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PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
ANTIOCHUS, King of Antioch.
PERICLES, Prince of Tyre.
HELICANUS, two Lords of Tyre.
SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis.
Cleon, Governor of Tharsus.
LYSIMACHUS, Governor of Mitylene.
CERIMON, a Lord of Ephesus.
THALIARD, a Lord of Antioch.
PHILEMON, Servant to Cerimon.
LEONINE, Servant to Dionyza. Marshal.
A Pander and his Wife. BOULT, their Servant.
GoWER, as Chorus.
The Daughter of Antiochus.
DIONYZA, Wife to Cleon.
THAISA, Daughter to Simonides.
MARINA, Daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.
LYCHORIDA, Nurse to Marina. DIANA.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fisher
men, and Messengers, &c.
SCENE, dispersedly in various countries.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
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; And lords and ladies in their lives. . Have read it for restoratives. The purchase 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, 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, 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,
Biulie Fairest what hint to female of face race;
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 asked 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.
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify. [Exit.
SCENE I. 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
Imboldened with the glory of her praise,
Think death no hazard, in this enterprize. [Music.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,
For the embracements even of Jove himself;
At whose conception, (till Lucina reigned,
Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,)
The senate-house of planets all did sit,
To knit in her their best perfections.
Enter the Daughter of AntiochUS.
Per. See, where she comes, apparelled 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.
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 touched;
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 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.
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,
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 !
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.