The Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7.



Text and Image

Here you can read a digital edition of each play in various views.

Page Image & Text
Digital Text
XML

Reference: H1r - Comedies, p. 85

Left Column


The Comedie of Errors.
Actus primus, Scena prima. [Act 1, Scene 1] Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Merchant of Siracusa, Iaylor, and other attendants. Marchant. PRoceed Solinus to procure my fall, And by the doome of death end woes and all. Duke. Merchant of Siracusa, plead no more. I am not partiall to infringe our Lawes;
[5]
The enmity and discord which of late Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Duke, To Merchants our well‑dealing Countrimen, Who wanting gilders to redeeme their liues, Haue seal'd his rigorous statutes with their blouds,
[10]
Excludes all pitty from our threatning lookes: For since the mortall and intestine iarres Twixt thy seditious Countrimen and vs, It hath in solemne Synodes beene decreed, Both by the Siracusians and our selues,
[15]
To admit no trafficke to our aduerse townes: Nay more, if any borne at Ephesus Be seene at any Siracusian Marts and Fayres: Againe, if any Siracusian borne Come to the Bay of Ephesus, he dies:
[20]
His goods confiscate to the Dukes dispose, Vnlesse a thousand markes be leuied To quit the penalty, and to ransome him: Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Cannot amount vnto a hundred Markes,
[25]
Therefore by Law thou art condemn'd to die.
Mer. Yet this my comfort, when your words are done, My woes end likewise with the euening Sonne. Duk. Well Siracusian; say in briefe the cause Why thou departedst from thy natiue home?
[30]
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Mer. A heauier taske could not haue beene impos'd, Then I to speake my griefes vnspeakeable: Yet that the world may witnesse that my end Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
[35]
Ile vtter what my sorrow giues me leaue. In Syracusa was I borne, and wedde Vnto a woman, happy but for me, And by me; had not our hap beene bad: With her I liu'd in ioy, our wealth increast
[40]
By prosperous voyages I often made To Epidamium, till my factors death, And he great care of goods at randone left, Drew me from kinde embracements of my spouse; From whom my absence was not sixe moneths olde,
[45]
Before her selfe (almost at fainting vnder

Image


[full image]

Right Column


The pleasing punishment that women beare) Had made prouision for her following me, And soone, and safe, arriued where I was: There had she not beene long, but she became
[50]
A ioyfull mother of two goodly sonnes: And, which was strange, the one so like the other, As could not be distinguish'd but by names. That very howre, and in the selfe‑same Inne, A meane woman was deliuered
[55]
Of such a burthen Male, twins both alike: Those, for their parents were exceeding poore, I bought, and brought vp to attend my sonnes. My wife, not meanely prowd of two such boyes, Made daily motions for our home returne:
[60]
Vnwilling I agreed, alas, too soone wee came aboord. A league from Epidamium had we saild Before the alwaies winde‑obeying deepe Gaue any Tragicke Instance of our harme: But longer did we not retaine much hope;
[65]
For what obscured light the heauens did grant, Did but conuay vnto our fearefull mindes A doubtfull warrant of immediate death, Which though my selfe would gladly haue imbrac'd, Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
[70]
Weeping before for what she saw must come, And pitteous playnings of the prettie babes That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to feare, Forst me to seeke delayes for them and me, And this it was: (for other meanes was none)
[75]
The Sailors sought for safety by our boate, And left the ship then sinking ripe to vs. My wife, more carefull for the latter borne, Had fastned him vnto a small spare Mast, Such as sea‑faring men prouide for stormes:
[80]
To him one of the other twins was bound, Whil'st I had beene like heedfull of the other. The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I, Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt, Fastned our selues at eyther end the mast,
[85]
And floating straight, obedient to the streame, Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought. At length the sonne gazing vpon the earth, Disperst those vapours that offended vs, And by the benefit of his wished light
[90]
The seas waxt calme, and we discouered Two shippes from farre, making amaine to vs: Of Corinth that, of Epidarus this, But ere they came, oh let me say no more, Gather the sequell by that went before.
Duk.
[95]
Nay forward old man, doe not breake off so, H For

