The Comedy of Errors
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Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Enter Solinus, Duke of Ephesus, with Egeon, the CE I.i.1.1
Merchant of Siracusa, Iaylor, and other attendantsmerchant of Syracuse, Gaoler, and other attendants CE I.i.1.2
Marchant.EGEON 
Proceed Solinus to procure my fall, Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall, CE I.i.1
And by the doome of death end woes and all. And by the doom of death end woes and all.doom (n.)
old form: doome
judgement, sentence, decision
CE I.i.2
Duke.DUKE 
Merchant of Siracusa, plead no more. Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more.Syracuse, Syracusa (n.)[pron: 'sirakyooz(a)] port city in Sicily, ItalyCE I.i.3
I am not partiall to infringe our Lawes; I am not partial to infringe our laws.partial (adj.)
old form: partiall
disposed, minded, inclined
CE I.i.4
The enmity and discord which of late The enmity and discord which of late CE I.i.5
Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Duke, Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Dukeoutrage (n.)violence, hostility, furyCE I.i.6
To Merchants our well-dealing Countrimen, To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,well-dealing (adj.)fair-dealing, conducting business wellCE I.i.7
Who wanting gilders to redeeme their liues, Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,want (v.)lack, need, be withoutCE I.i.8
redeem (v.)
old form: redeeme
ransom
guilder (n.)gold coin used in parts of Europe
Haue seal'd his rigorous statutes with their blouds, Have sealed his rigorous statutes with their bloods,seal (v.)
old form: seal'd
accomplish, carry out, fulfil
CE I.i.9
Excludes all pitty from our threatning lookes: Excludes all pity from our threatening looks. CE I.i.10
For since the mortall and intestine iarres For since the mortal and intestine jarsintestine (adj.)internal, civil, domesticCE I.i.11
jar (n.)
old form: iarres
conflict, quarrel, dissension
Twixt thy seditious Countrimen and vs, 'Twixt thy seditious countrymen and usseditious (adj.)turbulent, tempestuous, violentCE I.i.12
It hath in solemne Synodes beene decreed, It hath in solemn synods been decreedsynod (n.)
old form: Synodes
assembly, council, gathering
CE I.i.13
Both by the Siracusians and our selues, Both by the Syracusians and ourselves CE I.i.14
To admit no trafficke to our aduerse townes: To admit no traffic to our adverse towns.admit (v.)permit, allow, grantCE I.i.15
adverse (adj.)
old form: aduerse
hostile, belligerent, antagonistic
traffic (n.)
old form: trafficke
trade, commerce, business, merchandise
Nay more, Nay, more: CE I.i.16
if any borne at Ephesus / Be seene If any born at Ephesus be seenEphesus (n.)[pron: 'efesus] former port on W coast of Asia Minor; site of Diana's templeCE I.i.17
at any Siracusian Marts and Fayres: At any Syracusian marts and fairs;mart (n.)marketCE I.i.18
Againe, if any Siracusian borne Again, if any Syracusian born CE I.i.19
Come to the Bay of Ephesus, he dies: Come to the bay of Ephesus, he dies, CE I.i.20
His goods confiscate to the Dukes dispose, His goods confiscate to the Duke's dispose,dispose (n.)disposal, control, discretionCE I.i.21
Vnlesse a thousand markes be leuied Unless a thousand marks be levied,mark (n.)
old form: markes
accounting unit in England (value: two-thirds of a pound)
CE I.i.22
To quit the penalty, and to ransome him: To quit the penalty and to ransom him.quit (v.)remit, release fromCE I.i.23
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,substance (n.)property, wealth, possessions, treasureCE I.i.24
Cannot amount vnto a hundred Markes, Cannot amount unto a hundred marks; CE I.i.25
Therefore by Law thou art condemn'd to die. Therefore by law thou art condemned to die. CE I.i.26
Mer.EGEON 
Yet this my comfort, when your words are done, Yet this my comfort: when your words are done, CE I.i.27
My woes end likewise with the euening Sonne. My woes end likewise with the evening sun. CE I.i.28
Duk.DUKE 
Well Siracusian; say in briefe the cause Well, Syracusian, say in brief the cause CE I.i.29
Why thou departedst from thy natiue home? Why thou departed'st from thy native home, CE I.i.30
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus. And for what cause thou camest to Ephesus. CE I.i.31
Mer.EGEON 
A heauier taske could not haue beene impos'd, A heavier task could not have been imposedheavy (adj.)
