply told Italian tale. But whether he read it in its author's language, or, as Collier suggests, in 
some version now lost, it is quite clear that the plot of the comedy was suggested by Bandello's story of " Timbreo 
de Cardona (Claudio) and Fenicia;" for, besides the similarity of the leading incidents, he has adopted (with Ban- 
dello) Messina as the scene of his plot, and preserved the names of Don Pedro and Leonato. 

The laborious and faithful Augustine Skottowe gives the following outline of Bandello's tale : — 

" Fenicia, the daughter of Lionato, a gentleman of Messina, is betrothed to Timbreo de Cardona. Girondo, a 
disappointed lover of the young lady, resolves, if possible, to prevent the marriage. He insinuates to Timbreo 
that his mistress is disloyal, and offers to show him a stranger scaling her chamber-window. Timbreo accepts the 
invitation, and witnesses the hired servant of Girondo, in the dress of a gentleman, ascending a ladder and entering 
the house of Lionato. Stung with rage and jealousy, Timbreo the next morning accuses his innocent mistress to 
her father, and rejects the alliance. Fenicia sinks into a swoon ; a dangerous illness succeeds ; and, to stifle all re- 
ports injurious to her fame, Lionato proclaims that she is dead. Her funeral rites are performed in Messina, while 
in truth she lies concealed in the obscurity of a countiy residence. 

" The thought of having occasioned the death of an innocent and lovely female strikes Girondo wth horror; in 
the agony of remorse he confesses his villany to Timbreo, and they both throw themselves on the mercy, and ask 
forgiveness, of the insulted family of Fenicia. On Timbreo is imposed only the penance of espousing a lady whose 
face he should not see previous to his marriage : instead of a new bride, whom he expected, he is presented, at 
the nuptial altar, with his injured and beloved Fenicia." 

This is sufficient to show that while Bandello's tale is the probable original of the plot, yet that it did little more 
than funiish two or three leading and effective incidents, and the naked outline of the drama; as if, after having 
been once read, and its story adopted, the book was not looked into again, and the dramatist suffered the current 
of his owii inventive imagination to flow on in its own course. Thus, while he fills the scene with accomplished 
and brilliant personages — whose originals might very probably have been recognized in the gay life of that day — 
he changed the revengeful rejected lover, who works all the mischief of the older story, into the less common- 
place but truly drawn character of the Bastard John ; a moody and disappointed man, who broods over his own 
malignant feelings till his spirits are taught to " toil in frame of %'illanies," which he puts in execution, though without 
any personal motive to gratify. This leads to another fortunate variation of the plot, which has enriched our comic 
literature with the matchless Dogbeny and his companions, while it exhibits a lively picture of one of those inci- 
dents not uncommon in real life, where the most cunningly devised plans of craft and wickedness are baffled by 
humble ignorance and imbecility. 


This play was not reprinted from the time of its first publication, in quarto, 1600, until it appeared in Heminge 
& Condell's folio, 1623. This would seem not to have been a direct reprint of the quarto, (though Mr. Collier 
80 pronounces it,) but rather to have been printed from a play-house manuscript. This appears from the omission 
of several passages, doubtless for the purposes of the stage, and from the circumstance of the names of actors 
being more than once substituted for those of the dramatic personages. Thus, act ii. scene .3, the folio has — 
" Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Jack Wilson,'''' (the last in place of Balthazar.) So, in act iv., Kempe and 
Cowley are substituted for Dogberry and Verges. 

The two editions, thus independent copies, agree substantially with each other, and leave but little room for 
doubting or disputing as to the readings. Much Ano about Nothing is, therefore, not one of the favourite de- 
bateable grounds of the commentators for the exei'cise of their critical ingenuity. 




Mr. Planche, the contributor of this head of illustration to the "Pictorial" Shakespeare, applies to this play his 
seusible rule that, "in affixing by the costume a particular period to any of Shakespeare's plays which are not 
historical, care should be taken to select one as near as possible to the time at which it was written. The comedy 
of Much Ado about commences with the return of certain Italian and Spanish noblemen to Sicily, after 
the wars. Now, the last war in which the Italians, under Spanish dominion, were concerned, previous to the pro- 
duction of this comedy, was terminated by the peace of Cambray, called ' La Paix des Dames,' in consequence 
of its being signed (August 3d, 1529) by Margai'et of Austria, in the name of the Emperor Charles V., and by the 
Duchesse d'Angouleme, in that of her son Francis I. This peace secured to Charles the crown of Naples and 
Sicily ; and, after vanquishing the Saracens at Tunis, he made triumphal entries into Palermo and Messina, in the 
autumn of 1535." Of the costume of this period, some illustrations will be found in the Two Gentlemen of 
Vekona ; and elsewhere in this edition. 

Messina, from the Sea. 


DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon. 

JOHN, his bastard Brother. 

CLAUDIO a young Lord of Florence, favourite to Don 

BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, favoured likewise 

by Don Pedro. 
LEONATO, Governor of Messina. 
ANTONIO, his Brother. 
BALTHAZAR, Servant to Don Pedro. 
A Sexton. 
A Boy. 

followers of John. 

two Officers. 



evTomen attending on Hero. 

Watchmen, and Attendants. 

ENE— Messina. 



Scene I. — Before Leoato's House. 

Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, 
with a Messenger. 

Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of 
Arragon comes this uight to 3Iessina. 

Mess. He is very near by this : he was not three 
leagues oft' when I left him. 

Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in 
this action ? 

Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. 

Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever 
brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don 
Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young 
Florentine, called Claudio. 


Mess. iNIuch deserved on his part, and equally 
remembered by Don Pedro : he hath borne himself 
beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure 
of a lamb the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, bet- 
ter bettered expectation, than you must expect of 
me to tell you how. 

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be 
very miich glad of it. 

Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and 
there appears much joy in him ; even so much, that 
joy could not show itself modest enough without a 
badge of bitterness. 

Leon. Did he break out into tears ? 

Mess. In great measure. 

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There aie 




no faces truer than those that are so washed : how 
much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at 
weeping ? 

Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned 
from the wars, or no ? 

Mess. I know none of that name, lady : there 
was none such in the army of any sort. 

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? 

Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of 

Mess. O ! he is returned, and as pleasant as ever 
he was. 

Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and 
challenged Cupid at the flight ; and my uncle's 
fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, 
and challenged him at the bird-bolt. — I pray you, 


K "\ 


how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars ? 
But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I prom- 
ised to eat all of his killing. 

Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too 
much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. 

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these 

Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp 
to eat it : he is a very valiant trencher-man ; he hath 
an excellent stomach. 

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. 

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady •, but what is 
he to a lord ? 

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; stuffed 
with all honourable virtues. 

Beat. It is so, indeed : he is no less than a stuffed 
man ; but for the stuffing, — Well, we are all mortal. 

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. 
There is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Bene- 
dick and her: they never meet, but there's a skir- 
mish of wit between them. 

Beat. Alas ! he gets nothing by that. In our last 
conflict four of his five wits went halting oft', and 
now is the whole man governed with one ; so that if 
he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him 
bear it for a dirt'erence between himself and his 
horse ; for it is all the wealth that he hath left to be 
known a reasonable creature. — Who is his compan- 
ion now ? He hath every month a new sworn bro- 

Mess. Is't possible ? 


Beat. Very easily possible : he wears his faith 
but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with 
the next block. 

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your 

Beat. No ; an he were, I would burn my study. 
But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there 
no young squarer now, that will make a voyage 
with him to the devil ? 

Mess. He is most in the company of the right 
noble Claudio. 

Beat. O Lord ! he will hang upon him like a 
disease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, 
and the taker nms presently mad. God help the 
noble Claudio I if he have caught the Benedick, it 
will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured. 

3Iess. I will hold friends with you, lady. 

Beat. Do, good friend. 

Leon. You will never run mad, niece. 

Beat. No, not till a hot January. 

Mess. Don Pedro is approached. 

Enter Don T EURO, John, Claudio, Benedick, 
Balthazar, and others. 

D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come 
to meet your trouble ; the fashion of the world is 
to avoid cost, and you encounter it. 

Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the 
likeness of your grace ; for trouble being gone, com- 
fort should remain, but when you depart from me, 
sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave. 




D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too will- 
ingly. I think, this is your daughter. 

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. 

Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked 
her ? 

Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you 
a child. 

D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick : we may 
guess by this what you are, being a man. — Tioily, 
the lady fathers herself. — Be happy, lady, for you 
are like an honourable father. 

Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would 
not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, 
as like him as she is. 

Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, sig- 
nior Benedick : no body marks you. 

Bene. Wliat, my dear lady Disdain ! are you yet 
living ? 

Beat. Is it possible disdain should die, while she 
hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick ? 
Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come 
in her presence. 

Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat. But it is 
certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; 
and I would I could find in my heart that I had 
not a hard heart, for, truly, I love none. 

Beat. A dear happiness to women : they would 
else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I 
thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your hu- 
mour for that : I had rather hear my dog bark at a 
crow, than a man swear he loves me. 

Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind ; 
so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predesti- 
nate scratched face. 

Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 
'twere such a face as yours were. 

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. 

Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast 
of yours. 

Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your 
tongue, and so good a continuer. But keep your 
way o' God's name; I have done. 

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick : I 
know you of old. 

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all. — Leonato, — 
signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, — my dear 
friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him we 
shall stay here at the least a month, and he heartily 
prays some occasion may detain us longer : I dare 
swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart. 

Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be 
forsworn. — Let me bid you welcome, my lord : be- 
ing reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you 
all duty. 

John. I thank you ; I am not of many words, 
but I thank you. 

Leon. Please it your grace lead on ? 

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato : we will go to- 

\Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio. 

Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter 
of signior Leonato ? 

Bene. I noted her not ; but I looked on her. 

Claud. Is she not a modest young lady 1 

Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man 
should do, for my simple true judgment ; or would 
you have me speak after my custom, as being a 
professed tyrant to their sex? 

Claud. No ; I pray thee, speak in sober judg- 

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she's too low for a 

high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too 
little for a great praise : only this commendation I 
can afford her; that were she other than she is, she 
were unhandsome, and being no other but as she 
is, I do not like her. 

Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport: I pray 
thee, tell me truly how thou lik'st her. 

Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after 

Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? 

Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak 
you this with a sad brow, or do you play the flouting 
Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and 
Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in what key shall 
a man take you, to go in the song? 

Claud. In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that 
ever I looked on. 

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see 
no such matter : there's her cousin, an she were 
not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much 
in beauty, as the first of May doth the last of De- 
cember. But I hope, you have no intent to turn 
husband, have you ? 

Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had 
sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. 

Bene- Is't come to this, i'faith ? Hath not the 
world one man, but he will wear his cap with 
suspicion ? Shall I never see a bachelor of three- 
score again? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs 
thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, 
and sigh away Sundays. Look ; Don Pedro is 
returned to seek you. 

Re-enter Don Pedro. 

D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that 
you followed not to Leonato's? 

Bene. I would your grace would constrain me to 

D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. 

Bene. You hear. Count Claudio : I can be secret 
as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on 
my allegiance, — mark you this, on my allegiance. — 
He is in love. With whom ? — now that is your 
grace's part. — Mark, how short his answer is : — 
with Hero, Leonato's short daughter. 

Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. 

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, 
nor 'twas not so ; but, indeed, God forbid it should 
be so. 

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God 
forbid it should be otherwise. 

L>. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady 
is very well worthy. 

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. 

D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. 

Claud. And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. 

Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my lord, 
I spoke mine. 

Claud. That I love her, I feel. 

D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. 

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be 
loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the 
opinion that fire cannot melt out of me : I will die 
in it at the stake. 

D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic 
in the despite of beauty. 

Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in 
the force of his will. 

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her: 
that she brought me up, I likewise give her most 
humble thanks; but that I will have a recheat 





winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an 
invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. 
Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust 
any, I will do myself the right to trust none ; and 
the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will 
live a bachelor. 

D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale 
with love. 

Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, 
my lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lose 
more blood with love, than I will get again with 
drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's 
pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house 
for the sign of blind Cupid. 

D. Pedro. Well, if ever ihou dost fall from this 
faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument. 

Bene. Jf I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and 
shoot at me ; and he that hits me, let him be clapped 
on the shoulder, and called Adam. 

D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try : 
"In time ihe savage bull doth bear the yoke." 

Bene. The savage bull may, but if ever the sen- 
sible Benedick bear it, pluck oH" the bull's horns, 
and set them in my forehead ; and let me be vilely 
painted, and in such great letters as they write, 
"Here is a good horse to hire," let them signify 
under my sign, — " Here you may see Benedick the 
married man." 

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st 
be horn-mad. 

D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his 
quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. 

Bene. I look for an earthquake too, then. 

D. Pedro. Well, you will temjiorize with the 
hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, 
repair to Leonato's: commend me to him, and tell 
him, I will not fail him at supper; ("or, indeed, he 
hath made great jneparation. 

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for 
such an embassage; and so I commit you — 

Claud. To the tuition of God: from my house, 
if I had it.— 

D. Pedro. The sixth of July : your loving friend. 

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of 
your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, 
and the guards are but slightly basted on neither: 
ere you flout old ends any further, examine j'our 
conscience, and so I leave you. \^E.rit Bknkdick. 

Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me 

D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach : teach it 
but how, 
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn 
Any hard lesson that may do thee good. 

Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord? 

D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only 
Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? 

Claud.. O! my lord. 

When you went onward on this ended action, 
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye. 
That lik'd, bvit had a rougher task in hand, 
Than to drive liking to the name of love ; 

Act. I. Scene 1. — Street in Messina, 

ACT 1. 



But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts 
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms 
Come thronging soft and delicate desires, 
All prompting me how fair young Hero is, 
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars — 

D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, 
And tire the hearer with a book of words. 
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it. 
And I will break with her, and with her father, 
And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end, 
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story ? 

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, 
That know love's grief by liis complexion! 
But lest my liking might too sudden seem, 
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. 

D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader 
than the flood? 
The fairest grant is the necessity. 
Look, what will serve is fit : 'tis once, thou lovest. 
And I will fit thee with the remedy. 
I know we shall have revelling to-night : 
I will assume thy part in some disguise. 
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio ; 
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart. 
And take her hearing prisoner with the force, 
And strong encounter of my amorous tale : 
Then, after, to her father will I break : 
And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine. 
In practice let us put it presently. {^Exeunt. 

Scene II. — A Room in Leonato's House. 
Enter Leonato and Antonio. 

Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, 
your son ? Hath he provided this music? 

Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I 
can tell you strange news that you yet dreamt not of. 

Leon. Are they good ? 

Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have 
a good cover; they show well outward. The prince 
and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached 
alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by 
a man of mine: the prince discovered to Claudio 
that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant 
to acknowledge it this night in a dance ; and, if he 
found her accordant, he meant to take the present 
time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. 

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? 

Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him, 
and question him yourself. 

Leon. No, no: we will hold it as a dream, till it 
appear itself; but I will acquaint my daughter 
withal, that she may be the better prepared for an 
answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and 
tell her of it. — [Several Persons cross the stase.] 
Cousins, you know what you have to do. — O, I 
cry you mercy, friend ; go you with me, and I will 
use your skill. — Good cousin, have a care this busy 
time. [Exeunt. 

Act. I. ScEKE 2. -■Walkins in a thick -pleached alley in my orchard. 

Scene III. — Another Room in Leonato's House. 
Enter John and Conrade. 

Con. What the good year, my lord ! why are you 
thus out of measure sad ? 

John. There is no measure in the occasion that 
breeds, therefore the sadness is without limit. 

Con. You should hear reason. 

John. And when I have heard it, what blessing 
brines it ? 

Con. If not a present remedy, at least a patient 

John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou say'st 
thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a 
moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot 
hide what I am : I must be sad when I have cause, 
and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have sto- 
mach, and wait for no man's leisure ; sleep when I 
am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh 
when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour. 





Con. Yea ; but you must not make the full show 
of this, till you may do it without controlinent. 
You have of late stood out against your brother, and 
he hath ta'en you newly into his grace ; where it is 
impossible you should take true root, but by the 
fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful 
that you frame the season for your own harvest. 

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a 
rose in his grace ; a:nd it better fits my blood to be 
disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob 
love from any : in this, though I cannot be said to 
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied 
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with 
a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I 
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my 
my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I 
would do my liking : in the mean time, let me be 
that I am, and seek not to alter me. 

Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? 

John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who 
comes here? What news, Borachio? 

Enter Borachio. 

Bora. I came yonder from a great supper : the 
prince, your brother, is royally entertained by 
Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an 
intended marriage. 

John. Will it serve for any model to build mis- 

chief on ? What is he, for a fool, that betroths 
himself to unquietness? 

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. 

John. Who ? the most exquisite Claudio ? 

Bora. Even he. 

John. A proper squire ! And who, and who ? 
which way looks he? 

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of 

John. A very forward March-chick I How came 
you to this ? 

Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was 
smoking a musty-room, comes me the prince and 
Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference : I whipt 
me behind the arras, and there heard it agreed 
upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, 
and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio. 

John. Come, come ; let us thither : this may 
prove food to my displeasure. That yovmg start-up 
hath all the glory of my overthrow : if I can cross 
him any way, I bless myself every way. You are 
both sure, and will assist me? 

Con. To the death, my lord. 

John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer is 
the greater, that I am subdued. 'Would the cook 
were of my mind I — Shall we go prove what's to 
be done ? 

Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. \_Exeunt. 

Scene I. — A Hall in Leonato's House. 

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, 

and others. 

Leon. Was not count John here at supper? 
Ant. I saw him not. 

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks : I never 
can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after. 
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. 
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made 
just in the mid-way between him and Benedick : 
the one is too like an image, and says nothing ; and 
the other too like my lady's eldest son, evermore 

Leon. Then, half signior Benedick's tongue in 
count John's mouth, and half count John's melan- 
choly in signior Benedick's face, — 

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, 
and money enough in his purse, such a man would 
win any woman in the world, — if a' could get her 
good will. 

Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get 
thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue. 
Ant. In faith, she's too curst. 
Beat. Too curst is more than curst : I shall 
lessen God's sending that way, for it is said, " God 
sends a curst cow short horns;" but to a cow too 
curst he sends none. 

Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you 
no horns? 

Beat. Just, if he send me no husband ; for the 
which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every 
morning and evening. Lord! 1 could not endure 
a husband with a beard on his face : I had rather 
lie in the woollen. 

Leon. You may light on a husband that hath no 

Beat. What should I do with him ? dress him in 
my apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman ? 
He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he 
that hath no beard is less than a man ; and he that 
is more than a youth is not for me ; and he that is 
less than a man I am not for him : therefore I will 
even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and 
lead his apes into hell. 

Leon. Well then, go you into hell? 
Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will the 
devil meet me, hke an old cuckold, with horns on 
his head, and say, "Get you to heaven, Beatrice, 
get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids:" 
so, deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter 
for the heavens: he shows me where the bachelors 
sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long. 

Ant. Well, niece, — {to Hero] — I trust, you will 
be ruled by your father. 

Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make 
courtesy, and say, " Father, as it please you :" but 
yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome 
fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, 
"Father, as it please me." 

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day 
fitted with a husband. 

Beat. Not till God make men of some other 
metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman 
to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust ? to 
make an account of her life to a clod of wayward 
marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my 
brethren ; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my 

Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you : if 
the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know 
your ansAver. 

Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if 
you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too 
important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, 
and so dance out the answer : for, hear me. Hero ; 
wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, 
a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot 
and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical: 
the wedding, mannerly, modest, as a measure, full 
of state and ancientrj^; and then comes repentance, 
and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace 
faster and faster, till he sink into his grave. 

Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. 

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle : I can see a 
chilrch by day-light. 

Leon. The revellers are entering, brother. Make 
good room ! 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Baltha- 
zar; John, Borachio, Margaret, Ursula, 

and Maskers. 

D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your 

Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and 
say nothing, I am yours for the walk ; and, es- 
pecially, when I walk away. 

D. Pedro. With me in your company ? 

Hero. I may say so, when I please. 

D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? 

Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, 
the lute should be like the case! 

D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within 
the house is Jove. 

Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd. 

D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. 

[ Takes her aside. 

Bene. Well, I would you did like me. 

Marg. So would not I, for your own sake ; for I 
have many ill qualities. 


Act II. Scene 1. — My visor ia Philemon'3 roof; within the house is Jove. 

Bene. Which is one ? 

Marg. I say my prayers aloud. 

Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may cry 

Marg. God match me with a good dancer ! 

Balth. Amen. 

Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when 
the dance is done! — Answer, clerk. 

Balth. No more words : the clerk is answered. 

Urs. I know you well enough : you are signior 

Ant. At a word, I am not. 

Urs. I know j'ou by the waggling of your head. 

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. 

Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless 
you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up 
and down ; you are he, you are he. 

Ant. At a word, I am not. 

Urs. Come, come: do you think I do not know 
you by your excellent wit ? Can virtue hide itself? 
Go to, mum, you are he : graces will appear, and 
there's an end. 

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so ? 

Bene. No, you shall pardon me. 

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are? 

Bene. Not now. 

Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my 
good wit out of the " Hundred merry Tales." — 
Well, this was signior Benedick that said so. 

Bene. What's he ? 

Beat. I am sure you know him well enough. 

Bene. Not I, believe me. 

Beat. Did he never make you laugh ? 

Bene. I pray you, what is he? 

Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester : a very dull 
lool, only his gift is in devising impossible slanders : 


none but libertines delight in him ; and the com- 
mendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy, for 
he both pleases men, and angers them, and then 
they laugh at him, and beat him. I am sure, he is 
in the fleet; I would he had boarded me! 

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him 
what you say. 

Beat. Do, do : he'll but break a comparison or 
two on me ; which, peradventure, not marked, or 
not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy ; and 
then there's a partridge' wing saved, for the fool 
will eat no supiier that night. — [Music icitliin.] 
We must follow the leaders. 

Bene. In every good thing. 

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave 
them at the next turning. 

[Dance. Then, exeunt all hut John, Borachio, 
and Claudio. 

John. Siire, my brother is amorous on Hero, and 
hath withdrawn her father to break with him about 
it. The ladies follow her, and but one visor remains. 

Bora. And that is Claudio : I know him by his 

John. Are not you signior Benedick? 

Claud. You know me well : I am he. 

John. Signior, you are very near my brother in 
his love : he is enamoured on Hero. T pray you, 
dissuade him from her; she is no equal for his 
birth : you may do the part of an honest man in it. 

Claud. How know you he loves her? 

John. I heard him swear his affection. 

Bora. So did I too ; and he swore he would 
many her to-night. 

John. Come, let us to the banquet. 

[ExcMUt JoH.-v and Borachio. 

Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, 




But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. 
'Tis certain so : — the prince woos for himself. 
Friendship is constant in all other things, 
Save in the office and atifairs of love : 
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues; 
Let every eye negotiate for itself, 
And trust no agent, for beauty is a witch. 
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. 
This is an accident of hourly proof, 
Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, 

Re-enter Benedick. 

Be7ie. Count Claudio ? 

Claud. Yea, the same. 

Bene. Come, will you go with me? 

Claud. Whither? 

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own 
business, county. What fashion will you wear the 
garland of? About your neck, like an usurer's 
chain, or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? 
You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got 
your Hero. 

Claud. I wish him joy of her. 

Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover: 
so they sell bullocks. But did you think, the prince 
would have served you thus? 

Claud. I pray you, leave me. 

Bene. Ho ! now you strike like the blind man : 
'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat 
the post. 

Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. \^Exit. 

Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowl ! Now will he creep 

into sedges. But, that my lady Beatrice should 

know me, and not know me ! The prince's fool ! — 
Ha ! it may be, I go under that title, because I am 
merry. — Yea ; but so I am apt to do myself wrong: 
I am not so reputed : it is the base, though bitter 
disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her 
person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged 
as I may. 

Re-enter Don Pedro. 

D. Pedro. Now, signior, where's the count? 
Did you see him ? 

Bene. Troth, my lord, I have played the part of 
lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a 
lodge in a warren : I told him, and, I think, I told 
him true, that your grace had got the good will of 
this young lady ; and I offered him my company to 
a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being 
forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy 
to be whipped. 

D. Pedro. To be whipped ! What's his fault ? 

Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy ; 
who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, 
shows it his companion, and he steals it. 

D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgres- 
sion ? The transgression is in the stealer. 

Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had 
been made, and the garland too ; for the garland he 
might have worn himself, and the rod he might 
have bestow'd on you, who, as I take it, have stolen 
his bird's nest. 

D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and 
restore them to the owner. 

Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my 
faith you say honestly. 

D. Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to 
you : the gentleman, that danced with her, told her 
she is much wronged by you. 


Bene. O! she misused me past the endurance of 
a block : an oak, but with one green leaf on it, 
would have answered her : my very visor began to 
assume life, and scold with her. She told me, not 
thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's 
jester; that I was duller than a great thaw ; hud- 
dling jest upon jest, with such impossible convey- 
ance, upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, 
with a whole army shooting at me. She speaks 
poignards, and every word stabs : if her breath 
were as terrible as her terminations, there were no 
living near her ; she would infect to the north star. 
I would not marry her, though she were endowed 
with all that Adam had left him before he trans- 
gressed : she would have made Hercules have 
turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make 
the fire too. Come, talk not of her ; you shall find 
her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to 
God, some scholar would conjure her ; for, certainly, 
while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell, 
as in a sanctuary ; and people sin upon purpose, 
because they would go thither, so, indeed, all 
disquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her. 

Enter Claudio, Beatrice, Hero, and Leonato. 

D. Pedro. Look, here she comes. 

Bene. Will your grace command me any service 
to the world's end ? I will go on the slightest 
errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise 
to send me on : I will fetch you a toothpicker now 
from the furthest inch of Asia ; bring you the length 
of Prester John's foot ; fetch you a hair of the 
great Cham's beard ; do you any embassage to the 
Pigmies, rather than hold three words' conference 
with this harpy. You have no employment for me? 

D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good com- 

Bene. O God, sir, here's a dish I love not : 1 
cannot endure my lady Tongue. \_Exit. 

D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the 
heart of signior Benedick. 

Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while ; 
and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his 
single one: marry, once before he won it of me 
with false dice, therefore your grace may well say 
I have lost it. 

D. Pedro. You have put him down, lady ; you 
have put him down. 

Beat. So I would not he should do me, my lord, 
lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have 
brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. 

D. Pedro. Why, how now, count ? wherefore 
are you sad? 

Claud. Not sad, my lord. 

D. Pedro. How then? Sick? 

Claiid. Neither, my lord. 

Beat. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor 
merry, nor well : but civil, count, civil as an orange, 
and something of that jealous complexion. 

D. Pedro. I'faith, lady, I think your blazon to 
be true ; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his 
conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in 
thy name, and fair Hero is won ; I have broke with 
her father, and, his good will obtained, name the 
day of marriage, and God give thee joy! 

Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with 
her my fortunes : his grace hath made the match, 
and all grace say Amen to it ! 

Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue. 

Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy : I 
were but little happy, if I could say how much. — 





Lady, as you are mine, I am yours : I give away 
myself for you, and dote upon the exchange. 

Beat. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his 
mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak neither. 

J). Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart. 

Beat. Yea, my lord ; I thank it, poor fool, it 
keeps on the windy side of care. — My cousin tells 
him in his ear, that he is in her heart. 

Claud. And so she doth, cousin. 

Beat. Good lord ! for alliance thus goes every 
one to the world but I, and I am sun-burned : I 
may sit in a corner, and cry, heigh ho ! for a 

D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. 

Beat. I would rather have one of your father's 
getting. Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you ? 
Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could 
come by them. 

D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady ? 

Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another 
for working-days : your grace is too costly to wear 
every day. — But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; 
I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter. 

D. Pedro. Your silence most oflends me, and to 
be merry best becomes you ; for, out of question, 
you were born in a merry hour. 

Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried ; but 
then there was a star danced, and under that was I 
born. — Cousins, God give you joy ! 

Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told 
you of? 

Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. — By your grace's 
pardon. {Exit Beatrice. 

D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady. 

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in 
her, my lord : she is never sad, but when she sleeps ; 
and not ever sad then, for I have heard my daughter 
say, she hath often dreamed of unhappiness, and 
waked herself with laughing. 

D. Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a 

Leon. O ! by no means, she mocks all her wooers 
out of suit. 

D. Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Bene- 

Leon. O lord ! my lord, if they were but a week 
married, they would talk themselves mad. 

D. Pedro. County Claudio, when mean you to 
go to church ? 

Claud. To-morrow, my lord. Time goes on 
cmtches, till love have all his rites. 

Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is 
hence a just seven-night ; and a time too brief, too, 
to have all things answer my mind. 

D. Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long 
a breathing ; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time 
shall not go dully by us. I will, in the interim, 
undertake one of Hercules' labours, which is, to 
bring signior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into 
a mountain of affection, the one with the other. I 
would fain have it a match ; and I doubt not but to 
fashion it, if you three will but minister such 
assistance as I shall give you direction. 

Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me 
ten nights' watchings. 

Claud. And I, my lord. 

D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero? 

Hero. I will do any modest ofifice, my lord, to 
help my cousin to a good husband. 

D. Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest 
husband that I know. Thus far can I praise him: 


he is of a noble strain, of approved valour, and 
confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to hu- 
mour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with 
Benedick; — and I, with your two helps, will so 
practise on Benedick, that, in despite of his qiiick 
wit and his queasy stomach, he shall fall in love 
with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no 
longer an archer: his glory shall be ours, for we 
are the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will 
tell you my drift. \^Exevnt. 

Scene II. — Another Room in Leonato's House. 
Enter John and Borachio. 

John. It is so : the count Claudio shall man-y 
the daughter of Leonato. 

Bora. Yea, my lord ; but I can cross it. 

John. Any bar, any ci"oss, any impediment will 
be medicinable to me : I am sick in displeasure to 
him, and whatsoever comes athwart his afi'ection 
ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross 
this marriage ? 

Bora. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that 
no dishonesty shall appear in me. 

John. Show me briefly how. 

Bora. I think, I told your lordship, a year since, 
how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the 
waiting-gentlewoman to Hero. 

John. I remember. 

Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the 
night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber- 

John. What life is in that to be the death of this 
marriage ? 

Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper. 
Go you to the prince your bi-other: spare not to tell 
him, that he hath wronged his honoiu" in marrying 
the renowned Claudio (whose estimation do you 
mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale, such a 
one as Hero. 

John. What proof shall I make of that? 

Bora. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex 
Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look 
you for any other issue? 

John. Only to despite them I will endeavour any 

Bora. Go then ; find me a meet hour to draw Don 
Pedro and the Count Claudio, alone: tell them, 
that you know that Hero loves me ; intend a kind 
of zeal both to the prince and Claudio, (as in love 
of your brother's honour, who hath made this 
match, and his friend's reputation, who is thus like 
to be cozened with the semblance of a maid,) that 
you have discovered thus. They will scarcely 
believe this without trial ; offer them instances, 
which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me 
at her chamber-window, hear me call Margaret 
Hero; hear Margaret term me Claudio; and bring 
them to see this the very night before the intended 
wedding: for in the mean time I will so fashion the 
matter, that Hero shall be absent, and there shall 
appear such seeming truth of Hero's disloyalty, that 
jealousy shall be called assurance, and all the pre- 
paration overthrown. 

John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I 
will put it in practice. Be cunning in the working 
this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats. 

Bora. Be you constant in the accusation, and my 
ctmning shall not shame me. 

Johu I will presently go learn their day of 


ACT 11. 



Scene HI. — Leonato's Garden. 

Enter Benedick. 

Bene. Boy ! 

Enter a Boy. 

Boy. Sigiiior. 

Bene. lu my chamber-wiudow lies a book ; bring 
it hither to me iu the orchard. 

Boy. I am here ah'eady, sir. 

Bene. I know that; — [Exit Boy] — but I would 
have thee hence, and here again. I do much 
wonder, that one man, seeing how much another 
man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to 
love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow 
follies in others, become the argument of his own 
scorn by falling in love : and such a man is Claudio. 
I have known, when there was no music with him 
but the drum and the fife ; and now had he rather 
hear the tabor and the pipe : I have known, when 
he would have walked ten mile afoot to see a good 

armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, 
carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was 
wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an 
honest man, and a soldier; and now is he turn'd 
orthographer: his words are a very fantastical ban- 
quet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so 
converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; 
I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may 
transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath 
on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall 
never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, 
yet I am well : another is wise, yet I am well : 
another virtuous, yet I am well ; but till all graces 
be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my 
grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain ; Avise, or 
I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, 
or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near 
me ; noble, or not I for an angel ; of good discourse, 
an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what 
colour it please God. Ha ! the prince and monsieur 
Love! I will hide me in the arbour. [IVithdraws. 

Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio. 

D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this music ? 
Claud. Yea, my good lord. How still the even- 
ing is, 

As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony ! 
D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid 

himself ? 
Claud. O, very well, my lord : the music ended, 
We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth. 


ACT 11. 



Enter Balthazar, with music. 

D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song 

Balth. O! good my lord, tax not so bad a voice 
To slander music any more than once. 

D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency. 
To put a strange face on his own perfection. — 
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more. 

Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing; 
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit 
To her he thinks not worthy ; yet he woos. 
Yet will he swear he loves. 

D. Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come : 

Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument. 
Do it in notes. 

Balth. Note this before my notes; 
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. 

D. Pedro. Why these are very crotchets that he 
Note notes, forsooth, and nothing ! [Music. 

Bene. [Aside.] Now, divine air! now is his soul 
ravish'd ! — Is it not strange, that sheeps' guts should 
hale souls out of men's bodies? — Well, a horn for 
my money, when all's done. 


Balth. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, 
Men ivere deceivers ever ; 
One foot in sea, and one on shore ; 
To one thing constant never. 
Then sigh not so. 
But let them go, 
And be you blithe and bonny. 
Converting all your sounds of woe 
Into, Hey nonny, nanny. 

Sing no 7nore ditties, sing no mo 
Of dumps so dull and heavy ; 

The fraud of men was ever so. 
Since summer first was leavy. 
Then sigh not so, etc. 

D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song. 

Balth. And an ill singer, my lord. 

i>. Pedro. Ha? no, no; faith, thou singest well 
enough for a shift. 

Bene. [Aside.] An he had been a dog that 
should have howled thus, they would have hane'd 
him : and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mis- 
chief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, 
come what plas;ue could have come after it. 

D. Pedro. Yea, marry; dost thou hear, Baltha- 
zar? I pray thee, get us some excellent music, for 
to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's 
chamber window. 

Balth. The best I can, my lord. 

D. Pedro. Do so : farewell. — [E.reimt Baltha- 
zar and Musicians.] — Come hither, Leonato : what 
was it you told me of to-day? that your niece 
Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick ? 

Claud. [Aside to Pedro.] O, ay :— stalk on, stalk 
on ; the fowl sits.— [^/o«f/.]— I did never think that 
lady would have loved any man. 

Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, 
that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom 
she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to 

Bene. [Aside.] Is't possible ? Sits the wind in 
that corner? 

Leon. By my troth, my lord, 1 cannot tell what 
to think of it, but that'she loves him with an en- 
raged affection : it is past the infinite of thought. 

D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit. 

Claud. 'Faith, like enough. 

Leon. O God! counterfeit! There was never 
counterfeit of passion came so near the life of 
passion, as she discovers it. 

D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows 

Claud. [Aside.] Bait the hook well : this fish will 

Leon. What effects, my lord ? She will sit you, 

you heard my daughter tell you how. 


Act II ScENB III. Sigb, no more, ladies, si^h no mere. 




Claud. She did, indeed. 

D. Pedro. How, how, I pray jou ? You amaze 
me : I would have thought her spirit had been 
invincible against all assaults of att'ection. 

Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; 
especially against Benedick. 

Bene. [Aside.'] I should think this a gull, but 
that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery 
cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence. 

Claud. [Aside.'] He hath ta'en the infection: 
hold it up. 

D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known 
to Benedick ? 

Leon. No, and swears she never will : that's her 

Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter 
says: "Shall I," says she, "that have so oft en- 
countered him with scorn, write to him that I love 

Leon- This says she, now, when she is beginning 
to write to him ; for she'll be up twenty times a 
night, and there she will sit in her smock, till she 
have writ a sheet of paper. — My daughter tells us 

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I re- 
member a pretty jest your daughter told us of. 

Leon. O! — when she had writ it, and was reading 
it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between 
the sheet ? — 
Claud. That. 

Leon. O I she tore the letter into a thousand half- 
pence ; railed at herself, that she should be so im- 
modest to write to one that she knew would flout 
her: — "I measure him," says she, "by my own 
spirit; for I should flout him, if he writ to me; 
yea, though I love him, I should." 

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, 
weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, 
curses; — "O sweet Benedick! God give me pa- 
tience !" 

Leon. She doth indeed: my daughter says so; 
and the ecstasy hath so much overborne her, that 
my daughter is sometimes afeard she will do a 
desperate outrage to herself. It is very true. 

D. Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of 
it by some other, if she will not discover it. 

Claud. To what end? He would but make a 
sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse. 

D. Pedro. An he should, it were an alms to 
hang him. She's an excellent sweet lady, and oitt 
of all suspicion she is virtuous. 

Claud. And she is exceeding wise. 
D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick. 
Leon. O! my lord, wisdom and blood combating 
in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that 
blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I 
have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian. 
-D. Pedro. I would, she had bestowed this dotage 
on me ; I would have daff"'d all other respects, and 
made herJialf myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of 
it, and hear what a' will say. 
Leon. Were it good, think you ? 
Claud. Hero thinks surely, she will die ; for she 
says, she will die if he love her not, and she will 
die ere she make her love known, and she will die 
if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath 
of her accustomed crossness. 

D. Pedro. She doth well : if she should make 
tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; 
for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible 

Claud. He is a very proper man. 

D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good oiuward hap- 

Claud. Before God, and in my mind, veiy wise. 

D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks 
that are like wit. 

Leon. And I take him to be valiant. 

D. Pedro. As Hector, I assure you : and in the 
managing of quarrels you may say he is wise ; for 
either he avoids them with great discretion, or 
undertakes them with a most Christian-like fear. 

Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily 
keep peace : if he break the peace, he ought to 
enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling. 

D. Pedro. And so will he do ; for the man doth 
fear God, howsoever it seems not in him by some 
large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for 
yotir niece. Shall we go seek Benedick, and tell 
him of her love ? 

Claud. Never tell him, my lord : let her wear it 
out with good counsel. 

Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her 
heart out first. 

D. Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by 
your daughter : let it cool the while. I love Bene- 
dick well, and I could wish he would modestly 
examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy 
so good a lady. 

Leon. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready. 

Claud. [Aside.] If he do not dote on her upon 
this, I will never trust my expectation. 

D. Pedro. [Aside.] Let there be the same net 
spread for her; and that must your daughter and 
her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when 
they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and 
no such matter : that's the scene that I would see, 
which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send 
her to call him in to dinner. 

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato. 

Bene. [Advancing from the arbour.] This can be 
no trick : the conference was sadly borne. — They 
have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to 
pity the lady; it seems, her aft'ections have their full 
bent. Love me ! why, it must be requited. I hear 
how I am censured : they say, I will bear myself 
proudly, if I perceive the love come from her: they 
say, too, that she will rather die than give any sign 
of aft'ection. — I did never think to many. — I must 
not seem proud. — Happy are they that hear their 
detractions, and can put them to mending. They 
say, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them 
witness : and virtuous ; 'tis so, I cannot reprove it : 
and wise, but for loving me; by my troth, it is no 
addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her 
folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may 
chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit 
broken on me, because I have railed so long against 
marriage; but doth not the appetite alter? A man 
loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure 
in his age. Shall quips, and sentences, and these 
paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the 
career of his humour? No; the world must be 
peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I 
did not think I should live till I were married. — 
Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she's a fair 
lady : I do spy some marks of love in her. 

Enter Beatrice. 

Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come 
in to dinner. 

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. 




Beat. T took no more pains for those thanks, than 
you take pains to thank me : if it had been painful, 
I would not have come. 

Bene. You take pleasure, then, in the mes- 

Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon 
a knife's point, and choke a daw withal. — You have 
no stomach, signior: faie you well. \^Exit. 

Bene. Ha ! " Against my will I am sent to bid 
you come in to dinner" — there's a double meaning 
in that. "I took no more pains for those thanks, 
than you took pains to thank me" — that's as much 
as to say, any pains that I take for you is as easy as 
thanks. — If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain : 
if I do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her 
picture. {^Exit. 

Scene I. — Leonato's Garden. 
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula. 

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to the parlour; 
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice 
Proposing with the Prince and Claudio : 
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula 
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse 
Is all of her: say, that thou overheard'st us; 
And bid her steal into the pleached bower, 
Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun, 
Forbid the sun to enter; like favourites. 
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride 
Against that power that bred it. — There will she 

hide her, 
To listen our propose. This is thy office ; 
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone. 

Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, 
presently. \^Exit. 

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, 
As we do trace this alley up and down. 
Our talk must only be of Benedick: 
When I do name him, let it be thy part 
To praise him more than ever man did merit. 
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick 
Is sick in love with Beatrice : of this matter 
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made. 
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin ; 

Enter Beatrice, behind. 

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs 
Close by the ground, to hear oin- conference. 

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish 
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream, 
And greedily devour the treacherous bait : 
So angle we for Beatrice; who even now 
Is couched in the woodbine coverture. 
Fear you not my part of the dialogue. 

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose 
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it. — 
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful: 
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild 
As haggards of the rock. 

Urs. But are you sure 

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely? 

Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed 

Urs, And did they bid you tell her of it, ma- 

Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it; 
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, 
To wish him wrestle with affection. 
And never to let Beatrice know of it. 

Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman 
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed. 
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon? 

Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve 
As much as may be yielded to a man; 
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart 
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice: 
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, 
Misprising what they look on; and her wit 
Values itself so highly, that to her 
All matter else seems weak. She cannot love. 
Nor take no shape nor project of affection, 
She is so self-endeared. 

Urs. Sure, I think so; 

And therefore, certainly, it were not good 
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. 

Hero. Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw 
How wis*, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd. 
But she would spell him backward: if fair-fac'd. 
She'd swear the gentleman should be her sister : 
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick. 
Made a foul blot : if tall, a lance ill-headed : 
If low, an agate very vilely cut: 
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds: 
If silent, why, a block moved with none. 
So turns she every man the wrong side out. 
And never gives to truth and virtue that 
Which simpleness and merit purcliaseth. 

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable. 

Hero. No ; not to be so odd, and from all fashions 
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable. 
But who dare tell her so ? If I should speak. 
She would mock me into air: O! she would laugh 

Out of myself, press me to death with wit. 
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, 
Consiime away in sighs, waste inwardly: 
It were a better death than die with mocks. 
Which is as bad as die with tickling. 

Urs. Yet tell her of it : hear what she will say. 

Hero. No ; rather I will go to Benedick, 
And counsel him to fight against his passion : 
And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders 
To stain my cousin with. One doth not know. 
How much an ill word may empoison liking. 


^7; v^/^ ; ,«=3^i?-,*^-^'^■^S^^i3«.- 

Urs. O ! do not do your cousin sucli a Avrong. 
She cannot be so much without true judgment, 
(Having so swift and excellent a wit, 
As she is priz'd to have,) as to refuse 
So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick. 

Hero. He is the only man of Italy, 
Always excepted my dear Claudio. 

Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, ma- 
Spaaking my fancy : signior Benedick, 
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour. 
Goes foremost in report through Italy. 

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. 
Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. — 
When are you married, madam ? 

Hero. Why, every day ; — to-morrow. Come, 
go in : 
I'll show thee some attires, and have thy counsel. 
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. 

Urs. [Aside.'] She's Mm'd, I warrant you : we 

have caught her, madam. 
Hero. [Aside.] If it prove so, then loving goes 
by haps : 
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. 

[Exeunl Hkro and UrSul.'V. 

Beat. [Advancing.'] What fire is in mine ears ? 
Can this be true ? 

Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much ? 
Contempt, f\uewell I and maiden pride, adieu! 

No glory lives behind the back of such. 
And, Benedick, love on : I will requite thee. 

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand. 
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee 

To bind our loves up in a holy band ; 
For others say thou dost deserve, and I 
Believe it better than reportingly. [Exit. 

Scene II. — A Room in Leonato's House. 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and 

D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be 
consummate, and then go I toward Arragon. 

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll 
vouchsafe me. 

D. Pedro. Nay ; that would be as great a soil in 
the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child 
his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will 
only be bold with Benedick for his company; for 
from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. 




he is all mirth: he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's 
bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at 
him. He hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his 
tongue is the clapper ; for what his heart thinks, 
his tongue speaks. 

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been. 

Leon. So say I : methinks, you are sadder. 

Claud. I hope, he be in love. 

D. Pedro. Hang him, truant! there's no true 
drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love. 
If he be sad, he wants money. 

Bene. I have the tooth-ache. 

D. Pedro. Draw it. 

Bene. Hang it! 

Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it after- 

D. Pedro. What! sigh for the tooth-ache? 

Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? 

Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he 
that has it. 

Claud. Yet say I, he is in love. 

D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in 
him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange dis- 
guises; as to be a Dutchman to-day, a Frenchman 
to-morrow, or in the shape of two countries at 
once; as a German from the waist downward, all 
slops, and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no 
doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, 
as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as 
you would have it appear he is. 

Clavd. If he be not in love with some woman, 
there is no believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o' 
mornings; what should that bode? 

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's? 

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen 
with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hatli 
already stuffed tennis-balls. 

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by 
the loss of a beard. 

D. Pedro. Nay, a' rubs himself with civet : can 
you smell him out by that? 

Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet 
youth's in love. 

D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melan- 

Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face ? 

D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the 
which, I hear what they say of him. 

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now 
crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops. 

I). Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for 
him. Conclude, conclude, he is in love. 

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. 

D. Pedro. That would I know too : I warrant, 
one that knows him not. 

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite 
of all dies for him. 

D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face 

Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache. — 

.Old signior, walk aside with me : I have studied 
eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which 
these hobby-horses must not hear. 

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. 
-D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about 

Claud. 'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have 
by this played their parts with Beatrice, and then 


the two bears will not bite one another when they 

Enter John. 

.lolm. My lord and brother, God save you. 
_D. Pedro. Good den, brother. 
John. If your leisure seiTed, I would speak with 





i). Pedro. In private ? 

John. If it please you ; yet count Claudio may 
hear, lor what I would speak of concerns him. 

D. Pedro. What's the matter? 

John. \_To Claudio.] Means your lordship to 
be married to-morrow ? 

D. Pedro. You know, he does. 

John. I know not that, when he knows what I 

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, 
discover it. 

John. You may think, I love you not : let that 
appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I 
now will manifest. For my brother, I think, he 
holds you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp 
to effect your ensuing marriage ; surely, suit ill 
spent, and labour ill bestowed! 

D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter? 

John. I came hither to tell you; and, circum- 
stances shortened, (for she has been too long a talking 
of,) the lady is disloyal. 

Claud. Who? Hero? 

John. Even she: Leonato's Hero, your Hero, 
every man's Hero. 

Claud. Disloyal? 

John. The word is too good to paint out her 
wickedness : I could say, she were worse : think 
you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. 
Wonder not till further warrant : go but with me 
to-night, you shall see her chamber-window en- 
tered, even the night before her wedding-day : if 
you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it 
would better fit your honour to change your mind. 

