Henry Goffon; who had probably anticipated the other, by getting a hafty tranfcript from a playhoufe copy. There is, I believe, no play of our author's, perhaps I might fay, in the English language, fo incorrect 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 an apology to the reader for having taken fomewhat more licence with this 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 tranfcriber. 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 arose from its having been frequently exhibited on the itage. In the four quarto editions it is called the much admired play of PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE; and it 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 ftood, 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 see Shore or Pericles."

In a former edition of this play I faid, on the authority of another perfon, that this pamphlet had appeared in 1596; but I have fince met with the piece itself, 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 loft his Pearl, 1614, likewife exhibits a proof of this play's uncommon fuccefs. The poet, fpeaking of his piece, fays:

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if it prove fo happy as to pleafe,

"We'll fay, 'tis fortunate, like Pericles."

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

An obfcure poet, however, in 1652, infinuates that this drama was ill received, or at least 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."

Verfes by J. Tatham, prefixed to Richard Brome's
Jovial Crew, or the Merry Beggars, 4to. 1652

The paffages above quoted how that little credit is to be given to the affertion contained in thefe lines; yet they furnish us with an additional proof that Pericles, at no very diftant period after Shakspeare's death, was confidered as unquestionably his performance.

In The Times displayed in Six Seftiads, 4to. 1646, dedicated by S. Shephard to Philip Earl of Pembroke, p. 22, Seftiad VI. ftanza 9, the author thus fpeaks of our poet and the piece before us :

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

"He wrote of luftful Tarquin's rape, fhows he
"Did understand 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 Welfer, 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 ftrong 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 retranflated (if I may so speak) from the Latin-ano Aaliviny,s eis Pwμaïnny yλwooar. 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 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, inferted this romance as part of the hiftory of the third Antiochus, about 200 years before Christ. It begins thus [MS. Reg. 14, C. xi.] :

"Filia Seleuci regis ftat clara decore,

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Matreque defunctâ pater arfit in ejus amore.
"Res habet effectum, preffa puella dolet."

The reft is in the fame metre, with one pentameter only to two hexameters.

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.


Chaucer alfo refers to this story in The Man of Lawe's Prologue:

"Or elles of Tyrius Appolonius,

"How that the curfed king Antiochus
"Beraft his doughter of hire maidenhede,
"That is fo horrible a tale for to rede" &c.

There are three French tranflations of this tale, viz.—“ La Chronique d'Appollin, Roy de Thyr;" 4to. Geneva, bl. 1. no date; and Plaifante et agreable Hiftoire d'Appollonius Prince de Thyr en Affrique, et Roi d'Antioche; traduit par Gilles Corozet," 8vo, Paris, 1530 ;-and (in the feventh 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 fays:Ayant en main une hiftoire tiree du Grec, & icelle ancienne, comme aufli je l'ay recuellie d'un vieux livre écrit à la main" &c.

But the present ftory, as it appears in Belle-foreft's collection, (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 circumftances 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 MS. in which it appears.


Both editions of Twine's tranflation are now before me. mas Twine was the continuator of Phaer's Virgil, which was left imperfect 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 re-published in 1607, the play entered on the books of the Stationers' Company in 1608, and printed in 1609.

I must still 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 thofe defects in conftruction and harmony which have hitherto molefted the reader, why should not his progress be facilitated by fuch means, rather than by a wearifome appeal to remarks that

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difturb attention, and contribute to diminish whatever interest might otherwise have been awakened by the scenes before him? If any of the trivial fupplements, &c. introduced by the present editor are found to be needlefs or improper, let him be freely cenfured by his fucceffors, on the fcore of rafhiness or want of judgment. 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 feverest 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 aspires to rank with diamonds, fhould at least have a decent polifh be ftowed on it. Perhaps the piece here exhibited has merit infufficient to engage the extremeft vigilance of criticism. Let it on the whole, however, be rendered legible, before its value is eftimated, and then its minutiæ (if they deserve it) may become objects of contention. The old perplexed and vitiated copy of the play is by no means rare; and if the reader, like Pericles, fhould think himself qualified to evolve the intricacies of a riddle, be it remembered, that the editor is not an Antiochus, who would willingly fubject him to fuch a labour.

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That I might escape the charge of having attempted to conceal the liberties taken with this corrupted play, have I been thus ample in my confeffion. I am not confcious that in any other drama I have changed a word, or the position of a fyllable, without conftant and formal notice of fuch deviations from our author's text.

To these tedious prolegomena may I fubjoin that, in confequence of researches fuccefsfully urged by poetical antiquaries, I fhould exprefs no furprize if the very title of the piece before us were hereafter, on good authority, to be difcarded? Some lucky rummages among papers long hoarded up, have discovered as unexpected things as an author's own manufcript of an ancient play. That indeed of Tancred and Gifmund, a much older piece, (and differing in many parts from the copy printed in 1592) is now before me.

It is almost needless to observe that our dramatick Pericles has not the least resemblance to his historical namesake; though the adventures of the former are fometimes coincident with those of Pyrocles, the hero of Sidney's Arcadia; for the amorous, fugitive, fhipwrecked, mufical, tilting, despairing Prince of Tyre is an accomplished knight of romance, disguised under the name of a statesman,


"Whofe refiftlefs eloquence

"Wielded at will a fierce democratie,

"Shook th' arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece."

As to Sidney's Pyrocles,-Tros, Tyriufve,

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"The world was all before him, where to choofe

"His place of rest."

but Pericles was tied down to Athens, and could not be removed to a throne in Phoenicia. No poetick licence will permit a unique, claffical, and confpicuous name to be thus unwarrantably transferred. A Prince of Madagascar muft not be called Æneas, nor a Duke of Florence Mithridates; for fuch peculiar appellations would unfeasonably remind us of their great original poffeffors. The playwright who indulges himself in these wanton and injudicious vagaries, will always counteract his own purpose. Thus, as often as the appropriated name of Pericles occurs, it ferves but to expofe our author's grofs departure from established manners and hiftorick truth; for laborious fiction could not defignedly produce two perfonages more oppofite than the settled demagogue of Athens, and the vagabond Prince of Tyre.

It is remarkable, that many of our ancient writers were ambitious to exhibit Sidney's worthies on the stage; and when his fubordinate agents were advanced to fuch honour, how happened it that Pyrocles, their leader, fhould be overlooked? Mufidorus, (his companion,) Argalus and Parthenia, Phalantus and Eudora, Andromana, &c. furnished titles for different tragedies; and perhaps Pyrocles, in the prefent inftance, was defrauded of a like diftinction. The names invented or employed by Sidney, had once fuch popularity, that they were fometimes borrowed by poets who did not profess to follow the direct current of his fables, or attend to the strict prefervation of his characters. Nay, fo high was the credit of this romance, that many a fashionable word and glowing phrase selected from it, was applied, like a Promethean torch, to contemporary fonnets, and gave a tranfient life even to those dwarfish and enervate bantlings of the reluctant Mufe.

I must add, that the Appolyn of the Story-book and Gower, could have been rejected only to make room for a more favourite name; yet, however conciliating the name of Pyrocles might have been, that of Pericles could challenge no advantage with regard to general predilection.

I am aware, that a conclufive argument cannot be drawn from the falfe quantity in the second syllable of Pericles; and yet if the Athenian was in our author's mind, he might have been taught by repeated tranflations from fragments of fatiric poets in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch, to call his hero Pericles; as for inftance, in the following couplet:

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