Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Matthew Steggle
Not Peer Reviewed

The Comedy of Errors (Folio 1, 1623)

Enter Antipholis Erotes, a Marchant, and Dromio.
Mer. Therefore giue out you are of Epidamium,
Lest that your goods too soone be confiscate:
165This very day a Syracusian Marchant
Is apprehended for a riuall here,
And not being able to buy out his life,
According to the statute of the towne,
Dies ere the wearie sunne set in the West:
170There is your monie that I had to keepe.
Ant. Goe beare it to the Centaure, where we host,
And stay there Dromio, till I come to thee;
Within this houre it will be dinner time,
Till that Ile view the manners of the towne,
175Peruse the traders, gaze vpon the buildings,
And then returne and sleepe within mine Inne,
For with long trauaile I am stiffe and wearie.
Get thee away.
Dro. Many a man would take you at your word,
180And goe indeede, hauing so good a meane.
Exit Dromio.
Ant. A trustie villaine sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholly,
Lightens my humour with his merry iests:
185What will you walke with me about the towne,
And then goe to my Inne and dine with me?
E.Mar. I am inuited sir to certaine Marchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit:
I craue your pardon, soone at fiue a clocke,
190Please you, Ile meete with you vpon the Mart,
And afterward consort you till bed time:
My present businesse cals me from you now.
Ant. Farewell till then: I will goe loose my selfe,
And wander vp and downe to view the Citie.
195E.Mar. Sir, I commend you to your owne content.
Ant. He that commends me to mine owne content,
Commends me to the thing I cannot get:
I to the world am like a drop of water,
200That in the Ocean seekes another drop,
Who falling there to finde his fellow forth,
(Vnseene, inquisitiue) confounds himselfe.
So I, to finde a Mother and a Brother,
In quest of them (vnhappie a) loose my selfe.
205 Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Here comes the almanacke of my true date:
What now? How chance thou art return'd so soone.
E.Dro. Return'd so soone, rather approacht too late:
The Capon burnes, the Pig fals from the spit;
210The clocke hath strucken twelue vpon the bell:
My Mistris made it one vpon my cheeke:
She is so hot because the meate is colde:
The meate is colde, because you come not home:
You come not home, because you haue no stomacke:
215You haue no stomacke, hauing broke your fast:
But we that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Are penitent for your default to day.
Ant. Stop in your winde sir, tell me this I pray?
Where haue you left the mony that I gaue you.
220E.Dro. Oh sixe pence that I had a wensday last,
To pay the Sadler for my Mistris crupper:
The Sadler had it Sir, I kept it not.
Ant. I am not in a sportiue humor now:
Tell me, and dally not, where is the monie?
225We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust
So great a charge from thine owne custodie.
E.Dro. I pray you iest sir as you sit at dinner:
I from my Mistris come to you in post:
If I returne I shall be post indeede.
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.