Download the digital text and images of the play



 
Actus primus, Scena prima. [Act 1, Scene 1] Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Merchant of Siracusa, Iaylor, and other attendants. Marchant. PRoceed Solinus to procure my fall, And by the doome of death end woes and all. Duke. Merchant of Siracusa, plead no more. I am not partiall to infringe our Lawes;
[5]
The enmity and discord which of late Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Duke, To Merchants our well‑dealing Countrimen, Who wanting gilders to redeeme their liues, Haue seal'd his rigorous statutes with their blouds,
[10]
Excludes all pitty from our threatning lookes: For since the mortall and intestine iarres Twixt thy seditious Countrimen and vs, It hath in solemne Synodes beene decreed, Both by the Siracusians and our selues,
[15]
To admit no trafficke to our aduerse townes: Nay more, if any borne at Ephesus Be seene at any Siracusian Marts and Fayres: Againe, if any Siracusian borne Come to the Bay of Ephesus, he dies:
[20]
His goods confiscate to the Dukes dispose, Vnlesse a thousand markes be leuied To quit the penalty, and to ransome him: Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Cannot amount vnto a hundred Markes,
[25]
Therefore by Law thou art condemn'd to die.
Mer. Yet this my comfort, when your words are done, My woes end likewise with the euening Sonne. Duk. Well Siracusian; say in briefe the cause Why thou departedst from thy natiue home?
[30]
And for what cause thou cam'st to Ephesus.
Mer. A heauier taske could not haue beene impos'd, Then I to speake my griefes vnspeakeable: Yet that the world may witnesse that my end Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
[35]
Ile vtter what my sorrow giues me leaue. In Syracusa was I borne, and wedde Vnto a woman, happy but for me, And by me; had not our hap beene bad: With her I liu'd in ioy, our wealth increast
[40]
By prosperous voyages I often made To Epidamium, till my factors death, And he great care of goods at randone left, Drew me from kinde embracements of my spouse; From whom my absence was not sixe moneths olde,
[45]
Before her selfe (almost at fainting vnder The pleasing punishment that women beare) Had made prouision for her following me, And soone, and safe, arriued where I was: There had she not beene long, but she became
[50]
A ioyfull mother of two goodly sonnes: And, which was strange, the one so like the other, As could not be distinguish'd but by names. That very howre, and in the selfe‑same Inne, A meane woman was deliuered
[55]
Of such a burthen Male, twins both alike: Those, for their parents were exceeding poore, I bought, and brought vp to attend my sonnes. My wife, not meanely prowd of two such boyes, Made daily motions for our home returne:
[60]
Vnwilling I agreed, alas, too soone wee came aboord. A league from Epidamium had we saild Before the alwaies winde‑obeying deepe Gaue any Tragicke Instance of our harme: But longer did we not retaine much hope;
[65]
For what obscured light the heauens did grant, Did but conuay vnto our fearefull mindes A doubtfull warrant of immediate death, Which though my selfe would gladly haue imbrac'd, Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,
[70]
Weeping before for what she saw must come, And pitteous playnings of the prettie babes That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to feare, Forst me to seeke delayes for them and me, And this it was: (for other meanes was none)
[75]
The Sailors sought for safety by our boate, And left the ship then sinking ripe to vs. My wife, more carefull for the latter borne, Had fastned him vnto a small spare Mast, Such as sea‑faring men prouide for stormes:
[80]
To him one of the other twins was bound, Whil'st I had beene like heedfull of the other. The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I, Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt, Fastned our selues at eyther end the mast,
[85]
And floating straight, obedient to the streame, Was carried towards Corinth, as we thought. At length the sonne gazing vpon the earth, Disperst those vapours that offended vs, And by the benefit of his wished light
[90]
The seas waxt calme, and we discouered Two shippes from farre, making amaine to vs: Of Corinth that, of Epidarus this, But ere they came, oh let me say no more, Gather the sequell by that went before.
Duk.
[95]
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,
[100]
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,
[105]
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
[110]
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,
[115]
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.
[120]
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
[125]
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,
[130]
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
[135]
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
[140]
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:
[145]
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
[150]
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.
[155]
I will my Lord.
Merch. Hopelesse and helpelesse doth Egean wend, But to procrastinate his liuelesse end. Exeunt.
 

