Main Text

Editor’s NoteSc. 9

Editor’s NoteEnter King Simonides at one door reading of a letter, the Knights enter ⌈at another door⌉ and meet him
1

first knight Good morrow to the good Simonides.

2

simonides Knights, from my daughter this I let you know:

3That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake

Link 4A married life. Her reason to herself

Editor’s Note5Is only known, which from her none can get.

pg 145 Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus6

second knight May we not have access to her, my lord?

Editor’s Note7

simonides Faith, by no means. It is impossible,

Editor’s Note Link 8She hath so strictly tied her to her chamber.

Editor’s Note Link 9One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery.

Editor’s Note10This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vowed,

11And on her virgin honour will not break it.

12

third knight Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.

Critical Apparatus Exeunt Knights
13

simonides So, they are well dispatched. Now to my daughter's letter.

14She tells me here she'll wed the stranger knight,

Editor’s Note15Or never more to view nor day nor light.

Editor’s Note16I like that well. Nay, how absolute she's in't,

Editor’s Note Link 17Not minding whether I dislike or no!

18Mistress, 'tis well, I do commend your choice,

19And will no longer have it be delayed.

Enter Pericles

Editor’s Note20Soft, here he comes. I must dissemble that

Editor’s Note21In show, I have determined on in heart.

pg 146 22

pericles All fortune to the good Simonides.

Editor’s Note23

simonides To you as much, sir. I am beholden to you

Critical Apparatus24For your sweet music this last night. My ears,

25I do protest, were never better ed

26With such delightful pleasing harmony.

27

pericles It is your grace's pleasure to commend,

28Not my desert.

simonides Sir, you are music's master.

29

pericles The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

Critical Apparatus30

simonides Let me ask you one thing. What think you of my daughter?

31

pericles A most virtuous princess.

simonides And she is fair, too, is she not?

Editor’s Note32

pericles As a fair day in summer: wondrous fair.

Critical Apparatus33

simonides My daughter, sir, thinks very well of you;

Editor’s Note34So well indeed that you must be her master

Editor’s Note35And she will be your scholar; therefore look to it.

Link 36

pericles I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.

Editor’s Note37

simonides She thinks not so. Peruse this writing else.

He gives the letter to Pericles, who reads
38

pericles (aside) What's here, a letter that she loves the knight of Tyre?

pg 147

Editor’s Note39'Tis the King's subtlety to have my life.

Editor’s Note He prostrates himself at the King's feet

40O seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,

41A stranger and distressèd gentleman

Editor’s Note42That never aimed so high to love your daughter,

Editor’s Note43But bent all offices to honour her.

Editor’s Note44Never did thought of mine levy offence,

45Nor never did my actions yet commence

Editor’s Note46A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.

Critical Apparatus47

simonides Thou liest like a traitor.

pericles Traitor?

simonides Ay, traitor,

48That thus disguised art stolen into my court

Critical Apparatus49With witchcraft of thy actions to bewitch

50The yielding spirit of my tender child.

Editor’s Note51

pericles risingWho calls me traitor, unless it be the King,

52Even in his bosom I will write the lie.

53

simonides (aside) Now by the gods, I do applaud his courage.

Editor’s Note54

pericles My actions are as noble as my blood,

Editor’s Note55That never relished of a base descent.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus56I came unto your court in search of honour,

pg 148

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus57And not to be a rebel to your state;

58And he that otherwise accounts of me,

59This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy.

Editor’s Note60

simonides I shall prove otherwise, since both your practice

61And her consent therein is evident

Editor’s Note62There, by my daughter's hand, as she can witness.

Enter Thaisa
63

pericles (to Thaisa) Then as you are as virtuous as fair,

64By what you hope of heaven or desire

65By your best wishes here i'th' world fulfilled,

Editor’s Note66Resolve your angry father if my tongue

Link 67Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe

Editor’s Note68To any syllable made love to you.

Editor’s Note69

thaisa Why, sir, say if you had,

Editor’s Note70Who takes offence at that would make me glad?

