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Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe
Thai. Why, sir, say if you had,
Who takes offence at that would make me glad?
I am glad of it with all my heart. [Aside.] I 'll tame you;
Will you, not having my consent, bestow
Hear, therefore, mistress; frame your will to mine,-
Nay, come; your hands and lips must seal it too.-
What, are you both pleas'd?
Yes, if you love me, sir.
Yes, 'please your majesty. Sim. It pleaseth me so well, I'll see you wed; Then, with what haste you can, get you to bed. [Exeunt.
7 Even as my life, my blood that fosters it.] Even as my life loves my blood that supports it.-The quarto, 1619, and the subsequent copies, read:
Even as my life, or blood that fosters it.
The reading of the text is found in the first quarto. Malone. I cannot approve of Malone's explanation of this line:-To make a person of life, and to say it loves the blood that fosters it, is an idea to which I cannot reconcile myself.
Pericles means merely to say, that he loves Thaisa as his life, or as the blood that supports it; and it is in this sense that the editors of the quarto of 1619, and the subsequent copies, conceived the passage.-But the insertion of the word or was not necessary; it was sufficient to point it thus:
Even as my life;-the blood that fosters it. M. Mason. Will a preceding line (see p. 178) befriend the opinion of either commentator?
"Wishing it so much blood unto your life."
In my opinion, however, the sense in the text was meant to coincide with that which is so much better expressed in Julius Cæsar:
"As dear to me, as are the ruddy drops
"That visit my sad heart." Steevens.
get you to bed.] I cannot dismiss the foregoing scene,
Gow. Now sleep yslaked hath the rout
Now couches 'fore the mouse's hole;2
till I have expressed the most supreme contempt of it. Such another gross, nonsensical dialogue, would be sought for in vain among the earliest and rudest efforts of the British theatre. It is impossible not to wish that the Knights had horsewhipped Simonides, and that Pericles had kicked him off the stage.
9 Now sleep yslaked hath the rout;
No din but snores, &c.] The quarto, 1609, and the subsequent copies, read:
No din but snores about the house.
As Gower's speeches are all in rhyme, it is clear that the old copy is here corrupt. It first occurred to me that the author might have written:
Now sleep yslaked hath the rouse ;
i. e. the carousal. But the mere transposition of the latter part of the second line, renders any further change unnecessary. Rout is likewise us d by Gower for a company in the tale of Appolinus, the Pericles of the present play :
"Upon a tyme with a route
"This lord to play goeth hym out.”
"It fell a daie thei riden oute,
"The kynge and queene and all the route." Malone.
1 No din but snores, the house about,
Made louder by the o'er-fed breast -] So Virgil, speaking of Rhamnes, who was killed in the midnight expedition of Nisus and Euryalus:
"Rhamneten aggreditur, qui forte tapetibus altis
"Extructus, toto proflabat pectore somnum." Steevens. The quarto 1619, the folios, and Mr. Rowe, all read, o'er fee beast. The true reading has been recovered from the first quarto. Malone,
2 'fore the mouse's hole;] Old copy:
from the mouse's hole;
which may perhaps mean-at some little distance from the mouse'shole. I believe, however, we ought to read-fore the mouse's hole. Malone.
And crickets sing at th' ovens mouth,
Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,
What's dumb in show, I'll plain with speech.
Enter PERICLES and SIMONIDES at one door, with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and gives PERICLES a Letter. PERICLES shows it to SIMONIDES; the Lords kneel to the former. Then enter THAISA with child, and LICHORIDA. SIMONIDES shows his Daughter the Letter; she rejoices: she and PERICLES take leave of her Father, and depart. Then SIMONIDES c. retire.
3 And crickets sing at th' oven's mouth
As the blither for their drouth.] So, in Cymbeline:
"The crickets sing, and man's o'erlabour'd sense
The old copy has-Are the blither &c. The emendation was suggested by Mr. Steevens. Perhaps we ought to read: And crickets, singing at the oven's mouth,
Are the blither for their drouth. Malone.
