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The Street.

Enter Antipholis of Syracuse.

Ant. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up 5
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out.
By computation, and mine host's report,
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first
I sent him from the mart: See, here he comes.
Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

How now, sir? is your merry humour alter'd?
As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you receiv'd no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
S. Dromio. What answer, sir? when spake I
such a word?


[blocks in formation]

S. Dro. No, sir, I think the meat wants that I
Ant. In good time, sir, what's that?
S. Dro. Basting.

Ant. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.

S. Dro, If it be, sir, pray you eat none of it.
Ant, Your reason?

S. Dro. Lest it make you cholerick, and pur10chase me another dry-basting.



Ant. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time: There's a time for all things.

S. Dro. I durst have deny'd that, before you were so cholerick.

Ant. By what rule, sir?

S. Dro. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald pate of father Time himself. Ant. Let's hear it.

S. Dro. There's no time for a man to recover

Ant. Even now, even here, not half an hour 20 his hair, that grows bald by nature.
S.Dro.I did not see you since you sent mehence,
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.
Ant. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt ;|
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.
S.Dro. I am glad to see you in this merry vein :
What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.
Ant. Yea,dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and
[Beats Dro. 30
S. Dro. Hold, sir, for God's sake; now your jest
Upon what bargain do you give it me? [is earnest:
Ant. Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love,
And make a common of my serious hours'.
When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
S.Dro.Sconce, call you it? so you would leave bat-
tering, I had rather have it a head: an you use these
blows long, I must get a sconce for iny head, and
insconce it too, or else I shall seek my wit in my 45
shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten?
Ant. Dost thou not know?

Ant. May he not do it by tine and recovery? S. Dro. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and recover the lost hair of another man.

Ant. Why is time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?

S. Dro. Because it is a blessing that he be stows on beasts: and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.

Ant. Why, but there's many a man hath more bair than wit.

S. Dro. Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose his hair'.

S. Dro. Nothing, sir, but that I am, beaten.
Ant. Shall I tell you why?



S. Dro. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, 50
every why hath a wherefore.

Ant. Why, first, for flouting me; and then,
For urging it the second time to me. [of season,
S. Dro. Was there ever any man thus beaten out
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither 55
rhime nor reason?--

Well, sir, I thank you.

Ant. Thank me, sir? for what?

S. Dro. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

Ant. I'll make you amends next, to give you no

Ant. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.

S. Dro. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.

Ant. For what reason?

S. Dro. For two; and sound ones too.
Ant. Nay, not sound, I pray you.

S. Dro. Sure ones then.

Ant. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
S. Dro. Certain ones then.

Ant. Name them.

S. Dro. The one, to save the money that he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.

Ant. You would all this time have prov'd, there is no time for all things.

S. Dro. Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover hair lost by nature.

Ant. But your reason was not substantial, why there is no time to recover.

S. Dro. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald, and therefore to the world's end, will have bald followers.

Ant. I know 'twould be a bald conclusion: But soft! who wafts us yonder?

Enter Adriana and Luciana. Adr. Ay, ay,Antipholis,lock strange, and frown; 60 Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects, I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. Meaning, And break in, or intrude upon them when you please. of ground called commons. That is, fortify it. This alludes to the one of which, on its first appearance in Europe, was the loss of hair. loose women, haye more hair than wit, and suffer for their lewdness, by


The allusion is to those tracts effects of the venereal disease, Those who are entrapped by the loss of their hair.


The time was once, when thou, unurg'd, would'st
That never words were music to thine ear, [vow]
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well-welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste, [thee.
Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or cary'd to
How comes it now, my husband, oh, how comes it,
That thou art then estranged from thyself?
Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
That, undividable, incorporate,
And better than thy dear self's better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me;
For know, my love, as easy may 'st thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulph,
And take unm.ngled thence that drop again,
Without addition, or diminishing,

As take from me thyself, and not me too.
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious?
And that this body, consecrate to thee,
By ruffian lust should be contaminate?
Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurn at me,
And hurl the name of husband in my face,
And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow,
And from my faise hand cut the wedding-ring,
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?

I know thou canst, and therefore see, thou do it.
I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;
My blood is mingled with the crime of lust:
For, if we two be one, and thou play false,
I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
Bemg strumpeted by thy contagion.
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true
I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.




Adr. How ill agrees it with your gravity, To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave, Abetting him to thwart me in my mood? Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt', But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt. Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine: Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine; Whose weakness, marry'd to thy stronger state, Makes me with thy strength to communicate: 10 aught possess thee from me it is dross, Usurping ivy, briar, or idle moss

Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion. [theme: dut. To me she speaks; she moves me for her 15 What, was I marry'd to her in my dream? Or sleep I now, and think I hear ail this? What error drives our eyes and ears amiss? Until I know this sure uncertainty,


Ill entertain the favour'd fallacy.


