The Comedy of Errors

Select or Print the text

Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter the Merchant and the Goldsmith.

Gold.
I am sorry Sir that I haue hindred you, 
But I protest he had the Chaine of me, 
Though most dishonestly he doth denie it. 

Mar.
How is the man esteem'd heere in the Citie? 

Gold.
Of very reuerent reputation sir, 
Of credit infinite, highly belou'd, 
Second to none that liues heere in the Citie: 
His word might beare my wealth at any time. 

Mar.
Speake softly, yonder as I thinke he walkes. 
Enter Antipholus and Dromio 
againe.

Gold.
'Tis so: and that selfe chaine about his necke, 
Which he forswore most monstrously to haue. 
Good sir draw neere to me, Ile speake to him: 
Signior Antipholus, I wonder much 
That you would put me to this shame and trouble, 
And not without some scandall to your selfe, 
With circumstance and oaths, so to denie 
This Chaine, which now you weare so openly. 
Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment, 
You haue done wrong to this my honest friend, 
Who but for staying on our Controuersie, 
Had hoisted saile, and put to sea to day: 
This Chaine you had of me, can you deny it? 

Ant.
I thinke I had, I neuer did deny it. 

Mar.
Yes that you did sir, and forswore it too. 

Ant.
Who heard me to denie it or forsweare it? 

Mar.
These eares of mine thou knowst did hear thee: 
Fie on thee wretch, 'tis pitty that thou liu'st 
To walke where any honest men resort. 

Ant.
Thou art a Villaine to impeach me thus, 
Ile proue mine honor, and mine honestie 
Against thee presently, if thou dar'st stand: 

Mar.
I dare and do defie thee for a villaine. 
They draw. 
Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtezan, & others.

Adr.
Hold, hurt him not for God sake, he is mad, 
Some get within him, take his sword away: 
Binde Dromio too, and beare them to my house. 

S.Dro.
Runne master run, for Gods sake take a house, 
This is some Priorie, in, or we are spoyl'd. 
Enter Ladie Abbesse.



Ab.
Be quiet people, wherefore throng you hither? 

Adr.
To fetch my poore distracted husband hence, 
Let vs come in, that we may binde him fast, 
And beare him home for his recouerie. 

Gold.
I knew he was not in his perfect wits. 

Mar.
I am sorry now that I did draw on him. 

Ab.
How long hath this possession held the man. 

Adr.
This weeke he hath beene heauie, sower sad, 
And much different from the man he was: 
But till this afternoone his passion 
Ne're brake into extremity of rage. 

Ab.
Hath he not lost much wealth by wrack of sea, 
Buried some deere friend, hath not else his eye 
Stray'd his affection in vnlawfull loue, 
A sinne preuailing much in youthfull men, 
Who giue their eies the liberty of gazing. 
Which of these sorrowes is he subiect too? 

Adr.
To none of these, except it be the last, 
Namely, some loue that drew him oft from home. 

Ab.
You should for that haue reprehended him. 

Adr.
Why so I did. 

Ab.
I but not rough enough. 

Adr.
As roughly as my modestie would let me. 

Ab.
Haply in priuate. 

Adr.
And in assemblies too. 

Ab.
I, but not enough. 

Adr.
It was the copie of our Conference. 
In bed he slept not for my vrging it, 
At boord he fed not for my vrging it: 
Alone, it was the subiect of my Theame: 
In company I often glanced it: 
Still did I tell him, it was vilde and bad. 

Ab.
And thereof came it, that the man was mad. 
The venome clamors of a iealous woman, 
Poisons more deadly then a mad dogges tooth. 
It seemes his sleepes were hindred by thy railing, 
And thereof comes it that his head is light. 
Thou saist his meate was sawc'd with thy vpbraidings, 
Vnquiet meales make ill digestions, 
Thereof the raging fire of feauer bred, 
And what's a Feauer, but a fit of madnesse? 
Thou sayest his sports were hindred by thy bralles. 
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue 
But moodie and dull melancholly, 
Kinsman to grim and comfortlesse dispaire, 
And at her heeles a huge infectious troope 
Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life? 
In food, in sport, and life-preseruing rest 
To be disturb'd, would mad or man, or beast: 
The consequence is then, thy iealous fits 
Hath scar'd thy husband from the vse of wits. 

Luc.
She neuer reprehended him but mildely, 
When he demean'd himselfe, rough, rude, and wildly,
Why beare you these rebukes, and answer not? 

Adri.
She did betray me to my owne reproofe, 
Good people enter, and lay hold on him. 

