William Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors

SCENE 2. The same.


And may it be that you have quite forgot
  A husband's office? Shall, Antipholus,
Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?
  Shall love, in building, grow so ruinate?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
  Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kindness;
Or, if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth;
  Muffle your false love with some show of blindness;
Let not my sister read it in your eye;
  Be not thy tongue thy own shame's orator;
Look sweet, speak fair, become disloyalty;
  Apparel vice like virtue's harbinger;
Bear a fair presence though your heart be tainted;
  Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint;
Be secret-false: what need she be acquainted?
  What simple thief brags of his own attaint?
'Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed
  And let her read it in thy looks at board:--
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
  Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word.
Alas, poor women! make us but believe,
  Being compact of credit, that you love us:
Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve;
  We in your motion turn, and you may move us.
Then, gentle brother, get you in again;
  Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife:
'Tis holy sport to be a little vain
  When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.

Sweet mistress,--what your name is else, I know not,
  Nor by what wonder you do hit on mine,--
Less, in your knowledge and your grace, you show not
  Than our earth's wonder: more than earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak;
  Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,
Smother'd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
  The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you
  To make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? would you create me new?
  Transform me, then, and to your power I'll yield.
But if that I am I, then well I know
  Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe:
  Far more, far more, to you do I decline.
O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
  To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears:
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote;
  Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I'll take thee, and there lie;
  And, in that glorious supposition, think
He gains by death that hath such means to die:--
  Let love, being light, be drowned if she sink!

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