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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 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,
By flight I'll shun the danger, which I fear. (Exit.
Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which
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 honour must keep high.
Who attends on us there?
Thal. Doth your highness call ?
Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our
Partakes her private actions to your secresy:
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?
Thal. My lord, Tis done.
Enter a Messenger.
Lest your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.
Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is filed.
Ant. As thou
Wilt live, fly after: and as an arrow, shot
From a well-experienc'd archer, bits the mark
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. [Exit,
SCENE II.--Tyre. A room in the palace. Enter PericLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords. Per. Let none disturb us: Why this charge of
thoughts? 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
quiet! Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes
shun them, 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 mis-dread,
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 bis 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 bim :
And what may make him blush in being known,
He'll stop the course by which it might be known;
With hostile forces he'li o'erspread the land,
And with the ostent of war will look so huge,
Amazement shall drive courage from the state ;
Our men be vanquish'd, e'er they do resist,
And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence :
Which care of them, not pity of myself,
(Wbo 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.
i 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
They do abuse the king, that flatter him :
For flattery is the bellows blows up
The thing the which is flatter'd, but a spark,
To which that breath gives heat and stronger glow-
Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order,
Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.
When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace,
He flatters you, makes war upon your life:
Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please ;
I cannot be much lower than my 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?
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,
Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys.
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
Seem'd not to strike, but smooth: 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
Decrease not, but grow faster than their years:
Apd should he doubt it, (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 bim ;
When all, for mine, if I mạy callt 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
Musings into my mind, a thousand doubts
How I might stop this tempest, ere it came;
And finding little comfort to relieve them,
I thought it princely charity to grieve them.
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me leave
Freely I'll speak. Antiochus you fear,
And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant,
Who either by public war, or private treason,
Will take away your life.
Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while,
Till that his rage and anger be forgot,
Or destinies do cut his thread of life.
Your rule direct to any; if to me,
Day serves not light more faithful than I'll be.