Pericles


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

Enter Lord Cerimon and two Servants


CERIMON

Philemon, ho!

Enter Philemon


PHILEMON

Doth my lord call?


CERIMON

Get fire and meat for these poor men.

'T'as been a turbulent and stormy night.

Exit Philemon


FIRST SERVANT

I have been in many, but such a night as this

Till now I ne'er endured.


CERIMON

(to First Servant)

Your master will be dead ere you return.

There's nothing can be ministered to nature

That can recover him. (To Second Servant) Give this to the pothecary

And tell me how it works.

Exeunt Servants

Enter two Gentlemen


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Good morrow.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Good morrow to your lordship.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


CERIMON

                         Gentlemen,

Why do you stir so early?


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Sir,

Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,
bleak (adj.) 1 exposed, windswept, desolate

Shook as the earth did quake.

The very principals did seem to rend
principal (n.) 3 main rafter, joist

And all to topple. Pure surprise and fear
pure (adj.) 2 sheer, utter, total
surprise (n.) 2 alarm, terror [caused by a fearful event]

Made me to quit the house.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

That is the cause we trouble you so early;

'Tis not our husbandry.
husbandry (n.) 3 industriousness, diligence, eagerness to work


CERIMON

                         O, you say well.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

But I much marvel that your lordship, having

Rich tire about you, should at these early hours
tire (n.) 2 fittings, furnishings, trappings

Shake off the golden slumber of repose.

'Tis most strange

Nature should be so conversant with pain,
nature (n.) 3 human nature
pain (n.) effort, endeavour, exertion, labour

Being thereto not compelled.


CERIMON

                         I hold it ever

Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
cunning (n.) 1 skill, ability, expertise

Than nobleness and riches. Careless heirs
nobleness (n.) nobility, aristocratic rank

May the two latter darken and expend,
darken (v.) obscure, eclipse, deprive of fame
expend (v.) 2 spend, use up, squander

But immortality attends the former,
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with

Making a man a god. 'Tis known I ever
ever (adv.) constantly, continually, at all times

Have studied physic, through which secret art,
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count
secret (adj.) 1 hidden, obscure, abstruse

By turning o'er authorities, I have,

Together with my practice, made familiar
practice (n.) 4 doings, proceedings, dealings

To me and to my aid the blest infusions
blessed, blest (adj.) 4 curative, therapeutic, endowed with healing properties
infusion (n.) 2 natural characteristic, tincture, liquid extract

That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones;
vegetive (n.) plant, vegetable

And I can speak of the disturbances

That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me

A more content in course of true delight
content (n.) 2 contentment, peace of mind

Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,

Or tie my pleasure up in silken bags,

To please the fool and death.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         Your honour has

Through Ephesus poured forth your charity,

And hundreds call themselves your creatures, who
creature (n.) 2 created being

By you have been restored. And not your knowledge,

Your personal pain, but even your purse, still open,
pain (n.) effort, endeavour, exertion, labour
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Hath built Lord Cerimon such strong renown

As time shall never–

Enter two or three with a chest


FIRST SERVANT

So, lift there!


CERIMON

                         What's that?


FIRST SERVANT

                                                         Sir, even now

Did the sea toss up upon our shore this chest.

'Tis of some wreck.


CERIMON

                         Set't down, let's look upon't.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis like a coffin, sir.


CERIMON

                         Whate'er it be,

'Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

If the sea's stomach be o'ercharged with gold,

'Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

'Tis so, my lord.
bitumed (adj.) smeared with pitch [bitumen]


CERIMON

                         How close 'tis caulked and bitumed!

Did the sea cast it up?


FIRST SERVANT

I never saw so huge a billow, sir,

As tossed it upon shore.


CERIMON

                         Wrench it open. Soft!

It smells most sweetly in my sense.


SECOND GENTLEMAN

                         A delicate odour.


CERIMON

As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it!

O you most potent gods, what's here? A corse?
corse (n.) corpse, dead body See Topics: Frequency count


FIRST GENTLEMAN

Most strange!


CERIMON

Shrouded in cloth of state, balmed and entreasured
balm (v.) 2 embalmed, anointed with fragrant oil
intreasured, entreasured (adj.) safely stored up, kept as in a treasury
state (n.) 4 splendour, magnificence, stateliness, dignity

With full bags of spices! A passport too!
passport (n.) 1 document providing details

Apollo, perfect me in the characters!
character (n.) 3 handwriting, style of writing, lettering
perfect (v.) inform fully, instruct completely

He reads the scroll

Here I give to understand,

If e'er this coffin drives a-land,
a-land (adv.) on shore, on land

I, King Pericles, have lost

This queen, worth all our mundane cost.
cost (n.) 2 abundance, richness, costly appearance
mundane (adj.) worldly, earthly

Who finds her, give her burying;

She was the daughter of a king.

Besides this treasure for a fee,

The gods requite his charity.

If thou livest, Pericles, thou hast a heart

That ever cracks for woe. This chanced tonight.
chance (v.) 1 happen [to], transpire, come about
tonight (adv.) last night, this past night


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Most likely, sir.


CERIMON

                         Nay, certainly tonight,

For look how fresh she looks. They were too rough

That threw her in the sea. Make a fire within.

Fetch hither all my boxes in my closet.

Exit a servant

Death may usurp on nature many hours,
usurp on / upon take wrongful possession of, misappropriate

And yet the fire of life kindle again

The o'erpressed spirits. I have read
overpressed (adj.) overpowered, overwhelmed, overcome

Of some Egyptians who after four hours' death

Have raised impoverished bodies, like to this,

Unto their former health.

Enter one with napkins and fire
said, well well done

Well said, well said, the fire and cloths.

The rough and woeful music that we have,

Cause it to sound, beseech you.

Music plays while Cerimon attends to Thaisa
attend (v.) 8 see to, look after, apply oneself to
block (n.) 1 blockhead
viol (n.) type of stringed instrument played with a bow

The viol once more! How thou stirrest, thou block!

The music there!

Music again

                         I pray you give her air.

Gentlemen, this queen will live!

Nature awakes. A warmth breathes out of her.

She hath not been entranced above five hours.
entranced (adj.) unconscious, insensible, thrown into a trance

See how she 'gins to blow into life's flower again.


FIRST GENTLEMAN

The heavens, through you, increase our wonder, and

Sets up your fame for ever.


CERIMON

                         She is alive. Behold,

Her eyelids, cases to those heavenly jewels

Which Pericles hath lost, begin to part

Their fringes of bright gold. The diamonds

Of a most praised water doth apear
water (n.) 2 lustre, sheen, quality

To make the world twice rich. Live,

And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,

Rare as you seem to be.

She moves


THAISA

                         O dear Diana!

Where am I? Where's my lord? What world is this?


SECOND GENTLEMAN

Is not this strange?
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional


FIRST GENTLEMAN

                         Most rare.


CERIMON

Hush, my gentle neighbours.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Lend me your hands. To the next chamber bear her.

Get linen. Now this matter must be looked to,

For her relapse is mortal. Come, come;
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

And Aesculapius guide us.

They carry her away. Exeunt

 
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