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If it be true that I interpret false,
Doth your highness call?
1 Where] Where, in this place, has the power of whereas.
? Thaliard.] This name is somewhat corrupted from Thaliarch, i. e. Thaliarchus.
Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our
mind Partakes her private actions to your secresy: 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? Thal.
My lord, 'Tis done.
Enter a Messenger. Ant. Enough; Lest your breath cool yourself, telling your haste. Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is filed.
[Exit Messenger. Ant.
Thal. My lord, if I
[Exit. Ant. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head. (Exit.
SCENE II. Tyre. A Room in the Palace. Enter Pericles, Helicanus, and other Lords. Per. Let none disturb us: Why this charge of
thoughts ? The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,
By me so us'd a guest is, not an hour, 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 mis-dread, 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 honour him, If he suspect I may dishonour 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 vanquish’d, e'er they do resist, And subjects punish'd, 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.
i Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast !
Since he hom I am to great Antibt done.3
— and cares it be not done,] And makes provision that it may not be done.
2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable ! Hel. Peace, peace, my lords, and give experience
- tongue. They do abuse the king, that flatter him: For flattery is the bellows blows up sin; 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, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face? Hel. How dare the plants look up to heaven, from
whence They have their nourishment?
Thou know'st I have 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 !6
* To which that breath--) i. e. the breath of Aattery.
5 When signior Sooth--) A near kinsman of this gentleman is mentioned in The Winter's Tale: “ — and his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by sir Smile, his neighbour."
Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince,
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 joys. 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 fled, 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 he 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
o That kings should let their ears hear their faults hid!] Heaven forbid, that kings should stop their ears, and so prevent them from hearing their secret faults !-To let formerly signified to hinder.
? Seem'd not to strike, but smooth:] To smooth formerly signified to flatter, but in this place means to stroke.