Download the digital text of the play

        
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<div type="scene" n="1">
   <head rend="italic center">Actus primus, Scena prima.</head>
   <head type="supplied">[Act 1, Scene 1]</head>
   <cb n="1"/>
   <stage rend="italic center" type="entrance">Enter the Duke of Ephesus, with the Merchant of Siracusa,
      <lb/>Iaylor, and other attendants.</stage>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="inset italic">Marchant.</speaker>
      <l n="1">
         <c rend="decoratedCapital">P</c>Roceed<hi rend="italic">Solinus</hi>to procure my fall,</l>
      <l n="2">And by the doome of death end woes and all.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-duk">
      <speaker rend="italic">Duke.</speaker>
      <l n="3">Merchant of<hi rend="italic">Siracusa</hi>, plead no more.</l>
      <l n="4">I am not partiall to infringe our Lawes;</l>
      <l n="5">The enmity and discord which of late</l>
      <l n="6">Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your Duke,</l>
      <l n="7">To Merchants our well‑dealing Countrimen,</l>
      <l n="8">Who wanting gilders to redeeme their liues,</l>
      <l n="9">Haue seal'd his rigorous statutes with their blouds,</l>
      <l n="10">Excludes all pitty from our threatning lookes:</l>
      <l n="11">For since the mortall and intestine iarres</l>
      <l n="12">Twixt thy seditious Countrimen and vs,</l>
      <l n="13">It hath in solemne Synodes beene decreed,</l>
      <l n="14">Both by the<hi rend="italic">Siracusians</hi>and our selues,</l>
      <l n="15">To admit no trafficke to our aduerse townes:</l>
      <l n="16">Nay more, if any borne at<hi rend="italic">Ephesus</hi>
      </l>
      <l n="17">Be seene at any<hi rend="italic">Siracusian</hi>Marts and Fayres:</l>
      <l n="18">Againe, if any<hi rend="italic">Siracusian</hi>borne</l>
      <l n="19">Come to the Bay of<hi rend="italic">Ephesus</hi>, he dies:</l>
      <l n="20">His goods confiscate to the Dukes dispose,</l>
      <l n="21">Vnlesse a thousand markes be leuied</l>
      <l n="22">To quit the penalty, and to ransome him:</l>
      <l n="23">Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,</l>
      <l n="24">Cannot amount vnto a hundred Markes,</l>
      <l n="25">Therefore by Law thou art condemn'd to die.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="italic">Mer.</speaker>
      <l n="26">Yet this my comfort, when your words are done,</l>
      <l n="27">My woes end likewise with the euening Sonne.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-duk">
      <speaker rend="italic">Duk.</speaker>
      <l n="28">Well<hi rend="italic">Siracusian</hi>; say in briefe the cause</l>
      <l n="29">Why thou departedst from thy natiue home?</l>
      <l n="30">And for what cause thou cam'st to<hi rend="italic">Ephesus.</hi>
      </l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="italic">Mer.</speaker>
      <l n="31">A heauier taske could not haue beene impos'd,</l>
      <l n="32">Then I to speake my griefes vnspeakeable:</l>
      <l n="33">Yet that the world may witnesse that my end</l>
      <l n="34">Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,</l>
      <l n="35">Ile vtter what my sorrow giues me leaue.</l>
      <l n="36">In<hi rend="italic">Syracusa</hi>was I borne, and wedde</l>
      <l n="37">Vnto a woman, happy but for me,</l>
      <l n="38">And by me; had not our hap beene bad:</l>
      <l n="39">With her I liu'd in ioy, our wealth increast</l>
      <l n="40">By prosperous voyages I often made</l>
      <l n="41">To<hi rend="italic">Epidamium</hi>, till my factors death,</l>
      <l n="42">And he great care of goods at randone left,</l>
      <l n="43">Drew me from kinde embracements of my spouse;</l>
      <l n="44">From whom my absence was not sixe moneths olde,</l>
      <l n="45">Before her selfe (almost at fainting vnder</l>
      <cb n="2"/>
      <l n="46">The pleasing punishment that women beare)</l>
