Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 57. Tuesday, 19 Feb 1991.
(1) Date: Mon, 18 Feb 91 11:44:02 EST (423 lines)
From: "Michael S. Hart" <
Subject: Comedy of Errors (Excerpt)
(2) Date: Wed, 30 Jan 91 19:33:49 EST (32 lines)
From: Tom Horton <
Subject: [Information about the Cornmarket *Comedy of Errors*]
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 91 11:44:02 EST
From: "Michael S. Hart" <
Subject: Comedy of Errors (Excerpt)
Here is a short excerpt from the Comedy of Errors etext I am hoping to
post for FTP in the near future. Since this excerpt is no longer than
many of the postings I have seen on SHAKSPER and other listservers, it
would be my hope that you would post it to you membership for comments
as they see fit.
Part of what I would like to find out is if this etext has previously,
under any auspices, been released.
<T The Comedy of Errors>
<AUTHOR W.SHAKESPEARE--revised heavily]>
<Z THOMAS HULL 1793, CORNMARKET FACSIMILE>
<DATE 8-2-82> <TIME 16.40>
<Z Sc A hall. Duke, Aegeon, Two Officers, Tailor, Four Guards,
and Attendants discovered>
<Q Aegeon>Proceed, Salinus, to procure my fall,
And terminate, by this, thy rig'rous doom,
Aegeon's life and miseries together.
<Q Duke>Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more.
The enmity and discord which, of late,
Sprung from the ranc'rous outrage of your duke,
To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
(Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,
Have seal'd his rig'rous statutes with their blood)
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 Syracusans and ourselves,
T'admit no traffic to our adverse towns.
Nay, more - If any, born at Ephesus,
Be seen at Syracusan marts or fairs:
Again - If any Syracusan 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, valued at the highest rate,
Cannot amount unto an hundred marks;
Therefore, by law, thou art condemn'd to die.
<Q Aegeon>This comfort then (the wretch's last resource)
At least, I gain from the severe decree -
My woes must finish e'er the setting sun.
<Q Duke>Yet, Syracusan, say in briefe the cause,
Why thou departedst from thy native home,
And for what cause thou cam'st to to Euphesus.
<Q Aegeon>A heavier task could not have been impos'd,
Yet will I utter what my grief permits. -
In Syracusa was I born; and wed
Unto a woman, happy but for me]
With her I liv'd in joy; our wealth increas'd
By prosp'rous traffic - till my factor's death,
Drew us unwillingly to Epidamnum.
There had we not been long, but she became
A joyful mother of two goodly sons,
And, strange to hear, the one so like the other,
They hardly by ourselves could be distinguished.
That very hour, and in the self-same house,
A poor mean woman was delivered
Of such a burthen, male twins, both alike.
These (for their parents were exceeding poor)
I bought, and brought up, to attend my sons.
My wife, not meanly proud of her two boys,
Made daily motions for our home return.
Unwilling I agreed. - We came aboard -
O bitter recollection]
<Q Duke>Stop thy tears -
I long, yet almost dread to hear the rest.
<Q Aegeon>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 into our fearful minds
A dreadful warrant of immediate death.
The sailors sought for safety by our boat,
And left the ship, then sinking-ripe, to us.
My wife, more careful for the elder born,
Had fasten'd him unto a small spare mast;
To him, one of the other twins was bound;
While I had been like heedful of the younger.
The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I
Fasten'd ourselves at either end the mast;
And, floating strait, obedient to the stream,
Were carried towards Corinth, as we thought.
At length the sea wax'd calm; and we discover'd
Two ships, from far, making amain to us;
But ere they came -
<Q Duke> Pursue thy tale, old man.
<Q Aegeon>Being encounter'd by a mighty rock,
our helpless raft was splitted in the midst.
Her part (poor soul) burthen'd with lesser weight,
Was carried with more speed, before the wind;
And, in our fight, they three were taken up
By fishermen of Corinth, as we thought.
At length another ship had seiz'd on us:
And would have 'reft the fishers of their prey,
Had not their bark been very slow of sail.
<Q Duke>Relate at full
What hath befallen to them, and thee 'till now.
<Q Aegeon>My youngest boy, and yet my eldest care,
At eighteen years, became inquisitive
After his brother, and importun'd me
That his attendant (for his case was like,
'Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name)
Might bear him company, in quest of him,
Whom, while I labour'd of a love to see,
I yielded to the loss of him I lov'd.
