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Enter PERICLES and SIMONIDES at one door, with At
tendants ; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and gires PERICLES a Letter : PERICLES shows it to SIMONIDES; the Lords kneel to PERICLES. Then, enter THAISA with child, and LYCHORIDA: SIMONIDES shows his Daughter the Letter ; she rejoices : she and PERICLES take leave of her Father, and all depart.
Gow. By many a dearn and painful perch
(Which who shall cross ?) along to go;
Enter PERICLES, on shipboard. Per. Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these
surges, Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast Upon the winds command, bind them in brass, Having call’d them from the deep. O! still Thy deafening, dreadful thunders; duly quench'
2 – but fortune's mood] All the old editions misprint it, “but fortune mor'd."
3 — in this self storm,] i.e. in this same or self-same storm : all modern editors here corrupt the ancient text of the quartos and folios to "fell storm.”
4 I nill relate,] i.e. I ne will or will not relate.
3 – DULY quench] “ Daily quench” in the old copies : modern editors, without notice, alter it to “gently quench.”
Thy nimble, sulphurous flashes !-0! how, Lychorida,
.Enter LYCHORIDA, with an Infant.
How! how, Lychorida!
O you gods!
Patience, good sir,
Now, mild may be thy life!
6 Thou storm, venomously) “ Then storm” in all the old copies.
? Divinest patroness, and midwife,] For“midwife” (substituted by Steevens) the old editions all read my wife. • For thou’rt the rudeliest welcome to this world,
That e'er was prince's child.] The novel founded upon the play of “ Pericles ” here employs an expression which, as is stated in the Introduction, is evidently Shakespearean: it gives this part of the speech of Pericles as follows:“ Poor inch of nature! (quoth he) thou art as rudely welcome to the world, as ever princess' babe was, and hast as chiding a nativity, as fire, air, earth and water can afford thee.” This quotation also serves to show that Malone was wrong in altering “welcome” to welcom'd: besides the needlessness of the change, the novel proves that “welcome” was the poet's word.
Thou hast as chiding a nativity,
Enter Two Sailors.
1 Sail. What courage, sir? God save you.
Per. Courage enough. I do not fear the flawo;
1 Sail. Slack the bowlines there; thou wilt not, wilt thou ?-Blow, and split thyself.
2 Sail. But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.
1 Sail. Sir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.
Per. That's your superstition.
1 Sail. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still observed, and we are strong in earnest'. Therefore briefly yield her, for she must overboard straight?.
9- I do not fear the FLAW ;] “Flaw” is blast: we have had it in the same sense in other plays ; last in “Hamlet," see Vol. vii. p. 329.
1 -- and we are strong in EARNEST.) The old copies read “strong in eastern," and Monck Mason very plausibly suggested that the letters in the word eastern had been transposed, and that we ought to read “strong in earnest.” The chief objection to this is, that in the quarto impressions castern has one letter too much, being spelt with a final emeasterne : the folio, 1664, first omitted it.
? – for she must overboard straight.] Every old copy, by a strange error, inserts these words in the middle of the reply of Pericles. They may have been meant as a repetition by him.
Per. As you think meet'.—Most wretched queen! Lyc. Here she lies, sir.
Per. A terrible child-bed hast thou had, my dear; No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time To give thee ballow'd to thy grave, but straight Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze; Where, for a monument upon thy bones, And aye-remaining lamps', the belching whale, And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse, Lying with simple shells.-0 Lychorida! Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper, My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander Bring me the satin coffers: lay the babe Upon the pillow. Hie thee, whiles I say A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.
[Exit LYCHORIDA. 2 Sail. Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk'd and bitumed ready.
Per. I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this? 2 Sail. We are near Tharsus.
Per. Thither, gentle mariner, Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it?
2 Sail. By break of day, if the wind cease.
Per. O! make for Tharsus.-
3 As you think meet.] Modern editors, under the pretence probably of improving the metre, which they consider defective, because the line only consists of eight syllables, insert Be it at the beginning of this speech. The pause after “ As you think meet” amply makes up the time, and in this play we must generally take the versification as we find it.
* And ayE-remaining lamps,] Malone's emendation of the old copies, which print “ayre remaining lamps.” The allusion, of course, is to the lamps kept burning in monuments.
5 Bring me the satin coffer :] Coffin in the old copies ; but most likely Pericles was thinking of some ornaments kept by him in a satin “coffer." Malone, Steevens, and others adopted “coffer;" but in the last scene of this Act the word “coffer” occurs again, and there it seems to mean coffin, as if the terms were indifferently employed,
6 Alter thy course for Tyre.] Change thy course, (says Malone) which is now for Tyre, and go to Thursus.