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It is remarkable, that many of our ancient writers were ambitious to exhibit Sidney's worthies on the stage ; and when his subordinate agents were advanced to such honour, how happened it that Pyrocles, their leader, should be overlooked ? Mufidorus, (his companion,) Argalus and Parthenia, Phalantus and Eudora, Andromana, &c. furnished titles for different tragedies; and perhaps Pyrocles, in the present instance, was defrauded of a like distinction. The names invented or employed by Sidney, had once such popularity, that they were sometimes borrowed by poets who did not profets to follow the direct current of his fables, or aitend to the Itrict preservation of his characters. Nay, so high was the credit of this romance, that many a fashionable, word and glowing phrase selected from it, was applied, like a Promethean torch, to contemporary sonnets, and gave a transient life even to those dwarfish and enervate bantlings of the reluctant Muse.
I must add, that the Appolyn of the Story-book and Gower, could have been rejected only to make room for a more favourite name; yet, however conciliating the name of Pyrocles might have been, that of Pericles could challenge no advantage with regard to general predilection.
I am aware, that a conclusive argument cannot be drawn from the false quantity in the second syllable of Perựcles; and yet if the Athenian was in our author's mind, he might have been taught by repeated translations from fragments of satiric poets in Sir Thomas North's Nutarch, to call his hero Perīcles; as for instance, in the following couplet :
“ O Chiron, tell me, first, art thou indecde the man
can.” &c. &c. Such therefore was the pronunciation of this proper name, in the age • of Shakspeare. The address of Persius to a youthful orator—Magni pupille Perīcli, is familiar to the car of every classical reader.
All circumstances therefore considered, it is not improbable that our author designed his chief character to be called Pyrocles, not Pericles, * however ignorance or accident might have thuffled the latter (a name of almost similar sound) into the place of the former.
The true name, when once corrupted or changed in the theatre, was effectually withheld from the publick ; and every commentator on this play agrees in a belief that it must have been printed by means of a copy Peucalion off” from the manuscript which had received Shakspeare's revisal and improvement. STEEVENS.
* Such a theatrical mistake will not appear improbable to the reader who re. colleas that in the fourth scene of the first act of the Third Part of King Henry VI, instead of " tigers of Hircania,”-the players have given 'us' tigers of Arcadia.” Instead of " an Ate," in King John, -"an ace.” Instead of “ Pan. thino," in The Two Gentlemen of Verona," Panthion.” Instead of “ Polydore,” in Cymbeline,---" Paladowo" was continued through all the editions till that of 1773.
as far as
ANTIOCHUS, king of Antioch.
two lords of Tyre.
The daugbter of Antiochus.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen,
and Messengers, &c.
SCENE, disperjedly in various countries.
Before the Palace of ANTIOCH.
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
So buxom, blithe, and full of face,
Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large receiv'd The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a foul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize. [Mufick.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of "Jove himself;
At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd,)
Enter the daughter of Antiochus.
Per. See, where she comes, apparelld like the spring,
Ant. Prince Pericles,-
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,