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This body, like to them, to what I must:
For death remember'd, should be like a mirror,
And all good men, as every prince should do;
[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, 'tis decreed, As these before thee, thou thyself shalt bleed. Daugh. In all, save that, mayst thou prove prosperous!
In all, save that, I wish thee happiness.
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists, Nor ask advice of any other thought
But faithfulness and courage.
[he reads the riddle.
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh, which did me breed:
I sought a husband; in which lahar,
1 To what I must come.
He's father, son, and husband mild;
Sharp physic is the last : 1 but, O you powers!
Why cloud they not their sights perpetually,
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
But, being play'd upon before your time,
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life;
As dangerous as the rest. Your time 's expired: Either expound now, or receive your sentence.
1 i. e. the intimation in the last line of the riddle.
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;
Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is throng'd
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die
Kings are earth's gods: in vice their law's their
And if Jove stray, who dares say, Jove doth ill?
What being more known grows worse, to smother it.
But I will gloze with him. [aside.] Young prince of Tyre,
Though, by the tenor of our strict edict,
Hills rising to a top or head.
Your exposition misinterpreting,
[Exeunt Antiochus, his Daughter, and Attendants.
Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
And both like serpents are, who, though they feed
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,
Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which
To have his head.
He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy;
In such a loathed manner :
And therefore instantly this prince must die;
Doth your highness call?
Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind
Partakes her private actions to your secresy;
It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Because we bid it. Say, is it done?
Tha. 'Tis done.