Page images

Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof.
Good people, enter and lay hold on him.'

Abb. No, not a creature enters in my house.
Adr. Then let your servants bring my husband forth.
Abb. Neither: he took this place for sanctuary,
And it shall privilege him from your hands
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labour in assaying it.

Adr. I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself;
And therefore let me have him home with me.

Abb. Be patient; for I will not let him stir
Till I have used the approved means I have,
With wholesome syrups, drugs and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again :


It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order.
Therefore depart and leave him here with me.

Adr. I will not hence and leave my husband here:
And ill it doth beseem your holiness
To separate the husband and the wife.


Abb. Be quiet and depart thou shalt not have him. [Exit.
Luc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity.

Adr. Come, go: I will fall prostrate at his feet
And never rise until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither
And take perforce my husband from the abbess.

Sec. Mer. By this, I think, the dial points at five
Anon, I'm sure, the duke himself in person
Comes this way to the melancholy vale,
The place of death and sorry execution,
Behind the ditches of the abbey here.

Ang. Upon what cause?

Sec. Mer. To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,
Who put unluckily into this bay
Against the laws and statutes of this town,
Beheaded publicly for his offence.


Ang. See where they come we will behold his death.
Luc. Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey.


Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die; so much we tender him.

Adr. Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess!

Enter DUKE, attended; ÆGEON bareheaded; with the Heads. man and other Officers.




Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady:

It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.

Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholus my husband,
Whom I made lord of me and all I had,
At your important letters,-this ill day

A most outrageous fit of madness took him;
That desperately he hurried through the street,—
With him his bondman, all as mad as he,-
Doing displeasure to the citizens


By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like.
Once did I get him bound and sent him home,
I went
Whilst to take order for the wrongs
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,

He broke from those that had the guard of him;
And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
Met us again and madly bent on us,
Chased us away, till raising of more aid
We came again to bind them. Then they fled
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them :
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us
And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
Nor send him forth that we may bear him hence.
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command
Let him be brought forth and borne hence for help.


Duke. Long since thy husband served me in my wars,
And I to thee engaged a prince's word,
When thou did'st make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey-gate
And bid the lady abbess come to me.

I will determine this I before I stir.


Enter a Servant.

Serv. O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself!
My master and his man are both broke loose,
Beaten the maids a-row and bound the doctor,
Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire;
And ever, as it blazed, they threw on him
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair:
My master preaches patience to him and the while
His man with scissors nicks him like a fool,
And sure, unless you send present help,
Between them they will kill the conjurer.

Adr. Peace, fool! thy master and his man are here,


And that is false thou dost report to us.

Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true;
I have not breathed almost since I did see it.
He cries for you and vows, if he can take you,
To scorch your face and to disfigure you.
Hark, hark! I hear him, mistress: fly, be gone!

[Cry within.

Duke. Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard with


Adr. Ay me, it is my husband! Witness you, That he is borne about invisible:

Even now we housed him in the abbey here;
And now he's there, past thought of human reason.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and DROMIO of Ephesus.

Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke, O, grant me justice! Even for the service that long since I did thee, 191 When I bestrid thee in the wars and took Deep scars to save thy life; even for the blood That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.

Ege. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote, I see my son Antipholus and Dromio.


Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there ! She whom thou gavest to me to be my wife, That hath abused and dishonour'd me

Even in the strength and height of injury!

Beyond imagination is the wrong

That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.


While she with harlots feasted in my house.

Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.

Ant. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors upon


Duke. A grievous fault! Say, woman, didst thou so! Adr. No, my good lord: myself, he and my sister To-day did dine together. So befal my soul As this is false he burdens me withal!

Ang. O perjured woman! They are both forsworn:
In this the madman justly chargeth them.

Ant. E. My liege, I am advised what I say,
Neither disturbed with the effect of wine,
Nor heady-rash, provoked with raging ire,
Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad.
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner :
That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her,
Could witness it, for he was with me then ;
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,

Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night, 210 But she tells to your highness simple truth!


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, out facing 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 forswore 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.

Æge. 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?
Dro. E.
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.
Ege. 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 memory,


« PreviousContinue »