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,
Gripe not at earthly joys, as erst they did;
So I bequeathe 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.

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,
I found that kindness in a father.

1 To what I must come.

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 physic is the last : 1 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 loved you, and could still,
[takes hold of the hand of the princess.
Were not this glorious casket stored with ill:
But I must tell you,-now my thoughts revolt;
For he's no man on whom perfections wait, 2
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 music,
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 expired: Either expound now, or receive your sentence.

1 i. e. the intimation in the last line of the riddle.
2 i. e. no honest man.

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 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 mole


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

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 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 tenor of our strict edict,

Hills rising to a top or head.
2 Deceive him by mild behavior.

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 honor and your worth.

[Exeunt Antiochus, his Daughter, and Attendants.
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin,
When what is done is like a hypocrite,
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 1 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,
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.

1 Whereas,

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,
By flight I'll snun the danger which I fear. [Exit.


Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which

we mean

To have his head.

He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy;
Nor tell the world, Antiochus doth sin

In such a loathed manner :

And therefore instantly this prince must die;
For by his fall my honor must keep high.
Who attends on us there?



Doth your highness call?

Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind

Partakes her private actions to your secresy;
And for your faithfulness we will advance you.
Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here 's gold :
We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill


It fits thee not to ask the reason why,

Because we bid it. Say, is it done?

Tha. 'Tis done.

My lord,

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