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DROMIO’S WORLD TOUR

November 20, 2008

Shakespeare’s gift to any actor playing Dromio (from The Comedy Of Errors, Act III, sc. ii, thanks to The Literature Network)

“ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, how now, Dromio! where runn’st thou so fast?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Do you know me, sir? am I Dromio? am I your man?
am I myself?

ANTIPHOLUS
Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou art thyself.

DROMIO
I am an ass, I am a woman’s man and besides myself.

ANTIPHOLUS
What woman’s man? and how besides thyself? besides thyself?

DROMIO
Marry, sir, besides myself, I am due to a woman; one
that claims me, one that haunts me, one that will have me.

ANTIPHOLUS
What claim lays she to thee?

DROMIO
Marry sir, such claim as you would lay to your
horse; and she would have me as a beast: not that, I
being a beast, she would have me; but that she,
being a very beastly creature, lays claim to me.

ANTIPHOLUSOF SYRACUSE
What is she?

DROMIO
A very reverent body; ay, such a one as a man may
not speak of without he say ‘Sir-reverence.’ I have
but lean luck in the match, and yet is she a
wondrous fat marriage.

ANTIPHOLUS
How dost thou mean a fat marriage?

DROMIO
Marry, sir, she’s the kitchen wench and all grease;
and I know not what use to put her to but to make a
lamp of her and run from her by her own light. I
warrant, her rags and the tallow in them will burn a
Poland winter: if she lives till doomsday,
she’ll burn a week longer than the whole world.

ANTIPHOLUS
What complexion is she of?

DROMIO
Swart, like my shoe, but her face nothing half so
clean kept: for why, she sweats; a man may go over
shoes in the grime of it.

ANTIPHOLUS
That’s a fault that water will mend.

DROMIO
No, sir, ’tis in grain; Noah’s flood could not do it.

ANTIPHOLUS
What’s her name?

DROMIO
Nell, sir; but her name and three quarters, that’s
an ell and three quarters, will not measure her from
hip to hip.

ANTIPHOLUS
Then she bears some breadth?

DROMIO
No longer from head to foot than from hip to hip:
she is spherical, like a globe; I could find out
countries in her.

ANTIPHOLUS
In what part of her body stands Ireland?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, in her buttocks: I found it out by the bogs.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where Scotland?

DROMIO
I found it by the barrenness; hard in the palm of the hand.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where France?

DROMIO
In her forehead; armed and reverted, making war
against her heir.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where England?

DROMIO
I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no
whiteness in them; but I guess it stood in her chin,
by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where Spain?

DROMIO
Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it hot in her breath.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where America, the Indies?

DROMIO
Oh, sir, upon her nose all o’er embellished with
rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich
aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole
armadoes of caracks to be ballast at her nose.

ANTIPHOLUS
Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Oh, sir, I did not look so low.”

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