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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

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Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not;
Nor, I am sure, there is not force in eyes
That can do hurt.
SILVIUS. O dear Phebe,
If ever- as that ever may be near-
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
Then shall you know the wounds invisible
That love's keen arrows make.
PHEBE. But till that time
Come not thou near me; and when that time comes,
Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
As till that time I shall not pity thee.
ROSALIND. [Advancing] And why, I pray you? Who might be your
That you insult, exult, and all at once,
Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty-
As, by my faith, I see no more in you
Than without candle may go dark to bed-
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
I see no more in you than in the ordinary
Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,
I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
No faith, proud mistress, hope not after it;
'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
That can entame my spirits to your worship.
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
Like foggy south, puffing with wind and rain?
You are a thousand times a properer man
Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children.
'Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
And out of you she sees herself more proper
Than any of her lineaments can show her.
But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees,
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love;
For I must tell you friendly in your ear:
Sell when you can; you are not for all markets.
Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer;
Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.
PHEBE. Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together;
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.
ROSALIND. He's fall'n in love with your foulness, and she'll fall
in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as she answers thee
with frowning looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words. Why look
you so upon me?
PHEBE. For no ill will I bear you.
ROSALIND. I pray you do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine;
Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
And be not proud; though all the world could see,
None could be so abus'd in sight as he.
Come, to our flock. Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN
PHEBE. Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might:
'Who ever lov'd that lov'd not at first sight?'
SILVIUS. Sweet Phebe.
PHEBE. Ha! what say'st thou, Silvius?
SILVIUS. Sweet Phebe, pity me.
PHEBE. Why, I arn sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
SILVIUS. Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love, your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermin'd.
PHEBE. Thou hast my love; is not that neighbourly?
SILVIUS. I would have you.
PHEBE. Why, that were covetousness.
Silvius, the time was that I hated thee;
And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
I will endure; and I'll employ thee too.
But do not look for further recompense
Than thine own gladness that thou art employ'd.
SILVIUS. So holy and so perfect is my love,
And I in such a poverty of grace,
That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
To glean the broken ears after the man
That the main harvest reaps; loose now and then
A scatt'red smile, and that I'll live upon.
PHEBE. Know'st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
SILVIUS. Not very well; but I have met him oft;
And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
That the old carlot once was master of.
PHEBE. Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
'Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well.
But what care I for words? Yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth- not very pretty;
But, sure, he's proud; and yet his pride becomes him.
He'll make a proper man. The best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he's tall;
His leg is but so-so; and yet 'tis well.
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the difference
Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him;
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black, and my hair black,
And, now I am rememb'red, scorn'd at me.
I marvel why I answer'd not again;
But that's all one: omittance is no quittance.
I'll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it; wilt thou, Silvius?
SILVIUS. Phebe, with all my heart.
PHEBE. I'll write it straight;
The matter's in my head and in my heart;
I will be bitter with him and passing short.
Go with me, Silvius. Exeunt


The forest


JAQUES. I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with
ROSALIND. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
JAQUES. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
ROSALIND. Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
fellows, and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than
JAQUES. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
ROSALIND. Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
JAQUES. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is
emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the
courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is
ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's,
which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these; but it is a
melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted
from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my
travels; in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous
ROSALIND. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be
sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men's; then
to have seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes and
poor hands.
JAQUES. Yes, I have gain'd my experience.


