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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.
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,
Ant. Prince Pericles,
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught
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;
[To the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
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 :
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.]
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,
[Takes hold of the hand of the Princess.
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
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
[Exeunt ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and
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.