William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Comedy of Errors > Act IV. Scene II.

Comedy of Errors

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act IV. Scene II.

Scene II.—A Room in the House of
ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.


Adr. Ah! Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eye
That he did plead in earnest? yea or no?
Look'd he or red or pale? or sad or merrily?
What observation mad'st thou in this case
Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face?
Luc. First he denied you had in him no right.
Adr. He meant he did me none; the more
my spite.
Luc. Then swore he that he was a stranger
Adr. And true he swore, though yet forsworn
he were.
Luc. Then pleaded I for you.
Adr. And what said he?
Luc. That love I begg'd for you he begg'd
of me.
Adr. With what persuasion did he tempt
thy love?
Luc. With words that in an honest suit
might move.
First, he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
Adr. Didst speak him fair?
Luc. Have patience, I beseech.
Adr. I cannot, nor I will not hold me still:
My tongue, though not my heart, shall have
his will.
He is deformed, crooked, old and sere,
Ill-fac'd, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Luc. Who would be jealous then, of such
a one?
No evil lost is wail'd when it is gone.
Adr. Ah! but I think him better than I say,
And yet would herein others' eyes were worse.
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away:
My heart prays for him, though my tongue do

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
Dro. S. Here, go: the desk! the purse! sweet,
now, make haste.
Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath?
Dro. S. By running fast.
Adr. Where is thy master, Dromio? is he
Dro. S. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse than
A devil in an everlasting garment hath him,
One whose hard heart is button'd up with steel;
A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff;
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that
The passages of alleys, creeks and narrow lands;
A hound that runs counter and yet draws dry-
foot well;
One that, before the judgment, carries poor
souls to hell.
Adr. Why, man, what is the matter?
Dro. S. I do not know the matter: he is
'rested on the case.
Adr. What, is he arrested? tell me at whose
Dro. S. I know not at whose suit he is arrest-
ed well;
But he's in a suit of buff which 'rested him, that
can I tell.
Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the
money in his desk?
Adr. Go fetch it, sister.—[Exit LUCIANA.]
This I wonder at:
That he, unknown to me, should be in debt:
Tell me, was he arrested on a band?
Dro. S. Not on a band, but on a stronger
A chain, a chain. Do you not hear it ring?
Adr. What, the chain?
Dro. S. No, no, the bell: 'tis time that I were
It was two ere I left him, and now the clock
strikes one.
Adr. The hours come back! that did I never
Dro. S. O yes; if any hour meet a sergeant, a'
turns back for very fear.
Adr. As if Time were in debt! how fondly
dost thou reason!
Dro. S. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes
more than he's worth to season.
Nay, he's a thief too: have you not heard men
That Time comes stealing on by night and
If Time be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in
the way,
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in
a day?

Re-enter LUCIANA.
Adr. Go, Dromio: there's the money, bear it
And bring thy master home immediately.
Come, sister; I am press'd down with conceit;
Conceit, my comfort and my injury. [Exeunt.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards