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6. Distinguish'd but by names. We must imagine that the four boys had originally some distinguishing appellation: but afterwards, one of each pair of twins, in remembrance of his lost brother, took his name. This we find indicated in the line, "Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name." That the two pair of twins should be named alike was necessary for the maintenance of the dramatic equivoke.

7. A poor mean woman. The first Folio prints this line without the word "poor," which was added in the second Folio, and has been given in all editions since. The recurrence of

My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return :
Unwilling I agreed. Alas! too soon we came

A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Before the always wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instances 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;

that word two lines farther on has been pointed out as making it improbable that "poor" is what Shakespeare wrote here; but "meanly" also comes very soon after "mean" "3 in the speech. Moreover, the word "poor" being first used, and then "exceeding poor," is not unlike one of those emphatic repetitions which our dramatist occasionally employs to mark a point that he wishes to impress on his audience, and which here accounts for the " parents" selling their new-born chil


8. Instance. Used here for indication.

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Which though myself would gladly have embrac'd,
Yet the incessant weepings 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 was none.
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast,
Such as seafaring men provide for storms:
To him one of the other twins was bound,
Whilst 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 fix'd,
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast;
And floating straight, obedient to the stream,
Were carried 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 wish'd light,
The seas wax'd 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


For we may pity, though not pardon thee.

Ege. 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 encounter'd by a mighty rock ;
Which being violently borne upon,

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 burdenèd
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 seiz'd on us;
And, knowing whom it was their hap to save,
Gave healthful welcome to their shipwreck'd


And would have reft the fishers of their prey,


9. Healthful. Used here for salutary, advantageous. 10. My youngest boy. It seems, though the mother, careful for the latter-born, had fastened him" to the mast, yet that she had herself become fastened to the other end where her elder twin son was secured; and thus, being somewhat confusedly described (perhaps to give the effect of the confusion of the wreck), some commentators have accused Shakespeare of oversight here.

11. For his case was like. 'Because his case was similar.'

Had not their bark been very slow of sail,

And therefore homeward did they bend their


Thus have you heard me sever'd from my bliss; That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,

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 befall'n of them, and thee, till now. Æge. My youngest boy,1o and yet my eldest


At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother; and impórtun'd me
That his attendant-for his case was like,11
Reft of his brother, but retained his name-
Might bear him company in the quest of him:
Whom whilst 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 Asia;
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus,
Hopeless to find, yet loth to leave unsought
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 mark'd

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 adjudgèd to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recall'd
But to our honour's great disparagement,
Yet will I favour thee in what I can:
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day,
To seek thy help by beneficial help.12
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus;
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live; if no,13 then thou art doom'd to die.-
Gaoler, take him to thy custody.

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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,15

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.

In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.—
Here comes the almanac of my true date.20
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.

What now? how chance thou art return'd so soon? Dro. E. Return'd so soon! rather approach'd 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 'tis to fast and pray,
Are penitent for your default to-day.

Ant. S. Stop in your wind, sir: tell me this, I

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Dro. S. Many a man would take you at your The saddler had it, sir; I kept it not.

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Ant. S. A trusty 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 my inn, and dine with me?

First 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,18
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart,
And afterward consort you1 till bed-time:
My present business calls me from you now.

Ant. S. Farewell till then I will go lose myself, And wander up and down to view the city.

First Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. [Exit.

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, falling there, to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother and a brother,

15. Where we host. To "host" was to take up quarters, as at a hostelry or inn.

16. Peruse the traders. 'Observe or examine the vendors of merchandise;' in other words, 'look into the shop-windows.' 17. A trusty villain. A faithful bondman or vassal. The Dromios were bought servitors; and "villain" was often used thus, without any sense of wickedness in the term. 18. Soon at five o'clock. Towards five o'clock. formerly sometimes used as we now use 'by-and-by.'

"Soon" was

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;22 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, coine, these jests are

out of season;

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


Ant. S. Come on, sir knave, have done your foolishness,

And tell me how thou hast dispos'd thy charge.

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

the mart

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 bestow'd my money;

19. Consort you. In familiar parlance, 'keep you company.' 20. The almanac of my true date. Dromio being born in the same hour with his master, certifies the date of his birth. 21. Penitent. Doing penance.

22. In post. "In post" means, 'in post haste;' and Dromio's second use of the word refers to the practice of scoring up reckonings by chalk marks or notches on a "post" in the shop or warehouse.

23. Bestow'd. For stowed away, placed in safety.

Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours,
That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd:
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
Dro. E. I have some marks of yours upon my


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?

Being forbid? There, take you that, sir knave.
[Strikes him.

Dro. E. What mean you, sir? for Heaven's
sake, hold your hands!

Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.


Ant. S. Upon my life, by some device or other,
The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage;
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,

Dro. E. Your worship's wife, my mistress at Soul-killing witches that deform the body,

the Phoenix;

She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
And prays that you will hie you home to dinner.
Ant. S. What! wilt thou flout me thus unto my

Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin : 26
If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave:
I greatly fear my money is not safe.



SCENE 1.—A Public Place, before the bouse of
ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.


Adr. Neither my husband nor the slave return'd,
That in such haste I sent to seek his master!
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.

Luc. Perhaps some merchant hath invited him,
And from the mart he's somewhere gone to dinner.
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret:
A man is master of his liberty:
Time is their master; and when they see time,
They'll go or come: if so, be patient, sister.

Adr. Why should their liberty than ours be

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Are their males' subjects and at their controls:
Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
Lords of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
Endu'd with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females and their lords:
Then let your will attend on their accords.

Adr. This servitude makes you to keep unwed.
Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed.
Adr. But, were you wedded, you would bear

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