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Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the
He reads the riddle.
As you will live, resolve it you.
acts, Why cloud they not their sights perpetually, If this be true, which makes me pale to read
it ? Fair glass of light, I loved you, and could
[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess. Were not this glorious casket stored with ill : But I must tell you, now my thoughts revolt; For he's no man on whom perfections wait 79 That, knowing sin within, will touch the gate. You are a fair viol, and your sense the strings; Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music, Would draw heaven down, and all the gods,
to hearken : But being play'd upon before your time, Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime. Good sooth, I care not for you. Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy
life, For that's an article within our law, As dangerous as the rest. Your time's ex
pired : Either expound now, or receive your sentence.
90 Per. Great king, Few love to hear the sins they love to act; "Twould braid yourself too near for me to tell
it. Who has a book of all that monarchs do, He's more secure to keep it shut than shown : For vice repeated is like the wandering wind, Blows dust in others' eyes, to spread itself ; And yet the end of all is bought thus dear, The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear: To stop the air would hurt them. The blind mole casts
100 Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell the earth
is throng'd By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth
dio for't. Kings are earth's gods ; in vice their law's
; their will ; And if Jove stray, who dares say Jove doth
ill? It is enough you know ; and it is fit, What being more kuown grows worse, to
smother it. All love the womb that their first being bred, Then give my tongue like leave to love my
Ant. [Aside] Heaven, that I had thy head!
he has found the meaning : But I will gloze with him.-Young prince of Tyre,
110 Though by the tenor of our strict edict, Your exposition misinterpreting, We might proceed to cancel of your days ; Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree As your fair self, doth tune us otherwise : Forty days longer we do respite you ; If by which time our secret be undone, This mercy shows we'll joy in such a son : And until then your entertain shall be As doth befit our honor and your worth. 120
[Exeunt all but Pericles. Per. How courtesy would seem to cover
sin, When what is done is like an hypocrite, The which is good m nothing but in sight ! If it be true that I interpret false, Then were it certain you were not so bad As with foul incest to abuse your soul; Where now you're both a father and a son, By your untimely claspings with your child, Which pleasure fits an husband, not a father ; And she an eater of her mother's flesh, 130 By the defiling of her parent's bed ; And both like serpents are, who though they
feed On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed. Antioch, farewell! for wisdom sees, those men Blush not in actions blacker than the night, Will shun no course to keep them from the
light. One sin, I know, another doth provoke; Murder's as near to lust as flame to smoke : Poison and treason are the hands of sin, Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame : 140 Then, lest my life be cropp'd to keep you
clear, By flight I'll shun the danger which I fear.
[Exit. Re-enter ANTIOCHUS. Ant. He hath found the meaning, for which
we mean To have his head. He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy, Nor tell the world Antiochus doth sin In such a loathed manner; And therefore instantly this prince must die : For by his fall my honor must keep high. Who attends us there ?
Enter THALIARD. Thal. Doth your highness call ? 150
Ant. Thaliard, You are of our chamber, and our mind par
takes Her private actions to your secrecy; And for your faithfulness we will advance
you. Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here's
gold ; We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must
kill him ;
It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Which fence the roots they grow by and Because we bid it. Say, is it done ?
My lord, Makes both my body pine and soul to lan"Tis done.
guish, Ant. Enough.
160 And punish that before that he would punish. Enter a Messenger.
Enter HELICANUS, with other Lords. Let your breath cool yourself, telling your
First Lord. Joy and all comfort in your haste.
sacred breast ! Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is fled. [Exit. Sec. Lord. And keep your mind, till you Ani.
return to us, Wilt live, fly after : and like an arrow shot Peaceful and comfortable ! From a well-experienced archer hits the mark Hel. Peace, peace, and give experience His eye doth level at, so thou ne'er return
tongue. Unless thou say Prince Pericles is dead.' They do abuse the king that flatter him: Thal. My lord,
For flattery is the bellows blows up sin ; If I can get him within my pistol's length, The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, I'll make him sure enough: so, farewell to To which that blast gives heat and stronger your highness.
1 Ant. Thaliard, adieu ! [Exit Thal.] Till Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, Periclez be dead,
170 Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. My heart can lend no succor to my head. When Signior Sooth bere does proclaim a
He flatters you, makes war upon your life. SCENE II. Tyre. A room in the palace. Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please; Enter PERICLES.
I cannot be much lower than my kuees.
Per. All leave us else ; but let your cares Per. (To Lords without) Let none dis
o'erlook turb us.-Why should this change of What shipping and what lading's in our thoughts,
haven, The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy, And then return to us. (Ereunt Lords.] Be my so used a guest as not an hour,
Helicanus, thou In the day's glorious walk, or peaceful night, Hast moved us : what seest thou in our looks? The tomb where grief should sleep, can breed Hel. An angry brow, dread lord. me quiet ?
Per. If there be such dart in princes' Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine frowns, eyes shun them,
How durst thy tongue move anger to our And danger, which I feard, is at Antioch,
face ? Whose aim seems far too short to hit me here: .991. How dare the plants look up to Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits,
heaven, from whence Nor yet the other's distance comfort me. 10 They have their nourishment ? Then it is thus: the passions of the mind,
Thou know'st I have power That have their first conception by mis-dread, To take thy life from thee. Have after-nourishinent and life by care ; Hel. [Kneeling] I have ground the axe And what was first but fear what inight be myself; done,
Do you but strike the blow. Grows elder now and cares it be not done.
Rise, prithee, rise. And so with me: the great Antiochus,
Sit down: thou art no flatterer : 'Gainst whom I am too little to contend,
I thank thee for it ; and heaven forbid Since he's so great can make his will his act, That kings should let their ears hear their Will think me speaking, though I swear to faults hid ! silence ;
Fit counsellor and servant for a prince, Nor boots it me to say I honor him. 20 Who by thy wisdom makest a prince thy serIf he suspect I may dishonor him:
vant, And what may make him blush in being What wouldst thou have me do? known,
To bear with patience He'll stop the course by which it might be Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon your. known;
sell, With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land, Per. Thou speak’st like a physician, HeliAnd with the ostent of war will look so huge,
canus, Amazement shall drive courage from the state; That minister'st a potion unto me Our men be vanquish'd ere they do resist, That thou wouldst tremble to receive thyself. And subjects punish'd that ne'er thought Attend me, then : I went to Antioch, offence:
Where as thou know'st, against the face of Which care of them, not pity of in yself,
death, Who am no more but as the tops of trees, | I sought the purchase of a glorious leauty,
From whence an issue I might propagate, † Are arms to princes, and bring joys to sub
jects. Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder ; The rest-hark in thine ear-as black as incest :
(father Which by my knowledge found, the sinful Seein'd not to strike, but smooth : but thou
know'st this, 'Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss, Which fear so grew in me, I hither fed, 80 Under the covering of a careful night, Who seem'd my good protector ; and, being
here, Bethought me what was past, what might
succeed. I knew him tyrannons; and tyrants' fears Decrease not, but grow faster than the years : And should he doubt it, as no doubt he doth, That I should open to the listening air How many worthy princey' bloods were shed, To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope, To lop that doubt, he'll fill this land with arms,
90 And make pretence of wrong that I have done
him : When all, for mine, if I may call offence, Must feel war's blow, who spares not in
Alas, sir !
from my cheeks,
me leave to speak, Freely will I speak. Antiochus you fear, And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant, Who either by public war or private treason Will take away your life. Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while, Till that his rage and anger be forgot, Or till the Destivies do cut his thread of life. Your rule direct to any ; if to me.
109 Day serves not light more faithful than I'll be.
Per. I do not doubt thy faith ; But should he wrong my liberties in my ab
sence ? Hel. We'll mingle our bloods together in
the earth, From whence we had our being and our birth. Per. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and
to Tarsus Intend my travel, where I'll hear from thee; And by whose letters I'll dispose myself. The care I had and have of subjects' good On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can
bear it. l'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath :
120 W1.o shuns not to break one will sure crack
But in our orbs we'll live so round and safe, That time of both this truth shall ne'er con
vince, Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.
[Ereunt. SCENE III. Tyre. An ante-chamber in the
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this the court. Here must I kill King Pericles ; and if I do it not, I am sure to be hanged at home: 'tis dangerous. Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that, being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets : now do I see he had some reason for 't ; for if a king bid a man be a villain, he's bound by the indenture of his oath to be one! Hush ! here come the lords of Tyre. Enter HELICANUS and ESCANES, with other
Lords of Tyre. Hel. You shall not need, my fellow peers
of Tyre. Further to question me of your king's departHis seal'd commission, left in trust with me, Doth speak sufficiently he's gone to travel.
Thal. [Aside] How ! the king gone ! Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied, Why, as it were unlicensed of your loves, He would depart, I'll give some light unto
you. Being at Antioch
Thal. [Aside] What from Antioch ? llel. Royal Antiochus-on what cause I know not
20 Took some displeasure at him ; at least he
judged so : And doubting lest that he had err'd or sinn'd, To show his sorrow, he'ld correct himself ; So puts himself unto the shipman's toil, With whom each minute threatens life or
death. Thal. [Aside] Well, I perceive I shall not be hang'd now, although I would ; But since he's gone, the king's seas must
please : He 'scaped the land, to perish at the sea. l'll present myself. Peace to the lords of Tyre!
30 Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is wel
come. Thal. From him I come With message unto princely Pericles ; But since my landing I have understood Your lord has betook himself to unknown
travels, My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, Commended to our master, not to us : Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire, As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.
Enter Cleon, the governor of Tarsus, with
DIONYZA, and others. Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, And by relating tales of others' griefs, See if 'twill teach us to forget our own? Dio. That were to blow at fire in hope to
quench it ; For who digs hills because they do aspire Throws down one mountain to cast up a
higher. O my distressed lord, even such our griefs
are; Here they're but felt, and seen with mischief's
eyes, But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher
rise. C'le. O Dionyza,
10 Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants
it, Or can conceal his liunger till he famish ? Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep Our woes into the air ; our eyes do weep, Till tongues fetch breath that may proclaim
them louder ; That, if heaven slumber while their creatures
want, They may awake their helps to comfort them. I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years, And wanting breath to speak help me with
tears. Dio. I'll do my best, sir.
20 Cle. This Tarsus, o'er which I have the
government, A city on whom plenty held full hand, For riches strew'd herself even in the streets ; Whose towers bore heads so high they kiss'd
the clouds, And strangers ne'er beheld but wonder'd at ; Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd, Like one another's glass to trim them by : Their tables were stored full, to glad the
Dio. 0, 'tis too true.
our change, These mouths, who but of late, earth, sea,
and air, Were all too little to content and please, Although they gave their creatures in abund
ance, As houses are defiled for want of use, They are now starved for want of exercise: Those palates who, not yet two summers
younger, Must have inventions to delight the taste, 40 Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it: Those mothers who, to nousle up their babes, Thought nought too curious, are ready now To eat those little darlings whom they loved.
So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and
wife Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life : Here stands a lord, and there a lady weep
ing ; Here many sink, yet those which see them
fall Have scarce strength left to give them burial. Is not this true ? Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do wit
ness it. * Cle. O, let those cities that of plenty's cup And her prosperities so largely taste, With their superfluous riots, hear these tears! The misery of Tarsus may be theirs.
Enter a Lord.
haste, For comfort is too far for us to expect. Lord. We have descried, upon our neigh
boring shore, A portly sail of ships make hitherward.
Cle. I thought as much. One sorrow never comes but brings an heir, That may succeed as his inheritor ; And so in ours : some neighboring nation, Taking advantage of our misery, Hath stuff'd these hollow vessels with their
power, To beat us down, the which are down al
ready ; And make a conquest of unhappy me, Whereas no glory's got to overcome. 70 Lord. That's the least fear ; for, by the
semblance Of their white flags display'd, they bring us
peace, And come to us as favorers, not as foes. Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutor'd to
repeat : Who makes the fairest show means most de
ceit. But bring they what they will and what they
can, What need we fear ? The ground's the lowest, and we are half Go tell their general we attend him here, To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
80 And what he craves. Lord. I go, my lord.
(Erit. Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace con
sist; If wars, we are unable to resist.
Enter PERICLES with Attendants. Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you Let not our ships and number of our Be like a beacon fired to amaze your eyes. We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre, And seen the desolation of your streets •
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears, 90
bread, And give them life whom hunger starved
Arise, I pray you, rise : We do not look for reverence, but for love, And barborage for ourself, our ships, and
100 Cle. The which when any shall not gratify, Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought, Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves, The curse of heaven and men succeed their
evils ! Till when,-the which I hope shall ne'er be
seen,-Your grace is welcome to our town and us. Per. Which welcome we'll accept ; feast
here awhile, Until our stars that frown lend us a smile,
DUMB Show. Enter at one door PERICLES talking with
CLEON ; all the train with them. Enter at another door a Gentleman, with a letter to PERICLES; PERICLES shows the letter to CLEON ; gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Erit PERICLES at one door, and CLEON at another. Good Helicane, that stay'd at home, Not to eat honey like a drone From others' labors ; for though he strive To killen bad, keep good alive;
20 And to fulfil his prince' desire, Sends word of all that haps in Tyre : How Thaliard came full bent with sin
And had intent to murder him ;
[Exit. SCENE I. Pentapolis. An open place by the
Enter PERICLES, wet.
breath Nothing to think on but ensuing death : Let it suffice the greatness of your powers To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes ; And having thrown him from your watery grave,
10 Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave.
Enter three Fishermen First Fish. What, ho, Pilch ! Sec. Fish. Ha, come and bring away the
nets ! First Fish. What, Patch-breech, I say ! Third Fish. What say you, master ?
First Fish. Look how thou stirrest now ! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wanion.
Third Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away before is even now.
20 First Fish. Alas, poor souls, it grieved my heart to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.
Third Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the porpus how he bounced and tumbled ? they say they're half fish, half flesh : a plague on them, they ne'er come but I look to be washed. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
30 First Fish. Why, as men do a-land ; the great ones eat up the little ones : I can compare our rich misers to pothing so fitly as to a whale ; a' plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful : such whales have I heard