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SOLINUS, Duke of Ephesus.
ÆGEON, a Merchant of Syracuse.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS,
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE,
DROMIO OF EPHESUS,
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE, S
Twin Brothers, sons to ÆGEON
Twin Brothers, attendants on the two
BALTHAZAR, a Merchant.
ANGELO, a Goldsmith.
First Merchant, friend to ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRAcuse.
Second Merchant, to whom ANGELO is a debtor.
Pinch, a Schoolmaster and a Conjuror.
ÆMILIA, Wife to ÆGEON, an Abbess at Ephesus.
ADRIANA, Wife to ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS.
LUCIANA, her Sister.
LUCE, Servant to ADRIANA.
Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants.
SCENE I.-A Hall in the Duke's Palace.
Enter Duke, ÆGEON, Gaoler, Officers, and other Attendants. Ege. 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 seal'd 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 traffic to our adverse towns:
Nay, more, if any, born at Ephesus,
Be seen at 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 ransom him.
Thy substance, valu'd 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.
Ege. 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, had not our hap been bad.
With her I liv'd in joy: our wealth increas'd
By prosperous voyages I often made
To Epidamnum; till my factor's death,
And the great care of goods at random left,
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 had she 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 self-same 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 tragic 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,