Claud. May this be so ? 

D. Pedro. I will not think it. 

John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess 
not that you know. If you will follow me, I will 
show you enough ; and when you have seen more, 
and heard more, proceed accordingly. 

Claud. If I see any thing to-night, why I should 
not marry her to-morrow, in the congregation, where 
I should wed, there will I shame her. 

D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain 
her, I will join with thee to disgrace her. 

John. I will disparage her no further, till you are 

my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and 
let the issue show itself. 

J). Pedro. O day untowardly turned ! 

Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting! 

John. O plague right well prevented! So will 
you say, when you have seen the sequel. 


Scene III. — A Street. 

Enter Dogberry and Verges, with the Watch. 

Dogb. Are you good men and true ? 

Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should 
suffer salvation, body and soul. 

Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for 
them, if they should have any allegiance in them, 
being chosen for the prince's watch. 

Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour 

Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless 
man to be constable ? 

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal, 
for they can write and read. 

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God 
hath blessed you with a good name : to be a well- 
favoured man is the gift of fortune, but to write and 
read comes by nature. 

2 Watch. Both which, master constable, 

Dogb. You have : I knew it would be your 

answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God 
thanks, and make no boast of it ; and for your 
writing and reading, let that appear when there is 
no need of such vanity. You are thought here to 
be the most senseless and fit man for the constable 
of the watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This 
is your charge. You shall comprehend all vagrom 
men : you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's 

2 Watch. How, if a' will not stand ? 

Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let 
him go ; and presently call the rest of the watch 
together, and thank God you are rid of a knave. 

Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he 
is none of the prince's subjects. 

Dogb. Tnie, and they are to meddle with none 




but the pi-ince's subjects. — You shall also make no 
noise in the streets ; for for the watch to babble and 
talk is most tolerable, and not to be endured. 

2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk: we 
know what belongs to a watch. 

Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most 
quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping 
should ofTend ; only, have a care that your bills be 
not stolen. Well, you are to call at all the ale- 
houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed. 

2 Watch. How, if they will not? 

Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are 
sober : if they make you not then the better answer, 
you may say, they are not the men you took them for. 

2 Watch. Well, sir. 

Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, 
by virtue of your office, to be no tnie man ; and, 
for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make 
with them, why, the more is for your honesty. 

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we 
not lay hands on him ? 

Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but, I 
think, they that touch pitch will be defiled. The 
most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, 
is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal 
out of your company. 

Verg. You have been always called a merciful 
man, partner. 

Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my 
will ; much more a man who hath any honesty in 

Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you 
must call to the nurse, and bid her still it. 

2 Watch. How, if the nurse be asleep, and will 
not hear us ? 

Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the 
child wake her with crying; for the ewe that will 
not hear her lamb when it baes, will never answer 
a calf when he bleats. 

Verg. 'Tis very trtie. 

Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, 
constable, are to present the prince's own person : 
if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay 

Verg. Nay by'r lady, that, I think, a' cannot. 

Dogb. Five shillings to one on't, with any man 
that knows the statutes, he may stay him : marry, 
not without the prince be willing ; for, indeed, the 
watch ought to oflFend no man, and it is an offence 
to stay a man against his will. 

Verg. By'r lady, I think, it be so. 

Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: 
an there be any matter of weight chances, call up 
me. Keep your fellows' counsels and your own, 
and good night. Come, neighbour. 

2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge: 
let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, 
and then all to-bed. 

Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours. I 

pray you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for 

the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great 

coil to-night. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you. 

[Exeunt Dogberrt and Verges. 

Enter Borachio and Conr.ide. 

Bora. What! Conrade! 
Watch. [Aside.] Peace ! stir not. 
Bora. Conrade, I say ! 
Con. Here, man ; I am at thy elbow. 
Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched ; I thought, 
there would a scab follow. 

Con. I will owe thee an answer for that; and 
now forward with thy tale. 

Bora. Stand thee close, then, under this pent- 
house, for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a tiue 
drunkard, utter all to thee. 

Watch. [Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet 
stand close. 

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don 
John a thousand ducats. 

Con. Is it possible that any villainy should be so 

Bora. Thoti should'st rather ask, if it were pos- 
sible any villainy should be so rich ; for when rich 
villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may 
make what price they will. 

Con. I wonder at it. 

Bora. That shows thou art imconfirmed. Thou 
knowest, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or 
a cloak, is nothing to a man. 

Con. Yes, it is apparel. 

Bora. I mean, the fashion. 

Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. 

Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the 
fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief 
this fashion is ? 

Watch. [Aside.] I know that Deformed; a' has 
been a vile thief this seven year: a' goes up and 
down like a gentleman. I remember his name. 

Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody ? 

Con. No : 'twas the vane on the house. 

Bora. Sees thou not, I say. what a deformed 
thief this fashion is ? how giddily a' turns about all 
the hot bloods between fourteen and five and thirty? 
sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers 
in the reechy painting; sometime, like God Bel's 
priests in the old church window; sometime, like 
the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten 
tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his 

Con. All this I see, and I see that the fashion 
wears out more apparel than the man. But art 
not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that 
thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of 
the fashion ? 

Bora. Not so, neither; but know, that I have 
to-night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentle- 
woman, by the name of Hero: she leans me out at 
her mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand 
times good night. — I tell this tale vilely : — I should 
first tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my 
master, planted, and placed, and possessed by my 
master Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this 
amiable encounter. 

Con. And thought they Margaret was Hero ? 

Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio ; 
but the devil, my master, knew she was Margaret, 
and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, 
partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, 
but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any 
slander that Don John had made, away went 
Claudio enraged ; swore he would meet her, as he 
was appointed, next morning at the temple, and 
there, before the whole congregation, shame her 
with what he saw over-night, and send her home 
again without a husband. 

1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, 

2 Watch. Call tip the right master constable. 
We have here recovered the most dangerous piece 
of lechery, that ever was known in the common- 


1 Walch. And one Deformed is one of them: I 
know him, a' wears a lock. 

Con. Masters, masters ! 

2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, 
I warrant you. 

Con. Masters, — 

1 Watch. Never speak : we charge you, let us 
obey you to go with us. 

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, 
being taken up of these men's bills. 

Con. A commodity in question, I warrant you. 
Come, we'll obey you. \^Exeunt. 

Scene IV. — A Room in Leonato's House. 
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursdla. 

Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, 
and desire her to rise. 

Urs. 1 will, lady. 

Hero. And bid her come hither. 

Urs. Well. [Exit Ursula. 

Marg. Troth, I think, your other rabato were 


Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. 

Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I 
warrant, your cousin will say so. 

Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another. 
I'll wear none but this. 

Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, if 
the hair were a thought browner; and your gown's 
a most rare fashion, i'faith. I saw the duchess of 
Milan's gown, that they praise so. 

Hero. O, that exceeds, they say. 

Marg. By my troth, it's but a night-gown in 
respect of yours : cloth o'gold, and cuts, and laced 
with silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side 
sleeves, and skirts round, under-borne with a bluish 
tinsel ; but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent 
fashion, yours is worth ten on't. 

Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart 
is exceeding heavy ! 

Marg. 'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a 

Hero. Fie upon thee! art not ashamed? 

Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably ? 
Is not man-iage honourable in a beggar? Is not 
your lord honourable without marriage ? I think. 




you would have me say, saving your reverence, — a 
husband : an bad thinking do not wrest true speak- 
ing, I'll offend no body. Is there any harm in — the 
heavier for a husband ? None, I think, an it be the 
right husband, and the right wife ; otherwise 'tis 
light, and not heavy: ask my lady Beatrice else; 
here she comes. 

Enter Beatrice. 

Hero. Good morrow, coz. 

Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero. 

Hero. Why, how now ? do you speak in the sick 
tune ? 

Beat. I ara out of all other tune, methinks. 

Mars- Clap us into — "Light o' love;" that goes 
withouf a burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it. 

Beat. Yea, " Light o' love," with your heels ! — 
then, if your husband have stables enough, you'll 
see he shall lack no barns. 

Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that 
with my heels. 

Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin : 'tis time 
you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding 
ill.— Heigh ho ! 

Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ? 

Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H. 

Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's 
no more sailing by the star. 

Beat. What means the fool, trow ? 

Marg. Nothing I ; but God send every one their 
heart's desire ! 

Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are 
an excellent perfume. 

Beat. I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell. 

Marg. A maid, and stuffed ! there's goodly catch- 
ing of cold. 

Beat. O, God help me ! God help me ! how long 
have you profess'd apprehension ? 

Marg. Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit 
become me rarely ? 

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it 
in your cap. — By my troth, I am sick. 

Marg. Get you some of this distilled carduus 
benedictus, and lay it to your heart : it is the only 
thing for a qualm. 

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle. 

Beat. Benedictus! why benedictus? you have 
some moral in this benedictus. 

Marg. Moral ? no, by my troth, I have no moral 
meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may 
think, perchance, that I think you are in love : nay, 
by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list; 
nor I list not to think what I can; nor, indeed, I 
cannot think, if I would think my heart out of 
thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be 
in love, or that you can be in love. Yet Benedick 
was such another, and now is he become a man : 
he swore he would never marry ; and yet now, in 
despite of his heart, he eats his meat without 
grudging : and how you may be converted, I know 
not, but, methinks, you look with your eyes as other 
women do. 
Beat. AVliat pace is this that thy tongue keeps ? 
Marg. Not a false gallop. 

Re-enter Ursula. 

Urs. Madam, withdraw: the prince, the count, 
signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of 
the town, are come to fetch you to church. 

Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, 
good Ursula. {Exeunt. 

Scene V. — Another Boom in Leonato's House. 
Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges. 

Leon. What would you with me, honest neigh- 

Dogh. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence 
with you, that decerns you nearly. 

Leon. Brief, I pray you ; for, you see, it is a busy 
time with me. 

Dogh. Many, this it is, sir. 

Verg. Yes, in ti-uth it is, sir. • 

Leon. What is it, my good friends? 

Dogh. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off" 
the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so 
blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were ; but, 
in faith, honest as the skin between his brows. 

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any 
man living, that is an old man, and no honester 
than I. 

Dogh. Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neigh- 
bour Verges. 

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious. 

Dogh. It pleases your worship to say so, but we 
are the poor duke's officers; but, truly, for mine 
own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could 
find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship. 

Leon. All thy tediousness on me? ha! 

Dogh. Yea, an 'twere a thousand pound more 
than 'tis ; for I hear as good exclamation on your 
worship, as of any man in the city, and though I be 
but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. 

Verg. And so am I. 

Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. 

Verg. Many, sir, our watch to-night, excepting ' 
your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as 
arrant knaves as any in Messina. 

Dogh. A good old man, sir; he will be talking: 
as they say, when the age is in, the wit is out. 
God help us! it is a world to see! — Well said, 
i'faith, neighbour Verges: — well, God's a good 
man: an two men ride of a horse, one must ride 
behind. — An honest soul, i'faith, sir: by my troth 
he is, as ever broke bread ; but, God is to be wor- 
shipped: all men are not alike; alas, good neighbour! 

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of 

Dogh. Gifts, that God gives. 

Leon. I must leave you. 

Dogh. One word, sir. Our watch, sir, have, 
indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and 
we would have them this morning examined before 
your worship. 

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring 
it me : I am now in great haste, as it may appear 
unto you. 

Dogh. It shall be suffigance. 

Leon. Drink some wine ere you go. Fareyouwell. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your 
daughter to her husband. 

Leon. I'll wait upon them: I am ready. 

\_Exexmt Leonato and Messenger. 

Dogh. Go, good partner, go ; get you to Francis 
Seacoal ; bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the 
gaol : we are now to examination these men. 

Verg. And we must do it wisely. 

Dogh. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; 
here's that shall drive some of them to a non com : 
only get the learned writer to set down our excom- 
munication, and meet me at the gaol. [Exeunt. 


Scene I. — The Inside of a Church. 

Enter Don Pedro, John, Leonato, Friar, Clau- 
Dio, Benedick, Hero, Beatrice, etc. 

Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief: only to 
the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount 
their particular duties afterwards. 

Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this 

Claud. No» 

Leon. To be married to her ; friar, you come to 
marry her. 

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this 

Hero. I do. 

Friar. If either of you know any inward impedi- 
ment, why you should not be conjoined, I charge 
you on your souls to utter it. 

Claud. Know you any. Hero ? 

Hero. None, my lord. 

Friar. Know you any, Count ? 

Leon. I dare make his answer; none. 

Claud. O, what men dare do ! what men may 
do ! what men daily do, not knowing what they do ! 

Bene. How now ! Interjections ? Why then, 
some be of laughing, as, ha ! ha ! he ! 

Claud. Stand thee by, friar. — Father, by your 
leave : 
Will you with free and unconstrained soul 
Give me this maid, your daughter? 

Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. 

Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose 
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift? 

D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. 

Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank- 
fulness. — 
There, Leonato ; take her back again : 
Give not this rotten orange to your friend ; 
She's but the sign and semblance of her honour. — 
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here: 
O, what authority and show of truth 
Can cunning sin cover itself withal ! 
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence. 
To witness simple virtue ? Would you not swear. 
All you that see her, that she were a maid. 
By these exterior shows? But she is none: 
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed ; 
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. 

Leo7i. What do you mean, my lord ? 

Claud. Not to be married, 

Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton. 


Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof, 
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth, 
And made defeat of her virginity, — 

Claud. I know what you would say : if I have 
known her, 
You'll sav, she did embrace me as a husband, 
And so extenuate the 'forehand sin : 
No, Leonato, 

I never tempted her with word too large ; 
But. as a brother to his sister, showed 
Bashful sincerity, and comely love. 

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you ? 

Claud. Out on the seeming! I will write against it. 
You seem to me as Dian in her orb, 
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown ; 
But you are more intemperate in your blood 
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals 
That rage in savage sensuality. 

Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide ? 

Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you ? 

D. Pedro. What should I speak ? 

I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about 
To link my dear friend to a common stale. 

Leon. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream ? 

John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are 

Bene. This looks not like a nuptial. 

Hero. Ti-ue ? O God ! 

Claud. Leonato, stand I here? 
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother? 
Is this face Hero's ? Are our eyes our own ? 

Leon. All this is so; but what of this, my lord ? 

Claud. Let me but move one question to your 
And, by that fatherly and kindly power 
That you have in her, bid her answer truly. 

Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. 

Hero. O God, defend me ! how am I beset I — 
What kind of catechizing call you this? 

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. 

Hero. Is it not Hero ? Who can blot that name 
With any just reproach ? 

Claud. Marry, that can Hero : 

Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. 
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight 
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one? 
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. 

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. 

D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden. — Leo- 
I aiu sorry you must hear: upon mine honour. 
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count. 




Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night, 
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window ; 
Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain, 
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had 
A thousand times in secret. 

John. Fie, fie ! they are not to be nam'd, my lord, 
Not to be spoken of; 

There is not chastity enough in language, 
Without offence to utter them. Thus, pretty lady, 
I am sorry tor thy much misgovernment. 

Claud. O Hero ! what a Hero hadst thou been, 
If half thy outward graces had been placed 
About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! 
But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair ! farewell, 
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity ! 
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, 
And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang, 
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, 
And never shall it more be gracious. 

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me 1 

[Hero swoons. 

Beat. Why, how now, cousin ! wherefore sink 
you down ? 

John. Come, let us go. These things, come 
thus to light, 
Smother her spirits up. 

{Exeunt Don Pedro, John, and Claudio. 

Bene. How doth the lady ? 

Beat. Dead, I think : — help, uncle ! — 

Hero ! why, Hero I — Uncle ! — Signior Benedick! — 
friar i 

Leon. O fate ! take not away thy heavy hand : 
Death is the fairest cover for her shame, 
That may be wish'd for. 

Beat. How now, cousin Hero ? 

Friar. Have comfort, lady. 

Leon. Dost thou look up? 

Friar. Yea ; wherefore should she not ? 

Leon. Wherefore ? Why, doth not every earthly 
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny 
The story that is printed in her blood ? — 
Do not live, Hero ; do not ope thine eyes ; 
For did I think thou woixld'st not quickly die. 
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy 

Myself would, on the reai-ward of reproaches. 
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? 
Chid I for that at frugal- nature's frame ? 
O, one too much by thee I Why had I one ? 
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes? 
Why had I not with charitable hand 
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates ; 
Who smirched thus, and mir'd with infamy, 
I might have said, "No part of it is mine. 
This shame derives itself from unknown loins?" 
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd. 
And mine tliat I was proud on ; mine so much. 
That I myself was to myself not mine, 
Valuing of her ; why, she — O I she is fallen 
Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea 
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again. 
And salt too little, wiiich may season give 
To her foul tainted flesh ! 

Bene. Sir, sir, be patient. 

For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder, 
I know not what to say. 

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied ! 

Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? 
Beat. No, truly, not ; although, until last night, 
1 have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. 

Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd ! O, that is stronger 
Which was before barr'd up with xibs of iron ! 
Would the two princes lie ? and Claudio lie. 
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, 
Wash'd it with tears ? Hence I from her ; let her 
Friar. Hear me a little ; 
For I have only been silent so long, 
And given way unto this course of fortune, 
By noting of the lady: Ihave mark'd 
A thousand blushing apparitions 
To start into her face ; a thousand innocent shames, 
In angel whiteness, beat away those blushes ; 
And in her eye there liath appear'd a fire. 
To burn the errors that these princes hold 
Against her maiden truth. — Call me a fool ; 
Trust not my reading, nor my observations. 
Which with experimental seal doth warrant 
The tenour of my book ; trust not my age, 
My reverence, calling, nor divinity. 
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here 
Under some biting error. 

Leon. Friar, it cannot be. 

Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left, 
Is, that she will not add to her damnation 
A sin of perjury : she not denies it. 
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse 
That which appears in proper nakedness ? 

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? 
Hero. They know, that do accuse me : I know 
If I know more of any man alive. 
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, 
Let all my sins lack mercy I — O, my father! 
Prove you that any man with me convers'd 
At hours unmeet, or tliat I yesternight 
Maintain'd the change of words with any crea- 
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. 

Friar. There is some strange misprision in the 

Bene. Two of them have the very bent of hon- 
And if their wisdoms be misled in this. 
The practice of it lives in John the bastard. 
Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies. 

Leon. I know not. If they speak but truth of 
These hands shall tear her: if they wrong her hon- 
The proudest of them shall well hear of it. 
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, 
Nor age so eat up my invention. 
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means, 
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends. 
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind, 
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind. 
Ability in means, and choice of friends. 
To quit me of them throughly. 

Friar. Pause a while, 

And let my counsel sway you in this case. 
Your daughter, here, the princes left for dead ; 
Let her awhile be secretly kept in. 
And publish it, that she is dead indeed : 
Maintain a mourning ostentation ; 
And on your family's old monument 
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites 
That appertain unto a burial. 

Leon. What shall become of this ? what will this 

• 31 

k AV\\\\\iiv^^^ 

(Cathedral of Messina.) 

Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf 
Change slander to remorse ; that is some good : 
But not for that dream I on this strange course, 
But on this travail look for greater birth. 
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd, 
Upon the instant that she was accus'd, 
Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'd 
Of every hearer ; for it so falls out, 
That what we have we prize not to the worth, 
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost, 
Why, then we rack the value ; then we find 
The virtue, that possession would not show us, 
Whiles it was ours. — So will it fare with Claudio : 
AVhen he shall hear she died upon his words. 
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep 
Into his study of imagination. 
And every lovely organ of her life 
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit. 
More moving, delicate, and full of life. 
Into the eye and prospect of his soul, 
Than when she liv'd indeed : — then shall he mourn, 
(If ever love had interest in his liver,) 
And wish he had not so accused her; 
No, though he thought his accusation true. 
Let this be so, and doubt not but success 
Will fashion the event in better shape 
Than I can lay it down in likelihood. 
But if all aim but this be levell'd false, 
The supposition of the lady's death 


Will quench the wonder of her infainy : 
And, if it sort not well, you may conceal her 
As best befits her wounded reputation. 
In some reclusive and religious life. 
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. 

Bene. Siguier Leonato, let the friar advise you : 
And though you know, my inwardness and love 
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, 
Yet by mine honour, I will deal in this 
As secretly and justly, as your soul 
Should with your body. 

Leon. Being that I flow in grief, 

The smallest twine may lead me. 

Friar. 'Tis well consented : presently away. 
For to strange sores strangely they strain the 
cure. — 
Come, lady, die to live : this wedding day. 

Perhaps, is but prolong'd: have patience, and 

{Exeunt Friar, Hero, and Lkonato. 

Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this 
while ? 

Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. 

Bene. I will not desire that. 

Beat. You have no reason ; I do it freely. 

Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is 

Beat. Ah, how much might the man desei'vc of 
me that would right her I 





Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship? 

Beat. A very even way, but no such friend. 

Bene. May a man do it ? 

Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours. 

Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as 
you. Is not that strange ? 

Beat. As strange as the thing I know not. It 
were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so 
well as you ; but believe me not, and yet I lie not : 
I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. — I am sorry 
for my cousin. 

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. 

Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it. 

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me ; and I 
will make him eat it, that says I love not you. 

Beat. AVill you not eat your word ? 

Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it. 
I protest, I love thee. 

Beat. Why then, God forgive me ! 

Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice ? 

Beat. You have stay'd me in a happy hour: I 
was about to protest, I loved you. 

Bene. And do it with all thy heart. 

Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that 
none is left to protest. 

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee. 

Beat. Kill Claudio. 

Bene. Ha ! not for the wide world. 

Beat. You kill me to deny it. Farewell. 

Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice. 

Beat. I am gone, though I am here : — there is 
no love in you. — Nay, I pray you, let me go. 

Bene. Beatrice, — 

Beat. In faith, I will go. 

Bene. We'll be friends first. 

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me than 
fight with mine enemy. 

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy ? 

Beat. Is he not approved in the height of a villain, 
that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kins- 
woman? — O, that I were a man.' — What! bear 
her in hand until they come to take hands, and 
then with public accusation, uncovered siander, 
unmitigated rancour, — O God, that I were a man! 
I would eat his heart in the market-place. 

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice — 

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window! — a 
proper saying. 

Bene. Nay, but Beatrice — 

Beat. Sweet Hero ! — she is wronged, she is 
slandered, she is undone. 

Bene. Beat — 

Beat. Princes, and counties ! Surely, a princely 
testimony, a goodly count, count confect; a sweet 
gallant, surely ! O, that I were a man for his sake ! 
or that I had any friend would be a man for my 
sake ! But manhood is melted into courtesies, 
valour into compliment, and men are only turned 
into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant 
as Hercules, that only tells a lie and swears it. — I 
cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die 
a woman with grieving. 

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I 
love thee. 

Beat. Use it for my love some other way than 
swearing by it. 

Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio 
hath wronged Hero? 

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul. 

Bene. Enough! I am engaged, I will challenge 
him. I will kiss your hand, and so I leave you. 



By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear 
account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, 
comfort your cousin: I must say she is dead; and 
so, farewell. [Exeunt. 

Scene II. — A Prison. 

Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Sexton, in gowns; 
ajid the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio. 

Is our whole dissembly appeared ? 
g. O! a stool and a cushion for the sexton. 

Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? 

Dogh. Marry, that am I and my partner. 

Verg. Nay, that's certain : we have the exhibi- 
tion to examine. 

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to 
be examined ? let them come before master con- 

Dogh. Yea, marry, let them come before me. — 
What is your name, friend? 

Bora. Borachio. 

Dogh. Pray write down Borachio. Yours, 

sirrah ? 

Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name -is 

Dogh. Write down master gentleman Conrade. — 
Masters, do you sei-ve God ? 

Con. Bora. Yea, sir, we hope. 

Dogh. Write down — that they hope they serve 
God : — and write God first; for God defend but God 
should go before such villains! — Masters, it is 
proved already that you are little better than false 
knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly. 
How answer you for yourselves? 

Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none. 

Dogh. A maiTellous witty fellow, I assure you; 
but I will go about with him. — Come you hither, 
sirrah; a word in your ear, sir: I say to you, it is 
thought you are false knaves. 

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none. 

Dogh. Well, stand aside. — 'Fore God, they are 
both in a tale. Have you writ down, that they are 
none ? 

Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to 
examine : you must call forth the watch that are 
their accusers. 

Dogh. Yea, marrj', that's the eftest way: — Let 
the watch come forth. — Masters, I charge you, in 
the prince's name, accuse these men. 

1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the 
prince's brother, was a villain. 

Dogh. Write down — prince John a villain. — 
Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother 

Bora. Master constable, — 

Dogh. Pray thee, fellow, peace : I do not like 
thy look, I promise thee. 

Sexton. What heard you him say else? 

2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand 
ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero 

Dogh. Flat burglary as ever was committed. 
Verg. Yea, by the mass, that it is. 
Sexton. What else, fellow? 

1 Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, 
upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole 
assembly, and not marry her. 

Dogh. O villain ! thou wilt be condemned into 
everlasting redemption for this. 
Sexton. What else? 

2 Watch. This is all. 




Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can 
deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen 
away : Hero was in this manner accused, in this 
very manner refused, and, upon the grief of this, 
suddenly died. Master constable, let these men be 
bound, and brought to Leonato's: I will go before, 
and show him their examination. 


Dogb, Come, let them be opinioned. 

Verg. Let them be in the hands — 

Con. Off, coxcomb ! 

Dogb. God's my life ! where's the sexton ? let 
him write down the prince's officer, coxcomb. — 
Come, bind them. — Thou naughty varlet ! 

Con. Away ! you are an ass ; you are an ass. 

Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place ? Dost 
thou not suspect my years ? — O, that he were here 
to write me down an ass ! — but, masters, remember, 
that I am an ass ; though it be not written down, 
yet forget not that I am an ass. — No, thou villain, 
thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee 
by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which 
is more, an ofificer; and, which is more, a house- 
holder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of 
flesh as any is in Messina ; and one that knows the 
law, go to ; and a rich fellow enough, go to ; and a 
fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath 
two gowns, and every thing handsome about him. 
Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down 
an ass. [Exeunt. 

'n mm i 

A C T V 

Scene I. — Before Leonato's House. 
Enter Leonato and Antomo. 

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; 
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief 
Against yourself. 

Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel, 

Which falls into mine ears as profitless 
As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel; 
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear, 
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine : 
Bring me a father that so lov'd his child, 
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, 
And bid him speak of patience ; 
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, 
And let it answer every strain for strain; 
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such. 
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form : 
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard ; 
Cry — sorrow wag ! and hem, when he should groan ; 
Patch grief with proverbs ; make misfortune drunk 
With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me, 
And I of him will gather patience. 
But there is no such man ; for, brother, men 
Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief 
Which they themselves not feel ; but, tasting it, 
Their counsel turns to passion, which before 
Would give preceptial medicine to rage, 
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread. 
Charm ache with air, and agony with words. 
No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience 
To those that wring under the load of sorrow. 
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency. 
To be so moral when he shall endure 
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel : 
My griefs cry louder than advertisement. 

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. 
£,€071. I pray thee, peace! I will be flesh and 
blood ; 
For there was never yet philosopher. 
That could endure the tooth-ache patiently. 
However they have writ the style of gods. 
And made a push at chance and sufl'erance. 

AjiI. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself; 
Make those that do offend you suffer too. 

Leon. There thou speak'st reason : nay, I will 
do so. 
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied. 
And that shall Claudio know ; so shall the prince, 
And all of them, that thus dishonour her. 

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio. 
Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio hastily. 

D. Pedro. Good den, good den. 
Claud. Good day to both of yoii. 

Leon. Hear you, my lords, — 
D. Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. 

Leon. Some haste, my lord! — well, fare you 
well, my lord : — 
Are jou so hasty now ? — well, all is one. 

D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old 

Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling. 
Some of us would lie low. 

Claud. Who wrongs him? 

Leon. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou, dis- 
sembler, thou. — 
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword, 
I fear thee not. 

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand, 

If it should give your age such cause of fear. 
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword. 
Leon. Tush, tush, man! never fleer and jest at 
me : 
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ; 
As, under privilege of age, to brag 
W^hal I have done being young, or what would do, 
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head. 
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me. 
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by. 
And with grey hairs, and bruise of many days, 
Do challenge thee to trial of a man. 
I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child 
Thy slander hath gone through and through her 

And she lies buried with her ancestors, 
O ! in a tomb where never scandal slept. 
Save this of her's, fram'd by thy villainy. 
Claud. My villainy ? 

Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I say. 

D. Pedro. You say not right, old man. 
Leon. My lord, my lord, 

I'll prove it on his body, if he dare. 
Despite his nice fence, and his active practice, 
His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood. 
Claud. Away ! I will not have to do with you. 
Leon. Canst thou so daft' me ? Thou hast kill'd 
my child : 
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. 

Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : 
But that's no matter ; let him kill one first : — 
Win me and wear me, — let him answer me. — 
Come, follow me, boy ! come, sir boy, come, follow 

Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence; 
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will. 





Leon. Brother — 

Ant. Content yourself. God knows, I lov'd my 
niece ; 
And she is dead; slander'd to death by villains, 
That dare as well answer a man, indeed. 
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue. 
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops ! — 

Leon. Brother Antony — 

Ant. Hold you content. What, man! I know 
them, yea. 
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple : 
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mong'ring boys. 
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander, 
Go anticklv, and show outward hideousness, 
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words. 
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst, 
And this is all ! 

Leon. But, brother Antony — 

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter: 

Do not you meddle, let me deal in this. 

D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake 
your patience. 
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death; 
But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing 
But what was true, and very full of proof. 

Leon. My lord, my lord ! — 

D. Pedro. I will not hear you. 

Leon. No ? 

Come, brother, away. — I will be heard. — 

Ant. And shall, or some of us will smart for it. 
'[Exeunt Leonato and Antonio. 

Enter Benedick. 

D. Pedro. See, see : here comes the man we 
went to seek. 

Claud. Now, signior, what news ? 

Bene. Good day, my lord. 

D. Pedro. Welcome, signior : you are almost 
come to part almost a fray. 

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses 
snapped off with two old men without teeth. 

D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother. What 
think'st thou ? Had we fought, I doubt, we should 
have been too young for them. 

Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. 
I came to seek you both. 

Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee ; 
for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain 
have it beaten away. Wilt thou use thv wit ? 

Bene. It is in my scabbard : shall I draw it ? 

D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side? 

Claud. Never any did so, though very many 
have been beside their wit. — I will bid thee draw, 
as we do the minstrels ; draw to pleasure us. 

D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks 
pale. — Art thou sick, or angry? 

Claud. What! courage, man! What though 
care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee 
to kill care. 

Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, 
an you charge it against me. — I pray you, choose 
another subject. 

Claud. Nay then, give him another staff: this 
last was broke cross. 

D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and 
more. I think he be angry indeed. 

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle. 

Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear? 

Claud. God bless me from a challenge ! 

Bene. You are a villain. — I jest not: — I will 
make it good how vou dare, with what von dare, 


The old man's daughter told us 

and when you dare. — Do me right, or I will protest 
your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and 
her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear 
from you. 

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have 
good cheer. 

D. Pedro. What, a feast ? a feast ? 

Claud. I'faith, 1 thank him ; he hath bid me to 
a calf 's-head and a capon, the which if I do not 
carve most curiously, say my knife's naught. — Shall 
I not find a woodcock too ? 

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well : it goes easily. 

D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy 
wit the other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit: 
" True," said she, " a fine little one :" " No," said I, 
"a great wit:" "Right," says she, " a great gross 
one:" "Nay," said I, "a good wit:" "Just," said 
she, "it hurts nobody :" " Nay," said I, "the gentle- 
man is wise :" " Certain," said she, " a wise gentle- 
man :" "Nay," said I, "he hath the tongues:" 
"That I believe," said she, "for he swore a thing to 
me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tues- 
day morning: there's a double tongue; there's two 
tongues." Thus did she, an hour together, trans- 
shape thy particular virtues; yet at last she con- 
cluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man 
in Italy. 

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and 
said she cared not. 

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all 
that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would 
love him dearly 

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him 
when he was hid in the garden. 

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's 
horns on the sensible Benedick's head ? 

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, "Here dwells 
Benedick the married man I" 

Bene. Fare you well, boy : you know 7Tiy mind. 
I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: you 
break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God 
be thanked, hurt not. — My lord, for your many 
courtesies I thank yoti: I must discontinue vour 
company. Your brother, the bastard, is fled from 
Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and 
innocent lady. For my lord Lack-beard, there, he 
and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him. 

[Exit Benedick. 

D. Pedro. He is in earnest. 

Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll war- 
rant vou, for the love of Beatrice 

D. Pedro 

Claud. Most sincerely 

L>. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he 
goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his 
wit ! 

Claud. He is then a giant to an ape ; but then is 
an ape a doctor to such a man. 

D. Pedro. But, soft you ; let me be : pluck up, 
my heart, and be sad ! Did he not say, my brother 
was fled ? 

Enter Dogberry, Verges, and the Watch, uith 
CoNRADE and Borachio. 

Dosch. Come, you, sir: if justice cannot tame 
you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her bal- 
ance. Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, 
you must be looked to. 

D. Pedro. How now ! two of my brother's men 
hound? Borachio. one? 

And hath challenged thee? 




Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord ! 

D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men 
done 1 

Dogh. Marry, sir, they have committed false re- 
port; moreover, they have spoken untruths; second- 
arily, they are slanders ; sixth and lastly, they have 
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust 
things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. 

D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have 
done? thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence? 
sixth and lastly, why they are committed ? and, to 
conclude, what you lay to their charge? 

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division ; 
and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited. 

D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, that 
you are thus bound to your answer? this learned 
constable is too cunning to be understood. What's 
your offence ? 

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine 
answer : do you hear me, and let this count kill me. 
I have deceived even your very eyes : what your 
.wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools 
have brought to light ; who, in the night, overheard 
me confessing to this man, hojji' Don John your bro- 
ther incensed me to slander the lady Hero ; how 
you were brought into the orchard, and saw me 
court Margaret in Hero's garments ; how you dis- 
graced her, when you should marry her. My vil- 
lainy they have upon record, which I had rather 
seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame. 
The lady is dead upon mine and my master's false 
accusation ; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the re- 
ward of a villain. 

D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through 
your blood ? 

Claud. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it. 

D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to 
this ? 

Bora. Yea ; and paid me richly for the practice 
of it. 

D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treach- 
ery. — 
And fled he is upon this villainy. 

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear 
In the rare semblance that I loved it first. 

Dogh. Come: bring away the plaintiffs : by this 
time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of 
the matter. And masters, do not forget to specify, 
when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass. 

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, 
and the sexton too. 

Re-enter Leonato, Antonio, and the Sexton. 

Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes. 
That when I note another man like him, 
I may avoid him. Which of these is he? 

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on 

Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath 
hast kill'd 
Mine innocent child? 

Bora. Yea, even I alone. 

Leon. No, not so, villain ; thou beliest thyself: 
Here stand a pair of honourable men, 
A third is fled, that had a hand in it. — 
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death : 
Record it with your high and worthy deeds. 
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. 

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience. 
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself; 
Impose me to what penance your invention 

Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not, 
But in mistaking. 

D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I ; 
And yet, to satisfy this good old man, 
I would bend under any heavy weight 
That he'll enjoin me to. 

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live; 
That were impossible ; but, I pray you both. 
Possess the people in Messina, here. 
How innocent she died: and, if your love 
Can labour aught in sad invention. 
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb. 
And sing it to her bones : sing it to-night. — 
To-morrow morning come you to my house, 
And since you could not be my son-in-law. 
Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daugh- 
Almost the copy of my child that's dead, 
And she alone is heir to both of us : 
Give her the right you should have given her 

And so dies my revenge. 

Claud. O ! noble sir. 

Your over-kindness doth Avring tears from me. 
I do embrace your offer, and dispose 
For henceforth of poor Claudio. 

Leon. To-morrow, then, I will expect your 
coming : 
To-night I take my leave. — This naughty man 
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, 
Who, I believe, was packed in all this wrong, 
Hir'd to it by your brother. 

Bora. No, by my soul, she was not ; 

Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me; 
But always hath been just and virtuous. 
In any thing that I do know by her. 

Dogh. Moreover, sir, which, indeed, is not under 
white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did 
call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in 
his punishment. And also, the watch heard them 
talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in 
his ear, and a lock hanging by it, and borrows money 
in God's name ; the which he hath used so long, 
and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, 
and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you, ex- 
amine him upon that point. 

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. 

Dogh. Your worship speaks like a most thankful 
and reverend youth, and I praise God for you. 

Leon. There's for thy pains. 

Dogh. God save the foundation I 

Leon. Go : I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and 
I thank thee. 

Dogh. I leave an arrant knave with your worship ; 
which, I beseech jour worship, to correct yourself 
for the example of others. God keep your worship ; 
I wish your worship well: God restore you to 
health. I humbly give you leave to depart, and if 
a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it. — 
Come, neighbour. 

[Exeunt Dogberry, Verges, and Watch. 

Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. 

Anl. Farewell, my lords : we look for you to- 

D. Pedro. We will not fail. 

Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. 

[Exeunt Don Pedro and Claudio. 

Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk 
wilh Margaret, 
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow. 





Scene H. — Leonato's Garden. 
Enter Benedick and Margaret, meeting. 

Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de- 
serve well at my hands by helping me to the speech 
of Beatrice. 

Marg. Will you, then, write me a sonnet in 
praise of my beauty ? 

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man 
living shall come over it ; for, in most comely truth, 
thou deservest it. 

Marg. To have no man come over me ? why 
shall I always keep below stairs ? 

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's 
mouth; it catches. 

Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, 
which hit, but hurt not. 

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret ; it will not 
hurt a woman : and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. 
I give thee the bucklers. 

Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of 
our own. 

Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put 
in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous 
weapons for maids. 

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, 1 
think, iiath legs. {Exit Margaret. 

Bene. And therefore will come. 

The god of love, [Singing.] 

l^liat sits above, 
And knows me, and knorcs me, 
HoiD jnliful I deserve, — 

I mean, in singing ; but in loving, Leander the good 
swimmer, Troilus the first emjiloyer of panders, and 
a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, 
whose names yjet run smoothly in the even road of 
a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned 
over and over as my poor self, in love. Marry, I 
cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried: I can find 
out no rhyme to "lady" but "baby," an innocent 
rhyme; for "scorn," "horn," a hard rhyme; for 
"school," "fool," a babbling rhyme — very ominous 
endings. No, I was not born under a rhyming 
planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms. — 

Enter Beatrice. 

Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called 

Beat. Yea, signior; and depart when you bid me. 

Bene. O, stay but till then! 

Beat. "Then" is spoken; fare you well now: — 
and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for; 
which is, with knowing what hath passed between 
you and Claudio. 

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will 
kiss thee. 

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind 
is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; there- 
fore I will depart unkissed. 

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his 
right sense, so forcible is thy wit. But, I must tell 
thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge, and 
either I must shortly hear from him, or t will 
subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, 
tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first 
fall in love with me? 

Beat. For them all together ; which maintained so 
politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any 
good part to intermingle with them. But for which 
of my good parts did you first suffer love for me ? 


Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet. I do suffer 
love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. 

Beat. In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor 
heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for 
yours; for I will never love that which my friend 

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. 

Beat. It appears not in this confession : there's 
not one wise man among twenty that will praise 

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that 
lived in the time of good neighbotus. If a man do 
not erect, in this age, his own tomb ere he dies, he 
shall live no longer in monument, than the bell 
rings, and the widow weeps. 

Beat. And how long is that, think you ? 

Bene. Question : — why an hour in clamour, and 
a quarter in rheum: therefore is it most expedient 
for the wise, (if Don Worm, his conscience, find no 
impediment to the contrary,) to be the trumpet of 
his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for 
praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is 
praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your 

Beat. Very ill. 

Bene. And how do you? 

Beat. Very ill too. 

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend. There 
will I leave you too, for here conies one in haste. 

Enter Ursula. 

Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle. 
Vender's old coil at home: it is proved, my lady 
Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and 
Claudio mightily abused ; and Don John is the 
author of all, who is fled and gone. Will you come 
presently ? 

Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior 1 
Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and 
be buried in thy eyes; and, moreover, I will go 
with thee to thy uncle's. [Exeunt. 

Scene III. — The Inside of a Church. 

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Atteridants, with 
music and tapers. 

Claiid. Is this the monument of Leonato? 
Atten. It is, my lord. 
Claud. [Reads. 1 


Done to death by slanderous tongues 

Was the Hero that here lies: 
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs. 

Gives her fame ivhich never dies. 
So the life, that died with shaine, 
Lives in death xvith glonous fame. 
Hang thou there upon the tomh, 
Praising her when I am dumh. — 
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. 


Pardon, goddess of the night. 
Those that slciv thy virgin knight ; 
For the which, with songs of woe, 
Round about her tomb they go. 

MidnigJtt, assist our 7noan ; 

Help us to sigh and groan. 
Heavily, heavily : 

Graves, yaicn, and yield your dead. 

Till death he uttered. 
Heavenly, heavenly. 

Act. V. Scene 3. — Hero's ToaiB. 

Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night! 

Yearly will I do this rite. 
D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters: put your 

torches out. 
The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle 
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about 

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey. 
Thanks to you all, and leave us: fare you well. 
Claud. Good morrow, masters: each his several 

D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other 

weeds ; 
And then to Leonato's we will go. 
Claud. And Hj'men now with luckier isstxe 

Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe I 


Scene IV. — A Room in Leonato's House. 

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Benedick, Beatrice, 
Ursula, Friar, and Hero. 

Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ? 

Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd 
Upon the error that you heard debated : 
But Margaret was in some fault for this, 
Although against her will, as it appears 
In the true course of all the question. 

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. 

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd 
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. 

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all. 
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, 
And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: 
The prince and Claudio promised by this hour 
To visit me. — You know j-our office, brother; 
You must be father to your brother's daughter, 
And give her to young Claudio. 

[Exeunt Ladies. 

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. 

Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. 

Friar. To do what, signior? 

Bene. To bind me, or undo me; one of them. — 
Signior Leonalo, truth it is, good signior. 
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. 

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most 

Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. 

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from 
From Claudio, and the prince. But what's your 
will ? 

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical: 
But, for my will, my will is, your good will 
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd 
In the state of honourable marriage : — 
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help. 

Leon. My heart is with your liking. 

Friar. And my help. 

Here come the prince, and Claudio. 




SCENE 111. 

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio, tvitk Attendants. 

D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. 

Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, 
Claudio : 
We here attend you. Are you yet determin'd 
To-day to many with my brother's daughter? 

Claud. I'll hold my mind were she an Ethiop. 

Leon. Call her forth, brother : here's the friar 
ready. [E.nV Antonio. 

D. Pedro. Good morrow. Benedick. Why, 
what's the matter, 
That you have such a February face, 
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness? 

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull. — 
Tush ! fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, 
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee. 
As once Europa did at lusty Jove, 
When he would play the noble beast in love. 

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low; 
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's 

And got a calf in that same noble feat, 
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat. 

Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies, masked. 

Claud. For this I owe you : here come other 
Which is the lady I must seize upon ? 

Leon. This same is she, and I do give you her. 
Claud. Why, then she's mine. — Sweet, let me 

see your face. 
Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her 
Before this friar, and swear to marry her- 

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar: 
I am your husband, if you like of me. 

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife: 


And when you lov'd, you were my other husband. 
Claud. Another Hero ? 
Hero. Nothing certainer. 

One Hero died defil'd: but I do live. 
And, surely as I live, I am a maid. 

D.Pedro. The former Hero ! Hero that is dead ! 
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander 

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify ; 
When after that the holy rites are ended, 
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death: 
Mean time, let wonder seem familiar. 
And to thfi chapel let us presently. 

Bene. Soft and fair, friar. — Which is Beatrice? 
Beat. I answer to that name. — \_Unmasking.'\ — 

What is your will ? 
Bene. Do not you love me ? 

Beat. Why, no ; no more than reason. 

Bene. Why, then, your uncle, and the prince, 
and Claudio, 
Have been deceived : they swore you did. 
Beat. Do not j-ou love me ? 

Bene. Troth, no ; no more than reason. 

Beat. Why, then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ur- 
Are much deceiv'd ; for they did swear, you did. 
Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for 

Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead 

for me. 
Bene. 'Tis no such matter. — Then, you do not 
love me? 


Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. 

Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gen- 

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves 
For here's a paper, written in his hand, 
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, 
Fashion'd to Beatrice. 

Hero. And here's another. 

Writ in my cousin's hand, stol'n from her pocket. 
Containing her affection unto Benedick. 

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against 
our hearts. — Come, I will have thee ; but, by this 
light, I take thee for pity. 

Beat. I would not deny you ; — but, by this good 
day, I yield upon great persuasion, and, partly, to 
save your life, for I was told you were in a consump- 

Bene. Peace ! I will stop your mouth. 

D. Pedro. How dost thou. Benedick, the married 
man ? 

Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince ; a college of wit- 
crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost 
thou think, T care for a satire, or an epieram ? No : 
if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear 
nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do 
purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose 
that the world can say against it; and therefore 
never flout at me for what I have said against it, for 
man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. — 
For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten 
thee; but, in that thou art like to be my kinsman, 
live unbroised, and love my cousin. 

Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de- 
nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out 
of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; 
which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin 
do not look exceeding narrowly to thee. 




Bene. Come, come, we are friends. — Let's have 
a dance ere we are married, that we may hghten 
our own hearts, and our wives' heels. 

Leon. We'll have dancing afterward. 

Bene. First, of my word; therefore, play, mu- 
sic ! — Prince, thou ait sad ; get thee a wife, get thee 
a wife : there is no staff more reverend than one 
tipped with horn. 

Enter a Messenger, 

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in 
And brought with armed men back to Messina. 

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow : I'll de- 
vise thee brave punishments for him. — Strike up, 
pipers. [Dance. 

(Exterior of the Cathedral of Messina.) 

Act. III. Scene 1. — Haggards of the Rock. 

A^CT I.— Scene I. 
" —with a Messenger"— The old stage-direction runs 
thus, explaining the relations of the parties to each other, 
there being originally no list of characters :—" Enter 
Leonato, governor of Messina, Imogen his wife, Hero 
his daughter, and Beatrice his niece, with a messenger." 
It is clear, therefore, that the mother of Hero made her 
appearance before the audience, although she says 
nothing throughout the comedy. 

" / knoiv none of that name'' — Beatrice asks after 
Benedick by a term of the fencing-school, " Montanto :" 
a term with which Capt. Bobadil has made most readers 
familiar— " Your punto, your reverso, your stoccato, 
your montanto,'' etc. The humour of this the messen- 
ger does not understand, and answers, " I know none 
of that name, lady." 

" He set up his bills"— To " set up bills" was to give 
public notice of a challenge, by posting placards. 

" _ challenged Cupid at the flight"—" ' Flights' 
were long and light-feathered arrows, that went dn-ectly 
to the mark ; bird-bolts, short thick aiTows, without a 
point, and spreading, at the extremity, into a blunt or 
nobbed head. The meaning of the whole is — Benedick, 
from a vain conceit of his influence over women, chal- 
lenged Cupid at the ' flight'— i. e. to shoot at hearts. 
The fool, to ridicule this piece of vanity, in his turn 
challenged Benedick at the bird-bolt— an inferior kind 
of archery, used by fools, who, for obvious reasons, 
were not permitted to shoot with pointed arrows: 
whence the proverb — ' A fool's bolt is soon shot.' " — 

" _ he'll be MEET with you"— I e. He will be even 
with you, or he will be your match — a phrase common 
in old dramatists, and other writers ; and still preserved, 
in colloquial use, in the midland counties of England. 

