The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I buy a thousand pound a year! I buy a rope!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I buy myself a thousand beatings a year if I buy a rope.
Exit DROMIO OF EPHESUS
DROMIO OF EPHESUS exits.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

(to ANGELO) A man is well holp up that trusts to you!
I promisèd your presence and the chain,
But neither chain nor goldsmith came to me.
25Belike you thought our love would last too long
If it were chained together, and therefore came not.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

(to ANGELO) Good luck to any man who trusts you. I swore that you would come with the necklace, but neither you nor the necklace showed up. Perhaps you were concerned about being chained to me and so decided not to come.

ANGELO

Saving your merry humor, here’s the note
How much your chain weighs to the utmost carat,
The fineness of the gold, and chargeful fashion,
30Which doth amount to three-odd ducats more
Than I stand debted to this gentleman.
I pray you, see him presently discharged,
For he is bound to sea, and stays but for it.

ANGELO

All joking aside, here’s an invoice spelling out exactly how many carats the necklace weighs as well as the quality of the gold and the workmanship. The total due is about three ducats more than I owe this gentleman. Please, pay him immediately. He’s about to leave on a trip and he’s waiting for the money.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I am not furnished with the present money.
35Besides, I have some business in the town.
Good signior, take the stranger to my house,
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife
Disburse the sum on the receipt thereof.
Perchance I will be there as soon as you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

I don’t have the cash right now. Besides, I have some business to take care of in town. Good signior, take this stranger to my house. Bring the necklace with you, and tell my wife to pay you the amount due. I might make it back in time to meet you.

ANGELO

40Then you will bring the chain to her yourself.

ANGELO

So you’ll bring the necklace to her yourself?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

No, bear it with you lest I come not time enough.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

No. You bring it in case I can’t make it.

ANGELO

Well, sir, I will. Have you the chain about you?

ANGELO

All right, sir, I will. Do you have it with you?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

An if I have not, sir, I hope you have,
Or else you may return without your money.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

If I don’t, I hope you do. Or else you’ll leave without your money.