The Comedy of Errors

Introduction by Frances E. Dolan
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The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare
The Comedy of Errors

¥    I.1 Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Merchant [Egeon] of Syracuse, Jailer, and other Attendants.

egeon

Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,

And by the doom of death end woes and all.

duke

Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more.

I am not partial to infringe our laws.

4

The enmity and discord which of late

Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke

To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,

Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,

8

Have sealed his rigorous statutes with their bloods,

Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.

10

For since the mortal and intestine jars

11

'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,

It hath in solemn synods been decreed,

13

Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,

To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:

15

Nay more, if any born at Ephesus

16

Be seen at Syracusian marts and fairs;

Again, if any Syracusian born

Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,

His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose,

20

Unless a thousand marks be levid,

21

To quit the penalty and to ransom him.

22

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,

Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;

Therefore, by law thou art condemned to die.

egeon

Yet this my comfort: when your words are done,

My woes end likewise with the evening sun.

duke

Well, Syracusian, say in brief the cause

Why thou departed'st from thy native home,

And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.

30

egeon

A heavier task could not have been imposed

Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable;

Yet that the world may witness that my end

Was wrought by nature, not by vile offense,

34

I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.

In Syracusa was I born, and wed

Unto a woman, happy but for me,

And by me, had not our hap been bad.

38

With her I lived in joy: our wealth increased

By prosperous voyages I often made

40

To Epidamnum; till my factor's death,

41

And the great care of goods at random left,

Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse;

From whom my absence was not six months old,

Before herself (almost at fainting under

The pleasing punishment that women bear)

Had made provision for her following me,

And soon and safe arrivd where I was.

There had she not been long but she became

A joyful mother of two goodly sons;

50

And, which was strange, the one so like the other

As could not be distinguished but by names.

That very hour, and in the selfsame inn,

A mean woman was deliverd

54

Of such a burden male, twins both alike.

Those-for their parents were exceeding poor-

I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.

My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,

58

Made daily motions for our home return.

59

Unwilling I agreed. Alas! too soon

60

We came aboard.

A league from Epidamnum had we sailed

Before the always wind-obeying deep

Gave any tragic instance of our harm.

64

But longer did we not retain much hope;

For what obscurd light the heavens did grant

Did but convey unto our fearful minds

A doubtful warrant of immediate death;

68

Which, though myself would gladly have embraced,

Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,

70

Weeping before for what she saw must come,

And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,

72

That mourned for fashion, ignorant what to fear,

73

Forced me to seek delays for them and me.

And this it was, for other means was none:

The sailors sought for safety by our boat,

And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.

77

My wife, more careful for the latter-born,

78

Had fastened him unto a small spare mast,

Such as seafaring men provide for storms;

80

To him one of the other twins was bound,

Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.

The children thus disposed, my wife and I,

Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixed,

Fastened ourselves at either end the mast,

And floating straight, obedient to the stream,

Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.

At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,

Dispersed those vapors that offended us,

And by the benefit of his wishd light

90

The seas waxed calm, and we discoverd

Two ships from far, making amain to us:

92

Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.

93

But ere they came-O let me say no more!

Gather the sequel by that went before.

duke

Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so,

For we may pity, though not pardon thee.

egeon

O, had the gods done so, I had not now

Worthily termed them merciless to us!

For ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,

100

We were encountered by a mighty rock,

Which being violently borne upon,

Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;

103

So that, in this unjust divorce of us,

Fortune had left to both of us alike,

What to delight in, what to sorrow for.

Her part, poor soul, seeming as burdend

With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,

Was carried with more speed before the wind,

And in our sight they three were taken up

110

By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.

At length another ship had seized on us,

And knowing whom it was their hap to save,

Gave healthful welcome to their shipwrecked guests,

And would have reft the fishers of their prey,

115

Had not their bark been very slow of sail;

116

And therefore homeward did they bend their course.

Thus have you heard me severed from my bliss,

That by misfortunes was my life prolonged,

To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.

