Page images

of Adriana's treasure, I see and sends for her ducats as familiarly as he would for his own.--Then how he should come arrested!- I'll venture, however, to her house once inore, and get the money for him, if that Blowzabel, who claimed me for her husband, does not set her kitchen-stuff countenance in my way, and fright me from my purpose. [Exit, R.

SCENE II-A Chamber in the House of Antipholis of Ephesus.


Adr. (R.) What, Luciana, did he tempt thee so ?
Might'st thou perceive austerely in his eye,
That he did plead in earnest? Didst thou mark,
Look'd he or pale, or red, or sad, or merry?
What observation, tell me, could'st thou make
Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face?

Luc. (L.) First, he denied you had in him a right.
Adr. He meant, he did me none-the more my wrong.
Luc. Then swore he, that he was a stranger here.
Adr. And true he swore, though yet forsworn he be.
Luc. Then pleaded I for you.

Adr. What said he then?

Luc. That love I begg'd for you, he begg'd of me.

Adr. With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?

Luc. (L.) With words that in an honest suit might


First did he praise my beauty, then my speech.

Adr. Didst speak him fair?

Luc. Have patience, I beseech you.

Adr. (R.) I cannot, nor I will not hold me still.

My tongue, though not my heart, must have its scope.

Oh, he is shapeless, crooked, old, and sere,
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, rude, unkind,
Deform'd in person, more deform'd in soul.

[ Crosses L.

Luc. Yet do not give such way to your affliction,

But call your better reason to your aid :-
Oh, did my brother's mind but mate his person,
Were but his conduct graceful as his visage,
What woman might with Adriana boast
So vast a fund of hymencal bliss!

Trust then to time, and fault-repairing wisdom,
To change his mind, nor soil, with partial breath,
A form in nature's fairest colours drest.

Adr. Oh, but I think him better than I say,
And wish him kind and fair to me alone.
Thus, lapwing like, far from my nest I cry,
To puzzle and mislead intruding eyes,

That seek to rob me of my treasured bliss.


[Crosses R.

Dro. of Syr. Here, go!-the desk—the purse!—now, make haste.

Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath?

Dro. of Syr. By running fast.

Adr. (Crosses c.) Where is thy master, Dromio? is he well?

Dro. of Syr. (L.) No; he's in Tartar limbo-a devil hath him;

One whose hard heart is button'd up with steel;

A fiend, a fury, pitiless and rough;

A back friend; one that commands

The passages of alleys, creeks, and lanes.

Adr. Why, man, what is the matter?

Dro. of Syr. I do not know the matter, but he is arrested.

Adr. Arrested, is he?-tell me, at whose suit?

Dro. of Syr. I do not know at whose suit he is arrested, but arrested he is-and his suit to you is, that you will send him Mistress Redemption, the money in his desk. [Exit Luciana, R.

Adr. Go, fetch it, sister.

This I wonder at,

That he, unknown to me, should be in debt.

Tell me, was he arrested on a bond?

Dro. of Syr. No, on the Mart.-Come, 'tis time that I were gone.

Re-enter LUCIANA with a Purse, R.

Adr. Go, Dromio, there's the money, bear it strait, And bring thy master home immediately. [Exit Dromio, L Yet wherefore bring him home, since he has lost

All token of regard, and slights the place

Where, once, he said, his ev'ry comfort dwelt ?

Why should I wish him here? and yet, without him,
What is this home to me?

Luc. Some vague conceit,

The phantom of the moment, hath possest him

It will away as soon.

Adr. Pray, Heaven, it may;


For till he shake it off, no mate have I,

But jealous doubt, or dark despondency.

SCENE III.-The Mart.

[Exeunt, R.

Enter ANTIPHOLIS OF SYRACUSE, with the Bracelet on his


Ant. of Syr. There's not a man I meet but doth salute me, As if I were his well-acquainted friend;

And every one doth call me by my name.

Some tender money to me, some invite me,
Some offer me commodities to buy,

While others give me thanks for kindnesses.
Ev'n now a tailor call'd me in his shop,

And shew'd me silks that he had bought for me,
And therewithal took measure of my body.
Sure, these are but imaginary wiles

And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.



Dro. of Syr. Master, here's the gold you sent me for.What, have you got rid of the fiend?

Ant. of Syr. What gold is this?-What fiend dost thou mean?

Dro. of Syr. He that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and bid you forsake your liberty.

