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Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!
SCENE II-A Public Place.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Ant. S. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
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?
Dro. S. What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?
115. what's left away] (what's left away) F 1; (what's left) away Ff 2,
SCENE 11.] Capell; SCENE IV. Pope; omitted in Ff. A public place] Capell; A street Pope. Enter .] Enter Antipholis Errotis F 1; Enter Antipolis Erotes F 2; Enter Antipholis Erotes Ff 3, 4. 3-5. out By report. I] Ff 1, 2, 3; out By. report, I F 4; out. By. report, I .] Enter Dromio Siracusia F 1; Enter Dromio Ŝiracu12. didst] did didst F 1.
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 receipt,
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner; For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased. 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.
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,
And make a common of my serious hours.
23. [Beating him] Beats Dro. Ff. comedy Hanmer. serious] several
28. jest] jet Dyce. Staunton conj.
serious in the next line; not to mention the use of "jest" in lines 21, 23, 24 above, and 32 below.
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); an explanation quite warranted by Shakespeare's extensive use of legal phraseology. "Treat my hours of business as common property in which every man is free to indulge his humour" (Herford). Having regard to "jest" in the preceding line, Hanmer's reading, comedy, is certainly ingenious, though perhaps hardly warranted by the versification of Shakespeare's early period.
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
Dro. S. Sconce, call you it? so you would leave batter- 35 ing, 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; or else I shall seek my wit in my
shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten ?
Ant. S. Dost thou not know?
Dro. S. Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?
Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every
why hath a wherefóre.
Ant. S. Why, first,-for flouting me, and then, wherefóre,
For urging it the second time to me.
36. an] Rowe; and Ff. 38. else] omitted by Capell. 45, 46. Why, me] As in Capell; prose in Ff.
32. aspect] i.e. whether it be malignant or benign; with a possible reference to astrology. Compare Henry IV. 1. i. 97: "Malevolent to you in all aspects"; Troilus and Cressida, 1. iii. 92 :—
"Whose medicinable eye
Points on me graciously with fair
34. sconce] refers to 1. ii. 79. Craig
45. Why, first] First, why Capell.
quotes from Heywood's Londini Speculum, or London's Mirrour (Pearson, 1874, vol. iv. p. 313): "Nor is it compulsive, that here I should argue what a Fort is, a Skonce, or a Cittadall."
38. insconce] See preceding note.
38, 39. seek . . . shoulders]i.e. run away; show my back. Craig compares Antony and Cleopatra, III. ix.
"I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders." 43, 44. every why] See Ray's proverbs. Craig quotes Gascoigne, The Supposes, 1. i. 13: "I have given you a wherefore for this why many times."
Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season, When in the why and the wherefóre is neither rhyme.
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, to give you nothing
for something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time? Dro. S. No, sir: I think the meat wants that I have. Ant. S. In good time, sir; what's that?
Dro. S. Basting.
Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
Ant. S. Your reason?
Dro. S. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me
another dry basting.
47-49. Was .. next time, Capell conj.
you] As in Rowe (ed. 2); prose in Ff. 53. next, to] to] and Collier. 59. none] F 1; not Ff 2, 3, 4. passage, and also Taming of the Shrew, IV. i. 173:—
48. neither rhyme nor reason] Compare Love's Labour's Lost, 1. i. 99: "In reason nothing. Something then in rhyme"; 1. ii. 112: "A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason Two Gentlemen of Verona, II. i. 149: "Nay I was rhyming, 'tis you that have the reason"; Merry Wives of Windsor, v. v. 133: "In despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason"; As You Like It, I. ii. 418: "Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much"; and Henry V. v. ii. 164, etc. The phrase was very common.
56. In good time] (in ironical acquiescence) Herford.
61. choleric] There must have been some kind of belief in Shakespeare's time that overcooked meat caused choler or anger. Nares quotes this
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 65
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 recover his hair
that grows bald by nature.
Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery?
the skin] nor fetcheth blood." Craig quotes Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement, 1530, "Blo: blewe and greenecoloured, as the body is after a dry stroke." Compare Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 264 (of the mental passages between the lords and ladies), "all dry-beaten with pure scoff." The expression is common in the later dramatists, e.g. Beaumont and Fletcher and Massinger.
71. recover] Plainly used here for the purpose of leading up to the legal quibble in lines 74, 75.
73. fine and recovery]" This attempt at pleasantry," says Steevens, "must have originated from our author's clerkship to an attorney"; and a very strong argument can be adduced in support of his opinion. See Introduction. One reason is that the marvellous accuracy with which he uses these technical expressions could hardly have been acquired after he reached London and whilst busily engaged, not only in his profession of actor, but as a dramatist and adapter of old plays. The technical word "Fine" in old English law meant "an amicable composition or agreement of a suit, either actual or fictitious, by leave of the King or his justices'
(Blackstone). See the Statute 27 Edward I. cap. i. Quia fines in Curia nostra levati finem litibus debent imponere, et imponunt, et ideo fines vocantur. In the more special sense, fine meant the compromise of a fictitious or collusive suit for the possession of lands; and was formerly in use as a mode of conveyance or assurance in cases where the ordinary modes were not available or equally efficacious. Similarly the word "Recovery in old English law meant the procedure of gaining possession of some property or right by a verdict or judgment of Court; and hence was the strongest assurance known to the law. In the more special sense, a recovery meant the procedure based on a "legal fiction" by which an entailed estate was commonly transferred. It was also termed "a common recovery.' The New Eng. Dict. quotes West, Symbolæography, 1594, ii. § 136: "The end and effect of such recoveries is to discontinue and destroy estates tailes, remainders, and reversions, and barre the former owners thereof." Compare the wellknown passages Hamlet, v. i. 114: