Duke. Long since thy husband seru'd me in my wars And I to thee ingag'd a Princes word, When thou didst make him Master of thy bed, To do him all the grace and good I could. Go some of you, knocke at the Abbey gate, And bid the Lady Abbesse come to me: I will determine this before I stirre.

Enter a Messenger.

Oh Mistris, Mistris, shift and saue your selfe, My Master and his man are both broke loose, Beaten the Maids a-row, and bound the Doctor, Whose beard they haue sindg'd off with brands of fire, And euer as it blaz'd, they threw on him Great pailes of puddled myre to quench the haire; My Mr preaches patience to him, and the while His man with Cizers nickes him like a foole: And sure (vnlesse you send some present helpe) Betweene them they will kill the Coniurer

Adr. Peace foole, thy Master and his man are here, And that is false thou dost report to vs

Mess. Mistris, vpon my life I tel you true, I haue not breath'd almost since I did see it. He cries for you, and vowes if he can take you, To scorch your face, and to disfigure you:

Cry within.

Harke, harke, I heare him Mistris: flie, be gone

Duke. Come stand by me, feare nothing: guard with Halberds

Adr. Ay me, it is my husband: witnesse you, That he is borne about inuisible, Euen now we hous'd him in the Abbey heere. And now he's there, past thought of humane reason.

Enter Antipholus, and E.Dromio of Ephesus.

E.Ant. Iustice most gracious Duke, oh grant me iustice, Euen for the seruice that long since I did thee, When I bestrid thee in the warres, and tooke Deepe scarres to saue thy life; euen for the blood That then I lost for thee, now grant me iustice

Mar.Fat. Vnlesse the feare of death doth make me dote, I see my sonne Antipholus and Dromio

E.Ant. Iustice (sweet Prince) against y Woman there: She whom thou gau'st to me to be my wife; That hath abused and dishonored me, Euen in the strength and height of iniurie: Beyond imagination is the wrong That she this day hath shamelesse throwne on me

Duke. Discouer how, and thou shalt finde me iust

E.Ant. This day (great Duke) she shut the doores vpon me, While she with Harlots feasted in my house

Duke. A greeuous fault: say woman, didst thou so? Adr. No my good Lord. My selfe, he, and my sister, To day did dine together: so befall my soule, As this is false he burthens me withall

Luc. Nere may I looke on day, nor sleepe on night, But she tels to your Highnesse simple truth

Gold. O periur'd woman! They are both forsworne, In this the Madman iustly chargeth them

E.Ant. My Liege, I am aduised what I say, Neither disturbed with the effect of Wine, Nor headie-rash prouoak'd with raging ire, Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad. This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner; That Goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her, Could witnesse it: for he was with me then, Who parted with me to go fetch a Chaine, Promising to bring it to the Porpentine, Where Balthasar and I did dine together. Our dinner done, and he not comming thither, I went to seeke him. In the street I met him, And in his companie that Gentleman. There did this periur'd Goldsmith sweare me downe, That I this day of him receiu'd the Chaine, Which God he knowes, I saw not. For the which, He did arrest me with an Officer. I did obey, and sent my Pesant home For certaine Duckets: he with none return'd. Then fairely I bespoke the Officer To go in person with me to my house. By'th' way, we met my wife, her sister, and a rabble more Of vilde Confederates: Along with them They brought one Pinch, a hungry leane-fac'd Villaine; A meere Anatomie, a Mountebanke, A thred-bare Iugler, and a Fortune-teller, A needy-hollow-ey'd-sharpe-looking-wretch; A liuing dead man. This pernicious slaue, Forsooth tooke on him as a Coniurer: And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, And with no-face (as 'twere) out-facing me, Cries out, I was possest. Then altogether They fell vpon me, bound me, bore me thence, And in a darke and dankish vault at home There left me and my man, both bound together, Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, I gain'd my freedome; and immediately Ran hether to your Grace, whom I beseech To giue me ample satisfaction For these deepe shames, and great indignities

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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