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A bitter rivalry existed between the governments of Ephesus and Syracuse : so that a Merchant of either city, if he was found in the other, could legally be put to death-unless he was prepared to pay a ransom of a thousand marks.

Ægeon, a Merchant of Syracuse, had been arrested for such a violation of the law; and he is now on his trial before the Duke of Athens himself, in his Palace at Ephesus. The prisoner addresses the Duko: Ægeon. , Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall;

And, by the doom of 'death, end woes and all.
Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more.

The enmity and discord, which of late
Sprang from the rancorous outrage of 'your Duke,
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
Exclude all pity from 'our threatening looks.
It hath, in solemn synods, been decreed,
(Both by the Syracusans and ourselves,)
To admit no 'traffic to our adverse towns:
Nay, more:-If any, born at 'Ephesus,
Be seen at 'Syracusan marts and fairs;
Again :-If any 'Syracusan born,
Come to the Bay of Ephesus,-he dies;
His goods confiscate to the Duke's dispose;
Unless a thousand marks be leviéd,
To 'quit the penalty, and to ransom him.
'Thy substance," valued at tbe 'highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a 'hundred marks :

Therefore, by , law, thou art condemned to die.
Æge. Yet this my comfort ;-When your words are done,

My 'woes end likewise, with the evening sun. Duke. Well, Syracusan : Say, in brief, the 'cause

Why thou departedst from thy native home.
Æge. A 'heavier task could not have been imposed. —

In Syracusa was I born, and wed,
And there I lived in joy: our wealth increased,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum : There my wife became
A joyful mother of 'two goodly sons ;
And (which was strange,) the one so like the other,
As could not be distinguished but by 'names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inu,

A poor mean woman' was delivered a The value of the English (gold) mark was about 13s. 4d. sterling ($3.221;--the German (silver) mark, 1s. Ad. st. ($0.32). 10. R. Syracnsians. copposing, hostile. roperty, possession.

(now Durazzo) a town of Macedonia, on the Adriatic, fO, R. a meane woman was deliuréd.




Of such a burden,-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 'her two boys,“
Made daily pleadings for our 'home-return:
Unwilling I agreed; we came aboard :

A league from Epidamnum had we sailed,
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.
The sailors sought for safety by our 'boat,
And left the ship (then sinking-ripe") to 'us.
My wife, more careful for her 'elderd born,
Had fastened him unto a small spare mast;
To bim, one of the poor man's twins was bound,
Whilst I had been 'like heedful of the other.
The 'children thus disposed, my wife and I
Fastened 'ourselves at either end the mast;
And, floating straight, obedient to the stream,
Were carried on towards Corinth,' as we thought.
At length the seas waxed calm, and we descried
Two ships, from far, making amain" to 'us,-
But 'ere they came,-0, let me say no more!-
We were encountered by a mighty rock;
'Our helpless' ship was splitted in the midst !
'Her part, poor soul! burdened with lesser weight,
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 would have 'reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not 'their bark been very slow of sail.
Thus by misfortunes was 'my life prolonged,

To tell sad stories of my 'own mishaps.
Duke. And, for the sake of 'them thou sorrowest for,

Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befallen to 'them, and 'thee,k till now?

a 0, R. of two such boyes.

bO. R. motions.

ready to sink. d O. R. for the latter borne.

e O. R. one of the other twins. fonce a famous city of Greece (on the Morea) but now a squalid village. 80. R. discoueréd. h with speed. 10. R. helpefull. j deprived (bereft).

k what haue befalne of them and they.

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Æge. My 'youngest boy, and yet my eldest 'care,

At eighteen years, became inquisitive
After his brother; and importuned me,
That his attendant (fora "his case was like,
'Reft' of 'his brother, but retained his name)
Might bear him company in questo of him:
Whom, whilst 'I laboured of a loved to see,
I hazarded the 'loss of whom I loved.
Five summers have I spent in farthest 'Greece,
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus.-
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 Ægeon! Were 't not against our laws,

Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
My 'soul should sue as advocate for thee.
But though thou art 'adjudged unto the death,
Yet will I favour thee in what I'can :
Therefore, Merchant, I 'll limit thee this day,
To seek thy help by beneficial hands :-
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make-up the sum,

And 'live ;-if no, then thou art doomed to 'die !
Æge. Hopeless, and helpless, doth Ægeon wend,"

But to 'procrastinate his life's sad end. Old Ægeon little knows, while he is anxiously looking for aid in Ephesus, that both his sons, and their respective servants, are all in the city.


It must be remembered that Ægeon's sons, alike in features and person, are both named Antipholus; and that the twin servants are both called Dromio. The first-born of Ægeon's twin sons had been a citizen of Ephesus foi more than twenty years, was married, and had settled as a Merchant there. That very day, his brother Antipholus (of Syracuse) arrived in the city, and would have incurred the same peril as his father, (the unrecognized Ægeon,) had he not followed the advice of a friendly Merchant—with whom, attended by his servant Dromio, he is now conversing in the Street. The Merchant says: 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;

* O. R. so. b being deprived (bereft). CO. R. in the quest. d with earnest affection.

60. R. helpe. 'proceed on his way. 80. R. livelesse. h state publicly.

rExit Dro.

of S.



And, not being able to buy-out his life,
Dies ere the weary sun set in the west.-

There is your money that I had to keep.
Antipholus (of Syracuse) gives the bag of money to his servant
Dromio (of Syracuse).
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.

Get thee away.
Mer. Many a man would take you


your word, And go 'indeed, -having so rich a purse. Ant. S. A 'trusty servant, 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


Inn and 'dine with me?
Mer. I am invited, sir, to certain merchants.

At 'five o'clock, we'll meet upon the 'Mart;
My present business calls me from you 'now.-

Sir, I commend you to your own content.
Ant. S. 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, failing there to 'find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,

In quest of 'them, unhappy, lose 'myself. To his surprise he sees his Servant (as he supposes) come back, but it is Dromio of Ephesus.

What now? How chance thou art returned so soon? Dro. E. Returned so 'soon! Rather approached 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 't is to fast and pray,


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10. R. good a meane. 10. R. falling.

e appetite.

a house of entertainment.

CO. R. villaine,


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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 last,

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 humour '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?
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,'

And 'strike you home, 'without a messenger.
Ant. S. Come, Dromio, come; these jests are out of season.
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?

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

And tell me 'how thou hast disposed thy charge? Dro. E. My charge was but to fetch you from the Mart

Home to your house—the “Phænix,"& sir—to dinner.

My mistress, and her sister, stay for you.
Ant. Š. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,

In 'what safe place bave you bestowed my money?
Or I shall 'break that merry sconce' of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undisposed. -

Where are 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 “Phoe

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

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a doing penance.
b the tail-strap of a horse.

cin haste. d a wooden block, or tally-board, on which debts were marked.

e stomach. 10. R. cooke. 8 another hostelry in Ephesus. h stowed away, deposited. pate, head.


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