ROSALIND. And your experience makes you sad. I had rather have a
fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad- and to
travel for it too.
ORLANDO. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!
JAQUES. Nay, then, God buy you, an you talk in blank verse.
ROSALIND. Farewell, Monsieur Traveller; look you lisp and wear
strange suits, disable all the benefits of your own country, be
out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making
you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have
swam in a gondola. [Exit JAQUES] Why, how now, Orlando! where
have you been all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such
another trick, never come in my sight more.
ORLANDO. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
ROSALIND. Break an hour's promise in love! He that will divide a
minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the
thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said
of him that Cupid hath clapp'd him o' th' shoulder, but I'll
warrant him heart-whole.
ORLANDO. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
ROSALIND. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I had
as lief be woo'd of a snail.
ORLANDO. Of a snail!
ROSALIND. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries
his house on his head- a better jointure, I think, than you make
a woman; besides, he brings his destiny with him.
ORLANDO. What's that?
ROSALIND. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholding to
your wives for; but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents
the slander of his wife.
ORLANDO. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.
ROSALIND. And I am your Rosalind.
CELIA. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a
better leer than you.
ROSALIND. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour,
and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now, an I
were your very very Rosalind?
ORLANDO. I would kiss before I spoke.
ROSALIND. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were
gravell'd for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for
lovers lacking- God warn us!- matter, the cleanliest shift is to
ORLANDO. How if the kiss be denied?
ROSALIND. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new
ORLANDO. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
ROSALIND. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I
should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
ORLANDO. What, of my suit?
ROSALIND. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.
Am not I your Rosalind?
ORLANDO. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking
of her.
ROSALIND. Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.
ORLANDO. Then, in mine own person, I die.
ROSALIND. No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six
thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man
died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had
his brains dash'd out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love.
Leander, he would have liv'd many a fair year, though Hero had
turn'd nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for,
good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and,
being taken with the cramp, was drown'd; and the foolish
chroniclers of that age found it was- Hero of Sestos. But these
are all lies: men have died from time to time, and worms have
eaten them, but not for love.
ORLANDO. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I
protest, her frown might kill me.
ROSALIND. By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now I
will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me
what you will, I will grant it.
ORLANDO. Then love me, Rosalind.
ROSALIND. Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays, and all.
ORLANDO. And wilt thou have me?
ROSALIND. Ay, and twenty such.
ORLANDO. What sayest thou?
ROSALIND. Are you not good?
ORLANDO. I hope so.
ROSALIND. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? Come,
sister, you shall be the priest, and marry us. Give me your hand,
Orlando. What do you say, sister?
ORLANDO. Pray thee, marry us.
CELIA. I cannot say the words.
ROSALIND. You must begin 'Will you, Orlando'-
CELIA. Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
ORLANDO. I will.
ROSALIND. Ay, but when?
ORLANDO. Why, now; as fast as she can marry us.
ROSALIND. Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.'
ORLANDO. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
ROSALIND. I might ask you for your commission; but- I do take thee,
Orlando, for my husband. There's a girl goes before the priest;
and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
ORLANDO. So do all thoughts; they are wing'd.
ROSALIND. Now tell me how long you would have her, after you have
possess'd her.
ORLANDO. For ever and a day.
ROSALIND. Say 'a day' without the 'ever.' No, no, Orlando; men are
April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when
they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will
be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen,
more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled than
an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey. I will weep for
nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you
are dispos'd to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when
thou are inclin'd to sleep.
ORLANDO. But will my Rosalind do so?
ROSALIND. By my life, she will do as I do.
ORLANDO. O, but she is wise.
ROSALIND. Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The wiser,
the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman's wit, and it will out
at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop
that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
ORLANDO. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say 'Wit,
whither wilt?' ROSALIND. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your
wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
ORLANDO. And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
ROSALIND. Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall never
take her without her answer, unless you take her without her
tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her fault her husband's
occasion, let her never nurse her child herself, for she will
breed it like a fool!
ORLANDO. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
ROSALIND. Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!
ORLANDO. I must attend the Duke at dinner; by two o'clock I will be
with thee again.
ROSALIND. Ay, go your ways, go your ways. I knew what you would
prove; my friends told me as much, and I thought no less. That
flattering tongue of yours won me. 'Tis but one cast away, and
so, come death! Two o'clock is your hour?
ORLANDO. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
ROSALIND. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and
by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot
of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will
think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow
lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may
be chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful. Therefore
beware my censure, and keep your promise.
ORLANDO. With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
Rosalind; so, adieu.
ROSALIND. Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
offenders, and let Time try. Adieu. Exit ORLANDO
CELIA. You have simply misus'd our sex in your love-prate. We must
have your doublet and hose pluck'd over your head, and show the
world what the bird hath done to her own nest.
ROSALIND. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst
know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded;
my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.
CELIA. Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection
in, it runs out.
ROSALIND. No; that same wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of
thought, conceiv'd of spleen, and born of madness; that blind
rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are
out- let him be judge how deep I am in love. I'll tell thee,
Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I'll go find a
shadow, and sigh till he come.
CELIA. And I'll sleep. Exeunt

The forest

Enter JAQUES and LORDS, in the habit of foresters

JAQUES. Which is he that killed the deer?
LORD. Sir, it was I.
JAQUES. Let's present him to the Duke, like a Roman conqueror; and
it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head for a
branch of victory. Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?
LORD. Yes, sir.
JAQUES. Sing it; 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise


What shall he have that kill'd the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.
[The rest shall hear this burden:]
Then sing him home.

Take thou no scorn to wear the horn;
It was a crest ere thou wast born.
Thy father's father wore it;
And thy father bore it.
The horn, the horn, the lusty horn,
Is not a thing to laugh to scorn. Exeunt

The forest


ROSALIND. How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock?
And here much Orlando!
CELIA. I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he hath
ta'en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth- to sleep. Look, who
comes here.


SILVIUS. My errand is to you, fair youth;
My gentle Phebe did bid me give you this.
I know not the contents; but, as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour. Pardon me,
I am but as a guiltless messenger.
ROSALIND. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all.
She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me,
Were man as rare as Phoenix. 'Od's my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt;
Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of your own device.
SILVIUS. No, I protest, I know not the contents;
Phebe did write it.
ROSALIND. Come, come, you are a fool,
And turn'd into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand; she has a leathern hand,
A freestone-colour'd hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;
She has a huswife's hand- but that's no matter.
I say she never did invent this letter:
This is a man's invention, and his hand.
SILVIUS. Sure, it is hers.
ROSALIND. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style;
A style for challengers. Why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian. Women's gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
Such Ethiope words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
SILVIUS. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.
ROSALIND. She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes.

'Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,
That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?'

Can a woman rail thus?
SILVIUS. Call you this railing?
ROSALIND. 'Why, thy godhead laid apart,
Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?'

Did you ever hear such railing?

'Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
That could do no vengeance to me.'

Meaning me a beast.

'If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect!
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers move!
He that brings this love to the
Little knows this love in me;
And by him seal up thy mind,
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me and all that I can make;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.'
SILVIUS. Call you this chiding?
CELIA. Alas, poor shepherd!
ROSALIND. Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity. Wilt thou love
such a woman? What, to make thee an instrument, and play false
strains upon thee! Not to be endur'd! Well, go your way to her,
for I see love hath made thee tame snake, and say this to her-
that if she love me, I charge her to love thee; if she will not,
I will never have her unless thou entreat for her. If you be a
true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.


