The Comedy of Errors

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Adriana and Luciana.Enter Adriana and Luciana CE IV.ii.1
Ah Luciana, did he tempt thee so? Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so? CE IV.ii.1
Might'st thou perceiue austeerely in his eie, Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eyeausterely (adv.)

old form: austeerely
seriously, sternly, severely
CE IV.ii.2
That he did plead in earnest, yea or no: That he did plead in earnest, yea or no? CE IV.ii.3
Look'd he or red or pale, or sad or merrily? Looked he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?sad (adj.)
downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy
CE IV.ii.4
What obseruation mad'st thou in this case? What observation madest thou in this case CE IV.ii.5
Oh, his hearts Meteors tilting in his face. Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face?tilt (v.)
joust, fight [with lances], thrust
CE IV.ii.6
First he deni'de you had in him no right. First, he denied you had in him no right. CE IV.ii.7
He meant he did me none: the more my spight He meant he did me none, the more my spite.spite (n.)

old form: spight
annoyance, vexation, irritation
CE IV.ii.8
Then swore he that he was a stranger heere. Then swore he that he was a stranger here.stranger (n.)
foreigner, alien, outsider
CE IV.ii.9
And true he swore, though yet forsworne hee were. And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore

old form: forsworne
swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word
CE IV.ii.10
Then pleaded I for you. Then pleaded I for you. CE IV.ii.11.1
And what said he? And what said he? CE IV.ii.11.2
That loue I begg'd for you, he begg'd of me. That love I begged for you, he begged of me. CE IV.ii.12
With what perswasion did he tempt thy loue? With what persuasion did he tempt thy love? CE IV.ii.13
With words, that in an honest suit might moue. With words that in an honest suit might move.suit (n.)
wooing, courtship
CE IV.ii.14
First, he did praise my beautie, then my speech. First he did praise my beauty, then my speech. CE IV.ii.15
Did'st speake him faire? Didst speak him fair?fair (adv.)

old form: faire
kindly, encouragingly, courteously
CE IV.ii.16.1
Haue patience I beseech. Have patience, I beseech. CE IV.ii.16.2
I cannot, nor I will not hold me still. I cannot nor I will not hold me still.still (adj.)
silent, quiet
CE IV.ii.17
My tongue, though not my heart, shall haue his will. My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will. CE IV.ii.18
He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere, He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere;sere (adj.)
dried up, withered, parched
CE IV.ii.19
Ill-fac'd, worse bodied, shapelesse euery where: Ill-faced, worse-bodied, shapeless everywhere;shapeless (adj.)

old form: shapelesse
unshapely, ugly, unsightly
CE IV.ii.20
Vicious, vngentle, foolish, blunt, vnkinde, Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,ungentle (adj.)

old form: vngentle
unchivalrous, ungentlemanly
CE IV.ii.21
Stigmaticall in making worse in minde. Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.making (n.)
physical appearance, bodily form, build
CE IV.ii.22
stigmatical (adj.)

old form: Stigmaticall
deformed, disfigured, ugly
Who would be iealous then of such a one? Who would be jealous, then, of such a one? CE IV.ii.23
No euill lost is wail'd, when it is gone. No evil lost is wailed when it is gone. CE IV.ii.24
Ah but I thinke him better then I say: Ah, but I think him better than I say, CE IV.ii.25
And yet would herein others eies were worse: And yet would herein others' eyes were worse. CE IV.ii.26
Farre from her nest the Lapwing cries away; Far from her nest the lapwing cries away. CE IV.ii.27
My heart praies for him, though my tongue doe curse. My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse. CE IV.ii.28
Enter S.Dromio.Enter Dromio of Syracuse CE IV.ii.29
Here goe: the deske, the purse, sweet now make haste. Here, go – the desk, the purse, sweet, now, make haste. CE IV.ii.29
How hast thou lost thy breath? How hast thou lost thy breath? CE IV.ii.30.1
By running fast. By running fast. CE IV.ii.30.2
Where is thy Master Dromio? Is he well? Where is thy master, Dromio? Is he well? CE IV.ii.31
No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse then hell: No. He's in Tartar limbo, worse than hell.limbo (n.)
prison, confinement, incarceration
CE IV.ii.32
Tartar (n.)
Tartarus; underworld place of confinement for those who incurred the wrath of the gods
A diuell in an euerlasting garment hath him; A devil in an everlasting garment hath him,everlasting (adj.)

old form: euerlasting
made of the durable material of an arresting officer's uniform
CE IV.ii.33
On whose hard heart is button'd vp with steele: One whose hard heart is buttoned up with steel, CE IV.ii.34
A Feind, a Fairie, pittilesse and ruffe: A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;fairy (n.)

old form: Fairie
malignant spirit [as well as its modern sense]
CE IV.ii.35
A Wolfe, nay worse, a fellow all in buffe: A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff;buff (n.)

