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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter SECOND MERCHANT and ANGELO the goldsmith

ANGELO

I am sorry, sir, that I have hindered you,But I protest he had the chain of me,Though most dishonestly he doth deny it.

ANGELO

I'm sorry, sir, to have delayed you, but I promise he took the chain from me, even though he dishonestly denies it. 

SECOND MERCHANT

How is the man esteemed here in the city?

SECOND MERCHANT

What's the man's reputation here in the city?

ANGELO

Of very reverend reputation, sir,Of credit infinite, highly beloved,Second to none that lives here in the city.His word might bear my wealth at any time.

ANGELO

He's very well respected, sir, and trusted and beloved by all. He's second to none that lives here in the city. I'd bet all my money on his telling the truth at any time. 

SECOND MERCHANT

Speak softly. Yonder, as I think, he walks.

SECOND MERCHANT

Speak softly. I think he's walking this way. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE again

ANGELO

'Tis so; and that self chain about his neck Which he forswore most monstrously to have. Good sir, draw near to me. I’ll speak to him.— Signior Antipholus, I wonder much That you would put me to this shame and trouble, And not without some scandal to yourself, With circumstance and oaths so to deny This chain, which now you wear so openly. Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment, You have done wrong to this my honest friend, Who, but for staying on our controversy, Had hoisted sail and put to sea today. This chain you had of me. Can you deny it?

ANGELO

That's him. He's wearing the same chain around his neck that he swore he didn't have, the villain. Good sir, come close to me. I'll speak to him.

[To Antipholus of Syracuse] Antipholus, sir, I'm dumbfounded that you would put me to all this shame and trouble, and scandalize yourself in the process, swearing up and down that you didn't have the chain which you're wearing so openly. Besides the cost, the shame, and getting sent to prison, you've done wrong to my honest friend here, who was supposed to set sail today if it weren't for your shenanigans. You got this chain from me. Can you deny it?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think I had. I never did deny it.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think I got it from you. I never did deny it. 

SECOND MERCHANT

Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it too.

SECOND MERCHANT

Yes, you did deny it, sir, and swore you never had it, too. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Who heard me to deny it or forswear it?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Who heard me deny and swear it? 

SECOND MERCHANT

These ears of mine, thou know’st did hear thee.Fie on thee, wretch. 'Tis pity that thou liv’stTo walk where any honest men resort.

SECOND MERCHANT

You know my ears heard you. Damn you, wretch. You shouldn't be allowed to walk in the same vicinity as honest men. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thou art a villain to impeach me thus.I’ll prove mine honor and mine honestyAgainst thee presently if thou dar’st stand.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

You're a villain to accuse me like this. I'll prove my honor and my honesty against you right now, if you'll dare to fight me. 

SECOND MERCHANT

I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.

SECOND MERCHANT

I dare, and I'll defeat you, you villain. 

They draw Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the COURTESAN 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!

ADRIANA

Stop, don't hurt him, for God's sake. He's mad. Someone go to him and take his sword away. Tie up Dromio too and bring them to my house! 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Run, master, run. For God’s sake, take a house.This is some priory. In, or we are spoiled.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Run, master run. For God's sake, enter some house. Here's a nunnery. Get in, or we'll be ruined. 

Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE to the priory

Enter the Lady ABBESS

ABBESS

Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?

ABBESS

Be quiet, people. What are you all doing here?

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

We're here to get my poor, mad husband. Let us come in, so we can tie him up and bring him home where he can recover. 

ANGELO

I knew he was not in his perfect wits.

ANGELO

I knew he wasn't in his right mind. 

SECOND MERCHANT

I am sorry now that I did draw on him.

SECOND MERCHANT

I'm sorry now that I drew my sword on him. 

ABBESS

How long hath this possession held the man?

ABBESS

How long has this man been mad?

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

This week he's been moody, sour, sad, and very different from the man he was. But until this afternoon his mood had never turned into extreme rage. 

