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bearing indisputable testimony to the genius and execution of the great master." *
"The most corrupt of Shakspeare's other dramas, compared with Pericles, is purity itself. The metre is seldom attended to; verse is frequently printed as prose, and the grossest errors abound in every page. I mention these circumstances only as an apology to the reader for having taken somewhat more license with this drama than would have been justifiable if the old copies had been less disfigured by the negligence and ignorance of the printer or transcriber.”—Malone.
* Shakspeare and his Times, by Dr. Drake, vol. ii. p. 262 and seq.
ANTIOCHUS, King of Antioch.
SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis.*
The Daughter of Antiochus.
MARINA, Daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates,
SCENE, dispersedly in various Countries.t
We meet with Pentapolitana regio, a country in Africa, consisting of five cities. Pentapolis occurs in the thirty-seventh chapter of King Appolyn of Tyre, 1510; in Gower; the Gesta Romanorum; and Twine's translation from it. Its site is marked in an ancient map of the world, MS. in the Cotton Library, Brit. Mus. Tiberius, b. v. In the original Latin romance of Apollonius Tyrius, it is most accurately called Pentapolis Cyrenorum, and was, as both Strabo and Ptolemy inform us, a district of Cyrenaica in Africa, comprising five cities, of which Cyrene was one.
That the reader may know through how many regions the scene of this drama is dispersed, it is necessary to observe that Antioch was the metropolis of Syria; Tyre, a city of Phoenicia, in Asia; Tharsus, the metropolis of Cilicia, a country of Asia Minor; Mitylene, the capital of Lesbos, an island in the Ægean sea; and Ephesus, the capital of Ionia, a country of the Lesser Asia.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
Before the Palace of Antioch.
To sing a song that old 2 was sung,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
On ember-eves, and holy ales;
The purchase is to make men glorious;
(I tell you what mine authors say ;)
1 Chorus, in the character of Gower, an ancient English poet, who has related the story of this play in his Confessio Amantis.
2 i. e. that of old.
3 That is, says Dr. Farmer, by whom this emendation was made, churchales. The old copy has "holy days."
4 "The purchase" is the reading of the old copy, which Steevens changed to purpose. The word purchase was anciently used to signify gain, profit; any good or advantage obtained.
This king unto him took a pheere,1
Bad child, worse father! to entice his own
By custom what they did begin,
So for her many a wight did die,
SCENE I. Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.
Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large received
The danger of the task you undertake.
1 Wife; the word signifies a mate or companion.
2 i. e. completely beautiful.
3 Account for accounted.
4 i. e. shape or direct their course thither.
5 "To keep her still to himself, and to deter others from demanding her in marriage."
6 Gower must be supposed to point to the scene of the palace gate at Antioch, on which the heads of those unfortunate wights were fixed.
7 Which (the judgment of your eye) best can justify, i. e. prove its resemblance to the ordinary course of nature.
8 By prince, throughout this play, we are to understand prince regnant.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Imboldened with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprise.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,1 For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reigned, Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,)2 The senate-house of planets all did sit. To knit in her their best perfections.
Enter the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
Per. See, where she comes, apparelled like the spring,
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
1 In the old copy this line stands :—
"Music, bring in our daughter clothed like a bride." Malone thinks it a marginal direction inserted in the text by mistake. Mr. Boswell thinks it only an Alexandrine.
2 The words whose and her refer to the daughter of Antiochus.
3 The Graces are her subjects, and her thoughts the sovereign of every virtue that gives renown to men.".
4 By "her mild companion" "the companion of her mildness" is meant. 5 Hesperides is here taken for the name of the garden in which the golden apples were kept; as we find it in Love's Labor's Lost, Act iv.