Ab.
No, not a creature enters in my house. 

Ad.
Then let your seruants bring my husband forth 

Ab.
Neither: he tooke this place for sanctuary, 
And it shall priuiledge him from your hands, 
Till I haue brought him to his wits againe, 
Or loose my labour in assaying it. 

Adr.
I will attend my husband, be his nurse, 
Diet his sicknesse, for it is my Office, 
And will haue no atturney but my selfe, 
And therefore let me haue him home with me. 

Ab.
Be patient, for I will not let him stirre, 
Till I haue vs'd the approoued meanes I haue, 
With wholsome sirrups, drugges, and holy prayers 
To make of him a formall man againe: 
It is a branch and parcell of mine oath, 
A charitable dutie of my order, 
Therefore depart, and leaue him heere with me. 

Adr.
I will not hence, and leaue my husband heere: 
And ill it doth beseeme your holinesse 
To separate the husband and the wife. 

Ab.
Be quiet and depart, thou shalt not haue him. 



Luc.
Complaine vnto the Duke of this indignity. 

Adr.
Come go, I will fall prostrate at his feete, 
And neuer rise vntill my teares and prayers 
Haue won his grace to come in person hither, 
And take perforce my husband from the Abbesse. 

Mar.
By this I thinke the Diall points at fiue: 
Anon I'me sure the Duke himselfe in person 
Comes this way to the melancholly vale; 
The place of depth, and sorrie execution, 
Behinde the ditches of the Abbey heere. 

Gold.
Vpon what cause? 

Mar.
To see a reuerent Siracusian Merchant, 
Who put vnluckily into this Bay 
Against the Lawes and Statutes of this Towne, 
Beheaded publikely for his offence. 

Gold.
See where they come, we wil behold his death 

Luc.
Kneele to the Duke before he passe the Abbey. 
Enter the Duke of Ephesus, and the
Merchant of Siracuse bare head, with the Headsman, 
& other Officers

Duke.
Yet once againe proclaime it publikely, 
If any friend will pay the summe for him, 
He shall not die, so much we tender him. 

Adr.
Iustice most sacred Duke against the Abbesse. 

Duke.
She is a vertuous and a reuerend Lady, 
It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong. 

Adr.
May it please your Grace, Antipholus my husbãd, 
Who I made Lord of me, and all I had, 
At your important Letters this ill day, 
A most outragious fit of madnesse tooke him: 
That desp'rately he hurried through the streete, 
With him his bondman, all as mad as he, 
Doing displeasure to the Citizens, 
By rushing in their houses: bearing thence 
Rings, Iewels, any thing his rage did like. 
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home, 
Whil'st to take order for the wrongs I went, 
That heere and there his furie had committed, 
Anon I wot not, by what strong escape 
He broke from those that had the guard of him, 
And with his mad attendant and himselfe, 
Each one with irefull passion, with drawne swords 
Met vs againe, and madly bent on vs 
Chac'd vs away: till raising of more aide 
We came againe to binde them: then they fled 
Into this Abbey, whether we pursu'd them, 
And heere the Abbesse shuts the gates on vs, 
And will not suffer vs to fetch him out, 
Nor send him forth, that we may beare him hence. 
Therefore most gracious Duke with thy command, 
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for helpe. 

Duke.
Long since thy husband seru'd me in my wars 
And I to thee ingag'd a Princes word, 
When thou didst make him Master of thy bed, 
To do him all the grace and good I could. 
Go some of you, knocke at the Abbey gate, 
And bid the Lady Abbesse come to me: 
I will determine this before I stirre. 
Enter a Messenger.



Oh Mistris, Mistris, shift and saue your selfe, 
My Master and his man are both broke loose, 
Beaten the Maids a-row, and bound the Doctor, 
Whose beard they haue sindg'd off with brands of fire, 
And euer as it blaz'd, they threw on him 
Great pailes of puddled myre to quench the haire; 
My Mr preaches patience to him, and the while 
His man with Cizers nickes him like a foole: 
And sure (vnlesse you send some present helpe) 
Betweene them they will kill the Coniurer. 

Adr.
Peace foole, thy Master and his man are here, 
And that is false thou dost report to vs. 

Mess.
Mistris, vpon my life I tel you true, 
I haue not breath'd almost since I did see it. 
He cries for you, and vowes if he can take you, 
To scorch your face, and to disfigure you: 
Cry within.
Harke, harke, I heare him Mistris: flie, be gone. 

Duke.
Come stand by me, feare nothing: guard with Halberds. 

