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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 shipwrack'd guests;
And would have reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail,
And therefore homeward did they bend their course.
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 sorrow'st for,
Do me the favour to dilate at full
What hath befall'n of them and thee till now.
ÆGE. My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother; and importun'd me,
That his attendant (so his case was like,
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name)
Might bear him company in the quest of him:
Whom whilst he labour'd of all love to see,
I hazarded the loss of whom I lov'd.
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 adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence may not be recall'd
But to our honour's great disparagement,
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 140
To bear the extremity of dire mishap!
Yet will I favour thee in what I can:
Therefore, Merchant, I'll limit thee this day,1
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 no, then thou art doom'd to die.
Gaoler, take him to thy custody.
GAOL. I will, my Lord.
ÆGE. Hopeless, and helpless doth Ægeon wend
But to procrastinate his lifeless end.
SCENE II. A Public Place.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, DROMIO of Syracuse, and First Merchant.
FIRST MER. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamium,
Lest that your goods too soon be confiscate.
This very day a Syracusian 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. [to DRO. S.] Go bear it to the Centaur, where
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.
DRO. S. Many a man would take you at your word,
go indeed, having so good a mean. [Exit DRO. S.
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?
1 give thee what's left of to-day. 2 lodge. 3 means (alluding to the purse).
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,
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the Mart:
And afterwards consort1 you 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 First Merchant.
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,
In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself.
Enter DROMIO of Ephesus.
Here comes the Almanac of my true date.3
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 pray :
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
DRO. E. O-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 score1 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:
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 me!
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 stays for you.
ANT. S. Now, as I am a Christian, answer me
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money,
Or I shall break that merry sconce of your's,
That stands on tricks2 when I am undispos'd.
Where is the thousand marks thou hadst of me?
DRO. E. I have some marks of your's upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
But not a thousand marks between
If I should pay your Worship those again,
Perchance you will not bear them patiently.
ANT. S. Thy mistress' marks! what mistress, slave, hast
DRO. E. Your Worship's wife, my mistress at the
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 face, Being forbid? There, take you that, Sir Knave.
[strikes him. DRO. E. What mean you, Sir? for God's sake, hold your
Nay, an you will not, Sir, I'll take
ACT I ANT. S. Upon my life, by some device or other
Sc. II The villain is o'er-raught1 of all my money.
They say this Town is full of cozenage :2
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such like libertines of sin.
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 I. The House of ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus.
Enter ADRIANA, Wife to ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, and LUCIANA, her Sister.
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 our's be more?
Luc. Because their business still lies out o' door.
ADR. Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
Luc. O, know he is the bridle of your will.
ADR. There's none but asses will be bridled so.
Luc. Why, headstrong liberty is lash'd with woe.
There's nothing situate under Heaven's eye
But hath his bound: in earth, in sea, in sky,
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls,
Are their males' subjects, and at their controls:
Men, more divine, the masters of all these,
Lords of the wide World and wild watery seas,