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Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break off

SO;
For we may pity, though not pardon thee.

ÆGE. O, 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,5
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 burdened
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 helpful welcome to their shipwreck'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

in 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.

And wouldu, welcome to the their hap to'sa

Own mi

borne upon,] The original copy reads—borne up. The additional syllable was supplied by the editor of the second folio.

MALONE. Gave helpful welcome ] Old copy-healthful welcome. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. So in King Henry IV. P. I: “ And gave the tongue a helpful welcome.” MALONE.

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, 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 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 furthest Greece, Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia, And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus ; Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsought,

.? and thee, till now,] The first copy erroneously reads and they. The correction was made in the second folio.

MALONE. 8 My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,] Shakspeare has here been guilty of a little forgetfulness. Ægeon had said, page 352, that the youngest son was that which his wife had taken care of:

“My wife, more careful for the latter-born, - “ Had fasten'd him upon a small spare mast.”

He himself did the same by the other; and then each, fixing their eyes on whom their care was fixed, fastened themselves at either end of the mast. M. Mason.

9 for his case was like,] The original copy has so his. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio.

MALONE. 'Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia, ] In the northern parts of England this word is still used instead of quite, fully, pera fectly, completely. So, in Coriolanus:

“ This is clean kam.” Again, in Julius Cæsar :

66 Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.” The reader will likewise find it in the 77th Psalm.

STEEVENS.

But here mustre I in my time they live

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 adjudged 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:
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 :
Gaoler, take him to thy custody. .

Gaol. I will, my lord.

Therefore ny help thou hast,

:- help-] Mr. Pope and some other modern editors read-To seek thy life, &c. But the jingle has much of Shakspeare's manner. MALONE.

To seek thy life, can hardly be the true reading, for, in ancient language, it signifies a base endeavour to take life away. Thus, Antonio says of Shylock,

Antonio He se liefore of, and thicial m

I believe, therefore, the word-help, was accidentally repeated by the compositor, and that our author wrote,

To seek thy help by beneficial means. STEEVENS.

3 if not,] folio. MALONE,

Old copy-no. Corrected in the second

Æge. Hopeless, and helpless, doth Ægeonwend, But to procrastinate his lifeless end. [Exeunt.

· SCENE II.

A publick Place.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS and Dromio of Syracuse, and

a Merchant.

Mer. Therefore, give out, you areof Epidamnum, 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.5 There is your money that I had to keep.

ANT. S. 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, Get thee away.

+— wend,] i. e. go. An obsolete word.' So, in A Midsummer's-Night's Dream: “ And back to Athens shall the lovers wend."

STEEVENS. ere the weary sun set in the west.] So, in King John:

" the feeble and day-wearied sun.” Again, in King Richard III:

“ The weary sun hath made a golden set.” STEEVENS.

Dro. S. Many a man would take you atyourword, And 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?

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 consort 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. MER. Sir, I commend you to your own content.

[Exit Merchant. Ant. S. He that commends me to my own con

tent,
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;

* A trusty villain,] i. e. servant. Douce.

? And afterwards consort you till bed-time ;] We should read, I believe,

And afterwards consort with you till bed-time. So, in Romeo and Juliet :

“ Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo.” MALONE. There is no need of emendation. The old reading is supported by the following passage in Love's Labour's Lost, Act II, sc. i:

“ Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace.” Again in Romeo and Juliet : as Thou wretched boy, that didst consort him here "

STEEVENS.

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