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It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
My lord, 'Tis done.
Enter a Messenger. Ant. Enough; Lest your breath cool yourself, telling your haste. Mess. My lord, prince Pericles is fled.
[Exit Messenger. 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 thou 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 farewel to your highness.
[Exit. Ant. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head. [Exit,
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 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 si-.
lence; 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 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 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 glow
ing; 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'er
look 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?
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' fears
leave to speak,
Per. I do not doubt thy faith;