(' — STUFFED with all h07wurahle virtues" — "Stuffed," 
in this first instance, has no ridiculous meaning. Mede, 


in his discourses on Scrijitnre, quoted by Edwards, 
speaking of Adam, says—" He whom God had staffed 
with so many excellent qualities." And, in the Win- 
ter's Tale, we have — 

— of stuff'd sufficiency. 

Beatrice starts an idea at the words stuffed man, and 
prudently checks herself in the pursuit of it. A stuffed 
man appears to have been one of the many cant phrases 
for a cuckold. 

'i — four of his Jive wits" — The five senses, long 
before the time of Shakespeare, were called the "five 
wits." In his time wits became the general name for 
the mtellecUxal powers, and these, by analogy to the 
senses, " the inlets of ideas," were also supposed to Ije 
five in number. Shakespeare, in his One hundred and 
forty -first "Sonnet," distinguishes the "five wits" from 
thej^we senses: — 

But my five wits, nor my five senses, can 
Dissuade one foolish lieart from loving thee. 

<i — the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the 
next block"— "In' the perpetual change of fiishions 
which was imputed to the Enghsh in Elizabeth's day, 
the hat underwent every possible ti-ansition of form. 
We had intended to have illustrated this by exhibiting 
the principal varieties which we find in pictures of that 
day ; but if our blocks had been as numerous as these 
blocks, we should have filled pages with the graceful 
or grotesque caprices of the exquisites from whom 
Bmmmell inherited his belief in the powers of the hat. 
' Why, Mr. Brummell, does an Englishman always look 
better' dressed than a Frenchman ?' The oracular reply 
was, "Tis the hat.' We present, however, the portrait 
of one ancient Brummell, with a few hats at his feet to 
choose from."— Knight. (See cut, end of scene, p. 44.) 

" — the gentleman is 7iot in your books" — " The 
meaning of this expression, which we retain to the 
present day, is generally understood. He who is ' m 
your books'— or, as we sometimes say, in your good 
books— is he whom you think well o/— whom you trust. 


It appears obvious that the phi-ase has a commercial 
ori"'iii; and that, as he who has obtained credit, buys 
upon trust, is in his creditor's books, so he vvlio has ob- 
tained in any way the confidence of another, is said to 
be in his books. None of the commentators, however, 
have suggested this explanation. Johnson says it means 
' to be in one's codicils, or will ;' Stevens, diat it is to 
be in one's visiting-book, or in the books of a univer- 
sity, or in the books of the Hei-ald's Office ; Fanner, 
and Douce, that it is to be in the list of a great man's 
retainers, because the names of such were entered in a 
book. This is the most received explanation. Our 
view of the matter is more homely, and for that reason 
it appeai-s to us more trae." — K.night. 

" — Is there no young squaker 7ww" — i. e. Qnar- 
reller. To square is the first position for boxing — to 
dispute, to confront hostilely. So, in A Midsummer 
Night's Dream : — 

Ami now they never meet in grove, or green, 
By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, 
But they do square. 

" — John" — ;Most editors call him '• Don John," but 
in the old quarto and folio copies he is called "John," 
" John the Bastard," and " Sir John," in the stage-direc- 
tions, and in the assignment of the speeches. 

" — the lady fathers herself ' — i. e. Resembles her 
father. The phrase (Stevens tells us) is still common 
in some pai-ts of England. 

" — Vtdcan a rare carpenter" — Do you scoif and 
mock in telling us that Cupid, who is blmd, is a good 
hare-finder ; and that Vulcan, a blacksmith, is a good 
carpenter ? Do you mean to amuse us with improbable 
stories ? 

" — io GO in the song" — i. e. To join in the song you 
are singing. 

" — he will wear his cap with suspicion" — The cap 
alluded to is the nightcap; as lago says, " I fear Cassio 
with my nightcap, too." 

"Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor Hicas 
not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so." 

Mr. Blakeway, in Boswell's edition of Shakespeare, 
has given an illustration of this passage, in his own recol- 
lections of an " old tale," (to which our Poet evidently 
alludes,) " and which has often froze my young lilood, 
when I was a child, as, I dare say, it had done his be- 
fore me:" — 

" Once upon a time there was a young lady, (called 
Lady Mary in the story.) who had two brothers. One 
summer they all three went to a country-seat of theirs, 
which they had not before witnessed. Among the 
other gentry in the neighbourhood, who came to see 
them, was a Mr. Fox, a bachelor, with vv-hom they, 
particularly the young lady, were much pleased. He 
used often to dine with them, and frequently invited 
Lady Mary to come and see his house. One day that 
her brothers were absent elsewhere, and she had nothing 
better to do, she determined to go thither, and accord- 
ingly set out unattended. When she airived at the 
house and knocked at the door, no one answered. At 
length she opened it, and went in. Over the portal of 
the hall vv'as written, ' Be bold, be bold, but not too 
bold.' She advanced — over the staircase, the same in- 
scription. She went up — over the entrance of a gallery, 
the same. She proceeded — over the door of a chamber, 
' Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's- 
blood should run cold.' She opened it — it was full of 
skeletons, tubs full of blood, etc. She reti-eated in 
haste. Coming down stairs, she saw, out of a window, 
Mr. Fox advancing towards the house, with a drawn 
sword in one hand, while with the other he dragged 
along a young lady by her hair. Lady Mary had just 
time to slip down and hide herself, under the stairs, be- 
fore Mr. Fox and his victim arrived at the foot of them. 
As he pulled the young lady up stairs, she caught hold 
of one of the bannisters with her hand, on which was 
a rich bracelet. Mr. Fo.x cut it off with his sword : the 

hand and bracelet fell into Lady Mary's lap, who then 
contrived to escape unobserved, and got home safe to 
her brothers' house. 

" After a few days Mr. Fox came to dine with them, 
as usual; (whether by invitation, or of his own accord, 
this deponent saith not.) After dinner, when the guests 
began to amuse each other with exti-aordinary anecdotes, 
Lady Mary at length said she would relate to them a 
remarkable dream she had lately had. ' I dreamed,' 
said she, ' that as you, Mr. Fox, had often invited me to 
your house, I would go there one moniitig. When I 
came to the house, I knocked, etc., but no one an- 
swered. When I opened the door, over the hall was 
written, 'Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.' But,' 
said she, tm-ning to Mr. Fox, and smiling, ' it is not so, 
nor it was not so.' Then she pursues the rest of the 
story, concluding at every turn with, ' It is not so, nor it 
was not so,' till she comes to the room full of dead bodies, 
when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale, and said, 
' It is not so, nor it w^as not so, and God forbid it should 
be so ;' which he continues to repeat at every subsequent 
turn of the dreadful story, till she came to the circum- 
stance of his cutting off the young lady's hand ; when, 
upon his saying, as usual, ' It is not so, nor it was not 
so, and God forbid it .should be so,' Lady Mary retorts, 
' But it is so, and it was so, and here the hand I have to 
show,' at the same time producing the hand and brace- 
let from her lap : — whereupon, the guests drew their 
swords, and mstantly cut Mr. Fox into a thousand 

" — in the force of his will" — Warburton has rightly 
pointed out the allusion here to the definition of heresy 
in the scholastic divinity, as consisting not simply in 
error of opinion, but in a wilful adherence to it against 
the Church. This whole question had been so much 
canvassed, in that day of bitter religious animosity and 
persecution, that such a reference to the familiar topics 
of controversial theology neither of course implied any 
profound learning in the author, nor would appear ob- 
sciu'e, or pedantic, to the mass of his audience, or 

" — a'Ris.cUY.k-v winded in my forehead" — A "recheat" 
is the species of sound on the bugle by which hounds 
are called back. Benedick means, he will not wear the 
honis on his forehead, by which such an operation may 
be performed. " Shakespeare (says Johnson) had no 
mercy on the poor cuckold : his horn is an inexhaustible 
subject of merriment." The " bugle," etc., contains a 
similar allusion. 

" — clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam" — 
This passage is supposed to refer to Adam Bell, one of 
three noted outlaws, (Clym of the Clough, and William 
of Cloudeslee, being the others,) who were fonnerly as 
famous, in the north of England, as Robin Hood and 
his fellows in the midland counties. (See the " Out- 
laws' Ballad," in Percy's " Reliques of English Poetry.") 

" ' In time the savage hull doth hear the yoke^ " — This 
luie is from the old ti'agedy of " Hieronymo," which 
was long a favourite subject of ridicule. 

" — if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice" 
— Few of the readers of Byron and Rogers need to be 
informed that Venice was, in its day of s]ilendour, the 
capital of pleasiu-e and intrigue ; and the allusion would 
be Eis readily applied as a similar one to Paris would be 
in our own day. 

" — GUARDED with fragments" — Clothes were said 
to be " guarded," when they were ornamented with 

"—flout OLD ENDS any further" — i. e. "Old ends," 
or conclusions, of letters. It was very common form- 
erly to finish a letter with the words used by Benedick, 
Claudio, and Don Pedro : — " And so I commit you to 
the tuition of God: From my house, the sixth of July, 
your loving friend," etc. There are many such in the 
" Paston Letters," lately reprinted. 



" The fairest grant is the necessity" — Warburton 
conceives the speaker here to mean, that no one can 
have a better reason for granting a request than the ne- 
cessity of its being granted. Hayley (the poet) sug- 
gests that there is a misprint, and tliat the true reading 
is " to necessity," which has great probability. 

" — ^tis ONCE, thou lovest" — The word "once" has 
here the sense of at once, or once for all. It is so used 
in CoRioLANus, and in the Comedy of Errors. 

FuLK-RnEviLLE, FIRST LoRD Urooke. 

Scene \\. 

" — a tkick-VLKkCHK'D allry" — i. e. Thickly iiiter- 
woven. So, afterwai'ds, " the pleached bower." 

" — Cousins, you know what you have to do" — It 
was anciently common to enroll distant relations among 
the dependents, and even domestics, of a great family. 

Scene HI. 

" What the good year" — The commentators say that 
the original form of this exclamation was the gougere — 
1. e. morbus gallicus — which became obscure, and was 
con-upted into the "good year:" a very opposite form 
of expression, and used without any such reference. 

" — / cannot hide what I am" — "This is one of 
Shakespeare's natural touches. An envious and unso- 
cial mind, too proud to give pleasure, and too sullen to 
receive it, always endeavours to hide its malignity from 
the world and from itself, under the plainness of simple 
honesty, or the dignity of haughty independence." — 

"/ had rather he a canker in a hedge" — The allu- 
sion is to the canker-rose — i. e. the dog-rose. The 
speaker means, he would rather live in obscurity than 
owe dignity, or estimation, to his hated brother, who, 
Conrade reminds him, had " taken him into his grace." 


" — That young start-up hath all the glory of my 
overthrow" — It has already been intimated, (see " Intro- 
ductory Remarks,") that, in the character of the chief 
villain of the drama, the Poet has wholly departed from 
the plot of Bandello's tale, which furnished him with 
the outline of the story. The novelist had ascribed 
the base deception, on which his story turns, to the re- 
venge of a rejected lover, who, at the catasti-ophe, 
makes some amends for his guilt, by remorse and frank 
confession. Shakespeare has chosen to pourtray a less 
common and obvious, but unhappily too true chai-acter, — 
one of sullen malignity, to whom the happiness or suc- 
cess of others is sufficient reason for the bitteniess of 
hati'ed, and cause enough to prompt to injury and crime. 
This chai'acter has much the appearance of being the 
original conception and rough sketch of that wayward, 
dark disposition, which the Poet afterwaixls painted 
more elaborately, with some vaiiation of circumstances 
and temperament, in his "honest lago." 

ACT II.— Scene I. 

" — in earnest of the bear-ward" — Spelled berrord 
in the old copies — a colloquial cotTuption of bear-ward, 
and not bear-herd, as many editors have it. Yet, in the 
"Induction" to the Taming or the Shrew, we find 
bear-heard : that, however, was a coniiption of " bear- 

" — if the prince be too important" — i. e. Importu- 
nate ; as in the Comedy of Errors. 

I " — DANCE out the answer" — The technical meaning 
of measure, a pai'ticular sort of grave measured dance, 
like the minuet of the last age, is here opposed to its or- 
dmary sense. (See Romeo and Juliet, act i.) 

" — Balthazar ; John" — The quarto and folio here 
both read — " Balthazai-, or dumb .lohn." Reed argues 
that Shakespeare might have called John " dumb John," 
on account of his taciturnity ; while others take it, 
more probably, as a mispi-uit for Don John. 

" — God defend, the lute should be like the case" — 
i. e. God forbid that your face should be like your mask. 

" — u'ithiii the house is Jove" — The line, which is in 
the rhythm of Chapman's " Homer," and Golding's 
" Ovid," is an allusion to the story of Baucis and Phile- 
mon ; and perhaps Shakespeare was thinking of Gold- 
ing's version of the original. The subsequent speeches 
of Hero and Don Pedro complete a couplet. The 
" thatch'd" refers to Ovid's line, as translated by Gold- 
The roof thereof was thatched all with straw and fennish reede. 

" — the ^Hundred Merry Tales'" — An old jest- 
book, of which only a fragment remains. Being un- 
known to the older editors, this was supposed to allude 
to the " Decameron" until part of the book was found, 
and it was reprinted in 183.5. It was originally printed 
by Rastell, between 1517 and 1533. No doubt it was 
a chap-book well known to the audiences of the Globe. 

" — like an usurer's chain" — Chains of gold were 
at this time worn by persons of wealth, as usurers gen- 
erally were. 

" — it is the base, though bitter disposition" — So 
the quarto and folio. There seems to be no reason 

whatever for changing 

' though'' 

into the, as it stands 

in Malone's Shakespeare, and Singer's useful edition. 
In the old copies, "though bitter" is in pai-entheses. 
Though severe, she is grovelling in mind. 

" — as melancholy as a lodge in a warren" — I see 
no reason for supposing, with Stevens, that this image 
of solitariness was suggested by the " lodge in a garden 
of cucumbers" of Isaiah. Shakespeare has another 
picture of loneliness, — " at the moated grange resides 
this dejected Mariaima:" — (Measure for Measure, act 
iii. scene 1.) 


" — icith such impossible conveyance" — i. e. With 
a rapidity ecjual to that of jugglers, whose " convey- 
ances," or tricks, appear impossibilities. " Impossible" 
may, however, be used in the sense of incredible, or 
inconceivable, both here and in the beginning of the 
scene, where Beatrice speaks of " impossible slanders." 

" — CIVIL as an orange" — A very common play on 
words, in Old-English literature, upon the Seville 
orange — the fruit of that kind best known in London. 

" — thus goes every one to the world but /" — To " go 
to the world" is again used by Shakespeare in All's 
Well that Ends Well, act i. scene 3, to signify being 
married. When Beatrice adds, " I am sun-bnnied," 
she means that her beauty is damaged, as the phrase is 
used in Troilus and Cressida — " The Grecian dames 
were sun-bamed." See, also, As You Like It, act v. 
scene 3, where Audrey desires to be " a woman of the 

Scene II. 

" — hear Margaret term me Claudio" — Theobald 
altered the name, in this passage, to Borachio, which, 
as it is supported by plausible reasons, has been followed 
in most editions, until the later English editors, who re- 
store " Claudio," the original reading. It appears evi- 
dent that, at the time of speaking, Borachio intended 
there should be a change of his appellation, as well as 
in that of Margaret ; for where would be the ■wonder 
that Claudio should hear him called by his own name ? 
He prevails upon Margaret (whom he expressly states 
to have no ill intention towards her mistress) to take 
part in the plot, under the impression that she and Bo- 
rachio were merely amusing themselves with a masque- 
rade representation of the courtship of her lady and 
Claudio. It has also been suggested, that Claudio 
might well be made to believe that the perfidious Hero 
received a clandestine lover, whom she called Claudio, 
in order to decieve her attendants, should any be \vithiu 
sight or hearing ; and this, of course, in Claudio's es- 
timation, would be a great aggravation of her offence. 
The reader will find, in the " Varioiiira" Shakespeare, 
a large array of argument on both sides of the question. 

Scene III. 

•' — in the orchard" — "Orchard," in Shakespeare's 
time, signified a garde7i. So. in Eomeo and .Tcliet : — 

The orchard walls are high and hard to climb. 
This word was first wnitten hart-yard, then, by cor- 
ruption, hort-chard — and hence orchard. 

" — her hair shall be of what colour it please God" 
— Some of the editors explain this very literally, as 
meaning, " If I can find all these excellences united, I 
shall not trouble myself about the colour of the lady's 
hair" — certainly a reasonable conclusion. But it ap- 
peal's, from many passages, that our author had an es- 
pecial and somewhat whimsical dislike to all disguises 
of the head by art. Like his own Bhon, (Love's La- 
bour's Lost,) he moimied that — 

— painting and usurping hair 
Should ravish doters with a false aspect. 

The fashions of colouring the hair, wearing artificial curls, 
etc., were as familiar in Elizabeth's reign as in that of 
Victoria ; and were assailed by the wits, as well as more 
solemnly denounced from the pulpit. He, therefore, 
makes Benedick the mouth-piece of his own taste in 
this matter, by summing up his catalogue of all imagi- 
nary female perfections, — as wit, virtue, wisdom, riches, 
mildness, talents for music or discourse, — with insisting, 
■with ludicrous exaggeration, that her hair shall be of 
the colour that nature made it. 

■' We'' II fit the KiD-Fox" — "'Kid-fox' has been sup- 
posed to mean discovered, or detected fox. Kid cer- 
tainly meant known, or discovered, in Chaucer's time. 
It may have been a technical term in the game of hide- 
fox : old terms are sometimes longer preserved in jocu- 

lar sports than in common usage. Some editors have 
printed it hid-fox ; and others explained it young, or 
cub-fox." — Nares. 

The last sense is adopted by Richardson, in his "Dic- 
tionary," and is ajjproved by Dyce. It sorts well with 
the speaker, and with Benedick's character. 

" Note notes, forsooth, and nothing" — " This is the 
reading of the old copies, and ought to be preserved in 
preference to noting, which Theobald substitxited, and 
which has stood in the text ever since. Don Pedro 
means to play upon the similarity of sound between 
noting and ' nothing,' and to indicate his opinion of 
the worth of Balthazar's 'crotchets.'" — Collier. 

" — STALK on; the fowl sits" — An allusion to the 
stalking-horse, by which the fowler anciently sheltered 
himself from the sight of the game. 

" — hide HIMSELF in such reverence" — "Himself" 
has been printed itself, in many editions ; but Shake- 
speare meant to personify knavery; and so it is printed 
in the older copies. 

" — she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence" — 
i. e. Into a thousand pieces. The word farthing was 
also used to signify any small particle, or division. 
Chaucer says of his Prioress — 

In hirre cuppe was no ferthing sene 

Of grese, when she dronken had hirre draught. 

" — daff'd all other respects"^— lo " daff" is to doff; 
to do off, or put aside. 

" — hath a contemptible spirit" — i. e. Contemp- 
tuous. The difference of these two words w^as not yet 
accurately settled, even in the next generation. Dray- 
ton confounds them : and in the argument to " Darius," a 
tragedy, by Lord Sterline, (1603,) it is said that Darius 
wrote to Alexander " in a proud and co7itemptible man- 

" — the conference was sadly borne" — i. e. Seriously 
conducted. Sad and " sadly" were often used for 
serious and seriously, grave and gravely. 

ACT III— Scene I. 

" To listen our propose" — A few lines above we 
had — " Proposing with the Prince and Claudio." " Pro- 
pose" is conversation, from the French propos ; and so 
the quai'to reads here ; for which the folio has purpose. 
Beatrice was to come to overhear what Hero and Ur- 
sula were saying, not what they intended to do. Reed, 
however, has showed that purpose, when accented like 
propose, on the last syllable, had the same sense — it 
being taken in the modern sense when pronounced as 
it is now always. 

" — HAGGARDS of the rock" — Wild or untamed hawks, 
from the mountains. (See cut, p. 42.) 

" If black, ichy, nature, draxcing of an antick," etc. 
The " antick" was the fool, or bxiffoon, of the old 
farces. By "black" is meant only (as in the Two Gen- 
tlemen OF Verona) a man of a dark or swartliy com- 
plexion, in which sense it was used as late as the " Sjiec- 
tator;" but Douce says that here it means one with 
merely a black beard. 

" — an AGATE very vilely cut" — Wai'burton, followed 
by several editors, substituted aght. a tag of gold or 
silver, anciently used. But the allusion is to the agate 
stone worn in rings, and cut into figures — a general 
fashion of the day ; as Queen Mab is said, in Romeo and 
.Juliet, to be " no bigger than an agate stone on the 
fore-finger of an alderman." Fal staff" says of his page, 
" I was never manned with an agate till now." 

" — press me to death with wit" — Bv the old com- 
mon-law, the punishment called peine fort et dure was 
inflicted on persons who refused to plead to their indict- 
ment. They were pressed to death by weights placed 
upon the stomach. 



" What fire is in mine ears" — The popular opinion 
here alluded to is as old as Phny :— " Moreover, is not 
this an opinion generally received, that when our ears 
do glow and tingle, some there be that in our absence 
do talk of us ?"— (Holland's " Translation," book xxviii.) 

Scene II. 

" — to show a child his new coat, and forbid kim to 
wear it" — Shakespeare seldom repeats himself; but, in 
Romeo and .Tuliet, there is a passage similar to the 
above : — 

As is the wght before some festivaJ, 

To an impatient ehilil tliat hatli new robes 

And may not wear them. 

" — all slops" — i. e. Large breeches, or trousers. 
Hence, a slop-seller, for one who furnishes seamen, etc., 
with clothes. 

<i — Jiig jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lute- 
string" — i. e. His jocular wit is now employed in the 
inditing of love-soilgs, which, in Shakespeare's time, 
wei-e usually accompanied on the lute. The " stops" 
are the frets of the lute, and those points on the finger- 
board on which the string is pressed, or stopped, by the 

" Good DEN, brother"—" Good den" is a colloquial 
abridgment of good even, but it was also used for good 
day : and, in act v. scene 1, Don Pedro says, good den, 
and Claudio, good day. 

Scene III. 

" — have a care that your bills be not stolen" — The 
bill" was a formidable weapon in the hands of the old 
English infantiy. " It gave (says Temple) the most 
ghastly and deplorable wounds." Dr. Johnson states 
that, when he wrote, the " bill" was still carried by the 
watchmen of Litchfield, his native town. It was along 
weapon, with a point shaped somewhat like an axe. 

"If you hear a child cry in the night" — This pai't 
of the sapient Dogberry's charge may have been sug- 
gested by some of the amusuig provisions contained in 
the " Statutes of the Streets," imprinted by Wolfe, in 
1595. For instance — "22. No man shall blow any 
home in the night, within the citie, or whistle after the 
houre of nyne of the clock in the night, under paiue of 
imprisonment. — 30. No man shall, after the houre of 
nyne at night, keep any rule, whereby any such sud- 
daine outcry be made in the still of the night ; as mak- 
ing any affray, or beating his wife or sei-\'ant, or singing 
orrevyling [revelling] in his house, to the disturbance 
of his neighbours, under paine of iiis. iiiirf.," etc., etc. 

" — Keep your fellows^ counsels and your own" — 
" This is part of the oath of a grand juryman; and is 
one of many proofs of Shakespeare's having been veiy 
conversant, at some period of his life, with legal pro- 
ceedings and courts of justice." — Malone. 

"7 know that Deformed" — In the induction to his 
" Bartholomew Fair," we find Ben .Tonson aiming a 
satirical stroke at this scene: — " And then a substantial 
watch to have stole in upon 'em, and taken them away, 
with mistaking words, as the fashion is in the stage 
practice." Jonson himself, however, in his " Tale of a 
Tu]>," makes his wise men of Finsbury blunder in the 
same manner. Boswell, in his edition of Malone's 
Shakespeare, points out examples of this sort of 
humour before Shakespeare's time., in his " An- 
atomy of Absurditie," (1589,) speaks of " a mistemiing 
clowne in a comedie ;" and in " Selimus, Emperor of 
the Turks," (1594,) this speech is put into the mouth 
of BuUithrumble, a shepherd: — "Well, if you will 
keepe my sheepe truly and honestly, keeping your 
hands from lying and slandering, and your tongue from 
picking and stealing, you shall be Maister BuUithrumble' s 

" — REECHY painting" — i. e. Painting (says Stevens) 
discoloured by smoke. 


" — SMIRCHED, worm-eaten tapestry" — i.e. Soiled, 

" — a' wears a lock" — It was one of the fantastic 
fashions of Shakespeare's day, for men to cultivate a 
favourite lock of hair, which was brought before, tied 
with ribands, and called a love-lock. It was against 
this practice that Piynne wrote his ti-eatise on the 
" Unlovelyuess of Love-locks." It appears from Man- 
zoni's Italian novel, "/ Promessi Sposi," that, in the 
sixteenth centui-y, wearing a lock was made penal, in 
Lombardy, as the sign of a lawless life. Italian fashions 
were so much talked of in England, that the Poet might 
have known this, and alluded to it. 

Scene IV. 

" — your other rabato" — An ornament for the neck, 
a kind of rnff, such as we often see in the portraits of 
Queen Elizabeth. Decker calls them " your stift^iecked 
rebatoes." Menage derives it from rebaitre — to put 

" — set with pearls, doxon sleeves" — i. e. The peai'ls 
are to be set down the sleeves. 

" — side sleeves" — Long sleeves, or full sleeves — 
from the Anglo-Saxon sid ; ample, long. The " deep 
and broad sleeves" of the time of Heniy IV. ai-e thus 
ridiculed by Hoccleve : — 

Now hath this land little neeile of broomes 
To sweepe away the tilth out of the streete, 

Sen side-slenes of pennilesse groomes 
Will it up lieke, be it drie or weete. 

" — 'Light o^ love' " — This is the name of an old 
dance tune, mentioned in the Two Gentlemen of Ve- 
rona, act i. scene 2. (See Chappell's " Ancient Eng- 
lish Airs," where the words of a song to the tune of 
" Light o' Love" are given.) 

" — the letter that begins them all, H" — This con- 
ceit, as well as similar jokes in contemporary writers, 
shows that the word, which we now pronounce ake, 
was, in Shakespeare's time, pronounced aitch. Bea- 
trice says, she is ill for an H, (aitch.) the letter that be- 
gins each of the three words — hawk, horse, and husband. 
.7. P. Kemble had a long contention with the public on 
this point. When playing Prospero, he always persisted 
in saying, "Fill all thy bones with aitches;" and the 
public ("particularly those of the upper regions, who 
are always most intoleraiit of singularity') as pertina- 
ciously hissed him for presuming to be right, out of 


The gods and Cato did in this divide. 

W. Scott gives the histoiy of .1. P. Kemble's threat- 
ening Caliban with aitches, with gi-eat humour. 

Another authority in the actor's favour is found in 
Heywood's "Epigrams," (1566:) — 

H is worst among letters in the cross-row ; 

For if thou find him, either in thine elbow, 

In thine arm or leg, in any degree ; 

In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee ; — 

Into what place soever Hmay pike him. 

Wherever thou find ache, thou shalt not like him. 

" — an you be not turned Turk" — This phrase was 
commonly applied to express a change of condition, or 
opinion. Hamlet talks of his fortune turning Turk. 

" — carduus benedictus" — " Carduus benedictus. or 
blessed thistle, (says Cogan, in his ' Haven of Health,' 
1589,) so worthily named for the singular \-irtues that it 

Scene V. 

" — PALABRAS, neighbour Verges" — How this Span- 
ish word came into our language, and to be in familiar 
use with the lower orders, it is difficult to ascertain. 
Sly, in the "Induction" to the Taming of the Shrew, 
has pocas palabras ; and the same words are found in 
the popular old play, the " Spanish Tragedy," where 
they are spoken by Hieronimo, act iv. scene 4. 


" — if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in 
■my heart to bestow it all of yoiir worship'''' — Hazlitt re- 
marks upon the quaint IjliiiKlering of the inimitable 
Dogberry and Verges, that they are "a standing record 
of that fonnal gravity of pretension, and total want of 
common understanding, which Shakespeare, no doubt, 
copied from real life ; and which, in the course of two 
hundred years, ajipear to have ascended from the lowest 
to the highest offices of the state." The political sar- 
casm, as to the inheritance of the wisdom of these 
functionaries, has, I hope, but little application on our 
side of the Atlantic ; but the desire to bestow all theii- 
tediousness upon their friends is, unquestionably, a 
characteristic in which the public men of America are 
not a jot behind the municipal dignitaries of the Messina 

ACT IV.— Scene I. 

" — some be of laughing, as. ha I ha ! he .'" — Bene- 
dick quotes from the " Accidence." 

" — word too large" — "So he uses 'large' jests, in 
this play, for licentious — not restrained within due 
bounds." — Johnson. 

" Out on THE seeming''^ — The original quarto and 
folio have, " Out on thee seeming," which-Collier alone, 
of modern editors, retains ; understanding it that Claudio 
addresses Hero as the personification of " seeming," or 
hypocrisy. Pope, followed by many others, altered 
the phrase to "Out on thy seeming;" which gives a 
good sense, and is a probable coiTection. We have, 
however, preferred that of Knight, as most congruous 
to the context; and think, with him, that the sense is — 
" Out on the specious resemblance — I will write against 
it ;" that is, against this false representation, along with 
this deceiving portrait — 

You seem to rae as Dian in her orb, etc. 

" T'rue ? O God!" — This is Hero's exclamation on 
John's assertion — " these things are true." It is usually 
printed as if Hero answered, " True, O God!" to Ben- 
edick's obsei'vation, " This looks not like a nuptial." 

" — a LIBERAL villain" — i. e. Licentiously /ree ; as, 
in Othello — " Is he not a most profane and liberal 
counsellor ?" 

" Fie, fie ! they are not to be narrCd,, my lord, 
Not to be SPOKEN of," etc. 
This is the metrical an-angement of the two original 
editions, of which, until Collier, all later editors at- 
tempted to make what they thought a more regidar 
metre, by printing — 

Not to be nain'd, my lord, not to be spoke of. 

The quarto of 1600 has spoke, the folio (1623) spoken; 
which I mention as indicating the gradual increase of 
attention to stricter grammatical distinctions. 

" The story that is printed in her blood" — " The 
stoiy that her blushing discovers to be ti'ue." — Johnson. 

This explanation has been doubted, but it is confirmed, 
as the Poet's thought, by the Friar's notice of the 
"blushing apparitions on her face." 

" — frugal nature^s frame" — i. e. Ordinance, ar- 
rangement, or framing of things ; as in this play it is 
said of John — 

His spirits toil in/rainc of villainies. 

" Who smirched thus" — Thefoliosubstitutes«»»eare«i 
for "smirched" in the quarto. " Smirched" is also found 
in Hamlet, As You Like It, etc. ; but, as Nares (Glos- 
sary) informs us, has hitherto been found in no other 
author. Our Poet was fond of using it. We have 
" smirched" in this play in the sense of soiled. 

" — beat away those blushes" — We follow^ Collier in 
retaining " beat," the reading of the original quarto, 
(1600;) printed in the folio, and all other editions, 

" — we RACK the value" — i. e. We raise the estimate 
to the utmost — a sense now retauied only m the phrase 
rack rent. 

" — count confect" — Beatrice gives him this title in 
contempt. We still speak of caraioay confects. She 
first calls him "count," and then mentions his title, 
" count confect" — " a siueet gallant, surely !" This is 
the old reading, which, without reason, has been changed 
to "a goodly count-coufect " 

Scene II. 

"■Sexton^' — He is called "town-clerk" in the old 
stage-directions, probably because, being able to read 
and write, he acted as clerk for the town, or for such 
of the inhabitants as had not his accomplishments. 

ACT v.— Scene I. 

"Cry — sorrow wag!" — "'And soitow, wag! cry 
hem, when he should groan,' is the reading of the old 
quarto, and of the folios, which may be reconciled to 
sense, and therefore ought not to be distiirbed. The 
meaning is clear, though not clearly expressed. ' And, 
sorrow, wag,' is, and sorrow away ! (for which, indeed, 
it may have been misprinted;) similar to the exclama- 
tion, 'care, away!' The reading substituted by the 
commentators has usually been — 

Cry sorrow, wag ! and hem, when he should groan — 
which has no waiTant. Heath's suggestion of — ' And 
sorrowing, cry hem, when he should groan,' is the most 
plausible emendation." — Collier. 

Rowe, Theobald, Hanmer, Tyrwliitt, Warton, Ste- 
vens, Ritson, and Malone have respectively offered the 
following emendations : — " And hallow, wag ;" " And 
sorrow wage;" "And sorrow waive;" "And sorrow 
gag;'" "And sorrowing cry;" "And sorry wag;" 
"And sorrow waggery ;" "In sorrow wag." The 
emendation of Dr. Johnson — 

Cry, sorrow wag! and hem, when he should groan — 
requires merely the transposition of cry with and — a 
correction of a very common sort of error — and the 
sense is then so clear that it has been generally adopted. 
Knight, however, adopts Johnson's first suggestion, 
which gives the same sense, though harshly expressed — 

And, sorrow wag ! cry hem ; when he should groan. 
" SoiTow go by !" is said to be still a common Scotism. 

" TFi7A candle-wasters" — By "candle-wasters" is 
probably meant drunkards, or midnight revellers. 
There is, however, a passage in Ben Jonson's " Cyn- 
thia's Revels," (act iii. scene 2,) which seems to show 
that the epithet was applied, in ridicule, to students — 
" Spoiled by a whoreson book-worm, a candle-waster." 
Leonato may mean to say, that a misfortune like his is 
not to be dragged, or made drunk, by the book-philoso- 
phy of mere theorists. His whole speech is directed 
against comforters of this description. 

" — louder than advertisement" — i. e. Than admo- 
nition ; than moral instruction. 

" And made a push" — Pope and others print this, 
" make a pish" — i. e. treat with contempt ; but " push" 
is the reading of the old copies, that being the old mode 
of spelling. Collier refers to instances in proof of 
it, in Beaumont and Fletcher's " Maids' Revenge ;" in 
Chapman's "Gentleman Usher;" and repeatedly in 
Middleton's plays. Boswell would derive the expres- 
sion from fencing, and tells us that, " to make a push at 
any thing is to contend against it, or defy it." Shake- 
speai-e's meaning is evident, taking "push" as an inter- 

" Come,follov: me, boy! come, sir hoy, come, follow me.'''' 
" Stevens destroys this most characteristic line — and 
his reading is that of all populai' editions — by his old 
fashion of metre-mongering. He reads — 

Come, follow me, boy ; come, boy, follow me." 



' — yo 

ir FOiNiNG/ence"— i. e. Thrusting. 

u _ „s we do the minstrels''— \. e. As we bid miu- 
strels draw their instruments out of their cases. 

" _ he knoKs how to turn his girdle"— Stevens says 
that the Irish have an expression corresponding to that 
rp^otcd:— " If he is angry, let him tie up his brogues." 
He supposes both phrases merely to mean, that the an- 
gry man should employ himself till he is in a better 
humour. Instances are quoted to show that it was a 
common expression of defiance. Mr. Holt White plau- 
sibly accounts for the origin of the term, by saymg that 
the buckle was usually worn in front of the belt; but, 
in wresthng, it was tamed behind, in order to give the 
adversary a fairer grasp at the girdle. 

" — Shall I not find a ttondcoch too'' — A jesting allu- 
sion to the supposed fact that the woodcock has no 
brains, and is therefore easily caught ; alluding to the 
success of the plot against Benedick. The joke is 
common in old plays. 

"But, soft you; let me Se"— Most modern^ editions 
read, " let be," in opposition to the older, which have, 
" let me be ;" meaning merely " let me alone." Let he 


however, good old colloquial English for ' 

Let things 

. " Incitedme. 
Richard III. 


be as they are." 

" — INCENSED me to slander" — i. e 
word is used in the same sense in 
Henry VIII."— M. Mason. 

" Art THOU the slave" — The folio repeats thou — " Art 
thou, thou, the slave?" which Knight retains, as ex- 
pressive of passion. It may be right, but it rather 
seems an accidental repetition, such as often occurs. 
The quarto reading is as in our text, and the metre 
agrees w^ith it. 

" Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb" — It was the 
custom to attach, upon the tomb of celebrated persons, 
a written inscription, either in prose or verse, generally 
in praise of the deceased. (See Bayle, in "Aretin, 
[Pierre,"] note H.) 

"And she alone is heir to both of us" — This appears 
to be a lapse of memory in the author, as mention is 
made, in act i. scene 2, of a son of Antonio. 

" — was PACKED in all this wrong" — The old copies 
have pacJct, which Collier prints pact, and explains bar- 
gain, or contract; Margaret, one party to the pact, 
being spoken of as the contract itself. We read, with 
all the other editors, "packed," in the sense retained in 
speaking of a " packed ^ury," combined, an accomplice, — 
a sense common m Shakespeare; as, "Were he not 
pnck'd with her," (Comedy of Errors;) "There's 
packing," etc., (Taming of the Shrew.) Bacon uses 
it in the same way. 

" — God save the foundation" — This was a custom- 
ary old phrase vdth those who received alms at the 
gates of religious houses. 

" — this LEWD fellow" — "Here 'lewd' has not the 
common meaning, nor can it be used in the more un- 
common sense of ignorant ; but rather means knavish, 
ungracious, naughty, which are the synonymes used 
w^ith it in explaining the Latin pravus, in dictionaries 
of the sixteenth centary." — Singer. 

Scene II. 

" — I give thee the bucklers" — To "give the buck- 
lers" was to yield the victory ; by which an enemy ob- 
tained his adversary's shield, and retained his own. 
The phrase was proverbial. 

" How pitiful I deserve" — The beginning of an old 
ballad by William Elderton. 

" An old, an old instance" — The words " an old"' are 
repeated in the quarto, as well as in the folios, for 
greater emphasis. 


" — Yonder' s old coil at home" — " Old" is the com- 
mon ancient augmentative : " old coil" means great 

" — in GUERDON of her wrongs" — "Guerdon," re- 

" __ virgin knight"—" Diana's knight, or ' virgin 
knight,' was the common poetical appellation of virgins 
in Shakespeare's time. So, in the ' Two Noble Kins- 
men,' (1634:)— 

O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen, 

who to thy female knights, etc." 


" Heavenly, heavenly" — We have here, with 
Knight, followed the reading of the fohos, in preference 
to the quarto, which has—" Heavily, heavily." To 
utter is here to put 07it — to eject. Death is expelled 
"heavenly" — by the power of heaven. The passage 
has evidently reference to the sublime verse in " Corin- 
thians." All the other editors have read, " Heavily, 
heavily," and understand, with Boswell, " till death be 
spoken of," or, with Stevens, " till songs of death be 
uttered ;" and then heavily would be appropriate. The 
folio reading seems to me more poetical and probable, 
and the sense at least as clear. 

" This same is she" — The old copies give this speech 
to Leonato ; but, since Theobald, it has been arbitrarily 
assigned to Antonio. 

" Why, no" — " Stevens rejects the ' why,' upon the 
old principle of its being ' injurious to meti-e.' When 
Benedick, in the same way, replies to the question of 

Beatrice — 

Do not you love me ? — 

the Poet throws a spirit and variety into the answer, by 

making it — 

Troth, no ; no more than reason. 

Stevens cuts out the "troth:" the metre (says he) is 
overloaded. It would matter little what Stevens did 
with his own edition, but he has furnished the text of 
eveiy popular edition of Shakespeai-e extant ; and for 
this reason we feel it a duty perpetually to protest 
against his corruptions of the real text." — Knight. 

" — get thee a wife : there is no staff more reverend 
than one tipped with horn" — The "stafiF" is marriage. 
Benedick supposes it to be a welcome and respectable 
support to so " giddy a thing as man," although he can- 
not avoid a final flout at the " hom," which forms the 
handle of the staff, and an emblem of the destiny 
which he has all along attributed to mai-ried men. Wit 
ness the "recheat in the forehead," etc. To this day, 
it is common to see old-fashioned sticks, or canes, sur- 
mounted with horn handles. Stevens and Malone vdll 
have it, that the allusion is to the baston, or " staff tipped 
with hom," used by combatants in the wager of battle ; 
but we are not informed how the passage in the text is 
at all explained by the use of these weapons. 

Coleridge has selected this comedy as affording a 
special example of a pervading characteristic of Shake- 
speare's dramas, which distinguishes them from those 
of all other dramatic poets. It is that of the independ- 
ence of dramatic interest without the plot : — 

" The interest (says he) in the plot is on account of the 
characters, not vice versa, as in almost all other writers ; 
the plot is a mere canvass, and no more. Hence arises 
the true justification of the same stratagem being used 
in regard to Benedick and Beatrice — the vanity in each 

being alike. Take away from Much Ado about 
Nothing all that which is not indispensable to the plot, 
either as having little to do with it, or, at best, like Dog- 
berry and his comrades, forced into the service, when 
any other less ingeniously absurd watchmen and night- 
constables would have answered the mere necessities 
of the action ; take away Benedick, Beatrice, Dogberry, 
and the reaction of the former on the character of Hero-— 
and what will remain? In other writers the main 
agent of the plot is always the prominent character ; in 


Suakespeare it is so, or is iivi so, as the character is 
III Itself calculated, or not calculated, to form the plot. 
Don John is the main-spring of the plot of this play ; 
but he is merely shown, and then withdrawn." 

Among; the most original and ingenious of the Shake- 
speare critics of Germany is Dr. Ulrici, whose " Essay 
on Shakespeare's Dramatic Wit, and his Relation to Cal- 
derou and Goethe" is founded mainly on the idea that 
Shakespeare's peculiar and essential difference from 
other dramatic poets consists in a view of human life 
suggested or unfolded by Christian revelation, in oppo- 
sition to one derived from mythological paganism or 
natural reason. The reader will readily acknowledge 
a share of tiiith in this proposition ; while, in the bold 
and unqualified manner in which it is announced, and 
the extent to which it is earned, it has much the air 
of paradoxical hypothesis. We are indebted to an ex- 
cellent paper on Shakespearian literatin-e, in the " Edin- 
burgh Review," for 1840, for the following abridgment 
of Ulrici's analysis of the comedy before us : — 

" Ulrici's theory, as to the leading idea of Much Ado 
ABOUT Nothing, is exceedingly ingenious. He con- 
siders the play as a representation of the contrast and 
contradiction between life, in its real essence, and the 
aspect which it presents to those who are engaged in its 
struggle. And this contradiction, he tells us, is set forth 
in an acted commentary on the title of the drama — a 
series of incidents which, in themselves neither real 
nor strange, nor important, are regarded by the actors 
as being all these things. The war at the opening, it is 
said, begins without reason and ends without result; 
Don Pedro seems to woo Hero for himself, while he 
gains her for his friend ; Benedick and Beatrice, after 
caiTyuig on a merry campaign of words without real 
enmit)', are entrapped into marriage without real love ; 
the leading story rests in a seeming faithlessness, and 
its results are a seeming death and funeral, a challenge 
which produces no fighting, and a mai-riage in which 
the bride is a pretender ; and the weakness and shadow- 
iness of human wishes and plans are exposed with yet 
more cutting irony in the means that bring about the 
fortunate catastrophe — an accident in which the iniwit- 
ting agents, headed by Dogberry, the very representa- 
tive of the idea of the piece, ai'e the lowest and most 
stupid characters of the whole group. The Poet's 
readers may hesitate in following his speculative critic 
the whole way in this journey to the temple of abstract 
truth ; but there can be no rea.sonable doubt that, for a 
long part of it, he has followed the right track. And it 
is interesting to trace how that great rule of the Poet, 
which Coleridge has set down as characteristic of him — 
his general avoidance of surprises — is here, as elsewhere, 
made subservient to the immediate purpose." 

Campbell's remarks on this play are written in a more 
worldly spirit, and in a splenetic humour : — 

" I fully agree with the admirers of this play in their 
opinion as to the most of its striking merits. The scene 
of the young and guiltless heroine struck speechless by 
the accusation of her lover, and svi'ooning at the foot of 
the nuptial altar, is deeply touching. There is eloquence 
in her speechlessness, and we may apply the words, 
'Ipsa silentia tcrrent,^ amidst the silence of those who 
have not the ready courage to defend her, while her 
father's harsh and hasty belief of her guilt crowns the 
pathos of her desolation. At this crisis, the exclamation 
of Beatrice, the sole believer in her innocence, ' O ! on 
my soul, my cousin is belied,' is a relieving and glad 
voice in the wilderness, which almost reconciles me to 
Beatrice's otherwise disagi'eeable character. I agree 
also that Shakespeare has, all the while, afforded the 
means of softening our dismayed compassion for Hero, 
by our previous knowledge of her innocence, and we 
are sure that she shall be exculpated. Yet who, but 
Shakespeare, could dry our tears of interest for Hero, 
by so laughable an agetit as the immortal Dogberry ? 
I beg pardon for having allowed that Falstaff makes us 
forget all the other comic creations of our Poet. How 


could I have overlooked you, my Launce, and my 
Launce's dog, and my Dogbeiry ? To say that Falstaff 
makes us forget Dogbeiry is, as Dogberiy himself 
would say, most tolerable and not to be endured. And 
yet Shakespeare, after pouncing on this ridiculous prey, 
springs up, forthwith, to high dramatic effect, in making 
Claudio, who had mistakenly accused Hero, so repent- 
ant as to consentingly marry another woman, her sup- 
posed cousin, under a veil, which, when it is lifted, dis- 
plays his own vindicated bride, who had been supposed 
to have died of grief, but who is now restored to him, 
like another Alcestis, from the grave. 

"At the same time, if Shakespeare were looking 
over my shoulder, I could not disguise some objections 
to this comedy, which involuntarily strike me as debar- 
ring it from ranking among our Poet's most enchanting 
dramas. I am on the whole, I trust, a liberal on the 
score of dramatic probability. Our fancy and its faith 
are no niggards in believing whatsoever they may be 
delighted withal ; but, if I may use a vulgar saying, ' a 
willing horse should not be ridden too hard.' Our fan- 
cifid faith is misused when it is spurred and impelled to 
believe that Don .John, without one particle of love for 
Hero, but out of mere personal spite to Claudio, should 
contrive the infernal treachery which made the latter 
assuredly ';^es\o\\s. Moreover, during one half of the 
play, we have a disagreeable female character in that 
of Beatrice. Her portrait, I may be told, is deeply 
drawn, and minutely finished. It is; and so is that of 
Benedick, who is entirely her counterpart, except that 
he is less disagreeable. But the best-drawn portraits 
by the finest masters may be admirable in execution, 
though unpleasant to contemplate, and Beatrice's por- 
trait is in this category. She is a tartar, by Shake- 
speare's own showing, and, if a natural woman, is not a 
pleasing representative of the sex. In befriending Hero, 
she almost reconciles us to her, but not entirely ; for a 
good heart, that shows itself only on extraordinary oc- 
casions, is no sufficient atonement for a bad temper, 
which Beatrice evidently shows. The marriage of the 
marriage-hating Benedick and the furiously anti-nuptial 
Beatrice is brought about by a tinck. Their friends 
contrive to deceive them into a belief that they love 
each other, and partly by vanity — partly by a mutual 
affection, which had been disguised under the bickerings 
of their wit — they have their hands joined, and the con- 
solations of religion are administered, by the priest who 
marries them, to the unhappy sufferers. 

