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Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
And welcome, all; although the cheer be poor,
'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
Sat. Why art thou thus attir'd, Andronicus?
Tit. Because I would be sure to have all well,
To entertain your highness, and your empress.
Tam. We are beholden to you, good Andronicus.
Tit. An if your highness knew my heart, you
My lord the emperor, resolve me this;
Was it well done of rash Virginius,
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforc'd, stain'd, and deflour'd?
Sat. It was, Andronicus.
Tit. Your reason, mighty lord?
Sat. Because the girl should not survive her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
Tit. A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
For me, most wretched, to perform the like:-
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
[He kills Lavinia. And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die! Sat. What hast thou done, unnatural, and unkind? Tit. Kill'd her, for whom my tears have made me blind.
I am as woful as Virginius was:
And have a thousand times more cause than he
To do this outrage-and it is now done.
Sat. What, was she ravish'd? tell, who did the
Tit. Will't please you eat; will't please your highness feed?
Tam. Why hast thou slain thine only daughter
Tit. Not I; 'twas Chiron, and Demetrius :
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue,
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
Sat. Go, fetch them hither to us presently.
Tit. Why, there they are both, baked in that
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.
Sat. Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed.
Luc. Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
Kills Saturninus. A great tumult. The people
in confusion disperse. Marcus, Lucius,
and their partisans, ascend the steps be-
fore Titus's house.
Mar. You sad-fac'd men, people and sons of
By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body.
Sen. Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself;
And she, whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate cast-away,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Speak, Rome's dear friend; [To Lucius.] as erst
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse,
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear,
The story of that baleful burning night,
Tell us, what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in,
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.-
My heart is not compact of flint, nor steel;
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
And break my very utterance; even i'the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration:
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
Luc. Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
And they it were that ravished our sister:
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Our father's tears despis'd; and basely cozen'd
Of that true hand, that fought Rome's quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome's enemies;
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears,
And op'd their arms to embrace me as a friend:
And I am the turn'd-forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv'd her welfare in my blood;
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
Sheathing the steel in my advent'rous body.
Alas! you know, I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just, and full of truth.
But, soft; methinks, I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise: O, pardon me;
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
Mar. Now is my turn to speak; Behold this
[Pointing to the child in the arms of an
Of this was Tamora delivered;
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes;
The villain is alive in Titus' house,
Damn'd as he is, to witness this is true.
Now judge, what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now you have heard the truth, what say you, Rø-
Have we done aught amiss? Shew us wherein,
And, from the place where you behold us now,
The poor remainder of Andronici
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak; and, if you say, we shall,
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
Emil. Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius our emperor; for, well I know,
The common voice do cry, it shall be so.
Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's
Lucius, &c. descend.
Mar. Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house;
[To an Attendant.
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
To be adjudg'd some direful slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
Rom. [Several speak.] Lucius, all hail; Rome's
Luc. Thanks, gentle Romans; May I g^vern so, To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her wo!
When subtle Greeks surpris'd king Priam's Troy ;||But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,~~
For nature puts me to a heavy task;-
Stand all aloof :-but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk :-
O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
[Kisses Titus. These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face,| The last true duties of thy noble son!
Mar. Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss, Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips: O, were the sum of these that I should pay Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them! Luc. Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn
To melt in showers: Thy grandsire lov'd thee well:
Many a time he danc'd thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meet, and agreeing with thine infancy
In that respect then, like a loving child,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Friends should associate friends in grief and wo:
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.
Boy. O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my
Would I were dead, so you did live again!—
O lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.
Enter Attendants, with Aaron.
1 Rom. You sad Andronici, have done with woes;
Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
There let him stand, and rave and cry for food:
If any one relieves or pities him,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Some stay, to see him fasten'd in the earth.
Aar. O, why should wrath be mute, and fury
I am no baby, I, that, with base prayers,
I should repent the evils I have done;
Ten thousand, worse than ever yet I did,
Would I perform, if I might have my will;
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
Luc. Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
And give him burial in his father's grave:
My father, and Lavinia, shall forthwith
Be closed in our household's monument.
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora,
No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts, and birds of prey:
Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;
And, being so, shall have like want of pity.
See justice done to Aaron, that damn'd Moor,
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
Then, afterwards, to order well the state;
That like events may ne'er it ruinate.
All the editors and critics agree in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing from them; for the colour of the style is wholly
Luc. Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish || different from that of the other plays.
Enter Gower. Before the palace of Antioch.
To sing a song of old2 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 ;3
And lords and ladies of their lives
Have read it for restoratives:
'Purpose to make men glorious;
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 city then, Antioch the great
Built up for his chiefest seat;
The fairest in all Syria;
(I tell you what mine authors say :)
This king unto him took a pheere,4
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 father! to entice his own
To evil, should be done by none.
By custom, what they did begin,
Was, with long use, accounts no sin.
(1) Chorus, in the character of Gower, an ancient English poet, who has related the story of this play in his Confessio Amantis.
The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
In marriage-pleasures play-fellow :
Which to prevent, he made a law
(To keep her still, and men in awe,)
That whoso ask'd 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.6
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 receiv'd
The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a sonl Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprise. [Music. Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception (till Lucina reign'd,) 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, apparell'd like the
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
every virtue gives renown to men!
Her face, the book of praises, where is read
Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence
(6) Pointing to the scene of the palace gate at (2) i. e. That of old. (3) Whitsun-ales, &c. | Antioch, on which the heads of those unfortunate (4) Wife, the word signifies a mate or companion. Il wights were fixed.
Sorrow were ever ras'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love,
That have inflam'd desire in my breast,
To taste the fruit of 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 touch'd;
For death-like dragons here affright thee hard:
Her face, like heaven, enticeth thee to view
A 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, advent'rous by desire,
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance
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 act, 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 remember'd, 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 wo,
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, Scorning advice.
Ant. Read the conclusion then; Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed, As these before thee thou thyself shalt bleed. Daugh. In all, save that, may'st 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 labour, I found that kindness in a father. He's father, son, and husband mild, I mother, wife, and yet his child. How they may be, and yet in two, As you will live, resolve it you. Sharp physic is the last: but O you powers! That give heaven countless eyes to view men's acts, Why cloud they not their sights perpetually, If this be true, which makes me pale to read it? Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, and could still,
[Takes hold of the hand of the princess. Were not this glorious casket stor❜d with ill: But I must tell you,-now, my thoughts revolt; For he's no man on whom perfections wait, 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,
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
Copp'd' hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth is wrong'd
By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth die for't.
| 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 gloze2 with him. [Aside.] Young prince of Tyre,
Though by the tenor of our strict edíct,
Your exposition misinterpreting,
We might proceed to cancel of your days;
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
[Exeunt Antiochus, 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 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,
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.
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
(1) Rising to a top or head. (2) Flatter, insinuate. (3) To the destruction of your life. (4) Whereas
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.
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
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 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, 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 ow 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 glow,
Whereas reproof, obedient, and in order,
When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace,
as they are men, for they may err.
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,
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?
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's
'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 (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 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).