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Drom. 0,-sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday last:

to pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper ;

the saddler had it, sir, I kept it not. Ant. I am not in a sportive humour 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! Drom. 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. Ant. 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?
Drom. To me, sir ! why you gave no gold to me.
Ant. Come on, sir knave; have done your foolishness,

and tell me, how thou hast disposed thy charge. Drom. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart

home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner;

my mistress and her sister stay for you. Ant. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

in what safe place you have bestowed my money;
or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
that stands on tricks when I am undisposed.

7

SCENE FROM COMEDY OF ERRORS

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE-ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Ant. How now, sir? is your merry humour altered ?

as you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur? you received no gold ?
your mistress sent to have me home to dinner ?
my house was at the Phenix ? Wast thou mad,

that thus so madly thou didst answer me? Drom. What answer, sir ? when spake I such a word ? Ant. Even now, even here, not half an hour since. Drom. I did not see you since you sent me hence

home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. Ant. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt ;

and told'st me of a mistress and a dinner ;

for which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased. Drom. I am glad to see you in this merry vein:

what means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.

Ant. Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth ?

Thinkest thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that and that

[beating him Drom. Hold, sir, for God's sake: now your jest is earnest:

upon what bargain do you give it me ?

8

SCENE FROM COMEDY OF ERRORS

ANTIPHOLUS--LUCIANA-ADRIANA-DROMIO

Ant. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not :

in Ephesus I am but two years old,
as strange unto your town, as to your talk;
who every word by all my wit being scanned

want wit in all one word to understand. Luc. Fye, brother, how the world is changed with you:

When were you wont to use 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 return from him,

that he did buffet thee and in his blows

denied my house for his, me for his wife. Ant. Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman ?

what is the course and drift of your compact ? Drom. I, sir ? I never saw her till this time. Ant. Villain, thou liest: for even her very words

didst thou deliver to me on the mart. Drom. I never spake to her in all my life. Ant. How can she thus then call us by our names,

unless it be by inspiration !

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Ant.

My liege, I am advised what I say ;
Neither disturbed with the effect of wine,
nor heady-rash, provok'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 witness it, for he was with me then ;
who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
promising to bring it to the Porcupine,
where Balthazar and I did dine together.
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him : in the street I met him ;
and in his company, that gentleman,
there did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down,
that I this day of him receiv'd the chain,
which, God he knows, I saw not: for the which,
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-fac'd villain,
a mere anatomy, a mountebank,
a thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller ;
a needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
a living dead man: this pernicious slave,
forsooth, took on him as a conjurer;
and, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
and with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
cries out, I was possessed : then all together
they fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence ;
and in a dark 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 freedom, and immediately
ran hither to your grace ; whom I beseech
to give me ample satisfaction
for these deep shames and great indignities.

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MOSCA, the knavish parasite of VOLPONE, a rich and childless Venetian nobleman, persuades VOLTORE, an advocate, that he is, named for the inheritance of his master, who feigns himself to be dying.

Volt. But am I sole heir ?

Mos. Without a partner, sir; confirmed this morning ;

the wax is warm yet, and the ink scarce dry

upon the parchment. Volt. Happy, happy, me !

by what good chance, sweet Mosca ? Mos. Your desert, sir;

I know no second cause. Volt. Thy modesty

is not to know it: well, we shall requite it. Mos. He ever liked your course, sir : that first took him.

I oft have heard him say, how he admired
men of your large profession, that could speak
to every cause and things mere contraries,
till they were hoarse again, yet all be law;
that, with most quick agility could turn
and (re)-return; could make knots, and undo them :
give forked counsel ; take provoking gold
on either hand and put it up : these men,
he knew, would thrive with their humility.
And, for his part, he thought he should be blest
to have his heir of such a suffering spirit,
so wise, so grave, of so perplexed a tongue,
and loud withal, that would not wag nor scarce
be still, without a fee; when every word
your worship but lets fall, is a chequin !

B. JONSON

II

SCENE FROM THE FOX

MOSCA-VOLPONE, after practising upon the avarice of an

old gentleman CORBACCIO

Volp. [leaping from his couch] 0, I shall burst!

let out my sides, let out my sides Mos. Contain

your flux of laughter, sir; you know this hope

is such a bait, it covers any hook. Volp. O, but thy working and thy placing it !

I cannot hold ; good rascal, let me kiss thee:

I never knew thee in so rare a humour. Mos. Alas, sir, I but do, as I am taught ;

follow your grave instructions ; give them words ; pour oil into their ears, and send them hence,

Volp. Tis true tis true. What a rare punishment

is avarice to itself!
Mos. Ay, with our help, sir.
Volp. So many cares, so many maladies,

so many fears attending on old age,
yea, death so often called on, as no wish
can be more frequent with them, their limbs faint,
their senses dull, their seeing, hearing, going,
all dead before them ; yea, their very teeth,
their instruments of eating, failing them :
yet this is reckoned life ! nay, here was one
is now gone home, that wishes to live longer!
feels not his gout nor palsy ; feigns himself
younger by scores of years, flatters his age
with confident belying it, hopes he may,
with charms, like Æson, have his youth restored :
and with these thoughts so battens, as if fate
would be as easily cheated on, as he,
and all turns air !

B. JONSON

12

SCENE FROM EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR

WELL-BRED_CAPTAIN BOBADILL-E. KNOWELL

Wel. Captain Bobadill, why muse you so ? Know. He is melancholy too. Bob. 'Faith, sir, I was thinking of a most honourable piece of service, was performed to-morrow, being St Mark's to-day, shall be some ten years now. Know. . In what place, captain ? Bob. Why, at the beleaguering of Strigonium, where no less than two hours, seven hundred resolute gentlemen, as any were in Europe, lost their lives upon the breach. I'll tell you, gentlemen, it was the first but the best leaguer that ever I beheld with these eyes, except the taking in of-what do you call it ? last year-by the Genoways ; but that of all other was the most fatal and dangerous exploit that ever I was ranged in, since I first bore arms before the face of the enemy, as I am a gentleman and a soldier ! Know. Then you were a servitor at both, it seems; at Strigonium, and what do you call 't ?

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