« PreviousContinue »
O you gods!
Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,
Vie honour with yourselves.5
Even for this charge.
Patience, good fir,
Now, mild may be thy life! For a more bluft'rous birth had never babe:
$ Vie honour with yourfelves.] Old copy--Ufe honour &c. STEEVENS.
The meaning is fufficiently clear.-In this particular you might learn from us a more honourable conduct.-But the expreffion is so harsh, that I fufpect the paffage to be corrupt. MALONE.
I fufpect the author wrote-Vie honour, a phrase much in use among Shakspeare and his contemporaries. Thus, in Chapman's verfion of the twentieth Iliad:
"What then need we vie calumnies; like womenSee alfo Vol. IX. p. 89, n. 1. Mr. M. Mafon has offered the fame conjecture. I read, however, for the fake of measure,→ yourfelves. STEEVENS.
The meaning is evidently this: "We poor mortals recal not what we give, and therefore in that refpect we may contend with you in honour." I have therefore no doubt but we ought to read :
The fame expreffion occurs in the introduction to the fourth A&t, where Gower says:
"The dove of Paphos might with the crow
"Vie feathers white."
The trace of the letters in the words vie and use is nearly the fame, especially if we fuppofe that the v was used instead of the u vowel; which is frequently the cafe in the old editions:
"Nature wants ftuff,
"To vie ftrange forms with fancy."
Antony and Cleopatra. M. MASON.
Quiet and gentle thy conditions !6
For thou'rt the rudelieft welcom'd' to this world, That e'er was prince's child. Happy what follows! Thou haft as chiding a nativity,
As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make, To herald thee from the womb :9 even at the first,
• Quiet and gentle thy conditions !] Conditions anciently meant qualities; difpofitions of mind. So, in Othello :
"And then of fo gentle a condition!"
He is fpeaking of Desdemona. Again, in King Henry V: "Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth."
"The late Earl of Effex (fays Sir Walter Raleigh) told Queen Elizabeth that her conditions were as crooked as her carcafe ;but it cost him his head." See alfo Vol. XII. p. 521, n. 7. MALONE. 7- welcom'd-] Old copy-welcome. For this correction am anfwerable. MALONE.
8 — as chiding a nativity,] i. e. as noify a one. So, in A Midfummer-Night's Dream; Hippolyta, fpeaking of the clamour of the hounds:
never did I hear
"Such gallant chiding.”
See note on that paffage, Vol. IV. p. 450. n. 5. STEEVENS. See Vol. XV. p. 263, n. 8. MALone.
? To herald thee from the womb:] The old copy reads : To harold thee from the womb :
For the emendation now made, the reader is indebted to Mr. Steevens. So, in Macbeth:
only to herald thee into his presence,
"Not pay thee."
This word is in many ancient books written harold, and harauld. So, in Ives's SELECT PAPERS relative to English Antiquities, quarto, 1773, p. 130: "and before them kings of armes, harolds, and purfuyvaunts."
Again, in The Mirrour for Magiftrates, 1610:
"Truth is no harauld, nor no fophift, fure." See alfo Cowel's Interpreter, in v. Herald, Heralt, or Harold; which puts Mr. Steevens's emendation beyond a doubt,
So, more appofitely, in the Preface to Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature, &c. 4to. bl. 1. by Edward Fenton, 1569: "-the
Thy lofs is more than can thy portage quit,'
Enter Two Sailors.
1 SAIL. What courage, fir?
God fave you.
PER. Courage enough: I do not fear the flaw;* It hath done to me the worft.3 Yet, for the love
elementes have been harolds, trumpetters, minifters, and exe cutioners of the juftice of heaven." STEEVENS.
Thy lofs is more than can thy portage quit,] i. e. thou haft already loft more (by the death of thy mother) than thy fafe arrival at the port of life can counterbalance, with all to boot that we can give thee. Portage is ufed for gate or entrance in one of Shakspeare's hiftorical plays. STEEVENS.
