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edition of the play in that year.] In this little book, of which only twenty-five copies were printed and fifteen destroyed by Halliwell in his usual provoking fashion, we read : “ In the Kinges greate chamber they went to see the play of Pirracles, Prince of Tyre, which lasted till two o'clock. After two actes the playeres ceased till the French all refreshed them with sweetmeates brought on chynay voiders, and wyne and ale in bottelles. After the players begann anewe” (p. 11).
In recent times Pericles has rarely been acted. Alfred Meissner for a long time proclaimed that Pericles was the equal of Winter's Tale in its histrionic possibilities. His wish to see the play embodied in the German repertoire was finally realized. Possart produced it in Munich, October 20, 1882, and the magnificence of the acting and the stage appointments Meissner described with lively enthusiasm in the eighteenth volume of the Shakespeare Jahrbuch. The resuscitation scene and the storm scene seem to have impressed the audience greatly, and from the third act the spectators were irresistibly carried away.
Pericles was several times published in quarto before it appeared in a folio edition. The first and second quartos appeared in 1609, , the third in 1611, the fourth in 1619, the fifth in 1630 and the sixth in 1635. The play is not in the first or second folios, but is printed in the third folio (1664). That it was popularly ascribed to Shakespeare, however, there is sufficient evidence; as in Sheppard's The times displayed in six sestyads (1646) :
“ With Sophocles we may Compare great Shakespear Aristophanes
Never like him, his Fancy could display
Witness the Prince of Tyre, his Pericles. There is some doubt as to the priority of the two quartos of 1609. Both are in the British Museum, and both have been reproduced in facsimile by the Griggs process in the series of “Shakespeare quarto facsimiles."
Introductions to the two quartos were written by P. Z. Round of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, to whom I am indebted for many courtesies in my study of the quartos. The British Museum Catalogue names the C. 34, K. 36 copy the first quarto, and C. 12, H. 5 the second ; but the Cambridge editors
The play was performed to the accompaniment of music. Herman Merivale has also written some charming songs for Pericles.
reverse the order of the two, and Mr. Round agrees with them (see introduction to Q. 2, p. x).
The title-page is the same for all the quartos : “The Late, | And much admired Play, Called | Pericles, Prince | of Tyre with the true Relation of the whole Historie, | Adventures, and fortunes of the said Prince : | As also, | The no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and Life, of his Daughter | Mariana. | As it hath been divers and sundry times acted by
| his Maiesties seruants, at the Globe on the Banck-side | By William Shakespeare | Imprinted at London for Henry Gosson and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in | Pater-noster ro &c 1609."
It will be observed that the publishers call Pericles "a late and much admired play." The only hesitation in believing the play to be of 1608 arises from the allusion in Edward Alleyn's Memoirs to the use of “spangled hose in Pericles," which may refer to an earlier play of the same title.
Dryden in the Prologue to Davenant's Circe 1684, excused the blemishes in Pericles on the ground of its being the first heir of Shakespeare's invention:
Shakespeare's own muse her Pericles first bore,
The prince of Tyre was elder than the Moore." There is a discussion of the date and authorship of the play in the Jahrbuch d. deut. Shak.-Gesellschaft, Vol. iii, in an article by Delius.
Prior to 1890 the British Museum copy (imperfect) of the third quarto’ (1611) was believed to be unique. A perfect copy owned by Morris Jonas was described in Notes and Queries, August 2, 1890. I have collated this copy with Q. 1, and find very few im
1 A. H. Bullen ( The Athenæum, Sept. 21, 1878) directed attention to an early reference to a passage of Pericles found in Law Tricks a play by John Day:
Joculo: But, Madam, do you remember what a multitude of fishes we saw at sea ? And I do wonder how they can all live by one another.
Emilia : Why, foole, as men do on the land, the great ones eate up the little ones (Sig. B3, recto).
Cf. the fisherman's colloquy in Pericles, ii, 1 :
? The British Museum copy lacks leaves D2 and D3 ( 27–30) of the facsimile of Qi.
portant differences. The changes are chiefly in spelling and in punctuation.
The fourth quarto (1619) was probably published in consequence of the revival of interest in Pericles owing to the performance of the play at court.
No Shakespearian play, save one or two Histories, was so many times printed in quarto. Sir William Davenant's company acted the play between 1660 and 1671, and, according to Downes, “Roscius Anglicanus,” Pericles was a favorite part with Betterton.
Why did not John Heminge and Henry Condell see fit to include Pericles in the first folio ? The attempt to answer the question opens the whole problem of Shakespeare's part in the authorship of the play. Its first appearance in folio is in 1664, and the editors of that edition seem to have used the quarto of 1635 (this is the opinion of the Cambridge editors).
