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(Attended on by many a lord and knight,)
This king to Tharsus, (think his pilot thought;
To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.*
The wayward &c. is the reading of the second quarto. The first has thy. In the next line but one, the old copies readall his lives delight. MALONE.
Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late &c.] In the old copies these lines are strangely misplaced:
"Old Helicanus goes along behind
"Is left to governe it, you beare in mind.
"Advancde in time to great and hie estate.
"Well sailing ships and bounteous winds have broght "This king to Tharsus," &c.
The transposition suggested by Mr. Steevens, renders the whole passage perfectly clear. MALONE.
(think his pilot thought;
So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on,)
To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.] The old copies read:
think this pilot thought,
So with his steerage shall your thoughts groan, &c. but they are surely corrupt. I read-think his pilot thought; suppose that your imagination is his pilot. So, in King Henry V:
'Tis your thoughts, that now must deck our kings, "Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times." Again, ibidem:
"Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile; 5
Your ears unto your eyes I'll reconcile.
In the next line the versification is defective by one word being printed instead of two. By reading grow on instead of groan, the sense and metre are both restored. So, in A MidsummerNight's Dream (fol. 1623): and so grow on to a point." See Vol. IV. p. 335, n. 2. We might read-go on; but the other appears to be more likely to have been the author's word.
I cannot approve of Malone's amendment, but adhere to the old copies, with this difference only, that I join the words. thought and pilot with a hyphen, and read:
think this pilot-thought;
That is, "Keep this leading circumstance in your mind, which will serve as a pilot to you, and guide you through the rest of the story, in such a manner, that your imagination will keep pace with the king's progress." M. MASON.
The plainer meaning seems to be-Think that his pilot had the celerity of thought, so shall your thought keep pace with his operations. STEEVENS.
who first is gone.] Who has left Tharsus before her father's arrival there. MAlone.
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;] So, in 'Macbeth:
"Come like shadows, so depart." STEEVENS.
Enter at one door, PERICLES with his Train; CLEON and DIONYZA at the other. CLEON shows PERICLES the Tomb of MARINA; whereat PERICLES makes lamentation, puts on Sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. Then CLEON and DIONYZA retire.
Gow.See how belief may suffer by foul show!
Leaves Tharsus, and again embarks. Heswears
-for true old woe;] So, in King Henry V:
"Minding true things by what their mockeries be."
-for true old woe;] i. e. for such tears as were shed when, the world being in its infancy, dissimulation was unknown. All poetical writers are willing to persuade themselves that sincerity expired with the first ages. Perhaps, however, we ought to read-true told woe.
7 A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears,] So, in King Richard III:
"O, then began the tempest to my soul !"
What is here called his mortal vessel, (i.e. his body,) is styled by Cleopatra her mortal house. STEEVENS.
Now please you wit-] Now be pleased to know. So,
"In whiche the lorde hath to him writte
By wicked Dionyza.
[Reads the inscription on MARINA'S Mo
The fairest, sweet'st, and best,' lies here,
The editor of the second quarto (which has been copied by all the other editions) probably not understanding the passage, altered it thus:
Now take we our way
9 sweet'st, and best,] Sweetest is here used as a monosyllable. So highest, in The Tempest: "Highest queen of state." &c. MALONE.
We might more elegantly read, omitting the conjunctionand,
The fairest, sweetest, best, lies here. STEEVENS.
1 Marina was she call'd; &c.] It might have been expected that this epitaph, which sets out in four-foot verse, would have confined itself to that measure; but instead of preserving such uniformity, throughout the last six lines it deviates into heroicks, which, perhaps, were never meant by its author. Let us remove a few syllables, and try whether any thing is lost by their omission:
"Marina call'd; and at her birth
"Proud Thetis swallow'd part o'the earth:
The image suggested by Thetis swallowed" &c. reminds us of Brabantio's speech to the senate, in the first Act of Othello: -my particular grief
"Is of so floodgate and o'erbearing nature,
Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd,
Wherefore she does, (and swears she'll never
Make raging battery upon shores of flint.
"Thetis, being proud, swallow'd some part o'the earth:] The modern editions by a strange blunder, read,-That is, being proud, &c.
I formerly thought that by the words-some part of the earth, was meant Thaisa, the mother of Marina. So Romeo calls his beloved Juliet, when he supposes her dead, the dearest morsel of the earth. But I am now convinced that I was mistaken. MALONE.
The inscription alludes to the violent storm which accompanied the birth of Marina, at which time the sea, proudly o'erswelling its bounds, swallowed, as is usual in such hurricanes, some part of the earth. The poet ascribes the swelling of the sea to the pride which Thetis felt at the birth of Marina in her element; and supposes that the earth, being afraid to be overflowed, bestowed this birth-child of Thetis on the heavens; and that Thetis, in revenge, makes raging battery against the shores. The line, Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd, proves beyond doubt that the words, some part of the earth, in the line preceding, cannot mean the body of Thaisa, but a portion of the continent. M. MASON.
Our poet has many allusions in his works to the depredations made by the sea on the land. So, in his 64th Sonnet:
"When I have seen the hungry ocean gain "Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, "And the firm soil win of the watry main, "Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;-." &c. We have, I think, a similar description in King Lear and King Henry IV. P. II. MALONE.
(and swears she'll never stint,)] She'll never cease. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"It stinted, and said, ay." MALONE,