Shakespeare - First Folio facsimile (1910)/The Comedy of Errors/Act 3

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Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

Enter Antipholus of Ephesus, his man Dromio, Angelo the Goldsmith, and Balthaser the Merchant.

Good signior Angelo you must excuse vs all,
My wife is shrewish when I keepe not howres;
Say that I lingerd with you at your shop
To see the making of her Carkanet,
And that to morrow you will bring it home.
But here's a villaine that would face me downe
He met me on the Mart, and that I beat him,
And charg'd him with a thousand markes in gold,
And that I did denie my wife and house;
Thou drunkard thou, what didst thou meane by this?

Say what you wil sir, but I know what I know,
That you beat me at the Mart I haue your hand to show;
If the skin were parchment, & the blows you gaue were ink,
Your owne hand-writing would tell you what I thinke.

I thinke thou art an asse.

Marry so it doth appeare
By the wrongs I suffer, and the blowes I beare,
I should kicke being kickt, and being at that passe,
You would keepe from my heeles, and beware of an asse.

Y'are sad signior Balthazar, pray God our cheer
May answer my good will, and your good welcom here.

I hold your dainties cheap sir, & your welcom deer.

Oh signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish,
A table full of welcome, makes scarce one dainty dish.

Good meat sir is co[m]mon that euery churle affords.

And welcome more common, for thats nothing but words.

Small cheere and great welcome, makes a merrie feast.

I, to a niggardly Host, and more sparing guest:
But though my cates be meane, take them in good part,
Better cheere may you haue, but not with better hart.
But soft, my doore is lockt; goe bid them let vs in.

Maud, Briget, Marian, Cisley, Gillian, Ginn.

Mome, Malthorse, Capon, Coxcombe, Idiot, Patch,
Either get thee from the dore, or sit downe at the hatch:
Dost thou coniure for wenches, that thou calst for such store,
When one is one too many, goe get thee from the dore.

What patch is made our Porter? my Master stayes in the street.

Let him walke from whence he came, lest hee catch cold on's feet.

Who talks within there? hoa, open the dore.

Right sir, Ile tell you when, and you'll tell me wherefore.

Wherefore? for my dinner: I haue not din'd to day.

Nor to day here you must not come againe when you may.

What art thou that keep'st mee out from the howse I owe?

The Porter for this time Sir, and my name is Dromio.

O villaine, thou hast stolne both mine office and my name,
The one nere got me credit, the other mickle blame:
If thou hadst beene Dromio to day in my place,
Thou wouldst haue chang'd thy face for a name, or thy name for an asse.

Enter Luce.


What a coile is there Dromio? who are those at the gate?

Let my Master in Luce.

Faith no, hee comes too late, and so tell your Master.

O Lord I must laugh, haue at you with a Prouerbe,
Shall I set in my staffe.

Haue at you with another, that's when? can you tell?

If thy name be called Luce, Luce thou hast an-swer'd him well.

Doe you heare you minion, you'll let vs in I hope?

I thought to haue askt you.

And you said no.

So come helpe, well strooke, there was blow for blow.

Thou baggage let me in.

Can you tell for whose sake?

Master, knocke the doore hard.

Let him knocke till it ake.

You'll crie for this minion, if I beat the doore downe.

What needs all that, and a paire of stocks in the towne?

Enter Adriana.


Who is that at the doore that keeps all this noise?

By my troth your towne is troubled with vnruly boies.

Are you there Wife? you might haue come before.

Your wife sir knaue? go get you from the dore.

If you went in paine Master, this knaue wold goe sore.

Heere is neither cheere sir, nor welcome, we would faine haue either.

In debating which was best, wee shall part with neither.

They stand at the doore, Master, bid them welcome hither.

There is something in the winde, that we cannot get in.

You would say so Master, if your garments were thin.
Your cake here is warme within: you stand here in the cold.
It would make a man mad as a Bucke to be so bought and sold.

Go fetch me something, Ile break ope the gate.

Breake any breaking here, and Ile breake your knaues pate.

A man may breake a word with your sir, and words are but winde:
I and breake it in your face, so he break it not behinde.

It seemes thou want'st breaking, out vpon thee hinde.

Here's too much out vpon thee, I pray thee let me in.

I, when fowles haue no feathers, and fish haue no fin.

Well, Ile breake in: go borrow me a crow.

A crow without feather, Master meane you so;

For a fish without a finne, ther's a fowle without a fether,
If a crow help vs in sirra, wee'll plucke a crow together.

