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The same. Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse. ANT. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave Is wander'd 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 Syracuse.
How now, sir ? is your merry humour alter'd ?
a word ? ANT. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour
. since. DRO.S. I did not see you since you sent me hence, Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's re
ceipt; And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas’d.
DRO. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein: What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me. Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the
teeth? Think’st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
[Beating him. Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake: now your jest
is earnest : Upon what bargain do you give it me?
Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes Do use you for my fool, and chat with you, Your sáuciness 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 demeanour to my looks, Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
DRO. S. Sconce, call you it? so you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head : an you use these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce it too ;3 or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten ?
Ant. S. Dost thou not know?
And make a common of my serious hours.] i. e. intrude on them when you please. The allusion is to those tracts of ground · destined to common use, which are thence called commons.
STEEVENS. . know my aspéct,] i. e. study my countenance.
STEEVENS. — and insconce it too ;] A sconce was a petty fortification. So, in Orlando Furioso, 1599:
“Let us to our sconce, and you my lord of Mexico.” Again :
“Ay, sirs, ensconce you how you can.” Again:. “ And here ensconce myself, despite of thee.”
. Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?
Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every why hath a wherefore. Ant. S. Why, first,-for flouting me; and then,
wherefore, For urging it the second time to me. DRO. S. 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.
Ant. S. Thank me, sir? for what?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
ANT. S. I'll make you amends next,4 to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime? :. Dro. S. No, sir? I think, the meat wants that
Dro. S. Basting.
Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it. ANT. S. Your reason?
Dro. S. Lest it make you cholerick, and purchase me another dry basting.
— next,] Our author probably wrote-next time. .
MALONE. * Lest it make you cholerick, &c.] So, in The Taming of the Shrew:
Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time; There's a time for all things.
Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were so cholerick.
ANT. S. By what rule, sir ?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald pate of father Time himself.
Ant. S. Let's hear it.
DRO. S. There's no time for a man to recoverhis hair, that grows bald by nature.
Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery ?6
Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and recover the lost hair of another man.
ANT. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement ??
“ I tell thee Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away,
STEEVENS. a b y fine and recovery?] This attempt at pleasantry must have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney. He has other jokes of the same school. STEEVENS,
. Ant. S. Why is Time &c.] In former editions:
Ant S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
Dro, S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts, and what he hath scanted them in hair, he hath given them in wit.
Surely, this is mock-reasoning, and a contradiction in sense. Can hair be supposed a blessing, which Time bestows on beasts peculiarly; and yet that he hath scanted them of it too? Men and Them, I observe, are very frequently mistaken, vice versa, for each other, in the old impressions of our author.
THEOBALD. The same error is found in the Induction to King Henry IV. P. II. edit. 1623 : 6 Stuffing the ears of them with false reports."
DRO. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts: and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit..
Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.
Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair. 8
Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.
DRO. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
ANT. S. For what reason ?
• Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair.] That is, Those who have more hair than wit, are easily entrapped by loose women, and suffer the consequences of lewdness, one of which, in the first appearance of the disease in Europe, was the loss of hair. Johnson.
So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611:
“ Your women are so hot, I must lose my hair in their company, I see.”
“ His hair sheds off, and yet he speaks not so much in the nose as he did before." STEEVENS.
9- falsing.] This word is now obsolete. Spenser and Chaucer often use the verb to false. Mr. Heath would read falling. STEEVENS.