Duk. Nay forward old man, doe not breake off so, For we may pitty, though not pardon thee

Merch. Oh had the gods done so, I had not now Worthily tearm'd them mercilesse to vs: For ere the ships could meet by twice fiue leagues, We were encountred by a mighty rocke, Which being violently borne vp, Our helpefull ship was splitted in the midst; So that in this vniust diuorce of vs, Fortune had left to both of vs alike, What to delight in, what to sorrow for, Her part, poore soule, seeming as burdened With lesser waight, but not with lesser woe, Was carried with more speed before the winde, And in our sight they three were taken vp By Fishermen of Corinth, as we thought. At length another ship had seiz'd on vs, And knowing whom it was their hap to saue, Gaue healthfull welcome to their ship-wrackt guests, And would haue reft the Fishers of their prey, Had not their backe beene very slow of saile; And therefore homeward did they bend their course. Thus haue you heard me seuer'd from my blisse, That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, To tell sad stories of my owne mishaps

Duke. And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for, Doe me the fauour to dilate at full, What haue befalne of them and they till now

Merch. My yongest boy, and yet my eldest care, At eighteene yeeres became inquisitiue After his brother; and importun'd me That his attendant, so his case was like, Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name, Might beare him company in the quest of him: Whom whil'st I laboured of a loue to see, I hazarded the losse of whom I lou'd. Fiue Sommers haue I spent in farthest Greece, Roming cleane through the bounds of Asia, And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus: Hopelesse to finde, yet loth to leaue vnsought Or that, or any place that harbours men: But heere must end the story of my life, And happy were I in my timelie death, Could all my trauells warrant me they liue

Duke. Haplesse Egeon whom the fates haue markt To beare the extremitie of dire mishap: Now trust me, were it not against our Lawes, Against my Crowne, my oath, my dignity, Which Princes would they may not disanull, My soule should sue as aduocate for thee: But though thou art adiudged to the death, And passed sentence may not be recal'd But to our honours great disparagement: Yet will I fauour thee in what I can; Therefore Marchant, Ile limit thee this day To seeke thy helpe by beneficiall helpe, Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus, Beg thou, or borrow, to make vp the summe, And liue: if no, then thou art doom'd to die: Iaylor, take him to thy custodie

Iaylor. I will my Lord

Merch. Hopelesse and helpelesse doth Egean wend, But to procrastinate his liuelesse end.


Enter Antipholis Erotes, a Marchant, and Dromio.

Mer. Therefore giue out you are of Epidamium, Lest that your goods too soone be confiscate: This very day a Syracusian Marchant Is apprehended for a riuall here, And not being able to buy out his life, According to the statute of the towne, Dies ere the wearie sunne set in the West: There is your monie that I had to keepe

Ant. Goe beare it to the Centaure, where we host, And stay there Dromio, till I come to thee; Within this houre it will be dinner time, Till that Ile view the manners of the towne, Peruse the traders, gaze vpon the buildings, And then returne and sleepe within mine Inne, For with long trauaile I am stiffe and wearie. Get thee away

Dro. Many a man would take you at your word, And goe indeede, hauing so good a meane.

Exit Dromio.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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