MESS. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.


[Exit Meffenger.

As thou

Wilt live, fly after: and, as an arrow, fhot
From a well-experienc'd archer, hits the mark
His eye doth level at, fo ne'er return,
Unless thou fay, Prince Pericles is dead.

THAL. My lord, if I

Can get him once within my piftol's length,
I'll make him fure: fo farewell to your highness.

[Exit. ANT. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no fuccour to my head.' [Exit.

evidently requires amendment.-The words are addressed, not to the Meffenger, but to Thaliard, who has told the King that he may confider Pericles as already dead; to which the King replies


Left your breath cool yourself, telling you hafie.

That is,Say no more of it, left your breath, in describing your alacrity, fhould cool your ardour." The words let and left might eafily have been confounded. M. MASON.

See for inftances of the fame typographical error,) p. 132, n. 4. STEEVENS.


and, as-] Thus the folio. The quarto reads-and like an arrow.


My heart can lend no fuccour to my head.] So, the King in Hamlet:

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"How ere my haps, my joys were ne'er begun."



Tyre. A Room in the Palace.

Enter PERICLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords.

PER. Let none disturb us: Why this charge of thoughts?2

The fad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,3

Why this charge of thoughts?] [Old copy-why Should &c.] The quarto, 1609, reads-chage. The emendation was suggested by Mr. Steevens. The folio 1664, for chāge fubftituted change. Change is fubftituted for charge in As you like it, 1623, A&t I. fc. iii. and in Coriolanus, A& V. fc. iii.

Thought was formerly used in the fenfe of melancholy. See Vol. XVII. p. 179, n. 1. MALONE.

In what respect are the thoughts of Pericles changed? I would read, "-charge of thoughts," i. e. weight of them, burthen, preffure of thought. So afterwards in this play:

"Patience, good fir, even for this charge."

The first copy reads chage.

Although thought, in the fingular number, often means melancholy, in the plural, I believe, it is never employed with that fignification. STEEVENS.

Change of thoughts, it feems was the old reading, which I think preferable to the amendment. By change of thoughts, Pericles means, that change in the difpofition of his mind-that unufual propenfity to melancholy and cares, which he afterwards describes, and which made his body pine, and his foul to languish. There appears, however, to be an error in the paffage; we fhould leave out the word should, which injures both the fenfe and the metre, and read:

Let none disturb us: why this change of thoughts? M. MASON.. 3 The fad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,] So, in The Comedy of Errors:

By me fo us'd a guest is, not an hour,

In the day's glorious walk, or peaceful night, (The tomb where grief fhould fleep,) can breed me


Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes fhun


And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch,
Whofe arm feems far too fhort to hit me here:
Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my fpirits,
Nor yet the other's diftance comfort me.
Then it is thus: the paffions of the mind,
That have their firft conception by mif-dread,
Have after-nourishment and life by care;
And what was first but fear what might be done,4
Grows elder now, and cares it be not done.5
And fo with me;-the great Antiochus
('Gainft whom I am too little to contend,
Since he's fo great, can make his will his act,)
Will think me speaking, though I fwear to filence;
Nor boots it me to fay, I honour him,7

"Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth enfue
"But moody and dull Melancholy,

"Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair?"


dull-ey'd melancholy,] The fame compound epithet occurs in The Merchant of Venice:

"I'll not be made a foft and dull-ey'd fool."


but fear what might be done,] But fear of what might happen. MALONE.

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- and cares it be not done,] And makes provision that it may not be done. MALONE.

Since he's fo great,] Perhaps we should read:

Since he, fo great, &c.

otherwise the latter part of the line will be elliptical.

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to fay, I honour him,] Him was fupplied by Mr. Rowe for the fake of the metre. MALONE.

If he fufpect I may dishonour him ::

And what may make him blush in being known,
He'll ftop the courfe by which it might be known ;
With hostile forces he'll o'erfpread the land,
And with the oftent of war will look fo huge,
Amazement shall drive courage from the ftate;
Our men be vanquifh'd, e'er they do refift,
And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence:
Which care of them, not pity of myself,

(Who am no more but as the tops of trees,
Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend


Makes both my body pine, and foul to languish, 9 And punish that before, that he would punish.

And with the oftent &c.] Old copies

And with the ftent of war will look fo huge.

Should not this be :


And with th' oftent of war &c.? TYRWHITT.

The emendation made by Mr. Tyrwhitt is confirmed by a paffage in The Merchant of Venice:

"Like one well ftudied in a sad oftent,

"To please his grandam."

Again, in King Richard II:

"With oftentation of despised arms." MALONE. Again, and more appofitely, in Chapman's tranflation of Homer's Batrachomuomachia:

"Both heralds bearing the oftents of war."

Again, in Decker's Entertainment of James I. 1604:

"And why you bear, alone, th' oftent of warre."

9 Which care of them, &c.] Old copyWhich care of them, not pity of myself,

(Who once no more but as the tops of trees,


Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend them,)
Makes &c.

I would read-Who am no more &c.



Pericles means to compare the head of a kingdom to the
As it is the office of the latter to screen the

branches of a tree.

1 LORD. Joy and all comfort in your facred breaft!

2 LORD. And keep your mind, till you return to


Peaceful and comfortable!

HEL. Peace, peace, my lords, and give experience


They do abuse the king, that flatter him :
For flattery is the bellows blows up fin;
The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark,
To which that breath gives heat and ftronger glow-
ing ;'


Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order,

roots they grow by, fo it is the duty of the former to protect his fubjects, who are no lefs the fupporters of his dignity. So, in King Henry VI. P. III:

"Thus yields the cedar &c.

"Whofe top branch over-peer'd Jove's fpreading tree, "And kept low thrubs from winter's powerful wind."


Once more, muft have been a corruption. I formerly thought the poet might have written Who owe no more, but am now perfuaded that he wrote, however ungrammatically,-Who wants no more, i. e. which felf wants no more; has no other wish or defire, but to protect its fubjects. The tranfcriber's ear, I fuppofe, deceived him in this as in various other inftances. It fhould be remembered that felf was formerly used as a fubftantive, and is so used at this day by perfons of an inferior rank, who frequently fay-his felf. Hence, I fuppofe, the author wrote wants rather than want. MALONE.

To which that breath &c.] i e. the breath of flattery. The old copy reads-that fpark; the word, (as Mr. Steevens has obferved,) being accidentally repeated by the compofitor. would read-that wind MALONE.


This paffage feems to be corrupt, as it ftands, and the fenfe requires that we should read :

To which that blaft gives heat and stronger glowing. Steevens agrees with me in the neceffity of fome amendment, but proposes to read wind, which I think not so proper a word as blaft. M. MASON.

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