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And much different from the man he was ;
But, till this afternoon, his passion
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.

Hath he not lost iriuclTwealth by wreck of 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 ?

To none of these, eSccepfct be the last ;
Namely, some love, that drew him oft fromj
home.

You should for that nae reprehended him.

i u T j-j Adriana.
\\ hy, so I did.

Ay, out not rough enough.
As roughly, as my modesty would let me.



Haply, in private.'



Abbess.



in assemolies, too.



Abbess,
gh.



Ay, but not enougr

Adriana.,

It was the copy ofour 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 it :
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.

And thereof came it that the man was rnad :
The venom 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 thereof comes it, that his head is light.
Thou say'st, his meat was sauc'd with thy up-
Unquiet meals make ill digestions ; [braidings :
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred :
And what's a fever but a fit of mildness ?
Thou say'st, his sports were hinder'd by thy

brawls :

Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue,
But moody and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
And at her heels a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life ?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest
To be disturb'd, would mad or man or beast.
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Have scar'd thy husband from the use of wits.

She never reprehen^eW^im but mildly,
W'hen he demean'd himself rough, rude, and

wildly.

Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not ?
Adriana.



i ! ACT v. Sc. L



COMEDY OF ERRORS.



Adrians.

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

No ; not a creature enters in my house.
Adrian*.

Then, let your servants bring my husband
forth.

Abbes*

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.

I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness ; for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself.
And therefore let me have him home with me.
Abbess.

Be patient ; for I will not let him stir,
Till 1 have us'd the approved means I have,
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again.
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order ;
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.
Adriana.

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 npt have him.

Luciana.
Complain unto the duke of this indignity.

Come, go : I will fall prostrate at his feet,
And never rise, until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither,
And take perforce my husband from the abbess.

By this, I think, the dial points at five:
Anon, 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.
Angeio.

Upon what cause ?

Merchant.

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

Angelo.

See, where they come: we will behold his
death.

.Luciana.

Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey.

Enter Duke attended ; JEgeon bare-headed ;

with the llfadtman and other Officers.

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.
Adriana.

Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess 1
Duke.

She is a virtuous and a reverend lady :
It cannot be, that she hath done thee wrong.
Adriana.

May it please your grace, Antipholus, my hus-
Whom I made lord of me, and all 1 had, [band,



At your important letter, this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness took him,
That desi>erately he hurried through the street,
(With him his bondman, all as mad as he)
Doing displeasure to the citizens
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Kings, jewels, any thing his rage did like.
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home,
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,
He broke from those that had the guard of him,
' And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, 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 them. Then they fl fcd
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them ;
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us,
i And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
i Nor send him forth, that we may bear him hence.
', Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy com-
mand, [help.
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for

Duke.

i Long since thy husband serv'd me in my wars,
i And I to thee engag'd a prince's word,
; When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.
Go. some of you, knock at the abbey gate,
And bid the lady abbess come to me.
I will determine this, before I stir.

Enter a Servant.

Servant.

O mistress, mistress ! shift and save yourself.
My master and his man are both broke loose,
Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the doctor,
Whose beard they have sing'd off with brands of
: And ever as it blazed they threw on him [fire ;
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair.
My master preaches patience to him, and the

while

His man with scissars nicks him like a fool ;
And, sure, unless you send some present help,
Between them they will kill the conjurer.

Adriana.

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

Servant.

Mistress, upon my life, I tell you true ;
I have not breath'd, almost, since I did see it.
He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you,
To scorch your face, and to disfigure you. .

^i.<ry witnin.

Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress : fly, be gone.

Duke.

Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard
with halberds I

Adriana.

Ah me, it is my husband ! Witness you,
That he is borne about invisible :
Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here,
And now he's there, past thought of human

reason.
Fnfer Antipholus and Drotm'o of Ephetut.

Antipholus of Ephestn.
Justice, most gracioQs duke t O ! grant me

justice,

Even for the service that long since I did thee,
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
Deep scars to save thy life ; even for the blood
That then I lost for thee, now grant me ostice.



126



COMEDY OF ERRORS.



ACT v. Se. i.



Pigeon.

Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromiol

Antipholus of Ephesus.
Justice, sweet prince, against that woman

there !

i She whom thou gav'st to me to be my wife,
That hath abused and dishonour'd me,
Even in the strength and height of injury.
Beyond imagination is the wrong,
That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.

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

Antipholus of Ephesus.
This day, great duke, she shut the doors upon

me,
While she with harlots feasted in my house.

Duke.
A grievous fault. Say, woman, did'st thou so ?

