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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

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'da
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 being bred,

Then give my tongue like leave to love my head.
Ant. Heaven that I had thy head! he has found the meaning!

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 b;
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 '11 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, a Steevens reads wrong'd.

The quartos, counsel of; the folio (1664), cancel off.

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 a 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 shun 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

faithfulness we will advance

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?
TAAL. My lord, 't is done.

Enter a Messenger.

Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.
MEs. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.
ΑΝΤ. .

As thou

a Shun. The original copies, show.

Wilt live, fly after; and like an arrow, shot
From a well experienc'd archer, hits the mark

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.

[Exit. ANT. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my




Enter PERICLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords.
Per. Let none disturb us: why should this charge of thoughts,-

The sad companion, dull-ey'd Melancholy,
By me 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 quieta ?
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: • In the first line of this speech in the original the word now printed charge is chage. Douce thinks the reading of change may be supported :-"Let none disturb us; why should this change of thoughts (disturb us]?” Charge appears to be the likeliest word, in the sense of burthen. But we do not make the sentence end at charge of thoughts, as is usually done. The sad companion is that charge. The passage is usually printed thus:

“Let none disturb us: Why this charge of thoughts?
The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,,

By me so usd a guest is, not an hour,” &c.
Malone reads

“By me's so us'd a guest, as not an hour." In following the original we must understand the verb be :

“Why should, &c.

By me [be] so us'd a guest as not an hour.” * Him was added by Rowe.

And what may make him blush in being known,
He '11 stop the course by which it might be known;
With hostile forces he 'll o'erspread the land,
And with the stinta of war will look so huge,
Amazement shall drive courage from the state;
Our men be vanquish'd, ere they do resist,
And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence :
Which care of them, not pity of myself,
(Who amb 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.
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, 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 spark 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 doth 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. 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?
PER. Thou know'st I have power to take thy life from thee.
HEL. I have ground the axe myself; do but you strike the blow.
PER. Rise, prithee rise; sit down, thou art no flatterer;

I thank thee for it; and heaven forbid,
That kings should let their ears hear their faults hid !

a Stint, “which is the reading of all the copies, has here no meaning,” according to Malone. Ostent is therefore adopted. But what has been said just before ? —

He'll stop the course by which it might be known;" He will stop it, by the stint of war. Stint is synonymous with stop, in the old writers.

Am. The original has owe. Farmer suggested am.

Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince,
Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant,

What wouldst thou have me do?

To bear with patience
Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon yourself.
PER. Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicanus ;

That minister'st a potion unto me,
That thou wouldst tremble to receive thyself.
Attend me then; I went to Antioch,
Whereas", thou know'st, against the face of death,
I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty,
From whence an issue I might propagate ;
Are arms to princes, and bring joys to subjects.
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,
'T is 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 know him tyrannous, and tyrants' fears
Decrease not, but grow faster than the 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 him;
When all, for mine, if I may call 't offence,
Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence:
Which love to all (of which thyself art one,

Who now reprov'st me for it) -
HEL. Alas, sir!
Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from my cheeks,

Musings into my mind, with thousand doubts
How I might stop this tempest ere it came;
And finding little comfort to relieve them,

I thought it princely charity to grieve them.
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me leave to speak,

Freely will I speak. Antiochus you fear,

And justly, too, I think; you fear the tyrant, a Whereas, in the sense of where.

Which are arms, &c., is here understood. • To smooth signifies to flatter.

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