Editor’s Note71

simonides How, minion, are you so peremptory?

(Aside)

Editor’s Note72I am glad on't.—Is this a fit match for you?

Editor’s Note73A straggling Theseus, born we know not where,

Editor’s Note74One that hath neither blood nor merit

pg 149

Editor’s Note75For thee to hope for, or himself to challenge

76Of thy perfections e'en the least allowance.

Editor’s Note77

thaisa (kneeling) Suppose his birth were base, when that his life

Editor’s Note78Shows that he is not so, yet he hath virtue,

79The very ground of all nobility,

80Enough to make him noble. I entreat you

81To remember that I am in love,

82The power of which love cannot be confined

83By the power of your will. Most royal father,

84What with my pen I have in secret written

85With my tongue now I openly confirm,

86Which is I have no life but in his love,

87Nor any being but in joying of his worth.

88

simonides Equals to equals, good to good is joined.

Editor’s Note89This not being so, the bavin of your mind

90In rashness kindled must again be quenched,

91Or purchase our displeasure. And for you, sir,

92First learn to know I banish you my court,

93And yet I scorn our rage should stoop so low.

94For your ambition, sir, I'll have your life.

95

thaisa (to Pericles) For every drop of blood he sheds of yours

96He'll draw another from his only child.

Editor’s Note97

simonides I'll tame you, yea, I'll bring you in subjection.

98Will you, not having my consent,

99Bestow your love and your affections

Editor’s Note100Upon a stranger?—(aside) who for aught I know

101May be, nor can I think the contrary,

102As great in blood as I myself.

pg 150

Editor’s Note103Therefore hear you, mistress: either frame your will to mine—

104And you, sir, hear you—either be ruled by me,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus105Or I shall make you

He claps their hands together

man and wife.

106Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it too,

Pericles and Thaisa kiss

Editor’s Note107And being joined, I'll thus your hopes destroy,

He parts them

108And for your further grief—God give you joy.

109What, are you pleased?

thaisa Yes, (to Pericles) if you love me, sir.

Editor’s Note110

pericles Even as my life my blood that fosters it.

111

simonides What, are you both agreed?

pericles and thaisa Yes, if't please your majesty.

Editor’s Note112

simonides It pleaseth me so well that I will see you wed,

Critical Apparatus113Then with what haste you can, get you to bed.

