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Home > Comedy of Errors > ACT III - SCENE I. Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.

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ACT III - SCENE I. Before the house of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
OF EPHESUS
1    Good Signior Angelo, you must excuse us all;
2    My wife is shrewish when I keep not hours:
3    Say that I linger'd with you at your shop
4    To see the making of her carcanet,
5    And that to-morrow you will bring it home.
6    But here's a villain that would face me down
7    He met me on the mart, and that I beat him,
8    And charged him with a thousand marks in gold,
9    And that I did deny my wife and house.
10   Thou drunkard, thou, what didst thou mean by this?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
11   Say what you will, sir, but I know what I know;
12   That you beat me at the mart, I have your hand to show:
13   If the skin were parchment, and the blows you gave were ink,
14   Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
15   I think thou art an ass.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
16   Marry, so it doth appear
17   By the wrongs I suffer and the blows I bear.
18   I should kick, being kick'd; and, being at that pass,
19   You would keep from my heels and beware of an ass.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
20   You're sad, Signior Balthazar: pray God our cheer
21   May answer my good will and your good welcome here.
BALTHAZAR
22   I hold your dainties cheap, sir, and your
23   welcome dear.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
24   O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
25   A table full of welcome make scarce one dainty dish.
BALTHAZAR
26   Good meat, sir, is common; that every churl affords.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
27   And welcome more common; for that's nothing but words.
BALTHAZAR
28   Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
29   Ay, to a niggardly host, and more sparing guest:
30   But though my cates be mean, take them in good part;
31   Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart.
32   But, soft! my door is lock'd. Go bid them let us in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
33   Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicel, Gillian, Ginn!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
34    Mome, malt-horse, capon, coxcomb,
35   idiot, patch!
36   Either get thee from the door, or sit down at the hatch.
37   Dost thou conjure for wenches, that thou call'st
38   for such store,
39   When one is one too many? Go, get thee from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
40   What patch is made our porter? My master stays in
41   the street.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
42    Let him walk from whence he came, lest he
43   catch cold on's feet.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
44   Who talks within there? ho, open the door!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
45    Right, sir; I'll tell you when, an you tell
46   me wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
47   Wherefore? for my dinner: I have not dined to-day.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
48    Nor to-day here you must not; come again
49   when you may.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
50   What art thou that keepest me out from the house I owe?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
51    The porter for this time, sir, and my name
52   is Dromio.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
53   O villain! thou hast stolen both mine office and my name.
54   The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
55   If thou hadst been Dromio to-day in my place,
56   Thou wouldst have changed thy face for a name or thy
57   name for an ass.
LUCE
Within
58    What a coil is there, Dromio? who are those
59   at the gate?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
60   Let my master in, Luce.
LUCE
Within
61    Faith, no; he comes too late;
62   And so tell your master.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
63   O Lord, I must laugh!
64   Have at you with a proverb--Shall I set in my staff?
LUCE
Within
65    Have at you with another; that's--When?
66   can you tell?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
67    If thy name be call'd Luce--Luce, thou hast
68   answered him well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
69   Do you hear, you minion? you'll let us in, I hope?
LUCE
Within
70    I thought to have asked you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
71    And you said no.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
72   So, come, help: well struck! there was blow for blow.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
73   Thou baggage, let me in.
LUCE
Within
74    Can you tell for whose sake?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
75   Master, knock the door hard.
LUCE
Within
76    Let him knock till it ache.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
77   You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the door down.
LUCE
Within
78    What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?
ADRIANA
Within
79    Who is that at the door that keeps all
80   this noise?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
81    By my troth, your town is troubled with
82   unruly boys.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
83   Are you there, wife? you might have come before.
ADRIANA
Within
84    Your wife, sir knave! go get you from the door.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
85   If you went in pain, master, this 'knave' would go sore.
ANGELO
86   Here is neither cheer, sir, nor welcome: we would
87   fain have either.
BALTHAZAR
88   In debating which was best, we shall part with neither.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
89   They stand at the door, master; bid them welcome hither.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
90   There is something in the wind, that we cannot get in.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
91   You would say so, master, if your garments were thin.
92   Your cake there is warm within; you stand here in the cold:
93   It would make a man mad as a buck, to be so bought and sold.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
94   Go fetch me something: I'll break ope the gate.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
95    Break any breaking here, and I'll break your
96   knave's pate.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
97   A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind,
98   Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
99    It seems thou want'st breaking: out upon
100  thee, hind!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
101  Here's too much 'out upon thee!' I pray thee,
102  let me in.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Within
103   Ay, when fowls have no feathers and fish have no fin.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
104  Well, I'll break in: go borrow me a crow.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
105  A crow without feather? Master, mean you so?
106  For a fish without a fin, there's a fowl without a feather;
107  If a crow help us in, sirrah, we'll pluck a crow together.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
108  Go get thee gone; fetch me an iron crow.
BALTHAZAR
109  Have patience, sir; O, let it not be so!
110  Herein you war against your reputation
111  And draw within the compass of suspect
112  The unviolated honour of your wife.
113  Once this,--your long experience of her wisdom,
114  Her sober virtue, years and modesty,
115  Plead on her part some cause to you unknown:
116  And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
117  Why at this time the doors are made against you.
118  Be ruled by me: depart in patience,
119  And let us to the Tiger all to dinner,
120  And about evening come yourself alone
121  To know the reason of this strange restraint.
122  If by strong hand you offer to break in
123  Now in the stirring passage of the day,
124  A vulgar comment will be made of it,
125  And that supposed by the common rout
126  Against your yet ungalled estimation
127  That may with foul intrusion enter in
128  And dwell upon your grave when you are dead;
129  For slander lives upon succession,
130  For ever housed where it gets possession.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
131  You have prevailed: I will depart in quiet,
132  And, in despite of mirth, mean to be merry.
133  I know a wench of excellent discourse,
134  Pretty and witty; wild, and yet, too, gentle:
135  There will we dine. This woman that I mean,
136  My wife--but, I protest, without desert--
137  Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal:
138  To her will we to dinner.
To Angelo
139  Get you home
140  And fetch the chain; by this I know 'tis made:
141  Bring it, I pray you, to the Porpentine;
142  For there's the house: that chain will I bestow--
143  Be it for nothing but to spite my wife--
144  Upon mine hostess there: good sir, make haste.
145  Since mine own doors refuse to entertain me,
146  I'll knock elsewhere, to see if they'll disdain me.
ANGELO
147  I'll meet you at that place some hour hence.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
148  Do so. This jest shall cost me some expense.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IIACT III, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I

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