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I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracusa was I born; and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
Enter DUKE, ÆGEON, Jailor, Officer, and other And by me too, had not our hap been bad.
Ege. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
And by the doom of death, end woes and all.
Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more;
I am not partial, to infringe our laws:
The enmity and discord, which of late [duke
Sprung from the ancorous outrage of your
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,-
Who, wanting gilders* to redeem their lives,
Have sealed his rigorous statutes with their
Excludes all pity from our threat'ing looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
"Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
Both by the Syracusans and ourselves,
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:
If any, born at Ephesus, be seen
At any Syracusan martst and fairs,
Again, if any Syracusan born,
Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose;
Unless a thousand marks be levied,
To quit the penalty, and to ransom him.
Thy substance valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd to die.
Age. Yet this my comfort; when your words
My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
Duke. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the
Why thou departedst from thy native home;
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus
Ege. A heavier task could not have been
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable:
Yet, that the world may witness, that my end
Was wraught by nature, not by vile offence,
Name of a coin Markets Natural affection
With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death;
And he (great care of goods at random left)
Drew me from kind embracements of my
From whom my absence was not six months old,
Before herself (almost at fainting, under
The pleasing punishment that women bear,)
And made provision for her following me,
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was,
There she had not been long, but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons; [other,
And, which was strange, the one so like the
As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
A poor mean woman was delivered
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike :
Those for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return:
Unwilling I agreed; alas, too soon.
We came aboard:
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd.
Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instance of our harm:
But longer did we not retain much hope;
For what obscured light the heavens did grant
Did but convey unto our fearful minds
A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Which, though myself would gladly have em-
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
And this it was,-for other means was none.—
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fasten'd him to a small spare mast,
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus dispos'd my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast;
And floating straight obedient to the stream,
Were carried toward Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us ;
And by the benefit of his wish'd light,
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
Two ships from far making amain to us,
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this:
But ere they came,-O let me say no more!
Gather the sequel by what went before.
Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break
off so ;
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
Ege. O, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd them merciless to us!
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five
We were encounter'd by a mighty rock;
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst,
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Was carried with more speed before the wind;
And in our sight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length another ship had seiz'd on us;
And knowing whom it was their hap to save,
Gave helpful welcome to their shipwrec'd
And would have reft* the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail,
And therefore homeward did they bend their
Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss;
That by misfotunes was my life prolong'd,
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sor-
Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them, and thee, till now.
Ege. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest
At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother; and importun'd me,
That his attendant, (for his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,)
Might bear him company in the quest of him:
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see,
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
Five summers have I spent in furthest Greece,
Roaming cleant through the bounds of Asia,
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought,
Or that, or any place that harbours men.
But here must end the story of my life;
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.
Duke. Hapeless Ægon, whom the fates have
To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee.
But, though thou art adjudged to the death,
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time:
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return, and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.
Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your
And go indeed, having so good a mean.
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Ant S. A trusty villian, Sir; that very oft
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn, and dine with me?
Mer. I am invited, Sir, to certain merchants
Of whom I hope to make much benefit;
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock,
Please you I'll meet with you upon the mart,§
And afterwards consort you till bed-time;
My present business calls me from you now.
Ant. S. Farewell till then: I will go lose
And wander up and down, to view the city.
Mer. Sir, I commend you to you own cou-
Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own
Commends me to the thing I cannot get,
That in the ocean seeks another drop;
I to the world am like a drop of water,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
So I, to find a mother, and a brother,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.
Here comes the almanack of my true date,-
What now? How chance, thou art return'd so
Dro. E. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd
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
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 you left the money that I gave
Dro. E. 0,-sixpence, that I had o'Wednes-
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 being 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
I from my mistress come to you in post;
If I return, I shall be post indeed;
For she will score your fault upon my pate.
Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your
And strike you home without a messenger.
Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests
are out of season;
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this:
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
Dro. E. To me, Sir? why you gave no gold
Ant. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your
And tell me, how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.
Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch yorom
Home to your house, the Phoenix, Sir, to din-
My misstress, and her sister, stay for you.
Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer
[ney; In what safe place have you bestow'd my moOr I will break that merry sconce* of yours, That stands on tricks when I am indispos'd: Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me ?
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
But not a thousand marks between you both.
If I should pay your worship those again,
Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress,
slave, hast thou?
Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress
at the Phoenix;
She that doth fast, till you come home to din
And prays, that you will hie you home to din-
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 DROMIO E.
Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or
The villian is o'er-wraughtt of all my money.
They say, this town is full of cozenage;
As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches, that deform the body;
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like liberties of sin:
If it prove, so, I will begone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek the slave;
I greatly fear, my money is not safe. [Exil.
SCENE I-A Public Place.
Enter ADRIANA, and LUCIANA.
