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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.
As you will live, resolve it you.
[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess.
Per. Great king,
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,
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
[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.
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
Enter a Messenger.
[Exit Messenger. Ant.
Thal. My lord, if I
SCENE II. Tyre. A Room in the Palace.
Enter PERICLES, Helicanus, and other Lords.
of thought ? 3
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.