« AnteriorContinuar »
It hath been sung, at festivals,
An obscure poet, however, in 1652, insinuates that this drama was ill-received, or at least that it added nothing to the reputation of its author;
“ But Shakspeare, the plebeian driller, was
Founder'd in his Pericles, and must not pass." Verses by J. Tateham, prefixed to Richard Brome's Jovial Creu, or the Merry Beggars, 4to. 1652.
The passages above quoted shew that little credit is to be given to the allertion contained in these lines; yet they furnish us with an additional proof that Pericles, at no very distant period after Shakspeare's death, was considered as unquestionably his per. formance.
See the notes at the end of the play. Malone. The History of Apollonius King of Tyre was supposed by Mark Welser, when he printed it in 1595, to have been tranflated from the Greek a thousand years before. [Fabr. Bib. Gr. v. 6. p. 821.) It certainly bears ftrong marks of a Greek original, though it is not (that I know) now extant in that language. The rythmical poem, under the same title, in modern Greek, was re-translated (if I may so speak) from the Latin-ano Aalinxns eis Pwpairmugawcoar. Du Fresne, Indez Author. ad Glol. Græç. When Welser 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 1521, it makes the 154th chapter. Towards the latter end of the XIIth century, Godfrey of Viterbo, in his Pantheon or Universal Chronicle, in, serted this romance as part of the history of the third Antiochus, about 200 years before Christ. It begins thus [Ms, Reg. 14, C. xi.]:
Filia Seleuci regis ftat clara decore
Res habet effectuin, presta puella dolet. The rest is in the same metre, with one pentameter only to two hexameters.
Gower, by his own acknowlegement, took his story from the Pantheon; as the author (whoever he was) of Pericles, Prince of Eyre, professes to have followed Gower. Tyrwhitt.
that old was sung, ) I do not know that old is by any author used adverbially. We might read,
To fing a song of old was sung, i. e. that of old, &c.
But the poet is so licentious in the language which he has attributed to Gower in this piece, that I have made no change.
MALONE, B 3
And lords and ladies, of their lives *
3 It hath been sung at fefivals,
On Ember eves, and holidays ; )
and holy ales ;
This emendation appears fo probable, that I have inserted it in the text.
Gower's speeches were certainly intended to rhime throughout. Malone.
* in their lives,] Thus all the copies. The emendation now made was suggested by the rev. Dr. Farmer. Malone.
4 The purchase is -] Thus all the copies. I fuppofe we ought to read-purpose. ŠTEEVENS.
The purpose is to make men glorious,
Et bonum quo antiquius co melius.]
“ I am for the air; this night I'll spend
“ Pretty foul, lhe durst not lie
“ Near to this lack-love, this kill-courtesy." MALONE, 5 (I tell
you what mine authors say :( This is added in imi. tation of Gower's manner, and that of Chaucer, Lydgate, &c. who often thus refer to the original of their tales. These choruses resemble Gower in few other particulars. STEEVENS.
This king unto him took a pheere',
-unto him took a peer,] Thus the quarto of 1609, and all the subsequent copies. I have no doubt that the author wrote pbeere, a word frequently used by our ancient poets, fignifying a mate, or companion. Throughout this piece, the poet, though he has not closely copied the language of Gower's poem, has endeavoured to give his fpeeches fomewhat of an antique air.
A full promise of her :)"
“ One that but performs
“ To have command obey'd." STEEVENS.
account no fin.] Account for accounted. So in K. Jobn. Waft for Wafted : “ Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er.
Steeyeni, Again, in Gascoine's Complaint of Philomene, 1575:
“ And by the lawde of his pretence
“ His lewdness was acquit.
6 And this report
- But have you
Which to prevent, he made a law,
" To keep her still, and men in awe,] The meaning, I think, is, not - to keep her and men in 'awe-but, to keep her fill to himselfand to deter others from demanding her in marriage. MALONE.
2 As yon grim looks do testify.] Gower must be supposed here to point to the heads of these unfortunate wights, which, he tells us, in his poem, were fixed on the gate of the palace at Antioch ;
" The fader whan he understood
MALONE. my cause who bejt can justify.] The two folios, and the modern editions read~" who best can testify.”—The reading of the text is that of the earliest quarto.
MALONE. vho best can justify. ) i. e. which (the judgment of your eye) best can justify, i. e. prove its resemblance to the ordinary courle of nature. So afterwards : When thou shalt kneel, and juplify in knowledge
S CE N E I.
The Palace of Antioch.
Enter Antiochus, Pericles, and Attendants.
Ant. Young prince of Tyre +, you have at large
receiv'd The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize. [Musick.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a brides, For the embracements, even of Jove himself; At whofe conception, (till Lucina reign'd) Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence ®;
The 4 Young prince of Tyre,] It does 'not appear in the present drama that the father of Pericles is living. By prince, therefore, throughout this play, we are to understand prince regnant. See at ii. sc. iv. and the epitaph in act iii. ic. iii. In the Gelia Romanorum, Apollonius is king of Tyre; and Appolyn, in Copland's translation from the French, has the same title. Our auihor, in calling Pericles a prince, seems to have followed Gower.
MALONE. 5 Bring in our daughter clothed like a bride,) All the copies read,
Musick, bring in our daughter clothed like a bride. The metre proves decisively that the word musick was a marginal direction, inserted in the text by the mistake of the transcriber of printer. Malone.
For the embracements, even of Jove himself;
presence, &c.] Perbaps the two last lines should be transposed; whose conception, otherwise, will be the conception of the antecedent, Jove, and the dowry will have been bestowed to glad the antecedent Lucina. The sense of the speech, however managed, will not be very clear without a flight alteration, her instead of whose.
“ Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride