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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Adriana and Luciana.
    Adr. Ah Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
    1105Might'st thou perceiue austeerely in his eie,
    That he did plead in earnest, yea or no:
    Look'd he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
    What obseruation mad'st thou in this case?
    Oh, his hearts Meteors tilting in his face.
    1110Luc. First he deni'de you had in him no right.
    Adr. He meant he did me none: the more my spight
    Luc. Then swore he that he was a stranger heere.
    Adr. And true
    he swore, though yet forsworne hee
    1115Luc. Then pleaded I for you.
    Adr. And what said he?
    Luc. That loue I begg'd for you, he begg'd of me.
    Adr. With what perswasion did he tempt thy loue?
    Luc. With words, that in an honest suit might moue.
    1120First, he did praise my beautie, then my speech.
    Adr. Did'st speake him faire?
    Luc. Haue patience I beseech.
    Adr. I cannot, nor I will not hold me still.
    My tongue, though not my heart, shall haue his will.
    1125He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
    Ill-fac'd, worse bodied, shapelesse euery where:
    Vicious, vngentle, foolish, blunt, vnkinde,
    94 The Comedie of Errors.
    Stigmaticall in making worse in minde.
    Luc. Who would be iealous then of such a one?
    1130No euill lost is wail'd, when it is gone.
    Adr. Ah but I thinke him better then I say:
    And yet would herein others eies were worse:
    Farre from her nest the Lapwing cries away;
    My heart praies for him, though my tongue doe curse.
    1135 Enter S.Dromio.
    Dro. Here goe: the deske, the purse, sweet now make
    Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath?
    S.Dro. By running fast.
    1140Adr. Where is thy Master Dromio? Is he well?
    S.Dro. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse then hell:
    A diuell in an euerlasting garment hath him;
    On whose hard heart is button'd vp with steele:
    A Feind, a Fairie, pittilesse and ruffe:
    1145A Wolfe, nay worse, a fellow all in buffe:
    A back friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermãds
    The passages of allies, creekes, and narrow lands:
    A hound that runs Counter, and yet draws drifoot well,
    One that before the Iudgmẽt carries poore soules to hel.
    1150Adr. Why man, what is the matter?
    S.Dro. I doe not know the matter, hee is rested on
    the case.
    Adr. What is he arrested? tell me at whose suite?
    S.Dro. I know not at whose suite he is arested well;
    1155but is in a suite of buffe which rested him, that can I tell,
    will you send him Mistris redemption, the monie in
    his deske.
    Adr. Go fetch it Sister: this I wonder at.
    Exit Luciana.
    1160Thus he vnknowne to me should be in debt:
    Tell me, was he arested on a band?
    S.Dro. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing:
    A chaine, a chaine, doe you not here it ring.
    Adria. What, the chaine?
    1165S.Dro. No, no, the bell, 'tis time that I were gone:
    It was two ere I left him, and now the clocke strikes one.
    Adr. The houres come backe, that did I neuer here.
    S.Dro. Oh yes, if any houre meete a Serieant, a turnes
    backe for verie feare.
    1170Adri. As if time were in debt: how fondly do'st thou
    S.Dro. Time is a verie bankerout, and owes more then
    he's worth to season.
    Nay, he's a theefe too: haue you not heard men say,
    1175That time comes stealing on by night and day?
    If I be in debt and theft, and a Serieant in the way,
    Hath he not reason to turne backe an houre in a day?
    Enter Luciana.
    Adr. Go Dromio, there's the monie, beare it straight,
    1180And bring thy Master home imediately.
    Come sister, I am prest downe with conceit:
    Conceit, my comfort and my iniurie. Exit.