Obrázky stránek

Daugh. In all, save that, may'st thou prove

prosperous ! In all, save that, I wish thee happiness12!

Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists,
Nor ask advice of any other thought
But faithfulness, and courage13.

[He reads the Riddle.]
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh, which did me breed:
I sought a husband, in which labour,
I found that kindness in a father.
He's father, son, and husband mild,
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,

As you will live, resolve it you.
Sharp physic is the last14: but O you powers!
That give heaven countless eyes15 to view men's acts,
Why clould they not their sights perpetually16,
If this be true, which makes me pale to read it ?
Fair glass of light, I lov’d you, and could still,

[Takes hold of the Hand of the Princess. Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ill: But I must tell you,-now, my thoughts revolt; For he's no man on whom perfections wait”, That knowing sin within, will touch the gate. You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings:

12 The old copy reads :

of all said yet, may'st thon prove prosperous ;

of all said yet, I wish thee happiness!' The emendation is Mr. Mason's.

13 This is from the third book of Sidney's Arcadia :- Whereupon asking advice of no other thought but faithfulness and courage, he presently lighted from his own horse,' &c.

14 i. e. the intimation in the last line of the riddle, that his life depends on resolving it; which he properly enough calls sharp physic; or a bitter potion. 15 Thus in A Midsummer Night's Dream :

'--- who more engilds the night
Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.

stars, hide your fires,
Let not light see,' &c.

Macbeth, 17 i, e. he is no perfect or honest man, that knowing, &e.

Who, finger'd to make man his lawful music,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to

But, being play'd upon before your time,
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime:
Good sooth, I care not for you

Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not18, upon thy life,
For that's an article within our law,
As dangerous as the rest. Your time's expir’d;
Either expound now, or receive your sentence.

Per. Great king, Few love to hear the sins they love to act; 'Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it. Who has a book of all that monarchs do, He's more secure to keep it shut, than shown; For vice repeated, is like the wand'ring wind, Blows dust in others' eyes, to spread itself19; And yet the end of all is bought thus dear, The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear To stop the air would hurt them. The blind mole casts Copp’d20 hills towards heaven, to tell, the earth

is throng'd

18 This is a stroke of nature. The incestuous king cannot bear to see a rival touch the band of the woman he loves. His jealousy resembles that of Antony :

---- to let hin be familiar with
My play-fellow, your hand!; this kingly seal

And plighter of high hearts.' Malefort, in Massinger's Dunatural Combat, expresses the like impatient jealousy, when Beaufort touches his daughter Theocrine, to whoin he was betrothed.

19 “The man who knows the ill practices of princes is unwise if he reveals what he knows ; for the publisher of vicious actions resembles the wind, which, while it passes along, blows dust into men's eyes.

When the blast is over, the eyes that have been affected by the dust, though sore, see clear enough to stop for the future the air that would annoy them. Pericles means by this similitude to show the danger of revealing the crimes of princes ; for as they feel hurt by the publication of ibeir shame, they will of course prevent a repetition of it, by destroying the person who divulged. He pursues the sanie idea in the instance of the mole.

20 • Coppid hills' are bills rising in a conical form, sometbing of the shape of a Bugarloaf. Thus in Horman's Vulgaria, 1519 : Sometime men wear copped caps like a sugar loaf.

So Baret: • To make copped, or sharpe at top; cacumino.' In A. S. cop is a head. See vol. iii. p. 405, note 3 ; and vol. vii, p. 324, note 6.

By man's oppression21; and the poor worm 22 doth

die for't. kings are earth’s gods: in vice their law's their will; And if Jove stray, who dares say, Jove doth ill? It is enough you know; and it is fit, What being more known grows worse, to smother it. All love the womb that their first beings bred, Then give my tongue like leave to love my head. Ant. Heaven, that I had thy head! he has found

the meaning;But I will gloze23 with him. (Aside.] Young prince

of Tyre,
Though by the tenour of our strict edíct,
Your exposition misinterpreting,
We might proceed to cancel of your days2t;
Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree
As your fair self, doth tune us otherwise:
Forty days longer we do respite you;
If by which time our secret be undone,
This mercy shows, we'll joy in such a son:
And until then, your entertain shall be,
As doth befit our honour, and your worth.

[Ereunt Ant. his Daughter, and Attend.
Per. How courtesy would seem to cover sin!
When what is done is like a hypocrite,
The which is good in nothing but in sight.
If it be true that I interpret false,
Then were it certain, you were not so bad,
As with foul incest to abuse your soul;
Where25 now you're both a father and a son,

21 The earth is oppressed by the injuries which crowd upon her. Steevens altered throng'd to wrong'd; but apparently without necessity.

22 The mole is called poor worm as a term of commiseration. In The Tempest, Prospero, speaking to Miranda, says, Poor worm, thou art infected. The mole remains secure till it has thrown up those hillocks which betray his course to the molecatcher.

23 Flatter, insinuate.
24 To the destruction of your life.

25 Where has here the power of whereas; as in other passages of these plays. See vol. i p 131 ; ii 308 ; iii. 69, &c. It occurs again with the same meaning in Act ii. Sc. 3, of this play.

By your -untimely claspings with your child,
(Which pleasure fits a husband, not a father);
And she an eater of her mother's flesh,
By the defiling of her parent's bed;
And both like serpents are, who though they feed
On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed.
Antioch, farewell! for wisdom sees, those men
Blush not in actions blacker than the night,
Will shun 26 no course to keep them from the light.
One sin, I know, another doth provoke;
Murder's as near to lust, as flame to smoke.
Poison and treason are the hands of sin,
Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame:
Then, lest my life be cropp'd to keep you clear27,
By flight I'll shun the danger which I fear. (Exit.

Re-enter Antiochus.
Ant. He hath found the meaning, for the which

we mean
To have his head.
He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,
Nor tell the world, Antiochus doth sin
In such a loathed manner:
And therefore instantly this prince must die;
For by his fall my honour must keep high.
Who attends on us there?


Doth your highness call ? Ant. Thaliard, you're of our chamber, and our mind

26 The old copy erroneously reads shew. The emendation is Malone'g. The expression here is elliptical:-For wisdom sees that those men who do not blush to commit actions blacker than the night, will not shun any course in order to preserve them from being made public.'

27 • To prevent any suspicion from falling on you.' So in Macbeth:

--always thought, that I Require a clearness.'

Partakes28 her private actions to your secrecy;
And for your faithfulness we will advance you.
Thaliard, behold, here's poison, and here's gold;
We hate the prince of Tyre, and thou must kill him;
It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Because we bid it. Say, is it done?

My lord, 'Tis done.

Enter a Messenger. Ant. Enough. Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste29. 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 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 farewell to your highness.

Exit. Ant. Thaliard, adieu! till Pericles be dead, My heart can lend no succour to my head. (Erit.

SCENE II. Tyre. A Room in the Palace. Enter PERICLES, HELICANUS, and other Lords. Per. Let none disturb us: Why should this

change of thought??

28 Ju The Winter's Tale the word partake is used in an active sense for participate :

--- your exultation

Partake to every one.' 29 These words are addressed to the Messenger, who enters in haste.

!!--Why should this change of thought ?' This is the reading of the old copies; which Steevens changed to, “Why this charge of

« PředchozíPokračovat »