« PreviousContinue »
Promising to bring it to the Porpentine,
Where Balthazar and I did dine together.
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him in the street I met him
And in his company that gentleman.
There did this perjured goldsmith swear me down
That I this day of him received the chain,
Which, God he knows, I saw not: for the which
He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey, and sent my peasant home
For certain ducats: he with none return'd.
Then fairly I bespoke the officer
To go in person with me to my house.
By the way we met
My wife, her sister, and a rabble more
Of vile confederates. Along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A living-dead man this pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer,
And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
Cries out, I was possess'd. Then all together
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence
And in a dark and dankish vault at home
There left me and my man, both bound together;
Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
I gain'd my freedom and immediately
Ran hither to your grace; whom I beseech
To give me ample satisfaction
For these deep shames and great indignities.
Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him.
That he dined not at home, but was lock'd out.
Duke. But had he such a chain of thee or no?
Ang. He had, my lord: and when he ran in here,
These people saw the chain about his neck.
Sec. Mer. Besides, I will be sworn these ears of mine
Heard you confess you had the chain of him
After you first fors wore it on the mart :
And thereupon I drew my sword on you;
And then you fled into this abbey here,
From whence, I think, you are come by miracle.
Ant. E. I never came within these abbey-walls,
Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me:
I never saw the chain, so help me Heaven!
And this is false you burden me withal.
Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this!
I think you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
If here you housed him, here he would have been ;
If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly:
You say he dined at home; the goldsmith here
Denies that saying. Sirrah, what say you?
Dro. E. Sir, he dined with her there, at the Porpentine.
Cour. He did, and from my finger snatch'd that ring.
Ant. E. "Tis true, my liege; this ring I had of her.
Duke. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here?
Cour. As sure, my liege, as I do see your grace.
Duke. Why, this is strange. Go call the abbess hither.
I think you are all mated or stark mad. [Exit one to the Abbess.
Ege. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a word : Haply I see a friend will save my life And pay the sum that may deliver me.
Duke. Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.
Ege. Is not your name, sir, call'd Antipholus?
And is not that your bondman, Dromio?
Dro. E. Within this hour I was his bondman, sir,
But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords:
Now am I Dromio and his man unbound.
Ege. I am sure you both of you remember me.
Dro. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you;
For lately we were bound, as you are now.
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?
No, trust me, sir, nor I.
Ege. Why look you strange on me? you know me well. Ant. E. I never saw you in my life till now.
Ege. O, grief hath changed me since you saw me last, And careful hours with time's deformed hand Have written strange defeatures in my face: But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice? Ant. E. Neither.
Ege. Dromio, nor thou?
Ege. I am sure thou dost.
Dro. E. Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not; and whatso-
ever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.
Age. Not know my voice! O time's extremity,
Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue
In seven short years, that here my only son
Knows not my feeble key of untuned cares?
Though now this grained face of mine be hid
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow
And all the conduits of my blood froze up,
Yet hath my night of light some meniory,
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear:
All these old witnesses-I cannot err --
Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.
Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life.
Ege. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
Thou know'st we parted: but perhaps, my son,
Thou shamest to acknowledge me in misery.
Ant. E. The duke and all that know me in the city Can witness with me that it is not so:
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.
Duke. I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years
Have I been patron to Antipholus,
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa :
I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.
Re-enter Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse and DROMIC of Syracuse.
Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much wrong'd.
[All gather to see them. 330
Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.
Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other;
And so of these. Which is the natural man,
And which the spirit? who deciphers them?
Dro. 8. I, sir, am Dromio: command him away.
Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio: pray, let me stay.
Ant. S. Egeon art thou not? or else his ghost?
Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound him here?
Abb. Whoever bound him, I will lose his bonds
And gain a husband by his liberty.
Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man
That hadst a wife once called Emilia
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons:
O, if thou be'st the same Ægeon, speak,
And speak unto the same Emilia !
Ege. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia:
If thou art she, tell me where is that son
That floated with thee on the fatal raft?
Abb. By men of Epidamnum he and I
And the twin Dromio all were taken up;
But by and by rude fishermen of Corinth
By force took Dromio and my son from them
And me they left with those of Epidamnum.
What then became of them I cannot tell;
I to this fortune that you see me in.
Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right
These two Antipholuses, these two so like,
And these two Dromios, one in semblance,-
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea,-
These are the parents to these children,
Which accidently are met together.
Antipholus, thou camest from Corinth first?
Ant. S. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse.
Duke. Stay, stand apart; I know not which is which.
Ant. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord,-
Dro. E. And I with him.
Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior,
Juke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.
Adr. Which of you two did dinc with me to-day?
Ant. S. I, gentle mistress.
And are not you my husband? 371
Ant. E. No; I say nay to that.
Ant. S. And so do I; yet did she call me so :
And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
Did call me brother. [To Luc.] What I told you then,
I hope I shall have leisure to make good;
If this be not a dream I see and hear.
Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.
Ant. S. I think it be, sir; I deny it not.
Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.
Ang. I think I did, sir; I deny it not.
Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
By Dromio; but I think he brought it not.
Dro. E. No, none by me.
Abb. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
To go with us into the abbey here
And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes:
And all that are assembled in this place,
That by this sympathized one day's error
Have suffer'd wrong, go keep us company,
And we shall make full satisfaction.
Thirty-three years have I but gone in travail
Of you, my sons; and till this present hour
Ant. S. This purse of ducats I received from you
And Dromio my man did bring them me.
I see we still did meet each other's man,
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me,
And thereupon these ERRORS are arose.
Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here.
Duke. It shall not need; thy father hath his life.
Cour. Sir, I must have that diamond from you.
Ant. E. There, take it; and much thanks for my good
My heavy burthen ne'er delivered.
The duke, my husband and my children both,
And you the calendars of their nativity,
Go to a gossips' feast, and go with me;
After so long grief, such festivity!
Duke. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this feast.
[Exeunt all but Ant. S., Ant. E., Dro. S., and Dro. E. Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard? Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embark'd? Dro. S. Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur. Ant. S. He speaks to me. I am your master, Dromio: Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon: Embrace thy brother there; rejoice with him.
[Exeunt Ant. S. and Ant. E. Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's house, That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner : She now shall be my sister, not my wife.
Dro. E. Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother: I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth.
Will you walk in to see their gossiping?
Dro. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
Dro. E. That's a question: how shall we try it?
Dro. S. We'll draw cuts for the senior: till then lead thou first.
Dro. E. Nay, then, thus:
We came into the world like brother and brother;
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another.