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Why fled you from the court, and whither? These, And your three motives to the battle, with
I know not how much more, should be demanded, And all the other by-dependencies,
Will serve our long inter'gatories. See, Posthumus anchors upon Imogen,
Sooth. Here, my good lord.
Read, and declare the meaning. Sooth. Whenas a lion's whelp shall, to himself
From chance to chance, but nor the time nor place unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which, being dead many and freshly grow, then shall Posthumus end his years, shall after revive, be jointed to the old stock, miseries, Britain be fortunate, and flourish in peace and plenty.
And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye
On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting
Each object with a joy; the counterchange
Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.
To BELARIUS. Thou art my brother; so we'll hold thee ever.
Imo. You are my father too; and did relieve
To see this gracious season.
Save these in bonds; let them be joyful too,
For they shall taste our comfort.
I will yet do you service.
My good master, Happy be you!
Cym. The forlorn soldier, that so nobly fought, He would have well becom'd this place and grac'd
The thankings of a king.
The power that I have on you is to spare you; The malice towards you to forgive you. Live, And deal with others better.
Nobly doom'd. 420
We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
Pardon's the word to all.
You holp us, sir,
As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Joy'd are we that you are.
Post. Your servant, princes. Good my lord of Rome,
Call forth your soothsayer. As I slept, methought
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows
Of mine own kindred: when I wak'd, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness that I can
Make no collection of it; let him show
His skill in the construction.
Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp;
The fit and apt construction of thy name,
Being Leo-natus, doth import so much.
To CYMBELINE. The piece of tender air, thy
Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
We term it mulier: which mulier, I divine,
Is this most constant wife; who, even now,
Answering the letter of the oracle,
Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about
With this most tender air.
This hath some seeming.
Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee, and thy lopp'd branches point
Thy two sons forth; who, by Belarius stolen,
For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd,
To the majestic cedar join'd, whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.
My peace we will begin. And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,
And to the Roman empire; promising
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
Whom heavens, in justice, both on her and hers,
Have laid most heavy hand.
Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune
The harmony of this peace. The vision
Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplish'd; for the Roman eagle,
From south to west on wing soaring aloft,
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun
So vanish'd: which foreshow'd our princely
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
Which shines here in the west.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen, and Me sengers.
Before the Palace of Antioch.
To sing a song that old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come,
Assuming man's infirmities,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves and holy-ales;
And lords and ladies in their lives
Have read it for restoratives:
The purchase is to make men glorious;
Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius.
If you, born in these latter times,
When wit's more ripe accept my rimes,
And that to hear an old man sing
May to your wishes pleasure bring,
I life would wish, and that I might
Waste it for you like taper-light.
This Antioch, then, Antiochus the Great
Built up, this city, for his chiefest seat,
The fairest in all Syria,
I tell you what mine authors say:
This king unto him took a fere,
Who died and left a female heir,
So buxom, blithe, and full of face
As heaven had lent her all his grace;
With whom the father liking took,
And her to incest did provoke.
Bad child, worse father! to entice his own
To evil should be done by none.
But custom what they dia begin
Was with long use account no sin.
The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bedfellow,
In marriage-pleasures playfellow:
Which to prevent he made a law,
To keep her still, and men in awe,
That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life:
So for her many a wight did die,
As yon grim looks do testify.
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye I give, my cause who best can justify.
Music. Enter the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
Per. See, where she comes apparell'd like the
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 raz'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.
Sharp physic is the last: but, O you powers!
That give heaven countless eyes to view men's
Why cloud they not their sights perpetually,
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 gods, that made me man, and sway in love, You are a fair viol, and your sense the strings,
That have inflam'd desire in my breast
To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree
Or die in the adventure, be my helps,
As I am son and servant to your will,
To compass such a boundless happiness!
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down and all the gods to
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:
With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd; Either expound now or receive your sentence.
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.
Yon sometime famous princes, like thyself,
Drawn by report, adventurous by desire,
Tell thee with speechless tongues and semblance
That without covering, save yon 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
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
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,
To the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS. But my un-
spotted fire of love to you.
Thus ready for the way of life or death,
I wait the sharpest blow.
Ant. Scorning advice, read the conclusion
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
Of all say'd yet, I wish thee happiness.
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
Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell the earth
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die for 't.
Kings are earth's gods; in vice their law 's their
And if Jove stray, who dares say Jove doth il'
It is enough you know; and it is fit,
What being more known grows worse, to
All love the womb that their first being 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. 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:
As doth befit our honour and your worth.
And until then your entertain shall be
Exeunt all but PERICLES Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin,
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists, When what is done is like an hypocrite,
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 you.
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,
70 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.
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 : 140
Then, lest my life be cropp'd to keep you clear,
By flight I'll shun the danger which I fear.
SCENE II.-Tyre. A Room in the Palace.
Per. To those without. Let none disturb us.
Why should this change of thoughts,
The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy,
Be my 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
Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes shun them,
And danger, which I fear'd, 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
Nor boots it me to say I honour him,
If he suspect I may dishonour him;
And what may make him blush in being known,
He 'll stop the course by which it might be known.
With hostile forces he 'll o'erspread the land,
And with the ostent 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 am no more but as the tops of trees,
Which fence the roots they grow by and defend
Makes both my body pine and soul to languish, And punish that before that he would punish.
Enter HELICANUS and other Lords.
First Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!
Second 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, 40
To which that blast gives heat and stronger
Whereas reproof, obedient and in order,
Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err:
When Signior Sooth here does 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.
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?
Where as 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
'Tis 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
Bethought me what was past, what might succeed.
I knew 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
When all, for mine, if I may call offence,
Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence :
Which love to all, of which thyself art one,
Who now reprovest me for it,—
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,
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;
SCENE III.-The Same. An Antechamber in the Palace.
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: 'tis 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 't; for if a king bid a man be a villain, he's bound by the indenture of his oath to be one. Hush here come the lords of Tyre.
Enter HELICANUS, ESCANES, and other Lords. 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. Aside. How! the king gone!
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 AntiochThal. Aside. 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 that 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. Aside. Well, I perceive
I shall not be hang'd now, although I would;
But since he's gone, the king it 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 wel-
Thal. From him I come
With message unto princely Pericles; But since my landing I have understood
Your lord has 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.
SCENE IV.-Tarsus. A Room in the Governor's
Enter CLEON, DIONYZA, and Attendants.
Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And by relating tales of others' griefs,
See if 'twill 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! even such our griefs are; Here they 're but felt, and seen with mischief's