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Thou know'st I have power
To take thy life.
Hel. [Kneeling.] I have ground the axe myself; Do you but strike the blow.
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
Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince,
Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant,
What would'st thou have me do?
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
'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
Decrease not, but grow faster than their years:
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't offence,
Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence:
Which love to all (of which thyself art one,
Who now reprov'st me for it).
Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from
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 I'll speak. Antiochus you fear,
And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant,
Who either by publick 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 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 absence
Hel. We'll mingle 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 show'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.
TYRE. AN ANTI-CHAMBER IN THE PALACE.
Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court. Here must I kill king Pericles; and if I do 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 might know none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some reason for it: for if a king hid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one.
Hush, here come the lords of Tyre.
Enter Helicanus, Escanes, and other Lords.
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow peers of Tyre,
Further to question of your king's departure.
His seal'd commission, left in trust with me,
Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel.
Thal. How! the king gone!
Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied,
Why, as it were unlicens'd of
He would depart, I'll give some light unto you.
Being at Antioch-
[Aside. Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know not,)
Took some displeasure at him; at least he judg'd so:
And doubting lest that he had err'd or sinn'd,
To show his sorrow, would correct himself;
So puts himself unto the shipman's toil,
With whom each minute threatens life or death.
Thal. Well, I perceive
I shall not be hang'd now, although I would;
But since he's gone, the king it sure must please,
He 'scap'd the land, to perish on the seas.—
But I'll present me.
Peace to the lords of Tyre!
Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.
Thal. From him I come
With message unto princely Pericles;
But, since my landing, as I have understood.
Your lord has took himself to unknown travels,
My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, since
Commended to our master, not to us:
Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,—
As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.
THARSUS. A ROOM IN THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE.
Enter Cleon, Dionyza, and Attendants.
Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And by relating tales of others' griefs,
See if 'twill 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;
Here they're but felt, and seen with mistful 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 lungs
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.