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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.
    Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, his man Dromio, Angelo the
    Goldsmith, and Balthaser the Merchant.
    E.Anti. Good signior Angelo you must excuse vs all,
    620My wife is shrewish when I keepe not howres;
    Say that I lingerd with you at your shop
    To see the making of her Carkanet,
    And that to morrow you will bring it home.
    But here's a villaine that would face me downe
    625He met me on the Mart, and that I beat him,
    And charg'd him with a thousand markes in gold,
    And that I did denie my wife and house;
    Thou drunkard thou, what didst thou meane by this?
    E.Dro. Say what you wil sir, but I know what I know,
    630That you beat me at the Mart I haue your hand to show;
    If yr skin were parchment, & ye blows you gaue were ink,
    Your owne hand-writing would tell you what I thinke.
    E.Ant. I thinke thou art an asse.
    E.Dro. Marry so it doth appeare
    635By the wrongs I suffer, and the blowes I beare,
    I should kicke being kickt, and being at that passe,
    You would keepe from my heeles, and beware of an asse.
    E.An. Y'are sad signior Balthazar, pray God our cheer
    May answer my good will, and your good welcom here.
    640Bal. I hold your dainties cheap sir, & your welcom deer.
    E.An. Oh signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
    A table full of welcome, makes scarce one dainty dish.
    Bal. Good meat sir is cõmon that euery churle affords.
    Anti. And welcome more common, for thats nothing
    645 but words.
    Bal. Small cheere and great welcome, makes a mer-
    rie feast.
    Anti. I, to a niggardly Host, and more sparing guest:
    But though my cates be meane, take them in good part,
    650Better cheere may you haue, but not with better hart.
    But soft, my doore is lockt; goe bid them let vs in.
    E.Dro. Maud, Briget, Marian, Cisley, Gillian, Ginn.
    S.Dro. Mome, Malthorse, Capon, Coxcombe, Idi-
    ot, Patch,
    655Either get thee from the dore, or sit downe at the hatch:
    Dost thou coniure for wenches, that yu calst for such store,
    When one is one too many, goe get thee from the dore.
    E.Dro. What patch is made our Porter? my Master
    stayes in the street.
    660S.Dro. Let him walke from whence he came, lest hee
    catch cold on's feet.
    E.Ant. Who talks within there? hoa, open the dore.
    S.Dro. Right sir, Ile tell you when, and you'll tell
    me wherefore.
    665Ant. Wherefore? for my dinner: I haue not din'd to
    S.Dro. Nor to day here you must not come againe
    when you may.
    Anti. What art thou that keep'st mee out from the
    670 howse I owe?
    S.Dro. The Porter for this time Sir, and my name is
    E.Dro. O villaine, thou hast stolne both mine office
    and my name,
    675The one nere got me credit, the other mickle blame:
    If thou hadst beene Dromio to day in my place,
    Thou wouldst haue chang'd thy face for a name, or thy
    name for an asse.
    Enter Luce.
    680Luce. What a coile is there Dromio? who are those
    at the gate?
    E.Dro. Let my Master in Luce.
    Luce. Faith no, hee comes too late, and so tell your
    685E.Dro. O Lord I must laugh, haue at you with a Pro-
    Shall I set in my staffe.
    Luce. Haue at you with another, that's when? can
    you tell?
    690S.Dro. If thy name be called Luce, Luce thou hast an-
    swer'd him well.
    Anti. Doe you heare you minion, you'll let vs in I
    Luce. I thought to haue askt you.
    695S.Dro. And you said no.
    E.Dro. So come helpe, well strooke, there was blow
    for blow.
    Anti. Thou baggage let me in.
    Luce. Can you tell for whose sake?
    700E.Drom. Master, knocke the doore hard.
    Luce. Let him knocke till it ake.
    Anti. You'll crie for this minion, if I beat the doore
    Luce. What needs all that, and a paire of stocks in the
    705 towne?
    Enter Adriana.
    Adr. Who is that at the doore yt keeps all this noise?
    S.Dro. By my troth your towne is troubled with vn-
    ruly boies.
    710Anti. Are you there Wife? you might haue come
    Adri. Your wife sir knaue? go get you from the dore.
    E.Dro. If you went in paine Master, this knaue wold
    goe sore.
    715Angelo. Heere is neither cheere sir, nor welcome, we
    would faine haue either.
    Baltz. In debating which was best, wee shall part
    with neither.
    E.Dro. They stand at the doore, Master, bid them
    720 welcome hither.
    Anti. There is something in the winde, that we can-
    not get in.
    E.Dro. You would say so Master, if your garments
    were thin.
    725Your cake here is warme within: you stand here in the
    It would make a man mad as a Bucke to be so bought
    and sold.
    Ant. Go fetch me something, Ile break ope the gate.
    730S.Dro. Breake any breaking here, and Ile breake your
    knaues pate.
    E.Dro. A man may breake a word with your sir, and
    words are but winde:
    I and breake it in your face, so he break it not behinde.
    735S.Dro. It seemes thou want'st breaking, out vpon thee
    E.Dro. Here's too much out vpon thee, I pray thee let
    me in.
    S.Dro. I, when fowles haue no feathers, and fish haue
    740 no fin.
    Ant. Well, Ile breake in: go borrow me a crow.
    E.Dro. A crow without feather, Master meane you so;
    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.