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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter LUCIANA and ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

LUCIANA

And may it be that you have quite forgot A husband’s office? Shall, Antipholus, Even in the spring of love thy love-springs rot? Shall love, in building, grow so ruinous? If you did wed my sister for her wealth, Then for her wealth’s sake use her with more kindness. Or if you like elsewhere, do it by stealth— Muffle your false love with some show of blindness. Let not my sister read it in your eye; Be not thy tongue thy own shame’s orator; Look sweet, be fair, become disloyalty; Apparel vice like virtue’s harbinger. Bear a fair presence, though your heart be tainted. Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint. Be secret-false. What need she be acquainted? What simple thief brags of his own attaint? 'Tis double wrong to truant with your bed And let her read it in thy looks at board. Shame hath a bastard fame, well managèd; Ill deeds is doubled with an evil word. Alas, poor women, make us but believe, Being compact of credit, that you love us. Though others have the arm, show us the sleeve; We in your motion turn, and you may move us. Then, gentle brother, get you in again. Comfort my sister, cheer her, call her wife. 'Tis holy sport to be a little vain When the sweet breath of flattery conquers strife.

LUCIANA

Is it possible you've forgotten your duty as a husband? Will you let your love rot when it's just started flourishing? In the process of building this love, will you turn it into a ruin? If you married my sister for her money, then for the sake of her money, be kinder to her. Or if you're going to cheat on her, do it sneakily. Hide your true feelings so that my sister can't see it in your eyes. Don't talk about your shamelessness. Look loving, be warm, mask your disloyalty in kindness. Dress your sins as if they were virtues. Just present yourself sweetly, even if your heart is poisoned. Carry your evil thoughts like you were a holy saint. Just keep it to yourself. Why does she need to know? What kind of thief brags about what he's stolen? It's doubly wrong to stray from her in bed and then let her see it in your face at breakfast. Your shame doesn't need to be public if you do it right. Your hateful actions are doubled if you talk about them. Oh, poor women, just make us believe, since we're so blindly trusting, that you love us. Even if you're really in love with other women, make it look like you're still attached to us. We're totally dependent on you, and you can control us. So, dear brother, go to her again. Comfort my sister, cheer her up, call her your wife. It's not a sin to tell a white lie since your sweet flattery will vanquish her misery. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Sweet mistress—what your name is else I know not, Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine,— Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not Than our earth’s wonder, more than earth divine. Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak. Lay open to my earthy gross conceit, Smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak, The folded meaning of your words' deceit. Against my soul’s pure truth why labour you To make it wander in an unknown field? Are you a god? would you create me new? Transform me, then, and to your power I’ll yield. But if that I am I, then well I know Your weeping sister is no wife of mine, Nor to her bed no homage do I owe. Far more, far more, to you do I decline. O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note To drown me in thy sister’s flood of tears. Sing, Siren, for thyself, and I will dote. Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs, And as a bed I’ll take them and there lie, And in that glorious supposition think He gains by death that hath such means to die. Let Love, being light, be drownèd if she sink.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Sweet mistress—I don't know your name and I can't figure out how you miraculously know mine,—your wisdom and your presence are more wondrous and divine than the earth itself. Explain to me (just a lowly, earth-bound fellow, prone to errors, feeble, shallow, weak) the complex meaning of your words. When my soul moves toward another, why are you trying so hard to send me to love some woman I don't know? Are you a god? Do you want to make me into a new man? Transform me, then, and I'll give in to your powers. But if I'm still myself, then I know well that your weeping sister's not my wife, and I haven't made any vows to her. I'm much, much more interested in you. Oh, don't steer me with your song, sweet mermaid, to drown in your sister's endless tears and succumb to her. Sing, instead, Siren, on your own behalf, and I'll be devoted to you. Spread your golden hair over the ocean and I'll lie in it like it's a bed. In that glorious position, I'll think that death would be good if you could die like that. Love is usually lightweight, but when it's weighty enough to sink, it's worth it to drown. 

LUCIANA

What, are you mad that you do reason so?

LUCIANA

Are you crazy enough to reason like this? 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Not mad, but mated—how, I do not know.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Not crazy but in love—I don't know how. 

LUCIANA

It is a fault that springeth from your eye.

LUCIANA

It's a sin that's come from your wandering eye. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

For gazing on your beams, fair sun, being by.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I fell in love by gazing at your beams, you beautiful sun, since you were right there.  

LUCIANA

Gaze where you should, and that will clear your sight.

LUCIANA

Gaze where you're supposed to, and that will make you see straight. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

As good to wink, sweet love, as look on night.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I'd just as soon close my eyes, my sweet love, as look at darkness

LUCIANA

Why call you me “love”? Call my sister so.

LUCIANA

Why do you call me "love?" Call my sister that name. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thy sister’s sister.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Your sister's sister. 