" Mrs. Jameson, in her characters of Shakespeare, 
concludes with hoping that Beatrice will live happy 
with Benedick ; but I have no such hope ; and my final 
anticipation in reading the play is the certainty that 
Beatrice will provoke her Benedick to give her much 
and just conjugal castigation. She is an odious woman. 
Her own cousin says of her — 

Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes. 
Misprizing what they look on — and her wit 
Values itself so highly, that to her 
All matters else seem weak. She cannot love, 
Nor take no shape nor project of affection, 
She is so self-endeared. 

"I once knew such a pair; the lady was a perfect 
Beatrice ; she railed hypocritically at wedlock before 
her marriage, and with bitter sincerity after it. She 
and her Benedick now live apart, but with entire recip- 
rocity of sentiments, each devoutly wishing that the 
other may soon pass into a better world. Beatrice is 
not to be compared, but contrasted with Rosalind, who 
is equally wntty ; but the sparkling sayings of Rosalind 
are like gems upon her head at court, and like dew- 
drops on her bright hair in the woodland forest." 

We extract this last criticism, partly in deference to 
Campbell's general exquisite taste and reverent appre- 
ciation of Shakespeare's genius, and partly as an ex- 
ample of the manner in which accidental personal asso- 
ciations influence taste and opinion. The critical poet 
seems to have unhappily suffered under the caprices or 
insolence of some accomplished but fantastical female 



wit, whose resemblance he thinks he recognizes in Bea- 

trice ; and then vents the offences of the belle of Edin- 
burgh, or London, upon her prototype of Messina, or 
more probably of the court of Queen Elizabeth. Those 
who, without encountering any such unlucky cause of 
personal prejudice, have looked long enough upon the 
rapidly passing generations of wits and beauties in the 
gay world to have noted their characters as they first 
appeared, and subsequently developed themselves in 
after life, will pronounce a very different judgment. 
Beatrice's faults are such as ordinarily spring from the 
consciousness of talent and beauty, accompanied with the 
high spirits of youth and health, and the play of a lively 
fancy. Her brilliant intellectual qualities are associated 
with strong and generous feelings, high confidence in 
female truth and virtue, warm attachment to her friends, 
and quick, undisguised indiguation at wrong and injus- 
tice. There is the rich material, which the experience 
and the sorrows of maturer life, the affection and the 
duties of the wife and the mother, can gradually shape 
into the noblest forms of matronly excellence; and 

such, we doubt not, was the result shown in the married 
life of Beatrice. 

The objection to the character of the Bastard John goes 
deeper into the sources of human action. It denies 
the truth of such a character, for reasons which would 
apply also to that of lago. I wish, for the honour of 
human nature, that the objection were well founded ; 
and that the Poet had here drawn an unreal charac- 
ter, acting from motives such as never influence conduct 
in real life. But, unhappily, it is not so. Experience 
shows too many instances of the infliction of causeless 
and bitter injury, without any adequate personal motive, 
of passion or of interest, to suffer us to" doubt the truth 
or probability of John, or lago. Self-generated envy 
and hatred, the natural " strong antipathy of bad to 
good," the Satanic pleasure of making others feel pangs 
similar to those which guilt has made familiar to their 
own breasts, the very gratification derived from the ex- 
ercise of malignant power, — eveiy one of these has 
prompted many deeds and plots, surpassing in guilt the 
revenge or hatred of ambition, rivalry, or jealousy. 


~^^$=^/' -;^..: 






THIS comedy was originally printed in a quarto pamphlet, in 1598, 
with this title-page : — " A pleasant Conceited Comedie called, 
Loues labors lost. As it was presented before her Highnes this 
last Christmas. Newly corrected and augmented By W. Shakespere." 
Although it did not appear in print until the author's thirty-fourth 
year, when he had established a generally acknowledged reputation 
and popularity, by many of hi.s dramas of English history, and six 
successful and popular comedies, including the Merchant of Venice 
and the Midsum.mer Night's Dream; when, too, Romeo and Juliet, 
in its earlier form, had been printed a year before, — yet there is a 
general concurrence of opinion, both traditional and critical, that this 
play was among Shakespeare's earliest dramatic works. 

Coleridge, in his first attempt to classify the order of Shakespeare's 
plays, did, indeed, place this comedy in that which he designates as 
the epoch of " the full although youthful Shakespeare, the negative period of his perfection ;" not long preceding 
the time to which he assigns, in his catalogue, the corrected Romeo and Juliet, and the Merchant of Venice. 
But, in his next reconsideration of the subject, he placed Love's Labour's Lost at the head of the list of " Shake- 
speare's earliest dramas ;" and again, nine years after, he began his review of the same question by saying — " I 
think Shakespeare's earliest dramatic attempt — perhaps even prior, in conception, to the Venus and Adonis, and 
planned before he left Stratford — was Love's Labour's Lost." Its general resemblance of style and thought to 
his other early works, and especially the " frequency of the rhymes, the sweetness as well as the smoothness of the 
metre, and the number of acute and fancifully illustrated aphorisms," all correspond with the idea of a youthful 
work ; while, as in others of his early works, we also find in the personages the rudiments of characters, slightly 
sketched, to which he afterwards returned, and, without repeating himself, presented them again, in a varied and 
more individualized and living form. Thus, Biron contains within him the germs both of Benedick and of Jaques ; 
of the one in his colloquial and mocking mood, and of the other in his graver moralities. Rosaline is (in Cole- 
ridge's plirase) " the pre-existent state of Beatrice ;" though she is as yet a Beatrice of the imagination, drawn from 
books or report, rather than one painted from familiar acquaintance. 

Both the characters and the dialogue are such as youthful talent might well invent, without much knowledge 
of real life, and would indeed be likely to invent, before the experience and observation of varied society. The 
comedy presents a picture, not of the true every -day life of the great or the beautiful, but exhibits groups of such 
brilliant personages as they might be supposed to appear in the artificial conversation, the elaborate and continual 
effort to surprise or dazzle by wit or elegance, which was the prevailing taste of the age, in its literature, its 
poetry, and even its pulpit ; and in which the nobles and beauties of the day were accustomed to aiTay themselves 
for exhibition, as in their state attire, for occasions of display. All this, when the leading idea was once caught, was 
quite within the reach of the young Poet to imitate or surpass, with little or no personal knowledge of aristocratic — 
or what would now be termed fashionable — society. English literature, a century later, afforded a striking example 
of the success of a very young author in carrying to its perfection a similar affectation of artificial wit, and studied 
conversational brilliancy — I mean Congreve, whose comedies, the admiration of their own age, for their fertility 
of fantastically gay dialogue, bright conceits, and witty repartees, are still read for their abundance of lively imagery 
and play of language, the " reciprocation of conceits and the clash of wits," — although the personages of his scene, 
and all that they do and think, are wholly remote from the tnith, the feeling, and the manners of real life. These 
productions, so remarkable in their way, were written before Congreve's twenty -fifth year ; and his first and most 
brilliant comedy (the " Old Bachelor") was acted when he was yet a minor. His talent, thus early ripe, did not 
afterwards expand or refine itself into the nobler power of teaching " the morals of the heart," nor even into the 
delightful gift of embodying the passing scenes of real life in graphic and durable pictures. But his writings 
afford a memorable proof how soon the graces and brilliant effects of mere intellect can be acquired, while those 
works of genius which require the co-operation and the knowledge of man's moral nature, are of slower and later 

This comedy, then, marks the ti-ansition of Shakespeare's mind throug*h the Congreve character of invention and 
dialogue ; that of lively and artificial brilliancy — a region in which he did not long loiter — 

But rose to truth, and moralized his song. 



These remarks apply to the general contexture of the comedy, and the greater part of the dialogue. But it must 
not be overlooked that the whole is not the work of a mere boy. It had been played before Queen Elizabeth, 
according to the title-page of the edition of 1598, " this last Christmas," and, as it then shortly after appeared 
" newly corrected and augmented," it is probable that the author had followed the fashion of his times, when 
(according to Mr. Collier) " it was common for dramatists to revise and improve their plays, when they were 
selected for exhibition at court." It does not imjjly any great presumption of criticism, or demand peculiar deli- 
cacy of discrimination, to separate many of these acknowledged additions from the lighter and less valuable mate- 
rials in which they are inserted. Rosaline's character of Bu-on, in the second act, and her dialogue with him at the 
winding up of the drama, and Biron's speeches in the first and at the end of the fourth act, are among the passages 
which appropriate themselves at once to the period of the composition of the Midsummer Night's Dream, or the 
Merchant of Venice, not less in the mood of thought than in the peculiar poetic style and melody. 

The story itself is but slight, the incidents few, and the higher characters, though varied, are but sketchily 
drawn — at least, taking the author's own maturer style of execution in that way as the standard. There was, 
therefore, no very great effort of original invention in either respect ; but whatever there is, either of plot or 
character, belongs to the author alone ; for the diligence of the critics and antiquarians, (Stevens, Skottowe, Collier, 
etc.,) who have been most successful in tracing out the rough materials of romance, tradition, or history used by 
Shakespeare for the construction of his dramas, have entirely failed in discovering any thing of the kind in any 
older author, native or foreign, to which he could have been indebted on this occasion. It is well worthy of remark 
that Shakespeare, in his earlier works, bestowed more of the labour of invention upon his plot and incidents than 
he generally did afterwards, when he usually selected known personages, to whom and to the outline of whose 
story, the popular mind was already somewhat familiar, — thus, probaljly quite unconsciously, adopting from his own 
experience the usage of the great Greek dramatists. It may be that the impress of reality, which the circumstance 
of familiar names and events lends to the drama, more than compensated for any pleasure that mere novelty of 
incident could give either to the author or his audience. But, in his characters of broad humour, Shakespeare is 
here, as he always is, original and inventive. Although the Pedant and the Braggart are chai'acters familiar to the 
old Italian stage, yet if the dramatist derived the general notion of such personages, as fitted for stage-effect, from 
any Italian source, (for the presumption is but remote,) still he assuredly painted them and their affectations from the 
life ; these being characters, as Coleridge justly observes, which " a country town and a schoolboy's observation 
might supply." 

All the personages of broader humour, in spite of their extravagances and droll absurdities, have still an air of 
truth, a solidity of effect, which at once indicates that, however heightened and exaggerated, still they came upon 
the stiige from the real world, and not from the author's fancy ; and this solidity and reality tend to give a more 
unreal and shadowy tone to the other and more com'tly and poetic personages of the comedy. Such a remark 
can apply only to Shakespeare's very early dramatic works. The other comic creations of the second stage of the 
Poet's career — Launcelot Gobbo, or Falstaff — do not command the temporary illusion of the stage more than the 
nobler personages with whom they are contrasted. Juliet is as tnie and real as her Nurse. 

The play in the folio of 1623 appears to have been printed from the first quarto, as it retains several errors of the 
press, which could not have found their way into a different manuscript. There are, however, some few variations ; 
and the collation of the two copies, with the aid of the metre and rhyme, enable the editors to agree in a very sat- 
isfactory text. 


" There is no historical foundation for any portion of the action of this comedy. There was no Ferdinand, King 
of Navarre. We have no evidence of a difl'erence between France and Navaire, as to possessions in Aquitain. 
We may place, therefore, the period of the action as the period of Elizabeth, for the manners are those of Shake- 
speare's own time. The more remarkable of the customs which are alluded to are pointed out in the notes. 
Cesare Vecellio, at the end of his third book, (edit. 1598,) presents us with the general costume of Navarre at 
this period. The women appear to have worn a sort of clog, or patten, something like the Venetian chioppine ; 
and we are told in the text that some dressed in imitation of the French, some in the style of the Spaniards ; while 
others blended the fashions of both those nations. The well-known costume of Henri Quatre and Philip II. may 
furnish authority for the dress of the King and nobles of Navarre, and of the lords attending on the Princess of 
France, who may herself be attired after the fashion of Marguerite de Valois, the sister of Henry III. of France, 
and first wife of his successor, the King of Navarre. ( Vide Montfaucon, ' Monarchie Francaise.') " — Knight. 


I have above expressed the decided opinion that the plot of this comedy and its characters are wholly of the young 
Poet's own creation, with no other aid to his invention than that furnished by the general literature of his age and 
country, and, as to the comic personages, by such laughable individual peculiarities as fell within his acute though as 
yet limited observation of life and manners. In this opinion we have the concurrence of those higher critics, who, 
like Coleridge, argued from the internal evidence of the comedy, with others of a humble rank, who, like Skot- 
towe, have devoted themselves to seeking out every fragment of old romance or legend which Shakespeare might 
possibly have read and been indebted to for even the most ordinary incidents used in his dramas. Skottowe 
honestly, though a little reluctantly, confesses that here his '• occupation is gone ;" and says that " Love's Labour's 
Lost is one of the very few plays of its author, that ai'e not ascertained to have been founded on some previously 



existing work. Its incidents, however, are so simple, and in such entire conformity with the chivalric and roman- 
tic feeling of the sixteenth century, that they would readily present themselves to any mind imbued with the 
fashionable literature of the day." Stevens, and one or two others, are not so ready to relinquish the idea of some 
possible original. Mr. Collier has stated the substance of their conjectures, on the probability of which the reader 
will judge for himself. After stating Coleridge's conviction that " the internal evidence was indisputable that 
this was one of Shakespeare's earliest dramas," and that the characters were such as he might have impersonated 
from his own mind and schoolboy observation, Mr. Collier adds: — 

"The only objection to this theory is, that at the time Love's Labour's Lost was composed, the author seems 
to have been acquainted in some degree with the nature of the Italian comic performances; but this acquaintance 
he might have acquired comparatively early in life. The character of Armado is that of a Spanish braggart, very 
much such a personage as was common on the Italian stage, and figures in ' Gl' Ingannati,' (which, as the Rev. 
Joseph Hunter was the first to point out, Shakespeare saw before he wrote his Twelfth Night,) under the name 
of Giglio. In the same comedy we have M. Piero Pedante, a not unusual character in pieces of that description. 
Holofernes is repeatedly called the 'Pedant' in the old copies of Love's Labour's Lost, while Armado is more 
frequently introduced as the ' Braggart' than by his name. Stevens, after stating that he had not been able to dis- 
cover any novel from which this comedy had been derived, adds that ' the story has most of the features of an an- 
cient romance;' but it is not at all impossible that Shakespeare found some corresponding incidents in an Italian 
play. However, after a long search, I have not met with any such production; although, if used by Shakespeare, 
it most likely came into England in a printed form." i» 

Lords, attending on the Princess of Fbancb. 


FERDINAND. Kino of Navarre. 


LONGAVILLE. > Lords, attending on the Kino 




DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO, a fantistical Spaniard. 


HOLOFERNES, a Schoolmaster. 

DDLL, a Constable. 

COSTARD, a Clown. 

MOTH, Page to Armaco. 

A Forester. 

PRINCESS of France. 


MARIA, > Ladies, attending on the Princess. 


JAQUENETTA, a country Wench. 

Officers and others. Attendants on the Kino and Princes 

Scene — Navarre. 

Scene I. — Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it. 
Enter Oie King, Biron, Longaville, and 


King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives. 
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs, 
And then grace us in the disgrace of death; 
When, spite of cormorant devouring time, 
Th' endeavour of this present breath may buy 
That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen 

And make us heirs of all eternity. 
Therefore, brave conquerors! — for so you are, 
That war against your own affections. 
And the huge army of the world's desires, - 
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force. 
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world : 
Our court shall be a little Academe, 
Still and contemplative in living art. 
You three, Biron, Dumaine, and Longaville, 
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me, 
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, 

That are recorded in this schedule here : 

Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names, 

That his own hand may strike his honour down, 

That violates the smallest branch herein. 

If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do. 

Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too. 

Long. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years' fast. 
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : 
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits 
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits. 

Dum. My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified. 
The grosser manner of these world's delights 
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves: 
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die, 
With all these living, in philosophy. 

Biron. I can but say their protestation over; 
So much, dear liece, I have already sworn, 
That is, to live and study here three years. 
But there are other strict observances; 
As, not to see a woman in that term. 
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there: 
And, one day in a week to touch no food, 





And but one meal on every day beside, 
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : 
And then, to sleep but three houi-s in the night, 
And not to be seen to wink of all the day. 
When I was wont to think no harm all night. 
And make a dark night, too, of half the day. 
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there. 
O ! these are barren tasks, too hard to keep, 
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep. 

King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from these. 

Biron. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please. 
I only swore to study with your grace. 
And stay here in your court for three years' space. 

Lotig. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest. 

Biron. By yea, and nay, sir, then I swore in jest. 
What is the end of study, let me know? 

King. Why, that to know which else we should 
not know. 

Biron. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from 
common sense ? 

King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. 

Biron. Come on, then : I will swear to study 
To know the thing I am forbid to know ; 
As thus, — to study where I well may dine, 

When I to feast expressly am forbid; 
Or study where to meet some mistress fine. 

When mistresses from common sense are hid; 
Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath. 
Study to break it, and not break my troth. 
If study's gain be thus, and this be so. 
Study knows that which yet it doth not know. 
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no. 

King. These be the stops that hinder study quite. 
And train our intellects to vain delight. 

Biron. Why, all delights are vain ; but that most 
Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain : 
As painfully to pore upon a book. 

To seek the light of truth ; while truth the while 
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look : 

Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile. 
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies. 
Your light grows dark by losing of yotir eyes. 
Study me how to please the eye indeed. 

By fixing it upon a fairer eye; 
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed, 

And give him light that it was blinded by. 
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 others' 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 nought but fame; 
And every godfather can give a name. 

King. How well he's read, to reason against 

Dum. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding! 

Long. He weeds the com, and still lets grow the 

Biron. The spring is near, when green geese are 
a breeding. 

Dum. How follows that? 

Biron. Fit in his place and time. 

Dum. In reason nothing. 

Biron. Something, then, in rhyme. 

King. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost. 
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. 

Biron. Well, say I am : why should proud sum- 
mer boast. 
Before the birds have any cause to sing? 
Why should I joy in any abortive birth ? 
At Christmas I no more desire a rose, 
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows; 
But like of each thing that in season grows. 
So you, to study now it is too late. 
Climb o'er the house to unlock the little gate. 

King. Well, sit you out : go home, Biron : 
adieu ! 

Biron. No, my good lord ; I have sworn to stay 
with you: 
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more, 

Than for that angel knowledge you can say, 
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore. 

And bide the penance of each three yeai-s' day. 
Give me the paper : let me read the same ; 
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name. 

King. How well this yielding rescues thee from 
shame ! 

Biron. [Reads.] Item, "That no woman shall 
come within a mile of my court." — Hath this been 
proclaim'd ? 

Long. Four days ago. 

Biron. Let's see the penalty. [Reads.] "On 
pain of losing her tongue." — Who devis'd this 
penalty ? 

Long. Marry, that did I. 

Biron. Sweet lord, and why? 

Long. To fright them hence with that dread 

Biron. A dangerous law against gentility ! 

[Reads.] Item, "If any man be seen to talk with 
a woman within the term of three years, he shall 
endure such public shame as the rest of the court 
can possibly devise." — 
This article, my liege, yourself must break ; 

For, well you know, here comes in embassy 
The French king's daughter with yourself to 
speak, — 

A maid of grace, and complete majesty, — 
About surrender up of Aquitain 

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: 
Therefore, this article is made in vain. 

Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither. 

King. What say you, lords ? why, this was quite 

Biron. So study evermore is overshot : 
While it doth study to have what it would. 
It doth forget to do the thing it should ; 
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 
'Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so lost. 

King. We must of force dispense with this 
decree : 
She must lie here on mere necessity. 

Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn 

Three thousand times within this three years' 
For every man with his aflects is born ; 

Not by might master'd, but by special grace. 
If I break faith, this word shall speak for me, 
I am forsworn on mere necessity. — 
So to the laws at large I write my name ; 


And he, that breaks them in the least degree, 
Stands in attainder of eternal shame. 

Suggestions are to others, as to me ; 
But, I believe, although I seem so loth, 
I am the last that will last keep his oath. 
But is there no quick recreation granted? 




King. Ay, that there is. Our court, you know, 
is haunted 

With a refined traveller of Spain; 
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 complements, 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. 
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I, 
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie, 
And I will use him for my minstrelsy. 

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. 

Long. Costard, ^he swain, and he shall be our 
And so to study, three years is but short. 

Enter Dull, with a letter, and Costard. 

Dull. Which is the duke's own person ? 

Biron. This, fellow. What would'st ? 

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I 
am his grace's tharborough: but I would see his 
own person in flesh and blood. 

Biron. This is he. 

Dull. Signior Arm — Arm — commends you. 
There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you 

Cost, Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching 

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado, 

Biron. How low soever the matter, 
God for high words. 

Long. A high hope for a low having : 
us patience ! 

Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing? 

Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh mode 
rately ; or to forbear both. 

I hojje in 
God grant 

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us 
cause to climb in the merriness. 

Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning 
Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with 
the manner. 

Biron. In what manner ? 

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all 
those three: I was seen with her in the manor 
house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken 
following her into the park ; which, put together, 
is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for 
the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak to 
a woman ; for the form, — in some form. 

Biron. For the following, sir? 

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction ; and 
God defend the right! 

King. Will you hear this letter with attention? 

Biron. As we would hear an oracle. 

Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken 
after the flesh. 

King. [Reads.'] "Greatdeputy, the welkin's vice- 
gerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's 
earth's God, and body's fostering patron, — " 

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet. 

King. " So it is, — " 

Cost. It may be so ; but if he say it is so, he is, 
in telling true, but so, — 

King. Peace ! 

Cost. — be to me, and every man that dares not 

King. No words. 

Cost. — of other men's secrets, I beseech you. 

King. " So it is, besieged with sable-coloured 
melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing 
humour to the most wholesome physic of thy 
health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook 
myself to walk. The time when ? About the sixth 
hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and 
men sit down to that nourishment which is called 
supper. So much for the time when. Now for 
the ground which ; which, I mean, I walked upon : 
it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; 




where, I mean, T did encounter that obscene and 
most preposterous event, that draweth from my 
snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here 
thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But 
to the place, where : — it standeth north-north-east 
and by east from the west corner of thy curious- 
knotted garden : there did I see that low-spirited 
swain, that base minnow of thy mirth," 

Cost. Me. 

King. " — that unletter'd small-knowing soul," 

Cost. Me. 

King. " — that shallow vassal," 

Cost. Still me. 

King. " — which, as I remember, hight Costard," 

Cost. O ! me. 

King. " — sorted and consorted, contrary to thy 
established proclaimed edict and continent canon, 
with — with, — O ! with — but with this I passion to 
say wherewith." 

Cost. With a wench. 

King. " — with a child of our grandmother Eve, 
a female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a 
woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks 
me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of 
punishment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Antony 
Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and 

Dull. Me, an't shall please you: I am Antony 

King. "For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel 
called,) which I apprehended with the aforesaid 
swain, I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and 
shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to 
trial. Thine, in all complements of devoted and 
heart-burning heat of duty, 

"Don Adriano de Armado." 

Biron. This is not so well as I looked for, but 
the best that ever I heard. 

Kins- Ay, the best for the worst. — But, sirrah, 
what say you to this? 

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench. 

King. Did you hear the proclamation ? 

Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but 
little of the marking of it. 

King. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment 
to be taken with a wench. 

Cost. I was taken with none, sir : I was taken 
with a damsel. 

King. Well, it was proclaimed damsel. 

Cost. This was no damsel neither, sir: she was 
a virgin. 

King. It is so varied, too, for it was proclaimed 

Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity : I was taken 
with a maid. 

King. This maid will not serve your turn, sir. 

Cost. This maid will serve my turn, sir. 

King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you 
shall fast a week with bran and water. 

Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton and 

King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. — 
My lord Biron, see him deliver'd o'er: 
And go we, lords, to put in practice that 

Which each to other hath so strongly sworn. 
[Exeunt King, Longaville, and Dumaine. 

Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat. 

These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn. — 
Sirrah, come on. 

Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir : for true it is, I 

was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true 
girl ; and, therefore, welcome the sour cup of pros- 
perity ! Affliction may one day smile again, and till 
then, set thee down, sorrow ! [Exeunt. 

Scene II. — Armado's House in the Park. 
Enter Armado and Moth, his Page. 

Arm. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great 
spirit grows melancholy ? 

Moth. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad. 

Arm. Why ? sadness is one and the self-same 
thing, dear imp. 

Moth. No, no ; O lord ! sir, no. 

Arm. How canst thou part sadness and melan- 
choly, my tender Juvenal? 

Moth. By afamiliardemonstrationof the working, 
my tough senior. 

Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior? 

Moth. Why tender juvenal ? why tender juvenal? 

Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent 
epitheton appertaining to thy young days, which we 
may nominate tender. 

Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title 
to your old time, which we may name tough. 

Arm. Pretty, and apt. 

Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my 
saying apt ; or I apt, and my saying pretty ? 

Arm. Thou pretty, because little. 

Moth. Little pretty, because little. Wherefore 

Arm. And therefore apt, because quick. 

Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master? 

Arm. In thy condign praise. 

Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise. 

Arm. What, that an eel is ingenious ? 

Moth. That an eel is quick. 

Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers. Thou 
heatest my blood. 

Moth. I am answered, sir. 

Arm. I love not to be crossed. 

Moth. [Aside.'] He speaks the mere contrary: 
crosses love not him ? 

Arm. I have promised to study three years with 
the duke. 

Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir. 

Arm. Impossible. 

Moth. How many is one thrice told ? 

Arm. I am ill at reckoning: it fitteth the spirit of 
a tapster. 

Moth. You are a gentleman, and a gamester, sir. 

Arm. I confess both : they are both the varnish 
of a complete man. 

Moth. Then, I am sure, you know how much 
the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to. 

Arm. It doth amount to one more than two 

Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three. 

Arm. True. 

Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study ? 
Now, here is three studied ere you'll thrice wink ; 
and how easy it is to put years to the word three, 
and study three years in two words, the dancing horse 
will tell you. 

Arm. A most fine figure ! 

Moth. [Aside.] To prove you a cypher. 

Arm. I will hereupon confess I am in love ; and, 
as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with 
a base wench. If drawing my sword against the hu- 
mour of afl'ection would deliver me from the repro- 
bate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and 
ransom him to any French courtier for a new de- 




vised courtesy. 1 think scorn to sigh : methinks, I 
should out-swear Cupid. Comfort nie, boy. What 
great men have been in love ? 

Molh. Hercules, master. 

Arm. Most sweet Hercules ! — More authority, 
dear boy, name more ; and, sweet my child, let them 
be men of good repute and carriage. 

Moth. Samson, master : he was a man of good 
carriage, great carriage ; for he carried the town-gates 
on his back, like a porter, and he was in love. 

Arm. O well-knit Samson ! strong-jointed Sam- 
son ! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou 
didst me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who 
was Samson's love, my dear Moth? 

Moth. A woman, master. 

Arm. Of what complexion ? 

Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two, or 
one of the four. 

Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion. 

Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir. 

Arm. Is that one of the four complexions? 

Moth. As I have read, sir ; and the best of them 

Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers ; but 
to have a love of that colour, methinks, Samson had 
small reason for it. He, surely, affected her for her 

Moth. It was so, sir, for she had a green wit. 

Arm. My love is most immaculate white and 
■ Moth. Most maculate thoughts, master, are mask- 
ed under such colours. 

Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant. 

Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, 
assist me! 

Arm. Sweet invocation of a child ; most pretty, 
and pathetical I 

Moth. If she be made of white and red, 
Her faults will ne'er be known ; 
For blushing cheeks by faults are bred, 

And fears by pale-white shown : 
Then, if she fear, or be to blame, 

By this you shall not know ; 
For still her cheeks possess the same, 
Which native she doth owe. 
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of 
white and red. 

Aryn. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and 
the Beggar ? 

Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad 
some three ages since, but, I think, now 'tis not to 
be found ; or, if it were, it would neither serve for 
the writing, nor the tune. 

Arm. I will have that subject newly writ o'er, 
that I may example my digression by some mighty 
precedent. Boy, I do love that country girl, that I 
took in the park with the rational hind Costard : she 
deserves well. 

Moth. [Aside.] To be whipped ; and yet a better 
love than my master. 

Arm. Sing, boy : my spirit grows heavy in love. 

Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light 

Arm. I say, sing. 

Moth. Forbear till this company be past. 
Enter Dull, Costard, and Jaquenetta. 

Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep 
Costard safe : and you must let him take no delight, 
nor no penance: but a' must fast three days a week. 
For this damsel, I must keep her at the park ; she 
is allowed for the day-woman. Fare you well. 

Arm. I do betray myself with blushing. — Maid. 

Jaq. Man. 

Arm. I will visit thee at the lodge. 

Jaq. That's hereby. 

Arm. 1 know where it is situate. 

Jaq. Lord, how wise you are ! 

Arm. I will tell thee wonders. 

Jaq, With that face ? 

Arm. I love thee. 

Jaq. So I heard you say. 

Arm. And so farewell. 

Jaq. Fair weather after you ! 

Dull. Come, Jaquenetta, away. 

[Exeunt Dull and Jaquenetta. 

Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, ere 
thou be pardoned. 

Cost. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do 
it on a full stomach. 

Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished. 

Cost. I am more bound to you than your fellows, 
for they are but lightly rewarded. 

Arm. Take away this villain : shut him up. 

Moth. Come, you transgressing slave : away ! 

Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir: I will fast, 
being loose. 

Moth. No, sir: that were fast and loose; thou 
shalt to prison. 

Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of 
desolation that I have seen, some shall see — 

Moth. What shall some see? 

Cost. Nay nothing, master Moth, but what they 
look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent 
in their words ; and therefore I will say nothing : 
I thank God I have as little patience as another man, 
and therefore I can be quiet. 

[Exeunt Moth and Costard. 

Arm. I do affect the very ground, which is base, 
where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, 
which is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, 
(which is a great argument of falsehood,) if I love ; 
and how can that be true love, which is falsely 
attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil: 
there is no evil angel but love. Yet was Samson so 
tempted, and he had an excellent strength : yet was 
Solomon so seduced, and he had a very good wit. 
Cupid's butt-shaft is too hard for Hercules' club, 
and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. 
The first and second cause will not serve my turn ; 
the passado he respects not, the duello he regards 
not : his disgrace is to be called boy, but his glory 
is, to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust, rapier! be 
still, drum ! for your manager is in love ; yea, he 
loveth. Assist me some extemporal god of rhyme, 
for, I am sure, I shall turn sonnets. Devise wit, 
write pen, for I am for whole volumes in folio. 

^ [Exit. 

Scene I. — Another part of the Park. A Pavilion 
and Tents at a distance. 

Enter the Princess of France, Rosaline, Maria, 
Katharine, Boyet, Lords, and other Attendants. 

Boyet. Now, madam, summon up your dearest 
Consider whom the king your father sends, 
To whom he sends, and what's his embassy: 
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem, 
To parley with the sole inheritor 
Of all perfections that a man may owe, 
Matchless Navarre ; the plea of no less weight 
Than Aquitain, a dowry for a queen. 
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace, 
As nature was in making graces dear. 
When she did starve the general world beside. 
And prodigally gave them all to you. 

Prin. Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but 
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise : 
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, 
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues. 
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth. 
Than you much willing to be counted wise 
In spending your wit in the praise of mine. 
But now to task the tasker. — Good Boyet, 
You are not ignorant, all-telling fame 
Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow, 
Till painful study shall out-wear three years. 
No woman may approach his silent court : 
Therefore to us seem'th it a needful course, 
Before we enter his forbidden gates. 
To know his pleasure ; and in that behalf, 
Bold of your worthiness, we single you 
As our best moving fair solicitor. 
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France, 
On serious business, craving quick despatch. 
Importunes personal conference with his grace. 
Haste, signify so much; while we attend. 
Like humble-visag'd suitors, his high will. 

Boyet. Proud of employment, willingly I go. 


Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so. — 
Who are the votaries, my loving lords, 
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke ? 

1 Lord. Longaville is one. 

Prin. Know you the man ? 

Mar. I know him, madam : at a marriage feast, 
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir 
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized 
In Normandy, saw t this Longaville. 


A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd ; 

Well fitted in arts; glorious in arms: 

Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. 

The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss. 

If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil, 

Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a will ; 

Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills 

It should none spare that come within his power. 

Prin. Some merry mocking lord, belike; is't so ? 

Mar. They say so most that most his humours 

Prin. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they 
Who are the rest? 

Kath. The young Dumaine, a well-accomplish'd 
Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd : 
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill, 
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good, 
And shape to win grace though he had no wit. 
I saw him at the duke Alencon's once ; 
And much too little of that good I saw 
Is my report to his great worthiness. 

Ros. Another of these students at that time 
Was there with him : if I have heard a truth, 
Biron they call him ; but a merrier man, 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk withal. 
His eye begets occasion for his wit ; 
For every object that the one doth catch, 
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest. 
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) 
Delivers in such apt and gracious words. 
That aged ears play truant at his tales. 
And younger hearings are quite ravished. 
So sweet and voluble is his discourse. 

Prin. God bless my ladies ! are they all in love. 
That every one her own hath garnished 
With such bedecking ornaments of praise? 

Lord. Here comes Boyet. 

Re-enter Boyet. 

Prin. Now, what admittance, lord? 

Boyet. Navane had notice of your fair approach ; 
And he, and his competitors in oath. 
Were all address'd to meet you, gentle lady. 
Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt, 
He rather means to lodge you in the field, 
Like one that comes here to besiege his court, 
Than seek a dispensation for his oath. 
To let you enter his unpeopled house. 
Here conies Navarre. [The Ladies mask. 

Enter King, Longavillk, Dumaine, Biron, and 
King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of 

Prin. Fair, I give you back again; and welcome 
1 have not yet : the roof of this court is too high to 
be yours, and welcome to the wide fields too base 
to be mine. 

King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my 

Prin. I will be welcome then. Conduct me 

King. Hear me, dear lady : I have sworn an oath. 
Prin. Our lady help my lord ! he'll be forsworn. 
King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will. 
Prin. Why, will shall break it ; will, and nothing 

King. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is. 
Prin. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise, 
Where now his knowledge must prove ignorance. 
I hear, your grace hath sworn out house-keeping : 
'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord, 
And sin to break it. 

But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold: 
To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me. 
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming, 
A.nd suddenly resolve me in my suit. 

[ Gives a paper. 
King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may. 
Prin. You will the sooner that I were away. 
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me stay. 
Biron. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ? 
Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once? 
Biron. I know you did. 

Jios. How needless was it, then, 

To ask the question ! 

Biron. You must not be so quick. 

Ros. 'Tis 'long of you, that spur me with such 

Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 
'twill tire. 


Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire. 

Biron. What time o' day ? 

Ros. The hour that fools should ask. 

Biron. Now fair befal your mask! 

Ros. Fair fall the face it covers! 

Biron. And send you many lovers! 

Ros. Amen, so you be none. 

Biron. Nay, then will I begone. 

King. Madam, your father here doth intimate 
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns ; 
Being but the one half of an entire sum, 
Disbursed by my father in his wars. 
But say, that he, or we, (as neither have,) 
Receiv'd that sum, yet there remains unpaid 
A hundred thousand more ; in surety of the which, 
One part of Aquitain is bound to us. 
Although not valued to the money's worth. 
If, then, the king your father will restore 
But that one half which is unsatisfied. 
We will give up our right in Aquitain, 
And hold fair friendshij) wiih his majesty. 
But that, it seems, he little purposeth. 
For here he doth demand to have repaid 
An hundred thousand crowns; and not demands, 
On payment of a hundred thousand crowns, 
To have his title live in Aquitain ; 
Which we much rather had depart withal. 
And have the money by our father lent. 
Than Aquitain, so gelded as it is. 
Dear princess, were not his requests so far 
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make 
A yielding, 'gainst some reason in my breast. 
And go well satisfied to France again. 

Prin. You do the king my father too much wrong. 
And wrong the reputation of your name. 
In so unseeming to confess receipt 
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid. 

King. I do protest, I never heard of it ; 
And, if you prove it, I'll repay it back, 
Or vield up Aquitain. 

Prin. We arrest your word. 





Boyet, you can produce acquittances 
For such a sum, from special officers 
Of Charles his father. 

King. Satisfy me so. 

Boyet. So please your grace, the packet is not 
Where that and other speciaUies are bound : 
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them. 

King. It shall suffice me : at which interview, 
All hberal reason I will yield unto. 
Mean time, receive such welcome at my hand, 
As honour, without breach of honour, may 
Make tender of to thy true worthiness. 
You may not come, fair princess, within my gates ; 
But here without you shall be so receiv'd, 
As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart, 
Though so denied fair harbour in my house. 
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell : 
To-morrow shall we visit you again. 

Prin. Sweet health and fair desires consort your 
grace ! 

King. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place ! 
\^E.vcunt King and his train. 

Biron. Lady, I will commend you to mine own 

Ros. Pray you, do my commendations ; I would 
be glad to see it. 

Biron. I would, you heard it groan. 

Bos. Is the fool sick ? 

Biron. Sick at the heart. 

JRos. Alack! let it blood. 

Biron. Would that do it good ? 

Bos. My i^hysic says, ay. 

Biron. Will you prick't with your eye ? 

Bos. No point, with my knife. 

Biron. Now, God save thy life ! 

Bos. And yours from long living ! 

Biron. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Betiring. 

Duni. Sir, I pray, you a word. What lady is 
that same ? 

Boyet. The heir of Alencon, Rosaline her name. 

Dum. A gallant lady. Monsieur, fare you well. 


Long. I beseech you a word. What is she in 

the white? 
Boyet. A woman sometimes, an j'ou saw her in 

the light. 
Long. Perchance, light in the light. I desire 

her name. 
Boyet. She hath but one for herself; to desire 

that, were a shame. 
Long. Pray you, sir, whose daughter? 
Boyet. Her mother's, I have heard. 
Long. God's blessing on your beard ! 
Boyet. Good sir, be not offended. 
She is an heir of Falconbridge. 

Long. Nay, my choler is ended. 
She is a most sweet lady. 

Boyet. Not unlike, sir : that may be. 


Biron. What's her name, in the cap? 
Boyet. Katharine, by good hap. 
Biron. Is she wedded, or no ? 
Boyet. To her will, sir, or so. 
Biron. O! you are welcome, sir. Adieu. 
Boyet. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you. 
[Erit Biron. — Ladies unmask. 
Mar. That last is Biron, the merry mad-cap lord : 
Not a word with him but a jest. 

Boyet. And every jest but a word. 

Prin. It was well done of you to take him at his 

Boyet. I was as willing to grapple, as he was to 

Mar. Two hot sheeps, marry ! 
Boyet. And wherefore not ships ? 

No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your 
Mar. You sheep, and I pasture: shall that finish 

the jest? 
Boyet. So you grant pasture for me. 

[OJfering to Jciss her. 
Mar. Not so, gentle beast. 

My lips are no common, though several they be. 
Boyet. Belonging to whom? 
Mar. To my fortunes and me. 




Prin. Good wits will be jangling ; but, gentles, 
This civil war of wits were much better used 
On Navarre and his book-men, for here 'tis abused. 
Boyet. If my observation, (which very seldom 
By the heart's still rhetoric, disclosed with eyes, 
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected. 
Prin. With what ? 

Boyet. With that which we lovers entitle, af- 
Prin. Your reason ? 

Boyet. Why, all his behaviours did make their 
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire : 
His heart, like an agate, with your print im- 
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed : 
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see, 
Did stumble with haste in his eye-sight to be ; 
All senses to that sense did make their repair, 
To feel only looking on fairest of fair. 
Methought, all his senses were lock'd in his eye. 
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy ; 

Who, tend'ring their own worth, from where they 

were glass'd, . 
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass'd. 
His face's own margin did quote such amazes, 
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes. 
I'll give you Aquitain, and all that is his. 
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss. 
Prin. Come to our pavilion: Boyet is dispos'd — 
Boyet. But to speak that in words, which his eye 
hath disclos'd. 
I only have made a mouth of his eye, 
By adding a tongue, which I know will not lie. 
Ros. Thou art an old love-monger, and speak'st 

Mar. He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns news 

of him. 
Ros. Then was Venus like her mother, for her 

father is but grim. 
Boyet. Do you hear, my mad wenches ? 
Mar. No. 

Boyet. . What then, do you see ? 

Ros. Ay, otir way to be gone. 
Boyet. You are too hard for me. 


Scene I. — Another part of the Same. 
Enter Armado and Moth. 

Arm. Warble, child : make passionate my sense 
of hearing. 

Moth. Concolinel [Singing. 

Arm. Sweet air ! — Go, tenderness of years : take 
this key, give enlargement to the swain, bring him 
festinately hither ; I must employ him in a letter to 
my love. 

Moth. Master, will you win your love with a 
French brawl ? 

Arm. How meanest thou? brawling in French? 

Moth. No, my complete master; but to jig off a 
tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, 
humour it with turning up your eye-lids; sigh a 
note, and sing a note ; sometime through the throat, 
as if you swallowed loVe with singing love ; some- 
time through the nose, as if you snuffed up love by 
smelling love ; with your hat penthouse-like, o'er 
the shop of your eyes ; with your arms crossed on 
your thin belly's doublet, like a rabbit on a spit; or 
your hands in your pocket, like a man after the old 
painting; and keep not too long in one tune, but a 
snip and away. These are complements, these are 
humours ; these betray nice wenches, that would 
be betrayed without these, and make them men of 
note, (do you note, men ?) that most are affected to 

Arm. How hast thou purchased this experience ? 

Moth. By my penny of observation. 

Arin. But O^ — but "O, — 

Moth. — the hobby-horse is forgot. 

Arm. Callest thou my love hobby-hoi"se ? 

Moth. No, master; the hobby-horse is but a colt, 
and your love, perhaps, a hackney. But have you 
forgot your love ? 

Arm. Almost I had. 

Moth. Negligent student ! learn her by heart. 

Arm. By heart, and in heart, boy. 

Moth. And out of heart, master : all those three 
I will prove. 

Arm. What wilt thou prove? 

Moth. A man, if I live : and this, by, in, and with- 

out, upon the instant : by heart you love her, because 
your heart cannot come by her ; in heart you love 
her, because your heart is in love with her ; and out 
of heart you love her, being out of heart that you 
cannot enjoj' her. 

Arm. I am all these three. 

Moth. And three times as much more, and yet 
nothing at all. 

Moth. Fetch hither the swain : he must carry me 
a letter. 

Moth. A message well sympathised : a horse to 
be ambassador for an ass. 

Arm. Ha, ha I what saj-est thou ? 

Moth. Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon the 
horse, for he is very slow-gaited : but I go. 

Arm. The way is but short. Away I 

Moth. As swift as lead, sir. 

Arm. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious ? 
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow ? 

Moth. Minime, honest master ; or rather, master, 

Arm. I say, lead is slow. 

Moth. You are too swift, sir, to say so : 

Is that lead slow which is fir'd from a gun ? 

Ann. Sweet smoke of rhetoric ! 
He reputes me a cannon ; and the bullet, that's he : — 
I shoot thee at the swain. 

Moth. Thump then, and I flee. 


Artn. A most acute juvenal ; voluble and free of 
grace ! 
By thy favour, sweet welkin, I must sigh in thy face : 
Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place. 
My herald is return'd. 

Re-enter Moth, with Costard. 

Moth. A wonder, master ! here's a Costard bro- 
ken in a shin. 
Arm. Some enigma, some riddle: come, — thy Ven- 

voy : — begin. 
Cost. No egtria, no riddle, no V envoy ! no salve in 
the male, sir : O, sir, plantain, a plain plantain ! no 
I'envoy, no V envoy : no salve, sir, but a plantain. 
Arm. By virtue, thou enforces! laughter; thy 




silly thought, my spleen ; the heaving of my lungs 
provokes me to ridiculous smiling. O, pardon me, 
my stars ! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for 
V envoy, and the word V envoy for a salve ? 

Moth. Do the wise men think them other? is not 
Venvoy a salve ? 

Arm. No, page : it is an epilogue, or discourse, 
to make plain 
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. 
I will example it : 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were still at odds, being but tliree. 
There's the moral : now the Venvoy. 

Moth. I will add the Venvoy. Say the moral again. 

Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were still at odds, being but three. 

Moth. Until the goose came out of door. 

And stay'd the odds by adding four. 
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow 
with my Venvoy. 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee. 
Were still at odds, being but three. 

Arm. Until the goose came out of door. 
Staying the odds by adding four. 

Moth. A good Venvoy, ending in the goose. Would 
you desire more ? 

Cost. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose,- 
that's flat. — 
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be fat. — 
To sell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and loose, 
Let me see, a fat Venvoy ; ay, that's a fat goose. 

Ar>7i. Come hither, come hither. How did this 
argument begin ? 

Moth. By saying that a Costard was broken in a 
shin . 
Then call'd you for the Venvoy. 

Cost. True, and I for a plantain : thus came your 
argument in ; 
Then the boy's fat Venvoy, the goose that you bought. 
And he ended the market. 

Arm. But tell me ; how was there a Costard bro- 
ken in a shin ? 

Moth. I will tell you sensibly. 

Cost. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth : I will 
speak that Venvoy. 

I, Costard, running out, that was safely within, 

Fell over the threshold, and broke my shin. 

Arm. We will talk no more of this matter. 

Cost. Till there be more matter in the shin. 

Arm. Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee. 

Cost. O! marry me to one Frances? — I smell 
some Venvoy, some goose, in this. 

Ar)7i. By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee 
at liberty, enfreedoming thy person : thou wert im- 
mured, restrained, captivated, bound. 

Cost. True, true ; and now you will be my pur- 
gation, and let me loose. 

Ar>n. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from 
durance ; and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing 
but this : bear this significant to the country maid 
Jaquenetta. There is remuneration ; for the best 
ward of mine honour is rewarding my dependents. 
Moth, follow. [Exit. 

Moth. Like the sequel, I. — SigniorCostard, adieu. 

Cost. My sweet ounce of man's flesh ! my incony 
Jew ! — [Exit Moth- 

Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration ! 
O! that's the Latin word for three farthings: three 
farthings, remuneration. — " What's the price of this 
inkle? a penny : — No, I'll give you a remuneration :" 
why, it carries it. — ^Remuneration ! — why. it is a 

fairer name than French crown, 
and sell out of this word. 

I will never buy 

Enter Biron. 

Biron. O, my good knave Costard ! exceedingly 
well met. 

Cost. Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon 
may a man buy for a remuneration ? 

Biron. What is a remuneration ? 

Cost. Marry, sir, half-penny farthing. 

Biron. O! why then, three-farthing- worth of silk. 

Cost. I thank your worship. God be wi' you. 

Biron. O, stay, slave ! I must employ thee : 
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave, 
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat. 

Cost. When would you have it done, sir? 

Biron. O! this afternoon. 

Cost. Well, I will do it, sir. Fare you well. 

Biron. O! thou knowest not what it is. 

Cost. I shall know, sir, when I have done it. 

Biron. Why, villain, thou must know first. 

