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KNIGHTS. We are honour'd much by good Simonides.
SIM. Your prefence glads our days; honour we
For who hates honour, hates the gods above.
MARSH. Sir, yond's your place.
Some other is more fit.
1 KNIGHT. Contend not, fir; for we are gentle
That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
PER. You are right courteous knights.
Sit, fit, fir; fit.
PER. By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts, Thefe cates refift me, fhe not thought upon."
That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes, Envy the great, nor do the low defpife.] This is the reading of the quarto, 1619. The first quarto readsHave neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
Envies the great, nor fhall the low defpife. MALONE.
By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
Thefe cates refift me, the not thought upon.] All the copies read" he not thought upon"-and these lines are given to Simonides. In the old plays it is obfervable, that declarations of affection, whether difguifed or open, are generally made by both the parties; if the lady utters a tender fentiment, a correfponding fentiment is ufually given to her lover.-Hence I conclude, that the author wrote
fhe not thought upon;
and that these lines belong to Pericles. If he be right, I would read:
he now thought upon.
The prince recollecting his prefent ftate, and comparing it with that of Simonides, wonders that he can eat. In Gower, where this entertainment is particularly defcribed, it is faid of Appollinus, the Pericles of the prefent play, that—
THAI. By Juno, that is queen
"He fette and caft about his eie
"And with hym felfe were in debate
"And fuch a forowe he toke therefore,
"As he which of no meat rought."
So, in Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: "at the laft he fate him down at the table, and without etynge, he behelde the noble company of lordes and grete eftates. Thus as he looked all about, a great lord that served at the kynge's table fayde unto the kynge, Certes, fyr, this man wolde gladly your honour, for he dooth not ete, but beholdeth hertely your noble magnyfycence, and is in poynt to weep."
The words refift me, however, do not well correfpond with this idea. Perhaps they are corrupt. MALONE.
Thefe cates refift me,] i. e. go against my ftomach. I would. read, however, be not thought upon.
It appears from Gower and the profe novel, as well as many of the following circumftances, that the thoughts of Pericles were not yet employed about the Princefs. He is only ruminating on his past misfortunes, on his former loffes. The lady had found out what ailed her, long before Pericles had made a fimilar difcovery. STEEVENS.
I have no doubt but he is the right reading, that the first of these speeches belongs to Pericles, and that the words these cates refift me, are juftly explained by Steevens. The intention of the poet is to fhow that their mutual paffion had the fame effect on Thaifa and Pericles: but as we are not to fuppofe that his mistress was ever out of his thoughts, the sense requires that we should read
Thefe cates refift me, the but thought upon.
Meaning to fay, that the flightest thoughts of her took away his appetite for every thing elfe, which correfponds with what the fays in the fubfequent fpeech. There are no two words more frequently mistaken for each other, in the old plays, than not and but. A miftress, when not thought upon, can have no effect with her lover. M. MASON.
If this fpeech belongs to Pericles, he must mean to fay, that when he ceases to think of his mistress, his stomach fails him. Is there any thing unnatural in this? As difpleafing fenfations
Of marriage, all the viands that I eat
are known to diminish appetite, so pleasant ideas may be supposed to increase it.
Pyrocles, however, the herd of Sidney's Arcadia, Book I. finds himself in the contrary fituation, while feated at table with his mistress, Philoclea: "my eyes drank much more eagerly of her beautie, than my mouth did of any other liquor. And fo was my common fenfe deceived (being chiefly bent to her) that as I dranke the wine, and withall ftole a looke on her, mee feemed I tafted her deliciousneffe."
I have not difturbed the fpeech in queftion, and yet where would be the impropriety of leaving it in the mouth of Simonides? He is defirous of Pericles for a fon-in-law, as Thaifa to poffefs him as a bufband; and if the old gentleman cannot eat for thinking of him, fuch weakness is but of a piece with what follows, where his Pentapolitan majefty, in a colloquy with the lovers, renders himself as ridiculous as King Arthur in Tom Thumb. Simonides and Thaifa exprefs a fort of family impatience for the attainment of their different purposes. He wonders why his appétite fails him, unless he is thinking on Pericles; The wishes for an exchange of provifion; and (as nurses say in fondness to their infants) loves her prince fo well that she could eat him. The groffness of the daughter can only be exceeded by the anility of the father. I cannot perfuade myself that Shakspeare had any hand in producing the Hurlothrumbic character of Simonides. STEEVENS.
·wishing him my meat!] I am afraid a jingle is here intended between meat and mate. The two words were, I believe, in our author's time, generally, and are at this day in War. wickshire, pronounced alike. The addrefs to Juno countenances this fuppofition.· MALONE.
Surely the plain meaning is, that she had rather have a bufband than a dinner; that the wishes Pericles were in the place of the provifions before her; regarding him (to borrow a phrase from Romeo) as the dearest morfel of the earth. So, in The 'Two Noble Kinsmen :
"If thou couch
"But one night with her
"Thou fhalt remember nothing more than what
A country gentleman;
He has done no more than other knights have done; Broken a staff, or so; so let it pass.
THAI. To me he seems like diamond to glass.
PER. Yon king's to me, like to my father's pic
Which tells me, in that glory once he was;
Did vail their crowns to his fupremacy ;] This idea perhaps was caught from the Revelations, iv. 10: "And the four and twenty elders fell down before him that fat on the throne, and caft their crowns before the throne." STEEVENS.
5 Where now his fon's a glow-worm in the night,] The old copies read-Where now his fon &c. But this is fcarcely intelligible. The flight change that has been made affords an eafy fenfe. Where is, I fuppofe, here as in many other places, ufed for whereas.
The peculiar property of the glow-worm, on which the poet has here employed a line, he has in Hamlet happily defcribed by a fingle word:
"The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
For he's their parent, and he is their grave,] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb ; "What is her burying grave, that is her womb." Milton has the fame thought:
"The womb of nature and perhaps her grave."
SIM. What, are you merry, knights?
1 KNIGHT. Who can be other, in this royal prefence?
SIM. Here, with a cup that's ftor'd unto the
(As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,3)
We drink this health to you.
SIM. Yet pause a while;
We thank your grace.
Yon knight, methinks, doth fit too melancholy,
Had not a fhow might countervail his worth.
To me, my father?
What is it
In the text the fecond quarto has been followed. The firft reads:
He's both their parent and he is their grave. MALONE. 7 that's ftor'd unto the brim,] The quarto, 1609, reads -that's tur'd unto the brim. MALONE.
If firr'd be the true reading, it must mean, as Milton expreifes it, that the liquor
dances in its chrystal bounds."
But I rather think we fhould read-ftor'd, i. e. replenished. So before in this play:
"Their tables were ftor'd full."
"Were not this glorious casket ftor'd with ill."
8 (As you do love, fill to your miftrefs' lips,)] i. e. let the quantity of wine you fwallow, be proportioned to the love you bear your mistress: in plainer English-If you love kiffing, drink a bumper. The conftruction is-As you love your miftreffes' lips, fo fill to them. STEEVENS.
Read-fill to your miftreffes. FARMER.