Pericles


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter Helicanus and Escanes


HELICANUS

No, Escanes, know this of me,

Antiochus from incest lived not free.

For which the most high gods not minding longer
mind (v.) 1 intend, have a mind

To withhold the vengeance that they had in store,

Due to this heinous capital offence,
capital (adj.) 3 worthy of the death penalty, punishable by death

Even in the height and pride of all his glory,

When he was seated in a chariot

Of an inestimable value, and his daughter with him,

A fire from heaven came and shrivelled up

Their bodies even to loathing; for they so stunk

That all those eyes adored them ere their fall

Scorn now their hand should give them burial.
scorn (v.) 1 mock, jeer, express disdain [at]


ESCANES

'Twas very strange.


HELICANUS

                         And yet but justice, for though

This king were great, his greatness was no guard

To bar heaven's shaft, but sin had his reward.


ESCANES

'Tis very true.

Enter two or three Lords
two or three several See Topics: Numbers


FIRST LORD

See, not a man in private conference

Or council has respect with him but he.


SECOND LORD

It shall no longer grieve without reproof.
grieve (v.) vex, hurt, trouble


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,
grief (n.) 1 grievance, complaint, hurt, injury

And now at length they overflow their banks.


HELICANUS

Your griefs? For what? Wrong not your prince you love.


FIRST LORD

Wrong not yourself then, noble Helicane,

But if the prince do live, let us salute him
salute (v.) 1 greet, welcome, address

And know what ground's made happy by his breath.

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

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

And be resolved he lives to govern us,

Or dead, give's cause to mourn his funeral

And leave us to our free election.


SECOND LORD

Whose death indeed's the strongest in our censure,
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism
strong (adj.) 6 certain, convincing, persuasive

And knowing this: kingdoms without a head,

Like goodly buildings left without a roof,

Soon fall to ruin, your noble self,

That best know how to rule and how to reign,

We thus submit unto, our sovereign.


ALL

Live, noble Helicane!


HELICANUS

Try honour's cause; forbear your suffrages.
forbear (v.) 4 withdraw, leave, give way
suffrage (n.) vote, approval, consent

If that you love Prince Pericles, forbear.

Take I your wish, I leap into the seas,

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

A twelvemonth longer let me entreat you

Further to bear the absence of your king;

If in which time expired he not return,

I shall with aged patience bear your yoke.

But if I cannot win you to this love,

Go search like nobles, like noble subjects,

And in your search spend your adventurous worth.

Whom if you find, and win unto return,

You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.


FIRST LORD

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

And since Lord Helicane enjoineth us,

We with our travels will endeavour it.


HELICANUS

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

When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.

Exeunt

 
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