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'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be

But I should know her as well as she knows me.
ADR. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
To put the finger in the eye and weep,
Whilst man and master laughs my woes to scorn.
Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.
Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day,
And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.
Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.

ANT. S. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking? mad or well-advised?
Known unto these, and to myself disguised!
I'll say as they say, and persever so,

And in this midst at all adventures go.

DRO. S. Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
ADR. Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
Luc. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.








Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, DROMIO of Ephesus, ANGELO, and BALTHAZAR




you must excuse us all;
My wife is shrewish when I
keep not hours:

Say that I linger'd with you at
your shop

To see the making of her carcanet,

And that to-morrow you will bring it home.

But here's a villain that would
face me down

He met me on the mart, and
that I beat him,

And charged him with a thousand marks in gold,

And that I did deny my wife and house.

Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by this? 10

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DRO. E. Say what you will, sir, but I know what I


That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand to show:

If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave

were ink,

Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
ANT. E. I think thou art an ass.

Marry, so it doth appear
By the wrongs I suffer, and the blows I bear.

I should kick, being kick'd; and, being at that pass, You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass. ANT. E. You're sad, Signior Balthazar: pray God our cheer

May answer my good will and your good welcome here. 20 BAL. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your wel

come dear.

ANT. E. O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish, A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish. BAL. Good meat, sir, is common: that every churl


ANT. E. And welcome more common; for that's nothing but words.

BAL. Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry


ANT. E. Ay, to a niggardly host and more sparing


But though my cates be mean, take them in good part; Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart.

But, soft! my door is lock'd. Go bid them let us in. 30

DRO. E. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, Ginn! DRO. S. [Within] Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch!

Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the hatch. Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for such


When one is one too many? Go get thee from the door. DRO. E. What patch is made our porter? My master stays in the street.

DRO. S. [Within] Let him walk from whence he came, lest he catch cold on 's feet.

ANT. E. Who talks within there? ho, open the door! DRO. S. [Within] Right, sir; I'll tell you when, an you'll tell me wherefore.

ANT. E. Wherefore? for my dinner: I have not dined to-day.

DRO. S. [Within] Nor to-day here you must not; come again when you may.

ANT. E. What art thou that keepest me out from the house I owe?

DRO. S. [Within] The porter for this time, sir, and my name is Dromio.

DRO. E. O villain, thou hast stolen both mine office and my name!

The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place,

Thou wouldst have changed thy face for a name, or thy name for an ass.

LUCE. [Within] What a coil is there, Dromio? who are those at the gate!


DRO. E. Let my master in, Luce.


[Within] 'Faith, no; he comes too late;

And so tell your master.


O Lord, I must laugh!

Have at you with a proverb;- Shall I set in my staff? LUCE. [Within] Have at you with another; that's, When? can you tell?

DRO. S. [Within] If thy name be call'd Luce, — Luce, thou hast answer'd him well.

ANT. E. Do you hear, you minion? you 'll let us in,

I hope ?

LUCE. [Within] I thought to have ask'd you.


[Within] And you said no. DRO. E. So, come, help: well struck! there was blow

for blow.

ANT. E. Thou baggage, let me in.

[Within] Can you tell for whose sake?

[Within] Let him knock till it ache.

DRO. E. Master, knock the door hard.
ANT. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the
door down.

LUCE. [Within] What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?

ADR. [Within] Who is that at the door that keeps all this noise?

51 Shall I set in my staff?] "To set in one's staff" is a proverbial expression meaning "to make one's self at home."

52 When? can you tell?] Another proverbial expression or catchword, used by way of parrying an awkward question. Cf. 1 Hen. IV, II, i, 43: "Ay, when? canst tell?”



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