Shakespeare: The Complete Collection

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Shakespeare: The Complete Collection
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Table of Contents


The Comedy of Errors

The Taming of the Shrew

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Love’s Labor’s Lost

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Merchant of Venice

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Much Ado about Nothing

As You Like It

Twelfth Night, or What You Will

The History of Troilus and Cressida

All’s Well That Ends Well

Measure for Measure


The First Part of Henry the Sixth

The Second Part of Henry the Sixth

The Third Part of Henry the Sixth

The Tragedy of Richard the Third

The Life and Death of King John

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

The First Part of Henry the Fourth

The Second Part of Henry the Fourth

The Life of Henry the Fifth

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth


The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice

The Tragedy of King Lear

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra

The Tragedy of Coriolanus

The Life of Timon of Athens


Pericles, Prince of Tyre


The Winter’s Tale

The Tempest

The Two Noble Kinsmen


Venus and Adonis

The Rape of Lucrece


A Lover’s Complaint

The Passionate Pilgrim

The Phoenix and Turtle



The Comedy of Errors

The Taming of the Shrew

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Love’s Labor’s Lost

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Merchant of Venice

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Much Ado about Nothing

As You Like It

Twelfth Night, or What You Will

The History of Troilus and Cressida

All’s Well That Ends Well

Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare


( 1592–1594 )

First Folio, 1623


Act I

Sc. I Sc. II

Act II

Sc. I Sc. II


Sc. I Sc. II

Act IV

Sc. I Sc. II Sc. III Sc. IV

Act V

Sc. I

[Dramatis Personae

Solinus, Duke of Ephesus

Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse

Antipholus of Ephesus,

Antipholus of Syracuse, twin brothers, and sons to Egeon and Aemilia

Dromio of Ephesus,

Dromio of Syracuse, twin brothers, and bondmen to the two Antipholuses

Balthazar, a merchant

Angelo, a goldsmith

First Merchant of Ephesus, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse

Second Merchant of Ephesus, to whom Angelo is a debtor

Doctor Pinch, a conjuring schoolmaster

Aemilia, wife to Egeon, an abbess at Ephesus

Adriana, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus

Luciana, her sister

Luce, servant to Adriana (also known as Nell)


Jailer, Headsman, Messenger, Officers, and other Attendants

Scene: Ephesus]

Scene I

Enter the Duke of Ephesus with [Egeon] the merchant of Syracusa, Jailer [with Officers], and other Attendants.


Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall,

And by the doom of death end woes and all.


Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more.

I am not partial to infringe our laws;

The enmity and discord which of late

Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Duke

To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,

Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,

Have seal’d his rigorous statutes with their bloods,

Excludes all pity from our threat’ning looks:

For since the mortal and intestine jars

’Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,

It hath in solemn synods been decreed,

Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,

To admit no traffic to our adverse towns:

Nay more, if any born at Ephesus be seen

At any Syracusian marts and fairs;

Again, if any Syracusian born

Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies,

His goods confiscate to the Duke’s dispose,

Unless a thousand marks be levied

To quit the penalty and to ransom him.

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,

Cannot amount unto a hundred marks,

Therefore by law thou art condemn’d to die.



Yet this my comfort, when your words are done,

My woes end likewise with the evening sun.


Well, Syracusian; say in brief the cause

Why thou departedst from thy native home,

And for what cause thou cam’st to Ephesus.


A heavier task could not have been impos’d

Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable:

Yet that the world may witness that my end

Was wrought by nature, not by vile offense,

I’ll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.

In Syracusa was I born, and wed

Unto a woman, happy but for me,

And by me, had not our hap been bad:

With her I liv’d in joy; our wealth increas’d

By prosperous voyages I often made

To Epidamium, till my factor’s death,

And [the] great care of goods at randon left,

Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse;

From whom my absence was not six months old

Before herself (almost at fainting under

The pleasing punishment that women bear)

Had made provision for her following me,

And soon, and safe, arrived where I was.

