Imágenes de páginas

She died by foul play.


O, go to. Well, well,
Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods
Do like this worst.

Be one of those, that think
The petty wrens of Tharsus will fly hence,5
And open this to Pericles. I do shame
To think of what a noble strain you are,
And of how cow'd a spirit.

To such proceeding
Who ever but his approbation added,

Though not his pre-consent,' he did not flow

5 The petty wrens of Tharsus will fly hence,] Thus the quarto, 1609; that of 1619 reads-pretty. Steevens.

[blocks in formation]

To think of what a noble strain you are,

And of how cow'd a spirit.] 'Old copy-coward. I read (for the sake of metre)-of how cow'd a spirit. So, in Macbeth: "For it hath cow'd my better part of man." Steevens. Lady Macbeth urges the same argument to persuade her husband to commit the murder of Duncan, that Dionyza here uses to induce Cleon to conceal that of Marina:

[ocr errors]

art thou afraid

"To be the same in thine own act and valour,

"As thou art in desire? Would'st thou have that
"Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,

"And live a coward in thine own esteem?

[ocr errors]

Letting I dare not wait upon I would,

"Like the poor cat i' the adage?"

Again, after the murder, she exclaims:


"My hands are of your colour, but I shame
"To wear a heart so white." Malone.

Though not his pre-consent,] The first quarto reads-prince consent. The second quarto, which has been followed by the modern editions, has whole consent. In the second edition, the editor or printer seems to have corrected what was apparently erroneous in the first, by substituting something that would af ford sense, without paying any regard to the corrupted reading, which often leads to the discovery of the true. For the emendation inserted in the text the reader is indebted to Mr. Steevens. A passage in King John bears no very distant resemblance to the present:

If thou didst but consent

"To this most cruel act, do but despair,

"And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
"That ever spider twisted from her womb

"Will serve to strangle thee." Malone.

From honourable courses.


Be it so then:

Yet none does know, but you, how she came dead,
Nor none can know, Leonine being gone..
She did disdain my child, and stood between
Her and her fortunes: None would look on her,
But cast their gazes on Marina's face;

Whilst ours was blurted at, and held a malkin,
Not worth the time of day. It pierc'd me thorough;

8 She did disdain my child,] Thus the old copy, but I think erroneously. Marina was not of a disdainful temper. Her excellence indeed disgraced the meaner qualities of her companion, i. e. in the language of Shakspeare, distained them. Thus, Adriana, in The Comedy of Errors, says—“ I live distained,” and, in Tarquin and Lucrece, we meet with the same verb again :

[ocr errors]

"Were Tarquin night (as he is but night's child) "The silver shining-queen he would distain; The verb-to stain is frequently used by our author in the sense of-to disgrace. See Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. iv. Steevens.

9 Whilst ours was blurted at,] Thus the quarto, 1609. All the subsequent copies have-blurred at.

This contemptuous expression frequently occurs in our ancient dramas. So, in King Edward III, 1596:

"This day hath set derision on the French,

"And all the world will blurt and scorn at us." Malone.

She did disdain my child, and stood between

Her and her fortunes: None would look on her,

But cast their gazes on Marina's face;

Whilst ours was blurted at,] The usurping Duke in As You Like It, gives the same reasons for his cruelty to Rosalind: she robs thee of thy name;


"And thou wilt show more bright, and seem more virtuous,

"When she is gone."

The same cause for Dionyza's hatred to Marina, is also alledged in Twine's translation: "The people beholding the beautie and comlinesse of Tharsia said: happy is the father that hath Tharsia to his daughter; but her companion that goeth with her is foule and evil favoured. When Dionisiades heard Tharsia commended, and her owne daughter Philomacia so dispraised, she returned home wonderful wrath," &c. Steevens.


a malkin,

Not worth the time of day.] A malkin is a coarse wench. A kitchen-malkin is mentioned in Coriolanus. Not worth the time of day, is, not worth a good day, or good morrow; undeserving the most common and usual salutation. Steevens.

See Coriolanus, Act II, sc. i, Vol. XIII.


And though you call my course unnatural,
You not your child well loving, yet I find,
It greets me, as an enterprize of kindness,
Perform'd to your sole daughter.3


Dion. And as for Pericles,

Heavens forgive it!

What should he say? We wept after her hearse,
And even yet we mourn: her monument

Is almost finish'd, and her epitaphs
In glittering golden characters express
A general praise to her, and care in us
At whose expence 'tis done.


Thou art like the harpy,

Which, to betray, doth wear an angel's face,
Seize with an eagle's talons.*

2 And though you call my course unnatural,] So, in Julius


"Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,

"To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs." Malone. 3 It greets me, as an enterprize of kindness,

Perform'd to your sole daughter.] Perhaps it greets me, may mean, it pleases me; c'est a mon gré. If greet be used in its ordinary sense of saluting or meeting with congratulation, it is surely a very harsh phrase. There is, however, a passage in King Henry VIII, which seems to support the reading of the text in its ordinary signification:



Would I had no being,

"If this salute my blood a jot." Malone.

Thou art &c.] Old copy:

Thou art like the harpy,

Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel's face,

Seize with thine eagle's talons.


There is an aukwardness of construction in this passage, that leads me to think it corrupt. The sense designed seems to have been-Thou resemblest in thy conduct the harpy, which allures with the face of an angel, that it may seize with the talons of an eagle. -Might we read:

Thou art like the harpy,

Which, to betray, dost wear thine angel's face;
Seize with thine eagle's talons.

Which is here, as in many other places, for who.

In King Henry VIII, we meet with a similar allusion:

"Ye have angels' faces, but Heaven knows your hearts." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:

"O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!"

Again, in King John:

"Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,

"With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens.” Malone

Dion. You are like one, that superstitiously Doth swear to the gods, that winter kills the flies;5 But yet I know you'll do as I advise.


Enter GoWER, before the Monument of MARINA at


Gow. Thus time we waste, and longest leagues
make short;

Sail seas in cockles, have, and wish but for 't;
Making, (to take your imagination)

From bourn to bourn, region to region.

I have adopted part of Mr. Malone's emendation, changing only a syllable or two, that the passage might at least present some meaning to the reader. Steevens.

5 Doth swear to the gods, that winter kills the flies;] You resemble him who is angry with heaven, because it does not control the common course of nature. Marina, like the flies in winter, was fated to perish; yet you lament and wonder at her death, as an extraordinary occurrence. Malone.

I doubt whether Malone's explanation be right; the words, swear to the gods, can hardly imply, to be angry with heaven, though to swear at the gods might: But if this conjecture be right, we must read superciliously, instead of superstitiously; for to arraign the conduct of heaven is the very reverse of superstition. Perhaps the meaning may be-" You are one of those who superstitiously appeal to the gods on every trifling and natural event." But whatever may be the meaning, swear to the gods, is a very aukward expression.

A passage somewhat similar occurs in The Fair Maid of the Inn, where Alberto says:

"Here we study

"The kitchen arts, to sharpen appetite,

"Dull'd with abundance; and dispute with heaven,
"If that the least puff of the rough north wind
"Blast our vine's burden." M. Mason.

6 Sail seas in cockles,] We are told by Reginald Scott, in his Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584, that "it was believed that witches could sail in an egg shell, a cockle, or muscle shell, through and under tempestuous seas.' s."-This popular idea was probably in our author's thoughts. Malone.

See Vol. VII, p. 27, n. 6. Steevens.

7 Making, (to take your imagination)

From bourn to bourn,] Making, if that be the true reading, must be understood to mean-proceeding in our course, from bourn to bourn, &c.-It is still said at sea-the ship makes much way. I suspect, however, that the passage is corrupt. All the copies have our imagination, which is clearly wrong. Perhaps the author wrote-to task your imagination. Malone.

By you being pardon'd, we commit no crime
To use one language, in each several clime,
Where our scenes seem to live. I do beseech you,
To learn of me, who stand i' the gaps to teach you
The stages of our story. Pericles

Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,'

Making, (to take your imagination)

From bourn to bourn, &c.] Making is most certainly the true reading. So, in p. 202:

"O make for Tharsus."

Making &c. is travelling (with the hope of engaging your attention) from one division or boundary of the world to another; i. e. we hope to interest you by the variety of our scene, and the different countries through which we pursue our story-We still use a phrase exactly corresponding with-take your imagination; i. e. “ To take one's fancy." Steevens.

8 who stand i' the gaps to teach you

The stages of our story. &c.] So, in the Chorus to The Winter's Tale:

[ocr errors][merged small]

"O'er sixteen years, and leave the growth untry'd

"Of that wide gap."

The earliest quarto reads-with gaps; that in 1619-in gaps. The reading that I have substituted, is nearer that of the old copy. Malone.

To learn of me who stand with gaps -] I should rather read: -the gaps. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

"That I may sleep out this great gap of time
"My Antony's away."

I would likewise transpose and correct the following lines


I do beseech ye

To learn of me, who stand i' the gaps to teach you

The stages of our story. Pericles

Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,

Attended on by many a lord and knight,
To see his daughter, all his life's delight.

Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late

Advanc'd in time to great and high estate,
Is left to govern. Bear it in your mind,
Old Helicanus goes along behind.

Well-sailing ships and bounteous winds have brought
This king to Tharsus: think his pilot thought;
So, with his steerage, shall your thoughts go on,
To fetch &c. Steevens.

9 thwarting the wayward seas,] So, in King Henry V


and there being seen,

"Heave him away upon your winged thoughts,

"Athwart the seas."

« AnteriorContinuar »