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COMEDY OF ERRORS.
SOLINUs, Duke of Ephesus.
PINCH, a school master, and a conjurer. Ægeon, a merchant of Syracuse.
twin brothers, and sons to Æmilia, uife to Egeon, an Abbess at 'Ephesus. ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, Ægeon and Æmilia, but ADRIANA, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus. ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, unknown to each other. LUCIANA, her sister. Dromio of Ephesus, 1 twin brothers, and Attend- Luce, her servant. Dromo of Syracuse, J ants on the two Antipholus's. | A Courtezun. Balthazar, a merchant. Angelo, a goldsmith.
Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants. A merchant, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse.
SCENE, -- Ephesus.
SCENE I. - A Hall in the Duke's Palace. Duke. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the cause
Why thou departedst from thy native home;
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Age. A heavier task could not have been impos'ils
Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more ; Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence, I am not partial, to infringe our laws :
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. The enmity and discord, which of late
In Syracusa was I born; and wed Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke Unto a woman, happy but for me, To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, And by me too, had not our hap been bad. Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives, With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd, Hlave sealed his rigorous statutes with their bloods,- By prosperous voyages I often made Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks. To Epidamnum, till my factor's death, For, since the mortal and intestine jars
And he (great care of goods at random left) ”Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse: It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
From whom my absence was not six months old, Both by the Syracusans and ourselves,
Before herself (almost at fainting, under To admit no traffick to our adverse towns:
The pleasing punishment that women bear,) Nay, more,
Had made provision for her following me, If any, born at Ephesus, be seen
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was. At any Syracusan marts and fairs,
There she had not been long, but she became Again, If any Syracusan born,
A joyful mother of two goodly sons ; Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,
And, which was strange, the one so like the othe, His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose ;
As could not be distinguish'al but by names. Unless a thousand marks be levied,
That very hour, and in the self-same inn, To quit the penalty, and to ransome him.
A poor mean woman was delivered Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Of such a burden, male twins, both alike : Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;
Those, for their parents were exceeding poor, Therefore, by law thou art condemnd to die. I bought, and brought up to attend my sons. Ege. Yet this my comfort; when your words | My wife, not meanly proud of two such bogs, are done,
Made daily motions for our home return : My woes end likewise with the evening sun. Unwilling I agreed ; alas, too soon.
We came aboard :
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,) A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Might bear bim company in the quest of him : Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see, Gave any tragick instance of our harm :
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd. But longer did we not retain much hope;
Five summers have I spent in furthest Greece, For what obscured light the heavens did grant Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia, Did but convey unto our fearful minds
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus; A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought, Which, though myself would gladly have embrac'd, Or that, or any place that harbours men. Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
But here must end the story of my life ; Weeping before for what she saw must come, And happy were I in my timely death, And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
Could all my travels warrant me they live. That mourn'à for fashion, ignorant wnat to fear, Duke. Hapless Ægeon, whom the fates have Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,
Which princes, would they, may not disannul, Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee. Such as sea-faring men provide for storms : But, though thou art adjudged to the death, To him one of the other twins was bound,
And passed sentence may not be recallid, Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.
But to our honour's great disparagement,
Yet will I favour thee in what I can :
To seek thy help by beneficial help :
And live; if not, then thou art doom'd to die : Dispers'd those vapours that offended us;
Gaoler, take him to thy custody. And, by the benefit of his wish'd light,
Gaol. I will, my lord. The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered
Æge. Hopeless, and helpless, doth Ægeon wend, Two ships from far making amain to us,
But to procrastinate his lifeless end. [Ereuni. Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this : But ere they came, 0, let me say no more !
SCENE II. A publick Place. Gather the sequel by that went before. Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off Enter ANTIPROLUS and Dromio of Syracuse, and a
Merchant. For we may pity, though not pardon thee.
Mer. Therefore, give out, you are of Epidamnum, Æge. O, had the gods done so, I had not now Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate. Worthily term’d them merciless to us!
This very day, a Syracusan merchant
And, not being able to buy out his life,
According to the statute of the town, Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst,
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west. So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
There is your money that I had to keep. Fortune had left to both of us alike
Ant. s. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we lost, What to delight in, what to sorrow for.
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee. Her part, poor soul ! seeming as burdened Within this hour it will be dinner-time : With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Till that, I'll view the manners of the town, Was carried with more speed before the wind ; Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings, And in our sight they three were taken up
And then return, and sleep within mine inn; By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
For with long travel I am stiff and weary. At length, another ship had seiz'd on us;
Get thee away. And, knowing whom it was their hap to save, Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your Gave helpful welcome to their shipwreck'd guests ;
word, And would have reft the fishers of their prey, And go indeed, having so good a mean. Had not their bark been very slow of sail,
[Erit Dro. S. And therefore homeward did they bend their Ant. S. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy, Thus have you heard me sever'il from my bliss ; Lightens my humour with his merry jests. That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, What, will you walk with me about the town, To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
And then go to my inn, and dine with me? Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants, for,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit; Do me the favour to dilate at full
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock, What hath befall’n of them, and thee, till now. Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
Æge. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care, And afterwards consort you till bed-time; At eighteen years became inquisitive
My present business calls me from you now. After his brother ; and importun'd me,
Ant. S. Farewell till then : I will
lose myself, That his attendant, (for his case was like,
And wander up and down, to view the city.
