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What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn, and dine with me?
First Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit;

I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,
Please I'll meet with you upon


the mart,

And afterward consort you till bed-time:
My present business calls me from you now.

23. my] F 1; the Ff 2, 3, 4.
Mer. Rowe.
wards Steevens.


24, 32. First Mer.] Dyce; E. Mer. Ff; 28. afterward] after

26. Soon at] Soon, at Johnson.
consort] consort with Hanmer.

abuse, of it was excessive. It was
applied upon all occasions, with as
little judgment as wit. Every cox-
comb had it always in his mouth;
and every particularity he affected
was dominated by the name of
humour," etc. Gifford adds in his
note: "The abuse of this word is well
ridiculed by Shakespeare in that
amusing creature of whimsey, Nym,
Merry Wives of Windsor." See also
Love's Labour's Lost, Henry V.
passim, and Trench, Select Glossary,
3rd ed. 1865, p. 103.


26. Soon at five o'clock] about five o'clock (Dyce), or "at five o'clock sharp" (Craig), who remarks, "Perhaps, however, there should be a comma after the word 'Soon,' and it might mean 'early,' 'early in the evening, about five."" This is Johnson's punctuation. Compare III. ii. 177 of this play: soon at supper-time I'll visit you"; Richard III. IV. iii. 31: "Come to me Tyrrel, soon at after supper" (Folios, 66 soon, and after supper"); Merchant of Venice, II. iii. 5: "Soon at supper shall thou see Lorenzo." The phrase "Soon at night" occurs in Romeo and Juliet, II. v. 78; 2 Henry IV. v. v. 96; Merry Wives of Windsor, 1. iv. 8, and 11. ii. 95; Measure for Measure, 1. iv. 88; and Othello, III. iv. 198.

The Rev. W. R. Arrowsmith, in his pamphlet Shakespeare's Editors and Commentators, 1865, commenting on the word soon, "remarks (p. 7),



Although soon' in the West of England to this day, as is said (Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words), still signifies evening, yet elsewhere, or to persons unversed in the nomenclature of the TudorStuart era, such a signification is unknown, and would be sought to as little purpose in the Minsheus (Minsheu's Ductor in linguas) of a prior or a later date, as in the grammar of a Bullokar or a Murray would the fact, attested by a contemporary of Shakespeare, a head-master of St. Paul's School-that the use of 'soon as an adverb, in the familiar sense of betimes,' 'by and by,' or 'quickly,' had, when he wrote, been eclipsed with most men by an acceptation restricted to 'night-fall': the statement of this witness is worth quoting in his own words. In the comparison of adverbs at p. 28 of his Logonomia Anglica, ed. 1619, Gil writes

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Quickly cito, sooner citior aut citius, soonest citissimus aut citissime, nam 'soon' hodie apud plurimos significat ad primam vesperam, olim cito.'"

28. Consort] accompany. Shakespeare does not seem to draw any

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Ant. S. Farewell till then I will go lose myself,


And wander up and down to view the city.
First Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. [Exit.
Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own content,

Commends me to the thing I cannot get.

I to the world am like a drop of water,
That in the ocean seeks another drop;
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself :
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.

Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.

Here comes the almanac of my true date.



What now? How chance thou art returned so soon?

30. myself] F 1; my life Ff 2, 3, 4.

intoxicated person is

66 blind to the

32. [Exit.] Exit Mer. Rowe; Exeunt Ff. 33. SCENE III. Pope. mine] F 1; my Ff 2, 3, 4. 37. falling] failing Barron Field conj. 38. Unseen,] In search Spedding conj. Unseen, inquisitive,] Unseen inquisitive! Staunton. 40. them] F 1; him Ff 2, 3, 4. unhappy,] Ff 2, 3, 4; (unhappie a) F 1; unhappier Clark and Glover conj. distinction between the use of this verb in the active sense and with the preposition. Compare (1) for the active sense, Love's Labour's Lost, II. i. 178: "Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace"; Romeo and Juliet, III. i. 135: "Thou, wretched boy, that did'st consort him here"; Julius Cæsar, v. i. 83: "who to Philippi here consorted us"; and (2) with the preposition, MidsummerNight's Dream, III. ii. 387: "And must for aye consort with black-browed night"; Romeo and Juliet, III. i. 49:

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Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo"; and Macbeth, 11. iii. 141: "Let's not consort with them."