There had she not been long but she became

A joyful mother of two goodly sons:

And, which was strange, the one so like the other

As could not be distinguish’d but by names.

That very hour, and in the self-same inn,

A mean woman was delivered

Of such a burthen male, twins both alike.

Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,

I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.

My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,

Made daily motions for our home return:

Unwilling I agreed. Alas! too soon

We came aboard.

A league from Epidamium had we sail’d

Before the always-wind-obeying deep

Gave any tragic instance of our harm:

But longer did we not retain much hope;

For what obscured light the heavens did grant

Did but convey unto our fearful minds

A doubtful warrant of immediate death,

Which though myself would gladly have embrac’d,

Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,

Weeping before for what she saw must come,

And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,

That mourn’d for fashion, ignorant what to fear,

Forc’d me to seek delays for them and me.

And this it was (for other means was none):

The sailors sought for safety by our boat,

And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.

My wife, more careful for the latter-born,

Had fast’ned him unto a small spare mast,

Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;

To him one of the other twins was bound,

Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.

The children thus dispos’d, my wife and I,

Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix’d,

Fast’ned ourselves at either end the mast,

And floating straight, obedient to the stream,

Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.

At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,

Dispers’d those vapors that offended us,

And by the benefit of his wished light

The seas wax’d calm, and we discovered

Two ships from far, making amain to us,

Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.

But ere they came—O, let me say no more!

Gather the sequel by that went before.


Nay, forward, old man, do not break off so,

For we may pity, though not pardon thee.


O, had the gods done so, I had not now

Worthily term’d them merciless to us!

For ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,

We were encount’red by a mighty rock,

Which being violently borne [upon],

Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;

So that, in this unjust divorce of us,

Fortune had left to both of us alike

What to delight in, what to sorrow for.

Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened

With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,

Was carried with more speed before the wind,

And in our sight they three were taken up

By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.

At length, another ship had seiz’d on us,

And knowing whom it was their hap to save,

Gave healthful welcome to their shipwrack’d guests,

And would have reft the fishers of their prey,

Had not their [bark] been very slow of sail;

And therefore homeward did they bend their course.

Thus have you heard me sever’d from my bliss,

That by misfortunes was my life prolong’d,

To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.


And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,

Do me the favor to dilate at full

What have befall’n of them and [thee] till now.


My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,

At eighteen years became inquisitive

After his brother; and importun’d me

That his attendant—so his case was like,

Reft of his brother, but retain’d his name—

Might bear him company in the quest of him:

Whom whilst I labored of a love to see,

I hazarded the loss of whom I lov’d.

Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,

Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,

And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;

Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought

Or that, or any place that harbors men.

But here must end the story of my life,

And happy were I in my timely death,

Could all my travels warrant me they live.


Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have mark’d

To bear the extremity of dire mishap!

Now trust me, were it not against our laws,

Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,

Which princes, would they, may not disannul,

My soul should sue as advocate for thee:

But though thou art adjudged to the death,

And passed sentence may not be recall’d

But to our honor’s great disparagement,

Yet will I favor thee in what I can;

Therefore, merchant, I’ll limit thee this day

To seek thy [health] by beneficial help.

Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;

Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,

And live: if no, then thou art doom’d to die.

Jailer, take him to thy custody.


I will, my lord.


Hopeless and helpless doth Egeon wend,

But to procrastinate his liveless end.


Francis Wheatley, p. — James Neagle, e.

[Scene II]

Enter Antipholus Erotes [of Syracuse, First] Merchant [of Ephesus], and Dromio [of Syracuse].

[1. E.] Mer.

Therefore give out you are of Epidamium,

Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate:

This very day a Syracusian merchant

Is apprehended for [arrival] here;

And not being able to buy out his life,

According to the statute of the town,

Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.

There is your money that I had to keep.

S. Ant.

Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,

And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.

