Speeches (Lines) for Adriana
in "Comedy of Errors"

Total: 79

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA]

Adriana. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd,
That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.



Luciana. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.
Good sister, let us dine and never fret:
A man is master of his liberty:
Time is their master, and, when they see time,
They'll go or come: if so, be patient, sister.

Adriana. Why should their liberty than ours be more?



Luciana. Because their business still lies out o' door.

Adriana. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.



Luciana. O, know he is the bridle of your will.

Adriana. There's none but asses will be bridled so.



Luciana. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
There's nothing situate under heaven's eye
But hath his bound, in earth, in sea, in sky:
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Are their males' subjects and at their controls:
Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
Lords of the wide world and wild watery seas,
Indued with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords:
Then let your will attend on their accords.

Adriana. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.



Luciana. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.

Adriana. But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.



Luciana. Ere I learn love, I'll practise to obey.

Adriana. How if your husband start some other where?



Luciana. Till he come home again, I would forbear.

Adriana. Patience unmoved! no marvel though she pause;
They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more would we ourselves complain:
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
With urging helpless patience wouldst relieve me,
But, if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begg'd patience in thee will be left.



(stage directions). [Enter DROMIO of Ephesus]

Adriana. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?



Dromio of Ephesus. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two ears
can witness.

Adriana. Say, didst thou speak with him? know'st thou his mind?



Dromio of Ephesus. Nay, he struck so plainly, I could too well feel his
blows; and withal so doubtfully that I could scarce
understand them.

Adriana. But say, I prithee, is he coming home? It seems he
hath great care to please his wife.



Dromio of Ephesus. Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.

Adriana. Horn-mad, thou villain!



Dromio of Ephesus. Quoth my master:
'I know,' quoth he, 'no house, no wife, no mistress.'
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.

Adriana. Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.



Dromio of Ephesus. Go back again, and be new beaten home?
For God's sake, send some other messenger.

Adriana. Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.



Dromio of Ephesus. And he will bless that cross with other beating:
Between you I shall have a holy head.

Adriana. Hence, prating peasant! fetch thy master home.



Luciana. Fie, how impatience loureth in your face!

Adriana. His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? then he hath wasted it:
Are my discourses dull? barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr'd,
Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard:
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault: he's master of my state:
What ruins are in me that can be found,
By him not ruin'd? then is he the ground
Of my defeatures. My decayed fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale
And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.



Luciana. Self-harming jealousy! fie, beat it hence!

Adriana. Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
Or else what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promised me a chain;
Would that alone, alone he would detain,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!
I see the jewel best enamelled
Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still,
That others touch, and often touching will
Wear gold: and no man that hath a name,
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.



(stage directions). [Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA]

Adriana. Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown:
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects;
I am not Adriana nor thy wife.
The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear,
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savor'd in thy taste,
Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carved to thee.
How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it,
That thou art thus estranged from thyself?
Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
That, undividable, incorporate,
Am better than thy dear self's better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me!
For know, my love, as easy mayest thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
And take unmingled that same drop again,
Without addition or diminishing,
As take from me thyself and not me too.
How dearly would it touch me to the quick,
Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious
And that this body, consecrate to thee,
By ruffian lust should be contaminate!
Wouldst thou not spit at me and spurn at me
And hurl the name of husband in my face
And tear the stain'd skin off my harlot-brow
And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
I know thou canst; and therefore see thou do it.
I am possess'd with an adulterate blot;
My blood is mingled with the crime of lust:
For if we too be one and thou play false,
I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
Keep then far league and truce with thy true bed;
I live unstain'd, thou undishonoured.



Dromio of Syracuse. By me?

Adriana. By thee; and this thou didst return from him,
That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows,
Denied my house for his, me for his wife.



Antipholus of Syracuse. How can she thus then call us by our names,
Unless it be by inspiration.

Adriana. How ill agrees it with your gravity
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood!
Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine:
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
Makes me with thy strength to communicate:
If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.



Dromio of Syracuse. 'Tis true; she rides me and I long for grass.
'Tis so, I am an ass; else it could never be
But I should know her as well as she knows me.

Adriana. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool,
To put the finger in the eye and weep,
Whilst man and master laugh my woes to scorn.
Come, sir, to dinner. Dromio, keep the gate.
Husband, I'll dine above with you to-day
And shrive you of a thousand idle pranks.
Sirrah, if any ask you for your master,
Say he dines forth, and let no creature enter.
Come, sister. Dromio, play the porter well.



Dromio of Syracuse. Master, shall I be porter at the gate?

Adriana. Ay; and let none enter, lest I break your pate.



Luce. [Within] What needs all that, and a pair of stocks in the town?