old form: buffe
[of a uniform] stout ox-hide leather
CE IV.ii.36
A back friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermãds A backfriend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermandsshoulder-clapper (n.)
someone who claps you on the shoulder, arresting officer
CE IV.ii.37
backfriend (n.)

old form: back friend
false friend, someone who gives a pat on the back in an apparently friendly way
countermand (v.)
prohibit, forbid, prevent
The passages of allies, creekes, and narrow lands: The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;passage (n.)
traffic, passing to and fro, movement of people
CE IV.ii.38
land (n.)
tract of land, plot
creek (n.)

old form: creekes
winding path, narrow lane
A hound that runs Counter, and yet draws drifoot well, A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dryfoot well;dryfoot, dry-foot (adv.)

old form: drifoot
[hunting] by following the scent of the feet
CE IV.ii.39
draw (v.)
[hunting] follow prey by the scent
counter, compter (n.)
[a term from hunting] taking an opposite path to the prey
One that before the Iudgmẽt carries poore soules to hel. One that before the Judgement carries poor souls to hell. CE IV.ii.40
Why man, what is the matter? Why, man, what is the matter? CE IV.ii.41
I doe not know the matter, hee is rested on the case. I do not know the matter, he is 'rested on the case.matter (n.)
subject-matter, content, substance
CE IV.ii.42
case, on the
[legal] in relation to this particular case
What is he arrested? tell me at whose suite? What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.suit (n.)

old form: suite
formal request, entreaty, petition
CE IV.ii.43
I know not at whose suite he is arested well; I know not at whose suit he is arrested well; CE IV.ii.44
but is in a suite of buffe which rested him, that can I tell, But he's in a suit of buff which 'rested him, that can I tell.suit (n.)

old form: suite
clothing, dress, garb
CE IV.ii.45
buff (n.)

old form: buffe
[of a uniform] stout ox-hide leather
will you send him Mistris redemption, the monie in his deske. Will you send him, mistress, redemption – the money in his desk?redemption (n.)
ransom, means of release [from debt]
CE IV.ii.46
Go fetch it Sister: Go fetch it, sister. CE IV.ii.47.1
Exit Luciana.Exit Luciana CE IV.ii.
this I wonder at.This I wonder at, CE IV.ii.47.2
Thus he vnknowne to me should be in debt: That he unknown to me should be in debt. CE IV.ii.48
Tell me, was he arested on a band? Tell me, was he arrested on a band?band (n.)
bond, promissory note, legal deed requiring payment
CE IV.ii.49
Not on a band, but on a stronger thing: Not on a band, but on a stronger thing:band (n.)
neckband, collar, ruff
CE IV.ii.50
A chaine, a chaine, doe you not here it ring. A chain, a chain – do you not hear it ring? CE IV.ii.51
What, the chaine? What, the chain? CE IV.ii.52.1
No, no, the bell, 'tis time that I were gone: No, no – the bell. 'Tis time that I were gone. CE IV.ii.52.2
It was two ere I left him, and now the clocke strikes one. It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one. CE IV.ii.53
The houres come backe, that did I neuer here. The hours come back – that did I never hear. CE IV.ii.54
Oh yes, if any houre meete a Serieant, a turnes backe for verie feare. O yes, if any hour meet a sergeant 'a turns back for very fear.sergeant (n.)
sheriff's officer, enforcer, arresting officer
CE IV.ii.55
As if time were in debt: how fondly do'st thou reason? As if time were in debt. How fondly dost thou reason!fondly (adv.)
foolishly, stupidly, madly
CE IV.ii.56
Time is a verie bankerout, and owes more then he's worth to season. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more than he's worth to season.season (n.)
opportunity, favourable moment
CE IV.ii.57
Nay, he's a theefe too: haue you not heard men say, Nay, he's a thief, too. Have you not heard men say CE IV.ii.58
That time comes stealing on by night and day? That time comes stealing on by night and day? CE IV.ii.59
If I be in debt and theft, and a Serieant in the way, If 'a be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,sergeant (n.)

old form: Serieant
sheriff's officer, enforcer, arresting officer
CE IV.ii.60
theft (n.)
thief, robber
Hath he not reason to turne backe an houre in a day? Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day? CE IV.ii.61
Enter Luciana.Enter Luciana with the money CE IV.ii.62.1
Go Dromio, there's the monie, beare it straight, Go, Dromio, there's the money. Bear it straight,straight (adv.)
straightaway, immediately, at once
CE IV.ii.62
And bring thy Master home imediately. And bring thy master home immediately. CE IV.ii.63
Come sister, I am prest downe with conceit: Come, sister, I am pressed down with conceitpress down (v.)

old form: prest downe
overburden, weigh down, oppress
CE IV.ii.64
conceit (n.)
imagining, brooding, fanciful thought
Conceit, my comfort and my iniurie.Conceit, my comfort and my injury. CE IV.ii.65
Exit.Exeunt CE IV.ii.65
 Previous Act IV, Scene II Next  

Jump directly to