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The paffages above quoted shew that little credit is to be given to the assestion contained in thele lines; yet they furnith us with an additional proof that Pericles, at no very distanţ period after Shakspeare's death, was considered as unquestionably his performance.
In The Times displayed in Six Setiads, 4to. 1646, dedicated by $. Shephard to Philip Earl of Pembroke, p. 22, Seftiad VI. Itanza y, the author thus speaks of our poer and the piece before us :
See him, whole tragick scenes Euripides
« Did understand the depth of poesie.” For the d. vision of this piece into scenes I am responsable, there being none found in the o!d copies. MALONE.
The History of Appolonius King of Tyre was supposed by Mark Wele fer, when he printed it in 1595, to have been translated from the Greek a thousand years before. [Fabr. Bib. Gr. v. p. 821.] It cere tainly bears strong marks of a Greek original, though it is not (that I know) now extant in that language. The rythmical poein, under the fame titie, in modern Greek, was re-translated (if I may lo speak) from the Latin-–-απο Λαλινικης εις Ρωμαϊκης γλωσσαν. Du Frefne, Index Author, ad Glof. Græc. When Weller printed it, he probably did not know that it had been published already (perhaps more than once) among the Gefta Romanorum. In an edition, which I have, printed at Rouen in 1921, it makes the 154th chapter. Towards the Jatter end of the XIIth century, Godfrey of Viterbo, in his Pantheon or Univerfal Chronicle, inserted this romance as part of the history of the third Antiochus, about 200 years before Chrift. It begins thus (MS. Reg. 14. C. si.] :
“ Filia Seleuci regis Itat clara decore,
“ Ros habet effectum, pressa puella dolet' The rest is in the same metre, with one pentameter only to two bexa.
Gower, by his own acknowledgement, took his story from the Pan. theon; as the author (whoever he was) of Perisies, Prince of Tyre, profefíes to have fullowed Gower. TYRWHITT.
T::ere are three French translations of this story, viz." La Chro. nique d'Appollin, Roy de Thyr;" 4to. Geneva, bl. 1. na dale;-rand “ Plaisante et agreable Histoire d’Appollonius Prince de Thyr en Af. frique, et Roi d'Antioche ; traduit par Gilles Corozet,” 8vo. Paris, 1530;--od (in the seventh volume of the Hipoires Tragiques, &c. !?m). 1605, par François Belle-foreit, &c.) 66 Accidens diuers
aduenus à Appollonie Roy des Tyriens : ses malheurs sur mer, ses pertes de femme & fille, et la fin heureuse de tous ensemble.”
In the introduction to this last novel, the translator says" Ayant en main une histoire tiree du Grec, & icelle ancienne, comme aussi je l'ay recuellie d'un vieux livre écrit à la main,” &c.
But the present story, as it appears in Belle-forest's collection, (Vol. VII. p. 113, & feq.) has yet a further claim to our notice, as it had the honour (p. 148-9) of furnishing Dryden with the outline of his Alexander's Feast
. Langbaine, &c. have accused this ġreat poet of adopting circumftances from the Histoires Tragiques, among other French novels; a charge, however, that demands neither proof nor apology.
The popularity of this tale of Appollonius, may be inferred from the very numerous MSS. in which it appears.
Both editions of Twine's translation are now before me. Thomas Twine was the continuator of Phaer's Virgil, which was left imperfect in the year 1558.
In Twine's book our hero is repeatedly called—“ Prince of Tyrus." It is fingular enough that this fable should have been republished in 1607, the play entered on the books of the Stationers' Company in 1608, and printed in 1609.
It is almost needless to observe that our dramatick Pericles has not the least resemblance to bis historical nanjesake; though the adventures of the former are sometimes coincident with those of Pyrocles, the hero of Sidney's Arcadia; for the amorous, fugitive, shipwrecked, niusical, xilting, despairing Prince of Tyre is an accomplished knight of romance, disguised under the name of a ftatesman,
" Whose refiftless eloquence
“ Shook th' arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece.” As to Sidney's Pyrocles - Tros, Tyriusve,
“ The world was all before him, where to choose
“ His place of reft;" but Pericles was tied down to Athens, and could not be removed to a throne in Phænicia. No poetick license will permit a unique, classical, and conspicuous name to be thus unwarrantably transferred. A Prince of Madagascar must not be called Æneas, nor a Duke of Florence Mithridates ; for such peculiar appellations would unscasonably remind us of their great original poffeffors. The playwright who indulges himself in these wanton and injudicious vazaries, will always counteract his own purpose. Thus, as often as the appropriated name of Pericles occurs, it serves but to expose our author's gross departure from established manners and historick truth; for laborious fiction could not designedly produce two personages more opposite than the settled demagogue of Athens, and the vagabond Prince of Tyre.
It is remarkable, that many of our ancient writers were ambitious to exhibit Sidney's worthies on the stage; and when his subordinate agents were advanced to such honour, how happened it that Pyrocles, their leader, should be overlooked? Mufidorus, (his companion,) Argalus and Parthenia, Phalantus and Eudora, Andromana, &c. furnished titles for different tragedies; and perhaps Pyrocles, in the present inttance, was defrauded of a like distinction. The names invented or employe ed by Sidney, had once such popularity, that they were sometimes borrowed by poets who did not profels to follow the direct current of his fables, or attend to the strict preservation of his characters. Nay, so high was the credit of this romance, that many a falhionable word and glowing phrase selected from it, was applied, like a Promethean torch, to contemporary sonnets, and gave a transient life even to those dwarfish and enervate bantlings of the reluctant Muse.
I must add, that the Appolyn of the Story-book and Gower, could have been rejected only to make room for a more favourite name ; yet, however conciliating the name of Pyrocles might have been, that of Pericles could challenge no advantage with regard to general predilection.
I am aware, that a conclusive argument cannot be drawn from the false quantity in the second syllable of Perýcles; and yet if the Athenian was in our author's mind, he might have been taught by repeated translations from fragments of satiric poets in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, to call his hero Perīcles ; as for instance, in the following couplet :
“ O Chiron, tell me, first, art thou indeede the man
” &c. &.c. Such therefore was the pronunciation of this proper name, in the age of Shakspeare. The address of Persius to a youthful orator Magui pupille Perīcli, is familiar to the ear of every classical reader.
All circumstances therefore considered, it is not improbable that our author designed his chief character to be called Pyrocles, not Pericles, * however ignorance or accident might have Thuffled the latter (a name of almost similar sound) into the place of the former. The true name, when once corrupted or changed in the theatre, was etfectually withheld from the publick; and every commentator on this play agrees in a belief that it must have been printed by means of a copy “ far as Deucalion off” from the manuscript which had received Shakspeare's revisal and improvement. STEEVENS.
* Such a theatrical mistake will not appear improbable to the reader who recollets that in the fourth scene of the first act of the Third Part of King Herry VI, instead of "tigers of Ilircania,"—the players have given u" tigers of Arcadia.” Instead of “ an Ate,” in King John," an ace." Instead of “ Pan. thino," in The Tuo Gentlemen of Verona, o" Panthion." Instead of “ Polydore," in Cymbeline ---" Paladour" was continued through all the editions till that of 177 3.
ANTIOCHUS, king of Antioch.
two lords of Tyre.
The daughter of Antiochus.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Firates, Fijherinent,
and Messengers, &c.
SCENE, differjedly in various countries.
P ERIC L E S.
Before the Palace of ANTIOCH.
sing a song of old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come ;
for his chiefest feat; The fairest in all Syria; (I tell you what mine authors fay :) This king unto him took a pheere, Who died and left a female heir,