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So I, to find a mother, and a brother,
Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Dro. E. Return'd so soon ! rather approach'd too late : The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit; The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell, My mistress made it one upon my cheek: She is so hot, because the meat is cold ; The meat is cold, because you come not home; You come not home, because you have no stomach ; You have no stomach, having broke your fast: But we, that know what 'tis to fast and
pray, Are penitent for your
default to-day. Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir : 'tell me this, I pray; Where have
left the money that I gave you? Dro. E. O, — six-pence, that I had o’Wednesday last, To pay the saddler for my mistress'crupper ; The saddler had it, sir, I kept it not.
Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humour now: Tell me, and dally not, where is the money ? We bring strangers here, how dar'st thou trust So great a charge from thine own custody?
Dro. E. I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner : I from my mistress come to you If I return, I shall be post indeed; For she will score your fault upon my pate. O Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your clock, And strike you home without a messenger. Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of
6 I shall be post indeed ;
For she will score your fault upon my pate.] Perhaps, before writing was a general accomplishment, a kind of rough reckoning, concerning wares issued out of a shop, was kept by chalk or notches on a post, till it could be entered on the books of a trader.
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this;
Dro. E. To me, sir ? why you gave no gold to me.
ness, And tell me, how thou hast dispos’d thy charge. Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
hast thou? Dro. E. Your worship’s wife, my mistress at the
home to dinner. Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face, Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave. Dro. E. What mean you, sir? for God's sake, hold
your hands; Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
[Exit DRO. E. Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
+ bestow'd] i.e. stowed or lodged it.
that merry sconce of yours,] Sconce is head.
They say, this town is full of cozenage ;9
SCENE I.- A public place.
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.
Adr. Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd,
Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him,
Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
9 They say, this town is full of cozenage ;] This was the character the ancients give of it. Hence 'Έφεσια & λεξιφαρμακα was proverbial amongst them. Thus Menander uses it, and 'Epedia ypappara, in the
liberties of sin :) By liberties of sin, Shakspeare perhaps means licensed offenders, such as mountebanks, fortune-tellers, &c. who cheat with impunity; or it may mean sinful liberties.
Adr. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so.
Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.?
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Adr. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though she pause;* They can be meek, that have no other cause. A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity, We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry; But were we burden'd with like weight of pain, As much, or more, we should ourselves complain :
2 Adr. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so.
Luc. Why headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.] Should it not rather be leash'd, i.e. coupled like a headstrong hound? Or perhaps the meaning of this passage may be, that those who refuse the bridle must bear the lash, and that woe is the punishment of headstrong liberty. Mr. M. Mason inclines to leashed. †“ subject” – Mr. Malone reads subjects.
start some other where?] Probably where has here the power of a noun. The sense is, How if your husband Ay off in pursuit of some other woman?
though she pause ;) To pause is to rest, to be in quiet. They can be meek, that have no other cause.] That is, who have no cause to be otherwise.
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try; -
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.
Dro. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness. Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st thou
his mind? Dro. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear; Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou could'st not feel his meaning?
Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them. 8
Adr. But say, I pr’ythee, is he coming home?
Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
6 With urging helpless patience -] By exhorting me to patience which affords no help.
fool-begg’d-] She seems to mean, by fool begg'd patience, that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that your next relation would take advantage from it to represent you as a fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune.
that I could scarce understand them.] i.e. that I could scarce stand under them. This quibble, poor as it is, seems to have been a favourite with Shakspeare.