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This very day a Syracusan merchant
Ant. S. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word, And go indeed, having so good a mean. [Exit DROMIO S.
Ant. S. 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. [Exit 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, 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:
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
Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humour now:
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.
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 dispos'd 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,
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,
SCENE I.-A Public Place.
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.
Adr. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd,
Luc. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
A man is master of his liberty;
Time is their master; and, when they see time,
Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
Lords of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
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
But were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
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 starkWhen I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Will you come home? quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Dro. E. Quoth my master:
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress:
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. 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.
Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;