old form: heauier
sorrowful, sad, gloomy
CE I.i.32
Then I to speake my griefes vnspeakeable: Than I to speak my griefs unspeakable. CE I.i.33
Yet that the world may witnesse that my end Yet, that the world may witness that my end CE I.i.34
Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence, Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence, CE I.i.35
Ile vtter what my sorrow giues me leaue. I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. CE I.i.36
In Syracusa was I borne, and wedde In Syracusa was I born, and wed CE I.i.37
Vnto a woman, happy but for me, Unto a woman happy but for me, CE I.i.38
And by me; had not our hap beene bad: And by me, had not our hap been bad.hap (n.)fortune, lot, fateCE I.i.39
With her I liu'd in ioy, our wealth increast With her I lived in joy, our wealth increased CE I.i.40
By prosperous voyages I often made By prosperous voyages I often made CE I.i.41
To Epidamium, till my factors death, To Epidamnum, till my factor's death,factor (n.)agent, representative, brokerCE I.i.42
And he great care of goods at randone left, And the great care of goods at random left,care (n.)anxiety, worry, solicitude [about]CE I.i.43
random, at
old form: randone
untended, neglected, uncared for
Drew me from kinde embracements of my spouse; Drew me from kind embracements of my spouse,embracement (n.)embrace, clasping, hugCE I.i.44
kind (adj.)
old form: kinde
loving, affectionate, fond
From whom my absence was not sixe moneths olde, From whom my absence was not six months old CE I.i.45
Before her selfe (almost at fainting vnder Before herself, almost at fainting under CE I.i.46
The pleasing punishment that women beare) The pleasing punishment that women bear, CE I.i.47
Had made prouision for her following me, Had made provision for her following me, CE I.i.48
And soone, and safe, arriued where I was: And soon and safe arrived where I was. CE I.i.49
There had she not beene long, but she became There had she not been long but she became CE I.i.50
A ioyfull mother of two goodly sonnes: A joyful mother of two goodly sons; CE I.i.51
And, which was strange, the one so like the other, And, which was strange, the one so like the other CE I.i.52
As could not be distinguish'd but by names. As could not be distinguished but by names. CE I.i.53
That very howre, and in the selfe-same Inne, That very hour, and in the self-same inn, CE I.i.54
A meane woman was deliuered A mean woman was deliveredmean (adj.)
old form: meane
lowly, humble, poor
CE I.i.55
Of such a burthen Male, twins both alike: Of such a burden male, twins both alike. CE I.i.56
Those, for their parents were exceeding poore, Those, for their parents were exceeding poor,exceeding (adv.)exceedingly, extremely, veryCE I.i.57
I bought, and brought vp to attend my sonnes. I bought, and brought up to attend my sons.attend (v.)serve, follow, wait [on/upon]CE I.i.58
My wife, not meanely prowd of two such boyes, My wife, not meanly proud of two such boys,meanly, not
old form: meanely
not a little, in no small degree
CE I.i.59
Made daily motions for our home returne: Made daily motions for our home return.motion (n.)urging, prompting, encouragementCE I.i.60
Vnwilling I agreed, alas, too soone Unwilling I agreed. Alas, too soon CE I.i.61
wee came aboord. We came aboard. CE I.i.62
A league from Epidamium had we saild A league from Epidamnum had we sailedEpidamnum (n.)[pron: epi'damnum] town on the coast of Illyricum (Dalmatia), Adriatic SeaCE I.i.63
league (n.)[measure of distance] c.3 miles [c.5 km]
Before the alwaies winde-obeying deepe Before the always wind-obeying deep CE I.i.64
Gaue any Tragicke Instance of our harme: Gave any tragic instance of our harm.instance (n.)sign, evidence, proofCE I.i.65
harm (n.)
