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The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,
me quiet! Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes
shun them, And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch, Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here: Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits, Nor yet the other's distance comfort me. Then it is thus : the passions of the mind, That have their first conception by misdread, Have after-nourishment and life by care; And what was first but fear what might be done, Grows elder now, and cares it be not done. And so with me;-the great Antiochus ('Gainst whom I am too little to contend, Since he's so great, can make his will his act), Will think me speaking, though I swear to silence; Nor boots it me to say, I honour hima, If he suspect I may dishonour him: And what may make him blush in being known, He'll stop the course by which it might be known; With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land, And with the ostent of war3 will look so huge, Amazement shall drive courage from the state; Our men be vanquish’d, ere they do resist, And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thonght offence: Which care of them, not pity of myself, (Who am4 no more but as the tops of trees, Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend
thoughts?' I think without necessity. Pericles, addressing the Lords, says, • Let none disturb us.' Then apostrophising himself, says, “Why should this change in our thoughts disturb us?'
Him was supplied by Rowe for the sake of the metre. 3 Old copies :
• And with the stent of war will look so huge.' The emendation, suggested by Mr. Tyrwhitt, confirmed by the following passage in Decker's Entertainment to King James I. 1604 :
• And why you bear alone th' ostent of warre.' Again in Chapman': translation of Homer's Batrachomuomachia :
• Both heralds bearing the vstents of war.' See vol. iii. p. 31 and 42.
them), Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish, And punish that before, that he would punish.
1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast !
2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable! Hel. Peace, peace, my lords, and give experience
tongue. They do abuse the king, that flatter him: For flattery is the bellows blows up sin; The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, To which that breath5 gives heat and stronger
glowing; Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order, Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. When Signior Sooth6 here does proclaim a peace, He flatters you, makes war upon your
life: Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please; I cannot be much lower than my knees. Per. All leave us else; but let your cares
o'erlook What shipping, and what lading's in our haven, And then return to us. [Exeunt Lords.) Helicanus, thou Hast moved us : what seest thou in our looks ?
Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.
Per. If there be such a dart in princes' frowns, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face? Hel. How dare the plants look up to heaven,
from whence They have their nourishment?
4 The old copy reads, “Who once no more,' &c, The emendation is by Steevens. Malone reads, “Who wants no more, &c.
5 i. e. the breath of flattery. The word spark was here accidentally repeated by the compositor in the old copy.
6 A near kinsman of this gentleman is mentioned in The Winter's Tale :- And bis pond fished by his next neighbour, by Sir Smile.
Thou know'st I have power To take thy life.
Hel. [Kneeling.] I have ground the axe myself; Do you but strike the blow. Per.
Rise, pr'ythee rise; Sit down, sit down; thou art no flatterer: I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid, That kings should let their ears hear their faults
hid?! Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince, Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant, What would'st thou have me do? Hel.
With patience bear Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself.
Per. Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicanus; Who minister’st a potion unto me, That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself. Attend me then: I went to Antioch, Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death, I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty, From whence an issue I might propagate, Are arms to princes, and bring to subjects joys8. Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder; The rest (hark in thine ear), as black as incest; Which by my knowledge found, the sinful father Seem'd not to strike, but smooth': but thou know'st
this, ”T'is time to fear, when tyrants seem to kiss. Which fear so grew in me, I hither fled,
7. Forbid it, heaven, that kings should suffer their ears to hear their failings palliated!'.
8. From whence I might propagate an issue that are arms, &c. Steevens reade :
· Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys.' 9 To smooth is to sooth, coax, or flatter. Thus in King Richard 111.:
• Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog.' So in Titus Andronicug:
Yield to his humour, smooth, and speak him fair.' The verb to smooth is frequently used in this sense by our elder writers; for instance by Stabbes in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1583 : If you will learn to deride, scoffe, mock, and flowt, to flatter and smooth,' &c.
Under the covering of a careful night,
leave to speak,
10 The quarto of 1609 reads, “And should he doot,' &c.; from which the reading of the text has been formed. “Should he be in doubt that I shall keep his secret (as there is no doubt but be i8 ), why, to lop that doubt,' i. e. to get rid of that painful uncer tainty, he will strive to make me appear the aggressor, by attacking me first as the author of some sopposed injury to himself'
11 That is, to lament their fate, The first quarto reads, 'to grieve for them.'
Per. I do not doubt thy faith;
Hel. We'll mingle bloods together in the earth,
Tharsus Intend my travel, where I'll hear from thee; And by whose letters I'll dispose myself. The care I had and have of subjects' good, On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can bear it12, I'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath; Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both: But in our orbs13 we'll live so round and safe, That time of both this truth shall ne'er convince14, Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince15.
Tyre. An Ante-Chamber in the Palace.
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court. Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do not, 1 am sure to be hang'd at home: 'tis dangerous.Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some reason
12 This transfer of authority naturally brings the first scene of Measure for Measure to our mind 13 i. e, in our different spheres.
in seipso totius teres atque rotundus.' 14 Overcome.
15 This sentiment is not much unlike that of Falstaff :- I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince The same idea is more clearly expressed in King Henry VIII. Act iii. Sc. 2:
• A loyal snbject is
Therein illustrated.' 1 Who this wise fellow was may be known from the following passage in Barnabie Riches Souldier's Wishe to Briton's Welfare,