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Good madam, make me blessed in your care
In bringing up my child.
Madam, my thanks and prayers.
"This ornament, that makes me look so dismal,
"And what this fourteen years no razor touch'd,
So also, in Twine's translation: " and he sware a solemn oath, that he would not poule his head, clip his beard, &c. untill he had married his daughter at ripe yeares."
Without the present emendation therefore, Pericles must appear to have behaved unaccountably; as the binding power of a romantick oath could alone have been the motive of his long persistence in so strange a neglect of his person.
The words-unscissar'd and hair, were easily mistaken for— unsister'd and heir; as the manuscript might have been indistinct, or the compositor inattentive.
The verb-to scissar [i. e. to cut with scissars] is found in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher:
"My poor chin too, for 'tis not scissar'd just
I once strove to explain the original line as follows:
i. e. till she be married, I swear by Diana, (though I may show [will, i. e.] obstinacy in keeping such an oath,) this heir of mine shall have none who can call her sister; i. e. I will not marry, and so have a chance of other children before she is disposed of. -Obstinacy was anciently called wilfulness.
But it is scarce possible that unsister'd should be the true reading; for if Pericles had taken another wife, after his daughter's marriage, could he have been sure of progeny to sister his first child? or what wilfulness would he have shown, had he continued a single man? To persist in wearing a squalid head of hair and beard, was indeed an obstinate peculiarity, though not without a parallel; for both Francis I. and our Henry VIII. reciprocally swore that their beards should grow untouched till their proposed interview had taken place. STEEVENS.
CLE. We'll bring your grace even to the edge o'the shore;
Then give you up to the mask'd Neptune, and The gentlest winds of heaven.
I will embrace Your offer. Come, dear'st madam.-O, no tears, Lychorida, no tears:
Look to your little mistress, on whose grace.
Ephesus. A Room in Cerimon's House..
Enter CERIMON and THAISA.
CER. Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels, Lay with you in your coffer: which are now At your command.. Know you the character? THAI. It is my lord's.
mask'd Neptune,] i. e. insidious waves that wear a treacherous smile:
So, in The Merchant of Venice:
the guiled shore, "To a most dangerous sea.'
"Subdola pellacis ridet clementia ponti." Lucretius. This passage in Pericles appears to have been imitated by Fletcher in Rule a Wife &c. 1640:
"I'll bring you on your way
"And then deliver you to the blue Neptune."
—which are now-] For the insertion of the word now, I am accountable.
That I was shipp'd at sea, I well remember,
I cannot rightly say: But since king Pericles,
CER. Madam, if this you purpose as you speak, Diana's temple is not distant far, Where you may 'bide until your date expire."
6- I well remember,
Even on my yearning time;] The quarto, 1619, and the folio, 1664, which was probably printed from it, both read eaning. The first quarto reads learning. The editor of the second quarto seems to have corrected many of the faults in the old copy, without any consideration of the original corrupted reading. MALONE.
Read-yearning time. So, in King Henry V:
Το yearn is to feel internal uneasiness. The time of a woman's labour is still called, in low language-her groaning time-her crying out.
Mr. Rowe would read-eaning, a term applicable only to sheep when they produce their young. STEEVENS.
Thaisa evidently means to say, that she was put on ship-board just at the time when she expected to be delivered; and as the word yearning does not express that idea, I should suppose it to be wrong. The obvious amendment is to read-even at my yeaning time; which differs from it but by a single letter:-Or perhaps we should read,―yielding time.
So, Pericles says to Thaisa in the last scene:
"Look who kneels here! Flesh of thy flesh, Thaisa ; 66 Thy burden at the sea, and call'd Marina,
"For she was yielded there." M. MASON.
Where you may 'bide until your date expire.] Until you die. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The date is out of such prolixity."
The expression of the text is again used by our author in The Rape of Lucrece :
Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine
THAI. My recompense is thanks, that's all; Yet my good will is great, though the gift small.
Gow. Imagine Pericles at Tyre,"
"An expir'd date, cancell'd, ere well begun." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
and expire the term "Of a despised life." MALONE.
Enter Gower.] This chorus, and the two following scenes, have hitherto been printed as part of the third Act. In the original edition of this play, the whole appears in an unbroken series. The editor of the folio in 1664, first made the division of Acts and scenes (which has been since followed,) without much propriety. The poet seems to have intended that each Act should begin with a chorus. On this principle the present division is made. Gower, however, interposing eight times, a chorus is necessarily introduced in the middle of this and the ensuing Act. MALONE.
9 Imagine Pericles &c.] The old copies read: Imagine Pericles arriv'd at Tyre,
Welcom'd and settled to his own desire.
His woful queen we leave at Ephesus,
For the sake of uniformity of metre, the words, &c. distinguished by the Roman character, are omitted. STEEvens.
His woful queen leave at Ephess,
Which makes her both the heart and place
His woful queen leave at Éphess,
To Dian there a votaress.] Old copy-we leave at Ephesus; but Ephesus is a rhyme so ill corresponding with votaress, that I suspect our author wrote Ephese or Ephess; as he often contracts his proper names to suit his metre. Thus Pont for Pontus, Mede for Media, Comagene for Comagena, Sicils for Sicilies, &c. Gower, in the story on which this play is founded, has Dionyze for Dionyza, and Tharse for Tharsus. STEEVENS.
To Dian there a votaress.] The old copies read—there's a votaress. I am answerable for the correction. MALONE.
Whom our fast-growing scene must find-] The same expression occurs in the chorus to The Winter's Tale:
66 your patience this allowing,
"I turn my glass, and give my scene such growing,
In musick, letters;]__ The old copy reads, I think corruptly -In musicks letters. The corresponding passage in Gower's Confessio Amantis, confirms the emendation now made: "My doughter Thaise by your leve "I thynke shall with you be leve "As for a tyme: and thus I praie, "That she be kepte by all waie, "And whan she hath of age more "That she be set to bokes lore," &c.
"In Tharse, as the Cronike telleth;
"She was well taught, she was well boked;
"That she of every wysedome couth-" MALONE.