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(Attended on by many a lord and knight)
Well-sailing ships, and bounteous winds, have
This king to Tharsus, (think his pilot thought;
The wayward &c. is the reading of the second quarto. The first has thy. In the next line but one, the old copies readall his lives delight. Malone.
1 Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late &c.] In the old copies these lines are strangely misplaced:
"Old Helicanus goes along behind
"Is left to governe it, you beare in mind.
"Advancde in time to great and hie estate.
"Well sailing ships and bounteous winds have broght "This king to Tharsus," &c.
The transposition suggested by Mr. Steevens, renders the whole passage perfectly clear. Malone.
2 (think his pilot thought;
So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on,)
To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.] The old copies read:
think this pilot thought,
So with his steerage shall your thoughts groan, &c. but they are surely corrupt. I read think his pilot thought; suppose that your imagination is his pilot. So, in King Henry V: 'Tis your thoughts, that now must deck our kings, "Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times."
"Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
"Athwart the seas."
In the next line the versification is defective by one word be ing printed instead of two. By reading grow on instead of groan, the sense and metre are both restored. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream (fol. 1623): and so grow on to a point." See Vol. II, p. 255, n. 3. We might read-go on; but the other appears to be more likely to have been the author's word. Malone. I cannot approve of Malone's amendment, but adhere to the old copies, with this difference only, that I join the words thought and pilot with a hyphen, and read:
think this pilot-thought;
That is, "Keep this leading circumstance in your mind, which
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;
Enter at one door, PERICLES with his Train; CLEON and DIONYZA at the other. CLEON shows PERICLES
the Tomb of MARINA; whereat PERICLES makes lamentation, puts on Sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. Then CLEON and DIONYZA retire.
Gow. See how belief may suffer by foul show! This borrow'd passion stands for true old woe;4 And Pericles, in sorrow all devour'd,
With sighs shot through, and biggest tears o'er-
Leaves Tharsus, and again embarks. He swears
will serve as a pilot to you, and guide you through the rest of the story, in such a manner, that your imagination will keep pace with the king's progress." M. Mason.
The plainer meaning seems to be-Think that his pilot had the celerity of thought, so shall your thought keep pace with his operations. Steevens.
who first is gone.] Who has left Tharsus before her father's arrival there. Malone.
3 Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;] So, in Mac
Sit and see,
66 Minding true things by what their mockeries be."
for true old woe;] i. e. for such tears as were shed when the world being in its infancy, dissimulation was unknown. All poetical writers are willing to persuade themselves that sincerity expired with the first ages. Perhaps, however, we ought to read-true told woe. Steevens.
5 A tempest which his mortal vessel tears,] So, in King Rich ard III:
"O, then began the tempest to my soul!" What is here called his mortal vessel, (i. e. his body) is styled by Cleopatra her mortal house. Steevens.
6 Now please your wit-] Now be pleased to know. So,
By wicked Dionyza.
[Reads the inscription on MARINA'S Monument.
She was of Tyrus, the king's daughter,
Thetis, being proud, swallow'd some fiart o' the
"In whiche the lorde hath to him writte
The editor of the second quarto (which has been copied by all the other editions) probably not understanding the passage, altered it thus:
Now take we our way
"To the epitaph for Marina writ by Dionysia." Malone. 7 sweet'st, and best,] Sweet'st is here used as a monosyllable. So, highest, in The Tempest: " Highest queen of state." &c. Malone.
We might more elegantly read, omitting the conjunctionand
The fairest, sweetest, best, lies here
8 Marina was she call'd; &c.] It might have been expected that this epitaph, which sets out in four-foot verse, would have confined itself to that measure; but instead of preserving such uniformity, throughout the last six lines it deviates into heroicks, which, perhaps, were never meant by its author. Let us remove a few syllables, and try whether any thing is lost by their omission:
"Marina call'd; and at her birth
"Proud Thetis swallow'd part o' the earth:
"The earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd,
The image suggested by-" Thetis swallowed" &c. reminds us of Brabantio's speech to the senate, in the first Act of Othello: my particular grief
"Is of so floodgate and o'erbearing nature,
"That it engluts and swallows other sorrows." Steevens. 9 Thetis, being proud swallow'd some part o' the earth :] The modern editions by a strange blunder, read,―That is, being proud, &c.
I formerly thought that by the words-some part of the earth was meant Thaisa, the mother of Marina. So Romeo calls his beloved Juliet, when he supposes her dead, the dearest morsel of the earth. But I am now convinced that I was mistaken. Malone.
Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd,
By lady fortune; while our scenes display2
The inscription alludes to the violent storm which accompa nied the birth of Marina, at which time the sea, proudly o'erswelling its bounds, swallowed, as is usual in such hurricanes, some part of the earth. The poet ascribes the swelling of the sea to the pride which Thetis felt at the birth of Marina in her element; and supposes that the earth, being afraid to be overflowed, bestowed this birth-child of Thetis on the heavens ; and that Thetis, in revenge, makes raging battery against the shores. The line, Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd, proves beyond doubt that the words, some part of the earth, in the line preceding, cannot mean the body of Thaisa, but a portion of the continent. M. Mason.
Our poet has many allusions in his works to the depredations made by the sea on the land. So, in his 64th Sonnet:
"When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
"And the firm soil win of the watry main,
"Increasing store with loss, and loss with store; -" &c. We have, I think, a similar description in King Lear and King Henry IV, P. II. Malone.
(and swears she'll never stint)] She'll never cease. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"It stinted, and said, ay." Malone.
while our scenes display] The old copies havewhile our steare must play.
We might read—our stage—or rather, our scene (which was formerly spelt sceane). So, in As You Like It:
"This wide and universal theatre,
"Presents more woful pageants than the scene
Again, in The Winter's Tale:
"The scene you play, were mine."
It should be remembered, that scene was formerly spelt sceane : so there is only a change of two letters, which in the writing of the early part of the last century were easily confounded. Malone. I read as in the text. So, in King Henry VIII :
and display'd the effects
"Of disposition gentle." Steevens.
In her unholy service. Patience then,
Mitylene. A Street before the Brothel.
Enter, from the Brothel, Two Gentlemen.
1 Gent. Did you ever hear the like?
2 Gent. No, nor never shall do in such a place as this, she being once gone.
1 Gent. But to have divinity preached there! did you ever dream of such a thing?
2 Gent. No, no. Come, I am for no more bawdy-houses: Shall we go hear the vestals sing?
1 Gent. I'll do any thing now that is virtuous; but I am out of the road of rutting, for ever.
The same. A Room in the Brothel.
Enter PANDAR, Bawd, and BOULT.
Pand. Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her, she had ne'er come here.
Bard. Fy, fy upon her; she is able to freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation. We must either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she should do for clients her fitment, and do me the kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks, her reasons, her master-reasons, her prayers, her knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.
Boult. 'Faith. I must ravish her, or she 'll disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make all our swearers priests. Pand. Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me! Bawd. 'Faith, there 's no way to be rid on 't, but by the way to the pox. Here comes the lord Lysimachus, disguised.4
3 Priapus,] The present mention of this deity was perhaps suggested by the following passage in Twine's translation: "Then the bawde brought her into a certaine chappell where stoode the idoll of Priapus made of gold," &c. Steevens.
Here comes the lord Lysimachus, disguis'd.] So, in the ancient prose romance already quoted:-" Than anone as Anthygoras prynce of the cyte it wyste, went and he disguysed himselfe, and went to the bordell whereas Tarcye was" &c. Steevens.