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  • Title: The Comedy of Errors (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Matthew Steggle

  • Copyright Matthew Steggle. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Matthew Steggle
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Comedy of Errors (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Comedie of Errors.
    They must be bound and laide in some darke roome.
    Ant. Say wherefore didst thou locke me forth to day,
    And why dost thou denie the bagge of gold?
    1385Adr. I did not gentle husband locke thee forth.
    Dro. And gentle Mr I receiu'd no gold:
    But I confesse sir, that we were lock'd out.
    Adr. Dissembling Villain, thou speak'st false in both
    Ant. Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all,
    1390And art confederate with a damned packe,
    To make a loathsome abiect scorne of me:
    But with these nailes, Ile plucke out these false eyes,
    That would behold in me this shamefull sport.

    Enter three or foure, and offer to binde him:
    1395Hee striues.
    Adr. Oh binde him, binde him, let him not come
    neere me.
    Pinch. More company, the fiend is strong within him
    Luc. Aye me poore man, how pale and wan he looks.
    1400Ant. What will you murther me, thou Iailor thou?
    I am thy prisoner, wilt thou suffer them to make a res-
    Offi. Masters let him go: he is my prisoner, and you
    shall not haue him.
    1405Pinch. Go binde this man, for he is franticke too.
    Adr. What wilt thou do, thou peeuish Officer?
    Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
    Do outrage and displeasure to himselfe?
    Offi. He is my prisoner, if I let him go,
    1410The debt he owes will be requir'd of me.
    Adr. I will discharge thee ere I go from thee,
    Beare me forthwith vnto his Creditor,
    And knowing how the debt growes I will pay it.
    Good Master Doctor see him safe conuey'd
    1415Home to my house, oh most vnhappy day.
    Ant. Oh most vnhappie strumpet.
    Dro. Master, I am heere entred in bond for you.
    Ant. Out on thee Villaine, wherefore dost thou mad
    1420Dro. Will you be bound for nothing, be mad good
    Master, cry the diuell.
    Luc. God helpe poore soules, how idlely doe they
    Adr. Go beare him hence, sister go you with me:
    1425Say now, whose suite is he arrested at?
    Exeunt. Manet Offic. Adri. Luci. Courtizan
    Off. One Angelo a Goldsmith, do you know him?
    Adr. I know the man: what is the summe he owes?
    Off. Two hundred Duckets.
    1430Adr. Say, how growes it due.
    Off. Due for a Chaine your husband had of him.
    Adr. He did bespeake a Chain for me, but had it not.
    Cur. When as your husband all in rage to day
    Came to my house, and tooke away my Ring,
    1435The Ring I saw vpon his finger now,
    Straight after did I meete him with a Chaine.
    Adr. It may be so, but I did neuer see it.
    Come Iailor, bring me where the Goldsmith is,
    I long to know the truth heereof at large.

    Enter Antipholus Siracusia with his Rapier drawne,
    and Dromio Sirac.

    Luc. God for thy mercy, they are loose againe.
    Adr. And come with naked swords,
    Let's call more helpe to haue them bound againe.
    Runne all out.
    Off. Away, they'l kill vs.
    Exeunt omnes, as fast as may be, frighted.
    S.Ant. I see these Witches are affraid of swords.
    S.Dro. She that would be your wife, now ran from
    Ant. Come to the Centaur, fetch our stuffe from
    I long that we were safe and sound aboord.
    Dro. Faith stay heere this night, they will surely do
    1455vs no harme: you saw they speake vs faire, giue vs gold:
    me thinkes they are such a gentle Nation, that but for
    the Mountaine of mad flesh that claimes mariage of me,
    I could finde in my heart to stay heere still, and turne
    1460Ant. I will not stay to night for all the Towne,
    Therefore away, to get our stuffe aboord.

    Actus Quintus. Scoena Prima.

    Enter the Merchant and the Goldsmith.

    Gold. I am sorry Sir that I haue hindred you,
    1465But I protest he had the Chaine of me,
    Though most dishonestly he doth denie it.
    Mar. How is the man esteem'd heere in the Citie?
    Gold. Of very reuerent reputation sir,
    Of credit infinite, highly belou'd,
    1470Second to none that liues heere in the Citie:
    His word might beare my wealth at any time.
    Mar. Speake softly, yonder as I thinke he walkes.

    Enter Antipholus and Dromio againe.
    Gold. 'Tis so: and that selfe chaine about his necke,
    1475Which he forswore most monstrously to haue.
    Good sir draw neere to me, Ile speake to him:
    Signior Antipholus, I wonder much
    That you would put me to this shame and trouble,
    And not without some scandall to your selfe,
    1480With circumstance and oaths, so to denie
    This Chaine, which now you weare so openly.
    Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
    You haue done wrong to this my honest friend,
    Who but for staying on our Controuersie,
    1485Had hoisted saile, and put to sea to day:
    This Chaine you had of me, can you deny it?
    Ant. I thinke I had, I neuer did deny it.
    Mar. Yes that you did sir, and forswore it too.
    Ant. Who heard me to denie it or forsweare it?
    1490Mar. These eares of mine thou knowst did hear thee:
    Fie on thee wretch, 'tis pitty that thou liu'st
    To walke where any honest men resort.
    Ant. Thou art a Villaine to impeach me thus,
    Ile proue mine honor, and mine honestie
    1495Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand:
    Mar. I dare and do defie thee for a villaine.

    They draw. Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtezan, & others.
    Adr. Hold, hurt him not for God sake, he is mad,
    Some get within him, take his sword away:
    1500Binde Dromio too, and beare them to my house.
    S.Dro. Runne master run, for Gods sake take a house,
    This is some Priorie, in, or we are spoyl'd.
    Exeunt to the Priorie.