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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Actus Quartus. Scoena Prima.
    Enter a Merchant, Goldsmith, and an Officer.
    Mar. You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
    And since I haue not much importun'd you,
    Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
    985To Persia, and want Gilders for my voyage:
    Therefore make present satisfaction,
    Or Ile attach you by this Officer.
    Gold. Euen iust the sum that I do owe to you,
    Is growing to me by Antipholus,
    990And in the instant that I met with you,
    He had of me a Chaine, at fiue a clocke
    I shall receiue the money for the same:
    Pleaseth you walke with me downe to his house,
    I will discharge my bond, and thanke you too.
    Enter Antipholus Ephes.Dromio from the Courtizans.
    Offi. That labour may you saue: See where he comes.
    Ant. While I go to the Goldsmiths house, go thou
    And buy a ropes end, that will I bestow
    Among my wife, and their confederates,
    1000For locking me out of my doores by day:
    But soft I see the Goldsmith; get thee gone,
    Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me.
    Dro. I buy a thousand pound a yeare, I buy a rope.
    Exit Dromio
    1005Eph.Ant. A man is well holpe vp that trusts to you,
    I promised your presence, and the Chaine,
    But neither Chaine nor Goldsmith came to me:
    Belike you thought our loue would last too long
    If it were chain'd together: and therefore came not.
    1010Gold. Sauing your merrie humor: here's the note
    How much your Chaine weighs to the vtmost charect,
    The finenesse of the Gold, and chargefull fashion,
    Which doth amount to three odde Duckets more
    Then I stand debted to this Gentleman,
    1015I pray you see him presently discharg'd,
    For he is bound to Sea, and stayes but for it.
    Anti. I am not furnish'd with the present monie:
    Besides I haue some businesse in the towne,
    Good Signior take the stranger to my house,
    1020And with you take the Chaine, and bid my wife
    Disburse the summe, on the receit thereof,
    Perchance I will be there as soone as you.
    Gold. Then you will bring the Chaine to her your
    1025Anti. No beare it with you, least I come not time e-
    Gold. Well sir, I will? Haue you the Chaine about
    Ant. And if I haue not sir, I hope you haue:
    1030Or else you may returne without your money.
    Gold. Nay come I pray you sir, giue me the Chaine:
    Both winde and tide stayes for this Gentleman,
    And I too blame haue held him heere too long.
    Anti. Good Lord, you vse this dalliance to excuse
    1035Your breach of promise to the Porpentine,
    I should haue chid you for not bringing it,
    But like a shrew you first begin to brawle.
    Mar. The houre steales on, I pray you sir dispatch.
    Gold. You heare how he importunes me, the Chaine.
    1040Ant. Why giue it to my wife, and fetch your mony.
    Gold. Come, come, you know I gaue it you euen now.
    Either send the Chaine, or send me by some token.
    Ant. Fie, now you run this humor out of breath,
    Come where's the Chaine, I pray you let me see it.
    1045Mar. My businesse cannot brooke this dalliance,
    Good sir say, whe'r you'l answer me, or no:
    If not, Ile leaue him to the Officer.
    Ant. I answer you? What should I answer you.
    Gold. The monie that you owe me for the Chaine.
    1050Ant. I owe you none, till I receiue the Chaine.
    Gold. You know I gaue it you halfe an houre since.
    Ant. You gaue me none, you wrong mee much to
    say so.
    Gold. You wrong me more sir in denying it.
    1055Consider how it stands vpon my credit.
    Mar. Well Officer, arrest him at my suite.
    Offi. I do, and charge you in the Dukes name to o-
    bey me.
    Gold. This touches me in reputation.
    1060Either consent to pay this sum for me,
    Or I attach you by this Officer.
    Ant. Consent to pay thee that I neuer had:
    Arrest me foolish fellow if thou dar'st.
    Gold. Heere is thy fee, arrest him Officer.
    1065I would not spare my brother in this case,
    If he should scorne me so apparantly.
    Offic. I do arrest you sir, you heare the suite.
    Ant. I do obey thee, till I giue thee baile.
    But sirrah, you shall buy this sport as deere,
    1070As all the mettall in your shop will answer.
    Gold. Sir, sir, I shall haue Law in Ephesus,
    To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.
    Enter Dromio Sira. from the Bay.
    Dro. Master, there's a Barke of Epidamium,
    1075That staies but till her Owner comes aboord,
    And then sir she beares away. Our fraughtage sir,
    I haue conuei'd aboord, and I haue bought
    The Oyle, the Balsamum, and Aqua-vitae.
    The ship is in her trim, the merrie winde
    1080Blowes faire from land: they stay for nought at all,
    But for their Owner, Master, and your selfe.
    An. How now? a Madman? Why thou peeuish sheep
    What ship of Epidamium staies for me.
    S.Dro. A ship you sent me too, to hier waftage.
    1085Ant. Thou drunken slaue, I sent thee for a rope,
    And told thee to what purpose, and what end.
    S.Dro. You sent me for a ropes end as soone,
    You sent me to the Bay sir, for a Barke.
    Ant. I will debate this matter at more leisure
    1090And teach your eares to list me with more heede:
    To Adriana Villaine hie thee straight:
    Giue her this key, and tell her in the Deske
    That's couer'd o're with Turkish Tapistrie,
    There is a purse of Duckets, let her send it:
    1095Tell her, I am arrested in the streete,
    And that shall baile me: hie thee slaue, be gone,
    On Officer to prison, till it come.
    S.Dromio. To Adriana, that is where we din'd,
    Where Dowsabell did claime me for her husband,
    1100She is too bigge I hope for me to compasse,
    Thither I must, although against my will:
    For seruants must their Masters mindes fulfill.