The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 4

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DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Some devils ask but the parings of one’s nail, a rush, a hair, a drop of blood, a pin, a nut, a cherrystone; but she, more covetous, would have a chain. Master, be wise. An if you give it her, the devil will shake her chain and fright us with it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Some

devils

In Revelation 20:1, an angel descends from heaven with a chain to bind the devil with.

devils
ask for nothing more than nail clippings, a hair, a drop of blood, a pin, a nut, or a cherry pit. But this one’s greedy: she wants a necklace. Be wise, master. If you give it to her, she’ll shake the chain and frighten us, like the angel in the Bible.

COURTESAN

I pray you, sir, my ring or else the chain.
I hope you do not mean to cheat me so.

COURTESAN

Now listen, either give me my ring or give me the necklace. I hope you’re not trying to cheat me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Avaunt, thou witch!—Come, Dromio, let us go.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Be gone, witch! Come, Dromio, let’s go.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

70“Fly pride,” says the peacock. Mistress, that you know.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Accusing us of cheating is like the proud peacock accusing someone else of pride. Mistress, you know about that.
Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE and DROMIO OF SYRACUSE exit.

COURTESAN

Now, out of doubt Antipholus is mad;
Else would he never so demean himself.
A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats,
And for the same he promised me a chain.
75Both one and other he denies me now.
The reason that I gather he is mad,
Besides this present instance of his rage,
Is a mad tale he told today at dinner
Of his own doors being shut against his entrance.
80Belike his wife, acquainted with his fits,
On purpose shut the doors against his way.
My way is now to hie home to his house
And tell his wife that, being lunatic,
He rushed into my house and took perforce
85My ring away. This course I fittest choose,
For forty ducats is too much to lose.

COURTESAN

Antipholus has gone insane, no question about it. If not, he’d never behave like this. He has a ring of mine, worth forty ducats, and he promised to give me a necklace in exchange for it. Now he won’t give me either. The reason I think he’s insane, besides the way he just acted, is that he told a senseless story over lunch about being locked out of his own house. His wife probably did it on purpose because she knows what kind of fits he’s having. I must go to his house and tell his wife that he came bursting into my place like a lunatic and stole my ring. It’s my best option: I can’t afford to lose forty ducats.
Exit
She exits.

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