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based on the 1974 Riverside Edition
with 150 illustrations
George Romney, p. — Benjamin Smith, e. Shakespeare nursed by Tragedy and Comedy
George Romney, p. — Benjamin Smith, e.
The Comedy of Errors
The Taming of the Shrew
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Love’s Labor’s Lost
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Much Ado about Nothing
As You Like It
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
The History of Troilus and Cressida
All’s Well That Ends Well
Measure for Measure
( 1592–1594 )
First Folio, 1623
Sc. ISc. II
Sc. ISc. II
Sc. ISc. II
Sc. ISc. IISc. IIISc. IV
Solinus, Duke of Ephesus
Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse
Antipholus of Ephesus,
Antipholus of Syracuse, twin brothers, and sons to Egeon and Aemilia
Dromio of Ephesus,
Dromio of Syracuse, twin brothers, and bondmen to the two Antipholuses
Balthazar, a merchant
Angelo, a goldsmith
First Merchant of Ephesus, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse
Second Merchant of Ephesus, to whom Angelo is a debtor
Doctor Pinch, a conjuring schoolmaster
Aemilia, wife to Egeon, an abbess at Ephesus
Adriana, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus
Luciana, her sister
Luce, servant to Adriana (also known as Nell)
Jailer, Headsman, Messenger, Officers, and other Attendants
Enter the Duke of Ephesus with [Egeon] the merchant of Syracusa, Jailer [with Officers], and other Attendants.
Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,
And by the doom of death end woes and all.
Merchant of Syracusa, 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.
Yet this my comfort, when your words are done,
My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
Well, Syracusian; say in brief the cause
Why thou departedst from thy native home,
And for what cause thou cam’st to Ephesus.
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 offense,
I’ll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracusa 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 Epidamium, till my factor’s death,
And [the] great care of goods at randon 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 distinguish’d but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
A mean woman was delivered
Of such a burthen 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 Epidamium 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 vapors 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.
Nay, forward, old man, do not break off so,
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
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 shipwrack’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.
And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,
Do me the favor to dilate at full
What have befall’n of them and [thee] till now.
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 labored 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 harbors 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.
Hapless Egeon, 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 honor’s great disparagement,
Yet will I favor thee in what I can;
Therefore, merchant, I’ll limit thee this day
To seek thy [health] by beneficial help.
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.
Jailer, take him to thy custody.
I will, my lord.
Hopeless and helpless doth Egeon wend,
But to procrastinate his liveless end.
Francis Wheatley, p. — James Neagle, e.
Enter Antipholus Erotes [of Syracuse, First] Merchant [of Ephesus], and Dromio [of Syracuse].
[1. E.] Mer.
Therefore give out you are of Epidamium,
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.
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.
Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean.
A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humor with his merry jests.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn and dine with me?
[1.] E. Mer.
I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit;
I crave your pardon. Soon at five a’ 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.
Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,
And wander up and down to view the city.
[1.] E. Mer.
Sir, I commend you to your own content.
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), ah, lose myself.
Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Here comes the almanac of my true date.
What now? How chance thou art return’d so soon?
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.
Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
O—sixpence that I had a’ We’n’sday last
To pay the saddler for my mistress’ crupper?
The saddler had it, sir, I kept it not.
I am not in a sportive humor 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?
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.
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?
To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.
Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast dispos’d thy charge.
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.
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?
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.
Thy mistress’ marks? What mistress, slave, hast thou?
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.
What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
What mean you, sir? For God sake hold your hands!
Nay, and you will not, sir, I’ll take my heels.
Exit Dromio [of] Ephesus.
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 Sereptus [of Ephesus], with Luciana, her sister.
Neither my husband nor the slave return’d,
That in such haste I sent to seek his master?
Sure, Luciana, it is two a’ clock.
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.
Why should their liberty than ours be more?
Because their business still lies out a’ door.
Look when I serve him so, he takes it [ill].
O, know he is the bridle of your will.
There’s none but asses will be bridled so.
