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Dro. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear: Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.

Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them..

Adr. But say, I pr’ythee, is he coming home?
It seems, he hath great care to please bis wife.

Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain?
Dro. E. I mean not cuckold-mad; but, sure, he's

stark mad:
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:7
'T'is dinner-time, quoth 1; My gold, quoth he:
Your meat doth burn, quoth I; My gold, quoth he:
Will you come home? quoth I;8 My gold, quoth he:
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?
The pig, quoth I, is burn'd; My gold, quoth he:
My mistress, sir, quoth I; Hang up thy mistress;
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!!

Luc. Quoth who?

Dro. E. Quoth my master:
I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress;
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders ;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.

Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.



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that I could scarce understand them.] i. e. that I could scarce stand under them. This quibble, poor as it is, seems to have been a favourite with Shakspeare. It has been already introduced in The Two. Gentlemen of Verona :

my staff understands me. Steevens. ~ a thousand marks in gold:] The old copy reads-a hundred marks. The correction was made in the second folio.

Malone. 8 Will you come home? quoth I;] The word home, which the metre requires, but is not in the authentick copy of this play, was suggested by Mr. Capell. Malone.

.? I know not thy. mistress; out on thy mistress. ] I suppose this dissonant line originally stood thus:

I know no mistress; out upon thy mistress! Steevens.


Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten home? For God's sake, send some other messenger.

Adr. Back, slave, or I'will break thy pate across. Dro. E. And he will bless that cross with other beat

ing: Between you I shall have a holy head.

Adr. Hence, prating peasant; fetch thy master home.

Dro. E. Am I so round with you, as you with me, That like a football you-do spurn me thus? You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither: If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.2

[Exit. Luc. Fy, how impatience lowreth in your face!

Adr. His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.3
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it:
Are my discourses dull? barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not ruin’d? then is he the ground
Of my defeatures:“ My decayed fairs
A sunny look of his would soon repair:



1 Am I so round with you, as you with me,] He plays upon word round, which signified spherical, applied to himself, and un. restrained, or free in speech or action, spoken of his mistress. So the King, in Hamlet, bids the Queen be round with her son.

Fohnson. case me in leather.] Still alluding to a football, the bladder of which is always covered with leather. Steevens.

3 Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.] So, in our poet's 47th Sonnet:

“When that mine eye is famish'd for a look.Malone. 4 of my defeatures :] By defeatures is here meant alteration of features. At the end of this play the same word is used with a somewhat different signification. Steedens.

My decayed fuir -] Shakspeare uses the adjective gilt, as a substantive, for what is gilt, and in this instance fair for fairness. To Hex ranór, is a similar expression. In A Midsum. mer Night's Dream, the old quartos read:

* Demetrius loves your fair."


But, too unruly deer,& he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.?



Again, in Shakspeare's 68th Sonnet :

“Before these bastard signs of fair were born.” Again, in his 83d Sonnet:

“ And therefore to your fair no painting set.” Pure is likewise used as a substantive in The Shepherd to the Flowers, a song in England's Helicon, 1614. “ Do pluck your pure, ere Phobus view the land.”

Steevens. Fair is frequently used substantively by the writers of Shakspeare's time. So, Marston, in one of his Satires :

As the greene meads, whose native outward faire
Breathes sweet perfumes into the neighbour air.”

Farmer. too unruly deer,] The ambiguity of deer and deur is borrowed, poor as it is, by Waller, in his Poem on The Ladies Gir. dle:

“ This was my heaven's extremest sphere,

“ The pale that held my lovely deer.Johnson. Shakspeare has played upon this word in the same manner in his Venus and Adonis :

Fondling, saith she, since I have hemm’d thee here,

s. Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
“I'll be thy park, and thou shalt be my deer

“ Feed where thou wilt on mountain or on dale." The lines of Waller seem to have been immediately copied from these. Malone.

7 - poor I am out his stale.] The word stale, in our author, used as a substantive, means not sometning oifered to allure or attract, but something vitiated with use, something of which the best part has been enjoyed and consumed. Johnson.

I believe my learned coadjutor mistakes the use of the word stale on this occasion. Stale to catch these thieves,” in The Tempest, undoubtedly means a fraudulent bait. Here it seems to imply the same as stalking-horse, pretence. I am, says Adriana, but his pretended wife, the mask under which

he covers his amours. So, in King Fohn and Matilda, by Robert Davenport, 1655, the Queen says to Matilda:

I am made your stale, “ The king, the king your strumpet,” &c. Again:

I knew I was made “ A stale for her obtaining." Again, in the old translation of the Menæchmi of Plautus, 1595, from whence, perhaps, Shakspeare borrowed the expression:

“ He makes me a stale and a laughing-stock.” Steevens. In Greene's Art of Coney-catching, 1592, a stale is the confede. rate of a thief; "he that faceth the man,” or holds him in dis. course. Again, in another place, “ wishing all, of what estate


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Luc. Self-barming jealousy !-fy, beat it hence.

Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense. I know his eye doth homage otherwhere; Or else, what lets it but he would be here? Sister, you know, he promised me a chain ;Would that alone alone he would detain, 8 So he would keep fair quarter with his bed! I see, the jewel, best enamelled, Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still, That others touch, yet often touching will Wear gold: and so no man, that hath a name, But falshood and corruption doth it shame.“ Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, I'll weep what 's left away, and weeping die. Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!


soever, to beware of filthy lust, and such damnable stales,” &c. A stale, in this last instance, means the pretended wife of a crossbiter.

Perhaps, however, stale may here have the same meaning as the French word chaperon. Poor I am but the cover for his infidelity. Collins. 8 Would that alone alone he would detain,] The first copy reads

Would that alone a love &c.
The correction was made in the second folio. Malone.
9 I see, the jewel, best enamelled,

Will lose his beauty; and though gold’bides still,
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold: and so no man, that hath a name,

But falshood and corruption doth it shame.] The sense is this : “Gold, indeed, will long bear the handling; however, often touching will wear even gold; just so the greatest character though as pure as gold itself, may, in time, be injured, by the repeated attacks of falshood and corruption.” Warburton. Mr. Heath reads thus:

yet the gold’bides still,
That others touch, though often touching will
Wear gold: and so a man that hath a name,

By falshood and corruption doth it shame. Steevens. The observation concerning gold is found in one of the early dramatick pieces, Damon and Pithias, 1582:

gold in time does wear away, “ And other precious things do fade: friendship does

ne'er decay." Malone.

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The same.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up

Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out.
By computation, and mine host's report,
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first
I sent him from the mart: See, here he comes.

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
How now, sir? is your merry humour alter'd?
As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you receiv'd no gold?
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
My house was at the Phænix? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?

Dro. S. What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?
Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.

Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me hence, Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.

Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt; And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.

Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein: What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.

Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the teeth? Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.

[Beating him. Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake: now your jest is

earnest :
Upon what bargain do you give it me?

Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love,
And make a common of my serious hours.
When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,

1 And make a common of my serious hours.] i.e. intrude on them when you please. The allusion is to those tracts of ground destined to common use, which are thence called commons.


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