Now, afore me, a handfome fellow 6 Come, thou fhalt go home, and we'll have flesh for holidays, fifh for fafting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks; and thou fhalt be welcome.

PER. I thank you, fir.

2 FISH, Hark you, my friend, you faid you could not beg.

PER. I did but crave.

2 FISH. But crave? Then I'll turn craver too, and fo I fhall 'fcape whipping.

PER. Why, are all your beggars whipped then?

2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipped, I would with no better

afore me, a handfome fellow !] So, in Twine's tranflation: "When the fisherman beheld the comlinesse and beautie of the yoong gentleman, he was mooved with compaffion towardes him, and led him into his houfe, and feafted him with fuch fare as he prefently had; and the more amplie to expreffe his great affection, he difrobed himselfe of his poore and fimple cloake" &c. STEEVENS.

7 -flesh for holidays, fish for fafting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks;] In the old copy this paffage is ftrangely corrupted. It reads-flesh for all days, fifh for fafting days, and more, or puddings and flap-jacks. Dr. Farmer fuggefted to me the correction of the latter part of the fentence: for the other emendation I am refponfible. Mr. M. Mason would read-flesh for ale-days: but this was not, I think, the language of the time; though ales and church-ales was common.


Alap-jacks ;] In fome counties a flap-jack fignifies an apple-puff; but anciently it feems to have meant a pancake, But, whatever it was, mention is made of it in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627: "For when a man is ill, or at the point of death, I would know whether a dish of buttered rice with a little cynamon, ginger, and sugar, a little minced meat, or roft beefe, a few stewed prunes, a race of greene ginger, a flap-jacke, &c. bee not better than a little poore John," &c. STEEVENS.

office, than to be beadle. But, mafter, I'll go draw up the net. [Exeunt Two of the Fishermen. PER. How well this honeft mirth becomes their labour !

1 FISH. Hark you,


PER. Not well.

fir! do you know where you

1 FISH. Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king, the good Simonides.

PER. The good king Simonides, do you call him? 1 FISH. Ay, fir; and he deferves to be fo called, for his peaceable reign, and good government.

PER. He is a happy king,& fince from his fubjects He gains the name of good, by his government. How far is his court diftant from this fhore?

1 FISH. Marry, fir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birth-day; and there are princes and knights come from all parts of the world, to just and tourney for her love.

PER. Did but my fortunes equal my defires, I'd with to make one there.9

He is a happy king, &c.] This speech, in the old copies, is printed as follows: I have only transposed a few of the words for the fake of metre:

"He is a happy king, fince he gains from

"His fubjects the name of good, by his government."

Did but my fortunes &c.] The old copy as follows:
Were my fortunes equal to my defires,

I could wish to make one there.

As all the fpeeches of Pericles, throughout this fcene, were defigned to be in metre, they cannot be restored to it without fuch petty liberties as I have taken in the present inftance.


1 FISH. O, fir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for→ his wife's foul.'

I and what a man cannot get, &c.] This paffage, in its prefent ftate, is to me unintelligible. We might read :-" O, fir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may not lawfully deal for ;-his wife's foul."

Be content; things must be as Providence has appointed ;and what his fituation in life does not entitle him to afpire to, he ought not to attempt ;-the affections of a woman in a higher Sphere than his own.

Soul is in other places used by our author for love. Thus, in Meafure for Measure:

[ocr errors]

we have with fpecial foul

"Elected him, our abfence to supply." MALONE.

Things must be (says the speaker) as they are appointed to be; and what a man is not fure to compass, he has yet a just right to attempt. Thus far the paffage is clear. The Fisherman may then be supposed to begin a new fentence-His wife's foul-but here he is interrupted by his comrades. He might otherwise have proceeded to fay-The good will of a wife indeed is one of the things which is difficult of attainment. A husband is in the right to ftrive for it, but after all his pains may fail to fecure it. I with his brother fishermen had called off his attention be fore he had time to utter his last three words. STEEVENS.

The Fisherman means, I think, to say,-" What a man cannot get, there is no law against giving, to fave his wife's foul from purgatory." FARMER.

It is difficult to extract any kind of fenfe from the passage, as it ftands, and I don't fee how it can be amended. Perhaps the meaning may be this :-" And what a man cannot accomplish, he may lawfully endeavour to obtain;" as for inftance, his wife's affection.

With refpect to Farmer's explanation, I cannot conceive how a man can give what he cannot get befides, if the words were capable of the meaning he supposes, they would not apply to any thing that had paffed, or been faid before; and this Fisherman is a fhrewd fellow, who is not fuppofed to speak nonsense.


Re-enter the Two Fishermen, drawing up a Net.

2 FISH. Help, master, help; here's a fish hangs in the net, like a poor man's right in the law; 'twill hardly come out. Ha! bots on't,' 'tis come at laft, and 'tis turned to a rufty armour.

PER. An armour, friends! I pray you, let me fee it.

Thanks, fortune, yet, that after all my croffes,3
Thou giv'ft me fomewhat to repair myfelf:

And, though it was mine own, part of mine heritage,

Which my dead father did bequeath to me,
With this ftrict charge, (even as he left his life,)
Keep it my Pericles, it hath been a fhield
"Twixt me and death; (and pointed to this brace :)5
For that it fav'd me, keep it; in like necefsity,

bots on't,] The bots are the worms that breed in horfes. This comick execration was formerly ufed in the room of one lefs decent. It occurs in King Henry IV. and in many other old plays. MALONE.

See The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, in the old fong of The Miller of Mansfield, Part II. line 65:


"Quoth Dick, a bots on you." PERCY.

after all my craffes,] For the infertion of the word my, I am anfwerable. MALONE.

4 And, though it was mine own,] i. e. And I thank you, though it was my own. MALONE.

[ocr errors]

this brace:] The brace is the armour for the arm. So, in Troilus and Crefida:

"I'll hide my filver beard in a gold beaver,

"And in my vant-brace put this wither'd brawn.” Avant bras. Fr. STEEVENS.

See Vol. XV. p. 283, n. 2. MALONE.

Which gods protect thee from! it may defend thee.
It kept where I kept, I fo dearly lov'd it;
Till the rough feas, that fpare not any man,
Took it in rage, though calm'd, they give't again :?
I thank thee for't; my fhipwreck's now no ill,
Since I have here my father's gift by will.8
1 FISH. What mean you, fir?

PER. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of

For it was fometime target to a king;

I know it by this mark. He lov'd me dearly,
And for his fake, I wish the having of it;
And that you'd guide me to your fovereign's court,
Where with❜t I may appear a gentleman;
And if that ever my low fortunes better,9
I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.

• Which gods protect thee from! &c.] The old copies read, unintelligibly:

The which the gods protect thee, fame may defend thee. I am anfwerable for the correction.-The licence taken in omitting the pronoun before have, in a subsequent line of this fpeech, was formerly not uncommon. See note on the following paffage in Othello, A& III. fc. iii:

"Give me a living reafon the's difloyal." MALONE.

Being certain that the metre throughout this play was once regular, I correct the line in queftion thus :

in like neceffity,

Which gods protect thee from! it may defend thee.


7 though calm'd, they give't again:] Old copies :
though calm'd, have given it again.



by will.] Old copy-in his will. For the fake of

metre I read by will. So, in As you like it :

[ocr errors]

poor thousand crowns." STEEVENS.


By will but a

9 And if that ever my low fortunes better,] Old copy:

And if that ever my low fortune's better,

We should read" My low fortunes better." Better is in this place a verb, and fortunes the plural number. M. MASON.

« VorigeDoorgaan »