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Antiochus, King of Antioch.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
two Lords of Tyre.
Simonides, King of Pentapolis.
Cleon, governor of Tharsus.
Lysimachus, governor of Mitylene.
Cerimon, a Lord of Ephesus.
Thaliard, a Lord of Antioch.
Philemon, servant to Cerimon.
Leonine, servant to Dionyza. Marshal.
A Pandar, and his Wife. Boult their servant.
Gower, as chorus.
The daughter of Antiochus. Dionyza, wife to Cleon.
Thaisa, daughter to Simonides.
Marina, daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.
Lychorida, nurse to Marina. Diana.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates,
Fishermen, and Messengers, &c.
Scene, dispersedly in various countries.*
That the reader may know through how many regions the scene of this drama is dispersed, it is necessary to observe, that Antioch was the metropolis of Syria ; Tyre a city of Phænicia in Asia; Tarsus, the metropolis of Cilicia, a country of Asia Minor ; Mitylene, the capital of Lesbos, an Island in the Ægean şea ; and Ephesus, the capital of Ionia, a country of the Lesser Asia,
Before the Palace of ANTIOCH.
To sing a song of old? 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 ;
Et 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
for his chiefest seat;
1 Chorus, in the character of Gower, an ancient English Poet, who has related the story of this play in his Confessio Amantis.
z i, e, That of old. 3 Whitsun-ales, &c.
The fairest in all Syria ;
(I tell you what mine authors say :)
This king unto him took a pheere,
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 eyil, should be done by none.
By custom, what they did begin,
Was, with long use, accounts no sin.
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.
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify. (Exit.
4 Wife, the word signifies a mate or companion.
5 Accounted. • Puinting to the scene of the palace gate at Antioch, on which
the heads of those unfortunate wights were fixed.
Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, Pericles, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large re
ceiv'd The danger of the task
undertake. Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize. [Musick.
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
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 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 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,
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 pale,
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 net, 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 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 daughter of ANTIOCHUS.