Pericles


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter Simonides, reading of a letter, at one door. The

Knights meet him


FIRST KNIGHT

Good morrow to the good Simonides.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


SIMONIDES

Knights, from my daughter this I let you know,

That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake

A married life.

Her reason to herself is only known,

Which yet from her by no means can I get.


SECOND KNIGHT

May we not get access to her, my lord?


SIMONIDES

Faith, by no means. She hath so strictly

Tied her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible.

One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery.
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing See Topics: Frequency count

This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vowed

And on her virgin honour will not break it.


THIRD KNIGHT

Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.

Exeunt Knights


SIMONIDES

So, they are well dispatched.
dispatch, despatch (v.) 7 dismiss, get rid of, send away

Now to my daughter's letter.

She tells me here she'll wed the stranger knight,

Or never more to view nor day nor light.

'Tis well, mistress, your choice agrees with mine.

I like that well. Nay, how absolute she's in't,
absolute (adj.) 2 certain, definite, positive

Not minding whether I dislike or no.

Well, I do commend her choice,
commend (v.) 4 praise, admire, extol

And will no longer have it be delayed.

Soft, here he comes; I must dissemble it.
dissemble (v.) 1 disguise, cloak, give a deceptive appearance to

Enter Pericles


PERICLES

All fortune to the good Simonides!


SIMONIDES

To you as much, sir. I am beholding to you
beholding (adj.) beholden, obliged, indebted

For your sweet music this last night. I do

Protest my ears were never better fed

With such delightful, pleasing harmony.


PERICLES

It is your grace's pleasure to commend,
commend (v.) 4 praise, admire, extol

Not my desert.


SIMONIDES

                         Sir, you are music's master.


PERICLES

The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
scholar (n.) 2 pupil, student


SIMONIDES

Let me ask you one thing. What do you think

Of my daughter, sir?


PERICLES

                         A most virtuous princess.


SIMONIDES

And she is fair too, is she not?


PERICLES

As a fair day in summer, wondrous fair.


SIMONIDES

Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you;

Ay, so well, that you must be her master,

And she will be your scholar. Therefore, look to it.


PERICLES

I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.


SIMONIDES

She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.


PERICLES

(aside)

What's here?

A letter that she loves the knight of Tyre!

'Tis the King's subtlety to have my life.
subtlety (n.) 2 cunning, crafty stratagem

O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,

A stranger and distressed gentleman,

That never aimed so high to love your daughter,

But bent all offices to honour her.
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count


SIMONIDES

Thou hast bewitched my daughter,

And thou art a villain.


PERICLES

                         By the gods, I have not.

Never did thought of mine levy offence,
levy (v.) 2 [unclear meaning] level, purpose, intend

Nor never did my actions yet commence

A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.


SIMONIDES

Traitor, thou liest.


PERICLES

                         Traitor!


SIMONIDES

                                                         Ay, traitor,

That thus disguised art stolen into my court,

With the witchcraft of thy actions to bewitch

The yielding spirit of my tender child.


PERICLES

Even in his throat, unless it be the King,

That calls me traitor, I return the lie.


SIMONIDES

(aside)

Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.


PERICLES

My actions are as noble as my thoughts,

That never relished of a base descent.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
relish (v.) 1 have a flavour [of], taste, savour

I came unto your court for honour's cause,

And not to be a rebel to her state.

And he that otherwise accounts of me,

This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy.


SIMONIDES

No?

Here comes my daughter. She can witness it.

Enter Thaisa


PERICLES

Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,

Resolve your angry father if my tongue
resolve (v.) 2 satisfy, free from doubt

Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe
subscribe to (v.) 3 sign, endorse, put one's name to

To any syllable that made love to you.


THAISA

Why, sir, say if you had, who takes offence

At that would make me glad?


SIMONIDES

Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?
peremptory (adj.) 2 overbearing, imperious, dictatorial

(Aside) I am glad on't with all my heart. –

I'll tame you, I'll bring you in subjection.

Will you, not having my consent,

Bestow your love and your affections

Upon a stranger? (aside) who, for aught I know,

May be, nor can I think the contrary,

As great in blood as I myself –

A straggling Theseus born we know not where?

Therefore, hear you, mistress, either frame
frame (v.) 2 adapt, adjust, shape, accommodate

Your will to mine – and you, sir, hear you,

Either be ruled by me, or I will make you –

Man and wife.

Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it too.

And being joined, I'll thus your hopes destroy,

And for further grief – God give you joy!

What, are you both pleased?


THAISA

                         Yes, if you love me, sir?


PERICLES

Even as my life my blood that fosters it.


SIMONIDES

What, are you both agreed?


PERICLES and THAISA

Yes, if it please your majesty.


SIMONIDES

It pleaseth me so well that I will see you wed;

And then, with what haste you can, get you to bed.

Exeunt

 
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