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Per. I will believe you by the syllable1
Of what you shall deliver. Yet, give me leave :-
Did seek to murder me: and having woo'd
old copies read-You scorn, believe me, &c. The reply of Pericles
induces me to think the author wrote:
You'll scarce believe me; 'twere best &c.
Pericles had expressed no scorn in the preceding speech, but, on the contrary, great complacency and attention. So, also before: Pr'ythee speak:
I'll believe thee," &c.
The false prints in this play are so numerous, that the greatest latitude must be allowed to conjecture. Malone.
1 I will believe you by the syllable &c.] i. e. I will believe every word you say. So, in Macbeth:
"To the last syllable of recorded time."
Again, in All's Well that Ends Well:
"To the utmost syllable of your worthiness." Steevens. 2- who having drawn,] Mr. Malone supposes the old copy meant to read-Whom having drawn, &c. Steevens.
This mode of phraseology, though now obsolete, was common in Shakspeare's time. So, in The Tempest :
"Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
"Out of his charity, (who being then appointed
Again, in The Winter's Tale:
This your son-in-law,
"And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)
See also Coriolanus, Act III, sc. ii, Vol. XIII.
When the former edition of this play was printed, I imagined the original copy printed in 1609, read-who having drawn to do 't, not observing the mark of abbreviation over the letter o (who) which shows the word intended was whom. Malone.
I have now two copies of this quarto 1609 before me, and neither of them exhibits the mark on which Mr. Malone's supposition is founded. I conclude therefore that this token of abbreviation was an accidental blot in the copy which that gentleman consulted.
Old copy-having drawn to do 't,
- I read : A villain to attempt it, who, having drawn A crew of pirates, &c.
The words to do 't-are injurious to the measure, and un. VOL. XVII.
A crew of pirates came and rescued me;
I am the daughter to king Pericles,
If good king Pericles be.
Per. Ho, Helicanus!
Calls my gracious lord?
Per. Thou art a grave and noble counsellor,
I know not; but
Here is the regent, sir, of Mitylene,
Speaks nobly of her.
She would never tell
Her parentage; being demanded that,
Per. O Helicanus, strike me, honour'd sir;
Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me,
O'erbear the shores of my mortality,
And drown me with their sweetness.3 O, come hither,
Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget;
Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tharsus,
And found at sea again!—O Helicanus,
Down on thy knees, thank the holy gods, as loud
As thunder threatens us: This is Marina.
What was thy mother's name? tell me but that,
necessary to the sense, which is complete without them. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds ?” Again, in King Henry V:
"O, well-a-day, if he be not drawn now!" Steevens.
And drown me with their sweetness.] We meet a kindred thought in The Merchant of Venice:
"O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
"In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
"I feel too much thy blessing; make it less,
"For fear I surfeit." Malone.
Though doubts did ever sleep.] i. e. in plain language, though nothing ever happened to awake a scruple or doubt concerning your veracity. Steevens.
What is your
Per. I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now
(As in the rest thou hast been godlike perfect)
My drown'd queen's name, thou art the heir of kingdoms, And another life to Pericles thy father.5
Mar. Is it no more to be your daughter, than
Thaisa was my mother, who did end,
the heir of kingdoms,
And another life to Pericles thy futher.] Mr. Malone reads:
The old copy has
And another like to Pericles thy father.
There can be no doubt that there is here a gross corruption. The correction which I have made, affords an easy sense. The mother of Marina was the heir of kingdoms, and in that respect resembled Pericles.
I believe the same error has happened in Hamlet, where in Act V, sc. ii, we find-" Is 't not possible to understand in another tongue ?" instead of which I believe the poet wrote, "Is 't possible not to understand in a mother tongue?”
This error actually happened in the first edition of Sir Francis Bacon's Essay on The Advancement of Learning, B. II, p. 60, 4to. 1605: " by the art of grammar, whereof the use in another tongue is small; in a foreign tongue more.' "In the table of Errata we are desired to read-a mother tongue. Malone.
I think that a slight alteration will restore the passage, and read it thus:
But tell me now
My drown'd queen's name (as in the rest you said
Thou hast been godlike-perfect) thou 'rt heir of kingdoms,
That is, "Do but tell me my drowned queen's name, and thou wilt prove the heir of kingdoms, and another life to your father Pericles."-This last amendment is confirmed by what he says in the speech preceding, where he expresses the same thought : O come hither,
"Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget." M. Mason. I have adopted Mr. M. Mason's very happy emendation, with a somewhat different arrangement of the lines, and the omission of two useless words. Steevens.
6 Thaisa was my mother, who did end,
The minute I began.] So, in The Winter's Tale :
"Dear quéen, that ended when I but began,
"Give me that hand of yours to kiss." Malone.
Per. Now, blessing on thee, rise; thou art my child. Give my fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus, (Not dead at Tharsus, as she should have been, By savage Cleon,) she shall tell thee all;7 When thou shalt kneel and justify in knowledge, She is thy very princess.-Who is this? Hel. Sir, 'tis the governor of Mitylene, Who, hearing of your melancholy state, Did come to see you.
I embrace you, sir.
Give me my robes; I am wild in my beholding.
O'er, point by point,' for yet he seems to doubt,1
The musick of the spheres: list, my Marina.
Do ye not hear?
Musick? My lord, I hear
Per. Most heavenly musick:
It nips me unto list'ning, and thick slumber
Hangs on mine eye-lids; let me rest.2
Mine own, Helicanus, &c.] Perhaps this means, she is mine own daughter, Helicanus, (not murder'd according to the design of Cleon) she (1 say) shall tell thee all, &c. Steevens.
Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him -] Thus the earliest quarto. The quarto, 1619, and all the subsequent editions read: But hark, what musick's this Helicanus? my
Marina, &c. Malone.
90'er point by point,] So, in Gower:
"Fro poynt to poynt all she hym tolde
"But only to this lorde allone."
for yet he seems to doubt,] The old copies read-for yet he seems to doat. It was evidently a misprint. Malone.
2 Most heavenly musick:
It nips me unto list'ning, and thick slumber
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony."
Lys. A pillow for his head; [The curtain before the Pavilion of PERICLES is closed.
So leave him all.-Well, my companion-friends,
If this but answer to my just belief,
I'll well remember you.3
[Exeunt Lys. HEL. MAR. and attendant Lady.
See Vol. IV, p. 95, n. 5. Consult also Pindar's First Pithyan, Ronsard, Gray, &c.
The version of Ronsard is worth transcribing:
"Et au caquet de tes cordes bien jointes
Ode 22, edit. 1632, folio. Steevens.
So, in King Henry IV, Part II:
"Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
See Vol. IX, p. 143, n. 4. Malone.
Well, my companion-friends,
If this but answer to my just belief,
I'll well remember you.] These lines clearly belong to Marina. She has been for some time silent, and Pericles having now fallen into a slumber, she naturally turns to her companion, and assures her, that if she has in truth found her royal father, (as she has good reason to believe) she shall partake of her prosperity. It appears from a former speech in which the same phrase is used, that a lady had entered with Marina:
"Sir, I will use
My utmost skill in his recovery; provided
I would therefore read in the passage now before us :
or, if the text here be right, we might read in the former instance-my companion-maids.-In the preceding part of this scene it has been particularly mentioned, that Marina was with her fellow-maids upon the leafy shelter, &c.
There is nothing in these lines that appropriates them to Ly. simachus; nor any particular reason why he should be munifi cent to his friends because Pericles has found his daughter. On the other hand, this recollection of her lowly companion, is perfectly suitable to the amiable character of Marina. Malone. I am satisfied to leave Lysimachus in quiet possession of these lines. He is much in love with Marina, and supposing himself to be near the gratification of his wishes, with a generosity com