Page images

Ant. S. Well, Sir, learn to jest in good time; There's a time for all things.

Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were so choleric. Ant. S. By what rule, Sir ?

Dro. S. Marry, Sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald pate of father Time himself,

Ant. S. Let's hear it.

Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover his hair, that grows bald by nature.

Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery?

Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and recover the lost hair of another man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ant. S. For what reason ?
Dro. S. For two; and sound ones too.
Ant. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you.
Dro. S. Sure ones then.
Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
Dro. S. Certain ones then.
Ant. S. Name them.

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

Ant. S. You would all this time have proved, there is no time for all things.

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

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

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

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

Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and frown;
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects,
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.
The time was once, when thou unurged wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear,
That never object pleasing in thine eye,

* Beckons.

That never touch well-welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste,
Unless I spake, look’d, touch'd, or carved to thee.
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,
Am better than thy dear self's better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me;
For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall*
A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
And take unmingled 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 false 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 dó digest the poison of thy flesh,
Being strumpeted by thy contagion
Keep thén fair league and truce with thy true bed ;
I live unstain'd, thou undishonourd.

Ant. S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not:
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.

Luc. Fie, brother! how the world is changed with you: When were you wont to use my sister thus ? She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

Ant. S. By Dromio ? Dro. S. By me? Adr. By thee: and this thou didst return from him,That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows Denied my house for his, me for his wife.

Ant. S. Did you converse, Sir, with this gentlewoman? What is the course and drist of your compact ?

Dro. S. I, Sir ? I never saw her till this time.

Ant. S. Villain, thou liest ; for even her very words Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.

Dro. S. I never spake with her in all my life.

Ant. S. How can she thus then call us by our names, Unless it be by inspiration ?

* Let fall.

[ocr errors]

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 contempta
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine:
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine;
Whose weakness, married to my stronger state,
Makes me with thy strength to communicate:
If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion.

Ant. S. To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme:
What, was I married to her in my dream?
Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss ?
Until I know this sure uncertainty,
I'll entertain the offer'd fallacy.

Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner,
Dro. S. O, for my beads ! I cross me for a sinner.
This is the fairy land ;-0, spite of spites !-
We talk with goblins, owls, and elvish sprites !
If we obey them not, this will ensue,
They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.

Luc. Why prat’st thou to thyself and answer'st not?
Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!

Dro. S. I am transformed, master, am not I?
Ant. s. I think thou art, in mind, and so am I.
Dro. S. Nay, master, both in mind, and in my shape,
Ant. S. Thou hast thine own form,
Dro. S. No, I am an ape.
Luc. If thou art changed to aught, 'tis to an ass.

Dro. S. 'Tis true; she rides me, and I long for grass.
'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, laugh 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 mist at all adventures go.

* Above my authority.

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. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.-The same.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, DROMIO of Ephesus, ANGELO,

Ant. E. Good signior Angelo, 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 carkanet,*
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 ?

Dro. E. Say what you will, Sir, but I know what I know
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.

Dro. E. 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 are sad, signior Balthazar: 'Pray God, our cheer May answer my good will, and your good welcome here.

Bal. I hold your dainties cheap, Sir, and your welcome 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 affords.
Ant. E. And welcome more common; for that's nothing but

Bal. Small cheer, and great welcome, makes a merry feast.

Ant. E. Ay, to a niggardly host, and more sparing guest :
But though my catest 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.

Dro. E. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, Jen'!
Dro. S. (Within.] Mome,I 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 store When one is one too many ? Go, get thee from the door * A necklace.

+ Dishes of meat. # Dull blockhead.


owe ?*

an ass.

Dro. E. What patch is made our porter? My master stays in

the street. Dro. S. 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. Right, Sir, I'll tell you when, an you'll tell me where

fóre. Ant. E. Wherefore? for my dinner; I have not dined to-day. Dro. S. Nor to-day here you must not; come again when you

may. Ant. E. What art thou, that keep'st me out from the house I Dro. 8. 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 Luce. [Within.] What a coil t is there? Dromio, who are

those at the gate ? Dro. E. Let my master in, Luce.

Lice. Faith no; he comes too late: And so tell your master.

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

tell ? Dro. S. If thy name be call'd Luce, Luce, thou hast answerd

him well. Ant. E. Do you hear, you minion ? you'll let us in, I hope ? Luce. I thought to have ask'd you. Dro. S. And you said, no. Dro. E. So, come, help; well struck; there was blow for blow. Ant. E. Thou baggage, let me in. Luce. Can you tell for whose sake ? Dro. E. Master, knock the door hard. Luce. Let him knock till it ake. Ant. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the door down. Luce. 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 ? Dro. S. By my troth, your town is troubled with unruly boys. Ant. E. Are you there, wife ? you might have come before. Adr. Your wife, Sir knave! go, get you from the door. Dro. E. If you went in pain, master, this knave would go Ang. Here is neither cheer, Sir, nor welcome; we would fain

have either. Bal. In debating which was best, we shall part I with neither.


* I own.

+ Bustle, tumult.

| Depart.

« PreviousContinue »