Pericles

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Original text
Enter Gower.
Heere haue you seene a mightie King,
His child I'wis to incest bring:
A better Prince, and benigne Lord,
That Will proue awfull both in deed and word:
Be quiet then, as men should bee,
Till he hath past necessitie:
I'le shew you those in troubles raigne;
Loosing a Mite, a Mountaine gaine:
The good in conuersation,
To whom I giue my benizon:
Is still at Tharstill, where each man,
Thinkes all is writ, he spoken can:
And to remember what he does,
Build his Statue to make him glorious:
But tidinges to the contrarie,
Are brought your eyes, what need speake I.
Dombe shew.
Enter at one dore Pericles talking with Cleon, all the
traine with them: Enter at an other dore, a Gentleman
with aLetter to Pericles, Pericles shewes the Letter to
Cleon; Pericles giues the Messenger a reward, and
Knights him: Exit Pericles at one dore, and Cleon at
an other.
Good Helicon that stayde at home,
Not to eate Hony like a Drone,
From others labours; for though he striue
To killen bad, keepe good aliue:
And to fulfill his prince desire,
Sau'd one of all that haps in Tyre:
How Thaliart came full bent with sinne,
And had intent to murder him;
And that in Tharsis was not best,
Longer for him to make his rest:
He doing so, put foorth to Seas;
Where when men been, there's seldome ease,
For now the Wind begins to blow,
Thunder aboue, and deepes below,
Makes such vnquiet, that the Shippe,
Should house him safe; is wrackt and split,
And he (good Prince) hauing all lost,
By Waues, from coast to coast is tost:
All perishen of man, of pelfe,
Ne ought escapend but himselfe;
Till Fortune tir'd with doing bad,
Threw him a shore, to giue him glad:
And heere he comes: what shall be next,
Pardon old Gower, this long's the text.
Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Pericles wette.

Peri.
Yet cease your ire you angry Starres of heauen,
Wind, Raine, and Thunder, remember earthly man
Is but a substaunce that must yeeld to you:
And I (as fits my nature) do obey you.
Alasse, the Seas hath cast me on the Rocks,
Washt me from shore to shore, and left my breath
Nothing to thinke on, but ensuing death:
Let it suffize the greatnesse of your powers,
To haue bereft a Prince of all his fortunes;
And hauing throwne him from your watry graue,
Heere to haue death in peace, is all hee'le craue.
Enter three Fisher-men.

1.
What, to pelch?

2.
Ha, come and bring away the Nets.

1.
What Patch-breech, I say.

3.
What say you Maister?

1.
Looke how thou stirr'st now: Come
away, or Ile fetch'th with a wanion.

3.
Fayth Maister, I am thinking of the
poore men, / That were cast away before vs euen now.

1.
Alasse poore soules, it grieued my heart
to heare, / What pittifull cryes they made to vs, to helpe them,
When (welladay) we could scarce helpe our selues.

3.
Nay Maister, sayd not I as much,
When I saw the Porpas how he bounst and tumbled?
They say they're halfe fish, halfe flesh: / A plague on them,
they nere come but I looke to be washt. / Maister, I
maruell how the Fishes liue in the Sea?

1.
Why, as Men doe a-land; / The great
ones eate vp the little ones: I can compare our rich
Misers to nothing so fitly, / As to a Whale; a playes and
tumbles, / Dryuing the poore Fry before him, / And at last,
deuowre them all at a mouthfull: / Such Whales haue I heard
on, a'th land, Who neuer leaue gaping, till they swallow'd
The whole Parish, Church, Steeple, Belles and all.

Peri.
A prettie morall.

3.
But Maister, if I had been the
Sexton, I would haue been that day in the belfrie.

2.
Why, Man?

1.
Because he should haue swallowed
mee too, / And when I had been in his belly, I would haue
kept such a iangling of the Belles, / That he should neuer
haue left, / Till he cast Belles, Steeple, Church and Parish vp
againe: / But if the good King Simonides were of my
minde.

Per.
Simonides?

3.
We would purge the land of these
Drones, / That robbe the Bee of her Hony.

Per.

How from the fenny subiect of the Sea,
These Fishers tell the infirmities of men,
And from their watry empire recollect,
All that may men approue, or men detect.
Peace be at your labour, honest Fisher-men.

