Part 4 out of 6
marriage; but Petruchio did but put this wildness on the better
to succeed in the plot he had formed to tame his shrewish wife.
Baptista had provided a sumptuous marriage feast, but when they
returned from church, Petruchio, taking hold of Katharine,
declared his intention of carrying his wife home instantly, and
no remonstrance of his father-in-law, or angry words of the
enraged Katharine, could make him change his purpose. He claimed
a husband's right to dispose of his wife as he pleased, and away
he hurried Katharine off; he seeming so daring and resolute that
no one dared attempt to stop him.
Petruchio mounted his wife upon a miserable horse, lean and lank,
which he had picked out for the purpose, and, himself and his
servant no better mounted, they journeyed on through rough and
miry ways, and ever when this horse of Katharine's stumbled he
would storm and swear at the poor jaded beast, who could scarce
crawl under his burthen, as if he had been the most passionate
At length, after a weary journey, during which Katharine had
heard nothing but the wild ravings of Petruchio at the servant
and the horses, they arrived at his house. Petruchio welcomed her
kindly to her home, but he resolved she should have neither rest
nor food that night. The tables were spread, and supper soon
served; but Petruchio, pretending to find fault with every dish,
threw the meat about the floor, and ordered the servants to
remove it away; and all this he did, as he said, in love for his
Katharine, that she might not eat meat that was not well dressed.
And when Katharine, weary and supperless, retired to rest, he
found the same fault with the bed, throwing the pillows and
bedclothes about the room, so that she was forced to sit down in
a chair, where, if, she chanced to drop asleep, she was presently
awakened by the loud voice of her husband storming at the
servants for the ill-making of his wife's bridal-bed.
The next day Petruchio pursued the same course, still speaking
kind words to Katharine, but, when she attempted to eat, finding
fault with everything that was set before her, throwing the
breakfast on the floor as he had done the supper; and Katharine,
the haughty Katharine, was fain to beg the servants would bring
her secretly a morsel of food; but they, being instructed by
Petruchio, replied they dared not give her anything unknown to
"Ah," said she, "did he marry me to famish me? Beggars that come
to my father's door have food given them. But I, who never knew
what it was to entreat for anything, am starved for want of food,
giddy for want of sleep, with oaths kept waking, and with
brawling fed; and that which vexes me more than all, he does it
under the name of perfect love, pretending that if I sleep or
eat, it were present death to me."
Here the soliloquy was interrupted by the entrance of Petruchio.
He, not meaning she should be quite starved, had brought her a
small portion of meat, and he said to her:
"How fares my sweet Kate? Here, love, you see how diligent I am.
I have dressed your meat myself. I am sure this kindness merits
thanks. What, not a word? Nay, then you love not the meat, and
all the pains I have taken is to no purpose." He then ordered the
servant to take the dish away.
Extreme hunger, which had abated the pride of Katharine, made her
say, though angered to the heart, "I pray you let it stand."
But this was not all Petruchio intended to bring her to, and he
replied, "The poorest service is repaid with thanks, and so shall
mine before you touch the meat."
On this Katharine brought out a reluctant "I thank you, sir."
And now he suffered her to make a slender meal, saying: "Much
good may it do your gentle heart, Kate. Eat apace! And now, my
honey love, we will return to your father's house and revel it as
bravely as the best, with silken coats and caps and golden rings,
with ruffs and scarfs and fans and double change of finery." And
to make her believe be really intended to give her these gay
things, he called in a tailor and a haberdasher, who brought some
new clothes he had ordered for her, and then, giving her plate to
the servant to take away, before she had half satisfied her
hunger, he said:
"What, have you dined?"
The haberdasher presented a cap, saying, "Here is the cap your
worship bespoke." On which Petruchio began to storm afresh,
saying the cap was molded in a porringer and that it was no
bigger than a cockle or walnut shell, desiring the haberdasher to
take it away and make it bigger.
Katharine said, "I will have this; all gentlewomen wear such caps
"When you are gentle," replied Petruchio, "you shall have one,
too, and not till then."
The meat Katharine had eaten had a little revived her fallen
spirits, and she said: "Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to
speak, and speak I will. I am no child, no babe. Your betters
have endured to hear me say my mind; and if you cannot, you had
better stop your ears."
Petruchio would not hear these angry words, for he had happily
discovered a better way of managing his wife than keeping up a
jangling argument with her; therefore his answer was:
"Why, you say true; it is a paltry cap, and I love you for not
"Love me, or love me not," said Katharine, "I like the cap, and I
will have this cap or none."
"You say you wish to see the gown," said Petruchio, still
affecting to misunderstand her.
The tailor then came forward and showed her a fine gown he had
made for her. Petruchio, whose intent was that she should have
neither cap nor gown, found as much fault with that.
"Oh, mercy, Heaven!" said he, "what stuff is here! What, do you
call this a sleeve? it is like a demi-cannon, carved up and down
like an apple tart."
The tailor said, "You bid me make it according to the fashion of
the times"; and Katharine said she never saw a better-fashioned
gown. This was enough for Petruchio, and privately desiring these
people might be paid for their goods, and excuses made to them
for the seemingly strange treatment he bestowed upon them, he
with fierce words and furious gestures drove the tailor and the
haberdasher out of the room; and then, turning to Katharine, he
"Well, come, my Kate, we will go to your father's even in these
mean garments we now wear."
And then he ordered his horses, affirming they should reach
Baptista's house by dinner-time, for that it was but seven
o'clock. Now it was not early morning, but the very middle of the
day, when he spoke this; therefore Katharine ventured to say,
though modestly, being almost overcome by the vehemence of his
"I dare assure you, sir, it is two o'clock, and will be
suppertime before we get there."
But Petruchio meant that she should be so completely subdued that
she should assent to everything he said before he carried her to
her father; and therefore, as if he were lord even of the sun and
could command the hours, he said it. should be what time he
pleased to have it, before beset forward. "For," he said,
"whatever I say or do, you still are crossing it. I will not go
to-day, and when I go, it shall be what o'clock I say it is."
Another day Katharine was forced to practise her newly found
obedience, and not till he had brought her proud spirit to such a
perfect subjection that she dared not remember there was such a
word as contradiction would Petruchio allow her to go to her
father's house; and even while they were upon their journey
thither she was in danger of being turned back again, only
because she happened to hint it was the sun when he affirmed the
moon shone brightly at noonday.
"Now, by my mother's son," said be, "and that is myself, it shall
be the moon, or stars, or what I list, before I journey to your
father's house." He then made as if he were going back again. But
Katharine, no longer Katharine the Shrew, but the obedient wife,
said, "Let us go forward, I pray, now we have come so far, and it
shall be the sun, or moon, or what you please; and if you please
to call it a rush candle henceforth, I vow it shall be so for
This he was resolved to prove, therefore he said again, "I say it
is the moon."
"I know it is the moon," replied Katharine.
"You lie. It is the blessed sun," said Petruchio.
"Then it is the blessed sun," replied Katharine; "but sun it is
not when you say it is not. What you will have it named, even so
it is, and so it ever shall be for Katharine."
Now then he suffered her to proceed on her journey; but further
to try if this yielding humor would last, he addressed an old
gentleman they met on the road as if he had been a young woman,
saying to him, "Good morrow, gentle mistress"; and asked
Katharine if she had ever beheld a fairer gentlewoman, praising
the red and white of the old man's cheeks, and comparing his eyes
to two bright stars; and again he addressed him, saying, "Fair,
lovely maid, once more good day to you!" and said to his wife,
"Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty's sake."
The now completely vanquished Katharine quickly adopted her
husband's opinion, and made her speech in like sort to the old
gentleman, saying to him: "Young budding virgin, you are fair and
fresh and sweet. Whither are you going, and where is your
dwelling? Happy are the parents of so fair a child."
"Why, how now, Kate," said Petruchio. "I hope you are not mad.
This is a man, old and wrinkled, faded and withered, and not a
maiden, as you say he is."
On this Katharine said, "Pardon me, old gentleman; the sun has so
dazzled my eyes that everything I look on seemeth green. Now I
perceive you are a reverend father. I hope you will pardon me for
my sad mistake."
"Do, good old grandsire," said Petruchio, "and tell us which way
you are traveling. We shall be glad of your good company, if you
are going our way."
The old gentleman replied: "Fair sir, and you, my merry mistress,
your strange encounter has much amazed me. My name is Vincentio,
and I am going to visit a son of mine who lives at Padua."
Then Petruchio knew the old gentleman to be the father of
Lucentio, a young gentleman who was to be married to Baptista's
younger daughter, Bianca, and he made Vincentio very happy by
telling him the rich marriage his son was about to make; and they
all journeyed on pleasantly together till they came to Baptista's
house, where there was a large company assembled to celebrate the
wedding of Bianca and Lucentio, Baptista having willingly
consented to the marriage of Bianca when he had got Katharine off
When they entered, Baptista welcomed them to the wedding feast,
and there was present also another newly married pair.
Lucentio, Bianca's husband, and Hortensio, the other new-married
man, could not forbear sly jests, which seemed to hint at the
shrewish disposition of Petruchio's wife, and these fond
bridegrooms seemed highly pleased with the mild tempers of the
ladies they had chosen, laughing at Petruchio for his less
fortunate choice. Petruchio took little notice of their jokes
till the ladies were retired after dinner, and then he perceived
Baptista himself joined in the laugh against him, for when
Petruchio affirmed that his wife would prove more obedient than
theirs, the father of Katharine said, "Now, in good sadness, son
Petruchio, I fear you have got the veriest shrew of all."
"Well," said Petruchio, "I say no, and therefore, for assurance
that I speak the truth, let us each one send for his wife, and he
whose wife is most obedient to come at first when she is sent for
shall win a wager which we will propose."
To this the other two husbands willingly consented, for they were
confident that their gentle wives would prove more obedient than
the headstrong Katharine, and they proposed a wager of twenty
crowns. But Petruchio merrily said he would lay as much as that
upon his hawk or hound, but twenty times as much upon his wife.