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.
This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.
How if your husband start some other where?
Till he come home again, I would forbear.
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.
Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.
Enter Dromio [of] Ephesus.
Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
E. Dro. Nay, he’s at [two] hands with me, and that my two ears can witness.
Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know’st thou his mind?
E. Dro. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear. Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?
E. Dro. Nay, he strook so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them.
But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
Horn-mad, thou villain!
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?” 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!”
Quoth my master.
“I know,” quoth he, “no house, no wife, no mistress.”
So that my arrant, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders:
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
Go back again, and be new beaten home?
For God’s sake send some other messenger.
Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
And he will bless that cross with other beating:
Between you I shall have a holy head.
Hence, prating peasant! fetch thy master home.
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.
Fie, how impatience low’reth in your face!
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.
Self-harming jealousy—fie, beat it hence!
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.
How many fond fools serve mad jealousy?
Enter Antipholus Erotes [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.
Enter Dromio [of] Syracusa.
How now, sir, is your merry humor 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?
What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?
Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
I did not see you since you sent me hence
Home to the Centaur with the gold you gave me.
Villain, thou didst deny the gold’s receipt,
And toldst me of a mistress, and a dinner,
For which I hope thou feltst I was displeas’d.
I am glad to see you in this merry vein.
What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.
Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
Think’st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
Hold, sir, for God’s sake! Now your jest is earnest,
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
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 demeanor to my looks,
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
S. Dro. Sconce call you it? So you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head. And 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?
S. Ant. Dost thou not know?
S. Dro. Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
S. Ant. Shall I tell you why?
S. Dro. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say, every why hath a wherefore.
Why first—for flouting me, and then wherefore—
For urging it the second time to me.
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.
S. Ant. Thank me, sir, for what?
S. Dro. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
S. Ant. I’ll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time?
S. Dro. No, sir, I think the meat wants that I have.
S. Ant. In good time, sir: what’s that?
S. Dro. Basting.
S. Ant. Well, sir, then ’twill be dry.
S. Dro. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
S. Ant. Your reason?
S. Dro. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me another dry basting.
S. Ant. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time—there’s a time for all things.
S. Dro. I durst have denied that before you were so choleric.
S. Ant. By what rule, sir?
S. Dro. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald pate of Father Time himself.
S. Ant. Let’s hear it.
S. Dro. There’s no time for a man to recover his hair that grows bald by nature.
S. Ant. May he not do it by fine and recovery?
S. Dro. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and recover the lost hair of another man.
S. Ant. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being (as it is) so plentiful an excrement?
S. Dro. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts, and what he hath scanted [men] in hair he hath given them in wit.
S. Ant. Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit.
S. Dro. Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose his hair.
S. Ant. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.
S. Dro. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost; yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
S. Ant. For what reason?
S. Dro. For two—and sound ones too.
S. Ant. Nay, not sound, I pray you.
S. Dro. Sure ones then.
S. Ant. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
S. Dro. Certain ones then.
S. Ant. Name them.
S. Dro. The one, to save the money that he spends in [tiring]; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.
S. Ant. You would all this time have prov’d there is no time for all things.
S. Dro. Marry, and did, sir: namely, [e’en] no time to recover hair lost by nature.
S. Ant. But your reason was not substantial, why there is no time to recover.
S. Dro. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald, and therefore, to the world’s end, will have bald followers.
S. Ant. I knew ’twould be a bald conclusion. But soft, who wafts us yonder?
Enter Adriana and Luciana.
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-savor’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,
Shouldst 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 undishonored.
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.
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.
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.
Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
What is the course and drift of your compact?
I, sir? I never saw her till this time.
Villain, thou liest, for even her very words
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
I never spake with her in all my life.
How can she thus then call us by our names,
Unless it be by inspiration?
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.
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.
Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
O for my beads! I cross me for a 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.
Why prat’st thou to thyself, and answer’st not?
Dromio, thou [drumble,] thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
I am transformed, master, am [not I]?
