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SALINUS, Duke of Ephesus.
Ægeon, a Merchant of Syracuse.
Antipholis of Ephesus, Twin-Brothers, and Sons to E-
Antipholis of Syracuse, s known to each other.

geon and Æmilia, but un

. Dromio of Ephesus, 2 Twin-Brothers, and Slaves to the Dromio of Syracuse, S two Antipholis's. Balthazar, a Merchant. Angelo, a Goldsmith. A Merchant, Friend to Antipholis of Syracuse. Dr. Pinch, a School-master, and a Conjurer.

Æmilia, Wife to Ægeon, an Abbess at Ephesus.)
Adriana, Wife to Antipholis of Ephesus.
Luciana, Sister to Adriana.
Luce, Servant to Adriana.

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А с т І. SCENE, the Duke's Palace, Enter the Duke of Ephesus, Ægeon, Jailor,

and other Attendants.

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ÆGE O N.
Roceed, Salinus, 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

(1) Comedy of ERRORS.] The Controversy of our Author's Acquaintance with the Latine Tongue has been partly canvass?d upon his having writ this Play. “ It is in great Measure taken (fays Mr. Rowe) “ from the Menachmi of Plautus. How That happen'd, I cannot easily

divine; since I do not take him to have been Master of Latine enough " to read it in the Original: and I know of no Translation of Plautus “ so old as his Time”. Thus far, his Acquaintance with the Roman Language is rather disputed, than ascertain'd. Let us fee, What Mr. Gilden has observ'd upon This. I confess, with Submission to the Writer “ of his Life, that I can find no such Need of Divination on this Head. “ For as it is beyond Contradiction plain, that this Comedy is taken from “ That of Plautus; so I think it as obvious to conclude from That, that

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Sprung from the ranc'rous outrage of

your Duke,
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
(Who, wanting Gilders to redeem their lives,
Have seal'd his rigorous Statutes with their bloods)
Excludes all pity from our threatning looks.
For, since the mortal and intestine jars
'Twixt thy feditious countrymen and us,
It hath in solemn synods been decreed,
Both by the Syracusans and our selves,
T'admit no traffick to our adverse towns.
Nay, more; if any born at Ephesus
Be seen at Syracufan marts and fairs,
Again, if any Syracufan 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 ransom him.
Thy substance, valu'd at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto a hundred marks ;
Therefore, by law thou art condemn'd to die.

Ægeon. Yet this my comfort, when your words are done,
My woes end likewise with the evening sun.

Duke. Well, Syracusan, say, in brief, the cause,
Why thou departed'st from thy native home ;
And' for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Ægeon. A heavier task could not have been im-
pos'd, (2)

Than
« Shakespeare did understand Latine enough to read him, and knew so
“ much of him as to be able to form a Design out of That of the
*“ Roman Poet". We now find his Title to Learning a little better
grounded. After these Gentlemen comes Mr. Pope, and diffidently cor-
roborates Mr. Gildon's Opinion. “ He appears (says be) also to kave
“ been conversant in Plautus, from whom he has taken the Plot of One
" of his Plays”. The Comedy of Errors is the Play meant here. But
tho', perhaps, I may believe our Author better acquainted with the anti-
ent Languages, than these three Learned Men profess to do; yet, with
Deference to them, his Literature will not come into Dispute on this Ac-
count. For the Menachmi of Plautus was translated into English, (which
our Criticks might have known from Langbaine,) and printed in Quarto
in the Year 1515, half a Century before our Author was born.
(2) A heavier Task could not have been impos'd,
Than I to sprak my Grief unspeakable.) The Poet seems to me

here

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