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The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,*
To seek her as a bed-fellow,

In marriage-pleasures play-fellow :
Which to prevent, he made a law,
(To keep her still, and men in awe,5)
That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life:
So for her many a wight did die,
As yon grim looks do testify."

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 should resort unto her, by propounding" &c. See also p. 176, n. 8. STEEVENS.

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:

"Yon sometime famous princes," &c.

The two in the quarto 1609, might be only an m reversed.


As yon grim looks do testify.] Gower must be supposed here to point to the heads of those unfortunate wights, which, he tells us, in his poem, were fixed on the gate of the palace at Antioch :

"The fader, whan he understood

"That thei his doughter thus besought,
"With all his wit he cast and sought
"Howe that he mighte fynde a lette;
"And such a statute then he sette,
"And in this wise his lawe taxeth,
"That what man his doughter axeth,

What now ensues," to the judgment of your eye

I give, my cause who best can justify." [Exit.

"But if he couth his question
"Assoyle upon suggestion,

"Of certeyn thinges that befell,
"The which he wolde unto him tell,
"He shulde in certeyn lese his hede:
"And thus there were many dede,
"Her heades stonding on the gate;
"Till at last, long and late,

"For lack of answere in this wise
"The remenant, that wexen wyse,

"Eschewden to make assaie." MALONE.

As yon grim looks do testify.] This is an indication to me of the use of scènery in our ancient theatres. I suppose the audience were here entertained with a view of a kind of Temple Bar at Antioch.


• What now ensues,] The folio-What ensues. The original copy has What now ensues.



my cause who best can justify.] i. e. which (the judgment of your eye) best can justify, i. e. prove its resemblance to the ordinary course of nature. So, afterwards:

"When thou shalt kneel, and justify 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 ensues,

"I give to the judgment of your eye,
"My cause who best can justify."

In another of Gower's monologues there is an avowed hemistich : "And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit

"The epitaph is for Marina writ

"By wicked Dionyza."

See Act IV. sc. iv.



Antioch. A Room in the Palace.

Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.

ANT. Young prince of Tyre,' you have at large receiv'd

The danger of the task

you undertake.

PER. Í have, Antiochus, and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize.


ANT. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a


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 bride,] All the copies read:

Musick, bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride-. The metre proves decisively that the word musick was a marginal direction, inserted in the text by the mistake of the transcriber or printer. MALONE.

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Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,"

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:

"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 Massinger's Old Law, Simonides says to Cleanthes : "I'll trust you while your father's dead;"

Meaning, until he be dead; the words being used indiscrimi nately for each other in the old dramatick writers: and it is to be observed that they are both expressed in Latin by the same word, donec.

The meaning of the passage, 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.


Perhaps the error lies in the word conception, and instead of it we ought to read concession. The meaning will then be obvious, and especially if we adopt Mr. M. Mason's sense of the preposition till." Bring in (says Antiochus) my daughter habited like a bride for Jove himself, at whose concession (i. e. by whose grant or leave,) nature bestowed this dowry upon herWhile she was struggling into the world, the planets held a consultation how they should unite in her the utmost perfection their blended influence could bestow."-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,
"At your important letters."

The senate-house of planets all did sit,
To knit in her their best perfections.*

This change of a word allows the sense for which Mr. M. Mason contends, and without his strange supposal, that by her conception was meant her birth.

The thought is expressed with less obscurity in King Appolyn of Tyre, 1510: “ For nature had put nothynge in oblyvyon at the fourminge of her, but as a chef operacyon had set her in the syght of the worlde." STEEVENS.

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In the speech now before us, the words whose and her may, I think, refer to the daughter of Antiochus, without greater licence than is taken by Shakspeare in many of his plays. So, in Othello: "Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona: whom [i. e. our general] let us not therefore blame, he hath not yet made wanton the night with her." I think the construction is, "at whose conception the senate-house of planets all did sit," &c. and that the words, "till Lucina reign'd, Nature," &c. are parenthetical. MALONE.

• The senate-house of planets all did sit,

To knit in her their best perfections.] I suspect that a rhyme was here intended, and that we ought to transpose the words in the second line, as follows;

The senate-house of planets all did sit,

Their best perfections in her to knit.

To the contagion of this couplet perhaps we owe the subsequent fit of rhyming in which Pericles indulges himself, at the expence of readers and commentators.

The leading thought, indeed, appears to have been adopted from Sidney's Arcadia, Book II: "The senate-house of the planets was at no time so set for the decreeing of perfection in a man," &c.

Thus also, Milton, Paradise Lost, VIII. 511:

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"And happy constellations, on that hour
"Shed their selectest influence."

The sentiments of Antiochus, however, is expressed with less affectation in Julius Cæsar:

the elements

"So mix'd in him, that nature might stand up,
"And say to all the world, This was a man.'

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