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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,
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
Ye gods, that made me man, and sway in love,
• 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,
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance pale,
And by those fearful objects to prepare
For death remember'd should be like a mirror,
And all good men, as every prince should do:
9 - such a BOUNDLESS happiness!] The old editions, anterior to that of Rowe, by a misprint, have "bondless happiness."
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.
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;
Sharp physick is the last: but, O you powers!
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?
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.
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.
What being more known grows worse, to smother it.
Ant. [Aside.] Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found the meaning;
But I will gloze with him. [To him.] Young prince
Though by the tenour of our strict edict",
Your exposition misinterpreting,
We might proceed to cancel of your days;
[Exeunt ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin,
Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
And both like serpents are, who though they feed
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."