Sidor som bilder


The same. A Hall of State.-A Banquet prepared.

Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, Knights, and Atten dants.

Sim. Knights,

To say you are welcome, were superfluous.
To place upon the volume of your deeds,1
As in a title-page, your worth in arms,

Were more than you expect, or more than 's fit,
Since every worth in show commends itself.
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast:
You are my guests.5

But you, my knight and guest;
To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.
Per. 'Tis more by fortune, lady, than my merit.
Sim. Call it by what you will, the day is yours;
And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
In framing artists, art hath thus decreed,
To make some good, but others to exceed;

And you 're her labour'd scholar. Come, queen o' the


first Book of Sidney's Arcadia: "The victory being by the judges given, the trumpets witnessed to the ill-apparelled knight."


To place &c.] The quarto, 1609, reads-I place, and this corrupt reading was followed in that of 1619, and in the folio, 1664. The emendation is taken from the folio, 1685. Malone.

5 You are my guests.] Old copy:

You are princes, and my guests.

But as all the personages addressed were not princes, and as the measure is overburthened by the admission of these words, I have left them out.

The change I have made, likewise affords a natural introduction to the succeeding speech of the Princess. Steevens.


than my merit.] Thus the original quarto, 1609. The second quarto has-by merit. Malone.

7 In framing artists,] Old copy:

In framing an artist.

This judicious emendation is Mr. Malone's. Steevens.


Come, queen o' the feast,

(For, daughter, so you are,) So, in The Winter's Tale :

(For, daughter, so you are,) here take your place: Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.

Knights. We are honour'd much by good Simonides. Sim. Your presence glads our days; honour we love, For who hates honour, hates the gods above.

Marsh Sir, yond 's your place.


Some other is more fit.

1 Knight. Contend not, sir; for we are gentlemen, That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,

Envy the great, nor do the low despise.?
Per. You are right courteous-knights.


Sit, sit, sir; sit.

Per. By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts, These cates resist me, she not thought upon.1

[ocr errors]

present yourself

“That which you are, mistress o' the feast." Steevens. That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,

Envy the great, nor do the low despise.] This is the reading of the quarto, 1619. The first quarto reads

Have neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,

Envies the great, nor shall the low despise. Malone.

1 By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,

These cates resist me, she not thought upon.] All the copies read-" he not thought upon"-and these lines are given to Simonides. In the old plays it is observable, that declarations of affection, whether disguised or open, are generally made by both the parties; if the lady utters a tender sentiment, a corresponding sentiment is usually given to her lover.-Hence I conclude, that the author wrote

she not thought upon;

and that these lines belong to Pericles. If he be right, I would read:

he now thought upon.

The prince recollecting his present state, and comparing it with that of Simonides, wonders that he can eat. In Gower, where this entertainment is particularly described, it is said of Appollinus, the Pericles of the present play, that

"He sette and cast about his eie

"And sawe the lordes in estate,
"And with hym selfe were in, debate


Thynkende what he had lore;

"And such a sorowe he toke therefore,
"That he sat ever stille and thought,
"As he which of no meat rought."

So, in Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: “

at the last he sate

him down at the table, and without etynge, he behelde the noble company of lordes and grete estates. Thus as he looked all

Thai. By Juno, that is queen

Of marriage, all the viands that I eat

about, a grete lorde that served at the kynge's table sayde unto the kynge, Certes, syr, this man wolde gladly your honour, for he dooth not ete, but beholdeth hertely your noble magnyfycence, and is in poynt to weep."

The words resist me, however, do not well correspond with this idea. Perhaps they are corrupt. Malone.

These cates resist me,] i. e. go against my stomach. I would read, however,-be not thought upon.

It appears from Gower and the prose novel, as well as many of the following circumstances, that the thoughts of Pericles were not yet employed about the Princess. He is only ruminating on his past misfortunes, on his former losses. The lady had found out what ailed her, long before Pericles had made a similar discovery. Steevens..

I have no doubt but she is the right reading, that the first of these speeches belongs to Pericles; and that the words these cates resist me, are justly explained by Steevens. The intention of the poet is to shew that their mutual passion had the same effect on Thaisa and Pericles: but as we are not to suppose his mistress was ever out of his thoughts, the sense requires that we should read


These cates resist me, she but thought upon. Meaning to say, that the slightest thoughts of her took away his appetite for every thing else, which corresponds with what she says in the subsequent speech. There are no two words more frequently mistaken for each other, in the old plays, than not and but. A mistress, when not thought upon, can have no effect with her lover. M. Mason.

If this speech belongs to Pericles, he must mean to say, that when he ceases to think of his mistress, his stomach fails him. Is there any thing unnatural in this? As displeasing sensations are known to diminish appetite, so pleasant ideas may be supposed to encrease it.

Pyrocles, however, the hero of Sidney's Arcadia, Book I, finds himself in the contrary situation, while seated at table with his mistress, Philoclea: " my eyes drank much more eagerly of her beautie, than my mouth did of any other liquor. And so was my common sense deceived (being chiefly bent to her) that as I dranke the wine, and withall stole a looke on her, mee seemed I tasted her deliciousnesse."

I have not disturbed the speech in question, and yet where would be the impropriety of leaving it in the mouth of Simoni des? He is desirous of Pericles for a son-in-law, as Thaisa to possess him as a husband; and if the old gentleman cannot eat for thinking of him, such weakness is but of a piece with what follows, where his Pentapolitan majesty, in a colloquy with the lovers, renders himself as ridiculous as King Arthur in Tom Thumb. Simonides and Thaisa express a sort of family impa

Do seem unsavoury, wishing him my meat!2
Sure he's a gallant gentleman.


A country gentleman;

He's but

He has done no more than other knights have done;
Broken a staff, or so; so let it pass.

Thai. To me he seems like diamond to glass. Per. Yon king 's to me, like to my father's picturę, Which tells me, in that glory once he was; Had princes sit, like stars, about his throne, And he the sun, for them to reverence. None that beheld him, but like lesser lights, Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;3

Where now his son 's a glow-worm in the night,1

tience for the attainment of their different purposes. He wonders why his appetite fails him, unless he is thinking on Pericles; she wishes for an exchange of provision; and (as nurses say in fondness to their infants) loves her prince so well that she could eat him. The grossness of the daughter can only be exceeded by the anility of the father. I cannot persuade myself that Shakspeare had any hand in producing the Hurlothrumbic character of Simonides. Steevens.


wishing him my meat !] I am afraid that a jingle is here intended between meat and mate. The two words were, I be lieve, in our author's time, generally, and are at this day in Warwickshire, pronounced alike. The address to Juno countenances this supposition. Malone.

Surely the plain meaning is, that she had rather have a husband than a dinner; that she wishes Pericles were in the place of the provisions before her: regarding him (to borrow a phrase from Romeo) as the dearest morsel of the earth. So, in Two Noble Kinsmen :

"If thou couch

"But one night with her

"Thou shalt remember nothing more than what

"That banquet bids thee to."


3 Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;] This idea perhaps was caught from the Revelations, iv, 10: "And the four and twenty elders fell down before him that sat on the throne, and cast their crowns before the throne." Steevens.

Where now his son's a glow-worm in the night,] The old copies read-Where now his son &c. But this is scarcely intelligible. The slight change that has been made affords an easy sense. Where is, I suppose, here, as in many other places, used for whereas.

The peculiar property of the glow-worm, on which the poet

The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;
Whereby I see that Time 's the king of men,
For he 's their parent, and he is their grave,5
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
Sim. What, are you merry, knights?

1 Knight. Who can be other, in this royal presence? Sim. Here, with a cup that 's stor❜d unto the brim, (As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,7)

We drink this health to you.


Sim. Yet pause a while;

We thank your grace.

Yon knight, methinks, doth sit too melancholy,

As if the entertainment in our court

has here employed a line, he has in Hamlet happily described by a single word:

"The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,

"And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire." Malone.

5 For he 's their parent, and he is their grave,] So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"The earth, that 's nature's mother, is her tomb; "What is her burying grave, that is her womb.” Milton has the same thought:

"The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave."

In the text the second quarto has been followed. The first reads:


He's both their parent, and he is their grave. Malone.

that's stor❜d unto the brim,] The quarto, 1609, reads, that 's stur'd unto the brim. Malone.

If stirr'd be the true reading, it must mean, as Milton expresses it, that the liquor

[ocr errors]

dances in its chrystal bounds."

But I rather think we should read—stor'd, i. e. replenished. So before in this play:



"Their tables were stor'd full."

"Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ill.”

- these our ships

"Are stor'd with corn

"" Steevens.

7 (As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,)] i. e. let the quantity of wine you swallow, be proportioned to the love you bear your mistress: In plainer English-If you love kissing, drink a bumper, The construction is-As you love your mistresses' lips, so fill

to them.


Read-fill to your mistresses. Farmer.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »