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(Like goodly buildings left without a roof1)
That best know'st how to rule, and how to reign.
All. Live, noble Helicane!
Hel. Try honour's cause; forbear your suffrages:
Take I your wish, I leap into the seas,
know that the kingdom had absolutely lost its governor; for in the very preceding line this Lord observes that it was only more probable that he was dead, than living. I therefore read, with a very slight change,-if without a head. The old copy, for if, has-is. In the next line but one, by supplying the word will, which I suppose was omitted by the carelessness of the compositor, the sense and metre are both restored. The passage as it stands in the old copy, is not, by any mode of construction, reducible to grammar. Malone.
1 (Like goodly buildings left without a roof)] The same thought occurs in King Henry IV, Part II:
leaves his part-created cost
"And naked subject to the weeping clouds,
Try honour's cause;] Perhaps we should read:
3 Take I your wish, I leap into the seas,
Where's hourly trouble, &c.] Thus the old copy. Steevens. It must be acknowledged that a line in Hamlet,
"Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,"
as well as the rhyme, adds some support to this reading: yet I have no doubt that the poet wrote:
I have no spur
"To prick the sides of my intent, but only
"Vaulting ambition, which o'er-leaps itself," &c.
On ship-board the pain and pleasure may be in the proportion here stated; but the troubles of him who plunges into the sea, (unless he happens to be an expert swimmer) are seldom of an hour's duration. Malone.
Where's hourly trouble, for a minute's ease,] So, in King Richard III:
"And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen."
The expression is figurative, and by the words-I leap into the seas, &c. I believe the speaker only means-I embark too hastily on an expedition in which case is disproportioned to labour.
A twelvemonth longer, let me then entreat you
Go search like noblemen, like noble subjects,
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.5
1 Lord. To wisdom he 's a fool that will not yield; And, since lord Helicane enjoineth us,
We with our travels will endeavour it.6
Hel. Then you love us, we you, and we 'll clasp hands; When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands. [Exeunt.
Pentapolis. A Room in the Palace.
Enter SIMONIDES, reading a Letter; the Knights
1 Knight. Good morrow to the good Simonides.
4 To forbear &c.] Old copy:
To forbear the absence of your king.
Some word being omitted in this line, I read :
To forbear choice i' the absence of your king. Steevens.
and win unto return,
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.] As these are the concluding lines of a speech, perhaps they were meant to rhyme. We might therefore read:
and win unto renown.
i. e. if you prevail on him to quit his present obscure retreat, and be reconciled to glory, you shall be acknowledged as the brightest ornaments of his throne. Steevens.
6 We with our travels will endeavour it.] Old copy:
We with our travels will endeavour.
Endeavour what? I suppose, to find out Pericles. I have therefore added the syllable which appeared wanting both to metre and sense. Steevens.
The author might have intended an abrupt sentence. Malone. I would readily concur with the opinion of Mr. Malone, had passion, instead of calm resolution, dictated the words of the speaker. Steevens.
7 In The Historie of Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, “two kynges
That for this twelvemonth, she 'll not undertake
Her reason to herself is only known,
Which from herself by no means can I get.
2 Knight. May we not get access to her, my lord? Sim. 'Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied her To her chamber, that it is impossible.
One twelve moons more she 'll wear Diana's livery;
And on her virgin honour will not break it.
3 Knight. Though loth to bid farewel, we take our leaves. [Exeunt.
They 're well despatch'd; now to my daughter's letter:
Well, I commend her choice;
And will no longer have it be delay'd.
Per. All fortune to the good Simonides!
sones" pay their court to the daughter of Archystrates, (the Simonides of the present play.) He sends two rolls of paper to her, containing their names, &c. and desires her to choose which she will marry. She writes him a letter (in answer), of which Appolyn is the bearer,-that she will have the man "which hathi passed the daungerous undes and perylles of the sea-all other to refuse." The same circumstance is mentioned by Gower, who has introduced three suitors instead of two, in which our author has followed him. Malone.
In Twine's translation, these suitors are also three in number, -Ardoninus, Munditius, and Carnillus. Steevens.
8 This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd,] It were to be wished that Simonides (who is represented as a blameless character) had hit on some more ingenuous expedient for the disposition of these wooers. Here he tells them as a solemn truth, what he knows to be a fiction of his own. Steevens.
I am beholden to you,
For your sweet musick this last night:] Here also our author has followed Gower:
do protest, were never better fed
With such delightful pleasing harmony.
Per. It is your grace's pleasure to commend ; Not my desert.
Sir, you are musick's master.
Per. The worst of all her scholars, my good lord. Sim. Let me ask you one thing. What do you think, sir, of
As of a most virtuous princess.
Per. As a fair day in summer; wond'rous fair.
Sim. She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre?
"She, to doone hir faders hest,
"Whiche, if you list, I shall you lere,
"Nowe take the harpe, and lete me see
"He taketh the harpe, and in his wise
"Hem thought it sowned in her ere,
to be her schoolmaster.] Thus the quarto, 1619. The
first copy reads-for her schoolmaster.
my gracious lord,] Old copies--me. I am answerable for the correction. Malone.
A stranger and distressed gentleman,
That never aim'd so high, to love your daughter,
Sim. Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter,' and thou art A villain.
By the gods, I have not, sir. Never did thought of mine levy offence;
Nor never did my
actions yet commence A deed might gain her love, or you displeasure. Sim. Traitor, thou liest.
Ay, traitor, sir. Per. Even in his throat, (unless it be the king') That calls me traitor, I return the lie.
Sim. Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.
Per. My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
And he that otherwise accounts of me,
This sword shall prove, he 's honour's enemy.
Here comes my daughter, she can witness it."
Per. Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,
3 Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter,] So, Brabantio, addressing himself to Othello:
"Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her." Steevens.
the king] Thus the quarto, 1609. The second copy bas-a king. Malone.
5 That never relish'd of a base descent.] So, in Hamlet: "That has no relish of salvation in it."
Again, in Macbeth:
"So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;
Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.] Thus all the copies. Simonides, I think, means to say--Not a rebel to our state!-Here comes my daughter: she can prove, thou art one. Perhaps, however, the author wrote-Now, Here comes, &c.— Othello, we find nearly the same words:
"Here comes the lady, let her witness it." Matone