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The Comedy of Errors

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Act IV, Scene 1

A public place.


[Enter Second Merchant, ANGELO, and an Officer]

  • Second Merchant. You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
    And since I have not much importuned you;
    Nor now I had not, but that I am bound
    To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage:
    Therefore make present satisfaction, 955
    Or I'll attach you by this officer.
  • Angelo. Even just the sum that I do owe to you
    Is growing to me by Antipholus,
    And in the instant that I met with you
    He had of me a chain: at five o'clock 960
    I shall receive the money for the same.
    Pleaseth you walk with me down to his house,
    I will discharge my bond and thank you too.
    [Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and DROMIO of Ephesus]
    from the courtezan's] 965
  • Officer. That labour may you save: see where he comes.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. While I go to the goldsmith's house, go thou
    And buy a rope's end: that will I bestow
    Among my wife and her confederates,
    For locking me out of my doors by day. 970
    But, soft! I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone;
    Buy thou a rope and bring it home to me.


  • Antipholus of Ephesus. A man is well holp up that trusts to you: 975
    I promised your presence and the chain;
    But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me.
    Belike you thought our love would last too long,
    If it were chain'd together, and therefore came not.
  • Angelo. Saving your merry humour, here's the note 980
    How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat,
    The fineness of the gold and chargeful fashion.
    Which doth amount to three odd ducats more
    Than I stand debted to this gentleman:
    I pray you, see him presently discharged, 985
    For he is bound to sea and stays but for it.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. I am not furnish'd with the present money;
    Besides, I have some business in the town.
    Good signior, take the stranger to my house
    And with you take the chain and bid my wife 990
    Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof:
    Perchance I will be there as soon as you.
  • Angelo. Then you will bring the chain to her yourself?
  • Angelo. Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you? 995
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. An if I have not, sir, I hope you have;
    Or else you may return without your money.
  • Angelo. Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain:
    Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,
    And I, to blame, have held him here too long. 1000
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. Good Lord! you use this dalliance to excuse
    Your breach of promise to the Porpentine.
    I should have chid you for not bringing it,
    But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
  • Angelo. You hear how he importunes me;—the chain!
  • Angelo. Come, come, you know I gave it you even now.
    Either send the chain or send me by some token.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. Fie, now you run this humour out of breath, 1010
    where's the chain? I pray you, let me see it.
  • Second Merchant. My business cannot brook this dalliance.
    Good sir, say whether you'll answer me or no:
    If not, I'll leave him to the officer.
  • Angelo. The money that you owe me for the chain.
  • Angelo. You know I gave it you half an hour since.
  • Angelo. You wrong me more, sir, in denying it: 1020
    Consider how it stands upon my credit.
  • Officer. I do; and charge you in the duke's name to obey me.
  • Angelo. This touches me in reputation.
    Either consent to pay this sum for me 1025
    Or I attach you by this officer.
  • Angelo. Here is thy fee; arrest him, officer,
    I would not spare my brother in this case, 1030
    If he should scorn me so apparently.
  • Officer. I do arrest you, sir: you hear the suit.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. I do obey thee till I give thee bail.
    But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear
    As all the metal in your shop will answer. 1035
  • Angelo. Sir, sir, I will have law in Ephesus,
    To your notorious shame; I doubt it not.

[Enter DROMIO of Syracuse, from the bay]

  • Dromio of Syracuse. Master, there is a bark of Epidamnum
    That stays but till her owner comes aboard, 1040
    And then, sir, she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
    I have convey'd aboard; and I have bought
    The oil, the balsamum and aqua-vitae.
    The ship is in her trim; the merry wind
    Blows fair from land: they stay for nought at all 1045
    But for their owner, master, and yourself.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope; 1050
    And told thee to what purpose and what end.
  • Dromio of Syracuse. You sent me for a rope's end as soon:
    You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.
  • Antipholus of Ephesus. I will debate this matter at more leisure
    And teach your ears to list me with more heed. 1055
    To Adriana, villain, hie thee straight:
    Give her this key, and tell her, in the desk
    That's cover'd o'er with Turkish tapestry,
    There is a purse of ducats; let her send it:
    Tell her I am arrested in the street 1060
    And that shall bail me; hie thee, slave, be gone!
    On, officer, to prison till it come.
    [Exeunt Second Merchant, Angelo, Officer, and]
    Antipholus of Ephesus]
  • Dromio of Syracuse. To Adriana! that is where we dined, 1065
    Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband:
    She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
    Thither I must, although against my will,
    For servants must their masters' minds fulfil.