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PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.] The fory on which this play is formed, is of great antiquity. It is found in a book, once very popular, entitled Gefia Romanorum, which is fuppofed by Mr. Tyrwhitt, the learned editor of The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, 1775, to have been written five hundred years ago. The earlieft impreffion of that work (which I have feen) was painted in 1488;* in that edition the hiftory of Appolonius King of Tyre makes the 153d chapter. It is likewife related by Gower in his Confeffio Amantis, lib. viii. p. 175–185, edit, 1554. The Rev. Dr. Farmer has in his poffeffion a fragment of a MS. poem on the fame fubject, which appears, from the hand-writing and the metre, to be more ancient than Gower. The reader will find an extract from it at the end of the play. There is also an ancient romance on this fubjed, called King Appolyn of Thyre, tranflated from the French by Robert Copland, and printed by Wyukyn de Worde in 1510. In 1576 William Howe had a licence for printing The most excellent, pleajant, and variable Hiftorie of the frange Adventures of Prince Ap◄ polonius, Lucine his wife, and Thaila his daughter. The author of Pericles having introduced Gower in his piece, it is reafonable to fuppofe that he chiefly followed the work of that poet. is obfervable, that the hero of this tale is, in Gower's poem, as in the prefent play, called prince of Tyre; in the Gefta Romanorum, and Copla d's profe romance, he is entitled king. Most of the incidents of the play are found in the Conf. Amant. and a few of Gower's expreffions are occafionally borrowed. However, I think

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it is not unlikely, that there may have been (though I have not met with it) an early profe tranflation of this popular ftory, from the Geft. Roman. in which the name of Appolonius was changed to Pericles: to which, like wife, the author of this drama may have been indebted. In 1607 was published at London, by Valentine Sims, "The patterne of painful adventures, containing the most excellent, pleasant, and variable hiftorie of the frange accidents that befell unto Prince Appolonius, the lady Lucina his wife, and Tharfia his daughter, wherein the uncertaintie of this world and the fickle flate of man's life are lively defcribed. Tranflated into English by T. Twine, Gent." I have never feen the book, but it was without doubt a re-publication of that published by W. Howe in 1576.

Pericles was entered on the Stationers' books, May 2, 1608, by Edward Blount, one of the printers of the firft folio edition of Shakspeare's plays; but it did not appear in print till the following year, and then it was published not by Blount, but by Henry Goffon; who had probably anticipated the other, by getting a bafty transcript from a playhouse copy. There is, I believe, no

There are feveral editions of the Gefta Romanorum before 1488.

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play of our author's, perhaps I might fay, in the English language, fo incorre& as this. The moft corrupt of Shakspeare's other dramas, compared with Pericles, is purity itfelf. The metre is feldom attended to; verfe is frequently printed as profe, and the groffeft errors abound in almost every page. I mention these circumftances, only as au apology to the reader for having taken fomewhat more licence with his drama than would have been juftifiable, if the copies of it now extant had been lefs disfigured by the negligence and ignorance of the printer or transcriber. The numerous corruptions that are found in the original edition in 1609, which have been carefully preferved and augmented in all the fubfequent impreffions, probably arofe from its having been frequently exhibited on the ftage. In the four quarto editions it is called the much admired play of Pericles PRINCE OF TYRE; and if is mentioned by many ancient writers as a very popular performance; particularly, by the author of a metrical pamphlet, entitled Pymlico or Run Redcap, in which the following lines are found:

"Amaz'd I food, to fee a crowd

"Of civil throats ftretch'd out fo loud:
"As at a new play, all the rooms

"Did fwarm with gentles mix'd with grooms;
"So that I truly thought all these

"Came to fee Shore or Pericles."

In a former edition of this play I faid, on the authority of ano. ther perfon, that this pamphlet had appeared in 1596; but I have face met with the piece itfelf, and find that Pymlico, &c. was published in 1609. It might, however, have been a republication. The prologue to an old comedy called The hog has lof his Pearl, 1614, likewife exhibits a proof of this play's uncommon fuccefs. The poet speaking of his piece, fays:

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if it prove fo happy as to please, "We'll fay 'tis fortunate, like Pericles."

By fortunate, I underftand highly fuccessful. The writer can hardly be fuppofed to have meant that Pericles was popular rather from accident than merit; for that would have ben but a poor eulogy on his own performance.

An obfcure poet, however, in 1652, infinuates that this drama was ill received, or at leaft that it added nothing to the reputation of its author:

"But Shakespeare, the plebeian driller, was
"Founder'd in his Pericles, and muft not pafs.

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Verfes by J. Tatham, prefixed to Richard Brome's Jovial Crew, or the Merry Beggars, 4to. 1652. The paffages above quoted fhew that little credit is to be given to the affertion contained in these lines; yet they furnish us with an additional proof that Pericles at no very diftant period after

Shakspeare's death, was confidered as unqueftionably his perform


In The Times difplayed in Six Seftiads, 4to. 1646, dedicated by S. Shephard to Philip Earl of Pembroke, p. 22, Seftiad VI. ftanza 9, the author thus speaks of our poet and the piece before us; See him, whofe tragick fcenes Euripides

Doth equal, and with Sophocles we may
Compare great Shakspeare; Ariftophanes
"Never like him his fancy could difplay:
"Witness The Prince of Tyre, his Pericles:
His fweet and bis to be admired lay

"He wrote of luftful Tarquin's rape, fhows he
"Did underfland the depth of poefie. "

For the divifion of this piece into fcenes I am refponfible, there being none found in the old copies. See the notes at the end of the play. MALONE.

The Hiftory of Apollonius King of Tyre was fuppofed by Mark Weller, when he printed it in 1595, to have been tranflated from the Greek a thousand years before. [Fabr. Bib. Gr. v. p. 821.] It certainly bears Atrong marks of a Greek original, though it is not (that I know) now extant in that language. The rythmical poem, under the fame title, in modern Greek, was re-translated (if I may fo fpeak) from the Latin - απο Λατινικής εις Ρωμαϊκην yowocav. Du Frefne, Index Author. ad Gloff. Græc. When Welfer printed it, he probably did not know that it had been published already (perhaps more than once) among the Gefla Romanorum. In an edition, which 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 Univerfal Chronicle, inferted this romauce as part of the hiftory of the third Antiochus, about 200 years before Chrift. It begins thus [MS. Reg. 14. C. xi. ]; Filia Seleuci regis Aat clara decore,


Matreque defun&â pater arfit in ejus amore.

"Res babet effe&um, prefsa puella dolet."

The reft is in the fame metre, with one pentameter only to twe


Gower, by his own acknowledgement, took his ftory from the Pantheon; as the author (whoever he was) of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, profeffes to have followed Gower. TYRWHITT.

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There are three French tranflations of this ftory, viz. "La Chronique d'Appollin, Roy de Thyr;" 4to. Geneva, bl. 1. no date; and “Plaisante & agréable Hiftoire d'Appolonius Prince de Thyr en Affrique, & Roi d'Antioche; traduit par Gilles Corozet, 8vo. Paris, 1530; and (in the feveuth volume of the Hiftoires Tragiques &c. 12mo. 1604, par François Belle foreft, &c.) "Accidens diuers aduenus à Appollonie Roy des Tyriens: fes malheurs

fur mer, fes pertes de femme & fille, & la fin heureufe de tous enfemble."

In the introduction to this laft novel, the tranflator faysAyant en main une hiftoire tirée du Grec, & icelle ancienne, comme auffi je l'ay recuellie d'un vieux livre écrit à la main" &c. But the prefent ftory, as it appears in Belle-foreft's colle&ion, (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 Feaft. Langbaine, &c. have accused this great poet of adopting circumstances from the Hiftoires Tragiques, among other French novels; a charge, however, that demands neither proof nor apology.

The popularity of this tale of Apollonius, may be inferred from the very numerous MSS. in which it appears.

Both editions of Twine's tranflation are now before me. Thomas Twine was the continuator of Phaer's Virgil, which was left imperfed in the year 1558.

In Twine's book our hero is repeatedly called

"Prince of

Tyrus." It is fingular enough that this fable fhould have been republished in 1607, the play entered on the books of the Stationers' Company in 1608, and printed in 1609.

I must fill add a few words concerning the piece in queftion. Numerous are our unavoidable annotations on it. Yet it has been fo inveterately corrupted by tranfcription, interpolation, &c. that were it published, like the other dramas of Shakspeare, with fcrupulous warning of every little change which neceffity compels an editor to make in it, his comment would more than treble the quantity of his author's text. If therefore the filent infertion or tranfpofition of a few harmless fyllables which do not affect the value of one fentiment throughout the whole, can obviate those defects in conftru&ion and harmony which have hitherto molefted the reader, why fhould not his progrefs be facilitated by fuch means, rather than by a wearifome appeal to remarks that difturb attention, and contribute to diminish whatever intereft might otherwife have been awakened by the fcenes before him? If any of the trivial fupplements, &c. introduced by the prefent editor are found to be needlefs or improper, let him be freely cenfured by his fucceffors, on the score of rafhnefs or want of judgement. Let the Nimrods of ifs and ands purfue him; let the champions of nonfenfe that bears the ftamp of antiquity, couch their rufty lances at the desperate innovator. To the fevereft hazard, on this account, he would more cheerfully expofe himself, than leave it to be observed that he had printed many paffages in Pericles without an effort to exhibit them (as they must have originally appeared) with some obvious meaning, and a tolerable flow of verfification. The pebble which afpires to rank with diamonds, should at leaft have a decent polish beftowed on it. Perhaps the piece here exhibited has merit infufficient

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