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The fairest in all Syria ;
“ The most famous and mighty King Antiochus, which builded the goodlie city of Antiochia in Syria, and called it after his owne name, as the chiefest seat of all his dominions."
STEEVENS. you what mine authors say :)] This is added in imitation of Gower's manner, and that of Chaucer, Lydgate, &c. who often thus refer to the original of their tales. These choruses resemble Gower in few other particulars. Steevens.
unto him took a pheere,] This word, which is frequently used by our old poets, fignifies a mate or companion. The old copies have-peer. For the emendation I am answerable. Throughout this piece, the poet, though he has not closely copied the language of Gower's poem, has endeavoured to give his speeches somewhat of an antique air. Malone. See Vol. XXI. p. 86, n. 1. STEEVENS.
full of face,] i. e, completely, exuberantly beautiful. A full fortune, in Othello, means a complete, a large one. See also Vol. XV. p. 397, n. 1. MALONE.
2 By custom, what they did begin,] All the copies read, unintelligibly,- But custom &c. MALONE.
account no fin.] Account for accounted. So, in King John, waft for wafted : “ Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er.”
STEEVENS. Again, in Gascoigne's Complaint of Philomene, 1575 :
“ And by the lawde of his
• His lewdness was acquit. The old copies read account d. For the correction I am answerable. MALONE.
The beauty of this finful dame
thither frame,] i. e. shape or direct their course thither.
Malone. (To keep her still, and men in awe,)] The meaning, I think, is not to keep her and men in awe, but to keep her still to himself, and to deter others from demanding her in marriage.
MALONE. Mr. ·Malone has properly interpreted this passage. So, in Twine's translation : which false resemblance of hateful marriage, to the intent that he might alwaies enjoy, he invented &c. to drive away all suitors that Mould resort unto her, by propounding" &c. See also p. 176, n. 8. Steevens.
p many a wight-] The quarto, 1609, reads-many of wight. Corrected in the folio. Malone.
Perhaps the correction is erroneous, and we should read, nearer to the traces of the old copy,
So for her many of might did die, i. e, many men of might. Thus, afterwards :
"i Yon sometime famous princes," &c. The w in the quarto 1609, might be only an in reversed.
STEEVENS. 7 As yon grim looks do testify.]. Gower must be supposed here to point to the heads of thole unfortunate wights, which, he tells us, in his poem, were fixed on the gate of the palace at Antioch :
“ The fader, whan he understood
What now ensues,3 to the judgment of your
eye I give, my cause who beft can justify.9 [Exit.
“ But if he couth his question
« Eschewden to make affaie." MALONE. As yon grim looks do testify.] This is an indication to me of the use of scenery in our ancient theatres. I suppose the audience were here entertained with a view of a kind of Temple Bar at Antioch. STEEVENS.
& What now enjues,] The folio-What ensues. The original copy has-What now ensues. Malone.
my cause who best can juftify.] i.e. which (the judge ment of your eye) beft can justify, i. e. prove its resemblance to the ordinary course of nature. So, afterwards :
“ When thou shalt kneel, and juftify in knowledge, But as no other of the four next choruses concludes with a heroick couplet, unless through interpolation, I suspect that the two lines before us originally stood thus :
" What now enfues,
My cause who beft can justify."
“ And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit
By wicked Dionyza."
Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.
Ant. Young prince of Tyre,' you have at large
a Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize.
[Mufick. Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd)
Young prince of Tyre,] It does not appear in the present drama, that the father of Pericles is living. By prince, therefore, throughout this play, we are to understand prince regnant. See Act II. sc. iv. and the epitaph in Act III. sc. iii. In the Gesta Romanorum, Apollonius is king of Tyre; and Appolyn, in Copland's translation from the French, has the same title. Our author, in calling Pericles a prince seems to have followed Gower. MALONE.
In Twine's translation he is repeatedly called “ Prince of Tyrus." Steevens.
* Bring in our daughter, clothed like a lride,] All the copies read :
Mufick, bring in our daughter, clothed like a lride, The metre proves decisively that the word musick was a marginal direction, inserted in the text by the mistake of the transcria ber or printer. MALONE. Vol. XXI.
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence, 3
" I'll trust you
3 For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd,)
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence, &c.] It appears to me, that by her conception, Shakspeare means her birth; and that till is here used in the sense of while. So, in The Scornful Lady, Loveless says to Morecraft:
oc Will you persevere?” To which he replies :
• Till I have a penny." That is, whilst I have one.
And on the other hand, while sometimes signifies till; as in Wit at several Weapons, Pompey says:
« I'll lie under the bed while midnight,” &c. And in Maffinger's Old Law, Simonides says to Cleanthes :
while your father's dead ;” Meaning, until he le dead; the words being used indiscriminátely for each other in the old dramatick writers : and it is to be observed that they are both expreffed in Latin by the same word, donec.
The meaning of the paffage, according to my apprehension, is this :-" At whose birth, during the time of her mother's labour, over which Lucina was supposed to preside, the planets all sat in council in order to endow her with the rarest perfections." And this agrees with the principles of judicial astrology, a folly prevalent in Shakspeare's time ; according to which the beauty, the disposition, as well as the fortune of all human beings was supposed to depend upon the aspect of the stars at the time they were born, not at the time in which they were conceived.
M. MASON. Perhaps the error lies in the word conception, and instead of it we ought to read concesion. The meaning will then be obvious, and especially if we adopt Mr. M. Mason's sense of the preposition till." Bring in (lays Antiochus) my daughter babited like a bride for Jove himself, at whose concefon (i. e. by whole grant or leave,) nature bestowed this dowry upon her While she was struggling into the world, the planets held a confultation how they thould unite in her the utmoft perfection their blended influence could bellow.” It should be observed, that the preposition at sometimes signifies in consequence of. Thus, in The Comedy of Errors :
“ Whom I made lord of me, and all I had,