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Pericles' Prayer during the Storm at Sea.

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 deaf'ning,

Thy dreadful thunders, gently quench thy nimble sulphurous flashes.

Virtue and Knowledge superior to Nobility and Wealth.

I held it ever,

Virtue and cunning† were endowments greater

Than nobleness and riches; careless heirs

May the two latter darken and expend;
But immortality attends the former,

Making a man a god.



It is generally supposed that this comedy was written at the command of Queen Elizabeth, who was so much amused at the humours of Sir John Falstaff in the historical plays, that she desired to have a representation of the fat knight in love. Shakspere is said to have written this play in fourteen days. The escapades of Falstaff occupy the most conspicuous place in it, whilst the episode of the loves of Fenton and Anne Page form a pleasing variety. Dr. Johnson says-"This comedy is remarkable for the variety and number of the personages, who exhibit more characters, appropriated and discriminated, than perhaps can be found in any other play."

*This vast extent of ocean.

+ Knowledge.


Inequality of means and position between lovers an obstacle to marriage.

He doth object, I am too great of birth;
And that, my state being gall'd with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,-
My riots past, my wild societies;

And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible

I should love thee, but as a property.


The sincerity of Fenton's love for Anne Page.
I will confess, thy father's wealth

Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold, or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself

That now I aim at.


Legend of Herne the Hunter.

There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter time, at still midnight,

Walk round about an oak, with great ragged horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes* the cattle;
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:

You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed eld

Received, and did deliver to our age,

This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

*Strikes with disease.


Evils of a forced Marriage.

You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us,
The offence is holy, that she hath committed:
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
Of disobedience, or unduteous title;
Since therein she doth evitate* and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,

Which forced marriage would have brought upon her. *Escape, avoid.

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