Page images
PDF
EPUB

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.

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. Ant. S. Why, first-for flouting me; and then, where

fore, 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 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?

6 And make a common of my serious hours.) i. e. intrude on them when you please. The allusion is to those tracts of ground destined to common use, which are thence called commons.

know my aspéct,] i. e. study my countenance.
and insconce it too ;] A sconce was a petty fortification.

Dro. S. Basting
Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
Ant. S. Your reason ?

Dro. S. Lest it make you cholerick, 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 cholerick.

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 recoveryo?

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 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.

9

- by fine and

recovery O] This attempt at pleasantry must have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney. He has other jokes of the same school. STEEVENS.

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?

Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA. 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 unurg'd would'st vow That never words were musick to thine ear, That never object pleasing in thine eye, That never touch well-welcome to thy hand, That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste, Unless I spake, look'd, touch'd t, 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,

1

-falsing.) This word is now obsolete. Spenser and Chaucer often use the verb to false. Mr. Heath would read fall. ing. STEEVENS. * “ c'en no time" -MALONE.

wafts us -] i. e. beckons us. + or look’d, or touch’d,"— Malone.

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 fallo
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!
Would'st 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 do digest the poison of thy flesh,
Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed;
I live unstain'd, thou undishonoured.

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. Fye, 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?

3

may'st thou fall -] To fall is here a verb active.

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 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 names,
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, briar, 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 amiss ?
Until I know this sure uncertainty,
I'll entertain the offer'd fallacy.

ears

[ocr errors]

4

you are from me exempt,] Johnson says that exempt means separated, parted; yet I think that Adriana does not use the word exempt in that sense, but means to say, that as he was her husband she had no power over him, and that he was privileged to do her wrong. M. Mason.

idle moss ;] That is, moss that produces no fruit, but being unfertile is useless.

5

« PreviousContinue »