Exeunt

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
Sc. 9 The mainspring of this scene is Simonides' dissembling, opposing Pericles as a son-in-law while secretly approving him. But Wilkins's narrative expands his attack on Pericles in verse rhythms which many commentators have felt better represent what the original may have been like; more crucially from a dramatic point of view, Wilkins provides Thaisa with an extended declaration of love for Pericles which she lacks in Q. Oxford's reconstruction, substantially followed here, incorporates this extra material. Oxford adjusts Q to accommodate the new material, and sometimes to improve the metre. See Appendixes A and B. Some of these alterations are discussed in the commentary, but for a full account see TC, pp. 570–1, and for a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of this reconstructed episode, see Introduction, p. 41.
Editor’s Note
0.1 reading of a letter The apparently curious circumstance that Thaisa needs to communicate with Simonides by letter in the same house derives from Wilkins's condensing, in both play and narrative, a passage in both Gower and Twine where the King instructs the rival suitors: 'write your names every one severally in a piece of paper, and what jointure you will make, and I will send the writings to my daughter, that she may choose him whom she best liketh of' (Twine, p. 440); his daughter then replies in the same way. But see the note to l. 34.
Editor’s Note
5 none can Oxford's replacement of Q's 'by no means can I' restores the metre: Q's phrase anticipates 'by no means' in l. 7.
Critical Apparatus
Sc. 9. 6 have] maxwell (W. S. Walker); get q
Editor’s Note
6 have Q's 'get' clumsily repeats l. 5; as Maxwell says, 'have access' is the normal idiom in both Shakespeare and Wilkins. Access is stressed on the second syllable.
Editor’s Note
7–8 It is … chamber Q (see Appendix A, ll. 977–8) 'creates insoluble metrical and lineation problems as it stands, easily resolved by transposition of the floating phrase "'tis impossible"' (TC, p. 570).
Editor’s Note
8 tied her confined herself
Editor’s Note
9 One … more another year; but the use of twelve moons rather than the 'twelvemonth' of l. 3 leads naturally into the reference to Diana, goddess of the moon.
wear Diana's livery retain the clothes of a servant of Diana, goddess of chastity (i.e. remain a virgin)
Editor’s Note
10 eye of Cynthia Cynthia is another name for Diana, so this presumably means the moon, though elsewhere celestial eyes are the stars (Sc. 1.116).
Editor’s Note
10–11 hath … it It is sometimes argued that since Thaisa appears to make a vow of chastity that she subsequently breaks, her later misfortunes are Diana's punishment for a broken vow; but surely this is merely Simonides' invention to get rid of her unwanted suitors.
Critical Apparatus
12.1 Exeunt Knights] rowe; not in q
Editor’s Note
15 nor … nor neither … nor. An emphatic double negative, frequently used in the period (Abbott 406).
Editor’s Note
15–16 Between these lines, Simonides says, in Q: ''Tis well mistress, your choice agrees with mine', omitted by Oxford (and here) on the grounds that all its elements are repeated elsewhere.
Editor’s Note
16 absolute positive, decisive
Editor’s Note
17 minding caring
Editor’s Note
20–1 I must … heart This phrase, from Wilkins, expands and clarifies Q's cryptic 'I must dissemble it'.
that | In show outwardly what
Editor’s Note
21 determined decided
Editor’s Note
23 beholden indebted
Critical Apparatus
24–5 night. My ears, | I do protest,] steevens; night: | I do protest, my eares q
Critical Apparatus
30 think you of my daughter] oxford; do you thinke of my Daughter, sir q; do you think, sir, of | My daughter steevens
Editor’s Note
32 As … fair Proverbial (Dent S966.1).
Critical Apparatus
33 My daughter, sir] malone; Sir, my Daughter q
Editor’s Note
34 master schoolmaster. In the sources, he actually becomes her teacher for a time, but the play makes no further use of this. Frances Whistler suggests that Simonides' use of the letter may act as an echo of the riddle at Antioch; he pretends that it is about music teaching but then springs the letter's actual contents on him (leading to a nice double meaning in 'you must be her master'): this also explains why Pericles should instantly suspect a trap. See the note to l. 39.
Editor’s Note
35 scholar pupil
Editor’s Note
37 else (i.e. if you don't believe me)
Editor’s Note
39 'Tis … life After his experiences with Antiochus, Pericles understandably judges Simonides by the same standards, a view that seems to be confirmed when Simonides turns on him.
subtlety cunning
Editor’s Note
39.1 He … feet From Wilkins's prose narrative (p. 515).
Editor’s Note
42 to as to (Abbott 281)
Editor’s Note
43 bent all offices devoted all my service
Editor’s Note
43–4 The three Q lines omitted between these two are repeated with greater power at ll.47–50. See Appendix A, ll.1019–21.
