William Shakespeare.

The comedy of errors, in five acts online

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Enter Antipholis of Ephesus and Dromio of

Ant. of Eph. While I go to the goldsmith's

house, go thou

And buy a rope's-end : that will I bestow
Among the base confederates of my wife,


For locking me out of my doors to-day.
But soft, I see the goldsmith : Get thee gone
To buy the rope, and bring it home to me.

[Exit Dromio of Epkesus.
A man is well holp up, that trusts to you :
I promised me your presence, and the bracelet ;
But neither that nor goldsmith came to me.

Ang. Saving your merry humour, here's the note
How much your jewel weighs, to th' utmost carat.
The fineness of the gold and chargeful fashion
Make it amount to three odd ducats, more
Than I stand 'debted to this gentleman :
I pray you, see him presently discharged ;
For he is bdund to sea, and stays but for it.

Ant. of Eph. I am not furnish'd with the sum

about me ;

Besides, 1 have some business in the town.
Good signor, take the stranger to my house,
And with you take the bracelet : Bid my wife
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof:
Perchance, I will be there as soon as you.

Ang. Then you will bring the bracelet there
yourself ?

Ant. of Eph. No, do you bear it ; lest I come not
time enough.

Ang. Well, sir, I will then : Have you it about

Ant. of Eph. 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

jewel :

Both wind and tide stay for the gentleman,
And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
Ant. of Eph. I guess you use this dalliance, to


Your breach of promise at the Porcupine :
I should have chid you for not bringing it ;
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.

Cha. The hour steals on : I pray you, sir, dis-
Ang. You hear how he importunes me : The


Ant. of Eph. Why, give it to my wife ; and

fetch your money.
Ang. Come, come, you know, I gave it you

even now:
Or give it me, or send me by some token.

Ant. of Eph. Fie! now you run this humour

out of breath :
Come, where is it ? I pray you let me see it.

Cha. My business cannot brook this dalliance.
Good sir, say, if you'll answer me, or no ;
If not, I'll leave him to the officer.

Ant. of Eph. I answer you! what should I

answer you ?

Ang. The money that you owe me for the bracelet.
Ant. of Eph. I owe you none, 'till I, receive the

Ang. You know, I gave it you half an hour since.


Ant. of Eph. You gave me none: you wrong
me much, to say so.

Ang. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it :
Consider how it stands upon my credit

Cha. Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.

Off. I do ; and charge you, in the duke's name,
to obey me.

Ang. This touches me, sir, in my reputation;
Either consent to pay the sum for me,
Or I attach you by this officer.

Ant. of Eph. Consent to pay for what I never

had !
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar'st.

Ang. Here is thy fee : arrest him officer :
I would not spare my brother in this case,
If he should scorn me so apparently.

Off. I do arrest you, sir : you hear the suit.

Ant. of Eph. I do obey thee, 'till I give thee bail :
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear
As all the metal in your shop will answer.

Ang. Sir, Sir, I shall have law in Ephesus,
To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

Dr. of Syr. Master, there is a bark of Epidam-


That stays but 'till her owner comes aboard;
Then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
I have convey'd aboard ; and I have bought
The oil, the balsamum and aqua vita? :



The ship is in her trim, the merry wind

Blows fair from land, they stay for nought at all,

But for the owner, master and yourself.

Ant. of Eph. How now, madman ? Why,

thou peevish sheep,
What ship of Epidamnum stays for me ?

Dr. of Syr. A ship, you sent me to, sir, to hire

Ant. of Eph. Thou drunken slave, I sent thee

for a rope;
Arid told thee to what purpose, and for whom.

Dr. of Syr. You sent me to the bay, sir, for a

Ant. of Eph. I will debate the matter at more


And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight ;
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk
That's cover' d o'er with Turkish tapestry,
There is a purse of ducats ; let her send it ;
Tell her, I am arrested in the street,

And that shall bail me. Hie thee, slave, begone

On, officer, to prison, 'till he comes.