Adr.
Ay me, it is my husband: witnesse you, 
That he is borne about inuisible, 
Euen now we hous'd him in the Abbey heere. 
And now he's there, past thought of humane reason. 
Enter Antipholus, and E. Dromio of Ephesus.

E.Ant.
Iustice most gracious Duke, oh grant me iustice, 
Euen for the seruice that long since I did thee, 
When I bestrid thee in the warres, and tooke 
Deepe scarres to saue thy life; euen for the blood 
That then I lost for thee, now grant me iustice. 

Mar.Fat.

Vnlesse the feare of death doth make me dote, 
I see my sonne Antipholus and Dromio. 

E.Ant.
Iustice (sweet Prince) against yt Woman there: 
She whom thou gau'st to me to be my wife; 
That hath abused and dishonored me, 
Euen in the strength and height of iniurie: 
Beyond imagination is the wrong 
That she this day hath shamelesse throwne on me. 

Duke.
Discouer how, and thou shalt finde me iust. 

E.Ant.
This day (great Duke) she shut the doores vpon me, 
While she with Harlots feasted in my house. 

Duke.
A greeuous fault: say woman, didst thou so? 

Adr.
No my good Lord. My selfe, he, and my sister, 
To day did dine together: so befall my soule, 
As this is false he burthens me withall. 

Luc.
Nere may I looke on day, nor sleepe on night, 
But she tels to your Highnesse simple truth. 

Gold.

O periur'd woman! They are both forsworne, 
In this the Madman iustly chargeth them. 

E.Ant.
My Liege, I am aduised what I say, 
Neither disturbed with the effect of Wine, 
Nor headie-rash prouoak'd with raging ire, 
Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad. 
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner; 
That Goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her, 
Could witnesse it: for he was with me then, 
Who parted with me to go fetch a Chaine, 
Promising to bring it to the Porpentine, 
Where Balthasar and I did dine together. 
Our dinner done, and he not comming thither, 
I went to seeke him. In the street I met him, 
And in his companie that Gentleman. 
There did this periur'd Goldsmith sweare me downe, 
That I this day of him receiu'd the Chaine, 
Which God he knowes, I saw not. For the which, 
He did arrest me with an Officer. 
I did obey, and sent my Pesant home 
For certaine Duckets: he with none return'd. 
Then fairely I bespoke the Officer 
To go in person with me to my house. 
By'th' way, we met 
my wife, her sister, and a rabble more 
Of vilde Confederates: Along with them 
They brought one Pinch, a hungry leane-fac'd Villaine; 
A meere Anatomie, a Mountebanke, 
A thred-bare Iugler, and a Fortune-teller, 
A needy-hollow-ey'd-sharpe-looking-wretch; 
A liuing dead man. This pernicious slaue, 
Forsooth tooke on him as a Coniurer: 
And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, 
And with no-face (as 'twere) out-facing me, 
Cries out, I was possest. Then altogether 
They fell vpon me, bound me, bore me thence, 
And in a darke and dankish vault at home 
There left me and my man, both bound together, 
Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, 
I gain'd my freedome; and immediately 
Ran hether to your Grace, whom I beseech 
To giue me ample satisfaction 
For these deepe shames, and great indignities. 

Gold.
My Lord, in truth, thus far I witnes with him: 
That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out. 

Duke.
But had he such a Chaine of thee, or no? 

Gold.
He had my Lord, and when he ran in heere, 
These people saw the Chaine about his necke. 

Mar.
Besides, I will be sworne these eares of mine, 
Heard you confesse you had the Chaine of him, 
After you first forswore it on the Mart, 
And thereupon I drew my sword on you: 
And then you fled into this Abbey heere, 
From whence I thinke you are come by Miracle. 

E.Ant.
I neuer came within these Abbey wals, 
Nor euer didst thou draw thy sword on me: 
I neuer saw the Chaine, so helpe me heauen: 
And this is false you burthen me withall. 

Duke.
Why what an intricate impeach is this? 
I thinke you all haue drunke of Circes cup: 
If heere you hous'd him, heere he would haue bin. 
If he were mad, he would not pleade so coldly: 
You say he din'd at home, the Goldsmith heere 
Denies that saying. Sirra, what say you? 




Sir he din'de with her there, at the Porpen-tine. 

Cur.
He did, and from my finger snacht that Ring. 

E.Anti.
Tis true (my Liege) this Ring I had of her. 

Duke.
Saw'st thou him enter at the Abbey heere? 