ABBESS

Hath he not lost much wealth by wrack 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?

ABBESS

Has he not lost a lot of money in a shipwreck? Buried a dear friend? Has his eye not led him to think of infidelity? That's a sin that a lot of youthful men commit when they allow themselves to stare at women. Which of these sorrows is weighing on him?

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

None of them, unless it's the last. Namely, some love that drew him often away from home. 

ABBESS

You should for that have reprehended him.

ABBESS

You should have scolded him for that. 

ADRIANA

Why, so I did.

ADRIANA

I did. 

ABBESS

Ay, but not rough enough.

ABBESS

Yes, but not roughly enough. 

ADRIANA

As roughly as my modesty would let me.

ADRIANA

As roughly as my modesty would let me. 

ABBESS

Haply in private.

ABBESS

Maybe in private. 

ADRIANA

And in assemblies too.

ADRIANA

And publicly too. 

ABBESS

Ay, but not enough.

ABBESS

Okay, 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 glancèd it. Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.

ADRIANA

We had this conversation all the time. He wouldn't sleep in our bed when I told him to. He wouldn't eat at our table when I told him too. When we were alone, it was the only think I talked about. When were with other people, I referred to it in passing. I told him over and over it was vile and bad. 

ABBESS

And thereof came it that the man was mad. The venom clamors of a jealous woman Poisons more deadly than a mad dog’s tooth. It seems his sleeps were hinder’d by thy railing, And therefore comes it that his head is light. Thou sayst his meat was sauced with thy upbraidings. Unquiet meals make ill digestions. Thereof the raging fire of fever bred, And what’s a fever but a fit of madness? Thou sayest his sports were hinderd by thy brawls. Sweet recreation barred, what doth ensue But moody and dull melancholy, Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair, And at her heels a huge infectious troop Of pale distemperatures and foes to life? In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest To be disturbed, would mad or man or beast. The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits Have scared thy husband from the use of wits.

ABBESS

And that's how the man went mad. The venom of a jealous woman's nagging has more poison in it than a mad dog's tooth. It sounds like he couldn't sleep because of your railing at him, so he went crazy. You say you poured your scoldings on his dinner like meat sauce. Meals accompanied by fighting lead to bad digestion. That's how he got this raging fever, and aren't fevers and fits of madness one and the same? You say all his relaxation time was ruined by your fights. Without time for sweet recreation, what's going to happen but moody and dull melancholy, which leads to grim and comfortless despair, and right after that a whole army of illnesses and humoral imbalances that put his life in danger. Any man or animal would go mad if he was disturbed while he was eating, sporting, and trying to get his much-needed sleep. The consequence is that your jealous fits have cost your husband his sanity. 

LUCIANA

She never reprehended him but mildlyWhen he demeaned himself rough, rude, and wildly.— [to ADRIANA] Why bear you these rebukes and answer not?

LUCIANA

She only ever scolded him mildly when he behaved rough, rude, and wildly.

[To Adriana] Why aren't you responding to these insults? 

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

I think I deserved those reprimands. Good people, enter and get him. 

ABBESS

No, not a creature enters in my house.

ABBESS

No, no one enters my house. 

ADRIANA

Then let your servants bring my husband forth.

ADRIANA

Then let your servants bring my husband out. 

ABBESS

Neither: he took this place for sanctuary,And it shall privilege him from your handsTill I have brought him to his wits againOr lose my labor in assaying it.

ABBESS

Not a chance. He chose my nunnery for sanctuary, and so he'll stay out of your hands until I restore his sanity or die trying. 

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

I'll take care of my husband, be his nurse, and treat his sickness, for it's my job, and no one will else can do it for me. Therefore, let me bring him home with me. 

ABBESS

Be patient, for I will not let him stir Till I have used the approvd 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.

