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The comedy of errors, in five acts online

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Of night disperse, we trust to find and lead
Him to his home come this way, Chares.

\JLocit with Chares.


Adr. Oh ! that 'twere dawn.

Enter Luciana.

Now what tidings, sister ?

Luc. Alas ! the darkness of the night precludes
our search.

Adr. All dreary, dark, and yet, in yonder east,
Am I deceived, or do I not behold
Bright, glimmering streaks? Oh yes, and hark !
I hear morn's tuneful harbinger !

SONG, Adriana. (Venus and Adonis.)

Lo ! here the gentle lark, weary of rest.
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,

And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in true majesty.

[Exeunt, after Song.

Re-enter Chares and Angela.

Cha. Tis he ! observe

Ang. E'en so and that same bracelet on his arm.
Ang. Which he forswore most monstrously to have.
Good sir, draw near to me : I'll speak to him.

Enter Antipholis of Syracuse, and Dromio of

Signor Antipholis, I wonder much

That you would put me to this shame and trouble,


And not without some scandal to yourself,
With circumstance and oatbs so to deny
This bracelet which you wear so openly.
Besides the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
You have done wrong to this my honest friend ;
Who, but for staying on our controversy,
Had hoisted sail, and put to sea to-day.
This jewel you had of me : Can you deny it ?
Ant. of Syr. I know I had : I never did deny it.
Cha. Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it too.
Ant. of Syr. Who heard me to deny, or to for-
swear it ?
Cha. These ears of mine, thou knowest well, did

hear thee.

Fy on thee, wretch ! 'tis pity that thou liv'st,
To walk where any honest men resort.

Ant. of Syr. Thou art a villain to impeach

me thus :

I'll prove mine honour and mine honesty
Against thee, with my life, if thou dar'st stand

it, \_Draws.~]

Cha* \_Draws.~\ I dare, and do defy thee for a

Enter Adriana, Luciana, Lesbia, and Doctor
Pinch's Servants.

Adr. Hold! hurt him not, for heaven's sake;
he's mad.


Dr. of Syr. Run, master, run, for heaven's sake :

take house :
This is some priory ; in, or we are spoil'd.

\Exeunt into the Abbey.
Adr. Pursue them, I beseech ye : bring them back

Enter the Abbess and two Sisters, from the Abbey.

Abbess. Be quiet, people ! wherefore throng ye

A dr. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
Let us come in, that we may bind fast,
And bear him home for his recovery.

Ang. I knew, he was not in his perfect wits.

Cha. I'm sorry now that I did draw upon him.

Abbess. How long hath this possession held
the man?

Adr. This week he hath been heavy, sour, and sad,
And much, much different from the man he was :
But, till this afternoon, his fatal passion
Ne'er broke into extremity of rage.

Abbess. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck

at sea ?

Buried some dear friend ? Hath not else his eye
Stray 'd his affection in unlawful love?
A sin, prevailing much in youthful men,
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing !
Which of these sorrows is he subject to ?

Adr. To none of them, except it be the last ;
Namely, some love that drew him oTt from home.


Abbess. You should for that have reprehended

Adr. Why, so I did.

Abbess. Ay, but not rough enough.

Adr. As roughly as my modesty would let me.

Abbess. Haply, in private.

Adr. And in assemblies too.

Abbess. Ay, but not enough.

Adr. It was the copy of our conference :
In bed he slept not, for my urging it;
At board he fed not, for my urging it ;
Alone, it was the subject of my theme :
In company, I often glanc'd at it;
Still did 1 tell him, it was vile and base.

Abbess. And therefore came it that the man was


The venom'd clamours of a jealous woman
Poison more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
It seems, his sleeps were hinder'd by thy railing ;
And therefore comes it that his head is light :
Thou say'st, his meat was sauc'd with thy upbraidings ;
Unquiet meals make ill digestions ;
Thereof the raging fire of fever 's bred :
And what's a fever, but a fit of madness ?
Thou say'st, his sports were hinder'd with thy brawls ;
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue,
But moody, mopish, and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair?
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life ?