Lucentio and Hortensio raised the wager to a hundred crowns, and
Lucentio first sent his servant to desire Bianca would come to
him. But the servant returned, and said:
"Sir, my mistress sends you word she is busy and cannot come."
"How," said Petruchio, "does she say she is busy and cannot come?
Is that an answer for a wife?"
Then they laughed at him, and said it would be well if Katharine
did not send him a worse answer. And now it was Hortensio's turn
to send for his wife; and be said to his servant, "Go, and
entreat my wife to come to me."
"Oh ho! entreat her!" said Petruchio.
"Nay, then, she needs must come."
"I am afraid, sir," said Hortensio, "your wife will not be
entreated." But presently this civil husband looked a little
blank when the servant returned without his mistress; and he said
"How now? Where is my wife?"
"Sir," said the servant, "my mistress says you have some goodly
jest in hand, and therefore she will not come. She bids you come
"Worse and worse!" said Petruchio. And then he sent his servant,
saying, "Sirrah, go to your mistress and tell her I command her
to come to me."
The company had scarcely time to think she would not obey this
summons when Baptista, all in amaze, exclaimed:
"Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharine!"
And she entered, saying meekly to Petruchio, "What is your will,
sir, that you send for me?"
"Where is your sister and Hortensio's wife?" said he.
Katharine replied, "They sit conferring by the parlor fire."
"Go, fetch them hither!" said Petruchio.
Away went Katharine without reply to perform her husband's
"Here is a wonder," said Lucentio, "if you talk of a wonder."
"And so it is," said Hortensio. "I marvel what it bodes."
"Marry, peace it bodes," said Petruchio, "and love, and quiet
life, and right supremacy; and, to be short, everything that is
sweet and happy."
Katharine's father, overjoyed to see this reformation in his
daughter, said: "Now, fair befall thee, son Petruchio! You have
won the wager, and I will add another twenty thousand crowns to
her dowry, as if she were another daughter, for she is changed as
if she had never been."
"Nay," said Petruchio, "I will win the wager better yet, and show
more signs of her new-built virtue and obedience." Katharine now
entering with the two ladies, he continued: "See where she comes,
and brings your froward wives as prisoners to her womanly
persuasion. Katharine, that cap of yours does not become you; off
with that bauble, and throw it underfoot."
Katharine instantly took off her cap and threw it down.
"Lord!" said Hortensio's wife, "may I never have a cause to sigh
till I am brought to such a silly pass!"
And Bianca, she, too, said, "Fie! What foolish duty call you
On this Bianca's husband said to her, "I wish your duty were as
foolish, too! The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca, has cost me a
hundred crowns since dinner-time."
"The more fool you," said Bianca, "for laying on my duty."
"Katharine," said Petruchio, "I charge you tell these headstrong
women what duty they owe their lords and husbands."
And to the wonder of all present, the reformed shrewish lady
spoke as eloquently in praise of the wifelike duty of obedience
as she had practised it implicitly in a ready submission to
Petruchio's will. And Katharine once more became famous in Padua,
not as heretofore as Katharine the Shrew, but as Katharine the
most obedient and duteous wife in Padua.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
The states of Syracuse and Ephesus being at variance, there was a
cruel law made at Ephesus, ordaining that if any merchant of
Syracuse was seen in the city of Ephesus he was to be put to
death, unless he could pay a thousand marks for the ransom of his
Aegeon, an old merchant of Syracuse, was discovered in the
streets of Ephesus, and brought before the duke, either to pay
this heavy fine or receive sentence of death.
Aegeon had no money to pay the fine, and the duke, before he
pronounced the sentence of death upon him, desired him to relate
the history of his life, and to tell for what cause he had
ventured to come to the city of Ephesus, which it was death for
any Syracusan merchant to enter.
Aegeon said that he did not fear to die, for sorrow had made him
weary of his life, but that a heavier task could not have been
imposed upon him than to relate the events of his unfortunate
life. He then began his own history, in the following words:
"I was born at Syracuse, and brought up to the profession of a
merchant. I married a lady, with whom I lived very happily, but,
being obliged to go to Epidamnum, I was detained there by my
business six months, and then, finding I should be obliged to
stay some time longer, I sent for my wife, who, as soon as she
arrived, was brought to bed of two sons, and what was very
strange, they were both so exactly alike that it was impossible
to distinguish the one from the other. At the same time that my
wife was brought to bed of these twin boys a poor woman in the
inn where my wife lodged was brought to bed of two sons, and
these twins were as much like each other as my two sons were. The
parents of these children being exceeding poor, I bought the two
boys and brought them up to attend upon my sons.
"My sons were very fine children, and my wife was not a little
proud of two such boys; and she daily wishing to return home, I
unwillingly agreed, and in an evil hour we got on shipboard, for
we had not sailed above a league from Epidamnum before a dreadful
storm arose, which continued with such violence that the sailors,
seeing no chance of saving the ship, crowded into the boat to
save their own lives, leaving us alone in the ship, which we
every moment expected would be destroyed by the fury of the
"The incessant weeping of my wife and the piteous complaints of
the pretty babes, who, not knowing what to fear, wept for
fashion, because they saw their mother weep, filled me with
terror for them, though I did not for myself fear death; and all
my thoughts were bent to contrive means for their safety. I tied
my youngest son to the end of a small spire mast, such as
seafaring men provide against storms; at the other end I bound
the youngest of the twin slaves, and at the same time I directed
my wife how to fasten the other children in like manner to
another mast. She thus having the care of the eldest two
children, and I of the younger two, we bound ourselves separately
to these masts with the children; and but for this contrivance we
had all been lost, for the ship split on a mighty rock and was
dashed in pieces; and we, clinging to these slender masts, were
supported above the water, where I, having the care of two
children, was unable to assist my wife, who, with the other
children, was soon separated from me; but while they were yet in
my sight they were taken up by a boat of fishermen, from Corinth
(as I supposed), and, seeing them in safety, I had no care but to
struggle with the wild sea-waves, to preserve my dear son and the
youngest slave. At length we, in our turn, were taken up by a
ship, and the sailors, knowing me, gave us kind welcome and
assistance and landed us in safety at Syracuse; but from that sad
hour I have never known what became of my wife and eldest child.
"My youngest son, and now my only care, when he was eighteen
years of age, began to be inquisitive after his mother and his
brother, and often importuned me that he might take his
attendant, the young slave, who had also lost his brother, and
go in search of them. At length I unwillingly gave consent, for,
though I anxiously desired to hear tidings of my wife and eldest
son, yet in sending my younger one to find them I hazarded the
loss of him also. It is now seven years since my son left me;
five years have I passed in traveling through the world in search
of him. I have been in farthest Greece, and through the bounds of
Asia, and, coasting homeward, I landed here in Ephesus, being
unwilling to leave any place unsought that harbors men; but this
day must end the story of my life, and happy should I think
myself in my death if I were assured my wife and sons were
Here the hapless Aegeon ended the account of his misfortunes; and
the duke, pitying this unfortunate father who had brought upon
himself this great peril by his love for his lost son, said if it
were not against the laws, which his oath and dignity did not
permit him to alter, he would freely pardon him; yet, instead of
dooming him to instant death, as the strict letter of the law
required, he would give him that day to try if he could beg or
borrow the money to pay the fine.
This day of grace did seem no great favor to Aegeon, for, not
knowing any man in Ephesus, there seemed to him but little chance
that any stranger would lend or give him a thousand marks to pay
the fine; and, helpless and hopeless of any relief, he retired
from the presence of the duke in the custody of a jailer.
Aegeon supposed he knew no person in Ephesus; but at the time he
was in danger of losing his life through the careful search he
was making after his youngest son that son, and his eldest son
also, were in the city of Ephesus.
Aegeon's sons, besides being exactly alike in face and person,
were both named alike, being both called Antipholus, and the two
twin slaves were also both named Dromio. Aegeon's youngest son,
Antipholus of Syracuse, he whom the old man had come to Ephesus
to seek, happened to arrive at Ephesus with his slave Dromio that
very same day that Aegeon did; and he being also a merchant of
Syracuse, he would have been in the same danger that his father
was, but by good fortune he met a friend who told him the peril
an old merchant of Syracuse was in, and advised him to pass for a
merchant of Epidamnum. This Antipholus agreed to do, and he was
sorry to hear one of his own countrymen was in this danger, but
he little thought this old merchant was his own father.
The eldest son of Aegeon (who must be called Antipholus of
Ephesus, to distinguish him from his brother Antipholus of
Syracuse) had lived at Ephesus twenty years, and, being a rich
man, was well able to have paid the money for the ransom of his
father's life; but Antipholus knew nothing of his father, being
so young when he was taken out of the sea with his mother by the
fishermen that he only remembered he had been so preserved; but
he had no recollection of either his father or his mother, the
fishermen who took up this Antipholus and his mother and the
young slave Dromio having carried the two children away from her
(to the great grief of that unhappy lady), intending to sell
Antipholus and Dromio were sold by them to Duke Menaphon, a
famous warrior, who was uncle to the Duke of Ephesus, and he
carried the boys to Ephesus when he went to visit the duke, his
The Duke of Ephesus, taking a liking to young Antipholus, when he
grew up made him an officer in his army, in which he
distinguished himself by his great bravery in the wars, where he
saved the life of his patron, the duke, who rewarded his merit by
marrying him to Adriana, a rich lady of Ephesus, with whom he was
living (his slave Dromio still attending him) at the time his
father came there.
Antipholus of Syracuse, when he parted with his friend, who,
advised him to say he came from Epidamnum, gave his slave Dromio
some money to carry to the inn where he intended to dine, and in
the mean time he said he would walk about and view the city and
observe the manners of the people.
Dromio was a pleasant fellow, and when Antipholus was dull and
melancholy he used to divert himself with the odd humors and
merry jests of his slave, so that the freedoms of speech he
allowed in Dromio were greater than is usual between masters and
When Antipholus of Syracuse had sent Dromio away, he stood awhile
thinking over his solitary wanderings in search of his mother and
his brother, of whom in no place where he landed could he hear
the least tidings; and he said sorrowfully to himself, "I am like
a drop of water in the ocean. which, seeking to find its fellow
drop, loses itself in the wide sea, So I, unhappily, to find a
mother and a brother, do lose myself."