2.
Honest good fellow what's
that, if it be a day fits you / Search out of the Kalender,
and no body looke after it?

Peri.
May see the Sea hath cast vpon your coast:

2.
What a drunken Knaue was the Sea,
To cast thee in our way?

Per.
A man whom both the Waters and the Winde,
In that vast Tennis-court, hath made the Ball
For them to play vpon, intreates you pittie him:
Hee askes of you, that neuer vs'd to begge.

1.
No friend, cannot you begge? Heer's
them in our countrey of Greece, / Gets more with begging,
then we can doe with working.

2.
Canst thou catch any Fishes then?

Peri.
I neuer practizde it.

2.
Nay then thou wilt starue sure:
for heer's nothing to be got now-adayes, vnlesse thou canst
fish for't.

Per.
What I haue been, I haue forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to thinke on:
A man throng'd vp with cold, my Veines are chill,
And haue no more of life then may suffize,
To giue my tongue that heat to aske your helpe:
Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For that I am a man, pray you see me buried.

1.
Die, ke-tha; now Gods forbid't, and I
haue a Gowne heere, come put it on, keepe thee warme:
now afore mee a handsome fellow : Come, thou shalt goe
home, and wee'le haue Flesh for all day, Fish for fasting-dayes
and more; or Puddinges and Flap-iackes, and thou
shalt be welcome.

Per.
I thanke you sir.

2.
Harke you my friend: You sayd you
could not beg?

Per.
I did but craue.

2.
But craue? Then Ile turne Crauer
too, and so I shall scape whipping.

Per.
Why, are you Beggers whipt then?

2.
Oh not all, my friend, not all: for if
all your Beggers were whipt, I would wish no better
office, then to be Beadle: But Maister, Ile goe draw vp the
Net.

Per.
How well this honest mirth becomes their labour?

1.
Harke you sir; doe you know where yee
are?

Per.
Not well.

1.
Why Ile tell you, this I cald
Pantapoles, / And our King, the good Symonides.

Per.
The good Symonides, doe you call him?

1.
I sir, and he deserues so to be \
cal'd, / For his peaceable raigne, and good gouernement.

Per.
He is a happy King, since he gaines from / His
subiects the name of good, by his gouernment. How farre
is his Court distant from this shore?

1.
Mary sir, halfe a dayes iourney: And
Ile tell you, / He hath a faire Daughter, and to morrow
is her birth-day, / And there are Princes and Knights come
from all partes of the World, to Iust and Turney for her
loue.

Per.
Were my fortunes equall to my desires, I could
wish to make one there.

1.
O sir, things must be as they may:
and what a man can not get, he may lawfully deale for his
Wiues soule.
Enter the two Fisher-men, drawing vp a Net.

2.
Helpe Maister helpe; heere's a Fish
hanges in the Net, / Like a poore mans right in the law: t'will
hardly come out. / Ha bots on't, tis come at last; & tis
turnd to a rusty Armour.

Per.
An Armour friends; I pray you let me see it?
Thankes Fortune, yet that after all crosses,
Thou giuest me somewhat to repaire my selfe:
And though it was mine owne part of my heritage,
Which my dead Father did bequeath to me,
With this strict charge euen as he left his life,
Keepe it my Perycles, it hath been a Shield
Twixt me and death, and poynted to this brayse,
For that it saued me, keepe it in like necessitie:
The which the Gods protect thee, Fame may defend thee:
It kept where I kept, I so dearely lou'd it,
Till the rough Seas, that spares not any man,
Tooke it in rage, though calm'd, haue giuen't againe:
I thanke thee for't, my shipwracke now's no ill,
Since I haue heere my Father gaue in his Will.

1.
What meane you sir?

Peri.
To begge of you (kind friends) this Coate of worth,
For it was sometime Target to a King;
I know it by this marke: he loued me dearely,
And for his sake, I wish the hauing of it;
And that you'd guide me to your Soueraignes Court,
Where with it, I may appeare a Gentleman:
And if that euer my low fortune's better,
Ile pay your bounties; till then, rest your debter.

1.
Why wilt thou turney for the Lady?

Peri.
Ile shew the vertue I haue borne in Armes.

