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for you and your wench and snatchcrust your

Men. What wenches? what Parasites ?

Mess. Villaine, Ile make thee tell me what thou meanest by all this talke?

Cyl. Away Jack Napes, I say nothing to thee, for I know thee not, I speake to him that I know.

Men. Out, drunken foole, without doubt thou art out

of thy wits.

I 20

Cyl. That you shall see by the dressing of your meat. 125
Go, go, ye were better to go in and finde somewhat

to do there, whiles your dinner is making readie.
Ile tell my mistresse ye be here.

Men. Is he gone? Messenio I thinke uppon thy words

Mess. Tush marke I pray. Ile laie fortie pound here
dwels some Curtizan to whom this fellow belong.

Men. But I wonder how he knowes my name.
Mess. Oh Ile tell yee. These Courtizans assoone as


anie straunge shippe arriveth at the Haven, they 135 sende a boye or a wench to enquire what they be, what their names be, whence they come, wherefore they come, etc. If they can by any meanes strike acquaintance with him, or allure him to their houses, he is their owne. We are here in a tickle 140 place maister: tis best to be circumspect. Men. I mislike not thy counsaile Messenio.

Soft, here comes some-
Here sirs, Marriners, keep this same

Mess. I, but follow it then.

bodie forth.

amongst you.



Let the doore stand so, away, it shall not be shut.


Make haste within there ho: maydes looke that
all things be readie. Cover the boord, put fire
under the perfuming pannes: let all things be very
handsome. Where is hee that Cylindrus sayd stood 150
without here? Oh what meane you sweet heart,
that ye come not in? I trust you thinke yourselfe
more welcome to this house then to your owne,
and great reason why you should do so. Your
dinner and all things are readie as you willed. 155
Will ye go sit downe?

Men. Whom doth this woman speake to?

Ero. Even to you Sir: to whom else should I speake? Men. Gentlewoman, ye are a straunger to me, and I marvell at your speeches.

Ero. Yea Sir, but such a straunger, as I acknowledge ye for my best and dearest friend, and well you have deserved it.


Men. Surely Messenio, this woman is also mad or drunke, that useth all this kindesse to me uppon 165 so small acquaintance.

Mess. Tush, did not I tell ye right? these be but leaves
that fall upon you now, in comparison of the trees
that wil tumble on your necke shortly. I told ye,
here were silver tong'de hacsters. But let me talke 170
with her a litle. Gentlewoman, what acquaintance

have you with this man? where have you seene

Ero. Where he sawe me, here in Epidamnum.

Mes. In Epidamnum? who never will till this day set 175 his foote within the towne ?

Ero. Go, go, flowting Jack. Menechmus what need all this? I pray go in.

Men. She also calls me by my name.

Mess. She smels your purse.

Men. Messenio, come hither: here take my purse.




know whether she aime at me or my purse, ere I go.
Erot. Will ye go in to dinner, Sir?

Men. A good motion; yea, and thanks with all my

Erot. Never thanke me for that which you com-
maunded to be provided for yourselfe.

Men. That I commaunded?

Erot. Yea for you and your Parasite.

Men. My Parasite ?

Erot. Peniculus, who came with you this morning,
when you brought me the cloake which you got
from your wife.

Men. A cloake that I brought you, which I got from
my wife?

Erot. Tush, what needeth all this jesting? Pray leave off.
Men. Jest or earnest, this I tell ye for a truth. I never
had wife, neither have I; nor never was in this
place till this instant; for only thus farre am I
come, since I brake my fast in the ship.

Erot. What ship do you tell me off?

1)V* Mes. Marry Ile tell ye: an old rotten weather-beaten
ship, that we have sailed up and downe in these
sixe yeares.
Ist not time to be going homewards

thinke ye?

Erot. Come, come, Menechmus, I pray leave this sport-
ing and go in.

Men. Well, Gentlewoman, the truth is, you mistake my
person; it is some other you looke for.






Erot. Why, thinke ye I knowe ye not to be Menechmus, 210 the sonne of Moschus, and have heard ye say, ye were borne at Siracusis where Agathocles did raigne; then Pythia, then Liparo, and now Hiero.

Men. All this is true.

Mess. Either shee is a witch, or else shee hath dwelt 215

there and knew ye there.

Men. Ile go in with her, Messenio, Ile see further of

this matter.

Mess. Ye are cast away then.

Men. Why so? I warrant thee, I can lose nothing, 220
something I shall gaine, perhaps a good lodging
during my abode here. Ile dissemble with her an
other while. Nowe when you please let us go in,
I made straunge with you, because of this fellow
here, least he should tell my wife of the cloake 225
which I gave you.

Ero. Will ye staie any longer for your Peniculus, your

Men. Not I, Ile neither staie for him, nor have him let
come in, if he do come.

Erot. All the better. But Sir, will ye doo one thing for


Men. What is that?


Ero. To beare that cloake which you gave me to the


Diars, to have it new trimd and altred. Men. Yea that will be well, so my wife shall not know it. Let mee have it with mee after dinner. I will but speake a word or two with this fellowe, then Ile follow ye in. Ho, Messenio, come aside. Goe and provide for thyselfe and these ship boyes in 240 some inne; then looke that after dinner you come hither for me.

Mess. Ah maister, will yee be conycatcht thus wilfully?
Men. Peace foolish knave, seest thou not what a sot
she is; I shall coozen her I warrant thee.
Mess. Ay Maister.



Men. Wilt thou be gone?

* Mess. See, see, she hath him safe inough now. Thus
he hath escaped a hundreth Pyrates hands at sea;
and now one land-rover hath bourded him at first 250
encounter. Come away fellowes.


ACT 3.



* Twentie yeares I thinke and more, have I playde
the knave, yet never playd I the foolish knave as
I have done this morning. I follow Menechmus,
and he goes to the Hall where now the Sessions are
holden; there trusting ourselves into the prease of 5
the people, when I was in midst of all the throng,
he gave me the slip, that I could never more set
eye on him, and I dare sweare, came directly to
dinner. That I would he that first devised these
Sessions were hanged, and all that ever came of
him, 'tis such a hinderance to men that have belly
businesses in hand. If a man be not there at his
call, they amearce him with a vengeance. Men
that have nothing else to do, that do neither bid
anie man, nor are themselves bidden to dinner, such 15
should come to Sessions, not we that have these
matters to looke too. If it were so, I had not thus
lost my dinner this day; which I thinke in my
conscience he did even purposely couzen me off.
Yet I meane to go see. If I can but light upon
the reversion, I may perhaps get my penny-worthes.
But how now? Is this Menechmus comming away
from thence? Dinner done, and all dispacht?
What execrable lucke have I?


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