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God Neptune's annual feast to keep: from whence
His banners sable, trimm'd with rich expence;
quarto reads-We there him lest. The editor of that in 1619, finding the passage corrupt, altered it entirely. He reads:
Where we left him at sea, tumbled and tost;
The corresponding rhyme, coast, shows that lest, in the first edition, was only a misprint for lost. Malone.
The city striv'd
God Neptune's annual feast to keep] The citizens vied with each other in celebrating the feast of Neptune. This harsh expression was forced upon the author by the rhyme. Malone. I suspect that our author wrote:
The city's hiv'd
God Neptune's annual feast to keep:
i. e. the citizens, on the present occasion, are collected like bees in a hive. Shakspeare has the same verb in The Merchant of Venice :-" Drones hive not with me." Steevens.
3 And to him in his barge with fervour hies.] This is one the few passages in this play, in which the error of the first copy is corrected in the second. The eldest quarto reads unintelligibly.-with former hies. Malone.
6 In your supposing once more put your sight;
Of heavy Pericles think this the bark:] Once more put your sight under the guidance of your imagination. Suppose you see what we cannot exhibit to you; think this stage, on which 1 stand, the bark of the melancholy Pericles. So before :
"In your imagination hold
"This stage, the ship, upon whose deck
The quarto, 1609, reads:
Of heavy Pericles, think this his bark:
and such also is the reading of the copy printed in 1619. The folio reads-On heavy Pericles, &c. If this be right, the passage should be regulated differently:
And to him in his barge with fervour hies,
In your supposing.--Once more put your sight
On heavy Pericles; &c.
You must now aid me with your imagination, and suppose Lysimachus hastening in his barge to go on board the Tyrian ship. Once more behold the melancholy Pericles, &c. But the former
On board PERICLES' Ship, off Mitylene. A close Pavilion on deck, with a Curtain before it; PERICLES within it, reclined on a Couch. A Barge lying beside the Tyrian Vessel.
Enter Two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian Vessel, the other to the Barge; to them HELICANUS. Tyr. Sail. Where 's the lord Helicanus? he can resolve you. [To the Sailor of Mitylene.
O here he is.
Sir, there's a barge put off from Mitylene
Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?
Enter Two Gentlemen.
1 Gent. Doth your lordship call?
There is some of worth would come aboard; I pray you, To greet them fairly. [The Gentlemen and the Two Sailors descend, and go on board the Barge. Enter, from thence, LYSIMACHUS and Lords; the Tyrian Gentlemen, and the Two Sailors.
Tyr. Sail. Sir,
This is the man that can, in aught you would,
is, in my opinion, the true reading. To exhort the audience merely to behold Pericles, was very unnecessary; as in the ensuing scene he would of course be represented to them. Gower's principal office in these chorusses is, to persuade the spectators not to use, but to disbelieve, their eyes. Malone.
7 Where, what is done in action, more, if might,] Where all that may be displayed in action, shall be exhibited; and more should be shown, if our stage would permit. The poet seems to be aware of the difficulty of representing the ensuing scene. More, if might, is the reading of the first quarto. The modern copies read, unintelligibly,-more of might. Malone.
More of might, i. e. of more might, (were there authority for such a reading) should seem to mean-of greater consequence. Such things we shall exhibit. As to the rest, let your imaginations dictate to your eyes. We should, otherwise, read:
Where, of what's done in action, more, if might,
greet them fairly.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1609, has-greet him fairly. Malone.
Lys. Hail, reverend sir! The gods preserve you!
You wish me well.
Being on shore, honouring Neptune's triumphs,
Lys. I am governor of this place you lie before.
Our vessel is of Tyre, in it the king;
A man, who for this three months hath not spoken
But to prorogue his grief.9
Lys. Upon what ground is his distemperature?
Lys. May we not see him, then?
You may indeed, sir,
Lys. Yet, let me obtain my wish.
Hel. Behold him, sir: [PER. discovered.]2 this was a goodly person,
9 But to prorogue his grief.] To lengthen or prolong his grief. The modern editions read unnecessarily :
But to prolong his grief.
Prorogued is used by our author in Romeo and Juliet for delayed:
"My life were better ended by their hate,
“Than death prorogued wanting of thy love." Malone. 1 Sir, it would be &c.] For the insertion of the supplemental word (Sir) here and in the next speech but one, as well as in the first address of Helicanus to Lysimachus, I am accountable. Malone.
2 Pericles discovered.] Few of the stage-directions that have been given in this and the preceding Acts, are found in the old copy. In the original representation of this play, Pericles was probably placed on the back part of the stage, concealed by a curtain, which was here drawn open. The ancient narratives represent him as remaining in the cabin of his ship. Thus, in the Confessio Amantis, it is said:
Till the disaster, that, one mortal night,
Drove him to this.3
Lys. Sir, king, all hail! the gods preserve you! Hail, Hail, royal sir!
Hel. It is in vain; he will not speak to you.
1 Lord. Sir, we have a maid in Mitylene, I durst
Would win some words of him.
Lys. 'Tis well bethought. She, questionless, with her sweet harmony And other choice attractions, would allure, And make a battery through his deafen'd parts, Which now are midway stopp'd :5
"But for all that though hem be lothe,
"He [Athenagoras, the governor of Mytelene,] fonde the ladder and downe he goeth
"And to him spake
So also, in Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: " he is here benethe in tenebres and obscurete, and for nothinge that I may doe he wyll not yssue out of the place whereas he is.”—But as in such a situation Pericles would not be visible to the audience, a different stage-direction is now given. Malone.
3 Till the disaster, that, one mortal night,
Drove him to this.] The old copies all read-one mortal wight. The word which I suppose the author to have written, affords an easy sense. Mortal is here used for pernicious, destructive. So, in Macbeth:
4 Sir, we have a maid &c.] This circumstance resembles another in All's Well that Ends Well, where Lafeu gives an account of Helena's attractions to the King, before she is introduced to attempt his cure. Steevens.
5 And make a battery through his deafen'd parts,
Which now are midway stopp'd:] The earliest quarto reads -defend parts. I have no doubt that the poet wrote-through his deafen'd parts,-i. e. ears; which were to be assailed by the melodious voice of Marina. In the old quarto few of the participles have an elision mark. This kind of phraseology, though it now appears uncouth, was common in our author's time. Thus, in the poem entitled Romeus and Juliet:
"Did not thy parts, fordon with pain, languish away and pine?"
Again, more appositely, ibidem :
"Her dainty tender parts 'gan shiver all for dread;
She, all as happy as of all the fairest,
The island's side.6 [He whispers one of the attendant
Again, in our poet's Venus and Adonis :
"Or, were I deaf, thy outward parts would move
"Each part in me that were but sensible."
Again, in his 69th Sonnet:
"Those parts of thee, that the world's eye doth view," &c. Stopp'd is a word which we frequently find connected with the ear. So, in King Richard II:
"Gaunt. My death's sad tale may not undeaf his ear. "York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds."
Mr. Malone's explanation is fully supported by a line in Antony and Cleopatra:
"Make battery to our ears with the loud musick." H. White. Perhaps we should read—his deafen'd ports. Thus, in Timon: "Descend, and open your uncharged ports."
i. e. gates. Deafen'd ports would mean the oppilated doors of hearing. In King Henry IV, Part II, we have "the gates of breath." Steevens.
6 She, all as happy as of all the fairest,
Is, with her fellow maidens, now within &c.] Old copy:
And, with her fellow-maids, is now upon
The leafy shelter
Marina might be said to be under the leafy shelter, but I know not how she could be upon it; nor have I a clear idea of a shelter abutting against the side of an island. I would read:
is now upon
The leafy shelver that abuts against
The island's side.
i. e. the shelving bank near the sea-side, shaded by adjoining trees.
It appears from Gower, that the feast of Neptune was celebrated on the strand:
"The lordes both and the commune
"The high festes of Neptune
"Upon the stronde, at rivage,
So, before in this scene:
Being on shore, honouring of Neptune's triumphs, -." Marina and her fellow-maids, we may suppose, had retired a little way from the crowd, and seated themselves under the adjoining trees, to see the triumph. This circumstance was an invention of the poet's. In Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, Tharsye, the Marina of this play, is brought from the bordel where she had been placed. In the Confessio Amantis, she is summoned, by