Both from his enterprise and from the world,
His crown bequeathing to his banished brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true
I do engage my life.
Diikc S. Welcome, young man ;
Thou offer'st fairly to thy brother's wedding.
To one his lands withheld, and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot.
And after, every of this happy number
That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity,
And fall into our rustic revelry :
Play, music ; and you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.
Jaq. Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life,
And thrown into neglect the pompous court }
2 Bro. He hath.
Jaq. To him will I. Out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.
You to your former honour I bequeath :
Your patience, and your virtue well deserves it.
You to a love that your true faith doth merit.
You to your land, and love, and great allies.
You to a long and well -deserved bed.
And you to wrangling ; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victualled. So to your pleasures ;
I am for other than for dancing measures.
Duke S. Stay, Jaques, stay.
Jaq. To see no pastime, I. What you would have
I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave. \_Exit.
Duke S. Proceed, proceed : we'll begin these rites.
As we do trust they'll end in true delights. \_Exit.
Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epi-
logue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the
AS YOU LIKE IT 151
lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no
bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet
to good wine they do use good bushes ; and good plays
prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What
a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue,
nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good
play 1 I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to
beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you,
and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O
women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much
of this play as please you. And I charge you, O men,
for the love you bear to women (as I perceive by your
simpering none of you hate them), that between you
and the women the play may please. If I were a
woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that
pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths
that I defied not. And I am sure, as many as have
good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for
my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.
The Comedy of Errors
Dromio of Syracuse 1
SoLiNUS, Duke of Ephesus.
^GEON, a Merchant of Syracuse.
Dromio of Ephesus " ( ^'"f '^f^^f ''"' ''I'f f'
tendants on the two
\ twht brothers, and
Antipholus of Ephesus J ^'"J '''^^S.^^"
Antipholus of Syracuse \ f f ^^^'^'^^
[ to each other.
Balthazar, a Aferchant.
Angelo, a Goldsmith.
A Merchant, frieftd to Antipholus of Syracuse,
Pinch, a Schoolmaster and a Conjurer.
Emilia ^ ^^ ^^ ^geon, an Abbess at
Adriana, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
Luciana, her Sister.
Luce, her Sen'ant.
Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants.
The Comedy of Errors
Scene I. ā Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the
Merchant of Syracuse, Gaoler, and other at-
MERCHANT. Proceed, SoHnus, to procure my
And, by the doom of death, end woes and all.
Duke. Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more ;
I am not partial to infringe our laws :
The enmity and discord which of late
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, ā
Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives.
Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their bloods,
Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed.
Both by the Syracusans and ourselves.
To admit no traffic to our adverse towns :
Nay, more, if any, born at Ephesus,
Be seen at any Syracusan marts and fairs,
Again, If any, Syracusan born.
Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies.
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose ;
Unless a thousand marks be levied.
To quit the penalty and to ransom him.
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
156 COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks ;
Therefore by law thou art condemn'd to die.
Mer. Yet this my comfort ; when your words are
My woes end Hkewise with the evening sun.
Duke. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the cause
Why thou departedst from thy native home ;
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus ?
Mer. A heavier task could not have been impos'd.
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable :
Yet, that the world may witness that my end
Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracusa was I born, and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me.
And by me ; had not our hap been bad.
With her I liv'd in joy ; our wealth increas'd,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death ;
And the great care of goods at random left.
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse :
From whom my absence was not six months old,
Before herself (almost at fainting, under
The pleasing punishment that women bear)
Had made provision for her following me,
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was.
There had she not been long, but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons ;
And, which was strange, the one so like the other.
As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the selfsame inn,
A mean woman was delivered
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike :
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return :
Unwilling I agreed ; alas ! too soon we came aboard.
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd.
Before the always wind-obeying deep
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS 157
Gave any tragic instance of our harm :
But longer did we not retain much hope;
For what obscured light the heavens did grant
Did but convey unto our fearful minds
A doubtful warrant of immediate death ;
Which, though myself would gladly have embrac'd,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes.
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
And this it was, ā for other means was none, ā
The sailors sought for safety by our boat.
And left the ship, then sinking ripe, to us :
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast.
Such as seafaring men provide for storms ;
To him one of the other twins was bound.
Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast ;
And floating straight, obedient to the stream.
Were carried towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us ;
And, by the benefit of his wished light.
The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
Two ships from far making amain to us ;
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this :
But ere they came ā oh, let me say no more !
Gather the sequel by that went before.
Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off so ;
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
Mer. Oh, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd them merciless to us !
