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And that to hear an old man sing,
(I tell you what mine authors say :8)
This innovation may seem to introduce obscurity; but in huddling words on each other, without their necessary articles and prepositions, the chief skill of our present imitator of antiquated rhyme appears to have consisted.
Again, old copy:
"This Antioch then, Antiochus the great
"Built up; this city, for his chiefest seat.”
I suppose the original lines were these, and as such have printed them:
"This city then, Antioch the great
"Built up for his chiefest seat."
Another redundant line offers itself in the same chorus:
"Bad child, worse father! to entice his own —”
which I also give as I conceive it to have originally stood, thus: "Bad father! to entice his own.
The words omitted are of little consequence, and the artificial comparison between the guilt of the parent and the child, has no resemblance to the simplicity of Gower's narratives. The lady's frailty is sufficiently stigmatized in the ensuing lines. See my further sentiments concerning the irregularities of Shakspeare's metre, in a note on The Tempest. Vol. II, p. 58, n. 4; and again in Vol. VII, p. 160, n. 5. Steevens.
7 - for his chiefest seat;] So, in Twine's translation :-"The most famous and mighty King Antiochus, which builded the goodlie cities of Antiochia in Syria, and called it after his owne name, as the chiefest seat of all his dominions." Steevens.
8 (1 tell 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, signifies 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. XVII, p. 64, n. 7. Steevens.
So buxom, blithe, and full of face,1
full of face,] i. e. completely, exuberantly beautiful. A full fortune, in Othello, means a complete, a large one. See also Vol. XII, p. 138, n. 2. Malone.
2 By custom, what they did begin,] All the copies read, unintelligibly, But custom &c. Malone.
3 account no sin.] Account for accounted. So, in King John, waft for wafted:
"Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er." Steevens. thither frame,] i. e. shape or direct their course thither.
(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 p. 132, n. 8. Steevens.
6 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 w in the quarto 1609, might be only an m reversed. Steevens.
7 As yon grim looks do testify.] Gower must be supposed here to point to the heads of those unfortunate wights, which, he
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
tells us, in his poem, were fixed on the gate of the palace at
"The fader, whan he understood
"That thei his doughter thus besought,
"Howe that he might fynde a lette;
"Of certeyn thinges that befell,
"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 scenery in our ancient theatres. I suppose the audience were here entertained with a view of a kind of Temple-Bar at Antioch. Steevens.
8 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. Steevens.
Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre,1 you have at large receiv'd The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize.. [Musick. Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,2 For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd) Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,3
1 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.
2 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.
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:
"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 indiscriminately for each other in the old dramatick writers: and it is to be ob
The senate-house of planets all did sit,
served 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. M. Mason.
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 her— While 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."
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 Kyng 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.
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.
4 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,