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The Comedy of Errors
Act 5, scene 1

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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 1
Enter the 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.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 How is the man esteemed here in the city?
ANGELO 
5 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.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 Speak softly. Yonder, as I think, he walks.

Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse again,
Antipholus wearing the chain.


ANGELO 
10 ’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,
15 And not without some scandal to yourself,
129

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 With circumstance and oaths so to deny
 This chain, which now you wear so openly.
 Besides the charge, the shame, imprisonment,
 You have done wrong to this my honest friend,
20 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?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 I think I had. I never did deny it.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 Yes, that you did, sir, and forswore it too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
25 Who heard me to deny it or forswear it?
SECOND MERCHANT 
 These ears of mine, thou know’st, did hear thee.
 Fie on thee, wretch. ’Tis pity that thou liv’st
 To walk where any honest men resort.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Thou art a villain to impeach me thus.
30 I’ll prove mine honor and mine honesty
 Against thee presently if thou dar’st stand.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 I dare, and do defy thee for a villain.They draw.

Enter Adriana, Luciana, Courtesan, and others.

ADRIANA 
 Hold, hurt him not, for God’s sake. He is mad.—
 Some get within him; take his sword away.
35 Bind Dromio too, and bear 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.
Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse
exit to the Priory.


Enter Lady Abbess.


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ACT 5. SC. 1

ABBESS 
 Be quiet, people. Wherefore throng you hither?
ADRIANA 
 To fetch my poor distracted husband hence.
40 Let us come in, that we may bind him fast
 And bear him home for his recovery.
ANGELO 
 I knew he was not in his perfect wits.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 I am sorry now that I did draw on him.
ABBESS 
 How long hath this possession held the man?
ADRIANA 
45 This week he hath been heavy, sour, sad,
 And much different from the man he was.
 But till this afternoon his passion
 Ne’er brake into extremity of rage.
ABBESS 
 Hath he not lost much wealth by wrack of sea?
50 Buried some dear friend? Hath not else his eye
 Strayed 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?
ADRIANA 
55 To none of these, except it be the last,
 Namely, some love that drew him oft from home.
ABBESS 
 You should for that have reprehended him.
ADRIANA 
 Why, so I did.
ABBESS  Ay, but not rough enough.
ADRIANA 
60 As roughly as my modesty would let me.
ABBESS 
 Haply in private.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

ADRIANA  And in assemblies too.
ABBESS Ay, but not enough.
ADRIANA 
 It was the copy of our conference.
65 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.
ABBESS 
70 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 hindered by thy railing,
 And thereof comes it that his head is light.
75 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?
80 Thou sayest his sports were hindered 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
85 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
 Hath scared thy husband from the use of wits.
LUCIANA 
90 She never reprehended him but mildly
 When he demeaned himself rough, rude, and
 wildly.—
 Why bear you these rebukes and answer not?

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ACT 5. SC. 1

ADRIANA 
 She did betray me to my own reproof.—
95 Good people, enter and lay hold on him.
ABBESS 
 No, not a creature enters in my house.
ADRIANA 
 Then let your servants bring my husband forth.
ABBESS 
 Neither. He took this place for sanctuary,
 And it shall privilege him from your hands
100 Till I have brought him to his wits again
 Or lose my labor in assaying it.
ADRIANA 
 I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
 Diet his sickness, for it is my office
 And will have no attorney but myself;
105 And therefore let me have him home with me.
ABBESS 
 Be patient, for I will not let him stir
 Till I have used the approvèd means I have,
 With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
 To make of him a formal man again.
110 It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
 A charitable duty of my 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 holiness
115 To separate the husband and the wife.
ABBESS 
 Be quiet and depart. Thou shalt not have him.
She exits.
LUCIANA, to Adriana 
 Complain unto the Duke of this indignity.
ADRIANA 
 Come, go. I will fall prostrate at his feet
 And never rise until my tears and prayers

139
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ACT 5. SC. 1

120 Have won his grace to come in person hither
 And take perforce my husband from the Abbess.
SECOND MERCHANT 
 By this, I think, the dial points at five.
 Anon, I’m sure, the Duke himself in person
 Comes this way to the melancholy vale,
125 The place of death and sorry execution
 Behind the ditches of the abbey here.
ANGELO Upon what cause?
SECOND MERCHANT 
 To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,
 Who put unluckily into this bay
130 Against the laws and statutes of this town,
 Beheaded publicly for his offense.
ANGELO 
 See where they come. We will behold his death.
LUCIANA, to Adriana 
 Kneel to the Duke before he pass 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,
135 If any friend will pay the sum for him,
 He shall not die; so much we tender him.
ADRIANA, kneeling 
 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.
ADRIANA 
140 May it please your Grace, Antipholus my husband,
 Who I made lord of me and all I had
 At your important letters, this ill day
 A most outrageous fit of madness took him,

