Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V


Enter Gower
rout (n.) 1 band, company, crowd
slack (v.) 2 reduce to inactivity, quieten down See Topics: Archaisms


Now sleep y-slacked hath the rout,

No din but snores about the house,

Made louder by the o'erfed breast

Of this most pompous marriage-feast.
pompous (adj.) 1 glorious, magnificent, splendid

The cat, with eyne of burning coal,
eyne (n.) [archaism] eyes See Topics: Archaisms

Now crouches 'fore the mouse's hole,
couch (v.) 2 crouch, lie in ambush, lurk

And crickets sing at the oven's mouth,

All the blither for their drouth.
blithe (adj.) merry, happy, joyful
drouth (n.) 1 dry situation, lack of moisture

Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,

Where, by the loss of maidenhead,

A babe is moulded. Be attent,
attent (adj.) attentive, heedful, intent

And time that is so briefly spent
briefly (adv.) 1 quickly, soon, in a moment

With your fine fancies quaintly eche:
eche (v.) increase, add to, supplement
fancy (n.) 3 imagination, creativity, inventiveness
quaintly (adv.) 1 subtly, skilfully, ingeniously

What's dumb in show, I'll plain with speech.
plain (v.) 2 make plain, explain, give utterance to

Dumb show:

Enter Pericles and Simonides at one door with

attendants. A messenger meets them, kneels, and gives

Pericles a letter. Pericles shows it Simonides; the

lords kneel to him. Then enter Thaisa with child, with

Lychorida, a nurse. The King shows her the letter;

she rejoices. She and Pericles take leave of her father

and depart with Lychorida. The rest go out

By many a dern and painful perch
dern, dearn, dearne (adj.) 1 dreary, dark, wild
painful (adj.) 1 painstaking, diligent, laborious
perch (n.) measure of land [c.5.5 yards / c.5 m]; distance

Of Pericles the careful search,

By the four opposing coigns
coign (n.) 3 corner [of the earth]
opposing (adj.) opposite, antipodal

Which the world together joins,

Is made with all due diligence

That horse and sail and high expense

Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre,
stead (v.) help, assist, benefit

Fame answering the most strange inquire,
fame (n.) 2 report, account, description
inquire (n.) inquiry, enquiry

To th' court of King Simonides

Are letters brought, the tenor these:

Antiochus and his daughter dead,

The men of Tyrus on the head

Of Helicanus would set on

The crown of Tyre, but he will none.

The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress;

Says to 'em, if King Pericles

Come not home in twice six moons,

He, obedient to their dooms,
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision

Will take the crown. The sum of this,
sum (n.) 1 summary, gist, essence

Brought hither to Pentapolis,

Y-ravished the regions round,
ravish (v.) 1 entrance, enrapture, carry away with joy See Topics: Archaisms

And every one with claps can sound,
'gan, can (v.) began See Topics: Elision
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

‘Our heir-apparent is a king!

Who dreamed, who thought of such a thing?'

Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre.
brief (adv.) 1 in short, briefly, in sum

His queen with child makes her desire –

Which who shall cross? – along to go.

Omit we all their dole and woe.
dole (n.) 1 grief, sorrow, sadness

Lychorida her nurse she takes,

And so to sea. Their vessel shakes

On Neptune's billow; half the flood
flood (n.) 3 sea voyage

Hath their keel cut; but fortune's mood

Varies again; the grisled north
grisled (adj.) grisly, frightening, horrible

Disgorges such a tempest forth

That, as a duck for life that dives,

So up and down the poor ship drives.

The lady shrieks and, well-a-near,
well-a-near (int.) alas, alack See Topics: Regrets

Does fall in travail with her fear.
travail, travel (n.) 5 labour, pain of childbirth

And what ensues in this fell storm
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage

Shall for itself itself perform.

I nill relate, action may
action (n.) 6 performance, acting, theatre presentation
nill (v.) will not

Conveniently the rest convey,
conveniently (adv.) fittingly, suitably, appropriately

Which might not what by me is told.

In your imagination hold

This stage the ship, upon whose deck

The sea-tossed Pericles appears to speak.


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