« PreviousContinue »
Your charity, and hundreds call themselves Your creatures, who by you have been restor❜d: And not your knowledge, personal pain, but even Your purse, still open, hath built lord Cerimon Such strong renown as time shall never
Enter Two Servants with a Chest.
SERV. So; lift there.
What is that?
Did the sea toss upon our shore this chest; 'Tis of some wreck.
2 GENT. 'Tis like a coffin, sir. CER.
Whate'er it be, 'Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight; If the sea's stomach be o'ercharg'd with gold,*
Sir, even now
Set 't down, let's look on it.
acted in churches, (but in a perfectly serious and moral way,) it receives a completer illustration from an old initial letter belonging to a set of them in my possession, on which is a dance of Death, infinitely more beautiful in point of design than even the celebrated one cut in wood and likewise ascribed to the graver of Holbein. In this letter, the Fool is engaged in a very stout combat with his adversary, and is actually buffeting him with a bladder filled with peas or small pebbles, an instrument yet in fashion among Merry Andrews. It is almost unnecessary to add that these initials are of foreign workmanship; and the inference is, that such farces were common upon the continent, and are here alluded to by the artist. I should not omit to mention, that the letter in question has been rudely copied in an edition of Stowe's Survey of London. DOUCE.
If the sea's stomach be o'ercharg'd with gold, &c.] This indelicate allusion has already occurred in the scene between Pericles and the Fishermen, and may also be found in King Richard III:
"Whom their o'ercloyed country vomits forth,"
It is a good constraint of fortune, that
'Tis so, my lord.
CER. How close 'tis caulk'd and bitum'd!"Did the sea cast it up?
SERV. I never saw so huge a billow, sir, As toss'd it upon shore.
CER. Come, wrench it open; Soft, soft!-it smells most sweetly in my sense. 2 GENT. A delicate odour.
CER. As ever hit my nostril; so,-up with it. you most potent god! what's here? a corse! 1 GENT. Most strange!
CER. Shrouded in cloth of state; balm'd and entreasur'd
With bags of spices full! A passport too!
[Unfolds a Scroll.
It is a good constraint of fortune, that
It belches upon us.] This singular expression is again applied by our author to the sea, in The Tempest:
"You are three men of sin, whom destiny
"How close 'tis caulk'd and bitum'd!] Bottom'd, which is the reading of all the copies, is evidently a corruption. We had before:
"Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulked and bitumed ready." MALONE.
As ever hit my nostril;] So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: -as ever offended nostril." STEEVENS.
Apollo, perfect me the characters!] Cerimon, having made physick his peculiar study, would naturally, in any emer
2 GENT. Most likely, sir.
Here I give to understand,
If thou liv'st, Pericles, thou hast a heart
Nay, certainly to-night;
gency, invoke Apollo. On the present occasion, however, he addresses him as the patron of learning. MALONE.
9 If e'er this coffin drive a-land,)] This uncommon phrase is repeatedly used in Twine's translation: "Then give thanks unto God, who in my flight hath brought me a-land into your costes." Again: - certaine pyrats which were come a-land."
-mundane-] i. e. worldly. MALONE.
Who finds her, give her burying,
She was the daughter of a king:] The author had, perhaps, the sacred writings in his thoughts: "Go see now this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king's daughter." 2 Kings, ix. 36. MALONE.
The following, in Twine's translation, are the first words of Lucina on her recovery: "-touch me not otherwise than thou oughtest to doe, for I am a king's daughter and the wife of a king." STEEVENS.
thou hast a heart
That even cracks for woe!] So, in Hamlet:
Even is the reading of the second quarto. The first has ever.
For look, how fresh she looks!-They were too rough,
That threw her in the sea. Make fire within;
Enter a Servant, with Boxes, Napkins, and Fire.
Well said, well said; the fire and the cloths.— The rough and woful musick that we have, Cause it to sound, 'beseech you."
The vial once more;-How thou stirr'st, thou block?
I have heard-] For the insertion of the word-have, which both the metre and the sense require, I am responsible.
nine hours lien dead,] So, in the lxviiith Psalm: —though ye have lien among the pots." STEEvens.
Well said, well said; the fire and the cloths.] So, on a similar occasion, in Othello, Act V. sc. i:
O, a chair, a chair !—
<< O, that's well said, the chair;
"Some good man bear him carefully from hence."
The rough and woful musick that we have,
Cause it to sound, 'beseech you.] Paulina in like manner in The Winter's Tale, when she pretends to bring Hermione to life, orders musick to be played, to awake her from her trance. So also, the Physician in King Lear, when the King is about to wake from the sleep he had fallen into, after his frenzy:
"Please you draw near;-Louder the musick there!"
The musick there.-I pray you, give her air:
This queen will live
nature awakes; a warmth she hath not been entranc'd
8 The vial once more;-How thou stirr'st, thou block?
The musick there.] The first quarto reads,―the viol once more. The second and the subsequent editions-the vial. If the first be right, Cerimon must be supposed to repeat his orders that they should again sound their rough and woeful musick. So, in Twelfth-Night:
"That strain again!"
The word viol has occurred before in this play in the sense of violin. I think, however, the reading of the second quarto is right. Cerimon, in order to revive the Queen, first commands loud musick to be played, and then a second time administers some cordial to her, which we may suppose had been before administered to her when his servants entered with the napkins, &c. See Confessio Amantis, p. 180:
this worthie kinges wife
Little weight is to be laid on the spelling of the first quarto, for vial was formerly spelt viol. In the quarto edition of King Richard II. 1615:
"Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, "Were seven viols of his sacred blood." Again, in the folio, 1623, ibidem:
"One viol full of Edward's sacred blood.”
Again, in The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562: "She poured forth into the vyoll of the fryer "Water"" MALONE,
- a warmth
Breathes out of her;] The old copies read-a warmth breath out of her. The correction was suggested by Mr. Steevens. The second quarto, and the modern editions, read unintelligibly: Nature awakes a warm breath out of her. MALONE.