Within this hour it will be dinner-time;

Till that, I’ll view the manners of the town,

Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,

And then return and sleep within mine inn,

For with long travel I am stiff and weary.

Get thee away.

S. Dro.

Many a man would take you at your word,

And go indeed, having so good a mean.

Exit Dromio.

S. Ant.

A trusty villain, sir, that very oft,

When I am dull with care and melancholy,

Lightens my humor with his merry jests.

What, will you walk with me about the town,

And then go to my inn and dine with me?

[1.] E. Mer.

I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,

Of whom I hope to make much benefit;

I crave your pardon. Soon at five a’ clock,

Please you, I’ll meet with you upon the mart,

And afterward consort you till bed-time:

My present business calls me from you now.

S. Ant.

Farewell till then. I will go lose myself,

And wander up and down to view the city.

[1.] E. Mer.

Sir, I commend you to your own content.


S. Ant.

He that commends me to mine own content,

Commends me to the thing I cannot get:

I to the world am like a drop of water,

That in the ocean seeks another drop,

Who, falling there to find his fellow forth

(Unseen, inquisitive), confounds himself.

So I, to find a mother and a brother,

In quest of them (unhappy), ah, lose myself.

Enter Dromio of Ephesus.

Here comes the almanac of my true date.

What now? How chance thou art return’d so soon?

E. Dro.

Return’d so soon! rather approach’d too late:

The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit;

The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell:

My mistress made it one upon my cheek:

She is so hot, because the meat is cold:

The meat is cold, because you come not home:

You come not home, because you have no stomach:

You have no stomach, having broke your fast:

But we that know what ’tis to fast and pray,

Are penitent for your default to-day.

S. Ant.

Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray:

Where have you left the money that I gave you?

E. Dro.

O—sixpence that I had a’ We’n’sday last

To pay the saddler for my mistress’ crupper?

The saddler had it, sir, I kept it not.

S. Ant.

I am not in a sportive humor now:

Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?

We being strangers here, how dar’st thou trust

So great a charge from thine own custody?

E. Dro.

I pray you jest, sir, as you sit at dinner.

I from my mistress come to you in post:

If I return, I shall be post indeed,

For she will [score] your fault upon my pate:

Methinks your maw, like mine, should be your [clock],

And strike you home without a messenger.

S. Ant.

Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of season,

Reserve them till a merrier hour than this:

Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

E. Dro.

To me, sir? Why, you gave no gold to me.

S. Ant.

Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

And tell me how thou hast dispos’d thy charge.

E. Dro.

My charge was but to fetch you from the mart


Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner;

My mistress and her sister stays for you.

S. Ant.

Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

In what safe place you have bestow’d my money;

Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours

That stands on tricks when I am undispos’d:

Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?

E. Dro.

I have some marks of yours upon my pate;

Some of my mistress’ marks upon my shoulders;

But not a thousand marks between you both.

If I should pay your worship those again,

Perchance you will not bear them patiently.

S. Ant.

Thy mistress’ marks? What mistress, slave, hast thou?

E. Dro.

Your worship’s wife, my mistress at the Phoenix;

She that doth fast till you come home to dinner;

And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.

S. Ant.

What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,

Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.

Strikes Dromio.

E. Dro.

What mean you, sir? For God sake hold your hands!

Nay, and you will not, sir, I’ll take my heels.

Exit Dromio [of] Ephesus.

S. Ant.

Upon my life, by some device or other

The villain is o’erraught of all my money.

They say this town is full of cozenage:

As nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,

Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,

Soul-killing witches that deform the body,

Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,

And many such-like liberties of sin:

If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.

I’ll to the Centaur to go seek this slave;

I greatly fear my money is not safe.


[Scene I]

Enter Adriana, wife to Antipholus Sereptus [of Ephesus], with Luciana, her sister.


Neither my husband nor the slave return’d,

That in such haste I sent to seek his master?

Sure, Luciana, it is two a’ clock.


Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,

And from the mart he’s somewhere gone to dinner.

