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Enter the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
· PER. See, where she comes, apparell'd like the spring,
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
See, where she comes, &c.] In this speech of Pericles, a transposition perhaps is necessary. We might therefore read: See where she comes apparell'd like the king, Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the spring Of every virtue &c.
Antiochus had commanded that his daughter should be clothed in a manner suitable to the bride of Jove; and thus dressed in royal robes, she may be said to be apparelled like the king.
After all, I am dissatisfied with my own conjecture, and cannot help suspecting some deep corruption in the words of Pericles. With what propriety can a lady's thoughts be styled-the king of every virtue, &c.? Let the reader exert his sagacity on this occasion. In a subsequent scene, Jupiter is called the king of thoughts; and in King Henry IV. Part I. Douglas tells Hotspur that he is the king of honour; but neither of these passages will solve our present difficulty. We might read:
and her thoughts the wing
Of every virtue, &c.
for in All's well that ends well we have "a virtue of a good wing."
That every virtue may borrow wings (i. e. derive alacrity) from the sentiments of a young, beautiful, and virtuous woman, is a truth that cannot be denied. Pericles, at this instant, supposes the daughter of Antiochus to be as good as she is fair. The passage, indeed, with another change as slight, may convey as obvious a meaning.
She comes (says Pericles) adorned with all the colours of the spring; the Graces are proud to enroll themselves among her subjects; and the king, (i. e. the chief) of every virtue that ennobles humanity, impregnates her mind:
Graces her subjects, in her thoughts the king
In short, she has no superior in beauty, yet still she is herself under the dominion of virtue.
But having already stated my belief that this passage is incura
Her face, the book of praises, where is read
bly depraved, I must now add, that my present attempts to restore it are, even in my own judgment, as decidedly abortive. STEEVENS.
Her face the book of praises, where is read
Nothing but curious pleasures.] In what sense a lady's face can be styled a book of praises (unless by a very forced construction it be understood to mean an aggregate of what is praiseworthy), I profess my inability to understand."
A seemingly kindred thought occurs in a MS. play, entitled The Second Maiden's Tragedy:
Tyrant. Thy honours with thy daughter's love shall
"I shall read thy deservings in her eyes.
"Helvetius. Ŏ may they be eternal books of pleasure "To show you all delight." STEEvens,
So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, "And find delight writ there with beauty's pen." Again, in Macbeth:
"Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men
Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:
Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes, "Where all those pleasures live, that art could compre
The same image is also found in his Rape of Lucrece, and in Coriolanus. Praises is here used for beauties, the cause of admiration and praise. MALONE.
So, in The Elder Brother, Charles says to Angelina,-
? Sorrow were ever ras'd,] Our author has again this expression in Macbeth:
"Rase out the written troubles of the brain."
The second quarto, 1619, and all the subsequent copies, read rackt. The first quarto-racte, which is only the old spelling
Could never be her mild companion.
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love,
PER. That would be son to great Antiochus. ANT. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,2 With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd;
"And race the eternal register of time."
of ras'd; the verb being formerly written race. Thus, in Dido Queen of Carthage, by Marlowe and Nash, 1594: "But I will take another order now,
The metaphor in the preceding line
"Her face, the book of
shows clearly that this was the author's word. MALONE,
and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.] This is a bold expression:-testy wrath could not well be a mild companion to any one; but by her mild companion, Shakspeare means the companion of her mildness. M. MASON.
? That have inflam'd desire in my breast,] It should be remembered, that desire was sometimes used as a trisyllable. See Vol. XVIII. p. 450, n. 7. MALone.
To compass such a boundless happiness!] All the old copies have bondless. The reading of the text was furnished by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,] In the enumeration of the persons prefixed to this drama, which was first made by the editor of Shakspeare's plays in 1664, and copied without alteration by Mr. Rowe, the daughter of Antiochus is, by a ridiculous mistake, called Hesperides, an error to which this line seems to have given rise. Shakspeare was not quite accurate in his notion of the Hesperides, but he certainly never intended to give this appellation to the princess of Antioch; for it appears from Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV. scene the last, that he thought Hesperides was the name of the garden in which the
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard:
golden apples were kept; in which sense the word is certainly used in the passage now before us:
"For valour, is not love a Hercules,
"Still climbing trees in the Hesperides ?"
In the first quarto edition of this play, this lady is only called Antiochus' daughter. If Shakspeare had wished to have introduced a female name derived from the Hesperides, he has elsewhere shown that he knew how such a name ought to be formed; for in As you like it, mention is made of " Hesperia, the princess' gentlewoman." MALONE.
A countless glory,] The countless glory of a face, seems a harsh expression; but the poet, probably, was thinking of the stars, the countless eyes of heaven as he calls them in p. 172.
Old copy-Her countless &c. I read-A countless glory,i. e. her face, like the firmament, invites you to a blaze of beauties too numerous to be counted. In the first Book of the Corinthians, ch. xv: "there is another glory of the stars."
- all thy whole heap must die,] i. e. thy whole mass must be destroyed. There seems to have been an opposition intended. Thy whole heap, thy body, must suffer for the offence of a part, thine eye. The word bulk, like heap in the present passage, was used for body by Shakspeare and his contemporaries. See Vol. XIV. p. 324, n. 8.
The old copies read-all the whole heap. I am answerable for this correction. MALONE.
Yon sometime famous princes, &c.] See before p. 159, n. 7. MALONE. So, in Twine's translation: 66 and his head was set up at the gate, to terrifie others that should come, who beholding there the present image of death, might aduise them from assaying any such danger. These outrages practised Antiochus, to the end he might continue in filthy incest with his daughter."
Drawn by report, advent'rous by desire, Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance pale,
That, without covering, save yon field of stars, They here stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars; And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist,7 For going on death's net, whom none resist.
PER. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught My frail mortality to know itself, And by those fearful objects to prepare This body, like to them, to what I must:9 For death remember'd, should be like a mirror, Who tells us, life's but breath; to trust it, error. I'll make my will then; and as sick men do, Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling woe,
6 ·without covering, save yon field of stars,] Thus, LuLib. VII:
66 - cœlo tegitur qui non habet urnam."
STEEVENS. "And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist,] Thus, in Romeo and Juliet:
think upon these gone;
For going on death's net,] Thus the old copies, and rightly. Mr. Malone would read-From going &c. but for going means the same as for fear of going. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Lucetta says of the fragments of a letter:
"Yet here they shall not lie for catching cold." i. e. for fear of it. See Vol. IV. p. 195, n. 4.
It were easy to subjoin a croud of instances in support of the original reading. STEEVENS.
I would read-in death's net. PERCY.
like to them, to what I must:] That is,-to prepare this body for that state to which I must come. MALONE.
Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling woe, &c.] The meaning may be—I will act as sick men do; who having had experience of the pleasures of the world, and only a visionary and distant prospect of heaven, have neglected the latter for the