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But ere they came,-O, let me say no more!
Gather the sequel by that went before.

Duke. Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so; For we may pity, though not pardon thee.

Age. O, had the gods done so, I had not now Worthily termed them merciless to us! For ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues, We were encountered by a mighty rock; Which being violently borne upon,1 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 seized on us; And, knowing whom it was their hap to save, Gave healthful welcome to their shipwrecked 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 you have heard me severed from my bliss;
That by misfortunes was my life prolonged,
To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.

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Duke. And, for the sake of them thou sorrowest for, Do me the favor to dilate at full

What hath befallen of them, and thee, till now.


Æge. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care, At eighteen years became inquisitive After his brother; and impórtuned me,

1 The first folio reads "borne up.”

2 The second folio altered this to "helpful welcome;" but change was


3 It appears, from what goes before, that it was the eldest, and not the youngest. He says, "My wife, more careful of the latter-born," &c.

That his attendant (for1 his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retained 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 loved.
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.

Duke. Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have marked
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 recalled,
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 help by beneficial help.
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live; if not,3 then thou art doomed to die.—
Jailer, take him to thy custody.

Jail. I will, my lord.

Ege. Hopeless and helpless doth Ægeon wend, But to procrastinate his lifeless end.


1 The first folio reads so, the second for.

2 The personal pronoun he is suppressed: such phraseology is not unfrequent in the writings of that age.

3 No, which is the reading of the first folio, was, anciently, often used for not. The second folio reads not.

SCENE II. A public Place.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS and DROMIO of Syracuse, and a Merchant.

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Mer. Therefore, give out, you are of Epidamnum, Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate. This very day, a Syracusan 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.

Ant. S. 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.

Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your word, And go indeed, having so good a mean.

[Exit DRO. S. Ant. S. A trusty villain,' sir; that very oft, When I am dull with care and melancholy, Lightens my humor with his merry jests. What, will walk with me about the town, And then go to my inn, and dine with me?


Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,

Of whom I hope to make much benefit;

I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock,

Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart;
And afterwards consort 2 you till bed-time:
My present business calls me from you now.

1 The word villain was anciently used in the sense of slave, or servant. 2 i. e. “accompany you.”

Ant. S. Farewell till then. I will go lose myself, And wander up and down, to view the city. Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. [Exit Merchant. Ant. S. He that commends me to my 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, confounds1 himself. So I, to find a mother, and a brother, In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.

Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.

Here comes the almanac of my true date.2-
What now! how chance, thou art returned so soon?
Dro. E. Returned so soon! rather approached too

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 broken your fast
But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Are penitent for your default to-day.

Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir; tell me this, I pray ;
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
Dro. E. 0,-sixpence, that I had o' Wednesday


To pay the saddler for my mistress' crupper
The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.

Ant. S. I am not in a sportive humor now.
Tell me, and dally not, where is the money?

1 Confounded, here, does not signify destroyed, as Malone asserts; but overwhelmed, mixed confusedly together, lost.

2 They were both born in the same hour, and therefore the date of 'Dromio's birth ascertains that of his master.

We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust
So great a charge from thine own custody?

Dro. E. 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,1
And strike you home without a messenger.


Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come, these jests are out of


Reserve them till a merrier hour than this.
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

Dro. E. To me, sir? why you gave no gold to me. Ant. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

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And tell me how thou hast disposed thy charge.

Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the


Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner.
My mistress, and her sister, stay for you.

Ant. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,
In what safe place you have bestowed my money;
Or I shall break that merry sconce 2 of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undisposed.
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?

Dro. E. 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.

Ant. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress, slave, hast thou?

Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at the Phoenix ;

She that doth fast, till you come home to dinner,
prays, that you will hie you home to dinner.

1 The old copy reads cook. The emendation is Pope's.

2 So in Hamlet, Act v. Sc. 1:-"Why does he suffer this rude knave to knock him about the sconce 2" Sconce also signified a fortification, commonly round, as well as the human head.

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