Since which unhappy time, no news arriving
What course their wayward stars had hurry'd them,
Five summers have I spent in farthest Greece,
Roaming ev'n through the bounds of Asia,
And, coasting homeward, came to Ephesus;
But here must end the story of my life,
And happy were I in my timely death,
Could all my travels warrant me they live.
<Q Duke> Hapless Aegeon] whom the fates have mark'd
To bear th'extremity of dire mishap,
Now trust me, were it not against our laws,
Against my crown, my oath, my dignity,
My soul should sue as advocate for thee:
But though thou art adjudged to the death,
And passed sentence cannot be recall'd,
But to our honour's great disparagement,
Yet will I favour thee in what I can.
I, therefore, merchant, limit thee this day
To seek thy life, by beneficial help;
Try all the friends thou hast in Ephesus,
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the sum,
And live - if not, then art thou doom'd to die.
<Z Exit with guards.>
<Q Aegeon> What friends can misery expect?
This pity but prolongs the date of pain:
And to a sure, though short protracted end,
Helpless and hopeless doth Aegeon wend.
<Z Exit guarded.>
<Z A street. Enter Antipholis of Syracuse, Dromio of Syracuse,
and 1st Merchant>
<Q 1st Mer.>Therefore give out you are of Epidamnum,
Lest that your goods be forfeit to the state.
This very day a Syracusan merchant
Is apprehended for arrival here;
And, not being able to buy out his life,
Dies e'er the weary sun sets in the west. -
There is your money which I had to keep.
<Q An. of Syr.>Go, bear it to the Centaur, where we host,
and stay there, Dromio, till I come to thee.
Within this hour it will be dinner-time;
'Till then I'll view the manners of the town,
Peruse the traders, gaze upon the buildings,
And then return, and sleep within mine inn;
For with long travel I am sick and weary.
Get thee away]
<Q Dr. of Syr.>Many a man would take you at your word,
And go away indeed, having so great
A treasure in his charge. - Of what strength do
You conceive my honesty, good master,
That you dare put it to such temptation?
<Q An. of Syr.>Of proof against a greater charge than this;
Were it remiss, thy love would strengthen it:
I think thou would'st not wrong me if thou could'st.
<Q Dr. Of Syr.>I hope I should not, sir; but there is such
A thing as trusting too far. - Odds heart, 'tis
A weighty matter, and, if ballanc'd in
A stilliard against my honesty
I doubt -
<Q An. of Sy.>That very doubt is my security. -
No further argument, but speed away.
<Dr. of Sy.>Ay, but master, you know the old saying -
<Q An. of Sy.>Then thou hast no occasion to tell it me. -
Begone I say. -
<Z Exit Dromio of Syr.>
A trusty villian, sir, that very oft',
When I am dull with care and melancholy,
Lightens my humour with his merry jests. -
What, will you walk with me about the town,
And then go to the inn and dine with me?
<Q 1st Merchant>I am invited, sir, to certain merchants,
Of whom I hope to make much benefit:
I crave your pardon - but at five o clock,
Please you, I'll meet you here upon the mart,
And afterwards consort with you till bed-time.
My present business calls me from you now.
<Q An.of Syr.>Farewell 'till then. - I will go lose myself,
And wander up and down to view the city.
<Q 1st Mer.>Sir, I commend you to your own content.
<Q An.of Syr.>He that commends me to my own content,
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
I, to the world, am like a drop of water,
That in the ocean seeks another drop;
Who, failing there to find his fellow out,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself:
So I, to find a mother, and a brother,
In search of them, unhappy, lose myself. -
<Z Enter Dromio of Ephesus>
How now] How chance thou art return'd so soon?
<Dr. of Eph.>Return'd so soon] Rather approach'd too late -
The capon burns, the pig falls from the spit,
The clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell,
My mistress made it one upon my cheek; -
She is so hot, because the meat is cold,
The meat is cold, because you come not home,
You come not home, because you have no stomach,
You have no stomach, having broke your fast;
But we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray,
Are pentinent for your default to-day.
<Q An. of Syr.>Stop in your wind, sir; - tell me this, I pray,
Where have you left the money that I gave you?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Money] - oh, the money that I had on
Wednesday last, to pay for mending my
mistress's saddle. - The sadler had it, sir,
I kept it not.