Three theories concerning the authorship of Pericles have received the critical attention of Shakespearian scholars. According to the first theory, Shakespeare is the sole author of Pericles but the play combines two periods of his life. In other words, it was taken up, as Staunton believed, soon after its appearance in 1590 and experimented upon by Shakespeare in his youth; then from some inexplicable cause it was cast aside, only to be resumed and completed after a lapse of twenty years. Malone, who advanced this hypothesis, afterwards abandoned it. Charles Knight restated it, but, in defiance of the contemporary accounts of it as a “new play" in 1608, insisted upon its having been acted at the outset of Shakespeare's career. If it had been played so early would Meres have forgotten to mention it when he named Shakespeare's plays in 1598? Prof. Paul Stapfer, the learned author of Shakspere et l'Antiquité, a work crowned by the French Academy, is a believer in this theory, drawn to it, I think, by his friend Hugo the Younger whose opinion he quotes.
Now can we hazard a conjecture as to why Shakespeare in his age dipped his arm into his wallet and fumbled about after this relic of his immaturity? Gervinus suggests that Shakespeare may have chosen it in order to give his friend Burbage the admirable title rôle. But Burbage's time of flourishing is identical with Shakespeare's maturity, and Gervinus could not believe that at that period Shakespeare could have written a play, so faulty both in plot
and style. Of course on the Stapfer-Hugo-Malone supposition it is easy to believe that Shakespeare dipped into his portfolio for a roughly sketched play that would answer his friend's desire and suit his capabilities.
The second hypothesis was the suggestion of Steevens and was upheld by Hallam and Collier. It asserts that Shakespeare adopted, as he so often did in his first period of apprenticeship, the work of another playwright, improved it, rewrote the last scenes, and put it upon the stage in 1608.
Shakespeare is believed to have been for some years a writer for the Lord Chamberlain's company.
We know that he revised old plays and collaborated with unknown poets in the preparation of new ones. We know, too, that the various features of Shakespeare's art did not crystallize immediately into a personal and unmistakable manner. He was long a rhymster and a euphuist, plucking and checking at many things in his period of tentative endeavor, while his great predecessor, Marlowe, pursued his lonely and original road with invincible independence. We are bound, therefore, when a play comes to us with the name of Shakespeare upon it to weigh it to the uttermost scruple, for there is always a possibility that Shakespeare had a hand in it, either by way of trial, or in assisting another, or in introducing some felicitous touch into a work he was preparing for his own theatre. Because a play is not in the first folio is not conclusive witness against its genuineness; it may have been impossible to secure the play owing to the stubborn rights of some bookseller. Nor on the other hand does the appearance of Shakespeare's name upon a quarto play argue necessarily the authenticity of the play. Literary pirates abounded in the "spacious days of great Elizabeth,” and the products of the stage were often stolen by shorthand writers for publishers who were “just right enough to claim a doubtful right."
There are many possibilities in the case of a dubious play. It may be a worthy work slightly retouched and heightened by the poet; such plays are the second and third parts of Henry VI. It may be an old piece entirely rewritten; such an one is Romeo and Juliet. It may be one in which Shakespeare wrought in concert with a fellow-author, and here we have for examples Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen. It may be trial work rejected by Shakespeare and completed by an inferior hand. And it may be an old piece into which Shakespeare has
worked new scenes. It is in accordance with this last thought that Stapfer and Hugo would explain Pericles. It is as if Shakespeare had thrown a giant's robe over the dwarfish limbs of the beggarly verse.
There is still another banditti of troubles ambushed for the unwary scholar ; frequently playwrights of an inferior order so catch the secret of a master's manner that they counterfeit it exactly. The voice may be the voice of Shakespeare, but the thought is the thought of Wilkins or Rowley! Hence arises a dual possibility in a line that has the Shakespearean ring, but a suspicious poverty or flatness of meaning; it may be an authentic but juvenile expression, or it may be a clever counterfeit. There is the notable instance of Edward III, where some cunning hand has caught the style of both Marlowe and Shakespeare and blended them with singular vividness and vigor.
The third hypothesis is that proposed by Mr. F. G. Fleay. He undertakes to invert Steevens' supposition; that is, he gives to Shakespeare the original writing of the last three acts, subtracting Gower's part and the brothel scene. This outline, according to Fleay, was filled out by another poet of the company with the result which we know.
There has been a great throwing about of brains over the determination of the chronology of Shakespeare's plays. In some vain hope of approaching nearer to the personal life of Shakespeare, the scholars of the Shakespearean Guild have occupied their wit and ingenuity in dividing the poet's career into definitely marked periods, and seeking for a parallel between the works of each period and the events, ascertained or imaginary, of Shakespeare's life. The old Shakespeare Society, represented by Halliwell, Thom, Dyce, Collier and Peter Cunningham, scrutinized Elizabethan documents for every rag and remnant of external evi. dence bearing upon dramatic history. When in 1874 the New Shaks. pere Society was founded, an original method of inquiry into questions of chronology and authorship was instituted. Mr. Hales, in two lectures upon the occasion of the founding of the society by Mr. F. J. Furnivall, that indefatigable king of clubs, defined seven tests for determining the growth of Shakespeare's mind and art from the witness of the plays themselves : (1) external evidence, (2) historical allusions, (3) changes of metre, (4) changes of language and style, (5) power of characterization, (6) dramatic unity, (7) knowl.