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And which, without desert, because thine eye
Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught
And all good men, as every prince should do;
[To the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS. Thus ready for the way of life or death, I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus.
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! 4
1 i. e. "for fear of going," or "lest they should go."
2 That is, "to prepare this body for that state to which I must come." 3 "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 temporal pleasures, but prepare calmly for futurity."
4 The old copy reads:
"Of all said yet, mayst thou prove prosperous;
The emendation is Mr. Mason's.
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists,
[He reads the Riddle.]
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh which did me breed.
Sharp physic is the last. But O you powers!
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
As dangerous as the rest.
Few love to hear the sins they love to act;
'Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it.
1 i. e. the intimation in the last line of the riddle, that his life depends
on resolving it.
2 i. e. he is no perfect or honest man that knowing, &c.
Who has a book of all that monarchs do,
Copped hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is thronged 3
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die for't.
Kings are earth's gods; in vice their law's their will;
What being more known grows worse, to smother it.
Ant. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found
Though by the tenor of our strict edict,
[Exeunt ANT., his Daughter, and Attend.
1 Pericles means by this similitude to show the danger of revealing the crimes of princes; for as they feel hurt by the publication of their shame, they will of course prevent the repetition of it, by destroying the person who divulged. He pursues the same idea in the instance of the mole.
2 "Copped hills" are hills rising in a conical form, something of the shape of a sugarloaf. In Anglo-Saxon, cop is a head.
3 Steevens altered thronged to wronged; but apparently without necessity.
4 To the destruction of your life.
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin!
Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which we
To have his head.
He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,
In such a loathed manner.
And therefore instantly this prince must die
Doth your highness call?
1 Where has here the power of whereas. It occurs again in Act ii. Sc. 3. 2 The old copy erroneously reads show. The emendation is Malone's.
Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind Partakes her private actions to your secrecy; 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 him ; It fits thee not to ask the reason why, Because we bid it. Say, is it done?
Enter a Messenger.
Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.2
[Exit Messenger. As thou
Wilt live, fly after; and, as an arrow, shot
Thal. My lord, if I
Can get him once within my pistol's length,
Ant. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succor to my head.
SCENE II. Tyre. A Room in the Palace.
Enter PERICLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords.
Per. Let none disturb us; why should this change of thought? 3
The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy,
1 In The Winter's Tale the word partake is used in an active sense for participate.
2 These words are addressed to the messenger, who enters in haste. 3 "Why should this change in our thoughts disturb us?"