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Dro. E. Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not; and Have I been patron to Antipholus, whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa. believe him,
I see, thy age and dangers make thee dote. ÆGE. Not know my voice ? Oh, Time's ex
tremity! Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue, Enter the Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, In seven short years, that here my only son
and DROMIO of Syracuse. Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares ? Though now this grained face of mine be hid ABB. Most mighty duke, behold a man much In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
wrong'd. [All gather to see them. And all the conduits of my blood froze up;
ADR. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deYet hath my night of life some memory
ceive me. My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left- DUKE. One of these men is Genius to the other; My dull deaf ears a little use to hear:
And so of these, which is the natural man, All these old witnesses (I cannot err)
And which the spirit ? Who deciphers them? Tell me, thou art my son, Antipholus.
DRO. S. I, sir, am Dromio; command him Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life.
Æge. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio, pray let me stay.. Thou know'st we parted; but, perhaps, my son, Ant. S. Ægeon, art thou not ? or else bis Thou sham’st to acknowledge me in misery.
ghost ! ANT. E. The duke, and all that know me in Dro. S. Oh, my old master! who hath bound the city,
him here? Can witness with me that it is not so;
ABB. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.
And gain a husband by his liberty !
That hadst a wife once callid Æmilia,
Oh, if thou be'st the same Ægeon, speak!
And speak unto the same Æmilia !
ADR. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail, ÆGE. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia! By Dromio; but I think he brought it not. If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
DRO. E. No; none by me. That floated with thee on the fatal raft?
Ant. S. This purse of ducats I receiv'd from ABB. By men of Epidamnum he and I,
you, And the twin Dromio, all were taken up.
And Dromio, my man, did bring them me: But, by and by, rude fishermen of Corinth,
I see, we still did meet each other's man, By force, took Dromio and my son from them, And I was ta'en for him and he for me, And me they left with those of Epidamnum. And thereupon these Errors a rare arose. What then became of them I cannot tell;
Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father I, to this fortune that you see me in.
here. DUKE. Why, here begins his morning story DUKE. It shall not need,—thy father hath his right;
life. These two Antipholus',—these two so like,
COUR. Sir, I must have that diamond from And these two Dromios, one in semblance ;
you. Besides her urging of her wreck at sea :
Ant. E. There, take it, and much thanks for These are the parents to these children,
my good cheer. Which accidentally are met together.
ABB. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the Antipholus, thou cam’st from Corinth first.
pains ANT. S. No, sir, not I; I
To go with us into the abbey here, DUKE. Stay, stand apart; I know not which is And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes ; which.
And all that are assembled in this place, Ant. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious That, by this sympathized one day's error, lord.
Have suffer'd wrong, go, keep us company, DRO. E. And I with him.
And we shall make full satisfaction. Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail famous warrior,
Of you, my sons; and, till this present hour, o Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle. My heavy burden ne'er delivered. ADR. Which of you two did dine with me The duke, my husband, and my children both, to-day?
And you the calendars of their nativity, Ant. S. I, gentle mistress.
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me;' ADR.
And are not you my husband ? After so long grief, such festivity! Ant. E. No; I say nay to that.
DUKE. With all my heart, I'll gossip at this Ant. S. And so do I; yet did she call me so:
feast. And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here,
[Exeunt DUKE, Abbess, ÆGEON, Courtezan, Did call me brother. What I told you then,
Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants. I hope I shall have leisure to make good;
Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff from If this be not a dream I see and hear.
ship-board ? Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you
had Ant. E. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou
embark'd ? Ant. S. I think it be, sir ; I deny it not.
Dro. S. Your goods, that lay at host, sir, in Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested
Ant. S. He speaks to me; I am your master, Ang. I think I did, sir; I deny it not.
* If I dream not,-) In the folio, 1623, this speech of Ægeon, and the subsequent one of the Abbess, are misplaced, and come after the Duke's speech, commencing"Why, here begins," &c. Malone made the necessary transposition.
b To these children,-] Children must be pronounced as a trisyllable.
c What I told you then, &c.) This, and the two lines following, are addressed to Luciana, and should perhaps be spoken aside to her.
& These Errors rare arose.] The ancient copy has errors are, and this incontestablo misprint is faithfully followed by modern editors. Mr. Collier's old corrector endeavours, not very successfully, to rectify it by reading all for are. I venture to substitute rare, which, besides being closer to the original, appears to give a better meaning.
Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail
The original copy has "thirtie three yeares." The rectification of
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me;
After so long grief, such festivity!)
