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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    Not Peer Reviewed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. 89
    An. Nay not sound I pray you.
    S.Dro. Sure ones then.
    An. Nay, not sure in a thing falsing.
    S.Dro. Certaine ones then.
    490An. Name them.
    S.Dro. The one to saue the money that he spends in
    trying: the other, that at dinner they should not drop in
    his porrage.
    An. You would all this time haue prou'd, there is no
    495time for all things.
    S.Dro. Marry and did sir: namely, in no time to re-
    couer haire lost by Nature.
    An. But your reason was not substantiall, why there
    is no time to recouer.
    500S.Dro. Thus I mend it: Time himselfe is bald, and
    therefore to the worlds end, will haue bald followers.
    An. I knew 'twould be a bald conclusion: but soft,
    who wafts vs yonder.

    Enter Adriana and Luciana.

    505Adri. I, I, Antipholus, looke strange and frowne,
    Some other Mistresse hath thy sweet aspects:
    I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.
    The time was once, when thou vn-vrg'd wouldst vow,
    That neuer words were musicke to thine eare,
    510That neuer obiect pleasing in thine eye,
    That neuer touch well welcome to thy hand,
    That neuer meat sweet-sauour'd in thy taste,
    Vnlesse I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or caru'd to thee.
    How comes it now, my Husband, oh how comes it,
    515That thou art then estranged from thy selfe?
    Thy selfe I call it, being strange to me:
    That vndiuidable Incorporate
    Am better then thy deere selfes better part.
    Ah doe not teare away thy selfe from me;
    520For know my loue: as easie maist thou fall
    A drop of water in the breaking gulfe,
    And take vnmingled thence that drop againe
    Without addition or diminishing,
    As take from me thy selfe, and not me too.
    525How deerely would it touch thee to the quicke,
    Shouldst thou but heare I were licencious?
    And that this body consecrate to thee,
    By Ruffian Lust should be contaminate?
    Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurne at me,
    530And hurle the name of husband in my face,
    And teare the stain'd skin of my Harlot brow,
    And from my false hand cut the wedding ring,
    And breake it with a deepe-diuorcing vow?
    I know thou canst, and therefore see thou doe it.
    535I am possest with an adulterate blot,
    My bloud is mingled with the crime of lust:
    For if we two be one, and thou play false,
    I doe digest the poison of thy flesh,
    Being strumpeted by thy contagion:
    540Keepe then faire league and truce with thy true bed,
    I liue distain'd, thou vndishonoured.
    Antip. Plead you to me faire dame? I know you not:
    In Ephesus I am but two houres old,
    As strange vnto your towne, as to your talke,
    545Who euery word by all my wit being scan'd,
    Wants wit in all, one word to vnderstand.
    Luci. Fie brother, how the world is chang'd with you:
    When were you wont to vse my sister thus?
    She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.

    550Ant. By Dromio? Drom. By me.
    Adr. By thee, and this thou didst returne from him.
    That he did buffet thee, and in his bl
    Denied my house for his, me for his wife.
    Ant. Did you conuerse sir with this gentlewoman:
    555What is the course and drift of your compact?
    S.Dro. I sir? I neuer saw her till this time.
    Ant. Villaine thou liest, for euen her verie words,
    Didst thou deliuer to me on the Mart.
    S.Dro. I neuer spake with her in all my life.
    560Ant. How can she thus then call vs by our names?
    Vnlesse it be by inspiration.
    Adri. How ill agrees it with your grauitie,
    To counterfeit thus grosely with your slaue,
    Abetting him to thwart me in my moode;
    565Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt,
    But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
    Come I will fasten on this sleeue of thine:
    Thou art an Elme my husband, I a Vine:
    Whose weaknesse married to thy stranger state,
    570Makes me with thy strength to communicate:
    If ought possesse thee from me, it is drosse,
    Vsurping Iuie, Brier, or idle Mosse,
    Who all for want of pruning, with intrusion,
    Infect thy sap, and liue on thy confusion.
    575Ant. To mee shee speakes, shee moues mee for her
    What, was I married to her in my dreame?
    Or sleepe I now, and thinke I heare all this?
    What error driues our eies and eares amisse?
    580Vntill I know this sure vncertaintie,
    Ile entertaine the free'd fallacie.
    Luc. Dromio, goe bid the seruants spred for dinner.
    S.Dro. Oh for my beads, I crosse me for a sinner.
    This is the Fairie land, oh spight of spights,
    585We talke with Goblins, Owles and Sprights;
    If we obay them not, this will insue:
    They'll sucke our breath, or pinch vs blacke and blew.
    Luc. Why prat'st thou to thy selfe, and answer'st not?
    Dromio, thou Dromio, thou snaile, thou slug, thou sot.
    590S.Dro. I am transformed Master, am I not?
    Ant. I thinke thou art in minde, and so am I.
    S.Dro. Nay Master, both in minde, and in my shape.
    Ant. Thou hast thine owne forme.
    S.Dro. No, I am an Ape.
    595Luc. If thou art chang'd to ought, 'tis to an Asse.
    S.Dro. 'Tis true she rides me, and I long for grasse.
    'Tis so, I am an Asse, else it could neuer be,
    But I should know her as well as she knowes me.
    Adr. Come, come, no longer will I be a foole,
    600To put the finger in the eie and weepe;
    Whil'st man and Master laughes my woes to scorne:
    Come sir to dinner, Dromio keepe the gate:
    Husband Ile dine aboue with you to day,
    And shriue you of a thousand idle prankes:
    605Sirra, if any aske you for your Master,
    Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter:
    Come sister, Dromio play the Porter well.
    Ant. Am I in earth, in heauen, or in hell?
    Sleeping or waking, mad or well aduisde:
    610Knowne vnto these, and to my selfe disguisde:
    Ile say as they say, and perseuer so:
    And in this mist at all aduentures go.
    S.Dro. Master, shall I be Porter at the gate?
    Adr. I, and let none enter, least I breake your pate.
    615Luc. Come, come, Antipholus, we dine to late.
    H 3 Actus