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Kings are earth's gods: in vice their law's their
And if Jove ftray, who dares fay, Jove doth ill?
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
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:
"And thought, if that he faid it oute,
"He fayth: My fonne I fhall thee telle,
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
[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!
Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
And both like ferpents are, who though they feed
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.
As doth our honour fit and
"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
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;
ANT. He hath found the meaning,3 for the which
To have his head.
He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,
And therefore instantly this prince muft die;
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:
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:
It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Enter a Meffenger.
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:
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