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To forbear the absence of your king';
Go search like nobles, like noble subjects,
And in your search spend your adventurous worth;
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.
1 Lord. To wisdom he's a fool that will not yield: And, since lord Helicane enjoineth us,
We with our travels will endeavour'.
Hel. Then, you love us, we you; and we'll clasp hands: When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.
Pentapolis. A Room in the Palace.
Enter SIMONIDES, with a letter: the Knights meet him.
1 Knight. Good morrow to the good Simonides. Sim. Knights, from my daughter this I let you know, That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake
A married life.
Her reason to herself is only known,
Which yet from her by no means can I get.
2 Knight. May we not get access to her, my lord? Sim. 'Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied her
To her chamber, that it is impossible.
One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery;
This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd,
And on her virgin honour will not break it.
3 Knight. Though loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.
To forbear the absence of your king;] This line is defective both in sense and measure, but quite intelligible, and we make no change: Steevens would read, "To forbear choice i' the absence of your king,"
to which Mr. Singer replies, that "forbear' here may only mean to bear with." He totally forgets that three or four lines above "forbear" is used twice over in a very different sense, the same sense in which we employ it when we say that we "forbear," excepting in cases of strict necessity, to tamper with the words of the 4tos. and folios.
5 We with our travels will endeavour.] We could easily add it or so to this imperfect line, but who shall say that either is right?
They're well dispatch'd; now to my daughter's letter.
'Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine;
Well, I commend her choice,
And will no longer have it be delay'd.
Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.
Per. All fortune to the good Simonides!
Protest, my ears were never better fed
Not my desert.
Sir, you are music's master.
Per. The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
What do you think of my daughter, sir?
Per. As of a most virtuous princess.
Sim. And she is fair too, is she not?
Per. As a fair day in summer; wondrous fair.
Sim. She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre?
'Tis the king's subtilty, to have my life.—
[To him.] Oh! seek not to entrap me, gracious lord, A stranger and distressed gentleman,
That never aim'd so high to love your daughter,
But bent all offices to honour her.
Sim. Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and thou art A villain.
6 were never better fed] Malone thought fit to invert the passage thus :
แ "My ears, I do protest, were never better fed," without authority or necessity.
Per. By the gods, I have not,
A deed might gain her love, or your displeasure.
Per. Even in his throat, unless it be the king,
That calls me traitor, I return the lie.
Sim. [Aside.] Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage. Per. My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
That never relish'd of a base descent.
I came unto your court for honour's cause,
And he that otherwise accounts of me,
This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy'.
Her comes my daughter, she can witness it.
Per. Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,
Who takes offence at that would make me glad?
[To her.] I'll tame you; I'll bring you in subjection.
Bestow your love and your affections
Upon a stranger'? [Aside.] who, for aught I know,
7 See this passage, as it appears in the novel by Wilkins, in our Introduction. Why, sir, if you had,
Who takes offence at that would make me glad?] It now and then happens that in old plays the first line of a couplet is short of the regular number of syllables: we may, however, sometimes suspect that words have been lost, which would have given the line its proper number of syllables. In a note upon "Henry VIII.," Vol. iv. p. 379, we have stated in reference to a defective line in the old copies, amended in the corr. fo. 1632, that it was most unusual for the second line of a couplet to consist of less than ten syllables.
9 Upon a stranger?] According to the novel this scene must have been considerably abridged as it stands in the 4tos. and folios: Simonides (as Wilkins has given the speech) asks Thaisa, "Is this a fit match for you? a stragling Theseus
May be (nor can I think the contrary)
As great in blood as I myself.
Therefore, hear you, mistress; either frame
And being join'd, I'll thus your hopes destroy;
Yes, if you love me, sir.
Per. Even as my life, or blood that fosters it'.
Both. Yes, if't please your majesty.
Sim. It pleaseth me so well, I'll see you wed; Then, with what haste you can, get you to bed.
borne we knowe not where, one that hath neither bloud nor merite for thee to hope for, or himselfe to challenge even the least allowance of thy perfections." Sign. E 2. The facility with which the above prose is convertible into blank verse, affords some testimony that it was so originally, and that it was so recited on the stage :"A straggling Theseus, born we know not where, One that hath neither blood nor merit for thee Ever to hope for, or himself to challenge
Even the least of thy perfections."
So again, in the novel Thaisa's answer runs thus, omitting only two or three unimportant particles :
"And what, most royal father, with my pen
I have in secret written unto you,
With my tongue now I openly confirm;
Which is, I have no life but in his love,
Nor being but th' enjoying of his worth!"
The reply of Simonides, on the same authority, is in these measured words, without addition or alteration, but printed as mere prose :
66 'Equals to equals, good to good is join'd:
This not being so, the bavin of your mind,
Of these passages, and of others, there is no trace in the play, as it has come down to us, and we may feel confident that Wilkins would not have inserted them, at least in these terms, if he had not heard them so delivered on the stage. We are, therefore, disposed to consider them recovered portions of the drama.
1 Even as my life, OR blood that fosters it.] So the folio, 1664, as well as the 4to, 1619: the earlier editions have my for "or." The meaning, says the Rev. Mr. Dyce, is "even as my life, or as my blood that fosters my life:" it would, we apprehend, be difficult to make any other meaning out of it; and we only give the explanation as a sample of the manner in which time and words are sometimes wasted upon what, in fact, requires no elucidation. We formerly printed "my blood" from the 4to, 1609, but the meaning was not thereby in any respect altered: or was to be understood.
Gow. Now sleep yslaked hath the rout;
Enter PERICLES and SIMONIDES at one door, with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and gives 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"
the house ABOUT,] "About the house in every old copy, and in Rowe's edition. In all but the first 4to. we also read, "Now ysleep slaked hath the rout." 3 'FORE the mouse's hole ;] The old copies have from for "'fore," a very probable misprint, though not so necessarily.
4 And crickets sing at the oven's mouth,
ARE the blither for their drouth.] i. e. “And crickets that sing," &c. We wonder that the Rev. Mr. Dyce should not have been aware of this frequent ellipsis: he proposes a most needless emendation," E'er the blither," &c. "Sing" was, perhaps, foisted into the preceding line.
quaintly ECHE;] A form of eke that is found in Chaucer and Gower, as well as in some later writers, and here required by the rhyme. Eke is the more modern mode of spelling the word.
By many a DEARN and painful PERCH] "Perch" is here to be taken for any distance, but strictly it is a measure of five yards and a half. "Dearn" is dark, dreary, solitary.