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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

The Comedy of Errors Scenes


Scene 4

A street.

(Antipholus of Ephesus; Officer; Dromio of Ephesus; Adriana; Luciana; Courtezan; Pinch; Antipholus of Syracuse; Dromio of Syracuse)


Dromio of Ephesus with a rope meets Antipholus of Ephesus with the officers, delivers the rope, and receives a beating for not bringing money, while he denies he was sent for any. Adriana, Luciana, the courtesan, and the schoolmaster Pinch enter, and Pinch attempts to exorcise Antipholus, receiving a beating for his pains. Antipholus, seconded by Dromio, tells a story of being shut out of his house at dinner, though Adriana says he dined with her. Adriana, seconded by Luciana, tells how she gave the money to Dromio (of Syracuse) but Dromio of Ephesus denies ever having got it. Master and servant are tied up as madmen. Antipholus accuses Adriana of having Pinch with her when she shut him out. Antipholus and Dromio are taken away, after Adriana promises to discharge the debt. Inquiring of the officer, Adriana finds that the money was for the chain, which the courtesan claims was promised her in exchange for her ring. Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse enter with drawn swords and the others flee, thinking they are loose again and out to kill them. Antipholus and Dromio are glad that witches fear swords, but Antipholus says he will not stay any longer in town, though Dromio feels except for the fat woman claiming him he would be willing to stay and turn witch himself. (140 lines)

Enter Antipholus of Ephesus with the Officer.

E. ANT.

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 today,

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?

E. DRO.

Here’s that, I warrant you, will pay them all.

E. ANT.

But where’s the money?

E. DRO.

Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope.

E. ANT.

Five hundred ducats, villain, for a rope?

E. DRO.

I’ll serve you, sir, five hundred at the rate.

E. ANT.

To what end did I bid thee hie thee home?

E. DRO.

To a rope’s end, sir, and to that end am I return’d.

E. ANT.

And to that end, sir, I will welcome you.

Beats Dromio.

OFF.

Good sir, be patient.

E. DRO.

Nay, ’tis for me to be patient: I am in adversity.

OFF.

Good now, hold thy tongue.

E. DRO.

Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands.

E. ANT.

Thou whoreson, senseless villain!

E. DRO.

I would I were senseless, sir, that I might not feel your blows.

E. ANT.

Thou art sensible in nothing but blows, and so is an ass.

E. DRO.

I am an ass indeed; you may prove it by my long ears. I have serv’d 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 wak’d with it when I sleep, rais’d with it when I sit, driven out of doors with it when I go from home, welcom’d 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 lam’d me, I shall beg with it from door to door.

Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtezan, and a schoolmaster call’d Pinch.

E. ANT.

Come go along, my wife is coming yonder.

E. DRO.

Mistress, respice finem, respect your end, or rather, the prophecy like the parrot, “beware the rope’s end.”

E. ANT.

Wilt thou still talk?

Beats Dromio.

COUR.

How say you now? Is not your husband 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.

E. ANT.

There is my hand, and let it feel your ear.

Strikes Pinch.

PINCH.

I charge thee, Sathan, hous’d 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!

E. ANT.

Peace, doting wizard, peace! I am not mad.

ADR.

O that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!

E. ANT.

You minion, you, are these your customers?

Did this companion with the saffron face

Revel and feast it at my house today,

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.

E. ANT.

Din’d at home? Thou villain, what sayest thou?

E. DRO.

Sir, sooth to say, you did not dine at home.

E. ANT.

Were not my doors lock’d up, and I shut out?

E. DRO.

Perdie, your doors were lock’d, and you shut out.

E. ANT.

And did not she herself revile me there?

E. DRO.

Sans fable, she herself revil’d you there.

E. ANT.

Did not her kitchen maid rail, taunt, and scorn me?

E. DRO.

Certes she did, the kitchen vestal scorn’d you.

E. ANT.

And did not I in rage depart from thence?

E. DRO.

In verity you did, my bones bears witness,

That since have felt the vigor of his rage.

ADR.

Is’t good to soothe him in these contraries?

PINCH.

It is no shame; the fellow finds his vein,

And yielding to him, humors well his frenzy.

E. ANT.

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.

E. DRO.

Money by me? Heart and good will you might,

But surely, master, not a rag of money.

E. ANT.

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.

E. DRO.

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.

E. ANT.

Say wherefore didst thou lock me forth today?

And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?

ADR.

I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.

E. DRO.

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.

E. ANT.

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 these false eyes

That would behold in me this shameful sport.

Enter three or four, and offer to bind him; he strives.

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!

E. ANT.

What, will you murder me? Thou jailer, 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 offer to 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!

E. ANT.

O most unhappy strumpet!

E. DRO.

Master, I am here ent’red in bond for you.

E. ANT.

Out on thee, villain, wherefore dost thou mad me?

E. DRO.

Will you be bound for nothing? Be mad, good master,

Cry “The devil!”

LUC.

God help, poor souls, how idlely do they talk!

ADR.

Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.

Exeunt Manent Officer, Adriana, Luciana, Courtezan.

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 today

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, jailer, bring me where the goldsmith is,

I long to know the truth hereof at large.

Enter Antipholus of Syracuse, with his rapier drawn, and Dromio of Syracuse.

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 omnes but Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse as fast as may be, frighted.

S. ANT.

I see these witches are afraid of swords.

S. DRO.

She that would be your wife now ran from you.

S. ANT.

Come to the Centaur, fetch our stuff from thence;

I long that we were safe and sound aboard.

S. DRO.

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.

S. ANT.

I will not stay tonight for all the town:

Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard.

Exeunt.

 

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Left Edge Theatre