« PreviousContinue »
It is thyself, mine own self's better part;
Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be.
Ant. S. Call thyself sister, sweet, for I aim thee: Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life; Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife: Give me thy hand. Luc. O, soft, sir, hold
; I'll fetch my sister, to get her good will.
Enter, from the House of AntiPHOLUS of Ephesus,
DROMIO of Syracuse. Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio? where run'st thou so fast?
Dro. $. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio? am I your man? am I myself?
Ant. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.
Dro. S. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and besides myself. Ant. S. What woman's man? and how besides
thyself? Dro. S. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.
Ant. S. What claim lays she to thee?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beast: not that, I being a beast, she would have me; but
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.] When he calls the girl his only heaven on the earth, he utters the common cant of lovers. When he calls her his heaven's claim, I cannot understand him. Perhaps he means that which he asks of heaven.
that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.
Ant. S. What is she?
Dro. S. 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 she a wondrous fat marriage.
Ant. S. How dost thou mean, a fat marriage?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to, but to make a lamp 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 she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world.
Ant. S. What complexion is she of?
Dro. S. Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept; For why? she sweats, a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.
Ant. S. That's a fault that water will mend.
Dro. S. No, sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood could not do it.
Ant. S. What's her name?
Dro. S. Nell, sir;—but her name and three quarters, that is, an ell and three quarters, will not measure her from hip to hip.
Ant. S. Then she bears some breadth?
Dro. S. No longer from head to foot, than from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.
Ant. S. In what part of her body stands Ireland?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs.
Ant. S. Where Scotland ?
Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.
2 Swart,] i. e. black, or rather of a dark brown.
Ant. S. Where France?
Dro. S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her hair.
Ant. S. Where England?
Dro. S. I looked 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.
Ant. S. Where Spain?
Dro. S. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it, hot in her breath.
Ant. S. Where America, the Indies?
Dro. S. O, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadas of carracks to be ballast at her
Ant. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
Dro. S. O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me; called me Dromio; swore, I was assured to her;: told me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from her as a witch: and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, she had transformed me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn i'the wheel.
Ant. S. Go, hie thee presently, 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 know us, and we know none, 'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone.
assured to her ;] i. e. affianced to her.
Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for
life, So fly I from her that would be my wife. [Exit. Ant. S. There's none but witches do inhabit
Ang. I know it well, sir: Lo, here is the chain;
this? Ang. What please yourself, sir; I have made it
you. Ant. S. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not. Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you
Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now, For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more.
at the Porcupine:] It is remarkable, that throughout the old editions of Shakspeare's plays, the word Porpentine is used instead of Porcupine. I have since observed the same spelling in the plays of other ancient authors. Steevens.
Ang. You are a merry man, sir; fare you
[Exit. Ant. S. What I should think of this, I cannot
tell: But this I think, there's no man is so vain, That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain. I see, a man here needs not live by shifts, When in the streets he meets such golden gifts. I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay; If any ship put out, then straight away. [Exit.
SCENE I. The same.
Enter a Merchant, Angelo, and an Officer. Mer. You know, since pentecost the sum is due, And since I have not much importun'd you; Nor now I had not, but that I am bound To Persia, and want gilders' for my voyage: Therefore make present satisfaction, Or I'll attach you by this officer.
Ang. Even just the sum, that I do owe to you, Is growing to me by Antipholus: And, in the instant that I met with you, He had of me a chain; at five o'clock, I shall receive the money for the same: Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house, I will discharge my bond, and thank you too.
1-want gilders-) A gilder is a coin valued from one shilling and six-pence, to two shillings.
6 Is growing to me-] i, e. accruing to me.