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Are stor❜d with corn, to make your needy bread,
And we 'll pray for you.
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Per. Which welcome we 'll accept; feast here a while, Until our stars that frown, lend us a smile.
Gow. Here have you seen a mighty king
A better prince, and benign lord,
Prove awful both in deed and word.1
to make your needy bread,] i. e. to make bread for your needy subjects. Percy.
9 Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,] I suspect the
Or pay you with unthankfulness in aught,
Be it our wives, &c.
If we are unthankful to you in any one instance, or refuse, should there be occasion, to sacrifice any thing for your service, whether our wives, our children or ourselves, may the curse of heaven, and of mankind, &c.—Aught was anciently written ought. Our wives, &c. may however refer to any in the former line; I have therefore made no change. Malone.
I believe the old reading is the true one. Ingratitude in thought is mental ingratitude. The governor imprecates vengeance on himself and his people, should any of them harbour even an ungrateful thought in their bosoms respecting Pericles. Steevens.
No amendment is wanting; the meaning is this:-"May these persons be cursed who shall pay you with unthankfulness, even in thought, though they should be our dearest friends, or even ourselves." M. Mason.
1 A better prince, and benign lord,
Prove awful &c.] i. e. you have seen a better prince, &c.
Be quiet then, as men should be,
I'll show you those in troubles reign,
prove awful &c. The verb in the first line is carried on to the third. Old copy:
That will prove awful both in deed and word.
I have omitted the two first words, as the sense proceeds without them, and they render the metre irregular. Steevens.
2 I'll show you those &c.] I will now exhibit to you persons, who, after suffering small and temporary evil, will at length be blessed with happiness.-I suspect our author had here in view the title of a chapter in Gesta Romanorum, in which the story of Apollonius is told; though I will not say in what language he read it. It is this: " De tribulatione temporali quæ in gaudium sempiternum postremo commutabitur." Malone.
3 The good in conversation] Conversation is conduct, behaviour. So, in the Second Epistle of St. Peter, iii, 11: " be in all holy conversation and godliness.” Steevens.
4 The good in conversation
(To whom I give my benizon)
Is still at Tharsus, where &c.] This passage is confusedly expressed. Gower means to say-The good prince (on whom I bestow my best wishes) is still engaged at Tharsus, where every man &c. Steevens.
5 Thinks all is writ he spoken can:] Pays as much respect to whatever Pericles says, as if it were holy writ. "As true as the gospel," is still common language. Malone.
Writ may certainly mean scripture; the holy writings, by way of eminence, being so denominated. We might, however, read -wit, i. e. wisdom. So, Gower, in this story of Prince Appolyn : "Though that thou be of little witte." Steevens.
Gild his statue glorious:] This circumstance, as well as the foregoing, is found in the Confessio Amantis:
"Appolinus, whan that he herde
"The mischefe, howe the citee ferde,
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?
Enter at one door PERICLES, talking with CLEON; all the
"But sithen fyrst this worlde began,
"More joye made than thei hym made;
"Thus hath he nought his yefte spilte."
All the copies read-Build his statue, &c. Malone.
They also unnecessarily read:
Build his statue to make it glorious.
Read-gild. So, in Gower:
"It was of laton over-gylte."
Again, in Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: “ in remembraunce they made an ymage or statue of clene gold," &c. Steevens. forth &c.] Old copy-for though he strive forth; i. e. thoroughly, from beginning to end. So, in Measure for Measure:
"Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth,
"Do with your injuries as seems you best." Steevens.
3 Good Helicane hath staid at home,
And to fulfil his prince' desire,
Sends word of all that haps in Tyre :] The old copy
Good Helicane that stay'd at home,
Saved one of all &c.
The emendation was suggested by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
And hid intent, to murder him ;?
Should house him safe, is wreck'd and split ;3
Till fortune, tir'd with doing bad,
And hid intent, to murder him;] The first quarto reads:
And hid in Tent to murder him.
This is only mentioned to show how inaccurately this play was originally printed, and to justify the liberty that has been taken in correcting the preceding passage. The reading of the text is that of the quarto 1619. Malone.
How Thaliard came full bent with sin,
And hid intent to murder him.] Sin and him cannot be received as rhymes. Perhaps the author wrote,
-full bent with scheme,'
And hid intent, &c.
The old reading, in the second line, is certainly the true one. Hid intent is concealed design, such as was that of Thaliard.
was not best] The construction is, And that for him to make his rest longer in Tharsus, was not best; i. e. his best course. Malone.
2 He knowing so,] i. e. says Mr. Steevens, by whom this emendation was made, "he being thus informed." The old copy has-He doing so. Malone.
3 that the ship
Should house him safe, is wreck'd and split;] Ship and split are such defective rhymes, that I suppose our author wrote fleet. Pericles, in the storm, lost his fleet as well as the vessel in which he was himself embarked. Steevens.
4 Ne aught escapen but himself;] [Old copy—escapen'd-] It should be printed either escapen or escaped.
Our ancestors had a plural number in their tenses which is now lost out of the language; e. g. in the present tense,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad :5
Pardon old Gower; this long 's the text. [Exit.
Pentapolis. An open Place; by the Sea Side.
Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of heaven!
Alas, the sea hath cast me on the rocks,
Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath?
But it did not, I believe, extend to the preter-imperfects, otherwise than thus: They didden [for did] escape. Percy.
I do not believe the text to be corrupt. Our author seems in
this instance to have followed Gower:
66 and with himselfe were in debate,
"Thynkende what he had lore," &c.
I think I have observed many other instances of the same kind in the Confessio Amantis. Malone.
Thinkende is a participle, and therefore inapplicable to the present question. Steevens.
to give him glad:] Dr. Percy asks if we should not read to make him glad. Perhaps we should: but the language of our fictitious Gower, like that of our Pseudo-Rowley, is so often irreconcileable to the practice of any age, that criticism on such bungling imitations is almost thrown away. Steevens. what shall be next,
Pardon old Gower; this long's the text.] The meaning of this may be-Excuse old Gower from telling you what follows. The very text to it has proved of too considerable length already. Steevens.
7 and left me breath
Nothing to think on, &c.] The quarto, 1609, reads-and left my breath. I read and left me breath, that is left me life, only to aggravate my misfortunes, by enabling me to think on the death that awaits me. Malone.
Mr. Malone's correction is certainly proper; and the passage before us can have no other meaning, than-left me alive only that ensuing death might become the object of my contempla tion. So, in the second Book of Sidney's Arcadia, where the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described: " - left nothing but despair of safetie, and expectation of a loathsome end."