The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 3

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ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

45“Why” first: for flouting me; and then “wherefore”: for urging it the second time to me.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

“Why” first: for defying me. And then “wherefore”: for doing it a second time.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the “why” and the “wherefore” is neither rhyme nor reason?
Well, sir, I thank you.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I don’t think any man’s ever been beaten for a “why” and “wherefore” that made so little sense. Well, thank you.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

50Thank me, sir, for what?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Thank me? For what?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Because you gave me something for nothing.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

I’ll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Next time I’ll give you nothing for something. Is it lunchtime?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No, sir, I think the meat wants that I have.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

No. The meat lacks something that I have.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

55In good time, sir, what’s that?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

What would that be?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Basting.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

A basting.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, then ’twill be dry.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Well, then it will be dry.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

If it be, sir, I pray you, eat none of it.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

If it is, I suggest you don’t eat it.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Your reason?

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Why not?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

60Lest it make you choleric and purchase me another dry basting.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Because it will make you angry, and that will get me another beating.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Well, sir, learn to jest in good time. There’s a time for all things.

ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE

Well, learn to make jokes at the appropriate time. There’s a time for all things.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

I durst have denied that before you were so choleric.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE

Before you got so angry, I never would have thought that.

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