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Sim. Here, with a cup that's stored unto the brim, (As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,)
We drink this health to you,
Sim. Yet pause awhile;
We thank your grace.
Yon knight, methinks, doth sit too melancholy,
Had not a show might countervail his worth.
To me, my father?
What is it
O, attend, my daughter.
Are like to gnats, which make a sound, but killed
Therefore to make his entrance 2 more sweet,
Here say, we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.
Unto a stranger knight to be so bold;
Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.
Thai. Now, by the gods, he could not please me
Sim. And further tell him, we desire to know,
Of whence he is, his name, and parentage.
Thai. The king, my father, sir, has drunk to you. Per. I thank him.
Thai. Wishing it so much blood unto your life. Per. I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.
1 The worthless monarch, and the idle gnat, have only lived to make an empty bluster; and when both alike are dead, we wonder how it happened that they made so much, or that we permitted them to make it. 2 By his entrance appears to be meant his present trance, the reverie in which he is sitting.
Thai. And further he desires to know of you,
Who, looking for adventures in the world,
And, after shipwreck, driven upon this shore.
Thai. He thanks your grace; names himself Pericles,
A gentleman of Tyre, who only by
Misfortune of the seas has been bereft
Of ships and men, and cast upon this shore.
[The Knights dance. So, this was well asked, 'twas so well performed. Come, sir,
Here is a lady that wants breathing too;
And I have often heard, you knights of Tyre
And that their measures are as excellent.
Per. In those that practise them, they are, my lord. Sim. O, that's as much, as you would be denied [The Knights and Ladies dance.
Of your fair courtesy.-Unclasp, unclasp;
Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done well;
you the best. [To PERICLES.] Pages and lights, conduct
These knights unto their several lodgings. Yours, sir, We have given order to be next our own.
Per. I am at your grace's pleasure.
1 "As you are accoutred, prepared for combat."
Sim. Princes, it is too late to talk of love, For that's the mark I know you level at. Therefore each one betake him to his rest; To-morrow, all for speeding do their best.
SCENE IV. Tyre. A Room in the Governor's House.
Enter HELICANUS and ESCANES.
Hel. No, no, my Escanes; know this of me,-
For which, the most high gods not minding longer,
Even in the height and pride of all his glory,
A fire from heaven came, and shrivelled
Hel. And yet but just; for though
This king were great, his greatness was no guard
Enter three Lords.
1 Lord. See, not a man in private conference, Or council, has respect with him but he.2
2 Lord. It shall no longer grieve without reproof. 3 Lord. And curst be he that will not second it. 2 Lord. Follow me, then. Lord Helicane, a word.
1 i. e. which adored them.
2 To what this charge of partiality was designed to conduct, we do not learn; for it appears to have no influence over the rest of the dialogue.
Hel. With me? and welcome. Happy day, my
1 Lord. Know that our griefs are risen to the top, And now at length they overflow their banks.
Hel. Your griefs, for what? wrong not the prince you love.
1 Lord. Wrong not yourself, then, noble Helicane; But if the prince do live, let us salute him,
Or know what ground's made happy by his breath.
If in his grave he rest, we'll find him there;
Or dead, gives cause to mourn his funeral,
2 Lord. Whose death's, indeed, the strongest in our
And knowing this kingdom, if without a head,
That best know'st how to rule, and how to reign,
All. Live, noble Helicane!
Hel. Try honor's cause, forbear your suffrages;
Go search like noblemen, like noble subjects,
2 i. e. "the most probable in our opinion." Censure is frequently used for judgment, opinion, by Shakspeare.
3 The old copy reads:
"Take I your wish, I leap into the seas," &c.
Steevens contends for the old reading, that it is merely figurative.
4 Some word being omitted in this line in the old copy, Steevens thus supplied it:
"To forbear choice i'the absence of your king."
And in your search spend your adventurous worth;
You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.
1 Lord. To wisdom he's a fool that will not yield; And, since lord Helicane enjoineth us,
We with our travels will endeavor it.
Hel. Then you love us, we you, and we'll clasp
When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.
SCENE V. Pentapolis. A Room in the Palace.
Enter SIMONIDES, reading a letter; the Knights meet him.
1 Knight. Good morrow to the good Simonides.
That for this twelvemonth, she'll not undertake
Her reason to herself is only known,
Which from herself by no means can I get.
2 Knight. May we not get access to her, my lord? Sim. 'Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied her
To her chamber, that it is impossible.
One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery;
And on her virgin honor will not break it.
3 Knight. Though loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.
They're well despatched; now to my daughter's letter.
Or never more to view nor day nor light.
Well, I commend her choice;