Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Quarto)


The Play of
Scorning aduice; read the conclusion then:
Which read and not expounded, tis decreed,
As these before thee, thou thy selfe shalt bleed.
Daugh. Of all sayd yet, mayst thou prooue prosperous,
105Of all sayd yet, I wish thee happinesse.
Peri. Like a bold Champion I assume the Listes,
Nor aske aduise of any other thought,
But faythfulnesse and courage.

The Riddle.
110
I am no Viper, yet I feed
On mothers flesh which did me breed:
I sought a Husband, in which labour,
I found that kindnesse in a Father;
Hee's Father, Sonne, and Husband milde;
115I, Mother, Wife; and yet his child:
How they may be, and yet in two,
As you will liue resolue it you.
Sharpe Phisicke is the last: But ô you powers!
That giues heauen countlesse eyes to view mens actes,
120Why cloude they not their sights perpetually,
If this be true, which makes me pale to read it?
Faire Glasse of light, I lou'd you, and could still,
Were not this glorious Casket stor'd with ill:
But I must tell you, now my thoughts reuolt,
125For hee's no man on whom perfections waite,
That knowing sinne within, will touch the gate.
You are a faire Violl, and your sense, the stringes;
Who finger'd to make man his lawfull musicke,
Would draw Heauen downe, and all the Gods to harken:
130But being playd vpon before your time,
Hell onely daunceth at so harsh a chime:
Good sooth, I care not for you.
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, vpon thy life;
For that's an Article within our Law,
135As dangerous as the rest: your time's expir'd,
Either expound now, or receiue your sentence.
Peri.