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 That desp’rately he hurried through the street,
145 With him his bondman, all as mad as he,
 Doing displeasure to the citizens
 By rushing in their houses, bearing thence
 Rings, jewels, anything his rage did like.
 Once did I get him bound and sent him home
150 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,
155 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,
160 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.
DUKE 
165 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,
170 And bid the Lady Abbess come to me.
 I will determine this before I stir.Adriana rises.

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,

143
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ACT 5. SC. 1

175 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
180 His man with scissors nicks him like a fool;
 And sure, unless you send some present help,
 Between them they will kill the conjurer.
ADRIANA 
 Peace, fool. Thy master and his man are here,
 And that is false thou dost report to us.
MESSENGER 
185 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.Cry within.
 Hark, hark, I hear him, mistress. Fly, begone!
DUKE 
190 Come, stand by me. Fear nothing.—Guard with
 halberds.

Enter Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus.

ADRIANA 
 Ay me, it is my husband. Witness you
 That he is borne about invisible.
 Even now we housed him in the abbey here,
195 And now he’s there, past thought of human 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
200 That then I lost for thee, now grant me justice.
EGEON, aside 
 Unless the fear of death doth make me dote,
 I see my son Antipholus and Dromio.

145
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ACT 5. SC. 1

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 Justice, sweet prince, against that woman there,
 She whom thou gav’st to me to be my wife,
205 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.
DUKE 
 Discover how, and thou shalt find me just.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
210 This day, great duke, she shut the doors upon me
 While she with harlots feasted in my house.
DUKE 
 A grievous fault.—Say, woman, didst thou so?
ADRIANA 
 No, my good lord. Myself, he, and my sister
 Today did dine together. So befall my soul
215 As this is false he burdens me withal.
LUCIANA 
 Ne’er may I look on day nor sleep on night
 But she tells to your Highness simple truth.
ANGELO 
 O perjured woman!—They are both forsworn.
 In this the madman justly chargeth them.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
220 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.
225 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.
230 Our dinner done and he not coming thither,

147
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ACT 5. SC. 1

 I went to seek him. In the street I met him,
 And in his company that gentleman.
He points to Second Merchant.
 There did this perjured goldsmith swear me down
 That I this day of him received the chain,
235 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
240 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
245 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,
250 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,
255 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
260 To give me ample satisfaction
 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.

149
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ACT 5. SC. 1

DUKE 
 But had he such a chain of thee or no?
ANGELO 
265 He had, my lord, and when he ran in here,
 These people saw the chain about his neck.
SECOND MERCHANT, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 Besides, I will be sworn these ears of mine
 Heard you confess you had the chain of him
 After you first forswore it on the mart,
270 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.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 I never came within these abbey walls,
 Nor ever didst thou draw thy sword on me.
275 I never saw the chain, so help me heaven,
 And this is false you burden me withal.
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.
280 If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly.
 To Adriana. You say he dined at home; the
 goldsmith here
 Denies that saying. To Dromio of Ephesus. Sirrah,
 what say you?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS, pointing to the Courtesan 
285 Sir, he dined with her there at the Porpentine.
COURTESAN 
 He did, and from my finger snatched that ring.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS, showing a ring 
 ’Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of her.
DUKE, to Courtesan 
 Saw’st thou him enter at the abbey here?
COURTESAN 
 As sure, my liege, as I do see your Grace.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

DUKE 
290 Why, this is strange.—Go call the Abbess hither.
Exit one to the Abbess.
 I think you are all mated or stark mad.
EGEON 
 Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a word.
 Haply I see a friend will save my life
 And pay the sum that may deliver me.
DUKE 
295 Speak freely, Syracusian, what thou wilt.
EGEON, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 Is not your name, sir, called Antipholus?
 And is not that your bondman Dromio?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 Within this hour I was his bondman, sir,
 But he, I thank him, gnawed in two my cords.
300 Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound.
EGEON 
 I am sure you 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?
EGEON, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
305 Why look you strange on me? You know me well.
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 hand
 Have written strange defeatures in my face.
310 But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS Neither.
EGEON Dromio, nor thou?
DROMIO OF EPHESUS No, trust me, sir, nor I.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