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues.
We were encounter'd by a mighty rock ;
Which being violently borne up.
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst.
158 COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us aHke
What to dehght in, what to sorrow for.
Her part, poor soul ! seeming as burdened
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Was carried with more speed before the wind ;
And in our sight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length, another ship had seiz'd on us ;
And, knowing whom it was their hap to save.
Gave healthful welcome to their shipwreck'd guests ;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail.
And therefore homeward did they bend their course. ā
Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss ;
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd.
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest
Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them and thee till now.
Mer. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care.
At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother ; and importun'd me
That his attendant (so his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name)
Might bear him company in the quest of him :
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see,
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus ;
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought.
Or that, or any place that harbours men.
But here must end the story of my life ;
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.
Duke. Hapless ^geon, whom the fates have mark'd
To bear the extremity of dire mishap !
Now trust me, were it not against our laws,
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS 159
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
Which princes, would they, may not disannul,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee.
But, though thou art adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recall'd,
But to our honour's great disparagement.
Yet will I favour thee in what I can :
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day
To seek thy help by beneficial help :
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus ;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum.
And live ; if not, then thou art doomed to die. ā
Gaoler, take him to thy custody.
Gaol. I will, my lord.
Mer. Hopeless and helpless doth ^geon wend,
But to procrastinate his lifeless end. \Exeu71t.
Scene II. ā Enter Antipholus Erotes, a Merchant,
E. Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,
Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
This very day a Syracusan merchant
Is apprehended for arrival here;
And, not being able to buy out his life,
According to the statute of the town.
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.
There is your money that I had to keep.
Ant. Go, bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time:
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings.
And then return, and sleep within mine inn ;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.
Dro. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean.
Ant. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft,
i6o COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to my inn, and dine with me ?
E. Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit ;
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock,
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart.
And afterwards consort you till bedtime ;
My present business calls me from you now.
Ant. Farewell till then : I will go lose myself,
And wander up and down to view the city.
E. Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content.
Ant. He that commends me to mine own content,
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
I to the world am like a drop of water,
That in the ocean seeks another drop.
Who failing there to find his fellow forth.
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Here comes the almanac of my true date. ā
What now t How chance thou art return'd so soon .?
E. Dro. Return'd so soon ! rather approach'd too
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit ;
The clock has strucken twelve upon the bell ;
My mistress made it one upon my cheek:
She is so hot because the meat is cold ;
The meat is cold because you come not home ;
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. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:
Where have you left the money that I gave you }
'GO BEAR IT TO THF rKNTAUR
'I he Comedy of Knu.s, ,āā¢. ,, scene ...
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS i6i
E. Dro. Oh, ā sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday
To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper, ā
The saddler had it, sir ; I kept it not.
Ant. 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 ?
E. Dro. 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.
And strike you home without a messenger.
Ant. Come, Dromio, come; these jests are out of
Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee ?
E. Dro. To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.
Ant. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.
E. Dro. 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. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me.
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money;
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undisposed :
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
E. Dro. I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders.
But not a thousand marks between you both. ā
If I should pay your worship those again,
Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
Ant. Thy mistress' marks ! what mistress, slave, hast
E. Dro. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the
She that doth fast till you come home to dinner.
And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
1 62 COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
Ant. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid ? There, take you that, sir knave.
E. Dro. What mean you, sir ? for God's sake, hold
your hands ;
Nay, and you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
\_Exit E. Dromio.
Ant. Upon my life, by some device or other.
The villain is o'erwrought of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage :
As nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye;
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind ;
Soul-killing witches, that deform the body;
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like liberties of sin.
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. \^Exit.
Scene I. ā Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholis Serep-
Tus, with LuciANiA, her sister.
Adr. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd.
That in such haste I sent to seek his master t
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' doors.
Adr. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it thus.
Luc. Oh, know, he is the bridle of your will.
Adr. There's none but asses will be bridled so.
Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
There's nothing situate under Heaven's eye
But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS 163
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls.
Are their males' subjects, and at their controls:
Man, more divine, the master of all these.
Lord of the wide world, and wild watery seas,
Indued with intellectual sense and souls
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords :
Then let your will attend on their accords.
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
Adr. But, were you wedded, you would bear some
Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey.
Adr. How if your husband start some other where ?
Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear.
Adr. Patience unmov'd, no marvel though she pause ;
They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee.
With urging helpless patience would'st relieve me ;
But, if thou live to see like right bereft.
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try ā
Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.
Efiier Dromio of Ephesus.
Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand ?
E. Dro. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that
my two ears can witness.
Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him } know'st thou
E. Dro. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear.
Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
Luc. Spake he so doubtfully thou couldst not feel
his meaning }
E. Dro. Nay, he struck so plainly I could too well
1 64 COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could
scarce understand them.
Adr. But say, I prithee, is he coming home ?
It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
E. Dro. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain ?
E. Dro. I mean not cuckold - mad.
But sure he's stark-mad.
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a hundred marks in gold.
' Tis dmner-time, quoth I ; My gold, quoth he.
Your meat doth burn, quoth I ; My gold, quoth he.
Will you come ? quoth I ; My gold, quoth he.
Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain ?
The pig, quoth I, is burnd; My gold, quoth he.
My mistress, sir, quoth I ; Hang up thy mistress ;
I htow not thy mistress ; out on thy mistress I
Luc. Quoth who 1
E. Dro. Quoth my master : / know, quoth he, no
house, no wife, no mistress ; so that my errand, due unto
my tongue, I thank him, I bear home upon my shoul-
ders ; for, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
E. Dro. Go back again, and be new beaten home '^.
For God's sake, send some other messenger.
Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
E. Dro. And he will bless that cross with other
beating. Between you I shall have a holy head.
Adr. Hence, prating peasant ; fetch thy master home.
E. Dro. Am I so round with you, as you with me,
That like a football you do spurn me thus }
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither :
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
LtLc. Fie, how impatience lowereth in your face.
Adr. His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek ? then he hath wasted it.
Are my discourses dull } barren my wit }
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS 165
Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait ?
That's not my fault, he's master of my state.
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not ruin'd ? then is he the ground
Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair;
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home ; poor I am but his stale.
Luc. Self-harming jealousy ! ā fie, beat it hence.
Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dis-
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
Else, what lets it but he would be here ?
Sister, you know, he promised me a chain ;
Would that alone, alone he would detain.
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed !
I see the jewel best enamelled
Will lose his beauty ; yet the gold 'bides still
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold : and no man that hath a name
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy !
Scene II. ā Enter Antipholus Erotes.
Ant. The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out
By computation, and mine host's report.
I could not speak with Dromio, since at first
I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes. ā
Enter Dromio of Syracuse.
How now, sir t is your merry humour alter'd ?
As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
You know no Centaur .? you received no gold ?
i66 COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner ?
My house was at the Phoenix ? Wast thou mad,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me ?
61 Dro. What answer, sir ? when spake I such a
Ajit. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
S. Dro. I did not see you since you sent me hence
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.
Ant. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt ;
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner;
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd.
S. Dro. I am glad to see you in this merry vein.
What means this jest.? I pray you, master, tell me.
Ant. Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth ?
Think'st thou I jest } Hold, take thou that and that.
\Beats D ROM ID.
S. Dro. Hold, sir, for God's sake : now your jest is
Upon what bargain do you give it me }
Ant. Because that I familiarly sometimes
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love,
And make a common of my serious hours.
When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
If you will jest with me, know my aspect.
And fashion your demeanour to my looks.
Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
S. Dro. Sconce call you it ? so you would leave bat-
tering, I had rather have it a head ; and you use these
blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and in-
sconce it too, or else I shall seek my wit in my shoul-
ders. But I pray, sir, why am I beaten .'*
Ant. Dost thou not know.?
6^. Dro. Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
Ant. Shall I tell you why .?
6". Dro. Ay, sir, and wherefore ; for, they say, every
why hath a wherefore.
Ant. Why, first ā for flouting me ; and then where-
fore ā ^for urging it the second time to me.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS ' 167
^S*. Dro. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither rhyme
nor reason ?
Well, sir, I thank you.
Ant. Thank me, sir? for what?
6". Dro. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave
me for nothing.
Ant. I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing
for something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time ?
kS". Dro. No, sir ; I think the meat wants that I have.
Ant. In good time, sir, what's that?
S. Dro. Basting.
Ant. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
kS. Dro. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it.
Ajit. Your reason ?
S. Dro. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me
another dry basting.
Ant. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time. There's a
time for all things.
S. Dro. I durst have denied that, before you were so
Ant. By what rule, sir ?
kS. Dro. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain
bald pate of Father Time himself.
Ant. Let's hear it.
6". Dro. There's no time for a man to recover his
hair that grows bald by nature.
A7it. May he not do it by fine and recovery ?
6^. Dro. Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig, and recover
the lost hair of another man.
Ant. W^hy is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as
it is, so plentiful an excrement ?