old form: harme
misfortune, affliction, trouble
But longer did we not retaine much hope; But longer did we not retain much hope, CE I.i.66
For what obscured light the heauens did grant, For what obscured light the heavens did grant CE I.i.67
Did but conuay vnto our fearefull mindes Did but convey unto our fearful mindsfearful (adj.)
old form: fearefull
timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear
CE I.i.68
A doubtfull warrant of immediate death, A doubtful warrant of immediate death,doubtful (adj.)
old form: doubtfull
dreadful, awful, frightful
CE I.i.69
warrant (n.)assurance, pledge, guarantee
Which though my selfe would gladly haue imbrac'd, Which though myself would gladly have embraced, CE I.i.70
Yet the incessant weepings of my wife, Yet the incessant weepings of my wife, CE I.i.71
Weeping before for what she saw must come, Weeping before for what she saw must come, CE I.i.72
And pitteous playnings of the prettie babes And piteous plainings of the pretty babes,plaining (n.)
old form: playnings
wailing, crying
CE I.i.73
That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to feare, That mourned for fashion, ignorant what to fear,fashion (n.)conventional behaviour, conformity, customary useCE I.i.74
Forst me to seeke delayes for them and me, Forced me to seek delays for them and me. CE I.i.75
And this it was: (for other meanes was none) And this it was – for other means was none – this (adv.)in this way, thus, like thisCE I.i.76
The Sailors sought for safety by our boate, The sailors sought for safety by our boat, CE I.i.77
And left the ship then sinking ripe to vs. And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.sinking-ripe (adj.)
old form: sinking ripe
ready to sink
CE I.i.78
My wife, more carefull for the latter borne, My wife, more careful for the latter-born,careful (adj.)
old form: carefull
anxious, concerned, worried
CE I.i.79
latter-born (n.)
old form: latter borne
second-born, younger [twin]
Had fastned him vnto a small spare Mast, Had fastened him unto a small spare mast CE I.i.80
Such as sea-faring men prouide for stormes: Such as seafaring men provide for storms. CE I.i.81
To him one of the other twins was bound, To him one of the other twins was bound, CE I.i.82
Whil'st I had beene like heedfull of the other. Whilst I had been like heedful of the other.like (adv.)equally, similarly, alsoCE I.i.83
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I, The children thus disposed, my wife and I, CE I.i.84
Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt, Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixed, CE I.i.85
Fastned our selues at eyther end the mast, Fastened ourselves at either end the mast, CE I.i.86
And floating straight, obedient to the streame, And floating straight, obedient to the stream,straight (adv.)straightaway, immediately, at onceCE I.i.87
stream (n.)
old form: streame
current, flow, drift
Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought. Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought.Corinth (n.)Greek city-state; on an isthmus separating the Adriatic and the AegeanCE I.i.88
At length the sonne gazing vpon the earth, At length the sun, gazing upon the earth, CE I.i.89
Disperst those vapours that offended vs, Dispersed those vapours that offended us,offend (v.)assail, attack, fall uponCE I.i.90
vapour (n.)mist, cloud, fog
And by the benefit of his wished light And by the benefit of his wished lightbenefit (n.)agency, help, meansCE I.i.91
The seas waxt calme, and we discouered The seas waxed calm, and we discoveredwax (v.)
old form: waxt
grow, become, turn
CE I.i.92
discover (v.)
old form: discouered
spy, spot, make out
Two shippes from farre, making amaine to vs: Two ships from far, making amain to us:amain (adv.)
