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 I.
 
A Public Place.
 
Enter Second Merchant, ANGELO, and an Officer.
  Mer.  You know since Pentecost the sum is due,
And since I have not much importun’d you;
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound        5
To Persia, and want guilders for my voyage:
Therefore make present satisfaction,
Or I’ll attach you by this officer.
  Ang.  Even just the sum that I do owe to you
Is growing to me by Antipholus;        10
And in the instant that I met with you
He had of me a chain: at five o’clock
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.        15
 
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus and DROMIO of Ephesus from the Courtezan’s.
  Off.  That labour may you save: see where he comes.
  Ant. E.  While I go to the goldsmith’s house, go thou
And buy a rope’s end, that I will bestow
Among my wife and her confederates,        20
For locking me out of my doors by day.
But soft! I see the goldsmith. Get thee gone;
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me.
  Dro. E.  I buy a thousand pound a year: I buy a rope!  [Exit.
  Ant. E.  A man is well holp up that trusts to you:        25
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.
  Ang.  Saving your merry humour, here’s the note        30
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 discharg’d,        35
For he is bound to sea and stays but for it.
  Ant. E.  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        40
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof:
Perchance I will be there as soon as you.
  Ang.  Then, you will bring the chain to her yourself?
  Ant. E.  No; bear it with you, lest I come not time enough.
  Ang.  Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?        45
  Ant. E.  An if I have not, sir, I hope you have,
Or else you may return without your money.
  Ang.  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.        50
  Ant. E.  Good Lord! you use this dalliance to excuse
Your breach of promise to the Propentine.
I should have chid you for not bringing it,
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
  Mer.  The hour steals on; I pray you, sir, dispatch.        55
  Ang.  You hear how he importunes me: the chain!
  Ant. E.  Why, give it to my wife and fetch your money.
  Ang.  Come, come; you know I gave it you even now.
Either send the chain or send by me some token.
  Ant. E.  Fie! now you run this humour out of breath.        60
Come, where’s the chain? I pray you, let me see it.
  Mer.  My business cannot brook this dalliance.
Good sir, say whe’r you’ll answer me or no:
If not, I’ll leave him to the officer.
  Ant. E.  I answer you! what should I answer you?        65
  Ang.  The money that you owe me for the chain.
  Ant. E.  I owe you none till I receive the chain.
  Ang.  You know I gave it you half an hour since.
  Ant. E.  You gave me none: you wrong me much to say so.
  Ang.  You wrong me more, sir, in denying it:        70
Consider how it stands upon my credit.
  Mer.  Well, officer, arrest him at my suit.
  Off.  I do;
And charge you in the duke’s name to obey me.
  Ang.  This touches me in reputation.        75
Either consent to pay this sum for me,
Or I attach you by this officer.
  Ant. E.  Consent to pay thee that I never had!
Arrest me, foolish fellow, if thou dar’st.
  Ang.  Here is thy fee: arrest him, officer.        80
I would not spare my brother in this case,
If he should scorn me so apparently.
  Off.  I do arrest you, sir: you hear the suit.
  Ant. E.  I do obey thee till I give thee bail.
But, sirrah, you shall buy this sport as dear        85
As all the metal in your shop will answer.
  Ang.  Sir, sir, I shall have law in Ephesus,
To your notorious shame, I doubt it not.
 
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.
  Dro. S.  Master, there is a bark of Epidamnum        90
That stays but till her owner comes aboard,
And then she bears away. Our fraughtage, sir,
I have convey’d aboard, and I have bought
The oil, the balsamum, and aqua-vitæ.
The ship is in her trim; the merry wind        95
Blows fair from land; they stay for nought at all
But for their owner, master, and yourself.
  Ant. E.  How now! a madman! Why, thou peevish sheep,
What ship of Epidamnum stays for me?
  Dro. S.  A ship you sent me to, to hire waftage.        100
  Ant. E.  Thou drunken slave, I sent thee for a rope;
And told thee to what purpose, and what end.
  Dro. S.  You sent me for a rope’s end as soon:
You sent me to the bay, sir, for a bark.
  Ant. E.  I will debate this matter at more leisure,        105
And teach your ears to list me with more heed.
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.        110
Tell her I am arrested in the street,
And that shall bail me. Hie thee, slave, be gone!
On, officer, to prison till it come.  [Exeunt Merchant, ANGELO, Officer, and ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
  Dro. S.  To Adriana! that is where we din’d,
Where Dowsabel did claim me for her husband:        115
She is too big, I hope, for me to compass.
Thither I must, although against my will,
For servants must their masters’ minds fulfil.  [Exit.
 
 
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