The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 2

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OFFICER

Good sir, be patient.

OFFICER

Good sir, calm down.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, ’tis for me to be patient. I am in adversity.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

You should tell me to calm down—I’m the one who’s suffering here.

OFFICER

20Good now, hold thy tongue.

OFFICER

Hold your tongue.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Nay, rather persuade him to hold his hands.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

No, you should tell him to hold his hands!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Thou whoreson, senseless villain.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

You son of a bitch, senseless villain!

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

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

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I wish I were senseless, sir, so that I wouldn’t feel your punches!

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

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

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

The only thing you can sense are punches—just like an ass.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

25I 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 waked with it when I sleep, raised with it when I sit, driven out of doors with it when I go from home, welcomed home with it when I return. Nay, I bear it on my shoulders as a beggar wont her brat, and I think when he hath lamed me, I shall beg with it from door to door.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

I am an ass, indeed: you can tell by my long ears. I’ve served this man from the moment I was born until this very instant, and all I’ve ever gotten from him are bruises. When I’m cold, his beatings keep me warm. When I’m hot, they keep me cool. He wakes me up by beating me, makes me stand by beating me, sends me out of the house and welcomes me back by beating me. Seriously, I carry beatings around with me like a beggar woman carries her baby. I figure that once he’s crippled me, I’ll beg by showing off my beatings.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

35Come, go along. My wife is coming yonder.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

That’s enough. My wife’s coming.
Enter ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the COURTESAN and a schoolmaster called PINCH
ADRIANA, LUCIANA, the COURTESAN, and PINCH, a schoolmaster, enter.

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