OLIVER. Good morrow, fair ones; pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheep-cote fenc'd about with olive trees?
CELIA. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom.
The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
But at this hour the house doth keep itself;
There's none within.
OLIVER. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description-
Such garments, and such years: 'The boy is fair,
Of female favour, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister; the woman low,
And browner than her brother.' Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?
CELIA. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.
OLIVER. Orlando doth commend him to you both;
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
ROSALIND. I am. What must we understand by this?
OLIVER. Some of my shame; if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where,
This handkercher was stain'd.
CELIA. I pray you, tell it.
OLIVER. When last the young Orlando parted from you,
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell! He threw his eye aside,
And mark what object did present itself.
Under an oak, whose boughs were moss'd with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back. About his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself,
Who with her head nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush; under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead.
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
CELIA. O, I have heard him speak of that same brother;
And he did render him the most unnatural
That liv'd amongst men.
OLIVER. And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.
ROSALIND. But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness?
OLIVER. Twice did he turn his back, and purpos'd so;
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awak'd.
CELIA. Are you his brother?
ROSALIND. Was't you he rescu'd?
CELIA. Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
OLIVER. 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
ROSALIND. But for the bloody napkin?
OLIVER. By and by.
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
As how I came into that desert place-
In brief, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp'd himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound,
And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, stranger as I am,
To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise, and to give this napkin,
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
[ROSALIND swoons]
CELIA. Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!
OLIVER. Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
CELIA. There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!
OLIVER. Look, he recovers.
ROSALIND. I would I were at home.
CELIA. We'll lead you thither.
I pray you, will you take him by the arm?
OLIVER. Be of good cheer, youth. You a man!
You lack a man's heart.
ROSALIND. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would think
this was well counterfeited. I pray you tell your brother how
well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!
OLIVER. This was not counterfeit; there is too great testimony in
your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.
ROSALIND. Counterfeit, I assure you.
OLIVER. Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.
ROSALIND. So I do; but, i' faith, I should have been a woman by
CELIA. Come, you look paler and paler; pray you draw homewards.
Good sir, go with us.
OLIVER. That will I, for I must bear answer back
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
ROSALIND. I shall devise something; but, I pray you, commend my
counterfeiting to him. Will you go? Exeunt


The forest


TOUCHSTONE. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.
AUDREY. Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
gentleman's saying.
TOUCHSTONE. A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Martext.
But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to
AUDREY. Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in the
world; here comes the man you mean.


TOUCHSTONE. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth,
we that have good wits have much to answer for: we shall be
flouting; we cannot hold.
WILLIAM. Good ev'n, Audrey.
AUDREY. God ye good ev'n, William.
WILLIAM. And good ev'n to you, sir.
TOUCHSTONE. Good ev'n, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, prithee be cover'd. How old are you, friend?
WILLIAM. Five and twenty, sir.
TOUCHSTONE. A ripe age. Is thy name William?
WILLIAM. William, sir.
TOUCHSTONE. A fair name. Wast born i' th' forest here?
WILLIAM. Ay, sir, I thank God.
TOUCHSTONE. 'Thank God.' A good answer.
Art rich?
WILLIAM. Faith, sir, so so.
TOUCHSTONE. 'So so' is good, very good, very excellent good; and
yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?
WILLIAM. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
TOUCHSTONE. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying: 'The
fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
a fool.' The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a
grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning
thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open. You do
love this maid?
WILLIAM. I do, sir.
TOUCHSTONE. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
WILLIAM. No, sir.
TOUCHSTONE. Then learn this of me: to have is to have; for it is a
figure in rhetoric that drink, being pour'd out of cup into a
glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your
writers do consent that ipse is he; now, you are not ipse, for I
am he.
WILLIAM. Which he, sir?
TOUCHSTONE. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
clown, abandon- which is in the vulgar leave- the society- which
in the boorish is company- of this female- which in the common is
woman- which together is: abandon the society of this female; or,
clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest;
or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into
death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee,
or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction;
will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and
fifty ways; therefore tremble and depart.
AUDREY. Do, good William.
WILLIAM. God rest you merry, sir. Exit


CORIN. Our master and mistress seeks you; come away, away.
TOUCHSTONE. Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey. I attend, I attend.

The forest


ORLANDO. Is't possible that on so little acquaintance you should
like her? that but seeing you should love her? and loving woo?
and, wooing, she should grant? and will you persever to enjoy
OLIVER. Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the poverty
of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden wooing, nor her sudden
consenting; but say with me, I love Aliena; say with her that she
loves me; consent with both that we may enjoy each other. It
shall be to your good; for my father's house and all the revenue
that was old Sir Rowland's will I estate upon you, and here live
and die a shepherd.
ORLANDO. You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow.
Thither will I invite the Duke and all's contented followers. Go
you and prepare Aliena; for, look you, here comes my Rosalind.


