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That very hour, and in the felf-fame inn,
A poor mean woman was delivered
Of fuch a burden, male-twins bath alike:
Thofe, for their parents were exceeding poor,
I bought, and brought up to attend my fons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two fuch boys,
Made daily motions for our home-return :
Unwilling, I agreed; alas, too foon,
We came aboard.
A league from Epidamnum had we fail'd,
Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic inftance of our harm;.
But longer did we not retain much hope :
For what obfcured light the heav'ns did grant,
Did but convey unto our fearful minds.
A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Which, tho' myfelf would gladly have embrac'd,
Yet the inceffant weeping of my wife,
Weeping before, for what the faw must come;
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ign'rant what to fear,
Forc'd me to feek delays for them and me:
And this it was; for other means were none.
The failors fought for fafety by our boat,
And left the hip, then finking-ripe, to us;
My wife, more careful for the elder-born,
Had fallen'd him unto a fmall fpate maft,
Such as fea-faring men provide for ftorms;
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilft I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus difpos'd, my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt,
Faften'd ourselves at either end the mast;
And floating ftraight, obedient to the ftream,
Were carry'd towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the fun, gazing upon the earth,
Difpers'd thofe vapours that offended us;
And, by the benefit of his with'd light,
The feas wax'd calm, and we difcovered
Two fhips from far making amain to us, vk memuro) bíð. Of Corinth that, of Epidauras this
Gather the fequel by that went before.
Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off fo For we may pity, tho' not pardon thee.
Egeon. Oh, had the Gods done fo, I had not now Worthily term'd them merciless to us;
For ere the fhips could meet by twice five leagues,
We were encountred by a mighty rock;
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helplefs fhip was fplitted in the midft:
So that, in this unjuft divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to forrow for.
Her part, poor foul! feeming as burdened
With leffer weight, but not with leffer woe,
Was carry'd with more speed before the wind,
And in our fight they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length, another fhip had feiz'd on us;
And knowing whom it was their hap to fave,
Gave helpful welcome to their fhipwreckt guests;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very flow of failu
And therefore homeward did they bend their course.
Thus have you heard me fever'd from
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,
To tell fad ftories of my own mishaps.
Duke. And, for the fakes of them thou forrow'ft for, Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them, and thee 'till now.
Egeon. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
At eighteen years became inquifitive
After his brother; and importun'd me
That his attendant, (for his cafe was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,)
Might bear him company in queft of him:
Whom whilst I labour'd of a love to see,
I hazarded the lofs of whom I lov'd.
Five fummers have I spent in fartheft Greece,
Roaming clean through the bounds of Afia,
And coafting homeward, came to Ephesus.
Hopeless to find, yet loth to leave unfought
Or that, or any place that harbours men.
But here muft end the ftory of my life's
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.
Duke. Haplefs Egeon, whom the fates have markt To bear th' extremity of dire mishap;
Now, truft me, were it not againft our laws,
(Which Princes, would they, may not difannul ;)
Againft my crown, my oath, my dignity,,
My foul fhould fue as advocate for thee.
But, tho' thou art adjudged to the death,.
And paffed fentence may not be recall'd,
But to our honour's great difparagement ;;
Yet will I favour thee in what I can;
I therefore, merchant, limit thee this day,
To feek thy life by beneficial help:
Try all the friends thou haft in Epbefus,
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the fum,
And live; if not, then thou art doom'd to die.
Jailor, take him to thy cuftody..
Egeon. Hopeless and helpless, doth Egeon wend, But to procraftinate his livelefs end.
[Exeunt Egeon, and Jailor..
Enter Antipholis of Syracufe, a Merchant, and Dromio. Mer. Therefore give out, you are of Epidamnum,. Left that your goods too foon be confifcate..
This very day, a Syracufan merchant.
Is apprehended for arrival here;
And, not being able to buy out his life;.
According to the ftatute of the town,
Dies ere the weary fun fet in the weft:
There is your money, that I had to keep.
Ant. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we hoft,.
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,
Perufe the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return and fleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am stiff and weary.
Get thee away.
Dro. Many a man would take you at your word, And go indeed, having fo good a means. [Exit Dromio. Ant. A trufty villain, Sir, that very oft, When I am dull with care and melancholy, Lightens my humour with his merry jests. What, will you walk with me about the town, And then go to the 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, Pleafe you, I'll meet with you upon the mart, And afterward confort with you 'till bed-time: My prefent bufinefs calls me from you now.
Ant. Farewel 'till then; I will go lofe myself, And wander up and down to view the city. Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content, [Exit Merchant.
Ant. 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 feeks another drop,
Who falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unfeen, inquifitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In queft of them, unhappy, lofe myself.
Enter Dromio of Ephefus.
Here comes the almanack of my true date.
What now? how chance, thou art return'd fo foon ?
E. Dro. Return'd fo foon! rather approach'd too late
The capon burns; the pig falls from the fpit;
The clock has ftrucken twelve upon the bell;
My miftrefs made it one upon my cheek;
She is fo hot, because the meat is cold;
The meat is cold, because you come not home;
You come not home, because you have no ftomach;
You have no ftomach, having broke your
But we, that know what 'tis to faft and pray,
Are penitent for your default to-day.
Ant. Stop in your wind, Sir, tell me this, I pray,
Where you have left the money that I gave you?
E. Dro. Oh,-fix-pence, that I had a Wednesday laft, To pay the fadler for my mistress' crupper? The fadler had it, Sir; I kept it not.
Ant. I am not in a fportive humour now;
Tell me and dally not, where is the money?
We being strangers here, how dar'ft thou truft
So great a charge from thine own cuftody?
E. Dre. I pray you, jeft, Sir, as you fit at dinner
I from my miftrefs come to you in poft;
If I return, I shall be poft indeed;
For fhe will score your fault upon my pate:
Methinks, your maw, like mine, fhould be your
And ftrike you home without a meffenger.
come, thefe jefts are out of
Referve them 'till a merrier hour than this y
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
E. Dro. To me, Sir? why, you gave no gold to me. Ant. Come on, Sir knave, have done your foolishness And tell me, how thou haft difpos'd thy charge?
E. Dro. My charge was but to fetch you from the
Home to your houfe, the Phoenix, Sir, to dinner.
My mistress and her fifter ftay for you.
Ant. Now, as
as I am a
am a chriftian, answer me,
In what fafe place you have beftow'd my money;
Or I fhall break that merry fconce of yours,
That ftands on tricks when I am undifpos'd:
Where are the thousand marks thou hadft of me?
E. Dro. I have fome marks of yours upon my pate; Some of my miftrefs' marks upon my shoulders; But not a thoufand marks between you both. If I fhould pay your worthip thofe again,
Perhaps, you will not bear them patiently.
Ant. Thy miftrefs' marks? what miftrefs, flave, haft