Immagini della pagina


Pen. Thus they must do that are right lovers: especially

if they mean to [be] beggers with any speed.

Men. I bought this same of late for my wife, it stood 115
mee (I thinke) in some ten pound.

Pen. There's tenne pounde bestowed verie thriftily.
Men. But knowe yee what I woulde have yee doo?
Erotium. It shall bee done, your dinner shall be readie.
*Men. Let a good dinner be made for us three. Harke 120
ye, some oysters, a mary-bone pie or two, some
artichockes, and potato rootes, let our other dishes
be as you please.

Erot. You shall Sir.

Men. I have a little businesse in this Cittie, by that 125
time dinner will be prepared. Farewell till then,
sweete Erotium: Come Peniculus.

Pen. Nay I meane to follow yee: I will sooner leese
my life, then sight of you till this dinner be done.


Erotium. Who's there? Call me Cylindrus the Cooke 130



Cylindrus, take the Hand-basket, and heere, there's

ten shillings, is there not?

Cyl. Tis so mistresse.

Erot. Buy me of all the daintiest meates ye can get, 135 ye know what I meane: so as three may dine passing well, and yet no more then inough.

Cyl. What guests have ye to-day mistresse?

Erot. Here will be Menechmus and his Parasite, and


Cyl. That's ten persons in all.

Erot. How many?


Cyl. Ten, for I warrant you that Parasite may stand

for eight at his vittels.

Ero. Go dispatch as I bid you, and looke ye returne 145

with all speed.

Cyl. I will have all readie with a trice.


ACT 2.

SCEN. 1.-Enter MENECHMUS, SOSICLES, MESSENIO, his servant, and some Saylers.

Men. Surely Messenio, I thinke Sea-fairers never take so comfortable a joy in any thing as when they have been long tost and turmoyld in the wide seas, they hap at last to ken land.

Mess. Ile be sworn, I shuld not be gladder to see a whole Country of mine owne, then I have bene at such a sight. But I pray, wherfore are we now come to Epidamnum ? must we needs go to see everie Towne that we heare off?

Men. Till I finde my brother, all Townes are alike to me: I must trie in all places.



Mess. Why then let's even as long as wee live seeke your brother: six yeares now have we roamde about thus, Istria, Hispania, Massylia, Ilyria, all the upper sea, all high Greece, all Haven Towns in 15 Italy. I think if we had sought a needle all this time, we must needs have found it, had it bene above ground. It cannot be that he is alive; and to seek a dead man thus among the living, what folly is it?

Men. Yea, could I but once find any man that could


certainly enforme me of his death, I were satisfied;
otherwise I can never desist seeking: Litle know-
est thou Messenio how neare my heart it goes.

Mess. This is washing of a Blackamore. Faith let's goe 25
home, unlesse ye meane we should write a storie
of our travaile.

Men. Sirra, no more of these sawcie speeches, I perceive I must teach ye how to serve me, not to rule


Mess. I, so, now it appeares what it is to be a servant.


Wel yet I must speake my conscience. Do ye heare
sir? Faith I must tell ye one thing, when I looke
into the leane estate of your purse, and consider
advisedly of your decaying stocke, I hold it verie 35
needful to be drawing homeward, lest in looking
for your brother, we quite lose ourselves. For this
assure your selfe, this Towne Epidamnum, is a
place of outragious expences, exceeding in all ryot
and lasciviousnesse: and (I heare) as full of 40
Ribaulds, Parasites, Drunkards, Catchpoles, Cony-
catchers, and Sycophants, as it can hold. Then for
Curtizans, why here's the currantest stamp of them
in the world. Ye must not thinke here to scape
with as light cost as in other places. The verie 45
name shows the nature, no man comes hither sine

Men. Yee say very well indeed:. give mee my purse
into mine owne keeping, because I will so be the
safer, sine damno.

Mess. Why Sir?

Men. Because I feare you wil be busie among the

Curtizans, and so be cozened of it: then should I


take great paines in belabouring your shoulders.

So to avoid both these harms, Ile keep it my selfe. 55 Mess. I pray do so Sir, all the better.

[ocr errors]


*I have tickling geare here yfaith for their dinners:
It grieves me to the heart to think how that
cormorant knave Peniculus must have his share
in these daintie morsels. But what? Is Menechmus
come alreadie, before I could come from the
market? Menechmus, how do ye Sir? how haps
it ye come so soone?

Menech. God a mercy my good friend, doest thou know


Cyl. Know ye? no not I. Where's mouldichappes
that must dine with ye? A murrin on his manners.
Men. Whom meanest thou, good fellow?



Cyl. Why Peniculus worship, that whorson lick-trencher,
your parasiticall attendant.


Med. What Peniculus? what attendant? my attend-
ant? Surely this fellow is mad.

Mes. Did I not tell ye what cony-catching villaines
you should finde here?

Cyl. Menechmus, harke ye Sir, ye come too soone
backe againe to dinner, I am but returned from
the market.

Men. Fellow, here thou shalt have money of me, goe


get the Priest to sacrifice for thee. I know thou
art mad, els thou wouldst never use a stranger 80

[ocr errors]

Cyl. Alas sir, Cylindrus was wont to be no stranger to

you. Know ye not Cylindrus?

Men. Cylindrus, or Coliendrus, or what the divell thou art, I know not, neither do I care to know.

Cyl. I know you to be Menechmus.

Men. Thou shouldst be in thy wits, in that thou namest me so right; but tell me, where hast thou knowne me?


Cyl. Where? even here, where ye first fell in love with 90 my mistresse Erotium.

Men. I neither have Lover, neither knowe I who thou


Cyl. Know ye not who I am? who fils your cup and

dresses your meat at our house?

Mes. What a slave is this? that I had somewhat to

breake the Rascals pate withall.

Men. At your house, when as I never came in Epidamnum till this day.


Cyl. Oh that's true. Do ye not dwell in yonder 100 house?

Men. Foule shame light upon them that dwell there,

for my part.

Cyl. Questionlesse, he is mad indeede, to curse himselfe

[blocks in formation]

Cyl. If I may advise ye, ye shall bestow this money
which ye offred me, upon a sacrifice for your selfe:
for out of doubt you are mad that curse your selfe.
Mes. What a verlet art thou to trouble us thus ?
Cyl. Tush, he will many times jest with me thus. Yet
when his wife is not by, 'tis a ridiculous jest.

Men. What's that?

Cyl. This I say. Thinke ye I have brought meate



inough for three of you? If not, Ile fetche more 115

« IndietroContinua »