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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

The first edition of Pericles' appeared in 1609, under the following title :-" 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 bath been divers and sundry times acted [by] his Maiesties Seruants at the Globe on the Bank-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the sign of the Sunne in Paternoster-row, &c, 1609.” Other quarto editions appeared in 1611, in 1619, in 1630, and in 1635. The variations in these from the text of 1609 are very slight. In 1664 · Pericles' first appeared in the folio collection of Shakspere's works, being introduced into the third edition, whose title-page states" Unto this impression is added seven plays never before printed in folio."

We advocate the belief that ' Pyrocles,' or 'Pericles,' was a very early work of Shakspere, in some form, however different from that which we possess. That it was an early work we are constrained to believe; not from the evidence of particular passages, which may be deficient in power or devoid of refinement, but from the entire construction of the dramatic action. The VOL. IX.

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play is essentially one of movement, which is a great requisite for dramatic success; but that movement is not held in subjection to an unity of idea. But with this essential disadvantage we cannot doubt that, even with very imperfect dialogue, the action presented a succession of scenes of very absorbing interest. The introduction of Gower, however inartificial it may seem, was the result of very profound skill. The presence of Gower supplied the unity of idea which the desultory nature of the story wanted. Nevertheless, such a story we believe could not have been chosen by Shakspere in the seventeenth century, when his art was fully developed in all its wondrous powers and combinations. With his perfect mastery of the faculty of representing, instead of recording, the treatment of a story which would have required perpetual explanation and connection would have been painful to him, if not impossible.

Dr. Drake has bestowed very considerable attention upon the endeavour to prove that ·Pericles' ought to be received as the indisputable work of Shakspere. Yet his arguments, after all, amount only to the establishment of the following theory: “No play, in fact, more openly discloses the hand of Shakspeare than · Pericles,' and fortunately his share in its composition appears to have been very considerable; he may be distinctly, though not frequently, traced, in the first and second acts ; after which, feeling the incompetency of his fellow-labourer, he seems to have assumed almost the entire management of the remainder, nearly the whole of the third, fourth, and fifth acts bearing indisputable

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