S.Dro. Thus I mend it: Time himselfe is bald, and therefore to the worlds end, will haue bald followers

An. I knew 'twould be a bald conclusion: but soft, who wafts vs yonder.

Enter Adriana and Luciana.

Adri. I, I, Antipholus, looke strange and frowne, Some other Mistresse hath thy sweet aspects: I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. The time was once, when thou vn-vrg'd wouldst vow, That neuer words were musicke to thine eare, That neuer obiect pleasing in thine eye, That neuer touch well welcome to thy hand, That neuer meat sweet-sauour'd in thy taste, Vnlesse I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or caru'd to thee. How comes it now, my Husband, oh how comes it, That thou art then estranged from thy selfe? Thy selfe I call it, being strange to me: That vndiuidable Incorporate Am better then thy deere selfes better part. Ah doe not teare away thy selfe from me; For know my loue: as easie maist thou fall A drop of water in the breaking gulfe, And take vnmingled thence that drop againe Without addition or diminishing, As take from me thy selfe, and not me too. How deerely would it touch thee to the quicke, Shouldst thou but heare I were licencious? And that this body consecrate to thee, By Ruffian Lust should be contaminate? Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurne at me, And hurle the name of husband in my face, And teare the stain'd skin of my Harlot brow, And from my false hand cut the wedding ring, And breake it with a deepe-diuorcing vow? I know thou canst, and therefore see thou doe it. I am possest with an adulterate blot, My bloud is mingled with the crime of lust: For if we two be one, and thou play false, I doe digest the poison of thy flesh, Being strumpeted by thy contagion: Keepe then faire league and truce with thy true bed, I liue distain'd, thou vndishonoured

Antip. Plead you to me faire dame? I know you not: In Ephesus I am but two houres old, As strange vnto your towne, as to your talke, Who euery word by all my wit being scan'd, Wants wit in all, one word to vnderstand

Luci. Fie brother, how the world is chang'd with you: When were you wont to vse my sister thus? She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner

Ant. By Dromio? Drom. By me

Adr. By thee, and this thou didst returne from him. That he did buffet thee, and in his blowes, Denied my house for his, me for his wife

Ant. Did you conuerse sir with this gentlewoman: What is the course and drift of your compact? S.Dro. I sir? I neuer saw her till this time

Ant. Villaine thou liest, for euen her verie words, Didst thou deliuer to me on the Mart

S.Dro. I neuer spake with her in all my life

Ant. How can she thus then call vs by our names? Vnlesse it be by inspiration

Adri. How ill agrees it with your grauitie, To counterfeit thus grosely with your slaue, Abetting him to thwart me in my moode; Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt, But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt. Come I will fasten on this sleeue of thine: Thou art an Elme my husband, I a Vine: Whose weaknesse married to thy stranger state, Makes me with thy strength to communicate: If ought possesse thee from me, it is drosse, Vsurping Iuie, Brier, or idle Mosse, Who all for want of pruning, with intrusion, Infect thy sap, and liue on thy confusion

Ant. To mee shee speakes, shee moues mee for her theame; What, was I married to her in my dreame? Or sleepe I now, and thinke I heare all this? What error driues our eies and eares amisse? Vntill I know this sure vncertaintie, Ile entertaine the free'd fallacie

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book