The Comedy of Errors


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Antipholus of Syracuse
salute (v.) 1 greet, welcome, address


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me

As if I were their well-acquainted friend,

And every one doth call me by my name.

Some tender money to me, some invite me,
tender (v.) 1 offer, give, present

Some other give me thanks for kindnesses.

Some offer me commodities to buy.

Even now a tailor called me in his shop

And showed me silks that he had bought for me,

And therewithal took measure of my body.

Sure, these are but imaginary wiles,
wile (n.) trick, delusion, illusion

And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Master, here's the gold you sent

me for. – What, have you got the picture of old Adam
picture (n.) 2 likeness, image, imitation

new-apparelled?
new-apparelled (adj.) in a change of clothing


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What gold is this? What Adam dost thou mean?


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Not that Adam that kept the

paradise, but that Adam that keeps the prison. He that

goes in the calf's skin that was killed for the prodigal.
prodigal (n.) 2 [Biblical reference] prodigal son

He that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and bid

you forsake your liberty.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I understand thee not.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No? Why, 'tis a plain case: he

that went like a bass viol in a case of leather; the man,
bass viol, base viol (n.) stringed instrument resembling a cello
case (n.) 6 suit, overall, outer garment

sir, that when gentlemen are tired gives them a sob and
sob (n.) respite, rest, breather [given to a horse]

rests them; he, sir, that takes pity on decayed men and
decayed (adj.) ruined, destitute, impoverished

gives them suits of durance; he that sets up his rest to
durance (n.) 2 durability, lasting nature; also: type of strong durable cloth
set up one's rest (n.) [in primero] venture one's final stake, stake all
suit (n.) 4 clothing, dress, garb

do more exploits with his mace than a morris-pike.
mace (n.) staff of office, official sceptre
morris-pike (n.) type of pike [thought to be of Moorish origin]


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What, thou meanest an

officer?


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band

– he that brings any man to answer it that breaks his

band; one that thinks a man always going to bed, and
band (n.) 2 bond, promissory note, legal deed requiring payment

says, ‘ God give you good rest!’


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, there rest in

your foolery. Is there any ships put forth tonight?

May we be gone?


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Why, sir, I brought you word

an hour since that the bark Expedition put forth tonight,
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

and then were you hindered by the sergeant to tarry for
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger

the hoy Delay. Here are the angels that you sent for to
hoy (n.) small coastal vessel

deliver you.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

The fellow is distract, and so am I,
distract (adj.) 1 deranged, mad, mentally disturbed

And here we wander in illusions.

Some blessed power deliver us from hence!
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

Enter a Courtesan
courtesan, courtezan (n.) prostitute, strumpet


COURTESAN

Well met, well met, Master Antipholus.

I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now.

Is that the chain you promised me today?


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Satan, avoid! I charge thee, tempt me not!
avoid (v.) 1 be off, be gone, go away


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Master, is this Mistress Satan?


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

It is the devil.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Nay, she is worse, she is the

devil's dam; and here she comes in the habit of a light
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count
habit (n.) 3 behaviour, bearing, demeanour
light (adj.) 1 promiscuous, licentious, immoral, wanton

wench; and thereof comes that the wenches say ‘ God
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

damn me ’ – that's as much to say ‘ God make me a light

wench.’ It is written they appear to men like angels of

light. Light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn. Ergo,
ergo (adv.) therefore See Topics: Latin
light (adj.) 1 promiscuous, licentious, immoral, wanton

light wenches will burn. Come not near her.
burn (v.) 3 suffer from venereal disease


COURTESAN

Your man and you are marvellous merry, sir.
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count

Will you go with me? We'll mend our dinner here.
mend (v.) 4 supplement, augment


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Master, if you do, expect spoon-meat,
spoonmeat, spoon-meat (n.) soft food served on a spoon

or bespeak a long spoon.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Why, Dromio?


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, he must have a long

spoon that must eat with the devil.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

(to Courtesan)
avoid (v.) 1 be off, be gone, go away
supping (n.) taking supper

Avoid then, fiend. What tellest thou me of supping?

Thou art, as you are all, a sorceress.

I conjure thee to leave me and be gone.
conjure (v.) 1 ask solemnly, entreat earnestly, beseech


COURTESAN

Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner,

Or for my diamond the chain you promised,
for (prep.) 4 in return for

And I'll be gone, sir, and not trouble you.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Some devils ask but the parings of one's nail,

A rush, a hair, a drop of blood, a pin,

A nut, a cherry stone.

But she, more covetous, would have a chain.

Master, be wise; an if you give it her,

The devil will shake her chain, and fright us with it.
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count


COURTESAN

I pray you, sir, my ring, or else the chain!

I hope you do not mean to cheat me so.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Avaunt, thou witch! Come, Dromio, let us go.
avaunt (int.) begone, go away, be off See Topics: Frequency count


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

‘ Fly pride,’ says the peacock. Mistress, that you know.

Exeunt Antipholus of Syracuse and

Dromio of Syracuse


COURTESAN

Now, out of doubt, Antipholus is mad,

Else would he never so demean himself.
demean (v.) behave, conduct, comport [oneself]

A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats,

And for the same he promised me a chain.

Both one and other he denies me now.

The reason that I gather he is mad,

Besides this present instance of his rage,
rage (n.) 4 madness, insanity, derangement

Is a mad tale he told today at dinner

Of his own doors being shut against his entrance.

Belike his wife, acquainted with his fits,
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count

On purpose shut the doors against his way.
way (n.) 5 entrance, access, path

My way is now to hie home to his house
home (adv.) 5 directly, forthwith, right away
way (n.) 6 best path, course of action

And tell his wife that, being lunatic,

He rushed into my house and took perforce
perforce (adv.) 1 forcibly, by force, violently See Topics: Frequency count

My ring away. This course I fittest choose,
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
fit (adj.) 1 suited, fitting, appropriate

For forty ducats is too much to lose.

Exit

 
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