Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

had offended him, that he had employed Iago to murder him.

This discovery was as a thunderstroke to Othello, who now plainly saw that he was no better than a murderer, and that his wife (poor innocent lady) had been ever faithful to him; the extreme anguish of which discovery making life insupportable, he fell upon his sword, and throwing himself upon

the body of his dear injured lady, expired.

These rash acts raised much passion of horror and amazement in the by-standers, for Othello had borne a fair reputation, and till he was wrought upon by the arts of a villain, which his own noble nature never gave him leave to suspect, he was a loving and a doting husband. He had loved, not wisely, but too well; and his manly eyes (when he learned his mistake) though not used to weep on every small occasion, dropt tears as fast as the Arabian trees their gum. And when he was dead all his former merits and his valiant acts were remembered. Nothing now remained for

[blocks in formation]

his successor, but to put the utmost censure of the law in force against lago, who was executed with strict tortures; and to send word to the state of Venice of the la. mentable death of their renowned general.

TALE XX.

PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.

PERICLES, prince of Tyre, became a voluntary exile from his dominions, to avert the dreadful calamities which Antio. chus, the wicked emperor of Greece, threatened to bring upon his subjects and city of Tyre, in revenge for å discovery which the prince had made of a shocking deed which the emperor had done in secret; as commonly it proves dangerous to pry into the hidden crimes of great ones. Leaving the government of his people in the hands of his able and honest minister, Hellicanus, Pericles set sail from Tyre, thinking to absent himself till the wrath of Antiochus, who was mighty, should be appeased.

The first place which the prince directed his course to was Tharsus, and hearing that the city of Tharsus was at that time suffering under a severe famine, he took with him store of provisions for its relief. On his arrival he found the city reduced to the utmost distress; and, he coming like a messenger from heaven with this unhoped for succour, Cleon, the governor of Tharsus, welcomed him with boundless thanks. Pericles had not been here many days, before letters came from his faithful minister, warning him that it was not safe for him to stay at Tharsus, for Antiochus knew of his abode, and by secret emissaries despatched for that purpose sought his life. Upon receipt of these letters Pericles put out to sea again, amidst the blessings and prayers of a whole people who had been fed by his bounty.

He had not sailed far, when his ship was overtaken by a dreadful storm, and every man on board perished except Pericles, who was cast by the sea-waves naked on an unknown shore, where he had not

wandered long before he met with some poor fishermen, who invited him to their homes, giving him clothes and provisions. The fishermen told Pericles the name of their country was Pentapolis, and that their king was Symonides, commonly called the good Symonides, because of his peaceable reign and good government. From them he also learned that king Symonides had a fair young daughter, and that the following day was her birth-day, when a grand tournament was to be held at court, many princes and knights being come from all parts to try their skill in arms for the love of Thaisa this fair princess. While the prince was listening to this account, and secretly lamenting the loss of his good armour, which disabled him from making one among these valiant knights, another fisherman brought in a complete suit of armour that he had taken out of the sea with his fishing.net, which proved to be the very armour he had lost. When 'Pericles beheld his own armour, he said, “Thanks, Fortune; after all my crosses you give me

« ZurückWeiter »