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Our dinner done, and he not coming thither,
I went to seek him: in the street I met him,
And in his company that gentleman.
There did this perjur'd goldsmith swear me down,
That I this day of him receiv'd the chain,
Which, Heaven knows, I saw not: for the which
He did arrest me with an officer.

I did obey; and sent my peasant home
For certain ducats: he with none return'd.
Then fairly I bespoke the officer

To go in person with me to my house.

By the way we met

My wife, her sister, and a rabble more

Of vile confederates. Along with them

They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac'd villain,

A mere anatomy, a mountebank,

A threadbare juggler, and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man. This pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer;
And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse,
And with no face, as 'twere, outfacing me,
Cries out, I was possess'd. Then all together
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence,
And in a dark and dankish vault at home
There left me and my man, both bound together,
Till, gnawing with my teeth my bonds in sunder,
I gain'd my freedom, and immediately
Ran hither to your grace; whom I beseech
To give me ample satisfaction

For these deep shames and great indignities.

Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witness with

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Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this! I think you all have drunk of Circe's cup." If here you hous'd him, here he would have been; If he were mad, he would not plead so coldly: :You say he din'd at home; the goldsmith here Denies that saying.-Sirrah, what say you?

Dro. E. Sir, he din'd with her there, at the Porcupine.

Cour. He did; and from my finger snatch'd that ring.

Ant. E. 'Tis true, my liege; this ring I had of her.

Duke. Saw'st thou him enter at the abbey here?

Cour. As sure, my liege, as I do see your

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For lately we were bound, as you are now.
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?
Ege. Why look you strange on me? you know
me well.

Ant. E. I never saw you in my life till now. Ege. Oh, grief hath chang'd me since you saw me last;

And careful hours, with Time's deformèd hand, 26
Have written strange defeatures in my face:
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?
Ant. E. Neither.

Ege. Dromio, nor thou?
Dro. E.

No, trust me, sir, nor I. Ege. I am sure thou dost.

Dro. E. Ay, sir, but I am sure I do not; and whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him.23

hours" mean 'hours full of care,' in the sense of sorrow, trouble. "Deformed" is here used for deforming.'

27. Defeatures. Disfigurements. See Note 12, Act ii. 28. You are now bound to believe him. The quibbling Dromio is still facetiously alluding to Egeon's being led, "bound," to the place of execution; as he just before joked him upon the fact, in the words "lately we were bound, as you are now."

Ege. Not know my voice! Oh, Time's extremity!

Hast thou so crack'd and splitted my poor tongue
In seven short years, that here my only son
Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares ?
Though now this grainèd face of mine be hid
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
And all the conduits of my blood froze up,
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear:
All these old witnesses-I cannot err-
Tell me thou art my son Antipholus.

Ant. E. I never saw my father in my life. Æge. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy, Thou know'st we parted: but, perhaps, my son, Thou sham'st to acknowledge me in misery.

Ant. E. The duke, and all that know me in the city,

Can witness with me that it is not so:

I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.

Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years
Have I been patron to Antipholus,
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa.
I see thy age and dangers make thee dote.

Re-enter Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse and DROMIO of Syracuse.

Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much wrong'd. [All gather to see them. Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive

me.

Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other; And so of these. Which is the natural man, And which the spirit? who deciphers them?

Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio: command him away. Dro. E. 1, sir, am Dromio: pray, let me stay. Ant. S. Ægeon art thou not? or else his ghost? Dro. S. Oh, my old master! who hath bound him here?

Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds,
And gain a husband by his liberty.—
Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man
That hadst a wife once call'd Æmilia,

That bore thee at a burden two fair sons:
Oh, if thou be'st the same Ægeon, speak,
And speak unto the same Æmilia!

29 My feeble key of untun'd cares? The weak tone in which harsh griefs cause me to speak.'

30. Grained. Lined and indented with wrinkles, like the grain of wood.

31 If I dream not, &c. This and the following speech are misplaced in the Folio, coming between the two concluding lines of the Duke's address; whereas they evidently precede it. The needful transposition was made by Capell.

32. Morning story. The narration given by Egeon in the fifth speech of the play. Be it observed that, by this allusion and by several other indications during the course of the various scenes (such as "dinner-time," i. 2, ii. 1 and 2; "supper-time,"

Ege. If I dream not," thou art Æmilia: If thou art she, tell me where is that son That floated with thee on the fatal raft?

Abb. By men of Epidamnum he and I And the twin Dromio, all were taken up; But by-and-by, rude fishermen of Corinth By force took Dromio and my son from them, And me they left with those of Epidamnum. What then became of them I cannot tell; I, to this fortune that you see me in.

Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right:

22

These two Antipholus', these two so like,
And these two Dromios, one in semblance,
Besides her urging of her wreck at sea ;—
These are the parents to these children,
Which accidentally are met together.—
Antipholus, thou cam'st from Corinth first?
Ant. S. No, sir, not I; I came from Syracuse.
Duke. Stay, stand apart: I know not which is
which.

