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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    Not Peer Reviewed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. 87
    230For she will scoure your fault vpon my pate:
    Me thinkes your maw, like mine, should be your cooke,
    And strike you home without a messenger.
    Ant. Come Dromio, come, these iests are out of season,
    Reserue them till a merrier houre then this:
    235Where is the gold I gaue in charge to thee?
    E.Dro. To me sir? why you gaue no gold to me?
    Ant. Come on sir knaue, haue done your foolishnes,
    And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.
    E.Dro. My charge was but to fetch you frõ the Mart
    240Home to your house, the Phoenix sir, to dinner;
    My Mistris and her sister staies for you.
    Ant. Now as I am a Christian answer me,
    In what safe place you haue bestow'd my monie;
    Or I shall breake that merrie sconce of yours
    245That stands on tricks, when I am vndispos'd:
    Where is the thousand Markes thou hadst of me?
    E.Dro. I haue some markes of yours vpon my pate:
    Some of my Mistris markes vpon my shoulders:
    But not a thousand markes betweene you both.
    250If I should pay your worship those againe,
    Perchance you will not beare them patiently.
    Ant. Thy Mistris markes? what Mistris slaue hast thou?
    E.Dro. Your worships wife, my Mistris at the Phoenix;
    She that doth fast till you come home to dinner:
    255And praies that you will hie you home to dinner.
    Ant. What wilt thou flout me thus vnto my face
    Being forbid? There take you that sir knaue.
    E.Dro. What meane you sir, for God sake hold your (hands:
    Nay, and you will not sir, Ile take my heeles.
    260 Exeunt Dromio Ep.
    Ant. Vpon my life by some deuise or other,
    The villaine is ore-wrought of all my monie.
    They say this towne is full of cosenage:
    As nimble Iuglers that deceiue the eie:
    265Darke working Sorcerers that change the minde:
    Soule-killing Witches, that deforme the bodie:
    Disguised Cheaters, prating Mountebankes;
    And manie such like liberties of sinne:
    If it proue so, I will be gone the sooner:
    270Ile to the Centaur to goe seeke this slaue,
    I greatly feare my monie is not safe. Exit.

    Actus Secundus.

    Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholis Sereptus, with
    Luciana her Sister.

    275Adr. Neither my husband nor the slaue return'd,
    That in such haste I sent to seeke his Master?
    Sure Luciana it is two a clocke.
    Luc. Perhaps some Merchant hath inuited him,
    And from the Mart he's somewhere gone to dinner:
    280Good Sister let vs dine, and neuer fret;
    A man is Master of his libertie:
    Time is their Master, and when they see time,
    They'll goe or come; if so, be patient Sister.
    Adr. Why should their libertie then ours be more?
    285Luc. Because their businesse still lies out adore.
    Adr. Looke when I serue him so, he takes it thus.
    Luc. Oh, know he is the bridle of your will.
    Adr. There's none but asses will be bridled so.

    Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lasht with woe:
    290There's nothing situate vnder heauens eye,
    But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in skie.
    The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowles
    Are their males subiects, and at their controules:
    Man more diuine, the Master of all these,
    295Lord of the wide world, and wilde watry seas,
    Indued with intellectuall sence and soules,
    Of more preheminence then fish and fowles,
    Are masters to their females, and their Lords:
    Then let your will attend on their accords.
    300Adri. This seruitude makes you to keepe vnwed.
    Luci. Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.
    Adr. But were you wedded, you wold bear some sway
    Luc. Ere I learne loue, Ile practise to obey.
    Adr. How if your husband start some other where?
    305Luc. Till he come home againe, I would forbeare.
    Adr. Patience vnmou'd, no maruel though she pause,
    They can be meeke, that haue no other cause:
    A wretched soule bruis'd with aduersitie,
    We bid be quiet when we heare it crie.
    310But were we burdned with like waight of paine,
    As much, or more, we should our selues complaine:
    So thou that hast no vnkinde mate to greeue thee,
    With vrging helpelesse patience would releeue me;
    But if thou liue to see like right bereft,
    315This foole-beg'd patience in thee will be left.
    Luci. Well, I will marry one day but to trie:
    Heere comes your man, now is your husband nie.

    Enter Dromio Eph.
    Adr. Say, is your tardie master now at hand?
    320E.Dro. Nay, hee's at too hands with mee, and that my
    two eares can witnesse.
    Adr. Say, didst thou speake with him? knowst thou
    his minde?
    E.Dro. I, I, he told his minde vpon mine eare,
    325Beshrew his hand, I scarce could vnderstand it.
    Luc. Spake hee so doubtfully, thou couldst not feele
    his meaning.
    E.Dro. Nay, hee strooke so plainly, I could too well
    feele his blowes; and withall so doubtfully, that I could
    330scarce vnderstand them.
    Adri. But say, I prethee, is he comming home?
    It seemes he hath great care to please his wife.
    E.Dro. Why Mistresse, sure my Master is horne mad.
    Adri. Horne mad, thou villaine?
    335E.Dro. I meane not Cuckold mad,
    But sure he is starke mad:
    When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
    He ask'd me for a hundred markes in gold:
    'Tis dinner time, quoth I: my gold, quoth he:
    340Your meat doth burne, quoth I: my gold quoth he:
    Will you come, quoth I: my gold, quoth he;
    Where is the thousand markes I gaue thee villaine?
    The Pigge quoth I, is burn'd: my gold, quoth he:
    My mistresse, sir, quoth I: hang vp thy Mistresse:
    345I know not thy mistresse, out on thy mistresse.
    Luci. Quoth who?
    E.Dr. Quoth my Master,
    I know quoth he, no house,
    no wife, no mistresse: so that my arrant due vnto my
    tongue, I thanke him, I bare home vpon my shoulders:
    350for in conclusion, he did beat me there.
    Adri. Go back againe, thou slaue, & fetch him home.
    Dro. Goe backe againe, and be new beaten home?
    For Gods sake send some other messenger.
    H 2 Adri. Backe