Adriana. [Within] Who is that at the door that keeps all
this noise?



Antipholus of Ephesus. Are you there, wife? you might have come before.

Adriana. [Within] Your wife, sir knave! go get you from the door.



(stage directions). [Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA]

Adriana. Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
Mightst thou perceive austerely in his eye
That he did plead in earnest? yea or no?
Look'd he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
What observation madest thou in this case
Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face?



Luciana. First he denied you had in him no right.

Adriana. He meant he did me none; the more my spite.



Luciana. Then swore he that he was a stranger here.

Adriana. And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.



Luciana. Then pleaded I for you.

Adriana. And what said he?



Luciana. That love I begg'd for you he begg'd of me.

Adriana. With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?



Luciana. With words that in an honest suit might move.
First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.

Adriana. Didst speak him fair?



Luciana. Have patience, I beseech.

Adriana. 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-faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind;
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.



Luciana. Who would be jealous then of such a one?
No evil lost is wail'd when it is gone.

Adriana. Ah, but I think him better than I say,
And yet would herein others' eyes were worse.
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away:
My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.



Dromio of Syracuse. By running fast.

Adriana. Where is thy master, Dromio? is he well?



Dromio of Syracuse. 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;
A fiend, a fury, pitiless and rough;
A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff;
A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that
The passages of alleys, creeks and narrow lands;
A hound that runs counter and yet draws dryfoot well;
One that before the judgement carries poor souls to hell.

Adriana. Why, man, what is the matter?



Dromio of Syracuse. I do not know the matter: he is 'rested on the case.

Adriana. What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.



Dromio of Syracuse. I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
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?

Adriana. 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?



Dromio of Syracuse. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing;
A chain, a chain! Do you not hear it ring?

Adriana. What, the chain?



Dromio of Syracuse. No, no, the bell: 'tis time that I were gone:
It was two ere I left him, and now the clock
strikes one.

Adriana. The hours come back! that did I never hear.



Dromio of Syracuse. O, yes; if any hour meet a sergeant, a' turns back for
very fear.

Adriana. As if Time were in debt! how fondly dost thou reason!



(stage directions). [Re-enter LUCIANA with a purse]

Adriana. Go, Dromio; there's the money, bear it straight;
And bring thy master home immediately.
Come, sister: I am press'd down with conceit—
Conceit, my comfort and my injury.



Courtezan. How say you now? is not your husband mad?

Adriana. His incivility confirms no less.
Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer;
Establish him in his true sense again,
And I will please you what you will demand.



Antipholus of Ephesus. Peace, doting wizard, peace! I am not mad.

Adriana. O, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!



Antipholus of Ephesus. You minion, you, are these your customers?
Did this companion with the saffron face
Revel and feast it at my house to-day,
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut
And I denied to enter in my house?

Adriana. O husband, God doth know you dined at home;
Where would you had remain'd until this time,
Free from these slanders and this open shame!



Dromio of Ephesus. In verity you did; my bones bear witness,
That since have felt the vigour of his rage.

Adriana. Is't good to soothe him in these contraries?



Antipholus of Ephesus. Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to arrest me.

Adriana. Alas, I sent you money to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.



Antipholus of Ephesus. Went'st not thou to her for a purse of ducats?

Adriana. He came to me and I deliver'd it.



Antipholus of Ephesus. Say, wherefore didst thou lock me forth to-day?
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?

Adriana. I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.



Dromio of Ephesus. And, gentle master, I received no gold;
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out.

Adriana. Dissembling villain, thou speak'st false in both.



Antipholus of Ephesus. Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all;
And art confederate with a damned pack
To make a loathsome abject scorn of me:
But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes
That would behold in me this shameful sport.
[Enter three or four, and offer to bind him.]
He strives]

Adriana. O, bind him, bind him! let him not come near me.



(stage directions). [They offer to bind Dromio of Ephesus]

Adriana. What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
Do outrage and displeasure to himself?



Officer. He is my prisoner: if I let him go,
The debt he owes will be required of me.

Adriana. I will discharge thee ere I go from thee:
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor,
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it.
Good master doctor, see him safe convey'd
Home to my house. O most unhappy day!



Luciana. God help, poor souls, how idly do they talk!

Adriana. Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.
[Exeunt all but Adriana, Luciana, Officer and]
Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?



Officer. One Angelo, a goldsmith: do you know him?

Adriana. I know the man. What is the sum he owes?



Officer. Two hundred ducats.

Adriana. Say, how grows it due?



Officer. Due for a chain your husband had of him.

Adriana. He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.



