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Come not, in twice six moons, home,
He obedient to their doom,5


Will take the crown. The sum of this,
Brought hither to Pentapolis,
Y-ravished the regions round,"
And every one with claps, 'gan sound,
Our heir apparent is a king:
Who dream'd, who thought of such a thing?
Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre:
His queen with child makes her desire
(Which who shall cross?) along to go;
(Omit we all their dole and woe ;)

The mutiny he there hastes t'oppress;
Says to them, if king Pericles.

Surely both sense and rhyme direct us to read:

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The mutiny here he hastes t'appease; &c. STEEvens.

5 Come not, &c.] Old copy:

Come not home in twice six moons,
He obedient to their dooms,


Moons and dooms are very miserable rhymes; nor do I recollect that a plural of the substantive doom is ever used.-A slight transposition will remedy the present defect

Come not, in twice six moons, home,

He obedient to their doom, &c. STEEVENS.

"Y-ravished the regions round,] From the false print of the first edition, Iranished, the subsequent editors formed a still more absurd reading:

Irony shed the regions round,

Mr. Steevens's ingenious emendation, to which I have paid due attention by inserting it in the text, is strongly confirmed by the following passage in Gower, De Confessione Amantis: "This tale after the kynge it had "Pentapolin all oversprad, "There was no joye for to seche; "For every man it had in speche, "And saiden all of one accorde, "A worthy kynge shall ben our lorde. "That thought us first an heavines, "Is shape us nowe to great gladnes. "Thus goth the tydinge over all." MALONE.


Lychorida, her nurse, she takes,
And so to sea. Their vessel shakes
On Neptune's billow; half the flood
Hath their keel cut; but fortune's moods
Varies again; the grizzled north
Disgorges such a tempest forth
That, as a duck for life that dives,
So up and down the poor ship drives,
The lady shrieks, and, well-a-near!"
Doth fall in travail with her fear:1
And what ensues in this fell storm,2
Shall, for itself, itself perform.


half the flood

Hath their keel cut;] They have made half their voyage with a favourable wind. So, Gower: "When thei were in the sea amid, "Out of the north thei see a cloude; "The storme arose, the wyndes loude "Thei blewen many a dredeful blaste, "The welkin was all over-caste." MALONE.


but fortune's mood-] The old copy reads--but fortune mov'd. MALONE.


Mov'd could never be designed as rhyme to flood. 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.

(9 well-a-near!] This exclamation is equivalent to wella day, 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.

1 -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, action may
Conveniently the rest convey:
Which might not what by me is told.*
your imagination hold

This stage, the ship, upon whose deck
The sea-tost prince appears to speak.



Enter PERICLES, on a Ship at Sea.

PER. Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,7

Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast

I nill relate;] The further consequences of this storm I shall not describe. MALONE.

5 In


• Which might not what by me is told.] i. e. which might not conveniently 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.


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. Rowe made the correction. MALOne.

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.

Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,] The expression is borrowed from the sacred writings: "The waters

Upon the winds command, bind them in brass, Having call'd them from the deep! O still thy deaf'ning,

Thy dreadful thunders; gently quench thy nimble,
Sulphureous flashes!-O how, Lychorida,
How does my queen?-Thou storm, thou! ve-

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. IX. p. 214,

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 be enabled to judge in what a corrupted state this play has hitherto appeared, and be induced to treat the editor's imperfect attempts to restore it to integrity, with the more indulgence:

"The God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,
"Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou that hast
"Upon the windes commaund, bind them in brasse;
"Having call'd them from the deepe, ô still
"Thy deafning dreadful thunders, gently quench
"Thy nimble sulphirous flashes, ô How Lychorida!
"How does my queene? then storm venomously,
"Wilt thou speat all thyself? the sea-man's whistle
"Is as a whisper in the eares of death,
"Unheard Lychorida? Lucina oh!
"Divinest patrioness and my wife gentle
"To those that cry by night, convey thy deitie
"Aboard our dauncing boat, make swift the pangues
"Of my queenes travayles? now Lychorida."

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Having call'd 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,-.


The present regulation of the lines, by the mere repetition of the pronouns thy and thou, renders, perhaps, any other insertion needless. STEEVENS.



Wilt thou spit all thyself?-The seaman's whistle
Is as a whisper in the ears of death,'
Unheard.-Lychorida!-Lucina, O


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 nonsense. 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?"

Having 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 dan gerous 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 every way her foam." STeevens.


Is as a whisper in the ears of death,] In another place the poet supposes death to be awakened by the turbulence of the


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And in the visitation of the winds,
"Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

"Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
"With deafning clamours in the slippery clouds,
"That with the hurly, death itself awakes-."

King Henry IV. Part II.


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.

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