ROSALIND. God save you, brother.
OLIVER. And you, fair sister. Exit
ROSALIND. O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee wear
thy heart in a scarf!
ORLANDO. It is my arm.
ROSALIND. I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws of a
ORLANDO. Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.
ROSALIND. Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to swoon
when he show'd me your handkercher?
ORLANDO. Ay, and greater wonders than that.
ROSALIND. O, I know where you are. Nay, 'tis true. There was never
any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams and Caesar's
thrasonical brag of 'I came, saw, and overcame.' For your brother
and my sister no sooner met but they look'd; no sooner look'd but
they lov'd; no sooner lov'd but they sigh'd; no sooner sigh'd but
they ask'd one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but
they sought the remedy- and in these degrees have they made pair
of stairs to marriage, which they will climb incontinent, or else
be incontinent before marriage. They are in the very wrath of
love, and they will together. Clubs cannot part them.
ORLANDO. They shall be married to-morrow; and I will bid the Duke
to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into
happiness through another man's eyes! By so much the more shall I
to-morrow be at the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I
shall think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.
ROSALIND. Why, then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for
ORLANDO. I can live no longer by thinking.
ROSALIND. I will weary you, then, no longer with idle talking. Know
of me then- for now I speak to some purpose- that I know you are
a gentleman of good conceit. I speak not this that you should
bear a good opinion of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you
are; neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in some
little measure draw a belief from you, to do yourself good, and
not to grace me. Believe then, if you please, that I can do
strange things. I have, since I was three year old, convers'd
with a magician, most profound in his art and yet not damnable.
If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries
it out, when your brother marries Aliena shall you marry her. I
know into what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is not
impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient to you, to set
her before your eyes to-morrow, human as she is, and without any
ORLANDO. Speak'st thou in sober meanings?
ROSALIND. By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say I
am a magician. Therefore put you in your best array, bid your
friends; for if you will be married to-morrow, you shall; and to
Rosalind, if you will.


Look, here comes a lover of mine, and a lover of hers.
PHEBE. Youth, you have done me much ungentleness
To show the letter that I writ to you.
ROSALIND. I care not if I have. It is my study
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you.
You are there follow'd by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.
PHEBE. Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.
SILVIUS. It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
And so am I for Phebe.
PHEBE. And I for Ganymede.
ORLANDO. And I for Rosalind.
ROSALIND. And I for no woman.
SILVIUS. It is to be all made of faith and service;
And so am I for Phebe.
PHEBE. And I for Ganymede.
ORLANDO. And I for Rosalind.
ROSALIND. And I for no woman.
SILVIUS. It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience, and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all obedience;
And so am I for Phebe.
PHEBE. And so am I for Ganymede.
ORLANDO. And so am I for Rosalind.
ROSALIND. And so am I for no woman.
PHEBE. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
SILVIUS. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
ORLANDO. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
ROSALIND. Why do you speak too, 'Why blame you me to love you?'
ORLANDO. To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.
ROSALIND. Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling of Irish
wolves against the moon. [To SILVIUS] I will help you if I can.
[To PHEBE] I would love you if I could.- To-morrow meet me all
together. [ To PHEBE ] I will marry you if ever I marry woman,
and I'll be married to-morrow. [To ORLANDO] I will satisfy you if
ever I satisfied man, and you shall be married to-morrow. [To
Silvius] I will content you if what pleases you contents you, and
you shall be married to-morrow. [To ORLANDO] As you love
Rosalind, meet. [To SILVIUS] As you love Phebe, meet;- and as I
love no woman, I'll meet. So, fare you well; I have left you
SILVIUS. I'll not fail, if I live.
ORLANDO. Nor I. Exeunt

The forest


TOUCHSTONE. To-morrow is the joyful day, Audre'y; to-morrow will we
be married.
AUDREY. I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no
dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here come
two of the banish'd Duke's pages.

Enter two PAGES

FIRST PAGE. Well met, honest gentleman.
TOUCHSTONE. By my troth, well met. Come sit, sit, and a song.
SECOND PAGE. We are for you; sit i' th' middle.
FIRST PAGE. Shall we clap into't roundly, without hawking, or
spitting, or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues
to a bad voice?
SECOND PAGE. I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies
on a horse.

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
In the spring time, &c.

This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower,
In the spring time, &c.

And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crowned with the prime,
In the spring time, &c.

TOUCHSTONE. Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.
FIRST PAGE. YOU are deceiv'd, sir; we kept time, we lost not our
TOUCHSTONE. By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such
a foolish song. God buy you; and God mend your voices. Come,
Audrey. Exeunt

The forest


DUKE SENIOR. Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
Can do all this that he hath promised?
ORLANDO. I sometimes do believe and sometimes do not:
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.


ROSALIND. Patience once more, whiles our compact is urg'd:
You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,
You will bestow her on Orlando here?
DUKE SENIOR. That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.
ROSALIND. And you say you will have her when I bring her?
ORLANDO. That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.
ROSALIND. You say you'll marry me, if I be willing?
PHEBE. That will I, should I die the hour after.
ROSALIND. But if you do refuse to marry me,
You'll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?
PHEBE. So is the bargain.
ROSALIND. You say that you'll have Phebe, if she will?
SILVIUS. Though to have her and death were both one thing.
ROSALIND. I have promis'd to make all this matter even.
Keep you your word, O Duke, to give your daughter;
You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter;
Keep your word, Phebe, that you'll marry me,
Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd;
Keep your word, Silvius, that you'll marry her
If she refuse me; and from hence I go,
To make these doubts all even.
DUKE SENIOR. I do remember in this shepherd boy
Some lively touches of my daughter's favour.
ORLANDO. My lord, the first time that I ever saw him
Methought he was a brother to your daughter.
But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,
And hath been tutor'd in the rudiments
Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
Whom he reports to be a great magician,
Obscured in the circle of this forest.


