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I think, you all have drank of Circe's cup.
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been;
Dro. E. Sir, he dined with her there, at the Porcu. pine.
Cour. He did; and from my finger snatch'd that ring.
I think, you are all mated,2 or stark mad.
[Exit an Attend. Ege. Most mighty duke, vouchsafe me speak a word; Haply, I see a friend will save my life,
And pay the sum that may deliver me.
Duke. Speak freely, Syracusan, what thou wilt. Ege. Is not your name, sir, call'd Antipholus? And is not that your bondman Dromio?
Dro. E. Within this hour I was his bondman, sir,
Ege. I am sure, you both of you remember me.
For lately we were bound, as you are now.
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, sir?
Ege. Why look you strange on me? you know me well.
Ant. E. I never saw you in my life, till now.
Ege. Oh! grief hath chang'd me, since you saw me
And careful hours, with Time's deformed3 hand
2 mated,] See p. 367, n. 2. Malone.
3 deformed -] For deforming. Steevens.
strange defeatures-] Defeature is the privative of feature. The meaning is, time hath cancelled my features.
Defeatures are undoings, miscarriages, misfortunes; from defaire, French. So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599:
But tell me yet, dost thou not know my voice?
Dro. E. Ay, sir? but I am sure, I do not; and whatsoever a man denies, you are now bound to believe him." Ege. Not know my voice! O, time's extremity!
Hast thou so crack'd"and splitted my poor tongue, my voice, split
"The day before the night of my defeature, (i. e. undoing)
The sense is, I am deformed, undone, by misery. Misfortune has left its impression on my face. Steevens.
Defeature is, I think, alteration of feature, marks of deformity. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis:
❝ to cross the curious workmanship of nature,
"To mingle beauty with infirmities,
"And pure perfection with impure defeature." Malone. Defeatures are certainly neither more nor less than features; as demerits are neither more nor less than merits. Time, says Ageon, hath placed new and strange features in my face; i. e. given it quite a different appearance: no wonder therefore thou dost not know me.
you are now bound to believe him.] bling on his favourite topick. See p. 403.
Dromio is still quib-
6 ——— my feeble key of untun'd cares?] i. e. the weak and discordant tone of my voice, that is changed by grief. Douce.
this grained face-] i. e. furrowed, like the grain of wood. So, in Coriolanus:
8 All these old witnesses (I cannot err)] I believe should be read:
All these hold witnesses I cannot err.
i.e. all these continue to testify that I cannot err, and tell me, &c. Warburton.
Tell me, thou art my son Antipholus.
Ege. But seven years since, in Syracusa, boy,
Ant. E. The duke, and all that know me in the city, Can witness with me that it is not so;
I ne'er saw Syracusa in my life.
Duke. I tell thee, Syracusan, twenty years
During which time he ne'er saw Syracusa:
Enter the Abbess, with ANTIPHOLUS Syracusan, and
Abb. Most mighty duke, behold a man much wrong'd. [All gather to see him. Adr. I see two husbands, or mine eyes deceive me. Duke. One of these men is Genius to the other; And so of these: Which is the natural man, And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
Dro. S. I, sir, am Dromio; command him away. Dro. E. I, sir, am Dromio; pray, let me stay. Ant. S. Egeon, art thou not? or else his ghost? Dro. S. O, my old master! who hath bound him here? Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loose his bonds, And gain a husband by his liberty :Speak, old Ægeon, if thou be'st the man That had'st a wife once called Emilia, That bore thee at a burden two fair sons: O, if thou be'st the same Egeon, speak, And speak unto the same Emilia!
Ege. If I dream not, thou art Æmilia;
The old reading is the true one, as well as the most poetical. The words I cannot err, should be thrown into a parenthesis. By old witnesses I believe he means experienced, accustomed ones, which are therefore less likely to err. So, in The Tempest:
"If these be true spies that I wear in my head," &c. Again, in Titus Andronicus, sc. ult:
"But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
9 If I dream not,] In the old copy, this speech of Ægeon, and the subsequent one of the Abbess, follow the speech of the Duke,
If thou art she, tell me, where is that son
Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I,
Duke. Why, here begins his morning story right:
beginning with the words-"Why, here" &c. The transposition was suggested by Mr. Steevens. It scarcely requires any justification. Egeon's answer to Emilia's adjuration would necessarily immediately succeed to it. Besides, as Mr. Steevens has observed, as these speeches stand in the old copy, the Duke comments on Emilia's words before she has uttered them. The slight change now made renders the whole clear. Malone.
That, however, will scarcely remove the difficulty: the next speech is Egeon's. Both it and the following one should precede the Duke's; or there is possibly a line lost. Ritson.
If this be the right reading, it is, as Steevens justly remarks, one of Shakspeare's oversights, as the Abbess had not hinted at her shipwreck. But possibly we should read
"Besides his urging of her wreck at sea." M. Mason. 1 Why, here begins his morning story right:] "The morning story" is what Ageon tells the Duke in the first scene of this play. H. White.
semblance,] Semblance (as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed) is here a trisyllable. Steevens.
3 of her wreck at sea,] I suspect that a line following this has been lost; the import of which was, that These circumstances all concurred to prove that These were the parents, &c. The line which I suppose to have been lost, and the following one, beginning perhaps with the same word, the omission might have been occasioned by the compositor's eye glancing from one to the other. Malone.
children,] This plural is here used as a trisyllable. in Chapman's version of the sixteenth Iliad:
"Abhor'd Chimæra; and such bane now caught his childeren."
Again, in the fourth Iliad:
Which accidentally are met together.
Ant. S. No, sir, not 1; I came from Syracuse.
Ant. E. Brought to this town by that most famous warrior
Duke Menaphon, your most renowned uncle.
Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day?
And are not you my husband?
Ant. E. No, I say nay to that.
Ant. S. And so do I, yet did she call me so;
Ang. That is the chain, sir, which you had of me.
Ant. E. And you, sir, for this chain arrested me.
Adr. I sent you money, sir, to be your bail,
By Dromio; but I think he brought it not.
Dro. E. No, none by me.
Ant. S. This purse of ducats I receiv'd from you,
I see, we still did meet each other's man,
Ant. E. These ducats pawn I for my father here.
Abb. Renowned duke, vouchsafe to take the pains
"May with discretion plant themselves against their father's wills."
Again, in the sixth Iliad:
"Yet had he one surviv'd to him of those three childeren."