The Comedy of Errors (1592-4)

Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.a.
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Act IV, Scene 1

A public place.

Second Merchant
You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
And since I have not much importuned you;
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage:
Therefore make present satisfaction,
Or I'll attach you by this officer.

Even just the sum that I do owe to you
Is growing to me by Antipholus,
And in the instant that I met with you
He had of me a chain: at five o'clock
I shall receive the money for the same.
Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,
I will discharge my bond and thank you too.
[Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and DROMIO of Ephesus]
from the courtezan's]

That labour may you save: see where he comes.

Antipholus of Ephesus
While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou
And buy a rope's end: that will I bestow
Among my wife and her confederates,
For locking me out of my doors by day.
But, soft! I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone;
Buy thou a rope and bring it home to me.

Dromio of Ephesus
I buy a thousand pound a year: I buy a rope.

Antipholus of Ephesus
A man is well holp up that trusts to you:
I promised your presence and the chain;
But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me.
Belike you thought our love would last too long,
If it were chain'd together, and therefore came not.

Saving your merry humour, here's the note
How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat,
The fineness of the gold and chargeful fashion.
Which doth amount to three odd ducats more
Than I stand debted to this gentleman:
I pray you, see him presently discharged,
For he is bound to sea and stays but for it.

Antipholus of Ephesus
I am not furnish'd with the present money;
Besides, I have some business in the town.
Good signior, take the stranger to my house
And with you take the chain and bid my wife
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof:
Perchance I will be there as soon as you.

Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?

Antipholus of Ephesus
No; bear it with you, lest I come not time enough.

Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?

Antipholus of Ephesus
An if I have not, sir, I hope you have;
Or else you may return without your money.

Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain:
Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,
And I, to blame, have held him here too long.

Antipholus of Ephesus
Good Lord! you use this dalliance to excuse
Your breach of promise to the Porpentine.
I should have chid you for not bringing it,
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.

Second Merchant
The hour steals on; I pray you, sir, dispatch.

You hear how he importunes me;--the chain!

Antipholus of Ephesus
Why, give it to my wife and fetch your money.

Come, come, you know I gave it you even now.
Either send the chain or send me by some token.

Antipholus of Ephesus
Fie, now you run this humour out of breath,
where's the chain? I pray you, let me see it.

Second Merchant
My business cannot brook this dalliance.
Good sir, say whether you'll answer me or no:
If not, I'll leave him to the officer.

Antipholus of Ephesus
I answer you! what should I answer you?

The money that you owe me for the chain.

Antipholus of Ephesus
I owe you none till I receive the chain.

You know I gave it you half an hour since.

Antipholus of Ephesus
You gave me none: you wrong me much to say so.

You wrong me more, sir, in denying it:
Consider how it stands upon my credit.

Second Merchant
Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.

I do; and charge you in the duke's name to obey me.

This touches me in reputation.
Either consent to pay this sum for me
Or I attach you by this officer.

Antipholus of Ephesus
Consent to pay thee that I never had!
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou darest.

Here is thy fee; arrest him, officer,
I would not spare my brother in this case,
If he should scorn me so apparently.

I do arrest you, sir: you hear the suit.

Antipholus of Ephesus
I do obey thee till I give thee bail.
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear
As all the metal in your shop will answer.

Sir, sir, I will have law in Ephesus,
To your notorious shame; I doubt it not.

Dromio of Syracuse
Master, there is a bark of Epidamnum
That stays but till her owner comes aboard,
And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
I have convey'd aboard; and I have bought
The oil, the balsamum and aqua-vitae.
The ship is in her trim; the merry wind
Blows fair from land: they stay for nought at all
But for their owner, master, and yourself.

Antipholus of Ephesus
How now! a madman! Why, thou peevish sheep,
What ship of Epidamnum stays for me?

Dromio of Syracuse
A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.

Antipholus of Ephesus
Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope;
And told thee to what purpose and what end.

Dromio of Syracuse
You sent me for a rope's end as soon:
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.

Antipholus of Ephesus
I will debate this matter at more leisure
And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight:
Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk
That's cover'd o'er with Turkish tapestry,
There is a purse of ducats; let her send it:
Tell her I am arrested in the street
And that shall bail me; hie thee, slave, be gone!
On, officer, to prison till it come.
[Exeunt Second Merchant, Angelo, Officer, and]
Antipholus of Ephesus]

Dromio of Syracuse
To Adriana! that is where we dined,
Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband:
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
Thither I must, although against my will,
For servants must their masters' minds fulfil.

© Copyright 2017-2023 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2017-2023 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.