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Who, but for staying on our controversy,
Had hoisted sail, and put to sea to-day.
This chain you had of me; can you deny it?
Ant. S. I think I had; I never did deny it.
Mer. Yes, that you did, sir; and forswore it too.
Ant. S. Who heard me to deny it, or forswear it ?
Mer. These ears of mine, thou know'st, did hear thee.
Fie on thee, wretch! 'tis pity, that thou liv'st
To walk where any honest men resort.
Ant. S. Thou art a villain to impeach me thus.
I'll prove mine honor and mine honesty
Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand.
Mer. I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.
Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, Courtesan, and others.
Adr. Hold; hurt him not, for God's sake; he is mad;
Some get within him, take his sword away;
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house.
Dro. S. Run, master, run; for God's sake, take a house. This is some priory;—in, or we are spoiled.
[Exeunt ANTIPH. and Dro. to the priory.
Enter the Abbess.
Abb. Be quiet, people; wherefore throng you hither?
Adr. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
Let us come in, that we may bind him fast,
And bear him home for his recovery.
Ang. I knew he was not in his perfect wits.
Mer. I am sorry now, that I did draw on him.
Abb. How long hath this possession held the man ?
Adr. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
And much different from the man he was ;
But, till this afternoon, his passion
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.
Abb. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck of sea ? Buried some dear friend?
Hath not else his eye
Strayed his affection in unlawful love ?
A sin prevailing much in youthful men,
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing.
Which of these sorrows is he subject to?
Adr. To none of these, except it be the last;
Namely, some love, that drew him oft from home.
Abb. You should for that have reprehended him.
Adr. Why, so I did.
Ay, but not rough enough.
Adr. As roughly as my modesty would let me.
Abb. Haply, in private.
And in assemblies too.
Abb. Ay, but not enough.
Adr. It was the copy of our conference.
In bed, he slept not for my urging it;
At board, he fed not for my urging it;
Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
In company, I often glanced it;
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.
Abb. And thereof came it, that the man was mad.
The venom clamors of a jealous woman
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
It seems his sleeps were hindered by thy railing;
And thereof comes it that his head is light.
Thou say'st his meat was sauced with thy upbraidings;
Unquiet meals make ill digestions,
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
And what's a fever but a fit of madness ?
Thou say'st his sports were bindered by thy brawls ;
Sweet recreation barred, what doth ensue,
But moody and dull melancholy,
(Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,)
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest,
To be disturbed, would mad or man or beast;
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Have scared thy husband from the use of wits.
Luc. She never reprehended him but mildly, When he demeaned himself rough, rude, and wildly. Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?
Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof.
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.
Abb. No, not a creature enters in my house.
Adr. Then, let your servants bring my husband forth.
Abb. Neither; he took this place for sanctuary,
And it shall privilege him from your hands,
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labor in assaying it.
Adr. I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself;
And therefore let me have him home with me.
Abb. Be patient; for I will not let him stir,
Till I have used the approved means I have,
With wholesome sirups, drugs, and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again.
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order;
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.
Adr. I will not hence, and leave my husband here;
And ill it doth beseem your holiness,
To separate the husband and the wife.
Abb. Be quiet, and depart; thou shalt not have him.
[Exit Abbess. Luc. Complain to the duke of this indignity.
Adr. Come, go; Į will fall prostrate at his feet,
And never rise until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither,
And take perforce my husband from the abbess.
Mer. By this, I think, the dial points at five.
Anon, I am sure, the duke himself in person
Comes this way to the melancholy vale;
The place of death and sorry execution,
Behind the ditches of the abbey here.
Ang. Upon what cause?
Mer. To see a reverend Syracusan merchant, Who put unluckily into this bay Against the laws and statutes of this town, Beheaded publicly for his offence. Ang. See, where they come; we will behold his death.
Luc. Kneel to the duke, before he pass the abbey. Enter Duke, attended; ÆGEON, bareheaded; with the
Headsman and other Officers.
Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die; so much we tender him.
Adr. Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess !
Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady; It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong.
Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my husband, Whom I made lord of me and all I had, At your important letters,—this ill day A most outrageous fit of madness took him ; That desperately he hurried through the street, (With him his bondman, all as mad as he,) Doing displeasure to the citizens By rushing in their houses, bearing thence Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like. Once did I get him bound, and sent him home,
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,
He broke from those that had the guard of him;
And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
Met us again, and, madly bent on us,
Chased us away; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind them: then they fled
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them;
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us,
And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence.
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command,
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help.
Duke. Long since, thy husband served me in my wars;
And I to thee engaged a prince's word,
When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.-
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey-gate,
And bid the lady abbess come to me;
I will determine this, before I stir.
Serv. O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself! My master and his man are both broke loose, Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor, Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire; And ever as it blazed they threw on him Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair. My master preaches patience to him, and the while His man with scissors nicks him like a fool; And, sure, unless you send some present help, Between them they will kill the conjurer.
Adr. Peace, fool; thy master and his man are here; And that is false, thou dost report to us.
Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true; I have not breathed almost, since I did see it. He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you, To scorch your face, and to disfigure you. [Cry within. Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress ; fly, begone. Duke. Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard with
halberds! Adr. Ah me, it is my husband! Witness you, That he is borne about invisible.
Even now we housed him in the abbey here;
And now he's there, past thought of human reason.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Ephesus.
Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke, 0, grant me justice!
Even for the service that long since I did thee,
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
Deep scars to save thy life; even for the blood
That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.
Æge. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote, I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio.
Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there, She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife ; That hath abused and dishonored me, Even in the strength and height of injury ! Beyond imagination is the wrong, That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
Ant. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors upon me, While she with harlots feasted in my house.
Duke. A grievous fault. Say, woman, didst thou so?
Adr. No, my good lord; — myself, he, and my sister, To-day did dine together. So befall my soul, As this is false he burdens me withal!
Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night, But she tells to your highness simple truth!
Ang. O perjured woman! they are both forsworn.
In this the madman justly chargeth them.
Ant. E. My liege, I am advised what I say;
Neither disturbed with the effect of wine,
Nor heady rash, provoked with raging ire,
Albeit, my wrongs might make one wiser mad.
This woman locked me out this day from dinner;
That goldsmith there, were he not packed with her,
Could witness it, for he was with me then;
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
Promising to bring it to the Porcupine,
Where Balthazar and I did dine together.
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him: in the street I met him;
And in his company, that gentleman.
There did this perjured goldsmith swear me down,
That I this day of him received the chain,
Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which,
He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey; and sent my peasant home