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 IV.

Comedy of Errors

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

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act IV. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—A Street.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and the Officer.

Ant. E. 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.
My wife is in a wayward mood to-day,
And will not lightly trust the messenger.
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?
Dro. E. Here's that, I warrant you, will pay
them all.
Ant. E. But where's the money?
Dro. E. Why, sir, I gave the money for the
rope.
Ant. E. Five hundred ducats, villain, for a
rope?
Dro. E. I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the
rate.
Ant. E. To what end did I bid thee hie thee
home?
Dro. E. To a rope's end, sir; and to that end
am I return'd,
Ant. E. And to that end, sir, I will welcome
you. [Beats him.
Off. Good sir. be patient.
Dro. E. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient; I am
in adversity.
Off. Good now, hold thy tongue.
Dro. E. Nay, rather persuade him to hold his
hands.
Ant. E. Thou whoreson, senseless villain!
Dro. E. I would I were senseless, sir, that I
might not feel your blows.
Ant. E. Thou art sensible in nothing but
blows, and so is an ass.
Dro. E. 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 brat; and, I think, when he
hath lamed me, I shall beg with it from door to
door.
Ant. E. Come, go along; my wife is coming
yonder.

Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the Courtezan, and
PINCH.
Dro. E. Mistress, respice finem, respect your
end; or rather, to prophesy like the parrot,
'Beware the rope's end.'
Ant.E. Wilt thou still talk? [Beats him.
Cour. How say you now? is not your hus-
band mad?
Adr. His 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.
Luc. Alas! how fiery and how sharp he looks.
Cour. Mark how he trembles in his ecstasy!
Pinch. Give me your hand and let me feel
your pulse.
Ant. E. There is my hand, and let it feel
your ear. [Strikes him.
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:
I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.
Ant. E. Peace, doting wizard, peace! I am
not mad.
Adr. O! that thou wert not, poor distressed
soul!
Ant. E. You minion, you, are these your cus-
tomers?
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?
Adr. O husband, God doth know you din'd
at home;
Where would you had remain'd until this time,
Free from these slanders and this open shame!
Ant. E. Din'd at home! Thou villain, what
say'st thou?
Dro. E. Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine at
home.
Ant. E. Were not my doors lock'd up and I
shut out?
Dro. E. Perdy, your doors were lock'd and
you shut out.
Ant. E. And did not she herself revile me
there?
Dro. E. Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there.
Ant. E. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt,
and scorn me?
Dro. E. Certes, she did; the kitchen-vestal
scorn'd you.
Ant. E. And did not I in rage depart from
thence?
Dro. E. In verity you did: my bones bear
witness,
That since have felt the vigour of his rage.
Adr. Is't good to soothe him in these con-
traries?
Pinch. It is no shame: the fellow finds his
vein,
And, yielding to him humours well his frenzy.
Ant. E. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to
arrest me.
Adr. Alas! I sent you money to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.
Dro. E. Money by me! heart and good will
you might;
But surely, master, not a rag of money.
Ant. E. Went'st not thou to her for a purse
of ducats?
Adr. He came to me, and I deliver'd it.
Luc. And I am witness with her that she did.
Dro. E. God and the rope-maker bear me
witness
That I was sent for nothing but a rope!
Pinch, Mistress, 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.
Ant. E. Say, wherefore didst thou lock me
forth to-day?
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?
Adr. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee
forth.
Dro. E. And, gentle master, I receiv'd no
gold;
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out.
Adr. Dissembling villain! thou speak'st false
in both.
Ant. E. Dissembling 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 those false
eyes
That would behold in me this shameful sport.
Adr. O! bind him, bind him, let him not
come near me.
Pinch. More company! the fiend is strong
within him.
Luc. Ay me! poor man, how pale and wan
he looks!

Enter three or four and bind ANTIPHOLUS
of Ephesus.
Ant. E. What, will you murder me? Thou
gaoler, thou,
I am thy prisoner: wilt thou suffer them
To make a rescue?
Off. Masters, let him go:
He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.
Pinch. Go bind this man, for he is frantic too.
[They bind DROMIO of Ephesus.
Adr. What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
Do outrage and displeasure to himself?
Off. He is my prisoner: if I let him go,
The debt he owes will be requir'd of me.
Adr. I 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!
Ant. E. O most unhappy strumpet!
Dro. E. Master, I am here entered in bond
for you.
Ant. E. Out on thee, villain! wherefore dost
thou mad me?
Dro. E. Will you be bound for nothing? be
mad, good master; cry, 'the devil!'
Luc. God help, poor souls! how idly do they
talk.
Adr. Go bear him hence. Sister, go you
with me.—
[Exeunt PINCH and Assistants with ANTIPHO-
LUS of Ephesus and DROMIO of Ephesus.
Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?
Off. One Angelo, a goldsmith; do you know
him?
Adr. I know the man. What is the sum he
owes?
Off. Two hundred ducats.
Adr. Say, how grows it due?
Off. Due for a chain your husband had of
him.
Adr. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had
it not.
Cour. When as your husband all in rage,
to-day
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.
Adr. 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.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse and DROMIO of
Syracuse, with rapiers drawn.
Luc. God, for thy mercy! they are loose
again.
Adr. And come with naked swords. Let 's
call more help
To have them bound again.
Off. Away! they'll kill us.
[Exeunt ADRIANA, LUCIANA, and Officer.
Ant. S. I see, these witches are afraid of
swords.
Dro. S. She that would be your wife now ran
from you.
Ant. S. Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuff
from thence:
I long that we were safe and sound aboard.
Dro. S. Faith, stay here this night, they will
surely do us 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.
Ant. S. I will not stay to-night for all the
town;
Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard.
[Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards