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Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.
Per. If there be such a dart in princes' frowns, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face? Hel. How dare the plants look up to heaven,
from whence They have their nourishment? Per.
Thou know'st I have power To take thy life.
Hel. [Kneeling.] I have ground the axe myself; Do you but strike the blow. Per.
Rise, pr’ythee rise; Sit down, sit down; thou art no flatterer : I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid, That kings should let their ears hear their faults
hid?! Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince, Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant, What would'st thou have me do? Hel.
With patience bear Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself.
Per. Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicanus; Who minister'st a potion unto me, That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself. Attend me then: I went to Antioch, Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death, I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty, From whence an issue I might propagate, Are arms to princes, and bring to subjects joys 8. Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder; The rest (hark in thine ear), as black as incest; Which by my knowledge found, the sinful father
7 •Forbid it, heaven, that kings should suffer their ears to hear their feelings palliated !!
8 • From whence I might propagate an issue that are arms,' &c. Steevens reads :
· Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys.'
Seem'd not to strike, but smooth 9: but thou know'st
this, 'Tis time to fear, when tyrants seem to kiss. Which fear so grew in me, I hither fled, Under the covering of a careful night, Who seem'd my good protector; and being here, Bethought me what was past, what might succeed. I knew him tyrannous; and tyrants' fears Decrease not, but grow faster than their years : And should he doubt it 10 (as no doubt he doth), That I should open to the listening air, How many worthy princes' bloods were shed, To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope,To lop that doubt, he'll fill this land with arms, And make pretence of wrong that I have done him; When all, for mine, if I
call't offence, Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence: Which love to all (of which thyself art one, Who now reprov’st me for it)Hel.
Alas, sir ! Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from
my cheeks, Musings into my mind, a thousand doubts
9 To smooth is to sooth, coax, or flatter. Thus in King Richard III.:
• Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog.' So in Titus Andronicus:
*Yield to his humour, smooth, and speak him fair.' The verb to smooth is frequently used in this sense by our elder writers; for instance by Stubbes in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1583:- If you will learn to deride, scoffe, mock, and flowt, to flatter and smooth,' &c.
10 The quarto of 1609 reads, “And should he doot,' &c.; from which the reading of the text has been formed. Should he be in doubt that I shall keep his secret (as there is no doubt but he is), why, to‘lop that doubt,' i.e. to get rid of that painful uncertainty, he will strive to make me appear the aggressor, by attacking me first as the author of some supposed injury to himself.'
How I' might stop this tempest, ere it came;
leave to speak,
, Who, either by public war, or private treason, Will take away your
Per. I do not doubt thy faith;
Hel. We'll mingle bloods together in the earth,
Tharsus Intend my travel, where I'll hear from thee; And by whose letters I'll dispose myself. The care I had and have of subjects' good, On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can bear it??. I'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath; Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both: But in our orbs 13 we'll live so round and safe, That time of both this truth shall ne'er convince 14, Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince 15.
[Exeunt. 11 That is, to lament their fate. The first quarto reads, “to grieve for them.'
12 This transfer of authority naturally brings the first scene of Measure for Measure to our mind. 13 i. e. in our different spheres.
in seipso totius teres atque rotundus.' 14 Overcome. 15 This sentiment is not much unlike that of Falstaff':-'I
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court. Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do not, I am sure to be hang'd at home: 'tis dangerous.Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets 1. Now do I see he had some reason for it: for if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one.Hush, here come the lords of Tyre. Enter HELICANUS, ESCANES, and other Lords. .
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow peers of Tyre, Further to question of your king's departure. His seald commission, left in trust with me, Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel. Thal. How! the king gone!
[Aside. Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied, Why, as it were unlicens’d of your loves, He would depart, I'll give some light unto you. Being at AntiochThal.
What from Antioch? [Aside. shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince.' The same idea is more clearly expressed in King Henry VIII. Act iii. Sc. 2:
• A loyal subject is
Therein illustrated.' 1 Who this wise fellow was may be known from the following passage in Barnabie Riches Souldier's Wishe to Briton's Welfare, or Captaine Skill and Captaine Pill, 1604, p. 27 :— I will therefore commende the poet Philipides, who being demaunded by King Lisimachus, what favour he might doe unto him for that he loved him, made this answere to the king—That your majesty would never impart unto me any of your secrets.'
Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know not), Took some displeasure at him; at least he judg’d so: And doubting lest that he had err’d or sinn’d, To show his sorrow, would correct himself; So puts himself® unto the shipman's toil, With whom each minute threatens life or death. Thal. Well, I perceive
[Aside. I shall not be hang'd now, although I would; But since he's gone, the king it sure must please, He scap'd the land, to perish on the seas 3. But I'll present me.
Peace to the lords of Tyre!
Thal. From him I come
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, since +
Tharsus. A Room in the Governor's House.
Enter Cleon, DIONYZA, and Attendants.
2 Steevens has thought this phrase wanted illustration ; but it is of very common occurrence. • To put himselfe in daunger of his life; In periculum caput se inferre.'--Baret. 3 The old copy reads :
* But since he's gone the king's seas must please :
He scap'd the land, to perish at the sea.' The emendation is by Dr. Percy.
4 The adverb since, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied by Steevens for the sake of sense and metré.