120

duke

And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,

Do me the favor to dilate at full,

122

What have befall'n of them and thee till now.

egeon

My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,

At eighteen years became inquisitive

After his brother; and importuned me

That his attendant-so his case was like,

127

Reft of his brother, but retained his name-

Might bear him company in the quest of him;

Whom whilst I labored of a love to see,

130

I hazarded the loss of whom I loved.

Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,

Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,

And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus,

Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought

Or that or any place that harbors men.

136

But here must end the story of my life;

And happy were I in my timely death,

138

Could all my travels warrant me they live.

139

duke

Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have marked

140

To bear the extremity of dire mishap!

Now trust me, were it not against our laws,

Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,

Which princes, would they, may not disannul,

144

My soul should sue as advocate for thee.

But though thou art adjudgd to the death,

146

And passd sentence may not be recalled

But to our honor's great disparagement,

Yet will I favor thee in what I can.

Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day

150

To seek thy life by beneficial help.

151

Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;

Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,

And live; if no, then thou art doomed to die.

Jailer, take him to thy custody.

jailer I will, my lord.

egeon

Hopeless and helpless doth Egeon wend,

157

But to procrastinate his lifeless end.Exeunt.

*

¥    I.2 Enter Antipholus [of Syracuse], a Merchant, and Dromio [of Syracuse].

merchant

Therefore give out you are of Epidamnum,

Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.

This very day a Syracusian merchant

Is apprehended for arrival here,

And not being able to buy out his life,

According to the statute of the town,

Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.

There is your money that I had to keep.

antipholus s.

Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,

9

And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.

10

Within this hour it will be dinnertime;

Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,

Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,

And then return and sleep within mine inn,

For with long travel I am stiff and weary.

Get thee away.

dromio s.

Many a man would take you at your word,

And go indeed, having so good a mean.

18

Exit Dromio [of Syracuse].

antipholus s.

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,

19

When I am dull with care and melancholy,

20

Lightens my humor with his merry jests.

21

What, will you walk with me about the town,

And then go to my inn and dine with me?

merchant

I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,

Of whom I hope to make much benefit;

I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,

26

Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,

And afterward consort you till bedtime.

28

My present business calls me from you now.

antipholus s.

Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,

30

And wander up and down to view the city.

merchant

Sir, I commend you to your own content.Exit.

antipholus s.

He that commends me to mine own content,

Commends me to the thing I cannot get.

I to the world am like a drop of water

That in the ocean seeks another drop,

Who falling there to find his fellow forth,

37

Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.

38

So I, to find a mother and a brother,

In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.

40

Enter Dromio of Ephesus.

Here comes the almanac of my true date.

41

What now? How chance thou art returned so soon?

dromio e.

Returned so soon! rather approached too late.

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit,

The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell;

45

My mistress made it one upon my cheek:

She is so hot because the meat is cold;

The meat is cold because you come not home;

You come not home because you have no stomach;

49

You have no stomach, having broke your fast;

50

But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,

Are penitent for your default today.

52

antipholus s.

Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:

53

Where have you left the money that I gave you?

dromio e.

O, sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday last

To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper?

56

The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.

antipholus s.

I am not in a sportive humor now.

Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?

We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust

60

So great a charge from thine own custody?

dromio e.

I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.

I from my mistress come to you in post;

63

If I return, I shall be post indeed,

64

For she will score your fault upon my pate.

Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock

66

And strike you home without a messenger.

antipholus s.

Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season;

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

70

dromio e.

To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.

antipholus s.

Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.

dromio e.

My charge was but to fetch you from the mart

Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner;

75

My mistress and her sister stays for you.

antipholus s.

Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

In what safe place you have bestowed my money;

78

Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours

79

That stands on tricks when I am undisposed:

80

Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?

dromio e.

I have some marks of yours upon my pate,

Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,

But not a thousand marks between you both.

If I should pay your worship those again,

Perchance you will not bear them patiently.

antipholus s.

