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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act I. Scene III.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

The Same.An Antechamber in the Palace.


Thal.So this is Tyre, and this the court. Here must I kill King Pericles; and if I do not, I am sure to be hanged at home: ’tis dangerous. Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that, being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets: now do I see he had some reason for it; for if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one. Hush! here come the lords of Tyre.

Enter HELICANUS, ESCANES, and other Lords.

Hel.You shall not need, my fellow peers of Tyre,

Further to question of your king’s departure:

His seal’d commission, left in trust with me,

Doth speak sufficiently he’s gone to travel.

Thal.[Aside.]How! the king gone!

Hel.If further yet you will be satisfied,

Why, as it were unlicens’d of your loves,

He would depart, I’ll give some light unto you.

Being at Antioch—

Thal.[Aside.]What from Antioch?

Hel.Royal Antiochus—on what cause I know not—

Took some displeasure at him, at least he judg’d so;

And doubting lest that he had err’d or sinn’d,

To show his sorrow he’d correct himself;

So puts himself unto the shipman’s toil,

With whom each minute threatens life or death.

Thal.[Aside.]Well, I perceive

I shall not be hang’d now, although I would;

But since he’s gone, the king it sure must please:

He ’scap’d the land, to perish at the sea.

I’ll present myself.[Aloud.]Peace to the lords of Tyre.

Hel.Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.

Thal.From him I come,

With message unto princely Pericles;

But since my landing I have understood

Your lord hath betook himself to unknown travels,

My message must return from whence it came.

Hel.We have no reason to desire it,

Commended to our master, not to us:

Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,

As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.[Exeunt.