Portage is ufed in King Henry V. where it fignifies an open Space:
"Let it [the eye] pry through the portage of the head." Portage is an old word fignifying a toll or impoft, but it will not commodiously apply to the prefent paffage. Perhaps, however, Pericles means to fay, you have loft more than the payment made to me by your birth, together with all that you may hereafter acquire, can countervail. MALONE.
I do not fear the flaw ;] i. e. the blaft. See Hamlet, A& V. fc. i. MALONE.
So, in Chapman's verfion of the eleventh Iliad:
"Wraps waves on waves, hurls up the froth beat with a vehement flaw." STEEVENS.
3 It hath done to me the worst.] So, in the Confeffio Amantis:
My joye, my luft, and my defyre,
"My welth and my recoverire!
"Why fhall I live, and thou fhalt die?.
"Ha, thou fortune, I thee defie,
"Now haft thou do to me thy werft;
"A herte! why ne wilt thou berft?" MALONE.
poor infant, this fresh-new fea-farer,4 I would, it would be quiet.
1 SAIL. Slack the bolins there ;5 thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow, and split thyfelf."
2 SAIL. But fea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kifs the moon, I care not.7
1 SAIL. Sir, your queen muft overboard; the fea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.
4this fresh-new fea-farer,] We meet a fimilar compound epithet in King Richard III:
"Your fire-new ftamp of honour is fcarce current."
5 Slack the bolins there ;] Bowlines are ropes by which the fails of a fhip are governed when the wind is unfavourable. They are flackened when it is high. This term occurs again in The Two Noble Kinsmen :
the wind is fair,
"Top the bowling."
They who with for more particular information concerning bolings, may find it in Smith's Sea Grammar, 4to. 1627, p. 23.
Blow and Split thyself,
2 Sail. But fea-room, &c.] So, in The Tempeft:
an the brine and cloudy billow kifs the moon, I care not.] So, in The Winter's Tale: "Now the ship boring the moon with her main-maft." An is used here, as in many other places, for if, or though. MALONE.
8 till the fhip be cleared of the dead.] So, in Twine's tranflation: "My lord, plucke up your hearte, and be of good cheere, and confider, I pray you, that the hip may not abide to carry the dead carkas, and therefore commaund it to be caft into the fea, that we may the better escape."
This fuperftitious belief is alfo commemorated by Fuller in his Hiftorie of the Holy Warre, Book IV. ch. 27: "His body was carried into France there to be buried, and was moft miferably toffed; it being obferved, that the fea cannot digeft the crudity
PER. That's your fuperftition.
1 SAIL. Pardon us, fir; with us at fea it still hath been obferved; and we are strong in earnest.9 Therefore briefly yield her; for fhe muft overboard ftraight.'
PER. Be it as you think meet.-Moft wretched queen!
Lrc. Here the lies, fir.
PER. A terrible child-bed haft thou had, my dear; No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time
To give thee hallow'd to thy grave, but straight
of a dead corpfe, being a due debt to be interred where it' dieth; and a Jhip cannot abide to be made a bier of.”
A circumftance exactly fimilar is found in the Lyfe of Saynt Mary Magdalene, in the Golden Legend, Wynkyn de Worde's edition, fo. CLXIX. STEEVENS,
9 -Strong in earneft.] Old copy-strong in easiern.
I have no doubt that this paffage is corrupt, but know not how to amend it. MALONE.
I read, with Mr. M. Mafon, (transposing only the letters of the original word,)-ftrong in earnest. So, in Cymbeline, we have ftrong in appetite ;" and in Timon, "Be Strong in whore." STEEVENS.
- for the muft overboard Straight.] These words are in the old copy, by an evident mistake, given to Pericles.
2 To give thee hallow'd to thy grave.] The old Shepherd, in The Winter's Tale, expreffes the fame apprehenfion concerning the want of fepulchral rites, and that he shall be buried→→ where no priest shovels in duft." MALONE,
3 Muft caft thee, fcarcely coffin'd, in the ooze ;] The defect both of metre and fenfe fhows that this line, as it appears in the old copy, is corrupted. It reads:
Muft caft thee, fcarcely coffin'd, in oare. MALONE,