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Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady;
Whom I made lord of me and all I had,
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
He broke from those that had the guard of him;
Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence.
And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,
When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
? At your important letters,] For importunate.
to take order
i. e. to take measures.
And bid the lady abbess come to me;
Enter a Servant.
Serv. O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself!
My master and his man are both broke loose,
Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor, Whose beard they have singed off with brands of
And ever as it blazed, they threw on him
Adr. Peace, fool, thy master and his man are here;
And that is false, thou dost report to us.
Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true; I have not breath'd almost, since I did see it. He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you,
2 Beaten the maids a-row,] i. e. successively, one after another. * His man with scissars nicks him like a fool:] The force of this allusion I am unable to explain with certainty. Perhaps it was once the custom to cut the hair of idiots close to their heads. There is a proverbial simile-"Like crop the conjuror;" which might have been ironically applied to these unfortunate beings.
There is a penalty of ten shillings in one of King Alfred's ecclesiastical laws, if one opprobriously shave a common man like a fool. TOLLET.
Fools, undoubtedly, were shaved and nicked in a particular manner, in our author's time, as is ascertained by the following passage in The Choice of Change, containing the Triplicitie of Divinitie, Philosophie and Poetrie, by S. R. Gent. 4to. 1598: "Three things used by monks, which provoke other men to laugh at their follies. 1. They are shaven and notched on the head like fooles."
To scorch your face, and to disfigure you:
[Cry within. Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress; fly, be gone. Duke. Come, stand by me, fear nothing: Guard with halberds.
Adr. Ah me, it is my
husband! Witness you,
That he is borne about invisible:
Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here;
Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Ephesus.
Ant. E. Justice, most gracious duke, oh, grant
Even for the service that long since I did thee,
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio.
Ant. E. Justice, sweet prince, against that woman
She whom thou gav'st to me to be my
Even in the strength and height of injury!
That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.
Ant. E. This day, great duke, she shut the doors
While she, with harlots feasted in my house.
with harlots -] Harlot was a term of reproach applied to cheats among men, as well as to wantons among women.
Adr. No, my good lord;-myself, he, and my sister,
To-day did dine together: So befal my soul,
Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night,
Ant. E. My liege, I am advised' what I
There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down,
He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey; and sent my peasant home
For certain ducats: He with none return'd.
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,
I am advised - i. e. I am not going to speak precipitately or rashly, but on reflection and consideration.
A meer anatomy, a mountebank,
A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller;
Ran hither to your grace; whom I beseech
For these deep shames, and great indignities,
That he dined not at home, but was lock'd 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,
Duke. What an intricate impeach is this!