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Home > Comedy of Errors > ACT II - SCENE II. A public place.

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ACT II - SCENE II. A public place.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
1    The gold I gave to Dromio is laid up
2    Safe at the Centaur; and the heedful slave
3    Is wander'd forth, in care to seek me out
4    By computation and mine host's report.
5    I could not speak with Dromio since at first
6    I sent him from the mart. See, here he comes.
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse
7    How now sir! is your merry humour alter'd?
8    As you love strokes, so jest with me again.
9    You know no Centaur? you received no gold?
10   Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?
11   My house was at the Phoenix? Wast thou mad,
12   That thus so madly thou didst answer me?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
13   What answer, sir? when spake I such a word?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
14   Even now, even here, not half an hour since.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
15   I did not see you since you sent me hence,
16   Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
17   Villain, thou didst deny the gold's receipt,
18   And told'st me of a mistress and a dinner;
19   For which, I hope, thou felt'st I was displeased.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
20   I am glad to see you in this merry vein:
21   What means this jest? I pray you, master, tell me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
22   Yea, dost thou jeer and flout me in the teeth?
23   Think'st thou I jest? Hold, take thou that, and that.
Beating him

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
24   Hold, sir, for God's sake! now your jest is earnest:
25   Upon what bargain do you give it me?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
26   Because that I familiarly sometimes
27   Do use you for my fool and chat with you,
28   Your sauciness will jest upon my love
29   And make a common of my serious hours.
30   When the sun shines let foolish gnats make sport,
31   But creep in crannies when he hides his beams.
32   If you will jest with me, know my aspect,
33   And fashion your demeanor to my looks,
34   Or I will beat this method in your sconce.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
35   Sconce call you it? so you would leave battering, I
36   had rather have it a head: an you use these blows
37   long, I must get a sconce for my head and ensconce
38   it too; or else I shall seek my wit in my shoulders.
39   But, I pray, sir why am I beaten?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
40   Dost thou not know?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
41   Nothing, sir, but that I am beaten.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
42   Shall I tell you why?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
43   Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say every why hath
44   a wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
45   Why, first,--for flouting me; and then, wherefore--
46   For urging it the second time to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
47   Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
48   When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme
49   nor reason?
50   Well, sir, I thank you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
51   Thank me, sir, for what?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
52   Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
53   I'll make you amends next, to give you nothing for
54   something. But say, sir, is it dinner-time?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
55   No, sir; I think the meat wants that I have.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
56   In good time, sir; what's that?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
57   Basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
58   Well, sir, then 'twill be dry.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
59   If it be, sir, I pray you, eat none of it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
60   Your reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
61   Lest it make you choleric and purchase me another
62   dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
63   Well, sir, learn to jest in good time: there's a
64   time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
65   I durst have denied that, before you were so choleric.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
66   By what rule, sir?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
67   Marry, sir, by a rule as plain as the plain bald
68   pate of father Time himself.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
69   Let's hear it.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
70   There's no time for a man to recover his hair that
71   grows bald by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
72   May he not do it by fine and recovery?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
73   Yes, to pay a fine for a periwig and recover the
74   lost hair of another man.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
75   Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is,
76   so plentiful an excrement?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
77   Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts;
78   and what he hath scanted men in hair he hath given them in wit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
79   Why, but there's many a man hath more hair than wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
80   Not a man of those but he hath the wit to lose his hair.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
81   Why, thou didst conclude hairy men plain dealers without wit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
82   The plainer dealer, the sooner lost: yet he loseth
83   it in a kind of jollity.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
84   For what reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
85   For two; and sound ones too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
86   Nay, not sound, I pray you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
87   Sure ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
88   Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
89   Certain ones then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
90   Name them.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
91   The one, to save the money that he spends in
92   trimming; the other, that at dinner they should not
93   drop in his porridge.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
94   You would all this time have proved there is no
95   time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
96   Marry, and did, sir; namely, no time to recover hair
97   lost by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
98   But your reason was not substantial, why there is no
99   time to recover.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
100  Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald and therefore
101  to the world's end will have bald followers.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
102  I knew 'twould be a bald conclusion:
103  But, soft! who wafts us yonder?
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA

ADRIANA
104  Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown:
105  Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects;
106  I am not Adriana nor thy wife.
107  The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
108  That never words were music to thine ear,
109  That never object pleasing in thine eye,
110  That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
111  That never meat sweet-savor'd in thy taste,
112  Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carved to thee.
113  How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it,
114  That thou art thus estranged from thyself?
115  Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
116  That, undividable, incorporate,
117  Am better than thy dear self's better part.
118  Ah, do not tear away thyself from me!
119  For know, my love, as easy mayest thou fall
120  A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
121  And take unmingled that same drop again,
122  Without addition or diminishing,
123  As take from me thyself and not me too.
124  How dearly would it touch me to the quick,
125  Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious
126  And that this body, consecrate to thee,
127  By ruffian lust should be contaminate!
128  Wouldst thou not spit at me and spurn at me
129  And hurl the name of husband in my face
130  And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow
131  And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring
132  And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
133  I know thou canst; and therefore see thou do it.
134  I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;
135  My blood is mingled with the crime of lust:
136  For if we too be one and thou play false,
137  I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
138  Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
139  Keep then far league and truce with thy true bed;
140  I live unstain'd, thou undishonoured.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
141  Plead you to me, fair dame? I know you not:
142  In Ephesus I am but two hours old,
143  As strange unto your town as to your talk;
144  Who, every word by all my wit being scann'd,
145  Want wit in all one word to understand.
LUCIANA
146  Fie, brother! how the world is changed with you!
147  When were you wont to use my sister thus?
148  She sent for you by Dromio home to dinner.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
149  By Dromio?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
150  By me?
ADRIANA
151  By thee; and this thou didst return from him,
152  That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows,
153  Denied my house for his, me for his wife.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
154  Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
155  What is the course and drift of your compact?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
156  I, sir? I never saw her till this time.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
157  Villain, thou liest; for even her very words
158  Didst thou deliver to me on the mart.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
159  I never spake with her in all my life.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
160  How can she thus then call us by our names,
161  Unless it be by inspiration.
ADRIANA
162  How ill agrees it with your gravity
163  To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
164  Abetting him to thwart me in my mood!
165  Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
166  But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
167  Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine:
168  Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
169  Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
170  Makes me with thy strength to communicate:
171  If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
172  Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
173  Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
174  Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
175  To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme:
176  What, was I married to her in my dream?
177  Or sleep I now and think I hear all this?
178  What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
179  Until I know this sure uncertainty,
180  I'll entertain the offer'd fallacy.
LUCIANA
181  Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
182  O, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
183  This is the fairy land: O spite of spites!
184  We talk with goblins, owls and sprites:
185  If we obey them not, this will ensue,
186  They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.
LUCIANA
187  Why pratest thou to thyself and answer'st not?
188  Dromio, thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
189  I am transformed, master, am I not?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
190  I think thou art in mind, and so am I.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
191  Nay, master, both in mind and in my shape.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
192  Thou hast thine own form.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
193  No, I am an ape.
LUCIANA
194  If thou art changed to aught, 'tis to an ass.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
195  'Tis true; she rides me and I long for grass.
196  'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be
197  But I should know her as well as she knows me.
ADRIANA
198  Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
199  To put the finger in the eye and weep,
200  Whilst man and master laugh my woes to scorn.
201  Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.
202  Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day
203  And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
204  Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
205  Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.
206  Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
207  Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
208  Sleeping or waking? mad or well-advised?
209  Known unto these, and to myself disguised!
210  I'll say as they say and persever so,
211  And in this mist at all adventures go.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
212  Master, shall I be porter at the gate?
ADRIANA
213  Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate.
LUCIANA
214  Come, come, Antipholus, we dine too late.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IACT III, SCENE I (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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