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A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
After his brother; and importun'd me
To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
80 Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
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
We were encounter'd by a mighty rock;
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst ;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, DROMIO of Syracuse, and a Merchant.
Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean.
Ant. S. A trusty villain, sir, that very oft, When I am dull with care and melancholy, 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 myself,
Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
Here comes the almanac of my true date.
Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress, slave, hast thou?
Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at
She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
40 Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels. Exit.
Dro. E. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit,
The meat is cold because you come not home;
Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir. Tell me this,
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper;
Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humour now,
Dro. E. I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.
For she will score your fault upon my pate.
And strike you home without a messenger.
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.
And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.
Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
SCENE I.-The House of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
Adr. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd,
Luc. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him, And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner. Good sister, let us dine and never fret:
A man is master of his liberty:
Time is their master, and, when they see time,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But if thou live to see like right bereft,
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 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.
Adr. But say, I prithee, 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 !
Adr. His company must do his minions grace, 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 is he 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-harming jealousy! fie! beat it hence. Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
Dro. E. I mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure, I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
he is stark mad.
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner, 60
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 he:
'Will you come home?' quoth I; 'my gold!' quoth he:
'Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?'
'The pig,' quoth I, 'is burn'd;' 'my gold!' quoth he:
'My mistress, sir,' quoth I; 'hang up thy mis
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy! Exeunt.
SCENE II. A public Place.
How now, sir! is your merry humour alter'd?
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 receipt,
And told'st me of a mistress and a dinner;
Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that. Beating him. Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake! now your jest is earnest :
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
Do use you for my fool and chat with you,
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 ensconce 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.
Ant. S. Why, first,-for flouting me; and, then, wherefore,
For urging it the second time to me.
Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When, in the why and the wherefore is neither rime 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?
Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
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 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.
That never words were music to thine ear,
How comes it now, my husband, O! how comes it,
Am better than thy dear self's better part.
As take from me thyself and not me too.
I know thou canst; and therefore see thou do it.
I live distain'd, thou undishonoured.
I know 150
In Ephesus I am but two hours old,
Luc. Fie, brother: how the world is chang'd 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?
Ant. S. 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! I'll say as they say, and persever so,
Adr. By thee; and this thou didst return And in this mist at all adventures go. 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 drift 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
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 contempt. Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine; Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine, Whose weakness, married to thy 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.
Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
Dro. S. I am transformed, master, am I not?
Ant. S. Thou hast thine own form.
No, I am an ape. Luc. If thou art chang'd 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.
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. Excunt.
SCENE I.-A public Place.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, DROMIO of Ephesus, ANGELO, and BALTHAZAR.
Ant. E. Good Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all;
My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours.
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.
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
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 words.
Bal. Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
Ant. E. Ay, to a niggardly host and more sparing guest :
But though my cates 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