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out 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, (though not, perhaps exactly in the way, or to the extent, maintained by a late editor) 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 canvass-spoiler that ever han. dled 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.

Solinus, duke of Ephesus.
Ægeon, a merchant of Syracuse.
Antipholus of Ephesus, 2 twin brothers and sons to Egeon and
Antipholus of Syracuse, Š Æmilia, but unknown to each other.
Dromio of Ephesus, twin brothers, and attendants on the
Dromio of Syracuse, iwo Antipholus's.
Balthazar, a merchant.
Angelo, a goldsmith.
A Merchant, friend to Antipholus of Syracuse.
Pinch, a schoolmaster and a conjurer.

Æmilia, wife 10 Ægeon, an abbess at Ephesus.
Adriana, wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
Luciana, her sister.
Luce, her servant.
A Courtezan.

Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Ephesus.

In the old copy, these brothers are occasionally styled Antipholus Erotes, or Errotis; and Antipholus Sereptus; meaning, perhaps,-erraticus, and surreptus. One of these twins wandered in search of his brother, who had been forced from Æmilia by fishermen of Corinth. The following acrostick is the argument to the Menæchmi of Plautus-Delph. Edit. p. 654:

“ Mercator Siculus, cui erant gemini filii,
“Ei, surrepto altero, mors obtigit.
“Nomen surreptitii illi indit qui domi est
“ Avus paternus, facit Menæchmum Sosiclem.
Et is germanum, postquam adolevit, quæritat
“ Circum omnes oras. Post Epidamnum devenit:
“ Hic fuerat auctus ille surreptitius.
“Menächmum civem credunt omnes advenam:
“ Eumque appellant, meretrix, uxor, et socer.

li se cognoscunt fratres postremò invicem." The translator, W.W. calls the brothers, Menæchmus Sosicles, and Menæchmus the traveller. Whencesoever Shakspeare adopted erraticus and surreptus, (which either he or his editors have mis-spelt) these distinctions were soon dropped, and throughout the rest of the entries the twins are styled of Syracuse or Ephe

Steevens.

sus.

COMEDY OF ERRORS.

ACT I.....SCENE I.

A Hall in the Duke's Palace.

Enter Duke, ÆGEON, Gaoler, Officers, and other

Attendants.

of your

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

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 impos’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,2 had not our hap been bad.
With her I livid in joy; our wealth increas’d,
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum, till my factor's death;
And he (great care of goods at random left) 3
Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse:

1 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 amongst 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 be) 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. 2 And by me too,] Ton, which is not found in the original copy, was added by the editor of the second folio, to complete the me.

Malone. 3 And he (great care of goods at random left)] Surely we should read

And the great care of goods at random left

Drew me &c. The text, as exhibited in the old copy, can scarcely Le reconciled to grammar.

Malone.
A parenthesis makes the present reading clear:

And he (great care of goods at random left)
Drew me &c. M. Mason.

tre.

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 distinguished 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;

k'd
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 embracads-
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,

Malone. Weeping before for what she saw must come,

are has And piteous plainings of the pretty babes, id,

page That mourn’d for fashion, ignorant what to fearken care 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,

ach, fixing And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us: emselves at My wife, more careful for the latter-born, Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast, has--so his. Such as sea-faring men provide for storms; id folio.

Malone. To him one of the other twins was bound,

e northern Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.

-, fully, per

4 A poor mean woman -] Poor is not in the old ca inserted, for the sake of the metre, by the editor of folio. Malone.

Ives.”

Steevens.

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