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The Comedy of Errors: Act II, Scene 1

The Comedy of Errors
Act II, Scene 1

Scene 1

The house of Antipholus of Ephesus.

  1. Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus Sereptus of Ephesus, with
  2. Luciana, her sister.

Adriana

1 - 3
  1. Neither my husband nor the slave return’d,
  2. That in such haste I sent to seek his master?
  3. Sure, Luciana, it is two a’ clock.

Luciana

4 - 9
  1. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
  2. And from the mart he’s somewhere gone to dinner.
  3. Good sister, let us dine, and never fret;
  4. A man is master of his liberty:
  5. Time is their master, and when they see time,
  6. They’ll go or come; if so, be patient, sister.

Adriana

10
  1. Why should their liberty than ours be more?

Luciana

11
  1. Because their business still lies out a’ door.

Adriana

12
  1. Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill.

Luciana

13
  1. O, know he is the bridle of your will.

Adriana

14
  1. There’s none but asses will be bridled so.

Luciana

15 - 25
  1. Why, headstrong liberty is lash’d with woe:
  2. There’s nothing situate under heaven’s eye
  3. But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky.
  4. The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls
  5. Are their males’ subjects and at their controls:
  6. Man, more divine, the master of all these,
  7. Lord of the wide world and wild wat’ry seas,
  8. Indu’d with intellectual sense and souls,
  9. Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
  10. Are masters to their females, and their lords:
  11. Then let your will attend on their accords.

Adriana

26
  1. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.

Luciana

27
  1. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.

Adriana

28
  1. But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.

Luciana

29
  1. Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.

Adriana

30
  1. How if your husband start some other where?

Luciana

31
  1. Till he come home again, I would forbear.

Adriana

32 - 41
  1. Patience unmov’d! No marvel though she pause
  2. They can be meek that have no other cause:
  3. A wretched soul, bruis’d with adversity,
  4. We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
  5. But were we burd’ned with like weight of pain,
  6. As much, or more, we should ourselves complain:
  7. So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
  8. With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
  9. But if thou live to see like right bereft,
  10. This fool-begg’d patience in thee will be left.

Luciana

42 - 43
  1. Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
  2. Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.
  1. Enter Dromio of Ephesus.

Adriana

44
  1. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?

Dromio of Ephesus

45 - 46
  1. Nay, he’s at two hands with me, and that my two ears can
  2. witness.

Adriana

47
  1. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know’st thou his mind?

Dromio of Ephesus

48 - 49
  1. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear. Beshrew his hand, I
  2. scarce could understand it.

Luciana

50
  1. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

Dromio of Ephesus

51 - 53
  1. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows;
  2. and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand
  3. them.

Adriana

54 - 55
  1. But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
  2. It seems he hath great care to please his wife.

Dromio of Ephesus

56
  1. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.

Adriana

57
  1. Horn-mad, thou villain!

Dromio of Ephesus

58 - 68
  1.                         I mean not cuckold-mad
  2. But sure he is stark mad:
  3. When I desir’d him to come home to dinner,
  4. He ask’d me for a thousand marks in gold:
  5. ’Tis dinner-time,” quoth I: My gold!” quoth he.
  6. Your meat doth burn,” quoth I: My gold!” quoth he.
  7. Will you come?” quoth I: My gold!” quoth he;
  8. Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?”
  9. The pig,” quoth I, is burn’d”: My gold!” quoth he.
  10. My mistress, sir,” quoth I: Hang up thy mistress!
  11. I know not thy mistress, out on thy mistress!”

Luciana

69
  1. Quoth who?

Dromio of Ephesus

70 - 74
  1. Quoth my master.
  2. I know,” quoth he, no house, no wife, no mistress.”
  3. So that my arrant, due unto my tongue,
  4. I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders:
  5. For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.

Adriana

75
  1. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.

Dromio of Ephesus

76 - 77
  1. Go back again, and be new beaten home?
  2. For God’s sake send some other messenger.

Adriana

78
  1. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.

Dromio of Ephesus

79 - 80
  1. And he will bless that cross with other beating:
  2. Between you I shall have a holy head.

Adriana

81
  1. Hence, prating peasant! Fetch thy master home.

Dromio of Ephesus

82 - 85
  1. Am I so round with you, as you with me,
  2. That like a football you do spurn me thus?
  3. You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:
  4. If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
  1. Exit.

Luciana

86
  1. Fie, how impatience low’reth in your face!

Adriana

87 - 101
  1. His company must do his minions grace,
  2. Whilst I at home starve for a merry look:
  3. Hath homely age th’ alluring beauty took
  4. From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
  5. Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
  6. If voluble and sharp discourse be marr’d,
  7. Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
  8. Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
  9. That’s not my fault, he’s master of my state.
  10. What ruins are in me that can be found,
  11. By him not ruin’d? Then is he the ground
  12. Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
  13. A sunny look of his would soon repair.
  14. But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
  15. And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.

Luciana

102
  1. Self-harming jealousyfie, beat it hence!

Adriana

103 - 115
  1. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense:
  2. I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
  3. Or else what lets it but he would be here?
  4. Sister, you know he promis’d me a chain;
  5. Would that alone a’ love he would detain,
  6. So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
  7. I see the jewel best enamelled
  8. Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still
  9. That others touch and, often touching, will
  10. Where gold; and no man that hath a name
  11. By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
  12. Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
  13. I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.

Luciana

116
  1. How many fond fools serve mad jealousy?
  1. Exeunt.
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