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Queen. And his acknowledged play, The Miseries of Enforced Marriage (1603), though totally unlike Pericles in plot (it is founded on the contemporary history of a Yorkshire family), has in common with it some tricks of metre, especially (as Delius noticed) the use of rhymes promiscuously interspersed in the midst of blank verse, even in verse-speeches which themselves alternate with prose. Cf. e.g. Pericles' dialogue with the fishermen in ii. 1., and the dialogues between Ilford and Scarborow, Ilford and the Clown (Miseries of Enforced Marriage, in HazlittDodsley, ix. 492, 493).

But the suggestion that the publication of the First Quarto of Pericles was an act of reprisal by Shakespeare's company is wholly unwarranted. For the state of the text leaves no doubt that it was published surreptitiously from a copy less authentic than that on which Wilkins himself had based his paraphrase.

Pericles was surpassed by few of Shakespeare's Later Litermost authentic plays in popularity. In 1609 an ary History anonymous satirist compared a crowd of outstretched throats to an audience come 'to see Shore or Pericles.'1 The name of Pericles became a by-word for good fortune,2 and Boult seems, like Pandarus, to have given a new sobriquet to his class.3

But the immense vogue of Pericles was chiefly among the populace of all ranks. Grave and scholarly persons resented its monstrous defects as a drama, as well as its pardonable if not legitimate grossness and presently their voices began to be heard. Jonson, smarting from the derisive rejection

1 Pimlyco, or Runne RedCap, 1609 (cf. Cent. of Shakespeare's Praise, p. 89).

2 "

Fortunate like Pericles';

Taylor's The Hogg hath lost his
Pearle, 1614 (ib. p. 107).

3 Barthwaite, Strappado for
the Divell, 1615 (ib. p. 113).

of his The New Inn (1629), turned savagely upon the 'mouldy tale' which it was still a safe venture to perform; and even Owen Feltham's Reply seems to admit that there were many whom Pericles 'deeply displeased.' After the Restoration it passed from the stage, on account of its offences against art rather than against decency, though its grossness was of too primitive a type to please the contemporaries of Etherege. Dryden singles it out, with the English histories collectively, as a type of the 'ridiculous incoherent story which in one play many times took up the business of an age'; and in an unfortunate, but often-quoted, line used it to illustrate the contention that no first plays are good, since

Shakespeare's own Muse his Pericles first bore.

In our own time it has, somewhat tardily, shared in the heightened repute of the Romances.



Enter GOWER.

Before the palace of Antioch.

To sing a song that old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
Assuming man's infirmities,

To glad your ear, and please your eyes.

It hath been sung at festivals,

On ember-eves and holy-ales;

And lords and ladies in their lives

Have read it for restoratives :

The purchase is to make men glorious;
Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius
If you, born in these latter times,
When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes,
And that to hear an old man sing
May to your wishes pleasure bring,
I life would wish, and that I might
Waste it for you, like taper-light.
This Antioch, then, Antiochus the Great

1. old, of old; apparently intended for an archaism.

6. ember-eves, the eves of


9. purchase, gain, profit.
16. Waste, spend.

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Built up, this city, for his chiefest seat;
The fairest in all Syria,

I tell you what mine authors say:
This king unto him took a fere,
Who died and left a female heir,
So buxom, blithe, and full of face,
As heaven had lent her all his grace;
With whom the father liking took,
And her to incest did provoke:

Bad child; worse father! to entice his own
To evil should be done by none:
But custom what they did begin
Was with long use account no sin.
The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
In marriage-pleasures play-fellow :
Which to prevent he made a law,
To keep her still, and men in awe,
That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life :
So for her many a wight did die,

As yon grim looks do testify.

What now ensues, to the judgement of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify.


SCENE I. Antioch. A room in the palace.



Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large received

21. fere, mate.

29, 30. The confused syntax of this couplet is probably due to the writer. Malone proposed




By custom, which only emphasises its apparent tautology. 32. frame, betake them. selves.

The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and, with a soul
Embolden'd with the glory of her praise,
Think death no hazard in this enterprise.

Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,

For the embracements even of Jove himself;
At whose conception, till Lucina reign'd,
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,
The senate-house of planets all did sit,
To knit in her their best perfections.

Music. Enter the Daughter of Antiochus. Per. See where she comes, apparell'd like the spring,

Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
Of every virtue gives renown to men !

Her face the book of praises, where is read
Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence
Sorrow were ever razed, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.
You gods that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflamed desire in my breast
To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Or die in the adventure, be my helps,
As I am son and servant to your will,
To compass such a boundless happiness!
Ant. Prince Pericles,-

Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd;
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard :

6. Bring in our daughter. Qq and Ff prefix Music' to these words, as a part of the speech. Malone distinguished

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'Music' as a stage direction; and Dyce transferred it to v. II. 8. till Lucina reign'd, until

her birth.


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