Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Quarto)

The Play of
Where now you both a Father and a Sonne,
175By your vntimely claspings with your Child,
(Which pleasures fittes a husband, not a father)
And shee an eater of her Mothers flesh,
By the defiling of her Parents bed,
And both like Serpents are; who though they feed
180On sweetest Flowers, yet they Poyson breed.
Antioch farewell, for Wisedome sees those men,
Blush not in actions blacker then the night,
Will shew no course to keepe them from the light:
One sinne (I know) another doth prouoke;
185Murther's as neere to Lust, as Flame to Smoake:
Poyson and Treason are the hands of Sinne,
I, and the targets to put off the shame,
Then least my life be cropt, to keepe you cleare,
By flight, Ile shun the danger which I feare. Exit.

190Enter Antiochus.
Anti. He hath found the meaning.

For which we meane to haue his head:
He must not liue to trumpet foorth my infamie,
Nor tell the world Antiochus doth sinne
195In such a loathed manner:
And therefore instantly this Prince must die,
For by his fall, my honour must keepe hie.
Who attends vs there?
Enter Thaliard.
200Thali. Doth your highnes call?
Antio. Thaliard, you are of our Chamber, Thaliard,
And our minde pertakes her priuat actions,
To your secrecie; and for your faythfulnes,
We will aduaunce you, Thaliard:
205Behold, heere's Poyson, and heere's Gold:
Wee hate the Prince of Tyre, and thou must kill him;
It fittes thee not to aske the reason why?
Because we bid it: say, is it done?
Thali. My Lord, tis done.