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We hate the Prince of Tyre, and thou must kill him:
Thai. My lord,
Enter a Messenger.
Ant. Enough. —
Messenger. My lord, Prince Pericles is fled.
Ant. As thou
Wilt live, fly after: and, as an arrow, shot
Thai. My lord,
Ant. Thaliard, adieu. — Till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head. [Exit.
Per. [As he enters.'] Let none disturb us. — Why should this change of thoughts, The sad companion, dull-ey'd melancholy, Be my so us'd a guest as 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: that 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 wThat 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 th' ostent of war will look so huge, Amazement shall drive courage from the state; Our men be vanquished 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 languish, And punish that before that he would punish.
Enter Heucanus, and other Lords.
1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!
2 Lord. And keep your mind, till you return to us, Peaceful and comfortable.
Helicanus. 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 flatter'd, but a spark, 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. [_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 from thee.
Hel. I have ground the axe myself; Do you but strike the blow.
Per. Rise, pr'ythee, rise;
Sit down; thou art no flatterer:
HeL To bear with patience
Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon yourself.
Per. Thou speak'st like a physician, Helicanus, That ministers 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,
[ . 3
Are arms to princes, and bring joys to subjects.
Hel. Alas, sir!
Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from my cheeks, Musings into my mind, a thousand doubts How I might stop this tempest ere it came; And finding little comfort to relieve them, I thought it princely charity to grieve them.
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me leave to speak, Freely will I speak. Antiochus you fear, And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant, Who either by public war or private treason, Will take away your life. Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while, Till that his rage and anger be forgot, Or till the Destinies do cut his thread of life. Your rule direct to any; if to me, Day serves not light more faithful than I'll be.
Per. I do not doubt thy faith; But should he wrong my liberties in my absence?
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 Tharsus 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 convince, Thou shew'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.