ACT IV
Scene 4
 

A street

Enter ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS with the OFFICER

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Fear me not, man; I will not break away.
I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money,
To warrant thee, as I am 'rested for.
My wife is in a wayward mood to-day,
And will not lightly trust the messenger.
That I should be attach'd in Ephesus,
I tell you 'twill sound harshly in her ears.

Enter DROMIO OF EPHESUS, with a rope's-end

Here comes my man; I think he brings the money.
How now, sir! Have you that I sent you for?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Here's that, I warrant you, will pay them all.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
But where's the money?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Why, sir, I gave the money for the rope.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Five hundred ducats, villain, for rope?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
I'll serve you, sir, five hundred at the rate.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
To what end did I bid thee hie thee home?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
To a rope's-end, sir; and to that end am I
return'd.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
And to that end, sir, I will welcome you.

[Beating him]

OFFICER
Good sir, be patient.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Nay, 'tis for me to be patient; I am in adversity.

OFFICER
Good now, hold thy tongue.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Thou whoreson, senseless villain!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
I would I were senseless, sir, that I
might not feel your blows.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Thou art sensible in nothing but
blows, and so is an ass.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
I am an ass indeed; you may prove it
by my long 'ears. I have served him from the hour of my
nativity to this instant, and have nothing at his hands for
my service but blows. When I am cold he heats me with
beating; when I am warm he cools me with beating. I am
wak'd with it when I sleep; rais'd with it when I sit; driven
out of doors with it when I go from home; welcom'd home
with it when I return; nay, I bear it on my shoulders as
beggar wont her brat; and I think, when he hath lam'd me,
I shall beg with it from door to door.

Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the COURTEZAN, and a SCHOOLMASTER call'd PINCH

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Come, go along; my wife is coming yonder.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Mistress, 'respice finem,' respect your end; or
rather, to prophesy like the parrot, 'Beware the rope's-end.'

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Wilt thou still talk?

[Beating him]

COURTEZAN
How say you now? Is not your husband mad?

ADRIANA
His incivility confirms no less.
Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer:
Establish him in his true sense again,
And I will please you what you will demand.

LUCIANA
Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks!

COURTEZAN
Mark how he trembles in his ecstasy.

PINCH
Give me your hand, and let me feel your pulse.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
There is my hand, and let it feel your ear.

[Striking him]

PINCH
I charge thee, Satan, hous'd within this man,
To yield possession to my holy prayers,
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight.
I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Peace, doting wizard, peace! I am not mad.

ADRIANA
O, that thou wert not, poor distressed soul!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
You minion, you, are these your customers?
Did this companion with the saffron face
Revel and feast it at my house to-day,
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut,
And I denied to enter in my house?

ADRIANA
O husband, God doth know you din'd at home,
Where would you had remain'd until this time,
Free from these slanders and this open shame!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.

Din'd at home! Thou villain, what sayest thou?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS.

Sir, Sooth to say, you did not dine at home.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.

Were not my doors lock'd up and I shut out?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS.

Perdie, your doors were lock'd and you shut out.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.

And did not she herself revile me there?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS.

Sans fable, she herself revil'd you there.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.

Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and scorn me?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS.

Certes, she did; the kitchen-vestal scorn'd you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.

And did not I in rage depart from thence?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS.

In verity, you did. My bones bear witness,
That since have felt the vigour of his rage.

ADRIANA
Is't good to soothe him in these contraries?

PINCH
It is no shame; the fellow finds his vein,
And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Thou hast suborn'd the goldsmith to arrest me.

ADRIANA
Alas, I sent you money to redeem you,
By Dromio here, who came in haste for it.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Money by me! Heart and goodwill you might,
But surely, master, not a rag of money.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Went'st not thou to her for purse of ducats?

ADRIANA
He came to me, and I deliver'd it.

LUCIANA
And I am witness with her that she did.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
God and the rope-maker bear me witness
That I was sent for nothing but a rope!

PINCH
Mistress, both man and master is possess'd;
I know it by their pale and deadly looks.
They must be bound, and laid in some dark room.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Say, wherefore didst thou lock me forth to-day?
And why dost thou deny the bag of gold?

ADRIANA
I did not, gentle husband, lock thee forth.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
And, gentle master, I receiv'd no gold;
But I confess, sir, that we were lock'd out.

ADRIANA
Dissembling villain, thou speak'st false in both.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Dissembling harlot, thou art false in all,
And art confederate with a damned pack
To make a loathsome abject scorn of me;
But with these nails I'll pluck out these false eyes
That would behold in me this shameful sport.

ADRIANA
O, bind him, bind him; let him not come near me.

PINCH
More company! The fiend is strong within him.

Enter three or four, and offer to bind him. He strives

LUCIANA
Ay me, poor man, how pale and wan he looks!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
What, will you murder me? Thou gaoler, thou,
I am thy prisoner. Wilt thou suffer them
To make a rescue?

OFFICER
Masters, let him go;
He is my prisoner, and you shall not have him.

PINCH
Go bind this man, for he is frantic too.

[They bind DROMIO]

ADRIANA
What wilt thou do, thou peevish officer?
Hast thou delight to see a wretched man
Do outrage and displeasure to himself?

OFFICER
He is my prisoner; if I let him go,
The debt he owes will be requir'd of me.

ADRIANA
I will discharge thee ere I go from thee;
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor,
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it.
Good Master Doctor, see him safe convey'd
Home to my house. O most unhappy day!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
O most unhappy strumpet!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Master, I am here ent'red in bond for you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Out on thee, villian! Wherefore dost thou mad me?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Will you be bound for nothing?
Be mad, good master; cry 'The devil!'

LUCIANA
God help, poor souls, how idly do they talk!

ADRIANA
Go bear him hence. Sister, go you with me.

Exeunt all but ADRIANA, LUCIANA, OFFICERS, and COURTEZAN


Say now, whose suit is he arrested at?

OFFICER
One Angelo, a goldsmith; do you know him?

ADRIANA
I know the man. What is the sum he owes?

OFFICER
Two hundred ducats.

ADRIANA
Say, how grows it due?

OFFICER
Due for a chain your husband had of him.

ADRIANA
He did bespeak a chain for me, but had it not.

COURTEZAN
When as your husband, all in rage, to-day
Came to my house, and took away my ring-
The ring I saw upon his finger now-
Straight after did I meet him with a chain.

ADRIANA
It may be so, but I did never see it.
Come, gaoler, bring me where the goldsmith is;
I long to know the truth hereof at large.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE, with his rapier drawn, and
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE.

LUCIANA
God, for thy mercy! they are loose again.

ADRIANA
And come with naked swords.
Let's call more help to have them bound again.

OFFICER
Away, they'll kill us!

Exeunt all but ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE as fast as may be, frighted

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I see these witches are afraid of swords.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
She that would be your wife now ran from you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Come to the Centaur; fetch our stuff from thence.
I long that we were safe and sound aboard.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Faith, stay here this night; they will
surely do us no harm; you saw they speak us fair, give us
gold; methinks they are such a gentle nation that, but for
the mountain of mad flesh that claims marriage of me,
could find in my heart to stay here still and turn witch.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I will not stay to-night for all the town;
Therefore away, to get our stuff aboard.

Exeunt