William Shakespeare.

The complete works of William Shakespeare: with historical and ..., Volume 2 online

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But, soft! who wafts us yonder ? no

Enter Adriana and Luciano.

Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown :
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects ;
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.


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The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear.
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste,
Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carved to

How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it,
That thou art thus estranged from thyself? 121
Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
That, undividable, incorporate.
Am better than thy dear self s better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me !
For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulf.
And take unmingled thence that drop again.
Without addition or diminishing.
As take from me thyself, and not me too. 130

How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious.
And that this body, consecrate to thee.
By ruffian lust should be contaminate !
Wouldst thou not spit at me and spurn at me.
And hurl the name of husband in my face.
And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow.
And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring,
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow ?
I know thou canst ; and therefore see thou do it. 140
I am possessed with an adulterate blot ;
My blood is mingled with the crime of lust :
For if we two be one, and thou play false,
I do digest the poison of thy flesh,


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Being strumpeted by thy contagion.

Keep, then, fair league and truce with thy true bed ;

I live distain'd, thou undishonoured.

Ant S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not:
In Ephesus I am but two hours old,
As strange luito your town as to your talk ; 150

Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd,
Wants wit in all one word to luiderstand.

Luc. Fie, brother ! how the world is changed with you I
When were you wont to use my sister thus ?
She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

Ant.S. By Dromio?

Dro. S, By me ?

Adr, By thee ; and this thou didst return from him,
That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows.
Denied my house for his, me for his wife. 160

Ant, S. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
What is the course and drift of your compact?

Dro. S. I, sir ? I never saw her till this time.

Ant. S. Villain, thou liest ; for even her very words
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.

Dro. S. I never spake with her in all my life.

Ant. S. How can she thus then call us by our names ?
Unless it be by inspiration.

Adr. How ill agrees it with your gravity

To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave, 170

Abetting him to thwart me in my mood !

Be it my wrong you are from me exempt.

But wrong not that wrong with a ipore contempt.

Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine :

Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine.

Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,


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Makes me with thy strength to communicate :

If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,

Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;

Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion i8o

Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion.
Ant S, To me she speaks ; she moves me for her theme :

What, was I married to her in my dream ?

Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this ?

What error drives our eyes and ears amiss ?

Until I know this sure uncertainty,

I '11 entertain the offered fallacy.
Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
Dro. S. O, for my beads ! I cross me for a sinner.

This is the fairy land : O spite of spites ! 190

We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites:

If we obey them not, this will ensue.

They '11 suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
Luc. Why pratest thou to thyself, and answer'st not?

Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot !
Dro. S. I am transformed, master, am not I ?
Ant. S. I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
Dro. S. Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
Ant. S. Thou hast thine own form.
Dro. S. No, I am an ape.

Luc. If thou art changed to aught, 'tis to an ass. 200
Dro. S. 'Tis true ; she rides me, and I long for g^rass.

'Tis so, I am an ass ; else it could never be

But I should know her as well as she knows me.
A dr. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool.

To put the finger in the eye and weep.

Whilst man and master laughs my woes to scorn.

Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.


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Husband, I '11 dine above with you to-day,

And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.

Sirrah, if any ask you for your master, 210

Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.

Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.
Ant, S. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell ?

Sleeping or waking? mad or well-advised?

Known unto these, and to myself disguised !

I '11 say as they say, and persever so.

And in this mist at all adventures go.
Dro. S. Master, shall I be porter at the gate ?
A dr. Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate. 219
Luc. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.


Scene I.

Before the house of Antipholus of Ephesus.

Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, Dromio of Ephesus, An-
gelo, and Balthazar,

Ant. E. Good Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all ;
My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours :
Say that I lingered with you at your shop
To see the making of her carcanet.
And that to-morrow you will bring it home.
But here 's a villain that would face me down ;
He met me on the mart, and that I beat him,
And charged him with a thousand marks in gold,
And that I did deny my wife and house. 9

Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by this ?

Dro, E, Say what you will, sir, but I know what I know ;


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That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand to

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 kicked ; and, being at that pass,
You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass.
Ant E. You 're sad, Signior Balthazar : pray God, our
May answer my good will and your good welcome
here. 20

Bal. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your welcome

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 every churl affords.
Ant E, And welcome more common ; for that 's nothing

but words.

