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And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch,
1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!
2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable ! Hel. Peace, peace, iny lords, and give experience
They do abuse the king, that flatter him:
; The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, To which that breath gives heat and stronger glowing; Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order, Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace, He flatters you, makes war upon your life : Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please ; I cannot be much lower than my knees.
Per. All leave us else; but let your cares o'erlook What shipping, and what lading's in our haven, And then return to us. [Exeunt Lords.] Helicanus,
thou Hast moved us : what seest thou in our looks ?
Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.
Per. If there be such a dart in princes' frowns,
power To take thy life.
Hel. [Kneeling.) I have ground the axe myself; Do you
but strike the blow. Per.
Rise, pr'ythee rise ; Sit down, sit down; thou art no flatterer : I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid, That kings should let their ears hear their faults hid ! Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince, Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant, What would'st thou have me do?
With patience bear Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself.
Per. Thou speak'st like a physician, Helicanus; Who minister'st a potion unto me, That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself. Attend me then : I went to Antioch, Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death, I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty, From whence an issue I might propagate, Bring arms to princes, and to subjects jays. Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder ; The rest (hark in thine ear,) as black as incest; Which by my knowledge found, the sinful father Seem'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 Aled; 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 tyrannous; and tyrants’ fears Decrease not, but grow faster than their years : And should he doubt it, (as no doubt lie doth,) That I should open to the listening air, How many worthy princes' bloods were shed, To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope, To lop that doubt, he'll fill this land with arms, And make pretence of wrong that I have done him ; When all, for mine, if I may call't offence, Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence: Whịch love to all (of which thyself art one, Who now reprov'st me for it).
Alas, sir! Per, Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from my
Per. I do not doubt thy faith ;
Hel. We'll mingle bloods together in the earth
Tharsus 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. I'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath ; Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both: But in our orbs 2 we'll live so round and safe,
2 In our different spheres.
That time of both this truth shall ne'er convince, 3
Tyre. An Ante-chamber in the Palace.
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court. Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do not, I am sure to be hang'd 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 it: for if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one.-Hush, here come the lords of Tyre.
Enter HELICANUS, Escanes, and other Lords.
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow peers of Tyre, Further to question of your king's departure. His seal'd commission, left in trust with me, Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel. Thal. How! the king gone!
[Aside, Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied, Why, as it were unlicens’d of your loves, He would depart, I'll give some light unto you. Being at AntiochThal.
What from Antioch? [Aside. Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know not,)