Ant. of Syr. I understand thee not.

Dro. of Syr. No?-Why, 'tis plain enough. The man, sir, that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a foh, and rests them: he, sir, that takes pity on decay'd men, and gives them suits of durance.

Ant. of Syr. Mean'st thou an officer ?

Dro. of Syr. Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band-he that brings any man to answer it, that breaks his bond. One that thinks a man always going to bed, and says, Heaven send you good rest!

Ant. of Syr. Well, sir, there rest your foolery!—Is there any ship puts forth to night? May we begone?

Dro. of Syr. Why, sir, I brought you word, an hour since, that the bark, Expedition, puts forth to-night, and then were you hindered by the sergeant, to tarry for the hoy, Delay. Here are the angels that you sent for, to deliver you.

Ant. of Syr. The fellow is distract, and so am I;

And here we wander in illusion.

Some blessed power deliver us from hence !

Enter LESBIA, L.

Les. Well met, well met, Master Antipholis!
I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now.
Is this the bracelet you promised me to-day?
Ant. of Syr. What, more temptations?
Mistress, you do impeach your modesty,
Here in the street, thus to commit yourself
Into the hands of one who knows you not..

Les. Not know me ?-how ?-Am I not Lesbia?

And are you not Antipholis ?-Nay, jest not;

Return with me, and we will mend our cheer.

Ant. of Syr. Have you no bashfulness; no sense of shame;

No touch of modesty? Why will you tear
Ungentle words from my reluctant tongue ?
Les. I would not do so, good Antipholis ;
1 do but ask for what you promised me.
Ant. of Syr. I promised thee?


Les. Ay, as we sat at dinner.

Ant. of Syr. I ne'er beheld thy face until this instant. Les. And told'st me that thy wife

Ant. of Syr. My wife?-thou sorceress !

Dro. of Syr. Master, you certainly have been married,

and have forgot it.

Lés. Say, did you not, Antipholis ?

Ant. of Syr. I tell thee, no.

Les. Nor take my ring?

Ant. of Syr. No, no-nor comprehend

What thy false tongue hath utter'd. Dromio,

Follow me to our iun-I will not stay,

Nor longer listen to thy sorceries.

[Exit, R. Lesbia offering to follow. Dro. of Syr. No, you don't. [Draws.] Here's my charm against witches. Mistress, it is written that evil spirits appear to men like angels of light. Light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn.-Ergo-light wenches will burntherefore we will not trust ourselves near you,

Les. Now, out of doubt, Antipholis is mad,
Else would he never so demean himself.
A ring he hath of mine, worth forty ducats,
And, for the same, he promised me a bracelet ;

[Exit, R.

Both one and other he denies me now.

What then remains? what measures shall I take?
My way is now to hie home to his house,
And tell his wife, that, being lunatic,
He rush'd into my house, and took, perforce,
My ring away.-This course I fittest chuse,
To right myself against this madman's wrong.

SCENE IV.-A Street.

[Exit, R.


Ant. of Eph. Fear me not, man! I will not break away. I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money To warrant thee, as I'm 'rested for. My wife is in a wayward mood to-day, And will not lightly trust the messenger. That I should be attached in Ephesus, I tell you, will sound harshly in her ears. Here comes my man; I think he brings the money. Enter DROMIO OF EPHESUS, with a Rope.

Ant. of Eph. How now, sir, have you that I sent you for? Dro. of Eph. Here's that, I'll warrant you, will pay them all.

Ant. of Eph. But where's the money ?

Dro. of Eph. Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope. Ant. of Eph. Five hundred ducats, villain, for a rope? Dro. of Eph. I'll serve you, sir, five thousand at that rate. Ant. of Eph. To what end did I bid thee hie thee hence? Dro. of Eph. To a rope's end, sir, and to that end am I return'd.

Ant. of Eph. And to that end, sir, will I welcome you. [Beats him over to the L. Offi. Good sir, be patient. [Holds Ant. R. Dro. of Eph. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient, I am in adversity.

Off. Good now, hold thy tongue.

Dro. of Eph. Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands. Ant. of Eph. Thou stupid, senseless villain!

Dro. of Eph. I would I were senseless, sir, that I might not feel your blows.

Ant. of Eph. Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, and so is an ass.

Dro. of Eph. I am an ass, indeed; you may prove it by my endurance. I have served him from the hour of my

« PreviousContinue »