While he was thus meditating on his weary travels, which had
hitherto been so useless, Dromio (as he thought) returned.
Antipholus, wondering that he came back so soon, asked him where
he had left the money. Now it was not his own Dromio, but the
twin-brother that lived with Antipholus of Ephesus, that he spoke
to. The two Dromios and the two Antipholuses were still as much
alike as Aegeon had said they were in their infancy; therefore no
wonder Antipholus thought it was his own slave returned, and
asked him why he came back so soon.
Dromio replied: "My mistress sent me to bid you come to dinner.
The capon burns, and the pig falls from the spit, and the meat
will be all cold if you do not come home."
"These jests are out of season," said Antipholus. "Where did you
leave the money?"
Dromio still answering that his mistress had sent him to fetch
Antipholus to dinner, "What mistress?" said Antipholus.
"Why, your worship's wife, sir!" replied Dromio.
Antipholus having no wife, he was very angry with Dromio, and
said: "Because I familiarly sometimes chat with you, you presume
to jest with me in this free manner. I am not in a sportive humor
now. Where is the money? We being strangers here, how dare you
trust so great a charge from your own custody?"
Dromio, hearing his master, as he thought him, talk of their
being strangers, supposing Antipholus was jesting, replied,
merrily: "I pray you, sir, jest as you sit at dinner. I had no
charge but to fetch you home to dine with my mistress and her
Now Antipholus lost all patience, and beat Dromio, who ran home
and told his mistress that his master had refused to come to
dinner and said that he had no wife.
Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, was very angry when
she heard that her husband said he had no wife; for she was of a
jealous temper, and she said her husband meant that he loved
another lady better than herself; and she began to fret, and say
unkind words of jealousy and reproach of her husband; and her
sister Luciana, who lived with her, tried in vain to persuade her
out of her groundless suspicions.
Antipholus of Syracuse went to the inn, and found Dromio with the
money in safety there, and, seeing his own Dromio, he was going
again to chide him for his free jests, when Adriana came up to
him, and, not doubting but it was her husband she saw, she began
to reproach him for looking strange upon her (as well he might,
never having seen this angry lady before); and then she told him
how well he loved her before they were married, and that now he
loved some other lady instead of her.
"How comes it now, my husband," said she, "oh, how comes it that
I have lost your love?"
"Plead you to me, fair dame?" said the astonished Antipholus.
It was in vain he told her he was not her husband and that he had
been in Ephesus but two hours. She insisted on his going home
with her, and Antipholus at last, being unable to get away, went
with her to his brother's house, and dined with Adriana and her
sister, the one calling him husband and the other brother, he,
all amazed, thinking he must have been married to her in his
sleep, or that he was sleeping now. And Dromio, who followed
them, was no less surprised, for the cook-maid, who was his
brother's wife, also claimed him for her husband.
While Antipholus of Syracuse was dining with his brother's wife,
his brother, the real husband, returned home to dinner with his
slave Dromio; but the servants would not open the door, because
their mistress had ordered them not to admit any company; and
when they repeatedly knocked, and said they were Antipholus and
Dromio, the maids laughed at them, and said that Antipholus was
at dinner with their mistress, and Dromio was in the kitchen, and
though they almost knocked the door down, they could not gain
admittance, and at last Antipholus went away very angry, and
strangely surprised at, hearing a gentleman was dining with his
When Antipholus of Syracuse had finished his dinner, he was so
perplexed at the lady's still persisting in calling him husband,
and at hearing that Dromio had also been claimed by the cookmaid,
that he left the house as soon as he could find any pretense to
get away; for though he was very much pleased with Luciana, the
sister, yet the jealous-tempered Adriana he disliked very much,
nor was Dromio at all better satisfied with his fair wife in the
kitchen; therefore both master and man were glad to get away from
their new wives as fast as they could.
The moment Antipholus of Syracuse had left the house he was met
by a goldsmith, who, mistaking him, as Adriana had done, for
Antipholus of Ephesus, gave him a gold chain, calling him by his
name; and when Antipholus would have refused the chain, saying it
did not belong to him, the goldsmith replied he made it by his
own orders, and went away, leaving the chain in the hands of
Antipholus, who ordered his man Dromio to get his things on board
a ship, not choosing to stay in a place any longer where he met
with such strange adventures that he surely thought himself
The goldsmith who had given the chain to the wrong Antipholus was
arrested immediately after for a sum of money he owed; and
Antipholus, the married brother, to whom the goldsmith thought he
had given the chain, happened to come to the place where the
officer was arresting the goldsmith, who, when he saw Antipholus,
asked him to pay for the gold chain he had just delivered to him,
the price amounting to nearly the same sum as that for which he
had been arrested. Antipholus denying the having received the
chain, and the goldsmith persisting to declare that he had but a
few minutes before given it to him, they disputed this matter a
long time, both thinking they were right; for Antipholus knew the
goldsmith never gave him the chain, and so like were the two
brothers, the goldsmith was as certain he had delivered the chain
into his hands, till at last the officer took the goldsmith away
to prison for the debt he owed, and at the same time the
goldsmith made the officer arrest Antipholus for the price of the
chain; so that at the conclusion of their dispute Antipholus and
the merchant were both taken away to prison together.
As Antipholus was going to prison, he met Dromio of Syracuse, his
brother's slave, and, mistaking him for his own, he ordered him
to go to Adriana his wife, and tell her to send the money for
which he was arrested. Dromio, wondering that his master should
send him back to the strange house where he dined, and from which
he had just before been in such haste to depart, did not dare to
reply, though he came to tell his master the ship was ready to
sail, for he saw Antipholus was in no humor to be jested with.
Therefore he went away, grumbling within himself that he must
return to Adriana's house, "Where," said he, "Dowsabel claims me
for a husband. But I must go, for servants must obey their
Adriana gave him the money, and as Dromio was returning he met
Antipholus of Syracuse, who was still in amaze at the surprising
adventures he met with, for, his brother being well known in
Ephesus, there was hardly a man he met in the streets but saluted
him as an old acquaintance. Some offered him money which they
said was owing to him, some invited him to come and see them, and
some gave him thanks for kindnesses they said he had done them,
all mistaking him for his brother. A tailor showed him some silks
he had bought for him, and insisted upon taking measure of him
for some clothes.
Antipholus began to think he was among a nation of sorcerers and
witches, and Dromio did not at all relieve his master from his
bewildered thoughts by asking him how he got free from the
officer who was carrying him to prison, and giving him the purse
of gold which Adriana had sent to pay the debt with. This talk of
Dromio's of the arrest and of a prison, and of the money he had
brought from Adriana, perfectly confounded Antipholus, and he
said, "This fellow Dromio is certainly distracted, and we wander
here in illusions," and, quite terrified at his own confused
thoughts, he cried out, "Some blessed power deliver us from this
And now another stranger came up to him, and she was a lady, and
she, too, called him Antipholus, and told him he had dined with
her that day, and asked him for a gold chain which she said he
had promised to give her. Antipholus now lost all patience, and,
calling her a sorceress, he denied that he had ever promised her
a chain, or dined with her, or had even seen her face before that
moment. The lady persisted in affirming he had dined with her and
had promised her a chain, which Antipholus still denying, she
further said that she had given him a valuable ring, and if he
would not give her the gold chain, she insisted upon having her
own ring again. On this Antipholus became quite frantic, and
again calling her sorceress and witch, and denying all knowledge
of her or her ring, ran away from her, leaving her astonished at
his words and his wild looks, for nothing to her appeared more
certain than that he had dined with her, and that she had given
him a ring in consequence of his promising to make her a present
of a gold chain. But this lady had fallen into the same mistake
the others had done, for she had taken him for his brother; the
married Antipholus had done all the things she taxed this
When the married Antipholus was denied entrance into his house
(those within supposing him to be already there) be had gone away
very angry, believing it to be one of his wife's jealous freaks,
to which she was very subject, and, remembering that she had
often falsely accused him of visiting other ladies, he, to be
revenged on her for shutting him out of his own house, determined
to go and dine with this lady, and she receiving him with great
civility, and his wife having so highly offended him, Antipholus
promised to give her a gold chain which he had intended as a
present for his wife; it was the same chain which the goldsmith
by mistake had given to his brother. The lady liked so well the
thoughts of having a fine gold chain that she gave the married
Antipholus a ring; which when, as she supposed (taking his
brother for him), he denied, and said he did not know her, and
left her in such a wild passion, she began to think he was
certainly out of his senses; and presently she resolved to go and
tell Adriana that her husband was mad. And while she was telling
it to Adriana he came, attended by the jailer (who allowed him to
come home to get the money to pay the debt), for the purse of
money which Adriana had sent by Dromio and he had delivered to
the other Antipholus.
Adriana believed the story the lady told her of her husband's
madness must be true when he reproached her for shutting him out
of his own house; and remembering how he had protested all
dinner-time that he was not her husband and had never been in
Ephesus till that day, she had no doubt that he was mad; she
therefore paid the jailer the money, and, having discharged him,
she ordered her servants to bind her husband with ropes, and had
him conveyed into a dark room, and sent for a doctor to come and
cure him of his madness, Antipholus all the while hotly
exclaiming against this false accusation, which the exact
likeness he bore to his brother had brought upon him. But his
rage only the more confirmed them in the belief that he was mad;
and Dromio persisting in the same story, they bound him also and
took him away along with his master.
Soon after Adriana had put her husband into confinement a servant
came to tell her that Antipholus and Dromio must have broken
loose from their keepers, for that they were both walking at
liberty in the next street. On hearing this Adriana ran out to
fetch him home, taking some people with her to secure her husband
again; and her sister went along with her. When they came to the
gates of a convent in their neighborhood, there they saw
Antipholus and Dromio, as they thought, being again deceived by
the likeness of the twin brothers.
Antipholus of Syracuse was still beset with the perplexities this
likeness had brought upon him. The chain which the goldsmith had
given him was about his neck, and the goldsmith was reproaching
him for denying that he had it and refusing to pay for it, and
Antipholus was protesting that the goldsmith freely gave him the
chain in the morning, and that from that hour he had never seen
the goldsmith again.
And now Adriana came up to him and claimed him as her lunatic
husband who had escaped from his keepers, and the men she brought
with her were going to lay violent hands on Antipholus and
Dromio; but they ran into the convent, and Antipholus begged the
abbess to give him shelter in her house.
And now came out the lady abbess herself to inquire into the
cause of this disturbance. She was a grave and venerable lady,
and wise to judge of what she saw, and she would not too hastily
give up the man who had sought protection in her house; so she
strictly questioned the wife about the story she told of her
husband's madness, and she said:
"What is the cause of this sudden distemper of your husband's?
Has he lost his wealth at sea? Or is it the death of some dear
friend that has disturbed his mind?"
Adriana replied that no such things as these had been the cause.
"Perhaps," said the abbess, "he has fixed his affections on some
other lady than you, his wife, and that has driven him to this
Adriana said she had long thought the love of some other lady was
the cause of his frequent absences from home.
Now it was not his love for another, but the teasing jealousy of
his wife's temper, that often obliged Antipholus to leave his
home; and the abbess (suspecting this from the vehemence of
Adriana's manner), to learn the truth, said:
"You should have reprehended him for this."
"Why, so I did," replied Adriana.
"Aye," said the abbess, "but perhaps not enough."
Adriana, willing to convince the abbess that she had said enough
to Antipholus on this subject, replied: "It was the constant
subject of our conversation; in bed I would not let him sleep for
speaking of it. At table I would not let him eat for speaking of
it. When I was alone with him I talked of nothing else; and in
company I gave him frequent hints of it. Still all my talk was
how vile and bad it was in him to love any lady better than me."
The lady abbess, having drawn this full confession from the
jealous Adriana, now said: "And therefore comes it that your
husband is mad. The venomous clamor of a jealous woman is a more
deadly poison than a mad dog's tooth. It seems his sleep was
hindered by your railing; no wonder that his head is light; and
his meat was sauced with your upbraidings; unquiet meals make ill
digestions, and that has thrown him into this fever. You say his
sports were disturbed by your brawls; being debarred from the
enjoyment of society and recreation, what could ensue but dull
melancholy and comfortless despair? The consequence is, then,
that your jealous fits have made your husband mad."
Luciana would have excused her sister, saying she always
reprehended her husband mildly; and she said to her sister, "Why
do you hear these rebukes without answering them?"
But the abbess had made her so plainly perceive her fault that
she could only answer, "She has betrayed me to my own reproof."
Adriana, though ashamed of her own conduct, still insisted on
having her husband delivered up to her; but the abbess would
suffer no person to enter her house, nor would she deliver up
this unhappy man to the care of the jealous wife, determining
herself to use gentle means for his recovery, and she retired
into her house again, and ordered her gates to be shut against
During the course of this eventful day, in which so many errors
had happened from the likeness the twin brothers bore to each
other, old Aegeon's day of grace was passing away, it being now
near sunset; and at sunset he was doomed to die if he could not
pay the money.
The place of his execution was near this convent, and here he
arrived just as the abbess retired into the convent; the duke
attending in person, that, if any offered to pay the money, he
might be present to pardon him.
Adriana stopped this melancholy procession, and cried out to the
duke for justice, telling him that the abbess had refused to
deliver up her lunatic husband to her care. While she was
speaking, her real husband and his servant, Dromio, who had got
loose, came before the duke to demand justice, complaining that
his wife had confined him on a false charge of lunacy, and
telling in what manner he had broken his bands and eluded the
vigilance of his keepers. Adriana was strangely surprised to see
her husband when she thought he had been within the convent.
Aegeon, seeing his son, concluded this was the son who had left
him to go in search of his mother and his brother, and he felt
secure that this dear son would readily pay the money demanded
for his ransom. He therefore spoke to Antipholus in words of
fatherly affection, with joyful hope that he should now be
released. But, to the utter astonishment of Aegeon, his son
denied all knowledge of him, as well he might, for this
Antipholus had never seen his father since they were separated in
the storm in his infancy. But while the poor old Aegeon was in
vain endeavoring to make his son acknowledge him, thinking surely
that either his griefs and the anxieties he had suffered had so
strangely altered him that his son did not know him or else that
he was ashamed to acknowledge his father in his misery--in the
midst of this perplexity the lady abbess and the other Antipholus
and Dromio came out, and the wondering Adriana saw two husbands
and two Dromios standing before her.
And now these riddling errors, which had so perplexed them all,
were clearly made out. When the duke saw the two Antipholuses and
the two Dromios both so exactly alike, he at once conjectured
aright of these seeming mysteries, for he remembered the story
Aegeon had told him in the morning; and he said these men must be
the two sons of Aegeon and their twin slaves.
But now an unlooked-for joy indeed completed the history of
Aegeon; and the tale he had in the morning told in sorrow, and
under sentence of death, before the setting sun went down was
brought to a happy conclusion, for the venerable lady abbess made
herself known to be the long-lost wife of Aegeon and the fond
mother of the two Antipholuses.
When the fishermen took the eldest Antipholus and Dromio away
from her, she entered a nunnery, and by her wise and virtuous
conduct she was at length made lady abbess of this convent and in
discharging the rites of hospitality to an unhappy stranger she
had unknowingly protected her own son.
Joyful congratulations and affectionate greetings between these
long-separated parents and their children made them for a while
forget that Aegeon was yet under sentence of death. When they
were become a little calm, Antipholus of Ephesus offered the duke
the ransom money for his father's life; but the duke freely
pardoned Aegeon, and would not take the money. And the duke went
with the abbess and her newly found husband and children into the
convent, to hear this happy family discourse at leisure of the
blessed ending of their adverse fortunes. And the two Dromios'
humble joy must not be forgotten; they had their congratulations
and greetings, too, and each Dromio pleasantly complimented his
brother on his good looks, being well pleased to see his own
person (as in a glass) show so handsome in his brother.
Adriana had so well profited by the good counsel of her
mother-in-law that she never after cherished unjust suspicions
nor was jealous of her husband.
Antipholus of Syracuse married the fair Luciana, the sister of
his brother's wife; and the good old Aegeon, with his wife and
sons, lived at Ephesus many years. Nor did the unraveling of
these perplexities so entirely remove every ground of mistake for
the future but that sometimes, to remind them of adventures past,
comical blunders would happen, and the one Antipholus, and the
one Dromio, be mistaken for the other, making altogether a
pleasant and diverting Comedy of Errors.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
In the city of Vienna there once reigned a duke of such a mild
and gentle temper that he suffered his subjects to neglect the
laws with impunity; and there was in particular one law the
existence of which was almost forgotten, the duke never having
put it in force during his whole reign. This was a law dooming
any man to the punishment of death who should live with a woman
that was not his wife; and this law, through the lenity of the
duke, being utterly disregarded, the holy institution of marriage
became neglected, and complaints were every day made to the duke
by the parents of the young ladies in Vienna that their daughters
had been seduced from their protection and were living as the
companions of single men.
The good duke perceived with sorrow this growing evil among his
subjects; but he thought that a sudden change in himself from the
indulgence he had hitherto shown, to the strict severity
requisite to check this abuse, would make his people (who had
hitherto loved him) consider him as a tyrant; therefore he
determined to absent himself awhile from his dukedom and depute
another to the full exercise of his power, that the law against
these dishonorable lovers might be put in effect, without giving
offense by an unusual severity in his own person.
Angelo, a man who bore the reputation of a saint in Vienna for
his strict and rigid life, was chosen by the duke as a fit person
to undertake this important charge; and when the duke imparted
his design to Lord Escalus, his chief counselor, Escalus said:
"If any man in Vienna be of worth to undergo such ample grace and
honor, it is Lord Angelo."
And now the duke departed from Vienna under pretense of making a
journey into Poland, leaving Angelo to act as the lord deputy in
his absence; but the duke's absence was only a feigned one, for
he privately returned to Vienna, habited like a friar, with the
intent to watch unseen the conduct of the saintly-seeming Angelo.
It happened just about the time that Angelo was invested with his
new dignity that a gentleman, whose name was Claudio, had seduced
a young lady from her parents; and for this offense, by command
of the new lord deputy, Claudio was taken up and committed to
prison, and by virtue of the old law which had been so long
neglected Angelo sentenced Claudio to be beheaded. Great interest
was made for the pardon of young Claudio, and the good old Lord
Escalus himself interceded for him.
"Alas!" said he, "this gentleman whom I would save had an
honorable father, for whose sake I pray you pardon the young
But Angelo replied: "We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
setting it up to frighten birds of prey, till custom, finding it
harmless, makes it their perch and not their terror. Sir, he must
Lucio, the friend of Claudio, visited him in the prison, and
Claudio said to him: "I pray you, Lucio, do me this kind service.
Go to my sister Isabel, who this day proposes to enter the
convent of Saint Clare; acquaint her with the danger of my state;
implore her that she make friends with the strict deputy; bid her
go herself to Angelo. I have great hopes in that; for she can
discourse with prosperous art, and well she can persuade;
besides, there is a speechless dialect in youthful sorrow such as
Isabel, the sister of Claudio, had, as he said, that day entered
upon her novitiate in the convent, and it was her intent, after
passing through her probation as a novice, to take the veil, and
she was inquiring of a nun concerning the rules of the convent
when they heard the voice of Lucio, who, as he entered that
religious house, said, "Peace be in this place!"
"Who is it that speaks?" said Isabel.
"It is a man's voice," replied the nun. "Gentle Isabel, go to
him, and learn his business; you may, I may not. When you have
taken the veil, you must not speak with men but in the presence
of the prioress; then if you speak you must not show your face,
or if you show your face you must not speak."
"And have you nuns no further privileges?" said Isabel.
"Are not these large enough?" replied the nun.
"Yes, truly," said Isabel. "I speak not as desiring more, but
rather wishing a more strict restraint upon the sisterhood, the
votarists of Saint Clare."
Again they heard the voice of Lucio, and the nun said: "He calls
again. I pray you answer him."
Isabel then went out to Lucio, and in answer to his salutation,
said: "Peace and Prosperity! Who is it that calls?"
Then Lucio, approaching her with reverence, said: "Hail, virgin,
if such you be, as the roses on your cheeks proclaim you are no
less! Can you bring me to the sight of Isabel, a novice of this
place, and the fair sister to her unhappy brother Claudio?"
"Why her unhappy brother?" said Isabel, "let me ask! for I am
that Isabel and his sister."
"Fair and gentle lady," he replied, "your brother kindly greets
you by me; he is in prison."
"Woe is me! for what?" said Isabel.
Lucio then told her Claudio was imprisoned for seducing a young
maiden. "Ah," said she, "I fear it is my cousin Juliet."
Juliet and Isabel were not related, but they called each other
cousin in remembrance of their school-days' friendship; and as
Isabel knew that Juliet loved Claudio, she feared she had been
led by her affection for him into this transgression.
"She it is," replied Lucio.
"Why, then, let my brother marry Juliet," said Isabel.
Lucio replied that Claudio would gladly marry Juliet, but that
the lord deputy had sentenced him to die for his offense.
"Unless," said he, "you have the grace by your fair prayer to
soften Angelo, and that is my business between you and your poor
"Alas!" said Isabel, "what poor ability is there in me to do him
good? I doubt I have no power to move Angelo."
"Our doubts are traitors," said Lucio, "and make us lose the good
we might often win, by fearing to attempt it. Go to Lord Angelo!
When maidens sue and kneel and weep men give like gods."
"I will see what I can do said Isabel. "I will but stay to give
the prioress notice of the affair, and then I will go to Angelo.
Commend me to my brother. Soon at night I will send him word of
Isabel hastened to the palace and threw herself on her knees
before Angelo, saying, "I am a woeful suitor to your Honor, if it
will please your Honor to hear me."
"Well, what is your suit?" said Angelo.
She then made her petition in the most moving terms for her
But Angelo said, "Maiden, there is no remedy; your brother is
sentenced, and he must die."
"Oh, just but severe law!" said Isabel. "I had a brother then.
Heaven keep your Honor!" and she was about to depart.
But Lucio, who had accompanied her, said: "Give it not over so;
return to him again, entreat him, kneel down before him, hang
upon his gown. You are too cold; if you should need a pin, you
could not with a more tame tongue desire it."
Then again Isabel on her knees implored for mercy.
"He is sentenced," said Angelo. "It is too late."
"Too late!" said Isabel. "Why, no! I that do speak a word may
call it back again. Believe this, my lord, no ceremony that to
great ones belongs, not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
the marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, becomes them with
one half so good a grace as mercy does."
"Pray you begone," said Angelo.
But still Isabel entreated; and she said: "If my brother had been
as you, and you as he, you might have slipped like him, but he,
like you, would not have been so stern. I would to Heaven I had
your power and you were Isabel. Should it then be thus? No, I
would tell you what it were to be a judge, and what a prisoner."
"Be content, fair maid!" said Angelo: "it is the law, not I,
condemns your brother. Were he my kinsman, my brother, or my son,
it should be thus with him. He must die to-morrow."
"To-morrow?" said Isabel. "Oh, that is sudden! Spare him, spare
him. He is not prepared for death. Even for our kitchens we kill
the fowl in season; shall we serve Heaven with less respect than
we minister to our gross selves? Good, good, my lord, bethink
you, none have died for my brother's offense, though many have
committed it. So you would be the first that gives this sentence
and he the first that suffers it. Go to your own bosom, my lord;
knock there, and ask your heart what it does know that is like my
brother's fault; if it confess a natural guiltiness such as his
is, let it not sound a thought against my brother's life!"
Her last words more moved Angelo than all she had before said,
for the beauty of Isabel had raised a guilty passion in his heart
and he began to form thoughts of dishonorable love, such as
Claudio's crime had been, and the conflict in his mind made him
to turn away from Isabel; but she called him back, saying:
"Gentle my lord, turn back. Hark, how I will bribe you. Good my
lord, turn back!"
"How! bribe me?" said Angelo, astonished that she should think of
offering him a bribe.
"Aye," said Isabel, "with such gifts that Heaven itself shall
share with you; not with golden treasures, or those glittering
stones whose price is either rich or poor as fancy values them,
but with true prayers that shall be up to Heaven before
sunrise--prayers from preserved souls, from fasting maids whose
minds are dedicated to nothing temporal."
"Well, come to me to-morrow," said Angelo.
And for this short respite of her brother's life, and for this
permission that she might be heard again, she left him with the
joyful hope that she should at last prevail over his stern
nature. And as she went away she said: "Heaven keep your Honor
safe! Heaven save your Honor!" Which, when Angelo heard, he said
within his heart, "Amen, I would be saved from thee and from thy
virtues." And then, affrighted at his own evil thoughts, he said:
"What is this? What is this? Do I love her, that I desire to hear
her speak again and feast upon her eyes? What is it I dream on?
The cunning enemy of mankind, to catch a saint, with saints does
bait the hook. Never could an immodest woman once stir my temper,
but this virtuous woman subdues me quite. Even till now, when men
were fond, I smiled and wondered at them."
In the guilty conflict in his mind Angelo suffered more that
night than the prisoner he had so severely sentenced; for in the
prison Claudio was visited by the good duke, who, in his friar's
habit, taught the young man the way to heaven, preaching to him
the words of penitence and peace. But Angelo felt all the pangs
of irresolute guilt, now wishing to seduce Isabel from the paths
of innocence and honor, and now suffering remorse and horror for
a crime as yet but intentional. But in the end his evil thoughts
prevailed; and he who had so lately started at the offer of a
bribe resolved to tempt this maiden with so high a bribe as she
might not be able to resist, even with the precious gift of her
dear brother's life.
When Isabel came in the morning Angelo desired she might be
admitted alone to his presence; and being there, he said to her,
if she would yield to him her virgin honor and transgress even as
Juliet had done with Claudio, he would give her her brother's
"For," said he, "I love you, Isabel."
"My brother," said Isabel, "did so love Juliet, and yet you tell
me he shall die for it."
"But," said Angelo, "Claudio shall not die if you will consent to
visit me by stealth at night, even as Juliet left her father's
house at night to come to Claudio."
Isabel, in amazement at his words, that he should tempt her to
the same fault for which he passed sentence upon her brother,
said, "I would do as much for my poor brother as for myself; that
is, were I under sentence of death, the impression of keen whips
I would wear as rubies, and go to my death as to a bed that
longing I had been sick for, ere I would yield myself up to this
shame." And then she told him she hoped he only spoke these words
to try her virtue.
But he said, "Believe me, on my honor, my words express my
Isabel, angered to the heart to hear him use the word honor to
express such dishonorable purposes, said: "Ha! little honor to be
much believed; and most pernicious purpose. I will proclaim thee,
Angelo, look for it! Sign me a present pardon for my brother, or
I will tell the world aloud what man thou art!"
"Who will believe you, Isabel?" said Angelo; "my unsoiled name,
the austereness of my life, my word vouched against yours, will
outweigh your accusation. Redeem your brother by yielding to my
will, or he shall die to-morrow. As for you, say what you can, my
false will overweigh your true story. Answer me to-morrow."
"To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, who would believe
me?" said Isabel, as she went toward the dreary prison where her
brother was confined. When she arrived there her brother was in
pious conversation with the duke, who in his friar's habit had
also visited Juliet and brought both these guilty lovers to a
proper sense of their fault; and unhappy Juliet with tears and a
true remorse confessed that she was more to blame than Claudio,
in that she willingly consented to his dishonorable
As Isabel entered the room where Claudio was confined, she said,
"Peace be here, grace, and good company!"
"Who is there?" said the disguised duke. "Come in; the wish
deserves a welcome."
"My business is a word or two with Claudio," said Isabel.
Then the duke left them together, and desired the provost who had
the charge of the prisoners to place him where he might overhear
"Now, sister, what is the comfort?" said Claudio.
Isabel told him he must prepare for death on the morrow.
"Is there no remedy?" said Claudio.
"Yes, brother," replied Isabel, "there is; but such a one as if
you consented to it would strip your honor from you and leave you
"Let me know the point," said Claudio.
"Oh, I do fear you, Claudio!" replied his sister; "and I quake,
lest you should wish to live, and more respect the trifling term
of six or seven winters added to your life than your perpetual
honor! Do you dare to die? The sense of death is most in
apprehension, and the poor beetle that we tread upon feels a pang
as great as when a giant dies."
"Why do you give me this shame?" said Claudio. "Think you I can
fetch a resolution from flowery tenderness? If I must die, I will
encounter darkness as a bride and hug it in my arms."
"There spoke my brother," said Isabel; "there my father's grave
did utter forth a voice! Yes, you must die; yet would you think
it, Claudio, this outward sainted deputy, if I would yield to him
my virgin honor, would grant your life? Oh, were it but my life,
I would lay it down for your deliverance as frankly as a pin!"
"Thanks, dear Isabel," said Claudio.
"Be ready to die to-morrow," said Isabel.
"Death is a fearful thing," said Claudio.
"And shamed life a hateful," replied his sister.
But the thoughts of death now overcame the constancy of Claudio's
temper, and terrors, such as the guilty only at their deaths do
know, assailing him, he cried out: "Sweet sister, let me live!
The sin you do to save a brother's life, nature dispenses with
the deed so far that it becomes a virtue."
"O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!" said Isabel. "Would you
preserve your life by your sister's shame? Oh, fie, fie, fie! I
thought, my brother, you had in you such a mind of honor that,
had you twenty heads to render up on twenty blocks, you would
have yielded them up all before your sister should stoop to such
"Nay, hear me, Isabel!" said Claudio.
But what he would have said in defense of his weakness in
desiring to live by the dishonor of his virtuous sister was
interrupted by the entrance of the duke; who said:
"Claudio, I have overheard what has passed between you and your
sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; what he
said, has only been to make trial of her virtue. She, having the
truth of honor in her, has given him that gracious denial which
he is most ill glad to receive. There is no hope that he will
pardon you; therefore pass your hours in prayer, and make ready
Then Claudio repented of his weakness, and said: "Let me ask my
sister's pardon! I am so out of love with life that I will sue to
be rid of it." And Claudio retired, overwhelmed with shame and
sorrow for his fault.
The duke, being now alone with Isabel, commended her virtuous
resolution, saying, "The hand that made you fair has made you
"Oh," said Isabel, "how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo!
If ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will discover his
government." Isabel knew not that she was even now making the
discovery she threatened.
The duke replied: "That shall not be much amiss; yet as the
matter now stands, Angelo will repel your accusation; therefore
lend an attentive ear to my advisings. I believe that you may
most righteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem
your brother from the angry law, do no stain to your own most
gracious person, and much please the absent duke, if peradventure
he shall ever return to have notice of this business."
Isabel said she had a spirit to do anything he desired, provided
it was nothing wrong.
"Virtue is bold and never fearful," said the duke: and then he
asked her, if she had ever heard of Mariana, the sister of
Frederick, the great soldier who was drowned at sea.
"I have heard of the lady," said Isabel, "and good words went
with her name."
"This lady," said the duke, "is the wife of Angelo; but her
marriage dowry was on board the vessel in which her brother
perished, and mark how heavily this befell to the poor
gentlewoman! for, besides the loss of a most noble and renowned
brother, who in his love toward her was ever most kind and
natural, in the wreck of her fortune she lost the affections of
her husband, the well-seeming Angelo, who, pretending to discover
some dishonor in this honorable lady (though the true cause was
the loss of her dowry), left her in her tears and dried not one
of them with his comfort. His unjust unkindness, that in all
reason should have quenched her love, has, like an impediment in
the current, made it more unruly, and Mariana loves her cruel
husband with the full continuance of her first affection."
The duke then more plainly unfolded his plan. It was that Isabel
should go to Lord Angelo and seemingly consent to come to him as
he desired at midnight; that by this means she would obtain the
promised pardon; and that Mariana should go in her stead to the
appointment, and pass herself upon Angelo in the dark for Isabel.
"Nor, gentle daughter," said the feigned friar, "fear you to this
thing. Angelo is her husband, and to bring them thus together is
Isabel, being pleased with this project, departed to do as he
directed her; and he went to apprise Mariana of their intention.
He had before this time visited this unhappy lady in his assumed
character, giving her religious instruction and friendly
consolation, at which times he had learned her sad story from her
own lips; and now she, looking upon him as a holy man, readily
consented to be directed by him in this undertaking.
When Isabel returned from her interview with Angelo, to the house
of Mariana, where the duke had appointed her to meet him, he
said: "Well met, and in good time. What is the news from this
Isabel related the manner in which she had settled the affair.
"Angelo," said she, "has a garden surrounded with a brick wall,
on the western side of which is a vineyard, and to that vineyard
is a gate." And then she showed to the duke and Mariana two keys
that Angelo had given her; and she said: "This bigger key opens
the vineyard gate; this other a little door which leads from the
vineyard to the garden. There I have made my promise at the dead
of the night to call upon him, and have got from him his word of
assurance for my brother's life. I have taken a due and wary note
of the place; and with whispering and most guilty diligence he
showed me the way twice over."
"Are there no other tokens agreed upon between you, that Mariana
must observe?" said the duke.
"No, none," said Isabel, "only to go when it is dark. I have told
him my time can be but short; for I have made him think a servant
comes along with me, and that this servant is persuaded I come
about my brother."
The duke commended her discreet management, and she, turning to
Mariana, said, "Little have you to say to Angelo, when you depart
from him, but soft and low, REMEMBER NOW MY BROTHER!"
Mariana was that night conducted to the appointed place by
Isabel, who rejoiced that she had, as she supposed, by this
device preserved both her brother's life and her own honor. But
that her brother's life was safe the duke was not well satisfied,
and therefore at midnight he again repaired to the prison, and it
was well for Claudio that he did so, else would Claudio have that
night been beheaded; for soon after the duke entered the prison
an order came from the cruel deputy commanding that Claudio
should be beheaded and his head sent to him by five o'clock in
the morning. But the duke persuaded the provost to put off the
execution of Claudio, and to deceive Angelo by sending him the
head of a man who died that morning in the prison. And to prevail
upon the provost to agree to this, the duke, whom still the
provost suspected not to be anything more or greater than he
seemed, showed the provost a letter written with the duke's hand,
and sealed with his seal, which when the provost saw, he
concluded this friar must have some secret order from the absent
duke, and therefore he consented to spare Claudio; and he cut off
the dead man's head and carried it to Angelo.
Then the duke in his own name wrote to Angelo a letter saying
that certain accidents had put a stop to his journey and that he
should be in Vienna by the following morning, requiring Angelo to
meet him at the entrance of the city, there to deliver up his
authority; and the duke also commanded it to be proclaimed that
if any of his subjects craved redress for injustice they should
exhibit their petitions in the street on his first entrance into
Early in the morning Isabel came to the prison, and the duke, who
there awaited her coming, for secret reasons thought it good to
tell her that Claudio was beheaded; therefore when Isabel
inquired if Angelo had sent the pardon for her brother, he said:
"Angelo has released Claudio from this world. His head is off and
sent to the deputy."
The much-grieved sister cried out, "O unhappy Claudio, wretched
Isabel, injurious world, most wicked Angelo!"
The seeming friar bid her take comfort, and when she was become a
little calm he acquainted her with the near prospect of the
duke's return and told her in what manner she should proceed in
preferring her complaint against Angelo; and he bade her not fear
if the cause should seem to go against her for a while. Leaving
Isabel sufficiently instructed, he next went to Mariana and gave
her counsel in what manner she also should act.
Then the duke laid aside his friar's habit, and in his own royal
robes, amid a joyful crowd of his faithful subjects assembled to
greet his arrival, entered the city of Vienna, where he was met
by Angelo, who delivered up his authority in the proper form. And
there came Isabel, in the manner of a petitioner for redress, and
"Justice, most royal duke! I am the sister of one Claudio, who,
for the seducing a young maid, was condemned to lose his head. I
made my suit to lord Angelo for my brother's pardon. It were
needless to tell your Grace how I prayed and kneeled, how he
repelled me, and how I replied; for this was of much length. The
vile conclusion I now begin with grief and pain to utter. Angelo
would not, but by my yielding to his dishonorable love, release
my brother; and after much debate within myself my sisterly
remorse overcame my virtue, and I did yield to him. But the next
morning betimes, Angelo, forfeiting his promise, sent a warrant
for my poor brother's head!"
The duke affected to disbelieve her story; and Angelo said that
grief for her brother's death, who had suffered by the due course
of the law, had disordered her senses.
And now another suitor approached, which was Mariana; and Mariana
said: "Noble prince, as there comes light from heaven and truth
from breath, as there is sense in truth and truth in virtue, I am
this man's wife, and, my good lord, the words of Isabel are
false, for the night she says she was with Angelo I passed that
night with him in the garden-house. As this is true let me in
safety rise, or else forever be fixed here a marble monument."
Then did Isabel appeal for the truth of what she had said to
Friar Lodowick, that being the name the duke had assumed in his
disguise. Isabel and Mariana had both obeyed his instructions in
what they said, the duke intending that the innocence of Isabel
should be plainly proved in that public manner before the whole
city of Vienna; but Angelo little thought that it was from such a
cause that they thus differed in their story, and he hoped from
their contradictory evidence to be able to clear himself from the
accusation of Isabel; and he said, assuming the look of offended
"I did but smile till now; but, good my lord, my patience here is
touched, and I perceive these poor, distracted women are but the
instruments of some greater one who sets them on. Let me have
way, my lord, to find this practice out."
"Aye, with all my heart," said the duke, "and punish them to the
height of your pleasure. You, Lord Escalus, sit with Lord Angelo,
lend him your pains to discover this abuse; the friar is sent for
that set them on, and when he comes do with your injuries as may
seem best in any chastisement. I for a while will leave you, but
stir not you, Lord Angelo, till you have well determined upon
this slander." The duke then went away, leaving Angelo well
pleased to be deputed judge and umpire in his own cause. But the
duke was absent only while he threw off his royal robes and put
on his friar's habit; and in that disguise again he presented
himself before Angelo and Escalus. And the good old Escalus, who
thought Angelo had been falsely accused, said to the supposed
friar, "Come, sir, did you set these women on to slander Lord
He replied: "Where is the duke? It is he who should hear me
Escalus said: "The duke is in us, and we will hear you. Speak
"Boldly, at least," retorted the friar; and then he blamed the
duke for leaving the cause of Isabel in the hands of him she had
accused, and spoke so freely of many corrupt practices he had
observed while, as he said, he had been a looker-on in Vienna,
that, Escalus threatened, him with the torture for speaking words
against the state and for censuring the conduct of the duke, and
ordered him to be taken away to prison. Then, to the amazement of
all present, and to the utter confusion of Angelo, the supposed
friar threw off his disguise, and they saw it was the duke
The duke first addressed Isabel. He said to her: "Come hither,
Isabel. Your friar is now your prince, but with my habit I have
not changed my heart. I am still devoted to your service."
"Oh, give me pardon," said Isabel, "that I, your vassal, have
employed and troubled your unknown sovereignty."
He answered that he had most need of forgiveness from her for not
having prevented the death of her brother for not yet would he
tell her that Claudio was living; meaning first to make a further
trial of her goodness.
Angelo now knew the duke had been a secret witness of his bad
deeds, and be said: "O my dread lord, I should be guiltier than
my guiltiness, to think I can be undiscernible, when I perceive
your Grace, like power divine, has looked upon my actions. Then,
good prince, no longer prolong my shame, but let my trial be my
own confession. Immediate sentence and death is all the grace I
The duke replied: "Angelo, thy faults are manifest. We do condemn
thee to the very block where Claudio stooped to death, and with
like haste away with him; and for his possessions, Mariana, we do
instate and widow you withal, to buy you a better husband."
