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pre-poffeffions,) that we have been all mistaken as to the merits and author of this play. It is fcarce neceffary to obferve that the perfon exempted from thefe fufpicions is Mr. Capell, who delivers his opinion concerning Titus Andronicus in the following words: "To the editor's eye, [i. e. his own,] Shakspeare ftands confefs'd: the third Act in particular may be read with admiration even by the most delicate; who, if they are not without feelings, may chance to find themselves touch'd by it with fuch paffions as tragedy fhould excite, that is,-terror and pity." It were injuftice not to remark, that the grand and pathetick circumftances in this third Act, which we are told cannot fail to excite fuch vehement emotions, are as follows:-Titus lies down in the dirt.-Aaron chops off his hand.-Saturninus fends him the heads of his two fons, and his own hand again, for a prefent. His heroick brother Marcus kills a fly.
Br. Capell may likewife claim the honour of having produced the new argument which Dr. Farmer mentions in a preceding note. MALONE.
I agree with fuch of the commentators as think that Shakspeare had no hand in this abominable tragedy; and confider the correctness with which it is printed, as a kind of collateral proof that he had not. The genuine works of Shakspeare have been handed down to us in a more depraved ftate than thofe of any other contemporary writer; which was partly owing to the obfcurity of his hand-writing, which appears from the fac-fimile prefixed to this edition, to have been fcarcely legible, and partly to his total neglect of them when committed to the prefs. And it is not to be fuppofed, that he should have taken more pains about the publication of this horrid performance, than he did in that of his nobleft productions. M. MASON.
The reader may poffibly exprefs fome furprize on being told that Titus Andronicus was revived at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 21ft of Dec. 1720. The receipt of the house was only 351. 16s. 6d. It was acted again at the fame theatre 19th of March, 1724, for the benefit of Mr. Quin. Receipt in money 801. 6s. 6d. tickets 641. 14s.-1451. Os. 6d.
The characters as follow:-Aaron, Mr. Quin; Titus, Mr. Boheme; Saturninus, Mr. Leigh; Baffianus, Mr. Walker; Lucius, Mr. Ryan; Marcus, Mr. Ogden; Demetrius, Mr. Digges; Chiron, Mr. Ward; Tamora, Mrs. Egleton; Lavinia, Mrs. Sterling.
Again, on the 25th of April, for the benefit of Mr. Hurst, a dramatick writer. Receipt in money 181. 2s. tickets 171. 3s.351. 5s. REED.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.] The story on which this play is formed, is of great antiquity. It is found in a book, once very popular, entitled Gefta Romanorum, which is fuppofed by Mr. Tyrwhitt, the learned editor of The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, 1775, to have been written five hundred years ago. The earlieft impreffion of that work (which I have feen) was printed in 1488;* in that edition the hiftory of Appolonius King of Tyre makes the 153d chapter. It is likewife related by Gower in his Confeffio Amantis, Lib. VIII. p. 175-185, edit. 1554. The Rev. Dr. Farmer has in his poffeffion a fragment of a MS. poem on the fame fubject, which appears, from the hand-writing and the metre, to be more ancient than Gower. The reader will find an extract from it at the end of the play. There is alfo an ancient romance on this fubject, called Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, tranflated from the French by Robert Copland, and printed by Wynkyn de Wotde in 1510. In 1576 William Howe had a licence for printing The most excellent, pleafant, and variable Hiftorie of the ftrange Adventures of Prince Appolonius, Lucine his wyfe, and Tharfa his daughter. The author of Pericles having introduced Gower in his piece, it is reasonable to suppose that he chiefly followed the work of that poet. It is obfervable, that the hero of this tale is, in Gower's poem, as in the prefent play, called Prince of Tyre; in the Gefta Romanorum, and Copland's profe Romance, he is entitled King. Moft of the incidents of the play are found in the Conf. Amant. and a few of Gower's expreffions are occafionally borrowed. However, I
think it is not unlikely, that there may have been (though I have not met with it) an early profe tranflation of this popular story, from the Geft. Roman. in which the name of Appolonius was changed to Pericles; to which, likewife, the author of this drama may have been indebted. In 1607 was published at London, by Valentine Sims, "The patterne of painful adventures, containing the moft excellent, pleasant, and variable Hiftorie of the ftrange Accidents that befell unto Prince Appolonius, the lady Lucina his wife, and Tharfia his daughter, wherein the uncertaintie of this world and the fickle ftate of man's life are lively defcribed. Translated into English by T. Twine, Gent." I have never seen the book, but it was without doubt a re-publication of that published by W. Howe in 1576.
Pericles was entered on the Stationers' books, May 2, 1608, by Edward Blount, one of the printers of the first folio edition of Shakspeare's plays; but it did not appear in print till the following year, and then it was published not by Blount, but by
* There are feveral editions of the Gesta Romanorum before 1488.