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This very day a Syracusan merchant
Is apprehended for arrival here;
And, not being able to buy out his life,
According to the statute of the town,
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
There is your money that I had to keep.
Ant. S. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time:
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.-
Get thee away.
Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean. Exit DROMIO S.
Ant. $. A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn and dine with me?
Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit:
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock,
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
And afterwards consort you until bed-time:
My present business calls me from you now.
Ant. S. Farewell till then: I will go lose myself,
And wander up and down to view the city.
Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content.
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, failing there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter DROMIO OF EPHESUS.
Here comes the almanac 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 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.
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,
And strike you home without a messenger.
Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of seaReserve them till a merrier hour than this.
[son; 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 disposd 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, 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.
Dro. E. What mean you, sir? for God's sake, hold your Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels. [hands :
[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 cozenage; 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.
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. 0, 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 wat’ry 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 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 wouldst 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?
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 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.
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.
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner, [mad.
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
'Tis dinner-time, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Will you come home? quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?
The pig, quoth I, is burn'd; My gold, quoth he:
My mistress, sir, quoth I; Hang up thy mistress ;
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!
Luc. Quoth who?
Dro. E. Quoth my master;
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress:
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
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, 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. [Exit.
Luc. Fie, how impatience low'reth 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:
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me that can be found
By him not ruin'd? then is he the ground
Of my defeatures: my decayed fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair;
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
Luc. Self-harming jealousy!—fie, beat it hence.
Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promis'd me a chain;
Would that alone, alone he would detain,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see the jewel best enamelled