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And as a bed I’ll take thee, and there lie;
Enter, from the House of ANTIPHolus of Ephesus, DROMIo of Syracuse.
Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio P where run'st thou so fast?
Dro. S. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio P am I your man? am I myself?
1 The first folio reads:—
* The old copy reads, I am thee. The present reading is Steevens's. o have proposed I mean thee; but aim, for aim at, was sometimes USeOle
VOL. III. 18
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 P 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 P 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 that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me. Ant. S. What is she P . Dro. S. A very reverend 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 she is a wondrous fat marriage. Ant. S. How dost thou mean, a fat marriage 2 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 P 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.
1 This is a very old corruption of save reverence, salva reverentia. See Blount's Glossography, 1682. .* * Swart, or swarth, i. e. dark, dusky, infuscus.
Ant. S. Then she bears some breadth 2 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 P Dro. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs. Ant. S. Where Scotland P Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand. Ant. S. Where France P Dro. S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her heir." Ant. S. Where England P 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 nose. 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 shoul
1 “An equivoque,” says Theobald, “is intended. In 1589, Henry III. of France, being stabbed, was succeeded by Henry IV. of Navarre, whom he had appointed his successor; but whose claim the states of France resisted on account of his being a Protestant. This I take to be what is meant by France making war against her heir. Elizabeth had sent over the earl of Essex with four thousand men to the assistance of Henry of Navarre, in 1591. This oblique sneer at France was, therefore, a compliment to the Poet's royal mistress.”
2 Carracks, large ships of burthen (caraca, Span.). Ballast is merely a contraction of ballassed; to balase being the old orthography; as we write drest for dressed, embost for embossed, &c.
3 i. e. affianced. g
der, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left
Ang. Master Antipholus P Ant. S. Ay, that's my name. Ang. I know it well, sir. Lo, here is the chain; I thought to have ta'en you at the Porcupine.” The chain unfinished made me stay thus long. Ant. S. What is your will, that I shall do with this P Ang. What please yourself, sir; I have made it for you. Ant. S. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not.
1 Alluding to the popular belief that a great share of faith was a protection from witchcraft.
2 Porcupine throughout the old editions of these plays is written porpentine. It is written porpyn in an old phrase book, called Hormanni Vulgaria, 1519, thus:—“Porpyns have longer prickles than Yrchins.”
Ang. Not once nor twice, but twenty times you have.
Go home with it, and please your wife withal;
Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now,
Ang. You are a merry man, sir; fare you wo,
Ant. S. What I should think of this, I amo But this I think, there's no man is so vain, That would refuse so fair an offered 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.
Enter a Merchant, ANGELo, and an Officer.
Mer. You know, since pentecost the sum is due,
Ang. Even just the sum that I do owe to you,
1 i.e. accruing.