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The Comedy of Errors

Act I, Scene 1

A hall in DUKE SOLINUS'S palace.
 
[Enter DUKE SOLINUS, AEGON, Jailer, Officers, and other Attendants]
 
AEGON
           ,     ,    ,            ,         ,
      Proceed | Soli|nus to | procure | my fall,
           ,         ,         ,           ,         ,
      And by | the doom | of death | end^woes | and all.
 
DUKE SOLINUS
       ,             ,    ,       ,          ,
      Merchant | of Sy|racu|sa, plead | no more.
      ,           ,    ,            ,           ,
      I am | not par|tial to | infringe | our laws;
           ,    ,        ,    T    T    .   T
      The en|mity | and dis|cord which of late
         ,               ,    2     ,    ,              ,
      Sprung from | the ran|corous out|rage of | your duke,
          ,                 ,   ,         ,      ,
      To mer|chants our / well-dea|ling coun|trymen,
           ,         ,                ,    ,     ,
      Who^wan|ting guil|ders to re//deem their lives
              ,          ,   2      ,    ,                  ,
      Have sealed | his ri|gorous stat|utes with | their bloods,
           ,      ,   ,                 ,     2      ,
      Excludes | all pi/ty from | our threa|tening looks.
            ,          ,       ,       ,         ,
      For since | the mor|tal and | intes|tine jars
         ,            ,         ,      ,         ,
      'Twixt thy | sedi|tious coun|trymen | and us,
           ,        ,       ,        ,        ,
      It hath | in so|lemn sy|nods been | decreed,
        ,            ,    ,        ,          ,
      Both by | the Sy|racu|sians and | ourselves,
        2   ,     ,   ,        2       T  T     T
      To admit | no traf/fic to our | adverse towns:
             ,       ,      ,       ,     ,
      Nay* more,| if a|ny born | at E|phesus
           ,       ,   3  3  ,        ,           ,
      Be seen | at a|ny Syracu|sian marts | and fairs:
         ,       ,     ,    ,        ,
      Again,| if a|ny Sy|racu|sian born
        ,    2       ,          ,       ,    __
      Come to the | bay of | Ephe|sus, he | dies:
            ,      ,       ,              ,         ,
      His goods | confi|scate to | the duke's | dispose,
          ,        ,         ,      ,  ,
      Unless | a thou|sand marks | be le/vied
      <-        ,         ,     ,            ,       ,
        To || quit the | penal|ty, and | to ran|som him:
           ,           ,       ,         ,        ,
      Thy sub|stance, val|ued at | the high|est rate,
       ,          ,      ,        ,         ,
      Cannot | amount | unto | a hun|dred marks,
             ,        ,          ,          ,         ,
      Therefore | by law | thou art | condemned | to die.
 
AEGON
            ,        ,          ,           ,           ,
      Yet this | my com|fort, when | your words | are done,
           ,     T    T   T        2     ,        ,
      My woes | end likewise | with the eve|ning sun.
 
DUKE SOLINUS
             ,    ,        ,         ,           ,
      Well* Sy|racu|sian; say | in brief | the cause
       ,            ,          ,         ,        ,
      Why thou | depar|tedst from | thy na|tive home?
           ,           ,            ,        ,     ,
      And for | what cause | thou camst | to E|phesus.
 
AEGON
         ,    2    ,           ,           ,        ,
      A hea|vier task | could not | have been | imposed,
           ,        ,           ,         ,     ,
      Than I | to speak | my griefs | unspeak|able:
            ,          ,          ,         ,        ,
      Yet that | the world | may wit|ness that | my end
             ,          ,        ,         ,        ,
      Was wrought | by na|ture, not | by vile | offense,
            ,       ,        ,         ,         ,
      I'll ut|ter what | my sor|rows give | me leave.
          ,    ,     ,        ,         ,
      In Sy|racu|sa was | I born,| and wed
       ,        ,       ,      ,         ,
      Unto | a wo|man, hap|py but | for me,
           ,    ,         ,         T    T   T
      And by | me; had | not our | hap been bad:
            ,        ,         ,           ,          ,
      With her | I lived | in joy,| our wealth | increased
           ,    2     ,    ,       ,       ,
      By pros|perous voy|ages | I of|ten made
         ,    ,   2     ,        ,          ,
      To E|pidam|ium, till | my fac|tor's death,
                  ,     ,         ,         ,        ,
      And the / great care | of goods | at ran|dom left,
        ,              ,        ,          ,         ,
      Drew me | from kind | embrace|ments of | my spouse:
             ,        ,      2     ,     T    T     T
      From whom | my ab|sence was not | six months old,
          ,         ,     ,    2       ,         ,
      Before | herself |(almost at | fainting | under
            ,        ,       ,          ,       ,
      The plea|sing pun|ishment | that wo|men bear)
            ,        ,       ,         ,    2     ,
      Had made | provi|sion for | her fol|lowing me,
            ,          ,       ,       ,        ,
      And soon,| and safe,| arri|ved where | I was:
        ,              ,           ,         ,        ,
      There had | she not | been long,| but she | became
         ,       ,            ,    ,       ,
      A joy|ful mo|ther of / two good|ly sons:
       ,                 ,           ,         ,         x
      And, which^|was strange,| the one | so like | the other,
           ,          ,       ,           ,         ,
      As could | not^be | distin|guished but | by names.
            ,      ,     ,    2        T    T   T
      That ve|ry hour,| and in the | self-same inn,
          ,     ,       ,      ,     ,
      A mean | woman | was de|liver|ed
      <-        ,       ,         T     T     T       ,
        Of || such a | burden | male, twins both | alike:
        ,                 ,         ,       ,         ,
      Those, for | their par|ents were | excee|ding poor,
           ,            ,       ,   2     T   T   T
      I bought,| and brought | up to at|tend my sons.
           ,          ,       ,      .  T    T    T
      My wife,| not mean|ly proud | of two such boys,
            ,      ,        ,          ,        ,
      Made^dai|ly mo|tions for | our home | return:
         ,      3 3   ,       ,          ,      3    3   ,
      Unwil|ling I agreed,| alas,| too soon | we came^aboard.  ??
           ,          ,    ,   2   ,          ,
      A league | from E|pidam|ium had | we sailed,
          ,         ,        ,     ,        ,
      Before | the al|ways wind-|obey|ing deep
           ,     ,       ,         ,         ,
      Gave^a|ny tra|gic in|stance^of | our harm:
           ,       ,        ,        ,           ,
      But lon|ger did | we not | retain | much^hope;
            ,       ,        ,            x            ,
      For what | obscu|red light | the heavens | did grant,
           ,        ,     ,           ,        ,
      Did but | convey | unto | our fear|ful minds
          ,        ,        ,      ,   2     ,
      A doubt|ful war|rant of | imme|diate death,
               ,         ,            ,       ,         ,
      Which^though | myself | would glad|ly have | embraced,
       ,           ,        ,         ,        ,
      Yet the | inces|sant wee|pings of | my wife,
       ,            ,          ,         ,           ,
      Weeping | before | for what | she saw | must^come,
           ,   2     ,    ,              ,       ,
      And pi|teous plai|nings of | the pret|ty babes,
              ,            ,        ,   2      ,         ,
      That mourned | for fash|ion, ig|norant what | to fear,
         ,             ,        ,          ,         ,
      Forced me | to seek | delays | for them | and me.
            ,        ,         ,        ,           ,
      And this | it was: |(for o|ther means | was none)
           ,          ,           ,           ,    ,
      The sai|lors sought | for safe|ty by / our boat,
            ,          ,           ,        ,        ,
      And left | the ship | then sink|ing-ripe | to us.
           ,           ,       ,         ,        ,
      My wife,| more care|ful for | the lat|ter-born,
            ,        ,     ,  2      T     T     T
      Had fast|ened him | unto a | small spare mast,
        T   .  T  T       ,         ,           ,
      Such as seafar|ing men | provide | for storms:
          ,     ,           ,        ,           ,
      To him | one of | the o|ther twins | was bound,
             ,         ,      ,    ,        2      ,
      Whilst^I | had been | like heed/ful of the | other:
            ,         ,         ,          ,        ,
      The chil|dren thus | disposed,| my wife | and I,
       ,             ,         ,          ,          ,
      Fixing | our eyes | on whom | our care | was fixed,
       ,               ,         ,       ,          ,
      Fastened | ourselves | at ei|ther end | the mast,
            ,           ,        ,   2    ,          ,
      And floa|ting straight,| obe|dient to | the stream,
           ,            ,    ,         ,         ,
      Was car|ried to/wards Cor|inth, as | we thought.
            ,          ,     ,         ,          ,
      At length | the sun,| gazing | upon | the earth,
            ,       ,    ,                ,       ,
      Dispersed | those va/pors that | offen|ded us,
           ,        ,    ,     .  T     T     T
      And by | the be|nefit | of his wished light,
            ,      T     T    T     ,     ,
      The seas | waxed calm, and | we di|scovered
       T    T     T     ,    ,          ,    2
      Two ships from | far, ma/king a|main to us,
          ,         ,       ,    ,        ,
      Of Co|rinth that,| of E|pidau|rus this,
           ,           ,        ,        ,         ,
      But ere | they came,| oh let | me say | no more,
       ,            ,             ,    ,        ,
      Gather | the se|quel by / that went | before.
 
