Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

The line of succession does not cease with Shakespeare. We have still to name Pericles, Prince of Tyre, a novel by George Wilkins, printed in 1608, and having curious relations to the Shakespearean play. It was reprinted by Tycho Mommsen, under the title, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. A Novel by George Wilkins, printed in 1608, and founded upon Shakespeare's Play. Edited by Professor Tycho Mommsen. With a Preface by J. Payne Collier, Esq. Oldenburg, 1857." Shakespeare's plays were often founded upon novels, notably upon those of Cinthio and Bandello; this is the first instance of a novel being founded upon a Shakespearian play. Collier told Mommsen that there was only one copy of Wilkins' novel in England. He cited the title-page as follows: The Painful Adventures of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Being the true history of the play of Pericles as it was lately presented by the worthy and ancient poet, John Gower, at London. Printed by T. P. [avier ?] for Nat. Butter,' 1608.” It is in quarto and consists of forty leaves. In the centre of the title-page is a wood-cut of John Gower, attired in a theatre cloak, with a staff in one hand and a bunch of bays in the other; before him, upon a desk, lies a copy of Confessio Amantis. In “The Argument of the whole Historie,” with which the book begins, the reader is entreated “to receive this Historie in the same maner as it was under the habite of ancient Gower, the famous English Poet, by the King's Maiesties Players excellently presented.”

Another copy was found in Zurich, which had belonged to the Swiss poet, Martin Usteri (1741–1827), a minor writer who had composed some lines in the style of Herrick:

“ Freut euch des Lebens

Weil noch das Lämpchen glüht,
Pflücket die Rosen
Eh sie verblüht."

It was this copy that Prof. Mommsen reprinted. The contents of the novel we will consider when we discuss the stability of the saga.

Other late reappearances of the story are in Davenport, who uses the brothel scene, and in the Dutch play, Alexander and Lodwick, Amsterdam, 1618, supposed to be an adaptation of a

1 It was for Nathaniel Butter that the first and second quartos of King Lear (1608) were printed.

THE Painfull Aduentures

of Pericles Prince of

Tyre.

Being The truc HiRory of the Play of Pericles, as i was latciy presented by the worthy andan

cient Poco John Gower.

[blocks in formation]

Printed by T.P.for Nat:Butter,

lost play by Martin Slaughter, that was performed for Henslowe in 1597-8. We have also hints of it in Randolph's Oratio Prevaricatoria, 1632, and Hey for Honesty (1636?). It is curious in the last-named work to notice that Randolph slaps Shakespeare for his “greed," to use a harsh word that became agreeable to the tongue of R. G. White after he had lost his early enthusiasm for Shakespeare, and when he was editing the Riverside edition.

George Lillo has a play entitled Marina, dedicated to the Right Honourable the Countess of Hertford." The Prologue" distinguishes between Shakespeare's part in Pericles and that of an inferior hand, and thus “strove to wake, by Shakespeare's nervous lays, the manly genius of Eliza's days."

Prologue.
Hard is the task, in this discerning age,
To find new subjects that will bear the stage;
And bold our bards, their low harsh strains to bring
Where Avon's swan has long been heard to sing ;
Blest parent of our scene! whose matchless wit,
Tho' yearly reap'd, is our best harvest yet.
Well may that genius every heart command,
Who drew all nature with her own strong hand;
As various, as harmonious, fair and great,
With the same vigour and immortal heat,
As thro' each element and form she shines :
We view heav'ns hand-maid in her Shakespeare's lines.
Though some mean scenes, injurious to his fame,
Have long usurp'd the honour of his name;
To glean and clear from chaff his least remains,
Is just to him, and richly worth our pains,
We dare not charge the whole unequal play
Of Pericles on him; yet let us say,
As gold though mix'd with baser matter shines,
So do his bright inimitable lines
Throughout those rude wild scenes distinguish'd stand,
And shew he touch'd them with no sparing hand.
With humor mix'd in your fore-fathers way,
We've to a single tale reduc'd our play.
Charming Marina's wrongs begin the scene;
Pericles finding her with his lost queen,
Concludes the pleasing task. Shou'd as the soul,
The fire of Shakespeare animate the whole,
Shou'd heights, which none but he cou'd reach, appear,
To little errors do not prove severe.

