Obrázky stránek

Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made you a duke: good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold. Duke. Upon mine honor, thou shalt marry

her. Thy slanders I forgive ; and therewithal Remit thy other forfeits. —Take him to prison, And see our pleasure herein executed.

Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.

Duke. Slandering a prince deserves it.She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. Joy to you, Mariana !- love her, Angelo ! I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much good

ness :

There's more behind, that is more gratulate.
Thanks, provost, for thy care and secresy ;
We shall employ thee in a worthier place :
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's;
The offence pardons itself.--Dear Isabel,
I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto if you 'll a willing ear incline,
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.-
So, bring us to our palace, where we 'll show
What's yet behind, that's meet you all should


1 Punishments.

2 More acceptable than thanks.






Shakspeare appears to have taken the general plan of this comedy from a translation of the Menæchmi of Plautus, by W. W. i. e. (according to Wood) William Warner, in 1595, whose version of the argument is as follows: Two twinne-borne sons a Sicill marchant had,

Menechmus one, and Sosicles the other :
The first his father lost, a little lad;

The grandsire namde the latter like his brother.
This, growne a man, long travell tooke to seeke

His brother, and to Epidamnum came,
Where th' other dwelt inricht, and him so like,

That citizens there take him for the same;
Father, wife, neighbours, each mistaking either,

Much pleasant error, ere they meete togither. Perhaps the last of these lines suggested to Shakspeare the title for his piece.

'In this play,' says Mr. Steevens, we find more intricacy of plot than distinction of character; and our attention is less forcibly engaged, because we can guess, in great measure, how the dénouement will be brought about. Yet the subject appears to have been reluctantly dismissed, even in the last and unnecessary scene, where the same mistakes are continued, till they have lost the power of affording any entertainment at all.'

« PředchozíPokračovat »