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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.
two Lords of Tyre.
The Daughter of Antiochus.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates,
Fishermen, and Messengers, foc.
SCENE, dispersedly in various Countries.t
* We meet with Pentapolitana regio, a country in Africa, consisting of fire 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 Phænicia, 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 lonia, a country of the Lesser Asia.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
Enter Gower. Before the Palace of Antioch.
this city for his chiefest seat; The fairest in all Syria ; (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,
SCENE I. Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERIcles, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large re
ceived The danger of the task you
1 Wife; the word signifies a mate or companion.
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. [Music.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reigned, Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,)? The senate-house of planets all did sit. To knit in her their best perfections.
Enter the Daughter of Antiochus.
compass such a boundless happiness!
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,"
“ 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 6 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.