I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
Thou hast thine own form.
No, I am an ape.
If thou art chang’d to aught, ’tis to an ass.
’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.
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.
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.
Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
Ay, and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.
Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, his man Dromio [of Ephesus], Angelo the goldsmith, and Balthazar the merchant.
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?
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.
I think thou art an ass.
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.
Y’ are sad, Signior Balthazar, pray God our cheer
May answer my good will and your good welcome here.
I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your welcome dear.
O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
A table full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish.
Good meat, sir, is common; that every churl affords.
And welcome more common, for that’s nothing but words.
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
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.
Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cic’ly, Gillian, Ginn!
Mome, malt-horse, capon, cox-comb, 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.
What patch is made our porter? My master stays in the street.
Let him walk from whence he came, lest he catch cold on ’s feet.
Who talks within there? Ho, open the door!
Right, sir, I’ll tell you when, and you’ll tell me wherefore.
Wherefore? For my dinner: I have not din’d to-day.
Nor to-day here you must not, come again when you may.
What art thou that keep’st me out from the house I owe?
The porter for this time, sir, and my name is Dromio.
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].
What a coil is there, Dromio?
Who are those at the gate?
Let my master in, Luce.
Faith, no, he comes too late,
And so tell your master.
O Lord, I must laugh!
Have at you with a proverb—Shall I set in my staff?
Have at you with another, that’s—When? can you tell?
If thy name be called Luce—Luce, thou hast answer’d him well.
Do you hear, you minion? You’ll let us in, I hope?
I thought to have ask’d you.
And you said no.
So come help: well strook! there was blow for blow.
Thou baggage, let me in.
Can you tell for whose sake?
Master, knock the door hard.
Let him knock till it ache.
You’ll cry for this, minion, if I beat the door down.
What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?
Enter Adriana [within].
Who is that at the door that keeps all this noise?
By my troth, your town is troubled with unruly boys.
Are you there, wife? You might have come before.
Your wife, sir knave? Go get you from the door.
If you went in pain, master, this knave would go sore.
Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome: we would fain have either.
In debating which was best, we shall part with neither.
They stand at the door, master, bid them welcome hither.
There is something in the wind, that we cannot get in.
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.
Go fetch me something: I’ll break ope the gate.
Break any breaking here, and I’ll break your knave’s pate.
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.
It seems thou want’st breaking, out upon thee, hind!
Here’s too much “out upon thee!”; I pray thee let me in.
Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and fish have no fin.
Well, I’ll break in: go borrow me a crow.
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.
Go, get thee gone, fetch me an iron crow.
Have patience, sir, O, let it not be so!
Herein you war against your reputation,
And draw within the compass of suspect
Th’ unviolated honor 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.
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.
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.
I’ll meet you at that place some hour hence.
Do so. This jest shall cost me some expense.
Enter [Luciana] with Antipholus of Syracusa.
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:
We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again;
Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her [wife]:
’Tis holy sport to be a little vain,
When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.
Sweet mistress—what your name is else, I know not,
Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine—
Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not
Than our earth’s wonder, more than earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak:
Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,
Smoth’red in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
The folded meaning of your words’ deceit.
Against my soul’s pure truth why labor you,
To make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? Would you create me new?
Transform me then, and to your pow’r 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 [them], 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!
What, are you mad, that you do reason so?
Not mad, but mated—how, I do not know.
It is a fault that springeth from your eye.
For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.
Gaze when you should, and that will clear your sight.
As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.
Why call you me love? Call my sister so.
Thy sister’s sister.
That’s my sister.
It is thyself, mine own self’s better part:
Mine eye’s clear eye, my dear heart’s dearer heart,
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope’s aim,
My sole earth’s heaven, and my heaven’s claim.
All this my sister is, or else should be.
Call thyself sister, sweet, for I am thee:
Thee will I love and with thee lead my life;
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife.
Give me thy hand.
O soft, sir, hold you still;
I’ll fetch my sister to get her good will.
Enter Dromio [of] Syracusa.
S. Ant. Why, how now, Dromio, where run’st thou so fast?
S. Dro. Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your man? Am I myself?
S. Ant. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.
S. Dro. I am an ass, I am a woman’s man, and besides myself.
S. Ant. What woman’s man, and how besides thyself?
S. Dro. Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman: one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.
S. Ant. What claim lays she to thee?
S. Dro. 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 that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.
S. Ant. What is she?
S. Dro. 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.
S. Ant. How dost thou mean a fat marriage?
S. Dro. 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.
S. Ant. What complexion is she of?
S. Dro. 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.
S. Ant. That’s a fault that water will mend.
S. Dro. No, sir, ’tis in grain, Noah’s flood could not do it.
S. Ant. What’s her name?
S. Dro. Nell, sir; but her name [and] three quarters, that’s an ell and three quarters, will not measure her from hip to hip.
S. Ant. Then she bears some breadth?
S. Dro. No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip: she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out countries in her.
S. Ant. In what part of her body stands Ireland?
S. Dro. Marry, sir, in her buttocks, I found it out by the bogs.
S. Ant. Where Scotland?
S. Dro. I found it by the barrenness, hard in the palm of the hand.
S. Ant. Where France?
S. Dro. In her forehead, arm’d and reverted, making war against her heir.
S. Ant. Where England?
S. Dro. I look’d 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.
S. Ant. Where Spain?
S. Dro. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it hot in her breath.
S. Ant. Where America, the Indies?
S. Dro. O, sir, upon her nose, all o’er embellish’d with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain, who sent whole armadoes of carrects to be ballast at her nose.
S. Ant. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
S. Dro. O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge or diviner laid claim to me, call’d me Dromio, swore I was assur’d to her, 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, amaz’d, 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 transform’d me to a curtal dog, and made me turn i’ th’ wheel.
Go hie thee presently, post to the road,
And if the wind blow any way from shore,
I will not harbor in this town to-night.
If any bark put forth, come to the mart,
Where I will walk till thou return to me.
If every one knows us, and we know none,
’Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone.
As from a bear a man would run for life,
So fly I from her that would be my wife.
There’s none but witches do inhabit here,
And therefore ’tis high time that I were hence.
She that doth call me husband, even my soul
Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair sister,
Possess’d with such a gentle sovereign grace,
Of such enchanting presence and discourse,
Hath almost made me traitor to myself;
But lest myself be guilty to self-wrong,
I’ll stop mine ears against the mermaid’s song.
Enter Angelo with the chain.
Ay, that’s my name.
I know it well, sir. Lo here’s the chain.
I thought to have ta’en you at the Porpentine;
The chain unfinish’d made me stay thus long.
What is your will that I shall do with this?
What please yourself, sir; I have made it for you.
Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not.
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.
I pray you, sir, receive the money now,
For fear you ne’er see chain nor money more.
You are a merry man, sir, fare you well.
What I should think of this, I cannot tell:
But this I think, there’s no man is so vain
That would refuse so fair an offer’d chain.
I see a man here needs not live by shifts,
When in the streets he meets such golden gifts.
I’ll to the mart and there for Dromio stay:
If any ship put out, then straight away.
Enter a [Second] Merchant [of Ephesus, Angelo the] goldsmith, and an Officer.
[2. E.] Mer.
You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
And since I have not much importun’d you,
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage:
Therefore make present satisfaction,
Or I’ll attach you by this officer.
Even just the sum that I do owe to you
Is growing to me by Antipholus,
And in the instant that I met with you
He had of me a chain. At five a’clock
I shall receive the money for the same:
Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,
I will discharge my bond, and thank you too.
Enter Antipholus [of] Ephesus, Dromio [of Ephesus] from the Courtezan’s.
That labor may you save; see where he comes.
While I go to the goldsmith’s house, go thou
And buy a rope’s end; that will I bestow
Among my wife and [her] confederates,
For locking me out of my doors by day.
