Page images

Some shameful minion here is entertain'd
Shall I be thus shut forth from my own house,
While they are revelling to my dishonour?
Go, fetch an instrument, I'll break the door,
Shatter it all to pieces, but I'll enter.

Balt. Have patience, sir-0, let it not be thus ;
Herein you war against your reputation,
And draw within the compass of suspect
Th'inviolated honour of your wife.
Your long experience of her wisdom, sir,
Her sober virtue, years, and modesty,
Plead, on her part, some cause to you unknown;
And, doubt it not, but she will well excuse
Why, at this time, the doors are barr'd against you.

Angelo. Be ruld by me--depart in patience,
And let us to the Tiger, all to dinner;
And, about evening, come yourself, alone,
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
If, by strong hand, you offer to break in,
Now, in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it;
And that supposed, by the common rout,
Against your yet ungalled estimation,

with foul intrusion enter in,
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead.
For slander lives ev'n to posterity,
For ever hous’d, when once it gets possession.
Ant. of Eph. You have prevail'd I will depart in

And, in despite of wrath, try to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty--wild, and yet right gentle;
There will we dine.—This woman, that I mean,
My wife (but, I protest, without desert)
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal.
To her will we to dinner. Get


home, And fetch the jewel-by this, I guess, 'ris made-Bring it, I pray you, to the Porcupine,

For there's the house, and there will I bestow it, (Be it for nothing but to spite my wife) Upon mine hostess. Good sir, use despatch. Angelo. I'll meet you at that place some hour, sir, hence.

[Exit. Ant. of Eph. I thank you, sir.-And now, my dain

ty wife, Checking my rage, I'll leave



your follies Some few short hours ; enjoy them while you may, Perchance to-morrow you may rue your jest.



A Garden.


and HERMIA, discovered. Adr. Why, why was I to this keen mock'ry born? How at your hands have I deserv'd this coldness? In sooth, you do'me wrong. There was a time When I believ'd, so fond was my credulity, The sun was scarce so true unto the day, As you to me.

Ant. of Syr. I would, some friendly light,
Might chase away the mist, that clouds our fancies,
And give this dream a meaning! True, I see
These beauteous bowers, in nature’s fragrance, rich;
Behold the painted children of her hand,
Flaunting in gay luxuriance all around !
I see imperial

Phoebus' trembling beam
Dance on the curly brook ; whose gentle current
Glides imperceptibly away, scarce staying
To kiss th’embracing bank.

Adr. So glides away
Thy hasty love, (O apt illusion !)
And mocks my constant and attentive care,
That seeks, in vain, to keep it.

Luc. Dearest brother,
Why turn on me your eyes ? Regard my sister,
Who with such earnest suit, solicits you
To heal her wounded peace.

Adr. It cannot be,
But that some phrensy hath possess'd his mind,
Else could he not, with cold indifference, hear
His Adriana pleading. Music's voice,
O'er such entranced dispositions,
Hath oft a magic power, and can recall
The wand'ring faculties. Good cousin, Hermia,
Assay those melting strains, wherewith, thou told'st me,
Forsaken Julia labour'd to retrieve
Lysander's truant heart.


Stray not to those distant plains ;

From thy comfort do not rove,
Tarry in these peaceful glens,

Tread the downy paths of love :
Is not this sequesterd shade

Richer than the proud alcuve ?
Tarry in this beauteous glade,

Tarry here, with me and love.


Listen to the woodlark's note,

Listen to the cooing dove,
Hark! the throstle's mellow throat,

All uniting, carol love :
See the limpid brooks around,

Winding through the varied grove ;
This is passion's fairy ground,

Tarry here, with me and love.

Adr. Sister, there is some magic in thine eye,
That hath infected his-Perchance to thee,

unfold the source of his distemp’rature:
For me, no longer will I sue for that,
My right may claim; loose infidelity
And lawless passion hath estrang'd his soul.
Yet think, my husband, couldst thou bear the like?
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious!
Wouldst thou not scoff at me, and spurn me from

thee? Or hurl the name of husband in my face, And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot brow? Yea, from my false hand, cut the wedding ring, And break it with a deep divorcing vow? I know thou wouldst, and therefore, see, thou do it; For if we two be one, and thou play false, I do digest the poison of thy crimes. Preserve then, equal league with the fair bed; Keep me unstain'd, thou, undishonour'd live.

[Erit, with HERMIA. Luc. And may it be, that you have quite forgot A husband's office! Shall, Antipholis, Ev'n in the spring of love, thy love passion fade? If you did wed


sister for her wealth, Then, for her wealth's sake, use her with more kind

ness ; Or, if you like elsewhere, do it in secret; Let not my sister read it in your eye; Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator; Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty, Apparel vice like virtues harbinger. Ant. of Syr. Now, by the air we breathe, I vow,

bright dame, My senses are all smother'd up in wonder; All but my sight-with that, methinks, I view An angel pleading; and, while thus delighted, I may peruse


graces of that brow,

I will not wish the mystery unfolded,
But to your chidings pay submissive awe,
As to an holy mandate.-Speak, speak on.

Luc. Be secret false-why need she be acquainted ?
What simple thief brags of his own bad deeds?
"Tis double wrong to truant with your bed,
And let her read it in your looks at board.
Ill deeds are doubled by an evil word.
Alas, poor women !-make us but believe
(Being compast of credit) that you love,
We, in your motions turn, are led by you,
And easily accord to what we wish.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again :
And call my sister, wife-comfort her-cheer her.--
'Tis holy sport to be a little false,
When the sweet breath of fattery conquers strife.
Ant. of Syr. Sweet mistress, let me call you by that

name, Teach

me, oh teach me how to think, and answer!
Lay open to my shallow, gross conceit,
The folded meaning of your sugar'd words.
Against my soul's pure truth, why labour you,
To make it wapder in an unknown path?
Are you a goddess ? would you new create me?
Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield.
But if I am Antipbolis, I swear,
Your weeping sister is no wife to me.
Oh, no! to you alone my soul inclines;
Then train me pot, sweet mermaid, with thy voice,
To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears !
Sing, syren, for thyself, and I will doat ! [Kneels.
Spread o'er the silver waves thy glossy locks,
And as a bed I'll take thee, there I'll lie,
And, in that glorious supposition, think
He gains by death, that hath such means to die.

Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason thus?
Ant. of Syr. Not mad-enchanted ; how, I do not


« PreviousContinue »