JAQUES. There is, sure, another flood toward, and these couples are
coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts which
in all tongues are call'd fools.
TOUCHSTONE. Salutation and greeting to you all!
JAQUES. Good my lord, bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded
gentleman that I have so often met in the forest. He hath been a
courtier, he swears.
TOUCHSTONE. If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation.
I have trod a measure; I have flatt'red a lady; I have been
politic with my friend, smooth with mine enemy; I have undone
three tailors; I have had four quarrels, and like to have fought
JAQUES. And how was that ta'en up?
TOUCHSTONE. Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
seventh cause.
JAQUES. How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.
DUKE SENIOR. I like him very well.
TOUCHSTONE. God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I press in
here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear
and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. A
poor virgin, sir, an ill-favour'd thing, sir, but mine own; a
poor humour of mine, sir, to take that that man else will. Rich
honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house; as your pearl
in your foul oyster.
DUKE SENIOR. By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
TOUCHSTONE. According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet
JAQUES. But, for the seventh cause: how did you find the quarrel on
the seventh cause?
TOUCHSTONE. Upon a lie seven times removed- bear your body more
seeming, Audrey- as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain
courtier's beard; he sent me word, if I said his beard was not
cut well, he was in the mind it was. This is call'd the Retort
Courteous. If I sent him word again it was not well cut, he would
send me word he cut it to please himself. This is call'd the Quip
Modest. If again it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment.
This is call'd the Reply Churlish. If again it was not well cut,
he would answer I spake not true. This is call'd the Reproof
Valiant. If again it was not well cut, he would say I lie. This
is call'd the Countercheck Quarrelsome. And so to the Lie
Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.
JAQUES. And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?
TOUCHSTONE. I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial, nor
he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we measur'd swords
and parted.
JAQUES. Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?
TOUCHSTONE. O, sir, we quarrel in print by the book, as you have
books for good manners. I will name you the degrees. The first,
the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the
Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the
Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance;
the seventh, the Lie Direct. All these you may avoid but the Lie
Direct; and you may avoid that too with an If. I knew when seven
justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were
met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as: 'If you
said so, then I said so.' And they shook hands, and swore
brothers. Your If is the only peace-maker; much virtue in If.
JAQUES. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord?
He's as good at any thing, and yet a fool.
DUKE SENIOR. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the
presentation of that he shoots his wit:


HYMEN. Then is there mirth in heaven,
When earthly things made even
Atone together.
Good Duke, receive thy daughter;
Hymen from heaven brought her,
Yea, brought her hither,
That thou mightst join her hand with his,
Whose heart within his bosom is.
ROSALIND. [To DUKE] To you I give myself, for I am yours.
[To ORLANDO] To you I give myself, for I am yours.
DUKE SENIOR. If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.
ORLANDO. If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.
PHEBE. If sight and shape be true,
Why then, my love adieu!
ROSALIND. I'll have no father, if you be not he;
I'll have no husband, if you be not he;
Nor ne'er wed woman, if you be not she.
HYMEN. Peace, ho! I bar confusion;
'Tis I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events.
Here's eight that must take hands
To join in Hymen's bands,
If truth holds true contents.
You and you no cross shall part;
You and you are heart in heart;
You to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord;
You and you are sure together,
As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning,
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.

Wedding is great Juno's crown;
O blessed bond of board and bed!
'Tis Hymen peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured.
Honour, high honour, and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!

DUKE SENIOR. O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
Even daughter, welcome in no less degree.
PHEBE. I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.


JAQUES de BOYS. Let me have audience for a word or two.
I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here, and put him to the sword;
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came,
Where, meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world;
His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,
And all their lands restor'd to them again
That were with him exil'd. This to be true
I do engage my life.
DUKE SENIOR. Welcome, young man.
Thou offer'st fairly to thy brothers' wedding:
To one, his lands withheld; and to the other,
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot;
And after, every of this happy number,
That have endur'd shrewd days and nights with us,
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity,
And fall into our rustic revelry.
Play, music; and you brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to th' measures fall.
JAQUES. Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The Duke hath put on a religious life,
And thrown into neglect the pompous court.
JAQUES. To him will I. Out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.
[To DUKE] You to your former honour I bequeath;
Your patience and your virtue well deserves it.
[To ORLANDO] You to a love that your true faith doth merit;
[To OLIVER] You to your land, and love, and great allies
[To SILVIUS] You to a long and well-deserved bed;
[To TOUCHSTONE] And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victuall'd.- So to your pleasures;
I am for other than for dancing measures.
DUKE SENIOR. Stay, Jaques, stay.
JAQUES. To see no pastime I. What you would have
I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave. Exit
DUKE SENIOR. Proceed, proceed. We will begin these rites,
As we do trust they'll end, in true delights. [A dance] Exeunt

ROSALIND. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but
it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it
be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play
needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and
good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a
case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot
insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnish'd like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me. My
way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge
you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of
this play as please you; and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women- as I perceive by your simp'ring none of you
hates them- that between you and the women the play may please.
If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that
pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that I defied
not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces,
or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy,
bid me farewell.




