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Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen, and Messengers, &c.
SCENE, dispersedly in various countries.
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.
Enter GoWER. Before the Palace of Antioch.
To sing a song that old was sung,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
On ember-eves, and holy ales;
And lords and ladies in their lives
The purchase is to make men glorious;
(I tell you what mine authors say;)
Bad child, worse father! to entice his own
Was, with long use, account no sin.
So for her many a wight did die,
SCENE I. Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants.
Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large received The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Imboldened with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,
Enter the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
Per. See, where she comes, apparelled like the spring,
Her face the book of praises, where is read
Ye gods that made me man, and sway in love,
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides, With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touched; For death-like dragons here affright thee hard. Her face, like heaven, enticeth thee to view Her 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, adventurous 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
And by those fearful objects to prepare
And all good men, as every prince should do;
[To the Daughter of ANTIOCHUS. Thus ready for the way of life or death, I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus.
Ant. Scorning advice.-Read the conclusion then;
Daugh. In all, save that, mayst thou prove prosperous! In all, save that, I wish thee happiness!
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists, Nor ask advice of any other thought
But faithfulness, and courage.
[He reads the Riddle.]
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh which did me breed.