Curt.
As sure (my Liege) as I do see your Grace. 

Duke.
Why this is straunge: Go call the Abbesse hither. 
I thinke you are all mated, or starke mad. 
Exit one to the Abbesse.

Fa.
Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a word: 
Haply I see a friend will saue my life, 
And pay the sum that may deliuer me. 

Duke.
Speake freely Siracusian what thou wilt. 

Fath.
Is not your name sir call'd Antipholus? 
And is not that your bondman Dromio? 

E.Dro.
Within this houre I was his bondman sir, 
But he I thanke him gnaw'd in two my cords, 
Now am I Dromio, and his man, vnbound. 

Fath.
I am sure you both of you remember me. 

Dro.
Our selues we do remember sir by you: 
For lately we were bound as you are now. 
You are not Pinches patient, are you sir? 

Father.
Why looke you strange on me? you know me well. 

E.Ant.
I neuer saw you in my life till now. 

Fa.
Oh! griefe hath chang'd me since you saw me last, 
And carefull houres with times deformed hand, 
Haue written strange defeatures in my face: 
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice? 

Ant.
Neither. 

Fat.
Dromio, nor thou? 

Dro.
No trust me sir, nor I. 

Fa.
I am sure thou dost? 

E.Dromio.
I sir, but I am sure I do not, 
and whatsoeuer a man denies, you are now bound to 
beleeue him. 

Fath.
Not know my voice, oh times extremity 
Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poore tongue 
In seuen short yeares, that heere my onely sonne 
Knowes not my feeble key of vntun'd cares? 
Though now this grained face of mine be hid 
In sap-consuming Winters drizled snow, 
And all the Conduits of my blood froze vp: 
Yet hath my night of life some memorie: 
My wasting lampes some fading glimmer left; 
My dull deafe eares a little vse to heare: 
All these old witnesses, I cannot erre. 
Tell me, thou art my sonne Antipholus. 

Ant.
I neuer saw my Father in my life. 

Fa.
But seuen yeares since, in Siracusa boy 
Thou know'st we parted, but perhaps my sonne, 
Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in miserie. 

Ant.
The Duke, and all that know me in the City, 
Can witnesse with me that it is not so. 
I ne're saw Siracusa in my life. 

Duke.
I tell thee Siracusian, twentie yeares 
Haue I bin Patron to Antipholus, 
During which time, he ne're saw Siracusa: 
I see thy age and dangers make thee dote. 
Enter the Abbesse with Antipholus Siracusa,
and Dromio Sir

Abbesse.
Most mightie Duke, behold a man much wrong'd. 
All gather to see them.

Adr.
I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceiue me. 

Duke.
One of these men is genius to the other: 
And so of these, which is the naturall man, 
And which the spirit? Who deciphers them? 

S.Dromio.
I Sir am Dromio, command him away. 

E.Dro.
I Sir am Dromio, pray let me stay. 

S.Ant.
Egeon art thou not? or else his ghost. 

S.Drom.
Oh my olde Master, who hath bound him heere? 

Abb.
Who euer bound him, I will lose his bonds, 
And gaine a husband by his libertie: 
Speake olde Egeon, if thou bee'st the man 
That hadst a wife once call'd Aemilia, 
That bore thee at a burthen two faire sonnes? 
Oh if thou bee'st the same Egeon, speake: 
And speake vnto the same Aemilia. 

Duke.
Why heere begins his Morning storie right: 
These two Antipholus, these two so like, 
And these two Dromio's, one in semblance: 
Besides her vrging of her wracke at sea, 
These are the parents to these children, 
Which accidentally are met together. 

Fa.
If I dreame not, thou art Aemilia, 
If thou art she, tell me, where is that sonne 
That floated with thee on the fatall rafte. 

Abb.
By men of Epidamium, he, and I, 
And the twin Dromio, all were taken vp; 
But by and by, rude Fishermen of Corinth 
By force tooke Dromio, and my sonne from them, 
And me they left with those of Epidamium. 
What then became of them, I cannot tell: 
I, to this fortune that you see mee in. 

Duke.
Antipholus thou cam'st from Corinth first. 

S.Ant.
No sir, not I, I came from Siracuse. 

Duke.
Stay, stand apart, I know not which is which. 

E.Ant.
I came from Corinth my most gracious Lord 

E.Dro.
And I with him. 

E.Ant.
Brought to this Town by that most famous Warriour, 
Duke Menaphon your most renowned Vnckle. 

Adr.
Which of you two did dine with me to day? 

S.Ant.
I, gentle Mistris. 