EGEON I am sure thou dost.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 315Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not, and
 whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to
 believe him.
EGEON 
 Not know my voice! O time’s extremity,
 Hast thou so cracked and splitted my poor tongue
320 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,
325 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.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
330 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.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 The Duke and all that know me in the city
335 Can witness with me that it is not so.
 I ne’er saw Syracusa in my life.
DUKE 
 I tell thee, Syracusian, twenty years
 Have I been patron to Antipholus,
 During which time he ne’er saw Syracusa.
340 I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.

Enter Emilia the Abbess, with Antipholus of
Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse.



155
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ACT 5. SC. 1

ABBESS 
 Most mighty duke, behold a man much wronged.
All gather to see them.
ADRIANA 
 I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me.
DUKE 
 One of these men is genius to the other.
 And so, of these, which is the natural man
345 And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 I, sir, am Dromio. Command him away.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
 I, sir, am Dromio. Pray, let me stay.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 Egeon art thou not, or else his ghost?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 O, my old master.—Who hath bound him here?
ABBESS 
350 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.
355 O, if thou be’st the same Egeon, speak,
 And speak unto the same Emilia.
DUKE 
 Why, here begins his morning story right:
 These two Antipholus’, these two so like,
 And these two Dromios, one in semblance—
360 Besides her urging of her wrack at sea—
 These are the parents to these children,
 Which accidentally are met together.
EGEON 
 If I dream not, thou art Emilia.
 If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
365 That floated with thee on the fatal raft?

157
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ACT 5. SC. 1

ABBESS 
 By men of Epidamium 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,
370 And me they left with those of Epidamium.
 What then became of them I cannot tell;
 I to this fortune that you see me in.
DUKE, to Antipholus of Syracuse 
 Antipholus, thou cam’st from Corinth first.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 No, sir, not I. I came from Syracuse.
DUKE 
375 Stay, stand apart. I know not which is which.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS And I with him.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 Brought to this town by that most famous warrior
 Duke Menaphon, your most renownèd uncle.
ADRIANA 
380 Which of you two did dine with me today?
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 I, gentle mistress.
ADRIANA  And are not you my husband?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS No, I say nay to that.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 And so do I, yet did she call me so,
385 And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
 Did call me brother. To Luciana. What I told you
 then
 I hope I shall have leisure to make good,
 If this be not a dream I see and hear.
ANGELO, turning to Antipholus of Syracuse 
390 That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.

159
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ACT 5. SC. 1

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE 
 I think it be, sir. I deny it not.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS, to Angelo 
 And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.
ANGELO 
 I think I did, sir. I deny it not.
ADRIANA, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 I sent you money, sir, to be your bail
395 By Dromio, but I think he brought it not.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS No, none by me.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, to Adriana 
 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,
400 And I was ta’en for him, and he for me,
 And thereupon these errors are arose.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS, to the Duke 
 These ducats pawn I for my father here.
DUKE 
 It shall not need. Thy father hath his life.
COURTESAN, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 Sir, I must have that diamond from you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
405 There, take it, and much thanks for my good cheer.
ABBESS 
 Renownèd duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
 To go with us into the abbey here
 And hear at large discoursèd all our fortunes,
 And all that are assembled in this place
410 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
415 My heavy burden ne’er deliverèd.—
 The Duke, my husband, and my children both,

161
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ACT 5. SC. 1

 And you, the calendars of their nativity,
 Go to a gossips’ feast, and go with me.
 After so long grief, such nativity!
DUKE 
420 With all my heart I’ll gossip at this feast.
All exit except the two Dromios
and the two brothers Antipholus.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard?
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS 
 Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou embarked?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, to Antipholus of Ephesus 
 He speaks to me.—I am your master, Dromio.
425 Come, go with us. We’ll look to that anon.
 Embrace thy brother there. Rejoice with him.
The brothers Antipholus exit.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE 
 There is a fat friend at your master’s house
 That kitchened me for you today at dinner.
 She now shall be my sister, not my wife.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS 
430 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 SYRACUSE Not I, sir. You are my elder.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS That’s a question. How shall we
435 try it?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE We’ll draw cuts for the signior.
 Till then, lead thou first.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS Nay, then, thus:
 We came into the world like brother and brother,
440 And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before
 another.
They exit.