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Smother'd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
The folded meaning of your words' deceit. Against my soul's pure truth why labour you,
To make it wander in an unknown field? Are you a god? would you create me new? Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield. But if that I am I, then well I know,
Your weeping sister is no wife of mine, Nor to her bed no homage do I owe;
Far more, far more, to you do I decline. O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note, To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears; Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote:
Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs, And as a bed I'll take thee, and there lie; And, in that glorious supposition, think He gains by death, that hath such means to die:Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink! Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason so? Ant. S. Not mad, but mated;9 how, I do not
Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eye. Ant. S. For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.
Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your sight.
Ant. S. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.
Luc. Why call you me love? call my sister so. Ant. S. Thy sister's sister.
That's my sister.
sweet mermaid,] Mermaid is only another name for syren. 9 Not mad, but mated;] I suspect there is a play upon words intended here. Mated signifies not only confounded, but matched with a wife: and Antipholus, who had been challenged as a husband by Adriana, which he cannot account for, uses the word mated in both these senses. M. MASON.
It is thyself, mine own self's better part;
O, soft, sir, hold you still; I'll fetch my sister, to get her good will.
Enter, from the House of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, DROMIO of Syracuse.
Ant. S. Why, how now, Dromio? where run'st
thou so fast?
Dro. S. Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio? am I your man? am I myself?
Ant. S. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.
Dro. S. I am an ass, I am a woman's man, and besides myself.
Ant. S. What woman's man? and how besides
Dro. S. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.
Ant. S. What claim lays she to thee?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beast: not that, I being a beast, she would have me; but
1 My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.] When he calls the girl his only heaven on the earth, he utters the common cant of lovers. When he calls her his heaven's claim, I cannot understand him. Perhaps he means that which he asks of heaven.
that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim
Ant. S. What is she?
Dro. S. A very reverent body; ay, such a one as a man may not speak of, without he say, sir-reverence: I have but lean luck in the match, and yet is she a wondrous fat marriage.
Ant. S. How dost thou mean, a fat marriage?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, she's the kitchen-wench, and all grease; and I know not what use to put her to, but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow in them, will burn a Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday, she'll burn a week longer than the whole world.
Ant. S. What complexion is she of?
Dro. S. Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept; For why? she sweats, a man may go over shoes in the grime of it.
Ant. S. That's a fault that water will mend. Dro. S. No, sir, 'tis in grain; Noah's flood could not do it.
Ant. S. What's her name?
Dro. S. Nell, sir;-but her name and three quarters, that is, an ell and three quarters, will not measure her from hip to hip.
Ant. S. Then she bears some breadth?
Dro. S. No longer from head to foot, than from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.
Ant. S. In what part of her body stands Ireland? Dro. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs.
Ant. S. Where Scotland?
Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.
Swart,] i. e. black, or rather of a dark brown.
Ant. S. Where France?
Dro. S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her hair.
Ant. S. Where England?
Dro. S. I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them: but I guess, it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.
Ant. S. Where Spain?
Dro. S. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it, hot in her breath.
Ant. S. Where America, the Indies?
Dro. S. O, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadas of carracks to be ballast at her
Ant. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
Dro. S. O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me; called me Dromio; swore, I was assured to her;3 told me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from her as a witch: and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, she had transformed me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn i'the wheel.
Ant. S. Go, hie thee presently, post to the road; And if the wind blow any way from shore,
I will not harbour in this town to-night.
૩ assured to her;] i. e. affianced to her.
Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for
So fly I from her that would be my wife.
Ant. S. There's none but witches do inhabit
And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence.
Ang. Master Antipholus?
Ang. I know it well, sir: Lo, here is the chain;
Ant. S. What is your will, that I shall do with this?
Ang. What please yourself, sir; I have made it
Ant. S. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not. Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you have:
Go home with it, and please your
wife withal; And soon at supper-time I'll visit you,
And then receive my money for the chain.
Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now, For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more.
at the Porcupine:] It is remarkable, that throughout the old editions of Shakspeare's plays, the word Porpentine is used instead of Porcupine. I have since observed the same spelling in the plays of other ancient authors. STEEVENS.