This additional syllable would derange the measure. Steevens. Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,
Where, by the loss of maidenhead,
A babe is moulded:] So, in Twine's translation: "The bride was brought to bed, and Appollonius tarried not long from her, where he accomplished the duties of marriage, and faire Lucina conceived with childe the same night." Steevens.
5 Be attent,] This adjective is again used in Hamlet: Act I, sc. ii. Malone.
6 With your fine fancies quaintly eche;] i. e. eke out. So, in the Chorus to King Henry V, (first folio):
still be kind,
"And eche out our performance with your mind." Again, in The Merchant of Venice, quarto, 1600, (Heyes's edition):
'tis to peeze the time,
"To ech it, and to draw it out in length." Malone.
the Lords kneel to the former.] The Lords kneel to Pericles, because they are now, for the first time, informed by this
Gow. By many a dearn and painful perch,*
By the four opposing coignes,?
Is made, with all due diligence,
That horse, and sail, and high expence,
(Fame answering the most strong inquire)
letter, that he is king of Tyre. "No man," says Gower, in his Confessio Amantis:
knew the soth cas,
"But he hym selfe; what man he was."
By the death of Antiochus and his daughter, Pericles has also succeeded to the throne of Antioch, in consequence of having rightly interpreted the riddle proposed to him. Malone.
8 By many a dearn and painful perch, &c.] Dearn is direful, dismal. See Skinner's Etymol. in v. Dere. The word is used by Spenser, B. II, c. i, st. 35.-B. III, c, i, st. 14. The construction is somewhat involved. The careful search of Pericles is made by many a dearn and painful perch,-by the four opposing coignes, which join the world together;—with all due diligence, &c. Malone. Dearn signifies lonely, solitary. See note on King Lear, Act III, sc. vii, Vol. XIV. A perch is a measure of five yards and a half. Steevens.
9 By the four opposing coignes,] By the four opposing corner. stones that unite and bind together the great fabrick of the world. The word is again used by Shakspeare in Macbeth :
No jutty, frieze,
"Buttress, or coigne of vantage, but this bird
"Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle." In the passage before us, the author seems to have considered the world as a stupendous edifice, artificially constructed.-To seek a man in every corner of the globe, is still common language. All the ancient copies read:
By the four opposing cringes.
but there is no such English word. For the ingenious emendation inserted in the text, which is produced by the change of a single letter, the reader is indebted to Mr. Tyrwhitt. Malone. The word-coign, occurs also in Coriolanus:
"See you yond' coign o' the Capitol?" Steevens.
1 Can stead the quest.] i. e. help, befriend, or assist the search. So, in Measure for Measure:
66 can you so stead me,
"To bring me to the sight of Isabella "" Steevens. 2 (Fame answering the most strong inquire)? The old copy reads the most strange inquire; but it surely was not strange, that Pericles' subjects should be solicitous to know what was become of him. We should certainly read-the most strong in
To the court of king Simonides
The crown of Tyre, but he will none :
Come not, in twice six moons, home,
He obedient to their doom,4
Will take the crown. The sum of this,
And every one with claps, 'gan sound,
quire; this earnest, anxious inquiry. The same mistake has happened in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, folio, 1623:
"Whose weakness married to thy stranger state -.' instead of stronger. The same mistake has also happened in other places. Malone.
3 The mutiny &c.] Old copy:
The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress;
Says to them if king Pericles
Surely both sense and rhyme direct us to read:
The mutiny here he hastes t' appease; &c. Steevens.
4 Come not, &c.] Old copy:
Come not home in twice six moons,
He obedient to their dooms,
Moons and dooms are very miserable rhymes; nor do I recollect that a plural of the substantive doom is ever used.-A slight transposition will remedy the present defect-
Come not in twice six moons, home,
He obedient to their doom, &c. Steevens.
5 Y-ravished the regions round,] From the false print of the first edition, Iranished, the subsequent editors formed a still more absurd reading:
Irony shed the regions round,
Mr. Steevens's ingenious emendation, to which I have paid due attention by inserting it in the text, is strongly confirmed by the following passage in Gower, De Confessione Amantis:
"This tale after the kinge it had