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 23 with him. (Aside.] Young prince

of Tyre,
Though by the tenour of our strict edíct,
Your exposition misinterpreting,
We might proceed to cancel of your days 24;
Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree

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 bonour, and


worth. [Exeunt Ant. his Daughter, and Attend. 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 25 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,

23 Flatter, insinuate. 24 To the destruction of your life. 25 Where has here the power of whereas ; as in other passages of these plays. See vol. i. p. 139; ii. 327 ; iii, 73, &c. It oc. curs again with the same meaning in Act ii. Sc. 3, of this play.

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 26 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 cropp'd to keep you clear 27,
By flight I'll shun 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
Nor tell the world, Antiochus doth sin
In such a loathed manner:
And therefore instantly this prince must die;
For by his fall my honour must keep high.
Who attends on us there?


Enter THALIARD. Thal.

Doth your highness call? Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our


28 The old copy erroneously reads shew. The emendation is Malone's. The expression here is elliptical:-- For wisdom sees that those men who do not blush to commit actions blacker than the night, will not shun any course in order to preserve them from being made publick.'

27 To prevent any suspicion from falling on you.' So in Macbeth :

always thought, that I Require a clearness,

Partakes 28 her private actions to your secrecy;
And for


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? Thal.

My lord, Tis done.

Enter a Messenger. Ant. Enough. Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste 29. Mess. My lord, Prince Pericles is fled.

[Exit Messenger. Ant.

As thou Wilt live, fly after: and, as an arrow, shot From a well experienc'd 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.

[Erit. Ant. Thaliard, adieu ! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour 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 1 ? 28 In The Winter's Tale the word partake is used in an active sense for participate :

your exultation

Partake to every one.' 29 These words are addressed to the Messenger, who enters in haste.

Why should this change of thought? This is the reading of the old copies; which Steevens changed to, ‘Why this charge

eyes shun

The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy,
By me so us’d a guest is, not an hour,
In the day's glorious walk, or peaceful night
(The tomb where grief should sleep), can breed me

Here pleasures court mine eyes,

and mine
And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch,
Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here:
Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits,
Nor yet the other's distance comfort me.

Then it is thus: the passions of the mind,
That have their first conception by misdread,
Have after-nourishment and life by care;
And what was first but fear what might be done,
Grows elder now, and cares it be not done.
And so with me;—the great Antiochus
('Gainst whom I am too little to contend,
Since he's so great, can make his will his act),
Will think me speaking, though I swear to silence;
Nor boots it me to say, I honour him,
If he suspect I may dishonour him :
And what may make him blush in being known,
He'll stop the course by which it might be known;
With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land,
And with the ostent of warwill look so huge,
of thoughts ?' I think without necessity. Pericles, addressing
the Lords, says, ' Let none disturb us.' Then apostrophising him-
self, says, “Why should this change in our thoughts disturb us?'

? Him was supplied by Rowe for the sake of the metre.
3 Old copies :-

And with the stent of war will look so huge.' The emendation, suggested by Mr. Tyrwhitt, is confirmed by the following passage in Decker's Entertainment to King James I. 1604:

* And why you bear alone th' ostent of warre.' Again in Chapman's translation of Homer's Batrachomuoma

• Both heralds bearing the ostents of war.' See vol. iji. p. 31 and 43.


Amazement shall drive courage from the state;
Our men be vanquish’d, ere they do resist,
And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence:
Which care of them, not pity of myself,
(Who am * no more but as the tops of trees,
Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend

Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish,
And punish that before, that he would punish.

1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!

2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable ! Hel. Peace, peace, my lords, and give experience

tongue. They do abuse the king, that flatter him: For flattery is the bellows blows The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark, To which that breath gives heat and stronger

glowing; Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order, Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err. When Signior Sooth 6 here does proclaim a peace, He flatters you, makes war upon your Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please; I cannot be much lower than


knees. Per. All leave us else; but let your cares o’erlook What shipping, and what lading's in our haven, And then return to us. [Exeunt Lords.] Helicanus,

thou Hast moved us : what seest thou in our looks?

up sin;


4 The old copy reads, 'Who once no more,' &c. The emendation is by Steevens. Malone reads, “Who wants no more,' &c.

5 i.e. the breath of flattery. The word spark was here accidentally repeated by the compositor in the old copy.

6 A near kinsman of this gentleman is mentioned in The Winter's Tale :— And his pond fished by his next neighbour, by Sir Smile.

« ElőzőTovább »