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PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. THIS play, the authorship of which has been much disputed, was probably written about the year 1908. Pope
ranks it anong "the wretched pieces," which cannot be attributed to Shakspeare ; but Malone, who divided it into scenes, considers the internal evidence, (such as the congenial sentiments, the situation of the persovs, the colour of the style, and the similitude of its expressions, to passages in his undisputed dramas) suffici ently decisive as to his having written the last three acts, and occasional portions of the preceding two. Indeed, unless it be considered as the production of some inferior playwright, amended by Shakspeare, an earlier date must be assigned to its production, than acknowledged authorities will warrant ; for no play in the English language so incorrect as this---the metre is seldom attended to---verse is frequently printed as prose---and the grossest errors appear throughout. With all these fardes, however, it is mentioned as very popular per formance ; and may still be read with pleasure ; for it abounds with situations of difficulty and danger, is full of bustle and vivacity, the interest never lags, and the results are all gratifying. Some of the dialogues aro nevertheless gross and nonsensical---those which take place in the brothel are superlatively disgusting, nor can they be excused by the moral intended to be drawn from them. Steevens, upon this portion, has judiciously remarked, that Marina, who is designed for a character of juvenile innocence, appears much too knowing in the impurities of a brothel; nor are her expressions more chastised than her ideas. The unities of time and place are equally outraged : the action of the piece is alternately occurring at Antioch in Syria---Tyre in Phænicia---Tarsus in Cilicia---Mitylene in the island of Lesbos---and Ephesus the capital of lonin. The story on which the play is founded, is of great antiquity ; but the dramatie hero bears no resemblance to his great Atheniau pamesake. It is taken from the history of Appolonius, king of Tyre, in the Gesta Romanorum, a very old book ; which is also related by Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, a poem. Many incidents of the play may be found in the latter work, and even a few of its particular expressions; and, therefore, as Gower himself is introduced, (like the chorus of old) it is reasonable to suppose that Sbasspeare chiefly followed the work of
GOWER, as Chorus.
THE DAUGHTER of Antiochus.
DIONYZA, W’ife to Cleon. SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis.
THAISA, Daughter to Simonides. CLEON, Governor of Tharsus.
MARINA, Daughter to Pericles and Thaiso. LYSIMACHUS, Governor of Mitylene.
LYCHORIDA, Nurse to Marina.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sai LEONINE, Servant to Dionyza.-MARSHAL.
lors, Pirates, Fishermen, and MessenA PANDAR, and his WiFi.-BOULT, their Ser.
ger, &c. vant.
SCENE, dispersedly in various countries.
+ Whitsun-ales, &c.
I life would wish and that I might,
• Wife, the word signifies a mate or companion.
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
Ant. Read the conclusion thea ; In marriage pleasures play fellow :
Which read, and not expounded, 'tis decreed, Which to prevent, he made a law,
As these before thee, thon thyself shalt bleed. (To keep her still, and men in awe,)
Daugh. In all, save that, may'st thou prove That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
prosperous ! His riddle told pot, lost his life :
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume me So for her many a wigbt did die,
lists, As yon grim looks do testify. .
Nor ask advice of any other thought What now
ensues, to the judgment of But faithfulness, and courage.
your eye I give, my cause who best can justify,
(He reads the Riddle.) [Exit.
I am no riper, yet I feed
On mother's fiesh, which did me breed : SOENE I.--Antioch.-A Room in the Palace.
I sought a husband, in which labour, Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.
I found that kindness in a father.
Hie's father, son, and husband mild, Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you bave at large I mother, wife, and yet his child. receiv'd
How they may be, and yet in two, The danger of the task you undertake.
As you will live, resolve it you. Per. I have, Antiochus ; and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Sharp physic is the last : but, O you powers! Think death no hazard, in this enterprise. That give heaven countless eyes to view men's
acts, Ant. Bring in our daughter clothed like a Why cloud they not their sights perpetually, bride,
If this be true, which makes me pale to read it i For the embracements even of Jove himself; Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, and could still, At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd,)
[Takes hold of the hanú of the princess. Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence, Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ill : The senate-house of planets all did sit,
But I must tell you,-now, my thoughts revolt; To knit in ber their best perfections.
For he's no man on whom perfections wait, Enter the DAUGHTER of ANTIOCHUS.
That kuowing sin within, will touch the gate.
You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings; Per. See where she comes, apparell'd like the who, finger'd to make man his lawful music, spring,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gous to Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
hearken; of every virtue + gives renown to men !
But, being play'd upon before your time,
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life, Could never be her mild companion.
For that's an article within our law, Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love, As dangerous as the rest. Your time's expir'd : That have inflam'd desire within my breast, Either expound now, or receive your sentence. To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Per. Great king, Or die in the adventure,-be my helps,
Few love to hear the sins they love to act: As I ain sou and servant to your will,
'Twould 'braid yourself too near for ine to To compass such a boundless bappiness!
tell it. Ant. Prince Pericles,
Who has a book of all that monarchs do, Per. That would be son to great Antiochus. He's more secure to keep it shut, than shown;
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides, For vice repeated, is like the wand'ring wind, With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd; Blows dust in others' eyes, to spread itself; For death-like dragons here affright thee bard : And yet the end of all is bonght tbus dear, Her face, like heaven, enticetb thee to view The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear : A countless glory, which desert mast gain : To stop the air would hurt them. The blind And which, without desert, because thine eye
mole casts Presumes to reach, all thy whole heap must die. Coppd bills towards heaven, to tell the earth Yon' sometime famous princes, like thyself,
[die for't. Drawn by report, advent'rous by desire,
By man's oppre ion; and the poor worm doth Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance Kings are earth's gods : in vice their law's pale,
their will ; That, without covering, save yon' field of stars, And if Jove stray, who dares say, Jove doth in I They here stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars : It is enough you know; and it is fit, And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist, What, being more known, grows worse, to For going on death's net, whom none resist.
smother it. Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hast taught All love the womb that their first beings bred, My frail inortality to know itself,
Then give my tongue like leave to love my And by those fearful objects to prepare
head. This body, like to them, to what I must :
Ant. Heaven, that I had thy head; He has For death remember'd, should be like a mirror,
found the meaning :Who tells us life's but breath ; to trust it, error. But I will gloze + with him. (Aside.) Young prince I'll make my will then ; and as sick men do,
of Tyre, Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling Though by the tenour of our strict edict, woe,
Your exposition misinterpreting,
Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree
If by which time our secret be undone, (To the DAUGHTER OF ANTIOCHUS. This mercy shows, we'll joy in such a son ; Thus ready for the way of life or death,
And, until then, your entertain shall be, I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus,
As doth befit our honour, and your worth. Scorning advice.
(Ereunt ANTIOCHUS, his DAUGHTER, and
Attendants. • Pointing to the scene of the palace guce at Antioch, On wbich the heads of these unfortunate wights were
• Rising to a top or head. fixed. + I. e. 7kat gives.
Or, play falsely with him. * To take away your lifo
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin ! Yet neither p.easure's art can joy my spirits,
Nor yet the other's distance comfort nie.
That have their first conception by mis-dread,
And what was first but fear what might be
done, By your untimely claspings with your child, Grows elder now, and cares it be not done. • (Which pleasure fits an husband, not a father ;) And so with me :-the great Antiochus And she an eater of her mother's flesh,
('Gainst whom I am too little to contend, By the defiling of her parent's bed ;
Since he's so great, can make bis will his act) And both like serpents are, who though they feed Will think me speaking, though I swear to On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed.
silence; Antioch, farewell! for wisdom sees, those men Nor boots it me to say, I honour him, Blush not in actions blacker than the night, If he suspect I may dishonour hiin : Will shun no course to keep thein from the And what may make him blush in being known, light :
He'll stop the course by which it might be One sin, i know, another doth provoke ;
And with the ostent of war will look so huge,
Which care of them, not pity of myself,
(Who am no more but as the tops of trees,
them,) To have his head.
Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish, He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy, And punish that before, that he would punish. Nor tell the word, Antiochus doth sin
1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred In such a loathed manner :
breast ! And therefore mstantly this prince must die ; 2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return For by his fall my honour must keep high. Peaceful and comfortable !
(to us, Who attends on us there?
Hel. Peace, peace, my lords, and give expe
rience tongue. Enter THALIARD.
They do abuse the king, that fatter him Thal. Doth your highness call ?
For flattery is the bellows blows up sin ; Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, mind
To which that breath gives heat and stronger Partakes ber private actions to your secrecy ;
glowing: And for your faithfulness we will advance you. Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here's gold: Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace, him.
He flatters you, makes war upon your life : It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please ; Because we bid it. Say, is it done?
cannot be much lower than my knees. Thal. My lord,
Per. All leave us else : but let your cares 'Tis done.
What shipping and what lading's in our haven,
Aud then return to us. [Exeunt LORDS.) Heli.
het. Au angry brow, dread lord.
(Erit MESSENGER. Per. If there be such a dart in princes' Ant. As thou
Per. Thou know'st I bave power
(Exit. I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid
That kings should let their ears hear their faults SCENE II.-Tyre.--A Room in the Palace.
Fit counsellor and servant for a prince,
Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant
What would'st thou have me do? Per. Let none disturb us : Why this charge of Hel. With patience bear thoughts ?
Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself. The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,
Per. Thou speak'st like a physician, Helicanus; By me so us'd a guest is, not an hour,
Who ipinister'st a potion unto me, In the day's glorious walk or peaceful night, That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself. (The tomb where grief should sleep,) can breed Attend me then : I went to Antioch, me quiet!
Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty, shun them,
From whence an issue I might propagate, And danger, wbich I feared, is at Antioch, Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys. whose arm seems far too short too hit me here: Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder ; • Wherous.
• 1.e. Takes care it be not done.