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Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists, · Nor ask advice of any other thought But faithfulness, and courage.

[He reads the Riddle.)

I am no viper, yet I feed 1

On mother's flesh which did me breed.
I sought a husband, in which labor,
I found that kindness in a father.
He's father, son, and husband mild,
1, mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,

As you will live, resolve it you.
Sharp physic is the last. But you powers !
That give heaven countless eyes to view men's 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 still,

[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,
That knowing sin within, will touch the gate.
You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings ;
Who, fingered to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to hearken;
But, being played upon before your time,
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime.
Good sooth, I care not for

Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
For that's an article within our law,
As dangerous as the rest. Your time's expired;
Either expound now, or receive your sentence.

Per. Great king,
Few love to hear the sins they love to act;
'Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it.

1 i. e. the intimation in the last line of the riddle, that his life depends on resolving it. 2 i. e. he is no perfect or honest man that knowing, &c. VOL. VI.


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



Copped” hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is

thronged By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die

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 known grows worse, to smother it. All love the womb that their first beings bred; Then give my tongue like leave to love my head. Ant. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found

the meaning i But I will gloze with him. [Aside.] Young prince of

Though by the tenor of our strict edict,
Your exposition misinterpreting,
We might proceed to cancel of your days; 4
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.

[Exeunt Ant., his Daughter, and Attend. Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin ! When what is done is like a hypocrite, The which is good in 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 a husband, not a father;) And she an eater of her mother's flesh, 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 o 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; Then, lest my life be cropped to keep you clear, By flight I'll shun the danger which I fear. [Exit.

1 Pericles means by this similitude to show the danger of revealing the crimes of princes; for as they feel hurt by the publication of their shame, they will of course prevent the repetition of it

, by destroying the person who divulged. He ues the same idea in the instance of the mole.

2 " Copped hills" are hills rising in a conical form, something of the shape of a sugarloaf. In Anglo-Saxon, cop is a head.

3. Steevens altered thronged to wronged; but apparently without necessity.

4 To the destruction of your life.

Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which we

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 on us there?


Doth your highness call ?


i Where has here the power of whereas. It occurs again in Act ii. Sc. 3. 2 The old copy erroneously reads show. The emendation is Malone's. 1 In The Winter's Tale the word partake is used in an active sense for participate.

Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind
Partakes' 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,
Because we bid it. Say, is it done?

My lord,
'Tis done.

Enter a Messenger.
Ant. Enough.
Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.?
Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.

[Exit Messenger. Ant.

As thou
Wilt live, fly after; and, as an arrow, shot
From a well-experienced archer, hits the mark
His eye doth level at, so ne'er return, ,
Unless thou say, Prince Pericles is dead.

Thal. My lord, if I
Can get him once within my pistol's length,
I'll make him sure; so farewell to your highness.

Ant. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead,
My heart can lend no succor to my head.


SCENE II. Tyre. A Room in the Palace.

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Enter PERICLES, Helicanus, and other Lords.
Per. Let none disturb us; why should this change

of thought ? 3
The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy,
By me so used a guest is, not an hour,

2 These words are addressed to the messenger, who enters in haste. 3 “Why should this change in our thoughts disturb us ? "

In the day's glorious walk, or peaceful night, (The tomb where grief should sleep,) can breed me

quiet! Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes shun

them, And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch, Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here; Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits, Nor yet the other's distance comfort me. Then it is thus: the passions of the mind, That have their first conception by misdread, Have after-nourishment and life by care; And what was first but fear what might be done, Grows elder now, and cares it be not done. And so with me; the great Antiochus ('Gainst whom I am too little to contend, Since he's so great, can make his will his act) Will think me speaking, though I swear to silence; Nor boots it me to say, I honor him, If he suspect I may dishonor him. And what may make him blush in being known, He'll stop the course by which it might be known; With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land, And with the ostent of war? will look so huge, Amazement shall drive courage from the state ; Our men be vanquished, ere they do resist, And subjects punished, that ne'er thought offence : Which care of them, not pity of myself, (Who am no more but as the tops of trees, Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend them,) Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish, And punish that before, that he would punish.

1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!

2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable !

1 Him was supplied by Rowe for the sake of the metre. 2 Old copies :

“ And with the stent of war will look so huge.” The emendation was suggested by Mr. Tyrwhitt.

3 The old copy reads, “Who once no more," &c. The emendation is by Steevens. Malone reads, “Who wants no more,” &c.

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