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Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that woman


She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife;

That hath abused and dishonored me,

Even in the strength and height of injury!

Beyond imagination is the wrong,

That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
Ant. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors

upon me,

While she with harlots 1 feasted in my house.

Duke. A grievous fault. Say, woman, didst thou


Adr. No, my good lord;-myself, he, and my sister,

To-day did dine together. So befall my soul,
As this is false he burdens me withal!

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

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 locked me out this day from dinner;
That goldsmith there, were he not packed with her,
Could witness it, for he was with me then;
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
Promising to bring it to the Porcupine,
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,

1 Harlot was a term anciently applied to a rogue or base person among men, as well as to wantons among women. See Todd's Johnson.

He did arrest me with an officer.

I did obey; and sent my peasant home

For certain ducats; he with none returned.
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 thread-bare 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, outfacing me,
Cries out I was possessed. Then altogether
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 gained 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 locked 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.

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 Por


Cour. He did; and from my finger snatched that


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


I think you are all mated,' or stark mad.

[Exit an Attendant. Ege. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a


Haply I see a friend will save my life,

And pay the sum that may deliver me.

Duke. Speak freely, Syracusan, what thou wilt. Ege. Is not your name, sir, called Antipholus? And is not that your bondman Dromio?

Dro. E. Within this hour, I was his bondman, sir, But he, I thank him, gnawed 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?

Ege. Why look you strange on me? You know

me well.

Ant. E. I never saw you in my life, till now. Ege. Oh! grief hath changed me, since you saw me last;

And careful hours, with Time's deformed 2 hand,

1 Confounded. See note on Macbeth, Act v. Sc. 1.
2 Deformed for deforming.


Have written strange defeatures in my
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?
Ant. E. Neither..

[blocks in formation]


Dromio, nor thou?

I am sure, thou dost.

are now bound to be

Dro. E. Ay, sir? but I am sure, I do not; and whatsoever a man denies, you lieve him.1

Ege. Not know my voice! O, time's extremity!
Hast thou so cracked 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 life some memory,
My wasting lamp some fading glimmer left,
My dull, deaf ears a little use to hear;
All these old witnesses (I cannot err)
Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus.

Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life.
Ege. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
Thou know'st, we parted; but, perhaps, my son,
Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery.

Ant. E. The duke and all that know me in the city, Can witness with me that it is not so;

I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.

Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years

Have I been patron to Antipholus,

During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote.

Enter the Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS Syracusan, and
DROMIO Syracusan.

Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much


[All gather to see him.

1 Dromio delights in a quibble, and the word bound has before been

the subject of his mirth.

2 Furrowed, lined.

Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me. Duke. One of these men is genius to the other; And so of these. Which is the natural man, And which the spirit? Who deciphers them? Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio; command him Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio; pray, let me stay. Ant. S. Egeon, art thou not, or else his ghost? Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound him here?


Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, And gain a husband by his liberty.

Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man
That hadst a wife once called Æmilia,
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons.
O, if thou be'st the same Egeon, speak,
And speak unto the same Emilia !

Ege. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia; 1
If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
That floated with thee on the fatal raft?


Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I,
And the twin Dromio, all were taken up;
But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth
By force took Dromio and my son from them,
And me they left with those of Epidamnum.
What then became of them, I cannot tell;
I, to this fortune that you see me in.

Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right.
These two Antipholuses, these two so alike,
And these two Dromioes, one in semblance,-
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea,—
These are the parents to these children,
Which accidentally are met together.
Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth first.

Ant. S. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse. Duke. Stay, stand apart; I know not which is which.

1 In the old copy, this speech of Ægeon, and the subsequent one of the abbess, follow the speech of the duke. It is evident that they were transposed by mistake."

2 The morning story" is what Ægeon tells the duke in the first scene of this play.

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