"O my dear lord," said Mariana, "I crave no other, nor no better
man!" And then on her knees, even as Isabel had begged the life
of Claudio, did this kind wife of an ungrateful husband beg the
life of Angelo; and she said: "Gentle my liege, O good my lord!
Sweet Isabel, take my part! Lend me your knees and all my life to
come I will lend you all my life, to do you service!"
The duke said: "Against all sense you importune her. Should
Isabel kneel down to beg for mercy, her brother's ghost would
break his paved bed and take her hence in horror."
Still Mariana said: "Isabel, sweet Isabel, do but kneel by me,
hold up your hand, say nothing! I will speak all. They say best
men are molded out of faults, and for the most part become much
the better for being a little bad. So may my husband. O Isabel!
will you not lend a knee?"
The duke then said, "He dies for Claudio." But much pleased was
the good duke when his own Isabel, from whom he expected all
gracious and honorable acts, kneeled down before him, and said:
"Most bounteous sir, look, if it please you, on this man
condemned, as if my brother lived. I partly think a due sincerity
governed his deeds till he did look on me. Since it is so, let
him not die! My brother had but justice in that he did the thing
for which he died."
The duke, as the best reply he could make to this noble
petitioner for her enemy's life, sending for Claudio from his
prisonhouse, where he lay doubtful of his destiny, presented to
her this lamented brother living; and he said to Isabel: "Give me
your hand, Isabel. For your lovely sake I pardon Claudio. Say you
will be mine, and he shall be my brother, too."
By this time Lord Angelo perceived he was safe; and the duke,
observing his eye to brighten up a little, said:
"Well, Angelo, look that you love your wife; her worth has
obtained your pardon. Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo! I
have confessed her and know her virtue."
Angelo remembered, when dressed in a little brief authority, how
hard his heart had been, and felt how sweet is mercy.
The duke commanded Claudio to marry Juliet, and offered himself
again to the acceptance of Isabel, whose virtuous and noble
conduct had won her prince's heart. Isabel, not having taken the
veil, was free to marry; and the friendly offices, while hid
under the disguise of a humble friar, which the noble duke had
done for her, made her with grateful joy accept the honor he
offered her; and when she became Duchess of Vienna the excellent
example of the virtuous Isabel worked such a complete reformation
among the young ladies of that city, that from that time none
ever fell into the transgression of Juliet, the repentant wife of
the reformed Claudio. And the mercy-loving duke long reigned with
his beloved Isabel, the happiest of husbands and of princes.
TWELFTH NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL
Sebastian and his sister Viola, a young gentleman and lady of
Messaline, were twins, and (which was accounted a great wonder)
from their birth they so much resembled each other that, but for
the difference in their dress, they could not be known apart.
They were both born in one hour, and in one hour they were both
in danger of perishing, for they were shipwrecked on the coast of
Illyria, as they were making a sea-voyage together. The ship on
board of which they were split on a rock in a violent storm, and
a very small number of the ship's company escaped with their
lives. The captain of the vessel, with a few of the sailors that
were saved, got to land in a small boat, and with them they
brought Viola safe on shore, where she, poor lady, instead of
rejoicing at her own deliverance, began to lament her brother's
loss; but the captain comforted her with the assurance that he
had seen her brother, when the ship split, fasten himself to a
strong mast, on which, as long as he could see anything of him
for the distance, he perceived him borne up above the waves.
Viola was much consoled by the hope this account gave her, and
now considered bow she was to dispose of herself in a strange
country, so far from home; and she asked the captain if he knew
anything of Illyria.
"Aye, very well, madam," replied the captain, "for I was born not
three hours' travel from this place."
"Who governs here?" said Viola. The captain told her Illyria was
governed by Orsino, a duke noble in nature as well as dignity.
Viola said, she had heard her father speak of Orsino, and that he
was unmarried then.
"And he is so now," said the captain; "or was so very late for,
but a month ago, I went from here, and then it was the general
talk (as you know what great ones do, the people will prattle of)
that Orsino sought the love of fair Olivia, a virtuous maid, the
daughter of a count who died twelve months ago, leaving Olivia to
the protection of her brother, who shortly after died also; and
for the love of this dear brother, they say, she has abjured the
sight and company of men."
Viola, who was herself in such a sad affliction for her brother's
loss, wished she could live with this lady who so tenderly
mourned a brother's death. She asked the captain if be could
introduce her to Olivia, saying she would willingly serve this
lady. But he replied this would be a hard thing to accomplish,
because the Lady Olivia would admit no person into her house
since her brother's death, not even the duke himself. Then Viola
formed another project in her mind, which was, in a man's habit,
to serve the Duke Orsino as a page. It was a strange fancy in a
young lady to put on male attire and pass for a boy; but the
forlorn and unprotected state of Viola, who was young and of
uncommon beauty, alone, and in a foreign land, must plead her
She having observed a fair behavior in the captain, and that he
showed a friendly concern for her welfare, intrusted him with her
design, and he readily engaged to assist her. Viola gave him
money and directed him to furnish her with suitable apparel,
ordering her clothes to be made of the same color and in the same
fashion her brother Sebastian used to wear, and when she was
dressed in her manly garb she looked so exactly like her brother
that some strange errors happened by means of their being
mistaken for each other, for, as will afterward appear, Sebastian
was also saved.
Viola's good friend, the captain, when he had transformed this
pretty lady into a gentleman, having some interest at court, got
her presented to Orsino under the feigned name of Cesario. The
duke was wonderfully pleased with the address and graceful
deportment of this handsome youth, and made Cesario one of his
pages, that being the office Viola wished to obtain; and she so
well fulfilled the duties of her new station, and showed such a
ready observance and faithful attachment to her lord, that she
soon became his most favored attendant. To Cesario Orsino
confided the whole history of his love for the lady Olivia. To
Cesario he told the long and unsuccessful suit he had made to one
who, rejecting his long services and despising his person,
refused to admit him to her presence; and for the love of this
lady who had so unkindly treated him the noble Orsino, forsaking
the sports of the field and all manly exercises in which he
used to delight, passed his hours in ignoble sloth, listening to
the effeminate sounds of soft music, gentle airs, and passionate
love-songs; and neglecting the company of the wise and learned
lords with whom he used to associate, he was now all day long
conversing with young Cesario. Unmeet companion no doubt his
grave courtiers thought Cesario was for their once noble master,
the great Duke Orsino.
It is a dangerous matter for young maidens to be the confidantes
of handsome young dukes; which Viola too soon found, to her
sorrow, for all that Orsino told her he endured for Olivia she
presently perceived she suffered for the love of him, and much it
moved her wonder that Olivia could be so regardless of this her
peerless lord and master, whom she thought no one could behold
without the deepest admiration, and she ventured gently to hint
to Orsino, that it was a pity he should affect a lady who was so
blind to his worthy qualities; and she said:
"If a lady were to love you, my lord, as you love Olivia (and
perhaps there may be one who does), if you could not love her in
return) would you not tell her that you could not love, and must
she not be content with this answer?"
But Orsino would not admit of this reasoning, for he denied that
it was possible for any woman to love as he did. He said no
woman's heart was big enough to hold so much love, and therefore
it was unfair to compare the love of any lady for him to his love
for Olivia. Now, though Viola had the utmost deference for the
duke's opinions, she could not help thinking this was not quite
true, for she thought her heart had full as much love in it as
Orsino's had; and she said:
"Ah, but I know, my lord."
"What do you know, Cesario?" said Orsino.
"Too well I know," replied Viola, "what love women may owe to
men. They are as true of heart as we are. My father had a
daughter loved a man, as I perhaps, were I a woman, should love
"And what is her history?" said Orsino.
"A blank, my lord," replied Viola. "She never told her love, but
let concealment, like a worm in the bud, feed on her damask
cheek. She pined in thought, and with a green and yellow
melancholy she sat like Patience on a monument, smiling at
The duke inquired if this lady died of her love, but to this
question Viola returned an evasive answer; as probably she had
feigned the story, to speak words expressive of the secret love
and silent grief she suffered for Orsino.
While they were talking, a gentleman entered whom the duke had
sent to Olivia, and he said, "So please you, my lord, I might not
be admitted to the lady, but by her handmaid she returned you
this answer: Until seven years hence the element itself shall not
behold her face; but like a cloistress she will walk veiled,
watering her chamber with her tears for the sad remembrance of
her dead brother."
On hearing this the duke exclaimed, "Oh, she that has a heart of
this fine frame, to pay this debt of love to a dead brother, how
will she love when the rich golden shaft has touched her heart!"
And then he said to Viola: "You know, Cesario, I have told you
all the secrets of my heart; therefore, good youth, go to
Olivia's house. Be not denied access; stand at her doors and tell
her there your fixed foot shall grow till you have audience."
"And if I do speak to her, my lord, what then?" said Viola.
"Oh, then," replied Orsino, "unfold to her the passion of my
love. Make a long discourse to her of my dear faith. It will well
become you to act my woes, for she will attend more to you than
to one of graver aspect."
Away then went Viola; but not willingly did she undertake this
courtship, for she was to woo a lady to become a wife to him she
wished to marry; but, having undertaken the affair, she performed
it with fidelity, and Olivia soon heard that a youth was at her
door who insisted upon being admitted to her presence.
"I told him," said the servant, "that you were sick. He said he
knew you were, and therefore he came to speak with you. I told
him that you were asleep. He seemed to have a foreknowledge of
that, too, and said that therefore he must speak with you. What
is to be said to him, lady? for he seems fortified against all
denial, and will speak with you, whether you will or no."
Olivia, curious to see who this peremptory messenger might be,
desired be might be admitted, and, throwing her veil over her
face, she said she would once more hear Orsino's embassy, not
doubting but that he came from the duke, by his importunity.
Viola, entering, put on the most manly air she could assume, and,
affecting the fine courtier language of great men's pages, she
said to the veiled lady:
"Most radiant, exquisite, and matchless beauty, I pray you tell
me if you are the lady of the house; for I should be sorry to
cast away my speech upon another; for besides that it is
excellently well penned, I have taken great pains to learn it."
"Whence come you, sir?" said Olivia.
"I can say little more than I have studied," replied Viola, and
that question is out of my part."
"Are you a comedian?" said Olivia.
"No," replied Viola; "and yet I am not that which I play,"
meaning that she, being a woman, feigned herself to be a man. And
again she asked Olivia if she were the lady of the house.
Olivia said she was; and then Viola, having more curiosity to see
her rival's features than haste to deliver her master's message,
said, "Good madam, let me see your face." With this bold request
Olivia was not averse to comply, for this haughty beauty, whom
the Duke Orsino had loved so long in vain, at first sight
conceived a passion for the supposed page, the humble Cesario.
When Viola asked to see her face, Olivia said, "Have you any
commission from your lord and master to negotiate with my face?"
And then, forgetting her determination to go veiled for seven
long years, she drew aside her veil, saying: "But I will draw the
curtain and show the picture. Is it not well done?"
Viola replied: "It is beauty truly mixed; the red and white upon
your cheeks is by Nature's own cunning hand laid on. You are the
most cruel lady living if you lead these graces to the grave and
leave the world no copy."
"Oh, sir," replied Olivia, "I will not be so cruel. The world may
have an inventory of my beauty. As, item, two lips, indifferent
red; item, two gray eyes with lids to them; one neck; one chin;
and so forth. Were you sent here to praise me?"
Viola replied, "I see what you are: you are too proud, but you
are fair. My lord and master loves you. Oh, such a love could but
be recompensed though you were crowned the queen of beauty; for
Orsino loves you with adoration and with tears, with groans that
thunder love, and sighs of fire."
"Your lord," said Olivia, "knows well my mind. I cannot love him;
yet I doubt not he is virtuous; I know him to be noble and of
high estate, of fresh and spotless youth. All voices proclaim him
learned, courteous, and valiant; yet I cannot love him. He might
have taken his answer long ago."
"If I did love you as my master does," said Viola, "I would make
me a willow cabin at your gates, and call upon your name. I would
write complaining sonnets on Olivia, and sing them in the dead of
the night. Your name should sound among the hills, and I would
make Echo, the babbling gossip of the air, cry out OLIVIA. Oh,
you should not rest between the elements of earth and air, but
you should pity me."
"You might do much," said Olivia. "What is your parentage?'"
Viola replied: "Above my fortunes, yet my state is well. I am a
Olivia now reluctantly dismissed Viola, saying: "Go to your
master and tell him I cannot love him. Let him send no more,
'unless perchance you come again to tell me how he takes it."
And Viola departed, bidding the lady farewell by the name of Fair
Cruelty. When she was gone Olivia repeated the words, ABOVE MY
FORTUNES, YET MY STATE IS WELL. I AM A GENTLEMAN. And she said
aloud, "I will be sworn he is; his tongue, his face, his limbs,
action, and spirit plainly show he is a gentleman." And then she
wished Cesario was the duke; and, perceiving the fast hold he had
taken on her affections, she blamed herself for her sudden love;
but the gentle blame which people lay upon their own faults has
no deep root, and presently the noble lady Olivia so far forgot
the inequality between, her fortunes and those of this seeming
page, as well as the maidenly reserve which is the chief ornament
of a lady's character, that she resolved to court the love of
young Cesario, and sent a servant after him with a diamond ring,
under the pretense that he had left it with her as a present from
Orsino. She hoped by thus artfully making Cesario a present of
the ring she should give him some intimation of her design; and
truly it did make Viola suspect; for, knowing that Orsino had
sent no ring by her, she began to recollect that Olivia's looks
and manner were expressive of admiration, and she presently
guessed her master's mistress had fallen in love with her.
"Alas!" said she, "the poor lady might as well love a dream.
Disguise I see is wicked, for it has caused Olivia to breathe as
fruitless sighs for me as I do for Orsino."
Viola returned to Orsino's palace, and related to her lord the
ill success of the negotiation, repeating the command of Olivia
that the duke should trouble her no more. Yet still the duke
persisted in hoping that the gentle Cesario would in time be able
to persuade her to show some pity, and therefore he bade him he
should go to her again the next day. In the mean time, to pass
away the tedious interval, he commanded a song which he loved to
be sung; and he said:
"My good Cesario, when I heard that song last night, methought it
did relieve my passion much. Mark it, Cesario, it is old and
plain. The spinsters and the knitters when they sit in the sun,
and the young maids that weave their thread with bone, chant this
song. It is silly, yet I love it, for it tells of the innocence
of love in the old times."
Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white stuck all with yew, O prepare it!
My part of death no one so true did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strewn:
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save, lay me O where
Sad true lover never find my grave, to weep there!
Viola did not fail to mark the words of the old song, which in
such true simplicity described the pangs of unrequited love, and
she bore testimony in her countenance of feeling what the song
expressed. Her sad looks were observed by Orsino, who said to
"My life upon it, Cesario, though you are so young, your eye has
looked upon some face that it loves. Has it not, boy?"
"A little, with your leave," replied Viola.
"And what kind of woman, and of what age is she?" said Orsino.
"Of your age and of your complexion, my lord," said Viola; which
made the duke smile to hear this fair young boy loved a woman so
much older than himself and of a man's dark complexion; but Viola
secretly meant Orsino, and not a woman like him.
When Viola made her second visit to Olivia she found no
difficulty in gaining access to her. Servants soon discover when
their ladies delight to converse with handsome young messengers;
and the instant Viola arrived the gates were thrown wide open,
and the duke's page was shown into Olivia's apartment with great
respect. And when Viola told Olivia that she was come once more
to plead in her lord's behalf, this lady said:
"I desired you never to speak of him again; but if you would
undertake another suit, I had rather hear you solicit, than music
from the spheres."
This was pretty plain speaking, but Olivia soon explained herself
still more plainly, and openly confessed her love; and when she
saw displeasure with perplexity expressed in Viola's face, she
said: "Oh, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful in the contempt
and anger of his lip! Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by
maidhood, honor, and by truth, I love you so that, in spite of
your pride, I have neither wit nor reason to conceal my passion."
But in vain the lady wooed. Viola hastened from her presence,
threatening never more to come to plead Orsino's love; and all
the reply she made to Olivia's fond solicitation was, a
declaration of a resolution NEVER TO LOVE ANY WOMAN.
No sooner had Viola left the lady than a claim was made upon her
valor. A gentleman, a rejected suitor of Olivia, who had learned
how that lady had favored the duke's messenger, challenged him to
fight a duel. What should poor Viola do, who, though she carried
a man-like outside, had a true woman's heart and feared to look
on her own sword?
When, she saw her formidable rival advancing toward her with his
sword drawn she began to think of confessing that she was a
woman; but she was relieved at once from her terror, and the
shame of such a discovery, by a stranger that was passing by, who
made up to them, and as if he had been long known to her and were
her dearest friend said to her opponent:
"If this young gentleman has done offense, I will take the fault
on me; and if you offend him, I will for his sake defy you."
Before Viola had time to thank him for his protection, or to
inquire the reason of his kind interference, her new friend met
with an enemy where his bravery was of no use to him; for the
officers of justice coming up in that instant, apprehended the
stranger in the duke's name, to answer for an offense he had
committed some years before; and he said to Viola:
"This comes with seeking you." And then he asked her for a purse,
saying: "Now my necessity makes me ask for my purse, and it
grieves me much more for what I cannot do for you than for what
befalls myself. You stand amazed, but be of comfort."
His words did indeed amaze Viola, and she protested she knew him
not, nor had ever received a purse from him; but for the kindness
he had just shown her she offered him a small sum of money, being
nearly the whole she possessed. And now the stranger spoke severe
things, charging her with ingratitude and unkindness. He said:
"This youth whom you see here I snatched from the jaws of death,
and for his sake alone I came to Illyria and have fallen into
But the officers cared little for harkening to the complaints of
their prisoner, and they hurried him off, saying, "What is that
to us?" And as he was carried away, he called Viola by the name
of Sebastian, reproaching the supposed Sebastian for disowning
his friend, as long as he was within hearing. When Viola heard
herself called Sebastian, though the stranger was taken away too
hastily for her to ask an explanation, she conjectured that this
seeming mystery might arise from her being mistaken for her
brother, and she began to cherish hopes that it was her brother
whose life this man said he had preserved. And so indeed it was.
The stranger, whose name was Antonio, was a sea-captain. He had
taken Sebastian up into his ship when, almost exhausted with
fatigue, he was floating on the mast to which he had fastened
himself in the storm. Antonio conceived such a friendship for
Sebastian that he resolved to accompany him whithersoever he
went; and when the youth expressed a curiosity to visit Orsino's
court, Antonio, rather than part from him, came to Illyria,
though he knew, if his person should be known there, his life
would be in danger, because in a sea-fight he had once
dangerously wounded the Duke Orsino's nephew. This was the
offense for which he was now made a prisoner.
Antonio and Sebastian had landed together but a few hours before
Antonio met Viola. He had given his purse to Sebastian, desiring
him to use it freely if he saw anything he wished to purchase,
telling him he would wait at the inn while Sebastian went to view
the town; but, Sebastian not returning at the time appointed,
Antonio had ventured out to look for him, and, priest made Orsino
believe that his page had robbed him of the treasure he prized
above his life. But thinking that it was past recall, he was
bidding farewell to his faithless mistress, and the YOUNG
DISSEMBLER, her husband, as he called Viola, warning her never to
come in his sight again, when (as it seemed to them) a miracle
appeared! for another Cesario entered, and addressed Olivia as
his wife. This new Cesario was Sebastian, the real husband of
Olivia; and when their wonder had a little ceased at seeing two
persons with the same face, the same voice, and the same habit,
the brother and sister began to question each other; for Viola