Adr.
And are not you my husband? 

E.Ant.
No, I say nay to that. 

S.Ant.
And so do I, yet did she call me so: 
And this faire Gentlewoman her sister heere 

Did call me brother. What I told you then, 
I hope I shall haue leisure to make good, 
If this be not a dreame I see and heare. 

Goldsmith.
That is the Chaine sir, which you had of mee. 

S.Ant.
I thinke it be sir, I denie it not. 

E.Ant.
And you sir for this Chaine arrested me. 

Gold.
I thinke I did sir, I deny it not. 

Adr.
I sent you monie sir to be your baile 
By Dromio, but I thinke he brought it not. 

E.Dro.
No, none by me. 

S.Ant.
This purse of Duckets I receiu'd from you, 
And Dromio my man did bring them me: 
I see we still did meete each others man, 
And I was tane for him, and he for me, 
And thereupon these errors are arose. 

E.Ant.
These Duckets pawne I for my father heere. 

Duke.
It shall not neede, thy father hath his life. 

Cur.
Sir I must haue that Diamond from you. 

E.Ant.
There take it, and much thanks for my good cheere. 

Abb.
Renowned Duke, vouchsafe to take the paines 
To go with vs into the Abbey heere, 
And heare at large discoursed all our fortunes, 
And all that are assembled in this place: 
That by this simpathized one daies error 
Haue suffer'd wrong. Goe, keepe vs companie, 
And we shall make full satisfaction. 
Thirtie three yeares haue I but gone in trauaile 
Of you my sonnes, and till this present houre 
My heauie burthen are deliuered: 
The Duke my husband, and my children both, 
And you the Kalenders of their Natiuity, 
Go to a Gossips feast, and go with mee, 
After so long greefe such Natiuitie. 

Duke.
With all my heart, Ile Gossip at this feast. 
Exeunt omnes. Manet the two Dromio's and
two Brothers

S.Dro.

Mast. shall I fetch your stuffe from shipbord? 

E.An.
Dromio, what stuffe of mine hast thou imbarkt 

S.Dro.
Your goods that lay at host sir in the Centaur. 

S.Ant.
He speakes to me, I am your master Dromio. 
Come go with vs, wee'l looke to that anon, 
Embrace thy brother there, reioyce with him.
Exit

S.Dro.
There is a fat friend at your masters house, 
That kitchin'd me for you to day at dinner: 
She now shall be my sister, not my wife, 

E.D.
Me thinks you are my glasse, & not my brother: 
I see by you, I am a sweet-fac'd youth, 
Will you walke in to see their gossipping? 

S.Dro.
Not I sir, you are my elder. 

E.Dro.
That's a question, how shall we trie it. 

S.Dro.
Wee'l draw Cuts for the Signior, till then, lead thou first. 

E.Dro.
Nay then thus: 
We came into the world like brother and brother: 
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another. 
Exeunt.


Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter Second Merchant and Angelo the goldsmith

ANGELO
I am sorry, sir, that I have hindered you;
But I protest he had the chain of me,
Though most dishonestly he doth deny it.

SECOND MERCHANT
How is the man esteemed here in the city?

ANGELO
Of very reverend reputation, sir,
Of credit infinite, highly beloved,
Second to none that lives here in the city.
His word might bear my wealth at any time.

SECOND MERCHANT
Speak softly. Yonder, as I think, he walks.
Enter Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse
again

ANGELO
'Tis so; and that self chain about his neck
Which he forswore most monstrously to have.
Good sir, draw near to me. I'll speak to him.
Signor Antipholus, I wonder much
That you would put me to this shame and trouble,
And not without some scandal to yourself,
With circumstance and oaths so to deny
This chain, which now you wear so openly.
Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
You have done wrong to this my honest friend,
Who, but for staying on our controversy,
Had hoisted sail and put to sea today.
This chain you had of me. Can you deny it?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I think I had. I never did deny it.

SECOND MERCHANT
Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it, too.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Who heard me to deny it or forswear it?

SECOND MERCHANT
These ears of mine, thou knowest, did hear thee.
Fie on thee, wretch. 'Tis pity that thou livest
To walk where any honest men resort.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Thou art a villain to impeach me thus.
I'll prove mine honour and mine honesty
Against thee presently, if thou darest stand.

SECOND MERCHANT
I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.
They draw
Enter Adriana, Luciana, the Courtesan, and others

ADRIANA
Hold, hurt him not, for God's sake; he is mad.
Some get within him, take his sword away.
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Run, master, run! For God's sake take a house.
This is some priory. In, or we are spoiled.
Exeunt Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of
Syracuse to the Priory
Enter Æmilia the Lady Abbess

ABBESS
Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?

