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Or sleep I now, and think I hear all this?
Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DRO. S. O for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
Luc. Why prat'st thou to thyself, and answer'st not? Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot?
DRO. S. I am transformed, master, am not I ?
No, I am an ape.
Dro. S. 'Tis true; she rides me, and I long for grass. 'Tis so,
I am an ass; else it could never be
ADR. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
ANT. S. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell ?
I'll say as they say, and persever so,
Dro. S. Master, shall I be porter at the gate ?
I first awaked, and found myself reposed
till had not a voice
goes. But follow me and I will bring
Than that smooth, watery image. Back I turned:
DORCAS AND GREGORY.
GREGORY: I tell you more I won't comply, and it's my busi
talk and command. DORCAS. And I tell you, you shall conform to my will, and that I was not married to you to suffer your ill-humors !
GREG. Oh, the intolerable fatigue of matrimony! Aristotle never said a better thing in his life than when he told us that a wife is worse than a fiend.
DOR. Hear the learned gentleman, with his Aristotle!
GREG. And a learned man I am, too; find me out a maker of fagots that's able, like myself, to reason upon things, or that can boast such an education as mine.
Dor. An education !
GREG. Ay, a regular education; first, at a school where I learned to read; then, with a gentleman at Oxford, where I learned very near as much as my teacher; from whence I attended a travelingphysician six years, under the facetious denomination of a Merry Andrew, where I learned physic.
DOR. O that thou hadst followed him still! Alas, alas! the hour wherein I answered the parson “I will ! ”
GREG. And plagued be the parson that asked me the question !
DOR. You have reason to complain of him, indeed, who ought to be on your knees every inoment returning thanks to Heaven for that great blessing it sent you when it sent you myself. I hope you have not the assurance to think you deserve such a wife !
GREG. No, really, I don't think I do.
To let such a jackanapes woo her,
With his love i' good faith to endue her.
Hear, sirrah, and take it for warning,-
And so he should be on each morning. GREG. Come, come, madam; it was a lucky day for you when you found me out.
DOR. Lucky, indeed! a fellow who eats everything I have ! GREG. That happens to be a mistake, for I drink some part on't. DOR. That has not even left me a bed to lie on. [Sobs.] GREG. You'll rise the earlier.
DOR. And who from morning till night is eternally in an alehouse.
[Still sobs.] GREG. It's genteel—the squire does the same. DOR. Pray, sir, what are you willing I shall do with my family? GREG. Whatever you please.
Dor. My four little children that are continually crying for bread!
GREG. Give 'em a rod! Best cure in the world for crying children !
DOR. And do you imagine, brute, [angrily)—
GREG. Hark ye, my dear; you know my temper is not over and above passive, and that my arm is extremely active.
DOR. [derisively). I laugh at your threats [enraged], you poor, beggarly, insolent fellow!
GREG. (tantalizingly]. Soft object of my wishing eyes, I shall play with your pretty ears.
DoR. [angrily). Touch me if you dare, you insolent, lazy, impudent,
GREG. Oh, ho, ho! You will have it then, I find! [Beats her.] DOR. Oh, murder! murder! murder!
[Enter SQUIRE ROBERT.] SQUIRE ROBERT. What's the matter here? Fie upon you, fie upon you, neighbor, to beat your wife in this scandalous manner!
DOR. Well, sir, and I have a mind to be beat, and what then?
SQ. Rob. O dear, madam! I give my consent with all my heart and soul.
Dor. What's that to you, sauce-box? Is it any business of yours? SQ. Rob. No, certainly, madam, it is not! But
Dor. Here's an impertinent fellow for you! Won't suffer a husband to beat his own wife!
[Sings; air, “ Winchester Wedding."]
Nor thus interfere with our strife,
Who strives to part husband and wife.
Whose bones are ey, sir, he's to lick ?
You are not to find him a stick!
GREG. No, sir, I won't beat her.