[Exeunt Antipholis of Ephesus, Angelo,

Chares, and Officer.

Dr. of Syr. To Adriana's ! that is, where we
din'd. Go there again ? Surely my poor master's
mind is strangely alter'd : But now, he sent me to
seek a vessel ; and swore, he would not stay an hour
longer : now he denies it all ; and rather seems in-


clined to take up his abode here ; for upon the
strength of one visit only, he has got the key of
Adriana's treasure, and sends for ducats as familiarly
as he would for his own : Then, how he should
come arrested ! I'll venture, however, to her house
once more, and get the money for him; if that
Blowzabel, who claim'd me for her husband, does
not set her kitchen-stuff countenance in my way,
and fright me from my purpose.




Enter Adriana and Luciana.

Adr. What, Luciana, did he tempt thee so ?
Didst thou mark,

Look'd he or pale or red, or sad or merry ?
Luc. First, he denied you had in him a right.
Adr, He meant, he did me none : the more my


Luc. Then, swore he, that he was a stranger here.
Adr. And true he swore ; though yet forsworn

he be.

Luc. Then pleaded I for you.
Adr. What said he then ?
Luc. That love I begg'd for you, he begg'd of

Adr. With what persuasion did he tempt thy love ?


Luc. With words that in an honest suit might

move :
First, did he praise my beauty, then my speech.

Adr. Didst speak him fair ?

Luc. Have patience, I beseech you.

Adr. I cannot, nor I will not, hold me still.
My tongue, though not my heart, must have its


O, he is shapeless, crooked, old, and seer,
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, rude, unkind,
Deform'd in person, more deform'd in soul !

Luc. Yet do not give such way to your affliction,
But call your better reason to your aid :
O, did my brother's mind but mate his person,
Were but his conduct graceful as his visage,
What woman might with Adriana boast
So vast a fund of hymeneal bliss !
Trust then to time, and fault-repairing wisdom,
To change his mind ; nor soil, with partial breath,
A form in nature's fairest colours drest.

Adr. O, but I think him better than I say>
And wish him kind and fair to me alone,
Thus, lap-wing like, far from my nest I cry,
To puzzle and mislead intruding eyes
That seek to rob me of my treasur'd bliss.
Oh ! would that he'd return !

Luc. And if he did, you would upbraid him>

Adr. Not much I'd say to him


(Measure for Measure.)

Take, oh ! take those lips away t
That so sweetly were forsworn !
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights, iv/iich do mislead the morn.
13ut my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, tho'* sealed in vain!

Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

Dr. of Syr. Here, go : the desk, the purse-
now make haste.

Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath ?
Dr. of Syr. By running fast.
Adr. Where is thy master, Dromio ? is he well ?
Dr. of Syr. No, he's in Tartar-limbo, a devil

hath him,

One whose hard heart is button'd up with steel ;
A fiend, a fury, pitiless and rough ;
A back-friend ; one that commands
The passages of alleys, creeks and lanes.
Adr. Why, man, what is the matter?
Dr. of Syr. I do not know the matter ; but he

is arrested.

Adr. Arrested is he ? in debt unkown to me !
Tell me at whose suit ?

Dr. of Syr. I do not know at whose suit he is


arrested, but arrested he is : and his suit to you is,
that yon will send him, mistress, redemption, the
money in his desk.

Adr. Go fetch it, sister.

[Exit Luciana.
This I wonder at and (turning to Dromio, who

is fanning himself)
Why how now ? Thou art faint !
Dr. To be sure I am.
Adr* Go refresh thyself

(Dromio smiles and bows.)
Haste repair thee to the kitchen.

Dro. The kitchen! O Lord ! don't mention it-
I'm quite well, ma'am quite !

Enter Luciana with a Purse.

Adr. Go, Dromio ; there's the money ; bear it

strait ;
And bring thy master home immediately.