Adr. Neither my husband, nor the slave re
That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.
Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret:
Time is their master; and, when they see time,
A man is master of his liberty:
They'll go, or come: If so, be patient, sister.
Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be
But hath its bound, in earth, in sea, in sky:
There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye,
Are their males' subject, and at their controls:
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Lords of the wide world, and wild wat'ry seas,
Men, more divine, and masters of all these,
Indued with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords:
Then let your will attend on their accords.
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep un-
Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.
Adr. But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
Luc. Ere i learn love, I'll practice to obey. Adr. How if your husband start some other where?
Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear.
Adr. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though
They can be meek, that have no other cause -
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
A wretch'd soul, bruis'd with adversity,
But where we burthen'd with like weight of
As much, or more, we should ourselves com-
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve
[me: With urging helpless patience would'st relieve But, if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try;Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.
Adr. Say is your tardy master now at hand
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 [it. Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand
Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them.*
Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst | Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain ;--not feel his meaning? Would that alone he would detain, So he would keep fair quarter with his bed! I see the jewel, best enamelled, [still, Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides That others touch, yet often touching will Wear gold: and so no man, that hath a name, But falsehood and corruption doth it shame. Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy! [Exeunt.
Adr. But say, I pr'ythee, is he coming home? It seems, he hath great care to please his wife.
Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain?
Dro. E. I mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure,
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
'Tis dinner-time, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth
Will you come home? quoth I: My gold, quoth
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, vil-
The pig, quoth I is burn'd; My gold, quoth he:
My mistress, Sir, quoth I; hang up thy mis-
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!
Luc. Quoth who?
Dro. E. Quoth my master:
SCENE II.-The same.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave [up
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?
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mis-Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bear home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten
For God's sake, send some other messenger.
Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate
Dro. E. And he will bless that cross with
Between you I shall have a holy head.
Adr. Hence, prating peasant; fetch thy mas-
Dro. E. Am I so round with you, as you
That like a football do you spurn me thus?
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me
If I last in this service, you must case me in
Luc. Fie, how impatience lowereth in
Adr. His company must do his minions
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it:
Are my discourses dull? barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not ruin'd? then he is the ground
Of my defeatures:† My decayed fair‡
A sunny look of his would soon repair:
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
Luc. Self-arming jealousy!-fie, beat it
Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else, what lets] it but he would be here?
* I. e. Scarce stand under them.
† Alteration of features.
Fair, for fairness.
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
Dro. S. What answer, Sir? when spake 1
such a word?
Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me hence.
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave [me. Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was dis.
Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry
What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell [mc. Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the teeth?
Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, Dro. S. Hold, Sir, for God's sake: now your [Beating him. jest is earnest :
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
Ant. S. 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
But creep in crannies, when he hides his
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,t
And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
Dro. S. Sconce, call you it? so you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head: an you use these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce‡ it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But, I pray, Sir, why am I beaten?
Ant. S. Dost thou not know?
Dro. S. Nothing, Sir; but that I am beaten.
Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?
Dro. S. Ay, Sir, and wherefore; for they say, every why hath a wherefore.
* I e. Intrude on them when you please.
Study my countenance.
A Seance was a fortifications
Ant S. Why, first,-for flouting me; and Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects, then, wherefore,I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. [vow For urging it the second time to me. The time was once, when thou unurg'd wouldst Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten That never words were music to thine ear, That never object pleasing in thine eye, When, in the why, and the wherefore, is nei- That never touch well-welcome to thy hand, ther rhyme nor reason?
Well, Sir, I thank you.
Ant. S. Thank me, Sir? for what?
Dro. S. Marry, Sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, Sir, is it dinner-time?
Dro. S. No, Sir; I think, the meat wants
that I have.
Ant. S. In good time, Sir, What's that?
Dro. S. Basting.
Ant. S. Well, Sir, then 'twill be dry.
Dro. S. Ifit be, Sir, I pray you eat none of it.
Ant. S. Your reason?
Dro. S. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me another dry basting.
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?
That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste, Unless I spake, look'd, touch'd, or carv'd 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 may'st thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulph,
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,
Should'st 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,
Dro. S. Marry, Sir, by a rule as plain as the And from my false hand cut the wedding ring plain bald pate of father Time himself.
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 hath 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 loose 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.
Úro. 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 concluBut soft! ho wafts* us yonder? [sion: Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA. Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
I know thou canst; and therefore, see, thou do
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,
Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true
I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured, [bed;
Ant. S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know
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 chang'd
What is the course and drift of your compact?
Dro. S. I, Sir? I never saw her till this time.
Ant. S. Villain, thou liest; for even her very
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart. [words
Dro. S. I never spake with her in all my life.
Ant. S. How can she thus then call us by our
Unless it be by inspiration!
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 con-
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;