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ANTIOCHUS, King of Antioch,
PERICLES, Prince of Tyre.
HELICANUS, two Lords of Tyre.
SIMONIDES, King of Pentapolis.
CLEON, Governor of Tharsus.
LYSIMACHUS, Governor of Mitylene.
CERIMON, a Lord of Ephesus.
THALIARD, a Lord of Antioch.
PHILEMON, Servant to Cerimon.
LEONINE, Servant to Dionyza.
A Pandar, and his Wife.
BOULT, their Servant.
GOWER, as Chorus.
The Daughter of Antiochus.
DIONYZA, Wife to Cleon.
THAISA, Daughter to Simonides.
MARINA, Daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.
LYCHORIDA, Nurse to Marina.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen, and Messengers, &c.
SCENE, dispersedly in various Countries.
Before the Palace of Antiochus.
To sing a song of old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
Assuming man's infirmities,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves, and holy-ales;
And lords and ladies of their lives
Have read it for restoratives:
'Purpose to make men glorious;
Et quo antiquius, eo melius.
If you, born in these latter times,
When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes,
And that to hear an old man sing,
May to your wishes pleasure bring,
I life would wish, and that I might
Waste it for you, like taper-light.
This city then, Antioch the great
Built up for his chiefest seat;
The fairest in all Syria;
(I tell you what mine authors say :)
This king unto him took a pheere,
Who died, and left a female heir,
So buxom, blithe, and full of face,
As heaven had lent her all his grace;
With whom the father liking took,
And her to incest did provoke:
Bad father! to entice his own
To evil, should be done by none.
By custom, what they did begin,
Was, with long use, account no sin.
The beauty of this sinful dame
Made many princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
In marriage-pleasures play-fellow:
Which to prevent, he made a law,
(To keep her still, and men in awe,)
That whoso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life :
So for her many a wight did die,
As yon grim looks do testify.
What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify. [Exit.
SCENE I.—Antioch, A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES, and Attendants. Ant. Young prince of Tyre, you have at large receiv'd
The danger of the task you undertake.
Per. I have, Antiochus; and with a soul Embolden'd with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard in this enterprize.
[Music. Ant. Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; At whose conception (till Lucina reign'd) Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence, The senate-house of planets all did sit, To knit in her their best perfections.
Enter the Daughter of Antiochus.
Per. See, where she comes, apparell'd like the spring, Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king Of every virtue gives renown to men!
Her face, the book of praises, where is read
Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence
Sorrow were ever ras'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.