ADRIANA
To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
Let us come in, that we may bind him fast
And bear him home for his recovery.

ANGELO
I knew he was not in his perfect wits.

SECOND MERCHANT
I am sorry now that I did draw on him.

ABBESS
How long hath this possession held the man?

ADRIANA
This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
And much, much different from the man he was.
But till this afternoon his passion
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.

ABBESS
Hath he not lost much wealth by wrack of sea?
Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye
Strayed his affection in unlawful love,
A sin prevailing much in youthful men,
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing?
Which of these sorrows is he subject to?

ADRIANA
To none of these except it be the last,
Namely some love that drew him oft from home.

ABBESS
You should for that have reprehended him.

ADRIANA
Why, so I did.

ABBESS
Ay, but not rough enough.

ADRIANA
As roughly as my modesty would let me.

ABBESS
Haply, in private.

ADRIANA
And in assemblies, too.

ABBESS
Ay, but not enough.

ADRIANA
It was the copy of our conference.
In bed he slept not for my urging it.
At board he fed not for my urging it.
Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
In company I often glanced at it.
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.

ABBESS
And thereof came it that the man was mad.
The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
It seems his sleeps were hindered by thy railing,
And thereof comes it that his head is light.
Thou sayst his meat was sauced with thy upbraidings.
Unquiet meals make ill digestions.
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
And what's a fever but a fit of madness?
Thou sayst his sports were hindered by thy brawls.
Sweet recreation barred, what doth ensue
But moody and dull melancholy,
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair,
And at her heels a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest
To be disturbed would mad or man or beast.
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Have scared thy husband from the use of wits.

LUCIANA
She never reprehended him but mildly,
When he demeaned himself rough, rude, and wildly.
(to Adriana)
Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?

ADRIANA
She did betray me to my own reproof.
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.

ABBESS
No, not a creature enters in my house.

ADRIANA
Then let your servants bring my husband forth.

ABBESS
Neither. He took this place for sanctuary,
And it shall privilege him from your hands
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labour in assaying it.

ADRIANA
I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself.
And therefore let me have him home with me.

ABBESS
Be patient, for I will not let him stir
Till I have used the approved means I have,
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again.
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order.
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.

ADRIANA
I will not hence and leave my husband here.
And ill it doth beseem your holiness
To separate the husband and the wife.

ABBESS
Be quiet, and depart. Thou shalt not have him.
Exit

LUCIANA
(to Adriana)
Complain unto the Duke of this indignity.

ADRIANA
Come, go. I will fall prostrate at his feet,
And never rise until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither
And take perforce my husband from the Abbess.

SECOND MERCHANT
By this, I think, the dial points at five.
Anon, I'm sure, the Duke himself in person
Comes this way to the melancholy vale,
The place of death and sorry execution
Behind the ditches of the abbey here.

ANGELO
Upon what cause?

SECOND MERCHANT
To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,
Who put unluckily into this bay
Against the laws and statutes of this town,
Beheaded publicly for his offence.

ANGELO
See where they come. We will behold his death.

LUCIANA
Kneel to the Duke before he pass the abbey.
Enter Solinus, Duke of Ephesus, and Egeon, the
merchant of Syracuse, barehead, with the Headsman
and other officers

DUKE
Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die, so much we tender him.

ADRIANA
Justice, most sacred Duke, against the Abbess!

DUKE
She is a virtuous and a reverend lady.
It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.

ADRIANA
May it please your grace, Antipholus my husband,
Who I made lord of me and all I had
At your important letters, this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness took him,
That desperately he hurried through the street,
With him his bondman all as mad as he,
Doing displeasure to the citizens
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Rings, jewels, anything his rage did like.
Once did I get him bound, and sent him home
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,
He broke from those that had the guard of him,
And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords
Met us again, and, madly bent on us,
Chased us away; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind them. Then they fled
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them,
And here the Abbess shuts the gates on us,
And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
Nor send him forth that we may bear him hence.
Therefore, most gracious Duke, with thy command
Let him be brought forth, and borne hence for help.

DUKE
Long since, thy husband served me in my wars;
And I to thee engaged a prince's word,
When thou didst make him master of thy bed,
To do him all the grace and good I could.
Go, some of you, knock at the abbey gate,
And bid the Lady Abbess come to me.
I will determine this before I stir.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself!
My master and his man are both broke loose,
Beaten the maids a-row, and bound the Doctor,
Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire,
And ever as it blazed they threw on him
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair.
My master preaches patience to him, and the while
His man with scissors nicks him like a fool.
And sure, unless you send some present help,
Between them they will kill the conjurer.