Cost. I will come to your worship to-morrow 

Biron. It must be done this afternoon. Hark, 
It is but this: — 

The princess comes to hunt here in the park, 
And in her train there is a gentle lady ; 
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her 

And Rosaline they call her: ask for her. 
And to her white hand see thou do commend 
This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon : go. 

[Gives him money. 

Cost. Guerdon. — O! sweet guerdon ! better than 
remuneration; eleven-pence farthing better. Most 
sweet guerdon ! — I will do it, sir, in print. — Guerdon 
— remuneration ! [Exit. 

Biron. O! — And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have 
been love's whip ; 
A veiy beadle to a humorous sigh ; 
A critic, nay, a night-watch constable 
A domineering pedant o'er the boy. 
Than whom no mortal so magnificent ! 
This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy ; 
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; 
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, 
Th' anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, 
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents. 
Dread prince of plackets, king of cod-pieces. 
Sole imperitor, and great general 
Of trotting paritors, (O my little heart!) 
And I to be a corporal of his field, 
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop! 
What? I love! I sue ! I seek a wife! 
A woman, that is like a German clock. 
Still a repairing, ever out of frame. 
And never going aright ; being a watch. 
But being watch'd that it may still go right? 
Nay, to be perjur'd, which is worst of all ; 
And, among three, to love the worst of all ; 
A whitely wanton with a velvet brow. 
With two pitch balls stuck in her face for eyes; 
Ay, and, by heaven, one that will do the deed, 
Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard : 
And I to sigh for her! to watch for her! 
To pray for her! Go to ; it is a plague 
That Cupid will impose for my neglect 
Of his almighty dreadful little might. 
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan ; 
Some men must love my lady, and some Joan. [Exit. 






Scene I. — Another part of the Same. 

Enter the Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Katha- 
rine, BoTET, Lords, Attendants, and a Forester. 

Prin. Was that the king, that spun-'d his horse 
so hard 
Against the steep uprising of the hill ? 

Boyet. I know not; but, I think, it was not he. 

Prin. Whoe'er a' was, a' show'd a mounting 
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our despatch ; 
On Saturday we will return to France. — 
Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush. 
That we must stand and play the murderer in ? 

For. Hereby, upon the edge of yonder coppice ; 
A stand where you may make the fairest shoot. 

Prin. I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot, 
And thereupon thou speak'st the fairest shoot. 

For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so. 

Prin. What, what? first praise me, and again 
say, no? 
O, short-liv'd pride ! Not fair ? alack for woe ! 

For. Yes, madam, fair. 

Prin. Nay, never paint me now : 

Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow. 
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true. 

\_Giving him money. 
Fair payment for foul words is more than due. 

For. Nothing but fair is that which you in- 

Prin. See, see ! my beauty will be sav'd by 
O heresy in fair, fit for these days ! 
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise. — 
But come, the bow : — now mercy goes to kill. 
And shooting well is then accounted ill. 
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot : 
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't ; 
If wounding, then it was to show my skill. 
That more for praise than purpose meant to kill. 
And, out of question, so it is sometimes : 
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes, 
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outAvard part. 
We Ijend to that the working of the heart ; 
As I for praise alone now seek to spill 
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no 

Boyet. Do not curst wives hold that self-sove- 
Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be 
Tjords o'er their lords ? 


Prin. Only for praise ; and praise we may aftbrd 
To any lady that subdues a lord. 

Enter Costard. 

Prin. Here comes a member of the common- 

Cost. God-dig-you-den all. Pray you, which is 
the head lady ? 

Prin. Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest 
that have no heads. 

Cost. Which is the greatest lady, the highest ? 

Prin. The thickest, and the tallest. 

Cost. The thickest and the tallest? it is so; 
ti'uth is truth. 
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit. 
One o' these maids' girdles for your waist should be 

Are not you the chief woman ? you are the thickest 

Prin. What's your will, sir? what's your will? 

Cost. I have a letter, from monsieur Biron to one 
lady Rosaline. 

Prin. O, thy letter, thy letter ! he's a good friend 
of mine. 
Stand aside, good bearer. — Boyet, you can carve ; 
Break up this capon . 

Boyet. I am bound to sei-ve. — 

This letter is mistook ; it importeth none here : 
It is writ to Jaquenetta. 

Prin. We will read it, I swear. 

Break the neck of the wax, and eveiy one give ear. 

Boyet. [Beads.^ "By heaven, that thou art fair, 
is most infallible ; true, that thou art beauteous ; 
truth itself, that thou art lovely. More fairer than 
fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer than ti-uth itself, 
have commiseration on thy heroical vassal ! The 
magnanimous and most illustrate king Cophetua set 
eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar 
Penelophon ; and he it was that might rightly say, 
veni, vidi, vici ; which to anatomize in the vulgar, 
(O base and obscure vulgar I) videlicet, he came, 
saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw, two; 
overcame, three. Who came? the king; Why 
did he come ? to see ; Why did he see ? to over- 
come : To whom came he ? to the beggar ; What 
saw he ? the beggar ; Whom overcame he ? the 
beggar. The conclusion is victory : on whose side ? 
the king's : the captive is enriched : on whose side ? 
the beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuptial : on 
whose side? the king's? — no, on both in one, or 
one in both. I am the king, for so stands the com- 




parison; thou the beggar, for so witnesseth thy 
lowliness. Shall I command thy love ? I may. 
Shall I enforce thy love ? I could. Shall I entreat 
thy love ? I will. What shalt thou exchange for 
rags? robes; for tittles? titles; for thyself? me. 
Thus, expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy 
foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy 
every part. 

" Thine, in the dearest design of industiy, 

" Don Adriano de Armado. 

♦' Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar 

'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his 
prey ; 
Submissive fall his princely feet before, 

And he from forage will incline to play : 
But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then '.' 
Food for his rage, repasture for his den." 
Prin. What plume of feathers is he that indited 
this letter ? 
What vane ? what weather-cock ? did you ever hear 
better ? 
Boyel. I am much deceiv'd, but I remember the 

Prin. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it 

Boyet. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps 
here in court. ' 
A phantasm, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport 
To the prince and his book-mates. 

Prin. Thou, fellow, a word. 

Who gave thee this letter ? 

Cost. I told you ; my lord. 

Prin. To whom shouldst thou give it ? 
Cost. From my lord to my lady. 

Prin. From which lord, to which lady ? 
Cost. From my lord Biron, a good master of mine. 
To a lady of France, that he call'd Rosaline. 
Prin. Thou hast mistaken his letter. — Come, 
lords, away. — 
Here, sweet, put up this: 'twill be thine another 
day. [Exeunt Princess and train. 

Boyet. Who is the suitor? who is the suitor? 
Bos. Shall I teach you to know ? 

Boyet. Ay, my continent of beauty. 
Ros. Why, she that bears the bow. 

Finely put oft'! 

Boyet. My lady goes to kill horns ; but if thou 
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry. 
Finely put on ! 

Ros. Well then, I am the shooter. 
Boyet. And who is your deer ? 

Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come 
not near. 
Finely put on, indeed ! — 

Mar. You still ^^^•angle with her, Boyet, and she 

sti'ikes at the brow. 
Boyet. But she herself is hit lower. Have I hit 

her now ? 
Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, 
that was a man when king Pepin of France was a 
little boy, as touching the hit it? 

Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old, 
that was a woman when queen Guinever of Britain 
was a little wench, as touching the hit it. 
Ros. Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it, 

Thou canst not hit it, iny good man. 
Boyet. Ati I cannot, cannot, cannot. 
An I cannot, another can. 

[Exeunt Ros. and Kath. 

Cost. By my troth, most pleasant : how both did 
fit it ! 
j. Mar. A mark manellous well shot, for they both 
did hit [it]. 
Boyet. A mark! O! mark but that mark: a 
mark, says my lady. 
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it 
may be. 
Mar. Wide o' the bow hand : i'faith, your hand 

is out. 
Cost. Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er 

hit the clout. 
Boyet. An if my hand be out, then belike your 

hand is in. 
Cost. Then will she get the upshot by cleavuig 

the pin. 
Mar. Come, come, you talk gi-easily ; your lips 

gi'ow foul. 
Cost. She's too hard for you at pricks, su-: 

challenge her to bowl. 

Boyet. I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my 

good owl. [Exeunt Boyet and Maria. 

Cost, By my soul, a swain! a most simple 

clown ! 

Lord, lord ! how the ladies and I have put him 

down ! 
O' my troth, most sweet jests ! most incony vulgar 

When it comes so smoothly oft', so obscenely, as it 

were, so fit. 
Armado o' the one side, — O, a most daint;s' man ! 
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan ! 
To see him kiss his hand ! and how most sweetly 

a' will swear ! — 
And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit ! 
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit ! 
Sola, sola! [Shouting icithin.] [_Eri7 Costard. 

Scene H. — The Same. 
Enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, and Dull. 

Nath. Veiy reverend sport, truly ; and done in 
the testimony of a good conscience. 

Hoi. The deer was, as you know, sanguis, — in 
blood ; ripe as the pomewater, — who now hangeth 
like a jewel in the ear o{ ccrIo, — the sky, the welkin, 
the heaven ; and anon falleth like a crab, on the 
face of terra, — the soil, the land, the earth. 

Nath. Truly, master Holofernes, the epithets are 
sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least : but, sir, 
I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head. 

Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo. 

Dull. 'Twas not a haud credo, 'twas a pricket. 

Hoi. Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of 
insinuation, as it w^ere, in via, in way of explication ; 
facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, ostentare, 
to show, as it were, his inclination, — after his un- 
dressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrain- 
ed, or rather unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed 
fashion, — to insert again my haud credo for a deer. 

Dull. I said, the deer was not a /lauf^ crecfo; 'twas 
a pricket. 

Hoi. Twice sod simplicity, his coctus ! — O, thou 
monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look ! 

Nath. Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that 
are bred in a book ; he hath not eat paper, as it 
were ; he hath not drunk ink : his intellect is not 
replenished ; he is only an animal, only sensible in 
the duller parts : 

And such ban-en plants are set before us, that we 
thankful should be 




( Wlijch we of taste and feeling are) for those parts 

that do fructify in us more than he ; 
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, 

or a fool, 
So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him 

in a school : 
But, omne bene, say I ; beiug of an old fathei-'s mind. 
Many can brook the weather, that love not the wind. 
Dull. You two are book men : can you tell by 
your wit. 
What was a month old at Cain's bu'th, that's not 
five weeks old as yet ? 
Hoi. Dictj-nna, good man Dull; Dictynna, good 
man Dull. 

Dull. What is Dictynna ? 
Nath. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon. 
Hoi. The moon was a month old when Adam 
was no more ; 
And raught not to five weeks, when he came to five- 
The allusion holds in the exchange. 

Dull. 'Tis ti-ue indeed : the collusion holds in the 

Hoi. God comfort thy capacity! I say, the 
allusion holds in the exchange. 

Dull. And I say the pollusion holds in the ex- 
change, for the moon is never but a month old ; and 
I sav beside, that 'twas a pricket that the princess 

Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal 
epitaph on the death of the deer ? and, to humour 
the ignorant, I have call'd the deer the princess 
kiird, a pricket. 

yath. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge ; so 
it shall please" you to abrogate scuiTility. 

Hoi. I will something affect the letter, for it 
argues faciiit}'. 

The preyful jyrivcess pierc'd and prick'd a pretty 
pleasing pricket ; 
Some say, a sore ; hut not a sore, till now made 
sore with shooting. 
The dogs did yell; put I to sore, then sorel jumps 
from thicket; 

Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a 

If sore he sore, then I to sore makes fifty sores; 

O sore I! 
Of one sore I an hundred make, hy adding hut 

one -more I. 

Nath. A rare talent I 

Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws 
him with a talent. 

Hoi. This is a gift that I have, simple, simple ; 
a foolish exti-avagant spmt, full of forms, figures, 
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revo- 
lutions : these are begot in the ventricle of memoiy, 
nourished in the womb of pia mater, and delivered 
upon the mellowing of occasion. But the gift is 
good in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful 
for it. 

Nath. Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may 
my parishioners ; for their sons are well tutored by 
you, and their daughters profit very greatly under 
you: you are a good member of the common- 

Hoi. Mehercle ! if their sons be ingenious, they 
shall want no instruction : if their daughters be 
capable, I will put it to them; but, vir sapit, qui 
pauca loquitur. A soul feminine saluteth us. 

Enter Jaquenetta and Costard. 

Jaq. God give you good moiTow, master person. 

Hoi. Master person, — quasi pers-on. An if one 
should be pierced, which is the one ? 

Cost. Many, master schoolmaster, he that is 
likest to a hogshead. 

Hoi. Of piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of 
conceit in a turf of earth ; fire enough for a flint, 
pearl enough for a swine : 'tis pretty ; it is well. 

.laq. Good master parson, be so good as read me 
this letter: it was given me by Costard, and sent 
me from Don Armado : I beseech you, read it. 

Hoi. Fauste, jjrecor gelidd quando pecus omne 
sub u}7ibrd 
Rwninat, — and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan ! 
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice : 



SCENE 111. 

— Venegia, Venegia, 
^ Chi non te vede, nun te pregia. 

Old Mantuan ! old Mantuan ! Who understandeth 
thee not, loves thee not. — U(, re, sol, la, iiti, fa. — 
Under pardon, sh, what are the contents ? or, 
rather, as Horace says in his — What, my soul, 
verses ? 

Nath. Ay, sir, and veiy learned. 
Hoi. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse : lege, 

Nath. If love make me forsioorn, hoiv sliall I 
swear to love ? 
AJi, never faith could hold, 'if not to beauty 
voiced .' 
Though to myself forsiiorn, to thee Til faithful 
jJrove ; 
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers 
Study his bias leaves, and makes his hook thine eyes. 
Where all those pleasures live, that art would 
comprehend : 
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice. 
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee 
All ignorant tJiat soul, that sees thee ivithout uvnder; 
WhicJi is to me some jjraise, that I thy j^rts 
Thy eye Jove's lightning hears, thy voice his dread- 
ful thunder, 
Which, not to anger bent, is music, and siveel 
Celestial, as thou art, O ! pardon, love, this wrong. 
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly 
tongue ! 
Hoi. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss 
the accent : let me supei-vise the canzonet. Here 
are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, 
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius 
Naso was the man : and why, indeed, Naso, but for 
smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the 
jerks of invention ? Imitari is nothing : so doth the 
hound his master, the ape his keeper, the 'tired 
horse his rider. But damosella, virgin, was this 
directed to you ? 

Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, one of 
the strange queen's lords. 

Hoi. I will overglance the superscript. " To 
the snow-white hand of the most beauteous Lady 
Rosaline." I will look again on the intellect of the 
letter, for the nomination of the party writing to 
the person written unto : " Your ladyship's, in all 
desired employment, Biron." Sir Nathaniel, this 
Biron is one of the votaries with the king ; and here 
he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger 
queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of pro- 
gi'ession, hath miscaiTied. — Trip and go, my sweet : 
deUver this paper into the royal hand of the king ; 
it may concern much. Stay not thy compliment; 
I forgive thy duty : adieu. 

Jaq. Good Costard, go with me. — Sir, God save 
your life ! 

Cost. Have with thee, my girl. 

[E.reunt Cost, and Jaq. 
Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, 

veiy religiously ; and, as a certain fiither saith 

Hoi. Sir, tell not me of the father; I do fear 

colourable colours. But, to return to the verses : 

did they please you, sir Nathaniel ? 

Nath. Mai"vellous well for the pen. 

Hoi. I do dino to-day at the fathei-'s of a certain 

pupil of mine : wheie if before repast it shall please 


you to gratify the table with a gi'ace, I will, on my 
privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid 
child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto ; where 
I will prove those verses to be very unlearned, 
neither savouring of poetiy, wit, nor invention. 1 
beseech your society. 

NatJi. And thank you too; for society (saith the 
text) is the liappiness of life. 

Hoi. And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes 
it. — Sir, — [To Dull] — I. do invite you too: you 
shall not say me nay : jiauca verba. Away ! the 
gentles are at their game, and we will to our recre- 
ation. [Exeunt. 

ScESE HL — Another part of the Same. 
Enter Biron, icith a paper. 

Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am 
coursing myself: they have pitch'd a toil; I am 
toiling in a pitch — pitch that defiles. Defile ? a 
foul word. Well, set thee down, sorrow ! for so. 
they say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. 
Well proved, wit I By the lord, this love is as mad 
as Ajax : it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep. 
Well proved again o' my side I I will not love ; if 
I do, hang me : i'faith, I will not. O ! but her 
eye, — by this light, but for her eye, I would not 
love her ! yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do no- 
tliing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By 
heaven, I do love, and it hath taught me to rhyme, 
and to be melancholy ; and here is part of my rhyme, 
and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' 
my sonnets already : the clown bore it, the fool sent 
it, and the lady hath it : sweet clown, sweeter fool, 
sweetest lady I By the world, I would not care a 
pin if the other three were in. Here comes one 
with a paper : God give him gi-ace to gi-oan ! 

[Gets up into a tree. 

Enter the King, ivith a pajjer. 

King. Ay me! 

Biron. [Aside.] Shot, by heaven! — Proceed, 
swe€t Cupid : thou hast thump'd him with thy 
bird-bolt under the left pap. — In faith, secrets ! — 

King. [Reads.] So sweet a kiss the golden sun 
gives not 

To those fresh mornins drops upon the rose, 
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote 

The night of dew that on my cheeks doicn flffics : 
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright 

Through the transparent bosom of the deep. 
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light; 

Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep): 
No drop but as a coach, doth carrtj thee ; 

So ridest thou triumphing in my woe. 
Do but behold the tears that swell in me. 

And they thy glory through my grief will sho-w: 
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep 
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep. 
O queen of queens, how far dost thou excel! 
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell. 

How shall she know my gi-iefs ? I'll drop the paper. 
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here ? 

[Siep)S aside. 

Enter Longaville, uith apap)er. 

[Aside.] What, Longaville! and reading? listen, 
Biron. [Aside.] Now, in tliy likeness, one more 
fool appear ! 


Act Iv. 



Long, Ay me ! I am forsworn. 

Biroii. [Aside.] Why, becomes in like a perjurer, 

wearing papers. 
King. [Asi(/c.] In love, 1 hoi)e. Sweet fellow- 
ship in shame 1 
Biron. [Aside.] One dnmkand loves another of 

the name. 
Long. Am 1 the first that have been perjur'd so ? 
Biron. [Aside.] I could put thee in comfort : not 
by two that I know. 
Thou niak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of soci- 
The shape of love's Tyburn, that hangs up simpli- 
Long. T fear these stubborn lines lack power to 
O sweet Maria, empress of my love ! 
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. 
Biron. [Asi(/e.] OI rhymes are guards on wan-- 
ton Cupid's hose : 
Disfigure not his shape. 


This same shall go.^- 

[He reads the sonnet. 

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, 

''Gainst ivhom the world cannot liold argument, 
Persuade my heart to this false perjury ? 

Votes for thee broke deserve not punishment. 
A woman I forsivore ; but I will prove, 

Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: 
My row ivas earthly, thou a heavenly love ; 

Thy grace, being gained, cures all disgrace in me. 
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is : 

Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost 
ExhaVst this vapour-voiv ; in thee it is : 

If broken, then, it is no fault of mine. 
If by me broke, tchat fool is not so icise, 
To lose an oath, to win a paradise 7 

Biron. [Aside.] This is the liver vein^ which 
makes flesh a deity ; 
A green goose, a goddess : pure, pure idolatry, 
(lod amend us, God amend ! we are nmch out o' the 

Enter DumaiNe, ^cilh a pafier. 

Long. By whom shall I send this ? — Company ! 
sta_v. [Slej)s aside. 

Biron. [Aside.] All hid, all hid ; Hu old infant 
Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky, 
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye. 
More sacks to the mill ! O heavens I I have my wish : 
Dumaine transform'd ? four woodcocks in a dish ! 
Dum. O most divine Kate ! 
Biron. [Aside.] O most profane coxcomb ! 
Dum. By heaven, the Wonder of a mortal eye ! 
Biron. [Aside.] By earth, she is not : — corporal; 

there you lie. 
Dum. Her ambei' hairs for foul have ami^ev 

Biron. [Aside.] An nmber-colour'd raven wns 

well noted. 
Dum. As upright as the cedar. 
Biron. [Aside.] Stoop, T say : 

Her shoulder is with cliild. 
Dum. As fair as day. 

Biron. [Aside.] Ay, as some days; but then no 

sun nmst shine. 
Dum. O, that I had my wish! 
LotiQ. [Aside.] And I had mine .' 


King. [Aside.] And I mine too, good lord i 
Biron. [Aside.] Amen, so I had mine. Is rot 

that a good word ? 
Dum . I would forget her ; but a fever she 
Reigns in my blood, and will remember'd be. 
Biron. [Aside.] A fevet in your blood ? why, 

then incision 
Would let her out in saucers : sweet misprision ! 
Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ. 
Biron. [Aside.] Once more I'll mark how love 

can vary wit. 

Dum. On a day, alack the day! 

Love, xchose month is ever May, 
Spied a blossom, passing fair, 
Playing in the wanton air: 
Through the velvet leaves the wind. 
All unseen, ''gan passage find ; 
That the lover, sick to death, 
Wish'd himself the heaven''s breath. 
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow ; 
Air, Would I might trivuiph so! 
But alack! my hand is sicorn, 
Ne^er to pluck thee from thy thorn : 
Vow, alack! for youth, unmeet. 
Youth so apt to j)luck a sweet. 
Do not call it sin in me. 
That I am forsworn for thee ; 
Thou for whom Jove would swear 
Juno but an Ethiop were ,' 
And deny himself for Jove, 
Turning mortal for thy love. 

This will I send, and something else more plain. 
That shall express my ti"ue love's fasting pain. 
O, would the King, Biron, and Longaville, 
Were lovers too ! Ill, to example ill. 
Would from my forehead wipe a perjur'd note ; 
For none offend, where all alike do dote. 

Long. [Adi'aucing.] Dlmiaine, thy love is far 
from charity, 
That in love's grief desir'st society .' 
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know, 
To be o'erheard, and taken napping so. 

King. [Advancing.] Come, sil-, you blush; as 
his your cttse is such ; 
You chide at him, offending twice as much : 
You do not love Maria ; Longaville 
Did never sonnet for her sake compile. 
Not' never lay his wreathed ai"ms athwart 
His loving bosom, to keep down his heart. 
I have been closely shrouded in this bush. 
And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush. 
I heard your guilty rhymes, observ'd your fashion, 
Saw sighs I'eek from yon, noted well your passion : 
Ay me ! says one ; O Jove ! the other cries ; 
One, her hairs Avere gold, crystal tlie other's eyes : 
You would for paradise break faith and troth ; 

[To Longaville. 
And .Tove for your love would infringe an oath. 

[To Domains. 
What will Biron say, when that he shall hear 
Faith infringed, which such zeal did sWear? 
How will he scorn ! how will he spend his wit I ^ 
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it ! 
For all the wealth that ever I did see, 
I would not have him know so much by me. 

Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.— 

[Descends from the tr^c. 
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me : 
Cood heart ! what gnice hast thou, thus to reprove 
These worms for loving, that art most in lovo ? 




Your eyes do make no coaches ; in your tears 
There is no certain princess that appears : 
You'll not be perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing : 
Tush ! none but minstrels like of sonneting. 
But are you not asham'd ? nay, are you nqt, 
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot ? 
You found his mote ; the king your mote did see : 
But I a beam do find in each of three. 
O ! what a scene of foolery have I seen, 
Of sighs, of gi'oans, of sorrow, and of teen I 

me ! wth what sti'ict patience have I siit, 
To see a king transformed to a gnat I 

To see gi'eat Hercules whipping a gig, 

And profound Solomon to tune a jig. 

And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys, 

And critic Timon laugh at idle toys ! 

Where lies thy grief? O! tell me, good Dumaine ; 

And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain .' 

And where my liege's ? all about the breast :=^ 

A caudle, ho ! 

King. Too bitter is thy jest. 

Are we betray'd thus to thy over=view ? 

Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you : 
L that am honest ; I, that hold it sin 
To break the vow I am engaged in : 

1 am betray'd, by^ keeping company 

With men, like men of sti-ange inconstancy. 
WTien shall you see me ^vTite a thing in rhyme? 
Or groan- for love ? or spend a minute's time 
In pruning me ? When shall you hear that I 
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye, 
A gait, a state, a brow, a breast, a waist, 
A leg, a limb ? — 

King. Soft ! Whither away so fast ? 

A tnie man, or a thief, that gallops so ? 

Biron. I post from love ; good lover, let me go. 

Enter Jaquenkxta and Costard. 

Jaq. God bless the king ! 

King. What present hast thou there ? 

Cost. Some certain treason. 

King. What makes treason here ? 

Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, sir. 
King. If it mar nothing neither. 

The treason and you go in peace away together. 

Jaq. I beseech your grace, let this letter be read : 
Our parson misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said. 
King. Biron, read it over. 

[Biron reads the letter. 
Where had'st thou it ? 
Jaq. Of Costard. 
King. Where had'st thou it ? 
Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. 
King. How now ! what is in you ? why dost thou 

tear it ? 
Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy : j'our grace needs 

not fear it ? 
Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore 

let's hear it. 
Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name. 

\^PicT{ing up the pieces. 
Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead.'— [ To Cos- 
tard] — you were born to do me shame.— 
Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess. 
King. What? 

Biron. That you three fools lack'd me, fool, to 
make up the mess. 
He, he, and you, and you my liege, and I, 
Are pick-purses in love, and we desei-ve to die. 
O ! dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more. 
Dum. Now the number is even. 

Biron. True, tiaie; we are foiir.~=- 

Will these turtles be gone ? 

King. Hence, sirs ; away I 

Cost. Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors 
stay. [Exeunt Costard and .lAquK>KTTA. 

Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O I let us 

As true we are, as flesh and blood can be : 
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face : 

Young blood doth not obey an old deci-ee : 
We cannot cross the cause why we were born : 
Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn. 

King. What, did these rent lines show some k>ve 
of thine ? 

Biron. Did they? quoth you. Who sees ilie 
heavenly Rosaline, 
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde, 

At the first opening of the gorgeous east. 
Bows not his vassal head ; and, stricken blind. 

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast ? 
What peremptory, eagle-sighted eye 

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow. 
That is not blinded by her majesty ? 

King. What zeal, what fuiy hath iuspir'd thee 
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon, 

She, an attending star, scarce seen a light, 

Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I no Biron. 

O ! but for my love, day would turn to night. 
Of all complexions the cuU'd sovereignty 

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; 
Where several worthies make one dignity, 

Where nothing wants that want itself doth seek . 
Lend me the flourish of all geutle tongues,—- 

Fie, painted rhetoric ! O ! she needs it not : 
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs ; 

She passes praise : then praise too short doth blot, 
A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn. 

Might shake ofl^ fifty, looking in her eye ; 
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born, 

And gives the crutch the ci-adle's infancy. 
O ! 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine I 

King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony. 

Biron. Is ebony like her ? O wood divine! 

A wife of such wood were felicity. 
O ! who can give an oath ? Avhere is a book ? 

That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack. 
If that she learn not of her eye to look : 

No face is fair, that is not full so black. 

King. O paradox ! Black is the badge of hell. 

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night ^ 
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well. 

Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of 
O ! if in black my lady's brows be deck'd. 

It mourns, that painting, and usm-ping hair, 
Should ravish doters with a false aspect : 

And therefore is she born to make black fair. 
Her favour turns the fashion of the days ; 

For native blood is counted painting now. 
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise. 

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. 

Du7n. To look like her are chimney-sweepers 

Long. And since her time ai"e colliers counted 

King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion 

Du/ii. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is iielit. 

Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain, 

For f'>ar their colours sliould b- wash'd away. 




King. 'Twere good, yours did ; for, sir, to tell 
you plain, 

I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day. 

Biron. I'll prove her fiiir, or talk till doomsday 

King. No devil will fright thee then so much as 

Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. 

Long. Look, here's thy love : my foot and her 
face see. 

Biron. O ! if the streets were paved with thine 

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread. 

Dum. O vile ! then, as she goes, what upward lies 

The street should see, as she walk'd over head. 

King. But what of this ? Are we not all in love ? 

Biron. O ! nothing so sure ; and thereby all for- 

King. Then leave this chat : and, good Biron, now 

Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. 

Dum. Ay, maiTy, there ; some flatteiy for this 

Long. O ! some authority how to proceed ; 
Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil. 

Dum. Some saJve for perjury- 

Biron. O ! 'tis more than need. — 

Have at you, then, affection's men at arms. 
Consider, what you first did swear unto ; — 
To fast, — to study, — and to see no woman : 
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of yoTith. 
Say, can you fast ? your stomachs are too young. 
And abstinence engenders maladies. 
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords. 
In that each of you hath forsworn his book, 
Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look ? 
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you, 
Have found the gi-ound of study's excellence, 
Without the beauty of a woman's face ? 
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive: 
They are the gi-oimd, the books, tlie Academes, 
From whence doth spring the ti-ue Promethean fire. 
Why, universal plodding prisons up 
The nimble spirits in the arteries. 
As motion, and long-during action, tires 
The sinewy vigour of the ti'aveller. 
Now, for not looking on a woman's face, 
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes, 
And study, too, the causer of your vow ; 
For where is any author in the world, 
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye ? 
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself. 
And where we are, our learning likewise is : 
Then, when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes, 
With ourselves. 

Do we not likewise see our learning there ? 
O ! we have made a vow to study, lords. 
And in that vow we have forsworn our books ; 
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you. 
In leaden contemplation have found out 
Such fieiy numbers, as the prompting eyes 
Of beauty's tutors have enrich'd you vnth. ? 
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain. 
And therefore, finding barren practisers, 
Scarce show a hai-vest of their heavy toU ; 


But love, first learned in a lady's eyes, 

Lives not alone immured in the brain. 

But with the motion of all elements 

Courses as swift as thought in every power. 

And gives to eveiy power a double power. 

Above their functions and their offices. 

It adds a precious seeing to the eye ; 

A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind ; 

A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound. 

When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd : 

Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible, 

Thau are the tender horns of cockled snails : 

Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gi'oss in tiiste. 

For valour is not love a Hercules, 

Still climbing ti-ees in the Hesperides ? 

Subtle as sphinx ; as sweet, and musical. 

As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair ; 

And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods 

Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. 

Never durst poet touch a pen to write. 

Until his ink were temper'd with love's sighs ; 

O ! then his lines would ravish savage eai's, 

And plant in tyrants mild humility. 

From women's eyes this doctrine I derive : 

They sparkle still the right Promethean fire ; 

They are the books, the arts, the Academes, 

That show, contain, and nourish all the world. 

Else none at all in aught proves excellent. 

Then, fools you were these women to forswear, 

Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools. 

For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love. 

Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men. 

Or for luen's sake, the authors of these women. 

Or women's sake, by whom we men are men. 

Let us once lose our oaths, to find ourselves. 

Or else we lose ourselves to keep om- oaths. 

It is religion to be thus forsworn ; 

For charity itself fulfils the law, 

Aud who can sever love from charity ? 

King. Saint Cupid, then ! and, soldiers, to the 
field ! 

Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them, 
lords ! 
Pell-mell, down with them ! but be first advis'd, 
In conflict that you get the sun of them. 

Long. Now to plain-dealing : lay these glozes by 
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France ? 

King. And win them too : therefore, let us devise 
Some entertainment for them iu their tents. 

Biron. First, from the park let us conduct then 
thither ; 
Then, homeward, every man attach the hand 
Of his fiiir mistress. In the afternoon 
We will with some strange pastime solace them, 
Such as the shortness of the time can shape; 
For revels, dances, masks, and meny hours. 
Fore-run fsiir Love, sti-ewing her way with flowers. 

King. Away, away ! no time shall be omitted. 
That will be time, and may by us be fitted. 

Biron. Allans! allons! — Sow'd cockle reap'd no 
corn ; 

And justice always whirls in equal measure : 
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn ; 

If so, our copper buys no better treasure. 



Scene I. — Another part of the Same. 
Enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, and Dull. 

Hoi. Satis quod sufficit. 

Nath. I praise God for you, sir : your reasons at 
dinner have been sharp and sententious ; pleasant 
without scurrility-, witty without affection, audacious 
without inipudency, learned without opinion, and 
strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam 
day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, 
nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado. 

Hoi. iNori hominem tanquam te: his humour is 
lofty, his discourse peremptoiy, his tongue filed, his 
eje ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general 
behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is 
too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it 
were, too perigi"inate, as I may call it. 

Nath. A most singular and choice epithet. 

[Draws out his table-book. 

Hoi. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity 
finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such 
fanatical ])hantasms, such insociable and point-devise 
companions ; such rackers of orthography, as to 
speak dout, fine, when he should say, doubt ; det, 
when he should pronounce, debt — d, e, b, t, not d, 
e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf: half, hauf; neighbour 
vacatur nehiir; neigh abbreviated ne. This is ab- 
hominable, (which he would call abominable,) it in- 
sinuateth me of insanie : ne intelligis domine 1 to 
make fi*antic, lunatic. 

Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo. 

Hoi. Bone? — bone, for bene: Priscian a little 
scratch'd ; 'twill sei-ve. 

Enter Armado, Moth, and Costard. 

Nath. Videsne quis venit? 

Hoi. Video, et gaudeo. 

Arm. Chirrah! [To Moth. 

Hoi. Quare Chirrah, not sirrah ? 

Arm. Men of peace, weU encounter'd. 

Hoi. Most militaiy sir, salutation. 

Moth. They have been at a gi-eat feast of languages, 
and stolen the scraps. 

Cost. O ! they have lived long on the alms-basket 
of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee 
for a word ; for thou art not so long by the head as 
honorificabilitudinitatibus : thou art easier swallowed 
than a flap-dragon. 

Moth. Peace ! the peal begins. 

Arm. Monsieur, [To Hol.] are you not letter'd? 

Moth. Yes, yes ; he teaches boys the horn-book. — 

What is a, b, spelt backward with the horn on his 
head ? 

Hol. Ba, ■pueritia, with a horn added. 

MotJi. Ba! most silly sheep, with a horn. — i'ou 
heai' his learning. 

Hol. Quis, quis, thou consonant? 

^loth. The third of the five vowels, if you repeat 
them ; or the fifth, if I. 

Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, i. — 

Moth. The sheep : the other two concludes it ; o, u. 

Arm. Now, by the salt wave of the MediteiTanean, 
a sweet touch, a quick venew of wit ! snip, snap, 
quick and home : it rejoiceth my intellect ; true wit ! 

Moth. OflTer'd by a child to an old man ; which is 

Hol. What is the figure ? what' is the figure ? 

Moth. Horns. 

Hol. Thou disputest like an infant : go, whip thy 


Moth. Lend me your horn to make oue, and I 

will whip about your infamy circum circa. A gig of 

a cuckhold's horn ! 

Cost. An I had but one penny in the world, thou 
shouldst have it to buy gingerbread : hold, there is 
the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou 
half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. 
O I an the heavens were so pleased, that thou wert 
but my bastard, what a joyful father wouldst thou 
make me. Go to ; thou hast it ad dunghill, at the 
fingers' ends, as they say. 

Hol. O ! I smell false Latin ; dunghill for unguein. 

Arm. Arts-man, pra:a7nbula : we will be singled 
from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at 
the charge-house on the top of the mountain ? 

Hol. Or mons, the hill. 

Arm. At your sweet pleasure for the mountain. 

Hol. I do, sans question. 

Aryn. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasm-e and 
affection, to congratulate the ])rincess at her pavilion 
in the posteriors of this day, which the rude mul- 
titude call the afternoon. 

Hol. The posterior of the day, most generous sir, 
is liable, congruent, and measurable for the afternoon : 
the word is well cuU'd, chose ; sweet and apt, I do 
assure you, sir ; I do assure. 

Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman, and my 
familiar, I do assure you, very good fi-iend. — For 
what is inward bet^veen us, let it pass. — I do beseech 
thee, remember thy courtesy ; — I beseech thee, ap- 
parel thy head : — and among other important and 
most serious designs, — and of great import indeed, 





too, — but let that pass ; — for I must tell thee, it will 
please his grace (by the world) sometime to lean upon 
my poor shoulder, and with his royal finger, thus dally 
with my excrement, with my nmstachio : but, sweet 
heart, let that pass. By the world, I recount no 
fable : some certain special honours it pleaseth his 
greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of 
travel, that hath seen the world ; but let that pass.— 
The verj' all of all is, — but, sweet heart, I do im- 
plore secresy, — that the king would have me present 
the princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful os- 
tentation, or show, or pageant, or antick, or fire- 
work. Now, understanding that the curate and 
your sweet self are good at such eruptions, and 
sudden breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have 
acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your as- 

Hoi. Sir, you shall present before her the nine 
Worthies. — Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some 
entertainment of time, some show in the posterior 

of this day, to be rendered by our assistance, — the 
king's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, 
and learned gentleman, — before the princess, I say, 
none so fit as to present the nine Worthies. 

Natli. Where will you find men worthy enough 
to present them ? 

Hoi. Joshua, jourself; myself, or this gallant 
gentleman, Judas iNIaccabeus; this swain, (because 
of his great limb or joint,) shall pass Pompey the 
gi'eat ; the page, Hercules. 

Arm. Pardon, sir ; error : he is not quantity 
enough for that worthy's thumb : he is not so big 
as the end of his club. 

Hoi. Shall I have audience ? he shall present 
Hercules in minority : his enter and exit shall be 
strangling a snake ; and I will have an apology for 
that purpose. 

Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the 
audience hiss, you may cry, "Well done, Hercules! 
now thou ci'ushest the snake !" that is the way to 

make an offence gracious, though few have the 
grace to do it. 

Arm. For the rest of the Worthies ? — 

Hoi. I will play three myself. 

Moth. Thrice-worthy gentleman! 

Arm. Shall I tell you a thing ? 

Hnl. We attend. 

Arm. We will have, if this fadge not, an antick. 
I beseech you, follow. 

Hoi. Via ! — Goodman Dull, thou hast spoken no 
word all this while. 

Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir. 

Hoi. Allons! we will employ thee. 

J)ull. I'll make one in a dance, or so ; or I will 

play on the tabor to the Worthies, and let them 
dance the hay. 

Hoi. Most dull, honest Dull. To our sport, 



Scene H. — Another part of the Same. Before the 
Princess's Pavilion. 

Enter the Princess, Katharine, Rosaline, and 

Prin. Sweethearts, we shall be rich ere we depart. 
If fairings come thus plentifully in : 
A lady wall'd about with diamonds ! — 
Look you, what I have from the loving king. 





Ros. Madam, came nothing else along with that? 

Prin. Nothing but this? yes; as much love in 
As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper, 
Writ on both sides the leaf, margin and all, 
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name. 

Ros. That was the way to make his god-head 
wax ; 
For he hath been five thousand years a boj. 

KaOi. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. 

Ros. You'll ne'er be fiiends with him : a' kill'd 
your sister. 

Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy; 
And so she died : had she been light, like )'ou, 
Of such a meiTy, nimble, stimng spirit. 
She might a' been a gi-andam ere she died ; 
And so may you, for a light heart lives long. 

Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse, of this 
light word ? 

Kath. A light condition in a beautj' dark. 

Ros. We need more light to find your meaning 

Kath. You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff; 
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument. 

Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still 1' the 

Kath. So do not you, for you are a light wench. 

Ros. Indeed, I weigh not you, and therefore light. 

Kath. You weigh me not ?— O ! that's you care 
not for me. 

Ros. Great reason ; for, past cure is still past care. 

Prin. Well bandied both ; a set of wit well play'd. 
But Rosaline, you have a favour too : 
Who sent it ? and what is it ? 

Ros. I would you knew : 

An if my face Avere but as fair as your's. 
My favour were as gi'eat : be witness this. 
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron. 
The numbers true ; and, were the numb'ring too, 
I were the fairest goddess on the gi*ound : 
I am compar'd tD twenty thousand fairs. 
O ! he hath drawn my picture in his letter. 

Prin. Any thing like ? 

Ros. Much, in the letters, nothing in the praise. 

Prin. Beauteous as ink : a good conclusion. 

Kath. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. 

Ros. 'Ware pencils! How? let me not die your 
My red dominical, my golden letter : 
O that your face were not so full of O's ! 

Prin . A pox of that jest ! and I beshrew all shrows ! 
But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair 
Dumaine ? 

Kath. Madam, this glove. 

Prin. Did he not send you rwain? 

Kath. Yes, madam; and, moreover. 
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover : 
A huge translation of hypocrisy, 
Vilely compil'd, profound simplicitj*. 

]\far. This, and these pearls to me sent Longa- 
ville : 
The letter is too long by half a mile. 

Prin. I think no less. Dost thou not wish in 
The chain were longer, and the letter short? 

JMur. Ay, or I would these hands might never 

Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so. 

Ros. They ai-e worse fools to purchase mocking 
That same Biron I'll torture eie I go. 

O ! that I knew he were but in by the week ! 
How 1 would make him fawn, and beg, and seek. 
And wait the season, and obsei-ve the times, 
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes. 
And sliape his service wholly to my behests. 
And make him proud to make me proud that jests ! 
So portent-like would I o'erswaj' his state. 
That he should be my fool, and I his fate. 

Prin. None are so surely caught, when they are 
As wit turn'd fool : folly, in wisdom hatch'd. 
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school, 
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. 

Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such 
As gravitj''s revolt to wantonness. 

Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, 
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote ; 
Since all the power thereof it doth apply, 
To prove by wit worth in simplicity. 

Enter Bo yet. 

Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. 

Boyet. O ! I am stabb'd with laughter. Where's 
her grace? 

Prin. Thy news, Boyet? 

Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare I 

Arm, wenches, arm ! encounters mounted are 
Against your peace. Love doth approach disguis'd, 
Armed in arguments : you'll be surpris'd. 
Muster your wits ; stand in your own defence. 
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence. 

Prin. Saint Dennis to saint Cupid! What are 
That charge their bi-eath against us ? say, scout, say. 

Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore, 
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour. 
When, lo ! to inteiTupt my purpos'd rest. 
Toward that shade I might behold addrest 
The king and his companions : warily 
I stole into a neighbour thicket by. 
And overheard what jou shall overhear ; 
That by and by disguis'd they will be here. 
Their herald is a pretty knavish page. 
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage : 
Action, and accent, did they teach him there ; 
"Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear:" 
And ever and anon they made a doubt 
Presence majestical would put him out ; 
" For," quotii the king, " an angel shalt thou see ; 
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously." 
The boy replied, "An angel is not evil; 
I should have feared her, had she been a devil." 
With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the 

Making the bold wag by their praises bolder. 
One rubb'd his elbow thus, and fleer'd and swore 
A better speech was never spoke before : 
Another, with his finger and his thumb, 
Cry'd " Via ! we will do"t, come what will come :" 
The third he caper'd, and cried, "All goes Avell :" 
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell. 
With that, they all did tumble on the gi-ound, 
With such a zealous laughter, so profound, 
That in this spleen ridiculous appears, 
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears. 

Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit 

Boyet. They do, they do ; and are apparel'd 
Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I gues.s, 





Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance ; 
And every one his love-feat will advance 
Unto his several mistress ; which they'll know 
By favours several which they did bestow. 

Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be 
task'd ; 
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd. 
And not a man of them shall have the gi'ace, 
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face. — 
Hold, Rosaline ; this favour thou shalt wear, 
And then the king will court thee for his dear: 
Hold, take you this, my sweet, and give me thine, 
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline. — 
And change you fiivours, too ; so shall your loves 
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes. 

Ros. Come on then : wear the favours most in 

Kath. But in this changing what is your intent ? 

Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs : 
They do it Ijut in mockery, merriment ; 
And mock for mock is only my intent. 
Their several counsels they mibosom shall 
To loves mistook ; and so be mock'd withal, 
Upon the next occasion that we meet. 
With visages display'd, to talk, and greet. 

Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't? 

Prin. No ; to the death, we will not move a foot : 
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no gi-ace ; 
But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. 

Boyct. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's 
And quite divorce his memory from his part- 

Prin. Therefore I do it ; and, I make no doubt, 
The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. 
There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown ; 
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : 
So shall we stay, mocking intended game ; 
And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. 

\_Trumpets sound within. 

Boyet. The ti'umpet sounds : be mask'd, the 
maskers come. [TAe Ladies masK. 

Enter the King, Birox, Longaville, and Du- 
MAiNE, in Russian habits, and masked ; Moth, 
Musicians, and Attendants. 

Moth. "All hail, the richest beauties on the earth I" 
Biron. Beauties no richer than rich taffata. 
Moth. "A holy parcel of the fairest dames, 

[The Ladies turn their backs to Mm. 
That ever turn'd their backs to mortal views !" 
Biron. "Their eyes," villain, "their eyes." 
Moth. " That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal 
views ! 

Boyet. True ; " out," indeed. 
Moth. " Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, 
Not to behold" — 

Biron. " Once to behold," rogue. 
Moth. "Once to behold with your sun-beamed 

with your sun-beamed eyes" — 

Boyet. They will not answer to that epithet ; 
You were best call it daughter-beamed eyes. 

Motlt. They do not mark me, and that lirings me 

Biron. Is this your perfectness ? be gone, you 

Ros. What would these strangers ? know their 
minds, Boyet. 
If they do speak our language, 'tis our will 

30 ^ 

That some plain man recount their purposes. 
Know what they would. 

Boyet. What would you with the princess ? 

Biron. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 

Ros. What would they, say they ? 

Boyet. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 

Ros. Why, that they have; and bid them so be 

Boyet. She says, you have it, and you may be 

King. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles, 
To tread a measure with her on this grass. 

Boyet. They say, that they have measur'd many 
a mile. 
To ti-ead a measiu-e with you on this grass. 

Ros. It is not so : ask them how many inches 
Is in one mile ? if they have measur'd many, 
The measure then of one is easily told. 

Boyet. If, to come hither you have measur'd 
And many miles, the princess bids you tell, 
How many inches do fill up one mile. 

Biron. Tell her, we measure them by weary 

Boyet. She hears herself. 

Ros. How many weary steps. 

Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, 
Are number'd in the travel of one mile ? 

Biron . We number nothing that we spend for you : 
Our dut;v^ is so rich, so infinite. 
That we may do it still without accompt. 
A^ouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face, 
That we, like savages, may worship it. 

Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. 

Kino-. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do I 
Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine 
(Those clouds removed) upon our wiitery eyne. 

Ros. O, vain petitioner ! beg a gi'eater matter ; 
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. 

King. Then, in our measui'e do but vouchsafe one 
Thou bid'st me beg ; this begging is not strange. 

Ros. Play, music, then I nay, you must do it soon. 

[Music plays. 
Not yet ; — no dance : — thus change I like the moon. 

King. Will you not dance ? How come you thus 
estranged ? 

Ros. You took the moon at full, but now she's 

King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man. 
The music plays : vouchsafe some motion to it. 

Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it. 

Kins. But your legs should do it. 

Ros. Since you are strangers, and come here by 
We'll not be nice. Take hands : — we will not dance. 

King. Why take we hands then ? 

Ros. Only to part friends. — 

Court'sy, sweet hearts ; and so the measure ends. 

King. More measure of this measin-e : be not nice. 

Ros. We can afford no more at such a price. 

King. Prize you yourselves ? What buys your 
company ? 

Ros. Your absence only. 

Kins'. That can never be. 