35. to the world] Compared with the world. The phrase is common in Ireland and the north of England, at least in Lancashire. A hopelessly



37. Who] Compare Merchant of Venice, 11. vii. 4: The first, of gold, who," etc.; The Tempest, 1. ii. 7: brave vessel who," etc. 37. find forth] Perhaps, as we say, to find out; as in II. ii. 210, "dines forth means "dines out." Compare Merchant of Venice, 1. i. 144:

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"When I had lost one shaft,

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight

The self-same way, with more advised watch,

To find the other forth." For the sentiment of the passage, compare also II. ii. 125-129 post.

41. almanac]"He means, of course, Dromio, who having been born in the

Dro. E. Returned so soon! rather approached too late.
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit,
The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell;
My mistress made it one upon my cheek:
She is so hot, because the meat is cold;


The meat is cold, because you come not home;

You come not home, because you have no stomach;

You have no stomach, having broke your fast;


But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Are penitent for your default to-day.

Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir: tell me this, I pray:
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
Dro. E. O,-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. S. 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?
Dro. E. 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,




55. o' Wednesday] Steevens (1773); a Wensday Ff 1, 2, 3; a Wednesday F 4; o' We'nsday Capell. 56. crupper?] crupper;- Capell. custody?] F 4; custodie. Ff 1, 2, 3. same hour as his master, serves to fix the date of his birth, like an almanac" (Marshall).

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ment, a kind of rough reckoning concerning wares issued out of a shop was kept by chalk or notches on a post, till it could be entered on the books of a trader. So in [Ben Jonson's] Every Man in his Humour [iii. 3] Kitely the merchant making his jealous enquiries concerning the familiarities used to his wife, Cob answers: if I saw anybody to be

For she will score your fault upon my pate.

Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your clock,
And strike you home without a messenger.


Ant. S. 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?

Dro. E. To me, sir? why, you gave no gold to me.
Ant. S. Come on, sir knave; have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.
Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.
My mistress and her sister stays for you.



Ant. S. 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.
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,

65. score] Rowe; scoure Ff 1, 2, 3; scour F 4. your cooke F 1; yon cooke F 2; your cook Ff 3, 4. 81. is] are Pope.

kiss'd, unless they would have kiss'd the post in the middle of the warehouse,' etc." Malone quotes the anonymous play, Every Woman in her Humour, 1609: "out of my doors, Knave; thou enterest not my doors; I have no chalk in my house; my posts shall not be guarded with a little sing-song.”

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66. clock] Steevens quotes Plautus, [in fragm. apud Gell. 3, 3], puero, uterus erat Solarium."

79. sconce] the head. Florio, Ital. Dict.: "a head, a pate, a nole, a skonce." Compare 11. ii. 34; Hamlet,


66. your clock] Pope; 76. stays] stay Rowe.

V. i. IIO: "to knock him about the sconce"; and Coriolanus, III. ii. 99:


my unbarbed sconce," but also in the sense of a fortification: see Henry V. III. vi. 76: "At such and such a sconce"; and in the sense of a helmet-in this play, I. ii. 37: "I must get a sconce for my head."

81. marks]" In England after the Conquest the ratio of 20 stg. pennies to an ounce was the basis of computation; hence the value of the mark became fixed at 160 pence= 13s. 4d., or of the £stg." (New Eng. Dict.).

But not a thousand marks between you both.
If I should pay your worship those again,
Perchance, you will not bear them patiently.


Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks? what mistress, slave, hast thou?

Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;
She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.


Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
Dro. E. What mean you, sir? for God's sake, hold your


Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.

Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other
The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage;
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,



94. an]

86. will] would Collier (ed. 2). 93. God's] Hanmer; God Ff. Pope; and Ff. [Exit] Exeunt Dromio Ep. F1; Exit Dromio Ep. Ff 2, 3, 4. 99. Dark-working] DrugSoul-killing] Soul

96. o'er-raught] Hanmer; ore-wrought Ff. working Warburton. 99, 100. Dark-working killing. Dark-working Johnson conj.

93. hold your hands] Compare Othello, 1. ii. 81:

"Hold your hands,

Both you of my inclining, and
the rest."

96. o'er - raught] over - reached, cheated. The word has also the meaning of "overtook": Hamlet III. i. 17:

"certain players

We o'er-raught on the way." The old form of the past tense and past part. also occurs in Love's Labour's Lost, IV. ii. 41: "The moon... raught not to five weeks";


2 Henry VI. II. iii. 43: "this staff of honour raught, then let it stand"; Antony and Cleopatra, Iv. ix. 30: "The hand of death hath raught him," etc.

97. They say... cozenage]" This was the character the ancients gave of it. Hence Ἐφέσια αλεξιφάρμακα was proverbial amongst them. Thus Menander uses it, and Ἐφέσια γράμματα in the same sense (Warburton).


99, 100. Dark-working... Soulkilling] Johnson's idea that the epithets dark-working" and "soul


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