Kings are earth's gods: in vice their law's their


And if Jove ftray, who dares fay, Jove doth ill?
It is enough you know; and it is fit,

What being more known grows worse, to fmother


All love the womb that their firft beings bred, Then give my tongue like leave to love my head. ANT. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found the meaning

But I will gloze with him.3 [Afide.] Young prince of Tyre,

Though by the tenour of our strict edíct,4
Your expofition misinterpreting,5


and the poor worm doth die for't.] I fuppofe he means to call the mole, (which fuffers in its attempts to complain of man's injuftice) a poor worm, as a term of commiferation. Thus, in The Tempest, Profpero fpeaking to Miranda, fays:

"Poor worm thou art infected."

The mole remains fecure till he has thrown up those hillocks, which, by pointing out the course he is pursuing, enable the vermin-hunter to catch him. STEEVENS.

2 Heaven, that I had thy head!] The fpeaker may either mean to fay, O, that I had thy ingenuity! or, O, that I had thy head, fever'd from thy body! The latter, I believe, is the meaning. MAlone.

3 But I will gloze with him.] So, Gower:
"The kinge was wondre forie tho,

"And thought, if that he faid it oute,
"Then were he fhamed all aboute:
"With flie wordes and with felle

"He fayth: My fonne I fhall thee telle,

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Though that thou be of littel witte," &c. MALONE.

our ftrict edict,] The old copy has-your strict edi&t. Corrected in the folio. MALONE.

5 Your expofition misinterpreting,] Your expofition of the riddle being a mistaken one; not interpreting it rightly.


We might proceed to cancel of your days ;6
Yet hope, fucceeding from fo fair a tree
As your fair felf, doth tune us otherwife:
Forty days longer we do refpite you ;7
If by which time our fecret be undone,
This mercy fhows, we'll joy in fuch a fon :
And until then, your entertain fhall be,
As doth befit our honour, and your worth.8

[Exeunt ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and


6 to cancel of your days ;] The quarto, 1609, readsto counsel of your days; which may mean, to deliberate how long you shall be permitted to live. But I believe that counsel was ́merely an error of the prefs, which the editor of the folio, 1664, corrected by reading to cancel off your days. The fubftitution of off for of is unneceffary; for cancel may have been used as a fubftantive. We might proceed to the cancellation or destruction of your life. Shakspeare ufes the participle cancell'd in the fenfe required here, in his Rape of Lucrece, 1594:

"An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun."

The following lines in King Richard III. likewife confirm the reading that has been chofen :

"Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,

"That I may live to say, the dog is dead." MALONE.

To omit the article was formerly a practice not uncommon. So, in Titus Andronicus : "Afcend, fair queen, Pantheon," i. e. the Pantheon. STEEVENS.

Again, in King Lear:

"Hot queftrifts after him, met him at gate."


7 Forty days longer we do refpite you ;] In The Gefta Romanorum, Confeffio Amantis, and The Hiftory of King Appolyn, thirty days only are allowed for the folution of this question. It is difficult to account for this minute variation, but by fuppofing that our author copied fome tranflation of the Gefia Romanorum hitherto undifcovered. MALONE,

It is thirty days in Twine's translation. Forty, as I have obferved in a note on fome other play (I forget which) was the familiar term when the number to be mentioned was not of arithmetical importance. STEEVENS.


your entertain fhall be,

As doth befit our honour, and your worth.] I have no doubt

PER. How courtesy would seem to cover fin!
When what is done is like an hypocrite,
The which is good in nothing but in fight.
If it be true that I interpret falfe,

Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
As with foul inceft to abufe your foul;
Where now you're both a father and a fon,9
By your untimely clafpings with your child,
(Which pleasure fits an husband, not a father;)
And the an eater of her mother's flesh,
By the defiling of her parent's bed;

And both like ferpents are, who though they feed
On sweetest flowers, yet they poifon breed.
Antioch, farewell! for wifdom fees, those men
Blush not in actions blacker than the night,
Will shun no course to keep them from the light.


but that these two lines were intended to rhyme together in our author's copy, where originally they might have stood thus : your entertain shall be,


As doth befit our honour, your degree.

your degree.

As doth our honour fit and
So, in King Richard III. A& III. fc. vii:

"Beft fitteth my degree, and your condition."


Where now you're both a father and a fon.] Where, in this place, has the power of whereas. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

"And where I thought the remnant of mine age
"Should have been cherish'd by her childlike duty,
"I am now full refolv'd to take a wife."

Where (and with the fame meaning) occurs again in Act II. fc. iii. of this play:


"Where now his fon's a glow-worm" &c. STEEVENS.

for wisdom fees, thofe men

Blufh not in actions blacker than the night,

Will fhun no courfe to keep them from the light.] All the old copies read-will fhew-, but fhew is evidently a corruption. The word that I have ventured to infert in the text, in its place, VOL. XXI.


One fin, I know, another doth provoke;
Murder's as near to luft, as flame to smoke.
Poiton and treafon are the hands of fin,
Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame:
Then, let my life be cropp'd to keep you clear,*
By flight I'll thun the danger which I fear. [Exit.


ANT. He hath found the meaning,3 for the which

we mean

To have his head.

He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,
Nor tell the world, Antiochus doth fin
In fuch a loathed manner:

And therefore instantly this prince muft die;
For by his fall my honour muft keep high.
Who attends on us there?

was fuggefted by there lines in a fubfequent fcene, which appear to me ftrongly to fupport this emendation :

"And what may make him blush in being known,

"He'll stop the courfe by which it might be known.” We might read chew for efchew, if there were any inftance of fuch an abbreviation being used.

The expreifion is here, as in many places in this play, elliptical: for wisdom fees, that those who do not biugh to commit actions blacker than the night, will not fhun any course in order to preferve them from being made publick. MALONE.

-to keep you clear,] To prevent any fulpicion from falling on you. So, in Macbeth:

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always thought, that I

"Require a clearness." MALONE.

3 He hath found the meaning.] So, in Twine's book: “ Apollonius prince of Tyre hath found out the folution of my question; wherefore take thipping" &c. STEEVENS.



Doth your highness call?

ANT. Thaliard, you're of our chamber,5 and our


Partakes her private actions to your fecrefy:
And for your faithfulness we will advance you.
Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here's gold;
We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill


It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Because we bid it. Say, is it done?7


Tis done.

My lord,

Enter a Meffenger.

ANT. Enough;

Left your breath cool yourfelf, telling your hafte.

Thaliard. This name is fomewhat corrupted from Thaliarch, i. e. Thaliarchus, as it ftands in Twine's tranflation. STEEVENS.

s Thaliard, you're of our chamber, &c.] So, in Twine's tranflation: "Thaliarchus, the only faithfull and trustie minifter of my fecrets" &c. The reft of the scene is formed on the same original. STEEVENS.

• Partakes her private actions—] Our author in The Winter's Tale uses the word partake in an active fenfe, for participate: your exultation

"Partake to every one." MALONE.

7 Say, is it done ?] We might point differently: It fits thee not to ask the reafon why:

• Left

Because we bid it, fay is it done? MALONE.

your breath &c.] Old copy :

Let your breath cool yourself, telling your hafte.

This paffage is little better than nonfenfe, as it ftands, and

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