Go, get thee gon, fetch me an iron Crow.

Haue patience sir, oh let it not be so,
Heerein you warre against your reputation,
And draw within the compasse of suspect
Th' vnuiolated honor of your wife.
Once this your long experience of your wisedome,
Her sober vertue, yeares, and modestie,
Plead on your part some cause to you vnknowne;
And doubt not sir, but she will well excuse
Why at this time the dores are made against you.
Be rul'd by me, depart in patience,
And let vs to the Tyger all to dinner,
And about euening come your selfe alone,
To know the reason of this strange restraint:
If by strong hand you offer to breake in
Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it;
And that supposed by the common rowt
Against your yet vngalled estimation,
That may with foule intrusion enter in,
And dwell vpon your graue when you are dead;
For slander liues vpon succession:
For euer hows'd, where it gets possession.

You haue preuail'd, I will depart in quiet,
And in despight of mirth meane to be merrie:
I know a wench of excellent discourse,
Prettie and wittie; wilde, and yet too gentle;
There will we dine: this woman that I meane
My wife (but I protest without desert)
Hath oftentimes vpbraided me withall:
To her will we to dinner, get you home
And fetch the chaine, by this I know 'tis made,
Bring it I pray you to the Porpentine,
For there's the house: That chaine will I bestow
(Be it for nothing but to spight my wife)
Vpon mine hostesse there, good sir make haste:
Since mine owne doores refuse to entertaine me,
Ile knocke else-where, to see if they'll disdaine me.

Ile meet you at that place some houre hence.

Do so, this iest shall cost me some expence. Exeunt.

Enter Iuliana, with Antipholus of Siracusia.


And may it be that you haue quite forgot
A husbands office? shall Antipholus
Euen in the spring of Loue, thy Loue-springs rot?
Shall loue in buildings grow so ruinate?
If you did wed my sister for her wealth,
Then for her wealths-sake vse her with more kindnesse:
Or if you like else-where doe it by stealth,
Muffle your false loue with some shew of blindnesse:
Let not my sister read it in your eye:
Be not thy tongue thy owne shames Orator:
Looke sweet, speake faire, become disloyaltie:
Apparell vice like vertues harbenger:
Beare a faire presence, though your heart be tainted,
Teach sinne the carriage of a holy Saint,
Be secret false: what need she be acquainted?
What simple thiefe brags of his owne attaine?
'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed,
And let her read it in thy lookes at boord:
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed,
Ill deeds is doubled with an euill word:
Alas poore women, make vs not beleeue
(Being compact of credit) that you loue vs,
Though others haue the arme, shew vs the sleeue:
We in your motion turne, and you may moue vs.
Then gentle brother get you in againe;
Comfort my sister, cheere her, call her wise;
'Tis holy sport to be a little vaine,
When the sweet breath of flatterie conquers strife.

Sweete Mistris, what your name is else I know not;
Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine:
Lesse in your knowledge, and your grace you show not,
Then our earths wonder, more then earth diuine.
Teach me deere creature how to thinke and speake:
Lay open to my earthie grosse conceit:
Smothred in errors, feeble, shallow, weake,
The foulded meaning of your words deceit:
Against my soules pure truth, why labour you,
To make it wander in an vnknowne field?
Are you a god? would you create me new?
Transforme me then, and to your powre Ile yeeld.
But if that I am I, then well I know,
Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage doe I owe:
Farre more, farre more, to you doe I decline:
Oh traine me not sweet Mermaide with thy note,
To drowne me in thy sister floud of teares:
Sing Siren for thy selfe, and I will dote:
Spread ore the siluer waues thy golden haires;
And as a bud Ile take thee, and there lie:
And in that glorious supposition thinke,
He gaines by death, that hath such meanes to die:
Let Loue, being light, be drowned if she sinke.

What are you mad, that you doe reason so?

Not mad, but mated, how I doe not know.

It is a fault that springeth from your eie.

For gazing on your beames faire sun being by.

Gaze when you should, and that will cleere your sight.

As good to winke sweet loue, as looke on night.

Why call you me loue? Call my sister so.

Thy sisters sister.

That's my sister.

No: it is thy selfe, mine owne selfes better part:
Mine eies cleere eie, my deere hearts deerer heart;
My foode, my fortune, and my sweet hopes aime;
My sole earths heauen, and my heauens claime.

All this my sister is, or else should be.

Call thy selfe sister sweet, for I am thee:
Thee will I loue, and with thee lead my life;
Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife:
Giue me thy hand.

