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I bought, and brought up to attend my fons.
My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home-return :
Unwilling, I agreed; alas, too foon! i
We came aboard.
A league from Epidamnum had we fail'd,
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 heav'ns did grant,
Did but convey unto our fearful minds
A doubtful warrant of immediate death;
Which, tho' myself would gladly have embracod,
Yet the inceflant weeping of my wife,
(Weeping before, for what she saw must come;)
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me:
And this it was; (for other means were none.)
The failors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then finking-ripe, to us;.
My wife, more careful for the elder born,
Had faften'd him unto a small spare mast,
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms;
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilft I had been like heedful of the other.
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt,
Falten d ourselves at either end the mast;
And floating straight, obedient to the stream,
Were carry'd towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sun, gazing upon the earth,
Dispers'd those vapours that offended us;
And, by the benefit of his wifh'd light,
The seas waxt calm; and we discovered
Two ships from far making amain to us,
Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this;
But ere they came-oh, 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, tho' not pardon thee.
Ægeon. Oh, had the Gods done so, I had not now
Worthily term'd 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,
Our helpless 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 forrow for.
Her part, poor soul! seeming as burdened
With lesser weight, but not with lesser woe,
Was carry'd with more speed before the wind,
And in our light they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length, another ship had seiz'd on us;
And knowing whom it was their hap to fave,
Gave helpful welcome to their shipwreckt guests ;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very flow of sail;
And therefore homeward did they bend their course.-
heard me sever'd from
my That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, To tell sad stories of my own mishaps.
Duke. And, for the sakes of them thou sorrow'st for, Do me the favour to dilate at full What hath befall’n of them, and thee, 'till now.
Ægeon. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care, At eighteen years became inquisitive After his brother; and importun'd me, That his attendant, (for his case was like, Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,) Might bear him company in quest of him ; Whom whilft I labour'd of a love to see, I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
Roaming clean through the bounds of Afa,
And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus':
Hopelefs to find, yet loth to leave unfought,
Or that, or any place that harbours 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 Ægeon, whom the fates have markt
To bear th'extremity of dire mishap;
Now, trust me, were it not against our laws,
(Which Princes, would they, may not disannul;)
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee.
But, tho thou art adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recallid,
But to our honour's great disparagement;
Yet will I favour thee in what I can;
I therefore, merchant, limit thee this day,
To seek thy life by beneficial help:
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus,
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live; if not, then thou art doom!d to die.
Jailor, take him to thy custody.
[Exeunt Duke, and Train. Jail. I will, my Lord.
Ægeon. Hopeless and helpless doth Ægeon wend, But to procraftinate his lifeless end.
[Exeunt Ægeon, and Jailor.
Changes to the Street.
Enter Antipholis of Syracuse, a Merchant, and Dromio.
HEREFORE give out, you are of Epi-
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
fun set in the west : There is your money, that I had to keep.
Ant. 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.
Dro. Many a man would take you at your word,
And go indeed, having so good a means.
Ant. A trusty villain, Sir, that very oft,
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jeits.
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to the inn and dine with me?
Mer. I ain 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 afterward confort you 'till bed-time:
My present business calls me from you now.
Ant. Farewel '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.
S C Ε Ν Ε
Ant. E 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, con founds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter Dromio of Ephesus.
Here comes the almanack of my true date.
What now? how chance, thou art return'd so foon ?
E. Dro. Return'd so soon ! rather approach'd too The capon burns, the pig falls from the fpit, The clock has ftrucken 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 ftomach; You have no ftomach, having broke your fast: But we, that know what 'tis to fast and
pray, Are penitent for your default to day.
Ans. Stop in your wind, Sir; tell me this, I pray, Where you have left the money that I gave you?
E. Dro. Oh, --six-pence, that I had a Wednesday last, To pay the fadler for my mistress' crupper ? The sadler had it, Sir; I kept it not.
Ant. I am not in a sportive humour now; Tell me and dally not, where is the money ? We being strangers here, how dar'f thou trust So great a charge from thine own custody?
E. Dro. I pray you, jest, Sir, as you fit at dinner:
I from my mistress come to you in poft;
If I return, I shall be post indeed;
For flie will score your fault upon my pate:
Methinks, your maw, like mine, should be your clock;
And strike you hone without a messenger.
Ant. Come, Dronio, come, these jelts are out of
Reserve them 'till a merrier hour than this:
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?