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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    88 The Comedie of Errors.
    Adri. Backe slaue, or I will breake thy pate a-crosse.
    355Dro. And he will blesse yt crosse with other beating:
    Betweene you, I shall haue a holy head.
    Adri. Hence prating pesant, fetch thy Master home.
    Dro. Am I so round with you, as you with me,
    That like a foot-ball you doe spurne me thus:
    360You spurne me hence, and he will spurne me hither,
    If I last in this seruice, you must case me in leather.
    Luci. Fie how impatience lowreth in your face.
    Adri. His company must do his minions grace,
    Whil'st I at home starue for a merrie looke:
    365Hath homelie age th' alluring beauty tooke
    From my poore cheeke? then he hath wasted it.
    Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit,
    If voluble and sharpe discourse be mar'd,
    Vnkindnesse blunts it more then marble hard.
    370Doe their gay vestments his affections baite?
    That's not my fault, hee's master of my state.
    What ruines are in me that can be found,
    By him not ruin'd? Then is he the ground
    Of my defeatures. My decayed faire,
    375A sunnie looke of his, would soone repaire.
    But, too vnruly Deere, he breakes the pale,
    And feedes from home; poore I am but his stale.
    Luci. Selfe-harming Iealousie; fie beat it hence.
    Ad. Vnfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispence:
    380I know his eye doth homage other-where,
    Or else, what lets it but he would be here?
    Sister, you know he promis'd me a chaine,
    Would that alone, a loue he would detaine,
    So he would keepe faire quarter with his bed:
    385I see the Iewell best enamaled
    Will loose his beautie: yet the gold bides still
    That others touch, and often touching will,
    Where gold and no man that hath a name,
    By falshood and corruption doth it shame:
    390Since that my beautie cannot please his eie,
    Ile weepe (what's left away) and weeping die.
    Luci. How manie fond fooles serue mad Ielousie?

    Enter Antipholis Errotis.
    395Ant. The gold I gaue to Dromio is laid vp
    Safe at the Centaur, and the heedfull slaue
    Is wandred forth in care to seeke me out
    By computation and mine hosts report.
    I could not speake with Dromio, since at first
    400I sent him from the Mart? see here he comes.
    Enter Dromio Siracusia.
    How now sir, is your merrie humor alter'd?
    As you loue stroakes, so iest with me againe:
    You know no Centaur? you receiu'd no gold?
    405Your Mistresse sent to haue me home to dinner?
    My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
    That thus so madlie thou did didst answere me?
    S.Dro. What answer sir? when spake I such a word?
    E.Ant. Euen now, euen here, not halfe an howre since.
    410S.Dro. I did not see you since you sent me hence
    Home to the Centaur with the gold you gaue me.
    Ant. Villaine, thou didst denie the golds receit,
    And toldst me of a Mistresse, and a dinner,
    For which I hope thou feltst I was displeas'd.
    415S.Dro. I am glad to see you in this merrie vaine,
    What meanes this iest, I pray you Master tell me?
    Ant. Yea, dost thou ieere & flowt me in the teeth?
    Thinkst yu I iest? hold, take thou that, & that. Beats Dro.
    S.Dr. Hold sir, for Gods sake, now your iest is earnest,

    420Vpon what bargaine do you giue it me?
    Antiph. Because that I familiarlie sometimes
    Doe vse you for my foole, and chat with you,
    Your sawcinesse will iest vpon my loue,
    And make a Common of my serious howres,
    425When the sunne shines, let foolish gnats make sport,
    But creepe in crannies, when he hides his beames:
    If you will iest with me, know my aspect,
    And fashion your demeanor to my lookes,
    Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
    430S.Dro. Sconce call you it? so you would leaue batte-
    ring, I had rather haue it a head, and you vse these blows
    long, I must get a sconce for my head, and Insconce it
    to, or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders, but I pray
    sir, why am I beaten?
    435Ant. Dost thou not know?
    S.Dro. Nothing sir, but that I am beaten.
    Ant. Shall I tell you why?
    S.Dro. I sir, and wherefore; for they say, euery why
    hath a wherefore.
    440Ant. Why first for flowting me, and then wherefore,
    for vrging it the second time to me.
    S.Dro. Was there euer anie man thus beaten out of
    season, when in the why and the wherefore, is neither
    rime nor reason. Well sir, I thanke you.
    445Ant. Thanke me sir, for what?
    S.Dro. Marry sir, for this something that you gaue me
    for nothing.
    Ant. Ile make you amends next, to giue you nothing
    for something. But say sir, is it dinner time?
    450S.Dro. No sir, I thinke the meat wants that I haue.
    Ant. In good time sir: what's that?
    S.Dro. Basting.
    Ant. Well sir, then 'twill be drie.
    S.Dro. If it be sir, I pray you eat none of it.
    455Ant. Your reason?
    S.Dro. Lest it make you chollericke, and purchase me
    another drie basting.
    Ant. Well sir, learne to iest in good time, there's a
    time for all things.
    460S.Dro. I durst haue denied that before you were so
    Anti. By what rule sir?
    S.Dro. Marry sir, by a rule as plaine as the plaine bald
    pate of Father time himselfe.
    465Ant. Let's heare it.
    S.Dro. There's no time for a man to recouer his haire
    that growes bald by nature.
    Ant. May he not doe it by fine and recouerie?
    S.Dro. Yes, to pay a fine for a perewig, and recouer
    470the lost haire of another man.
    Ant. Why, is Time such a niggard of haire, being (as
    it is) so plentifull an excrement?
    S.Dro. Because it is a blessing that hee bestowes on
    beasts, and what he hath scanted them in haire, hee hath
    475giuen them in wit.
    Ant. Why, but theres manie a man hath more haire
    then wit.
    S.Dro. Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose
    his haire.
    480Ant. Why thou didst conclude hairy men plain dea-
    lers without wit.
    S.Dro. The plainer dealer, the sooner lost; yet he loo-
    seth it in a kinde of iollitie.
    An. For what reason.
    485S.Dro. For two, and sound ones to.