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Oh, train me not, fweet mermaid, with thy note,
Spread o'er the filver waves thy golden hairs, And as a bed I'll take thee, and there lie: And in that glorious fuppofition think, He gains by death, that hath fuch means to die; Let love, being light, be drowned if the fink. Luc. What, are you mad, that you do reason fo? S. Ant. Not mad, but mated; how, I do not know. Luc. It is a fault that fpringeth from your eye.
S. Ant. For gazing on your beams, fair fun, being by. Luc. Gaze where you should, and that will clear your fight.
S. Ant. As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.
Luc. That's my fifter.
S. Ant. No;
It is thyfelf, mine own felf's better part:
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,
S. Ant. Call thyself fifter, fweet; for I mean thee:
Give me thy hand.
Luc. Oh, foft, Sir, hold you ftill;
I'll fetch my fifter, to get her good will."
Enter Dromio of Syracufe.
S. Ant. Why, how now, Dromia, where run'ft thou fo faft?
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 thyfelf.
S. Dro. I am an afs, I am a woman's man and befides myself.
S. Ant. What woman's man? and how befides thyfelf S. Dro. Marry, Sir, befides 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 fhe to thee?
S. Dro. Marry, Sir, fuch claim as you would lay to your horfe; and she would have me as a beaft: not that, I being a beaft, fhe would have me; but that fhe, being a very beaftly creature, lays claim to me.
S. Ant. What is the ?
S. Dro. A very reverent body; ay, fuch a one as a man may not speak of, without he fay, Sir reverence: I have but lean luck in the match; and yet is she a wond'rous fat marriage.
S. Ant. How doft thou mean, a fat marriage ?
S. Dro. Marry, Sir, fhe's the kitchen-wench, and all greafe; and I know not what ufe to put her to, but to make a lump 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 the lives 'till doomsday, fhe'll burn a week longer than the whole world.
S. Ant. What complexion is the of?
S. Dro. Swart, like my fhoe, but her face nothing like fo clean kept; for why? fhe sweats, a man may go over-fhoes 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. (14) What's her name?
S. Dro. Nell, Sir ;-but her name and three quarters (that is, an ell and three quarters) will not measure her from hip to hip.
(14) What's ber name?
S. Dro. Nell, Sir; but her name is three quarters; that is, an ell and three quarters, &c.] This paffage has hitherto lain as perplext and unintelligible, as it is now eafy, and truly humorous. If a conundrum be reftor'd, in setting it right, who can help it? There are enough befides in our Author, and Ben Jobnfon, to countenance that current vice of the times when this play appear'd. Nor is Mr. Pope, in the cbaftity of his tafte, to briftle up at me for the revival of this witticism, Since I owe the correction to the fagacity of the ingenious Dr. Thirlby, S. Aut.
S. Ant. Then the bears fome breadth?
S. Dro. No longer from head to foot, than from hip to hip; fhe 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 out by the barrenness, hard in the palm of her hand.
(15) 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 falt rheum that ran between France and it.
S. Ant. Where Spain?
(15) S. Ant. Where France?
S. Dro. In ber forebead; arm'd and reverted, making war against ber hair.] All the other countries, mention'd in this defcription, are in Dromio's replies satirically characteriz'd: but here, as the editors have order'd it, no remark is made upon France; nor any reafon given, why it should be in her forehead: but only the kitchen-wench's high forehead is rallied, as pushing back her bair. Thus all the modern editions; but the firft folio reads making war againft ber heir.And I am very apt to think, this laft is the true reading; and that an equivoque, as the French call it, a double meaning is defign'd in the Poet's allufion: and therefore I have replaced it in the text. If y conjecture be of any weight, we may be able from it pretty precifely to fix the date of this play's appearance. I am not afham'd to truft it to judgment, & valeat quantum valere poteft. In 1589, Henry IIId of France being ftab'd and dying of his wound, was fucceeded by Henry IVth of Navarre, whom he appointed his fucceffor; but whofe claim the ftates of France refifted, on account of his being a proteftant. This, I take it, is what he means, by France making war against her beir. Now as, in 1591, Queen Elizabeth fent over 4000 men, under the conduct of the Earl of Essex, to the affiftance of this Henry of Navarre ; it feems to me very probable, that during this expedition being on foot, this Comedy made its appearance. And it was the fineft address imaginable in the Foet, to throw fuch an oblique fneer at France, for oppofing the fucceffion of that beir, whofe claim his Royal Miftrefs the Queen, had fent over a force to establish, and oblige them to acknowledge.
S. Dro. Faith, I saw it not, but I felt it hot in her breath.
S. Dro. Oh, Sir, upon her nofe, all o'er embellish'd with rubies, carbuncles, faphires; declining their rich afpect to the hot breath of Spain, who fent whole ar madoes of carracts to be ballaft at her nofe.
S. Ant. Where ftood Belgia, the Netherlands?
S. Dro. Oh, Sir, I did not look fo low. To con* clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me, call'd me Dromio, fwore I was aflur'd to her, told me what privy marks I had about me, as the marks of my fhoulder, 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, fhe had transform'd me to a curtaldog, and made me turn i'th' wheel.
S. Ant. Go, hie thee prefently; poft to the road; And if the wind blow any way from shore,
I will not harbour in this town to-night.
any bark put forth, come to the mart; Where I will walk, 'till thou return to me: If every one knows, and we know none, 'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.
S. Dro. As from a bear a man would run for life, So fly I from her that would be my wife.
S. Ant. There's none but witches do inhabit here
I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's fong,
Enter Angelo, with a Chain.
Ang. Mafter Antipholis,
3. Ant. Ay, that's my name.
Ang. I know it well, Sir; lo, here is the chain;
I thought t' have tane you at the Porcupine;
S. Ant. What is your will, that I shall do with this? Ang. What please yourself, Sir; I have made it for you. S. Ant. Made it for me, Sir! I bespoke it not. Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times, you have. Go home with it and please your wife withal; And foon at fupper-time I'll vifit you,
And then receive my money for the chain.
S. Ant. I pray you, Sir, receive the money now; For fear, you ne'er fee chain, nor money, more.
Ang. You are a merry man, Sir; fare you well. [Exit. S. Ant. What I fhould think of this, I cannot tell: But this I think, there's no man is fo vain, That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain. I fee, a man here needs not live by shifts, When in the streets he meets fuch golden gifts: I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay; If any fhip put out, then strait away.
Enter a Merchant, Angelo, and an Officer..
OU know, fince Pentecoft the fum is due ;
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
Or I'll attach you by this officer.
Ang. Ev'n just the fum, that I do owe to you (16),
Is growing to me by Antipholis ;
(16) Ev'n juft the fum, that I do owe to you,
Is owing to me by Antipholis.] Mr. Pope, who pretends that