Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

peal to Lucina, not to descend personally, not to lend her aid merely, but to send down her divinity upon them(convey thy deity,')-(he says,) are all characteristic of our greatest of poets, and worthy of him. The scene proceeds, and we hear Pericles mourning over his lost wife, Thaisa, in terms at once homely and beautiful:'

A terrible childbirth, etc., etc. " Quiet and gentle thy CONDITIONS !" “ Condition," in old English, was applied to temper. Thus, in Henry V.:-"Our tongue is rough, etc.; my condition is not smooth.” “ The late Earl of Essex told Queen Elizabeth (says Sir Walter Raleigh) that her condilions were as crooked as her carcase-but it cost him his head."

That e'er was prince's child"- The novel founded upon the play of Pericles here employs an expression which (says Collier) is evidently Shakespearian. It gives this part of the speech of Pericles as follows:

Poor inch of nature ! (quoth he,) thou art as rudely welcome to the world, as ever princess' babe was, and hast as chiding a nativity, as fire, air, earth and water can afford thee." This quotation shows that Malone (who is followed in nearly all editions) was wrong in altering “ welcome" to welcom'd: the novel proves that "welcome" was the Poet's word. Thy loss is more than can thy PORTAGE quit," etc.

That is, Thou hast already lost more (by the death of thy inother) than thy safe arrival at the port of life can counterbalance, with all to boot that we can give thee. " Portage' is here used for conveyance into life.

This is the common interpretation of this obscure phrase. I observe that, in Warner's “ Albion,” “ portnge" seems used, as its analogous word bearing, often for behaviour :

The Muses barely begge or bribbe,
Or both, and must, for why?
They find as bad bestow as is

Their portage beggarly. As Pericles has just referred to the hoped-for future gentle bearing of the child, the Poet may have meant that he should add, that the babe's loss was greater than can be compensated by its future conduct, with all else that it can find here on earth.

- we are strong in custom”—The old copies have * strong in easterne," which (Malone says) means that there is a strong easterly wind. Knight would read,

strong astern-i. e. we are driving strongly astern. Neither of these ideas could well be in the author's thoughts. This edition prefers Boswell's ingenious and most probable supposition, that easterne was a misprint for "custom,” as meaning, they say they have always observed it at sea, and that they are strong in their adherence to old usages. He refers to the experience of his own correction of the press, that this is a natural mistake.

Bring me the satin COFFIN"-" Coffin” and coffer are words of the same original meaning. Subsequently, Cerimon says to Thaisa

Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,

Lay with you in your coffer. The Poet, therefore, did not mean that his queen should be laid in this coffin, but that it was the coffer, or chest, containing satins, which Pericles terms the “cloth of state," used for her shroud. (See next scene.)

The very PRINCIPALS”-i. e. The strongest tisbers of a building.

"'Tis not our HUSBANDRY"_" Husbandry" here sig. nifies economical prudence. So in HAMLET, (act i. Xese 3:)

borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. And in HENRY V.:

For our bad neighbours make us early stirrers,

Which is both healthful and good husbandry. “ Virtue and CUNNING”—“Cunning" here mens knowledge, as in the old English versions of the Psalms and elsewhere.

Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,

To please the fool and death." “Death” and the “Fool" were both personages familiar to the amusements of the middle ages, and were acted, and painted, and engraved. Stevens mentions an old Flemish print, in which Death was exhibited in the act of plundering a uniser of his bags, and the Fool (discriminated by his bauble, etc.) was standing behind and grinning at the process. The “ Dance of Death appears to have been anciently a popular exhibition. A venerable and aged clergyman informed Steveas that he had once been a spectator of it. The dance out sisted of Death's contrivances to surprise the Merry Andrew, and of the Merry Andrew's efforts to elude the stratagems of Death, by whom at last he was overpowered; his finale being attended with such circumstances as mark the exit of the Dragon of Wantley. It shoali seem that the general idea of this serio-comic pas-de deur had been borrowed from the ancient - Dance of Machabre," commonly called the “Dance of Death" which appears to have been anciently acted in churches, like the Moralities. The subject was a frequent orna. ment of cloisters, both here and abroad. The reader will remember the beautiful series of wood-cuts of the “ Dance of Death,” attributed (though erroneously) to Holbein. Douce describes an exquisite set of initial letters, representing the same subject; in one of which the Fool is engaged in very stout combat with his ad. versary, and is actually butfeting him with a bladder filled with peas or pebbles-an instrument used by modern Merry Andrews.

SCENE III. Though I show will in't"-i. e. Though I may seem wilful and perverse in so doing. There may be bere a misprint for “Though I show ill in it," as Pericles (act v. scene iii.) says that his long hair “makes me look dismal."

"" — the mask'd Neptune"-i. e. The ocean masking its dangers with calm. The epithet is singularly Shake spearian in manner; even the article prefixed, ("ibe masked Neptune,'') is in his peculiar fashion.

SCENE IV. - on my EANING time"—This is the folio reading. and that of one quarto. The others have "learesu: time,” which the editors have amended to "Fearning time"—the time of that internal uneasiness precedin: labour. But “eaning" is a common old English word, for bringing forth young, usually applied to sheep, bat not contined to them. Shylock speaks of the ewes in eaning time;" but there is no reason or evidence that it was not used for the birth of children.

[ocr errors]

SCENE II. Give this to the 'pothecary"— The precedent words show that the physic cannot be designed for the master of the servants here introduced. Perha the circumstance was introduced for no other reason than to mark more strongly the extensive benevolence of Cerimon. It could not be meant for the poor men who have just left the stage, to whom he has ordered kitchen physic.

ACT. IV. “- ripe for marriage rite"— The original has sight. which has afforded place for various conjectures and interpretations. The reading here adopted seems the most probably that which the author wrote.

" — the slended silk”—“Sleided" silk (says Perer) is untwisted silk, prepared to be used in the wearer's sley, or slay

[ocr errors]

RECORDS with moan"-TO “record” anciently signified to sing. Thus, in Sir Philip Sydney's “Ourania," (by Nicholas Breton, 1606:)

Recording songs unto the Deitie. The word is still used by bird-fanciers.

“ Prest for this blow"-—" Prest” is ready-(prét, French.)

SCENE I. " — for her OLD NURSE's death"-In the old copy

She comes weeping her onely mistresse death. As Marina (says Percy) had been trained in music, letters, etc., and had gained all the graces of education, Lychorida could not have been her only mistress.. I would therefore read

Here comes she weeping her old nurse's death." “— as a CARPET, hang upon thy grave”—“So the old copies. The modern reading is chaplet. But it is evident that the Poet was thinking of the green mound that marks the last resting-place of the humble, and not of the sculptured tomb to be adorned with wreaths. Upon the grassy grave Marina will hang a carpet of Howers—she will strew flowers, she has before said. The carpet of Shakespeare's time was a piece of tapestry, or embroidery, spread upon tables; and the real flowers with which Marina will cover the grave of her friend might have been, in her imagination, so intertwined as to resemble a carpet, usually bright with the flowers of the needle."-Knight.

I am afraid to think what I have done;

Look on't again I dare not, etc. The stern, sustained resolution of Lady Macbeth, her complaint for her husband's scruples, as

what beast was it, then, That made you break this enterprise to me and her

things without remedy Should be without regard, are, when compared with Dionyza's cool reply, " that she's dead," and her

I do shame
To think of what a noble strain you are,

And what a coward spirit, like the finished work of some great painter by the side of the first rough, spirited outline, in which he had embodied his conceptions.

“— Now, please you, wit"-i. e. Now, be pleased to know. The word, as well as its context, is Gower's own language, in whom we find

-the lorde hath to him writte That he should understande and witle.

SCENE VI. " - Perséver”—The old mode of writing and ac, centing the word, as it often occurs in the older dramatists.

“ – under the cope"—i. e. Under the cope, or covering of heaven.

" - door-keeper to every coYSTREL”—“Coystrel" is said, by Collier and Gifford, to be a corruption of kestrela bastard kind of hawk. But it rather seems to mean a low servant, or what Marina calls “the basest groom," as it is so used in Hollingshed and Palsgrave, as quoted by Dyce.

ACT V. " Her inklE"—“Inkle" is a kind of tape, but here it means coloured thread, crewel, or worsted, used in the working of fruit and flowers.

SceŅE IV. Becoming well thy Fact”—The old editions all have “thy face." This, though retained by the latest editors, seems to afford no appropriate meaning, and to be an error of the press. Malone supposed the word intended was feat-i. e. thy exploit. I prefer Dyce's suggestion of “ fact," as it requires but the change of a letter, and agrees with Shakespearian usage, in the sense of your guilty act.” Thus in the Winter's Tale, (act iii. scene 2,) the king reproaching his wife with her supposed guilt, says, “ As you are past all shame, (those of your fact are so,") etc.; for those who are guilty of the same crime with you. We retain this sense only in legal phrase, drawn from the old common law, “ taken in the facti. e. in the very act of crime.