BaL Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.

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, Ginn !

Dro.S. [Within] Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb,

idiot, patch ! 32

Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the hatch.

Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou calFst for

such store.
When one is one too many ? Go get thee from the

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Dro.E. What patch is made our porter? My master

stays in the street.
Dro.S, [Within] Let him walk from whence he came,

lest he catch cold on 's feet.
Ant £. Who talks within there? ho, open the door!
Dro.S. [Within] Right, sir; I'll tell you when, an

you 'II tell me wherefore.
Ant. E. Wherefore? for my dinner: I have not dined

to-day. 40

Dro.S. [Within] Nor to-day here you must not; come

again when you may.
Ant. E. What art thou that keepest me out from the

house I owe ?
Dro.S. [Within] 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 hadst been Dromio to-day in my place.
Thou wouldst have changed thy face for a name, or

thy name for an ass.
Luce. [Within] What a coil is there, Dromio? who are

those at the gate I
Dro. E. Let my master in. Luce.
Luce. [Within] 'Faith, no; he comes too late;

And so tell your master.
Dro. E. O Lord, I must laugh ! 50

Have at you with a proverb ; — Shall I set in my staff ?
Luce. [Within] Have at you with another; that's, —

When ? can you tell ?
Dro.S. [Within] If thy name be call'd Luce, — Luce,

thou hast answer'd him well.


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Ant, E. Do you hear, you minion ? you '11 let us in, I hope ?
Luce. [Within^ I thought to have ask'd you.
Dro.S, [IVithin] And you said no.

Dro. E, So, come, help : well struck ! there was blow for

Ant. E. Thou baggage, let me in.

Luce. [IVithin] Can you tell for whose sake?

Dro. E. Master, knock the door hard.
Luce. [Within] Let him knock till it ache.

Ant. E. You '11 cry for this, minion, if I beat the door

Luce. [Within] What needs all that, and a pair of stocks

in the town ? 60

Adr. [Within] Who is that at the door that keeps all this

noise ?
Dro.S. [Within] By my troth, your town is troubled

with unruly boys.
Ant. E. Are you there, wife ? you might have come before.
Adr. [Within] 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

Dro. E. They stand at the door, master ; bid them wel-
come hither.
Ant. E. There is something in the wind, that we cannot

get in.
Dro. E. You would say so, master, if your garments were

thin. 70

Your cake here is warm within ; you stand here in

the cold :


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It would make a man mad as a buck, to be so bought
and sold.
Ant. E. Go fetch me something : I '11 break ope the gate.
Dro.S. [Within] 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
Dro.S, [Within] It seems thou want'st breaking: out

upon thee, hind!
Dro. E. Here *s too much * out upon thee I ' I pray thee,

let me in.
Dro. S. [Within] Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and

fish have no fin.
Ant. E. Well, I '11 break in : go borrow me a crow. 80
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 '11 pluck a crow to-
Ant. E. Go get thee gone; fetch me an iron crow.
Bal. Have patience, sir : O, let it not be so !
Herein you war agamst your reputation.
And draw within the compass of suspect
The imviolated honour of your wife.
Once this, — your long experience of her wisdom.
Her sober virtue, years, and modesty, 90

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 made against you.
Be ruled by me : depart in patience.
And let us to the Tiger all to dinner ;


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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, loo

And that supposed by the common rout

Against your yet ungalled estimation,

That may with foul intrusion enter in.

And dwell upon your grave when you are dead ;

For slander lives upon succession,

For ever housed where it gets possession.

^nt E. You have prevailed : I will depart in quiet.
And, in despite of mirth, mean to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse.
Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle: no
There will we dine. This woman that I mean,
My wife — ^but, I protest, without desert —
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal :
To her will we to dinner. [To Ang,] Get you home,
And fetch the chain ; by this I know 'tis made :
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine ;
For there *s the house : that chain will I bestow —
Be it for nothing but to spite my wife —
Upon mine hostess there : good sir, make haste.
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me, 120
I '11 knock elsewhere, to see if they *11 disdain me.

