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SALINUS, Duke of Ephefus.
Twin-Brothers, and Sons to Æ-
Dromio of Ephefus, Twin-Brothers, and Slaves to the
Balthazar, a Merchant.
Angelo, a Goldsmith.
A Merchant, Friend to Antipholis of Syracufe.
Emilia, Wife to Egeon, an Abbess at Ephefus.]
Failor, Officers, and other Attendants.
"COMEDY of ERRORS.
SCENE, the Duke's Palace
Enter the Duke of Ephefus, Egeon, Jailor, and other Attendants.
Roceed, Salinus, to procure my Fall,
Duke. Merchant of Syracufa, plead no
I am not partial to infringe our laws:
(1) Comedy of ERRORS.] The Controverfy of our Author's Acquaintance with the Latine Tongue has been partly canvas'd upon his having writ this Play. "It is in great Measure taken (fays Mr. Rowe) "from the Menæchmi of Plautus. How That happen'd, I cannot eafily "divine; fince I do not take him to have been Master of Latine enough
to read it in the Original: and I know of no Tranflation of Plautus "fo old as his Time".- Thus far, his Acquaintance with the Roman Language is rather difputed, than afcertain'd. Let us fee, What Mr. Gil don has obferv'd upon This. "I confefs, with Submiffion to the Writer "of his Life, that I can find no fuch Need of Divination on this Head. "For as it is beyond Contradiction plain, that this Comedy is taken from "That of Plautus; fo I think it as obvious to conclude from That, that B 2 "Shake
Sprung from the ranc'rous outrage of
Duke. Well, Syracufan, fay, in brief, the cause,
Egeon. A heavier task could not have been impos'd, (2)
"Shakespeare did understand Latine enough to read him, and knew fo "much of him as to be able to form a Defign out of That of the "Roman Poet".- We now find his Title to Learning a little better grounded. After these Gentlemen comes Mr. Pope, and diffidently corroborates Mr. Gildon's Opinion. "HE appears (Jays be) alfo to have "been converfant in Plautus, from whom he has taken the Plot of One "of his Plays". The Comedy of Errors is the Play meant here. But tho', perhaps, I may believe our Author better acquainted with the antient Languages, than these three Learned Men profefs to do; yet, with Deference to them, his Literature will not come into Difpute on this Account. For the Menæchmi of Plautus was tranflated into English, (which our Criticks might have known from Langbaine,) and printed in Quarte in the Year 1515, half a Century before our Author was born.
(2) A heavier Task could not have been impos'd,
Than I to speak my Grief unspeakable.] The Poet seems to me