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 pale,
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
This body, like to them, to what I must.2
For death remembered, 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,3
Gripe not at earthly joys, as erst they did;
So I bequeath 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, 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;
Of all said yet, I wish thee happiness!"

The emendation is Mr. Mason's.

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 labor,
I found that kindness in a father.
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. But O you powers!
That give heaven countless eyes to view men's acts,
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, fingered to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to hearken;
But, being played 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.
Per. Great king,

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,
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;1
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


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;
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

Though by the tenor of our strict edict,
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 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!
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 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 shun2 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.
Poison and treason are the hands of sin,
Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame;
Then, lest my life be cropped to keep you clear,
By flight I'll shun the danger which I fear.



Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which we


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?


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?


'Tis done.

Enter a Messenger.

My lord,

Ant. Enough.

Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.2
Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.

[Exit Messenger. As thou


Wilt live, fly after; and, as an arrow, shot
From a well-experienced archer, hits the mark
His eye doth level at, so ne'er return,
Unless thou say, Prince Pericles is dead.

Thal. My lord, if I

Can get him once within my pistol's length,
I'll make him sure; so farewell to your highness.

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,
By me so used a guest is, not an hour,

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?"

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