Ang. I '11 meet you at that place some hour hence.

Ant, E. Do so. This jest shall cost me some expense.



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Scene II.

The same.
Enter Luciano, with Antipholus of Syracuse.

Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot

A husband's office ? shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?

Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous ?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth.

Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kind-
Or if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth ;

Muffle your false love with some show of blind-
Let not my sister read it in your eye ;

Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator ; lo
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty ;

Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger ;
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted ;

Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint ;
Be secret-false : what need she be acquainted ?

What simple thief brags of his own attaint ?
'Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed.

And let her read it in thy looks at board :
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed ;

111 deeds are doubled with an evil word. 20

Alas, poor women ! make us but believe.

Being compact of credit, that you love us ;
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve ;

We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again;

Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife ;
'Tis holy sport, to be a little vain,

When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.


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Ant, S. Sweet mistress, — what your name is else, I know
Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine, — 30

Less in your knowledge and your grace you show
Than our earth's wonder ; more than earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak ;

Lay open to my earthly-gross conceit.
Smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak.

The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you

To make it wander in an unknown field ?
Are you a god ? would you create me new ?

Transform me, then, and to your power I '11 yield.
But if that I am I, then well I know 41

Your weeping sister is no wife of mine.
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe :

Far more, far more to you do I decline.
O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note^

To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears :
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote :

Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I '11 take them, and there lie ;

And, in that glorious supposition, think 50

He gains by death that hath such means to die :
Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink!
Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so?
Ant, S, Not mad, but mated ; how, I do not know.
Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye.
Ant. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.
Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your

Ant. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.


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Luc. Why call you me love ? call my sister so.

Ant. S. Thy sister's sister.

Luc. That 's my sister.

Ant.S. No; 60

It is thyself, mine own self's better part,
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart.
My food, my fortime, and my sweet hope's aim.
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.

Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be.

Ant. S. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I am thee.
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life :
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife.
Give me thy hand.

Luc. O, soft, sir ! hold you still :

I '11 fetch my sister, to get her good will. [Exit. 70

Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio I where nmn'st thou
so fast?

Dro. S. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio? am I
your man? am I myself?

Ant. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art

Dro. 5". I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and be-
sides myself.

Ant. S. What woman's man ? and how besides thy-

Vro.S. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a 80
woman ; one that claims me, one that haunts me,
one that will have me.

Ant. S. What claim lays she to thee ?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay to
your horse ; and she would have me as a beast :


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not that, I being a beast, she would have me;
but that she, being a very beastly creature, lays
claim to me.

Ant.S. What is she?

Dro. S. A very reverent body ; ay, such a one as a 90
man may not speak of, without he say Sir-
reverence. I have but lean luck in the match,
and yet she is a wondrous fat marriage.

Ant. S. How dost thou ijiean a fat marriage?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, she 's the kitchen-wench, and all
grease ; and I know not what use to put her to,
but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by
her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the
tallow in them, will bum a Poland winter: if
she lives till doomsday, she'll bum a week 100
longer than the whole world.

Ant S, What complexion is she of?

Dro. S. Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing
like so clean kept : for why she sweats ; a man
may go over shoes in the grime of it.

Ant. S. That 's a fault that water will mend.

Dro. S. No, sir, 'tis in grain ; Noah's flood could not
do it

Ant. S. What 's her name?

Dro.S. Nell, sir; but her name and three quarters, no
that 's an ell and three quarters, will not measure
her from hip to hip.

Ant. S. Then she bears some breadth ?

Dro. S. No longer from head to foot than from hip
to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could
find out countries in her.

Ant. S. In what part of her body stands Ireland?


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Dro. S, Marry, sir, in her buttocks ; I found it out
by the bogs.

Ant.S. Where Scotland? 120

Dro, S. I found it by the barrenness ; hard in the
pabn of the hand.

Ant S. Where France ?

Dro.S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, ma-
king war against her heir.

Ants. Where England?

Dro. S. I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find
no whiteness in them; but I guess it stood in
her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between
France and it. 130

Ant S. Where Spain ?

Dro. S. 'Faith, I saw it not ; but I felt it hot in her

Ant S. Where America, the Indies?

