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You come not home, because you have no stomach; You have no stomach, having broke your fast;

But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,


Are penitent for your default to-day.

ANT. S. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I


Where have you left the money that I gave you ? DRO. E. O,-sixpence, that I had o'Wednesday last,

To pay the sadler for my

mistress' crupper,The sadler had it, sir, I kept it not.

ANT. S. I am not in a sportive humour now: Tell me, and dally not, where is the money? We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust So great a charge from thine own custody? :DRO. E. I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner: I from my mistress come to you in post;

If I return, I shall be post indeed;

For she will score your fault upon my pate°. Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your clock",

5 Are PENITENT-] Penitent seems here to be used in a double sense, and may either mean that they are sorry for their master's default, because they are obliged to fast; or that they are sufferers by it, being obliged by his conduct, like penitents, to fast and pray. MALONE.

6 - I shall be POST indeed;

For she will score your fault upon my pate.] Perhaps, before writing was a general accomplishment, a kind of rough reckoning concerning wares issued out of a shop was kept by chalk or notches on a post, till it could be entered on the books of a trader. So Kitely the merchant making his jealous enquiries concerning the familiarities used to his wife, Cob answers: I saw any body to be kiss'd, unless they would have kiss'd the post in the middle of the warehouse, &c." STEEvens.


So, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609: "Host. Out of my doors, knave, thou enterest not my doors; I have no chalk in my house; my posts shall not be guarded with a little sing-song." MALONE.

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your CLOCK,] The old copy reads your cook. Mr. Pope

And strike you home without a messenger.

ANT. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season;

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this:

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
DRO. E. To me, sir? why you gave no gold to


ANT. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge. DRO. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the mart

Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner; My mistress, and her sister, stay for you.


ANT. S. Now, as I am a christian, answer me, In what safe place you have bestow'd my money; Or I shall break that merry sconce9 of yours, That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd: Where is the thousand marks thou had'st of me? DRO. E. I have some marks of yours upon my


Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
But not a thousand marks between you both.-
If I should pay your worship those again,

made the change, which is fully supported by the subsequent words. MALONE.

So, in Plautus:


me puero uterus erat solarium.” See Aul. Gell. 1. iii. c. iii. STEEVENS.

8 In what safe place you have BESTOW'D my money ;] i. e. stowed or lodged it. The word in this sense is now obsolete.




that merry SCONCE -] Sconce is head. So, in Hamlet, Act V.; Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce?"

Again, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:


I say no more,

"But 'tis within this sconce to go beyond them.”


Perchance, you will not bear them patiently.
ANT. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress,
slave, hast thou?

DRO. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the
Phoenix ;

She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner,
And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
ANT. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my


Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave. [Strikes DROMIO, E. DRO. E. What mean you, sir? for God's sake, hold your hands;

Nay, an you will not sir, I'll take my heels.


[Exit DROMIO, E. ANT. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, The villain is o'er-raught of all my money. They say, this town is full of cozenage2; As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye, Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind, Soul-killing witches, that deform the body;

*First folio, o'erwrought.

'-o'er-raught-] That is, over-reached. JOHNSON. So, in Hamlet:


certain players

"We o'er-raught on the way."

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. vi. c. 3:


Having by chance a close advantage view'd, "He over-raught him," &c. STEEvens.

2 They say, this town is full of cozenage;] This was the character the ancients give of it. Hence 'Papuana was proverbial amongst them. Thus Menander uses it, and 'Epso pappala, in the same sense. WARBURTON.

3 As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye,

DARK-WORKING sorcerers, that change the mind,

SOUL-KILLING witches, that deform the body;] Those, who attentively consider these three lines, must confess, that the poet intended the epithet given to each of these miscreants, should declare the power by which they perform their feats, and which would therefore be a just characteristick of each of them. Thus, by nimble jugglers, we are taught, that they perform their tricks by slight of hand; and by soul-killing witches, we are informed,

Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like liberties of sin*:

the mischief they do is by the assistance of the devil, to whom they have given their souls: but then, by dark-working sorcerers, we are not instructed in the means by which they perform their ends. Besides, this epithet agrees as well to witches as to them; and therefore certainly our author could not design this in their characteristick. We should read:


Drug-working sorcerers, that change the mind," and we know, by the history of ancient and modern superstition, that these kind of jugglers always pretended to work changes of the mind by these applications. WARBURTON.

The learned commentator has endeavoured with much earnestness to recommend his alteration; but, if I may judge of other apprehensions by my own, without great success. This interpretation of soul-killing is forced and harsh. Sir T. Hanmer reads soul-selling, agreeable enough to the common opinion, but without such improvement as may justify the change. Perhaps the epithets have only been misplaced, and the lines should be read thus: "Soul-killing sorcerers, that change the mind,

"Dark-working witches, that deform the body." This change seems to remove all difficulties.

By soul-killing I understand destroying the rational faculties by such means as make men fancy themselves beasts. JOHNSON. Dark-working sorcerers, may only mean sorcerers who carry on their operations in the dark. Thus, says Bolingbroke, in The Second Part of King Henry VI.:



wizards know their times:

Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night," &c. Witches themselves, as well as those who employed them, were supposed to forfeit their souls by making use of a forbidden agency. In that sense they may be said to destroy the souls of others as well as their own. Hence, Sidney, in his Astrophel and Stella :

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No witchcraft is so evill, as which man's minde destroyeth." The same compound epithet occurs in Christopher Middleton's Legend of Humphrey Duke of Glocester, 1600:

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They charge her, that she did maintaine and feede Soul-killing witches, and convers'd with devils." The hint for this enumeration of cheats, &c. Shakspeare might have received from the old translation of the Menæchmi, 1595; "For this assure yourselfe, this towne Epidamnum is a place of outrageous expences, exceeding in all ryot and lasciviousnesse; and (I heare) as full of ribaulds, parasites, drunkards, catchpoles, cony-catchers, and sycophants, as it can hold then for curtizans," &c. STEEVENS.


LIBERTIES of sin:] Sir T. Hanmer reads, libertines, which,

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave;
I greatly fear, my money is not safe.



A publick Place.


ADR. Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd, That in such haste I sent to seek his master!

Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him, And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner. Good sister, let us dine, and never fret:

A man is master of his liberty:

Time is their master; and, when they see time, They'll go, or come: If so, be patient, sister.

ADR. Why should their liberty than ours be more? Luc. Because their business still lies out o'door. ADR. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill 5. Luc. O, know, he is the bridle of your will.

as the author has been enumerating not acts but persons, seems right. JOHNSON.

By liberties of sin, I believe Shakspeare meant licensed offenders, such as mountebanks, fortune tellers, &c. who cheat with impunity.

Thus, says 66 Ascham : I was once in Italie myself, but I thank God my abode there was but nine days; and yet I saw in that little tyme in one citie, [Venice,] more libertie to sinne, than ever I yet heard tell of in London in nine years." STEEVENS.

By liberties of sin, I understand, not licensed offenders, but licentious actions; sinful liberties. MALONE.

5 ill.] This word, which the rhyme seems to countenance, was furnished by the editor of the second folio. The first hasthus. MALONE.

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