Adriana.

No, my good lord : myself, he, and my sister,
To-day did dine together. So befal my soul,
As this is false he burdens me withal.

Luciana.

Ne er may I look on day, nor sleep on night,
But she tells to your highness simple truth.

O perjur'd woman ! They are both forsworn:
In this the madman justly chargeth them.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
My liege, T am advised what I say ;
Neither disturb'd with the effect of wine,
Nor heady-rash provok'd with raging ire,
Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad.
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner:
That goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with
Could witness It, for he was with me then ; [her,
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
Promising to bring it to the Porcupine,
Where Balthazar and 1 did dine together.
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him : in the street I met him,
And in hfs company, that gentleman. [down,
There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me
That I this day of him receiv'd the chain,
Which, God he knows, I saw not ; for the which,
He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey, and sent my peasant home
For certain ducats : he with none return'd.
Then fairly 1 bespoke the officer,
To go in person with me to my house.
By the way we met
My wife, her sister, and a rabble more
Of vile confederates : along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac'd
A mere anatomy, a mountebank, ["villain,

A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man. This pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer,
And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 'twere, out-lacing me,
Cries out, I was possess'd. Then, altogether
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence,
And in a dark and dankish vault at home
There left me and my man, both bound together;
Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
I gain'd my freedom, and immediately
Ran hither to your grace, whom I beseech
To give me ample satisfaction
For these deep shames, and great indignities.

My lord, in truth, thus' far I witness with him,
That he dined not at home, but was lock'd out.



Duke.
But had he such a chain of thee, or no ?

Angelo.

He had, my lord; and when he ran in here,
These people saw the chain about his neck.

Merchant.

j Besides, I will be sworn, these ears of mine
I Heard you confess you had the chain of him,
i After you first forswore it on the mart,
! And, thereupon, I drew my sword on you ;
i And then you fled into this abbey here,
From whence, 1 think, you are come by miracle.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
I never came within these abbey walls,
Nor ever did'st thou draw thy sword on me.
I never saw the chain, so help me heaven 1
And this is false you burden me withal.

Duke.

Why, what an intricate impeach is this I
I think, you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been ;
If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly :
You say, be dined at home ; the goldsmith here
Denies that saying Sirrah, what say you ?

Dromio of Ephesus.
Sir, he dined with her, there, at the Porcupine.

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

Antipholus of Ephesus.
'Tis true, my liege ; this ring I had of her.

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

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

Duke.
Why, this is strange Go call the abbess

hither

I think you are all mated, or stark mad.

[Exit an Attendant.
^Egeon.

| Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a
Haply, I see a friend will save my life, [word.
And pay the sum that may deliver me.

Duke.
Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.

JEgeon.

Is not your name, sir, call'd Antipholus^
And is not that your bondman Dromio ?

Dromio of Enhesus.

Within this hour I was his bondman, sir ;
But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords :
Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound.

JEgeon.
I am sure you both of you remember me.

Dromio of Ephesus.

Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you ;
For lately we were bound, as you are now.
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir ?

JEgeon.

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

Antipholus of Ephesus.
I never saw you in my life, till now.

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

last;

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

Antipholus of Ephesus.
Neither.

.ft'geon.



A. : v. Sc. I.



I'OMKDY OF ERRORS.



JEg'
, nor thou ?

Dromio of Ephesus.
No, trust me, sir, nor I.

JEgoon.
I am sure thou dost.

Dromio of Ephesu.1.

Ay, sir ; but I am sure I do not ; and what-
soever a man denies, you are now bound to
believe him.

JBMMU

Not know my voice ? O, time's extremity !
Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue
In seven short years, that here ray 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,
i And all the conduits of my blood froze up,
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
My dull, deaf ears a little use to hear :
All these old witnesses ( I cannot err)
Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.
Antipholus of Ephesus.
I never saw my father in my life.

JEgeon.

But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
: Thou know'st we parted. But, perhaps, my son,
! Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
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, Syracusian, twenty years
' Have I been patron to Antipholus,
! During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
| I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote.

Enter Abbess, with Antipholus of Syracuse and
Dromio of Syracuse.

Abbess.

j Most mighty duke, behold a man much
wrong'd. [All gather to see them.

Adriana.
I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me I

Duke.

One of these men is Genius to the other ;
And so of these: which is the natural man,
And which the spirit ? Who deciphers them ?

Dromio of Syracuse.
I, sir, am Dromio : command him away.

Dromio of Ephesus.
I, sir, am Dromio : pray let me stay.

