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And afterwards consort? you till bed-time;
Ant. S. Farewell till then: I will go lose myself,
Erit Merchant. Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own content, Commends me to the thing I cannot get. I to the world am like a drop of water, That in the ocean seeks another drop; Who, falling there to find his fellow forth, Unseen, inquisitive, confounds3 himself: So I, to find a mother, and a brother, In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter Dromio of Ephesus. Here comes the almanack of my true date4,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 fast; 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. 0,-sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday last, To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper; The saddler had it, sir, I kept it not.
2 i. e. 'accompany you. In this line the emphasis must be laid on time, at the end of the line, to preserve the inetre.
3 Confounded, here, does not signify destroyed, as Malone asserts ; but overwhelmed, mired confusedly together, lost.
4 They were both born in the same hour, and therefore the date of Dromio's birth ascertains that of his master.
Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humour now:
Dro. E. I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner
Ant. S. Now, as I am a christian, answer me,
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
5 The old copy reads cook. The emendation is Pope's.
6 Sconce is head. So in Hamlet, Act v. Sc. 11:— Why does he suffer this rude knave to knock him about the sconce.' A sconce signified a blockhouse, or strong fortification, 'for the most part round, in fashion of a head,' says Blount. I suppose that it was anciently used for a lantern also, on account of the round form of that implement.
Dro. E. Your worship’s wife, my mistress at the
Phoenix; She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner, And prays, that 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.
[Strikes him. 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 DROMIO E. Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, The villain is o'er-raught? of all my money. They say, this town is full of cozenage8: 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! : If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner. I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave; I greatly fear, my money is not safe.
SCENE I. A public Place.
Enter ADRIANA, and LUCIANA. Adr. 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.
7i. e. overreached.
8 This was the character which the ancients gave of it. 'Egeoia cle&ipapuaxa was proverbial among them. Thus Menander uses 'Εφεσια γράμματα in the same sense. The hint for the enumeration of cheats, &c. Shakspeare might have received from the Menaechmi, published in English in 1595.
That is licentious actions, sinful liberties.
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, 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 woel. 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' subjects, 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?? Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear. Adr. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though she
pause3; They can be meek, that have no other cause4. A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
The meaning of this passage may be, that those who refuse the bridle must bear the lash, and that woe is the punishment of headetrong liberty.
2 'Elsewhere, other where; in another place, alibi,' says Baret. The sense is, 'How if your husband fly off in pursuit of some other woman ?
3 To pause is to rest, to be quiet. 4 i. e. no cause to be otherwise.
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
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? 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 nind 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 pr’ythee, 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? Dro. E. I mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure, he's
stark mad; When I desir'd him to come home to dinner, He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
5. That is, by urging me to patience which affords nd help. So in Venus and Adonis :
*As those poor birds that helpless berries saw.' 6 Fool-begg'd patience is that patience which is so near to idiotical simplicity, that you might be represented to be a fool, and your guardianship beggd accordingly.
? i. e. scarce stand under them. This quibble is repeated in the Two Gentlemen of Verona:
-My staff understands me.