“ After so long grief, such nativity,"
Come, go with us ; we'll look to that anon; Will
walk in to see their gossiping ? Embrace thy brother there; rejoice with him. DRO. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
[Exeunt ANTIPHOLUS S. and E., ADR. Dro. E. That's a question : how shall we try it? and Luc.
Dro. S. We'll draw cuts for the senior; till Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's
then, lead thou first. house,
Dro. E. Nay, then, thus ; That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner; We came into the world like brother and broShe now shall be my sister,—not my wife.
ther; Dro. E. Methinks you are my glass, and not And now let's go hand in hand, not one before
[Exeunt. I seo by you, I am a sweet-fac'd youth,
(1) SCENE II.—They say this town is full of cozenage, &c.] This was the character attributed to Ephesus in remote ages. Steevens suggests that Shakespeare might have got the hint for this description from Warner's translation of the “ Menæchmi," 1595. “ For this assure yourselfe, this Towne Epidamnum is a place of outragious ex: pences, exceeding in all ryot and lasciviousnesse : and (I heare) as full of Ribaulds, Parasites, Drunkards, Catchpoles, Cony-catchers, and Sycophants, as it can hold," &c. But it is observable that Shakespeare, with great propriety, makes Antipholus attach to the Ephesians higher and more poetical qualities of cozenage than those enumerated by the old translator. It is not merely as
" catchpoles," " cony-catchers," and the like, but as
“ dark working sorcerers,” and “soul-killing witches," that he speaks of them. And hence we are prepared to find him
attribute the cross-purposes of the scene to supernatural agency, and see no inconsistency in his wooing Luciana as an enchantress :
" Teach me, dear creature ! how to think and speak;
Lay open to my earthy gross conceit,
The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
To make it wander in an unknown field ?” Or in his imagining that, to win the sibyl, he must lose himself:
“ Sing, syren, for thyself, and I will dote :
Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And, in that glorious supposition, think
(1) SCENE I.-Once this.] The following note in Gifford's “Ben Jonson" (vol. iii. p. 218) helps to confirm our opinion that once in this place, and in many other instances, is only another form of noncé, and means for the occasion, for the time being, &c. “For the nonce, is simply for the once, for the one thing in question, whatever it may be. This is invariably its meaning. The aptitude of many of our monosyllables beginning with a vowel to assume the r. is well known; but the progress of this expression iş distinctly marked in our early writers, 'a ones,' an anes,' ‘for the anes,' 'for the nanes,' 'for the nones,' 'for the nonce.'
Borne on a foamy-crested wave,
She, plunging, sought the deep below." The reader desirous of particular information concerning the supposed existence and habits of these seductive beings, may consult Maillet's “Telliamed,” Pontopiddan's “Natural History of Norway,” and Waldron's “Account of the Isle of Man."
(2) SCENE II.-He gains by death, that hath such means to die.] The allusion is obviously to the long current opinion that the syren, or mermaid, decoyed mortals to destruction by the witchery of her songs. This superstition has been charmingly illustrated by Leyden, in his poem,“ The Mermaid," (vide Scott's “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," vol. iv. p. 294.)
(3) SCENE II.
ANT. S. Where France ?
Dro. S. In her forehead ; arm'd and reverted, making war against her heir.] As Theobald first observed, an equivoque was, no doubt, intended between the words hair and heir; and by the latter, was meant Henry IV. the heir of France, con: cerning whose succession to the throne there was a civil war in the country from 1589 for several years. Henry, after struggling long against the League, extricated himself from all his difficulties by embracing the Roman Catholic religion at St. Denis, on Sunday, the 25th of July, 1593, and was crowned King of France in February, 1594. In 1591, Lord Essex was dispatched with 4,000 troops to tho French king's assistance, and his brother Walter was killed before Rouen, in Normandy. From that time till Henry was peaceably settled on the throne, many bodies of troops were sent by Queen Elizabeth to his aid : so that his situation must at that period have been a matter of notoriety, and a subject of conversation in England. From the reference to this circumstance, Malone imagines the “Comedy of Errors ” to have been written before 1594,
"Thus, all to soothe the Chieftain's woe,
Far from the maid he loved so dear,
That sea-maid's form, of pearly light, Was whiter than the downy spray, And round her bosom, heaving bright, Her glossy, yellow ringlets play.
(1) SCENE II.-4 devil in an everlasting garment hath on the word rest, arrest, and a metaphor, very common in nim.) A sergeant's buff leather garment was called durance; our old writers, setting up his rest, which is taken from partly, it would appear, on account of its everlasting qualities, gaming, and means staking his all upon an event. Hence and partly from a quibble on the occupation of the wearer, it was frequently applied to express fixed determination, which was that of arresting and clapping men in durance. steadfast purpose. Thus, in “ All's Well that Ends Well," In Greene's “Quip for an Upstart Courtier,” sig. D, 3d
Act II. Sc. 13 edit. 1620, there is a graphic description of a sergeant, or
" What I can do, can do no hurt to try, sheriff's officer. “ One of them had on a buffe-leather
Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy." jerkin, all greasie before with the droppings of beere, that fell from his beard, and by his side, a skeine like a
The Morris-pike is often mentioned by old writers. brewer's bung knife; and muffled he was in a cloke, turn'd
It was the Moorish pike, and was constantly used both over his nose, as though he had beene ashamed to showe in land and sea warfare, during the sixteenth century. his face." This peculiar
garb is again referred to by our author in (5) SCENE III.-A ring he hath of mine worth forty a passage of “ Henry IV.” Part I. Act I. Sc.2,
ducats.] The number forty was very anciently adopted to "And is not a buff" jerkin a most sweet robe of durance ?" express a great many, in the same way that we now use the point of which seems not to have been fully under fifty, or a score. In the Scriptures it is recorded that the stood by the commentators. A robe of durance was a cant
food was forty days on tho earth; the Israelites were term, implying imprisonment; and the Prince, after forty years, and our Saviour forty days in the wilderdilating on purse-stealing, humorously calls attention to ness; and Job mourned forty days. In Hindustani, the its probable consequences, by his query about the buff word chalis, forty, has the same indefinite acceptation ; jerkin. See MIDDLETON'S "Blurt, Master Constablo," Act chalis-sutūn, denoting literally forty columns, being apIII. Sc. 2:
plied to a palace with a number of pillars. So also in
Persia, chihal signifies furty, and Persepolis, because it is “Tell my lady, that I go in a suit of durance."
a city of many towers, is called chihal-minar, "the forty
towers." In like manner, too, the insect which we name (2) SCENE II.-A hound that runs counter, and yet centipede, is there known as chihal-pd, "forty feet." The draws dry foot well.] To run counter is to follow on a word in this sense is not at all uncommon among old false scent; to draw dry foot means to track by the mere English writers ;scent of the foot. A hound that does one is not likely to do the other; but the ambiguity is explained by the “Quoth Niceness to Newfangle, thou art such a Jacke, double meaning attached to the words counter and dry foot.
That thou devisest fortie fashions for my ladie's backe." The former implying both false, and a prison, and the
The Cobier's Prophecy, 1594. latter, privation of scent, and lack of means. The sheriff's- And it is so used repeatedly by Shakespeare ; for officer, as he tracks for a prison, may be said to run counter, and, as he follows those who have expended their
example,substanoe, he draws dry foot.
"I have learned these forty years."
Richard II. Act I. Se. 3. (3) SCENE II.-One that, before the judgment, carries
" I will have forty moys." poor souls to hell.] By before the judgment, in its secondary
Henry V. Act IV. Sc. 4. sense, Dromio is supposed to allude to arrest on mesne
"I myself fight not once in forty years." process. Hell was a cant term for the worst dungeon in the
Henry VI. Part I. Act I. Se. 3. wretched prisons of the time. There was the Master's Side,
"Some forty truncheoneers draw." the Knight's Ward, the Hole, and last and most deplorable,
Henry VIII. Act V. Sc. 3. the department called Hell, which was the receptacle for those who had no means to pay the extortionate fines
“ I could beat forty of them.".
Coriolanus, Act III. Sc. I. exacted for better accommodation.
“ I saw her once hop forty paces."
Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. Sc. 2. (4) SCENE III.—He that sets up his rest to do more ex
“ I had rather than forty pound.". ploits with his mace than a morris-pike.] Dromio plays
Twelfth Night, Act V. Sc. 1.
(1) SOENE I.-At your important letters, &c.]
-- these ryche men ben unkinde:
“In the passage before us, Shakspeare was thinking particularly on the interest which the king had in England in the marriage of his wards, who were the heirs of his tenants holding by knight's service, or in capite, and were under age ; an interest which Queen Elizabeth in Shakspeare's time exerted on all occasions, as did ber successors, till the abolition of the Court of Wards and Liveries; the poet attributes to the duke the same right to choose a wife or a husband for his wards at Ephesus." MALONE.