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Home > Comedy of Errors > ACT II - SCENE I. The house of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.

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ACT II - SCENE I. The house of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA

ADRIANA
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 o'clock.
LUCIANA
4    Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
5    And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.
6    Good sister, let us dine and never fret:
7    A man is master of his liberty:
8    Time is their master, and, when they see time,
9    They'll go or come: if so, be patient, sister.
ADRIANA
10   Why should their liberty than ours be more?
LUCIANA
11   Because their business still lies out o' door.
ADRIANA
12   Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
LUCIANA
13   O, know he is the bridle of your will.
ADRIANA
14   There's none but asses will be bridled so.
LUCIANA
15   Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
16   There's nothing situate under heaven's eye
17   But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky:
18   The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
19   Are their males' subjects and at their controls:
20   Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
21   Lords of the wide world and wild watery seas,
22   Indued with intellectual sense and souls,
23   Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,
24   Are masters to their females, and their lords:
25   Then let your will attend on their accords.
ADRIANA
26   This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
LUCIANA
27   Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
ADRIANA
28   But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.
LUCIANA
29   Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey.
ADRIANA
30   How if your husband start some other where?
LUCIANA
31   Till he come home again, I would forbear.
ADRIANA
32   Patience unmoved! no marvel though she pause;
33   They can be meek that have no other cause.
34   A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
35   We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
36   But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
37   As much or more would we ourselves complain:
38   So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
39   With urging helpless patience wouldst relieve me,
40   But, if thou live to see like right bereft,
41   This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.
LUCIANA
42   Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
43   Here comes your man; now is your husband nigh.
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus

ADRIANA
44   Say, is your tardy master now at hand?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
45   Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two ears
46   can witness.
ADRIANA
47   Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st thou his mind?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
48   Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear:
49   Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
LUCIANA
50   Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
51   Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his
52   blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could scarce
53   understand them.
ADRIANA
54   But say, I prithee, is he coming home? It seems he
55   hath great care to please his wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
56   Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
ADRIANA
57   Horn-mad, thou villain!
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
58   I mean not cuckold-mad;
59   But, sure, he is stark mad.
60   When I desired him to come home to dinner,
61   He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold:
62   ''Tis dinner-time,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he;
63   'Your meat doth burn,' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he:
64   'Will you come home?' quoth I; 'My gold!' quoth he.
65   'Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?'
66   'The pig,' quoth I, 'is burn'd;' 'My gold!' quoth he:
67   'My mistress, sir' quoth I; 'Hang up thy mistress!
68   I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!'
LUCIANA
69   Quoth who?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
70   Quoth my master:
71   'I know,' quoth he, 'no house, no wife, no mistress.'
72   So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
73   I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
74   For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.
ADRIANA
75   Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
76   Go back again, and be new beaten home?
77   For God's sake, send some other messenger.
ADRIANA
78   Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
79   And he will bless that cross with other beating:
80   Between you I shall have a holy head.
ADRIANA
81   Hence, prating peasant! fetch thy master home.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
82   Am I so round with you as you with me,
83   That like a football you do spurn me thus?
84   You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:
85   If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
Exit

LUCIANA
86   Fie, how impatience loureth in your face!
ADRIANA
87   His company must do his minions grace,
88   Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
89   Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
90   From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it:
91   Are my discourses dull? barren my wit?
92   If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
93   Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard:
94   Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
95   That's not my fault: he's master of my state:
96   What ruins are in me that can be found,
97   By him not ruin'd? then is he the ground
98   Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
99   A sunny look of his would soon repair
100  But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale
101  And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.
LUCIANA
102  Self-harming jealousy! fie, beat it hence!
ADRIANA
103  Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
104  I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
105  Or else what lets it but he would be here?
106  Sister, you know he promised me a chain;
107  Would that alone, alone he would detain,
108  So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
109  I see the jewel best enamelled
110  Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still,
111  That others touch, and often touching will
112  Wear gold: and no man that hath a name,
113  By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
114  Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
115  I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
LUCIANA
116  How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIACT II, 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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