Ros. Then cannot we be bought ; and so adieu. 
Twice to your visor, and half once to you ! 

King, if you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. 

Ros. In private then. 

King. I am best plens'd with that. 

[ They converse apart. 


Biron. While-liauded mistress, one sweet word 

with thee. 
Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar : there are 

Biron. Nay then, two treys, (an if you grow so 
Metlieglin, wort, and mahusey. — Well run, dice I 
There's half a dozen sweets. 

Prin. Seventh sweet, adieu. 

Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you. 
Biron . One word in secret. 
Prin. Let it not be sweet. 

Biron. Thou griev'st my gall. 
Prin. Gall? bitter. 

Biron. Therefore meet. 

[ 2Vtey converse apart. 
Duni. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a 

word ? 
Mar. Name it. 
Dum. Fair lady, — 

Mar. Say you so ? Fair lord. — 

Take that for your fair lady. 

Dum. Please it you, 

As much in private, and I'll bid adieu. 

[They converse apart. 
Kath. What, was your visor made without a 

tongue 1 
Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. 
Kath. O, for your reason ! quickly, sir ; I long. 
Long. You have a double tongue within your 
And would aftbrd my speechless visor half. 

Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman. — Is not veal 

a calf? 
Long. A calf, fair lady ? 
Kath. No, a fair lord calf. 

Long. Let's part the word. 

Kath. No ; I'll not be your half: 

Take all, and wean it : it may prove an ox. 

Long. L ook, how you butt yourself in these sharp 
Will you give horns, chaste lady ? do not so. 

Kath . Then die a calf, before your horns do gi-ow. 
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. 
Kath. Bleat softly then : the butcher hears you 
cry. [ They converse apart. 


Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as 

As is the razor's edge invisible, 
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen ; 

Above the sense of sense, so sensible 
Seemeth their conference ; their conceits have ■wings. 
Fleeter than aiTows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter 
Ros. Not one word more, my maids : break oft', 

break oft". 
Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoft'I 
King. Farewell, mad wenches : you have simple 
[Exeunt Kixg, Lords, Moth, Music, and 
Prin. Twenty adieus, my fi'ozen Muscovites. — 
Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at ? 

Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths 

puft"'d out. 
Ros. Well-liking wits they have ; gi-oss, gross ; 

fat, fat. 
Prin. O, poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout ! 
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to-night, 

Or ever, but in visors, show their faces ? 
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite. 

Ros. They were all in lamentable cases ! 
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word. 
Prin. Biron did swear himself out of all suit. 
Mar. Dumaine was at my service, and his sword : 
No point, quoth I : my senant straight was mute. 
Kath. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his heart; 
And ti'ow you, what he caU'd me ? 

Prin. Qualm, perhaps. 

Kath. Yes, in good faith. 

Prin. Go, sickness as thou art! 

Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute- 
But will you hear? the king is my love sworn. 
Prin. And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me. 
Kath. And Longaville was for my sen'ice born. 
Mar. Dumaine is mine, as sure as bark on tree. 
Boyet. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear. 
Immediately they will again be here 
In their own shapes ; for it can never be, 
They will digest this harsh indignity. 
Prin. Will they return ? 




Boxjtt. They will, they will, God knows ; 

And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows : 
Therefore, change favours ; and, when they repair. 
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. 

Prin. How blow? how blow? speak to be under- 

Boyet. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their 
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, 
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown. 

Prin. Avaunt, perplexity ! What shall we do, 
If they return in their own shapes to woo ? 

Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd, 
Let's mock them still, as well, known, as disguis'd. 
Let i;s complain to them what fools were here, 
Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear ; 
And wonder, what they were, and to what end 
Their shallow shows, and prologue vilely penn'd. 
And their rough carriage so ridiculous. 
Should be presented at our tent to us. 

Boyet. Ladies, withdraw : the gallants are at 

Prin. Wliip to our tents, as roes run over land. 
[Exeunt Princess, Ros., Kath., and Maria. 

Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and 
DuMAiNE, in their proper habits. 

King. Fair sir, God save you ! Where is the 
princess ? 

Boyet. Gone to her tent : please it your majesty, 
Command me any service to her thither ? 

King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one 

Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know, my lord. 


Biron. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas. 
And utters it again when God doth please. 
He is wit's pedler, and retails his wares 
At wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs ; 
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth know. 
Have not the grace to gi-ace it with such show. 
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve : 
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve. 
A' can carve too, and lisp : why, this is he. 
That kiss'd his hand away in courtesy : 
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, 
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice 
In honourable terms •- nay, he can sing 
A mean most meanly ; and, in ushering, 
Mend him who can : the ladies call him, sweet ; 
The stairs, as he ti'eads on them, kiss his feet. 
This is the flower that smiles on every one. 
To show his teeth as white as whales bone ; 
And consciences, that will not die in debt, 
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. 

King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my 
That put Armado's page out of his part ! 

Enter the Princess, ushered by Botet ; Rosaline, 
Maria, Katharine, and Attendants. 

Biron. See where it comes I — Behaviour, what 

wert thou. 
Till this man show'd thee ? and what art thou now? 
King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of 

day I 
Prin. Fair in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. 
King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. 
Prin. Then wish me better : I will give you leave. 
King. We came to visit you, and purpose now 
To lead you to our court: vouchsafe it, then. 

Prin. This field shall hold me, and so hold your 
vow : 
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. 
King. Rebuke me not for that which you pro- 
voke ; 
The virtue of your eye must break my oath. 
Prin. You nick-name virtue; vice you should 
have spoke. 
For virtue's office never breaks men's ti'oth. 
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure 

As the unsullied lily, I protest, 
A world of torments though I should endure, 

I would not yield to be your house's guest ; 
So much I hate a breaking cause to be 
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integi-ity. 
King. O ! you have liv'd in desolation here. 

Unseen, unvisited ; much to our shame. 
Prin. Not so, my lord ; it is not so, I swear : 
We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game. 
A mess of Russians left us but of late. 
King. How, madam ! Russians ? 
Prin. Ay, in tnith, my lord; 

Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state. 

Ros. Madam, speak true. — It is not so, my lord : 
My lady (to the manner of the days) 
In courtesy gives undesei-ving pi-aise. 
We four, indeed, confronted were with four 
In Russian habit ; here they stay'd an hour, 
And talk'd apace ; and in that hour, my lord, 
They did not bless us with one happy word. 
I dare not call them fools ; but this I think. 
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink. 
Biron. This jest is diy to me. — Fair, gentle sweet. 
Your wit makes wise things foolish : when we gi'eet. 
With eyes best seeing, heaven's fiery eye. 
By light we lose light : your capacity 
Is of that nature, that to your huge store 
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor. 
Ros. This proves you wise and rich, for in my 

Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty. 
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, 
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue. 
Biron. O ! I am yours, and all that I possess. 
Ros. All the fool mine ? 

Biron. I cannot give you less. 

Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore ? 
Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand 

you this ? 
Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous 
That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. 
King. We are descried : they'll mock us now 

Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. 
Priri. Amaz'd, my lord ? Why looks your high- 
ness sad ? 
Ros. Help ! hold his brows ! he'll swoon. Why 
look you pale ? — 
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. 

Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for 

Can any face of brass hold longer out ? — 
Here stand I, lady ; dart thy skill at me ; 

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout ; 
Thrust thy sharp Avit quite through my ignorance ; 

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit ; 
And I will wish thee never more to dance, 

Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 
O ! never will I trust to speeches penn'd. 
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue ; 





Nor never come in visor to my friend ; 

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song ; 
TafFata phrases, silken terms precise, 

Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce aflection, 
Figures pedantical : these summer flies 

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation. 
I do forswear them ; and I here protest, 

By this white glove, (how white the hand, God 
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd 

In I'usset yeas, and honest kersey noes : 
And to begin, — wench, so God help me. In ! 
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw. 

Hos. Sans sans, I pray you. 

Biron. Yet I have a ti-ick 

Of the old rage : — bear with me, I am sick ; 
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft ! let us see : — 
Write " Lord have mercy on us" on those three ; 
They are infected, in their hearts it lies ; 
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes : 
These lords are visited ; you are not free, 
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see. 

Prin. No, they are free that gave these tokens to 

Biron. Our states are forfeit : seek not to undo us. 

Ros. It is not so ; for how can this be true. 
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue ? 

Biron. Peace ! for I will not have to do with you. 

Hos. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend. 

Biron. Speak for yourselves : my wit is at an end. 

King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude 
Some fair excuse. 

Prin. The fairest is confession. 

Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd ? 

King. Madam, I was. 

Prin. And were 3-ou well ad vis' d ? 

King. I was, fair madam. 

Prin. AVhen you then were here, 

Wliat did you whisper in your lady's ear ? 

King. That more than all the world I did respect 

Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will 
reject her. 

King. Upon mine honour, no. 

Prin. Peace ! peace I forbear : 

Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. 

King. Despise me, when I break this oath of 

Prin. I will ; and therefore keep it. — Rosaline, 
What did the Russian whisper in your ear ? 

Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear 
As precious eye-sight, and did value me 
Above this world ; adding thereto, moreover, 
That he would wed me, or else die my lover. 

Prin . God give thee joy of him ! the noble lord 
Most honourably doth uphold his word. 

King. What mean you, madam ? by my life, my 
T never swore this lady such an oath. 

Ros. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain. 
You gave me this : but take it, sir, again. 

King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give : 
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve. 

Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; 
.\nd lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear. — 
What ! will you have me or your pearl again ? 

Biron. Neither of either ; I remit both twain. — 
I see the trick on't : — here was a consent. 
Knowing aforehand of our meri'iment, 
'['0 dash it like a Christmas comedy. 

Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany. 
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some 

That siniles his cheek in years, and knows the trick 
To make my lady laugh when she's dispos'd. 
Told our intents before ; which once disclos'd, 
The ladies did change favours, and then we, 
Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. 
Now, to our perjury to add more teiTor, 
We are again forsworn — iil will, and error. 
Much upon this it is : — and might not you 

\_To BOTET. 

Forestal our sport, to make us thus unti'ue ? 
Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire. 

And laugh upon the apple of her eye ? 
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire. 

Holding a trencher, jesting meiTily ? 
You put our page out : go, you are allow'd ; 
Die when you ^\^ll, a smock shall be your shroud. 
You leer upon me, do you ? there's an eye, 
Wounds like a leaden sword. 

Boyet. Full men-ily 

Hath this brave manage, this career, been run. 

Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight ! Peace! I have 

Enter Costard. 

Welcome, pure wit ! thou partest a fair fray. 

Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know. 
Whether the three Worthies shall come in, or no. 

Biron. What, are there but three? 

Cost. No, sir ; but it is vara fine. 

For eveiy one pursents three. 

Biron. And three times thrice is nine. 

Cost. Not so, sir; under correction, sir, I hope, 
it is not so. 
You cannot beg us, sir, I can assure you, sir ; we 

know what we know : 
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir, — 

Biron. Is not nine. 

Cost. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil 
it doth amount. 

Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for 

Cost. O Loi'd ! sir, it were pity you should get 
your living by reckoning, sir. 

Biron. How much is it? 

Cost. O Lord ! sir, the parties themselves, the 
actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount : 
for mine own part, I am, as they say, but to perfect 
one man, — e'en one poor man — Pompion the great, 

Biron. Art thou one of the Worthies ? 

Cost. It pleased them, to think me worthy of 
Pompey the great : for mine own part, I know not 
the degi-ee of the Worthy, but I am to stand for him. 

Biron. Go, bid them prepare. 

Cost. We will turn it finely oflf, sir : we will take 
some care. \_E.vit Costard. 

King. Biron, they will shame us ; let them not 

Biron. We are shame-proof, my lord ; and 'tis 
some policy 
To have one show worse than the king's and his 

King. I say, they shall not come. 

Prin. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you 
That sport best pleases, that doth least know how . 
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents 
Die in the zeal of them which it presents, 





Their form confounded makes most form in miith ; 
When gi'eat things labouring perish in their birth. 
Biron. A right description of our sport, my lord. 

Enter Armado. 

Arm. Anointed, I implore so much expense of 
thy I'oyal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of words. 
[Armado converses with the King, and 
delivers a 'pafer to him. 

Prin. Doth this man seiTe God ? 

Biron. Why ask you ? 

Prin. A' speaks not like a man of God's making. 

Arm. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey mo- 
narch ; for, I protest, the school-master is exceeding 
fantastical ; too, too vain ; too, too vain : but Ave will 
put it, as they say, to fortuna delta guerra. I wish 
you the peace of mind, most royal couplement ! 

[Exit Armado. 

King. Here is like to be a good presence of 
Worthies. He presents Hector of Troy ; the 
swain, Ponipey the great; the parish cm-ate, Alex- 
ander ; Armado's page, Hercules ; the pedant, Ju- 
das Maccabeus. 

And if these four Worthies in their first show thrive, 
These four will change habits, and present the other 

Biron. There is five in the first show. 

King. You are deceived ; 'tis not so. 

Biron. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge- 
priest, the fool, and the boy : — 
Abate throw at novum, and the whole world again, 
( "annot pick out five such, take each one in his vein. 

King. The ship is under sail, and here she comes 
[Seats brought for the King, Princess, etc. 

Pageant of the Nine Worthies. 
Enter Costard armed, for Pompey. 

Cost. " I Pompey am," 

Boyet. You lie, you are not he. 

Cost. " I Pompey am," 

Boyet. With libbard's head on knee. 

Biron. Well said, old mocker : I must needs be 
friends with thee. 

Cost. " I Pompey am, Pompey surnam'd the 

Dum. The great. 

Cost. It is great, sir;— "Pompey surnam'd the 
great ; 
That oft in field, with targe antJ shield, did make 

my foe to sweat : 
And travelling along this coast I here am come by 

And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass 

of France." 
If your ladyship would say, " Thanks, Pompey," I 
had done. 
Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey. 
Cost. 'Tis not so much worth ; but, I hope, I was 
perfect. I made a little fault in, " great." 

Biron. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves 
the best Woi'thy. 

Enter Sir Nathaniel armed, for Alexander. 

Nath. " When in the world I liv'd, I was the 
world's commander ; 
By east, west, north, and south, I spread my con- 
quering might : 
My 'scutcheon plain declares, that I am Alisander." 
Boyet. Your nose says, no, you are not; for it 
stands too right. 


Biron. Your nose smells, no, in this, most tender- 
smelling knight. 

Prin. The conqueror is dismay'd. Proceed, 
good Alexander. 

Nath. "When in the world I liv'd, "I was the 
world's commander;" — 

Boyet. Most true ; 'tis right : you were so, Alis- 

Biron. Pompey the great, 

Cost. Your servant, and Costard. 

Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away 

Cost. O! sir,^[ To Nath.] — you have overthrown 
Alisander the conqueror. You will be scraped out 
of the painted cloth for this : your lion, that holds 
his poll-axe sitting on a close-stool, will be given to 
Ajax : he will be the ninth Worthy. A conqueror, 
and afeard to speak ? run away for shame, Alisander. 
— [Nath. retires.] — There, an't shall please you : a 
foolish mild man ; an honest man, look you, and 
soon dash'd ! He is a marvellous good neighbour, 
faith, and a very good bowler ; but, for Alisander, 
alas ! you see, how 'tis ; — a little o'erparted. — But 
there are Woithies a coming will speak their mind 
in some other sort. 

Prin. Stand aside, good Pompey. 

Enter Holofernes armed, for Judas ,* and Moth 
armed, for Hercides. 

Hoi. " Great Hercules is presented by this imp, 

Whose club kill'd Cerberus, that three-headed 
canis ; 
And, when he was a babe, a child, a shrimp. 

Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus. 
Quoniam, he seemeth in minority, 
Ergo, I come with this apology." — 
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish. 

[Exit Moth. 
" Judas I am," — 

Dum. A Judas ! 

Hoi. Not Iscariot, sir. — 
" Judas I am, yclep'd Maccabeus." 

Dum. Judas Maccabeus dipt is plain Judas. 

Biron. A kissing traitor. — How art thou prov'd 
Judas ? 

Hoi. " Judas I am," — 

Dum. The more shame for you, Judas. 

Hoi. What mean you, sir ? 

Boyet. To make Jvidas hang himself. 

Hoi. Begin, sir : you are my elder. 

Biron. Well foUow'd : Judas was hang'd on an 

Hoi. I will not be put oiit of countenance. 

Biron. Because thou hast no face. 

Hoi. What is this ? 

Boyet. A cittern head. 

Dum. The head of a bodkin. 

Biron. A death's face in a ring. 

Long. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce 

Boyet. The pummel of Csesar's faulchion. 

Dum. The carv'd-bone face on a flask. 

Biron. St. George's half-cheek in a brooch. 

Dum. Ay, and in a brooch of lead. 

Biron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer. 
And now forward, for we have put thee in counte- 

Hoi. You have put me out of countenance. 

Biron. False : we have given thee faces. 

Hoi. But you have out-fac'd them all. 

Biron. An thou wert a lion, we woiild do so. 



SCENE 11. 

Boyet. Therefore, as he is an ass, let him go. 
And so adieu, sweet Jude ! nay, why dost thou stay ? 
Dum. For the latter end of his name. 
Biron. For the ass to the Jude ? give it him : — 

Jud-as, away. 
Hoi. This is not generous, not gentle, not humble. 
Boyet. A light for monsieur Judas ! it grows dark, 

he may stumble. 

Prin. Alas, poor Maccabeus, how hath he been 
baited ! 

Enter Armado armed, for Hector. 

Biron. Hide thy head, Achilles: here comes 
Hector in arms. 

Dum. Though my mocks come home by me, I 
will now be meny. 

Hector was but a Trojan in respect of this. 

But is this Hector? 

I think Hector was not so clean-timber'd. 

His leg is too big for Hector's. 





Dum. More calf, certain. 

Boyet. No ; he is best indued in the small. 

Biron. This cannot be Hector. 

Dum. He's a god or a painter; for he makes faces. 

Arm. " The armipotent Mars, of lances the 
Gave Hector a gift," — 

Dum. A gilt nutmeg. 

Biron, A lemon. 

Long. Stuck with cloves. 

Dum. No, cloven. 

Arm. Peace ! 
" The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty, 

Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion ; 
A man so breath'd, that certain he would fight, yea, 

From morn till night, out of his pavilion. 
I am that flower," — 

Dum. That mint. 

Long. That columbine. 

Ann. Sweet lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. 

Long. I must rather give it the rein, for it runs 
against Hector. 

Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound. 

Arm. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten: 
sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried : 
when he breathed, he was a man. — But I will for- 

ward with my device. Sweet royalty, bestow on 

me the sense of hearing. 


[Biron whispers Costard. 
Hector : we are much de- 

Prin. Speak, 

Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper. 

Boyet. Loves her by the foot. 

Dum. He may not by the yard. 

Arm. " This Hector far surmounted Hannibal," — 

Cost. The party is gone : fellow Hector, she is 
gone ; she is two months on her way. 

Arm. What meanest thou ? 

Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, 
the poor wench is cast away : she's quick ; the child 
brags in her belly already : 'tis yours. 

Arm. Dost thou infamonize me among potentates ? 
Thou shalt die. 

Cost. Then shall Hector be whipp'd for Jaque- 
netta that is quick by him, and hang'd for Pompey 
that is dead by him. 

Dum. Most rare Pompey ! 

Boyet. Renowned Pompey ! 

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, gi*eat 
Pompey ! Pompey the huge ! 

Dum. Hector trembles. 

Biron. Pompey is moved.- 
Ates ! stir them on ! stir them on ! 

Dum. Hector will challenge him. 

Biron. Ay, if a' have no more man's 
belly than will sup a flea. 


-More Ates, more 


in s 




Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. 

Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern 
man : I'll slash ; I'll do it by the sword. — I pray 
you, let me borrow my arms again. 

Dum. Room for the incensed Worthies ! 

Cost. I'll do it in my shirt. 

Dum. Most resolute Pompey ! 

Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole 
lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for 
the combat ? What mean you ? you will lose your 

Arm. Gentlemen, and soldiers, pai'don me : I will 
not combat in my shirt. 

Dum. You may not deny it : Pompey hath made 
the challenge. 

Arm. Sweet bloods, I both may and w^ill. 

Biron. What reason have you for't? 

Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt. 
I go woolward for penance. 

Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome 
for want of linen; since when, I'll be sworn, he 
wore none, but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta's, and 
that a' wears next his heart for a fiivour. 

Enter Monsieur Mercade, a Messenger. 

Mer. God save you, madam. 

Prin. Welcome, Mercade, 
But that thou inteiTupt'st our meiTiment. 

Mer. I am soiTy, madam, for the news I bring 
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father — 

Prin. Dead, for my life ! 

Mer. Even so : my tale is told. 

Biron. Woithies, away ! The scene begins to 

Ar7n. For mine own part, I breathe fi-ee breath. 
I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole 
of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. 

[Exeunt Worthies. 

King. How fares your majesty ? 

Pri7i. Boyet, prepare : I will away to-night. 

King. Madam, not so ; I do beseech you, staj*. 

Prin. Prepare, I say. — I thank you, gracious 
For all your fair endeavours ; and entreat. 
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe 
In your rich wisdom to excuse, or hide, 
The liberal opposition of our spirits : 
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves 
In the converse of breath, your gentleness 
Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord ! 
A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue. 
Excuse me so. coming too short of thanks 
For my great suit so easily obtain'd. 

King. The extreme parts of time extremely form 
All causes to the purpose of his speed ; 
And often, at his veiy loose, decides 
That which long process could not arbitrate : 
And though the mourning brow of progeny 
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love 
The holy suit which fain it would convince ; 
Yet, since love's argument was first on foot. 
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it 
From what it purpos'd ; since, to wail friends lost 
Is not by much so wholesome, profitable. 
As to rejoice at friends but newly found. 

Prin. I understand you not ; my griefs are double. 

Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear 
of grief ; 
And by these badges understand the king. 
For your fair sakes have we neglected time, 
Play'd foul play with our oaths : your beauty, ladies, 


Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours 

Even to the opposed end of our intents ; 

And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous, — 

As love is full of unbefitting strains ; 

All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain ; 

Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye, 

Full of sti'aying shapes, of habits, and of forms, 

Varying in subjects, as the eye doth roll 

To every varied object in his glance : 

Wliich party-coated presence of loose love 

Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, 

Have misbecome our oaths and gi'avities. 

Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults, 

Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies, 

Our love being yours, the eiTor that love makes 

Is likewise yours : we to ourselves prove false. 

By being once false for ever to be true 

To those that make us both, — fair ladies, you : 

And even that falsehood, in itself a sin. 

Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace. 

Prin. We have receiv'd youi* letters full of love ; 
Your favours, the ambassadors of love ; 
And, in our maiden council, rated them 
At coui'tship, pleasant jest, and coiu'tesy, 
As bombast, and as lining to the time. 
But more devout than this, in our respects 
Have we not been ; and therefore met your loves 
In their own fashion, like a merriment. 

Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more 
than jest. 

Long. So did our looks. 

Ros. We did not quote them so. 

King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour. 
Grant us your loves. 

Prin. A time, methinks, too short 

To make a world-without-end bargain in. 
No, no, my lord, your gi-ace is perjur'd much, 
Full of dear guiltiness ; and therefore this. — 
If for my love (as there is no such cause) 
You will do aught, this shall you do for me : 
Your oath I will not trust ; but go with speed 
To some forlorn and naked hermitage, 
Remote from all the pleasures of the world ; 
There sta}-, until the twelve celestial signs 
Have brought about their annual reckoning. 
If this austere insociable life 
Change not your offer made in heat of blood; 
If frosts, and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds, 
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of yoiu- love, 
But that it bear this trial, and last love ; 
Then, at the expiration of the year, 
Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts, 
And by this virgin palm, now kissing thine, 
I will be thine ; and, till that instant, shut 
My woful self up in a mourning house, 
Raining the tears of lamentation. 
For the remembrance of my father's death. 
If this thou do deny, let our hands part, 
Neither intitled in the other's heart. 

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny. 

To flatter up these powers of mine with rest, 
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye. 

Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast. 

[Biron. And what to me, my love ? and what to 
me ? 

JRos. You must be purged too, your sins are rank : 
You are attaint with faults and peijury ; 
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, 
A tsvelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, 
But seek the weary beds of people sick.] 

Du>n. But what to me, my love ? but what to me ? 




Kath. A wife I — A beard, fair health, and honesty ; 
With thi-ee-fold love I wish you all these three. 

Dum. O I shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife ? 

Kath. Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day 
I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say : 
Come when the king doth to my lady come, 
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some. 

Dum. I'll serve thee ti-ue and faitlifully till then. 

Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be foi'sworn again. 

Long. What says INIaria ? 

Mar. At the twelvemonth's end, 

I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. 

Long. I'll stay with patience ; but the time is long. 

Mar. The liker you : few taller are so young. 

Biron. Studies my lady? mistress look on me: 
Behold the window of my heart, mine ej^e, 
Wliat humble suit attends thy answer there ; 
Inpose some seiTice on me for thy love. 

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron, 
Before I saw yoii, and the world's large tongue 
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks ; 
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts. 
Which you on all estates will execute, 
That lie within the mercy of your wit : 
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain, 

And, therewithal, to win me, if you plcEise, 

Without the which I am not to be won. 

You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day, 

Visit the speechless sick, and still converse 

With groaning wretches ; and your task shall be, 

With all the fierce endeavour of your wit, 

To enforce the pained impotent to smile. 

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of 
death ? 
It cannot be ; it is impossible : 
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. 

Bos. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit, 
TVTiose influence is begot of that loose gi-ace. 
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools. 
A jest's prosperity,- lies in the ear 
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue 
Of him that makes it : then, if sickly ears, 
Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans. 
AVill hear your idle scorns, continue then. 
And I will have you, and that fault withal ; 
But, if they will not, throw away that spirit. 
And I shall find you empty of that fault. 
Right joyful of jour reformation. 

Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal, 
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. 



Prin. Ay, sweet, my lord: and so I take my 

leave. [ To the Ki>-g. 

King. No, madam ; we will bring you on your 

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ; 
Jack hath not Jill : these ladies' courtesy 
Might well have made our sport a comedy. 

King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a 
And then 'twill end. 


That's too long for a play. 
Enter Armado. 

Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me, — 

Prin. Was not that Hector? 

Dum. The worthy knight of Troy. 

Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. 
I am a votaiy : I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold 
the plough for her sweet love three years. But, 
most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue 





that the two learned men have compiled in praise 
of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed 
in the end of our show. 

King. Call them forth quickly ; we will do so. 

Arm. Holla! approach. 

Enfer HoLOFERNES, Nathaniel, Moth, Costard, 

and others. 
This side is Hiems, winter ; this Ver, the spring ; 
the one maintained by the owl, the other by the 
cuckoo. Ver, begin. 


Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue. 
And lady-smocks all silver-white, 
A7id cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, 

Do paint the meadows loith delight, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree, 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he ; 

Cuckoo, Cuckoo, — O ivord of fear! 
Unvleasing to a married ear. 


Spring. When shepherds pipe on oaten straws. 

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks. 
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws. 

And 7naidens bleach their summer smocks, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree. 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he ; 

Cuckoo, cuckoo, — O tvord of fear .' 
Unpleasing to a married ear. 


Winter. When icicles hang by tlie wall. 

And Dick the shej^herd blows his nuU, 
And Tom bears logs into the Jiall, 

And milk comes frozen home in pail. 
When blood is ni'pp''d, and ways be foul. 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 

Tu-whit, to-ivho, a merry note. 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 

|iiilll[i!JI!|l lillllh'i 1 1 I 


Winter. When all aloud the wind doth blmv. 

And coughing droivns the jmr son's saw. 
And birds sit brooding in the snow. 

And Marian's nose looks red and raw ; 
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl. 

Then nightly sings the staring owl, 

Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note. 
While greasy Joan doth, keel the pot. 

Arm. The words of Mercuiy are harsh after the 
songs of Apollo. You, that way : we, this way. 



A.CT I.— Scene I. 

" Lovk's Labour's Lost." — "The title of this play 
stands as follows, iii the folio of 1623 — 'Loucs Labour'' s 
Lost.'' The modes m which the genitive case, and the 
contraction of is after a substantive, are printed in the 
titles of other plays, in that edition, and in the earlier 
copies, leads us to believe that the author intended to 
call his play ' Love's Labour is Lost.' The apostrophe 
is not given, as the mark of the genitive case, in these in- 
stances — ' The Winters Tale,'' — 'A Midsummer Nights 
Dream,' — (so printed.) But when the verb is forms a 
part of the title, the apostrophe is introduced, as in 
'All's Well that Ends Well.' We do not think our- 
selves justified, therefore, in printing either 'Love's 
Labour Lost,' or 'Love's Labours Lost,' — aa some have 
recommended." — Knight. 

" Biron" — " Biron" is, in all the old editions, printed 
Berowne, which Rowe altered to " Biron," as the tradi- 
tionary pronunciation of that noble name had, in his time, 
still remained as in Shakespeare's. The verse shows 
that it is not a misprint, but the pronunciation of the 
Poet himself, and his times. It is to be pronounced 
with the accent on the last syllable. 

" — biit bajikrwpt quite the vits" — This is the read- 
ing of the quarto, (1598 :) the folio omits " quite," and 
prints " banknipt" as a trisyllable — bankerord — which 
Knight adopts. Both the older and more modem sound 
of " bankrupt," and bankerout, were then still in com- 
mon use ; and either reading might have come from the 
Poet's pen. 

" With ALL THESE living" — i. e. To love, to wealth, to 
pomp, Dumaine is dead ; but philosophy, in which he 
lives, includes them all. This is Johnson's understand- 
ing of the line, which is yet obscure and ambiguous. 
It is a more obvious sense to refer "all these" to the 
King and his friends, vnth whom he is to live in philos- 

" Too much to know is to know nought but fame" — 
The consequence (explains Johnson) of too much 
knowledge is, not any real solution of doubts, but mere 
empty reputation. In other words, too much knowledge 
gives only fame — a mere name, which every godfather 
can give likewise. 

' Proceeded rcell" — To proceed, Johnson observes, 
' is an academical term, and means, to take a degree ; 
as, he 'proceeded' bachelor in physic." 

" — an envious sneaping frost" — " Sneaping" is 
snipping, or, as we now say, nipping — as in the Win- 
ter's Tale, act i. scene 2. 


" — sit you out" — To "sit out" is a term from the 
card-table. Thus, Bishop Sanderson — 

They are glad, rather than sit out, to play very small game. 

The person who cuts out, at a rubber of whist, is still 
said to sit out — i. e. to be no longer engaged in the 

" A dangerous law against gentility" — By " gen- 
tility" is here signified what the French express by 
gentilesse — i. e. grace, refinement. The meaning is — 
Such a law, for banishing women fi-om the court, is 
dangerous to politeness, urbanity, and the refined plea- 
sures of life. 

"She must lie here" — i. e. Reside. We have the 
sense in Wotton's punning definition of an ambassador — 
" An honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his 

" Necessity will make us all forsxoorji" — " Biron, 
amidst his extravagances, speaks with great justness 
against the folly of vows. They are made without suf- 
ficient regai'd to the variations of life, and are therefore 
broken by some unforeseen necessity. They proceed 
commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and a false 
estimate of human power." — Johnson. 

"Suggestions" — i. e. Temptations; repeatedly so 
used by Shakespeare. 

"A man of complements" — "This passage, I be- 
lieve, means no more than that Don Armado was a man 
nicely versed in ceremonial distinctions — one who could 
distinguish, hi the most delicate questions of honour, 
the exact boundaries of right and wrong. Compliment, 
in Shakespeare's time, did not signify (at least did not 
only signify) verbal civility, or phrases of courtesy ; but, 
according to its original meaning, the trappings, or orna- 
mental appendages, of a character — in the same manner, 
and on the same principles of speech, with accomplish- 
ment. ' Complement' is, as Armado well expresses it, 
the 'varnish' of a complete man." — Johnson. 

' — FIRE-NEW words" — i. e. Brand-7iew — new from 
the forge. 

" — his grace's tharborough" — i. e. Thirdborough, 
or constable. (See Sly, in the Comedy of Errors.) 

" — as the style shall give us cause to climb" — A 
quibble between the stile, that must be climbed to pass 
from one field to another, and " style," in regard to lan- 

" — taken with the manner" — i. e. /« the fact. Cos- 
tard speaks in law-phrase. A thief is said to be " taken 
with the manner," (written mainour, or manour, from 



the French manier,) when he is apprehended with the 
thing stolen in his possession. 

" — thy CURIOUS-KNOTTED earden" — The ino^s were 
the fantastic figures of the beds, or borders, of a " gar- 
den" of that time. 

Scene IL 

'i — CROSSES love not him" — By "crosses" Moth 
means the coin so called, because it was stamped with 
a Cross. 

" — the dancmg horse icill tell you" — The allusion is 
to a celebrated bay horse, called Morocco, belonging to 
one Bankes, who exhibited the docile and sagacious 
animal in various countries of Europe. Sir KeneJm 
Digby observes that " he would restore a glove to the 
owner, after the master had whispered the man's name 
in his ear; would tell the just number of pence in any 
piece of silver coin newly showed him by his master," 
etc. His remarkable pranks are mentioned, or alluded 
to, by Ben Jonson, Taylor, Donne, Hall, and Raleigh. 
It seems to be ascertained that man and horse were 
both burned, at Rome, as magicians. 

" Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers" — "1 do not 
know whether oiu- author alludes to the ' rare green 
eye' which, in his time, seems to have been thought a 
beauty, or to that frequent attendant on love, jealousy, 
to which, in the Merchant of Venice, and in Othello, 
he has applied the epithet ' green-eyed.' "— Malone. 

<' — for the DAT-woman'" — A "day-w^oman" is a 
dairy-woman, or milk-woman. Upon the line in Chau- 
cer's " Nonnes Preestes Tale" — 

For she was, as it were, a manner dey — 
Tyrwhitt observes, '• It probably meant, originally, a 
day-labourer in general, though it may since have been 
used to denote particularly the superintendent of a 

" That's hereby" — A proNoncial expression for as it 
may happen. Armado takes it as hard by. 

" — The first a?id second cattse icill not serve my 
turn!'' — See Touchstone's dissertation on the causes of 
quarrel, in As You Like It, act v. scene 4. 

" — I shall TURN sonnets" — The old reading is, "I 
shall turn sonnet," which was altered by Hanmer to 
"turn sonneteer;" and this has been usually followed. 
But that phrase is hardly of Shakespeare's day, and cer- 
tainly not in Annado's style ; and I have preferred in 
the text, in place of any of the readings of the English 
editors, the shght alteration of " sonnets" — taking the 
phrase in the same sense with " turn a tune," " turn a 
sentence," or Ben Jonson's "weH-tumed lines." 

ACT II.— Scene I. 

" — base sale of chapmen's tongues" — " Chapman" 
here seems to signify the seller, not, as now commonly, 
the buyer. Cheap, or cheapen, was anciently the mar- 
ket, and chapman, therefore, marketman. The mean- 
ing is, that the estimation of beauty depends not on the 
uttering, or proclamation, of the seller, but on the eye 
of the buyer. There is a similar thought in Shake- 
speare's One Hundred and Second " Sonnet:" — 
That love is merchandised whose rich esteeming 
The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere. 

" — WIDE fields" — This is the original reading, which 
later editors, without reason, and against the desired 
antithesis of icide with the high roof, change to wild. 

" — 'long of you" — i. e. Along of you — through you : 
a phrase found in Hooker, and other grave authors, as 
well as used colloquially. 

.< — depart withal" — To " depart," and to part, were 
fcjrmerly used synonymously. 

" No POINT, with my knife" — A quibble on Non point, 
(French.) which occurs again, act v. scene 2. 


^' My lips are no common, though several they be" — 
Shakespeare here used his favourite law-phrases. But 
there is here some confusion in the use, occasioned by 
the word "though." A " common," as all know, is un- 
apportioned land — a " several," land that is private 
property. Shakespeare uses the word according to this 
sense in the " Sonnets:" — 

Why should my heart think that a several plot, 

Which my heart knows the world's wide common place? 

But Dr. James has attempted to show that several, or 
sevcrell, in Warwickshire, meant the common field — 
common to a iew proprietors, but not common to all. 
In this way, the word "though" is not contradictoiy. 
Maria's lips are " no common, though several" — 

Belonging to whom ? 

To my fortunes and me. 

I and my fortunes are the co-proprietors of the common 
field ; but we will not " grant pasture" to others. Pro- 
vincial usages are important in the illustration of Shake- 

" — all impatient to speak and not see" — i. e. His 
tongue being impatiently desirous to see, as well as to 

" His face's own margin" — In Shakespeare's time, 
notes, quotati(ms, etc., were usually printed in the exte- 
rior margin of books. So, in Romeo and Juliet: — 

And what obscured in this fair volume lies, 
Find written in the margin of his eyes. 

" — Boyet is dispos'd" — Mr. Dyce has collected 
passages from the old dramatists which show that " dis- 
pos'd" was often used in a peculiar sense, perhaps el- 
liptically, for "disposed to wanton allusion," in which 
sense the Princess uses it ; while he chooses to receive 
her remark in its literal meaning. 

ACT III.— Scene I. 

"Concolinel" — Most likely Moth here sang some 
Italian song, beginning " Concolinel." The songs thus 
introduced into old plays were usually popular ditties, 
and it was, thei-efore, not necessary to give the words, 
which in many old comedies are omitted, as here. 

" — a French brawl" — The "brawl" was a stately 
species of dance, formerly much in vogue. Several 
persons united hands, in a circle, and gave each other 
continual shakes ; the steps changing with the tune. 
Gray has a pleasant allusion to this courtly exercitation, 
(which was sometimes perfonned by the highest and 
gravest characters.) in his " Long Story," in which he so 
graphically describes the ancient seat of the Hattons : — 

Full oft, within the spacious walls. 

When he had fifty winters o'er him, 
My grave Lord-keeper led the brawh ; 

The seals and maces danced before him. 
His bushy beard, and shoestrings green, 

His high-crowned hat and satin doublet, 
Moved the stout heart of England's Queen, 

Though Pope and Spaniard could not trouble it. 

" — CANARY <<? it with your feet" — A verb coined 
from the active character of the dance called a " canary." 

" — your hands in your pocket, like a man after the 
old painting" — " It was a common trick, among some 
of the most indolent of the ancient masters, to place the 
hands in the bosom or the jwckets, or conceal them in 
some other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of 
representing them, or to disguise their own want of skill 
to employ them with grace and propriety." — Stevens. 

" — the hobby-horse is forgot" — This is meant by 
Moth as the end of the line which Armado had begun 
with, "But O, — but O, — ." In Hamlet, act iii. scene 
2, we have the whole line of the ballad — " For O, for 
O, the hobby-horse is forgot." It seems to have been 
written on the omission of the hobby-horse in May- 
games. " The hobby-horse is forgot," and the " hobby- 
horse is quite forgot," are phrases constantly occurring 
in old writers. 


" — a Costard iroken in a shin" — " Costard" signi- 
fies a head; hence Moth's joke. 

" — ihy l'envoy; — begin" — " L'envoy" is the old 
French word for the conclusion of a story, or poem. 
Armado means, " Come to thy conclusion by beginning." 
"L'envoy" was adopted early in English. 

" _ no salve in the male" — " This is printed in the 
quarto, (1598,) and in the folio, 'no salve in thee male, 
sir.' Malone, Stevens, and Johnson take " male" in the 
sense of baa- — there is no salve in the bag, or wallet ; 
but Tyrwhitt proposes to read, 'no salve in them all, 
sir' — which is so plausible, that I am almost tempted to 
place it in the text, even in opposition to all the author- 
ities." — Collier. 

" The boy hath sold him a bargain" — " This comedy 
is nnming over with allusions to countiy -sports — one of 
the many proofs that, in its original shape, it may be as- 
signed to the author's greenest years. The sport which 
so delights Costard, about the fox, the ape, and the 
humble-bee, has been explained by Capell, whose lum- 
bering and obscure comments upon Shakespeare have 
been pillaged and sneered at by the other commenta- 
tors. In this instance, they take no notice of him. It 
seems, according to Capell, that ' selling a bargain' con- 
sisted in drawing a person in, by some stratagem, to 
proclaim himself fool, by his own lips ; and thus, when 
Moth makes his master repeat the Venvoy, ending in 
the goose, he proclaims himself a goose, according to 
the rustic wit, which Costai'd calls ' selling a bargain 
well.' 'Fast and loose,' to which he alludes, was an- 
other holiday sport ; and the goose, that ended the mar- 
ket, alludes to the proverb, ' tlu-ee women and a goose 
make a mai'ket.' " — Knight. 

" — m-!/ iNCONr Jetv" — Mr. Dyce, in his edition of 
Middleton's works, explains " incony" as, fine, delicate, 
pretty. This was also Warbiu-ton's interpretation of 
the word, asserting it to be of northern origin, which 
Ritson, without sufficient evidence, denied. It is of 
frequent occun-ence, and we meet with it again in this 
play, act iv. scene 1. ".Tew" seems used by Costard 
as a term of endeannent, and for the sake of the rhyme . 

" — Guerdon — remuneration" — In a tract published 
in 1598, (" A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of 
Serving Men,") there is a stoiy of a servant who got a 
"remuneration" of three farthings from one of his mas- 
ter's guests, and a " guerdon" of a shilling from another 
guest. Perhaps the story had passed into the gossip of 
the people, and Costard's jocularity was understood by 
the " gentlemanly profession," who stood on the ground 
of the Blackfriai-s Theatre, or the Globe. 

"This senior-junior" — In reference to the conti'a- 
riety of love, Shakespeare calls Cupid " senior-junior," 
and " giant-dwarf." The quarto and the folios have it, 
" signior .Tunios giant dwarf." The chsinge was made 
by Johnson. 

" — trotting paritors" — " An apparitor, or ' paintor,' 
(says Johnson,) is an officer of the bishop's court, who 
carries out citations : as citations are most frequently 
issued for fornication, the paritor is put under Cupid's 

" — a corporal of his field. 
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop .'" 
" It appears, from Lord Staffoi'd's ' Letters,' that a 
corporal of the field was employed, as an aide-de-camp 
is now, ' in taking and carrying to and fro the directions 
of the general, or other higher officers of the field.' 
From other sources, however, it seems that the func- 
tions of this officer were of a diversified nature. A 
' tumbler's hoop' was usually dressed out with coloured 
ribands. To wear love's colours means, to wear his 
badge or cognomen, or to be his servant or retainer." — 
I/lust. Shak. 

ACT IV.— Scene L 

" Whoever a' was" — We have, with Collier, preferred 
the retaining, as in the original editions, this mode of 
putting a' for he, in familiar conversation; as showing 
it not to have been confined, in that age, to vulgar or 
ludicrous dialogue. 

" — play the murderer in" — " Royal and noble ladies, 
in the days of Elizabeth, delighted in the somewhat un- 
refined sport of shooting deer with a cross-bow. In the 
'alleys green' of Windsor or of Greenwich parks, the 
queen would take her stand, on an elevated platform, 
and, as the pricket or the buck was driven past her. 
would aim the death-shaft, amid the acclamations of 
'her admiring courtiers. The ladies, it appears, were 
skilful enough at this sylvan butchering. Sir Francis 
Leake writes to the Earl of Shrewsbury — 'Your lord- 
ship has sent me a very great and fat stag, the welcomer 
being stricken by your right honourable lady's hand.' 
Tlie practice was as old as the romances of the middle 
ages. But, in those days, the ladies were sometimes 
not so expert as the Countess of Shrewsbury; for, in 
the history of Prince Arthur, a fair huntress wounds 
Sir Launcelot of the Lake, instead of the stag 'at which 
she aims." — Knight. 

" — good viy glass" — " Here Dr. Johnson and Dr. 
Farmer have each a note, too long and too absurd to 
quote, to show it was the fashion for ladies to wear 
mirrors at their girdles. Stevens says, justly, that 
Dr. Johnson is mistaken, and that the forester is the 
mirror." — Pye. 

" — a member of the commomrealth" — " The Princess 
calls Costard a ' member of the commonwealth,' because 
he is one of the attendants on the King and his asso- 
ciates, in their new-modelled society." — Singer. 

" God DiG-You-DEN all" — i. e. God give you good 
even all. " Good den" is good even. 

" Break up this capon" — i. e. Open this letter. " To 
break up (says Percy) was a peculiar phrase in can-ing." 

" — Penelophon" — The ballad which Shakespeare 
alludes to, in Richard II. and elsewhere, may be 
found in Percy's delightful collection of " Reliques of 
Ancient Poetry." 

" — a Monarcho" — The allusion is to a fantastical 
character of the time. " Popular applause (says Meares, 
in ' Wit's Treasurie,' p. 178) doth nourish some, neither 
do they gape after any other thing but vaine praise and 
glorie, — as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paules, and 
Monarcho that lived about the court." He is called an 
Italian by Nashe, and Churchyard has written some 
lines which he calls his " Epitaphe." By another writer 
it appears that he was a " Bergamasco." 

" — u^ho is the suitor" — The joke, here and after- 
wards, depends upon the pronunciation of "suitor" — 
shooter. In this play, in the last line but one of act iii., 
to sue is printed to shne, both in the quarto and in the 
folio; and here "suitor" is printed shooter. This indi- 
cates the pronunciation of the Elizabethan age, in this 
respect, to have been the same with that still jiie- 
served in Ireland, which was for a time, on Sheridan's 
authority, fashionable on the stage, and among public 

" An I cannot, another can" — This, like many of the 
"snatches of songs" in Shakespeare, is a fragment of 
a popular song. It is referred to in the light poetiy of 
the time. 

Scene II. 

" — a buck of the first head"— In the " Return from 
Parnassus," (1606,) there is an account of the different 
appellations of deer, at their different ages : — " Now, 
SU-, a buck is the first year, a fawn ; the second year, a 
pricket ; the third year, a sorrel ; the fourth yeare, a 
soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head ; the sixth, a 



complete buck. Likewise, your hart is the first year, a 
calf; the second year, a Ijrocket ; the third year, a spade ; 
the fourth year, a stag ; the sixth year, a hart. A roe- 
Inick is the first year, a kid ; the second year, a gird ; 
the third year, a hemuse. And these are your special 
beasts for chace." Sir Nathaniel and Dull ditfer as to 
the age of the animal. 

" — 'twas a pricket" — A "buck of the first head" is 
a stag of five yeai's old ; a " pricket" is a stag of the 
second year — as Malone has shown from the " Return 
from Paruassus," (1606.) 

•' — RAUGHT 7iot" — i. e. Reached not, or attained not. 

^^ If a TALENT he a claw" — In our author's time the 
talon of a bird was frequently written " talent." Hence 
the quibble. In Beaumont and Fletcher's " Woman 
Hater," taloiis is spelt talents, in the old copies. 

" — master person" — The derivation oi parson was, 
perhaps, commonly understood in Shakespeare's time, 
and parson and "person" were used indifferently. 
Blackstone (Commentaries) has explained the word : — 
•' A pai'son, persona ecclesia, is one that hath full pos- 
session of all the rights of a parochial church. He is 
called parson, persona, because by his person the 
church, which is an invisible body, is represented." 

