The Comedy of Errors


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Antipholus of Ephesus with the Officer


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Fear me not, man. I will not break away.

I'll give thee ere I leave thee so much money

To warrant thee as I am 'rested for.
warrant (v.) 3 act as a pledge for, give an assurance about

My wife is in a wayward mood today,
wayward (adj.) 1 perverse, unreasonable, awkward

And will not lightly trust the messenger
lightly (adv.) 1 readily, easily

That I should be attached in Ephesus.
attach (v.) 1 arrest, seize, apprehend

I tell you, 'twill sound harshly in her ears.

Enter Dromio of Ephesus with a rope's end

Here comes my man. I think he brings the money.

How now, sir. Have you that I sent you for?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Here's that, I warrant you, will pay them all.
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

But where's the money?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Five hundred ducats, villain, for a rope?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the rate.
serve (v.) 1 provide, supply, furnish


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

To what end did I bid thee hie thee home?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

To a rope's end, sir, and to that end am I returned.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

And to that end, sir, I will welcome you.

He beats Dromio


OFFICER

Good sir, be patient.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, 'tis for me to be patient. I am in adversity.


OFFICER

Good now, hold thy tongue.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Thou whoreson, senseless

villain.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I would I were senseless, sir, that

I might not feel your blows.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Thou art sensible in nothing but blows; and so is an ass.
sensible (adj.) 1 sensitive, responsive, capable of feeling


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I am an ass, indeed. You may

prove it by my long ears. I have served him from the

hour of my nativity to this instant, and have nothing at

his hands for my service but blows. When I am cold, he

heats me with beating. When I am warm, he cools me

with beating. I am waked with it when I sleep, raised

with it when I sit, driven out of doors with it when I

go from home, welcomed home with it when I return;

nay, I bear it on my shoulders, as a beggar wont her
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

brat, and I think when he hath lamed me, I shall beg

with it from door to door.

Enter Adriana, Luciana, the Courtesan, and a schoolmaster

called Pinch


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Come, go along – my wife is coming yonder.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Mistress, respice finem – ‘ respect
respect (v.) 2 bear in mind, consider
respice... think of your end See Topics: Latin

your end,’ or rather, to prophesy like the parrot, ‘ beware

the rope's end.’


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Wilt thou still talk?
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

He beats Dromio


COURTESAN

How say you now? Is not your husband mad?


ADRIANA

His incivility confirms no less.

Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjuror.
conjuror, conjurer (n.) exorcist, sorcerer, raiser of spirits

Establish him in his true sense again,

And I will please you what you will demand.
please (v.) requite, satisfy, appease See Topics: Politeness


LUCIANA

Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks!
sharp (adj.) 2 angry, irritable, irascible


COURTESAN

Mark how he trembles in his ecstasy.
ecstasy (n.) 1 fit, bout of madness, frenzied behaviour
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


PINCH

Give me your hand, and let me feel your pulse.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

There is my hand, and let it feel your ear.

He strikes Pinch


PINCH

I charge thee, Satan, housed within this man,

To yield possession to my holy prayers,

And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.
conjure (v.) 1 ask solemnly, entreat earnestly, beseech


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Peace, doting wizard, peace. I am not mad.
doting (adj.) foolish, stupid, weak-minded


ADRIANA

O that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

You minion, you, are these your customers?
minion (n.) 2 hussy, jade, minx

Did this companion with the saffron face
companion (n.) 1 rogue, rascal, fellow
saffron (adj.) orange-red in colour

Revel and feast it at my house today,

Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut,

And I denied to enter in my house?
deny (v.) 3 disallow, forbid, refuse permission [for]


ADRIANA

O, husband, God doth know you dined at home,

Where would you had remained until this time,

Free from these slanders and this open shame.
open (adj.) 1 public, exposed to general view
slander (n.) 1 dishonour, disgrace, disrepute


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Dined at home? (To Dromio) Thou villain, what sayst thou?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine at home.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Were not my doors locked up, and I shut out?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Perdie, your doors were locked, and you shut out.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

And did not she herself revile me there?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Sans fable, she herself reviled you there.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me?
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Certes she did. The kitchen vestal scorned you.
certes (adv.) certainly, assuredly, without doubt
scorn (v.) 1 mock, jeer, express disdain [at]
vestal (n.) woman vowed to chastity, virgin, priestess


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

And did not I in rage depart from thence?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

In verity you did. My bones bear witness,

That since have felt the vigour of his rage.


ADRIANA

Is't good to soothe him in these contraries?
contrary (n.) 4 lie, fabrication, false assertion
soothe (v.) 1 humour, encourage, indulge


PINCH

It is no shame. The fellow finds his vein,
vein (n.) 1 state of mind, motive, mood

And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy.
humour (v.) like the mood of, find enjoyable, indulge


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Thou hast suborned the goldsmith to arrest me.
suborn (v.) bribe, corrupt, persuade [someone] to commit perjury


ADRIANA

Alas, I sent you money to redeem you,

By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Money by me? Heart and good will you might,

But surely, master, not a rag of money.
rag (n.) 2 smallest bit, scrap, farthing


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Went'st not thou to her for a purse of ducats?


ADRIANA

He came to me, and I delivered it.


LUCIANA

And I am witness with her that she did.


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

God and the ropemaker bear me witness

That I was sent for nothing but a rope.


PINCH

Mistress, both man and master is possessed;

I know it by their pale and deadly looks.
deadly (adj.) deathly, death-like

They must be bound and laid in some dark room.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

(to Adriana)
lock forth (v.) lock out, lock the door against

Say, wherefore didst thou lock me forth today,

(to Dromio of Ephesus)

And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?


ADRIANA

I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

And, gentle master, I received no gold.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

But I confess, sir, that we were locked out.


ADRIANA

Dissembling villain, thou speakest false in both.
dissembling (adj.) deceitful, hypocritical, false
false (adv.) 1 slanderously, faithlessly, with such calumny


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all,
dissembling (adj.) deceitful, hypocritical, false
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

And art confederate with a damned pack
pack (n.) 1 gang, group, circle, confederacy

To make a loathsome abject scorn of me.
scorn (n.) 2 object of scorn, target of mockery

But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

That would behold in me this shameful sport.
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport


ADRIANA

O, bind him, bind him, let him not come near me!

Enter three or four and offer to bind him.

He strives


PINCH

More company! The fiend is strong within him.


LUCIANA

Ay me, poor man, how pale and wan he looks.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

What, will you murder me? Thou, gaoler, thou,

I am thy prisoner – wilt thou suffer them

To make a rescue?
rescue (n.) 1 [legal] forced removal from custody


OFFICER

                         Masters, let him go.

He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.


PINCH

Go bind this man, for he is frantic too.

Dromio is bound


ADRIANA

What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

Hast thou delight to see a wretched man

Do outrage and displeasure to himself?
displeasure (n.) 1 injury, wrong, hurt


OFFICER

He is my prisoner. If I let him go

The debt he owes will be required of me.


ADRIANA

I will discharge thee ere I go from thee.
discharge (v.) 8 pay, reimburse, settle with

Bear me forthwith unto his creditor,

And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it.
grow (v.) 1 arise, come into existence

Good Master Doctor, see him safe conveyed

Home to my house. O most unhappy day!


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

O most unhappy strumpet!
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Master, I am here entered in bond for you.


ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Out on thee, villain! Wherefore dost thou mad me?
mad (v.) 1 madden, exasperate, infuriate


DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Will you be bound for nothing? Be mad, good master –

Cry ‘ the devil!’.


LUCIANA

God help, poor souls, how idly do they talk!
idly (adv.) 1 foolishly, crazily, frivolously


ADRIANA

Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.

Exeunt Pinch and his assistants carrying off

Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Epheusus. The

Officer, Adriana, Luciana, and the Courtesan remain

Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count


OFFICER

One Angelo, a goldsmith. Do you know him?


ADRIANA

I know the man. What is the sum he owes?


OFFICER

Two hundred ducats.
grow (v.) 1 arise, come into existence


ADRIANA

                         Say, how grows it due?


OFFICER

Due for a chain your husband had of him.


ADRIANA

He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.


COURTESAN

Whenas your husband all in rage today

Came to my house and took away my ring,

The ring I saw upon his finger now,

Straight after did I meet him with a chain.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


ADRIANA

It may be so, but I did never see it.

Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is.

I long to know the truth hereof at large.
large, at 1 at length, in full, thoroughly

Enter Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse,

with their rapiers drawn


LUCIANA

God, for thy mercy, they are loose again!


ADRIANA

And come with naked swords. Let's call more help

To have them bound again.


OFFICER

                         Away, they'll kill us.

Run all out as fast as may be, frighted


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I see these witches are afraid of swords.
frighted (adj.) frightened, terrified, scared


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

She that would be your wife now ran from you.


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Come to the Centaur. Fetch our stuff from thence.
stuff (n.) 6 baggage, belongings, luggage

I long that we were safe and sound aboard.


DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Faith, stay here this night. They

will surely do us no harm. You saw they speak us fair,
fair (adv.) 1 kindly, encouragingly, courteously

give us gold. Methinks they are such a gentle nation
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

that but for the mountain of mad flesh that claims

marriage of me, I could find in my heart to stay here

still and turn witch.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I will not stay tonight for all the town;

Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard.
stuff (n.) 6 baggage, belongings, luggage

Exeunt

 
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