1.
Why do'e take it: and the Gods giue
thee good an't.

2.
I but harke you my friend, t'was
wee that made vp this Garment through the rough seames
of the Waters: there are certaine Condolements, certaine
Vailes: I hope sir, if you thriue, you'le remember from
whence you had them.

Peri.
Beleeue't, I will:
By your furtherance I am cloth'd in Steele,
And spight of all the rupture of the Sea,
This Iewell holdes his buylding on my arme:
Vnto thy value I will mount my selfe
Vpon a Courser, whose delight steps,
Shall make the gazer ioy to see him tread;
Onely (my friend) I yet am vnprouided
of a paire of Bases.

2.
Wee'le sure prouide, thou shalt
haue / My best Gowne to make thee a paire; / And Ile bring
thee to the Court my selfe.

Peri.
Then Honour be but a Goale to my Will,
This day Ile rise, or else adde ill to ill.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Simonydes, with attendaunce, and Thaisa.

King.
Are the Knights ready to begin the Tryumph?

1.Lord.
They are my Leidge,
and stay your comming, / To present them selues.

King.
Returne them, We are ready, & our daughter heere,
In honour of whose Birth, these Triumphs are,
Sits heere like Beauties child, whom Nature gat,
For men to see; and seeing, woonder at.

Thai.
It pleaseth you (my royall Father) to expresse
My Commendations great, whose merit's lesse.

King.
It's fit it should be so, for Princes are
A modell which Heauen makes like to it selfe:
As Iewels loose their glory, if neglected,
So Princes their Renownes, if not respected:
T'is now your honour (Daughter) to entertaine
The labour of each Knight, in his deuice.

Thai.
Which to preserue mine honour, I'le performe.
The first Knight passes by.

King.
Who is the first, that doth preferre himselfe?

Thai.
A Knight of Sparta (my renowned father)
And the deuice he beares vpon his Shield,
Is a blacke Ethyope reaching at the Sunne:
The word: Lux tua vita mihi.

King.
He loues you well, that holdes his life of you.
The second Knight.
Who is the second, that presents himselfe?

Tha.
A Prince of Macedon (my royall father)
And the deuice he beares vpon his Shield,
Is an Armed Knight, that's conquered by a Lady:
The motto thus in Spanish. Pue per doleera kee per forsa.
3.Knight.

Kin.
And with the third?

Thai.
The third, of Antioch;
and his deuice, / A wreath of Chiually:
the word: Me Pompey prouexit apex.
4.Knight.

Kin.
What is the fourth.

Thai.
A burning Torch that's turned vpside downe;
The word: Qui me alit me extinguit.

Kin.
Which shewes that Beautie hath his power & will,
Which can as well enflame, as it can kill.
5.Knight.

Thai.
The fift, an Hand enuironed with Clouds,
Holding out Gold, that's by the Touch-stone tride:
The motto thus: Sic spectanda fides.
6.Knight.

Kin.
And what's the sixt, and last; the which, / The knight himself
with such a graceful courtesie deliuered?

Thai.
Hee seemes to be a Stranger: but his Present is
A withered Branch, that's onely greene at top,
The motto: In hac spe viuo.

Kin.
A pretty morrall
frõ the deiected state wherein he is,
He hopes by you, his fortunes yet may flourish.

1. Lord.
He had need meane better, then his outward shew
Can any way speake in his iust commend:
For by his rustie outside, he appeares,
To haue practis'd more the Whipstocke, then the Launce.

2.Lord.
He well may be a Stranger, for he comes
To an honour'd tryumph, strangly furnisht.

3. Lord.
And on set purpose let his Armour rust
Vntill this day, to scowre it in the dust.

Kin.
Opinion's but a foole, that makes vs scan
The outward habit, by the inward man.
But stay, the Knights are comming,
We will with-draw into the Gallerie.
Great shoutes, and all cry, the meane
Knight.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter the King and Knights from
Tilting.

King.
Knights,
to say you're welcome, were superfluous.
I place vpon the volume of your deedes,
As in a Title page, your worth in armes,
Were more then you expect, or more then's fit,
Since euery worth in shew commends it selfe:
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a Feast.
You are Princes, and my guestes.
Thai.
But you my Knight and guest,
To whom this Wreath of victorie I giue,
And crowne you King of this dayes happinesse.

Peri.
Tis more by Fortune (Lady) then my Merit.

