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Could never be her mild companion.
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflam'd desire in my breast
To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Or die in the adveuture, be my helps,
As I am son and servant to your will,
To compass such a boundless happiness!
ANT. Prince Pericles-
PER. That would be son to great Antiochus.
ANT. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd;
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard :
Her face, like heav'n, enticeth thee to view
Her countless glory, which desert must gain :
And which, without desert, because thine eye
Presumes to reach, all thy whole heap must die.
Yon sometime famous princes, like thyself,
rawn by report, adventurous by desire,
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance pale,
That, without covering save yon field of stars,
Here they stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars ;
And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist
For going on Death's net, whom none resist.
PER. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hast taught
My frail mortality to know itself,
And by those fearful objects to prepare
This body, like to them, to what I must :
For death remember'd should be like a mirror,
Who tells us, life 's but breath, to trust it error.
I'll make my will then ; and, as sick men do
Who know the world, see heav'n, but feeling woe,
Gripe not at earthly joys, as erst they did ;
So I bequeath a happy peace to you
And all good men, as every prince should do ;
My riches to the earth from whence they came ;
But my unspotted fire of love to you.
[To the Daughter of Antiochus. Thus ready for the way of life or death, I wait the sharpest blow.
ANT. Scorning advice ; read the conclusion then ;
Which read and not expounded, 't is decreed,
As these before, so thou thyself shalt bleed.
Daugh. Of all 'say'd yet, mayst thou prove prosperous ! Of all 'say'd yet, I wish thee happiness !
PER. Like a bold champion I assume the lists,
Nor ask advice of any other thought,
But faithfulness, and courage.
“I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh which did me breed :
I sought a husband, in which labour,
I found that kindness in a father.
He's father, son, and husband mild,
I 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 O, ye powers !
That give heav'n 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 lov’d you, and could still,
[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess.
Were not this glorious casket stor'd 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, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heav'n 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 expir'd;
Either expound now, or receive your sentence.
PER. Great king,
Few love to hear the sins they love to act ;
’T would 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it.
Who hath a book of all that monarchs do,
He 's more secure to keep it shut, than shown :
For vice repeated is like the wand'ring 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
Copp'd hills toward heaven, to tell, the earth is throng'd
By mad'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 being bred,
Then give my tongue like leave to love my head.
ANT. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found the
But I will gloze with him. [Aside.] Young prince of Tyre,
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 honour, and your worth.
[Exeunt ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and Attendants. PER. How courtesy would seem to cover sin ! When what is done is like an 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 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 cropp'd to keep you clear,
By flight I 'll shưn the danger which I fear.
Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the 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 honour must keep high.
Who attends us there?
Doth your highness call ?
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, 't is done.
Enter a Messenger.
Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.
MEs. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.
Wilt live, fly after ; and like an arrow,
From a well-experienc'd archer, hits the mark
His eye doth level at, so do thou ne'er return,
Unless thou say'st, prince Pericles is dead.
THAL. My lord, if I can get him within my pistol's length, I'll make him sure enough : so farewell to your highness.
[Erit. ANT. Thaliard, adieu ! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head.
SCENE II.-Tyre. Enter PEHICLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords. PER. Let none disturb us: why should this charge of
thoughts, The sad companion, dull-ey'd Melancholy, By me [be] so us'd a guest, as 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 bim : 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 stint of war will look so huge, Amazement shall drive courage from the state ; Our men be vanquish'd, ere they do resist,