ABBESS

Be patient, for I won't let him stir until I've used the syrups, drugs, and holy prayers that I have to make him come to his senses. It's part of my oath as abbess. It's a charitable duty of my holy 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 holinessTo separate the husband and the wife.

ADRIANA

I will not go and leave my husband here. It looks bad for an abbess to separate a husband and wife. 

ABBESS

Be quiet and depart. Thou shalt not have him.

ABBESS

Be quite and depart. You shall not have him. 

Exit ABBESS

LUCIANA

Complain unto the Duke of this indignity.

LUCIANA

Complain to the Duke about this rudeness. 

ADRIANA

Come, go. I will fall prostrate at his feetAnd never rise until my tears and prayersHave won his grace to come in person hitherAnd take perforce my husband from the Abbess.

ADRIANA

Come, let's go. I will fall at his feet and I won't get up until my tears and prayers have persuaded him to come in person here and take my husband from the Abbess by force. 

SECOND MERCHANT

By this, I think, the dial points at five.Anon, I’m sure, the Duke himself in personComes this way to the melancholy vale,The place of death and sorry executionBehind the ditches of the abbey here.

SECOND MERCHANT

I think it's five o'clock. The Duke will surely come this way in person to the melancholy place where executions are carried out behind the abbey here. 

ANGELO

Upon what cause?

ANGELO

For what reason?

SECOND MERCHANT

To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,Who put unluckily into this bayAgainst the laws and statutes of this town,Beheaded publicly for his offense.

SECOND MERCHANT

To see an old merchant from Syracuse, who unluckily sailed into this bay against the town laws, publicly beheaded for this offense. 

ANGELO

See where they come. We will behold his death.

ANGELO

Look, they're coming. We'll watch his death. 

LUCIANA

Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey.

LUCIANA

Kneel to the Duke before he passes the abbey. 

Enter the DUKE OF EPHESUS and EGEON the merchant of Syracuse, bare head, with the headsman and other officers

DUKE

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

DUKE

Yet once again I'll say it publicly: if any friend will pay his ransom, he shall not die. That's how much we care for him. 

ADRIANA

Justice, most sacred duke, against the Abbess.

ADRIANA

Justice, most sacred Duke, against the Abbess. 

DUKE

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

DUKE

She's a virtuous and respected lady. It can't be true that she's done you 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 desp'rately 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.

ADRIANA

Your Grace, I married my husband Antipholus and gave everything I had to him on your instructions, and, this sad day, he's been overcome by a terrible fit of madness. He ran desperately through the street, with his servant, equally mad, upsetting all the citizens by rushing into their houses, stealing rings, jewels, anything that caught his crazed fancy. I had him tied up and sent home while I went to deal with all the wrongs he'd committed in his fury. I don't know how he then escaped, but he broke away from the men that were guarding him, and he and his mad servant, both of them furiously wielding swords, ran into us again and, charging right at us, chased us away until we found reinforcements and came back to tie them up. Then they fled into this abbey, where we pursued them, and now the Abbess has shut the gates on us and won't let us fetch him out or send him out herself that we can take him away. Therefore, most gracious Duke, command that he brought out of the abbey and taken away for help. 

DUKE

Long since thy husband served me in my wars, And I to thee engaged a prince’s word, When thou didst make him master of thy bed, To do him all the grace and good I could. Go, some of you, knock at the abbey gate, And bid the Lady Abbess come to me. I will determine this before I stir.

DUKE

Long ago, your husband served me in my wars, and I gave you a prince's word, when you married him, to do him all the good I could. Go, some of you, knock at the abbey gate, and tell the Lady Abbess to come to me. I won't move until I've cleared this up. 

Enter a MESSENGER

MESSENGER

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.

MESSENGER

Oh, mistress, mistress, do what you can to save yourself. My master and his servant have broken free, beaten the maids and tied up the doctor, whose beard they burned off, and, while his beard was blazing, threw mud on him to put out the fire. My master urges him to be patient while his servant cuts the doctor's beard with scissors to make him look like a fool. Surely, unless you send someone to help, they'll kill the doctor between them. 

