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PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
Tus play is not found in the folio of 1623. The first edition of it known is the quarto, published in 1609, under the title of “The late and much admired Play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. With the true relation of the whole Historie, adventures, and fortunes of the said Prince: As also the no lesse strange and worthy accidents in the Birth and Life, of his Daughter Mariana. As it hath been divers and sundry times acted by his Maiesties Servants, at the Globe on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne, in Pater-noster row, &c. 1609.” This was followed by other quarto editions, respectively dated 1611, 1619, 1630, 1635, 1639, and it was afterwards inserted in the folio of 1664, and in that of 1685. Although there is no evidence that Pericles was printed earlier than 1609, or, beyond the slight memorandum in an inventory of Alleyn's theatrical wardrobe, of “spangled hoes” for Pericles,* that it was acted before 1607 or 1608, we believe that, in an imperfect form, this piece was the work of an older play-wright than Shakespeare, and, being founded upon a story which for ages had retained extensive popularity, that it was placed in the latter's hands very early in his dramatic career for adaptation to the Blackfriars' stage. This ini pression is derived partly from the style, the general structure of the verse, and the want of individualization in the characters, and partly from the nature of the fable: the revolting story of Antiochus and his daughter being one which it is not easy to believe Shakespeare would ever have chosen as a subject for representation. Moreover, we conclude, from the conflicting testimony as to its success, that Pericles, on the first occasion of its re-production, was not prosperous; but that, having been re-modelled, and in part re-written by Shakespeare, especially in the fifth Act, it was again revived in 1607 or 1608, and then met with unusual favour. One proof of its popularity at this period was the publication of a prose-tract, written by George Wilkins, entitled “The Painfull Adventures of Pericles Prince of Tyre. Being The true History of the Play of Pericles as it was lately presented by the worthy and ancient Poet John Gower. 1608,"-a story (lately reprinted with most laudable accuracy
See Collier's Memoirs of Alleyn, p. 21.
by Professor Mommsen) which was composed from notes taken during the performance of the play and extracts from the English version of “ Apollonius Tyrius."
The original source of Pericles is the fabulous story of King APOLLONIUS OF TYRE, a romance of great antiquity and of such renown, that, of the Latin version alone,—Historia APOLLONII TYRII, first edited about 1470,-Professor Haupt, of Berlin University, declares he is acquainted with one hundred MSS. The author of the play, however, appears to have been immediately indebted for his fable and incidents to that portion of Gower's Confessio Amantis, which treats of King Appolin of Tyre, and to the English translation of the Historia Apollonii entitled The Patterne of painefull Adventures : containing the most excellent, pleasant, and variable Historie of the strange accidents that befell unto Prince Apollonius, the Lady Lucina his wife, and Tharsia his daughter. Wherein the uncertainty of this world and the fickle state of man's life are lively described. Gathered into English by Lawrence Twine, Gentleman,—first printed in 1576.
Gow. To sing a song that old was sung, From ashes ancient Gower is come; Assuming man's infirmities, To glad your ear, and please your eyes. It hath been sung, at festivals, On ember-eves, and holy-ales;* And lords and ladies, in their lives Have read it for restoratives. The purchase is to make men glorious ; Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius. If you, born in these latter times, When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes, And that to hear an old man sing, May to your wishes pleasure bring, I life would wish, and that I might Waste it for you, like taper-light.This Antioch, then, Antiochus the Great Built up, this city, for his chiefest seat ; The fairest in all Syria ;I tell you what mine authors say :This king unto him took a pheere,
Who died and left a female heir,
* Hoiy-ales;] Old copies, holy-days: amended by Dr. Farmer.
The purchase-] That is, the profit, the advantage. Modern
c Peer, in the original copies; altered by Malone.