Pericles


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V

IV CHORUS

Enter Gower


GOWER

Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre,

Welcomed and settled to his own desire.

His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,

Unto Diana there's a votaress.
votaress (n.) woman under vow, votary, devotee [of an order]

Now to Marina bend your mind,

Whom our fast-growing scene must find

At Tarsus, and by Cleon trained

In music's letters; who hath gained
letter (n.) 4 (plural) study, learning, knowledge

Of education all the grace,
grace (n.) 4 gracefulness, charm, elegance

Which makes her both the heart and place

Of general wonder. But, alack,

That monster envy, oft the wrack
envy (n.) 2 admiration, desire [to be like], jealousy
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

Of earned praise, Marina's life

Seeks to take off by treason's knife.
treason (n.) treachery, betrayal, deceitfulness

And in this kind, our Cleon hath

One daughter and a full-grown wench,
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

Even ripe for marriage-rite. This maid

Hight Philoten, and it is said
hight (v.) [archaism] is called See Topics: Archaisms

For certain in our story she

Would ever with Marina be;

Be't when she weaved the sleded silk
sleded, sleided (adj.) finely divided, filamented

With fingers long, small, white as milk;
small (adj.) 1 slender, slim

Or when she would with sharp needle wound
neele (n.) needle

The cambric, which she made more sound
cambric (n.) fine linen from Cambray, Flanders

By hurting it; or when to th' lute

She sung, and made the night-bird mute,
night-bird (n.) nightingale, bird that sings at night

That still records with moan; or when
moan (n.) 2 plaintiveness, mournfulness, melancholy
record (v.) sing, warble, chant
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

She would with rich and constant pen

Vail to her mistress Dian. Still
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count
vail (v.) 4 do homage, pay respect, show devotion

This Philoten contends in skill
contend (v.) 2 compete, vie, rival

With absolute Marina. So
absolute (adj.) 1 perfect, complete, incomparable

With dove of Paphos might the crow

Vie feathers white. Marina gets
vie (v.) 3 offer in competition, display in rivalry

All praises, which are paid as debts,

And not as given. This so darks
dark (v.) eclipse, obscure, cloud

In Philoten all graceful marks

That Cleon's wife, with envy rare,
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional

A present murderer does prepare

For good Marina, that her daughter

Might stand peerless by this slaughter.

The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,
stead (v.) help, assist, benefit
thought (n.) 1 intention, purpose, design

Lychorida, our nurse, is dead,

And cursed Dionyza hath

The pregnant instrument of wrath
pregnant (adj.) 1 well-disposed, ready, inclined, receptive

Prest for this blow. The unborn event
event (n.) outcome, issue, consequence
prest (adj.) engaged, made ready, hired

I do commend to your content.
commend (v.) 3 present, introduce, bring [for favourable acceptance]
content (n.) 3 acceptance, acquiescence

Only I carry winged time

Post on the lame feet of my rhyme,
post (adv.) in haste, with speed

Which never could I so convey

Unless your thoughts went on my way.

Dionyza does appear

With Leonine, a murderer.

Exit

 
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