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Antioch. A Room in the Palace,

Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large

receiv'd 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 enterprize. [Musick.

Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception, (till Lucina reign'd,) Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence, The senate-house of planets all did sit, To knit in her their best perfections.

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 ras'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.”
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflam'd desire in my breast,
To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Or die in the adventure, bę my helps,


and testy wrath Could never be her mild companion,] i. e. the companion of her mildness,

As I am son and servant to your will,
To compass such a boundless happiness! !

Ant. Prince Pericles,
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.

Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd ;
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard :
Her face, like heaven, enticeth thee to view
A 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, advent'rous 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 taught
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 woe,

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9 A countless glory,] i.e. her face, like the firmament, invites you to a blaze of beauties too numerous to be counted.

all thy whole heap must die,] i. e. thy whole mass must be destroyed. There seems to have been an opposition intended. Thy whole heap, thy body, must suffer for the offence of a part, thine eye. The word bulk, like heap in the present passage, was used for body by Shakspeare and his contemporaries.

like to them, to what I must :] That is,--to prepare this body for that state to which I must come.

s'Who knor the world, see heaven, but feeling woe, &c.] The meaning may be- I will act as sick men do; who having had experience of the pleasures of the world, and only a visionary and distant prospect of heaven, have neglected the latter for the former; but at length feeling themselves decaying, grasp no longer at tem. poral


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 ;
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, Antiochus,
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, may'st thou prove pros :

perous !

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 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. .

Sharp physick is the last :* but O you powers !

give heaven countless eyes to view men's acts,

pleasures, but prepare calmly for futurity. 4 Sharp physick is the last:] i.e. the intimation in the last line.

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,

[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess.
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're a fair viol, and your sense the strings;
Who, finger'd to make man' his lawful musick,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to

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. 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 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



5 For he's no man on whom perfections rait,] Means no more than-he's no honest man, that knowing, &c.

to make man – ] i. e. to produce for man, &c. 7 The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear :

To stop the air would hurt them.] Pericles means, by this similitude, to show the danger of revealing the crimes of princes; for as they feel themselves hurt by the publication of their shame, they

Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is

wrong'd 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 beings 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 tenour of our strict edíct,
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 ;
And until then, your entertain shall be,
As doth befit our honour, and

[Exeunt ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and

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.

your worth.

will, of course, prevent a repetition of it, by destroying the person who divulged it.

8 Copp'd hills -] 1. e. rising to a top or head. Copped Hall, in Essex, was so named from the lofty pavilion on the roof of the old house, which has been since pulled down. The upper tire of masonry that covers a wall is still called the copping or coping. High-crowned hats were anciently called copatain hats. Steevens.

Your exposition misinterpreting,] Your exposition of the riddle being a mistaken one; not interpreting it rightly.

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