The Comedy of Errors


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Antipholus of Syracuse, First Merchant, and

Dromio of Syracuse


FIRST MERCHANT

Therefore give out you are of Epidamnum

Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.

This very day a Syracusian merchant

Is apprehended for arrival here,

And, not being able to buy out his life,
buy out (v.) 1 redeem, pay ransom to / for

According to the statute of the town

Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.

There is your money that I had to keep.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

(to Dromio of Syracuse)
host (v.) lodge, stay, put up

Go, bear it to the Centaur, where we host,

And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.

Within this hour it will be dinner-time.

Till that I'll view the manners of the town,
manner (n.) 3 (plural) ways of life, social conditions

Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
peruse (v.) 2 reconnoitre, scout out, survey

And then return and sleep within mine inn;

For with long travel I am stiff and weary.

Get thee away.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Many a man would take you at your word

And go indeed, having so good a mean.
mean (n.) 1 means, way, method

Exit


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count
villain (n.) 1 serf, servant, bondman

When I am dull with care and melancholy,

Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

What, will you walk with me about the town,

And then go to my inn and dine with me?


FIRST MERCHANT

I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,

Of whom I hope to make much benefit.
benefit (n.) 3 profit, gain, return

I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
mart (n.) 1 market

And afterward consort you till bedtime.
afterward (adv.) afterwards
consort (v.) accompany, attend, go with

My present business calls me from you now.
present (adj.) 2 pressing, urgent


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Farewell till then. I will go lose myself
lose oneself (v.) roam about, wander around

And wander up and down to view the city.


FIRST MERCHANT

Sir, I commend you to your own content.
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over

Exit


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

He that commends me to mine own content
commend (v.) 2 commit, entrust, hand over
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness

Commends me to the thing I cannot get.

I to the world am like a drop of water

That in the ocean seeks another drop,

Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
fellow (n.) 2 counterpart, match, equal
find forth (v.) seek out, encounter, meet with

Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.
confound (v.) 7 mix up, become indistinguishable
inquisitive (adj.) eager for information, seeking knowledge
unseen (adj.) unknown, unnoticed, unobserved

So I, to find a mother and a brother,

In quest of them unhappy, lose myself.
unhappy (adj.) 1 unlucky, unfortunate, ill-fated

Enter Dromio of Ephesus
almanac (n.) calendar, register

Here comes the almanac of my true date.

What now? How chance thou art returned so soon?
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Returned so soon? Rather approached too late.

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit.

The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell;

My mistress made it one upon my cheek.

She is so hot because the meat is cold.
hot (adj.) 1 hot-tempered, angry, passionate

The meat is cold because you come not home.

You come not home because you have no stomach.
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]

You have no stomach, having broke your fast.

But we that know what 'tis to fast and pray

Are penitent for your default today.
default (n.) 2 offence, fault, misdeed
penitent (adj.) 1 undergoing penance


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Stop in your wind, sir. Tell me this, I pray:
wind, stop in your hold your breath, shut up

Where have you left the money that I gave you?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

O, sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday last

To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper.
crupper (n.) leather saddle-strap on a horse

The saddler had it, sir. I kept it not.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I am not in a sportive humour now.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

Tell me, and dally not: where is the money?

We being strangers here, how darest thou trust

So great a charge from thine own custody?
charge (n.) 3 task, responsibility, duty


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.

I from my mistress come to you in post.
post, in in haste, at top speed

If I return I shall be post indeed,
post (n.) 3 door-post

For she will score your fault upon my pate.
scour (v.) 2 beat, punish, scourge

Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock
maw (n.) belly, stomach; throat, gullet
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

And strike you home without a messenger.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season.
season, out of (adj./adv.) 1 inopportune, inappropriate, ill-timed

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
charge (n.) 3 task, responsibility, duty


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me!


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,
have done put an end to, stop
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.
charge (n.) 8 money entrusted, valuables
dispose (v.) 1 place, distribute, organize


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
charge (n.) 3 task, responsibility, duty
mart (n.) 1 market

Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.

My mistress and her sister stays for you.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Now, as I am a Christian, answer me

In what safe place you have bestowed my money,
bestow (v.) 6 stow away, dispose of

Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours
break (v.) 8 crack, split, beat
sconce (n.) 1 [jocular] head, pate, bonce

That stands on tricks when I am undisposed.
stand on (v.) 2 practise, give (oneself) over to
undisposed (adj.) not in the mood, indisposed

Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
mark (v.) 8 See Topics: Money


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
pate (n.) head, skull See Topics: Frequency count

Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,

But not a thousand marks between you both.

If I should pay your worship those again,
again (adv.) 1 in return, back [in response]

Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thy mistress' marks? What mistress, slave, hast thou?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;

She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,

And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
flout (v.) insult, abuse, mock

Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.

He beats Dromio


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

What mean you, sir? For God's sake hold your hands.

Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
heels, take my take to my heels, run away

Exit


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Upon my life, by some device or other
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick

The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
villain (n.) 2 scoundrel, rogue, rascal

They say this town is full of cozenage,
cozenage (n.) cheating, trickery, deception

As nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,

Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,

Soul-killing witches that deform the body,

Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
mountebank (n.) itinerant quack, travelling drug-seller, charlatan
prating (adj.) prattling, chattering, blathering

And many suchlike liberties of sin.
liberty (n.) 1 unrestrained act, improper licence, reckless freedom

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.

I'll to the Centaur to go seek this slave.

I greatly fear my money is not safe.

Exit

 
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