But soft, I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone,
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me.
I buy a thousand pound a year! I buy a rope!
A man is well holp up that trusts to you:
I promised your presence and the chain,
But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me:
Belike you thought our love would last too long
If it were chain’d together, and therefore came not.
Saving your merry humor, here’s the note
How much your chain weighs to the utmost charect,
The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion,
Which doth amount to three odd ducats more
Than I stand debted to this gentleman.
I pray you see him presently discharg’d,
For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.
I am not furnish’d with the present money:
Besides, I have some business in the town.
Good signior, take the stranger to my house,
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof.
Perchance I will be there as soon as you.
Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?
No, bear it with you, lest I come not time enough.
Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?
And if I have not, sir, I hope you have:
Or else you may return without your money.
Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain:
Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,
And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
Good Lord! you use this dalliance to excuse
Your breach of promise to the Porpentine:
I should have chid you for not bringing it,
But like a shrew you first begin to brawl.
[2. E.] Mer.
The hour steals on, I pray you, sir, dispatch.
You hear how he importunes me—the chain!
Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your money.
Come, come, you know I gave it you even now.
Either send the chain, or send me by some token.
Fie, now you run this humor out of breath.
Come, where’s the chain? I pray you let me see it.
[2. E.] Mer.
My business cannot brook this dalliance.
Good sir, say whe’r you’ll answer me or no:
If not, I’ll leave him to the officer.
I answer you? What should I answer you?
The money that you owe me for the chain.
I owe you none, till I receive the chain.
You know I gave it you half an hour since.
You gave me none, you wrong me much to say so.
You wrong me more, sir, in denying it.
Consider how it stands upon my credit.
[2. E.] Mer.
Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.
I do, and charge you in the Duke’s name to obey me.
This touches me in reputation.
Either consent to pay this sum for me
Or I attach you by this officer.
Consent to pay thee that I never had!
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar’st.
Here is thy fee, arrest him, officer.
I would not spare my brother in this case,
If he should scorn me so apparently.
I do arrest you, sir: you hear the suit.
I do obey thee, till I give thee bail.
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear
As all the metal in your shop will answer.
Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus,
To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.
Enter Dromio [of] Syracusa from the bay.
Master, there’s a bark of Epidamium
That stays but till her owner comes aboard,
And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
I have convey’d aboard, and I have bought
The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitae.
The ship is in her trim, the merry wind
Blows fair from land: they stay for nought at all
But for their owner, master, and yourself.
How now? a madman? Why, thou peevish sheep,
What ship of Epidamium stays for me?
A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.
Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope,
And told thee to what purpose and what end.
You sent me for a rope’s end as soon:
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.
I will debate this matter at more leisure,
And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight:
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk
That’s cover’d o’er with Turkish tapestry
There is a purse of ducats; let her send it.
Tell her I am arrested in the street,
And that shall bail me. Hie thee, slave, be gone!
On, officer, to prison till it come.
Exeunt [all but Dromio of Syracuse].
To Adriana! That is where we din’d,
Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband:
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
Thither I must, although against my will,
For servants must their masters’ minds fulfill.
Enter Adriana and Luciana.
Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eye
That he did plead in earnest? yea or no?
Look’d he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
What observation mad’st thou in this case
[Of] his heart’s meteors tilting in his face?
First he denied you had in him no right.
He meant he did me none: the more my spite.
Then swore he that he was a stranger here.
And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
Then pleaded I for you.
And what said he?
That love I begg’d for you, he begg’d of me.
With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
With words that in an honest suit might move.
First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
Didst speak him fair?
Have patience, I beseech.
I cannot, nor I will not, hold me still,
My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Who would be jealous then of such a one?
No evil lost is wail’d when it is gone.
Ah, but I think him better than I say,
And yet would herein others’ eyes were worse:
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away;
My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.
Enter Dromio [of] Syracusa.
Here, go: the desk, the purse! [Sweat] now, make haste!
How hast thou lost thy breath?
