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Dro. S. Marry, sir, in her buttocks; I found it out by the bogs.
Ant. S. Where Scotland?
Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.
Ant. S. Where France?
Dro. S. In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her hair.8
8 In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war against her hair.) All the other countries, mentioned in this description, are in Dromio's replies satirically characterized: but here, as the editors have ordered it, no remark is made upon France; por any reason given, why it should be in her forehead: but only the kitchen wench's high forehead is rallied, as pushing back her hair. Thus all the modern editions; but the first folio reads -making war against her heir. And I am very apt to think, this last is the true reading; and that an equivoque, as the French call it, a double meaning, is designed in the poet's allusion: and therefore I have replaced it in the text. In 1589, Henry III of France being stabbed, and dying of his wound, was succeeded by Henry IV of Navarre, whom he appointed his successor: but whose claim the states of France resisted, on account of his be. ing a Protestant. This, I take it, is what he means, by France making war against her heir. Now, as in 1591, Queen Eliza. beth sent over 4000 men, under the conduct of the Earl of Essex, to the assistance of this Henry of Navarre, it seems to me very probable, that during this expedition being on foot, this comedy made its appearance. And it was the finest address imaginable in the poet to throw such an oblique sneer at France, for opposing the succession of that heir, whose claim his royal mistress, the queen, had sent over a force to establish, and oblige them to acknowledge. Theobald.
With this correction and explication Dr. Warburton concurs, and Sir Thomas Hanmer thinks an equivocation intended, though he retains hair in the text. Yet surely they have all lost the sense by looking beyond it. Our author, in my opinion, only sports with an allusion, in which he takes too much delight, and means that his mistress had the French disease. The ideas are rather too offensive to be dilated. By a forehead armed, he means covered with incrusted eruptions: by reverted, he means having the hair turning backward. An quivocal word must have senses applicable to both the subjects to which it is applied. Both forehead and France might in some sort make war against their hair, but how did the forehead make war against its heir ? The sense which I have given, immediately occurred to me, and will, I believe, arise to every reader who is contented with the meaning that lies before him, without sending out conjecture in search of refinements. Fohnson.
Ant. S. Where England?
Dro. S. I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them: but I guess, it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.
Ant. S. Where Spain?
Dro. S. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it, hot in her breath.
Ant. S. Where America, the Indies?
Dro. S. O, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadas of carracks to be ballast' at her nose.
Ant. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?
Dro. S. O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me; called me Dromio; swore, I was assured to her;1 told me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark on my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from her as a witch: and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith,2 and my heart of steel, she had transformed me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn i' the wheel.
Ant. S. Go, hie thee presently, post to the road;
Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for life,
to be ballast - ] The modern editors read-ballasted; the old copy-ballast, which is right. Thus, in Hamlet;
to have the engineer
assured to her ;] i.e. affia ced to her. Thus, in K. John. “ For so I did when I was first assur'd.” Steevens.
and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, &c.] Aluding to the superstition of the common people, that nothing could resist a witch's power of transforming men into animals, but a great share of faith: however, the Oxford editor thinks a breast made of fint better security, and has therefore put it in.
Ant. S. There 's none but witches do inhabit here;
Ang. I know it well, sir: Lo, here is the chain;
Ant. S. What is your will, that I shall do with this?
you. Ant. S. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not.
Ang. 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.
Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receive the money now, For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more.
Ang. You are a merry man, sir; fare you well. [Exit.
Ant. S. 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 offer'd 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. [Exit.
ACT IV..... SCENE I.
Enter a Merchant, ANGELO, and an Officer. Mer. You know, since pentecost the sum is due, And since I have not much impórtun'd you;
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
Ang. Even just the sum, that I do owe to you,
Ant. E. While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou And buy a rope's end; that will I bestow Among my wife and her confederates, 5 For locking me out of my doors by dayBut soft, I see the goldsmith:-get thee gone; Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me. Dro. E. I buy a thousand pound a year! I buy a rope !
[Exit Dro. Ant. E. A man well holp up, that trusts to you: I promised your presence, and the chain; But neither chain, nor goldsmith, came to me: Belike, you thought our love would last too long, If it were chain’d together; and therefore came not.
Ang. Saving your merry humour, here 's the note, How much your chain weighs to the utmost carrat; The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion; Which doth amount to three odd ducats more Than I stand debted to this gentleman: I pray you, see him presently discharg'd, For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.
Ant. E. I am not furnish'd with the present money; Besides, I have some business in the town:
want gilders -] A giller is a coin valued from one shilling and six-pence, to two shillings. Steevens. Is growing to me -] i. e. accruing to me. Steevens.
and her confederates,] The old copy has—their confederates. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
Good signior, take the stranger to my house,
Ang. Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?
enough. Ang. Well, sir, I will: Have you the chain about you?
Ant. E. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have; Or else you may return without your money.
Ang. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain; Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman, And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
Ant. E. Good lord, you use this dalliance, to excuse Your breach of promise to the Porcupine: I should have chid you for not bringing it, But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
Mer. The hour steals on; I pray you, sir despatch. Ang. You hear, how he importunes me; the chain Ant. E. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your
money. Ang. Come, come, you know, I
you even now; Either send the chain, or send me by some token.
Ant. E. Fy! now you run this humour out of breath: Come, where's the chain? I pray you, let me see it.
Mer. My business cannot brook this dalliance: Good sir, say, whe'r you 'll answer me, or no; If not, I 'll leave him to the officer.
Ant. E. I answer you! What should I answer you?
half an hour since. Ant. E. You gave me none; you wrong me much to
Ang. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it:
Mer. Well officer, arrest him at my suit.
6 Perchance, I will be there as soon as you.] I will, instead of I shall, is a Scoticism. Douce.
And an Irishism too. Reed.