old form: amaine
in all haste, at full speed
CE I.i.93
Of Corinth that, of Epidarus this, Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this.Epidaurus (n.)[epi'dawrus] town on the coast of Illyricum (Dalmatia), Adriatic SeaCE I.i.94
But ere they came, oh let me say no more, But ere they came – O, let me say no more. CE I.i.95
Gather the sequell by that went before. Gather the sequel by that went before! CE I.i.96
Duk.DUKE 
Nay forward old man, doe not breake off so, Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so, CE I.i.97
For we may pitty, though not pardon thee. For we may pity, though not pardon thee. CE I.i.98
Merch.EGEON 
Oh had the gods done so, I had not now O, had the gods done so, I had not now CE I.i.99
Worthily tearm'd them mercilesse to vs: Worthily termed them merciless to us;worthily (adv.)justly, deservedly, rightlyCE I.i.100
For ere the ships could meet by twice fiue leagues, For ere the ships could meet by twice five leaguesleague (n.)[measure of distance] c.3 miles [c.5 km]CE I.i.101
We were encountred by a mighty rocke, We were encountered by a mighty rock, CE I.i.102
Which being violently borne vp, Which being violently borne upon, CE I.i.103
Our helpefull ship was splitted in the midst; Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst; CE I.i.104
So that in this vniust diuorce of vs, So that in this unjust divorce of us CE I.i.105
Fortune had left to both of vs alike, Fortune had left to both of us alike CE I.i.106
What to delight in, what to sorrow for, What to delight in, what to sorrow for. CE I.i.107
Her part, poore soule, seeming as burdened Her part, poor soul, seeming as burdened CE I.i.108
With lesser waight, but not with lesser woe, With lesser weight but not with lesser woe, CE I.i.109
Was carried with more speed before the winde, Was carried with more speed before the wind, CE I.i.110
And in our sight they three were taken vp And in our sight they three were taken up CE I.i.111
By Fishermen of Corinth, as we thought. By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought. CE I.i.112
At length another ship had seiz'd on vs, At length another ship had seized on us, CE I.i.113
And knowing whom it was their hap to saue, And knowing whom it was their hap to savehap (n.)luck, chance, accidentCE I.i.114
Gaue healthfull welcome to their ship-wrackt guests, Gave healthful welcome to their shipwrecked guests,ship-wracked, -wrackt (adj.)ship-wreckedCE I.i.115
healthful (adj.)
old form: healthfull
healthy, wholesome, fit [in health]
And would haue reft the Fishers of their prey, And would have reft the fishers of their preyfisher (n.)fishermanCE I.i.116
reave (v.), past form reftrob, deprive
Had not their backe beene very slow of saile; Had not their bark been very slow of sail;bark, barque (n.)
old form: backe
ship, vessel
CE I.i.117
And therefore homeward did they bend their course. And therefore homeward did they bend their course. CE I.i.118
Thus haue you heard me seuer'd from my blisse, Thus have you heard me severed from my bliss, CE I.i.119
That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, That by misfortunes was my life prolonged CE I.i.120
To tell sad stories of my owne mishaps. To tell sad stories of my own mishaps. CE I.i.121
Duke.DUKE 
And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for, And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for, CE I.i.122
Doe me the fauour to dilate at full, Do me the favour to dilate at fulldilate (v.)relate, describe, enlarge uponCE I.i.123
What haue befalne of them and they till now. What hath befallen of them and thee till now.befall of (v.)
old form: befalne
become of, happen to
CE I.i.124
Merch.EGEON 
My yongest boy, and yet my eldest care, My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,eldest (adj.)oldest, longestCE I.i.125
At eighteene yeeres became inquisitiue At eighteen years became inquisitiveinquisitive (adj.)
old form: inquisitiue
eager for information, seeking knowledge
CE I.i.126
After his brother; and importun'd me After his brother, and importuned meimportune (v.)
old form: importun'd
beg [for], ask persistently [for]
CE I.i.127
That his attendant, so his case was like, That his attendant, so his case was like,like (adj.)same, similar, alike, equalCE I.i.128
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name, Reft of his brother, but retained his name,reave (v.), past form reftrob, depriveCE I.i.129
Might beare him company in the quest of him: Might bear him company in the quest of him; CE I.i.130
Whom whil'st I laboured of a loue to see, Whom whilst I laboured of a love to see, CE I.i.131
I hazarded the losse of whom I lou'd. I hazarded the loss of whom I loved. CE I.i.132
Fiue Sommers haue I spent in farthest Greece, Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece, CE I.i.133
Roming cleane through the bounds of Asia, Roaming clean through the bounds of Asia,bound (n.)territory, region, domainCE I.i.134
And coasting homeward, came to Ephesus: And coasting homeward came to Ephesus,coast (v.)travel along the coastCE I.i.135
Hopelesse to finde, yet loth to leaue vnsought Hopeless to find, yet loath to leave unsoughthopeless (adj.)
old form: Hopelesse
despairing, without hope
CE I.i.136
unsought (adj.)
old form: vnsought
unsearched, uninvestigated
Or that, or any place that harbours men: Or that or any place that harbours men. CE I.i.137
But heere must end the story of my life, But here must end the story of my life, CE I.i.138
And happy were I in my timelie death, And happy were I in my timely deathtimely (adj.)
old form: timelie
early, premature
CE I.i.139
Could all my trauells warrant me they liue. Could all my travels warrant me they live.warrant (v.)assure, promise, guarantee, confirmCE I.i.140
travail, travel (n.)
old form: trauells
journeying, travel [often overlapping with sense 1]
Duke.DUKE 
Haplesse Egeon whom the fates haue markt Hapless Egeon, whom the fates have markedFates (n.)trio of goddesses who control human destiny: Atropos (‘the inflexible’) cuts the thread of life allotted and spun by Lachesis (‘the distributor’) and Clotho (‘the spinner’)CE I.i.141
hapless (adj.)
old form: Haplesse
luckless, unfortunate, unlucky
To beare the extremitie of dire mishap: To bear the extremity of dire mishap,extremity (n.)
old form: extremitie
utmost degree, greatest amount
CE I.i.142
mishap (n.)evil, misfortune, calamity
Now trust me, were it not against our Lawes, Now trust me, were it not against our laws, CE I.i.143
Against my Crowne, my oath, my dignity, Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,dignity (n.)official position, high office, ruleCE I.i.144
Which Princes would they may not disanull, Which princes, would they, may not disannul,disannul (v.)
old form: disanull
annul, abolish, cancel
CE I.i.145
My soule should sue as aduocate for thee: My soul should sue as advocate for thee. CE I.i.146
But though thou art adiudged to the death, But, though thou art adjudged to the death,adjudge (v.)
old form: adiudged
sentence, condemn
CE I.i.147
And passed sentence may not be recal'd And passed sentence may not be recalledrecall (v.)
old form: recal'd
revoke, annul, nullify
CE I.i.148
But to our honours great disparagement: But to our honour's great disparagement,disparagement (n.)disgrace, dishonour, discreditCE I.i.149
Yet will I fauour thee in what I can; Yet will I favour thee in what I can. CE I.i.150
Therefore Marchant, Ile limit thee this day Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this daylimit (v.)appoint, specify, fix the limit ofCE I.i.151
To seeke thy helpe by beneficiall helpe, To seek thy health by beneficial help.health (n.)well-being, deliveranceCE I.i.152
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus, Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus; CE I.i.153
Beg thou, or borrow, to make vp the summe, Beg thou or borrow to make up the sum, CE I.i.154
And liue: if no, then thou art doom'd to die: And live. If no, then thou art doomed to die. CE I.i.155
Iaylor, take him to thy custodie. Gaoler, take him to thy custody. CE I.i.156
Iaylor.GAOLER 
I will my Lord. I will, my lord. CE I.i.157
Merch.EGEON 
Hopelesse and helpelesse doth Egean wend, Hopeless and helpless doth Egeon wend, CE I.i.158
But to procrastinate his liuelesse end.But to procrastinate his lifeless end.procrastinate (v.)postpone, defer, put offCE I.i.159
Exeunt.Exeunt CE I.i.159
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