Oh soft sir, hold you still:
Ile fetch my sister to get her good will. Exit.

Enter Dromio, Siracusia.


Why how now Dromio, where run'st thou so fast?

Doe you know me sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your man? Am I my selfe?

Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thy selfe.

I am an asse, I am a womans man, and besides my selfe.

What womans man? and how besides thy selfe?

Marrie sir, besides my selfe, I am due to a woman: One that claimes me, one that haunts me, one that will haue me.

What claime laies she to thee?

Marry sir, such claime as you would lay to your horse, and she would haue me as a beast, not that I beeing a beast she would haue me, but that she being a verie beastly creature layes claime to me.

What is she?

A very reuerent body: I such a one, as a man may not speake of, without he say sir reuerence, I haue but leane lucke in the match, and yet is she a wondrous fat marriage.

How dost thou meane a fat marriage?

Marry sir, she's the Kitchin wench, & al grease, and I know not what vse to put her too, but to make a Lampe of her, and run from her by her owne light. I warrant, her ragges and the Tallow in them, will burne a Poland Winter: If she liues till doomesday, she'l burne a weeke longer then the whole World.

What complexion is she of?

Swart like my shoo, but her face nothing like so cleane kept: for why? she sweats a man may goe o-uer-shooes in the grime of it.

That's a fault that water will mend.

No sir, 'tis in graine, Noahs flood could not do it.

What's her name?

Nell Sir: but her name is three quarters, that's an Ell and three quarters, will not measure her from hip to hip.

Then she beares some bredth?

No longer from head to foot, then from hippe to hippe: she is sphericall, like a globe: I could find out Countries in her.

In what part of her body stands Ireland?

Marry sir in her buttockes, I found it out by the bogges.

Where Scotland?

I found it by the barrennesse, hard in the palme of the hand.

Where France?

In her forhead, arm'd and reuerted, making warre against her heire.

Where England?

I look'd for the chalkle Cliffes, but I could find no whitenesse in them. But I guesse, it stood in her chin by the salt rheume that ranne betweene France, and it.

Where Spaine?

Faith I saw it not: but I felt it hot in her breth.

Where America, the Indies?

Oh sir, vpon her nose, all ore embellished with Rubies, Carbuncles, Saphires, declining their rich Aspect to the hot breath of Spaine, who sent whole Armadoes of Carrects to be ballast at her nose.

Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?

Oh sir, I did not looke so low. To conclude, this drudge or Diuiner layd claime to mee, call'd mee Dromio, swore I was assur'd to her, told me what priuie markes I had about mee, as the marke of my shoulder, the Mole in my necke, the great Wart on my left arme, that I amaz'd ranne from her as a witch. And I thinke, if my brest had not beene made of faith, and my heart of steele, she had transform'd me to a Curtull dog, & made me turne i'th wheele.

Go hie thee presently, post to the rode,
And if the winde blow any way from shore,
I will not harbour in this Towne to night.
If any Barke put forth, come to the Mart,
Where I will walke till thou returne to me:
If euerie one knowes vs, and we know none,
'Tis time I thinke to trudge, packe, and be gone.

As from a Beare a man would run for life,
So flie I from her that would be my wife. Exit

There's none but Witches do inhabite heere,
And therefore 'tis hie time that I were hence:
She that doth call me husband, euen my soule
Doth for a wife abhorre. But her faire sister
Possest with such a gentle soueraigne grace,
Of such inchanting presence and discourse,
Hath almost made me Traitor to my selfe:
But least my selfe be guilty to selfe wrong,
Ile stop mine eares against the Mermaids song.

Enter Angelo with the Chaine.


Mr Antipholus.

I that's my name.

I know it well sir, loe here's the chaine,
I thought to haue tane you at the Porpentine,
The chaine vnfinish'd made me stay thus long.

What is your will that I shal do with this?

What please your selfe sir: I haue made it for you.

Made it for me sir, I bespoke it not.

Not once, nor twice, but twentie times you haue:
Go home with it, and please your Wife withall,
And soone at supper time Ile visit you,
And then receiue my money for the chaine.

I pray you sir receiue the money now.
For feare you ne're see chaine, nor mony more.

You are a merry man sir, fare you well. Exit.

What I should thinke of this, I cannot tell:
But this I thinke, there's no man is so vaine,
That would refuse so faire an offer'd Chaine.
I see a man heere needs not liue by shifts,
When in the streets he meetes such Golden gifts:
Ile to the Mart, and there for Dromio stay,
If any ship put out, then straight away. Exit.