" — good old Mantuan" — The " good old Mantuan" 
■was Joh. Baptista Mantuanus, a Carmelite, whose " Ec- 
logues" were translated into English by George Turber- 
vile, in 1567. His first "Eclogue" commences with — 
Fauste, precor gelida ; and Farnaby, in his preface to 
" Martial," says, that pedants thought more highly of 
the Fauste, precor gelida, than of the Arma vinimque 
cano. Here, again, the unlearned Shakespeare hits the 
mark when he meddles with learned matters. 

" — NON TE pregia" — A proverbial expression applied 
to Venice, which we find thus in Howell's " Letters;" — 

Venetia, Venetia, chi non te vede, non te pregia, 
Ma chi t' ha troppo vcduto te dispregia. 

Scene IIL 

" Gets up into a tree" — The old stage-direction is, 
" He stands aside," which was all that the humble 
scenic an-angement of the old stage could afford ; but it 
is evident, from what Biron says, on the entrance of 
Dnmaine, that the author meant that he should be above 
the others : — 

Like a demi-god here sit I in the sliv, etc. 

" — like a perjurer, wearing papers" — From a 
passage in Hollingshed, it appears that perjurers wore 
papers, stating their offence, when they were punished. 

" — the TRiUMViRY, the corner-cap of society, 

The SHAPE OF love's Tyburn," etc. 

" Triumviry," and the " shape of love's Tyburn," al- 
lude to the gallows of the time, which was occasionally 

" — GUARDS on wanton Cupid's hose" — " Guards" 
signify the edges, or hems, of garments. 

" This is the liver vein" — In reference to the sup- 
position, which came down from classic antiquity, and is 
often alluded to by Shakespeare, that the liver was the 
seat of love. 

" — she is not : — corporal" — The received reading is, 
"she is l/Ht corporal." Ours is the ancient reading; 
and Douce repudiates the modern change. Biron calls 
Dumaine " corporal," as he had formerly named himself 
(act iii.) "corporal of his field" — of Cupid's field. 

" Her amber hairs for foul have amber quoted" — 
"Quoted" signifies marked, or noted. The word is 
fioui the coter. (to quote.) The constniction of this 
passage will, therefore, be — Her amber hairs have 
marked, or shown, that real amber is foul in comparison 
with themselves. 


" — nor I Biron" — Here, as throughout the play, the 
name of Biron is accented on the second syllable. In 
the first quarto he is called Berowne. From the line 
before us, it aj)pears that, in our author's time, the name 
was pronounced Biroon. Mr. Boswell has remarked 
that this was the mode in which words of this ter- 
mination were pronounced, in English. Mr. Fox al- 
ways said Touloon, when speaking of Toulon, in the 
House of Commons. 

" — some quillets" — "Quillet" means an ingenious 
turn of argument, and is applied to the refinements of 
the law. Its derivation has pei-plexed the etj'mologists ; 
that given by Bailey and Nares, in their " Dictionaries," 
is the most probable — " Quibblet ; a diminutive of 

" — climbing trees in the Hesperides" — " The ' Hes- 
perides' were the daughters of Hesperus, and the fabled 
possessors of the golden apples carried away by Her- 
cules. In the text, the tenn is used as though it were 
the name of the garden itself. Several of the Poet's 
classical contemporaries have fallen into the same 
error." — Knight. 

" Makes heaven drowsy" — Few passages have been 
more discussed than this. Yet the only difficulty seems 
to be from insisting on a literal and prosaic sense. The 
obvious interpretation of it is — " Whenever love speaks, 
all the gods join their voices in harmonious concert." 
The power of harmonious sounds to make the hearei-s 
drowsy has been alluded to, by poets, in all ages. The 
old copies read make. Shakespeare often falls into a 
similar carelessness. 

" — get the sun of them" — In the days of archery, it 
was of consequence to have the sun at the back of the 
bowmen, and in the face of the enemy. This circum- 
stance was of great advantage to Heniy V. at the battle 
of Agincoiirt. 

ACT v.— Scene L 

" — yortr reasons at dinner have been sharp and 
sententious" — " I know not well what degree of respect 
Shakespeare intends to obtain for this vicar, but he has 
here put into his mouth a finished representation of 
colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any 
thing to this character of the schoolmaster's table-talk ; 
and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely 
be found to comprehend a nile for conversation so justly 
delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited." — 

Reason, in the text, and in many other places, signifies 
discourse; audacious is used in a good sense, for spir- 
ited, animated, confident ; opinion is equivalent to ob- 
stinacy, or the French opinidtratd ; and affection, as 
often in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, for aftecta- 

" — thrasonical" — From Thraso, the boasting soldier 
of Terence. Fuller, in his " Worthies," speaks of one 
as a "thrasonical puff, and emblem of mock valour." 
Farmer asserts that the word was introduced in our 
language before Shakespeare's time. 

" — point-devise companions" — i. e. Nice to excess. 
The origin of the phrase is very obscure. Gifford thinks 
it must have been a mathematical phrase. Other ex- 
amples of its use are found in Shakespeare, and in Hol- 
lingshed, Drayton, and Ben Jonson. 

" This is abhominable" — This was a frequent mode 
of spelling the word, before the time of Shakespeare. 
It seems to have been going out of use when this play 
was written, and "abhominable" soon was generally 
spelled abominable. 

" — honorific a BiLiTU DIN it atibus" — " TayloT, theold 
water-poet, has given us a svllable more of this delight of 
school-boys — honorificicabiUtndinitatibus. But he has 
not equalled Rabelais, who has thus furnished the 


title of a book that might puzzle Paternoster Row — 


" — a flap-dragon" — A "flap-dragon" is a small in- 
flammable substance, which topers used to swallow, 
floating on the wine. 

"—or the fifth, if 7"—" The pedant asks who is 
the silly sheep — quis, quis ? ' The third of the five 
vowels, if you repeat them,' says Moth ; and the ped- 
ant does repeat them — a, e, I. ' The other two clinches 
it,' says Moth — ' o, w,' (O you.) This may appear a 
poor conundrum, and a low conceit, as Theobald has it ; 
but the satire is in opposing the pedantry of the boy to 
that of the man, and making the pedant have the worst 
of it, in what he calls 'a quick veuew of wit.'" — 

" — VENEW of icit" — A "venew," or venie, was the 
technical term for a hit, at the fencing-school. In the 
various forms of venew, venie, venny, and vennie, it is 
of common occun-ence in old writers. 

" — at the charge-house" — Stevens supposed that 
by " charge-house" was meant a free-school. Collier 
suggests that it is a misprint for large house. 

" — remember thy courtesy'' — By "remember thy 
courtesy," Armado probably means — Remember that 
all this time thou art standing with thy hat off". — " The 
putting oiF the hat at table is a kind of conrtesie, or cer- 
emonie, rather to be avoided than otherwise." — Florio's 
"Second Frutes,'' (1.591.) 

Scene II. 

" — to make his god-head wax" — i. e. Grow. The 
pun is obvious. 

" — mouse'' — A tenii of endearment; as, in Hamlet — 
"call you his mouse." 

"A vox of that jest" — Theobald is scandalized at 
this language from a princess. " But (Dr. Farmer ob- 
serves) there need be no alarm — the small-pox only 
is alluded to, with which it seems Katharine was pitted ; 
or, as it is quaintly expressed, ' her face was full of 
O's.' " Dr. Donne and others are quoted to show this 
use of the word. Such a plague was the small-pox 
formerly, that its name might well be used as an impre- 

" — by the week" — i. e. For a certainty, and a fixed 
period. The expression was common. 

" Like Mnscovites, or Russians" — It appears that a 
masque of Muscovites was not an unusual court recre- 
ation. Hall (the Chronicler) states that, in the first 
year of Henry VIII., at a banquet made for the foreign 
ambassadors, in the parliament-chamber, at Westmin- 
ster, "came the Lord Henrj' Earle of Wiltshire, and the 
Lord Fitzwater, in two long gowns of yellow satin, tra- 
versed with wliite satin, and in every bend of white 
w^as a bend of crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia, 
or Russland, with furred hats of grey on their heads ; 
either of them having a hatchet in their hands, and 
boots with pikes turned up." 

" — in Russian habits" — Boyet has previously told 
us that the King and his lords were to enter " like Mus- 
coN-ites, or Russians." The old stage-direction is, " En- 
ter Black-moors with music, the boy with a speech, 
and the rest of the lords disguised." Hence it appears 
that Black-moors, with music, preceded the lords, in 
order to introduce the maskers. 

"Beauties no richer than rich taffata" — This speech, 
which, in the older editions, is assigned to Biron, as 
here, was given, by Theobald and his successors, to 
Boyet, as more appropriate to him. It may be so, but 
is not out of place in the mouth of the jesting Biron. 
The allusion is to the " taffata" ma.sks. 

" — tread a measure" — The "measure" was a grave 
courtly dance, of which the steps were slow and meas- 
ured, like those of a modem minuet. 

" — Since you can cog" — To "cog" is, technically, 
to load dice, and, metaphorically, to deceive and cheat. 

" — is not veal a calf" — By "veal" is probably 
meant well, sounded as foreigners usually pronounce 
that word, and introduced merely for the sake of the 
subsequent question. In the play of " Dr. Doddypoll," 
the same joke occurs : — 

Doctor. Hans, my very special friend, fait and trot me be right 
glad for see you reale, 

Hans. What, do you make a calf of me, master doctor .' 

" — better wits have worn plain statute-caps" — In 
the Thirteenth of Elizabeth, (1571,) an act was passed 
" For the continuance of making and wearing woollen 
caps, in behalf of the trade of cappers," providing that 
all above the age of six years, (except the nobility, and 
some others,) should, on sabbath-flays and holidays, 
wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and dressed in Eng- 
land, upon penalty of ten groats. These were the 
" statute-caps" alluded to ; and the meaning of the pas- 
sage in the text is — " Better wits may" be found among 
the plain citizens." In Marston's " Dutch Courtesan," 
Mrs. Mulligrab says — " Though my husband be a citi- 
zen, and his cap's made of wool, yet I have wit." 
Walter Scott has made the term more familiar to the 
modem reader, by using it in the " Fortunes of Nigel." 

" — ansrels vailing clouds" — i. e. Angela lowering 
the clouds that concealed them. 

"A mean" — The "mean," in vocal music, is an inter- 
mediate part — a part (whether tenour, or second soprano, 
or contra-tenour) between the two extremes of highest 
and lo^vest. 

" — teeth as white as whales bone" — i. e. As white 
as the " bone," or tooth, of the walrus, of old called the 
" whale." The expression was common, at a very early 
date, in our language. The reader will perceive that 
" whales" is to be read as a dissyllable, in Shakespeare, 
as well as in Lord Sun-ey's " Songs and Sonnets," in 
Spenser's " Faerie Queene," and various older authori- 
ties for the same simile. 

" — spruce affection" — So the old copies; and Sir 
Nathaniel has already used the expression, " witty with- 
out affection." In both cases, we should now write 
affectation ; but Shakespeare's word, as appears by all 
the old copies, was " affection ;" and that ought to be 
retained, though Malone and other editors reject it. 

" Write 'Lord have mercy on vs'" — The inscription 
upon the doors of houses infected with the plague. The 
word " tokens," occurring a few lines lower, in refer- 
ence to the favours woni by the ladies, was then also 
applied to symptoms of the plague. 

" — you FORCE not to forswear" — i. e. You do not 
hesitate, or care not, to forswear. This idiomatic use 
of the word is very old in our language : — 

Lorde ! some good body, for God's sake, gvye me meate, 

1 force not what it were, so that I had to eate. 

"Jacob and Esau," (1568,) act ii. scene 2. 

" — smiles his cheek in years" — The old copies are 
uniform in this reading, which is veiy intelligible. Biron 
is speaking generally of some courtier, who " smiles his 
cheek in (or into) years," or an app>earance of age, by 
constant grinning. Malone altered "years" m\o jeers. 

" — by the squire" — From esquierre, (French) — a 
rule, or square. 

" — this brave manage" — A term from the tilt-yard. 
The quarto (1.598) has nuage; the folio (1623) mana- 
ger. The con-ect reading was given by Theobald. 

" You cannot beg us" — In the old common-law was 
a writ de idiota inquirendo, under which, if a man was 
legally proved an idiot, the profits of his lands, and the 



custody of his person, might be granted by the king to 
any subject. Such a person, when this grant was 
asked, was said to be begged for a fool. — (See " Black- 
stone," b. i. c. 8.) One of the legal tests appears to 
have been to try whether the party could answer a 
simple arithmetical question. 

"Abate throw at novum" — "'Novum,' or novem, 
was a game at dice, and ' abate throw at novum' seems 
equivalent to saying, ' barring throw at dice,'' or bar- 
ring the chance of throwing, these persons cannot be 
matched. Malone inserted the indefinite article before 
'throw;' but it is not necessary. The 'Nine Worthies' 
brought novem into Biroii's mind." — Cot.i.ier. 

The old reading has been retained in the text, which, 
read as you may, must require a note. My impression 
is, diat the reading of the second folio, adopted in seve- 
ral editions, is right — "a bare throw" — a mere freak of 
odd chance to bring five such persons together. 

"Pageant of the iVme TT'or^Aies"—" The genuine 
worthies of the old pageant were Joshua, David, Judas 
Maccabeus, Hector, Alexander, Julius Ciesar, Arthur, 
Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bulloigne. Sometimes 
Guy of Warwick was substituted for Godfrey of Bul- 
loigne. These redoubted personages, according to a 
manuscript in the British Museum, (Harl. 20.57,) were 
clad in complete armour, with crowns of gold on their 
heads; every one having his esquire, to bear before 
him his shield and pennon-at-arms. According to this 
manuscri]it, these 'lords' were dressed as three He- 
brews, three Infidels, and three Christians. Shake- 
speare overthrew the just proportion of age and country ; 
for he gives us four infidels, (Hector, Pompey, Alexan- 
der, and Hercules,) out of the five of the schoolmaster's 
pageant." — Knight. 

" — libbard's head on knee'' — Pompey wore a " lib- 
bard's" (or panther's) head upon his knee. 

" — it stands too right" — "It should be remem- 
bered, (Stevens remarks,) to relish this joke, that the 
head of Alexander was obliquely placed on his shoul- 

" — Your nose smells" — "His (Alexander's) body 
had so sweet a smell of itselfe that all the apparell he 
wore next unto his body, tooke thereof a passing de- 
lightful savour, as if it had been perfumed."— North's 

ti — lion, that holds his poll-axe sitting on a close- 
stooV'—" This alludes to the arms given in the old his- 
tory of the ' Nine Worthies,' (says Toilet,) to ' Alexan- 
der, the which did beare geules, a lion or, seiante in a 
chayer, holding a battle-axe argent.' "—(Leigh's "Acci- 
dence of Armoury." 1597, p. 23.) The second part of 
the joke arises oiit of the similarity of sound between 
Aja.v and a jakes. 

" — Judas was hang'd on an elder" — The common 
tradition was that Judas hanged himself on an elder-tree. 
Thus, in Ben Jonsou's " Every Man out of his Humour" — 
" He shall be your Judas, and you shall be his elder-U-ee 
to hang on." 

"A cittern head" — It appeal's, from several passages 
in the old dramas, that the head of a "cittern," giltern, 
or "uitar, was, terminated with a face. 

" The carv' d-bone face on a flask" — A soldier's 
powder-horn, which was often elaborately " carv'd." 

"/go woolward" — i. e. Wanting the shirt, so as to 
leave the woollen cloth of the outer coat next the skin. 
In an old collection of satires we have — 

And when his shin's a washing, then he must 

Go woolward for the time. 

" — at his very loose" — '"At his very loose' may 
mean, (say the editors following Stevens,) at the moment 
of his parting." But " loose" is an old term of archery— 
'' the act of discharging an arrow." Drayton has this 


same phrase, used in its literal sense — " in the very loose" 
of the shaft. The King then means — " at the very be- 
ginning of the time of any affair, it is often decided," etc. 

" — it would convisce" — i. e. Overcome, or obtain 
by overcoming. 

" — straying shapes" — All the old copies read — 
" Full of straying shapes." Coleridge recommends the 
substitution of stray. Malone and others have .strange ; 
which (Dycesays) is often thus misprinted in old books. 

"As BOMBAST, and as lining to the time" — i. e. To 
fill up the time, as " bombast" (in its original sense 
cotton, or such wadding) was fonnerly used to fill up 
and stuff out dress. 

" — and LAST love" — i. e. If it conlimic still to bs 

" — seek the weary beds of people sick."]" — Thirlby, 
Warburton, and Coleridge suggested, that the hues 
printed in the text in brackets ought to be omitted, as 
only an abridgment of what Rosaline says afterwards, in 
answer to Biron. They have been here retained, be- 
cause they are in all the older editions, and most modern 
ones. The probability seems to be that here, as it 
occurs in Romeo and Juliet, the autlior's first draft, 
afterwards altered and enlarged, was accidentally left 
in the dialogue, along with the expanded lines. 

" — KEEL the pot" — To "keel," or A;eZe, is to cooZ — 
(from celan, Anglo-Saxon.) H. Tooke asserts that it 
has no other sense ; but, latterly, it seems to have been 
applied particularly to the tending of boiling liquor. 
To "keel the pot" is to cool it. by stirring the pottage 
with a ladle, to prevent the boihng over. Thus, in a 
much older author — 

And leied men a ladel hygge, with a long stele 

That cast for to kele a crokke, and save the falte above. 

" — roasted crabs" — Not our shell-fish, but the wild 
English apple, which, roasted and put into ale, was a 
fevourite Old-English luxury. . This was probably the 
origin of the apple-toddy of Virginia. 

" If we were to part with any of the author's come 
dies, it should be this. Yet we should be loth to part 
with Don Adriano de Armado, that mighty potentate of 
nonsense ; or his page, that handful of wit ; with Na- 
thaniel the curate, or Holofernes the schoolmaster, and 
their dispute after dinner, on ' the golden cadences ot 
poetry ;' with Costard the clown, or Dull the constable. 
Biron is too accomplished a character to be lost to the 
worid, and yet he could not appear without his fellow- 
courtiers and the King ; and if we were to leave out the 


ladies, the gentlemen would have no mistresses. So 
that we believe we must let the whole play stand as it 
is, and we shall hardly venture to ' set a mark of re- 
probation on it.' Still we have some objections to the 
style, which we think savours more of the pedantic 
spirit of Shakespeare's time than of his own genius — 
more of controversial divinity, and the logic of Peter 
Lombard, than of the inspiration of the muse. It trans- 
ports us quite as much to the manners of the court, and 
the quirks of courts of law, as to the scenes of nature, 
or the fairy-land of his own imagination. 

" Shakespeare has set himself to imitate the tone of 
polite conversation then prevailing among the fair, the 
witty, and the learned ; and he has imitated it but too 
faithfully. It is as if the hand of Titian had been em- 
ployed to give grace to the curls of a full-bottomed peri- 
wig, or Raphael had attempted to give expression to the 
tapestry figures in the House of Lords. Shakespeare 
has put an excellent description of this fashionable jar- 
gon into the mouth of the critical Holofernes, ' as too 
picked, too spruce, too aftected, too odd, too peregrinate, 
as I may call it;' and nothing can be more marked than 
the difference when he breaks loose from the trammels 
he had imposed on himself, ' as light as bird from brake,' 
and speaks in his own person." — Hazlitt. 

" In this play, which all the editors have concurred 
to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our 
Poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages 
mean, childish, and vulgar ; and some which ought not 
to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a 
maiden queen. 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 Shakespeare." — 

" This is one of Shakespeare's early plays, and the 
author's youth is certainly perceivable, not only in the 
style and manner of the versification, but in the lavish 
superfluity displayed in the execution ; the uninterrupted 
succession of quibbles, equivoques, and sallies of every 
description. ' The sparks of wit fly about in such pro- 
fusion that they form complete fireworks, and the dia- 
logue for the most part resembles the bustling collision 
and banter of passing masks at a carnival.' — (Schlegel.) 
The scene in which the King and his companions detect 
each other's breach of their mutual vow, is capitally 
contrived. The discovery of Biron's love-letter while 
rallying his friends, and the manner in which he extri- 
cates himself, by ridiculing the folly of the vow, are ad- 
mirable." — Singer. 

" The characters in this play are either impersonated 
out of Shakespeare's own multiformity by imaginative 
self position, or out of such as a country -town and a 
schoolboy's observation might supply — the curate, the 
schoolmaster, the Armado, (who even in my time was not 
extinct in the cheaper inns of North Wales,) and so on. 
The satire is chiefly on follies of words. Biron and Ro- 
saline are evidently the pre-existent state of Benedick 
and Beatrice, and so, perhaps, is Boyet of Lafeu, and 
Costard of the Tapster in Measure for Measure; and 
the frequency of the rhymes, the sweetness as well as 
the smoothness of the metre, and the number of acute 
and fancifully illustrated aphorisms, are all as they ought 
to be in a poet's youth. True genius begins by gener- 
alizing and condensing ; it ends in realizing and expand- 
ing. It first collects the seeds. 

" Yet if this juvenile drama had been the only one ex- 
tant of our Shakespeare, and we possessed the tradition 
only of his riper works, or accounts of them in writers 
who had not even mentioned this play, how many of 
Shakespeare's characteristic features might we not still 
have discovered in Love's Labour's Lost, though as in 
a porti'ait taken of him in his boyhood. 

" I can never sufficiently admire the wonderful activity 
of thought throughout the whole of the first scene of 
the play, rendered natural, as it is, by the choice of the 

characters, and the whimsical determination on \vhich 
the drama is founded. A whimsical determination cer- 
tainly; — yet not altogether so very improbable to those 
who are conversant in the history of the middle ages, 
with their courts of love, and all that lighter drapery of 
chivalry, which engaged even mighty kings with a sort 
of serio-comic interest, and may well be supposed to 
have occupied more completely the smaller princes, at 
a time when the noble's or prince's court contained the 
only theatre, of the domain or principality. This sort 
of stoiy, too, was admirably suited to Shakespeare's 
times, when the English court was still the foster-mother 
of the state and the muses; and when, in consequence, 
the courtiers, and men of rank and fashion, affected a 
display of wit, point, and sententious observation, that 
would be deemed intolerable at present; but iii which 
a hundred years of controversy, involving eveiy great 
political and every dear domestic interest, had trained 
all but the lowest classes to participate. Add to this 
the very style of the sermons of the time, and the eager- 
ness of the Protestants to distinguish themselves by long 
and frequent preaching, and it will be found that, from 
the reign of Henry VIII. to the abdication of James II. 
no country ever received svich a national education as 

" Hence the comic matter chosen in the first instance 
is a ridiculous imittition or apery of this constant striving 
after logical precision, and subtle opposition of thoughts, 
together with a making the most of every conception 
or image, by expressing it under the least expected 
property belonging to it, and this, again, rendered spe- 
cially absurd by being applied to the most cun-ent sub- 
jects and occurrences. The phrases and modes of com- 
l)ination and argument were caught by the most ignorant 
from the custom of the age, and their ridiculotis misap- 
plication of them is most amusingly exhibited in Costard ; 
while examples suited only to the gravest propositions 
and impersonations, or apostrophes to abstract thoughts 
impersonated, (which are in fact the natural language 
only of the most vehement agitations of the mind,) are 
adopted by the coxcombry of Armado as mere artifices 
of ornament. 

" The same kind of intellectual action is exhibited in 
a more serious and elevated strain, in many other parts 
of this play. Biron's speech at the end of the fourth act 
is an excellent specimen of it. It is logic clothed in 
rhetoric ; — but observe how Shakespeare, in his two-fold 
being of poet and philosopher, avails himself of it to 
convey profound tniths in the most lively images — the 
whole remaining faithful to the character supposed to 
utter the lines, and the expressions themselves consti- 
tuting a further development of that character. 

" This is quite a study. Sometimes you .see this 
youthful god of poetry connecting disparate thoughts 
purely by means of resemblances in the words express- 
ing them — a thing in character in lighter comedy, espe- 
cially of that kind in which Shakespeare delights, name- 
ly, the purposed display of wit, though sometimes, too, 
disfiguring his gi-aver scenes; — but more often you may 
see him doubling the natural connection or order of logi- 
cal consequence in the thoughts by the introduction of 
I an artificial and sought-for resemblance in the words, as, 
for instance, in the third line of the play — 

And then grace us in the disgrace of death: — 

this being a figui'e often having its force and propriety, 
as justified by the law of passion, which, inducing in 
the mind an unusual activity, seeks for means to waste 
its superfluity, — when in the highest degree, in lyric 
repetitions and sublime tautology — ('at her feet he 
bowed, he fell, he lay down; at her feet, he bowed, he 
fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead') — and, 
in lower degrees, in making the words themselves the 
subjects and materials of that surplus action, and for the 
same cause that agitates our limbs, and forces our very 
gestures into a tempest in states of high excitement. 
"The mere style of narration in Love's Labour's 


Lost, like that of ^Egeon in the first scene of the Com- 
Env of Errors, and of the Soldier in the second scene 
of Macbeth, seems imitated with its defects and its 
beauties from Sir Philip Sidney; whose 'Arcadia,' 
though not then published, was already well known in 
manuscript copies, and coidd hardly have escaped the 
notice and admiration of Shakespecire, as the friend and 
client of the Earl of Southampton. The chief defect 
consists in the parentheses and parenthetic thoughts and 
descriptions, suited neither to the passion of the speaker, 
nor the purpose of the person to whom the information 
is to be given, but manifestly betraying the author him- 
self — not by way of continuous undersong, but pidpably, 
and so as to show themselves addressed to the general 
reader. However, it is not unimportant to notice how 
strong a presumption the diction and allusicnis of this 
play afford, that, though Shakespeare's acquirements in 
the dead languages misht not be such as we suppose in 
a learned education, his habits had, nevertheless, been 
scholastic, and those of a student. For a young author's 

first work almost always bespeaks his recent pursuits, 
and his first observations of life are either drawn from 
the immediate employments of his youth, and from the 
characters and images most deeply impressed on his 
mind in the situations in which those employments had 
placed him ; or else they are fixed on such objects and 
occuiTences iu the world, as are easily connected with, 
and seem to bear upon, his studies and the hitherto ex- 
clusive subjects of his meditation. Just as Ben Jonson, 
wlio applied himself to the drama after having served 
in Flanders, fills his earliest plays with true or pretended 
soldiers, the wrongs and neglects of the former, and the 
absurd boasts and knavery of their counterfeits. So 
Lessing's first comedies are placed in the universities, 
and consist of events and characters conceivable in an 
academic life. 

" I will only further remark the sweet and tempered 
gravity with which Shakespeare, in the end, draws the 
only fitting moral \vhich such a drama afforded. Here 
Rosaline rises up to the full height of Beatrice." 

Abmado and Moth. 





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i|;|| ]j^JTRiG)©yeT©aY IrillMAKKS 


THE MERCHANT OF VENICE was first printed in 1600, when it appeared in 
two distinct quarto editions, by different piiljlisliers, Roberts, and Hayes, with 
such variations of text as, although shght, to indicate that tliey were different 
editions, and printed from different manuscripts, although both of them are, in the 
main, correct copies. In the folio edition of 1623 the edition of Hayes is reprinted, 
with some coiTectious of its misprints, and some few slight improvements as if 
from a copy re\-ised at some later period by the author. Accorduigly, witli the 
exception of two or three obscure passages, such as the famous one — " Masters of 
passion sway it to the mood," etc..) together with a few eN-ident mispmits, and 
some confusion of the names of miuor chai-acters, and of the assignment of their 
speeches, the text in every edition is nearly such as it came from the author's 
hand, and affords little room for the exercise of critical sagacity. 

Although it was first printed in 1600, it has lately been ascertained from the 
Stationers' Register that the " Merchaunt of Venice," evidently and indubitably 
Shakespeare's play, was in July, 1.598, entered l)y Roberts, who afterwards pub- 
lished the best early edition. This was not to be printed " without lycense first 
had from the Lord Chamberlain." It is also mentioned in 1598, by Meares, in his 
" Wit's Treasur)^" m a list which he gives of Shakespeare's works ; placing it at 
the last of the comedies he there names — Love's Labour Lost, Comedy of 
Errors, and Midsummer Night's Dream. 

Thus it appears probable that this comedy was written not very long before 
1.598, and was a populai' piece on the stage at the time it was entered for pub- 
lication in the Stationers' Register, in anticipation of procuring a copy for the press, and pel-mission from the Lord 
Chamberlain, as the guai'dian of the interests of the company interested in the profits of the play. As the license 
was not obtained until two years after, it would seem that the attraction of novelty lasted to that time. 

The internal evidence of style and thought shows that this was not one of the class of the author's earhest dram- 
atic works. It has few of the pecuUar mai'ks which stamp his earlier plays as partaking of the general taste of the 
age, rather than being the peculiar property of him who (according to Ben Jonson's noble eulogy) " was not for 
an age, but for all time." It is evidently the work of the period of full maturity of power, and confidence in its 
exercise; yet without that overflowing abmidance of reflection, sentiment, varied allusion, with which every 
succeeding year more and more stored the Poet's mind, till his drama became (so to speak) " o'er-infonned" with 
excess of crowded thought. The precise year of its composition it is impossible to ascertain, and is indeed of 
little moment : but the comparison of the other dramas clearly shows that it must have been written before Mac- 
beth or Othello, and after Romeo and Juliet in its original form, resembling indeed in its taste, style, and 
versification, far more the additions and improvements of that tragedy than the original groundwork of it. As 
Coleridge has well remarked, it belongs to that epoch of the author's mind which " gave him all the gi-aces and 
facilities of a genius m full possession and habitual exercise of power, and peculiaiiy of the feminine— of the lady's 
character." It was certainly written some time before the author's thii-ty-fourth year ; and, in all probability, 
within a yeai- or two before or after the tliii-tieth year of his age. In this point of view, it presents a literary 
phenomenon to which poetic history presents but few pai'allels. The freedom and beauty of its unborrowed and 
unrivalled melody, exquisite in itself, affords a rai'e example of that mastery over " the numbers of his mother- 
tongue," which we have the great authority of Dryden for sapng " nature never gives the young." As a dramatic 
work of art and judgment, it has been jironounced by the best critics of Europe (Mr. Hallam is among the num- 
ber) to be perfect in the consti'uction of the plot, the skilful involution and blending of the two stories, — that of 
Portia, and that of the merchant, — the deep interest of the action, the variety, spirit, truth, and ^^vid discrimination 
of character, the copiousness of its wit, the splendour of its poetry, and the depth and beauty of its moral, eloquence. 
It has, I tliink, one pecuharity which has escaped ciitical attention. Ranking deservedly, as it does, among 
Shakespeare's most perfect and certainly among his most pleasing works, and bearing throughout the deep stamp 
of his genius, yet it is (at least so it strikes my mind) the least Shakespearian of his gi-eater dramas, in the same 
sense that Lear and Macbeth are the most so. My meaning will be made more clear than any critical discussion 
can make it, by the comparison of Portia's beautiful exhortation — " The quality of mercy is not strained," etc., 
with any of those briefer psissages in Lear, urging the great duties of human sympathy and chainty upon " the 
supei-fluous and lust-dieted man." The play is less Shakespearian than many others, because it has less of that 
marvellous comljination of impassioned imagery with ponderous thoughts, clothed in sucli burning words as 
Shakespeare could alone give to his language, and compressing volumes of wisdom or feeling into a brief phrase, 
a hasty allusion, or a rapidly passing image. He here rather seems to luxuriate in a more diffuse moral eloquence, 
and to dwell in a calmer mood upon all the ideas, and incidents, and scenes, and circumstances of surpassing 
beauty, grace, or splendour, which liis lavish imagination pours around with profuse magnificence. It has, too, 


with the exception of some of Shylock's scenes of fiercer passion, in its language and train of thouglit something 
more of the tone of etliical poetry than of the drama. [ do not point out these as any evidences of inferiority 
in this piece : they are ratlier to be regarded as proofs of the variety and extent of the author's genius. If he is 
here less like the Shakespeare of his own greater dramas, it is because he often reminds us more, at times, of 
Jeremy Taylor, and at other times of Edmund Spenser, than he does of himself. 


The story of the Merchant of Venice, so far as relates to the stipulated pound of flesh, is one of the many 
traditionary nan'atives which has travelled round the world, re-appearing in varied forms, in different ages, 
countries, and languages. There is good reason to believe that it is originally of oriental origin, and that it passed, 
with other things of the same sort, through monkish Latin literature, (and especially through the popular collection 
of the Gesta Romnnorum.) into Italian and English legends, romance, and poetry. IMr. Collier, in his "Introduction" 
to this play, thus sums up the European literary history of this story, and that of the caskets: — 

" The two plots of the Merchant of Venice are found as distinct novels in various ancient foreign authorities, 
but no English oi-iginal of either of them, of the age of Shakespeare, lias lieen discovered. That there were such 
originals is highly jirobable, but if so they have perished with many other i-elics of our popular literature. Wliether 
the separate incidents, relating to the bond and to the caskets, were ever combined in the same novel at all as 
Shakesjieare comljined them in his drama, cannot of course be detemiined. Stevens asserts broadly, that ' a play 
comjirehending the distinct plots of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, had been exhibited long Ijefore he 
commenced a writer;' and the evidence he adduces is a passage from Gosson's 'School of Abuse,' 1579, where he 
especially praises two plays 'sliowne at the Bull,' one called 'The Jew,' and the other 'Ptolome:' of the former 
Gosson states, that it ' represented the greedinesse of worldly chusers, and bloody minds of usurers.' (Shakespeare 
Societj-'s Reprint, p. 30.) The tenns, ' worldly chusers,' may certainly have reference to the choice of the caskets : and 
the conduct of Shylock may veiy well be intended by the words, ' Ijloody minds of usurers.' It is possilile, therefore, 
that a tlieatrical peifonnance should have existed, anterior to the time of Shakespeare, in which the separate plots 
were united ; and it is not unlikely tliat some novel had been published which gave the same incidents in a nan-ative 
form. 'On the whole,' savs the learned and judicious Tyrwhitt, 'I am inclined to suspect that Shakespeare 
followed some hitherto-unknown novelist, who liad saved him the ti-ouble of working up the two stories into one.' 

•' Both stories (tliat of the bond, and that of the caskets) are found separately in the Latin Gesta Romanorum, 
with considerable variations. The Pecorone of Giovanni Fiorentuio contains a novel very similar to that of the 
Merchant of Venice, with respect to the bond, the disguise and agency of Portia, and the gift of the ring. This 
naiTative {Giorn. iv. nov. 1) was written as early as the year 1378, but not printed in Italy until 1.5.54 ; and it is 
remarkable that the scene of certain romantic adventures, in which the hero was engaged, is there laid in the 
dwelling of a lady at Belmont. These adventures seem afterwards to have been changed, in some English version, 
for the incidents of the caskets. In Boccaccio's Decameron (Giorn. x. ?iov. 1) a choice of caskets is inti-oduced, 
but it does not in other respects resemble the choice as we find it in Shakespeai-e ; while the latter, even to the 
inscriptions, is extremely like the histoiy in the Gesfa Romanorum. 

" The earliest notice in English, with a date, of any circumstances connected with the bond and its forfeiture, is 
contained in 'The Orator: handling a Hundred several Discourses,' a translation from the French of Alexander 
Silvayn, by Anthony Miinday, who published it under the name of Lazarus Piot, in 159fi, 4to. There, with the 
headof ' Declamation .95,' we find one ' Of a Jew, who would for his debt have a pound of flesh of a Christian ;' 
and it is followed by ' The Christian's Answer,' but nothing is said of the incidents, out of which these ' declamations' 
arose. Of the old ballad of ' The Craeltie of Gernutus, ajewe,' in ' Percy's Reliques,' no dated edition is known ; 
but most readers will l)e inclined to agree with Warton, ('Observations on the Faerie Qneene,' I. 128.) that it was 
not founded upon Shakespeare's play, and was anterior to it : it might owe its origin to the ancient drama of ' The 
Jew,' mentioned by Gosson." — Collier. 

Most of the materials of the plot may be found, more at large, collected in Collier's Shakespeare Library, vol. II. 
I have nothing to add to the literary researches of the English editors, but I cannot but submit to the readers of 
this edition a conjecture of my own, as to the reasons which may have led to the choice of this particular subject, 
or at least primarily suggested it to the author's muid. 

Every one at all conversant with legal history is familiar with the struggles between the strict and literal old 
common-law and the equitable doctrine, on the subject of bonds with penalty. The ancient common form of the 
bond for payment of money resembled that still in use, being an obligation to pay a larger sum, generally double, 
unless tlie money borrowed be repaid at the day stipulated. The old common-law held that on the forfeiture of 
the bond, or a default of payment, the whole penalt>' was recoverable ; but here the courts of equitj' interfered, and 
would not permit the lender to take more than " in conscience he ought," viz. : the principal lent, with interest 
and expenses ; or, in case of non-performance of some other contract, the damages sustained. (See II. Blackstone 
Comm. 340.) This innovation was resisted by the old-school lawyers and judges ; and the straggle between the two 
systems, (the equitable doctrine gradually gaining ground in the courts of law,) contiimed from the time of Henry 
VIII. to the beginning of Queen Anne's reign, when it was settled, by staUite, in favour of the equitable principle. 

Shakespeare lived in the height of this legal controversy, and as the question was not one of those of mere 
technical learnin?, appertaining only to what Home Tooke used to call "the Grtmgribher" of the law, but 
entered constantly and largely into all the concerns of men of business, it must certainly have become of general 
interest, far beyond the confines of the Irms-of-Court. It is even highly probable that there were then many well- 
known cases of hardship and oppression in enforcing penalties, perfectly familiar to tlie citizens of London. I do 
not mean that Shakespeare had the remotest intention of writing a law-lecture, or an argument upon the point, 
but that the subject was thus suggested to hun, and that he perceived the advantage of using a traditionary plot 



involving a principle, and pregnant -with allusions full of immediate interest, and familiar to the minds of a laige 
class of his audiences. 

The plot has been denounced by several critics as improbable. This objection assumes that absolute probability 
is necessary to the degi-ee of belief requii-ed for interest in di-amatic or other fictitious naiTative. Now the very 
reverse is the case ; for mere ordmaiy probaljility, or a succession of events such as are most likely to happen, 
puts an end at once to the excitement of unexpectedness ; it shuts out all the interest of hope or fear for the per- 
sonages. To obtain this interest the incidents must appear possible, and within the range of human events ; yet, 
the more singular they are. aud the less likely to happen as matters of course, if they can only be temporarily 
believed to have hajJi^eued at all, the stronger is the interest. The incidents in the Mercha.vt of Venice are 
assuredly not of every-day occurrence, yet they are all such as might have actually happened in the times and 
countries in which Shakespeare has placed his scene. Indeed, such is the poverty of human invention, as to any 
purely original narration of facts, beyond mere combination in new forms of old incidents, that there is in this, aa 
in many similar ti-aditionaiy stories, good ground to beUeve that the tale or legends may have been originally 
founded upon real occurrences. 


" The Venice of Shakespeai-e's own time, and the manners of that city, are delineated with matchless accuracy 
in this drama ; so much so as to convince Messrs. Brown, Knight, and other critics, that Shakespeare had vi.sited 
Italy. Mr. Brown has observed that ' The * merchant' of Venice is a merchant of no other place in the world.' 

" The dresses of the most civilized nations of Eiu-ope have at all periods bome a strong resemblance to each other : 
the various fashions having been generally invented among the southern and generally adopted by the northern 
ones. Some slight distinctions, however, have always remained to characterize, more or less particularly, the 
country of which the wearer was a native ; and the republic of Venice, perhaps, differed more than any other 
state iu the habits of its nobles, magistrates, and merchants, from the universal fashion of that quarter of the globe 
in which it was situate. 

" To commence with the chief officer of the republic: — The doge, like the pope, appears to have worn different 
habits on different occasions. C»sar Vecellio describes the alterations made in the ducal dress by several princes, 
fi-om the close of the twelfth century down to that of the sixteenth, the period of the action of the play before us ; 
at which time the materials of which it was usually composed were cloth of silver, cloth of gold, and crimson 
velvet, the cap always con-espondiug in colour with the robe and mantle. 

" The chiefs of the Council of Ten, who were tlu-ee in number, wore ' red gowns with long sleeves, either of 
cloth, camlet, or damask, according to the weather, with a flap of the same colour over their left shoulders, red 
stockings, and slippers.' The rest of the Ten, according to Coryat, wore black camlet gowns, with marvellous 
long sleeves, that reach almost down to the ground. The ' clarissimoes' generally wore gowns of black cloth faced 
with black taflata, with a flap of black cloth edged -with taffata, over the left shoulder ; and ' all these gowned 
men,' says the same author, ' do wear marvellous little black caps of felt, without any brims at all, and very dim- 
inutive falling bands, no ruffs at all, which are so shallow that I have seen many of them not aljove a little inch 
deep.' The colour of their under garments was also generally black, and consisted of ' a slender doublet, made 
close to the body, without much quilting or bombast, and long hose plain, without those new-fangled curiosities 
and ridiculous superfluities of panes, pleats, and other light toys used with us Englishmen. Yet,' he continues, 
' they make it of costly stuff, well Ijeseeming gentlemen and eminent perstnis of their places, as of the best taffata^ 
and satins that Christendom doth yield, which are fairly garnished also with lace of the best sort. The Knights 
of St. Mark, or of the Order of the Glorious Virgin, etc., were distinguished by wearing red apparel under their 
black go\v^ls.' 'Young lovers,' says Vecellio, 'wear generally a doublet and breeches of satin, tabby, or other 
silk, cut or slashed in the form of crosses or stars, through which slashes is seen the hning of coloured taffata : 
gold buttons, a lace ruff, a bonnet of rich velvet or silk with an ornamental band, a silk cloak, and silk stockings, 
Spaui-sh morocco shoes, a flower in one hand, and their gloves and handkerchief in the other.' This habit, he tells 
us, was woni by many of the nobility, as well of Venice as of other Italian cities, especially by the young men 
before they put on the gown with the sleeves, ' a comito,' which was generally in their eighteenth or twentieth 

" Vecellio also furnishes us with the dress of a doctor of laws, the habit in which Portia defends Antonio. The 
upper robe was of black damask cloth, velvet, or silk, according to the weather. The under one black silk with 
a silk sash, the ends of which hang down to the middle of the leg; the stockings of black cloth or velvet; the cap 
of rich velvet or silk. 

" Vecellio informs us that the Jews differed in nothing, as far as regarded dress, from Venetians of the same pro- 
fessions, whether merchants, artisans, etc., with the exception of a yellow bonnet, v^-hich they were compelled to 
icear by order of the government. We cannot imagine that a doubt can exist of the propriety of Shylock wealing 
a yellow, or at all events, an orange-coloured cap of the same form as the black one of the Christian Venetian 
merchants. Shakespeare makes Shylock speak of his ' Jewish gaberdine ;' but, independently of Vecellio's 
assurance that no difference existed between the dress of the Jewish and Christian merchants save the yellow 
bonnet aforesaid, the woi'd gaberdine conveys to us no precise form of garment, its description being different in 
nearly every dictionaiy, foreign or English. In German it is called a rock or frock, a mantle, coat, petticoat, gown, 
or cloak. In Italian, ^ palandrano,'' or great-coat, and ' gavardina' a pea-sant's jacket. The French have only 
' gaban'' and ' gabardine,^ — cloaks for rainy weather. In Spanish, ' gabardina' is rendered a sort of cassock ^vith 
close-buttoned sleeves. In English, a shepherd's coarse frock or coat. 

" Speaking of the ladies of Venice, Cor}'at says, ' Most of these women, when they walk abroad, especially to 
church, are veiled wdth long veils, whereof some do reach almost to the ground behind. These veils are either 
black, or white, or yellowisli. The black, either wives or widows do weai-; the white, maids, and so the yellowish 
also, but they wear more white than yellowish. It is the custom of these maids, when they walk the streets, to 
cover their faces with their veils, the stuff being so thin and slight that they may easily look through it, for it is 
made of a pretty slender silk, and very finely curled. . . . Now, whereas I said that only maids do wear white 
veils, I mean these white silk curled veils, which (as they told me) none do wear but maids. But other white 
veils wives do much wear, such as are made in Holland, w^hereof the greatest part is handsomely edged with 
great and very fair bonelace.' " — Abridged from. Knight. 



■o, ) 

3N, 5 Suit 



PRINCE OF ARRAGOF ^ Suitors to Pokt.a. 

ANTONIO, the Merchaint of Venice. 

BASSANIO, his Friend. 


SALANIO, > Friends to Antonio and Bassanio. 


LORENZO, in love with Jessica. 

SHYLOCK. a Jew. 

TUBAL, a Jew, his Friend. 


OLD GOBBO, Father to Lauscelot. 

SALERIO, a Messenger. 

LEONARDO. Servant to Bassanio. 


STEPHANO, I Servants to Port, a. 

PORTIA, a rich Heiress. 
NERISSA. her Waiting-woman. 
JESSICA, Daufhterto Shti-ock. 

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of JiLsti e. 
Jailers, Servants, and other Attendants. 

ficFNE— F.irtly at Venice, an'l partly at Bki m< 

Scene I. — Venice. A Street. 
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio. 

Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad. 
It wearies me : you say, it wearies you; 
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, 
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, 
I am to learn ; 

And such a want-wit sadness makes of me. 
That I have much ado to know myself. 

Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean. 
There, where your argosies with portly sail. 
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood. 
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, 
Do overpeer the petty traffickers. 
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence, 
As they fly by them with their woven wings. 

Salan. Believe me, sir. had I such venture forth, 
The better part, of my affections would 
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still 
Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind. 
Peering in maps for ports, and piers, and roads ; 
And every object that might make me fear 
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt, 
Would make me sad. 

Salar. My wind, cooling my broth, 

Would blow me to an ague, when I thought 

What harm a wind too great might do at sea. 

I should not see the sandy hour-glass run, 

But I should think of shallows and of flats. 

And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand, 

Vailing her high top lower than her ribs. 

To kiss her burial. Should I go to church, 

And see the holy edifice of stone, 

And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks. 

Which touching but my gentle vessel's side. 

Would scatter all her spices on the stream. 

Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks. 

And, in a word, but even now worth this, 

And now worth nothing ? Shall I have the thought 

To think on this, and shall I lack the thought, 

That such a thing bechanc'd would make me sad ? 

But, tell not me : I know, Antonio 

Is sad to think upon his merchandize. 

Ant. Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it. 
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted. 
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate 
Upon the fortune of this present year: 
Therefore, ray merchandize makes me not sad. 

Salar. Why, then you are in love. 

Ant. Fie, fie! 

Salar. Not in love neither ? Then let's say, you 
are sad, 
Because you are not merry ; and 'twere as easy 





For you to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry. 
Because jou are not sad. Now, by two-headed 

Nature hatli tVaui'd strange fellows in her time : 
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, 
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper; 
And other of such vinegar aspect. 
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, 
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable. 

Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano. 

Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble 
Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well : 
We leave you now with better company. 

Solar. I would have stay'd till I had made you 
If worthier friends had not prevented me. 

Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard. 
I take it, your own business calls on you. 
And you embrace the occasion to depart. 

Salar. Good morrow, my good lords. 

Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh ? 
Say, when ? 
You grow exceeding strange : must it be so ? 

Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours. 
[Exeunt Salarino and Salamo. 

Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found 
We two will leave you ; but at dinner-time, 
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. 

Bass. I will not fail you. 

Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio ; 
You have too much respect upon the world : 
They lose it, ihat do buy it with nnich care. 
Believe me, you are mai-vellously chang'd. 

Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano ; 
A stage, where every man must play a part. 
And mine a sad one. 

Ora. Let me play the fool : 

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, 
And let my liver rather heat with wine. 
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. 
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within. 
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? 
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice 
By being peevish ? I tell thee what, Antonio, — 
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ; — 
There are a sort of men, whose visages 
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond, 
And do a wilful stillness entertain, 
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion 
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit ; 
As who should say, " I am Sir Oracle, 
And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!" 

I my Antonio, I do know of these. 
That therefore only are reputed wise, 

For saying nothing; when, I am very sure. 

If they should speak, would almost damn those ears. 

Which, hearing them, would call their brothers 

I'll tell thee more of this another time : 
But fish not, with this melancholy bait, 
For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion. — 
Come, good Lorenzo. — Fare ye well, awhile : 
I'll end my exhortation after dinner. 

Lor. Well, we will leave you, then, till dinner- 

1 must he one of these same dumb wise men. 
For Gratiano never lets me speak. 

Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, 

Thoushalt not know the sotmd of thine own tongue. 

Ant. Farewell : I'll grow a talker for this gear. 

Gra. Thanks, i' faith ; for silence is only com- 
In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible. 
[Exeunt Gratiano and Lorenzo. 

Ant. Is that any thing now ? 

Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, 
more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are 
as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: 
you shall seek all day ere you find them ; and when 
you have them, they are not worth the search. 

Ant. Well ; tell me now, what lady is the same 
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage. 
That you to-day promis'd to tell me of? 

Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, 
How much I have disabled mine estate. 
By something showing a more swelling port 
Than my faint means would grant continuance : 
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd 
From such a noble rate ; but my chief care 
Is to come fairly of!" from the great debts, 
Wherein my time, something too prodigal. 
Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio, 
I owe the most, in money, and in love ; 
And from your love I have a warranty 
To unburthen all my plots and jnirposes, 
How to get clear of all the debts I owe. 

Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it ; 
And if it stand, as you yourself still do. 
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd, 
My purse, my person, my extremest means. 
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions. 

Bass. In my school-days, when I had lust one 
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight 
The self-same way with more advised watch. 
To find the other forth; and by adventuring both, 
I oft foiuid both. I urge this childhood \mn)f. 
Because what follows is june innocence. 
I owe you much, and, like a wilful jouth. 
That which I owe is lost ; but if you please 
To shoot another arrow that self way 
Which you did shoot the first, I do not douijt, 
As I will watch the aim, or to find both. 
Or bring your latter hazard back again. 
And thankfully rest debtor for the first. 

Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but 
To wind about my love with circiunstance ; 
And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong. 
In making question of my uttermost. 
Than if you had made waste of all I have : 
Then, do but say to me what I should do. 
That in your knowledge may by me be done. 
And I am ])rest unto it : therefore^, speak. 

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left, 
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word. 
Of wondrous virtues : sometimes from her eyes 
I did receive fair speechless messages. 
Her name is Portia; nothing undervalued 
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia. 
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth. 
For the four winds blow in from every coast 
Renowned suitors ; and her sunny locks 
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece ; 
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand. 
And many Jasons come in quest of her. 
O, my Antonio ! had I but the means 
To hold a rival place with one of them, 
I have a mind presages me such thrift. 




That I should questionless be fortunate. 

Ant. Thou know'st, that all my foitunes are at sea; 
Neither have I money, nor commodity 
To raise a f.resent sum : tlierefore, go forth; 
Try what ray credit can in Venice do : 

That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost, 

To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. 

Go, presently inquire, and so will I, 

Where money is, and I no question make, 

To have it of my trust, or for my sake. [Exeunt. 

Venice. 'Argosies with portly sail.' 

Scene II. — Belmont. An Apartment in Portia's 

Enter Portia and Nerissa. 

Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is 
aweary of this great world. 

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your mise- 
ries were in the same abundance as your good for- 
tunes are. And, yet, for aught I see, they are as 
sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve 
with nothing : it is no mean happiness, therefore, 
to be seated in the mean : superfluity comes sooner 
by white hairs, but competency lives longer. 

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced. 

Ner. They would be better, if well followed. 

Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were 
good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor 
men's cottages princes' palaces. It is a good divine 
that follows his own instructions : I can easier teach 
twenty what were good to be done, than be one of 
the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The 
brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot tem- 
per leaps o'er a cold decree : such a hare is mad- 
ness, the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good 
counsel, the cripple. But this reasoning is not in 
the fashion to choose me a husband. — O me ! the 
word choose ! I may neither choose whom I would, 
nor refuse whom I dislike ; so is the will of a living 
daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. — Is 
it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor 
refuse none? 

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous, and holy 
men at their death have good inspirations ; there- 
fore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three 


chests of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses 
his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never 
be chosen by any rightly, bxu one whom you shnll 
rightly love. But what warmth is there in your 
affection towards any of these princely suitors that 
are already come ? 

Pvr. I pray thee, over-name them, and as thon 
namest them, I will describe them: and, according 
to my descrijJtion, level at my affection. 

Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. 

Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing 
but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great ap- 
propriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe 
him himself. I am much afraid, my lady his 
mother played false with a smith. 

Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine. 

Por. He doth nothing but frown, as Avho should 
say, "An you w\\\ not have me, choose." He hears 
men-y tales, and smiles not : I fear he will prove 
the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being 
so fall of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had 
rather be married to a death's head with a bone in 
his mouth, than to either of these. God defend 
me from these two ! 

Ner. How say vou by the French lord, Monsieur 
Le Bon ? 

Por. God made him, and therefore let hiiu pass 
for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a 
mocker; but, he! why, he hath a horse l)etter 
than the Neapolitan's; a better bad habit of frown- 
ing than the count Palatine : he is every man in 
no man ; if a throstle sing, he falls straight a ca- 
pering : he will fence with his own shadow. If I 
should many him, I should marry twenty hus- 





bands. If he would despise me, I would forgive 
him : for if he love ine to madness, I shall never 
requite him. 

Ncr. What say you, then, to Faulconbridge, the 
young baron of England? 

Por. You know, I say nothing to him, for he 
understands not me, nor I him : he hath neither 
Latin, French, nor Italian ; and you will come into 
the court and swear, that I have a poor penny-worth 
in the English. He is a proper man's picture; 
but, alas ! who can converse with a dumb show ? 
How oddly he is suited ! I think, he bought his 
doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his 
bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every- 

Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his 

Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him ; 
for he borrowed a box of the ear of the English- 
man, and swore he would pay him again, when he 
was able : I think, the Frenchman became his 
surety, and sealed under for another. 

Ner. How like you the young German, the duke 
of Saxony's nephew? 

Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is 
sober, and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is 
drttnk : when he is best, he is a little worse than a 
man ; and when he is worst, he is little belter than 
a beast. An the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, 
I shall make shift to go without him. 

Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose 
the right casket, you should refuse to perform 
your fiither's will, if you should refuse to accept 

Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, 
set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary 
casket ; for, if the devil be within, and that tempta- 
tion without, I know he will choose it. I will do 

any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a 

Ncr. You need not fear, lady, the having any of 
these lords: they have acquainted me with their 
determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their 
home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless 
you may be won by some other sort than your 
fathers imi)osition, depending on the caskets. 

Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die 
as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the 
manner of my father's will. I am glad this parcel 
of wooers are so reasonable ; for there is not one 
among them but I dote on his very absence, and I 
pray God grant them a fair departure. 

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's 
time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came 
hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat ? 

Por. Yes, yes ; it was Bassanio : as I think, so 
was he called. 

Ner. True, madam : he, of all the men that ever 
my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserv- 
ing a fair lady. 

Por. I remember him well, and I remember him 
worthy of thy praise. — How now ? what news ? 

Enter a Servant. 

Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, 
to take their leave; and there is a forerunner come 
from a fifth, the prince of Morocco, who brings 
word, the ])rince, his master, will be here to-night. 

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good 
heart, as I can bid the other four farewell, I should 
be glad of his api)roach : if he have the condition 
of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had 
rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, 
Nerissa. — Sirrah, go before. — Whiles we shut the 
gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door. 


(Vcuice. Fiom the Lagiincs.) 




Scene III. — Venice. A Public Place. 
Enter Bassamo and Shtlock. 

Shy, Three thousand ducats, — well. 

Bass. Ay, sir, for three months. 

Shy. For three months, — well. 

Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio 
shall be bound. 

Shy. Antonio shall become bound, — well. 

Bass. May you stead me ? Will you pleasure 
me ? Shall I know your answer? 

Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months, 
and Antonio bound. 

Bass. Your answer to that. 

Shy. Antonio is a cood man. 

Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the 
contrary ? 

Shy. Ho ! no, no, no, no : — my meaning, in say- 
ing he is a good man, is to have you understand 
me, that he is sufficient ; yet his means are in sup- 
position. He hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, 
another to the Indies : I understand moreover upon 
the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for 
England, and other ventures he hath squandered 
abroad ; but ships are but boards, sailors but men : 
there be land-rats, and water-rats, water-thieves, 
and land-thieves ; I mean, pirates : and then, there 
is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man 
is, notwithstanding, sufficient : three thousand du- 
cats. — I think, I may take his bond. 

Bass. Be assured you may. 

Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may 
be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with 
Antonio ? 

Bass. If it please yovt to dine with us. 

Shy. Yes, to smell pork ; to eat of the habitation 
which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the 
devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk 
with you, walk with you, and so following ; but I 
will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray 
with you. What news on the Rialto ?— Who is 
he comes here ? 

Enter Antonio. 

Bass. This is signior Antonio. 

Shy. [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he 
looks ! 
I hate him for he is a Christian ; 
But more, for that, in low simplicity, 
He lends out money gratis, and brings down 

The rate of usance here with us in Venice. 

If I can catch him once upon the liip, 

I will feed fat the ancient grudge 1 bear him. 

He hates our sacred nation ; and he rails. 

Even there where merchants most do congregate, 

On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, 

Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe, 

If I forgive him ! 

Bass. Shylock, do yoit hear? 

Shy. I am debating of my present store, 
And, by the near guess of my memory, 
I cannot instantly raise up the gross 
Of full three thousand ducats. What of that? 
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe. 
Will furnish me. But soft! how many months 
Do you desire ? — Rest you fair, good signior ; 





Your worship was the last man in our mouths. 

[Ih Antonio. 

Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow, 
By taking, nor by giving of excess, 
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, 
I'll break a custom. — Is he yet possess'd, 
EIow much you would ? 

Shy. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. 

Ant. And for three months. 

Shy. I had forgot : — three months ; you told me 
Well then, your bond : and let me see — But hear 

you : 
Methought, you said, you neither lend nor borrow 
Upon advantage. 

Ant. 1 do never use it. 

Shy. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's 
This Jacob from our holy Abraham was 
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,) 
The third possessor; ay, he was the third. 

Ant. And what of him? did he take interest ? 

Shy. No, not take interest ; not, as you would say, 
Directly interest: mark what Jacob did. 
When Laban and himself were compromis'd. 
That all the eanlings which were streak'd, and pied, 
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank. 
In end of autumn turned to the rams; 
And when the work of generation was 
Between these woolly breeders in the act, 
The skilful shepherd pill'd me certain wands, 
And, in the doing of the deed of kind. 
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes, 
Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time 
Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's. 
This was a way to thrive, and he was blest : 
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not. 

Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd 
A thing not in his power to bring to pass, 
But sway'd, and fashion'd by the hand of heaven. 
Was this inserted to make interest good ? 
Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams? 

Shy. I cannot tell: I make it breed as fast. — 
But note me, signior. 

Ant. Mark you this, Bassanio, 

The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. 
An evil soul, producing holy witness, 
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, 
A goodly apple rotten at the heart. 
O, what a goodly outside falsehood halh ! 

Shy. Three thousand ducats ; — 'tis a good round 
Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate. 

Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you ? 

Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft, 
In the Rialto, you have rated me 
About my monies, and my usances : 
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug ; 
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. 
You call nie — misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine, 
And all for use of that which is mine own. 
Well then, it now appears, you need my help : 
Go to then ; you come to me, and you say, 
"Shylock, we would have monies:" you say so; 
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard, 
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur 
Over your threshold : monies is your suit. 
What should I say to you? Should I not say, 
" Hath a dog money ? Is it possible, 
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?" or 
Shall 1 bend low, and in a bondman's key% 
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness. 

Say this : 

" Fair sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last; 
You spurn'd me such a day ; another time 
You call'd me dog : and for these courtesies 
I'll lend you thus much monies ?" 

Ant. I am as like to call thee so again. 
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. 
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not 
As to thy friends ; for when did friendship take 
A breed for barren metal of his friend ? 
But lend it rather to thine enemy; 
Who if he break, thou may'st with better face 
Exact the penalty. 

Shy. Why, look you, how you storm ! 

I would be friends with you, and have your love. 
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with. 
Supply your present wants, and take no doit 
Of usance for my monies. 
And you'll not hear me. This is kind I offer. 

Ant. This were kindness. 

Shy. This kindness will I show. 

Go with me to a nofaiy, seal me there 
Your single bond ; and, in a merry sport, 
If you repay me not on such a day. 
In .such a place, such sum or sums as are 
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit 
Be nominated for an equal pound 
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken 
In what part of your body pleaselh me. 

Ant. Content, in faith : I'll seal to such a bond. 
And say there is much kindness in the Jew. 

Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me : 
I'll rather dwell in my necessity. 

Ant. Why, fear not, man ; I will not forfeit it : 





Within these two months, that's a month before 

This bond expires, I do expect return 

Of thrice three times the value of this bond. 

Shy. O, fatlier Abraham ! what these Christians 
Whose own hard deahngs teaches them suspect 
The thoughts of others! — Pray you, tell me this; 
If he should break his day, what should I gain 
By the exaction of the forfeiture? 
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man. 
Is not so estimable, profitable neither. 
As (lesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say, 
To buy his favour I extend this friendship : 
If he will take it, so; if not, adieu; 

And, for my love, I pray you, wrong me not. 

Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond. 

Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's. 
Give him direction for this merry bond. 
And I will go and purse the ducats straight ; 
See to my house, left in the fearful guard 
Of an unthrifty knave, and presently 
I will be with you. [Exit.. 

Ant. Hie thee, gentle Jew. 

The Hebrew will turn Christian : he grows kind. 

Bass. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind. 

Ant. Come on : in this there can be no dismay, 
My ships come home a month before the day. 


Scene I. — Belmont. 

A71 Apartment in Portia's 

Enter the Prince of Morocco, and his Followers ; 
Portia, Nerissa, and other of her train. Flour- 
ish of cornets. 

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion, 
The shadow'd livery of the bvirnish'd sun. 
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred. 
Bring me the fairest creature northward born, 
Where Phcebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, 
And let us make incision for your love. 
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine. 
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine 
Hath fear'd the valiant : by my love, I swear, 
The best regarded virgins of our clime 
Have lov'd it too. I would not change this hue, 
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. 

For. In terms of choice I am not solely led 
By nice direction of a maiden's eves : 
Besides, the lottery of my destiny 
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing; 
But, if my father had not scanted me. 
And hedged me by his wit, to yield myself 
His wife who wins me by that means I told you, 
Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair. 
As any comer I have look'd on yet, 
For my affection. 

Mor. Even for that T thank you : 

Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets, 
To try my fortune. Bj' this scimitar, — 
That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince, 

That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, — 
I would out-stare the sternest eyes that look. 
Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth. 
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear. 
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey. 
To win thee, lady. But, alas the while I 
If Hercules and Lichas play at dice. 
Which is the better man? the greater throw 
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand : 
So is Alcides beaten by his page ; 
And so may I, blind fortune leading me. 
Miss that which one unworthier may attain, 
And die with grieving. 

For. You must take your chance: 

And either not attempt to choose at all. 
Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong, 
Never to speak to lady afterward 
In way of marriage : therefore be advis'd. 

Mor. Nor will not : come, bring me unto my 

For. First, forward to the temple: after dinner 
Your hazard shall be made. 

Mor. Good fortune then. 

To make me blest, or cursed'st among men ! 


Scene II. — Venice. A Street. 
Enter Launcelot Gobbo. 

Laun. Certainly, my conscience will sen'e me to 
run from this Jew, my master. The fiend is at 
' 15 




mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, " Gobbo, 
Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, 
or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the 
start, run away :" iNIy conscience says, — " No ; 
take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest 
Gobbo;" or, as aforesaid, "honest Launcelot Gobbo; 
do not run; scorn running with thy heels." Well, 
the most courageous fiend l)ids me pack; "Via!" 
says the fiend; " away I" says the fiend; "for the 
heavens, rouse up a brave mind," says the fiend, 
" and run." Well, my conscience, hanging about 
the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, — 
" My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest 
man's sou," — or rather an honest woman's son; — 
for, indeed, my father did something smack, some- 

thing grow to, he had a kind of taste : — well, my 
conscience says," Launcelot, budge not." "Budge," 
says the fiend: "budge not," sajs my conscience. 
Conscience, say 1, you counsel well; fiend, say \, 
you counsel well : to be ruled by my conscience, 1 
should stay with the Jew my master, who (God 
bless the mark !) is a kind of devil ; and, to run 
away from the Jew, I should be ruled bv tlie fiend, 
who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. 
Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnation ; 
and, in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind 
of hard conscience to offer to counsel me to stay 
with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly 
counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your 
commandment ; I will run. 

r-, r, 

Enter Old Gobbo, tcith a basket. 

Gob. Master, young man, you; I pray you, 
which is the way to master Jew's ? 

Laun. [Aside.] O heavens! this is my true 
begotten father, who, being more than sand-blind, 
high-gravel blind, knows me not : — I will try con- 
fusions with him. 

Gob. Master, young gentleman, I pray you, 
which is the way to master Jew's ? 

Lnun. Turn up on your right hand at the next 
turning, but at the next turning of all, on your 
left ; marrj% at the very next turning, turn of 
no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's 

Gob. By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to 
hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that 
dwells with him, dwell with him. or no ? 

Laun. Talk you of young master Launcelot? — 
{Aside.] Mark me now ; now will I raise the wa- 


ters. — {To him.] — Talk you of young master 
Launcelot ? 

Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son : his 
father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor 
man ; and, God be thanked, well to live. 

Laun. Well, let his father be what a' will, we 
talk of voung master Launcelot. 

Gob.' Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir. 

Lauri. But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I 
beseech you, talk you of young master Launcelot ? 

Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership. 

Laun. Emo, master Launcelot. Talk not of 
master Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman, 
(according to fates and destinies, and such odd say- 
ings, the sisters three, and such branches of learn- 
ing,) is, indeed, deceased; or, as you would say, in 
plain terms, gone to heaven. 

Gob. Marry, God forbid ! the boy was the veiy 
staff of my age, my very prop. 

Laun. [Aside.] Do I look like a cudgel, or a 




hovel-post, a staff, or a prop ? — [To liim.] — Do you 
know me, father ? 

Gub. Alack the day ! I know you not, young 
gentleman ; but, i pray you, tell me, is my boy 
(God rest his soul!) alive, or dead? 

Laun. Do you not know me, father? 

Gub. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind ; I know you 

Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you 
might fail of the knowing me : it is a wise father 
that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will 
tell you news of your son. [Kneels.] Give me your 
blessing : truth will come to light ; murder cannot 
be hid long, a man's son may, but in the end truth 
will out. 

Gob. Pray you, sir, stand up. I am sure you 
are not Launcelot, my boy. 

Laun. Pray you. let's have no more fooling about 
it, but give me your blessing : I am Launcelot, your 
boy that was, your son that is, your child that 
shall be. 

Gob. I cannot think you ai's my son. 

Laun. I know not what I shall think of that; 
but I am Launcelot, the Jew's man, and, I am sure, 
Margery, your wife, is my mother. 

Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed : I'll be 
sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own 
flesh and blood. Lord I worshipp'd might he be ! 
what a beard hast thou got : thou hast got more 
hair on thy chin, than Dobbin my phill-horse has 
on his tail. 

Laun. It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail 
grows backward : I am sure he had more hair of 
his tail, than I have of my face, when I last saw 

Gob. Lord ! how art thou changed ! How dost 
thou and thy master agree ? I have brought him 
a present. How agree you now ? 

Laun. Well, well; but, for mine own part, as I 
have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest 
till I have run some ground. My master's a veiy 
Jew : give him a present ! give him a halter : I am 
famish'd in his service ; you may tell every finger 
I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are 
come : give me your present to one master Bas- 
sanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries. If I 
serve not him, I will run as far as God has any 
ground. — O rare fortune ! here comes the man : — 
to him, father; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew 
any longer. 

Enter Bassanio, idth Leonardo, and Followers. 

Bass. You may do so ; — but let it be so hasted, 
that supper be ready at the furthest by five of the 
clock. See these letters delivered : put the liveries 
to making, and desire Gratiano to come anon to my 
lodging. [Exit a Servant. 

Laun. To him, father. 

Gob. God bless your woiship ! 

Bass. Gramercy. WouJd'st thou aught with 
me ? 

Gob. Here's my son, sir, a poor boy, 

Laun. Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's 
man, that would, sir, — as my father shall specify. 

Gob. He hath a great infection, sir, as one would 
say, to serve 

Laun. Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve 
the Jew, and have a desire, — as my father shall 

Gob. His master and he (savitig your worship's 
reverence,) are scarce cater-cousins. 

Laun. To be brief, the very truth is, that the 
Jew having done me wrong, doth cause me, — as 
my father, being, I hope, an old man, shall frutify 
unto you. 

Gob. I have here a dish of doves, that I would 
bestow upon your worship ; and my suit is, 

Laun. In very brief, the suit is impertinent to 
myself, as your lordship shall know by this honest 
old man ; and, though I say it, though old man, 
yet, poor man, my father. 

Bass. One speak for both. — What would you? 

Laun. SeiTc you, sir. 

Gob. That is the very defect of the matter, sir. 

Bass. I know thee well : thou hast obtain'd thy 
Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day, 
And hath preferr'd thee ; if it be preferment, 
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become 
The follower of so poor a gentleman. 

Laun. The old proverb is very well parted be- 
tween my master Shylock and you, sir: you have 
the grace of God, sir, and he hath enough. 

Bass. Thou speak'st it well. — Go, father, with 
thy son. — 
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire 
My lodging out. — Give him a livery 

[ To his Followers. 
More guarded than his fellows : see it done. 

Laun. Father, in. — I cannot get a senice, — no; 
I have ne'er a tongue in my head. — W^ell; [Look- 
ing on his palm.] if any man in Italy have a fairer 
table, which doth offer to swear upon a book. — I 
shall have good fortune. — (to to; here's a simple 
line of life I here's a small trifle of wives : alas ! 
fifteen wives is nothing : eleven widows, and nine 
maids, is a simple coming-in for one man; and 
then, to 'scape drowning thrice, and to be in peril 
of my life with the edge of a feather-bed : — here 
are simple 'scapes I Well, if fortune be a woman, 
she's a good wench for this gear. — Father, come; 
I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an 
eye. [Exeunt Launcelot and Old Goebo. 

Bass. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this. 
These things being bought, and orderly bestow'd. 
Return in haste, for I do feast to-night 
My best-esleemed acquaintance : hie thee ; go. 

Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein. 

Enter Gratiano, 

Gra. Where is your master ? 

Leon. Yonder, sir, he walks. 

[Exit Lk.onardo. 

Gra. Signior Bassanio ! 

Bass. Gratiano. 

Gra. I have a suit to you- 

Bass. You have obtain'd it. 

Gra. You must not deny me. I must go witii 
you to Belmont. 

Bass. Why, then yuu nnisi : but, hear iliee, 
Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold ol voice; — 
Parts, that become thee lia])pi!y en(tugh, 
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults ; 
But where thou art not known, why, there they show 
Somethini; too liberal. — Pray thee, take pain 
To allay with some cold dro))s of modesty 
Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behaviour, 
I be misconstrued in the place I go to. 
And lose my hopes. 

Gni. Sisiniui- Bassanio, hear me: 

If 1 do not put on a sober habit, 





Talk with respect, and swear but now and then, 

Wear piayer-books in my pocket, look demurely ; 

Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes 

Thus, with my hat, and sigh and say amen ; 

Use all the observance of civility. 

Like one well studied in a sad ostent 

To please his grandam, never trust me more. 

Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing. 

Cfra. Nay, but I bar to-night : you shall not gage 
By what we do to-night. 

Bass. No, that were pity, 

I would entreat you rather to put on 
Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends 
That purpose merriment. But fare you well, 
I have some business. 

Gra. And I nmst to Lorenzo, and the rest; 
But we will visit you at supper-time. [Exeunt. 

Scene IIL — The Same. A Room in Shylock's 


Enter Jessica and Launcelot. 

Jes. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so : 
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, 
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness. 
But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee. 
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see 
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest ; 
Give him this letter; do it secretly, 
And so farewell : I would not have my father 
See me in talk with thee. 

Laun. Adieu ! — tears exhibit my tongue. — Most 
beautiful pagan, — most sweet Jew ! If a Christian 
do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much 
deceived : but, adieu ! these foolish drops do some- 
what drown my manly spirit : adieu ! [EtU. 

Jes. Farewell, good Launcelot. — 
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, 
To be asham'd to be my father's child ! 
But though I am a daughter to his blood, 
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo ! 
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, 
Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit. 

Scene IV.— The Same. A Street. 

Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino, and 

Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time. 
Disguise us at my lodging, and return 
All in an hour. 

Gra. We have not made good preparation. We have not spoke usyet of torch-bearers. 

Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd. 
And better, in my mind, not undertook. 

Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock : we have two 
To furnish us. — 

Enter Launcelot, icilh a letter. 

Friend Lavmcelot, what's the news ? 

Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, 
it shall seem to signify. [Givins a letter. 

Lor. I know the hand : in faith, 'tis a fair hand ; 
And whiter than the paper it writ on, 
Is the fair hand that writ. 

Gra. Love-news, in faith. 

Laun. By your leave, sir. 

Lor. Whither goest thou ? 

Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master, the Jew, 
to sup to-night with my new master, the Christian. 

Lor. Hold here, take this. — Tell gentle Jessica, 
I will not fail her: — speak it privately ; 
Go. — Gentlemen, [Exit Launcelot. 

Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? 
I am provided of a torch-bearer. 

Salar. Ay, many, I'll be gone about it straight. 

Salan. And so will I. 

Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano, 

At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence. 

Salar. 'Tis good we do so. 

[Exeunt Salar. and Salan. 

Crra, Was not that letter from fair Jessica ? 

Lor. I must needs tell thee all. She hath di- 
How I shall take her from her father's house; 
What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with; 
What page's suit she hath in readiness. 
If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven. 
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake; 
And never dare misfortune cross her foot. 
Unless she do it under this excuse. 
That she is issue to a faithless Jew. 
Come, go with me : peruse this, as thou goest. 
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt 

Scene V. — The Same. Before Shylock's 

Shy. Well, thou shalt see ; thy eyes shall be thy 
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio. — 
What, Jessica ! — Thou shalt not gormandize, 
As thou hast done with me; — What, Jessica! 
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out. — 
Why, Jessica, I say ! 

Laun. Why, Jessica ! 

Shy. Who bids thee call ? I do not bid thee call. 

Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, that I 
could do nothing without bidding. 

Enter Jessica. 

Jes. Call you ? What is your will ? 

Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica : 
There are my keys. — But wherefore should I go? 
I am not bid for love ; they flatter me : 
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon 
The prodigal Christian. — Jessica, my girl. 
Look to my house : — I am right loath to go. 
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest. 
For I did dream of money-bags to-night. 

Laun. I beseech you, sir, go : my young master 
doth expect your reproach. 

Shy. So do I his. 

Laun. And they have conspired together: — 1 
will not say, you shall see a masque ; but if yon do, 
then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a 
bleeding on black Monday last, at six o'clock i' the 
morning, falling out that year on Ash- Wednesday 
was four year in the afternoon. 

Shy. What ! are there masques ? — Hear you me, 
Jessica : 
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum. 
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife, 
Clamber not you up to the casements then, 
Nor tlirust your head into the public street 
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces, 
But stop my house's ears, I mean, my casements: 
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter 
My sober house. — By Jacob's staff, I swear. 




I have no mind of feasting forth to-night ; 

Shy. What says that fool of Hagar's oftspring ? 

But I will go. — Go you before me, sirrah: 


Sav, I will come. 

Jes. His words were, farewell, mistress ; nothing 

Laun. I will go before, sir. — Mistress, look out 


at window, for all this ; 

Shy. The patch is kind enough; but a huge 

There will come a Christian by, 


Will be worth a Jewess' eye. 

Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day 

[-Exii Lauxcelot. 

More than the wild cat : drones hive not with me ; 

Therefore I part with him, and part with him 

To one that I would have him help to waste 

His borrow'd purse. — Well, .Jessica, go in : 

Perhaps I will return immediately. 

Do, as I bid you ; shut doors after you : 

Fast bind, fast find, 

A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. {Exit. 

Jes. Farewell; and if my foVtune be not crost, 
I have a father, you a daughter, lost. [Exit. 

ScE.N-E VI.— The Same. 
Enter Gratiano and Salarino, masqued. 

Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lo- 
Desir'd us to make stand. 

Salar. His hour is almost past. 

Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, 
For lovers ever run before the clock. 

Salar. O ! ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly 

To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont 
To keep obliged faith unforfeited ! 

Gra. That ever holds : who riseth from a feast 
With that keen appetite that he sits down ? 
Where is the horse that doth untread again 
His tedious measures, with the unbated fire 
That he did pace them first? All things that are, 
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy 'd. 
How like a younker, or a prodigal. 
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, 
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind ! 
How like a prodigal doth she return ; 
With over-weather'd ribs, and ragged sails, 
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the stnimpet wind ! 

Enter Lorenzo. 

Salar. Here comes Lorenzo : — more of this 

Lor. Sweet friends, your patience for my long 
abode ; 
Not I, but my affairs have made you wait : 





When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, 
I'll watch as long for you then. — Approach; 
Here dwells my father Jew : — Ho ! who's within? 

Enter Jessica above, in boy's clothes. 

Jes. Who are you ? Tell me for more cei'tainty, 
Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue. 

Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love. 

Jes. Lorenzo, certain; and my love, indeed. 
For whom love I so much ? And now who knows. 
But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours? 

Lor. Heaven, and thy thoughts are witness that 
thou art. 

Jes. Here, catch this casket : it is worth the pains. 
I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me, 
For I am much asham'd of my exchange ; 
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit ; 
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush 
To see me thus transformed to a boy. 

Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer. 

Jes. What ! must I hold a candle to my shames ? 
They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light. 
Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love. 
And I should be obscur'd. 

Lor. So are you, sweet, 

Even in the lovely garnish of a boy. 
But come at once ; 

For the close night doth play the run-away, 
And we are stay'd for at Bassanio's feast. 

.Jes. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself 
With some more ducats, and be with you straight. 

[Exit, from above. 

Gra. Now, by my hood, a Gentile, and no Jew. 

Lor. Beshrew me, but I love her heartily ; 
For she is wise, if I can judge of her, 
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true, 
And tnie she is, as she hath prov'd herself; 
And therefore, Hke herself, wise, fair, and true, 
Shall she be placed in my constant soul. 

Enter Jessica. 

What, art thou come ? — On, gentlemen ; away ! 
Our masquing mates by tliis time for us stay. 

[Exit, ivith Jessica and Salarino. 

Enter Antonio. 

Ant. Who's there ? 

Gra. Signior Antonio ? 

Ant. Fie, fie, Gratiano ! where are all the rest? 
'Tis nine o'clock ; our friends all stay for you. 
No masque to-night ; the wind is come about, 
Bassanio presently will go aboard: 
I have sent twenty out to seek for you. 

Gia. I am glad on't : I desire no more delight. 
Than to be under sail, and gone to-night. 


Scene VII. — Belmont. An Apartment inlPoKTi a' s 

Enter Portia, icith the Prince of Morocco, and loth 
their trains. 

Por. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover 
The several caskets to this noble prince. — 
Now make your choice. 

Mor. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears ; 
"Who chooseth me shall gain what many men 

The second, silver, which this promise carries ; — 


" Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he de- 
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt ; — 
"Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he 

How shall 1 know if I do choose the right? 

Por. The one of them contains my picture, prince : 
If you choose that, then I am yours with all. 

Mor. Some god direct my jtidgment I Let me see, 
I will survey th' inscriptions back again : 
What says this leaden casket ? 
" Who chooseth lue must give and hazard all he 

Must give — For what ? for lead ? hazard for lead ? 
This casket threatens : men, that hazard all. 
Do it in hope of fair advantages : 
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross; 
I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead. 
What says the silver, with her virgin hue ? 
"Who chooseth me shall get as much as he de- 
As much as he deserves? — Pause there, Morocco, 
And weigh thy value with an even hand. 
If thou be'st rated by thy estimation. 
Thou dost deseiTc enough ; and yet enough 
May not extend so far as to the lady; 
And yet to be afeard of my deserving 
Were but a weak disabling of myself. 
As much as I deserve ? — Why, that's the lady : 
I do in birth deseiTe her, and in fortunes, 
In graces, and in qualities of breeding; 
But more than these in love I do deserve. 
What if I stray'd no further, but chose here? — 
Let's see once more this saying grav'd in gold : 
"Who chooseth me shall gain what many men 

Why, that's the lady ; all the Avorld desires her : 
From the four corners of the earth they come. 
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint. 
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds 
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now. 
For princes to come view fair Portia : 
The wat'ry kingdom,whose ambitious head 
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar 
To stop the foreign spirits, but they come. 
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia. 
One of these three contains her heavenly picture. 
Is't like, that lead contains her ? 'Twere damnation. 
To think so base a thought: it were too gross 
To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave. 
Or shall I think in silver she's immur'd, 
Being ten times undervalued to tried gold? 
O sinful thought ! Never so rich a gem 
Was set in worse than gold. They have in England 
A coin, that bears the figure of an angel 
Stamped in gold, but that's insculp'd upon ; 
But here an angel in a golden bed 
Lies all within. — Deliver me the key : 
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may ! 

Por. There, take it, prince ; and if my form lie 
Then I am yours. [He %inlocks the golden casket. 

Mor. O hell ! what have we here ? 

A can'ion death, within whose empty eye 
There is a written scroll. I'll read the writing. 

'■'■All that glisters is not gold ; 
Often hare you heard that told: 
Many a man his life hath sold 
But my outside to behold: 
Gilded tombs do worms infold. 




Had you been as icise as bold, 
Young in limbs, in judgment old. 
Your answer had not been inscroWd: 
Fare you well ; your suit is cold." 

Cold, indeed, and labour lost : 

Then, farewell, heat ; and, welcome, frost.— 
Portia, adieu. I have too griev'd a heart 
To take a tedious leave : thus losers part. [Exit. 
For. A gentle riddance. — Draw the curtains: go. 
Let all of his complexion choose me so. [Exeunt. 

Scene VIII. — Venice. A Street. 

Enter Salarino and Salamo. 

.Salar. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail : 
With him is Gratiano gone along ; 
And in their ship, I'm sure, Lorenzo is not. 

Salan. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the 
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship. 

Salar. He came too late, the ship was under 
sail : 
But there the duke was given to understand, 
That in a gondola were seen together 
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica. 
Besides, Antonio certified the duke. 
They were not with Bassanio in his ship. 

Salan. I never heard a passion so confus'd, 
So strange, outrageous, and so variable. 
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets : 
" My daughter I — O my ducats I — O mv daughter! 
Fled with a Christian ? — O my Christian ducats ! 
Justice! the law I my ducats, and my daughter! 
A sealed bag. two sealed bags of ducats. 
Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter ! 
And jewels I trwo stones, two rich and precious 

Stol'n by my daughter I — Justice ! find the girl ! 
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats I" 

Salar. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him, 
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats. 

Salan. Let good Antonio look he keep his day, 
Or he shall pay for this. 

Salar. Marry, well remember'd. 

I re;ison'd with a Frenchman yesterday, 
Who told me, in the narrow seas that part 
The French and English, there miscai'ried 
A vessel of our country, richly fraught. 
I thought upon Antonio when he told me, 
And wish'd in silence that it were not his. 

Salan. You were best to tell Antonio what you 
hear ; 
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him. 

Salnr. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. 
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part. 
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed 
Of his return : he answer' d — •' Do not so : 
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio, 
But stay the very riping of the time : 
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me. 
Let it not enter in your mind of love. 
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts 
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love 
As shall conveniently become you there." 
And even there, his eve being big with tears, 
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, 
And with affection wondrous sensible 
He wrung Bassanio's hand ; and so they parted. 

Salan. I think, he only loves the world for him. 
r pray thee, let us go, and find him out, 

And quicken his embraced heaviness 
With some delight or other. 

Salar. Do we so. 


ScESE IX. — Belmont. An Apartment in Portia's 

Enter Nerissa, with a Servitor. 

Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee ; draw the cur- 
tain straight. 
The prince of .\rragon hath ta'en his oath. 
And comes to his election presently. 

Enter the Prince of Arragon, Portia, and their 
trains. Flourish of cornels. 

For. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince. 
If you choose that wherein I am contaiu'd. 
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd : 
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, 
You must be gone from hence immediately. 

Ar. I am enjoin'd by oath to obser%e three things: 
First, never to unfold to any one 
Which casket 'twas I chose : next, if I fail 
Of the right casket, never in my life 
To woo a maid in way of mairiage : lastly, 
If I do fail in fortune of my choice, 
Immediately to leave you and be gone. 

For. To these injunctions every one doth swear. 
That comes to hazard for my worthless self. 

Ar. And so have I address'd me. Fortune now 
To my heart's hope I — Gold, silver, and base lead. 
"Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he 

hath :" 
You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard. 
WTiat says the golden chest ? ha ! let me see : — 
"Who chooseth me shall gain what many men 

What many men desire : — that many may be meant 
By the fool multitude, that choose by show, 
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach : 
Which pries not to th' interior, but, like the martlet, 
Builds in the weather, on the outward wall, 
Even in the force and road of casualty. 
I will not choose what many men desire. 
Because 1 will not jump with common spirits. 
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. 
AVhy, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house ; 
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear : 
" Who chooseth me shall get as much as he de- 
serves ;" 
And well said too ; for who shall go about 
To cozen fortune, and be honourable, 
Without the stamp of merit ? Let none presume 
To wear an undeserved dignity. 
O ! that estates, degrees, and oflfices. 
Were not deriv'd corruptly ! and that clear honour 
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer ! 
How many then should cover, that stand bare ; 
How many be commanded, that command : 
How much low peasantry- would then be glean'd 
From the true seed of honour: and how much 

Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times, 
To be new varnish'd ! Well, but to my choice : 
"Who chooseth me shall get as much as he de- 
I will assume desert : — Give me a key for this. 
And instantly unlock my fortunes here. 

For. Too long a pause for that which you find there 

Ar. What's here ? the portrait of a blinking idiot. 
Presenting me a schedule ? I will read it. 





How much unlike art tliou to Portia ! 
How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings ! 
" Who chooseth me shall have as much as he de- 
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head? 
Is that my prize ? are my deserts no better ? 

Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, 
And of opposed natures. 

Ar. What is here ? 

" TJiefire seven times tried this: 
Seven times tried that judgment is, 
That did never choose amiss. 
Some there be that shadoics kiss ; 
Such have but a shadow^s bliss. 
There befools alive, I wis. 
Silvered o'er ; and so was this. 
Take what wife you will to bed, 
I will ever be your head: 
So begone : you are sped." 

Still more fool I shall appear 

Bv the time I linger here : 

With one fool's head I came to woo, 

But I go away with two. — 

Sweet, adieu. I'll keep my oath, 

Patiently to bear my wroth. 

\^Exeunt Arragon, and train. 

Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth. 
O, these deliberate fools ! when they do choose, 
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose. 

Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy : — 
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny. 

Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mess. Where is my lady ? 

Por. Here ; what would my lord ? 

Mess. Madam, there is alighted at your gate 
A young Venetian, one that comes before 
To signify the approaching of his lord, 
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets; 
To wit, (besides commends, and courteous breath,) 
Gifts of rich value ; yet I have not seen 
So likely an ambassador of love. 
A day in April never came so sweet. 
To show how costly summer was at hand, 
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord. 

Por. No more, I pray thee : I am half afeard. 
Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee. 
Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him. — 
Come, come, Nerissa ; for I long to see 
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly. 

Ner. Bassanio, lord Love, if thy will it be. 


Tbe villain Je^v -with outcries rais'd the duke. 
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship. 



Scene I. — Venice. A Street. 
Enter Salanio and Salarino. 

Salan. Now, what news on the Rialto ? 

Salar. Why, yet it lives there nncheck'd, that 
Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the 
narrow seas ; the Goodwins, I think they call the 
place : a very dangerotis flat, and fatal, where the 
carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, 
if my gossip, report, be an honest woman of her 

Salan. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, 
as ever knapped ginger, or made her neighbours be- 
lieve she wept for the death of a third husband. 
But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or 
crossing the plain high-way of talk, that the good 
Antonio, the honest Antonio, — O, that I had a title 
good enough to keep his name company! — 

Salar. Come, the full stop. 

Salan. Ha ! — what say'st thou ? — Why the end 
is, he hath lost a ship. 

Salar. I would it might prove the end of his 

Salan. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil 
cross my prayer ; for here he comes in the likeness 
of a Jew. — 

Enter Shtlock. 

How now, Shylock ? what news among the mer- 
chants ? 

Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as 
yoit, of my daughter's flight. 

Salar. That's certain: I, for my part, knew the 
tailor that made the wings she flew withal. 

Salan. And ShjMock, for his own part, knew the 
bird was fledg'd ; and then, it is the complexion of 
them all to leave the dam. 

Shj/. She is damned for it. 

Salar. That's certain, if the devil may be her 

Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel ! 

Salan. Out upon it, old carrion ! rebels it at 
these years ? 

Shy. I say, my daughterismy flesh and my blood. 

Salar. There is more difference between thy flesh 
and hers, than between jet and ivory ; more between 
your bloods, than there is between red wine and 

rhenish. But tell us, do j'ou hear whether Anto- 
nio have had any loss at sea or no ? 

Shy. There I have another bad match : a bank- 
rupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on 
the Rialto ; — a beggar, that used to come so smug 
upon the mart. — Let him look to his bond : he was 
wont to call me usurer ; — let him look to his bond : 
he was wont to lend money for a Christian cour- 
tesy; — let him look to his bond. 

Salar. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt 
not take his flesh: what's that good for? 

Shy. To bait fish withal : if it will feed nothing 
else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced 
me, and hindered me half a million ; laughed at my 
losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, 
thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated 
mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a 
Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, 
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? 
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weap- 
ons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the 
same means, warmed and cooled by the same win- 
ter and summer, as a Christian is ? if you prick us, 
do we not bleed ? if you tickle us, do we not laugh ? 
if you poison us, do we not die ? and if you wrong 
us, shall we not revenge ? If we are like you in 
the rest, we will resemble yott in that. If a Jew 
wrong a Christian, what is his humility ? revenge. 
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his suf- 
ferance be by Christian example? why, revenge. 
The villainy you teach me, I will execute ; and it 
shall go hard but I will better the instruction. 

Enter a Servant. 

Serv. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his 
house, and desii'es to speak with you both. 

Salar. We have been up and down to seek 

Salan. Here comes another of the tribe : a third 
cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn 
Jew. [Exeunt Salan., Salar., and Servant. 

Enter Tubal. 

Shy. How now, Tubal ? what news from Genoa? 
hast thou found my daughter ? 

Tub. I often came where I did hear of her, but 
cannot find her. 





Shy. Why there, there, there, there ! a diamond 
gone, cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort. 
The curse never fell upon our nation till now ; I 
never felt it till now: — two thousand ducats in 
that ; and other precious, precious jewels. — T would, 
my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels 
in her ear I would she were hearsed at my foot, 
and the ducats in her coffin J No news of them ? — 

Why, so ; — and I know not what's spent in the 
search : Why thou — loss upon loss! the thief gone 
with so much, and so much to find the thief, and 
no satisfaction, no revenge; nor no ill luck stirring, 
but what lights o' my shoulders ; no sighs, but 
o' my breathing ; no tears, but o' my shedding. 

Tub. Yes, other men have ill luck too. Anto- 
nio, as I heard in Genoa, — 

Shy. What, what, what ? ill luck, ill luck ? 

Tub. — hath an argosy cast away, coming from 

Shy. I thank God ! I thank God ! Is it true ? is 
it true ? 

Tub. I spoke with some of the sailors that es- 
caped the wreck. 

.S7?y. I thank thee, good Tubal. — Good news, 
good news ! ha ! ha ! — Where ? in Genoa ? 

Tub. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, 
one night, fourscore ducats. 

Shy. Thou stick'st a dagger in me. I shall never 
see my gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! 
fourscore ducats ! 

Tub. There came divers of Antonio's creditors 
in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot 
choose but break. 

Shij. I am very glad of it. I'll plague him; I'll 
torture him : I am glad of it. 

Tub. One of them showed me a ring, that he 
had of your daughter for a monkey. 

Shy. Out upon her ! Thou torturest me. Tu- 
bal : it was my turquoise ; I had it of Leah, when 
I was a bachelor: 1 would not have given it for a 
wilderness of monkeys. 

Tub. But Antonio is certainly undone. 

Shy. Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, 
fee me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. 
I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for were 
he out of Venice, I can make what merchandize I 
will. Go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue : 
go, good Tubal ; at our synagogue. Tubal. 


Scene II. — Belmont An Apartment in Portia's 


Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, Nerissa, 
and their Attendants. The caskets set out. 

Par. I pray you tarry : pause a day or two, 
Before you hazard ; for, in choosing wrong, 
I lose your company : therefore, forbear a while. 
There's something tells me, (but it is not love,) 
I would not lose you, and you know yourself, 
Hate counsels not in such a quality. 
But lest you should not understand me well, 
And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought, 
I would detain you here some month or two. 
Before you venture for me. I could teach you, 
How to choose right, but then I am forsworn ; 
So will I never be : so may you miss me ; 
But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin, 




That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, 
They h;ive o'er-look'd me, and divided me ; 
One half of me is yours, the other half yours, — 
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours, 
And so all yours ! O ! these naughty times 
Put bars between the owners and their rights ; 
And so, though yours, not yours. — Prove it so, 
Let fortune go to hell for it, — not I. 
I speak too long ; but 'tis to peize the time, 
To eke it, and to draw it out in length. 
To stay you from election. 

Bass. Let me choose; 

For, as I am, I live upon the rack. 

Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio ? then confess 
What treason there is mingled with your love. 

Bass. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust, 
Which makes me fear th' enjoying of my love. 
There may as well be amity and life 
'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love. 

Por. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack, 
Where men enforced do speak any thing. 

Bass. Promise, me life, and I'll confess the truth. 

Por. Well, then, confess, and live. 

Bass. Confess, and love, 

Had been the very sum of my confession. 
O, happy torment, when my torturer 
Doth teach me answers for deliverance ! 

But let me to my fortune and the caskets. 

Por- Away then. I am lock"d in one of them : 
If you do love me, you will find me out. — 
Nerissa, and the rest, stand all aloof. — 
Let music sound, while he doth make his choice; 
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end. 
Fading in music : that the co