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As I thought, dead; and have, in vain, said many
dons, That e'er I put between your holy looks My ill suspicion.--This your son-in-law, And son unto the king (whom heavens directing,) Is troth-plight to your daughter. Good Paulina, Lead us from hence; where we may leisurely Each one demand, and answer to his part Perform'd in this wide gap of time, since first We were dissever'd : Hastily lead away.
This play, as Dr. Warburton justly observes, is, with all its absurdities, very entertaining. The character of Autolycus is naturally conceived, and strongly represented.-Johnson.
Solinus, duke of Ephesus.
Gaoler, officers, and other uttendants.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
SCENE 1.-A hall in the Duke's palace.
Enter Duke, Ægeon, Gaoler, Officers, and other
Æge. 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 sealed 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 traffick to our adverse towns : Nay, more, If any, born at Ephesus, be seen At any 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, # Name of a coin.
To quit the penalty, and to ransome him.
Duke. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the cause Why thou departed’st from thy native home; And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Æge. 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 he (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 she had 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:
# Natural affection.