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ASTER Antipholus?











Ay, that's my name.

I know it well, Sir: lo, here is the .chain;
I thought to have ta'en you at the Porcupine:
the chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long.
What is your will, that I should do with this?
What please yourself, Sir; I have made it for you.
Made it for me, Sir! I bespoke it not.

Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you have:
go home with it, and please your wife withal;
and soon at supper-time I'll visit you,
and then receive my money for the chain.
I pray you, Sir, receive the money now
for fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more.
You are a merry man, Sir; fare you well.
What I should think of this, I cannot tell;
but this I think, there's no man is so vain,
that would refuse so fair an offered chain.
I see, a man here needs not live by shifts,
when in the streets he meets such golden gifts.
I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay;
if any ship put out, then straight away.



́HOSE lodging's this? is't not the astrologer's? His lodging! no: 'tis the learned phrontisterion of most divine Albumazar.

P. Good Sir,

if the door break, a better shall redeem it.

R. How? all your land, sold at a hundred years' purchase, cannot repair the damage of one poor rap:

to thunder at the phrontisterion

of great Albumazar!

P. Why man? what harm?

R. Sir, you must know my master's heavenly brain
pregnant with mysteries of metaphysicks,

grows to an embryo of rare contemplation,
which at full time brought forth excels by far
the armed fruit of Vulcan's midwifery.

P. What of all this?

R. Thus, one of your bold thunders may abortive,

and cause that miscarry, that might have prov'd
an instrument of wonder greater and rarer
than Apollonius the magician wrought.

P. When may I speak with him?

R. When 't please the stars.


he pulls you not a hair, nor pares a nail,
nor stirs a foot, without due figuring

the horoscope. Sit down awhile an't please you,
I see the heavens incline to his approach.


LL the world's a stage,



and all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances,
and one man in his time plays many parts,
his acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
mewling and, puking in the nurse's arms:
then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel
and shining morning face, creeping like snail
unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
made to his mistress' eye-brow. Then, a soldier;
full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
seeking the bubble reputation

even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,'
in fair round belly with good capon lin❜d,
with eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

full of wise saws and modern instances;

and so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
into the lean and slippered pantaloon;
with spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
his youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
for his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
turning again towards childish treble, pipes
and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
that ends this strange eventful history,

is second childishness and mere oblivion:

sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.











HOU hast destroyed the morals of my son,


and turned his mind, not so disposed, to vice, unholy pedagogue! With morning drams,

a filthy custom which he caught from thee,
clean from his former practise, now he saps

his youthful vigour. Is it thus you school him?
And if I did, what harms him? Why complain you?
He does but follow what the wise prescribe,

the great voluptuous law of Epicurus,

Pleasure, the best of all good things on earth;
and how but thus can pleasure be obtained?
Virtue will give it him.

And what but virtue

is our philosophy? When have you met

one of our sect flushed and disguised with wine?
or one, but one of those you tax so roundly
on whom to fix a fault?

Not one, but all,
all who march forth with supercilious brow
high-arched with pride, beating the city rounds,
like constables in quest of rogues and outlaws,
to find that prodigy in human nature

a wise and perfect man! What is your science
but kitchen-science? wisely to descant
upon the choice bits of a savoury carp,
and prove by logic that his summum bonum
lies in his head; there you can lecture well,

and, whilst your grey beards wag, the gaping guest
sits wondering with a foolish face of praise.




'HEREFORE, give out, you are of Epidamnum, lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.

This very day, a Syracusian merchant

is apprehended for arrival here;
and, not being able to buy out his life,
according to the statute of the town,
dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
There is your money that I had to keep.

Ant. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
and stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time:
till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
and then return, and sleep within mine inn;
for with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.

Dro. Many a man would take you at your word,
and go indeed, having so good a mean.
Ant. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft,

when I am dull with care and melancholy, lightens my humour with his merry jests. What, will you walk with me about the town, and then go to my inn, and dine with me? 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 you, I'll meet with you upon the mart, and afterwards consort you till bed-time; my present business calls me from you now. Ant. Farewell till then: I will go lose myself, and wander up and down to view the city.


7. I




'M thinking Pierre, how that damned starving quality called Honesty, got footing in the world.

P. Why, powerful villany first set it up

for its own ease and safety: honest men
are the soft easy cushions, on which knaves
repose and fatten; were all mankind villains,

they'd starve each other; lawyers would want practice;
cut-throats rewards; each man would kill his brother
himself; none would be paid or hanged for murder:
Honesty! 'twas a cheat invented first

to bind the hands of bold deserving rogues,
that fools and cowards might sit safe in power,
and lord it uncontrolled above their betters.

7. Then honesty is but a notion?

P. Nothing else,

like wit much talked of, not to be defined:



he that pretends to most has least share in it:
'tis a ragged virtue.

7. Sure thou art honest?




Honesty! no more on't.

So indeed men think me.

but they are mistaken, Jaffier; I am a rogue
as well as they;

a fine gay bold-fac'd villain, as thou see'st me.
'Tis true, I pay my debts when they're contracted;
I steal from no man; would not cut a throat

to gain admission to a great man's purse:

I'd not betray a friend: I'd scorn to flatter

a blown-up fool above me, or crush the wretch beneath me:

yet, Jaffier, for all this I am a villain.




WOULD, you had but the wit; 'twere better than your dukedom.-Good faith, this same young soberblooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh; but that's no marvel, he drinks no wine. There's never any of these demure boys come to any proof: for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools and cowards;which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish, and dull, and crudy vapours which environ it: makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, (the tongue,) which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is, the warming of the blood; which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice: but the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illumineth the face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm: and then the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their captain, the heart; who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour comes of

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