Ant. E. I came from Corinth, my most gracious lord,

Dro. E. And I with him.

Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior,

Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.
Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day?
Ant. S.
I, gentle mistress.
Adr.
Ant. E.
Ant. S.

And are not you my husband?
No; I say nay to that.

And so do I; yet did she call me so: And this fair gentlewoman, her sister here, Did call me brother.-What I told you then," I hope I shall have leisure to make good; If this be not a dream I see and hear.

Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me. Ant. S. I think it be, sir; I deny it not. Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me. Ang. I think I did, sir; I deny it not. Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail, By Dromio; but I think he brought it not.

Dro. E. No, none by me.

Ant. S. This purse of ducats I received from

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And I was ta'en for him, and he for me;
And thereupon these Errors all arose.

Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father
here.

Duke. It shall not need; thy father hath his life.
Cour. Sir, I must have that diamond from you.
Ant. E. There, take it; and much thanks for
my good cheer.

Dro. S. Master, shall I fetch your stuff" from ship-board?

Ant. S. Dromio, what stuff of mine hast thou
embark'd?

Dro. S. Your goods that lay at host, sir, in the
Centaur.

Ant. S. He speaks to me.-I am your master,
Dromio

Abb. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the Come, go with us; we'll look to that anon: 43 pains

To go with us into the abbey here,

And hear at large discoursèd all our fortunes ;—
And all that are assembled in this place,
That by this sympathised one day's error
Have suffer'd wrong, go keep us company,
And we shall make full satisfaction.-
Twenty-five years have I but gone in travail
Cf you, my sons; and, till this present hour,
My heavy burden ne'er delivered.—

The duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you the calendars of their nativity,27
Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me: 38
After so long grief, such nativity! 39

Duke. With all my heart; I'll gossip at this
feast.40

[Exeunt Duke, Abbess, ÆGEON, Courtesan,
Sec. Merchant, ANGELO, and Attendants.

35. These Errors all arose. The Folio misprints are' for "all" (Rowe's correction). Mr. Staunton proposes 'rare,' which, he says, is nearer to the original; but the word "all" in this line strikes our ear as being more Shakespearian than either 'rare' or 'are,' and the latter would be an easy misprint for “all.” Moreover, "all" here is quite in Shakespeare's style, and in his way of drawing attention to the many errors that have occurred, and given the play its name.

36. Twenty-five. Misprinted in the Folio 'Thirtie-three :' and possibly this, and other similar misprints there, arose from the original manuscript having numbers, instead of words, to express amounts. Theobald made the correction; pointing out that Egeon had stated his son's leaving him at "eighteen," and had mentioned "seven years" as having elapsed since they met, which precisely determines the Antipholuses present age. In the next line but one, the Folio misprints are' for "ne'er

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39

37. The calendars of their nativity. See Note 20, Act i. 38. Go to a gossip's feast, and go with me. This second go" is changed to 'joy,' and 'gaud,' by various editors; but go with me" is the burden of the Abbess's speech throughout. 39. Such nativity! "Nativity" here has been altered by different editors to 'felicity,' and 'festivity;' but there is some

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Embrace thy brother there; rejoice with him.

[Exeunt ANT. S. and ANT. E., ADR., and Luc. Dro. S. There is a fat friend at your master's house,

That kitchen'd me for you to-day at dinner
She now shall be my sister, not my wife.

Dro. E. Methinks you are my glass, and not
my brother:

I see by you I am a sweet-fac'd youth.
Will
you walk in to see their gossiping?
Dro. S. Not I, sir; you are my elder.

Dro. E. That's a question: how shall we try it? Dro. S. We'll draw cuts for the senior: till then lead thou first.

Dro. E. Nay, then, thus:

We came into the world like brother and brother; And now, let's go hand in hand, not one before another.

[Exeunt.

thing in the repetition of nativity" in this speech which harmonises with Emilia's dwelling on the fact that "this present hour" is the birth-hour of her sons. Such reiterations in speeches at the close of a play are not unfrequent with Shakespeare, who often, as it appears to us, gives these kind of confusedly-repeated constructions, partly to indicate the tumult of feeling in the speaker, partly to impress upon the audience any special point towards which he desires to draw their attention.

40. I'll gossip at this feast. "Gossip," used as a noun two lines before, and used as a verb in this line, refers to the practice of playing the merry-maker at a christening-feast. It originated in the word 'Godsib,' meaning those who stood at the baptismal font as sponsors for a child, and became thus what was called of kin together through God.' But it afterward became employed for all those present at the ceremony; and, eventually, for those who joined in any festivity pertaining to childbirth and christening.

41. Stuff. See Note 58, Act iv.

42. Lay at host. See Note 15, Act i.
43. Anon.
later on.'

Here used for 'by-and-by,' 'some time rather

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