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Enter Duke attended; Ægeon bare-headed; with
the Headsman and other Officers. Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publickly, 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 ab
bess! 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, Chas'd 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.
6 i. e. To take measures.
Duke. Long since, thy husband serv'd me in my
Enter a Servant.
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, while His man with scissars 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 breath'd 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, be gone. Duke. Come, stand by me, fear nothing : Guard
with halberts. Adr. Ah me, it is my
husband! Witness you, That he is borne about invisible : Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here; And now he's there, past thought of human rea
' ie. Successively, one after another
Enter AntiPHOLUS and DROMIO of Ephesus.
Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke, oh, grant
Æge. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
house. Duke. A grievous fault: Say, woman, didst thou
Adr. No, my good lord ;- myself, he, and my
sister, To-day did dine together : So befal 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 perjur'd woman! They are both forsworn.
9 Harlot was a term of reproach applied to cheats among men, as well as to wantons among women.
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner : That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd 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 perjur'd goldsmith swear me down, That I this day of him receiv'd 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 For certain ducats : he with none return'd. Then fairly I bespoke the officer, Το go in person with me to my
house. By the way we met My wife, her sister, and a rabble more Of vile confederates : along with them They brought one Pinch; a hungry, lean-fac'd
villain, A mere anatomy, a mountebank, A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller ; A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch, A living dead man: this pernicious slave, Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer ; And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me, Cries out, I was possess'd : then altogether They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence; And in a dark and dankish vault at home There left me and my man, both bound together; Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, I gain’d my freedom, and immediately Ran hither to your grace; whom I beseech To give me ample satisfaction For these deep shames and great indignities.
Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with
him ; That he dined not at home, but was lock'd out.
Duke. But had he such a chain of thee, or no ? Ang. He had, my lord: and when he ran in
here, These people saw the chain about his neck.
Mer. Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of mine Heard
had the chain of him, After
first forswore it on the mart, And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you; And then you fled into this abbey here, From whence, I think, you are come by miracle.
Ant. E. I never came within these abbey walls, Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me: I never saw the chain, so help me heaven ! And this is false you burden me withal.
Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this ! I think, you all have drank of Circe's cup. If here
you hous'd him, here he would have been ; If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly You
say he dined at home; the goldsmith here Denies that saying :-— Sirrah, what say you ? Dro. E. Sir, he dined with her there, at the
Porcupine. Cour. He did ; and from my finger snatch'd that
ring. Ant. E. 'Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of her. Duke. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here? Cour. As sure, my liege, as I do see your grace. Duke. Why, this is strange:-Go call the abbess
hither; I think you are all mated, or stark mad.
[Exit an Attendant. Æge. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a
word; Haply I see a friend will save my life,
deliver me. Duke. Speak freely, Syracusan, what thou wilt.