« ZurückWeiter »
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE
(DRAMATIS PERSONÆ ANTIOCHUS, king of Antioch.
BOULT, his servant.
The Danghter of Antiochus.
Droneza, wife to Cleon. CLEON, governor of Tarsus.
THAISA, daughter to Simonides. LYSIMACHUB, governor of Mytilene.
MARINA, daughter to Pericles and Thaisa. CERIMON, a lord of Ephesus.
LYCHORIDA, nurse to Marina.
GOWER, as Chorus.
SCENE: Dispersedly in various countries.)
Enter GOWER. (Before the palace of Antioch. Heads and skulls
of men over the gate.)
To keep her still and men in awe,
(SCENE I. Antioch. A room in the palace.) Enter ANTIOCHUS, PRINCE PERICLES, and fol
lowers. 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 Embold'ned with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard in this enterprise. Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride
Music. For 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, 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 raz’d, and testy wrath Could never be her mild companion. You gods that made me man, and sway in love, That have inflam'd 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, -
ides, 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 30 Her countless glory, which desert must gain, And which, without desert, because thine eye Presumes to reach, all the whole heap must
die. Yon sometimes famous princes, like thyself, Drawn by report, adventurous by desire, Tell thee, with speechless tongues and sem
blance pale, That without covering, save yon field of stars, Here they stand martyrs, slain in Cupid's wars; And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist For going on death's net, whom none resist. 40 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 rememb’red 'should be like a mir
ror, 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 Princess.] 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, 't is decreed, As these before thee, thou thyself shalt bleed. Daugh. Of all 'say'd yet, mayst thou prove
prosperous ! Of all 'say'd yet I wish thee happiness! Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the
As you will live, resolve it you.
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, 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
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
Per. Great king, Few love to hear the sins they love to act; 'T would 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 wandering 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 casts Copp'd hills towards heaven, to tell the earth
is throng'd By man's oppression; and the poor worm doth
die for 't. Kings are earth’s gods; in vice their law's their
; And if Jove stray, who dare 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 being bred, Then give my tongue like leave to love my
head. Ant. (Aside.) Heaven, that I had thy head !
He has found the meaning.
(Exeunt all but Pericles.
feed On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed.
Antioch, farewell ! for wisdom sees those men
famy, 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 us there?
Enter THALIARD. Thal.
Doth your Highness call ? Ant. Thaliard, You are of our chamber, and our mind par
takes Her private actions to your secrecy; 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
My lord, 'Tis done. Ant. Enough.
Enter a MESSENGER. Let your breath cool yourself, telling your
haste. Mes. My lord, Prince Pericles is fled. (Erit.] Ant.
As thou Wilt live, fly after; and like an arrow shot From a well-experienc'd archer hits the mark His eye doth level at, so thou ne'er return Unless thou say Prince Pericles is dead.
Thal. My lord, If I can get him within my pistol's length, I 'll make him sure enough ; so farewell to
your Highness. Ant. Thaliard, adieu ! (Exit Thal.] Till
Pericles be dead,
(Erit.] [SCENE II. Tyre. A room in the palace.]
Enter PERICLES. Per. [To Lords without.] Let none disturb us.
Why should this change of thoughts, The sad companion, dull-ey'd Melancholy, Be my so usd a guest as not an hour In the day's glorious walk or peaceful night, The tomb where grief should sleep, can breed
Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes
shun them; And danger, which I fear'd, 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 war will look so hnge, s 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 grow by and defend
them Makes both my body pine and soul to langaish, And punish that before that he would punish.
Enter (HELICANUS, with other] LORDS. 1. Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred
breast! 2. Lord. And keep your mind, till you return Peaceful and comfortable ! Hel. Peace, peace, 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 flattered, but a spark, 40 To which that blast 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. (Ereunt Lords.) Heli
canus, thou Hast mov'd us. What seest thou in our looks ?
Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.
frowns, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face ? Hel. How dares the plants look up to heaven,
from whence They have their nourishment?
Thou know'st I have power To take thy life from thee. Hel. Kneeling.) I have ground the axe my
self ; Do you but strike the blow. Per.
Rise, prithee, rise. Sit down. Thou art no flatterer. I than thee for it; and heaven forbid That kings should let their ears hear their
faults hid ! Fit counsellor and servant for a prince, Who by thy wisdom makes a prince thy servant, What wouldst thou have me do? Hel.
