« PředchozíPokračovat »
"O Chiron, tell me, firft, art thou indeede the man
Again, in George Gascoigne's Steele Glas:
"Pericles ftands in rancke amongst the rest."
"Pericles was a famous man of warre."
Such therefore was the poetical pronunciation of this proper name, in the age of Shakspeare. The addrefs of Perfius to a youthful orator-Magni pupille Pericli, is familiar to the ear of every claffical reader.
By fome of the observations scattered over the following pages, it will be proved that the illegitimate Pericles occafionally adopts not merely the ideas of Sir Philip's heroes, but their very words and phrafeology. All circumftances therefore confidered, it is not improbable that our author defigned his chief character to be called Pyrocles, not Pericles, however ignorance or accident might have fhuffled the latter (a name of almoft fimilar found) into the place of the former. The true name, when once corrupted or changed in the theatre, was effectually withheld from the publick; and every commentator on this play agrees in a belief that it must have been printed by means of a copy "far as Deucalion off" from the manufcript which had received Shakspeare's revifal and improvement. STEEVENS.
* Such a theatrical mistake will not appear improbable to the reader who recollects that in the fourth fcene of the firft A&t of The Third Part of King Henry VI. inftead of " tigers of Hircania," the players have given us— "tigers of Arcadia." Inftead of " an Até," in King John," an ace." Inftead of "Panthino," in The Two Gentlemen of Verona," Panthion." Inftead of "Polydore," in Cymbeline,—“ Paladour" was continued through all the editions till that of 1773.
Antiochus, King of Antioch.
Helicanus,} two Lords of Tyre.
Simonides, King of Pentapolis.'
Thaliard, a Lord of Antioch.
Philemon, Servant to Cerimon.
Leonine, Servant to Dionyza. Marshall.
A Pandar, and his Wife. Boult, their Servant. Gower, as Chorus.
The Daughter of Antiochus. Dionyza, Wife to Cleon.
Marina, Daughter to Pericles and Thaifa.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates,
SCENE, difperfedly in various Countries.
Pentapolis.] This is an imaginary city, and its name might have been borrowed from fome romance. We meet indeed in hiftory with Pentapolitana regio, a country in Africa, confifting of five cities; and from thence perhaps fome novellift furnished the founding title of Pentapolis, which occurs likewise in the 37th chapter of Kyng Appolyn of Tyre, 1510, as well as in Gower, the Gefta Romanorum, and Twine's tranflation from it.
It should not, however, be concealed, that Pentapolis is also found in an ancient map of the world, MS. in the Cotton Library, British Museum, Tiberius, B. V.
That the reader may know through how many regions the fcene of this drama is dispersed, it is neceffary to observe that Antioch was the metropolis of Syria; Tyre, a city of Phoenicia in Afia; Tarfus, the metropolis of Cilicia, a country of Afia Minor; Mitylene, the capital of Lefbos, an ifland in the Ægean Sea; and Ephefus, the capital of Ionia, a country of the Leffer Afia. STEEVENS.
PRINCE OF TYRE.
Before the Palace of ANTIOCH.
To fing a fong of old was fung,2
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
On ember-eves, and holy ales ;4
of old was fung,] I do not know that old is by any author used adverbially. We might read:
To fing a fong of old was fung,
i. e. that of old &c.
But the poet is fo licentious in the language which he has at tributed to Gower in this piece, that I have not ventured to make any change. Malone.
I have adopted Mr. Malone's emendation, which was evidently wanted. STEEVENS.
3 Gower is come ;] The defect of metre (sung and come being no rhymes) points out, in my opinion, that we should read:
From afhes ancient Gower's fprung;
alluding to the restoration of the Phoenix. STEEVENS.
4 It hath been fung at feftivals,
On ember-eves, and holy-ales ;] i. e, fays Dr. Farmer, by
And lords and ladies of their lives $
whom this emendation was made, church-ales. The old copy has-holy days. Gower's fpeeches were certainly intended to rhyme throughout. MALONE.
S of their lives-] The old copies read-in their lives. The emendation was fuggefted by Dr. Farmer. MALONE. 6 'Purpose to make men glorious; &c.] Old copy:
The purchase is to make men glorious; &c. STEEVENS. There is an irregularity of metre in this couplet. The fame variation is obfervable in Macbeth:
"I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Upon a difmal and a fatal end."
The old copies read-The purchafe &c. Mr. Steevens fuggefted this emendation. MALONE.
Being now convinced that all the irregular lines detected in The Midfummer-Night's Dream, Macbeth, and Pericles, have been prolonged by interpolations which afford no additional beauties, I am become more confident in my attempt to mend the paffage before us. Throughout this play it fhould feem to be a very frequent practice of the reciter, or tranfcriber, to fupply words which, for fome foolish reafon or other, were fuppofed to be wanting. Untkilled in the language of poetry, and more especially in that which was clouded by an affectation of antiquity, thefe ignorant people regarded many contractions and ellipfes, as indications of fomewhat accidentally omitted; and while they inferted only monofyllables or unimportant words in imaginary vacancies, they conceived themselves to be doing little mischief. Liberties of this kind must have been taken with the piece under confideration. The meafure of it is too regular and harmonious in many places, for us to think it was utterly neglected in the reft. As this play will never be received as the entire compofition of Shakspeare, and as violent diforders require medicines of proportionable violence, I have been by no means férupulous in ftriving to reduce the metre to that exactness which I fuppofe it originally to have poffeffed. Of the fame licenfe I fhould not have availed myself, had I been employed on any of the undifputed dramas of our author. Thofe experiments which we are forbidden to perform on living fubjects, may properly be attempted on dead ones, among which our Pericles may be reck
If you, born in these latter times,
oned; being dead, in its prefent form to all purposes of the stage, and of no very promising life in the closet.
The purpose is to make men glorious,
Et bonum quo antiquius eo melius.] The original saying is— Bonum quo communius, eo melius.
As I fuppofe thefe lines, with their context, to have originally ftood as follows, I have fo given them :
And lords and ladies, of their lives
Have read it as restoratives:
This innovation may seem to introduce obfcurity; but in huddling words on each other, without their neceffary articles and prepofitions, the chief skill of our prefent imitator of antiquated rhyme appears to have confifted.
Again, old copy:
"This Antioch then, Antiochus the great
"Built up; this city, for his chiefest seat."
I fuppofe the original lines were these, and as such have printed
"This city then, Antioch the great
"Built up for his chiefest seat.'
Another redundant line offers itfelf in the fame chorus:
"Bad child, worse father! to entice his own-"
which I also give as I conceive it to have originally stood, thus: "Bad father! to entice his own.
The words omitted are of little confequence, and the artificial comparison between the guilt of the parent and the child, has no resemblance to the fimplicity of Gower's narratives. The lady's frailty is fufficiently ftigmatized in the ensuing lines. See my further fentiments concerning the irregularities of Shakspeare's metre, in a note on The Tempest, Vol. IV. p. 72, n. 2; and again in Vol. X. 193, n. 1.
7 - for his chiefest feat;]
So, in Twine's tranflation :--