Antipholus of Syracuse.
JSgeon, art thou not ? or else his ghost ?

Dromio of Syracuse.
! O, my old master I who hath bound him here ?

Abbess.

Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds,
; And pain a husband by his liberty
Speak, old JEgeon, if thou be'st the man
That hadst a wife once call'd Emilia,
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons,
i O ! if thou be'st the same Meon, speak,
I And speak unto the same J&milia I

JEgeon.

If I dream not, thou art JEmilia.
If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
That floated with thee on the fatal raft ?

Abbess.
; By men of Epidamnum, he, and I,



And the twin Dromio. all were taken up ;
But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth
I By Ibrce took Dromio and my son from them,
And me they left with those of Epidumnum.
What then became of thorn, I cannot tell ;
I, to this fortune that you see me in.

Duke.

Why, here begins his morning story right.
These two Antipholus', these two so like,
And these two Dromios. one in semblance,
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea ;
These are the parents to these children,
; Which accidentally are met together.
j Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth firit.

Antipholus of Syracuse.
No, sir, not I : I came from Syracuse.

Duke.
j Stay, stand apart : I know not which is which.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.

Dromio of Ephesus.
And I with him.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
Brought to this town by that most famoui

warrior,
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.

Adriana.
Which of you two did dine with me to-day ?

Antipholus of Syracuse.
I, gentle mistress.

Adriana.
And are not you my husband ?

Antipholus of Ephesus.
No ; I say nay to that.

Antipholus of Syracuse.
And so do I, yet did she call me so ;
And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
Did call me brother. What I told you then,
I hope, I shall have leisure to make good,
If this be not a dream I see, and hear.

Angelo.
That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.

Antipholus of Syracuse.
I think it be, sir : I deny it not.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.

Angelo.
I think I did, sir : I deny it not.

Adriana.

I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
By Dromio j but I think, he brought it not.

Dromio of Ephesus.
No, none by me.

Antipholus of Syracuse.
This purse of ducats I received from you,
And Dromio, my man, did bring them me.
I see, we still did meet each other's man,
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me,
And thereupon these errors all arose.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
These ducats pawn I for my father here.

Duke.
It shall not need: thy father hath his life.

Courtezan.
Sir, I must have that diamond from you.

Antipholus of Ephesus.
There, take it; and much thanks for my good
cheer.

Abbess.



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



ACT i. f?r,



Abbess.

Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
To go with us into the abbey here,
And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes ; j
And all that are assembled in this place,
That by this sympathized one day's error
Have suffered wrong, go, keep us company,
And we shall make full satisfaction.
Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail
Of you, my sons ; and 'till this present hour
My heavy burden ne'er delivered.
The duke, my husband, and my children both, |
And you the calendars of their nativity,
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me :
After so long grief such nativity !

Duke.

With all my heart : I'll gossip at this feast, i
CExeunt Duke, Abbess, M^eon^ Courtezan, \
Merchant, Angela, and Attendants.

Dromio of Syracuse.
Master, shall I fetch yo
board?



your stuff from ship-j



Antinholus of Ephesus.

Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou em-|
bark'd?

Dromio of Syracuse.

Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in the Cen-
taur.



Antipholus of Syracuse.
He speaks to me. T am your master, Dromio:
Come, go with us ; we'll look to that anon.
Embrace thy brother there ; rejoice with him.
[Exeunt Antipholus of Syracuse and Ephe-
sus, Adriana, and Luciana.
Dromio of Syracuse.

There is a fat friend at your master's house,
That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner :
She now shall be my sister, not my wife.

Dromio of Ephesus.
Methinks, you are my glass, and not my

brother :

I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth.
Will you walk in to see their gossiping ?

Dromio of Syracuse.
Not I, sir ; you are my elder.

Dromio of Ephesus.
That's a question : how shall we try it ?

Dromio of Syracuse.
We'll draw cuts for the senior : till then, lead
thou first.

Dromio of Ephesus.
Nay, then thus :
We came into the world, like brother and

brother ;

And now, let's go hand in hand, not one before
another. [Exeunt.




MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



DRAMATIS PERSONS.



DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
John, his bastard Brother.
Claudio, a young Lord of Florence.
Benedick, a young Lord of Padua.
Leonato, Governor of Messina.
Antonio, his Brother.
Balthazar, Servant to Don Pedro



ACT I.

SCENE I. Before Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, with



,

a Messenger.
Leonato.



I LEARN in this letter, that Don Pedro of
Arragon comes this night to Messina.



Friar Francis.
A Sexton.
A Boy.

Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
Beatrice, Niece to Leonato.
Ursula*' j Gentlewomen attending on Hero.
Messengers, Watchmen, and Attendants.
SCENE, Messina.



Messenger.

He is very near by this: he was not three-
leagues off when I left him.
Leonato.

How many gentlemen have you lost in thfr
action ?

Messenger.

But few of any sort, and none of



ACT L Sc. i.



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



Leonato.

A victory is twice its, -If. when the achiever'
brings home full numbers. I find here, that'
Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a
young Florentine, called Claudia.
Messenger.

Much deserved on his part, and equally re*
membered by Don Pedro : he hath borne himseir,
beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure
of a Iamb the feats of a lion he hath, indeed, ;
bitter bettered expectation, than you must ex-
pect of me to tell you how.
Leonato.

He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very



much glad of it.



Messenger.



I have already delivered him letters, and
lere appears much joy in him ; even so much, !
tat joy could not show itself modest enough



Leonato.

You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There
is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick
and her : they never meet, but tiiere's a skirmish
of wit between them.

Beatrice.

Alas I he gets nothing by that In our last
conflict four of his five wits went halting oil',
and now is the whole man governed with one ;
so that if he have wit enough to keep himself
warm, let him bear it for a difference between
himself and his horse ; for it is all the wealth
that he hath left to be known a reasonable
creature. Who is his companion now? He
hath every month a new sworn brother.
Messenger.



there
that joy "c

withont a badge of bitterness.
Leonato.

Did he break out into tears ?
Messenger.

In great measure.

Leonato.

A kind overflow of kindness. There are no
faces truer than those that are so washed : how !
much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at
weeping?



Is't possible ?



Beatrice.



I pray you, Is signior Montanto returned from
the wars, or no? MeMengtr .

I know none of that name, lady : there was
none such in the army of any sort.

Leonato.
What is he that you ask for, niece ?

Hero.

My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Messenger.

O ! he is returned, and as pleasant as ever he :
was< Beatrice.

He set up his bills here in Messina, and chal-
lenged Cupid at the flight ; and my uncle's fool,
reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and
challenged him at the bird- bolt. I pray you,
how many hath he killed and eaten in these
wars? But how many hath he killed? for,
indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
Leonato.

Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too
much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it
uot.

Messenger.

He hath done good service, lady, in these
wars.

Beatrice.

You had musty victual, and he hath holp to
eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man; he :
hath an excellent stomach.

Messenger.



Very easily possible : he wears his faith but
as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with
the next block. Me|engw .

I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beatrice

No; an he were, I would burn my study.
But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is
there no young squarer now, that will make a
voyage with him to the devil ?
Messenger.

He is most in the company of the right noble
"""" Beatrice.

Lord ! he will hnng upon him like a disease :
he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the
taker runs presently mad. God help the noble I
Claudia ! if he have caught the Benedick, it will i >
cost him a thousand pounds ere he be cured.

Messenger.

1 will hold friends with you, lady.

Beatrice.
Do, good friend. LeonatQ

You will never run mad, niece.
Beatrice.

No, not till a hot January.
Messenger.

Don Pedro is approached.

Enter Don Pedro, John, Claudia, Benedick, Bal-
thazar, and others.

Don Pedro

Good signior Leonato, are you come to meet
your trouble ? the fashion of the world is to
avoid cost, and you encounter it.
Leonato.

Never came trouble to my house in the like-
ness of your grace; for trouble being gone,
comfort should remain, but when you depart
from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes
his leave.



And a good soldier too. lady.



And a good soldier to a lady ; but what is he
to a lord ?

Messenger.

A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; stuffed with
all honourable virtues.

Beatrice.

It is so, indeed : he is no less than a stuffed
man; but for the stuffing, Well, we are all
mortal.



Don Pedro.

You embrace your charge too willingly. I
think, this Is your daughter.
Leonato.

Her mother hath many times told me so.
Benedick.

Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her ?
Leonato.

Signior Benedick, no ; for then were you a
chil<L Don Pedro.

You have it full, Benedick : we may guess by
K this



130



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



ACT L Sc. i.



this what you are, being a man. Truly, the I
lady fathers herself. Be happy, lady, for you
are like an honourable father.
Benedick.

If signior Leonato be her father, she would not
have his head on her shoulders for all Messina,
as like him as she is.

Beatrice.

I wonder that you will still be talking, signior
Benedick; no body marks you.

Benedick.

What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet
living ?

Beatrice.

Is it possible disdain should die, while she
hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Bene-



dick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain,



Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakespeare; → online text (page 24 of 211)