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Enter Duke attended; Ægeon bare-headed; with
the Headsman and other Officers.
Adr. Justice, most sacred Duke, against the abbess!
Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady; It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong. Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my
husband — Whom I made lord of me and all I had, At your important letters—this ill day A most outrageous fit of madness took him; That desperately he hurried through the street -With him his bondman, all as mad as he Doing displeasure to the citizens By rushing in their houses, bearing thence Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like. Once did I get him bound, and sent him home, Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went, That here and there his fury had committed. Anon, I wot not by what strong escape, He broke from those that had the guard of him; And, with his mad attendant and himself, Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords, Met us again, and, madly, bent on us, Chas'd us away; till, raising of more aid, We came again to bind them. Then they fled Into this abbey, whither we pursued them; And here the abbess shuts the gates on us, And will not suffer us to fetch him out, Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence. Therefore, most gracious Duke, with thy command, Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help, Duke. Long since, thy husband served me in my
wars; And I to thee engag'd a prince's word, When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.-
Enter a Servant.
Adr. Peace, fool, thy master and his man are here; And that is false, thou dost report to us.
Serv. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true; I have not breath'd almost, since I did see it. He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you, To scotch14 your face, and to disfigure you.
[Cry within. Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress; fly, be gone. Duke. Come, stand by me, fear nothing. Guard
with halberds! Adr. Ah me, it is my husband ! Witness you, That he is borne about invisible. Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here; And now he's there, past thought of human reason.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS and Dromio of Ephesus.
Æge. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio.
Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
upon me, Whilst she with harlots feasted in my house.
Duke. A grievous fault. Say, woman, didst thou so?
Adr. No, my good lord.—Myself, he, and my sister, To-day did dine together. So befall My soul, as this is false he burdens me withal !
Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night, But she tells to your Highness simple truth!
Ang. O perjur'd woman! They are both forsworn. In this the madman justly chargeth them.
Ant. E. My liege, I am advised what I say; Neither disturbed with the effect of wine, Nor heady rash, provok'd with raging ire, Albeit, my wrongs might make one wiser mad. This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner. That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her, Could witness it, for he was with me then; Who parted with me to go fetch a chain, Promising to bring it to the Porpentine, Where Balthazar and I did dine together. Our dinner done, and he not coming thither, I went to seek hím. In the street Î met him; And in his company, that gentleman. There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down, That I this day of him receiv'd the chain, Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which, He did arrest me with an officer. I did obey; and sent my peasant home For certain ducats : he with none return'd.
Then fairly I bespoke the officer,
Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him; That he dined not at home, but was lock’d out.
Duke. But had he such a chain of thee, or no ?
Ang. He had, my lord ; and when he ran in here, These people saw the chain about his neck.
Mer. Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of mine Heard you confess, you had the chain of him, After you first forswore it on the Mart. And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you; And then you fled into this abbey here, From whence, I think, you are come by miracle.
1 Ant. E. I never came within these abbey walls; Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me; I never saw the chain, so help me Heaven ! And this is false, you burden me witbal.
Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this ! I think, you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been;
Duke. Why, this is strange.-Go call the abbess I think, you are all mated, or stark mad.
[Exit an Attendant. Æge. Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a
word; Haply I see a friend will save my life, And pay the sum that may deliver me.
Duke. Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.
Æge. Is not your name, sir, call’d Antipholus ? And is not that your bondman Dromio ?
Dro. E. Within this hour I was his bondman, sir, But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords; Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound.
Æge. I am sure, you both of you remember me.
Dro. E. Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you; For lately we were bound as you are now. You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir ? Æge. Why look you strange on me? you know me
well. Ant. E. I never saw you in my life, till now. Æge. Oh! grief hath chang’d me, since you saw
Ant. E. Neither.
Dromio, nor thou?