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For I was born at sea.
At sea? thy mother?
MAR. My mother was the daughter of a king; Who died the very minute I was born," As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft Deliver'd weeping.
O, stop there a little! This is the rarest dream that e'er dull sleep' Did mock sad fools withal: this cannot be. My daughter's buried. [Aside.] Well-where were you bred?
I'll hear you more, to the bottom of your story, And never interrupt you.
MAR. You'll scarce believe me; 'twere best I did give o'er.'
Who died the very minute I was born,] Thus the old copy. Either the construction is-My mother, who died the very minute I was born, was the daughter of a king, or we ought to read:
She died the very minute &c.
otherwise it is the king, not the queen, that died at the instant of Marina's birth. In the old copies these lines are given as prose. STEEvens.
The word very I have inserted to complete the metre.
This is the rarest dream that e'er dull sleep-] The words, This is the rarest dream &c. are not addressed to Marina, but spoken aside. MALONE.
You'll scarce believe me; 'twere best I did give o'er.] All the old copies read-You scorn, believe me, &c. The reply of Pericles induces me to think the author wrote:
You'll scarce believe me; 'twere best &c.
Pericles had expressed no scorn in the preceding speech, but, on the contrary, great complacency and attention. So, also before: Pr'ythee speak: "Falseness cannot come from theeI'll believe thee," &c.
PER. I will believe you by the syllable3 Of what you shall deliver. Yet, give me leave :How came you in these parts? where were you bred?
MAR. The king, my father, did in Tharsus leave
Till cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife,
The false prints in this play are so numerous, that the greatest latitude must be allowed to conjecture. MALone.
I will believe you by the syllable &c.] i. e. I will believe every word you say. So, in Macbeth:
"To the last syllable of recorded time." Again, in All's well that ends well:
"To the utmost syllable of your worthiness."
who having drawn,] Mr. Malone supposes the old copy meant to read-Whom having drawn, &c. STEEVENS.
This mode of phraseology, though now obsolete, was common in Shakspeare's time. So, in The Tempest:
"Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
"Out of his charity, (who being then appointed "Master of this design,) did give us," &c. Again, in The Winter's Tale:
This your son-in-law,
"And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)
See also Vol. XVI. p. 148, n. 2.
When the former edition of this play was printed, I imagined the original copy printed in 1609, read-who having drawn to do't, not observing the mark of abbreviation over the letter o (who) which shows the word intended was whom. MALONE.
I have now two copies of this quarto 1609 before me, and neither of them exhibits the mark on which Mr. Malone's sup position is founded. I conclude therefore that this token of abbreviation was an accidental blot in the copy which that gentle
Old copy-having drawn to do't. I read:
A crew of pirates came and rescued me;
You think me an impostor; no, good faith;
PER. HO, Helicanus!
Calls my gracious lord? PER. Thou art a grave and noble counsellor, Most wise in general: Tell me, if thou canst, What this maid is, or what is like to be, That thus hath made me weep?
HEL. I know not; but Here is the regent, sir, of Mitylene, Speaks nobly of her.
PER. O Helicanus, strike me, honour'd sir;
And drown me with their sweetness.5 O, come
A villain to attempt it, who, having drawn,
The words to do't—are injurious to the measure, and unnecessary to the sense, which is complete without them. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"What! art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?" Again, in King Henry V:
"O, well a day, if he be not drawn now!"
• And drown me with their sweetness.] We meet a kindred thought in The Merchant of Venice:
Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget;
Down on thy knees, thank the holy gods, as loud
First, sir, I pray,
PER. I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now (As in the rest thou hast been godlike perfect,) My drown'd queen's name, thou art the heir of kingdoms,
And another life to Pericles thy father."
What is your title?
"O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
Though doubts did ever sleep.] i. e. in plain language, though nothing ever happened to awake a scruple or doubt concerning your veracity. STEEVENs.
the heir of kingdoms,
And another life to Pericles thy father.] Mr. Malone reads:
The old copy has
And another like to Pericles thy father.
There can be no doubt that there is here a gross corruption. The correction which I have made, affords an easy sense. The mother of Marina was the heir of kingdoms, and in that respect resembled Pericles.
I believe the same error has happened in Hamlet, where in Act V. sc. ii. we find-" Is't not possible to understand in another tongue?" instead of which I believe the poet wrote, "Is't possible not to understand in a mother tongue?".
This error actually happened in the first edition of Sir Francis Bacon's Essay on The Advancement of Learning, B. II. p. 60, 4to. 1605: "—by the art of grammar, whereof the use in ano
MAR. Is it no more to be your daughter, than To say my mother's name was Thaisa?. Thaisa was my mother, who did end, The minute I began.
PER. Now, blessing on thee, rise; thou art my
Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus,
HEL. Sir, 'tis the governor of Mitylene,
ther tongue is small; in a foreign tongue more." In the table of Errata we are desired to read-a mother tongue. MALONE.
I think that a slight alteration will restore the passage, and read it thus:
But tell me now
My drown'd queen's name (as in the rest you said
That is, "Do but tell me my drowned queen's name, and thou
"Thou that beget'st him that did thee beget."
I have adopted Mr. M. Mason's very happy emendation, with a somewhat different arrangement of the lines, and the omission of two useless words. STEEVENS.
• Thaisa was my mother, who did end,
The minute I began.] So, in The Winter's Tale:
"Give me that hand of yours to kiss." MALONE.
Mine own, Helicanus, &c.] Perhaps this means, she is mine own daughter, Helicanus, (not murdered according to the design of Cleon) she (I say) shall tell thee all, &c.