Editor’s Note
44 levy Probably used in the obsolete sense 'set up' (OED v. 3a), i.e. 'create'; but OED v. 7 gives two examples of the erroneous use of levy for 'level' (aim), from 1618 and 1634. This would sustain the archery imagery in ll. 42–3 ('aimed', 'bent'), but not provide markedly clearer sense, so I retain Q.
Editor’s Note
46 might that might
Critical Apparatus
47–50 traitor, | That … child] edwards (after P.A.); traytor q
Critical Apparatus
49 With] oxford; With the P. A.; not in q
Editor’s Note
51–2 Who … lie 'The transposition of the opening phrases of [Q's] two lines [Appendix A, ll. 1028–9] yields a much more intelligible and speakable sense' (TC, p. 571) and Wilkins's 'even in his bosom he would write the lie' is much more vivid than Q's 'Even in his throat … I return the lie'.
Editor’s Note
54 blood ancestry. Q's 'thoughts' does not lead properly into the next line.
Editor’s Note
55 relished showed a trace
Critical Apparatus
56 in search of honour] oxford (Wilson), P.A.; for Honours cause q
Editor’s Note
56 in search of honour Wilkins's phrase is preferable, since Q's 'for honour's cause' echoes Sc. 8.40, and is probably a memorial substitution by the reporter.
Critical Apparatus
57 your] hudson (W. S. Walker); her q
Editor’s Note
57 rebel to your state Q's 'her state' (i.e. honour's) makes sense, in which case the phrase is metaphorical, but your state, yielding a simple statement of fact, is supported by Wilkins's narrative: Pericles 'came into his court in search of honour, and not to be a rebel to his state' (p. 515).
Editor’s Note
60–2 I … witness Q's 'here comes my daughter, she can witness it' is a transparent echo of the cue for Desdemona's first entry at Othello 1.3.169, 'Here comes the lady. Let her witness it', suggesting that the reporter is replacing the lines from Wilkins's narrative with another line he knew (see Introduction, p. 78).
Editor’s Note
60 practice deceit, treachery
Editor’s Note
62 by … hand written in her own handwriting
witness confirm
Editor’s Note
66 Resolve assure
Editor’s Note
68 made that made (which Q reads). The omission of 'that' restores the metre, in a style which is characteristic of the first half of the play.
Editor’s Note
69–70 Why … glad Since had and glad are an obvious rhyme, a phrase must be missing from l. 69. Wilkins's narrative is no help here.
Editor’s Note
70 that what
Editor’s Note
71 minion impudent girl (more vivid than Q's 'mistress')
peremptory self-willed
Editor’s Note
72,100 Aside These two asides are marked in Q; the others in the text are all editorial.
Editor’s Note
72–96 These lines are reconstructed from Wilkins's narrative (see Appendix B, Passage B); they replace Q's 'with all my heart' (Appendix A, l. 1046).
Editor’s Note
73 A … where Plutarch's Life of the Athenian hero Theseus, in North's translation, was a source for A Midsummer Night's Dream, and many commentators have thought Shakespeare the author of this vivid line, reported by Wilkins in his narrative; but Wilkins was capable of striking lines, and we should beware of assuming that any good line in the play is inevitably by Shakespeare. But see the note to l. 89.
straggling wandering
Editor’s Note
74 blood aristocratic ancestry
Editor’s Note
75–6 himself … allowance that would qualify him to claim even the slightest share of your perfections
Editor’s Note
77–87 These lines give Thaisa her only direct statement of her love for Pericles: they can have great impact in performance.
Editor’s Note
78–9 virtue … nobility Compare Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Part One, 5.1.188–90, where the base-born hero vows to show that 'for all my birth … virtue solely is the sum of glory | And fashions men with true nobility'.
Editor’s Note
89 bavin blazing-up (i.e. her passionate declaration). Bavin is brushwood, and is also used figuratively at 1 Henry IV 3.2.61–2: 'rash bavin wits, | Soon kindled and soon burnt'(OED sb. 1c).
Editor’s Note
97 From this point, the Quarto provides the basic text once again.
Editor’s Note
100 aught anything (to the contrary)
Editor’s Note
103 frame accommodate
Critical Apparatus
105 I shall] oxford; Ile q; I will steevens
Editor’s Note
105, 106.1 The two stage directions derive from Wilkins's narrative: 'he clapped them hand in hand, while they as lovingly joined lip to lip' (p. 516).
Editor’s Note
107–9 I'll … pleased Having just joined them, he threatens to part them again, only to explain that this further grief is to wish them happiness. No wonder he asks if they are pleased: they must both be thoroughly bewildered by now.
Editor’s Note
110 Even … it as my life loves the blood that nourishes it
Editor’s Note
112–13 wed / bed This rhyme concludes Wilkins's Miseries, which also achieves a happy ending for a marriage in unlikely circumstances.
Critical Apparatus
113 Then] malone; And then q
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