King.
Call it by what you will, the day is your,
And here (I hope) is none that enuies it:
In framing an Artist, art hath thus decreed,
To make some good, but others to exceed,
And you are her labourd scholler: come Queene a th'feast,
For (Daughter) so you are; heere take your place:
Martiall the rest, as they deserue their grace.

Knights.
We are honour'd much by good Symonides.

King.
Your presence glads our dayes, honour we loue,
For who hates honour, hates the Gods aboue.

Marshal.
Sir, yonder is your place.

Peri.
Some other is more fit.

1.Knight.
Contend not sir, for we are Gentlemen,
Haue neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
Enuies the great, nor shall the low despise.

Peri.
You are right courtious Knights.

King.
Sit sir, sit.
By Ioue (I wonder) that is King of thoughts,
These Cates resist mee, hee not thought vpon.

Tha.

By Iuno (that is Queene of mariage)
All Viands that I eate do seeme vnsauery,
Wishing him my meat: sure hee's a gallant Gentleman.

Kin.
Hee's but a countrie Gentleman:
ha's done no more / Then other Knights haue done,
ha's broken a Staffe, / Or so; so let it passe.

Tha.
To mee he seemes like Diamond, to Glasse.

Peri.
You Kings to mee, like to my fathers picture,
Which tels in that glory once he was,
Had Princes sit like Starres about his Throane,
And hee the Sunne for them to reuerence;
None that beheld him, but like lesser lights,
Did vaile their Crownes to his supremacie;
Where now his sonne like a Gloworme in the night,
The which hath Fire in darknesse, none in light:
Whereby I see that Time's the King of men,
Hee's both their Parent, and he is their Graue,
And giues them what he will, not what they craue.

King.
What, are you merry, Knights?

Knights.
Who can be other, in this royall presence.

King.
Heere, with a Cup that's stur'd vnto the brim,
As do you loue, fill to your Mistris lippes,
Wee drinke this health to you.

Knights.
We thanke your Grace.

King.
Yet pause awhile,
yon Knight doth sit too melancholy,
As if the entertainement in our Court,
Had not a shew might counteruaile his worth:
Note it not you, Thaisa.

Tha.
What is't to me, my father?

king.
O attend my Daughter,
Princes in this, should liue like Gods aboue,
Who freely giue to euery one that come to honour them:
And Princes not doing so, are like to Gnats,
Which make a sound, but kild, are wondred at:
Therefore to make his entraunce more sweet,
Heere, say wee drinke this standing boule of wine to him.

Tha.
Alas my Father, it befits not mee,
Vnto a stranger Knight to be so bold,
He may my profer take for an offence,
Since men take womens giftes for impudence.

king.
How? doe as I bid you, or you'le mooue me else.

Tha.
Now by the Gods, he could not please me better.

king.
And furthermore tell him, we desire to know of him
Of whence he is, his name, and Parentage?

Tha.
The King my father (sir) has drunke to you.

Peri.
I thanke him.

Tha.
Wishing it so much blood vnto your life.

Peri.
I thanke both him and you, and pledge him freely.

Tha.
And further, he desires to know of you,
Of whence you are, your name and parentage?

Peri.
A Gentleman of Tyre, my name Pericles,
My education beene in Artes and Armes:
Who looking for aduentures in the world,
Was by the rough Seas reft of Ships and men,
and after shipwracke, driuen vpon this shore.

Tha.
He thankes your Grace; names himselfe Pericles,
A Gentleman of Tyre:
who onely by misfortune of the seas,
Bereft of Shippes and Men, cast on this shore.

king.
Now by the Gods, I pitty his misfortune,
And will awake him from his melancholy.
Come Gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,
And waste the time which lookes for other reuels;
Euen in your Armours as you are addrest,
Will well become a Souldiers daunce:
I will not haue excuse with saying this,
Lowd Musicke is too harsh for Ladyes heads,
Since they loue men in armes, as well as beds.
They daunce.
So, this was well askt, t'was so well perform'd.
Come sir, heer's a Lady that wants breathing too,
And I haue heard, you Knights of Tyre,
Are excellent in making Ladyes trippe;
And that their Measures are as excellent.