by William Shakespeare



SOLINUS, Duke of Ephesus
AEGEON, a merchant of Syracuse

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS twin brothers and sons to

DROMIO OF EPHESUS twin brothers, and attendants on
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE the two Antipholuses

BALTHAZAR, a merchant
ANGELO, a goldsmith
FIRST MERCHANT, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse
SECOND MERCHANT, to whom Angelo is a debtor
PINCH, a schoolmaster

AEMILIA, wife to AEgeon; an abbess at Ephesus
ADRIANA, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus
LUCIANA, her sister
LUCE, servant to Adriana


Gaoler, Officers, Attendants





A hall in the DUKE'S palace

Enter the DUKE OF EPHESUS, AEGEON, the Merchant
of Syracuse, GAOLER, OFFICERS, and other ATTENDANTS

AEGEON. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
And by the doom of death end woes and all.
DUKE. Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more;
I am not partial to infringe our laws.
The enmity and discord which of late
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,
Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods,
Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns;
Nay, more: if any born at Ephesus
Be seen at any Syracusian marts and fairs;
Again, if any Syracusian born
Come to the bay of Ephesus-he dies,
His goods confiscate to the Duke's dispose,
Unless a thousand marks be levied,
To quit the penalty and to ransom him.
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;
Therefore by law thou art condemn'd to die.
AEGEON. Yet this my comfort: when your words are done,
My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
DUKE. Well, Syracusian, say in brief the cause
Why thou departed'st from thy native home,
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
AEGEON. A heavier task could not have been impos'd
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable;
Yet, that the world may witness that my end
Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracuse was I born, and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
And by me, had not our hap been bad.
With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum; till my factor's death,
And the great care of goods at random left,
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:
From whom my absence was not six months old,
Before herself, almost at fainting under
The pleasing punishment that women bear,
Had made provision for her following me,
And soon and safe arrived where I was.
There had she not been long but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
And, which was strange, the one so like the other
As could not be disdnguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
A mean woman was delivered
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike.
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return;
Unwilling, I agreed. Alas! too soon
We came aboard.
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd
Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instance of our harm:
But longer did we not retain much hope,
For what obscured light the heavens did grant
Did but convey unto our fearful minds
A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Which though myself would gladly have embrac'd,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
And this it was, for other means was none:
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us;
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fast'ned him unto a small spare mast,
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
Fast'ned ourselves at either end the mast,
And, floating straight, obedient to the stream,
Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us;
And, by the benefit of his wished light,
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
Two ships from far making amain to us-
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.
But ere they came-O, let me say no more!
Gather the sequel by that went before.
DUKE. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off so;
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
AEGEON. O, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd them merciless to us!
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,
We were encount'red by a mighty rock,
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
Her part, poor soul, seeming as burdened
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Was carried with more speed before the wind;
And in our sight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length another ship had seiz'd on us;
And, knowing whom it was their hap to save,
Gave healthful welcome to their ship-wreck'd guests,
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail;
And therefore homeward did they bend their course.
Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss,
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
DUKE. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,
Do me the favour to dilate at full
What have befall'n of them and thee till now.
AEGEON. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother, and importun'd me
That his attendant-so his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name-
Might bear him company in the quest of him;
Whom whilst I laboured of a love to see,
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought
Or that or any place that harbours men.
But here must end the story of my life;
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.
DUKE. Hapless, Aegeon, whom the fates have mark'd
To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee.
But though thou art adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recall'd
But to our honour's great disparagement,
Yet will I favour thee in what I can.
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day
To seek thy help by beneficial hap.
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live; if no, then thou art doom'd to die.
Gaoler, take him to thy custody.
GAOLER. I will, my lord.
AEGEON. Hopeless and helpless doth Aegeon wend,
But to procrastinate his lifeless end.


The mart


FIRST MERCHANT. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,
Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
This very day a Syracusian merchant
Is apprehended for arrival here;
And, not being able to buy out his life,
According to the statute of the town,
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
There is your money that I had to keep.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host.
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time;
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn and dine with me?
FIRST MERCHANT. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit;
I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
And afterward consort you till bed time.
My present business calls me from you now.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,
And wander up and down to view the city.
FIRST MERCHANT. Sir, I commend you to your own content.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. He that commends me to mine own content
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.


Here comes the almanac of my true date.
What now? How chance thou art return'd so soon?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd too late.
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit;
The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell-
My mistress made it one upon my cheek;
She is so hot because the meat is cold,
The meat is cold because you come not home,
You come not home because you have no stomach,
You have no stomach, having broke your fast;
But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Are penitent for your default to-day.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O-Sixpence that I had a Wednesday last
To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper?
The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I am not in a sportive humour now;
Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?
We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust
So great a charge from thine own custody?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I pray you jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.
I from my mistress come to you in post;
If I return, I shall be post indeed,
For she will score your fault upon my pate.
Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock,
And strike you home without a messenger.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season;
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.
My mistress and her sister stays for you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money,
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd.
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
But not a thousand marks between you both.
If I should pay your worship those again,
Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thy mistress' marks! What mistress, slave, hast thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;
She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
[Beats him]
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. What mean you, sir? For God's sake hold your hands!
Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Upon my life, by some device or other
The villain is o'erraught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage;
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin;
If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur to go seek this slave.
I greatly fear my money is not safe.




