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The gates shut on me, and turned weeping out,
Of this was Tamora delivered;
Now you have heard the truth, what say you, Romans?
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down,'
Emil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome, And bring our emperor gently in thy hand, Lucius our emperor; for, well I know, The common voice do cry, it shall be so.
Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's royal emperor !
1 i. e. we, the poor remainder, &c. will cast us down.
LUCIUS, &c. descend.
Mar. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house;
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's gracious governor!
Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans. May I govern so, To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe! But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,For nature puts me to a heavy task ;Stand all aloof,-but, uncle, draw you near, To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.O, take this warm kiss on thy pale, cold lips,
[Kisses TITUS. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stained face, The last true duties of thy noble son!
Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;
Boy. O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart Would I were dead, so you did live again!— O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping; My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth.
Enter Attendants, with AARON.
1 Rom. You sad Andronici, have done with woes; Give sentence on this execrable wretch, That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Luc. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him ;
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Aar. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
Luc. Some loving friends convey the
No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds,
ALL the editors and critics agree in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the color of the style is wholly different from that of the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre which are here exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we are told by Jonson that they were not only borne, but praised. That Shakspeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it incontestable, I see no reason for believing.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
MR. DOUCE observes that "the very great popularity of this play in former times may be supposed to have originated from the interest which the story must have excited. To trace the fable beyond the period in which the favorite romance of Apollonius Tyrius was composed, would be a vain attempt: that was the probable original; but of its author nothing decisive has been discovered. Some have maintained that it was originally written in Greek, and translated into Latin by a Christian about the time of the decline of the Roman empire; others have given it to Symposius, a writer whom they place in the eighth century, because the riddles which occur in the story are to be found in a work entitled Symposii Enigmata. It occurs in that storehouse of popular fiction, the Gesta Romanorum, and its antiquity is sufficiently evinced by the existence of an Anglo-Saxon version, mentioned in Wanley's list, and now in Bene't College, Cambridge. One Constantine is said to have translated it into modern Greek verse, about the year 1500, (this is probably the MS. mentioned by Dufresne in the index of authors appended to his Greek Glossary,) and afterwards printed at Venice in 1563. It had been printed in Latin prose, at Augsburg, in 1471, which is probably as early as the first dateless impression of the Gesta Romanorum.*
A very curious fragment of an old metrical romance on the subject, was in the collection of the late Dr. Farmer, and is now in my possession. This we have the authority of Mr. Tyrwhitt for placing at an earlier period than the time of Gower. The fragment consists of two leaves of parchment, which had been converted into the cover of a book, for which purpose its edges were cut off, some words entirely lost, and the whole has suffered so much by time as to be scarcely legible. Yet I have considered it so curious a relic of our early poetry and language, that I have bestowed some pains in deciphering what remains, and have given a specimen or two in the notes toward the close of the play. I will here exhibit a further portion, comprising the name of the writer, who appears to have been Thomas Vicary, of Winborn Minster, in Dorsetshire. The portion I have given will continue the story of Apollonius (the Pericles of the play):
Wit hys wyf in gret solas
He lyvede after this do was,
"Towards the latter end of the twelfth century, Godfrey of Viterbo, in his Pantheon, or Universal Chronicle, inserted this romance as part of the history of the third Antiochus, about two hundred years before Christ. It begins thus [MS. Reg. 14. c. xi.] ;
Filia Seleuci stat clara decore
Matreque defunctâ pater arsit in ejus amore
The rest is in the same metre, with one pentameter only to two hexameters."-Tyrwhitt.
And had twey sones by iunge age
best sone of that empire
Of Cirenen th' was
That cherysed hem wit oute trespace
have ytake hys bedys on hond
In to the blysse of heuene to dwelle,
Amen pr Charite.
Explicit APPOLONI TYRUS REX nobilis & v'tuosus, &c.
This story is also related by Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, lib. vii. p. 175-185, edit. 1554. Most of the incidents of the play are found in his