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DIONYZA, wife to Cleon.

THAISA, daughter to Simonides.

MARINA, daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.

LYCHORIDA, nurse to Marina.


Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen, and Messengers, &c.

SCENE, dispersedly in various countries.




Enter GOWER.

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 ; 1
And lords and ladies of their lives

Have read it for restoratives:

The purpose 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 rhymes,
And that, to hear an old man sing,
May to your wishes pleasure bring;-

1 Ales drunk at church festivals.

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 pheere,1
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.

By custom, what they did 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.?

Wife: this word signifies a mate or companion.

2 Pointing to the heads of those unfortunate suitors which were fixed on the gate of the palace at Antioch.

What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye I give, my cause who best can justify.



Antioch. A room in the palace.

Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.

Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large received

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 enterprise.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a


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.



Per. See, where she comes, apparel'd like the spring,

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 rased, and testy wrath

Could never be her mild companion.1

Ye gods, that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflamed 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!
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
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 taught My frail mortality to know itself,

And by those fearful objects to prepare

1 i. e. the companion of her mildness.

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