« PreviousContinue »
As heaven had lent her all his grace;
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance With whom the father liking took,
pale, And her to incest did provoke :
That, without covering, save yon field of stars, Bad father! to entice his own
They here stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars; To evil, should be done by none.
And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist, By custom, what they did begin,
For going on death's net, whom none resist. Was, with long use, account no sin.
Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught The beauty of this sinful dame
My frail mortality to know itself, Made many princes thither frame,
And by those fearful objects to prepare To seek her as a bed-fellow,
This body, like to them, to what I must: In marriage-pleasures play-fellow:
For death remember'd, should be like a mirror, Which to prevent, he made a law,
Who tells us, life's but breath; to trust it, error. (To keep her still, and men in awe,)
I'll make my will then ; and, as sick men do, That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling His riddle told not, lost his life:
woe, So for her many a wight did die,
Gripe not at earthly joys, as erst they did ; As yon grim looks do testify:
So I bequeath a happy peace to you, What now ensues, to th' judgment of your eye and all good men, as every prince should do; I give, my cause who best can justify.' [Exit. My riches to the earth from whence they came;
But my unspotted fire of love to you. SCENE 1--Antioch. A room in the palace.
[To the daughter of Antiochus.
Thus ready for the way of life or death, Enter Antiochus, PERICLES, and Attendants.
I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus, Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large Scorning advice. receiv'd
Ant. Read the conclusion then; The danger of the task you undertake.
Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed, Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul As these before thee thou thyself shalt bleed. Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Daugh. In all, save that, may'st thou prove Think death no hazard in this enterprize.
[Music. In all, save that, I wish thee happiness!
But faithfulness, and courage.
[He reads the Riddle.]
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh, which did me breed : Per. See, where she comes, apparell’a like the I sought a husband, in which labour, spring,
I found that kindness in a father.
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
Sharp physic is the last: but, O you powers ! Ye gods, that made me man, and sway in love, That give heaven countless eyes to view men's That have inflam'd desire in my breast,
acts, To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Why cloud they not their sights perpetually, Or die in the adventure, be my helps,
If this be true, which makes me pale to read it ? As I am son and servant to your will,
Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, and could still, To compass such a boundless happiness !
[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess. Ant. Prince Pericles,
Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ilt: Per. That would be son to great Antiochus. But I must tell you,-now, my thoughts revolt;
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides, For he's no man on whom perfections wait,
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life, Then, lest my life be cropp'd to keep you clear, For that's an article within our law,
By flight I'll shun the danger, which I fear. As dangerous as the rest. Your time's expir’d;
. Either expound now, or receive your sentence. Per. Great king,
Re-enter ANTIOCHUS. Few love to hear the sins they love to act ; Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the 'Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it. which we mean Who has a book of all that monarchs do, To have his head. He's more secure to keep it shut than shown; He must not live to trumpet forth my infamny, For vice repeated, is like the wand'ring wind, Nor tell the world, Antiochus doth sin Blows dust in others' eyes to spread itself;
In such a loathed manner: And yet the end of all is bought thus dear, And therefore instantly this prince must die; The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear: For by his fall my honour must keep high. To stop the air would hurt them. The blind Who attends on us there?
mole casts Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is
Enter THALIARD. wrong'd
Thal. Doth your highness call ? By man's oppression: and the poor worm doth Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our die for't.
mind Kings are earth’s gods: in vice their law's their partakes her private actions to your secresy; will ;
And for your faithfulness we will advance you. And if Jove stray, who dares say, Jove doth ill? Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here's gold; It is enough you know; and it is fit,
We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill What being more known grows worse, to smo
him; ther it.
It fits thee not to ask the reason why, All love the womb that their first beings bred, Because we bid it. Say, is it done? Then give my tongue like leave to love
head. Thal. My lord, Ant. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has 'Tis done.
found the meaning; But I will gloze with him. [Aside. ] Young
Enter a Messenger. prince of Tyre,
Ant. Enough; Though by the tenour of our strict edíct, Lest
your breath cool yourself, telling your haste. Your exposition misinterpreting,
Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is filed. We might proceed to cancel of your days;
[Exit Messenger. Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree
Ant. As thou As your fair self, doth tune us otherwise: Wilt live, fly after : and as an arrow, shot Forty days longer we do respite you ;
From a well-experienc'd archer, hits the mark If by which time our secret be undone, His eye doth level at, so ne'er return, This mercy shows, we'll joy in such a son : Unless thou say, Prince Pericles is dead. And until then, your entertain shall be,
Thal. My lord, if I As doth befit our honour and your worth. Can get him once within my pistol's length,
[Exeunt Antiochus, his daughter, and 111 make him sure : so farewell to your highAttendants.