The consequence is then, thy jealousies

Have scar'd thy husband from his better sense.

Luc. She never reprehended him but gently,
When he demean'd himself rough, rude, and wild.
Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not ?

Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof.
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.

Abbess. No, not a creature enters in my house.

Adr. Then let your servants bring my husband

Abbess. Neither : he took this place for sanctuary ;
And it shall privilege him from your hands,
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labour in essaying it.

Adr. I will attend my husband ; be his nurse,
Diet his sickness ; for it is my office ;
And therefore let me have him home with me,

Abbess. Be patient ; for I will not let him stir,
'Till I have us'd th' approved means I know,
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
To bring him to his former state again.
It is a branch and parcel of my oath,
A charitable duty of my order ;
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.

Adr. I will not hence, and leave my husband here,
And ill it doth beseem your holiness,
To separate the husband and the wife.

Abbess. Be quiet, and depart : thou shalt not

have him.
{Exeunt Abbess and Sisters into the Priory.


Luc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity.

Adr. Come then, 1 will fall prostrate at his feet,
And never rise, until my prayers and tears
Have won his grace to come in person hither,
And take perforce my husband from this abbess.

Cha. By this, I think, the dial points at five :
Shortly, I'm sure, the duke himself, in person,
Comes this way to the melancholy vale,
The place of death, and sorry execution,
Behind the ditches of the abbey here.

Ang. Upon what cause ?

Cha. To see a reverend Syracusan -merchant ?
Who put unluckily into this bay,
Against the laws and statutes of this town,
Beheaded publicly for his offence.

Ang. See, where they come : We will behold his

Luc. Kneel to the duke, before he pass the abbey.

Enter Duke, Mgeon in chains, Executioner,
two Officers, and Gentlemen.

Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die ; so much we tender him.

Adr. Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess.

Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady ;
It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.

Adr. May it please your grace, Antipholis, my


Whom I made lord of me, and all I had,
At your important letters, this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness seiz'd him ;
That desperately he hurried through the street,
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home ;
When, oh ! he broke from those who guarded him,
And with his mad attendant, with drawn swords,
Met us again, and, madly bent on us,
Chas'd us away ; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind 'em : then they fled
Into this abbey ;

But here the abbess shuts the gates on us,
And will not suffer us to fetch him out ;
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command,
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help.
Duke, Long since thy husband serv'd me in my


And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,
When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the good and grace I could.
Go, some of ye, knock at the abbey-gate,
And bid the lady-abbess come to me :
I will determine this, before I stir.

[Exit a Gentleman.

Enter Hermia*

Her. O ! mistress, mistress, haste and save yourself;
My master and his man are both broke loose.

Adr. Peace, fool ! thy master and his man are here,
And that is false, thou dost report to us.


Her. Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true ;
I have not breath'd, almost, since I did see 'em.

[Noise without.]
Hark, hark ! I hear 'em, mistress : fly ! begone !


Duke. Fear nothing ; I'll protect you.
Adr. Ah, me ! it is my husband !

Enter Antipholis of Ephesus, and Dromio of

Ant. of Eph. Justice, most 'gracious duke, O,

grant me justice !

Ev'n for the service that, long since, I did thee,
When I bestrode thee in the wars, and took
Deep scars to save thy life ; e'en for the blood
Which then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.

JEgeon. Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
I see my son Antipholis and Dromio.

Ant. of Eph. Justice, sweet prince, against that

woman there,

She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife ;
She hath abused and dishonour'd me,
E'en in the strength and height of injury.

Duke. Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.

Ant. of Eph. This day, great duke, she shut the

doors upon me,
While she within was feasting with her minions.

Duke. A grievous fault! Say, woman, didst thou so?

Adr. No, my good lord ; myself, he, and my sister,


To day did dine together : so befall my soul,
As that is false, he burdens me withal.

Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night,
But she doth tell your highness simple truth !

Ang. O, perjur'd woman ! They are both forsworn ;
In this the madman justly chargeth them :
My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him,
That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out.

Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this !
I think, you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been.
You say, he din'd at home : the goldsmith here
Denies that saying : Sirrah, what say you ?

Dt\ ofEph. Sir, he din'd with her there at the

Le&. He did, and from my finger snatch'd that ring.

Ant. of Eph. J Tis true, my liege, this ring I had
of her.

Duke. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here ?

Les. As sure, my liege, as I do see your grace.

Duke. This is most strange ! Go, call the abbess

[Exit a Gentleman.

JEgeon. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak

a word :

Haply, I see a friend, will save my life,
And pay the sum that may deliver me.

Duke. Speak freely, Syracusan, what thou wilt.

JEgeon. Is not your name, sir, called Antipholis ?
And is not that your bondman, Dromio?


Ant. of Eph. True, reverend hapless man, we are
so calFd.

JEgeon. I am sure both of ye remember me.

Ant of Eph. Remember you!

JEgeon. Why look you strange on me ? You know
me well.

Ant. of Eph. I never saw you in my life, till now.

JEgeon. O ! grief hath chang'd me, since you saw

me last ;

And careful hours, with time's deforming hand.
Have written strange defeatures in my face :
But tell rme yet, dost thou not know my voice ?

Ant. of Eph. Neither.

JEgeon. Not know my voice ? O, time's extremity,
Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue,
In seven short years, that here my only son
Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares ?
Though now this grained face of mine be hid
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
And all the conduits of my blood froze up ;
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamp some fading glimmer left;
All these old witnesses I cannot err,
Tell me thou art my son, Antipholis.

Ant. of Eph. I never saw my father in my life.

JEgcon. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
Thou know'st we parted : But, psrhaps, my son,
Thou sham'st t'acknowledge me in misery.

Ant. of Eph. The duke, and all that know me in
the city,


Can witness with me that it is not so :
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.

Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years
Have I been patron to Antipholis ;
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote.

Enter Gentlemen, Abbess, Antipholis of Syra-
cuse, and Dromio of Syracuse, from the Abbey.

Abbess. Most mighty duke, behold a man much

Adr. I see two husbands, or my eyes deceive me

Duke. One of these men is genius to the other!
But of the two, which is the natural man,
And which the spirit' who decyphers them?

Ant. of Syr. ^Egeon art thou not?
O, my dear father ! who hast bound him thus ?

Abbess. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds.
And gain a husband by his liberty.
Speak, old ^Egeon, if thou be'st the man
That hadst a wife once call'd ^Emilia,
Who bore thee, at a burden, two fair sons,
O ! if thou be'st the same .^Egeon, speak,
And speak unto the same ./Emilia.

Mgeon. ^Emilia! O, support thyself, my soul,
'Till I once more, have caught within my arms
Their long-lost happiness !

JEmilia. Thou art jEgeon, then : I do not dream.
My husband, take, take my reviving heart,


Spotless and pure as when it first was thine ;
Which from the cloister of religious solitude
No voice, but thine, could ever have recall'd.

Ant. of Syr. If I not interrupt such sacred feelings.
Thus let me bend, and mingle tears of rapture,
O, raise, my father, raise your reverend hands,
And bless your truant son.

JEgeon, My dearest boy !
This is too much : O, curb thy joys a moment^
And have compassion on thy father's weakness.
But, if my feeble brain deceive me not,
One anxious question yet remains to ask :
Heart of my heart, resolve me ; where's that son^
Who floated with thee on the fatal raft?

JEmilia. By men of Epidamnum he and J,
And the twin Dromio, all were taken up :
But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth
By force took Dromio and my son from them,
And me they left with those of Epidamnum,
What then became of them I cannot tell ;
J, to this fortune which you see me in,

Ant. of Eph. And he reserv'd, to share the hap-

pier hours

Of his dear parents, whom, till now unknown,
He greets with nature's best and fondest feelings,
.Another jtie my fortune yet allots,
And thus I claim it!

Apt, of Syr. Welcome, dearest brother !

[They embrace.]

Both Droin. Welcome, dearest brother !

[They embrace.]