ADRIANA

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

ADRIANA

Calm down, fool. Your master and his servant are here, and what you've told us is false. 

MESSENGER

Mistress, upon my life I tell you true.I have not breathed almost since I did see it.He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you,To scorch your face and to disfigure you.

MESSENGER

Mistress, upon my life, I'm telling the truth. I've barely breathed since I saw it. He cries for you, and vows, if he can catch you, to burn your face and disfigure you. 

Cry within

Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress. Fly, begone!

Listen, listen, I hear him, mistress. Run, escape! 

DUKE

Come, stand by me. Fear nothing.—Guard with halberds.

DUKE

Come, stand by me. Fear nothing.

[To officers] Guard her with spears. 

Enter ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS and DROMIO OF EPHESUS

ADRIANA

Ay me, it is my husband. Witness youThat he is borne about invisible.Even now we housed him in the abbey here,And now he’s there, past thought of human reason.

ADRIANA

Oh my God, it's my husband. Everyone see that he travels invisibly. We just saw him go into the abbey here, and now he's there. It's beyond reason. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Justice, most gracious duke, O, grant me justice, Even for the service that long since I did thee When I bestrid thee in the wars and took Deep scars to save thy life. Even for the blood That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Justice, most gracious Duke. Oh, grant me justice, if only for the service that I performed for you long ago when I fought for you in the wars and received deep wounds to save your life. If only for the blood that I lost for you then, grant me justice now. 

EGEON

[aside] Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,I see my son Antipholus and Dromio.

EGEON

[Aside] Unless the fear of death has driven me mad, I see my son Antipholus and Dromio. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there, She whom thou gav’st to me to be my wife, That hath abusèd and dishonored me Even in the strength and height of injury. Beyond imagination is the wrong That she this day hath shameless thrown on me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Give me justice, sweet prince, against that woman there, she whom you gave to me to be my wife. She has abused and dishonored me more than could be thought possible. It's beyond imagination how shamelessly she's wronged me. 

DUKE

Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.

DUKE

Explain what you mean, and you'll find me just. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

This day, great duke, she shut the doors upon meWhile she with harlots feasted in my house.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Today, great Duke, she locked the doors on me while she feasted with ruffians in my house. 

DUKE

A grievous fault.—Say, woman, didst thou so?

DUKE

That's very bad. [To Adriana] Say, woman, did you do that?

ADRIANA

No, my good lord. Myself, he, and my sisterToday did dine together. So befall my soulAs this is false he burdens me withal.

ADRIANA

No, my good lord. Myself, my husband, and my sister dined together today. I wager my soul that what he accuses me of is false. 

LUCIANA

Ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on nightBut she tells to your Highness simple truth.

LUCIANA

Never shall I see daylight again or sleep at night if what she tells your Highness isn't true. 

ANGELO

O perjured woman! —They are both forsworn.In this the madman justly chargeth them.

ANGELO

Oh, slandering woman! They have both sworn falsely. The madman's right in accusing them of that. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

My liege, I am advisèd what I say, Neither disturbed with the effect of wine, Nor heady-rash, provoked with raging ire, Albeit my wrongs might make one wiser mad. This woman locked me out this day from dinner. That goldsmith there, were he not packed with her, Could witness it, for he was with me then, Who parted with me to go fetch a chain, Promising to bring it to the Porpentine, Where Balthasar and I did dine together. Our dinner done and he not coming thither, I went to seek him. In the street I met him, And in his company that gentleman. [points to the SECOND MERCHANT ] There did this perjured goldsmith swear me down That I this day of him received the chain, Which, God he knows, I saw not; for the which He did arrest me with an officer. I did obey, and sent my peasant home For certain ducats. He with none returned. Then fairly I bespoke the officer To go in person with me to my house. By th' way we met My wife, her sister, and a rabble more Of vile confederates. Along with them They brought one Pinch, a hungry, lean-faced villain, A mere anatomy, a mountebank, A threadbare juggler, and a fortune-teller, A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch, A living dead man. This pernicious slave, Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer, And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, And with no face (as ’twere) outfacing me, Cries out I was possessed. Then all together They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence, And in a dark and dankish vault at home There left me and my man, both bound together, Till gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder, I gained my freedom and immediately Ran hither to your Grace, whom I beseech To give me ample satisfaction For these deep shames and great indignities.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

