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Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Sc. 102.4

Editor’s NoteEnter Helicanus and Escanes

helicanus No, Escanes, know this of me:

2Antiochus from incest lived not free,

3For which the most high gods, not minding longer

4To withhold the vengeance that they had in store

5Due to this heinous capital offence,

6Even in the height and pride of all his glory,

7When he was seated in a chariot

8Of an inestimable value, and his daughter with him,

9A fire from heaven came and shrivelled up

10Their bodies even to loathing, for they so stunk

11That all those eyes adored them ere their fall

12Scorn now their hands should give them burial.


escanes 'Twas very strange.

helicanus And yet but justice, for though

14This king were great, his greatness was no guard

Editor’s Note15To bar heaven's shaft, but sin had his reward.


escanes 'Tis very true.

Editor’s NoteEnter three Lords, [and stand aside]

first lord See, not a man in private conference

18Or council has respect with him but he.


second lord It shall no longer grieve without reproof.


third lord And cursed be he that will not second it.


first lord Follow me, then.—Lord Helicane, a word.


helicanus With me? And welcome. Happy day, my lords.


first lord Know that our griefs are risen to the top,

24And now at length they overflow their banks.

Link 25

helicanus Your griefs, for what? Wrong not your prince you love.


first lord Wrong not yourself then, noble Helicane;

27But if the prince do live, let us salute him

28Or know what ground's made happy by his breath.

29If in the world he live, we'll seek him out;

30If in his grave he rest, we'll find him there.

Editor’s Note31Then be resolved: he lives to govern us,

32Or dead, gives cause to mourn his funeral

Editor’s Note33And leaves us to our free electïon.

pg 268634

second lord Whose death indeed's the strongest in our censure,

35And knowing this—kingdoms without a head,

36Like goodly buildings left without a roof,

37Soon fall to ruin—your noble self,

38That best know how to rule and how to reign,

39We thus submit unto—our sovereign!


all [kneeling] Live, noble Helicane!

Editor’s Note41

helicanus Try honour's cause. Forbear your suffrages.

42If that you love Prince Pericles, forbear.

[The Lords rise]

43Take I your wish, I leap into the seas,

44Where's hourly trouble for a minute's ease.

45A twelvemonth longer then let me entreat you

46To further bear the absence of your king;

47If in which time expired he not return,

48I shall with agèd patience bear your yoke.

49But, if I cannot win you to this love,

50Go, seek your noble prince like noble subjects,

51And in your search spend your adventurous worth,

52Whom if you find and win unto return,

53You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.


first lord To wisdom he's a fool that will not yield,

55And since Lord Helicane enjoineth us,

56We with our travels will endeavour it.

Editor’s Note57

helicanus Then you love us, we you, and we'll clasp hands.

Editor’s Note58When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
10.0 Escanes Like Helicanus, Escanes is a senior counsellor of Tyre; he may be of similar age to Helicanus and they may dress in a way that shows this.
Editor’s Note
10.15 heaven's shaft divine justice
Editor’s Note
10.16.1 stand aside Helicanus and Escanes may or may not see the lords as they first enter
Editor’s Note
10.31 resolved certain
Editor’s Note
10.33 electïon choice
Editor’s Note
10.41–2 Try … forbear Helicanus may seem embarrassed or annoyed by the action of the lords.
Editor’s Note
10.57 clasp hands They normally do so literally in performance.
Editor’s Note
10.58 peers thus knit noblemen thus united
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