Enter ADRIANA, wife to ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS, with LUCIANA, her sister

ADRIANA. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd
That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.
LUCIANA. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner;
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret.
A man is master of his liberty;
Time is their master, and when they see time,
They'll go or come. If so, be patient, sister.
ADRIANA. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
LUCIANA. Because their business still lies out o' door.
ADRIANA. Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
LUCIANA. O, know he is the bridle of your will.
ADRIANA. There's none but asses will be bridled so.
LUCIANA. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
There's nothing situate under heaven's eye
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky.
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Are their males' subjects, and at their controls.
Man, more divine, the master of all these,
Lord of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
Indu'd with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords;
Then let your will attend on their accords.
ADRIANA. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
LUCIANA. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
ADRIANA. But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
LUCIANA. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey.
ADRIANA. How if your husband start some other where?
LUCIANA. Till he come home again, I would forbear.
ADRIANA. Patience unmov'd! no marvel though she pause:
They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burd'ned with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
But if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
LUCIANA. Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.


ADRIANA. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two
ears can witness.
ADRIANA. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know'st thou his mind?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear.
Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
LUCIANA. Spake he so doubtfully thou could'st not feel his meaning?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Nay, he struck so plainly I could to
well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could
scarce understand them.
ADRIANA. But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
ADRIANA. Horn-mad, thou villain!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. I mean not cuckold-mad;
But, sure, he is stark mad.
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold.
"Tis dinner time' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
'Your meat doth burn' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
'Will you come home?' quoth I; '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.'
LUCIANA. Quoth who?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. 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.
ADRIANA. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Go back again, and be new beaten home?
For God's sake, send some other messenger.
ADRIANA. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. And he will bless that cross with other beating;
Between you I shall have a holy head.
ADRIANA. Hence, prating peasant! Fetch thy master home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. 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.
LUCIANA. Fie, how impatience loureth in your face!
ADRIANA. His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age th' 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 fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair.
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
LUCIANA. Self-harming jealousy! fie, beat it hence.
ADRIANA. 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 promis'd me a chain;
Would that alone a love he would detain,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see the jewel best enamelled
Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still
That others touch and, often touching, will
Where gold; and no man that hath a name
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
LUCIANA. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!


The mart


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
Safe at the Centaur, and the heedful slave
Is wand'red 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.


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 Phoenix! Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. What answer, sir? When spake I such a word?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I did not see you since you sent me hence,
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. 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.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I am glad to see you in this merry vein.
What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
[Beating him]
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Hold, sir, for God's sake! Now your jest is earnest.
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. 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,
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. 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; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders.
But I pray, sir, why am I beaten?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Dost thou not know?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Shall I tell you why?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say
every why hath a wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, first for flouting me; and then wherefore,
For urging it the second time to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?
Well, sir, I thank you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thank me, sir! for what?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave
me for nothing.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I'll make you amends next, to
give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, sir; I think the meat wants that I have.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. In good time, sir, what's that?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me
another dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time;
there's a time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I durst have denied that, before you
were so choleric.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. By what rule, sir?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the
plain bald pate of Father Time himself.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. There's no time for a man to recover
his hair that grows bald by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. May he not do it by fine and recovery?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and
recover the lost hair of another man.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why is Time such a niggard of
hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Because it is a blessing that he bestows
on beasts, and what he hath scanted men in hair he hath
given them in wit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, but there's many a man
hath more hair than wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Not a man of those but he hath the
wit to lose his hair.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Why, thou didst conclude hairy
men plain dealers without wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost;
yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. For two; and sound ones too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Nay, not sound I pray you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Sure ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Certain ones, then.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. The one, to save the money that he spends in
tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. You would all this time have prov'd there
is no time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover
hair lost by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. But your reason was not substantial, why
there is no time to recover.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald,
and therefore to the world's end will have bald followers.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I knew 't'would be a bald conclusion. But,
soft, who wafts us yonder?


ADRIANA. 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 wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear,
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, or look'd, or touch'd, or carv'd to thee.
How comes it now, my husband, O, 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 mayst 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!
Wouldst 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;
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;
I live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. 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,
Wants wit in all one word to understand.
LUCIANA. Fie, 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.
ADRIANA. 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.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
What is the course and drift of your compact?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I, Sir? I never saw her till this time.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Villain, thou liest; for even her very words
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I never spake with her in all my life.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. How can she thus, then, call us by our names,
Unless it be by inspiration?
ADRIANA. How ill agrees it with your gravity
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood!
Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine;
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
Makes me with thy strength to communicate.
If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
Who all, for want of pruning, with intrusion
Infect thy sap, and live on thy confusion.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
What, was I married to her in my dream?
Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
Until I know this sure uncertainty,
I'll entertain the offer'd fallacy.
LUCIANA. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. O, for my beads! I cross me for sinner.
This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!
We talk with goblins, owls, and sprites.
If we obey them not, this will ensue:
They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
LUCIANA. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer'st not?
Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. I am transformed, master, am not I?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Thou hast thine own form.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. No, I am an ape.
LUCIANA. If thou art chang'd to aught, 'tis to an ass.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. 'Tis true; she rides me, and I long for grass.
'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be
But I should know her as well as she knows me.
ADRIANA. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
To put the finger in the eye and weep,
Whilst man and master laughs my woes to scorn.
Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.
Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day,
And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.
Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advis'd?
Known unto these, and to myself disguis'd!
I'll say as they say, and persever so,
And in this mist at all adventures go.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
ADRIANA. Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
LUCIANA. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.



Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Good Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all;
My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours.
Say that I linger'd with you at your shop
To see the making of her carcanet,
And that to-morrow you will bring it home.
But here's a villain that would face me down
He met me on the mart, and that I beat him,
And charg'd him with a thousand marks in gold,
And that I did deny my wife and house.
Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by this?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Say what you will, sir, but I know what I know.
That you beat me at the mart I have your hand to show;
If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave were ink,
Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. I think thou art an ass.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Marry, so it doth appear
By the wrongs I suffer and the blows I bear.
I should kick, being kick'd; and being at that pass,
You would keep from my heels, and beware of an ass.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Y'are sad, Signior Balthazar; pray God our cheer
May answer my good will and your good welcome here.
BALTHAZAR. I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your welcome dear.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish.
BALTHAZAR. Good meat, sir, is common; that every churl affords.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. And welcome more common; for that's nothing
but words.
BALTHAZAR. Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Ay, to a niggardly host and more sparing guest.
But though my cates be mean, take them in good part;
Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart.
But, soft, my door is lock'd; go bid them let us in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, Ginn!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch!
Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the hatch.
Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st for such store,
When one is one too many? Go get thee from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. What patch is made our porter?
My master stays in the street.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Let him walk from whence he came,
lest he catch cold on's feet.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Who talks within there? Ho, open the door!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Right, sir; I'll tell you when,
an you'll tell me wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Wherefore? For my dinner;
I have not din'd to-day.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Nor to-day here you must not;
come again when you may.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. What art thou that keep'st me out
from the house I owe?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] The porter for this time,
sir, and my name is Dromio.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O Villain, thou hast stol'n both mine
office and my name!
The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place,
Thou wouldst have chang'd thy face for a name, or thy name for an ass.

Enter LUCE, within

LUCE. [Within] What a coil is there, Dromio? Who are those at the gate?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Let my master in, Luce.
LUCE. [Within] Faith, no, he comes too late;
And so tell your master.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. O Lord, I must laugh!
Have at you with a proverb: Shall I set in my staff?
LUCE. [Within] Have at you with another: that's-when? can you tell?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] If thy name be called Luce
-Luce, thou hast answer'd him well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Do you hear, you minion? You'll let us in, I hope?
LUCE. [Within] I thought to have ask'd you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] And you said no.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. SO, Come, help: well struck! there was blow for blow.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Thou baggage, let me in.
LUCE. [Within] Can you tell for whose sake?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Master, knock the door hard.
LUCE. [Within] Let him knock till it ache.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You'll cry for this, minion, if beat the door down.
LUCE. [Within] What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?

Enter ADRIANA, within

ADRIANA. [Within] Who is that at the door, that keeps all this noise?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] By my troth, your town is
troubled with unruly boys.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Are you there, wife? You might
have come before.
ADRIANA. [Within] Your wife, sir knave! Go get you from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. If YOU went in pain, master, this 'knave' would go sore.
ANGELO. Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome; we would fain have either.
BALTHAZAR. In debating which was best, we shall part with neither.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. They stand at the door, master; bid them welcome hither.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. There is something in the wind, that we cannot get in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. You would say so, master, if your garments were thin.
Your cake here is warm within; you stand here in the cold;
It would make a man mad as a buck to be so bought and sold.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Go fetch me something; I'll break ope the gate.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Break any breaking here,
and I'll break your knave's pate.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. A man may break a word with you,
sir; and words are but wind;
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] It seems thou want'st breaking;
out upon thee, hind!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. Here's too much 'out upon thee!' pray thee let me in.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE. [Within] Ay, when fowls have no
feathers and fish have no fin.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Well, I'll break in; go borrow me a crow.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS. A crow without feather? Master, mean you so?
For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a feather;
If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow together.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Go get thee gone; fetch me an iron crow.
BALTHAZAR. Have patience, sir; O, let it not be so!
Herein you war against your reputation,
And draw within the compass of suspect
Th' unviolated honour of your wife.
Once this-your long experience of her wisdom,
Her sober virtue, years, and modesty,
Plead on her part some cause to you unknown;
And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
Why at this time the doors are made against you.
Be rul'd by me: depart in patience,
And let us to the Tiger all to dinner;
And, about evening, come yourself alone
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
If by strong hand you offer to break in
Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it,
And that supposed by the common rout
Against your yet ungalled estimation
That may with foul intrusion enter in
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead;
For slander lives upon succession,
For ever hous'd where it gets possession.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. You have prevail'd. I will depart in quiet,
And in despite of mirth mean to be merry.
I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle;
There will we dine. This woman that I mean,
My wife-but, I protest, without desert-
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal;
To her will we to dinner. [To ANGELO] Get you home
And fetch the chain; by this I know 'tis made.
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine;
For there's the house. That chain will I bestow-
Be it for nothing but to spite my wife-
Upon mine hostess there; good sir, make haste.
Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me.
ANGELO. I'll meet you at that place some hour hence.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS. Do so; this jest shall cost me some expense.


Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS


LUCIANA. And may it be that you have quite forgot
A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?
Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kindness;
Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth;
Muffle your false love with some show of blindness;
Let not my sister read it in your eye;
Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;
Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted;
Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
Be secret-false. What need she be acquainted?
What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed
And let her read it in thy looks at board;
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women! make us but believe,
Being compact of credit, that you love us;
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;

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