Luc. Dromio, go, bid the servants spread for S. Dro. Oh, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner, This is the fairy land;-oh, spight of spights; We talk with goblins, owls', and elvish sprights; If we obey them not, this will ensue, [blue. 25 They'll suck our breath, and pinch us black and Luc. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer'st


Ant. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you 35

In Ephesus I am but two hours old,

As strange unto your town, as to your talk;
Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd,
Want wit in all one word to understand.


[sot! Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou S. Dro. I am transformed, master, am I not? Ant. I think, thou art, in mind, and so am I. S. Dro. Nay, master, both in mind, and in my Ant. Thou hast thine own shape. [shape.

S. Dro. No, I am an ape.

Luc. If thou art chang'd to aught, 'tis to an ass. S. Dro. 'Tis true, she rides me, and I long for 'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be, [grass. 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,

Luc. Fie, brother! how the world is chang'd with 40 Whilst man, and master, laugh my woes to scorn. When were you wont to use my sister thus? [you; She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

Ant. By Dromio?

S. Dro. By me?


Adr. By thee; and thus thou didst return from 45
That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows
Deny'd my house for his, me for his wife. [man?]
Ant. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewo
What is the course and drift of your compact?

S. Dro. I, sir? I never saw her all this time.
Ant. Villain, thou liest; for even her very
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart. [words
S. Dro. I never spake with her in all my life.
Ant. How can she thus then call us by our
Unless it be by inspiration?

Come, sir, to dinner; Dromio, keep the gate:
Husband, I'll dine aboye 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. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking? mad, or well-advis'd ?
Known unto these, and to myself disguis’d!
50'li say as they say, and persever so,
And in this mist at all adventures go.

[names, 55

S. Dro. Master, shall I be porter at the gate? Adr. Ay, let none enter, lest I break your pate. Luc. Come, come, Antipholis, we dine too late. [Excunt,

That is, separated. That is, unfertile, and therefore useless or idle; an happy allusion to the moss which grows on fruit-trees, hastening their decay, and neither suffers the tree to bear fruit, nor does it bear any itself. The exact character of the kind of woman whom Adriana supposes to have attracted the affections of Antipholis. S. A. Dr. Warburton says, it was an old popular supersti tion, that the scrietch-owl sucked out the breath and blood of infants in the cradle. On this account, the italians called witches, who were supposed to be in like manner mischievously bent against chi!dren, strega, from strix, the scrietch-owl. That is, I'll call you to confession, and make you tell all' your tricks.




The street before Antipholis's house.

Enter Antipholis of Ephesus, Dromio of Ephesus, Angelo, and Balthazar.

E. Ant. GOOD signior Angelo, you must ex

cuse us all;

My wife is shrewish, when I keep no! hours;
Say, that I linger'd with you at your shop,
To see the making of her carkanet',

And that to-morrow you will bring it home.
But here's a villain that would face mne down
He met me on the mart; and that I beat him,
And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold;
And that I did deny my wife and house:-
Thou drunkard, thou, what dost thou mean by
[I know:

to show:




E. Dro. Say what thou will, sir, but I know what
That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand
[gave were ink, 20
If the skin were parchment, and the blows you
Your own hand-writing would tell you what I




E. Ant. I think, thou art an ass.
E. Dro. 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
[an ass.
You would keep from my heels, and beware of
E. Ant. You are sad, signior Balthazar: Pray 30
God, our cheer
Mayanswermy good-will, and your good-welcome.
Bal. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your

welcome dear.


E. Ant. Ah, signior Balthazar, either at flesh or 35 A table-full of welcome makes scarce one dainty [churl affords.

dish. Bal. Good meat, sir, is common, that every E. Ant. And welcome more common; for that's nothing but words. [merry feast. 40 Bul. Small cheer, and great welcome, makes a E. Ant. Ay, to a niggardly host, and more sparing guest: [part; But though my cates be mean, take them in good Better cheer may you have, but not with better 45 heart. Lus in. But soft my door is lock'd; Go bid them let E. Dro. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, Ginn!


S. Dro. [Within.] Mome2, malt-horse, capon, 50 cox-comb, ideot, patch'! [hatch: Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for such store,


When one is one too many? go, get thee from

the door.

E. Dro. What patch is made our porter? my master stays in the street.

S. Dro. Let him walk from whence he came, lest he catch cold on's feet. [door. E. Ant. Who talks within there? ho, open the S. Dro. Right, sir, I'll tell you when, an you'll tell me wherefore. [not din'd to-day. E. Ant. Wherefore? for my dinner; I have S. Dro. Nor to-day here you must not; come again when you may.

E. Ant. What art thou, that keep'st me out from the house I owe1?

S. Dro. The porter for this time, sir, and my name is Dromio.

E. Dro. O villain, thou hast stolen both mine office and my name:

[blame. The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place, Thou would'st have chang'd thy face for a name, or thy name for an ass.

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

E. Dro. Let thy master in, Luce.
Luce. Faith no; he comes too late;
And so tell your master.

E. Dro. O Lord, I must laugh :- [staff!
Have at you with a proverb.-Shall I set in my
Luce. Have at you with another: that's
When? can you tell?

S. Dro. If thy name be called Luce, Luce, thou hast answer'd him well.

E. Ant. Do you hear, you minion? you'll let
us in, I trow'?

Luce. I thought to have ask'd you.
S. Dro. And you said, no.

E. Dr. So, come, help; well. struck; there
was blow for blow.

E. Ant. Thou baggage, let me in.
Luce. Can you tell for whose sake?
E. Dro. Master, knock the door hard.
Luce. Let him knock till it ake.

E. Ant. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat
the door down.
[in the town?
Luce. What needs all that, and a pair of stocks
Adr. [Within.] Who is that at the door, that
keeps all this noise? [unruly boys.
S. Dro. By my troth, your town is troubled with
E. Ant. Are you there, wile? you might have
come before.
[the door.
Adr. Your wife, sir knave! go, get you from
E. Dro. If you went in pain, master, this knave
would go sore.

'A carkanet is said to have been a necklace set with stones, or strung with pearls. 2 That is, blockhead, stock, post. Sir T. Hanmer says, Mome owes its original to the French Momon, which signifies the gaming at dice in masquerade, the custom and rule of whica is, that a strict silence is tò be observed: whatever sum one stakes, another covers, but not a word is to be spoken: from hence also comes our word mum! for silence. That is, fool. That is, I own. › To trow signifies to think, to imagine, to conceive.



Ang. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome; we would fain have either.

Bal. In debating which was best, we shall part with neither'.

E. Dro. They stand at the door, master; bid 5 bid them welcome hither.

E. Ant. There is something in the wind, that we cannot get in. [garments were thin. E. Dro. You would say so, master, if your Your cake here is warm within; you stand here 10 [bought and sold2.

in the cold:

It would make a man mad as a buck, to be so E. Ant. Go fetch me something, I'll break ope [your knave's pate."

the gate. S. Dro. Break any thing here, and I'll break 15 E. Dro. A man may break a word with you, sir: and words are but wind; [behind. Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not S. Dro. It seems, thou wantest breaking: Out upon thee, hind!

E. Dro. Here's too much, out upon thee! I pray thee let me in. [fish have nofin.



S. Dro. Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and E. Ant. Well, I'll break in; Go, borrow me a [mean you so 25 E. Dro. A crow without feather; master, For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a feather;


If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow
E. Ant. Go, get thee gone, fetch me an iron 30


[dom 35


Bal. Have patience, sir; oh, let it not be so;
Herein you war against your reputation,
And draw within the compass of suspect
The unviolated honour of your wife.
Once this,-Your long experience of her wis-
Her sober virtue, years, and modesty,
Plead on her part some cause to you unknown;
And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse,
Why at this time the doors are made3 against 40
Be rul'd by me; depart in patience,
And let us to the Tyger all to dinner.
And, about evening, come youself alone,
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
If by strong hand you offer to break in,
Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it;
And that supposed by the common rout
Against your yet ungalled estimation,
That may with foul intrusion enter in,
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead:
For slander lives upon succession;

For ever hous'd, where 't gets possession.

E. Ant. You have prevail'd; I will depart in

And, in despight of mirth, mean to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse,-
Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle,—
There will we dine: this woman that I mean,
My wife (but, I protest, without desert)


Meaning, we shall share with neither.

Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal;
To her will we to dinner.-Get you home,
And fetch the chain; by this, I know, 'tis made:
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porcupine;
For there's the house; that chain will I bestow
(Be it for nothing but to spight my wife)
Upon mine hostess there: good sir, make haste:
Since my own doors refuse to entertain me,
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me.
Ang. I'll meet you at that place, some hour,
sir, hence.

E. Ant. Do so; this jest shall cost me some ex-


The house of Antipholis of Ephesus.
Enter Luciana with Antipholis of Syracuse.
Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot
A husband's office? shall, Antipholis, hate,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?
Shall love, in building, grow so ruinate?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
'T'hen, for her wealth's sake, use her with more

Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth; [ness:
Mufile your false love with some shew of blind-
Let not my sister read it in your eye;

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger: [ed;
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be taint-
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
Be secret false; What need she be acquainted?
What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed,
And let her read it in thy looks at board:
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;

Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women! make us but believe,

Being compact' of credit, that you love ut;
Though others have the arm, shew us the sleeve;
Wein your motion turn, and you may move us.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again;

Comfort my sister, chear her, call her wife: 145Tis holy sport, to be a little vain"; [strife. When the sweet breath of flattery conquers S. Ant. Sweet mistress, (what your name is else, I know not,

Ner by what wonder you do hit of mine) 50 Less, in your knowledge, and your grace, you

show not,


Than our earth's wonder; more than earth Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak; Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,

55 Smotherd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,

The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you,
To make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? would you create me new? [yield.
60 Transform me then, and to your power I'll

A proverbial phrase. To make the door, is a pro

vincial expression, signifying to bar or fasten the door. The meaning is, I will be mer y, even out of spight to mirth, which is, now, of all things, the most unpleasing to me. Compact here means

mude up.

• Vain here signes not crue.


But if that I am I, then well I know,
Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe;

Far more, far more, to you do I decline. [note, Oh, train me not, sweet mermaid', with thy To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears; Sing, syren, for thyself, and I will dote:

Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs, And as a bed I'll take thee, and there lie;

And, in that glorious supposition, think [die:He gains by death, that hath such means to Let love, being light, be drowned if he sink! Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so? S. Ant. Not mad, but mated; how, I do not know.

Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. S. Ant. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.

Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your sight.



S. Ant. As good to wink, sweet love, as look 20 on night. [so.

Luc. Why call you me, love? call my sister S. Ant. Thy sister's sister.

Luc. That's my sister.

S. Ant. No;

It is thyself, mine own self's better part;
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart:
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim,
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.
Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be.
S. Ant. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I mean thee:
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life:
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife:
Give me thy hand.

Luc. Oh, soft, sir, hold you still;
I'll fetch my sister, to get her good-will. [Exit Luc.
Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

S. Ant. Why, how now, Dromio? where run'st thou so fast?



and yet is she a wondrous fat marriage.

S. Ant. How dost thou mean, a fat marriage? S. Dro. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to, but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow in them, will burn a Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world.

S. Ant. What complexion is she of?

S. Dro. Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept; For why, she sweats, a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.

S. Ant. That's a fault that water will mend. S. Dro. No, sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood could not do it.

S. Ant. What's her name?

S. Dro. Nell, sir;-but her name and three quarters (that is, an ell and three quarters,) will not measure her from hip to hip.

S. Ant. Then she bears some breadth?

S. Dro. No longer from head to foot, than from hip to hip; she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.

[land? S. Ant. In what part of her body stands treS. Dro. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs.

S. Ant. Where Scotland?

S. Dro. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.

S. Ant. Where France?

S. Dro. In her forehead; arm'd and reverted, making war against her hair'.

S. Ant. Where England?

S. Dro. I look'd for the chalky cliffs, but I 35 could find no whiteness in them: but I guess, it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.

-S. Dro. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio: 40 am I your man? am I myself?

S. Ant. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.

S. Dro. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and besides myself.

S. Ant. What woman's man? and how besides thyself?

S. Dro. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.

S. Ant. What claim lays she to thee?

S. Ant. Where Spain?

S. Dro. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it, hot in her breath.

S. Ant. Where America, the Indies?

S. Dro. Oh, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellish'd with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, de clining their rich aspect to the hot breath of 45 Spain; who sent whole armadoes of carracks to be ballasted at her nose.

S. Ant. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands? S. Dro. Oh, sir, I did not look so low. To con clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me; 50 call'd me Dromio; swore, I was assur'd' to her; told me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amaz'd, ran from her as a witch: And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, she had transform'd me to a curtail dog, and made me turn i' the wheel. [road;

S. Dro. Marry, sir, such a claim as you would lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beast: not that, I being a beast, she would have 55 me; but that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.

S. Ant. What is she?

S. Dro. A very reverend body; ay, such a one S. Ant. Go, hie thee presently, post to the as a man may not speak of, without he say, sir-60 And if the wind blow any way from shore, reverence: I have but lean luck in the match,


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will not harbour in this town to-night.

That is, another name for syren. That is, confounded. This alludes to her having the French disease. That is, affianced to her.



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