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Oh, 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 filver waves thy golden hairs,
And in that glorious fuppofition think,
Let love, being light, be drowned if the fink.
S. Ant. No;
Luc. All this my fifter is, or else fhould be.
my Thou haft no husband yet, nor I no wife. Give me thy hand.
Luc. Oh, foft, Sir, hold you still; I'll fetch my fifter, to get her good will.
(Exit Luc, Enter Dromio of Syracuse. S. Ant. Why, how now, Dromio, where run'st thou fo fait ?
S. Dro. Do you know me, Sir? am I Dromio? am I your man? am I myfelf?'
S. Ant. Thou art Dromiog thou art my man,' thoy art thyself.
S. Dro. I am an ass, I am a woman's man and besides. myself,
S. Ant. What woman's man? and how besides thyself.
S. Dro. Marry, Sir, befides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.
S. Ant. What claim lays she to thee? • S. Dro. Marry, Sir, such claim as you would lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beaft: not that, I being a beast, she would have me; but that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.
S. Ant. What is she?
S. Dro. A very reverent body; ay, such a one as a man may not speak of, without he say, Sir reverence: I have but lean luck in the match; and yet is me a wond'rous fat marriage.
S. Ant. How doft thou mean, a fat marriage?
S. Dro. Marry, Sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and all grease; and I know not what ufe to put her to, but • to 1. ake a lump of her, and run from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow in them, will burn a Poland winter: if the lives 'till doomsday; The'll burn a week longer than the whole world.
S. Ant. What complexion is lhe of? $. Dro. Swart, like my fhoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept; for why she sweats, a man may go over-Ihoes in the grime of it.
S. Ant. That's a fault, that water will mond.
S. Dro. No, Sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood could not do it. : S. Ant. (14) What's her name?
S. Dro. Nell, Sir; -- but her name and three quarters (that is, an ell and three quarters) will not measure her from hip to hip. *:. (14) What’s ber name?
S. Dro. Nell; Sir; but ber name is three quarters; tbat is, an el and three quarters, &c.]. This passage has hitherto lain as perplext and unintelligible, as it is now easy, and truly humorous. If a conundrum be restord, in setting, it right,, who can help it?. There are enough besides in our Author, and Ben Fobnson, to countenance that current shastity of his tate, to bristle up at mc for the revival of this witticism, fince I owe the correction to the fagacity of the ingenicus Dr. Tbirlbyto
S. Ant. Then the bears some breadth?
S. Dro. No longer from head to foot, than from hip to hip; she is fpherical, like a globe: I could find out countries in her.
S. Ant. In what part of her body stands Ireland?
S. Dro. Marry, Sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs.
8. Ant. Where Scotland?
S. Dro. I found it out by the barrenness, hard in the palm of her hand.
(15) S. Ant. Where France? fs. Dro. In her forehead; arm'd and reverted, making
war against her heir.a S. Ant. Where England?
S. Dro. I look'd 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.
S. Ant. Where Spain?
5. Dro. In ber forebead; arm'd and reverred, making war againsber hair.] All the other countries, mention'd in this description, are in Dromio's replies satirically characteriz'd: but here, as the editors have order'd it, no remark is made upon France; nor any reason giver, why it fhould be in her forehead: but only the kitchen-wench's high forehead is rallied, as, pushing back her bair. Thus all the modern editions; but the first folio rcads -making war agains ber heir, And I am very apt to think, this last is the true reading; and that an equivoque, as the French call it, a double meaning is design d in the Poet's allulion: and therefore I have replaced it in the text. If my conjecture be of any weight, we may be able from it pretty precisely to fix the date of this play's appearance. I am not asham'd to truk it to judgment, & valeat quantum valere poteft. In 1589, Henry IIId of France being fab'a and dying of his wound, was suceeded by Henry IVth of Navarre, whom he appointed his fucceffor; but whole claim the states of France refifted, on account of his being a protestant. This, I take it, is what he means, by France making war against her beir. Now
af, in 1591, Queen Elizabetb sent over 4000 men, 'under the conduct of the Earl of Effex, to the affiftance of this Henry of Namarre; it seems to me very probable, that during this expedition bering on foot, this Comedy made its appearance. And it was the fineft addrefs imaginable in the Poet, to throw such an obliqot sneer atı France, for oppofing the fucceffion of that beir, whose claim his Royal Miftress the Queen, had sent over a force to eftablish, and oblige them to acknowledge.
S. Dro. Faith, I fawitnot, but I felt it hot in her breath. S. Ant. Where America, the Indies. S. Dro. Oh, Sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellishid with rubies, carbuncles, saphires; declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain, who fent whole armadoes of carracts to be ballast at her nose.
Š. Ant. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
S. Dro. Oh, Sir, I did not look fo low. To conclude; this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me, call'd me Dromio, swore I was assur'd to her, told me what privy marks I had about me, as the marks of my soul. der, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amaz'd, ran from her as a witch. And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, he had transform'd me to a curtal. dog, and made me turn i'th' wheel.
S. Ant. Go, hie thee prefently; post to the road; And 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.
S. Dro. As from bear a man would run for life, So fly I from her that would be my
wife. [Exit. S. Ant. There's none but witches do inhabit here; And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence : She, that doth call me husband, even my soul Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair fifter, Pofleft with such a gentle fovereign grace, of such enchanting presence and discourse, Hath almoft made me traitor to myself: But left myself be guilty of self-wrong, I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song,
Enter Angelo, with a Chain. Ang. Mafter Antipholis, S. Ant. Ay, that's my name. Ang. I know it well, Sir; lo, here is the chain;
I thought thave tane you at the Porcupine ;
S. Ant. What is your will, that I shall do with this?
Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times, you have.
$. Ant. I pray you, Sir, receive the money now; For fear, you ne'er see chain, nor money, more.
Ang. You are a merry man, Sir; fare you well. (Exit,
s. Ant. What I should think of this, I cannot tell ;
Enter a Merchant, Angelo, and an Officer.
And fince I have not much importun'd you ;
ring. Ev’n just the fum, that I do owe to you, (16) Is growing to me by Antipholis ;
And (16) Ev’n just the fum, that I do owe to you, Is owing to me by Antipholis.] Mr. Pope, who pretends that