By running fast.
Where is thy master, Dromio? Is he well?
No, he’s in Tartar limbo, worse than hell:
A devil in an everlasting garment hath him;
[One] whose hard heart is button’d up with steel;
A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
A wolf, nay worse, a fellow all in buff;
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermands
The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;
A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well;
One that before the judgment carries poor souls to hell.
Why, man, what is the matter?
I do not know the matter, he is ’rested on the case.
What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.
I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
But [’a’s] in a suit of buff which ’rested him, that can I tell.
Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in his desk?
Go fetch it, sister.
This I wonder at,
[That] he unknown to me should be in debt.
Tell me, was he arrested on a band?
Not on a band but on a stronger thing:
A chain, a chain! Do you not [hear] it ring?
What, the chain?
No, no, the bell, ’tis time that I were gone:
It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one.
The hours come back! that did I never [hear].
O yes, if any hour meet a sergeant, ’a turns back for very fear.
As if Time were in debt! How fondly dost thou reason!
Time is a very bankrout and owes more than he’s worth to season.
Nay, he’s a thief too: have you not heard men say,
That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
If [’a] be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?
Go, Dromio, there’s the money, bear it straight,
And bring thy master home immediately.
Come, sister, I am press’d down with conceit—
Conceit, my comfort and my injury.
Enter Antipholus [of] Syracusa.
There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend,
And every one doth call me by my name:
Some tender money to me, some invite me;
Some other give me thanks for kindnesses;
Some offer me commodities to buy.
Even now a tailor call’d me in his shop,
And show’d me silks that he had bought for me,
And therewithal took measure of my body.
Sure these are but imaginary wiles,
And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.
Enter Dromio [of] Syracusa.
S. Dro. Master, here’s the gold you sent me for. What, have you got the picture of old Adam new apparell’d?
S. Ant. What gold is this? What Adam dost thou mean?
S. Dro. Not that Adam that kept the Paradise, but that Adam that keeps the prison; he that goes in the calve’s-skin that was kill’d for the Prodigal; he that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and bid you forsake your liberty.
S. Ant. I understand thee not.
S. Dro. No? Why, ’tis a plain case: he that went like a base-viol in a case of leather; the man, sir, that when gentlemen are tir’d, gives them a sob and ’rests them; he, sir, that takes pity on decay’d men and gives them suits of durance; he that sets up his rest to do more exploits with his mace than a morris-pike.
S. Ant. What, thou mean’st an officer?
S. Dro. Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band: he that brings any man to answer it that breaks his band; one that thinks a man always going to bed and says, “God give you good rest!”
S. Ant. Well, sir, there rest in your foolery. Is there any ships puts forth to-night? May we be gone?
S. Dro. Why, sir, I brought you word an hour since that the bark Expedition put forth to-night, and then were you hind’red by the sergeant to tarry for the hoy Delay. Here are the angels that you sent for to deliver you.
The fellow is distract, and so am I,
And here we wander in illusions:
Some blessed power deliver us from hence!
Enter a Courtezan.
Well met, well met, Master Antipholus.
I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now.
Is that the chain you promis’d me to-day?
S. Ant. Sathan, avoid, I charge thee tempt me not.
S. Dro. Master, is this Mistress Sathan?
S. Ant. It is the devil.
S. Dro. Nay, she is worse, she is the devil’s dam, and here she comes in the habit of a light wench; and thereof comes that the wenches say, “God damn me,” that’s as much to say, “God make me a light wench.” It is written, they appear to men like angels of light, light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn: ergo, light wenches will burn. Come not near her.
Your man and you are marvellous merry, sir.
Will you go with me? we’ll mend our dinner here.
S. Dro. Master, if [you] do, expect spoon-meat, or bespeak a long spoon.
S. Ant. Why, Dromio?
S. Dro. Marry, he must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.
Avoid then, fiend, what tell’st thou me of supping?
Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress:
I conjure thee to leave me and be gone.
Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner,