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Our heir apparent is a king :
half the food Hath their keel cut;] They have made half their voyage with a favourable wind. So, Gower:
“ When thei were in the sea amid,
but fortune's mood -] The old copy reads--but for. iune mov'd. Malone.
Mov'd could never be designed as a rhyme to food. I suppose we should read-but fortune's mood, i. e. disposition. So, in The Comedy of Errors :
My wife's in a wayward mood to-day.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well:
muddied in fortune's mood." Steevens.
well-a-near! ] This exclamation is equivalent to well-aday, and is still used in Yorkshire, where I have often heard it. The Glossary to the Praise of Yorkshire Ale, 1697, says,-wellaneerin is lack-a-day, or alas, alas! Reed.
and, well-a-near ! Doth fall in travail with her fear:] So, in Twine's translation: “Lucina, what with sea-sicknesse, and fear of danger, fell in labour of a child,” &c. Steevens.
in this fell storm,] This is the reading of the earliest quarto. The folios and the modern editions have self storm.
I nill relate ;2 action may
Enter PERICLES, on a Ship at Sea. Per. Thou god of this great vast, rebuke these surges, Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast
I nill relate ;] The further consequences of this storm I shall not describe. Malone.
IPhich might not what by me is told.] i. e. which might not convenienily convey what by me is told, &c. What ensues may conveniently be exhibited in action ; but action could not well have displayed all the events that I have now related. Malone. 4 In your imagination hold
This stage, the ship, upon whose deck
The sea-tost &c.] It is clear from these lines, that when the play was originally performed, no attempt was made to exhibit either a sea or a ship. The ensuing scene and some others must have suffered considerably in the representation, from the poverty of the stage-apparatus in the time of our author. The old copy has--seas tost. Mr. Rove made the correction. Malone.
5 The sea-tost prince -] The old copy reads--the sea-tost Pericles. The transcriber perhaps mistook the abbreviation of Prince, for that of Pericles, a trisyllable which our present metre refuses to admit. Steevens.
6 Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,] The expression is borrowed from the sacred writings : “ The waters stood above the mountains ;-at thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.” It should be remembered, that Pericles is here supposed to speak from the deck of his ship. Lychorida, on whom he calls, in order to obtain some intelligence of his queen, is supposed to be beneath, in the cabin. -This great vast, is, this wide expanse. See Vol. VI, p. 164, n. 3.
This speech is exhibited in so strange a form in the original, and all the subsequent editions, that I shall lay it before the reader, that he may he enabled to judge in what a corrupted state this play has hitherto appeared, and be induced to treat the editor's iinperfect attempts to restore it to integrity, with the more indulgence: VOL. XVII.
Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,
“ The God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,
Upon the windes commaund, bind them in brasse ;
Thy deafning dreadful thunders, gently quench
Thy nimble sulphirous flashes, ô How Lychorida!
“ Of my queene's travayles ? now Lychorida.” Malone. Huving calld them from the deep! O still -] Perhaps a word was omitted at the press. We might read :
Having call’d them from th’ enchafed deep, Malone. The present regulation of the lines, by the mere repetition of the pronouns—thy and thou, renders, perhaps, any other insertion needless. Steevens.
Thou storm, thou ! venomously
Wilt thou spit all thyself?] All the copies read-Then storm, &c. which cannot be right, because it renders the passage non
The slight change that I have made, [Thou storm] affords an easy sense. Malone.
Pericles, having called to Lychorida, without the power to make her hear on account of the tempest, at last with frantick peevishness addresses himself to it
- Thou storm, thou! venomously “ Wilt thou spit all thyself ?” Hlaving indulged himself in this question, he grows cooler, and observes that the very boatswain's whistle has no more effect on the sailors, than the voices of those who speak to the dead. He then repeats his enquiries to Lychorida, but receiving no answer, concludes with a prayer for his queen in her present dangerous condition.
Venomously is maliciously. Shakspeare has somewhat of the same expression in one of his historical plays :
“The watry kingdom, whose ambitious head
“ Spits in the face of heaven, Chapman likewise, in his version of the fourth Iliad, says of the sea that she
spits erery way her foam.” Steevens.
Is as a whisper in the ears of death,
Enter LYCHORIDA, with an Infant.
Per. How! how, Lychorida!
9 Is as a whisper in the ears of death,] In another place the poet supposes death to be awakened by the turbulence of the storm :
And in the visitation of the winds,
King Henry IV, Part II. Malone. The image in the text might have been suggested by Sidney's Arcadia, Book II : “ They could scarcely, when they directed, hear their own whistle; for the sea strave with the winds which should be lowder, and the shrowds of the ship, with a ghastful noise to them that were in it, witnessed that their ruine was the wager of the others' contention.” Steevens.
1 Divinest patroness, and midwife, &c.] The quarto, 1609, and the subsequent copies, read and my wife. Mr. Steevens's happy emendation, which I have inserted in the text, is so clearly right, that it requires neither support nor illustration. If it wanted the latter, llorace would furnish it:
66 Montium custos nemorumque virgo,
Quæ laborantes utero puellas
“ Diva triformis." Again, in the Andria of Terence:
“ Juno Lucina, fer opem ; serva me, obsecro !" Malone.
who if it had
“ There's some conceit or other likes him well,
Malone. Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm.] Our author uses the same expression, on the same occasion, in The Tempest :
Here 's all that is left living of your queen,
Patience, good sir,
Now, mild may be thy life!
“ You mar our labour ;--keep your cabins; you do assist the storm." Malone. 4 Vie honour with yourselves.] Old copy-Use lionour &c.
Steevens. The meaning is sufficiently clear.- In this particular you might learn from us a more honourable conduct. But the expression is so harsh, that I suspect the passage to be corrupt. Malone.
I suspect the author wrote-Vie honour, a phrase much in use among Shakspeare and his contemporaries. Thus, in Chap. man's version of the twentieth Iliad:
“ What then need we vie calumnies ; like women ?" See also Vol. VI, p. 71, n. 4. Mr. M. Mason has offered the same conjecture. I read, however, for the sake of measure,-yourselves. Steevens.
The meaning is evidently this : “ We poor mortals recal not what we give, and therefore in that respect we may contend with you in honour." I have therefore no doubt but we ought to read:
And therein may
Vie honour with &c. The same expression occurs in the introduction to the fourth Act, where Gower says:
“ The dove of Paphos might with the crow
“ Vie feathers white.” The trace of the letters in the words vie and use is nearly the same, especially if we suppose that the v was used instead of the u vowel; which is frequently the case in the old editions:
“ Nature wants stuff,
Antony and Cleopatra. M. Mason. 5 Quiet and gentle thy conditions !] Conditions anciently meant qualities; dispositions of mind. So, in Othello :
“ And then of so gentle a condition !!” He is speaking of Desdemona. Again, in King Henry V:
“Ourtongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth.”