List iconThe Comedy of ErrorsList icon

The Comedy of Errors
Act 4, scene 2

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Egeon’s remaining son, Antipholus of Syracuse, and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, come to Ephesus, where—unknown to them—their lost twins…

Act 1, scene 1

Egeon, a merchant from Syracusae, is arrested for having illegally entered Ephesus. He tells the story of how he lost…

Act 1, scene 2

Antipholus of Syracuse lands in Ephesus with his servant, Dromio. He sends Dromio to an inn with their luggage and…

Act 2, scene 1

Adriana angrily awaits her husband, who is late for dinner. Dromio (of Ephesus) enters and tells about his meeting with…

Act 2, scene 2

Antipholus (of Syracuse) meets Dromio (of Syracuse), who denies having spoken of Antipholus’s wife. Adriana and her sister, Luciana, enter…

Act 3, scene 1

Antipholus of Ephesus brings a goldsmith and a merchant to his home for dinner. He finds the door locked and,…

Act 3, scene 2

Antipholus (of Syracuse) falls in love with Adriana’s sister, Luciana. Dromio (of Syracuse) is claimed by Adriana’s kitchen maid as…

Act 4, scene 1

Antipholus (of Ephesus) sends Dromio (of Ephesus) to buy a rope’s end to beat Adriana. The goldsmith demands the money…

Act 4, scene 2

Dromio (of Syracuse) tells Adriana about the arrest of Antipholus (of Ephesus). She gives him the money for Antipholus’s bail.

Act 4, scene 3

Dromio (of Syracuse) gives Antipholus (of Syracuse) the money sent by Adriana. The Courtesan enters and demands the chain that…

Act 4, scene 4

Antipholus (of Ephesus), under arrest, beats Dromio (of Ephesus) for bringing a rope’s end instead of the money for bail….

Act 5, scene 1

Adriana finds Antipholus (of Syracuse) with his sword drawn and orders that he and Dromio be bound. The Syracusans escape…

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Scene 2
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?
  Looked he or red or pale, or sad or merrily?
5 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 
10 And true he swore, though yet forsworn he were.
LUCIANA 
 Then pleaded I for you.
ADRIANA  And what said he?
LUCIANA 
 That love I begged for you he begged of me.
ADRIANA 
 With what persuasion did he tempt thy love?
LUCIANA 
15 With words that in an honest suit might move.
 First he did praise my beauty, then my speech.
ADRIANA 
 Did’st speak him fair?
LUCIANA  Have patience, I beseech.
ADRIANA 
 I cannot, nor I will not hold me still.
20 My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
 He is deformèd, crooked, old, and sere,
 Ill-faced, worse-bodied, shapeless everywhere,

99
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 4. SC. 2

 Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
 Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
LUCIANA 
25 Who would be jealous, then, of such a one?
 No evil lost is wailed 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.
30  My heart prays for him, though my tongue do
  curse.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse with the key.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 Here, go—the desk, the purse! Sweet, now make
 haste.
LUCIANA 
 How hast thou lost thy breath?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 35 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 buttoned up with steel;
40 A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;
 A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff;
 A backfriend, a shoulder clapper, one that
 countermands
 The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;
45 A hound that runs counter and yet draws dryfoot
 well,
 One that before the judgment carries poor souls to
 hell.
ADRIANA Why, man, what is the matter?

101
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 4. SC. 2

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
50 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 is in a suit of buff which ’rested him; that can I
 tell.
55 Will you send him, mistress, redemption—the
 money in his desk?
ADRIANA 
 Go fetch it, sister. (Luciana exits.) This I wonder at,
 That he, unknown to me, should be in debt.
 Tell me, was he arrested on a band?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
60 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
65 one.
ADRIANA 
 The hours come back. That did I never hear.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 O yes, if any hour meet a sergeant, he turns back
 for very fear.
ADRIANA 
 As if time were in debt. How fondly dost thou
70 reason!
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 Time is a very bankrout 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?

103
The Comedy of Errors
ACT 4. SC. 3

75 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, with the purse.

ADRIANA 
 Go, Dromio. There’s the money. Bear it straight,
 And bring thy master home immediately.
Dromio exits.
80 Come, sister, I am pressed down with conceit:
 Conceit, my comfort and my injury.
They exit.