Peri.
In those that practize them, they are (my Lord.)

king.
Oh that's as much, as you would be denyed
Of your faire courtesie:
They daunce.
vnclaspe, vnclaspe.
Thankes Gentlemen to all, all haue done well;
But you the best: Pages and lights, to conduct
These Knights vnto their seuerall Lodgings:
Yours sir, we haue giuen order be next our owne.

Peri.
I am at your Graces pleasure.
Princes, it is too late to talke of Loue.
And that's the marke I know, you leuell at:
Therefore each one betake him to his rest,
To morrow all for speeding do their best.

Original text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Hellicanus and Escanes.

Hell.
No Escanes, know this of mee,
Antiochus from incest liued not free:
For which the most high Gods not minding, / Longer
to with-hold the vengeance that / They had in store,
due to this heynous / Capitall offence,
euen 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 heauen came and shriueld / Vp
those bodyes euen to lothing, for they so stounke,
That all those eyes ador'd them, ere their fall,
Scorne now their hand should giue them buriall.

Escanes.
T'was very strange.

Hell.
And yet but iustice; for though
this King were great, / His greatnesse was no gard
to barre heauens shaft, / But sinne had his reward.

Escan.
Tis very true.
Enter two or three Lords.

1.Lord.
See, not a man in priuate conference,
Or counsaile, ha's respect with him but hee.

2.Lord.
It shall no longer grieue, without reprofe.

3.Lord.
And curst be he that will not second it.

1.Lord.
Follow me then: Lord Hellicane, a word.

Hell.
With mee? and welcome happy day , my Lords.

1.Lord.
Know, that our griefes are risen to the top,
And now at length they ouer-flow their bankes.

Hell.
Your griefes, for what? Wrong not your Prince, you loue.

1.Lord.
Wrong not your selfe then, noble Hellican,
But if the Prince do liue, let vs salute him,
Or know what ground's made happy by his breath:
If in the world he liue, wee'le seeke him out:
If in his Graue he rest, wee'le find him there,
And be resolued he liues to gouerne vs:
Or dead, giue's cause to mourne his funerall,
And leaue vs to our free election.

2.Lord.
Whose death in deed, the strongest in our sensure,
And knowing this Kingdome is without a head,
Like goodly Buyldings left without a Roofe,
Soone fall to ruine: your noble selfe,
That best know how to rule, and how to raigne,
Wee thus submit vnto our Soueraigne.

Omnes.
Liue noble Hellicane.

Hell.
Try honours cause; forbeare your suffrages:
If that you loue Prince Pericles, forbeare,
(Take I your wish, I leape into the seas,
Where's howerly trouble, for a minuts ease)
A twelue-month longer, let me intreat you
To forbeare the absence of your King;
If in which time expir'd, he not returne,
I shall with aged patience beare your yoake:
But if I cannot winne you to this loue,
Goe search like nobles, like noble subiects,
And in your search, spend your aduenturous worth,
Whom if you find, and winne vnto returne,
You shall like Diamonds sit about his Crowne.

1.Lord.
To wisedome, hee's a foole, that will not yeeld:
And since Lord Hellicane enioyneth vs,
We with our trauels will endeauour.

Hell.
Then you loue vs, we you, & wee'le claspe hands:
When Peeres thus knit, a Kingdome euer stands.
Original text
Act II, Scene V
Enter the King reading of a letter at one doore, the
Knightes meete him.

1.Knight.
Good morrow to the good Simonides.

King.
Knights, from my daughter this I let you know,
That for this twelue-month, shee'le not vndertake
A maried life:
her reason to her selfe is onely knowne,
Which from her, by no meanes can I get.

2.Knight.
May we not get accesse to her (my Lord?)

king.
Fayth, by no meanes, she hath so strictly
Tyed her to her Chamber, that t'is impossible:
One twelue Moones more shee'le weare Dianas liuerie:
This by the eye of Cinthya hath she vowed,
And on her Virgin honour, will not breake it.

3.knight.
Loth to bid farewell, we take our leaues.

king.
So, they are well dispatcht:
Now to my daughters Letter;
she telles me heere, / Shee'le wedde the stranger Knight,
Or neuer more to view nor day nor light.
T'is well Mistris, your choyce agrees with mine:
I like that well: nay how absolute she's in't,
Not minding whether I dislike or no.
Well, I do commend her choyce,
and will no longer / Haue it be delayed:
Soft, heere he comes, I must dissemble it.
Enter Pericles.

Peri.
All fortune to the good Symonides.

King.
To you as much: Sir, I am behoulding to you
For your sweete Musicke this last night:
I do protest, my eares were neuer better fedde
With such delightfull pleasing harmonie.

Peri.
It is your Graces pleasure to commend,
Not my desert.

king.
Sir, you are Musickes maister.

Peri.
The worst of all her schollers (my good Lord.)

king.
Let me aske you one thing: / What do you thinke
of my Daughter, sir?

Peri.
A most vertuous Princesse.

king.
And she is faire too, is she not?

Peri.
As a faire day in Sommer: woondrous faire.

king.
Sir, my Daughter thinkes very well of you,
I so well, that you must be her Maister,
And she will be your Scholler; therefore looke to it.

Peri.
I am vnworthy for her Scholemaister.

king.
She thinkes not so: peruse this writing else.

Per.
What's here,
a letter that she loues the knight of Tyre?
T'is the Kings subtiltie to haue my life:
Oh seeke not to intrappe me, gracious Lord,
A Stranger, and distressed Gentleman,
That neuer aymed so hie, to loue your Daughter,
But bent all offices to honour her.

king.
Thou hast bewitcht my daughter,
And thou art a villaine.

Peri.
By the Gods I haue not;
neuer did thought / Of mine leuie offence;
nor neuer did my actions / Yet commence
a deed might gaine her loue, / Or your displeasure.

king.
Traytor, thou lyest.

Peri.
Traytor?

king.
I, traytor.

Peri.
Euen in his throat, vnlesse it be the King,
That cals me Traytor, I returne the lye.

king.
Now by the Gods, I do applaude his courage.

Peri.
My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
That neuer relisht of a base discent:
I came vnto your Court for Honours cause,
And not to be a Rebell to her state:
And he that otherwise accountes of mee,
This Sword shall prooue, hee's Honours enemie.

king.
No?
heere comes my Daughter, she can witnesse it.
Enter Thaisa.

Peri.
Then as you are as vertuous, as faire,
Resolue your angry Father, if my tongue
Did ere solicite, or my hand subscribe
To any sillable that made loue to you?

Thai.
Why sir, say if you had, who takes offence?
At that, would make me glad?

King.
Yea Mistris, are you so peremptorie?
I am glad on't with all my heart,
Ile tame you; Ile bring you in subiection. Aside.
Will you not, hauing my consent,
Bestow your loue and your affections,
Vpon a Stranger? who for ought I know,
May be (nor can I thinke the contrary) Aside.
As great in blood as I my selfe:


Therefore, heare you Mistris, either frame
Your will to mine: and you sir, heare you;
Either be rul'd by mee, or Ile make you,
Man and wife:
nay come, your hands, / And lippes must seale it too:
and being ioynd, / Ile thus your hopes destroy,
and for further griefe: God giue you ioy;
what are you both pleased?

Tha.
Yes, if you loue me sir?

Peri.
Euen as my life, my blood that fosters it.

King.
What are you both agreed?

Ambo.
Yes, if't please your Maiestie.

King.
It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed,
And then with what haste you can, get you to bed.
Exeunt.
Modern text
II CHORUS
Enter Gower

GOWER
Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, iwis, to incest bring;
A better prince and benign lord,
That will prove awful both in deed and word.
Be quiet then as men should be
Till he hath passed necessity.
I'll show you those in trouble's reign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in conversation,
To whom I give my benison,
Is still at Tarsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he speken can;
And, to remember what he does
Build his statue to make him glorious.
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?
Dumb show:
Enter at one door Pericles talking with Cleon, all the
train with them. Enter at another door a gentleman
with a letter to Pericles. Pericles shows the letter to
Cleon. Pericles gives the messenger a reward and
knights him. Exit Pericles at one door and Cleon at
another
Good Helicane that stayed at home,
Not to eat honey like a drone
From others' labours, forthy he strive
To killen bad, keep good alive,
And to fulfil his prince' desire,
Sends word of all that haps in Tyre;
How Thaliard came full bent with sin
And hid intent to murder him,
And that in Tarsus was not best
Longer for him to make his rest.
He, doing so, put forth to seas,
Where, when men been, there's seldom ease;
For now the wind begins to blow;
Thunder above and deeps below
Make such unquiet that the ship
Should house him safe is wracked and split,
And he, good prince, having all lost,
By waves from coast to coast is tossed.
All perishen of man, of pelf,
Ne aught escapend but himself;
Till Fortune, tired with doing bad,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad.
And here he comes. What shall be next,
Pardon old Gower – this longs the text.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Pericles, wet

