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COMEDY OF ERRORS.
Solinus, duke of Ephesus.
Antipholus of Ephesus,
Dromio of Ephesus,
Dromio of Syracuse, Balthazar, a merchant. Angelo, a goldsmith.
twin brothers, and sons
A merchant, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse.
to Egeon and Emi- Emilia, wife to geon, an abbess at Ephesus.
twin brothers, and atten- Luce, her servant.
Gaoler, officers, and other attendants. Scene, Ephesus.
SCENE I-A hall in the Duke's Palace. Duke, Ægeon, Gaoler, officer, and other
PROCEED, Solinus, to procure my fall,
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
And by me too, had not our hap been bad. Enter With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd, attend- By prosperous voyages I often made
And, by the doom of death, end woes and all.
If any, born at Ephesus, be seen
His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose:
My woes end likewise with the evening sun.
ge. A heavier task could not have been im-
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable:
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death;
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike:
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd,
But ere they came,-Ô, let me say no more!
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Gaol. I will, my lord.
Ege. Hopeless, and helpless, doth Ægeon wend, But to procrastinate his lifeless end. [Exeunt. SCENE II-A public place. Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse, and a Merchant. Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum, Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off This very day, a Syracusan merchant
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
Ege. O, 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 upon, Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst, So that, in this unjust divorce of us, Fortune had left to both of us alike What to delight in, what to sorrow for. Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened With lesser weight, but not with lesser wo, 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 seized on us; And, knowing whom it was their hap to save, Gave helpful welcome to their shipwreck'd 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. 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 for,
Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them, and thee, till now.
To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
Is apprehended for arrival here;
Ant. S. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a mean. [Exit Dro. S.
Ant. S. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft, 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?
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 bed-time; My present business calls me from you now. Ant. S. Farewell till then: I will go lose myself, And wander up and down, to view the city. Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. [Exit Merchant. Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
Here comes the almanac of my true date,-
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit;
Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray;
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
(5) i. e. Servant. (6) Exchange, market-place.
Dro. E. 0,-six-pence, that I had o' Wednesday
To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper ;-
Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humour now:
Dro. E. 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.
Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him,
Time is their master; and, when they see time,
Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be more?
Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye,
And strike you home without a messenger.
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky: The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are Are their males' subjects, and at their controls:
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner; My mistress, and her sister, stay for you.
Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;
She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner, And prays, that you will hie you home to dinner. Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave. Dro. E. What mean you, sir? for God's sake, hold your hands;
Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
Men, more divine, and masters of all these,
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. Adr. How if your husband start some otherwhere?
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.
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try;— Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh. Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand? Dro. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness.
Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st
thou his mind?
Dro. E. 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?
Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that could scarce understand them.3
Adr. But say, I pr'ythee, is he coming home? It seems, he hath great care to please his wife. Dro. E. Why, mistress, sure my master is hornmad.
Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain?
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
(3) i. e. Scarce stand under them.
For God's sake, send some other messenger.
Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across. Dro. E. 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.
Dro. E. 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. [Exit. Luc. Fie, how impatience low'reth 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, 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 fair2 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.3 Luc. Self-arming jealousy!-fie, beat it hence. Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dis
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere;
Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up
How now, sir? is your merry humour alter'd ?
(1) Alteration of features. (2) Fair, for fairness.
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
Dro. S. I did not see you since you sent me hence,
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt;
And told'st me of a mistress and a dinner;
Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and
Upon what bargain do you give it me?
Dro. S. Sconce, call you it? so you would leave battering, I had rather have it a head: an you use these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, and insconce" it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders. But, I pray, sir, why am I beaten?
Ant. S. Dost thou not know?
Dro. S. Nothing, sir; but that I am beaten.
Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every why hath a wherefore.
Ant. S. Why, first,-for flouting me; and then, wherefore,
For urging it the second time to me.
Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither rhyme nor reason?Well, sir, I thank you.
Ant. S. Thank me, sir? for what?
Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?
Dro. S. No, sir; I think, the meat wants that I have.
Ant. S. In good time, sir, what's that?
Ant. S. Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
Dro. S. If it be, sir, I pray you eat none of it. Ant. S. Your reason?"
Dro: S. Lest it make you choleric, and purchase me another dry basting.
Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time; There's a time for all things.
Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were so choleric.
Ant. S. By what rule, sir?
(6) Study my countenance.
(7) A sconce was a fortification.
Dro, S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot brow, plain bald pate of father Time himself.
Ant. S. Let's hear it.
Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover his hair, that grows bald by nature.
Ant. S. May he not do it by fine and recovery? Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and recover the lost hair of another man.
Ant. S. Why is time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement? Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts: and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.
Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.
Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the wit to lose his hair.
Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.
Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
Ant. S. For what reason?
Dro. S. For two; and sound ones too.
Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
Ant., S. Name them.
Dro. S. The one, to save the money that he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.
Ant. S. You would all this time have proved there is no time for all things.
Dro. S. Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover hair lost by nature.
Ant. S. But your reason was not substantial, why there is no time to recover.
Dro. S. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald, and therefore, to the world's end, will have bald followers.
Ant. S. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclusion: But soft! who wafts' us yonder?
Enter Adriana and Luciana.
Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange,
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects,
And from my false hand cut the wedding ring,
I know thou canst; and therefore, see, thou do it.
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed; live dis-stain'd, thou undishonoured.
Ant. S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know
Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
Dro. S. I never spake with her in all my life. Ant. S. How can she thus then call us by our names,
Unless it be by inspiration?
Adr. How ill agrees it with your gravity,
The time was once, when thou unurg'd would'st
That never words were music to thine ear,
As take from me thyself, and not me too.
Ant. S. To me she speaks; she moves for
What, was I married to her in my dream?
Luc. Dromio, go bid the servants spread for
Dro. S. O, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
Ant. S. Thou hast thine own form.