Dro, S, Oh, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellished
with rubies, carbiuicles, sapphires, declining
their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain;
who sent whole armadoes of caracks to be
ballast at her nose.

Ant S. Where stood Belg^a, the Netherlands ? 140

Dro, S, Oh, sir, I did not look so low. To con-
clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me ;
called me Dromio ; swore I was assured to her ;
told me what privy marks I had about me, as,
the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck,
the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed,
ran from her as a witch :

And, I think, if my breast had not been made of
faith, and my heart of steel,


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She had transformed me to a curtal dog, and
made me turn i' the wheel.

Ant. S. Go hie thee presently, post to the road : 150

An if the wind blow any way from shore,
I will not harbour in this town to-night :
If any bark put forth, come to the mart,
Where I will walk till thou return to me.
If every one knows us, and we know none,
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone.

Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for life,

So fly I from her that would be my wife. [Exit.

Ant. S. There *s none but witches do inhabit here ;

And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence. 160
She that doth call me husband, even my soul
Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair sister.
Possessed with such a gentle sovereign grzce.
Of such enchanting presence and discourse,
Hath almost made me traitor to myself :
But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong,
I '11 stop mine ears against the mermaid's song.

Enter Angela with the chain.

Ang, Master Antipholus, —

Ant. S. Ay, that 's my name.

Ang. I know it well, sir : lo, here is the chain.

I thought to have ta'en you at the Porpentine : 170
The chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long.

Ant. S. What is your will that I shall do with this?

Ang. What please yourself, sir : I have made it for you.

Ant. S. Made it for me, sir ! I bespoke it not.

Ang, Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you have.
Go home with it, and please your wife withal ;


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And soon at supper-time I '11 visit you,
And then receive my money for the chain.
Ant S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now,

For fear you ne'er see chain nor money more. i8o
Ang. You are a merry man, sir : fare you well. [Exit
Ant S. What I should think of this, I cannot tell:
But this I think, there 's no man is so vain
That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain.
I see a man here needs not live by shifts,
When in the streets he meets such golden gifts.
I '11 to the mart, and there for Dromio stay :
If any ship put out, then straight away. [Exit

Scene I.

A public place.
Enter Second Merchant, Angela, and an Officer,

Sec. Mer. You know since Pentecost the sum is due.
And since I have not much importuned you ;
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage :
Therefore make present satisfaction,
Or I '11 attach you by this officer.

Ang. Even just the sum that I do owe to you
Is growing to me by Antipholus ;
And in the instant that I met with you
He had of me a chain : at five o'clock lo

I shall receive the money for the same.
Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,
I will discharge my bond, and thank you too.

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Enter Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus
from the courtezan's.

Oft, That labour may you save : see where he comes.

Ant. E. While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou
And buy a rope's end : that will I bestow
Among my wife and her confederates,
For locking me out of my doors by day.
But, soft ! I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone ;
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me. 20

Dro, E, I buy a thousand pound a year : I buy a rope.


Ant. E. A man is well holp up that trusts to you :
I promised your presence and the chain ;
But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me.
Belike you thought our love would last too long,
If it were chain'd together, and therefore came not.

Ang. Saving your merry humour, here 's the note

How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat.
The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion.
Which doth amount to three odd ducats more 30
Than I stand debted to this gentleman :
I pray you, see him presently discharged.
For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.

Ant. E. I am not f umish'd with the present money ;
Besides, I have some business in the town.
Good signior, take the stranger to my house.
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof :
Perchance I will be there as soon as you.

Ang. Then you will bring the chain to her yourself? 40

Ant. E. No ; bear it with you, lest I come not time


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Ang. Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you ?
Ant. E. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have ;

Or else you may return without your money.
Ang. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain :

Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,

And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
Ant. E. Good Lord ! you use this dalliance to excuse

Your breach of promise to the Porpentine.

I should have chid you for not bringing it, 50

But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
Sec. Mer. The hour steals on ; I pray you, sir, dispatch.
Ang. You hear how he importunes me ; — ^the chain !
Ant. E. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your money.
Ang. Come, come, you know 1 gave it you even now.

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe complete works of William Shakespeare: with historical and ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 13 of 37)