Page images
PDF
EPUB

fast;

Enter DROMIO of Ephesus. Here comes the almanack of

my

true date. What now? How chance, thou art return'd so soon? Dro. E. Return'd so soon ! rather approach'd too

late: The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit ; The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell, My mistress made it one upon my cheek : 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 stomach ; You have no stomach, having broke your 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 you? Dro. E. O,-six-pence, that I had o'Wednesday

last, 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 dinner: 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

clock,

6

I shall be post indeed ; For she will score your fault upon my pate.] Perhaps, before writing was a general accomplishment, a kind of rough reckoning, concerning wares issued out of a shop, was kept by chalk or notches on a post, till it could be entered on the books of a trader.

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 to

me.

Ant. S. Come on, sir knave; have done your

foolishness, And tell me, how thou hast dispos'd thy charge. Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from:

the mart Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner; My mistress, and her sister, stay for you.

Ant. S. Now, as I am a christian, answer me, In what safe place you have bestow'd my money; Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours, That stands on tricks when I am undispos’d: Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me? Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my

pate, 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 dinner,

you

will hie you home to dinner. Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my

face, Being forbid. There, take you that, sir knave.

And

prays, that

1- that merry sconce of yours,] Sconce is head, VOL. IV.

C

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. Dro. E. Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, The villain is o’er-raughts of all my money. They say, this town is full of cozenage;9 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 :1 If it prove so, I will be

will be gone the sooner. I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave; I greatly fear, my money is not safe. [Evit.

ACT II.

SCENE I. A publick place.

Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA. Ådr. Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd, That in such haste I sent to seek his master! Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

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:

8

o'er-raught-] That is, over-reached. 9 They say, this town is full of cozenage; This was the character the ancients give of it. Hence 'E ionc ă Astocaguaxo was proverbial amongst them. Thus Menander uses it, and 'Estiu nga joueata, in the same sense.

WARBURTON. liberties of sin:] By liberties of sin, Shakspeare perhaps means licensed offenders, such as mountebanks, fortune-tollers, &c. who cheat with impunity.

[ocr errors]

A man is master of his liberty :
Time is their master; and, when they see time,
They'll go, or come: If so, be patient, sister.
Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be

more?
Luc. Because their business still lies out o'door.
Adr. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
Luc. O, know, he is the bridle of your will.
Adr. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so.
Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with

woe.”
There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye,
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky:
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Are their males' subject, and at their controls :
Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
Lords of the wide world, and wild watry seas,
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 unwed.
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 practise to obey. Adr. How if your husband start some other

where ?3 Luć. Till he come home again, I would forbear.

* Adr. There's none, but asses, will be bridled so. Luc. Why, headstrong -liberty is lash'd with woe. Should it not rather be leash'd, i.e. coupled like a headstrong hound? Or perhaps the meaning of this passage may be, that those who refuse the bridle must bear the lash, and that woe is the punishment of headstrong liberty. Mr. M. Mason inclines to leashed.

start some other where?] I suspect that where has here the power of a noun. The sense is, How, if your husband Ay off in pursuit of some other woman?

C ?

3

Adr. Patience, unmovid, no marvel though she

pause ; They can be meek, that have no other cause. A wretched soul, bruis’d with adversity, We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry; But were we burden'd with like weight of pain, As much, or more, we should ourselves complain : So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee, With urging helpless patience would'st relieve me : 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?

Dró. 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 couldst 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.

7

though she pause ;] To pause is to rest, to be in quiet. Ś They can be meek, that have no other cause.] That is, who have no cause to be otherwise.

6 With urging helpless patience -] Bý exhorting me to patience, which affords no help.

fool-begg'd-] She seems to mean, by fool-begg'd patience, that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that your next relation would take advantage from it to represent you as a fool, and beg the guardianship of your fortune.

that I could scarce understand them.] i. e. that I could scarce stand under thein. This quibble, poor as it is seems to have been a favourite with Shakspeare.

« PreviousContinue »