Vler. Sir, I cominend you to your own content. Reserve them till a merrier hour than this:
[Eril Merchant. Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee? Ant. S. He that commends me to mine own Dro. E. To me, sir ? why you gave no gold to me content,
Ant. S. Come on, sir k nave; have done your Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
foolishness, I to the world am like a drop of water,
And tell me, how thou hast dispos'd thy charge. That in the ocean seeks another drop ;
Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
the mart Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
Home to your house, the Phænix, sir, to dinner ; So I, to find a mother, and a brother
My mistress, and her sister, stay for you. In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself,
Ant. S. Now, as I am a christian, answer me,
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money; Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours, Here comes the almanack of my true date. - That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd : What now? How chance, thou art return'd so soon? Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me? Dro. E. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd too Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my late :
pate, The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit ; Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders, The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell, But not a thousand marks between you both. My mistress made it one upon my cheek :
If I should pay your worship those again, She is so hot, because the meat is cold ;
Perchance, you will not bear them patiently. The meat is cold, because you come not home; Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress, slave, You come not home, because you have no stomach ;
hast thou ? You have no stomach, having broke your fast; Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Phænix ; Are penitent for your default to-day.
She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner, Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray; And prays, that you will hie you home to dinner. Where have you left the money that I gave you? Ant. S. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my Dro. E. O, -sixpence, that I had o'Wednesday
Being forbid ? There, take you that, sir knave. To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper ; Dro. E. What mean you, sir ? for God's sake, The saddler bad it, sir, I kept it not.
hold your hands ; Ant. s. I am not in a sportive humour now : Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels. Tell me, and dally not, where is the money ?
(Erit Dro. E. We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other, So great a charge from thine own custody? The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
Dro. E. I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner : They say, this town is full of cozenage; I from my mistress come to you in post;
As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye, If I return, I shall be post indeed;
Dark-working sorcerers, that change the mind, For she will score your fault upon my pate. Soul-killing witches, that deform the body; Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks, clock,
And many such like liberties of sin : And strike you home without a messenger.
If it prove so, I will be
the sooner. Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave; of season ;
I greatly fear, my money is not safe [Eru
SCENE I. - A publick Place.
Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.
There's nothing, situate under heaven's eye,
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky: Adr. Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd, The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls, That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
Are their males' subject, and at their controls : Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.
Men, more divine, the masters of all these, Luc. Perhaps, some merchant hath invited him, Lords of the wide world, and wild wat'ry seas, And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner. Indued with intellectual sense and souls, Good sister, let us dine, and never fret :
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls, A man is master of his liberty :
Are masters to their females and their lords : Time is their master; and, when they see time, Then let your will attend on their accords. They'll go, or come: If so, be patient, sister.
Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed. Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed. more?
Adr. But, were you wedded, you would bear Luc. Because their business still lies out o'door.
some sway. Alr. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill. Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey. Luc. 0, know, he is the bridle of your will. Allr. How if your husband start some other Adr. There's none, but asses. will be bridled so.
Luc. Till ne come home again, I would forbear. Hath homely age the alluring beauty took Adr. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though she From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it; pąuse;
Are my discourses dull? barren my wit ? They can be meek, that have no other cause. If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd, A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity,
Unkindness blunts it, more than marble hard. We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
A sunny look of his would soon repair :
Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try ;- And feeds from home ; poor I am but his stale. Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh. Luc. Self-harming jealousy!- fye, beat it hence, Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Adr. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dise
pense. Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand ?
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere ; Dro. E. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and Or else, what lets it but he would be here? that my two ears can witness.
Sister, you know, he promis'd me a chain ; Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st Would that alone alone he would detain, thou his mind ?
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed ! Dro. E. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine I see, the jewel best enamelled, ear; Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still, Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not That others touch, yet often touching will feel his meaning?
Wear gold; and so no man that hath a name, Dro. E. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame. well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that Since that my beauty cannot please his eye, I could scarce understand them.
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. Adr. But say, I pr’ythee, is he coming home?
Luc. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy! It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
[Ereunt Dro. E. Why, inistress, sure my master is hornmad.
SCENE II. - The same.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.
Ant. S. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laidd up When I desir'd him to come home to dinner, Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold :
Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out. 'Tis dinner time, quoth I; My gold, quoth he :
By computation, and mine host's report,
I sent him from the mart: See, here he comes.
Enter Dromio of Syracuse. My mistress, sir, quoth I; Hang up thy mistress ; How now, sir ? is your merry humour alter d ? I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress ! As you love strokes, so jest with me again. Luc. Quoth who?
You know no Centaur ? you receiv'd no gold? Dro. E. Quoth my master :
Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner ? I know, quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress ; My house was at the Phænix? Wast thou mad, So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
That thus so madly thou didst answer me? I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders ; Dro. S. What answer, sir ? when spake I such a For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
word ? Adr. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him Ant. S. Even now, even here, not half an hour home.
since. Dro. E. Go back again, and be new beaten Dro. . I did not see you since you sent me home?
hence, For God's sake send some other messenger.