PERICLES
Yet cease your ire, you angry stars of heaven!
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember earthly man
Is but a substance that must yield to you,
And I, as fits my nature, do obey you.
Alas, the seas hath cast me on the rocks,
Washed me from shore to shore, and left my breath
Nothing to think on but ensuing death.
Let it suffice the greatness of your powers
To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes,
And having thrown him from your watery grave
Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave.
He lies down
Enter three Fishermen

FIRST FISHERMAN
What ho, Pilch!

SECOND FISHERMAN
Ha, come and bring away the nets!

FIRST FISHERMAN
What, Patchbreech, I say!

THIRD FISHERMAN
What say you, master?

FIRST FISHERMAN
Look how thou stirrest now! Come
away, or I'll fetch thee with a wanion.

THIRD FISHERMAN
Faith, master, I am thinking of the
poor men that were cast away before us even now.

FIRST FISHERMAN
Alas, poor souls, it grieved my heart
to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to help them,
when, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.

THIRD FISHERMAN
Nay, master, said not I as much
when I saw the porpoise how he bounced and tumbled?
They say they're half fish, half flesh. A plague on them,
they ne'er come but I look to be washed. Master, I
marvel how the fishes live in the sea?

FIRST FISHERMAN
Why, as men do a-land; the great
ones eat up the little ones. I can compare our rich
misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; 'a plays and
tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last
devour them all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard
on a-th' land who never leave gaping till they swallowed
the whole parish, church, steeple, bells, and all.

PERICLES
(aside)
A pretty moral!

THIRD FISHERMAN
But, master, if I had been the
sexton, I would have been that day in the belfry.

SECOND FISHERMAN
Why, man?

THIRD FISHERMAN
Because he should have swallowed
me too, and when I had been in his belly I would have
kept such a jangling of the bells that he should never
have left till he cast bells, steeple, church, and parish up
again. But if the good King Simonides were of my
mind–

PERICLES
(aside)
Simonides?

THIRD FISHERMAN
We would purge the land of these
drones that rob the bee of her honey.

PERICLES
(aside)
How from the finny subject of the sea
These fishers tell the infirmities of men,
And from their watery empire recollect
All that may men approve or men detect! –
Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen!

SECOND FISHERMAN
Honest, good fellow? What's
that? If it be a day fits you, search out of the calendar,
and nobody look after it.

PERICLES
May see the sea hath cast upon your coast –

SECOND FISHERMAN
What a drunken knave was the sea
to cast thee in our way!

PERICLES
A man whom both the waters and the wind,
In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball
For them to play upon entreats you pity him.
He asks of you that never used to beg.

FIRST FISHERMAN
No, friend, cannot you beg? Here's
them in our country of Greece gets more with begging
than we can do with working.

SECOND FISHERMAN
Canst thou catch any fishes then?

PERICLES
I never practised it.

SECOND FISHERMAN
Nay then, thou wilt starve, sure,
for here's nothing to be got nowadays unless thou canst
fish for't.

PERICLES
What I have been I have forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to think on:
A man thronged up with cold; my veins are chill,
And have no more of life than may suffice
To give my tongue that heat to ask your help;
Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For that I am a man, pray see me buried.

FIRST FISHERMAN
Die, quotha! Now gods forbid it an I
have a gown here! Come, put it on, keep thee warm.
Now, afore me, a handsome fellow! Come, thou shalt go
home, and we'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days,
and moreo'er puddings and flapjacks, and thou
shalt be welcome.

PERICLES
I thank you, sir.

SECOND FISHERMAN
Hark you, my friend, you said you
could not beg?

PERICLES
I did but crave.

SECOND FISHERMAN
But crave? Then I'll turn craver
too, and so I shall 'scape whipping.

PERICLES
Why, are your beggars whipped then?

