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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 severed 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, and yet my eldest care,
At eighteen years became inquisitive
After his brother: and importuned 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 I labour'd of a love to see,




119. That] Thus Hanmer; Yet Anon. conj.; misfortune Dyce, ed. 2 (Collier). 121. sake] 123. hath ... thee] F 2; haue . . . they F 1. 124. youngest eldest] eldest youngest 1; for Ff 2, 3, 4. 129. the] omitted by Pope. Collier (ed. 2).

116. bark] backe F 1. And Collier. misfortunes] F1; sakes Ff 2, 3, 4. of] omitted in F 4. Collier conj. 127. so] F 130. I labour'd of a love] he labour'd of all love

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more congruent epitheton" (Love's
Labour 's Lost, 1. ii. 14) here than
"healthful." Compare line 103 ante,
our helpful ship"; Richard II. ш.
iii. 132:
"Till time lend friends, and
friends their helpful swords "; 1 Henry
IV. III. i. 125: "And gave the tongue
a helpful ornament." It is noteworthy
that Shakespeare does not seem to
have used "healthful" in the earlier

114. shipwracked] It seems preferable, both here and in the other two passages of this play where the word occurs, to preserve the old spelling, viz. with an a, of the Folio. That



the pronunciation was broad appears from Macbeth, v. v. 51, where it rhymes with "back." The word is so spelt by Dryden, e.g. in Astraa Redux, 124, and elsewhere.

124. youngest boy] Compare lines 78, 82, "latter-born"; the younger of the twain being with the mother, not the father, when the wreck took place. Possibly, therefore, an oversight on Shakespeare's part.

127. so] There is a great deal to be said for the reading of the second Folio.

130, 131. Whom . . . loved] The sense is fairly clear, whilst the con

I hazarded the loss of whom I loved.

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 loath 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 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.




132. farthest] Ff; furthest Steevens (1793). 143, 144. Inverted by Hanmer (Theobald conj.). 144. princes, would they, may] Theobald;" Princes would they may F 1; Princes would, they may Ff 2, 3, 4.

struction is somewhat obscure. With "of a love," i.e. "out of love" or "impelled by love," may be compared "of all loves," Midsummer-Night's Dream, II. ii. 154; Merry Wives of Windsor, 11. ii. 119; and Othello, III.

i. 13.

132, 133. Five summers. Asia] Egeon probably means that he had been all through farther Greece, and that he had travelled down the coast of the Ægean Sea as far as Ephesus. Compare the corresponding passage in Act II. sc. i. of W. W.'s translation of the Menaecmi, in Appendix II.

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133. clean] "In the northern parts of England," says Steevens, "this word is still used instead of quite, fully, perfectly, completely." We may compare from Shakespeare himself: Richard II. III. i. 10: "By you unhappied and disfigured clean"; 2 Henry IV. 1. ii. 110: Though not clean past your youth"; Richard III. II. iv. 61: "And domestic broils clean overblown"; Coriolanus, III. i. 304: "This is clean kam"; Othello, I. iii. 366: "It is clean out of the way" and Sonnet lxxv. 10: "clean starved for a look."

Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day,
To seek thy pelf 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, go take him to thy custody.


150. Therefore, merchant, I'll] Ff; Therefore, merchant, I Rowe; I, therefore, merchant Pope; I'll therefore, merchant Capell. 151. seek thy pelf] Editor; eke thy store Bailey conj.; seek the sum Cartwright conj. help help] Ff; life... help Rowe (ed. 2); help. ... means Steevens conj.; hope help Staunton (Collier conj.); fine help Singer (ed. 2); help . hands Kinnear conj. 154. no] not Rowe. 155. Gaoler, go] Editor, Anon. conj.; Taylor, F 1; Jailor, now Hanmer; So, jailer, Capell; Go, Gaoler S. Walker conj.

150. Therefore, merchant] Capeil's reading, perhaps, does least violence to the rhythm of the line and the arrangement of the Folio: nevertheless I think we must keep the Folio reading, whilst accentuating "merchant" on the first syllable. There is no single passage in Shakespeare in which he accentuates it on the second syllable; and it is difficult to see why he should do so here, especially as in the six passages of this play where the word occurs, it is uniformly accented on the first syllable, even in line 3 of this scene, where it must be reckoned as a trochee. 66 Therefore " should be accentuated on the second syllable, as often in Shakespeare: compare Midsummer-Night's Dream, III. ii. 78: "And if I could, what should I get therefore?"; and with this stress the line may stand.

151. seek thy pelf] Malone remarked-not too happily" Mr. Pope and some other modern Editors read-To seek thy life, etc. But the jingle has much of Shakespeare's manner." Malone does not appear to be correct in attributing the reading life to Pope. The suggestion certainly belongs to Rowe (ed. 2). The critical notes show the efforts-none





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of them particularly brilliant-to emend this passage. The word 'pelf" (in the older spelling written "pelfe") is an example of the metathesis of letters common in the Folio corruptions and comes I think nearest both to the sound and to the ductus literarum of the Folio "helpe." Moreover, it is illustrated and supported by the different words which Shakespeare uses throughout this scene in reference to the ransom money; e.g. guilders" (line 8), "marks" (line 21), "penalty" (line 22), "substance" (line 23), sum (line 153), and “ ducats," v. i. 390. What had geon to seek within the prescribed day? Obviously not his life," but the means to save it, i.e. the "ransom," or "sum." The word is probably used here by the Duke in a half-contemptuous and yet sympathetic sense, as being of trifling import in comparison with, or when weighed against Egeon's life in the saving of which the Duke's better feelings and sympathies were interested: compare line 149 ante. "Pelf" occurs in the Passionate Pilgrim, 192; Timon of Athens, 1. ii. 63; and Pericles, 11. Gower, 35.

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Gaol. I will, my lord.

Æge. Hopeless and helpless doth Ægeon wend,

But to procrastinate his lifeless end.

SCENE II.-The Mart.


Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, DROMIO of Syracuse,
and First Merchant.

First Mer. Therefore, give out you are of Epidamnum,
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. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
And stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.

157. Egeon] Egean F 1.

158. lifeless] Warburton; liuelesse Ff.
Scene II.



The Mart] Clark and
Enter. .] Dyce;

SCENE II.] Pope; no division into scenes in Ff. Glover; A public place Capell; the street Pope. Enter Antipholis Erotes, a Marchant, and Dromio Ff. 1. First Mer.] Dyce; Mer. Ff. 4. arrival] a rivall F 1.

Enter Antipholus of Syracuse...] In the Folios Antipholus Erotes, the latter word, as we have seen (Introduction), being probably a corruption of Erraticus, the wanderer; just as Antipholus of Ephesus is styled, in Act ii. scene ii. Sereptus, i.e. Surreptus, the lost or stolen.

5. buy out] Craig compares Hamlet, III. iii. 60:

"And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself

Buys out the law."

10. till] tell F 2.

7. weary sun] Compare Richard III. v. iii. 19: "The weary sun hath made a golden set "; and King John, v. iv. 35: "the feeble and day-wearied sun."

9. host] lodge. Compare v. i. 411: "your goods that lay at host, sir, in the Centaur." But the only other passage in Shakespeare where the verb is used is in All's Well that Ends Well, III. v. 97 :—

"I will bring you Where you shall host."

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,

And go indeed, having so good a mean.

Ant. S. A trusty villain, sir; that very oft,

When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests.
12. that] then Collier.

11, 12. Inverted in Ff 2, 3, 4. means Ff 2, 3, 4.

13. Peruse] In the sense of " scan," "observe." Compare 1 Henry VI. IV. ii. 43: "I hear the enemy: Out some light horsemen, and peruse their wings"; 2 Henry IV.IV. ii. 94: "Let our trains march by us, that we may peruse the men"; Romeo and Juliet, v. iii. 74: "Let me peruse this face,"

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18. mean] F 1;

of India?"; 2 Henry IV. II. iv. 225 (Doll of Falstaff): "Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you!" Winter's Tale, 1. ii. 136 (Leontes of Mamillius): "Look on me with your welkin eye; sweet villain !"; etc.


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21. humour] The well-known word, frequent in Shakespeare and Jonson. Compare in this play, 1. ii. 58; 11. ii. 7; IV. i. 27; IV. i. 57. The word "humour" (i.e. moisture) seems to have been applied by the mediaval physiologists to the four chief "fluids' of the body-the " sanguine," the ' phlegmatic," the "choleric" and the "melancholic." As soon as any of these unduly preponderated, the man became "humorous"; and just about Shakespeare's time the word began to be applied to conduct caused by a particular mood, disposition, or vagary. Whalley, Enquiry into the Learning of Shakespeare, 1748, in a passage on Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour (1599) (Works, vol. ii. p. 16, ed. Gifford), remarks: "What was usually called the manners in a play or poem began now to be called the humours. The word was new; the use, or rather the

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