This writeup is lacking in hard links because it is not my intention to lead you, the reader, from this work to random topics. I believe this play should be read in its entirety, in the order Shakespeare wrote it. I understand that this is somewhat against the trend here, but Shakespeare doesn't need help, and I think his works belong here, in as close to their original form as I can replicate them in HTML. Thank you.


 

The Comedy of Errors
Prev: The Comedy of Errors: Act 4, Scene 1
Next: The Comedy of Errors: Act 4, Scene 3


Act IV, Scene ii:
The same.

[Enter ADRIANA and LUCIANA.]

ADRIANA:
Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee so?
Might'st 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 mad'st 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-fac'd, 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.

[Enter DROMIO OF SYRACUSE.]

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE:
Here, go; the desk, the purse: sweet now, make haste.

LUCIANA:
How hast thou lost thy breath?

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 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 dry foot well;
One that, before the judgment, 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. This I wonder at,

[Exit LUCIANA]

Thus 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!

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE:
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
That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
If he be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?

[Enter LUCIANA.]

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.

[Exeunt.]

The Comedy of Errors
Prev: The Comedy of Errors: Act 4, Scene 1
Next: The Comedy of Errors: Act 4, Scene 3

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.