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PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
PERICLES, Prince of Tyre, was entered on the Stationers' books May 2, 1608, by Edward Blount, and was printed in the following year, by Henry Gosson. The text of this play, so printed, is corruption itself; and despite the infinite pains that have since been bestowed upon it, that text still remains, in all probability, far from accurate. As to the authorship of the play, though its position in this edition of Shakspeare indicates that the parentage has been doubted, yet the balance of criticism appears favourable to its claim upon the great poet to what extent, is another question. Aulus Gellius tells us that several plays are ascribed absolutely to Plautus, which he merely repolished and retouched; and this, no doubt, was the case with Shakspeare. This, at all events, is certain, that the play was extremely successful on the stage.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
ANTIOCHUS, King of Antioch.
SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis.
CERIMON, a Lord of Ephesus.
A PANDER, and his WIFE.
LORDS, LADIES, KNIGHTS, GEN-
SCENE.-Dispersedly in various countries.*
Before the Palace of Antioch.
To sing a song of old was sung,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
On Ember-eves, and Holy ale;†
And lords and ladies of their lives
* 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; Tarsus, the metropolis of Cilicia, a country of Asia Minor; Mitylene, the capital of Lesbos, an island in the Egean Sea; and Ephesus, the capital of Ionia country of the Lesser Asia.
† Whitsuntide, &c.
If you, born in these latter times,
(I tell you what mine authors say):
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
SCENE I-Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large received
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence
To knit in her their best perfections.
Enter the DAUGHTER of ANTIOCHUS.
Per. See, where she comes, apparell'd like the spring, Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
Pointing to the palace gate at Antioch, on which the heads of these unfortunate wights were fixed.
Of every virtue gives renown to men!
Her face, the book of praises, where is read
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance pale,
Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught
And by those fearful objects to prepare
For death remember'd, should be like a mirror,
Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling woe,
And all good men, as every prince should do;
[To the DAUGHTER of ANTIOCHUS.
Thus ready for the way of life or death,
Ant. Read the conclusiont then;
Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed,
As these before thee thou thyself shalt bleed.
Daugh. In all, save that, mayst thou prove prosperous!
In all, save that, I wish thee happiness!
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists,
* Companion of her mildness.
+ Experiment, riddle.