Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 19.26 (William Shakespeare)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Shakespeare, William
Pericles, Prince of Tyre

I am pretty sure this was the missing play from the set I bought. I recall asking my friend Erin at Rust Belt Books in Buffalo to keep an eye out for a copy, which she did.

What tipped me off this morning was the Ex Libris sticker pasted to the inside cover. It depicts a great ship at full sail on the ocean, keening slightly to the port side as it cuts through the waves. A few bright clouds adorn the sky above, but it appears otherwise to be a gorgeous sunny day at sea.

It says the book came from the library of one Alfred R. Jarrett. A Google search returned the following obituary page for Mr. Jarrett, who was apparently a distinguished high school music teacher in Buffalo until his death in 2005:

This confirms my belief that the book came fro Rust Belt. Well, Mr. Jarrett, thanks for completing my Yale Shakespeare collection.

from Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Before the palace of Antioch 
To sing a song that old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
Assuming man's infirmities,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves and holy-ales;
And lords and ladies in their lives
Have read it for restoratives:
The purchase is to make men glorious;
Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius.
If you, born in these latter times,
When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes.
And that to hear an old man sing
May to your wishes pleasure bring
I life would wish, and that I might
Waste it for you, like taper-light.
This Antioch, then, Antiochus the Great
Built up, this city, for his chiefest seat:
The fairest in all Syria,
I tell you what mine authors say:
This king unto him took a fere,
Who died and left a female heir,
So buxom, blithe, and full of face,
As heaven had lent her all his grace;
With whom the father liking took,
And her to incest did provoke:
Bad child; worse father! to entice his own
To evil should be done by none:
But custom what they did begin
Was with long use account no sin.
The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
In marriage-pleasures play-fellow:
Which to prevent he made a law,
To keep her still, and men in awe,
That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life:
So for her many a wight did die,
As yon grim looks do testify.
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify.

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