[Exit Dromio,

Yet, wherefore bring him home, since lie has lost
All token of regard, and slights the place,
Where once, he said, his every comfort dwelt ?
Why should I wish him here ? and yet without him
What is this home to me !

Luc. Some vague conceit,

The phantom of the moment, hath possess'd him :
It will away as soon.

Adr. 'Pray heaven, it may,
For, 'till he shake it of, no mate have I,


But jealous doubt Oh Luciana !
Do you not remember well tbe day.
When first these fears arose
'Twas in yon grove ! (pointing off.)

Lac. I know

On that bright summer morn, when all around,
Save you and Philomel, who warbl'd near,
Were blithsome, joyous !

DUET. (Sonnets.)

As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade.
With a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring ;
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone ;
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Leand her breast tip-till a thorn ;
" Fie, jie, fie /" noiv she would cry :
" Teren, teren /" by and by.
That to hear her so complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain ;
For her griefs, so lovely shewn,
Made me think upon my own.





Enter Antipholis of Syracuse, with the Bracelet
on his arm.

Ant. of Syr. There's not a man I meet but doth

salute me,

As if I were his well-acquainted friend :
And every one doth call me by my name :
Some tender money to me, some invite me,
Some offer me commodities to buy ;
While others give me thanks for kindnesses :
Ev'n now, a tailor call'd me in his shop,
And show'd me silks that he had bought for me,
And therewithal took measure of my body :
Sure these are but imaginary wiles,
And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse.

Dr. of Syr. Master, here's the gold you sent me
for. What, have you got rid of the fiend ?

Ant. of Syr. What gold is this ? What fiend
dost thou mean ?

Dr. of Syr. He that came behind you, sir, like
an evil angel, and bid you forsake your liberty.

Ant . of Syr. I understand thee not;

Dr. of Syr. No ; why 'tis plain enough. The-



man 5 sir, that, when gentlemen are tir'd, gives them
a fob, and rests them : He, sir, that takes pity on
decay'd men, and gives them suits of durance.

Ant. of Syr. Mean'st thou an officer ?

Dr. of Syr. Aye, sir, the sergeant of the hand ;
he that brings any man to answer it, that breaks his
bond : One that thinks a man always going to bed^
and says, Heaven send you good rest !

Ant. of Syr. Well, sir, there rest your foolery.
Is there any ship puts forth to-night ? May we
be gone?

Dr. of Syr. Why, sir, I brought you word, an
hour since, that the bark, Expedition, puts forth
to-night; and then were you hinder'd by the sergeant,
to tarry for the hoy, Delay. Here are the angels
that you sent for, to deliver you.

Ant. of Syr. The fellow is distract, and so am I :
And here we wander in illusion :
Some blessed power deliver us from hence !

Enter Lesbia.

Les. Well met, well met, master Antipholis.
I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now :
Is this the bracelet you promis'd me to-day ?

Ant. of Syr. What more temptations?
Mistress, you do impeach your modesty,
Here in the street, thus to commit yourself
Into the hands of one who knows you not.

Les. Not know me? How ? Am I not Lesbia?
And are uot you Antipholis ? Nay, jest not :



Return with me, and we will mend our cheer.

Ant. of Syr. Have you no bashfulness ? no sense

of shame ?

No touch of modesty ? Why will you tear
Ungentle words from rny reluctant tongue ?

Les. I would not do so, good Antipholis ;
I do but ask for what you promised me.

Ant. of Syr. I promised thee^

Les. Aye, as we sat at dinner.

Ant. of Syr. I ne'er beheld thy face, until this

Les. And told'st me that thy wife

Ant. of Syr. My wife ? thou sorceress !

Dr. of Syr. Master, you certainly have been

And have forgot it.

Les. Say, did you not, Antipholis ?

Ant. of Syr. I tell thee, no.

Les. Nor take my ring ?

Ant. of Syr. No, no ; nor comprehend
What thy false tongue hath utter'd. Dromio,
Follow me to our inn : I will not stay,
Nor longer listen to thy sorceries.

[Exit Antipholis of Syracuse, Lesbia
following him.

Dr. of Syr. [Draws his sword. ~\ No, you don't:
Here's my charm against witches. Mistress, it
is written that evil spirits appear to men like angels
of light : Light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn ;
ergo, light wenches will burn : therefore we will


not trust ourselves near you.

[Exit Dromio of Syracuse.
Le$. Now, out of doubt, Antipholis is mad ;
Else would he never so demean himself.
A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats ;
And for the same, he promised me a bracelet :
Both one and other he denies me now.
What then remains ? What measures shall I take?
My way is strait to hie me to his house,
And tell his wife that, being lunatic,
He rush'd into my house, and took, perforce,
My ring away : this course I fittest choose,
To right myself against this madman's wrong.




Enter Aniipholis of Ephesus, and Officer.

Ant. of Eph. Fear me not, man ; I will not break

away :

I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money
To warrant thee, as I am 'rested for,
My wife is in a wayward mood to day :
And will not lightly trust the messenger.
That I should be attach'd in Ephesus,
I tell you will sound harshly in her ears.
Here conies my man ; I think he brings the money


Enter Dromio of Ephesus with a Rope.

Ant. of Eph. How now, sir, have you that I

sent you for ?
Dr. of Eph. Here's that, I'll warrant you, will

pay them all.

Ant. of Eph. But, where's the money ?
Dr. of Eph. Why, sir, I gave the money for the

Ant. of Eph. Five hundred ducats, villain, for

a rope ?
Dr. of Eph. I'll serve you, sir, five thousand at

that rate.
Ant. of Eph. To what end did I bid thee hie

thee hence ?
Dr. of Eph. To a rope's end, sir ; and to that

end am I return'd.

Ant. of Eph. And to that end, sir, will I wel-
come you. [Beats him.
Off. Good sir, be patient.
Dr. of Eph. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient; I

am in adversity.

Off. Good now, hold thy tongue.
Dr. of Eph. Nay, rather persuade him to hold

his hands.

Ant. of Eph. Thou stupid senseless villain !
Dr. of Eph. I would I were senseless, sir, that I
might not feel your blows.

Ant. of Eph. Thou art sensible in nothing, but
blows, and so is an ass.


Dr. of Eph. I am an ass, indeed ; you may
prove it by my endurance. I have serv'd him from
the hour of my nativity to this instant, and have had
nothing at his hands for my service, but blows :
when I am cold he heats me with beating ; when I
am warm, he cools me with beating : I am wak'd
with it, when I sleep ; rais'd with it, when I sit ;
driven out of doors with it, when I go abroad ;
welcomed home with it when I return ; nay, I bear
it on my shoulders, as a beggar does her brat : and,
I think, when he hath lamed me, I shall beg with it
from door to door.

Ant. of Eph. Well, we'll along. My wife is
coming yonder.

Enter Adriana, Luciano,, Lesbia, Dr. Pinch,
and his Servants.

Dr. of Eph. Mistress, respicejinem, respect your
end : or rather, the prophecy, like the parrot, be-
ware of the rope's end.

Ant. of Eph. Wilt thou still prate? art thou

not quieted ?
Then take thou that, and that. [Beats him.

Off. Good sir, be patient.

Les. How say you now ? Is not your husband

Adr. His incivility confirms no less.
Good Doctor Pinch, you are a skilful man ;
Establish him in his true sense again,
And I will pay you what I have i* the world.


Luc. Alas ! how fiery and fierce he looks !
Les. Mark, how he trembles in his ecstacy !
Pinch Give me your hand, and let me feel your


Ant. of Eph. There is my hand, and let it feel

your ear. [Strikes him.

Pinch. I charge thee, devil^ hous'd within this


Civilly yield possession of my patient :
Or I shall play the devil with thee strait.

Ant. of Eph. Peace, doting wizard, Peace ! I

am not mad.
Adr. Oh, that thou wert not, poor distracted

soul !
Ant. of Eph. You minion you, are these your

customers ?

Did this companion, with the saffron face,
Revel and feast it at my board to-day,
While upon me the guilty doors were shut,
And I denied to enter in my house ?

Adr. O, husband, heaven doth know, you din'd

at home ;

Where 'would you had remain'd until this time,
Free from these slanders and this open shame.
Ant. of Eph. I din'd at home! Thou villain,

what say'st thou ?
Dr. of Eph. Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine

at home.

Ant. of Eph. Were not my doors lock'd up, and
I shut out ?


Dr. of Eph. In sooth, your doors were lock'd,

and you shut out.
Ant. of Eph. And did not she herself revile me

there ?
Dr. of Eph. Sans fable, she herself reviPd you

Ant. of Eph. And did not I, in rage depart from

thence ?
Dr. of Eph. In verity you did : my bones bear

That since have felt the vigour of your rage.

Adr. Is't good, to sooth him in these contraries ?
Pinch. It is no blame, the fellow finds his vein.
And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy.
Ant. of Eph. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith

to arrest me.

Adr. Alas ! I sent you money, to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.

Dr. of Eph. Money by me ! Love and good-
will you might ;
But surely, master, .not a doit of money.

Ant. of Eph. Went'st thou not to her for a purse

of ducats ?

Adr. He came to me, and I delivered it.
Luc. And I am witness with her, that she did.
Dr. of Eph. Heaven, and the rope-maker, can

bear me witness
That I was sent for nothing but a rope.

Ant. of Eph. Liar! slave; but thou (Turning
to Adriana)


Say, wherefore did'st thou lock me forth to-day?
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold ?

Adr. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.

Dr. of Eph And gentle master, I received no gold:
But I can swear, sir, that we were lock'd out.

Adr. Dissembling villain, thou speak 'st false in

Ant . of Eph. Dissembling harlot, thou art false

in all,

And art confederate with a damned pack.
To make a loathsome abject scorn of me :
But with these nails I'll pluck out those false eyes
That would behold ine in this shameful sort.

Adr. O ! hold him, hold him, let him not come
near me. [Servants seize him.~\

Pinch. More company! the fiend is strong
within him.

Ant. of Eph. * What, will you murder me?

Thou officer,

I am thy prisoner : Wilt thou suffer them
To make a rescue ?

Off. Masters, let him go :
He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.

Pinch. Go seize that man, for he is frantic too.

Dr. of Eph. (Rubbing his hands with joy .) Good!
seize the gaoler! the shoulder slapper.

Pinch. And him ! (Pointing to Dromio.)
Seize on that varlet they are all possess'd,
And must be bound and laid in some dark room.

Dr. of Eph. I ! I bound in a dark room.


Off. (To Doctor's servants.) Stand off he is

my prisoner ; if I let him go,
The debt he owes will be required of me.

Adr. What wilt thou do thou peevish officer ?
Good master doctor see him safe convey'd
Home to thy house. O most unhappy day !
Ant. of Eph. Oh ! most unhappy wanton !
Dr. of Eph. Oh ! most unhappy Dromio !
Pinch. Away bear them all to my strong room.
[Exeunt Servants, forcing off Antipholis of
Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus^ followed
by Dr. Pinch.

Adr. I will discharge thee ; (to officer)
Lead me forthwith unto his creditor.
But say, whose suit is he arrested at ?
Off] One Angelo, a goldsmith.
Adr. I know the man. What is the sum he

owes ?

Off*. Two hundred ducats.
Due for a bracelet which your husband had.
Adr. He did bespeak 't for me, but had it not.
Les. When as your husband all in rage, to-day
Came to my house, and took away my ring,
The ring I saw upon his finger now,
Strait after did I meet him with the bracelet.

Adr. It may be so ; but I did never see it.
Officer, bring me where the goldsmith is ;
I long to know the truth hereof at large.

[Noise without.

Luc. Heaven, for thy mercy ! they are loose again!



Adr. And come with naked swords.
Let's call more help, to have 'em bound again.
Off. Away ! they'll kill us ! {Exeunt.

Enter Antipholis of Syracuse and Dromio of
Syracuse, with drawn swords.

Dr. of Syr. She that would be your wife, now

ran from you,
Ant . of Syr. Come to the Centaur ; fetch your

stuff from thence :

I long that we were safe and sound on board.
I will not stay to-night for all the town.

\_Night-roll and Drum without.
Hark ! the cry is up on ev'ry side they come.
'Tis madness all : and I begin to doubt
That even love and beauty are but snares
To plunge my soul in yet severer cares. [Exeunt.
[Night-roll and Drum continued.


An Apartment in Balthazar's House in the back
a large Dining Table, on which is Fruit, Wine,
Silver Goblets, fyc.

Bal. (without) Come this way cheerily

Enter Balthazar, Cerimon, and others, leading
in Antipholis of Ephesus.

BaL . So look tip, Antipholis you're safe with


*Tis I Balthazar !

Ant. of Eph. Balthazar !

Bal. Hearing noise, we left our social bowl
And rush'd into the street there we found you
Fast in the clutches of this mountebank
This meer anatomy this living dead man
We fought and rescued you.

Ant. of Eph. (looking round} I see
Balthazar's house ! thanks ! thanks !

[Taking his hand.

But where's the perjur'd and confederate crew
I will have justice ! (Going)

Bal. (Detaining him.) Not now Antipholis.
Wait till the storm blows o'er ; and in calm hour,
Appeal unto the Duke hell see thee righted.
Meantime, though a sad truant at the chace,
Partake our evening sports. Come, in yon bowl
Drown every care !

Ant. of Eph. Why, yes, Balthazar fill, fill me
to the brim.


(Antony and Cleopatra.)

Come, thou monarch of the vine,
P lumpy Bacchus , with pink eyne !
In thy vats, our cares be drown'd,
With thy grapes our hairs be crown d ;

Cup us till the world goes round !

Cup us till the world goes round!





Enter Luciana and Hermia".

Luc. Now do you rightly understand me,


Still is your poor unhappy master lost,
And whilst your mistress and the doctor's followers
That way pursue him be it our duty
To watch around these walls.

Her. I understand, and Heaven grant
We may discover and restore my master.

Luc. Away be that your post, whilst this is mine.

[Exit Hermia.

Poor Adriana ! whose love for her ill-fated lord,
Still blooms as in its dawn whose life, made up
Of sunshine and of tears, may well be liken'd
To an April day.

SONG, Luciana. (Two Gentlemen
of Verona.)

Oh how this spring of love resembleth right,
The uncertain glory of an April day

Which now shews all the glory of the light,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.





Enter Angela and Chares.

Ang. I am sorry, sir, that I have hinder'd you :
But, I protest, he had the jewel of me ;
Though most dishonestly he did deny it.

Cha. How is the man esteem'd here in the city ?

Ang. Of very reverend estimation, sir,
Of credit infinite, highly belov'd,
Second to none that lives within our walls :
His word might bear my wealth at any time.

Cha. Speak softly some one approaches.

Ang. Is it Antipholis ?

Cha. No 'tis his wife the Lady Adriana.

Enter Adriana.

Adr. I pray ye, have ye seen my lord, my
husband ?

Cha. No but we seek him, lady. (sternly.

Ang. Peace

Nor by stern look, by action, or by word,
Increase her suffering. Lady, 'tis true ,
"We seek Antipholis, and when the mists

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Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe comedy of errors, in five acts → online text (page 3 of 4)