My lord, I am sure in what I say, neither intoxicated nor mad, provoked with fury, although what's been done to me might make a wiser man go insane. This woman locked me out today from dinner. That goldsmith there, if he wasn't in cahoots with her, could attest to it, since he was with me then. He parted with me to go fetch a chain, promising to bring it to the Porpentine, where I dined with Balthasar. After our dinner, the goldsmith hadn't come yet so I went to seek him. In the street I met him, and he was with this gentleman. [Points to the SECOND MERCHANT] There, this lying goldsmith swore that I took the chain from him, which, God knows, I never saw. With this accusation, he arrested me with an officer. I obeyed and sent my servant home for money. He came back with nothing. Then I calmly told the officer to come with me to my house. On the way, we met my wife, her sister, and a crowd of their vile friends. Along with them they brought someone named Pinch, a hungry, thin villain, a mere skeleton, a quack doctor, a poor magician, and a fortune-teller, a hollow-eyed, gaunt wretch, a living dead man. This awful rascal pretended to be a conjurer, gazed in my eyes, felt my pulse, and, with his thin face looking into mine, cried out I was possessed. Then all together they fell upon me, tied me up, took me away, and in a dark and foul cell at home left me and my servant, tied together, till I'd gnawed the ropes apart with my teeth, gaining my freedom. I immediately ran here to your Grace, whom I plead will deliver justice to me for these deep shames and great indignities. 

ANGELO

My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with him:That he dined not at home, but was locked out.

ANGELO

My lord, in truth, I can back him up that he didn't dine at home but was locked out. 

DUKE

But had he such a chain of thee or no?

DUKE

But did he have this chain from you or not?

ANGELO

He had, my lord, and when he ran in here,These people saw the chain about his neck.

ANGELO

He had, my lord, and when he ran in here, these people saw the chain around his neck. 

SECOND MERCHANT

Besides, I will be sworn these ears of mineHeard you confess you had the chain of himAfter you first forswore it on the mart,And thereupon I drew my sword on you,And then you fled into this abbey here,From whence I think you are come by miracle.

SECOND MERCHANT

Besides, I'll be sworn I heard you confess you had the chain from him after you first denied it in the marketplace, and then I drew my sword on you, and then you fled into this abbey here. I think you've come from there by a miracle. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never came within these abbey walls,Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me.I never saw the chain, so help me heaven,And this is false you burden me withal.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never went inside the abbey nor did you ever draw your sword on me. I never saw the chain, I swear to God, and you accuse me falsely. 

DUKE

Why, what an intricate impeach is this!I think you all have drunk of Circe’s cup.If here you housed him, here he would have been.If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly. [to ADRIANA ] You say he dined at home; the goldsmith hereDenies that saying. Sirrah, what say you?

DUKE

Why, what a complex case this is! I think you've all drunk some magical potion. If you saw him enter here, he would be in here. If he were mad, he wouldn't plead so logically. 

[To ADRIANA] You say he dined at home. The goldsmith here denies that. Sir, what do you say?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Sir, he dined with her there, at the Porpentine.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Sir, he dined with her there, at the Porpentine. 

COURTESAN

He did, and from my finger snatched that ring.

COURTESAN

He did, and snatched that ring from my finger. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

'Tis true, my liege; this ring I had of her.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

That's true, my lord. I took this ring from her. 

