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Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, Dromio of Ephesus,
Angelo, and BALTHAZAR. Ant. E. Good signior Angelo, you must excuse
My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours:
show: If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave
were ink, Your own handwriting would tell you what I think. Ant. E. I think, thou art an ass. Dro. E.
Marry so it doth appear By the wrongs I suffer, and the blows I bear. I should kick, being kick'd; and, being at that pass, You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass. Ant. E. You are sad, signior Balthazar: 'Pray
God, our cheer May answer my good will, and your good welcome
here. Bal. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your
! A carcanet or chain for a lady's neck; a collar or chain of gold and precious stones; from the French carcan. It was sometimes spelled karkanet and quarquenet.
Ant. E. O, signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish, A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish. Bal. Good meat, sir, is common; that
churl affords. Ant. E. And welcome more common; for that's
nothing but words. Bal. Small cheer, and great welcome, makes a
Ant. E. Ay, to a niggardly host, and more sparing
guest; But though my cates be mean, take them in good part; Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart. But, soft; my door is lock’d; Go bid them let us in. Dro. E. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian,
Jen'! Dro. S. [within.] Mome2, malt-horse, capon,
coxcomb, idiot, patch3 ! Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the
hatch: Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st
for such store, When one is one too many ? Go, get thee from the
door. Dro. E. What patch is made our porter? My
master stays in the street. Dro. S. Let him walk from whence he came, lest
he catch cold on's feet. Ant. E. Who talks within there? ho, open the door. Dro. S. Right, sir, I'll tell you when, an you'll tell
me wherefore. Ant. E. Wherefore? for my dinner; I have not
din'd to-day Dro. S. Nor to-day here you must not: come
again, when you may.
2 A mome was a fool or foolish jester. Momar is used by Plautus for a fool; whence the French mommeur. The Greeks ton had uouos and quoquos in the same sense.
3 Patch was a term of contempt often applied to persons of low condition, and sometimes applied to a fool. Vide Midsummer Night's Dream, Act iii. Sc. 2.
Ant. E. What art thou, that keep’st me out from
the house I owet? Dro. S. The porter for this time, sir, and my name
is Dromio. Dro. E. O villain, thou hast stolen both mine
office and my name; The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame. If thou had'st been Dromio to-day in my place, Thou would'st have chang'd thy face for a name, or
thy name for an ass. Luce. [within.] What a coils is there? Dromio,
who are those at the gate ? Dro. E. Let my master in, Luce. Luce.
’Faith, no; he comes too late: And so tell your master. Dro. E.
O Lord, I must laugh :Have at you with a proverb.-Shall I set in my staff? Luce. Have at you with another: that's,- When?
can you tell? Dro. S. If thy name be callid Luce, Luce, thou
hast answer'd him well. Ant. E. Do you hear, you minion? you'll let us
in, I hope ? Luce. I thought to have ask'd you. Dro. S.
And you said, no. Dro. E. So, come, help; well struck; there was
blow for blow.
tell for whose sake? Dro. E. Master, knock the door hard. Luce.
Let him knock till it ake. Ant. E. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the
4 I own, am owner of. 5 Bustle, tumult.
6 It seems probable that a line following this has been lost; in which Luce might be threatened with a rope; which would have furnished the rhyme now wanting. In a subsequent scene Dromio is ordered to go and buy a rope's end, for the purpose of using it on Adriana and her confederates.
Luce. What needs all that, and a pair of stocks
in the town ? Adr. [within.] Who is that at the door, that keeps
all this noise ? Dro. S. By my troth, your town is troubled with
unruly boys. Ant. E. Are you there, wife? you might have
come before. Adr. Your wife, sir knave! go, get you from the
door. Dro. E. If you went in pain, master, this knave
would go sore. Ang. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome;
we would fain have either. Bal. In debating which was best, we shall part?
with neither. Dro. E. They stand at the door, master; bid them
welcome hither. Ant. E. There is something in the wind, that we
cannot get in. Dro. E. You would say so, master, if your gar
ments were thin. Your cake here is warm within; you stand here in
the cold: It would make a man mad as a buck, to be so bought
and sold8. Ant. E. Go, fetch me something, I'll break ope
Dro. S. Break any breaking here, and I'll break
your knave's pate. Dro. E. A man may break a word with you, sir;
and words are but wind; Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not
behind. Dro. S. It seems, thou wantest breaking; Out
upon thee, hind!
7 Have part.
8 A proverbial phrase, meaning to be so overreached by foul and secret practices.
Dro. E. Here is too much, out upon thee! I pray
thee, let me in. Dro. S. Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and
fish have no fin. Ant. E. Well, I'll break in; Go borrow me a crow. Dro. E. A crow without feather; master, mean
you so ?
For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a
feather: If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow
together Ant. E. Go, get thee gone, fetch me an iron crow. Bal. Have patience, sir: (), let it not be so; Herein you war against your reputation, And draw within the compass of suspect The unviolated honour of your wife. Oncelo this; your long experience of her wisdom, Her sober virtue, years, and modesty, Plead on her part some cause to you unknown ; And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse Why at this time the doors are madell against you. Be ruld by me; depart in patience, And let us to the Tiger all to dinner: And, about evening, come yourself alone, To know the reason of this strange restraint. If by strong hand you offer to break in, Now in the stirring passage of the day, A vulgar comment will be made of it; And that supposed by the common rout
9 The same quibble is to be found in one of the comedics of Plautus. Children of distinction among the Greeks and Romans had usually birds given them for their amusement. This custom Tyndarus, in The Captives, mentions, and says that, for his part, he had tantum upupam.
Upupa signifies both a lapwing and a mattock, or some instrument with which stone was jug from the quarries. 10 Once this ; here means once for all; at once.
See much Ado about Nothing, vol. ii. p. 122, note 35. I see no reason for supposing this passage corrupt, with Malone. Numberle88 examples may be adduced of the use of once in this sense. It is so used by Massinger and Ben Jonson. Thus also Sir Philip Sydney, in his Arcadia, b. i. :-"Some perchance loving my estate, others my person. But once, I know all of them.'
11 i. e. made fast. The expression is still in use in some counties.