The Comedy of Errors
Act IV, Scene 2
A room in the house of Antipholus of Ephesus.
- Enter Adriana and Luciana.
Adriana1 - 6
- Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
- Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eye
- That he did plead in earnest? Yea or no?
- Look’d he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
- What observation mad’st thou in this case
- Of his heart’s meteors tilting in his face?
- First he denied you had in him no right.
- He meant he did me none: the more my spite.
- Then swore he that he was a stranger here.
- And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
- Then pleaded I for you.
- And what said he?
- That love I begg’d for you, he begg’d of me.
- With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
Luciana15 - 16
- With words that in an honest suit might move.
- First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
- Didst speak him fair?
- Have patience, I beseech.
Adriana19 - 24
- I cannot, nor I will not, hold me still,
- My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
- He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
- Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
- Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
- Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Luciana25 - 26
- Who would be jealous then of such a one?
- No evil lost is wail’d when it is gone.
Adriana27 - 30
- Ah, but I think him better than I say,
- And yet would herein others’ eyes were worse:
- Far from her nest the lapwing cries away;
- My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.
- Enter Dromio of Syracuse.
Dromio of Syracuse31
- Here, go: the desk, the purse! Sweat now, make haste!
- How hast thou lost thy breath?
Dromio of Syracuse33
- By running fast.
- Where is thy master, Dromio? Is he well?
Dromio of Syracuse35 - 43
- No, he’s in Tartar limbo, worse than hell:
- A devil in an everlasting garment hath him;
- One whose hard heart is button’d up with steel;
- A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
- A wolf, nay worse, a fellow all in buff;
- A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermands
- The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;
- A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well;
- One that before the judgment carries poor souls to hell.
- Why, man, what is the matter?
Dromio of Syracuse45
- I do not know the matter, he is ’rested on the case.
- What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.
Dromio of Syracuse47 - 49
- I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
- But ’a’s in a suit of buff which ’rested him, that can I tell.
- Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in his desk?
Adriana50 - 53
- Go fetch it, sister.
- Exit Luciana.
- This I wonder at,
- That he unknown to me should be in debt.
- Tell me, was he arrested on a band?
Dromio of Syracuse54 - 55
- Not on a band but on a stronger thing:
- A chain, a chain! Do you not hear it ring?
- What, the chain?
Dromio of Syracuse57 - 58
- No, no, the bell, ’tis time that I were gone:
- It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one.
- The hours come back! That did I never hear.
Dromio of Syracuse60
- O yes, if any hour meet a sergeant, ’a turns back for very fear.
- As if Time were in debt! How fondly dost thou reason!
Dromio of Syracuse62 - 66
- Time is a very bankrupt and owes more than he’s worth to season.
- Nay, he’s a thief too: have you not heard men say,
- That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
- If ’a be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
- Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?
- Enter Luciana.
Adriana67 - 70
- Go, Dromio, there’s the money, bear it straight,
- And bring thy master home immediately.
- Come, sister, I am press’d down with conceit—
- Conceit, my comfort and my injury.