DUKE

Saw’st thou him enter at the abbey here?

DUKE

Did you see him enter the abbey here?

COURTESAN

As sure, my liege, as I do see your Grace.

COURTESAN

As sure, my Lord, as I see you now. 

DUKE

Why, this is strange.—Go call the Abbess hither.I think you are all mated or stark mad.

DUKE

Well, this is strange. Go tell the Abbess to come out. I think you're all confused or totally crazy. 

Exit one to ABBESS

EGEON

Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a word.Haply I see a friend will save my lifeAnd pay the sum that may deliver me.

EGEON

Most mighty Duke, allow me to say a word. Happily, I see a friend who will save my life and pay the ransom to free me. 

DUKE

Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.

DUKE

Speek freely whatever you want to say, Syracusian.  

EGEON

[to ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS ] Is not your name, sir, calledAntipholus?And is not that your bondman Dromio?

EGEON

[To ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS] Sir, isn't your name Antipholus? And is that not your bondman Dromio?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Within this hour I was his bondman sir,But he, I thank him, gnawed in two my cords.Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Within the past hour, I was his bondman, sir, but he, I thank him, gnawed my cords in two. Now I'm Dromio, and his servant, unbound. 

EGEON

I am sure you both of you remember me.

EGEON

I am sure both of you remember me. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Ourselves we do remember, sir, by you.For lately we were bound as you are now.You are not Pinch’s patient, are you, sir?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

You remind us of ourselves, sir. Recently, we were bound as you are now. You're not Doctor Pinch's patient, are you, sir? 

EGEON

Why look you strange on me? you know me well.

EGEON

Why do you look at me like I'm a stranger? You know me well. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never saw you in my life till now.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never saw you in my life till now. 

EGEON

O, grief hath changed me since you saw me last,And careful hours with time’s deformèd handHave written strange defeatures in my face.But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?

EGEON

Oh, I've been changed by grief since you last saw me. The deforming hand of time, over many stressful hours, has scarred my face with wrinkles. Tell me, though, do you not know my voice? 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Neither.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Not your voice either. 

EGEON

Dromio, nor thou?

EGEON

Dromio, you don't either?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No, trust me, sir, nor I.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No trust me, sir, I don't either. 

EGEON

I am sure thou dost.

EGEON

I am sure you do. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not, and whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Yes, sir, but I am sure I do not, and whatever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him. 

EGEON

Not know my voice! O time’s extremity, Hast thou so crack’d and splitted my poor tongue In seven short years that here my only son Knows not my feeble key of untuned cares? Though now this grainèd face of mine be hid In sap-consuming winter’s drizzled snow, And all the conduits of my blood froze up, Yet hath my night of life some memory, My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left, My dull deaf ears a little use to hear. All these old witnesses—I cannot err— Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.

EGEON

Not know my voice! Oh, time's extremity, have you so damaged and split my poor tongue in seven short years that my only son here doesn't recognize my feeble voice badly singing its woes? Though this wrinkled face of mine is hidden in my white beard and all my veins have frozen, even in my final days, I still have some memory, my wavering eyes can still see a fading glimmer, and my dull, deaf ears can still hear a little. All these old witnesses—they don't deceive me—tell me the you are my son Antipholus. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never saw my father in my life.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I never saw my father in my life. 

EGEON

But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,Thou know’st we parted. But perhaps, my son,Thou sham’st to acknowledge me in misery.

EGEON

But you know we parted seven years ago in Syracuse, boy. But, perhaps, my son, you're ashamed to acknowledge me in my misery. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

The Duke and all that know me in the cityCan witness with me that it is not soI ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

The Duke and everyone who knows me in this city can back me up that this isn't true. I've never been to Syracuse in my life. 

DUKE

I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty yearsHave I been patron to Antipholus,During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.

DUKE

I can tell you, Syracusian, I've been Antipholus's patron for twenty years, and he's never been to Syracuse in that time. I suppose your age and the danger of your situation have made you lose your marbles. 

Enter the ABBESS with ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

ABBESS

Most mighty duke, behold a man much wronged.

ABBESS

Most might duke, behold a man who has been much wronged. 

All gather to see them

ADRIANA

I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.

ADRIANA

Either I see two husbands or my eyes deceive me. 

DUKE

[looks at the ANTIPHOLUS tw ins] One of these men is genius to the other. [looks at the DROMIO tw ins] And so, of these, which is the natural manAnd which the spirit? Who deciphers them?

DUKE

[Looks at the ANTIPHOLUS twins] One of these men is genius to the other.

[Looks at the DROMIO twins] 
And so, of these two, which is the real man and which is the spirit? Who can figure it out?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I, sir, am Dromio. Command him away.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I am Dromio, sir. Send the other one away. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I, sir, am Dromio. Please, let me stay.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I am Dromio, sir. Please, let me stay. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Egeon art thou not, or else his ghost?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Aren't you Egeon, or, if not, his ghost? 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

O, my old master.—Who hath bound him here?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Oh, my old master. Who has tied him up here?

ABBESS

Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds And gain a husband by his liberty.— Speak, old Egeon, if thou be’st the man That hadst a wife once called Emilia, That bore thee at a burden two fair sons. O, if thou be’st the same Egeon, speak, And speak unto the same Emilia.

ABBESS

Whoever tied him up, I will free him, and gain a husband in his freedom. Speak, old Egeon, if you are the man who once had a wife named Emilia who gave birth to your two beautiful twin sons. Oh, if you are the same Egeon, speak, and speak to the same Emilia. 

DUKE

Why, here begins his morning story right; These two Antipholuses, these two so like, And these two Dromios, one in semblance— Besides his urging of her wreck at sea— These are the parents to these children, Which accidentally are met together.

DUKE

Why, that was where his story from this morning began. These two Antipholuses, who look so alike, and these two Dromios, who are identical— just like when he told us about the wreck at sea—these are the parents of those children. They've found each other by chance. 

EGEON

If I dream not, thou art Emilia.If thou art she, tell me where is that sonThat floated with thee on the fatal raft?

EGEON

If I do not dream, you are Emilia. If you are she, tell me where is our son who floated with you on that doomed raft? 

ABBESS

By men of Epidamnum he and I And the twin Dromio all were taken up; But by and by rude fishermen of Corinth By force took Dromio and my son from them And me they left with those of Epidamnum. What then became of them I cannot tell; I to this fortune that you see me in.

ABBESS

He and I and Dromio were saved by men of Epidamnum. But eventually beastly fisherman from Corinth took Dromio and my son by force and left me with the men from Epidamnum. I do not know what happened to them next. All I know is that I became what you see I am now. 

DUKE

[to ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE ] Antipholus, thou cam’st fromCorinth first.

DUKE

[To ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE] Antipholus, you came from Corinth originally. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

No, sir, not I. I came from Syracuse.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

No, sir, not me. I came from Syracuse. 

DUKE

Stay, stand apart. I know not which is which.

DUKE

Hold on, stand apart from each other. I don't know which is which. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

And I with him.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

And I came with him. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Brought to this town by that most famous warriorDuke Menaphon, your most renownèd uncle.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

You were brought to this town by that very famous warrior, Duke Menaphon, your celebrated uncle. 

ADRIANA

Which of you two did dine with me today?

ADRIANA

Which of the two of you dined with me today?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I, gentle mistress.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I, gentle lady. 

ADRIANA

And are not you my husband?

ADRIANA

And are you my husband?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

No, I say nay to that.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

No, he's definitely not. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

And so do I, yet did she call me so,And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,Did call me brother. [t o LUCIANA ] What I told you thenI hope I shall have leisure to make good,If this be not a dream I see and hear.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

And I agree, even though she called her husband, and this beautiful lady, her sister here, called me her brother. 

[To LUCIANA] What I told you earlier, I hope I'll have the opportunity to follow through on, if this isn't all a dream that I see and hear. 

ANGELO

That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.

ANGELO

Sir, that is the chain that you got from me. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think it be, sir. I deny it not.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I think it is, sir. I don't deny it. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

And you, sir, arrested me for this chain. 

ANGELO

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

ANGELO

I think I did, sir. I don't deny it. 

ADRIANA

I sent you money, sir, to be your bailBy Dromio, but I think he brought it not.

ADRIANA

I sent Dromio with money, sir, to bail you out, but I think he didn't bring it.  

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No, none by me.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No,  I never was given any money. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

This purse of ducats I received from you, And Dromio my man did bring them me. I see we still did meet each other’s man, And I was ta'en for him, and he for me, And thereupon these errors are arose.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I received this purse of money from you, and my servant Dromio brought them to me. It looks like each of us ran into the other's servant, and mine thought you were me and yours thought I was you, and this is where all these errors came from. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

These ducats pawn I for my father here.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I offer this money as ransom for my father. 

DUKE

It shall not need. Thy father hath his life.

DUKE

No need. Your father can live. 

COURTESAN

Sir, I must have that diamond from you.

COURTESAN

Sir, I must have that diamond from you. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

There, take it; and much thanks for my good cheer.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

There, take it, with many thanks for a good time. 

ABBESS

Renownèd duke, vouchsafe to take the pains To go with us into the abbey here And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes, And all that are assembled in this place That by this sympathizèd one day’s error Have suffered wrong. Go, keep us company, And we shall make full satisfaction.— Thirty-three years have I but gone in travail Of you, my sons, and till this present hour My heavy burden ne'er deliverèd.— The Duke, my husband, and my children both, And you, the calendars of their nativity, Go to a gossips' feast, and go with me. After so long grief, such nativity!

ABBESS

Great duke, will you be so good as to go with us into the abbey and hear all our stories told, along with everyone assembled here that has suffered from the confusions today? Come, keep us company, and we'll figure out everything. Thirty-three years have I been grieving for you, my sons, and till this hour I never found freedom from that pain. The Duke, my husband, my two sons, and you, who share their birthday, come to a celebration, and come with me. After so long a grief, such rebirth! 

DUKE

With all my heart I’ll gossip at this feast.

DUKE

With all my heart, I'll celebrate at this feast. 

Exeunt; the two DROMIOS and the two ANTIPHOLUS brothers remain behind.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

[to ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS ] Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

[To ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS] Master, should I get your stuff from the ship?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embarked?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Dromio, what stuff of mine is on a ship?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Your goods that were being kept in the Centaur, sir. 

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

He speaks to me.—I am your master, Dromio.Come, go with us. We’ll look to that anon.Embrace thy brother there. Rejoice with him.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

He speaks to me.—I'm your master, Dromio. Come, go with us. We'll deal with that later. Embrace your brother there. Rejoice with him. 

Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

There is a fat friend at your master’s houseThat kitchened me for you today at dinner.She now shall be my sister, not my wife.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

There's a fat lady at your master's house that cornered me today at dinner, thinking it was you. She shall be my sister now, not my wife. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother:I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth.Will you walk in to see their gossiping?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I think you're my reflection and not my brother: I see in your face that I must be a good-looking guy. Will you go in to see their celebrations?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Not I, sir. You are my elder.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Not me first, sir. You're older than me. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

That’s a question. How shall we try it?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

You bring up a good question. How can we figure it out? 

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

We’ll draw cuts for the signior. Till then, lead thou first.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

We'll draw straws to decide who's older. Until then, you lead first. 

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, then, thus:We came into the world like brother and brother,And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No, let's do it this way: we came into the world as brother and brother, so let's walk hand in hand, not one ahead of the other. 

Exeunt

The comedy of errors
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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).