To bear with patience Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon your
self. Per. Thou speak’st like a physician, Heli
canus, That ministers a potion unto me That thou wouldst tremble to receive thyself. Attend me, then. I went to Antioch, Where, as thou know'st, against the face of
death, I songht the purchase of a glorious beauty, From whence an issue I might propagate, Are arms to princes and bring joys to subjects. Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder ; 75 The rest - hark in thine ear — as black as in
cest; 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 suc
ceed. I knew him tyrannous, and tyrants’ fears Decrease not, but grow faster than the years; 85 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) offence Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence: Which love to all, of which thyself art one, Who now reprov'dst me for it,
Alas, sir! 95 Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood
from my cheeks,
leave to speak,
Will take away your life.
Per. I do not doubt thy faith ;
sence ? Hel. We'll mingle our bloods together in the
earth, From whence we had our being and our birth. Per. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and
to Tarsus 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 we 'll live so round and safe, That time of both this truth shall ne'er con
vince, Thou show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.
[Exeunt. (SCENE III. Tyre. An ante-chamber in the
Enter THALIARD. Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this the court. Here must I kill King Pericles; and if I do it 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 [6 might know none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some reason for 't; for if a king bid a man be a villain, he's bound by the indenture of his oath to be one. Hush ! here comes the lords of Tyre. Enter HELICANUS and ESCANES, with other
Thal. [Aside.] How! the King gone!
Hei. 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.
(Aside.) What from Antioch? Hel. Royal Antiochus - on what cause I
know not Took some displeasure at him; at least he
Thal. [Aside.) Well, I perceive
But since he's gone, the King's ears it must
please; He scap'd the land, to perish at the sea. I'll present myself. Peace to the lords of Tyre!
Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is wel
Thal. From him I come With message unto princely Pericles; But since my landing I have understood Your lord has betook himself to unknown
travels, My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, Commended to our master, not to us; Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire, As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.
(Exeunt. (SCENE IV. Tarsus. A room in the Governor's
house.] Enter Cleon, the Governor of Tarsus, with (D10
NYZA,] his wife, and others. Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, And by relating tales of others' griefs, See if 't will teach us to forget our own? Dio. That were to blow at fire in hope to
quench it ; For who digs hills because they do aspire Throws down one mountain to cast up a higher. O my distressed lord, even such our griefs are. Here they ’re but felt, and seen with mischief's
eyes, But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher
rise. Cle. O Dionyza, Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it, Or can conceal his hunger till he famish? Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep Our woes into the air ; our eyes do weep, Till tongues fetch breath that may proclaim
them louder; That, if heaven slumber while their creatures
want, They may awake their helps to comfort them. I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years, And, wanting breath to speak, help me with
tears. Dio. I'll do my best, sir. Cle. This Tarsus, o'er which I have the
government, A city on whom Plenty held full hand, For Riches strew'd herself even in the streets Whose towers bore heads so high they kiss'd
the clouds, And strangers ne'er beheld but wond'red at;. 25 Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd, Like one another's glass to trim them by. Their tables were stor'd full, to glad the sight, And not so much to feed on as delight. All poverty was scorn'd, and pride so great, 30 The name of help grew odious to repeat. Dio, 0, 't is too true. Cle. But see what heaven can do! By this
our change, These mouths, who but of late, earth, sea, and
Were all too little to content and please, Although they gave their creatures in abun
dance, As houses are defil'd for want of use, They are now starved for want of exercise. Those palates who, not yet two summers
younger, Must have inventions to delight the taste, Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it. Those mothers who, to nuzzle up their babes, Thought nought too curious, are ready now To eat those little darlings whom they lov'd. So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and
wife Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life. Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping, Here many sink, yet those which see them fall Have scarce strength left to give them burial. Is not this true ? Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do wit
Enter a LORD.
haste, For comfort is too far for us to expect. Lord. We have descried, upon our neigh
bouring shore, A portly sail of ships make hitherward.
Cle. I thought as much. One sorrow never comes but brings an heir, That may succeed as his inheritor; And so in ours. Some neighbouring nation, Taking advantage of our misery,. Hath stuff'd these hollow vessels with their
power, To beat us down, the which are down already; And make a conquest of unhappy me, Whereas no glory's got to overcome. Lord. That 's the least fear; for, by the
semblance Of their white flags display'd, they bring us
peace, And come to us as favourers, not as foes. Cle. Thou speak'st like him 's untutor'd to
repeat, * Who makes the fairest show means most deBut bring they what they will and what they
can, What need we fear ? The ground's the lowest, and we are half way
there. Go tell their general we attend him here, To know for what he comes, and whence he
comes, And what he craves. Lord. I go, my lord.
(Erit.] Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace con
sist; If wars, we are unable to resist.