<Q An. of Syr.>I am not in a sportive humour now;
Tell me, and dally not - where is the money?
We being strangers here, how dar'st thou trust
So great a charge from thine own custody?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>I pray you, jest, sir, as you sit at dinner -
I from my mistress come to you in haste.
Methinks your stomach, like mine, should be your clock,
And send you home without a messenger.
<Q An. of Syr.>Come, Dromio, come these jests are out of season;
Reserve them 'till a merrier hour than this. -
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>To me, sir] - why, you gave no gold to me]
<Q An. of Syr.>Come, come, have done your foolishness,
And tell me how thou hast dispos'd my charge.
<Q Dr. of Eph.>My charge was but to fetch you from the mart
Home to your house, the Phoenix, sir, to dinner;
My mistress and her sister stay for you.
<Q An. of Syr.>Now, as I am a Christian, answer me,
In what safe place you have bestow'd my money;
Or I shall break that merry sconce of your's,
That stands on tricks when I am undispos'd.
Where are the thousand marks thou had'st of me?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>I have some marks of your's upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
Between you both they make perhaps a thousand:
If I should pay your worship these again,
Perchance you will not take it patiently.
<Q An.of Syr.>Thy mistress' marks] - what mistress, slave, hast
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Your worship's wife, my mistress, at the Phoenix,
She that doth fast till you come home to dinner,
And prays that you will haste you.
<Q An. of Syr.>What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face,
Being forbid? - There, take you that, sir knave.
<Q Dr. of Eph.>What mean you sir? - for Heaven's sake, hold
your hands -
Nay, an you will not, sir, I'll take my heels.
<Q An.of Syr.>Upon my life, by some device or other,
The villain has been trick'd of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage;
If it proves so, I will be gone the sooner.
Misguided by my hopes, in doubt I stray,
To seek what I, perchance, may never find.
May not the cruel hand of destiny,
Ere this, have render'd all my searches vain?
If so, how wretched has my folly made me]
In luckless hour, alas] I left my home,
And the fond comforts of a father's love,
That only bliss my fortune had in store,
For dubious pleasures on a foreign shore. <Z exit>
<Z A Chamber in ANTIPHOLIS of Ephesus's House. Enter ADRIANA
<Q Adr.>Neither my husband, nor the slave return'd,
That, in such haste, I sent to seek his master?
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock.
<Q Luc.>Perhaps some merchant has invited him,
And from the mart, he's somewhere gone to dinner.
Good sister, let us dine, and never fret;
A man is master of his liberty,
Will come, or go - therefore be patient, sister.
<Q Ad.>Why should their liberty be more than ours?
<Q Luc.>Because their bus'ness still lies out of door.
<Q Ad.>Look, when I serve him so, he takes it ill.
<Q Luc.>He is the bridle of your actions, sister.
<Q Ad.>None, but an ideot, would be bridled so.
<Q Luc.>Why, headstrong liberty belongs to man,
And ill befits a woman's gentle mind.
There's nothing situate under Heaven's eye,
But hath it's bound in earth, in sea, and air;
The beasts, the fishes, and the winged tribes,
Are their males subjects, and at their controul.
Man, more divine, the master of them all
Indued with intellectual sense and soul,
Is master to his female - nay her lord]
Let then your will attend on his commands.
<Q Ad.>This servitude makes you remain unwed.
<Q Luc.>Not this, but troubles of the marriage state.
<Q Ad.>But were you wedded, you would bear some rule.
<Q Luc.>Before I wed I'll practise to obey.
<Q Ad.>How, if your husband start some other where?
<Q Luc.>With all the gentle, artificial means,
That patient meekness, and domestic cares
could bring to my relief, I would beguile
The intervening hours, till he, tir'd out
With empy transient pleasures, should return
To seek content and hapiness at home -
With smiles I'd welcome him, and put in practice
Each soothing art, that kindness could suggest,
To wean his mind from such delusive joys.
<Q.Ad.>O special reasoning] well may they be patient,
Who never had a cause for anger given them]
How easily we cure another's grief]
But, were we burthen'd with like weight of woe,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
So thou, who hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
Would'st comfort me, by urging helpless patience;
But should'st thou live to see these griefs thine own,
This boasted patience would be thrown aside.
<Q Luc.>Well, I will marry one day, but to try -
Here comes your man, now is your husband near.
<Z Enter Dromio of Epheus>
<Q Ad.>Say is your tardy master now at hand?
