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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    Not Peer Reviewed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. 91
    For a fish without a finne, ther's a fowle without a fether,
    If a crow help vs in sirra, wee'll plucke a crow together.
    745Ant. Go, get thee gon, fetch me an iron Crow.
    Balth. Haue patience sir, oh let it not be so,
    Heerein you warre against your reputation,
    And draw within the compasse of suspect
    Th' vnuiolated honor of your wife.
    750Once this your long experience of your wisedome,
    Her sober vertue, yeares, and modestie,
    Plead on your part some cause to you vnknowne;
    And doubt not sir, but she will well excuse
    Why at this time the dores are made against you.
    755Be rul'd by me, depart in patience,
    And let vs to the Tyger all to dinner,
    And about euening come your selfe alone,
    To know the reason of this strange restraint:
    If by strong hand you offer to breake in
    760Now in the stirring passage of the day,
    A vulgar comment will be made of it;
    And that supposed by the common rowt
    Against your yet vngalled estimation,
    That may with foule intrusion enter in,
    765And dwell vpon your graue when you are dead;
    For slander liues vpon succession:
    For euer hows'd, where it gets possession.
    Anti. You haue preuail'd, I will depart in quiet,
    And in despight of mirth meane to be merrie:
    770I know a wench of excellent discourse,
    Prettie and wittie; wilde, and yet too gentle;
    There will we dine: this woman that I meane
    My wife (but I protest without desert)
    Hath oftentimes vpbraided me withall:
    775To her will we to dinner, get you home
    And fetch the chaine, by this I know 'tis made,
    Bring it I pray you to the Porpentine,
    For there's the house: That chaine will I bestow
    (Be it for nothing but to spight my wife)
    780Vpon mine hostesse there, good sir make haste:
    Since mine owne doores refuse to entertaine me,
    Ile knocke else-where, to see if they'll disdaine me.
    Ang. Ile meet you at that place some houre hence.
    Anti. Do so, this iest shall cost me some expence.
    785 Exeunt.
    Enter Iuliana, with Antipholus of Siracusia.
    Iulia. And may it be that you haue quite forgot
    A husbands office? shall Antipholus
    Euen in the spring of Loue, thy Loue-springs rot?
    790Shall loue in buildings grow so ruinate?
    If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
    Then for her wealths-sake vse her with more kindnesse:
    Or if you like else-where doe it by stealth,
    Muffle your false loue with some shew of blindnesse:
    795Let not my sister read it in your eye:
    Be not thy tongue thy owne shames Orator:
    Looke sweet, speake faire, become disloyaltie:
    Apparell vice like vertues harbenger:
    Beare a faire presence, though your heart be tainted,
    800Teach sinne the carriage of a holy Saint,
    Be secret false: what need she be acquainted?
    What simple thiefe brags of his owne attaine?
    'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed,
    And let her read it in thy lookes at boord:
    805Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed,
    Ill deeds is doubled with an euill word:
    Alas poore women, make vs not beleeue
    (Being compact of credit) that you loue vs,

    Though others haue the arme, shew vs the sleeue:
    810We in your motion turne, and you may moue vs.
    Then gentle brother get you in againe;
    Comfort my sister, cheere her, call her wife;
    'Tis holy sport to be a little vaine,
    When the sweet breath of flatterie conquers strife.
    815S.Anti. Sweete Mistris, what your name is else I
    know not;
    Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine:
    Lesse in your knowledge, and your grace you show not,
    Then our earths wonder, more then earth diuine.
    820Teach me deere creature how to thinke and speake:
    Lay open to my earthie grosse conceit:
    Smothred in errors, feeble, shallow, weake,
    The foulded meaning of your words deceit:
    Against my soules pure truth, why labour you,
    825To make it wander in an vnknowne field?
    Are you a god? would you create me new?
    Transforme me then, and to your powre Ile yeeld.
    But if that I am I, then well I know,
    Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
    830Nor to her bed no homage doe I owe:
    Farre more, farre more, to you doe I decline:
    Oh traine me not sweet Mermaide with thy note,
    To drowne me in thy sister floud of teares:
    Sing Siren for thy selfe, and I will dote:
    835Spread ore the siluer waues thy golden haires;
    And as a bud Ile take thee, and there lie:
    And in that glorious supposition thinke,
    He gaines by death, that hath such meanes to die:
    Let Loue, being light, be drowned if she sinke.
    840Luc. What are you mad, that you doe reason so?
    Ant. Not mad, but mated, how I doe not know.
    Luc. It is a fault that springeth from your eie.
    Ant. For gazing on your beames
    faire sun being by.
    Luc. Gaze when you should, and that will cleere
    845 your sight.
    Ant. As good to winke sweet loue, as looke on night.
    Luc. Why call you me loue? Call my sister so.
    Ant. Thy sisters sister.
    Luc. That's my sister.
    850Ant. No: it is thy selfe, mine owne selfes better part:
    Mine eies cleere eie, my deere hearts deerer heart;
    My foode, my fortune, and my sweet hopes aime;
    My sole earths heauen, and my heauens claime.
    Luc. All this my sister is, or else should be.
    855Ant. Call thy selfe sister sweet, for I am thee:
    Thee will I loue, and with thee lead my life;
    Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife:
    Giue me thy hand.
    Luc. Oh soft sir, hold you still:
    860Ile fetch my sister to get her good will. Exit.
    Enter Dromio, Siracusia.
    Ant. Why how now Dromio, where run'st thou so
    S.Dro. Doe you know me sir? Am I Dromio? Am I
    865 your man? Am I my selfe?
    Ant. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art
    thy selfe.
    Dro. I am an asse, I am a womans man, and besides
    my selfe.
    870Ant. What womans man? and how besides thy
    Dro. Marrie sir, besides my selfe, I am due to a woman:
    One that claimes me, one that haunts me, one that will
    haue me.
    Ant. What