DUKE SOLINUS
       ,   ,             ,         ,          ,
      Nay for/ward old^|man, do | not break^|off so,
           ,        ,        ,          ,        ,
      For we | may pi|ty, though | not par|don thee.
 
AEGON
       ,    2        T    T   T      ,         ,
      Oh had the | gods done so,| I had | not now
       ,           ,           ,      ,        ,
      Worthi|ly termed | them mer|ciless | to us:
       ,     2        ,             ,         T     T     T
      For ere the | ships could | meet by | twice five leagues,
       ,            ,         ,       ,       ,
      We were | encoun|tered by | a migh|ty rock,
        T     Tx   T    ,       ,     __
      Which being vi|olent|ly borne | up,
            ,        ,          ,        ,         ,
      Our help|ful ship | was split|ted in | the midst;
           ,     ,            ,        ,         ,
      So that | in this | unjust | divorce | of us,
       ,              ,         ,        ,      ,
      Fortune | had left | to both | of us | alike
        ,           ,           ,        ,       ,
      What to | delight | in, what | to sor|row for,
            ,      T    T    T        ,    ,
      Her part,| poor soul, see|ming as | burdened
            ,         ,          ,          ,       ,
      With les|ser weight,| but not | with les|ser woe,
           ,                ,    ,         ,          ,
      Was car|ried with / more speed | before | the wind,
       ,    2        T     T    T           ,      ,
      And in our | sight they three | were ta|ken up
           ,     ,        ,         ,         ,
      By fish|ermen | of Cor|inth, as | we thought.
            ,       ,        ,           ,         ,
      At length | ano|ther ship | had seized | on us,
            ,        ,        ,           ,         ,
      And know|ing whom | it was | their hap | to save,
              ,        ,    ,    2          T    T       T
      Gave^health|ful wel|come to their | shipwrecked guests,
            ,            ,          ,       ,           ,
      And would | have reft | the fish|ers of | their prey,
           ,            ,          ,      ,         ,
      Had not | their bark | been ve|ry slow | of sail;
            ,          ,        ,           ,             ,
      And there|fore home|ward did | they bend | their course.
        ,               ,         ,         ,         ,
      Thus have | you heard | me se|vered from | my bliss,
            ,       ,         ,         ,          ,
      That by | misfor|tunes was | my life | prolonged,
       .   T   T   T                 ,   ,   ,
      To tell sad sto|ries of my // own mishaps.
 
