Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

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.

1

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. your face!

Luc. Fie, how impatience low'reth in
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 marred,
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 ruined? Then is he the ground
Of
my defeatures. My decayed fair 3
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.*

1 He plays upon the word round, which signifies spherical, as applied to himself; and unrestrained, or free in speech or action, as regards his mistress. The King, in Hamlet, desires the Queen to be round with her son.

2 Defeat and defeature were used for disfigurement or alteration of features. Cotgrave has "Un visage desfaict: Growne very leane, pale, wan, or decayed in feature and color."

3 Fair, strictly speaking, is not used here for fairness, as Steevens supposed; but for beauty. Shakspeare has often employed it in this sense, without any relation to whiteness of skin or complexion. The use of the adjective for the substantive, as in this instance, is not peculiar to him, but is the common practice of his contemporaries.

4 Adriana probably means she is thrown aside, forgotten, cast off, become stale to him.

Luc. Self-harming jealousy!-fie, beat it hence. Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dis

pense.

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Or else, what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promised 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,

Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold; and so no man, that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.

Ant. S. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wandered forth, in care to seek me out.
By computation, and mine host's report,
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first
I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes.

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.

How now, sir? is your merry humor altered?
As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you received no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?

Dro. S. What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?

1 Hinders.

Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.

Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me hence, Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.

Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt; And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased.

Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein. What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me. Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the teeth? Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou

that, and that. [Beating him. Now your jest

Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake. is earnest;

Upon what bargain do you give it me?

Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you;
Your sauciness will jest upon my love,

And make a common of my serious hours.1
When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspéct,
And fashion your demeanor to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.

Dro. S. Sconce, call you it? So you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head. An you use these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce2 it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten? Ant. S. Dost thou not know?

Dro. S. Nothing, sir; but that I am beaten.
Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?

Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every why hath a wherefore.

Ant. S. Why, first,—for flouting me; and then wherefore,

For urging it the second time to me.

1 i. e. intrude on them when you please.

2 To insconce was to hide, to protect as with a fort.

Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season?

When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither rhyme nor reason?—

Well, sir, I thank you.

Ant. S. Thank me, sir? for what?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?

Dro. S. No, sir; I think the meat wants that I have..

Ant. S. In good time, sir, what's that?

Dro. S. Basting.

Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.

Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
Ant. S. Your reason?

Dro. S. Lest it make you choleric,' and purchase me another dry basting.

Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time. There's a time for all things.

Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were so choleric.

Ant. S. By what rule, sir?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain, bald pate of father Time himself.

Ant. S. Let's hear it.

Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover his hair, that grows bald by nature.

Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery?

Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and recover the lost hair of another man.

Ant. S. Why is time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?

Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on

1 So in The Taming of the Shrew :—

"I tell thee, Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away,

And I expressly am forbid to touch it,

For it engenders choler, planteth anger."

beasts; and what he hath scanted men' in hair, he hath given them in wit.

Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.

Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair.

Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.

Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost. Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.

Ant. S. For what reason?

Dro. S. For two; and sound ones too.
Nay, not sound, I pray you.

Ant. S.

Dro. S. Sure ones, then.

Ant. S. Dro. S.

Ant. S. Name them.

Dro. S. The one, to save the money that he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.

Ant. S. You would all this time have proved, there is no time for all things.

Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.2
Certain ones, then.

Dro. S. Marry, and did, sir; namely, e'en3 no time to recover hair lost by nature.

Ant. S. But your reason was not substantial, why there is no time to recover.

Dro. S. Thus I mend it. Time himself is bald, and therefore, to the world's end, will have bald followers. Ant. S. I knew 'twould be a bald conclusion. But soft! who wafts 1 us yonder!

Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.

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

1 The old copy reads them: the emendation is Theobald's.

2 To false, as a verb, has been long obsolete; but it was current in Shakspeare's time.

3 The old copy, by mistake, has in.

4 i. e. beckons us.

« ForrigeFortsett »