Good sister, let us dine, and never fret;

A man is master of his liberty:

Time is their master, and when they see time,

They’ll go or come; if so, be patient, sister.


Why should their liberty than ours be more?


Because their business still lies out a’ door.


Look when I serve him so, he takes it [ill].


O, know he is the bridle of your will.


There’s none but asses will be bridled so.


Why, headstrong liberty is lash’d with woe:

There’s nothing situate under heaven’s eye

But hath his bound in earth, in sea, in sky.

The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls

Are their males’ subjects and at their controls:

Man, more divine, the master of all these,

Lord of the wide world and wild wat’ry seas,

Indu’d with intellectual sense and souls,

Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,

Are masters to their females, and their lords:

Then let your will attend on their accords.


This servitude makes you to keep unwed.


Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.


But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.


Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.


How if your husband start some other where?


Till he come home again, I would forbear.


Patience unmov’d! no marvel though she pause—

They can be meek that have no other cause:

A wretched soul, bruis’d with adversity,

We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;

But were we burd’ned with like weight of pain,

As much, or more, we should ourselves complain:

So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,

With urging helpless patience would relieve me;

But if thou live to see like right bereft,

This fool-begg’d patience in thee will be left.


Well, I will marry one day, but to try.

Here comes your man, now is your husband nigh.

Enter Dromio [of] Ephesus.

Adr. Say, is your tardy master now at hand?

E. Dro. Nay, he’s at [two] hands with me, and that my two ears can witness.

Adr. Say, didst thou speak with him? Know’st thou his mind?

E. Dro. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear. Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.

Luc. Spake he so doubtfully, thou couldst not feel his meaning?

E. Dro. Nay, he strook so plainly, I could too well feel his blows; and withal so doubtfully, that I could scarce understand them.


But say, I prithee, is he coming home?

It seems he hath great care to please his wife.

E. Dro.

Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.


Horn-mad, thou villain!

E. Dro.

I mean not cuckold-mad—

But sure he is stark mad:

When I desir’d him to come home to dinner,

He ask’d me for a [thousand] marks in gold:

“’Tis dinner-time,” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he.

“Your meat doth burn,” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he.

“Will you come?” quoth I: “My gold!” quoth he;

“Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?”

“The pig,” quoth I, “is burn’d”: “My gold!” quoth he.

“My mistress, sir,” quoth I: “Hang up thy mistress!

I know not thy mistress, out on thy mistress!”


Quoth who?

E. Dro.

Quoth my master.

“I know,” quoth he, “no house, no wife, no mistress.”

So that my arrant, due unto my tongue,

I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders:

For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.


Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.

E. Dro.

Go back again, and be new beaten home?

For God’s sake send some other messenger.


Back, slave, or I will break thy pate across.

E. Dro.

And he will bless that cross with other beating:

Between you I shall have a holy head.


Hence, prating peasant! fetch thy master home.

E. Dro.

Am I so round with you, as you with me,

That like a football you do spurn me thus?

You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:

If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.



Fie, how impatience low’reth in your face!


His company must do his minions grace,

Whilst I at home starve for a merry look:

Hath homely age th’ alluring beauty took

From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.

Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?

If voluble and sharp discourse be marr’d,

Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.

Do their gay vestments his affections bait?

That’s not my fault, he’s master of my state.

What ruins are in me that can be found,

By him not ruin’d? Then is he the ground

Of my defeatures. My decayed fair

A sunny look of his would soon repair.

But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale,

And feeds from home; poor I am but his stale.


Self-harming jealousy—fie, beat it hence!


Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense:

I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,

Or else what lets it but he would be here?

Sister, you know he promis’d me a chain;

Would that alone a’ love he would detain,

So he would keep fair quarter with his bed!

I see the jewel best enamelled

Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still

That others touch and, often touching, will

Where gold; and no man that hath a name

By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.

Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,

I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.


How many fond fools serve mad jealousy?