Comedy of Errors By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 1

ADRIANA.
And in assemblies too.

ABBESS.
Ay, but not enough.

ADRIANA.
It was the copy of our conference.
In bed, he slept not for my urging it;
At board, he fed not for my urging it;
Alone, it was the subject of my theme;
In company, I often glanced it;
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad.

ABBESS.
And thereof came it that the man was mad:
The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.
It seems his sleeps were hindered by thy railing:
And thereof comes it that his head is light.
Thou say'st his meat was sauc'd with thy upbraidings:
Unquiet meals make ill digestions;
Thereof the raging fire of fever bred;
And what's a fever but a fit of madness?
Thou say'st his sports were hinder'd by thy brawls:
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue
But moody and dull melancholy, —
Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair, —
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperatures and foes to life?
In food, in sport, and life-preserving rest,
To be disturb'd would mad or man or beast:
The consequence is, then, thy jealous fits
Hath scar'd thy husband from the use of's wits.

LUCIANA.
She never reprehended him but mildly,
When he demean'd himself rough, rude, and wildly. —
Why bear you these rebukes, and answer not?

ADRIANA.
She did betray me to my own reproof. —
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him.

ABBESS.
No, not a creature enters in my house.

ADRIANA.
Then let your servants bring my husband forth.

ABBESS.
Neither: he took this place for sanctuary,
And it shall privilege him from your hands
Till I have brought him to his wits again,
Or lose my labour in assaying it.

ADRIANA.
I will attend my husband, be his nurse,
Diet his sickness, for it is my office,
And will have no attorney but myself;
And therefore let me have him home with me.

ABBESS.
Be patient; for I will not let him stir
Till I have used the approved means I have,
With wholesome syrups, drugs, and holy prayers,
To make of him a formal man again:
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath,
A charitable duty of my order;
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me.

ADRIANA.
I will not hence and leave my husband here;
And ill it doth beseem your holiness
To separate the husband and the wife.

ABBESS.
Be quiet, and depart: thou shalt not have him.

[Exit ABBESS.]

LUCIANA.
Complain unto the duke of this indignity.

ADRIANA.
Come, go; I will fall prostrate at his feet,
And never rise until my tears and prayers
Have won his grace to come in person hither
And take perforce my husband from the abbess.

MERCHANT.
By this, I think, the dial points at five:
Anon, I'm sure, the duke himself in person
Comes this way to the melancholy vale;
The place of death and sorry execution,
Behind the ditches of the abbey here.

ANGELO.
Upon what cause?

MERCHANT.
To see a reverend Syracusian merchant,
Who put unluckily into this bay
Against the laws and statutes of this town,
Beheaded publicly for his offence.

ANGELO.
See where they come: we will behold his death.

LUCIANA.
Kneel to the duke before he pass the abbey.

[Enter the DUKE, attended; AEGEON, bareheaded; with the HEADSMAN
and other OFFICERS.]

DUKE.
Yet once again proclaim it publicly,
If any friend will pay the sum for him,
He shall not die; so much we tender him.

ADRIANA.
Justice, most sacred duke, against the abbess!

DUKE.
She is a virtuous and a reverend lady;
It cannot be that she hath done thee wrong.

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