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The Comedy of Errors Scenes

Scene 1

A public place.

(Second Merchant; Angelo; Officer; Antipholus of Ephesus; Dromio of Ephesus; Dromio of Syracuse)

A second merchant asks Angelo for the money the goldsmith owes him; Angelo explains that he himself is waiting for a payment from Antipholus of Ephesus, and will be able to pay at five o’clock. Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus come from the courtesan’s, and Antipholus sends Dromio to find a rope for whipping the servants back at his house. Antipholus chides Angelo for not bringing the chain he promised to give the courtesan. Angelo thinks Antipholus is joking and asks for his money. Antipholus tells him to get it from his wife, as he hasn’t the sum with him, and to take the chain to her. Angelo asks for the chain, which Antipholus says he hasn’t got, and the two fall into an argument about who has it. The second merchant orders Angelo to be arrested, and Angelo orders Antipholus of Ephesus to be arrested, both being very angry at this disgrace. Dromio of Syracuse comes to say he has found the ship and has loaded their goods aboard. Antipholus accuses him of being drunk, since he sent the other Dromio for rope’s end, and tells him to go to Adriana to bail him out. Angelo and Antipholus are taken away, Dromio wonderingly obeys. (113 lines)

Enter Second Merchant, Angelo the goldsmith, and an Officer.

2. MER.

You know since Pentecost the sum is due,

And since I have not much importun’d you,

Nor now I had not, but that I am bound

To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage:

Therefore make present satisfaction,

Or I’ll attach you by this officer.


Even just the sum that I do owe to you

Is growing to me by Antipholus,

And in the instant that I met with you

He had of me a chain. At five a’clock

I shall receive the money for the same:

Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,

I will discharge my bond, and thank you too.

Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, Dromio of Ephesus from the Courtezan’s.


That labor may you save; see where he comes.


While I go to the goldsmith’s house, go thou

And buy a rope’s end; that will I bestow

Among my wife and her confederates,

For locking me out of my doors by day.

But soft, I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone,

Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me.


I buy a thousand pound a year! I buy a rope!

Exit Dromio.


A man is well holp up that trusts to you:

I promised your presence and the chain,

But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me:

Belike you thought our love would last too long

If it were chain’d together, and therefore came not.


Saving your merry humor, here’s the note

How much your chain weighs to the utmost charect,

The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion,

Which doth amount to three odd ducats more

Than I stand debted to this gentleman.

I pray you see him presently discharg’d,

For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.


I am not furnish’d with the present money:

Besides, I have some business in the town.

Good signior, take the stranger to my house,

And with you take the chain, and bid my wife

Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof.

Perchance I will be there as soon as you.


Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?


No, bear it with you, lest I come not time enough.


Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?


And if I have not, sir, I hope you have:

Or else you may return without your money.


Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain:

Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,

And I, to blame, have held him here too long.


Good Lord! You use this dalliance to excuse

Your breach of promise to the Porpentine:

I should have chid you for not bringing it,

But like a shrew you first begin to brawl.

2. MER.

The hour steals on, I pray you, sir, dispatch.


You hear how he importunes me—the chain!


Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your money.


Come, come, you know I gave it you even now.

Either send the chain, or send me by some token.


Fie, now you run this humor out of breath.

Come, where’s the chain? I pray you let me see it.

2. MER.

My business cannot brook this dalliance.

Good sir, say whe’r you’ll answer me or no:

If not, I’ll leave him to the officer.


I answer you? What should I answer you?


The money that you owe me for the chain.


I owe you none, till I receive the chain.


You know I gave it you half an hour since.


You gave me none, you wrong me much to say so.


You wrong me more, sir, in denying it.

Consider how it stands upon my credit.

2. MER.

Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.


I do, and charge you in the Duke’s name to obey me.


This touches me in reputation.

Either consent to pay this sum for me

Or I attach you by this officer.


Consent to pay thee that I never had!

Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar’st.


Here is thy fee, arrest him, officer.

I would not spare my brother in this case,

If he should scorn me so apparently.


I do arrest you, sir: you hear the suit.


I do obey thee, till I give thee bail.

But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear

As all the metal in your shop will answer.


Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus,

To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse from the bay.


Master, there’s a bark of Epidamium

That stays but till her owner comes aboard,

And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,

I have convey’d aboard, and I have bought

The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitae.

The ship is in her trim, the merry wind

Blows fair from land: they stay for nought at all

But for their owner, master, and yourself.


How now? A madman? Why, thou peevish sheep,

What ship of Epidamium stays for me?


A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.


Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope,

And told thee to what purpose and what end.


You sent me for a rope’s end as soon:

You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.


I will debate this matter at more leisure,

And teach your ears to list me with more heed.

To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight:

Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk

That’s cover’d o’er with Turkish tapestry

There is a purse of ducats; let her send it.

Tell her I am arrested in the street,

And that shall bail me. Hie thee, slave, be gone!

On, officer, to prison till it come.

Exeunt all but Dromio of Syracuse.


To Adriana! That is where we din’d,

Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband:

She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.

Thither I must, although against my will,

For servants must their masters’ minds fulfill.



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