      <l n="47">Had made prouision for her following me,</l>
      <l n="48">And soone, and safe, arriued where I was:</l>
      <l n="49">There had she not beene long, but she became</l>
      <l n="50">A ioyfull mother of two goodly sonnes:</l>
      <l n="51">And, which was strange, the one so like the other,</l>
      <l n="52">As could not be distinguish'd but by names.</l>
      <l n="53">That very howre, and in the selfe‑same Inne,</l>
      <l n="54">A meane woman was deliuered</l>
      <l n="55">Of such a burthen Male, twins both alike:</l>
      <l n="56">Those, for their parents were exceeding poore,</l>
      <l n="57">I bought, and brought vp to attend my sonnes.</l>
      <l n="58">My wife, not meanely prowd of two such boyes,</l>
      <l n="59">Made daily motions for our home returne:</l>
      <l n="60">Vnwilling I agreed, alas, too soone wee came aboord.</l>
      <l n="61">A league from<hi rend="italic">Epidamium</hi>had we saild</l>
      <l n="62">Before the alwaies winde‑obeying deepe</l>
      <l n="63">Gaue any Tragicke Instance of our harme:</l>
      <l n="64">But longer did we not retaine much hope;</l>
      <l n="65">For what obscured light the heauens did grant,</l>
      <l n="66">Did but conuay vnto our fearefull mindes</l>
      <l n="67">A doubtfull warrant of immediate death,</l>
      <l n="68">Which though my selfe would gladly haue imbrac'd,</l>
      <l n="69">Yet the incessant weepings of my wife,</l>
      <l n="70">Weeping before for what she saw must come,</l>
      <l n="71">And pitteous playnings of the prettie babes</l>
      <l n="72">That mourn'd for fashion, ignorant what to feare,</l>
      <l n="73">Forst me to seeke delayes for them and me,</l>
      <l n="74">And this it was: (for other meanes was none)</l>
      <l n="75">The Sailors sought for safety by our boate,</l>
      <l n="76">And left the ship then sinking ripe to vs.</l>
      <l n="77">My wife, more carefull for the latter borne,</l>
      <l n="78">Had fastned him vnto a small spare Mast,</l>
      <l n="79">Such as sea‑faring men prouide for stormes:</l>
      <l n="80">To him one of the other twins was bound,</l>
      <l n="81">Whil'st I had beene like heedfull of the other.</l>
      <l n="82">The children thus dispos'd, my wife and I,</l>
      <l n="83">Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fixt,</l>
      <l n="84">Fastned our selues at eyther end the mast,</l>
      <l n="85">And floating straight, obedient to the streame,</l>
      <l n="86">Was carried towards<hi rend="italic">Corinth</hi>, as we thought.</l>
      <l n="87">At length the sonne gazing vpon the earth,</l>
      <l n="88">Disperst those vapours that offended vs,</l>
      <l n="89">And by the benefit of his wished light</l>
      <l n="90">The seas waxt calme, and we discouered</l>
      <l n="91">Two shippes from farre, making amaine to vs:</l>
      <l n="92">Of<hi rend="italic">Corinth</hi>that, of<hi rend="italic">Epidarus</hi>this,</l>
      <l n="93">But ere they came, oh let me say no more,</l>
      <l n="94">Gather the sequell by that went before.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-duk">
      <speaker rend="italic">Duk.</speaker>
      <l n="95">Nay forward old man, doe not breake off so,</l>
      <pb facs="FFimg:axc0106-0.jpg" n="86"/>
      <cb n="1"/>
      <l n="96">For we may pitty, though not pardon thee.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="italic">Merch.</speaker>
      <l n="97">Oh had the gods done so, I had not now</l>
      <l n="98">Worthily tearm'd them mercilesse to vs:</l>
      <l n="99">For ere the ships could meet by twice fiue leagues,</l>
      <l n="100">We were encountred by a mighty rocke,</l>
      <l n="101">Which being violently borne vp,</l>
      <l n="102">Our helpefull ship was splitted in the midst;</l>
      <l n="103">So that in this vniust diuorce of vs,</l>
      <l n="104">Fortune had left to both of vs alike,</l>
      <l n="105">What to delight in, what to sorrow for,</l>
      <l n="106">Her part, poore soule, seeming as burdened</l>
      <l n="107">With lesser waight, but not with lesser woe,</l>
      <l n="108">Was carried with more speed before the winde,</l>
      <l n="109">And in our sight they three were taken vp</l>
      <l n="110">By Fishermen of<hi rend="italic">Corinth</hi>, as we thought.</l>
      <l n="111">At length another ship had seiz'd on vs,</l>
      <l n="112">And knowing whom it was their hap to saue,</l>
      <l n="113">Gaue healthfull welcome to their ship‑wrackt guests,</l>
      <l n="114">And would haue reft the Fishers of their prey,</l>
      <l n="115">Had not their backe beene very slow of saile;</l>
      <l n="116">And therefore homeward did they bend their course.</l>
      <l n="117">Thus haue you heard me seuer'd from my blisse,</l>
      <l n="118">That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd,</l>
      <l n="119">To tell sad stories of my owne mishaps.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-duk">
      <speaker rend="italic">Duke.</speaker>
      <l n="120">And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for,</l>
      <l n="121">Doe me the fauour to dilate at full,</l>
      <l n="122">What haue befalne of them and they till now.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="italic">Merch.</speaker>
      <l n="123">My yongest boy, and yet my eldest care,</l>
      <l n="124">At eighteene yeeres became inquisitiue</l>
      <l n="125">After his brother; and importun'd me</l>
      <l n="126">That his attendant, so his case was like,</l>
      <l n="127">Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,</l>
      <l n="128">Might beare him company in the quest of him:</l>
      <l n="129">Whom whil'st I laboured of a loue to see,</l>
      <l n="130">I hazarded the losse of whom I lou'd.</l>
      <l n="131">Fiue Sommers haue I spent in farthest<hi rend="italic">Greece</hi>,</l>
      <l n="132">Roming cleane through the bounds of<hi rend="italic">Asia</hi>,</l>
      <l n="133">And coasting homeward, came to<hi rend="italic">Ephesus:</hi>
      </l>
      <l n="134">Hopelesse to finde, yet loth to leaue vnsought</l>
      <l n="135">Or that, or any place that harbours men:</l>
      <l n="136">But heere must end the story of my life,</l>
      <l n="137">And happy were I in my timelie death,</l>
      <l n="138">Could all my trauells warrant me they liue.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-duk">
      <speaker rend="italic">Duke.</speaker>
      <l n="139">Haplesse<hi rend="italic">Egeon</hi>whom the fates haue markt</l>
      <l n="140">To beare the extremitie of dire mishap:</l>
      <l n="141">Now trust me, were it not against our Lawes,</l>
      <l n="142">Against my Crowne, my oath, my dignity,</l>
      <l n="143">Which Princes would they may not disanull,</l>
      <l n="144">My soule should sue as aduocate for thee:</l>
      <l n="145">But though thou art adiudged to the death,</l>
      <l n="146">And passed sentence may not be recal'd</l>
      <l n="147">But to our honours great disparagement:</l>
      <l n="148">Yet will I fauour thee in what I can;</l>
      <l n="149">Therefore Marchant, Ile limit thee this day</l>
      <l n="150">To seeke thy helpe by beneficiall helpe,</l>
      <l n="151">Try all the friends thou hast in<hi rend="italic">Ephesus</hi>,</l>
      <l n="152">Beg thou, or borrow, to make vp the summe,</l>
      <l n="153">And liue: if no, then thou art doom'd to die:</l>
      <l n="154">Iaylor, take him to thy custodie.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-gao">
      <speaker rend="italic">Iaylor.</speaker>
      <l n="155">I will my Lord.</l>
   </sp>
   <sp who="#F-err-mer">
      <speaker rend="italic">Merch.</speaker>
      <l n="156">Hopelesse and helpelesse doth<hi rend="italic">Egean</hi>wend,</l>
      <l n="157">But to procrastinate his liuelesse end.</l>
   </sp>
   <stage rend="italic rightJustified" type="exit">Exeunt.</stage>
</div>

        
        

Download the XML