If, when in pain for the event, surprise
And sympathetic joy shou'd fill your eyes;
Do not repine that so you crown an art,
Which gives such sweet emotions to the heart:
Whose pleasures, so exalted in their kind,

Do, as they charm the sense, improve the mind." In Lillo's play the story is told in three acts. Naturally several of the dramatis persone of the first act disappear; King Antiochus and his daughter, King Simonides, Lychorida, the nurse of Marina, and Cerimon and Philemon are not to be found. Escanes alone attends upon Pericles. In place of Cleon and Dionysa, Philoten appears as Queen of Tharsus; Shakespeare's Valdes is refashioned as chief of the pirates; Lysimachus appears as governor of Ephe. sus, and the scene is transferred from Mitylene to Ephesus. Lillo begins with Shakespeare's fourth act, in which Marina first appears.

The reader is referred for an analysis of the plot of Marina to Shakespeare's Pericles " und George Lillo's Marina" von Dr. Paul von Hofmann-Wellenhof, Wien, 1885, pp. 13-21.

SHAKE

ARE'S “PERICLES PRINCE OF Tyre."

The first mention of Shakespeare's Pericles is in the Stationers' Register, under date of May 20, 1608 :

“ Edward Blount entred for his copie under thandes of Sir George Buck Knight and Master Warden Seton a booke called The booke of Pericles prince of Tyre" (Arber's Transcript, iii, 378). It appears to have been produced in 1607 or 1608. In Pimlyco or Runne Redcap, the extant copies dating from 1609, but originally produced, according to Warton, in 1596, occurs the following reference to Pericles :

" Amazde I stood, to see a crowd

Of Civill Throats stretched out so loud;
(As at a new-play) all the Roomes
Did swarme with Gentiles mix'd with Groomes,
So that I truly thought all these

Came to see Shore or Pericles," F. G. Fleay is inclined to think that the play was performed earlier than 1607. He fancies a resemblance between Act iii, Scene ii, of Pericles (the restoration to life of Thaisa) and a scene of sham restoration in The Puritan, a play acted in 1606. quite probable, however, that the likeness is accidental. The pop

ularity of the play is apparently attested by Robert Tailor in The Hogge hath lost his Pearle (1614):

“If it prove so happy as to please

Weele say 'tis fortunate like Pericles." Richard Brathwaite, in his Strappado for the Diuell (1615), mentions “valiant Boults," who might therefore be a popular stage character. The story itself was declaimed against by the judicious. Chaucer assumed indignation at the publication of the story by Gower, and denounced Apollonius as “ so horrible a tale for to rede.” Owen Feltham, in Lusoria (1661), has the line :

displease as deep as Pericles.And in like spirit Ben Jonson in his ode, Come Leave the Lothed Stage (1638), complains of “Some mouldy tale like Pericles.Neither is the contemporary allusion to the success of the play all of one mind. Jo: Tatham, in verses prefixed to R. Brome's Joviall Crew (1652), says:

“ There is a Faction (Friend) in Town, that cries,

Down with the Dagon-Poet, Johnson dies.
Beaumont and Fletcher (they say) perhaps, might
Passe (well) for current Coin, in a dark night:
But Shakespeare the Plebeian Driller, was
Founder'd in 's Pericles, and must not pass.
And so, at all men flie, that have but been
Thought worthy of applause."

On the other hand, Dryden (in 1672), in his Prologue to The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards, speaking of the early plays as notable for “ some ridiculous incoherent story, which, in one play, many times took up the business of an age,” supposes he need not name Pericles, Prince of Tyre nor the historical plays of Shakespeare."

In June, 1631, the play was performed on a special occasion, and the receipts, £3.10, taken at the Globe, were paid to Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, " for a gratuity for the liberty gain'd unto them of playinge, upon the cessation of the plague." Halliwell-Phillipps printed “a copy of a letter of News, written to Sir Dudley Carleton, at the Hague, May 24, 1619, containing a curious account of the Performance of the Drama of Pericles at the English Court. Printed anno domini 1865.” [This performance of the play at court probably led to the publication of the fourth

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »