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Per. Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could wish to make one there.
1 Fish. Oh, sir! things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for. His wife's soul'―
Re-enter the Two Fishermen, drawing up a net.
2 Fish. Help, master, help! here's a fish hangs in the net, like a poor man's right in the law; 'twill hardly come out. Ha! bots on't; 'tis come at last, and 'tis turned to a rusty
let me see it.
Per. An armour, friends! I pray you,
'Twixt me and death;" (and pointed to this brace)
The which the gods protect thee from?! it may defend thee." It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov'd it,
Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,
? I could wish to make one there.] This part of the play seems, according to the novel, to have been abridged. Pericles asked how far off was the court of Simonides, "wherein he was resolved some halfe a dayes journey, and from point to point also informed that the king had a princely daughter named Thaysa, in whome was beauty so joyned with vertue, that it was as yet unresolved which of them deserved the greater comparison: and in memory of whose birth day her father yeerely celebrated feasts and triumphes, in the honour of which many Princes and Knights from farre and remote countries came, partly to approove their chivalry, but especially (being her father's only child) in hope to gaine her love: which name of chivalry, to approove that all the violence of the water had not power to quench the noblenesse of his minde, Pericles, sighing to himselfe, he broke out thus: Were but my fortunes aunswerable to my desires some should feele that I woulde be one there." Sign. C 4 b.
1- and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully DEAL for. His wife's soul-] In the old editions there is no stop before His wife's soul," and Mr. W. W. Williams, of Tiverton, proposes to alter "deal" to steal, and to keep the sentence continuous, thus: "and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully steal for his wife's soul." Mr Williams supposes it a gird at the Romanist doctrine, and that what the 1 Fisherman means is, if your fortunes are not equal to your desires, you need not be very scrupulous as to the means of improving them." The innovation seems too bold; and we are inclined to think, with Steevens, that the 1 Fisherman is interrupted by the return of his companions, and therefore does not finish his sentence.
2 the gods protect thee FROM!] In all the old copies, 4to. and folio, "from" is misprinted fame.
Took it in rage, though calm'd, have given 't again.
1 Fish. What mean you, sir?
Per. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth,
I know it by this mark. He lov'd me dearly,
And that you'd guide me to your sovereign's court,
1 Fish. Why, do ye take it; and the gods give thee good on't!
2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up this garment through the rough seams of the waters: there are certain condolements, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from whence you had it.
Per. Believe it, I will.
By your furtherance I am cloth'd in steel;
Of a pair of bases'.
3 And spite of all the RAPTURE of the sea,
This jewel holds his BIDING on my arm.] In the old copies these two lines run thus :
"And spite of all the rupture of the sea,
This jewel holds his building on my arm."
The novel founded upon "Pericles," shows that the two words, which in our text vary from the original copies, have been rightly changed by the commentators: Pericles, we are informed by Wilkins, got to land "with a jewel, whom all the raptures of the sea could not bereave from his arm." Sewel recommended "rapture" for rupture, and Malone substituted "biding" for building. The Rev. Mr. Dyce ("Remarks," p. 262) would retain building, as if a jewel could ever be said to be built upon an arm. He often challenges the production of any corresponding phrase, and we here follow his example: let him show us, in prose or in poetry, any parallel passage; whereas building for "biding" was an easy misprint. How many marks of admiration would he not have appended to a rival editor's suggestion for altering "biding" to building?
Of a pair of bases.] The Rev. Mr. Dyce tells us that these words require a
2 Fish. We'll sure provide: thou shalt have my best gown to make thee a pair, and I'll bring thee to the court myself. Per. Then honour be but a goal to my will! This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill.
The Same. A Platform leading to the lists. A Pavilion near it, for the reception of the King, Princess, Ladies, Lords, &c.
Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants,
Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph? 1 Lord. They are, my liege;
And stay your coming to present themselves.
Sim. Return them, we are ready; and our daughter,
Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat
[Exit a Lord. Thai. It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express My commendations great, whose merit's less.
Sim. 'Tis fit it should be so; for princes are
Thai. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform.
Enter a Knight: he passes over the stage, and his Squire presents his shield to the Princess.
Sim. Who is the first that doth prefer himself?
And the device he bears upon his shield
note, and he gives one from Nares, which can hardly be right, in connexion with the word "pair," viz. "a kind of embroidered mantle, which hung down from about the middle to about the knees, or lower, worn by knights on horseback." On the other hand, Steevens tells us that "a pair of bases" was a pair of loose breeches. Probably both are wrong.
5- to EXPLAIN] This is a correction by Steevens: all the old editions have "to entertain." Perhaps "honour" and "labour" have changed places.
Is a black Æthiop, reaching at the sun;
The word, Lux tua vita mihi".
Sim. He loves you well that holds his life of you.
[The second Knight passes over.
Who is the second that presents himself?
Thai. A prince of Macedon, my royal father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is an arm'd knight, that's conquer'd by a lady :
The motto thus, in Spanith, Piu per dulzura que per fuerza.
Sim. And what the third ?
[The third knight passes over.
The third of Antioch;
And his device, a wreath of chivalry:
Sim. What is the fourth?
[The fourth Knight passes over.
Thai. A burning torch, that's turned upside down; The word, Quod me alit, me extinguit.
Sim. Which shows that beauty hath his power and will, Which can as well inflame, as it can kill.
[The fifth Knight passes over.
Thai. The fifth, a hand environed with clouds, Holding out gold that's by the touchstone tried; The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.
[The sixth Knight passes over.
Sim. And what's the sixth and last, the which the knight
With such a graceful courtesy deliver❜d?
Thai. He seems to be a stranger; but his present is
A wither'd branch, that's only green at top:
The motto, In hac spe vivo.
Sim. A pretty moral :
From the dejected state wherein he is
He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.
1 Lord. He had need mean better, than his outward show Can any way speak in his just commend;
For by his rusty outside he appears
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.] "The word" means the mot, or motto. In ancient times, perhaps, the motto consisted of only one word.
Me pompa provexit apex.] In the old copies, this is printed Me Pompey provexit apex and Steevens naturally conjectured, that Pompey ought to be pompa, in which emendation he is supported by the motto as given in the novel by Wilkins, founded upon "Pericles:" there also a translation of every motto is given, but not in the precise order of the play.
To have practis'd more the whipstock, than the lance. 2 Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he comes To an honour'd triumph strangely furnished.
3 Lord. And on set purpose let his armour rust Until this day, to scour it in the dust.
Sim. Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan
But stay, the knights are coming: we'll withdraw
[Great shouts, and all cry, "The mean knight!"
The Same. A Hall of State.-A Banquet prepared.
Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Ladies, Lords, Knights, and
To say you are welcome were superfluous.
Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,
But you, my knight and guest; To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.
Per. 'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit 1. Sim. Call it by what you will, the day is your's; And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
In framing artists art hath thus decreed',
To make some good, but others to exceed;
8 — and Attendants.] The old stage-direction merely is, "Enter the King and Knights from Tilting."
To place] The old copies, anterior to the folio, 1685, have "I place."
than BY merit] So the folio, 1664, and not " my merit" as in the 4tos. What follows shows "by" to be right.
2 In framing ARTISTS art hath thus decreed,] It is an artist in the 4tos. and folios: Malone made the emendation; but we may doubt how far it is to be praised, since many other lines are defective, in this play especially, which might be made regular (if regularity were intended by the poet) by very insignificant alterations.