Act I, Scene 2
Tyre. A room in the palace.
- Enter Pericles with his Lords.
Pericles1 - 34
- Let none disturb us.
- Exeunt Lords.
- 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 fear’d, 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 misdread,
- 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 silence;
- Nor boots it me to say I honor him,
- If he suspect I may dishonor 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 vanquish’d ere they do resist,
- And subjects punish’d that ne’er thought offense:
- 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 Helicanus and all the Lords to Pericles.
First Lord of Tyre35
- Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!
Second Lord of Tyre36 - 37
- And keep your mind, till you return to us,
- Peaceful and comfortable!
Helicanus38 - 48
- 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 flattered, 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 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.
Pericles49 - 53
- 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 mov’d us. What seest thou in our looks?
- An angry brow, dread lord.
Pericles55 - 56
- If there be such a dart in princes’ frowns,
- How durst thy tongue move anger to our face?
Helicanus57 - 58
- How dares the plants look up to heaven, from whence
- They have their nourishment?
Pericles59 - 60
- Thou knowest I have power
- To take thy life from thee.
Helicanus61 - 62
- I have ground the axe myself,
- Do but you strike the blow.
Pericles63 - 68
- Rise, prithee rise. Sit down. Thou art
- No flatterer. I thank thee for’t, and heaven forbid
- That kings should let their ears hear their faults hid!
- Fit counsellor and servant for a prince,
- Who by thy wisdom makes a prince thy servant,
- What wouldst thou have me do?
Helicanus69 - 70
- To bear with patience
- Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon yourself.
Pericles71 - 99
- Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicanus,
- That ministers a potion unto me
- That thou wouldst 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,
- Are arms to princes and bring joys to subjects.
- 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 seems 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 what was past, what might succeed.
- I knew him tyrannous, and tyrants’ fears
- Decrease not, but grow faster than the years;
- And should he doubt ’t, as no doubt he doth,
- That I should open to the list’ning 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 pretense of wrong that I have done him;
- When all, for mine, if I may call offense,
- Must feel war’s blow, who spares not innocence:
- Which love to all, of which thyself art one,
- Who now reprov’dst me for’t—
- Alas, sir!
Pericles101 - 105
- Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from my cheeks,
- Musings into my mind, with 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 for them.
Helicanus106 - 115
- 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.
Pericles116 - 117
- I do not doubt thy faith;
- But should he wrong my liberties in my absence?
Helicanus118 - 119
- We’ll mingle our bloods together in the earth,
- From whence we had our being and our birth.
Pericles120 - 129
- 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 crack them 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’.