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. Adr. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across. Ant. S. Villain, thou didst deny the gold's reDro. E. And he will bless that cross with other
ceipt; beating :
And told'st me of a mistress, and a dinner ; Between you I shall have a holy head.
For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeas'd. Aur. Hence, prating peasant; fetch thy master Dro. S. I am glad to see you in this merry vein : home.
What ineans this jest? I pray you, master, tell me. Dro. E. Am I so round with you, as you with Ant. S. Yea, dost thou jeer, and flout me in the
teeth ? That like a football you do spurn me thus ? Think'st thou, I jest? Hold, take thou that, and You spurn me hence, and he will spur me hither :
[Beating him. If I last in this service, you must case me in leather. Dro. S. Hold, sir, for God's sake: now your jest
is earnest : Luc. Fye, how impatience lowreth in your face! Upon what bargain do you give it me? Adr. His company must do his minions grace, Ant. S. Because that I familiarly sometimes Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Do use you for my fool, and chat with you,
Your sauciness will jest upon my love,
Ant. S. Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing. And make a common of my serious hours.
Dro. S. Certain ones then. When the sun shines, let foolish gnats make sport, Ant. S. Name them. But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams. Dro. S. The one, to save the money that he spends If you will jest with me, know
in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not And fashion your demeanour to my looks,
drop in his porridge. Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
Ant. S. You would all this time have proved, Dro. S. Sconce, call you it ? so you would leave there is no time for all things. battering, I had rather have it a head : an you use Dro. S. Marry, and did, sir ; namely, no tune to these blows long, I must get a sconce for my head, recover hair lost by nature. and insconce it too; or else I shall seek my wit in Ant. S. But your reason was not substantial, my shoulders. But, I pray sir, why am I beaten ? why there is no time to recover. Ant. S. Dost thou not know?
Dro. S. Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald, Dro. S. Nothing, sir ; but that I am beaten. and therefore, to the world's end, will have bald fola Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?
lowers. Dro. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, Ant. S. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclusion: every why hath a wherefore.
But soft! who wafts us yonder ? Ant. S. Why, first, — for flouting me; and then,
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA. wherefore, For urging it the second time to me.
Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange, and frown; Dro. S. Was there ever any man thus beaten out
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects, of season?
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither | The time was once, when thou unurg'd would'st vow rhyme nor reason ?
That never words were musick to thine ear, Well, sir, I thank you.
That never object pleasing in thine eye, Ant. S. Thank me, sir ? for what ?
That never touch well-welcome to thy hand, Dro. S. Marry, sir, for this something that you That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste, gave ine for nothing.
Unless I spake, look'd, touch'd, or carv'd to thee. Ant. S. I'll make you amends next, to give you How comes it now, my husband, oh, how comes ii, nothing for something. But, say, sir, is it dinner- | That thou art then estranged from thyself? time?
Thyself I call it, being strange to me, Dro. S. No, sir ; I think, the meat wants that I That undividable, incorporate, have.
Am better than thy dear self's better part. Ant. $. In good time, sir, what's that ?
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me; Dro. S. Basting.
For know, my love, as easy may'st thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulph,
Without addition, or diminishing,
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick, Ant. S. Well, sir, learn to jest in good time; Should'st thou but hear I were licentious ? There's a time for all things.
And that this body, consecrate to thee, Dro. S. I durst have denied that, before you were By ruffian lust should be contaminate ? so cholerick.
Would'st thou not spit at me, and spurn at me, Ant. $. By what rule, sir ?
And hurl the name of husband in my face, Dro. S. Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot brow, bald pate of father Time himself.
And from my false hand cut the wedding ring, Ant. $. Let's hear it.
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow Dro. S. There's no time for a man to recover his I know thou canst; and therefore, see, thou do it. hair, that grows bald by nature.
I am possess'd with an adulterate blot ;
Dro. S. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and re- For, if we two be one, and thou play false, cover the lost hair of another man.
I do digest the poison of thy flesh, Ant. S. Why is Time such a niggard of hair, be- Being strumpeted by thy contagion. ing, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed; Dro. S. Because it is a blessing that he bestows I live unstain'd, thou, undishonoured. on beasts : and what he hath scanted men in hair, Ant. S. Plead you to me, fair dame? I know he hath given them in wit.
Ant. S. Why, but there's many a man hath more In Ephesus I am but two hours old, hair than wit.
As strange unto your town, as to your talk; Dro. S. Not a man of those, but he hath the wit Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd, to lose his hair.
Want wit in all one word to understand. Ant. S. Why, thou didst conclude hairy men Luc. Fye, brother! how the world is chang'd plain dealers without wit.
Dro. S. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost : Yet When were you wont to use my sister thus ? he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner. Ant. $. For what reason ?
Ant. S. By Dromio? Dro. S. For two; and sound ones too.
Dro. S. By me? Ant. S. Nay, not sound, I pray you.
Adr. By thee; and this thou didst return from Dro. S. Sure ones then.
you not :
with you :