Thy mistress' marks? What mistress, slave, hast thou?

dromio e.

Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;

She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,

And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.

90

antipholus s.

What! wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,

Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.

[Strikes him.]

dromio e.

What mean you, sir? For God's sake, hold your hands!

Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.

94

Exit Dromio of Ephesus.

antipholus s.

Upon my life, by some device or other

The villain is o'erraught of all my money.

96

They say this town is full of cozenage:

97

As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,

Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,

Soul-killing witches that deform the body,

100

Disguisd cheaters, prating mountebanks,

101

And many suchlike liberties of sin:

102

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.

I'll to the Centaur to go seek this slave;

I greatly fear my money is not safe.Exit.

*

¥    II.1 Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus [of Ephesus], with Luciana, her sister.

adriana

Neither my husband nor the slave returned,

That in such haste I sent to seek his master?

Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

luciana

Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,

And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.

Good sister, let us dine and never fret.

A man is master of his liberty:

Time is their master, and when they see time,

They'll go or come; if so, be patient, sister.

adriana

Why should their liberty than ours be more?

10

luciana

Because their business still lies out o' door.

11

adriana

Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.

luciana

O, know he is the bridle of your will.

13

adriana

There's none but asses will be bridled so.

luciana

Why, headstrong liberty is lashed with woe.

15

There's nothing situate under heaven's eye

16

But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky.

The beasts, the fishes, and the wingd fowls,

Are their males' subjects, and at their controls.

Men, more divine, the masters of all these,

20

Lords of the wide world, and wild wat'ry seas,

Endued with intellectual sense and souls,

22

Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,

Are masters to their females, and their lords:

Then let your will attend on their accords.

adriana

This servitude makes you to keep unwed.

luciana

Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.

adriana

But were you wedded, you would bear some sway.

luciana

Ere I learn love, I'll practice to obey.
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About

The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
 
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare’s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
 
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. View titles by William Shakespeare

Excerpt

The Comedy of Errors

¥    I.1 Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Merchant [Egeon] of Syracuse, Jailer, and other Attendants.

egeon

Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,

And by the doom of death end woes and all.

duke

Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more.

I am not partial to infringe our laws.

4

The enmity and discord which of late

Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke

To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,

Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,

8

Have sealed his rigorous statutes with their bloods,

Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.

10

For since the mortal and intestine jars

11

'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,

It hath in solemn synods been decreed,

13

Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,

To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:

15

Nay more, if any born at Ephesus

16

Be seen at Syracusian marts and fairs;

Again, if any Syracusian born

Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,

His goods confiscate to the duke's dispose,

20

Unless a thousand marks be levid,

21

To quit the penalty and to ransom him.

22

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,

Cannot amount unto a hundred marks;

Therefore, by law thou art condemned to die.

egeon

Yet this my comfort: when your words are done,

My woes end likewise with the evening sun.

duke

Well, Syracusian, say in brief the cause

Why thou departed'st from thy native home,

And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.

30

egeon

A heavier task could not have been imposed

Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable;

Yet that the world may witness that my end

Was wrought by nature, not by vile offense,

34

I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.

In Syracusa was I born, and wed

Unto a woman, happy but for me,

And by me, had not our hap been bad.

38

With her I lived in joy: our wealth increased

By prosperous voyages I often made

40

To Epidamnum; till my factor's death,

41

And the great care of goods at random left,

Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse;

From whom my absence was not six months old,

Before herself (almost at fainting under

The pleasing punishment that women bear)

Had made provision for her following me,

And soon and safe arrivd where I was.

There had she not been long but she became

A joyful mother of two goodly sons;

50

And, which was strange, the one so like the other

As could not be distinguished but by names.

That very hour, and in the selfsame inn,

A mean woman was deliverd

54

Of such a burden male, twins both alike.

Those-for their parents were exceeding poor-

I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.

My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,

58

Made daily motions for our home return.

59

Unwilling I agreed. Alas! too soon

60

We came aboard.

A league from Epidamnum had we sailed

Before the always wind-obeying deep

Gave any tragic instance of our harm.

64

But longer did we not retain much hope;

For what obscurd light the heavens did grant

Did but convey unto our fearful minds

A doubtful warrant of immediate death;

68

Which, though myself would gladly have embraced,

Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,

70

Weeping before for what she saw must come,

And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,

72

That mourned for fashion, ignorant what to fear,

73

Forced me to seek delays for them and me.

And this it was, for other means was none:

The sailors sought for safety by our boat,

And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.

77

My wife, more careful for the latter-born,

78

Had fastened him unto a small spare mast,

Such as seafaring men provide for storms;

80

To him one of the other twins was bound,

Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.

The children thus disposed, my wife and I,

Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixed,

Fastened ourselves at either end the mast,

And floating straight, obedient to the stream,

Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.

At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,

Dispersed those vapors that offended us,

And by the benefit of his wishd light

90

The seas waxed calm, and we discoverd

Two ships from far, making amain to us:

92

Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.

93

But ere they came-O let me say no more!

Gather the sequel by that went before.

duke

Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so,

For we may pity, though not pardon thee.

egeon

O, had the gods done so, I had not now

Worthily termed them merciless to us!

For ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,

100

We were encountered by a mighty rock,

Which being violently borne upon,

Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;

103

So that, in this unjust divorce of us,

Fortune had left to both of us alike,

What to delight in, what to sorrow for.

Her part, poor soul, seeming as burdend

With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,

Was carried with more speed before the wind,

And in our sight they three were taken up

110

By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.

At length another ship had seized on us,

And knowing whom it was their hap to save,

Gave healthful welcome to their shipwrecked guests,

And would have reft the fishers of their prey,

115

Had not their bark been very slow of sail;

116

And therefore homeward did they bend their course.

Thus have you heard me severed from my bliss,

That by misfortunes was my life prolonged,

To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.

120

duke

And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,

Do me the favor to dilate at full,

122

What have befall'n of them and thee till now.

egeon

My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,

At eighteen years became inquisitive

After his brother; and importuned me

That his attendant-so his case was like,

127

Reft of his brother, but retained his name-

Might bear him company in the quest of him;

Whom whilst I labored of a love to see,

130

I hazarded the loss of whom I loved.

Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,

Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,

And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus,

Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought

Or that or any place that harbors men.

136

But here must end the story of my life;

And happy were I in my timely death,

138

Could all my travels warrant me they live.

139

duke

Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have marked

140

To bear the extremity of dire mishap!

Now trust me, were it not against our laws,

Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,

Which princes, would they, may not disannul,

144

My soul should sue as advocate for thee.

But though thou art adjudgd to the death,

146

And passd sentence may not be recalled

But to our honor's great disparagement,

Yet will I favor thee in what I can.

Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day

150

To seek thy life by beneficial help.

151

Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;

Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,

And live; if no, then thou art doomed to die.

Jailer, take him to thy custody.

jailer I will, my lord.

egeon

Hopeless and helpless doth Egeon wend,

157

But to procrastinate his lifeless end.Exeunt.

*

¥    I.2 Enter Antipholus [of Syracuse], a Merchant, and Dromio [of Syracuse].

merchant

Therefore give out you are of Epidamnum,

Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.

This very day a Syracusian merchant

Is apprehended for arrival here,

And not being able to buy out his life,

According to the statute of the town,

Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.

There is your money that I had to keep.

antipholus s.

Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,

9

And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.

10

Within this hour it will be dinnertime;

Till that, I'll view the manners of the town,

Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,

And then return and sleep within mine inn,

For with long travel I am stiff and weary.

Get thee away.

dromio s.

Many a man would take you at your word,

And go indeed, having so good a mean.

18

Exit Dromio [of Syracuse].

antipholus s.

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,

19

When I am dull with care and melancholy,

20

Lightens my humor with his merry jests.

21

What, will you walk with me about the town,

And then go to my inn and dine with me?

merchant

I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,

Of whom I hope to make much benefit;

I crave your pardon. Soon at five o'clock,

26

Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,

And afterward consort you till bedtime.

28

My present business calls me from you now.

antipholus s.

Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,

30

And wander up and down to view the city.

merchant

Sir, I commend you to your own content.Exit.

antipholus s.

He that commends me to mine own content,

Commends me to the thing I cannot get.

I to the world am like a drop of water

That in the ocean seeks another drop,

Who falling there to find his fellow forth,

37

Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.

38

So I, to find a mother and a brother,

In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.

40

Enter Dromio of Ephesus.

Here comes the almanac of my true date.

41

What now? How chance thou art returned so soon?

dromio e.

Returned so soon! rather approached too late.

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit,

The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell;

45

My mistress made it one upon my cheek:

She is so hot because the meat is cold;

The meat is cold because you come not home;

You come not home because you have no stomach;

49

You have no stomach, having broke your fast;

50

But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,

Are penitent for your default today.

52

antipholus s.

Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:

53

Where have you left the money that I gave you?

dromio e.

O, sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday last

To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper?

56

The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.

antipholus s.

I am not in a sportive humor now.

Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?

We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust

60

So great a charge from thine own custody?

dromio e.

I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.

I from my mistress come to you in post;

63

If I return, I shall be post indeed,

64

For she will score your fault upon my pate.

Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your clock

66

And strike you home without a messenger.

antipholus s.

Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season;

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

70

dromio e.

To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.

antipholus s.

Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.

dromio e.

My charge was but to fetch you from the mart

Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner;

75

My mistress and her sister stays for you.

antipholus s.

Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

In what safe place you have bestowed my money;

78

Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours

79

That stands on tricks when I am undisposed:

80

Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?

dromio e.

I have some marks of yours upon my pate,

Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,

But not a thousand marks between you both.

If I should pay your worship those again,

Perchance you will not bear them patiently.

antipholus s.

Thy mistress' marks? What mistress, slave, hast thou?

dromio e.

Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;

She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,

And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.

90

antipholus s.

What! wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,

Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.

[Strikes him.]

dromio e.

What mean you, sir? For God's sake, hold your hands!

Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.

94

Exit Dromio of Ephesus.

antipholus s.

Upon my life, by some device or other

The villain is o'erraught of all my money.

96

They say this town is full of cozenage:

97

As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,

Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,

Soul-killing witches that deform the body,

100

Disguisd cheaters, prating mountebanks,

101

And many suchlike liberties of sin:

102

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.

I'll to the Centaur to go seek this slave;

I greatly fear my money is not safe.Exit.

*

¥    II.1 Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus [of Ephesus], with Luciana, her sister.

adriana

Neither my husband nor the slave returned,

That in such haste I sent to seek his master?

Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

luciana

Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,

And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.

Good sister, let us dine and never fret.

A man is master of his liberty:

Time is their master, and when they see time,

They'll go or come; if so, be patient, sister.

adriana

Why should their liberty than ours be more?

10

luciana

Because their business still lies out o' door.

11

adriana

Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.

luciana

O, know he is the bridle of your will.

13

adriana

There's none but asses will be bridled so.

luciana

Why, headstrong liberty is lashed with woe.

15

There's nothing situate under heaven's eye

16

But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky.

The beasts, the fishes, and the wingd fowls,

Are their males' subjects, and at their controls.

Men, more divine, the masters of all these,

20

Lords of the wide world, and wild wat'ry seas,

Endued with intellectual sense and souls,

22

Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,

Are masters to their females, and their lords:

Then let your will attend on their accords.

adriana

This servitude makes you to keep unwed.

luciana

Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.

adriana

But were you wedded, you would bear some sway.

luciana

Ere I learn love, I'll practice to obey.

Praise

“Gorgeous new Shakespeare paperbacks.” 
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“I have been using the Pelican Shakespeare for years in my lecture course--it's invaluable, the best individual-volume series available for students.”
Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University 

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