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Antioch. A Room in the Palace.

Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.

Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large re


The danger of the task you undertake.

Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprise.


Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,
For the embracements' even of Jove himself;
At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd)
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,
The senate-house of planets all did sit,

To knit in her their best perfections.

Enter the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.

Per. See, where she comes, apparell'd like the spring,

Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king

Of every virtue gives renown to men!

Her face, the book of praises, where is read
Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence
Sorrow were ever ras'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.

Ye gods, that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflam'd desire in my breast,

• Music.] In every old copy, this word, which is evidently a stage-direction,

is made part of the text, at the commencement of the speech of Antiochus.

7 For THE embracements-] All the old copies omit "the."

• Sorrow were ever RAS'D,] In the quarto, 1609, it is "Sorrow were ever

racte," which later editions altered to rackt, mistaking the word.



To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Or die in the adventure, be my helps,
As I am son and servant to your
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 heaven, 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 '.
Yond' sometime famous princes', like thyself,
Drawn by report, adventurous by desire,

Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance pale,
That, without covering, save yond' field of stars,
They here 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 hath 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 heaven, 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,

9 - such a BOUNDLESS happiness!] The old editions, anterior to that of Rowe, by a misprint, have "bondless happiness."

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all THY whole heap must die.]

change was made by Malone.

The old copies have the for "thy:" the

2 Yond' sometime famous princes,] Referring, of course, to the heads of the unsuccessful suitors above the palace gates.

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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 3; Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed,

As these before thee, thou thyself shalt bleed. Daugh. Of all, 'say'd yet, may'st 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

Sharp physick is the last: but, O you powers!
That give heaven countless eyes to view men's acts,
Why cloud they not their sights perpetually,

3 Scorning advice, read the conclusion, then ;] In the quartos, this and the two next lines are made part of the speech of Pericles: the folio, 1664, only so far corrects the decided error as to give the two last lines to Antiochus. Of all 'say'd yet, may'st thou prove prosperous !

Of all 'say'd yet, I wish thee happiness.] So every old copy, which it is needless to alter to "In all sace that," as was done by Malone, on the recommendation of Monck Mason. Percy suggested that the meaning was, "Of all essay'd yet," and the conjecture is supported by the quarto, 1609, which prints "said "say'd: later editions read "said."

5 But faithfulness, and courage.] These are the very words transferred to the novel founded upon the play, "Pericles armed with these noble armours, faithfulness and courage," &c. As Steevens pointed out, the same expression is found in Sidney's "Arcadia," book iii.

If this be true, which makes me pale to read it?
Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, and could still,
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 heaven down and all the gods to

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;

"Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it.
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


Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell the earth is throng'd

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. [Aside.] Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found the meaning;

But I will gloze with him. [To him.] Young prince

of Tyre,

Though by the tenour 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

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:


of our strict edict,] The quartos read, "of your strict edict," but the folio, 1664, corrects the mistake. Two lines lower, it properly changes counsel of the quartos to "cancel."

7 Will SHUN no course-] All the old editions, with evident corruption, read "Will shew no course. Malone conjectured that 'schew, for eschew, might be the word, but he printed "shun."

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