A Most Pleasant Comedy of Mucedorus


William Shakespeare

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Most sacred Majesty, whose great deserts Thy Subject England, nay, the World, admires: Which Heaven grant still increase: O may your Praise, Multiplying with your hours, your Fame still raise; Embrace your Counsel; Love, with Faith, them guide, That both, as one, bench by each other's side. So may your life pass on and run so even, That your firm zeal plant you a Throne in Heaven, Where smiling Angels shall your guardians be From blemished Traitors, stained with Perjury: And as the night's inferiour to the day, So be all earthly Regions to your sway. Be as the Sun to Day, the Day to Night; For, from your Beams, Europe shall borrow light. Mirth drown your bosom, fair Delight your mind, And may our Pastime your Contentment find.



Eight persons may easily play it.

THE KING and ROMBELO, for one. KING VALENCIA, for one. MUCEDORUS the prince of Valencia, for one. ANSELMO, for one. AMADINE the King's daughter of Arragon, for one. SEGASTO a Noble man, for one. ENVY; TREMELIO a Captain; BREMO a wild man, for one. COMEDY, a BOY, an OLD WOMAN, ARIENA Amadine's maid, for one. COLLEN a Counselor, a MESSENGER, for one. MOUSE the Clown, for one.


[Enter Comedy joyful with a garland of bays in her hand.]

Why so! thus do I hope to please: Music revives, and mirth is tolerable, Comedy, play thy part and please, Make merry them that comes to joy with thee: Joy, then, good gentles; I hope to make you laugh. Sound forth Bellona's silver tuned strings. Time fits us well, the day and place is ours.

[Enter Envy, his arms naked, besmeared with blood.]

ENVY. Nay, stay, minion, there lies a block. What, all on mirth! I'll interrupt your tale And mix your music with a tragic end.

COMEDY. What monstrous ugly hag is this, That dares control the pleasures of our will? Vaunt, churlish cur, besmeared with gory blood, That seemst to check the blossoms of delight, And stifle the sound of sweet Bellona's breath: Blush, monster, blush, and post away with shame, That seekst disturbance of a goddess' deeds.

ENVY. Post hence thy self, thou counter-checking trull; I will possess this habit, spite of thee, And gain the glory of thy wished port: I'll thunder music shall appall the nymphs, And make them shiver their clattering strings: Flying for succour to their dankish caves.

[Sound drums within and cry, 'stab! stab!']

Hearken, thou shalt hear a noise Shall fill the air with a shrilling sound, And thunder music to the gods above: Mars shall himself breathe down A peerless crown upon brave envy's head, And raise his chivall with a lasting fame. In this brave music Envy takes delight, Where I may see them wallow in their blood, To spurn at arms and legs quite shivered off, And hear the cries of many thousand slain. How likst thou this, my trull? this sport alone for me!

COMEDY. Vaunt, bloody cur, nurst up with tiger's sap, That so dost seek to quail a woman's mind. Comedy is mild, gentle, willing for to please, And seeks to gain the love of all estates: Delighting in mirth, mixt all with lovely tales, And bringeth things with treble joy to pass. Thou, bloody, Envious, disdainer of men's joy, Whose name is fraught with bloody stratagems, Delights in nothing but in spoil and death, Where thou maist trample in their luke warm blood, And grasp their hearts within thy cursed paws: Yet vail thy mind, revenge thou not on me; A silly woman begs it at thy hands: Give me the leave to utter out my play, Forbear this place, I humbly crave thee: hence, And mix not death amongst pleasing comedies, That treats naught else but pleasure and delight. If any spark of human rests in thee, Forbear, be gone, tender the suite of me.

ENVY. Why so I will; forbearance shall be such As treble death shall cross thee with despite, And make thee mourn where most thou joyest, Turning thy mirth into a deadly dole, Whirling thy pleasures with a peal of death, And drench thy methods in a sea of blood: This will I do, thus shall I bear with thee; And more to vex thee with a deeper spite, I will with threats of blood begin thy play, Favoring thee with envy and with hate.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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A Most Pleasant Comedy of Mucedorus
The Comedie of Errors