home contact

The Comedy of Errors

ACT IV SCENE IV A street. 
[Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and the Officer]
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSFear 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.
My wife is in a wayward mood to-day,
And will not lightly trust the messenger5
That I should be attach'd in Ephesus,
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 EPHESUSHere's that, I warrant you, will pay them all.10
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSBut where's the money?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSWhy, sir, I gave the money for the rope.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSFive hundred ducats, villain, for a rope?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSI'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the rate.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSTo what end did I bid thee hie thee home?15
DROMIO OF EPHESUSTo a rope's-end, sir; and to that end am I returned.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSAnd to that end, sir, I will welcome you.
[Beating him]
OfficerGood sir, be patient.
DROMIO OF EPHESUSNay, 'tis for me to be patient; I am in adversity.
OfficerGood, now, hold thy tongue.20
DROMIO OF EPHESUSNay, rather persuade him to hold his hands.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSThou whoreson, senseless villain!
DROMIO OF EPHESUSI would I were senseless, sir, that I might not feel
your blows.
DROMIO OF EPHESUSI am an ass, indeed; you may prove it by my long25
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;30
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 brat; and, I think when he hath
lamed me, I shall beg with it from door to door.35
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSCome, go along; my wife is coming yonder.
[Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the Courtezan, and PINCH]
DROMIO OF EPHESUSMistress, 'respice finem,' respect your end; or
rather, the prophecy like the parrot, 'beware the
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSWilt thou still talk?40
[Beating him]
CourtezanHow say you now? is not your husband mad?
ADRIANAHis incivility confirms no less.
Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer;
Establish him in his true sense again,
And I will please you what you will demand.45
LUCIANAAlas, how fiery and how sharp he looks!
CourtezanMark how he trembles in his ecstasy!
PINCHGive me your hand and let me feel your pulse.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSThere is my hand, and let it feel your ear.
[Striking him]
PINCHI charge thee, Satan, housed within this man,50
To yield possession to my holy prayers
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight:
I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSPeace, doting wizard, peace! I am not mad.
ADRIANAO, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!55
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSYou minion, you, are these your customers?
Did this companion with the saffron face
Revel and feast it at my house to-day,
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut
And I denied to enter in my house?60
ADRIANAO husband, God doth know you dined at home;
Where would you had remain'd until this time,
Free from these slanders and this open shame!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSDined at home! Thou villain, what sayest thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSSir, sooth to say, you did not dine at home.65
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSWere not my doors lock'd up and I shut out?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSPerdie, your doors were lock'd and you shut out.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSAnd did not she herself revile me there?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSSans fable, she herself reviled you there.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSDid not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me?70
DROMIO OF EPHESUSCertes, she did; the kitchen-vestal scorn'd you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSAnd did not I in rage depart from thence?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSIn verity you did; my bones bear witness,
That since have felt the vigour of his rage.
ADRIANAIs't good to soothe him in these contraries?75
PINCHIt is no shame: the fellow finds his vein,
And yielding to him humours well his frenzy.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSThou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to arrest me.
ADRIANAAlas, I sent you money to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.80
DROMIO OF EPHESUSMoney by me! heart and goodwill you might;
But surely master, not a rag of money.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSWent'st not thou to her for a purse of ducats?
ADRIANAHe came to me and I deliver'd it.
LUCIANAAnd I am witness with her that she did.85
DROMIO OF EPHESUSGod and the rope-maker bear me witness
That I was sent for nothing but a rope!
PINCHMistress, both man and master is possess'd;
I know it by their pale and deadly looks:
They must be bound and laid in some dark room.90
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSSay, wherefore didst thou lock me forth to-day?
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?
ADRIANAI did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.
DROMIO OF EPHESUSAnd, gentle master, I received no gold;
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out.95
ADRIANADissembling villain, thou speak'st false in both.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSDissembling harlot, thou art false in all;
And art confederate with a damned pack
To make a loathsome abject scorn of me:
But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes100
That would behold in me this shameful sport.
[ Enter three or four, and offer to bind him. He strives ]
ADRIANAO, bind him, bind him! let him not come near me.
PINCHMore company! The fiend is strong within him.
LUCIANAAy me, poor man, how pale and wan he looks!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSWhat, will you murder me? Thou gaoler, thou,105
I am thy prisoner: wilt thou suffer them
To make a rescue?
OfficerMasters, let him go
He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.
PINCHGo bind this man, for he is frantic too.110
[They offer to bind Dromio of Ephesus]
ADRIANAWhat wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
Do outrage and displeasure to himself?
OfficerHe is my prisoner: if I let him go,
The debt he owes will be required of me.115
ADRIANAI will discharge thee ere I go from thee:
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor,
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it.
Good master doctor, see him safe convey'd
Home to my house. O most unhappy day!120
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSO most unhappy strumpet!
DROMIO OF EPHESUSMaster, I am here entered in bond for you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUSOut on thee, villain! wherefore dost thou mad me?
DROMIO OF EPHESUSWill you be bound for nothing? be mad, good master:
cry 'The devil!'125
LUCIANAGod help, poor souls, how idly do they talk!
ADRIANAGo bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.
[ Exeunt all but Adriana, Luciana, Officer and Courtezan ]
Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?
OfficerOne Angelo, a goldsmith: do you know him?
ADRIANAI know the man. What is the sum he owes?130
OfficerTwo hundred ducats.
ADRIANASay, how grows it due?
OfficerDue for a chain your husband had of him.
ADRIANAHe did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.
CourtezanWhen as your husband all in rage to-day135
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.
ADRIANAIt may be so, but I did never see it.
Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is:140
I long to know the truth hereof at large.
[ Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse with his rapier drawn, and DROMIO of Syracuse ]
LUCIANAGod, for thy mercy! they are loose again.
ADRIANAAnd come with naked swords.
Let's call more help to have them bound again.
OfficerAway! they'll kill us.145
[ Exeunt all but Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse ]
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSEI see these witches are afraid of swords.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSEShe that would be your wife now ran from you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSECome to the Centaur; fetch our stuff from thence:
I long that we were safe and sound aboard.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSEFaith, stay here this night; they will surely do us150
no harm: you saw they speak us fair, give us gold:
methinks they are such a gentle nation 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.155
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSEI will not stay to-night for all the town;
Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard.

Next: The Comedy of Errors, Act 5, Scene 1