Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > The Comedy of Errors
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Comedy of Errors
 
Act IV. Scene II.
 
A Room in the House of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
 
Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.
  Adr.  Ah! Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
  Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eye
That he did plead in earnest? yea or no?        5
  Look’d he or red or pale? or sad or merrily?
What observation mad’st thou in this case
Of his heart’s meteors tilting in his face?
  Luc.  First he denied you had in him no right.
  Adr.  He meant he did me none; the more my spite.        10
  Luc.  Then swore he that he was a stranger here.
  Adr.  And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
  Luc.  Then pleaded I for you.
  Adr.        And what said he?
  Luc.  That love I begg’d for you he begg’d of me.        15
  Adr.  With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
  Luc.  With words that in an honest suit might move.
First, he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
  Adr.  Didst speak him fair?
  Luc.        Have patience, I beseech.        20
  Adr.  I cannot, nor I will not hold me still:
My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
He is deformed, crooked, old and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,        25
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
  Luc.  Who would be jealous then, of such a one?
No evil lost is wail’d when it is gone.
Adr.  Ah! but I think him better than I say,
  And yet would herein others’ eyes were worse.        30
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away:
  My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.
 
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
  Dro. S.  Here, go: the desk! the purse! sweet, now, make haste.
  Luc.  How hast thou lost thy breath?        35
  Dro. S.        By running fast.
  Adr.  Where is thy master, Dromio? is he well?
  Dro. S.  No, he’s in Tartar limbo, worse than hell.
A devil in an everlasting garment hath him,
One whose hard heart is button’d up with steel;        40
A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff;
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that countermands
The passages of alleys, creeks and narrow lands;
A hound that runs counter and yet draws dryfoot well;        45
One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls to hell.
  Adr.  Why, man, what is the matter?
  Dro. S.  I do not know the matter: he is ’rested on the case.
  Adr.  What, is he arrested? tell me at whose suit.
  Dro. S.  I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;        50
But he’s in a suit of buff which ’rested him, that can I tell.
Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in his desk?
  Adr.  Go fetch it, sister.—[Exit LUCIANA.]  This I wonder at:
That he, unknown to me, should be in debt:
Tell me, was he arrested on a band?        55
  Dro. S.  Not on a band, but on a stronger thing;
A chain, a chain. Do you not hear it ring?
  Adr.  What, the chain?
  Dro. S.  No, no, the bell: ’tis time that I were gone:
It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one.        60
  Adr.  The hours come back! that did I never hear.
  Dro. S.  O yes; if any hour meet a sergeant, a’ turns back for very fear.
  Adr.  As if Time were in debt! how fondly dost thou reason!
  Dro. S.  Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more than he’s worth to season.
Nay, he’s a thief too: have you not heard men say,        65
That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
If Time be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?
 
Re-enter LUCIANA.
  Adr.  Go, Dromio: there’s the money, bear it straight,        70
And bring thy master home immediately.
Come, sister; I am press’d down with conceit;
Conceit, my comfort and my injury.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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