[Erit Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin ! Ant. Thaliard, adieu ! till Pericles be dead, When what is done is like an hypocrite, My heart can lend no succour to my head. The which is good in nothing but in sight.
[Erit. If it be true that I interpret false, Then were it certain, you were not so bad, SCENE II.-Tyre. A room in the palace. As with foul incest to abuse your soul; Where now you're both a father and a son,
Enter Pericles, HELICANUS, and other Lords. By your untimely claspings with your child, Per. Let none disturb us: Why this charge (Which pleasure fits an husband, not a father ;) of thoughts? And she an eater of her mother's flesh, The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy, By the defiling of her parent's bed;
By me so us'd a guest is, not an hour, And both like serpents are, who though they'feed In the day's glorious walk, or peaceful night, On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed. (The tomb where grief should sleep,) can breed Antioch, farewell! for wisdom sees, those men me quiet! Blush not in actions blacker than the night, Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes Will shun no course to keep them from the light. shun them, One sin, I know, another doth provoke; And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch, Murder's as near to lust, as flame to sinoke. Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here: Poison and treason are the hands of sin, Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits, Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame: Nor yet the other's distance comfort me.
Then it is thus : the passions of the mind, I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid, That have their first conception by mis-dread, That kings should let their ears hear their faults Have after-nourishment and life by care;
hid ! And what was first but fear what might be done, Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince, Grows elder now, and cares it be not done. Who by thy wisdom mak’st a prince thy servant, And so wit'ı me;-the great Antiochus What would'st thou have me do? ('Gainst whoin I am too little to contend, Hel. With patience bear Since he's so great, can make his will his act,) Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself. Will think me speaking, though I swear to si- Per. Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicalence ;
nus; Nor boots it me to say, I honour him,
Who minister'st a potion unto me, If he suspect I may dishonour him:
That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself. And what may make him plush in being known, Attend me then: I went to Antioch, He'll stop the course by which it might be Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death, known;
I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty, With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land, From whence an issue I might propagate, And with the ostent of war will look so huge, Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys. Amazement shall drive courage from the state; Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder ; Our men be vanquish’d, e'er they do resist, The rest (hark in thine ear,) as black as incest ; And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence: Which by my knowledge found, the sinful faWhich care of thein, not pity of myself, (Who am no more but as the tops of trees, Seem'd not to strike, but smooth : but thou Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend know'st this, them,)
'Tis time to fear, when tyrants seem to kiss. Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish, Which fear so grew in me, I hither fled, And punish that before, that he would punish. Under the covering of a careful night, 1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred Who seem'd my good protector; and being here, breast !
Bethought me what was past, what might succeed. 2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return I knew him tyrannous; and tyrants' fears to us,
Decrease not, but grow faster than their years : Peaceful and comfortable !
And should he doubt it, (as no doubt he doth,) Hel. Peace, peace, my lords, and give experi- That I should open to the listening air, ence tongue.
How many worthy princes' bloods were shed, They do abuse the king that fatter him: To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope, For flattery is the bellows blows up sin; To lop that doubt, he'll fill this land with arms, The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, And make pretence of wrong that I have done To which that breath gives heat and stronger glowing;
When all, for mine, if I may call't offence, Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence : Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. Which love to all (of which thyself art one, When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace, Who now reprov'st me for it) He flatters you, makes war upon your life: Hel. Alas, sir ! Prince, pardon me, or strike ine, if you please ; Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from I cannot be much lower than my knees.
my cheeks, Per. All leave us else; but' let your cares Musings into my mind, a thousand doubts o'erlook
How I might stop this tempest, ere it came ; What shipping, and what lading's in our haven, And finding little comfort to relieve them, And then return to us. [Ereunt Lords.] Heli- I thought it princely charity to grieve them. canus, thou
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me Hast mov'd us: what seest thou in our looks? leave to speak, Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.
Freely I'll speak. Antiochus you fear, Per. If there be such a dart in princes' frowns, And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face? Who either by public war, or private treason, Hel. How dare the plants look up to heaven, Will take away your life. from whence
Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while, They have their nourishment?
Till that his rage and anger be forgot, Per. Thou know'st I have power
Or destinies do cut his thread of life, To take thy life.
Your rule direct to any; if to me, Hel. [Kneeling:] I have ground the axe my- Day serves not light more faithful than I'll be. self;
Per. I do not doubt thy faith; Do you but strike the blow.
But should he wring my liberties in absencePer. Rise, pr’ythee, rise;
Hel. We'll mingle bloods together in the earth, Sit down, sit down; thou art no flatterer: From whence we had our being and our birth.
Per. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and to Hel. We have no reason to desire it, since Tharsus
Commended to our master, not to us : Intend
travel, where I'll hear from thee; Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire, And by whose letters I'll dispose myself. As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre. The care I had and have of subjects' good,
[Ereunt. On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can bear it.