DUKE SOLINUS
           ,          ,         ,          ,     2    ,
      And for | the sake | of them | thou sor|rowest for,
       ,           ,           ,  ,         ,
      Do me | the fa|vor to / dilate | at full
             ,         x          ,          ,          ,
      What hath | befallen | of them | and thee | till now.
 
AEGON
           ,        ,         ,        ,        ,
      My young|est boy,| and yet | my el|dest care,
           ,         ,         ,       ,      ,
      At eigh|teen years | became | inqui|sitive
       ,           ,         ,            ,    ,
      After | his bro|ther; and | impor/tuned me
        ,           ,         ,         ,          ,
      That his | atten|dant, so | his case | was like,
        ,            ,         ,         ,           ,
      Reft of | his bro|ther, but | retained | his name,
              ,         ,     ,     2      ,         ,
      Might bear | him com|pany | in the quest | of him:
              ,        ,        ,       ,        ,
      Whom whilst | I la|bored of | a love | to see,
         ,     ,          ,         ,        ,
      I ha|zarded | the loss | of whom | I loved.
        ,   ,                  ,         ,           ,
      Five sum/mers have | I spent | in fur|thest Greece,
       ,          T      T     .     T        ,   ,
      Roaming | clean through the bounds | of A|sia,
            ,         ,          ,       ,     ,
      And coas|ting home|ward, came | to E|phesus;
        ,             ,          ,          ,          ,
      Hopeless | to find,| yet loath | to leave | unsought
           ,       ,      ,           ,        ,
      Or that,| or a|ny place | that har|bors men:
            ,          ,         ,      ,        ,
      But here | must^end | the sto|ry of | my life,
           ,       ,    ,           ,       ,
      And hap|py were | I in | my time|ly death,
             ,        ,        ,        ,          ,
      Could^all | my tra|vels war|rant me | they live.
 
DUKE SOLINUS
       ,         T T    T          ,             ,
      Hapless | Aegon whom | the fates | have marked
           ,       2   ,     ,    .   T   T  T
      To bear | the extre|mity | of dire mishap:
            ,           ,        ,        ,           ,
      Now trust | me, were | it not | against | our laws,
          ,          ,          ,        ,     ,
      Against | my crown,| my oath,| my dig|nity,
              ,        ,           ,         ,     ,
      Which prin|ces would | they may | not dis|annul,
           ,           ,        ,     ,          ,
      My soul | would sue | as ad|vocate | for thee:
             ,           ,       ,       ,         ,
      But though | thou art | adjud|ged to | the death,
           ,       ,         ,         ,        ,
      And pas|sed sen|tence may | not be | recalled
       ,            ,         ,        ,        ,
      But to | our ho|nor's great | dispa|ragement:
       ,            ,       ,         ,       ,
      Yet I | will fa|vor thee | in what | I can;
        ,          ,               ,       ,          ,
      Therefore | merchant,| I'll li|mit thee | this^day
           ,          ,        ,    ,        ,
      To seek | thy life | by be|nefi|cial help,
           ,           ,             ,       ,     ,
      Try^all | the friends | thou hast | in E|phesus,
       ,             ,              ,   ,        ,
      Beg thou,| or bor|row, to / make up | the sum,
            ,        ,          ,           ,         ,
      And live:| if no,| then thou | art doomed | to die.
       ,         ,          2      ,   3  3
      Jailer,| take him | to thy cus|tody.
 
JAILER
                                                ,         ,
                                            I will | my lord.
 
AEGON
        ,              ,         ,     T T    T
      Hopeless | and help|less doth | Aegon wend,
       ,            ,      ,          ,        ,
      But to | procras|tinate | his life|less end.
 
[Exeunt]

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