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Gow. Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, I wis, to incest bring :
Enter at another door a Gentleman, with a letter to PERICLES; PERICLES shows the letter to CLEON; PERICLES gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him.
[Exit PERICLES at one door, and CLEON at another." Good Helicane hatho stay'd at home, Not to eat boney, like a drone, From others' labours; for though he strive To killen bad, keeps good alive; And, to fulfil his prince' desire, Sends word d of all that haps in Tyre: How Thaliard came full bent with sin, And had intent to murder him; And that in Tharsus 't was not best Longer for him to make his rest: He, knowing soe, put forth to seas, Where when men bin, there 's seldom ease; For now the wind begins to blow; Thunder above, and deeps below, Make such unquiet, that the ship Should house him safe, is wrack'd and split; And he, good prince, having all lost, By waves from coast to coast is toss'd: All perishen of man, of pelf, Ne aught escapen'd but himself ; Till fortune, tir'd with doing bad, Threw him ashore to give him glad:
* Build his statue. All the old copies read build; but the word is invariably changed to guld, because in the Confessio Amantis' we find, with regard to this statue
" It was of laton over-gilt." But before the statue was gilt it was erected, according to the same authority:
“For they were all of him so glad,
That they for ever in remembrance
They set it up."
We give this dumb show literally, as in the original. • Hath. In the old copies that.
Sends word. In the old copies, sav'd one. • In the old copies, he doing so.
And here he comes; what shall be next,
Enter PERICLES, wet.
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man
Enter three Fishermen. i Fish. What, ho, Pilcheb! 2 Fish. Ha, come, and bring away the nets. 1 Fish. What, Patch-breech, I say! 3 Fish. What say you, master ? 1 Fish. Look how thou stirrest now: come away, or I 'll fetch thee with a
wannion. 3 Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away
before us, even now. 1 Fish. Alas, poor souls! it grieved my heart to hear what pitiful cries they
made to us, to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help our
selves. 3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus how he
bounced and tumbled ? they say, they are half fish, half flesh; a plague on them! they ne'er come but I look to be wash'd. Master, I marvel how the
fishes live in the sea. 1 Fish. Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones : I can
compare our rich misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; 'a plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard on a' the land, who never leave gaping, till they 've swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple, bells
and all. PER. A pretty moral.
• Douce explains this clearly:-“This 'longs the text' is, in Gower's elliptical construction, this belongs to the text; I need not comment upon it; you will see it.”
• Pilche is most probably a name; as we have afterwards Patch-breech. The old copies have “What to pelch ?”
3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in
the belfry. 2 Fish. Why, man? 3 Fish. Because he should have swallowed me too : and when I had been in
his belly, I would have kept such a jangling of the bells, that he should never have left, till he cast bells, steeple, church, and parish, up again. But
if the good king Simonides were of my mindPER. Simonides? 3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her
These fishers tell the infirmities of men;
detect! Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen. 2 Fish. Honest, good fellow, what is that? If it be a day fits you, search out of
the calendar, and nobody look after it b.
In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball
He asks of you, that never us'd to beg. 1 Fish. No, friend, cannot you beg? here's them in our country of Greece gets
more with begging, than we can do with working. 2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then ? PER. I never practis'd it. 2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure; for here 's nothing to be got now-a
days, unless thou canst fish for 't.
But what I am, want teaches me to think on;
a Finny subject. The original has fenny. Subject must be taken as a plural noun.
This is the reading of the original, and has occasioned some discussion. Does it not mean that the fisherman, laughing at the rarity of being honest, remarks, If it be a day (i. e. a saint's or red-letter day) fits you, search out of (not in the calendar, and nobody look after it (there, as it would be useless)? Steevens supposes that the dialogue originally ran thus:“ Per. Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen;
The day is rough and thwarts your occupation. 2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what is that? If it be not a day fits you, scratch it out of the
calendar, and nobody will look after it.” • This is the reading of the folio.
1 Fish. Die, quoth-a? Now gods forbid! I have a gown here; come, put it
on, keep thee warm. Now, afore me, a handsome fellow! Come, thou shalt go home, and we 'll have flesh for holidaysa, fish for fasting days, and more
o'er puddings and flap-jacks; and thou shalt be welcome. PER. I thank you, sir. 2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you
could not beg. PER. I did but crave. 2 Fish. But crave? then I 'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape whipping. PER. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd then? 2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipped, I
would wish no better office than to be a beadle. But, master, I 'll go draw up the net.
[Exeunt two of the Fishermen. PER. How well this honest mirth becomes their labour! 1 Fish. Hark you, sir, do you know where you are ? PER. Not well. 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, sir, and he deserves so to be called, for his peaceable reign, and
good government. Per. He is a happy king, since he gains from his subjects the name of good, by
his government. How far is his court distant from this shore ? 1 FISH. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair
daughter, and to-morrow is her birthday; and there are princes and knights
come from all parts of the world to just and tourney for her love. PER. Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could wish to make one there. 1 Fish. O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for his wife's soul b.
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; 't will hardly come out. Ha! bots on 't, 't is come at last,
and 't is turned to a rusty armour !
Thanks, Fortune, yet, that, after all my crosses,
& The old copies have all day.
We cannot attempt to explain this. There are more riddles in this play than that of Antiochus.