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be drawn from the most striking dissimilarity of style, a tissue as different as silk and worsted, that this comedy, though boasting the embellishments of our author's genius, in additional words, lines, speeches, and scenes, was not originally his, but proceeded from some inferior playwright, who was capable of reading the Menæchmi without the help of a translation, or, at least, did not make use of Warner's. And this I take to have been the case, not only with the three Parts of King Henry VI. as I think a late editor (o si sic omnia!) has satisfactorily proved, but with The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, and King Richard II. in all which pieces Shakspeare's new work is as apparent as the brightest touches of Titian would be on the poorest performance of the veriest canvas-spoiler that ever handled a brush. The originals of these plays (except The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI.) were never printed, and may be thought to have been put into his hands by the manager, for the purpose of alteration and improvement, which we find to have been an ordinary practice of the theatre in his time. We are therefore no longer to look upon the above “pleasant and fine conceited comedie," as entitled to a situation among the “ six plays on which Shakspeare founded his Measure for Measure,” &c. of which I should hope to see a new and improved edition. Ritson

This comedy, I believe, was written in 1593. MALONE.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Solinus, Duke of Ephesus.
Ægeon, a Merchani of Syracuse.

Twin Brothers, and Sons to Antipholus of Ephesus, s

{ Ægeon and Æmilia, but Antipholus of Syracuse, lunknown to each other. Dromio of Ephesus, Twin Brothers, and Attendants Dromio of Syracuse,s on the two Antipholus's. Balthazar, a Merchant. Angelo, a Goldsmith. A Merchant, Friend to Antipholus of Syracuse. Pinch, a Schoolmaster, and a Conjurer.

Æmilia, Wife to Ægeon, an Abbess at Ephesus.
Adriana, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
Luciana, her Sister.
Luce, her Servant.
A Courtezan.

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Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Ephesus.

COMEDY OF ERRORS.

ACT I.

SCENE I. A Hall in the Duke's Palace. Enter Duke, Ægeon, Gaoler, Officers, and other

Attendants.

Æge. Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall, And, by the doom of death, end woes and all.

Duke. Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more; I am not partial, to infringe our laws: The enmity and discord, which of late Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives, Have sealed his rigorous statutes with their bloods, Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks. For, since the mortal and intestine jars 'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us, It hath in solemn synods been decreed, Both by the Syracusans and ourselves, To admit no traffick to our adverse towns: Nay, more, If any, born at Ephesus, be seen At any 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 levied, To quit the penalty, and to ransome him.

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks; ..
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd 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;
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Æge. A heavier task could not have been im-

pos’d,
Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable:
Yet, that the world may witness, that my end
Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave.
In Syracusa was I born; and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me,
And by me too, had not our hap been bad.
With her I liv’d in joy; our wealth increasid,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death;
And he (great care of goods at random left)

Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence.) All his hearers understood that the punishment he was about to undergo was in consequence of no private crime, but of the publick enmity between two states, to one of which he belonged: but it was a general superstition among the ancients, that every great and sudden misfortune was the vengeance of heaven pursuing men for their secret offences. Hence the sentiment put into the mouth of the speaker was proper. By my past life, (says he,) which I am going to relate, the world may understand, that my present death is according to the ordinary course of Providence, [wrought by nature,] and not the effects of divine vengeance overtaking me for my crimes, [not by vile offence.] WARBURTON.

The real meaning of this passage is much less abstruse than that which Warburton attributes to it. By nature is meant natural affection. Ægeon came to Ephesus in search of his son, and tells his story, in order to show that his death was in consequence of natural affection for his child, not of any criminal intention.

M. MASON.

Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:
From whom my absence was not six months old,
Before herself (almost at fainting, under
The pleasing punishment that women bear,)
Had made provision for her following me,
And soon, and safe, arrived where I was.
There she had not been long, but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons;
And, which was strange, the one so like the other,
As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the selfsame inn,
A poor mean woman was delivered
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 two such boys,
Made daily motions for our home return:
Unwilling I agreed; alas, too soon.
We came aboard:
A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd,
Before the always-wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragick 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;
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,

league from

a wind-obey Sir harm:

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