<Dr. of Eph.>Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two
ears can witness.
<Q.Ad.>Say, did'st thou speak with him? Know'st thou his mind?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Ay, Ay, he told his mind upon my ear;
Beshrew his hand, I scarce could understand it.
<Q Luc.>Spake he so doubtfully, thou could'st not find his
<Q Dr. of Elph>Nay he struck so plainly, I could too well feel
blows: and withal so doubtfully that I could scarce understand
<Q Ad.>But say, I pray thee, is he coming home?
It seems, he has great care to please his wife]
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Why, mistress, sure my master is horn-mad.
<Q Luc.>Horn-mad, thou villain]
<Q Dr. of Eph.>I mean not cuckold-mad, but sure he's stark-mad.
When I desir'd him to come home to dinner,
He ask'd me for a thousand marks in gold.
'Tis dinner time, quoth I - my gold, quoth he -
Your meat doth burn, quoth I - my gold, quoth he -
Where are the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?
The pig, quoth I, is burn'd - my gold, quoth he -
My mistress, sir, quoth I - hang up thy mistress]
I do not know thy mistress - out on thy mistress]
<Q Luc.>Quoth who?
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Quoth my master -
I know, quoth, he, no house, no wife, no mistress;
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders -
For, in conclusion, he did beat me hither.
<Q Ad.>Go back again, thou slave, and fetch him home.
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Go back again, and be new beaten home]
For heavens sake, send some other messenger.
<Q ad.>Hence, prating peasant] fetch thy master home.
<Q Dr. of Eph.>Am I so round with you, as you with me,
That, like a football, you do spurn me thus?
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither.
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.
<Q Luc.>Fie] how impatience lowereth on your brow]
<Q Ad.>His company must do his minions grace,
While I, at home, starve for a cheerful look.
Hath homely age th'alluring beauty stole
From my poor cheek? no, he hath wasted it.
Are my discourses low? barren my wit?
If voluble and sharp discourse be dull'd,
Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That's not my fault - he's master of my fortunes.
What ruins are in me, that can be found
By him not ruin'd? - Then is he the cause
Of my defeatures - my decayed beauty,
A funny look of his would soon repair:
But, too unruly deer] he breaks the pale,
And feeds from home - poor I am left despis'd.
<Q Luc>Self-harming jealousy] fie] beat it hence.
<Q Ad.>I know his eye doth homage other-where,
Or else, what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promis'd me a bracelet -
Some stranger fair hath caught his truant eye,
And triumphs in the gifts design'd for me.
Such trifles yet with ease I could forego,
So I were sure he left his heart at home]
I see the jewel best enameled
Will lose its lustre - so doth Adriana -
Whom once, unwearied with continual gazing,
He fondly call'd the treasure of his life]
Now, since my beauty cannot please his eye,
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die.
Thank you for your interest,
Michael S. Hart, Director, Project Gutenberg
The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect
the views of any person or institution. Neither Prof
Hart nor Project Gutenberg have any official contacts
with the University of Illinois, SIMTEL20 or TRW.
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some of our workers are HUMAN and therefore will act
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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 91 19:33:49 EST
From: Tom Horton <
Subject: [Information about the Cornmarket *Comedy of Errors*]
[The following description of the Cornmarket CE has been culled from
private correspondence from its editor, Tom Horton, with his
permission. The information below may be valuable to anyone
curious about the origins and nature of the text in question.]
A revised version of Shakespeare's *The Comedy of Errors*: from the
Thomas Hull 1793 Cornmarket Facsimile
I doubt *very* seriously that many Sh scholars will be too interested in this
version of the play. It was very heavily revised; if I recall, the first and
last acts are completely different from Sh's original. I'd guess that only a
theatrical historian specializing in what people did to Shakespeare before
1900 will care; I don't have any reason to believe that this version is
particularly significant or interesting in the history of Sh textual history.
But I really don't know. Maybe it *is* famous.
It might even be very hard to find a copy of this to proof-read it by.
OK, there *is* one in the Univ. of Edinburgh library in Scotland, which is how
it was input in the first place. I'm not sure about the publication date of
the facsimile itself, but I guess it would be late 19th or early 20th century.
How this particular version got input in the first place is only a slightly
interesting story; suffice to say there was no good reason, and the persons
responsible may have made a mistake in choosing an edition to input.