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But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,2
And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.

Dro. S. Sconce, call you it? so you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head: an you use these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce it too;3 or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten?

Ant. S. Dost thou not know?

Dro. S. Nothing, sir; but that I am beaten.
Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?

Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every why hath a wherefore.

Ant. S. Why, first,-for flouting me; and then, wherefore,

For urging it the second time to me.

Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of


When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither rhyme nor reason?

Well, sir, I thank you.

Ant. S. Thank me, sir? for what?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time? Dro. S. No, sir; I think, the meat wants that I have. Ant. S. In good time, sir, what's that?

Dro. S. Basting.

Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.

Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.

Ant. S. Your reason?


Dro. S. Lest it make you cholerick, and purchase me another dry basting.

2 know my aspect,] i. e. study my countenance.



and insconce it too;] A sconce was a petty fortification. So, in Orlando Furioso, 1599:


"Let us to our sconce, and you my lord of Mexico." Steevens. next,] Our author probably wrote-next time. Malone.. 5 Lest it make you cholerick, &c.] So, in The Taming of the Shrew:

Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time; There's a time for all things.

Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were so cholerick.

Ant. S. By what rule, sir?

Dro. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald pate of father Time himself.

Ant. S. Let's hear it.

Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover his hair, that grows bald by nature.

Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery?"

Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and recover the lost hair of another man.

Ant. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?"

Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts: and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.

Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.

Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair. 8


"I tell thee Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away,
"And I expressly am forbid to touch it,

"For it engenders choler, planteth anger," &c.


by fine and recovery?] This attempt at pleasantry must have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney. He has other jokes of the same school. Steevens.

7 Ant. S. Why is Time &c.] In former editions:

Ant. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?

Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts, and what he hath scanted them in hair, he hath given them in wit.

Surely, this is mock-reasoning, and a contradiction in sense. Can hair be supposed a blessing, which Time bestows on beasts peculiarly; and yet that he hath scanted them of it too? Men and Them, I observe, are very frequently mistaken, vice versa, for each other, in the old impressions of our author. Theobald.

The same error is found in the Induction to King Henry IV, P. II, edit. 1623:

"Stuffing the ears of them with false reports." Malone. 8 Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair.] That is, Those who have more hair than wit, are easily entrapped by loose women, and suffer the consequences of lewdness, one of which,

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Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.

Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.

Ant. S. For what reason?

Dró. S. For two; and sound ones too.

Ant. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you.

Dro. S. Sure ones then.

Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing."

Dro. S. Certain ones then.

Ant. S. Name them.

Dro. S. The one, to save the money that he spends rimming in tiring the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.

Ant. S. You would all this time have proved, there is no time for all things.

Dro. S. Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time3 to recover hair lost by nature.

Ant. S. But your reason was not substantial, why there is no time to recover.

Dro. S. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald, and
therefore, to the world's end, will have bald followers.
Ant. S. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclusion:
But soft! who wafts us yonder?

in the first appearance of the disease in Europe, was the loss of hair. Johnson.

So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611;


Your women are so hot, I must lose my hair in their company, I see."

"His hair sheds off, and yet he speaks not so much in the nose as he did before." Steevens.

9- - falsing.] This word is now obsolete. Spenser and Chaucer often use the verb to false. Mr. Heath would read falling. Steevens.

1 that he spends in tiring;] The old copy reads-in trying. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. Malone.


- there is no time-] The old copy reads-here, &c. The editor of the second folio made the correction. Malone.

3 - no time &c.] The first folio has-in no time &c. In was rejected by the editor of the second folio. Perhaps the word should rather have been corrected. The author might have written-e'en no time, &c. See many instances of this corruption in a note on All's Well that Ends Well, Act I, sc. i. Malone. wafts us] i. e. beckons us. So, in Hamlet:


It "wafts me still:-go on, I'll follow thee." Steevens


Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and frown; Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects,

I am not Adriana, nor thy wife..

The time was once, when thou unurg'd would'st vow That never words were musick to thine ear,5

That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well-welcome to thy hand,

That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste,

Unless I spake, look'd, touch'd, or carv'd to thee.
How comes it now, my husband, oh, how comes it,
That thou art then estranged from thyself?
Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
That, undividable, incorporate,

Am better than thy dear self's better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me;
For know, my love, as easy may'st thou fall?
A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
And take unmingled thence that drop again,
Without addition, or diminishing,

As take from me thyself, and not me too.
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
Should'st thou but hear I were licentious?
And that this body, consecrate to thee,
By ruffian lust should be contaminate?
Would'st thou not spit at me, and spurn at me,
And hurl the name of husband in my face,
And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot brow,
And from my false hand cut the wedding ring,
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?

I know thou canst; and therefore, see, thou do it.
I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;

My blood is mingled with the crime of lust:8

5 That never words were musick to thine ear,] Imitated by Pope, in his Epistle from Sappho to Phaon:

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"My musick then you could for ever hear, "And all my words were musick to your ear." look'd, touch'd,] The old copy redundantly reads-or look'd, or touch'd. Steevens.



may'st thou fall—] To fall is here a verb active. So,

in Othello:

"Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile." Steevens.

For, if we two be one, and thou play false,
I do digest the poison of thy flesh,

Being strumpeted by thy contagion.

Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed; unstami live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.1

Ant. S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not: In Ephesus I am but two hours old,

As strange unto your town, as to your talk;

Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd,
Want wit in all one word to understand.

Luc. Fy, brother! how the world is chang'd with you:
When were you wont to use my sister thus?

She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

Ant. S. By Dromio?

Dro. 8. By me?

Adr. By thee; and this thou didst return from him,That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows

Denied my house for his, me for his wife.

Ant. S. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman? What is the course and drift of your compact?

Dro. S. I, sir? I never saw her till this time.

Ant. S. Villain, thou liest; for even her very words Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.

I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;

My blood is mingled with the crime of lust:] Both the integrity of the metaphor, and the word blot, in the preceding line, show that we should read:

with the grime of lust:

i. e. the stain, smut. So, again, in this play,-A man may go over shoes in the grime of it. Warburton.

9 Being strumpeted] Shakspeare is not singular in his use of this verb. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632:


"By this adultress basely strumpeted."

“I have strumpeted no Agamemnon's queen." Steevens. 1 I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.] To distain (from the French word, distaindre) signifies, to stain, defile, pollute. But the context requires a sense quite opposite. We must either read, unstain'd; or, by adding an hyphen, and giving the preposition a privative force, read dis-stain'd; and then it will mean, unstain'd, undefiled. Theobald.

I would read:

I live distained, thou dishonoured.

That is, As long as thou continuest to dishonour thyself, I also live distained. Heath.

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