Ant. of Syr. Ne'er may we feel a separation more.
Duke. Why here begins his morning story right :
These plainly are the parents to these children,
Who thus amazingly are met together.
Emilia. Most gracious duke,
Duke. One moment's pause, and all your griefs

shall end.
Antipholis, thou cam'st from Corinth first ?

Ant. of Syr. Not I, my lord; I came from


Dro. of Syr. And I with him.
Duke. Stay, stand apart : I know not which is

Ant. of Eph. I came from Corinth, my most

gracious lord.

Dr. of Eph. And I with him.
Ang. And I why that's the bracelet, sir, you

had of me.

Ant. of Fjr. I think it be, sir ; I deny it not.
Ant. of Eph. And you, sir, for the same ar-
rested me.

Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
By Dromio : but, I think, he brought it not.
Dr. of Eph. No, none by me.
Ant. of Syr. This purse of ducats I received for


And Dromio, my man, did bring 'em me.
I see, we still did meet each other's servant,
And thereupon these errors all arose.

Dr. of Eph. You see, brother, these wise folks
can't blame us in these matters.


Dr. of Syr. Really, brother, I think not.
Ant. of Eph. These ducats pawn I for my fa-
ther here.

Duke. It shall not need thy father hath his life.
Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day ?
Ant of Syr. I, gentle mistress.
Adr. Are you not my husband ?
Ant. of Eph. No ; I say, nay to that.
Ant. of Syr. And so do I.
JEmilia. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the


To go with us into the abbey here,
And hear, at large discoursed, all our fortunes ;
And all that are assembled in this place,
Who've suffered wrong, go, keep us company,
And you shall have full satisfaction.
The duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you, the kalendars of their nativity,
Go to a gossip's feast ; go all with me :
After so long grief, such festivity !

Duke. With all my heart; I'll gossip at this feast,
And be a cheerful witness of the blessings,
Your pious faith and virtuous resignation
Have drawn upon you from relenting heaven.

[Flourish, and exeunt into the Abbey, all but

the two Dromios.

Dr. of JEph. Methinks you are my glass and not
my brother.


I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth ! >
Will you walk in and see their gossipping?

Dr. of Syr* Not I, sir, you are my elder.

Dr. of Eph. That's a question -how shall we
try it ?

Dr. of Syr. We will draw cuts for the senior-
Till then, lead thou first.

Dr of Eph. Nay, then thus :
We came into the world like brother and brother^
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before the


[Exeunt hand in hand into the Abbey*


All the Characters discovered.

JEmilia. Such is our history and now
The joys that gild the evening of our days
Let all partake.

Ant. of Syr. (Turning to Luciana.)
Ay, all say you not so, fair gentlewoman !
And what I told you, when you call'd me brother?
The time, the place incites me to make good
May I not hope that a more tender name ?

Luciana. Should I find thee
Worthy and constant, as my mind suggests^
The general joy that smiles around, shall not
Be damp'd by any vain reserve of mine*


Ant. of Syr. (Kneeling to her and taking her hand.)

Brother, behold !

I've lost a sister, but I've gain'd a wife !

What say'st thou, Dromio ?

Dr. of Syr. Say that, thank fortune,
I've gain'd a sister and have lost a wife !
Brother, my service to the fair, fat queen
Of the kitchen.

Dr. of Eph. Brother, the less that's said on that

The better.

Duke. Now to the palace, and there crown our

JEmilia. Joys past the reach of hope our lesson


That misery past endears our present bliss
Wherein we read with wonder and delight
This sacred truth" whatever is, is right !"

FINALE. (Tempest, and Midsummer
Night's Dream.)

JLuciANA. Honour, riches, marriage, blessing,
Long continuance, and increasing ;
Hourly joys be still upon you !
Heaven showers its blessings on youtf


Honours^ riches^ $c.


Lu c I A N A. If we shadows have offended,
Do but smile, and all is ended;


Honour, riches, <*c.

ADRIANA. Gentles, do not reprehend ;
If you pardon, we will mend.

Honour, riches^ fyc.





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