ADRIANA
Peace, fool; thy master and his man are here,
And that is false thou dost report to us.

MESSENGER
Mistress, upon my life I tell you true.
I have not breathed almost since I did see it.
He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you,
To scorch your face and to disfigure you.
Cry within
Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress. Fly, be gone!

DUKE
Come, stand by me. Fear nothing. Guard with halberds!

ADRIANA
Ay me, it is my husband. Witness you
That he is borne about invisible.
Even now we housed him in the abbey here,
And now he's there, past thought of human reason.
Enter Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Justice, most gracious Duke, O grant me justice,
Even for the service that long since I did thee
When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took
Deep scars to save thy life. Even for the blood
That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice!

EGEON
(aside)
Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
I see my son Antipholus, and Dromio.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there,
She whom thou gavest to me to be my wife;
That hath abused and dishonoured me
Even in the strength and height of injury.
Beyond imagination is the wrong
That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.

DUKE
Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
This day, great Duke, she shut the doors upon me
While she with harlots feasted in my house.

DUKE
A grievous fault. Say, woman, didst thou so?

ADRIANA
No, my good lord. Myself, he, and my sister
Today did dine together. So befall my soul
As this is false he burdens me withal.

LUCIANA
Ne'er may I look on day nor sleep on night
But she tells to your highness simple truth.

ANGELO
(aside)
O perjured woman! They are both forsworn.
In this the madman justly chargeth them.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
My liege, I am advised what I say,
Neither disturbed with the effect of wine
Nor heady-rash provoked with raging ire,
Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad.
This woman locked me out this day from dinner.
That goldsmith there, were he not packed with her,
Could witness it, for he was with me then,
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain,
Promising to bring it to the Porpentine,
Where Balthasar and I did dine together.
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him. In the street I met him,
And in his company that gentleman.
There did this perjured goldsmith swear me down
That I this day of him received the chain,
Which, God he knows, I saw not. for the which
He did arrest me with an officer.
I did obey, and sent my peasant home
For certain ducats. He with none returned.
Then fairly I bespoke the officer
To go in person with me to my house.
By the way we met
My wife, her sister, and a rabble more
Of vile confederates. Along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry, lean-faced villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man. This pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer,
And gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
Cries out I was possessed. Then all together
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence,
And in a dark and dankish vault at home
There left me and my man, both bound together,
Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
I gained my freedom, and immediately
Ran hither to your grace, whom I beseech
To give me ample satisfaction
For these deep shames and great indignities.

ANGELO
My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him:
That he dined not at home, but was locked out.

DUKE
But had he such a chain of thee, or no?

ANGELO
He had, my lord, and when he ran in here
These people saw the chain about his neck.

SECOND MERCHANT
(to Antipholus of Ephesus)
Besides, I will be sworn these ears of mine
Heard you confess you had the chain of him
After you first forswore it on the mart,
And thereupon I drew my sword on you;
And then you fled into this abbey here,
From whence I think you are come by miracle.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
I never came within these abbey walls,
Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me.
I never saw the chain, so help me heaven,
And this is false you burden me withal.

DUKE
Why, what an intricate impeach is this!
I think you all have drunk of Circe's cup.
If here you housed him, here he would have been.
If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly.
(to Adriana)
You say he dined at home. The goldsmith here
Denies that saying. (to Dromio of Ephesus) Sirrah, what say you?


DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Sir, he dined with her there at the Porpentine.

COURTESAN
He did, and from my finger snatched that ring.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
'Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of her.

DUKE
Sawest thou him enter at the abbey here?

COURTESAN
As sure, my liege, as I do see your grace.

DUKE
Why, this is strange. Go call the Abbess hither.
I think you are all mated, or stark mad.
Exit one to the Abbess

EGEON
Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a word.
Haply I see a friend will save my life
And pay the sum that may deliver me.

DUKE
Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.

EGEON
Is not your name, sir, called Antipholus?
And is not that your bondman Dromio?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Within this hour I was his bondman, sir,
But he, I thank him, gnawed in two my cords.
Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound.

EGEON
I am sure you both of you remember me.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you,
For lately we were bound as you are now.
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?

EGEON
Why look you strange on me? You know me well.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
I never saw you in my life till now.

