The Comedy of Errors
Act II, Scene 1
The house of Antipholus of Ephesus.
- Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus Sereptus of Ephesus, with
- Luciana, her sister.
Adriana1 - 3
- Neither my husband nor the slave return’d,
- That in such haste I sent to seek his master?
- Sure, Luciana, it is two a’ clock.
Luciana4 - 9
- 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.
- Why should their liberty than ours be more?
- Because their business still lies out a’ door.
- Look when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
- O, know he is the bridle of your will.
- There’s none but asses will be bridled so.
Luciana15 - 25
- Why, headstrong liberty is lash’d with woe:
- There’s nothing situate under heaven’s eye
- But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky.
- The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls
- Are their males’ subjects and at their controls:
- Man, more divine, the master of all these,
- Lord of the wide world and wild wat’ry seas,
- Indu’d with intellectual sense and souls,
- Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
- Are masters to their females, and their lords:
- Then let your will attend on their accords.
- This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
- Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
- But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
- Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.
- How if your husband start some other where?
- Till he come home again, I would forbear.
Adriana32 - 41
- Patience unmov’d! No marvel though she pause—
- They can be meek that have no other cause:
- A wretched soul, bruis’d with adversity,
- We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
- But were we burd’ned with like weight of pain,
- As much, or more, we should ourselves complain:
- So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
- With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
- But if thou live to see like right bereft,
- This fool-begg’d patience in thee will be left.
Luciana42 - 43
- Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
- Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.
- Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
- Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
Dromio of Ephesus45 - 46
- Nay, he’s at two hands with me, and that my two ears can
- Say, didst thou speak with him? Know’st thou his mind?
Dromio of Ephesus48 - 49
- Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear. Beshrew his hand, I
- scarce could understand it.
- Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?
Dromio of Ephesus51 - 53
- Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his blows;
- and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand
Adriana54 - 55
- But say, I prithee, is he coming home?
- It seems he hath great care to please his wife.
Dromio of Ephesus56
- Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
- Horn-mad, thou villain!
Dromio of Ephesus58 - 68
- I mean not cuckold-mad—
- But sure he is stark mad:
- When I desir’d him to come home to dinner,
- He ask’d me for a thousand marks in gold:
- “’Tis dinner-time,” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he.
- “Your meat doth burn,” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he.
- “Will you come?” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he;
- “Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?”
- “The pig,” quoth I, “is burn’d”: “My gold!” quoth he.
- “My mistress, sir,” quoth I: “Hang up thy mistress!
- I know not thy mistress, out on thy mistress!”
- Quoth who?
Dromio of Ephesus70 - 74
- Quoth my master.
- “I know,” quoth he, “no house, no wife, no mistress.”
- So that my arrant, due unto my tongue,
- I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders:
- For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
- Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
Dromio of Ephesus76 - 77
- Go back again, and be new beaten home?
- For God’s sake send some other messenger.
- Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
Dromio of Ephesus79 - 80
- And he will bless that cross with other beating:
- Between you I shall have a holy head.
- Hence, prating peasant! Fetch thy master home.
Dromio of Ephesus82 - 85
- Am I so round with you, as you with me,
- That like a football you do spurn me thus?
- You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:
- If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
- Fie, how impatience low’reth in your face!
Adriana87 - 101
- His company must do his minions grace,
- Whilst I at home starve for a merry look:
- Hath homely age th’ alluring beauty took
- From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
- Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
- If voluble and sharp discourse be marr’d,
- Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
- Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
- That’s not my fault, he’s master of my state.
- What ruins are in me that can be found,
- By him not ruin’d? Then is he the ground
- Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
- A sunny look of his would soon repair.
- But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,
- And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
- Self-harming jealousy—fie, beat it hence!
Adriana103 - 115
- Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense:
- I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
- Or else what lets it but he would be here?
- Sister, you know he promis’d me a chain;
- Would that alone a’ love he would detain,
- So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
- I see the jewel best enamelled
- Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still
- That others touch and, often touching, will
- Where gold; and no man that hath a name
- By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
- Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
- I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.
- How many fond fools serve mad jealousy?