- DISTAin my child”—The old reading is disdain, which may be right, but does not agree with the context. Gower has said of Marina's grace

this so darkes

In Philoten all graceful marks. · Distain" is a common old poetical word for sullying, defiling; either literally or by contrast. It is so used by Chaucer, in his “ Troilus," and by Gower; both of them authors familiar to Shakespeare.

“ – and held a MALKIS, Not worth the time of day.That is, a coarse wench, not worth a “good morrow.' “You are like one, that superstitiously Doth swear to the gods, that winter kills the flies," etc.

“This passage appears to mean, “You are so affectedly humane, that you would appeal to heaven against the cruelty of winter in killing flies.' Superstitious is explained by Johnson, scrupulous beyond need."-Bos

SCENE I. "— DEAFEN D parts”—The old copies all read “defended parts.” Malone made the alteration, which he explains thus:-"His ears, which are to be assailed by Marina's melodious voice." Stevens would read “deafen’d ports," meaning “ the oppilated doors of hearing."

- Afflict our province”—The old copies have inflict-a use of the word quite anomalous, and therefore, probably, a misprint for “afflict.”

Enter Lord, Marina, and a young Lady." “It appears that when PERICLES was originally performed, the theatres were furnished with no such apparatus as, by any stretch of imagination, could be supposed to present either a sea or a ship; and that the audience were contented to behold vessels sailing in and out of port in their mind's eye only. This license being once granted to the poet, the lord, in the instance now before us, walked off the stage, and returned again in a few minutes, leading in Marina without any sensible impropriety; and the present drama exhibited before such indulgent spectators was not more incommodious in the representation than any other would have been."-Malone.

- AWKWARD casualties"_" Awkward” is here used in its oldest sense, for wrong, adverse. Thus Udal says of the Pharisees, that "they with awkward judgment put goodness in outward things;" and he terms them blind guides of an awkward religion." Like Patience, gazing on kings' graves, and smiling

EXTREMITY out of act."

“By her beauty and patient meekness disarming Calamity, and preventing her from using her uplifted

WELL,

I know, you'll do as I advise"-Throughout this whole scene, slight and sketchy as it is, the reader cannot but be strongly reminded of Macbeth and his wife. Cleon's “infirmity of purpose," shocked at the crime, and willing to give " the spacious world to undo the deed,” while he immediately yields to his wife's energy of guilty will, and follows out her leading, is in the same spirit with Macbeth's,

[ocr errors]

Rword. •Extremity' (though not personified as here) is, of our great Poet is only visible in the last act; for I in like manner, used for the utmost of human suffering, think it appears in several passages, dispersed over each in King LEAR:

of these divisions. I find it difficult, however, to per another,

suade myself that he was the original fabricator of the To amplify too much, would much more, And top extremity.

plot, or the author of every dialogue, chorus, etc. So in Twelfth Night:

“Were the intrinsic merits of PERICLES yet less than She sat like Patience on a monument,

they are, it would be entitled to respect among the Smiling at Grief."

Malose.

curious in dramatic literature. As the engravings of " Have you a working pulse ? and are no fairy Mark Antonio are valuable not only on account of their Motion ?

beauty, but because they are supposed to have been That is, No fairy puppet, made by enchantment. A executed under the eye of Raffaelle, so PERICLES Ml “ motion" was the old synonym for puppet. The phrase continue to owe some part of its reputation to the is poetic and Shakespearian, which in many editions is

touches it is said to have received from the hand of altered, without authority, to

Shakespeare."-STEVENS.
and no fairy,
No motion,

Mr. Hallam is not much more liberal in his con

mendations than Stevens: "- 0 Helicanus! strike me"-Barry Cornwall re

“ Pericles is generally reckoned to be in part, and marks, that there is no one of the dramatic authors of

only in part, the work of Shakespeare. From the the Elizabethan period whose pen can be so readily

poverty and bad management of the fable, the want of traced as Shakespeare's.” Of this, Pericles, with all

any effective or distinguishable character-for Marina its original defects, offers repeated examples of lines, is no more than the common form of female virtue, such phrases, passages, which cannot be ascribed to any other as all the dramatists of that age could draw—and a genpen. One of these characteristics, which is scarcely eral feebleness of the tragedy as a whole, I should w discernible in any of his contemporaries, is, (in the believe the structure to have been Shakespeare's Bat words of Barry Cornwall,) “ that his speeches, instead many passages are far more in his manner than in that of being directed and limited for the time to one sub of any contemporary writer with whom I am acquainted: ject and person only, radiate, so to speak, or point on and the extrinsic testimony, though not conclusive, being all sides; dealing wiih all persons present, and with all of some value, I should not dissent from the judgment subjects that can be supposed to influence the speaker.

of Stevens and Malone, that it was in no inconsiderable Thus, in the speech commencing 'O Helicanus! Per degree repaired and improved by his touch. Drake icles, in the course of a few lines, addresses himself to

has placed it under the year 1590, as the earliest of Helicanus, to Lysimachus, to Marina, to his own condi- Shakespeare's plays; for no better reason, apparently, tion, etc. Hence his scenes, instead of being conversa than that he thought it inferior to all the rest." But, if tions confined for the time to two speakers, are often it were not quite his own, this reason will have some matters of extensive and complicated interest, in which

less weight; and the language seems to me rather that the sentiments and humours of various persons are inter of his second or third manner than of his first."—Harwoven and brought to play upon each other, as in the

LAM, (Literature of Europe.) natural world."-(Life of Ben Jonson.)

“ – another life”—“ Another like" in the old copies, Hazlitt notices, that “the grammatical construction, which, as it gives no fit sense, is probably a misprint like that of TITUS Andronicus, is constantly false, ap) for “life.” The same error also occurs in Diana's mixed up with vulgarisms, which, (says he.) with the speech.

halting measure of the verse, are the chief objections

to Pericles of Tyre, if we except the far-fetched and SCENE II.

complicated absurdity of the story. The movement of Do it, and happy”-i. e. Do it

, and live happy: Shakespeare, and several of the descriptions are either

the thoughts and passions has something in it not unlike This would hardly seem to want explanation, had not several editors thought it so obscure as to require a

the original hints of passages which he has engrafted on change of the text, so as to read

his other plays, or are imitations of them by some of Do't, and be happy.

temporary poet. The most memorable idea in it is in Marina's speech, where she compares the world to a

lasting storin, hurrying her from her friends.'” SCENE III. “ Voice and FAVOUR"-" Favour” is here, as in other William Gifford goes further, and dismisses it siminstances, countenancc.

marily, as “the worthless Pericles." Upon this Barry

Cornwall (Life of Jonson, note on Pericles) thus retorte: “What means the woman"-"So the quarto, (1619.)

“ It is certainly not one of Shakespeare's firstclae and subsequent editious: the quarto of 1609, - What

plays. Nor is it to be lauded as a play full of character. means the mum ?' which may have been a misprint for But it stands higher, as a composition, than several of It would suit the measure better, and it would

Shakespeare's undoubted works, and it comprehends not be unprecedented to call a priestess of Diana a

passages finer in style and sentiment than any thing to nun."-COLLIER.

be found in the serious dramas of Ben Jonson. We " This ornament,

cannot but think that the preceding critics (and among Makes me louk dismal, will I clip to form," etc.

the rest Mr. Gifford) must have condemned it unread."

He then proceeds to extract and comment upon sone That is, My beard, that makes me look dismal, will I clip to form.

passages, in “ vindication (to use his words) of this much

slandered play." In Antioch, and his daughter"-i. e. The king of Antioch. The old copy reads Antiochus. Stevens made William Gopwis, (Life of Chaucer, chap. srii.) the alteration, observing that in Shakespeare's other without expressing equal confidevce in Shakespeare's plays we have France for the king of France; Morocco authorship of the play, speaks of the piece itself with for the king of Morocco, etc.

warm and unqualified admiration. In his account of old Gower, as the contemporary and fellow-labourer of

Chaucer, in forming our language, he says :—- Another “ That this tragedy has some merit, it were vain to circumstance which is worthy to be mentioned in this deny: but that it is the entire composition of Shake | slight enumeration of the literary deservings of Gower, speare, is more than can be hastily granted. I shall not is, that what is usually considered as the best of his venture, with Dr. Farmer, to determine that the hand tales, the tale of · Apollymus of Tyre,' is the foundation

nun.

[ocr errors]

!

of Pericles—a play which is commonly printed under

The blind mole casts the name of Shakespeare, and which, in sweetness of

Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is throng d

By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die for't. manner, delicacy of sentiment, truth of feeling, and natural ease of manner, would do honour to the greatest · And yet this passage comes naturally enough in a author who ever existed."

speech of no very high excellence. The purpurei panni

must be fitted to a body, as well for use as for adorn“This piece was acknowledged by Dryden, but as a

ment. We think that Shakespeare would not have youthful work of Shakespeare. It is most undoubtedly taken the trouble to produce these costly robes for the his. The supposed imperfections originate in the cir. improvement of an early production of his own, if the cumstance, that the dramatist has handled a childish taste of his audiences had from time to time demanded and extravagant romance of the old English poet Gower, its continuance upon the stage. It is for this reason that and could not or would not drag the subject out of its we think that the Pericles of the beginning of the seven original sphere. Hence he even introduces Gower him teenth century was the revival of a play written by pelf, and makes him deliver prologues in his own anti- Shakspeare some twenty years earlier."— Knight. quated language and versification. The power of assuming a manner so foreign to his own, is at least no

However wild and extravagant the fable of Perproof of want of ability.”-SCHLEGEL.

icles may appear, if we consider its numerous choruses,

its pageantry, and dumb shows, its continual sucCOLERIDGE, (Literary Remains,) in his first attempt at the classification of the order of Shakespeare's plays, they occupy, yet it is, we may venture to assert, the

cession of incidents, and the great length of time which places PERICLES with the old King John, the three

most spirited and pleasing specimen of the nature and Parts of HENRY VI., the old TAMING OF THE Shrew, fabric of our earliest romantic drama which we possess, etc., and thus characterizes it and them :" All these are transition works, (Uebergangswerke ;) not his, yet of

and the most valuable, as it is the only one with which

Shakespeare has favoured us. We should, therefore, him.” In 1819, he thought PERICLES was produced welcome this play as an admirable example of the neg. shortly after Shakespeare's earliest dramatic attempt, lected favourite of our ancestors, with something of the Love's Labour's Lost.

same feeling that is experienced in the reception of an

old and valued friend of our fathers or grandfathers. Mr. Collier pronounces, with equal confidence, that Nay, we should like it the better for its Gothic appenPERICLES bears the uuquestionable stamp of Shake dages of pageants and choruses, to explain the intricaspeare's genius :

cies of the fable; and we can see no objection to the There is so marked a character about every thing dramatic representation even of a series of ages in a that proceeded from the pen of our great dramatist,

single night, that does not apply to every description of his mode of thought, and his style of expression, are so

poem, which leads in perusal from the fireside at which unlike those of any of his contemporaries, that they can

we are sitting, to a succession of remote periods and never be mistaken. They are clearly visible in all the distant countries. In these matters faith is all powerlater portion of the play ; and so indisputable does this

ful; and without her influence, the most chastely cold and fact appear to us, that, we confidently assert, however

critically correct of dramas is precisely as unreal as the strong may be the external evidence to the same point, MIDSUMMER-Night's DREAM, or the Winter's Tale.' the internal evidence is infinitely stronger: to those

* A still more powerful attraction in Pericles is that who have studied his works it will seem incontrovert

the interest accumulates as the story proceeds; for, ible."

though many of the characters in the earlier part of the

drama, such as Antiochus and his daughter, Simònides Several other later critics, as Horn, among the Ger and Thaisa, Cleon and Dionyza, disappear and drop into mans, Knight, and Dr. Drake, (Shakespeare and his oblivion, their places are supplied by more pleasing and Times,) have expressed opinions on the poetic merits efficient agents, who are not less fugacious, but better of Pericles, approaching to those of Godwin and Bar calculated for theatric effect. The inequalities of this ry Cornwall, and quite at variance with the sweeping production are, indeed, considerable, and only to be accensures of Pope and Gifford :

counted for, with probability, on the supposition that Let us accept Dryden's opinion that,

Shakespeare either accepted a coadjutor, or improved Shakespeare's own muse his Pericles first bore,

on the rough sketch of a previous writer: the former. with reference to the original structure of the play, and

for many reasons, seems entitled to a preference, and! the difficulty vanishes. It was inpossible that the

will explain why, in compliment to his dramatic friend, character of the early drama should not have been im

he has suffered a few passages, and one entire scene,

of a character totally dissimilar to his own style and pressed upon Shakespeare's earliest efforts. Sidney has given us a most distinct description of that drama; and

mode of composition, to stand uncorrected; for who

does not perceive that of the closing scene of the second we can thus understand how the author of PERICLES im

act not a sentence or a word escaped from the pen of proved upon what he found. Do we therefore think

Shakespeare."-DR. DRAKE. that the drama, as it has come down to us, is presented in the form in which it was first written? By no means. We agree with Mr. Hallam, that in parts the language We select, from among other criticisms of the same seems rather that of Shakespeare's second or third tendency, that of Charles Armitage Brown, contained in manner than of his first.' But this belief is not incon his ingenious essay on “Shakespeare's Autobiographical sistent with the opinion that the original structure was

Poems : Shakespeare's. No other poet that existed at the begin.

It hath been sung at feetivals, ning of the seventeenth century-perhaps no poet that

On ember.eves and holy ales, came after that period, whether Massinger, or Fletcher,

And lords and ladies of their lives or Webster-could have written the greater part of the

Have read it for restoratives.- Prologue. Gifth act.

Coarse as the comic scenes are, there are “ Transferred from the balls of lords and ladies to the touches in them unlike any other writer but Shake

theatre, it was a favourite with the people ; but, owing speare. Horn, with the eye of a real critic, has pointed

to the improvement of dramatic poetry and art, it at out the deep poetical profundity of one apparently slight length required higher claims than it possessed to sup, passage in these unpleasant scenes :

port its popularity. To entirely remodel this wild and Mar. Are you a woman?

strangely improbable romance might have benumbeil Bard. What would you have me be, an I be not a woman? its attraction ; for it is rare to find that the multitude Mar. An honest woman, or not a woman.

is pleased with direct changes in a traditionary tale. “ Touches such as these are not put into the work of Shakespeare therefore employed himself in restoring the

Who but Shakespeare could have written romance to its former importance on the stage, by

other men

numerous retouchings in the dialogue, and by writing comic dialogue, with the very trick of his eye ; but we whole scenes of great dramatic power.

meet with no scene of his invention, or complete recus “Unless we suppose it had been ineffectually retouched struction, till we enter Cerimon's house at Ephesus previously to his adaptation, we cannot well account for in the third act. Every line there is his undoubted the appearance of three distinct styles : one bald and property. Trivial as the sketch may be called of this utterly unpoetical, though bearing an antique air, urging good physician, it is a portrait; we see him, and we on the commencement with a dogged will; the second know him, though observed only under one phase. only passable, and too frequently throughout the four Here, in the recovery of the queen from her trance, we first acts; and the third, truly worthy of Shakespeare. have a most natural description of the physician's skill It may be that the lines which I term only passable had being suddenly called into action, his swift orders in been all partially changed by him. Yet, wanting the gled with his reasoning on cases, his haste to apply the effect of his shadow merely passing over them, I must remedies, the broken sentences, his reproof to a loiterconjecture that some one had been before him in the ing servant, the keeping the gentlemen back to give task, and that he had retained many of the former altera her air;' the whole, as if by magic, making the reader tions entire. However that may have been, the ques an absolute spectator of the scene. tion now is as to his unmixed property.

“ From the moment Marina appears, Shakespeare “ In the first place, we have to overcome that great himself takes her by the hand, and leads her gently drawback, a want of varied colour in the characters, the onward; but I cannot perceive he had any connexion essential stamp of his genius. Far from having colour, with the vile crew who surround her. they are unshaded outlines, filled up with black and "Compared to all that precedes it, or to any thing white, to represent the bad or the good, and thus shoved else, the first scene of the fifth act is wonderfully grand, on and off the stage. Nothing can be discovered of his beautiful, and refined in art. Every one ought to know profound knowledge of human nature, or of his philoso- it; but it is too long for me to quote. The recall from phy, nothing beyond the work of a poet and an artist, a state of stupefaction caused by grief, and the prolongal and they appear but faintly in the two first acts. The yet natural recognition of Marina, interwoven with a language of Pericles himself rises from poverty gradually thousand delicate hues of poetry, lead us on in admininto strength and dignity, until it attains its utmost height; tion till we think nothing can be added to the effect as if Shakespeare had learned, during his task, to throw Still the crown of all is to come, in the poetical conclumore and more aside of the original ; to feel, as he pro- sion, true to nature while it rests on our imagination. ceeded, a high confidence in his own powers; and at Pericles, instantly after his sndden rush of joy, his orer last to have discovered there was a soul in the romance, wrought excitement, fancies he listens to the music of in spite of its deformities, which inspired him to attempt the spheres !—he wonders that others do not hear these his hitherto untried excellence, to spread his wings, and . rarest sounds ;'—then he sinks on his couch to rest, an] to set, as it were, an example to himself for the future. still insisting that there is · most heavenly music,' falls into

“ The fishermen in the second act glance at us, in their a sleep, while Marina, like an angel, watches at his side :**

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »