Sidor som bilder

For thou 'rt the rudeliest welcom'd to this world,
That e'er was prince's child. Happy what follows!
Thou hast as chiding a nativity,

As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,
To herald thee from the womb: even at the first,
Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,'

With all thou canst find here.-Now the good gods
Throw their best eyes upon it!

"The late Earl of Essex (says Sir Walter Raleigh) told Queen Elizabeth that her conditions were as crooked as her carcase; but it cost him his head."


6 welcom'd] Old copy-welcome. For this correction I am answerable.



as chiding a nativity,] i. e. as noisy a one. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hippolyta, speaking of the clamour of the hounds:

never did I hear

"Such gallant chiding."

See note on that passage, Vol. II, p. 344, n. 4. Steevens.


To herald thee from the womb:] The old copy reads:
To harold thee from the womb:

For the emenda ion now made, the reader is indebted to Mr.
Steevens. So, in Macbeth:

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"Not pay thee."

This word is in many ancient books written harold and harauld. So, in Ives's SELECT PAPERS relative to English Antiquities, quarto, 1773, p. 130: and before them kings of


armes, harolds, and pursuyvaunts."

Again, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, 1610:

"Truth is no haruuld, nor no sophist, sure."

See also Cowel's Interpreter, in v. Herald, Heralt, or Harold; which puts Mr. Steevens's emendation beyond a doubt. Malone.

9 Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,] i. e. thou hast already lost more (by the death of thy mother) than thy safe arrival at the port of life can counterbalance, with all to boot that we can give thee. Portage is used for gate or entrance in one of Shakspeare's historical plays. Steevens.

Portage is used in King Henry V, where it signifies an open


"Let it [the eye] pry through the portage of the head." Portage is an old word signifying a toll or impost, but it will not commodiously apply to the present passage. Perhaps, however, Pericles means to say, you have lost more than the payment made to me by your birth, together with all that you may hereafter acquire, can countervail. Malone.

Enter Two Sailors.

1 Sail. What courage, sir? God save you.

Per. Courage enough: I do not fear the flaw;1
It hath done to me the worst.2 Yet, for the love
Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,3
I would, it would be quiet.

1 Sail. Slack the bolins there;4 thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow and split thyself."

2 Sail. But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.6

1 Sail. Sir, your queen must overboard; the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead."


I do not fear the flaw ;] i. e. the blast. See Hamlet, Act V, sc. i. Malone.

So, in Chapman's version of the eleventh Iliad:


"Wraps waves on waves, hurls up the froth beat with a vehement flaw." Steevens.

It hath done to me the worst.]



a wife!

So, in the Confessio Amantis :

My joye, my lust, and my desyre,

"My welth and my recoverire!


Why shall I live, and thou shalt die?

"Ha, thou fortune, I thee defie,

"Now hast thou do to me thy werst;


"A herte! why ne wilt thou berst?


this fresh-new sea-farer,] We meet a similar compound epithet in King Richard III:

"Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current."


4 Slack the bolins there;] Bowlines are ropes by which the sails of a ship are governed when the wind is unfavourable. They are slackened when it is high. This term occurs again in The Two Noble Kinsmen :

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the wind is fair, Top the bowling."

They who wish for more particular information concerning bolings, may find it in Smith's Sea Grammar, 4to. 1627, p. 23.

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Blow and split thyself,


2 Sail. But sea-room, &c.] So, in The Tempest:


"Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough." Malone.

an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.] So, in The Winter's Tale: " Now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast." An is used here, as in many other places, for if, or though. Malone.

7 till the ship be cleared of the dead.] So, in Twine's

Per. That's your superstition.

1 Sail. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it still hath been observed; and we are strong in earnest. Therefore briefly yield her; for she must overboard straight."

Per. Be it as you think meet.-Most wretched queen!
Lyc. Here she lies, sir.

Per. A terrible child-bed hast thou had, my dear;
No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements
Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time

To give thee hallow'd to thy grave,1 but straight
Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze;2

translation : « My lord, plucke up your hearte, and be of good cheere, and consider, I pray you, that the ship may not abide to carry the dead carkas, and therefore commaund it to be cast into the sea, that we may the better escape."

This superstitious belief is also commemorated by Fuller in his Historie of the Holy Warre, Book IV, ch. 27: "His body was carried into France there to be buried, and was most miserably tossed; it being observed, that the sea cannot digest the crudity of a dead corpse, being a due debt to be interred where it dieth; and a ship cannot abide to be made a bier of."

A circumstance exactly similar is found in the Lyfe of Saynt Mary Magdalene, in the Golden Legend, Wynkyn de Worde's edition, fo. CLXIX. Steevens.

8 strong in earnest.] Old copy-strong in eastern. Steevens. I have no doubt that this passage is corrupt, but know not how to amend it. Malone.

Iread, with Mr. M. Mason, (transposing only the letters of the original word)-strong in earnest. So, in Cymbeline, we have " strong in appetite;" and in Timon, "Be strong in whore."



for she must overboard straight.] These words are in the old copy, by an evident mistake, given to Pericles. Malone. 1 To give thee hallow'd to thy grave.] The old Shepherd, in The Winter's Tale, expresses the same apprehension concerning the want of sepulchral rites, and that he shall be buriedwhere no priest shovels in dust." Malone.


2 Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze;] The defect both of metre and sense shows that this line, as it appears in the old copy, is corrupted. It reads:


Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in oare. I believe we should read, with that violence which a copy so much corrupted will sometimes force upon us : Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze; Where, &c.

Shakspeare, in The Tempest, has the same word on the same occasion:

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Where, for a monument upon thy bones,

And aye-remaining lamps,3 the belching whale,4
And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse,

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3 And aye-remaining lamps, &c.] Old copies:

The air-remaining lamps,


Air-remaining, if it be right, must mean air-hung, suspended for ever in the air. So, (as Mr. Steevens observes to me,) in Shakspeare's 21st Sonnet:


those gold candles fix'd in heaven's air.”

In King Richard II, right-drawn sword is used for a sword drawn in a just cause; and in Macbeth we meet with air-drawn dagger. Perhaps, however, the author wrote-aye-remaining. Thus, in Othello:

"Witness, you ever-burning lights above, —.”

Again, in Troilus and Cressida :

"To feed for aye her lamp, and flames of love." Malone. Thus also, Milton, in his Comus, v. 197:

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"That nature hung in heaven, and fill'd their lamps
"With everlasting oil

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The propriety of the emendation suggested by Mr. Malone, will be increased, if we recur to our author's leading thought, which is founded on the customs observed in the pomp of ancient sepulture. Within old monuments and receptacles for the dead, perpetual (i. e. aye-remaining) lamps were supposed to be lighted up. Thus, Pope, in his Eloisa:

"Ah hopeless, lasting flames, like those that burn "To light the dead, and warm th' unfruitful urn!" I would, however, read:

And aye-remaining lamps, &c.

Instead of a monument erected above thy bones, AND perpetual lamps to burn near them, the spouting whale shall oppress thee with his weight, and the mess of waters shall roll with low heavy murmur over thy head. Steevens

4 the belching whale,] So, in Troilus and Cressida : like scaled sculls

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"Before the belching whale." Malone.

5 And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse,] Milton perhaps h this verse in his head, when he wrote,

"Where thou perhaps under the humming tide
"Visit'st." &c. Lycidas, v. 157.

He afterward changed humming to whelming. H. White.
Thus also Pope, 18th Ilied, 472:

"The rushing ocean murmur'd o'er my head."

Lying with simple shells. Lychorida,
Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper,6
My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander
Bring me the sattin coffer: lay the babe
Upon the pillow; hie thee, whiles I say

A priestly farewel to her: suddenly, woman. [Exit Lxc. 2 Sail. Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk'd and bitumed ready.

Per. I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this? 2 Sail. We are near Tharsus.

Per. Thither, gentle mariner,

Alter thy course for Tyre. When can'st thou reach it? 2 Sail. By break of day, if the wind cease.

Perhaps our great translator had previously cast his eye on Chapman's version of the same passage, 4to. 1598:


over us

"The swelling waves of old Oceanus
"With fomie murmur flow'd."


6 ink and paper,] This is the reading of the second quarto. The first has taper. Malone.

7 Bring me the sattin coffer:] The old copies have-coffin. It seems somewhat extraordinary that Pericles should have carried a coffin to sea with him. We ought, I think, to read, as I have printed,-coffer. Malone.

Sattin coffer is most probably the true reading. So, in a subsequent scene:

"Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,
"Lay with you in your coffer."

Our ancient coffers were often adorned on the inside with such costly materials. A relation of mine has a trunk which formerly belonged to Katharine Howard when queen, and it is lined throughout with rose-coloured sattin, most elaborately quilted.

By the sattin coffer, however, may be only meant the coffer employed to contain sattins and other rich materials for dress. Thus we name a tea-chest, &c. from their contents.

Pericles, however, does not mean to bury his queen in this sattin coffer, but to take from thence the cloth of state in which it seems she was afterwards shrowded. It appears likewise that her body was found in the chest caulk'd and bitumed by the sailors.

So, in Twine's translation: " -a large chest, and we will seare it all ouer within with pitch and rozen melted together &c. Then tooke they the body of the faire lady Lucina, and arrayed her in princely apparell, and laid her into the chest" &c. Steevens.

8 Alter thy course for Tyre.] Change thy course, which is now for Tyre, and go to Tharsus. Malone.

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