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O your sweet queen!
That the strict fates had pleas'd you had brought her
To have bless'd mine eyes!
We cannot but obey
To give her princely training, that she may be
Fear not, my lord: Your grace, that fed my country with your corn,
Yet glance full wand'ringly on us.] Old copy:
Your shakes of fortune, though they haunt you mortally,
I read (as in the text):
Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,
Thus, Tully, in one of his Familiar Epistles: " --- omnibus telis fortune proposita sit vita nostra." Again, Shakspeare, in his Othello:
The shot of accident, or dart of chance
Again, in Hamlet :
"The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune."
Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: “ I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced."
The sense of the passage should seem to be as follows.-All the malice of fortune is not confined to yourself. Though her arrows strike deeply at you, yet wandering from their mark, they sometimes glance on us; as at present, when the uncertain state of Tyre deprives us of your company at Tharsus. Steevens. 5 Manner'd as she is born.] So, in Cymbeline:
and he is one
"The truest manner'd, such a holy witch,
"That he enchants societies to him." Malone.
Fear not, my lord: &c.] Old copies :
Fear not, my lord, but think
Your grace, &c. Steevens.
I suspect the poet wrote:
Fear not my lord, but that
Your grace, &c. Malone.
I have removed the difficulty by omitting the words-but think, which are unnecessary to the sense, and spoil the measure.
(For which the people's prayers still fall upon you)
Unscissar'd shall this hair of mine remain,
Should therein make me vile,] The modern editions have neglect. But the reading of the old copy is right. The word is used by Shakspeare in Troilus and Cressida :
"And this neglection of degree it is
"That by a pace goes backward." Malone.
9 Your honour and your goodness teach me credit,] Old copies -teach me to it, a weak reading, if not apparently corrupt. For the insertion of its present substitute I am answerable. I once thought we should read-witch me to it, a phrase familiar enough to Shakspeare.
Mr. M. Mason is satisfied with the old reading; but thinks "the expression would be improved by leaving out the participle to, which hurts the sense, without improving the metre." Then, says he, the line will run thus:
Your honour and your goodness teach me it, -Steevens. 1 Though I show will in 't:] The meaning may be “" Though I appear wilful and perverse by such conduct." We might read: Though I show ill in 't. Malone.
Till she be married, madam,
By bright Diana, whom we honour all,
But a more obvious and certain instance of corruption perhaps is not discoverable throughout our whole play.
I read, as in the text; for so is the present circumstance recited in Act V, and in consequence of the oath expressed at the present moment:
Good madam, make me blessed in your care
In bringing up my child.
I have one myself,
Who shall not be more dear to my respect,
Than yours, my lord.
Madam, my thanks and prayers.
Cle. We'll bring your grace even to the edge o' the
Then give you up to the mask'd Neptune,2 and
"This ornament, that makes me look so dismal,
"And what this fourteen years no razor touch'd,
and he sware a solemn oath, that he would not poule his head, clip his beard, &c. untill he had married his daughter at ripe yeares."
Without the present emendation therefore, Pericles must appear to have behaved unaccountably; as the binding power of a romantick oath could alone have been the motive of his long persistence in so strange a neglect of his person.
The words--unscissar'd and hair, were easily mistaken forunsister'd and heir; as the manuscript might have been indistinct, or the compositor inattentive.
The verb-to scissar [i. e. to cut with scissars] is found in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher:
My poor chin too, for 'tis not scissard just
I once strove to explain the original line as follows:
Though I show will in 't:
i. e. till she be married, I swear by Diana, (though I may show [will, i. e.] obstinacy in keeping such an oath) this heir of mine shall have none who can call her sister; i. e. I will not marry, and so have a chance of other children before she is disposed of.Obstinacy was anciently called wilfulness.
But it is scarce possible that unsister'd should be the true reading; for if Pericles had taken another wife, after his daughter's marriage, could he have been sure of progeny to sister his first child? or what wilfulness would he have shown, had he continued a single man? To persist in wearing a squalid head of hair and beard, was indeed an obstinate peculiarity, though not without a parallel; for both Francis I, and our Henry VIII, reciprocally swore that their beards should grow untouched till their proposed interview had taken place. Steevens.
2 mask'd Neptune,] i. e. insidious waves that wear a treacherous smile:
I will embrace
Your offer. Come, dear'st madam.-O, no tears,
Lychorida, no tears:
Look to your little mistress, on whose grace
You may depend hereafter.-Come, my lord. [Exeunt. SCENE IV.
Ephesus. A Room in Cerimon's House.
Enter CERIMON and THAISA.
Cer. Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,
That I was shipp'd at sea, I well remember,
"Subdola pellacis ridet clementia ponti." Lucretius. This passage in Pericles appears to have been imitated by Fletcher in Rule a Wife &c. 1640:
"I'll bring you on your way
"And then deliver you to the blue Neptune." Steevens.
which are now -] For the insertion of the word now, I am accountable. Malone.
Even on my yearning time;] The quarto, 1619, and the folio, 1664, which was probably printed from it, both read eaning. The first quarto reads learning. The editor of the second quarto seems to have corrected many of the faults in the old copy, without any consideration of the original corrupted reading. Malone.
Read-yearning time. So, in King Henry V :
for Falstaff he is dead,
"And we must yearn therefore."
To yearn is to feel internal uneasiness. The time of a woman's labour is still called, in low language-her groaning time-her crying out.
Mr. Rowe, would read—eaning, a term applicable only to sheep when they produce their young. Steevens.
Thaisa evidently means to say, that she was put on ship-board just at the time when she expected to be delivered; and as the word yearning does not express that idea, I should suppose it to be wrong. The obvious amendment is to read-even at my yeaning time; which differs from it but by a single letter:-Or perhaps we should read-yielding time.
So, Pericles says to Thaisa in the last scene:
"Look who kneels here! Flesh of thy flesh, Thaisa;
Delivered or no, by the holy gods,
I cannot rightly say: But since king Pericles,
And never more have joy.
Cer. Madam, if this you purpose as you speak,
Where you may 'bide until your date expire.5
Thai. My recompense is thanks, that 's all;
Gow. Imagine Pericles at Tyre,7
Thy burden at the sea, and call'd Marina, "For she was yielded there." M. Mason.
5 Where you may 'bide until your date expire.] Until you die. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The date is out of such prolixity."
The expression of the text is again used by our author in The Rape of Lucrece :
"An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun."
Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
and expire the term
"Of a despised life." Malone.
6 Enter Gower.] This chorus, and the two following scenes, have hitherto been printed as part of the third Act. In the original edition of this play, the whole appears in an unbroken series. The editor of the folio in 1664, first inade the division of Acts and scenes (which has been since followed) without much propriety. The poet seems to have intended that each Act should begin with a chorus. On this principle the present division is made. Gower, however, interposing eight times, a chorus is necessarily introduced in the middle of this and the ensuing Act. Malone.
Imagine Pericles &c.] The old copies read:
Welcom'd and settled to his own desire.
His woful queen we leave at Ephesus,
Unto Diana there a votaress.
For the sake of uniformity of metre, the words, &c. distinguished by the Roman character, are omitted.