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That knowing sin within, will touch the gate.
You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings ;
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to hearken;
But, being play'd 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 expir'd ;
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.
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 wand'ring wind, a
Blows dust in others' eyes, to spread itself';
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 casts
Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is wrong'd
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die fort.
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,

i 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 Tyre, Though by the tenour of our strict edíct, Your exposition misinterpreting, We might proceed to cancel of your days;

[1] That is, which blows dust, &c. The man who knows of the ill prac. tices of princes, is unwise if he reveals what he knows ; for the publisher of vicious actions resembles the wind, which, while it passes along, blows dust into men's eyes.-When the blast is over, the eye that has been affected by the dust, suffers no farther pain, but can see as clearly, as before ; so by the relation of criminal acts, the eyes of mankind (though they are affected, and turn away with horror, are opened, and see clearly what before was not even suspected : bat by exposing the crimes of others the relater suffers himself, as the breeze passes away, so the breath of the informer is gone; he dies for his temerity. Yet, to stop the course or ventilation of the air, would hurt the eyes ; and to prevent informers from divulging the crimes of men would be prejudicial to mankind. Such, I think, is the meaning of this obscure passage.


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 honour, and your worth.

[Exe. ANTIOCHUS, his Daughter, and Attendants,
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin !
When what is done is like an 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, 2
By your untimely claspings with your child,
(Which pleasure fits an 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 shun no course to keep them from the light.3
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.

Re-enter ANTIOCHUS. Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which we

mean 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. [2] Where in this place has the power of whereas. STEEVENS. [3] The expression is here, as in many other places in this play, eliptical; for wis 'om sees, that those who do not blush to commit actions blacker than the night, will not shun any course in order to preserve them from being made public. MALONE.

Who attends on us there?

Enter THALIARD. Thal. Doth your highness call ?

Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind 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.
Ant. Enough;
Lest your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.

Mes. My lord, prince Pericles is filed. [Exit Meas

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. [Exit.

Anti Thaliard, adieu ! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head. . [Exia,

SCENE IT." 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 usd 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 ine 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; 2*


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'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 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 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,
(Who am do more but as the tops of trees,
Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend them,)
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 up sin ; 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 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 toprinces, 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,

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, (as no doubt he doth,) T'hat 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 may 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)

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