It’s been so long since I have read sir W that I almost forgot how amazing he was. Here’s a small bit from A Comedy Of Errors; it helps if you read it out loud, or just imagine your mother/grandmother in the role of Adriana. I absolutely LOVE how Shakespeare portrays his women. Every time.
Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
Nay, he’s at two hands with me, and that my two earscan witness.
Say, didst thou speak with him? know’st thou his mind?
Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear:Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?
Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel hisblows; and withal so doubtfully that I could scarceunderstand them.
But say, I prithee, is he coming home? It seems hehath great care to please his wife.
Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
Horn-mad, thou villain!
I mean not cuckold-mad;But, sure, he is stark mad.When I desired him to come home to dinner,He ask’d me for a thousand marks in gold:”Tis dinner-time,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he;‘Your meat doth burn,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he:‘Will you come home?’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he.‘Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?’‘The pig,’ quoth I, ‘is burn’d;’ ‘My gold!’ quoth he:‘My mistress, sir’ quoth I; ‘Hang up thy mistress!I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!’
Quoth my master:‘I know,’ quoth he, ‘no house, no wife, no mistress.’So that my errand, due unto my tongue,I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
Go back again, and be new beaten home?For God’s sake, send some other messenger.
Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
And he will bless that cross with other beating:Between you I shall have a holy head.
Hence, prating peasant! fetch thy master home.
Am I so round with you as you with me,That like a football you do spurn me thus?You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.Exit