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If that thy prosperous-artificial feat5
Fair on, all goodness that consists in beauty &c. The editor of the second quarto in 1619, finding this unintelligible, altered the text, and printed-Fair and all goodness, &c. which renders the passage nonsense.- -One was formerly written on; and hence they are perpetually confounded in our ancient dramas.
See Vol. X. p. 443, n. 6. The latter part of the line, which was corrupt in all the copies, has been happily amended by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.
I should think, that instead of beauty we ought to read bounty. All the good that consists in beauty she brought with her. But she had reason to expect the bounty of her kingly patient, if she proved successful in his cure. Indeed Lysimachus tells her so afterwards in clearer language. The present circumstance puts us in mind of what passes between Helena and the King, in All's well that ends well. STEEVENS.
If that thy prosperous-artificial feat &c.] Old copy: If that thy prosperous and artificial &c. STEEVENS. "Veni ad me, Tharsia ;" (says Athenagoras) "ubi nunc ars studiorum tuorum, ut consoleris dominum navis in tenebris sedentem; ut provoces eum exire ad lucem, quia nimis dolet juge et filiâ suâ?"—Gesta Romanorum, p. 586, edit. 1558.
The old copy has artificial fate. For this emendation the reader is indebted to Dr. Percy. Feat and fate are at this day pronounced in Warwickshire alike; and such, I have no doubt, was the pronunciation in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Hence the two words were easily confounded. [See Mr. Malone's Supplement, &c. to Shakspeare, Vol. I. p. 411, n. 1.]
A passage in Measure for Measure may add support to Dr. Percy's very happy emendation:
In her youth
"There is a prone and speechless dialect,
"Such as moves men; besides, she hath a prosperous art
Percy reads feat instead of fate, which may possibly be the right reading; but in that case we ought to go further, and strike out the word and:
If that thy prosperous, artificial feat.
The amendment I should propose is to read:
If that thy prosperous artifice and fate. M. MASON.
Can draw him but to answer thee in aught,
Lys.. Come, let us leave her, And the gods make her prosperous!
I read as in the text. Our author has many compound epithets of the same kind; for instance,-dismal-fatal, mortalstaring, childish-foolish, senseless-obstinate, &c. in all of which the first adjective is adverbially used. See Vol. X. p. 194, n. 3.
6 Marina sings.] This song (like most of those that were sung in the old plays) has not been preserved. Perhaps it might have been formed on the following lines in the Gesta Romanorum, (or some translation of it,) which Tharsia is there said to have sung to King Apollonius:
"Per scorta [f. heu!] gradior, sed scorti conscia non
"Sic spinis rosa [f. quæ] nescit violarier ullis.
Ipsa, jubente Deo, lætari credo aliquando.
"Redde polo faciem, mentemque ad sidera tolle:
"Non [f. Nec.] sinit has lacrimas casso finiri labore." MALONE.
I have subjoined this song (which is an exact copy of the Latin hexameters in the Gesta Romanorum) from Twine's translation.
The song is thus introduced: "Then began she to record in
MAR. No, nor look'd on us.
Mark'd he your musick?
PER. Hum! ha!
See, she will speak to him.
MAR. I am a maid, My lord, that ne'er before invited eyes, But have been gaz'd on, comet-like: she speaks
verses, and therewithal to sing so swetely, that Apollonius, notwithstanding his great sorrow, wondred at her. And these were the verses which she soong so pleasantly unto the instrument."
"Amongst the harlots foul I walk,
"The rose among the thorns it grows,
"The thief that stole me, sure I think,
"A bawd me bought, yet I am not
"Were nothing pleasanter to me
"My blood from kings doth flow.
"I hope that God will mend my state,
"Leave off your tears, pluck up your heart,
"And banish care away.
"Show gladness in your countenance,
"That God remains that once of nought
"He will not let, in care and thought,
comet-like:] So, in Love's Labour's Lost: "So, portent-like" &c.
The old copy of Pericles has-like a comet. STEEvens.
My lord, that, may be, hath endur'd a grief
[Aside. PER. My fortunes-parentage-good parent
To equal mine!—was it not thus? what say you? MAR. I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,
You would not do me violence.1
I do think so.
that ne'er before invited eyes,
But have been gaz'd on like a comet :] So, in King Henry IV: "By being seldom seen, I could not stir,
But, like a comet, I was wonder’d at,'
My derivation was from ancestors Who stood equivalent with mighty kings:] Thus, in Othello:
I fetch my birth "From men of royal siege ;
9 - and aukward casualties-] Aukward is adverse. Our author has the same epithet in The Second Part of King Henry VI:
"And twice by aukward wind from England's bank
You would not do me violence.] This refers to a part of the story that seems to be made no use of in the present scene. Thus, in Twine's translation:," Then Apollonius fell in rage, and forgetting all courtesie, &c. rose up sodainly and stroke the maiden," &c. See, however, p. 366, line 3. ŠTEEVENS.
You are like something that-What countrywo
Here of these shores ??
PER. I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.3
My dearest wife was like this maid, and such a one My daughter might have been: my queen's square brows;
2 I do think so.
I pray you, turn your eyes again upon me.-
You are like something that-What countrywoman?
Here of these shores?] This passage is so strangely corrupted in the first quarto and all the other copies, that I cannot forbear transcribing it:
"Per. I do thinke so, pray you turne your eyes upon me, you like something that, what countrey women heare of these shewes.
"Mar. No nor of any shewes," &c.
For the ingenious emendation-shores, instead of shewes(which is so clearly right, that I have not hesitated to insert it in the text) as well as the happy regulation of the whole passage, I am indebted to the patron of every literary undertaking, my friend, the Earl of Charlemont. MALONE.
3 I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.] So, in King Richard II:
Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
such a one
My daughter might have been:] So, Demones in the Rudens of Plautus, exclaims on beholding his long-lost child:
"Mea! cum ego hanc video, mearum me absens miseriarum commones,
"Trima quæ periit mihi: jam tanta esset, si vivit, scio."