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not have inserted the allusion to the hostility between France and her " heir,” after the war had been so long carried on, that interest in, or attention to it in this country would have been relaxed.

Another question by Antipholus, and the answer of Dromio, immediately preceding what is above quoted, is remarkable on a different account:“ Ant. S. Where Scotland ?

Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.”

" From this passage,” (says Malone) “we may learn that this comedy was not revived after the accession of the Scottish monarch to the English throne; otherwise it would probably have been struck out by the Master of the Revels.” However, we are now certain (a curious fact hitherto unknown), that “The Comedy of Errors” was represented at Whitehall on the 28th December, 1604. In the account of the Master of the Revels of the expenses of his department, from the end of Oct. 1604, to Shrove Tuesday, 1605, preserved in the Audit Office, we read the subsequent entry :

“By his Matis Plaiers. On Inosents Night, the plaie of Errors," the name of Shaxberd, for Shakespeare, being inserted in the margin as “the Poet which mayd the Plaie.” “ The Comedy of Errors" was, therefore, not only “revived,” but represented at court very soon after James I. came to the crown : we may be confident, however, that the question and answer respecting Scotland were not repeated on the occasion, though retained in the MS. used by the actor-editors for the folio of 1623.

In his Lectures on Shakespeare in 1818, Coleridge passed over “The Comedy of Errors” without any particular or separate observation ; but in his “Literary Remains ” we find it twice mentioned (vol. ii. 90 and 114), in much the same terms. “Shakespeare,” he observes, "has in this piece presented us with a legitimate farce, in exactest consonance with the philosophical principles and character of farce, as distinguished from comedy and entertainments. A proper farce is mainly distinguished from comedy by the licence allowed, and even required, in the fable, in order to produce strange and laughable situations. The story need not be probable ; it is enough that it is possible. A comedy would scarcely allow even the two Antipholuses; because, although there have been instances of almost undistinguishable likeness in two persons, yet these are mere individual accidents, casus ludentis naturæ, and the verum will not excuse the inverisimile. But farce dares add the two Dromios, and is justified in so doing by the laws of its end and constitution.”


SOLINUS, Duke of Ephesus.
ÆGEON, a Merchant of Syracuse.
ANTIPHOLUS of Ephesus, Twin Brothers, Sons to Ægeon and
ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse, Æmilia.
DROMIO of Ephesus, Twin Brothers, Attendants on the two
DROMIO of Syracuse, Antipholuses.
BALTHAZAR, a Merchant.
ANGELO, a Goldsmith.
A Merchant, Friend to Antipholus of Syracuse.
PINCH, a Schoolmaster.

ÆMILIA, Wife to Ægeon.
ADRIANA, Wife to Antipholus of Ephesus.
LUCIANA, her Sister,
LUCE, Servant to Adriana.
A Courtezan.

Jailor, Officers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Ephesus.

" This enumeration of the persons is not in the folio of 1623, nor in those of 1632, 1664, and 1685. It was first inserted by Rowe.



A Hall in the Duke's Palace.

Enter Solinus, Duke of Ephesus, Ægeon, a Merchant of

Syracusa, Jailor, Officers, and other Attendants. 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 seald 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 Syracusians and ourselves, To admit no traffic to our adverse towns : Nay, more, if any, born at Ephesus, Be seen at any Syracusian marts and fairs; Again, if any Syracusian 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, valued 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

My woes end likewise with the evening sun.

Duke. Well, Syracusian; say, in brief, the cause
Why thou departedst 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 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 3)
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,

And by me too,] Too was added by the editor of the second folio. ? And the great care of goods at random left] Malone altered he, as it stands in the folio of 1623, to the, and it is very evident that a letter had dropped out. The second folio, in order to make sense of the passage, reads

“ And he great store of goods at random leaving

Drew me from kind embracements,” &c. that women BEAR,] Boswell added a note, asserting that the first folio has bears and not “ bear.” It is a matter of little moment, but every copy of the first folio I have seen has “ bear” and not bears.


As could not be distinguish'd but by names.
That very hour, and in the self-same inn,
A poor mean woman was delivered 4
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 embracd,
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
Weeping before for what she saw must come,
And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to fear,
Forc'd me to seek delays for them and me.
And this it was,—for other means was none.-
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.
My wife, more careful for the latter-born,
Had fastend him unto a small spare mast,
Such as sea-faring men provide for storms:
To him one of the other twins was bound,

* A POOR mean woman was delivered] The word poor was added to complete the metre in the second folio. Malone therefore adopted it, but he himself spoiled the line, by printing deliver'd instead of “ delivered.” In the same way, near the end of the speech, we meet with this line :

“ The seas wax'd calm, and we discovered :" Malone printed discorer'd, though the word must be read as four syllables.

5 Unwilling I agreed. Alas, too soon we came aboard !) This is the reading of the folios, whereas Malone would make the sense run on to the next line: the clear meaning is, that they “ came aboard too soon,” in consequence of the storm that almost immediately followed.

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