EGEON
O, grief hath changed me since you saw me last,
And careful hours with time's deformed hand
Have written strange defeatures in my face.
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Neither.

EGEON
Dromio, nor thou?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
No, trust me, sir, nor I.

EGEON
I am sure thou dost.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not,
and whatsoever a man denies you are now bound to
believe him.

EGEON
Not know my voice? O time's extremity,
Hast thou so cracked and splitted my poor tongue
In seven short years that here my only son
Knows not my feeble key of untuned cares?
Though now this grained face of mine be hid
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
And all the conduits of my blood froze up,
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear.
All these old witnesses, I cannot err,
Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
I never saw my father in my life.

EGEON
But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
Thou knowest we parted. But perhaps, my son,
Thou shamest to acknowledge me in misery.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
The Duke and all that know me in the city
Can witness with me that it is not so.
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.

DUKE
I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years
Have I been patron to Antipholus,
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.
Enter Æmilia, the Abbess, with Antipholus of
Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse

ABBESS
Most mighty Duke, behold a man much wronged.
All gather to see them

ADRIANA
I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.

DUKE
One of these men is genius to the other;
And so, of these, which is the natural man,
And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I, sir, am Dromio. Command him away.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
I, sir, am Dromio. Pray let me stay.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Egeon art thou not? or else his ghost.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
O, my old master – who hath bound him here?

ABBESS
Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds,
And gain a husband by his liberty.
Speak, old Egeon, if thou beest the man
That hadst a wife once called Æmilia,
That bore thee at a burden two fair sons.
O, if thou beest the same Egeon, speak,
And speak unto the same Æmilia.

DUKE
Why, here begins his morning story right.
These two Antipholuses', these two so like,
And these two Dromios, one in semblance,
Besides her urging of her wrack at sea –
These are the parents to these children,
Which accidentally are met together.

EGEON
If I dream not, thou art Æmilia.
If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
That floated with thee on the fatal raft?

AEMELIA
By men of Epidamnum he and I
And the twin Dromio all were taken up.
But by and by rude fishermen of Corinth
By force took Dromio and my son from them,
And me they left with those of Epidamnum.
What then became of them I cannot tell.
I, to this fortune that you see me in.

DUKE
(to Antipholus of Syracuse)
Antipholus, thou camest from Corinth first.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
No, sir, not I. I came from Syracuse.

DUKE
Stay, stand apart. I know not which is which.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
And I with him.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Brought to this town by that most famous warrior
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.

ADRIANA
Which of you two did dine with me today?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I, gentle mistress.

ADRIANA
And are not you my husband?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
No, I say nay to that.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
And so do I. Yet did she call me so,
And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
(To Luciana)
Did call me brother. (To Luciana) What I told you then
I hope I shall have leisure to make good,
If this be not a dream I see and hear.

ANGELO
That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I think it be, sir. I deny it not.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.

ANGELO
I think I did, sir. I deny it not.

ADRIANA
(to Antipholus of Ephesus)
I sent you money, sir, to be your bail
By Dromio, but I think he brought it not.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
No, none by me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
This purse of ducats I received from you,
And Dromio my man did bring them me.
I see we still did meet each other's man,
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me,
And thereupon these errors are arose.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
These ducats pawn I for my father here.

DUKE
It shall not need. Thy father hath his life.

COURTESAN
Sir, I must have that diamond from you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
There, take it, and much thanks for my good cheer.

AEMELIA
Renowned Duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
To go with us into the abbey here,
And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes,
And all that are assembled in this place,
That by this sympathized one day's error
Have suffered wrong. Go, keep us company,
And we shall make full satisfaction.
Thirty-three years have I but gone in travail
Of you, my sons, and till this present hour
My heavy burden ne'er delivered.
The Duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you, the calendars of their nativity,
Go to a gossips' feast, and go with me.
After so long grief, such nativity.

DUKE
With all my heart I'll gossip at this feast.
Exeunt all but the two Dromios and the
two brothers Antipholus

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
(to Antipholus of Ephesus)
Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embarked?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
He speaks to me – I am your master, Dromio!
Come, go with us, we'll look to that anon.
Embrace thy brother there, rejoice with him.
Exeunt the brothers Antipholus

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
There is a fat friend at your master's house
That kitchened me for you today at dinner.
She now shall be my sister, not my wife!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother.
I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth.
Will you walk in to see their gossiping?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Not I, sir. You are my elder.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
That's a question. How shall we try it?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
We'll draw cuts for the senior. Till then, lead thou first.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Nay then, thus:
We came into the world like brother and brother,
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL