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Who either by public war, or private treason,
Will take away your life.
Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while,
Till that his rage and anger be forgot;
Or till the Destinies do cut his thread of life:
Your rule direct to any; if to me,
Day serves not light more faithful than I 'll be.
PER. I do not doubt thy faith;
But should he wrong my liberties in my absence-
HEL. We 'll mingle our bloods together in the earth
From whence we had our being and our birth.
PER. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and to Tharsus
Intend my travel, where I 'll hear from thee;
And by whose letters I 'll dispose myself.
The care I had and have of subjects' good,
On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can bear it.
I 'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath :
Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both :
But in our orbs we 'll live so round and safe,
That time of both this truth shall ne'er convince,
Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this the court. Here must I kill king Pericles;
and if I do it not, I am sure to be hanged at home: 't is dangerous.—Well, I perceive, he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that, being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some reason for it: for if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one. Hush, here come' the lords of Tyre.
Enter HELICANUS, ESCANEs, and other Lords of Tyre.
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow-peers of Tyre,
Further to question me of your king's departure.
His seal'd commission, left in trust with me,
Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel.
THAL. How! the king gone!
[Aside. HEL. If further yet you will be satisfied,
Why, as it were unlicens'd of your loves
He would depart, I 'll give some light unto you.
Being at Antioch-
THAL. What from Antioch?
Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know not)
Took some displeasure at him, at least he judg'd so:
And doubting lest he had err'd or sinn'd,
To show his sorrow, he 'd correct himself ;
So puts himself unto the shipman's toil,
With whom each minute threatens life or death.
THAL. Well, I perceive
I shall not be hang'd now, although I would ;
But since he 's gone, the king sure must please *
He 'scap'd the land, to perish at the sea.-
I'll present myself. Peace to the lords of Tyre.
HEL. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.
THAL. From him I come
With message unto princely Pericles ;
But since my landing I have understood,
Your lord hath betook himself to unknown travels;
My message must return from whence it came.
HEL. We have no reason to desire it,
Commended to our master, not to us :
Yet ere you shall depart, this we desire,
As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.
Enter CLEON, DIONYZA, and others. CLE. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And, by relating tales of others' griefs,
See if ’t will teach us to forget our own?
Dio. That were to blow at fire in hope to quench it;
For who digs hills because they do aspire,
Throws down one mountain to cast up a higher.
O my distressed lord, ev'n such our griefs are;
Here they 're but felt, and seen with mischief's eyes,
But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher rise.
CLE. O Dionyza,
Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it, * The original copies have,
“But since he's gone, the king's seas must please." We adopt the principle of Steevens's alteration, who reads
“But since he 's gone, the king it sure must please.” And seen. Thus in the original copies. Malone proposed unseen ; but Dionyza means to say that here their griefs are but felt and seen with mischief's eyes_eyes of discontent and suffering; but if topp'd with other tales—that is, cut down by the comparison-like groves they will rise higher, be more unbearable.
Or can conceal his hunger, till he famish ?
Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep our woes
Into the air; our eyes do weep, till tongues a
Fetch breath that may proclaim them louder, that
If heaven slumber, while their creatures want,
They may awake their helpers to comfort them.
I 'll then discourse our woes felt several years,
And, wanting breath to speak, help me with tears.
Dio. I 'll do my best, sir.
CLE. This Tharsus, over which I have the government,
A city, on whom plenty held full hand,
For riches strew'd herself even in the streets;
Whose towers bore heads so high, they kiss'd the clouds,
And strangers ne'er beheld, but wonder'd at;
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd,
Like one another’s glass to trim them by :
Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on, as delight;
All poverty was scorn'd, and pride so great,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.
Dio. Oh, 't is too true.
CLE. But see what heaven can do! By this our change,
These mouths, whom but of late, earth, sea, and air,
Were all too little to content and please,
Although they gave their creatures in abundance,
As houses are defil'd for want of use,
They are now stary'd for want of exercise ;
Those palates, who, not us'd to hunger's savour,
Must have inventions to delight the taste,
Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it;
Those mothers who, to nouzle
Thought nought too curious, are ready now,
To eat those little darlings whom they lov'd;
So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and wife
Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life:
Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping;
Here many sink, yet those which see them fall
Have scarce strength left to give them burial.
Is not this true ?
Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.
CLE. O let those cities that of Plenty's cup
• Tongues, in all the early editions. Steevens changed the word to lungs, which is the received reading.
Helpers, in the original. The modern reading is helps. • This is Malone's reading. All the early copies have
“ Those pallats, who, not yet too savers younger."
And her prosperities so largely taste,
With their superfluous riots, hear these tears!
The misery of Tharsus may be theirs.
Enter a Lord.
LORD. Where 's the lord governor?
Speak out thy sorrows, which thou bring'st in haste,
For comfort is too far for us to expect.
LORD. We have descried, upon our neighbouring shore,
A portly sail of ships make hitherward.
CLE. I thought as much.
One sorrow never comes but brings an heir,
succeed as his inheritor;
And so in ours: some neighbouring nation,
Taking advantage of our misery,
Hath a stuff'd these hollow vessels with their
To beat us down, the which are down already;
And make a conquest of unhappy me,
Whereas no glory 's got to overcome.
LORD. That 's the least fear; for, by the semblance
Of their white flags display'd, they bring us peace,
And come to us as favourers, not as foes.
CLE. Thou speak'st like him 's untutor'd to repeat,
Who makes the fairest show, means most deceit.
But bring they what they will, and what they can,
What need we fear ?
The ground 's the lowest, and we are half way
Go tell their general, we attend him here,
To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
And what he craves.
LORD. I go, my lord.
CLE. Welcome is peace, if he on peace consisto;
If wars, we are unable to resist.
Enter PERICLES with Attendants.
Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you are,
Let not our ships, and number of our men,
Be, like a beacon fir'd, to amaze your eyes.
We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre,
And seen the desolation of your streets ;
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears,
But to relieve them of their heavy load;
And these our ships (you happily may think
• Hath. The original copies, that.
Are, like the Trojan horse, war-stuff’da within,
With bloody views expecting overthrow)
Are stor'd with corn to make your needy bread,
And give them life, whom hunger starv'd half dead.
OMNES. The gods of Greece protect you !
And we will pray for you. PER.
Arise, I pray you, rise ; We do not look for reverence, but for love,
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.
CLE. The which when any shall not gratify,
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves,
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils !
Till when (the which, I hope, shall ne'er be seen),
Your grace is welcome to our town and us.
PER. Which welcome we 'll accept; feast here a while,
Until our stars, that frown, lend us a smile.
a War-stuff"d. This is Steevens's ingenious emendation of was stufr’d.