Courtezan. When as your husband all in rage to-day
Came to my house and took away my ring—
The ring I saw upon his finger now—
Straight after did I meet him with a chain.

Adriana. It may be so, but I did never see it.
Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is:
I long to know the truth hereof at large.
[Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse with his rapier drawn,]
and DROMIO of Syracuse]



Luciana. God, for thy mercy! they are loose again.

Adriana. And come with naked swords.
Let's call more help to have them bound again.



(stage directions). [Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the Courtezan, and others]

Adriana. Hold, hurt him not, for God's sake! he is mad.
Some get within him, take his sword away:
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my house.



Aemilia. Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?

Adriana. To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
Let us come in, that we may bind him fast
And bear him home for his recovery.



Aemilia. How long hath this possession held the man?

Adriana. This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
And much different from the man he was;
But till this afternoon his passion
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage.



Aemilia. Hath he not lost much wealth by wreck of sea?
Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye
Stray'd his affection in unlawful love?
A sin prevailing much in youthful men,
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing.
Which of these sorrows is he subject to?

Adriana. To none of these, except it be the last;
Namely, some love that drew him oft from home.



Aemilia. You should for that have reprehended him.

Adriana. Why, so I did.



Aemilia. Ay, but not rough enough.

Adriana. As roughly as my modesty would let me.



Aemilia. Haply, in private.

Adriana. And in assemblies too.



Aemilia. Ay, but not enough.

Adriana. It was the copy of our conference:
In bed he slept not for my urging it;
At board he fed not for my urging it;
Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
In company I often glanced it;
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.



Luciana. She never reprehended him but mildly,
When he demean'd himself rough, rude and wildly.
Why bear you these rebukes and answer not?

Adriana. She did betray me to my own reproof.
Good people enter and lay hold on him.



Aemilia. No, not a creature enters in my house.

Adriana. Then let your servants bring my husband forth.



Aemilia. Neither: he took this place for sanctuary,
And it shall privilege him from your hands
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labour in assaying it.

Adriana. I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself;
And therefore let me have him home with me.



Aemilia. Be patient; for I will not let him stir
Till I have used the approved means I have,
With wholesome syrups, drugs and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again:
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order.
Therefore depart and leave him here with me.

Adriana. I will not hence and leave my husband here:
And ill it doth beseem your holiness
To separate the husband and the wife.



Luciana. Complain unto the duke of this indignity.

Adriana. Come, go: I will fall prostrate at his feet
And never rise until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither
And take perforce my husband from the abbess.



Solinus. Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die; so much we tender him.

Adriana. Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess!



Solinus. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady:
It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.

Adriana. May it please your grace, Antipholus, my husband,
Whom I made lord of me and all I had,
At your important letters,—this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness took him;
That desperately he hurried through the street,
With him his bondman, all as mad as he—
Doing displeasure to the citizens
By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like.
Once did I get him bound and sent him home,
Whilst to take order for the wrongs I went,
That here and there his fury had committed.
Anon, I wot not by what strong escape,
He broke from those that had the guard of him;
And with his mad attendant and himself,
Each one with ireful passion, with drawn swords,
Met us again and madly bent on us,
Chased us away; till, raising of more aid,
We came again to bind them. Then they fled
Into this abbey, whither we pursued them:
And here the abbess shuts the gates on us
And will not suffer us to fetch him out,
Nor send him forth that we may bear him hence.
Therefore, most gracious duke, with thy command
Let him be brought forth and borne hence for help.



Servant. O mistress, mistress, shift and save yourself!
My master and his man are both broke loose,
Beaten the maids a-row and bound the doctor
Whose beard they have singed off with brands of fire;
And ever, as it blazed, they threw on him
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair:
My master preaches patience to him and the while
His man with scissors nicks him like a fool,
And sure, unless you send some present help,
Between them they will kill the conjurer.

Adriana. Peace, fool! thy master and his man are here,
And that is false thou dost report to us.



Solinus. Come, stand by me; fear nothing. Guard with halberds!

Adriana. Ay me, it is my husband! Witness you,
That he is borne about invisible:
Even now we housed him in the abbey here;
And now he's there, past thought of human reason.



Solinus. A grievous fault! Say, woman, didst thou so?

Adriana. No, my good lord: myself, he and my sister
To-day did dine together. So befall my soul
As this is false he burdens me withal!



(stage directions). [All gather to see them]

Adriana. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.



Antipholus of Ephesus. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior,
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.

Adriana. Which of you two did dine with me to-day?



Antipholus of Syracuse. I, gentle mistress.

Adriana. And are not you my husband?



Angelo. I think I did, sir; I deny it not.

Adriana. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
By Dromio; but I think he brought it not.

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