LUCIANA

That’s my sister.

LUCIANA

That's my sister. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

No,It is thyself, mine own self’s better part,Mine eye’s clear eye, my dear heart’s dearer heart,My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope’s aim,My sole earth’s heaven, and my heaven’s claim.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

No, it's you yourself, my better half, the apple of my eye, the heart within my heart, my sustenance, my wealth, and the aim of all my hopes, the only heaven on earth, and the only hope I have to get into heaven. 

LUCIANA

All this my sister is, or else should be.

LUCIANA

You mean to say all this about my sister, or, at least, you should. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Call thyself “sister,” sweet, for I am thee.Thee will I love and with thee lead my life;Thou hast no husband yet, nor I no wife.Give me thy hand.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Call yourself "sister," sweetheart, for I am yours. I will love you and live my life with you. You have no husband yet and I have no wife. Give me your hand. 

LUCIANA

O soft, sir! Hold you still.I’ll fetch my sister to get her goodwill.

LUCIANA

Oh, wait, sir! Don't move. I'm going to my sister and we'll see what she says about this. 

Exit LUCIANA

Enter DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Why, how now, Dromio. Where runn’st thou so fast?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Oh, what's happening, Dromio? Where are you running so fast?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your man? AmI myself?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Do you know me, sir? Am I Dromio? Am I your servant? Am I myself?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

You are Dromio, you're my servant, you're yourself. 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I am an ass, I am a woman’s man, and besides myself.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I'm an ass, I belong to a woman, and I'm beside myself. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What woman’s man? And how besides thyself?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Belong to what woman? Why are you beside yourself? 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, sir, besides myself I am due to a woman, one that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, I'm being pursued by a woman who claims me, haunts me, and insists that she'll have me. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What claim lays she to thee?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What claim does she say she has over you? 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, sir, such claim as you would lay to your horse; and she would have me as a beast; not that I being a beast she would have me, but that she, being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, the same claim you'd have over your horse. She wants to have me as if I were a beast. Not that she'd want me if I were a beast, except that she, since she's a very beastly creature, says she has a claim over me. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What is she?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What is she?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

A very reverent body, ay, such a one as a man may not speak of without he say “sir-reverence.” I have but leanluck in the match, and yet is she a wondrous fat marriage.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

A very pardonable body, yes, such that a man can't talk of her without saying, "I beg your pardon." There's a thin chance of me being happy with her, but it would be an incredibly fat marriage. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

How dost thou mean a “fat marriage”?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What do you mean a "fat marriage"? 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, sir, she’s the kitchen wench, and all grease, and I know not what use to put her to but to make a lampof her and run from her by her own light. I warrant herrags and the tallow in them will burn a Poland winter. If she lives till doomsday, she’ll burn a week longer than the whole world.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, she's the kitchen maid, and she's made of grease, and I don't know how I would use her except to make her into a lamp and run away from her in the light that she gives off. I bet the rags she wears and the fat inside them are enough to burn for a whole winter in Poland. If she lives until the end of the world, she'll still be burning a week after the whole world's in ashes. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What complexion is she of?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What's her face like?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Swart like my shoe, but her face nothing like so clean kept. For why? She sweats a man may go overshoes in the grime of it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Dark like my shoe, but her face is not kept as clean as my shoe. Why, you ask? She sweats so much that her perspiration might come up to a man's ankles. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

That’s a fault that water will mend.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

She could wash off the sweat with water. 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No, sir, ’tis in grain; Noah’s flood could not do it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No, sir, it's undefeatable. Noah's flood couldn't wash it off. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What’s her name?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What's her name?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Nell, sir, but her name and three quarters—that’s an ell and three quarters—will not measure her from hip to hip.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Nell, sir, but her name and three quarters—I mean, an ell and three quarters of an ell—wouldn't even be enough to measure her from hip to hip. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Then she bears some breadth?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Then she's pretty wide?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip. She is spherical, like a globe. I could find out countries in her.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

She's as long from side to side as head to toe. She's spherical, like a globe. I could find countries on her. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

In what part of her body stands Ireland?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where on her body is Ireland?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, sir, in her buttocks. I found it out by the bogs.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, in her buttocks. I knew it was Ireland from the spongy marshes. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where Scotland?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where on her body is Scotland?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I found it by the barrenness; hard in the palm of the hand.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

The palm of her hand: I knew it was Scotland from the dryness. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where France?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What about France?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

In her forehead, armed and reverted, making war againsther heir.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

In her forehead: slowly expanding and warring against her heir

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where England?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What about England?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them. But I guess it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I looked for the white cliffs in her teeth, but I couldn't find any whiteness in them. I guess England must have been in her chin, given the salty saliva that ran between her forehead France and her chin. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where Spain?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What about Spain?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Faith, I saw it not, but I felt it hot in her breath.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Well, I didn't see Spain, but I felt it in her hot breath. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where America, the Indies?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What about America, the Indies?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

O, sir, upon her nose, all o'er-embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain, who sent whole armadas of caracks to be ballast at her nose.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Oh, sir, India's on her nose, since it's all covered in rubies, jewels, sapphires, which are delivered to the hot breath of Spain, who sent fleets of ships to aim at her nose. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What about Belgium and the Netherlands?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude: this drudgeor diviner laid claim to me, call’d me Dromio, swore I was assured to her, told me what privy marks I had aboutme, as the mark of my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from her as a witch. And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, She had transformed me to a curtal dog and made me turn i' th' wheel.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Oh, sir, I didn't look so low down. In conclusion, this slave or witch said she had a claim over me, called me Dromio, swore that I was pledged to her, told me what private marks I had on my body, like a mark on my shoulder, the mole on my neck, the big wart on my left art. So I, astonished, ran away from her as if she were a witch. And, I think, if my soul had not been so faithful and my heart had not been made of steel, she might have transformed me into a dog with no tail and put me to work. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Go, hie thee presently. Post to the road. An if the wind blow any way from shore, I will not harbor in this town tonight. If any bark put forth, come to the mart, Where I will walk till thou return to me. If every one knows us, and we know none, 'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Go, get moving now. Run to the road. If the wind is blowing any direction from the shore, I won't stay in this town tonight. If any ship is leaving, come to the market, where I'll walk until you return to me. If everyone knows us, and we don't know anybody, I think it's time to get up, pack up, and get out of here. 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

As from a bear a man would run for life,So fly I from her that would be my wife.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Just like a man would run for his life from a bear, I'll flee that woman who wants to be my wife. 

Exit DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

There’s none but witches do inhabit here, And therefore ’tis high time that I were hence. She that doth call me husband, even my soul Doth for a wife abhor. But her fair sister, Possessed with such a gentle sovereign grace, Of such enchanting presence and discourse, Hath almost made me traitor to myself. But lest myself be guilty to self wrong, I’ll stop mine ears against the mermaid’s song.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

The only people who live here are witches, so it's time we get out of here. I would hate to have that woman who calls me husband for a wife. But her beautiful sister, who has such a gentle, divine grace, such an enchanting presence and skill at conversation, has almost made me forget myself. But to make sure I'm not guilty of doing harm to myself, I'll stop listening to this mermaid's song

Enter ANGELO with the chain

ANGELO

Master Antipholus.

ANGELO

Master Antipholus. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Ay, that’s my name.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Yes, that's my name. 

ANGELO

I know it well, sir. Lo, here’s the chain.I thought to have ta'en you at the Porpentine;The chain unfinished made me stay thus long.

ANGELO

I know it well, sir. Look, here's the chain. I meant to take it to you at the Porpentine. The chain took me until now to finish. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What is your will that I shall do with this?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What do you want me to do with this? 

ANGELO

What please yourself, sir. I have made it for you.

ANGELO

Whatever you want, sir. I made it for you. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Made it for me, sir? I bespoke it not.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Made it for me, sir? I never asked for it. 

ANGELO

Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you have.Go home with it and please your wife withal,And soon at supper time I’ll visit youAnd then receive my money for the chain.

ANGELO

Not once or twice, you've asked me twenty times for it. Take it home and please your wife with it, and I'll visit you at supper time to get my money for the chain then. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I pray you, sir, receive the money now,For fear you ne'er see chain nor money more.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Please, sir, take the money now, for fear you'll never see the chain or the money again. 

ANGELO

You are a merry man, sir. Fare you well.

ANGELO

You're a goofy man, sir. Goodbye. 

Exit ANGELO

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What I should think of this I cannot tell, But this I think: there’s no man is so vain That would refuse so fair an offered chain. I see a man here needs not live by shifts When in the streets he meets such golden gifts. I’ll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay. If any ship put out, then straight away.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I have no idea what to make of this, but I do know one thing: there's no one so stupid that wouldn't take a chain that's offered to him. I guess men here don't need to work for things when they get golden gifts in the streets. I'll go to the market and wait for Dromio there. If any ship is leaving, I'll be on it immediately. 

Exit

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Dan rubins
About the Translator: Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is currently completing his MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London/Shakespeare's Globe and will be pursuing an MA in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a BA in English from Yale University. His Masters dissertation focuses on announcements of death in early modern drama, and other research areas of interest include Shakespeare in transformative contexts (prisons, schools, etc.) and rhyme in Shakespeare's dramatic texts. In addition to teaching and learning, he also writes theatre reviews (often of Shakespeare productions), composes musical theatre (frequently with Shakespearean inspirations), and sings in choirs (occasionally in Shakespearean choral settings).