SCENE IV.-Tharsus. A room in the Gover. I'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath ;
nor's house. Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both :
Enter Cleon, Dionyza, and Attendants. But in our orbs we'll live so round and safe, Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, That time of both this truth shall ne'er con- And by relating tales of other's griefs, vince,
See if 'twill teach us to forget our own? Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince. Dio. That were to blow at fire, in hope to
[Exeunt. quench it;
For who digs hills because they do aspire, SCENE III.-Tyre. An anti-chamber in the Throws down one mountain to cast up a higher. palace.
O my distressed lord, eyen such our griefs ;
Here they're but felt, and seen with mistful eyes, Enter THALIARD.
But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher risc. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court.
Cle. O Dionyza, Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do not, Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it, I am sure to be hanged at home: 'tis danger- Or can conceal his hunger, till he famish? ous.—Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep our woes had good discretion, that being bid to ask what Into the air ; our eyes do weep, till lungs he would of the king, desired he might know Fetch breath that may proclaim them louder ; none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some that, reason for it: for if a king bid a man be a vil- If heaven slumber, while their creatures want, lain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to They may awake their helps to comfort them. be one.--Hush, here come the lords of Tyre. I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years,
And wanting breath to speak, help me with tears, Enter HELICANUS, Escanes, and other Lords.
Dio. I'll do my best, sir. Hel. You shall not need, my fellow
of Cle. This Tharsus, o'er which I have govern. Tyre,
ment, Further to question of your king's departure. (A city, on whom plenty held full hand,) His seal'd commission, left in trust with me,
For riches, strew'd herself even in the streets; Doth speak sufficiently; he's gone to travel. Whose towers bore heads so high, they kiss'd Thal. How! the king gone! [ Aside.
the clouds, Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied, And strangers ne'er beheld, but wonder'd at; Why, as it were unlicens'd of your loves, Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd, He would depart, I'll give some light unto you. Like one another's glass to trim them by : Being at Antioch
Their tables were stor'd full to glad the sight,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.
Cle. But see what heaven can do ! By this our
air, With whom each minute threatens life or death. Were all too little to content and please, Thal. Well, I perceive
[Aside. Although they gave their creatures in abundance, I shall not be hang'd now, although I would ; As houses are defil'd for want of use, But since he's gone, the king it sure must please, They are now starv'd for want of exercise; He 'scap'd the land, to perish on the seas.- Those palates, who not yet two summers younger, But I'll present me. Peace to the lords of Tyre! Must have inventions to delight the taste, Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is wel. Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it;
Those mothers, who, to nousle up their babes, Tal. From bim I come
Thought nought too curious, are ready now, With message unto princely Pericles ; To eat those little darlings, whom they lov'd. But, since my landing, as I have understood So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and wife Your lord has took himself to unknown travels, Draw lots, who first shall die to lengthen life: My message must return from whence it came. Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping;
Here many sink, yet those which see them fall, Go tell their general, we attend him here,
[Erit. And her prosperities so largely taste,
Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace consist;
Enter Pericles, with Attendants.
Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you are, Lord. Where's the lord governor ?
Let not our ships and number of our men Cle. Here.
Be, like a beacon fir'd, to amaze your eyes.
a Speak out thy sorrows, which thou bringést, in We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre, haste,
And seen the desolation of your streets : For comfort is too far for us to expect.
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears, Lord We have descried, upon our neighbour- But to relieve them of their heavy load ; ing shore,
And these our ships you happily may think A portly sail of ships make hitherward. Are, like the 'Trojan horse, war-stuffed within, Cle. I thought as much.
With bloody views, expecting overthrow, One sorrow never comes, but brings an heir, Are stor’d with corn, to make your needy bread, That may succeed as his inheritor;
And give them life, who are hunger-starv'd, half And so in ours : some neighbouring nation,
dead. Taking advantage of our misery,
AU. The gods of Greece protect you ! Hath stuff®d these hollow vessels with their power, And we'll pray
for you. To beat us down, the which are down already; Per. Rise, I pray you, rise ;
I And make a conquest of unhappy me,
We do not look for reverence, but for love, Whereas no glory's got to overcome.
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men, Lord. That's the least fear; for, by the sem- Cle. The which when any shall not gratify, blance
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought, Of their white flags display'd, they bring us peace, Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves, And come to us as favourers, not as foes. The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils ! Cle. Thou speak’st like him’s untutor’d to re- Till when, (the which, I hope, shall ne'er be peat,
seen, Who makes the fairest show, means most deceit. Your grace is welcome to our town and us. But bring they what they will, what need we Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here fear?
a while, The ground's the low'st, and we are half way Until our stars, that frown, lend us a smile. there.
all the Train with them. Enter at anothen
Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home,