The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

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DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Mistress, respice finem, respect your end, or rather, the prophecy like the parrot, “Beware the rope’s end.”

DROMIO OF EPHESUS

Mistress, think about your end—beware of your death! Or as the parrot says: “Beware of the rope’s end,” and watch out for a hanging.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Wilt thou still talk? (beats DROMIO OF EPHESUS)

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Are you going to keep talking? (beats DROMIO OF
EPHESUS)

COURTESAN

How say you now? Is not your husband mad?

COURTESAN

Now what do you think? Your husband’s mad, isn’t he?

ADRIANA

His incivility confirms no less.—
40Good Doctor Pinch, you are a conjurer;
Establish him in his true sense again,
And I will please you what you will demand.

ADRIANA

This terrible behavior proves it. Doctor Pinch, you’re an exorcist. If you can bring him back to his senses, I’ll pay you whatever you demand.

LUCIANA

Alas, how fiery and how sharp he looks!

LUCIANA

Alas, how passionate and angry he looks!

COURTESAN

Mark how he trembles in his ecstasy.

COURTESAN

Look! He’s trembling in his fit!

PINCH

45Give me your hand, and let me feel your pulse.

PINCH

Give me your hand. Let me take your pulse.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

There is my hand, and let it feel your ear. (strikes PINCH)

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Here’s my hand. Let it feel your ear. (he strikes PINCH)

PINCH

I charge thee, Satan, housed within this man,
To yield possession to my holy prayers
And to thy state of darkness hie thee straight.
50I conjure thee by all the saints in heaven.

PINCH

Satan! You are living inside this man! I order you to release him through my prayers and to return immediately to the darkness you came from. I demand this in the name of all the saints in heaven.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Peace, doting wizard, peace. I am not mad.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Shut up, you doddering old wizard! I’m not possessed!

ADRIANA

O, that thou wert not, poor distressèd soul!

ADRIANA

Oh, I wish you weren’t, you poor, frightened soul.

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

You minion, you, are these your customers?
Did this companion with the saffron face
55Revel and feast it at my house today
Whilst upon me the guilty doors were shut
And I denied to enter in my house?

ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS

Listen, hussy—is this man one of your customers? Did this fool with the yellow face feast and celebrate in my house today while the guilty doors shut in my face and locked me out of my own house?