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'Tis dinner time, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Dro. E. Quoth my master:
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress; -
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home. Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten home ? For God's sake, send some other messenger.
Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across. Dro. E. And he will bless that cross with other beating: Between you I shall have a holy head.
Adr. Hence, prating peasant; fetch thy master home. Dro. E. Am I so round with you, as you with me,9 That like a football you do spurn me thus ? You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither; If I last in this service, you must case me in leather. 1 [Exit. Luc. Fye, how impatience lowreth in your face! 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.
9 Am I so round with you, as you with me,] He plays upon the word round, which signifies spherical, applied to himself, and unrestrained, or free in speech or action spoken of his mistress.
case me in leather.] Still alluding to a football, the bladder of which is always covered with leather.
And feeds from home; poor I am but, his stale. 4
Or else, what lets it but he would be here?
Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
2 Of my defeatures:] By defeatures is here meant alteration of features for the worse. At the end of this play the same word is used with a somewhat different signification.
My decayed fair-] Fair for fairness.
· poor I am but his stale.] i. e. his pretence. +" and no man," - MALONE.
I see, the jewel, best enamelled,
Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
Wear gold; and so no man, that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame. The sense is this: Gold, indeed, will long bear the handling; however, often touching will wear even gold; just so the greatest character, though as pure as gold itself, may, in time, be injured, by the repeated attacks of falsehood and corruption." WARBURTON..
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
How now, sir? is your merry humour alter'd?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
Dro. S. What answer, sir? when spake I 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 did'st deny the gold's receipt; And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.
Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein: What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me. Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the teeth? 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
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,
And make a common of my serious hours. 6
When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
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..
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 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.
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, grows bald by nature.
Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery? 9
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.
-by fine and recovery?] This attempt at pleasantry must have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney. He has other jokes of the same school. . STEEVENS.