Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Pericles, and Knights from

tilting, with lords, ladies, Marshal, and attendants


tilt (v.) joust, fight [with lances], thrust

To say you're welcome were superfluous.

To place upon the volume of your deeds,

As in a title-page, your worth in arms,

Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,

Since every worth in show commends itself.
commend (v.) 5 show well, set off to advantage
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display

Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
mirth (n.) 1 merry-making, pleasure-seeking

You are princes and my guests.


(to Pericles)

But you, my knight and guest;

To whom this wreath of victory I give,

And crown you king of this day's happiness.


'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.


Call it by what you will, the day is yours,

And here, I hope, is none that envies it.

In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed,
frame (v.) 1 fashion, make, form, create

To make some good, but others to exceed,
exceed (v.) outdo, surpass, excel, be superior

And you are her laboured scholar. Come, queen o'th' feast –
laboured (adj.) 2 carefully fashioned, produced with great skill
scholar (n.) 2 pupil, student

For, daughter, so you are – here take your place.

Marshal the rest as they deserve their grace.


We are honoured much by good Simonides.


Your presence glads our days; honour we love,
glad (v.) 1 gladden, brighten, cause to rejoice

For who hates honour hates the gods above.


Sir, yonder is your place.


                         Some other is more fit.


Contend not, sir, for we are gentlemen
contend (v.) 3 argue, object, protest

Have neither in our hearts nor outward eyes

Envied the great nor shall the low despise.


You are right courteous knights.


                         Sit, sir, sit.

(Aside) By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,

These cates resist me, he but thought upon.
cates (n.) 1 (plural) delicacies, choice foodstuffs
resist (v.) revolt, repel, fill with distaste



By Juno, that is queen of marriage,

All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury,
viand (n.) (usually plural) food, victuals, foodstuff

Wishing him my meat. – Sure, he's a gallant gentleman.


He's but a country gentleman.

He has done no more than other knights have done.

Has broken a staff or so. So let it pass.
staff (n.) 1 (plural ‘staves’) spear, lance



To me he seems like diamond to glass.



Yon king's to me like to my father's picture

Which tells me in what glory once he was;

Had princes sit like stars about his throne,

And he the sun for them to reverence.

None that beheld him but like lesser lights

Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]

Where now his son's like a glow-worm in the night,

The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;

Whereby I see that Time's the king of men;

He's both their parent and he is their grave,

And gives them what he will, not what they crave.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


What, are you merry, knights?


Who can be other in this royal presence?


Here with a cup that's stored unto the brim,

As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips.

We drink this health to you.


                         We thank your grace.


Yet pause awhile.

Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,

As if the entertainment in our court

Had not a show might countervail his worth.
countervail (v.) counterbalance, match, be equal to
show (n.) 2 spectacle, display, ceremony

Note it not you, Thaisa?


What is't to me, my father?


O, attend, my daughter:
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]

Princes in this should live like gods above,

Who freely give to everyone that come to honour them.

And princes not doing so are like to gnats,

Which make a sound, but killed are wondered at.

Therefore to make his entrance more sweet,
entrance (n.) 2 arrival, coming in

Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.
standing-bowl (n.) bowl standing on a pedestal


Alas, my father, it befits not me

Unto a stranger knight to be so bold.

He may my proffer take for an offence,

Since men take women's gifts for impudence.



Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.
move (v.) 2 move to anger, provoke, exasperate



Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.


And furthermore tell him we desire to know of him

Of whence he is, his name, and parentage.


The King my father, sir, has drunk to you.


I thank him.


Wishing it so much blood unto your life.


I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.
pledge (v.) drink a toast to, drink to


And further he desires to know of you

Of whence you are, your name, and parentage.


A gentleman of Tyre, my name Pericles,

My education been in arts and arms,
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

Who, looking for adventures in the world,

Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,

And after shipwreck driven upon this shore.


He thanks your grace, names himself Pericles,

A gentleman of Tyre,

Who only by misfortune of the seas

Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.


Now, by the gods, I pity his misfortune

And will awake him from his melancholy.

Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,
sit (v.) 2 sit in conference, meet for a discussion

And waste the time which looks for other revels.

Even in your armours, as you are addressed,
address (v.) 2 dress, array, attire

Will well become a soldiers' dance.
become (v.) 3 put a good front on, give a pleasing appearance to

I will not have excuse with saying this:

Loud music is too harsh for ladies' heads,

Since they love men in arms as well as beds.

They dance
ask (v.) 2 request, suggest, propose

So, this was well asked,'twas so well performed.

Come, sir, here's a lady that wants breathing too,
breathing (n.) 3 exercise, exertion, active employment
want (v.) 4 require, demand, need

And I have heard you knights of Tyre

Are excellent in making ladies trip,
trip (v.) 2 dance, step lightly

And that their measures are as excellent.
measure (n.) 8 slow stately dance, graceful movement


In those that practise them they are, my lord.


O, that's as much as you would be denied

Of your fair courtesy.

They dance

                         Unclasp, unclasp!

Thanks, gentlemen, to all. All have done well,

(to Pericles) But you the best. – Pages and lights, to conduct

These knights unto their several lodgings. –
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count
several (adj.) 2 various, sundry, respective, individual

Yours, sir, we have given order be next our own.


I am at your grace's pleasure.


Princes, it is too late to talk of love,

And that's the mark I know you level at.
level at (v.) 1 aim for, have as a target

Therefore each one betake him to his rest;
betake (v.) 1 go, take oneself off, make one's way

Tomorrow all for speeding do their best.
speeding (n.) 1 success, good fortune


  Previous scene     Next scene