SECOND FISHERMAN
O, not all, my friend, not all, for if
all your beggars were whipped, I would wish no better
office than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the
net.
Exit Second and Third Fisherman

PERICLES
(aside)
How well this honest mirth becomes their labour!

FIRST FISHERMAN
Hark you, sir, do you know where ye
are?

PERICLES
Not well.

FIRST FISHERMAN
Why, I'll tell you. This is called
Pentapolis, and our king the good Simonides.

PERICLES
The good Simonides do you call him?

FIRST FISHERMAN
Ay, sir, and he deserves so to be
called for his peaceable reign and good government.

PERICLES
He is a happy king, since he gains from his
subjects the name of good by his government. How far
is his court distant from this shore?

FIRST FISHERMAN
Marry, sir, half a day's journey. And
I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and tomorrow
is her birthday, and there are princes and knights come
from all parts of the world to joust and tourney for her
love.

PERICLES
Were my fortunes equal to my desires, I could
wish to make one there.

FIRST FISHERMAN
O, sir, things must be as they may;
and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for his
wife's soul.
Enter the two Fishermen, drawing up a net

SECOND FISHERMAN
Help, master, help! Here's a fish
hangs in the net like a poor man's right in the law; 'twill
hardly come out. Ha, bots on't, 'tis come at last, and 'tis
turned to a rusty armour.

PERICLES
An armour, friends? I pray you let me see it.
Thanks, Fortune, yet that after all thy crosses
Thou givest me somewhat to repair myself,
And though it was mine own, part of my heritage,
Which my dead father did bequeath to me,
With this strict charge, even as he left his life:
‘ Keep it, my Pericles; it hath been a shield
'Twixt me and death,’ and pointed to this brace,
‘ For that it saved me, keep it. In like necessity,
The which the gods protect thee from, may't defend thee.’
It kept where I kept, I so dearly loved it,
Till the rough seas, that spares not any man,
Took it in rage, though calmed have given't again.
I thank thee for't. My shipwreck now's no ill,
Since I have here my father gave in his will.

FIRST FISHERMAN
What mean you, sir?

PERICLES
To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth,
For it was sometime target to a king.
I know it by this mark. He loved me dearly,
And for his sake I wish the having of it,
And that you'd guide me to your sovereign's court,
Where with it I may appear a gentleman.
And if that ever my low fortune's better,
I'll pay your bounties; till then rest your debtor.

FIRST FISHERMAN
Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady?

PERICLES
I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.

FIRST FISHERMAN
Why, d'ye take it, and the gods give
thee good on't.

SECOND FISHERMAN
Ay, but hark you, my friend, 'twas
we that made up this garment through the rough seams
of the waters. There are certain condolements, certain
vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from
whence you had them.

PERICLES
Believe't, I will.
By your furtherance I am clothed in steel,
And spite of all the rapture of the sea
This jewel holds his building on my arm.
Unto thy value I will mount myself
Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.
Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided
Of a pair of bases.

SECOND FISHERMAN
We'll sure provide. Thou shalt
have my best gown to make thee a pair, and I'll bring
thee to the court myself.

PERICLES
Then honour be but a goal to my will,
This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Simonides with Lords and attendants, and Thaisa

SIMONIDES
Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?

FIRST LORD
They are, my liege,
And stay your coming to present themselves.

SIMONIDES
Return them we are ready; and our daughter here,
In honour of whose birth these triumphs are,
Sits here like beauty's child, whom Nature gat
For men to see and, seeing, wonder at.

THAISA
It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express
My commendations great, whose merit's less.

SIMONIDES
It's fit it should be so, for princes are
A model which heaven makes like to itself.
As jewels lose their glory if neglected,
So princes their renowns if not respected.
'Tis now your honour, daughter, to entertain
The labour of each knight in his device.

THAISA
Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform.
The First Knight enters and passes by, his squire
presenting his shield to Thaisa

SIMONIDES
Who is the first that doth prefer himself?

THAISA
A knight of Sparta, my renowned father,
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Ethiop reaching at the sun.
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.

SIMONIDES
He loves you well that holds his life of you.
The Second Knight passes by
Who is the second that presents himself?

THAISA
A prince of Macedon, my royal father,
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is an armed knight that's conquered by a lady.
The motto thus in Spanish, Piu per dolcera che per forza.
The Third Knight passes by

SIMONIDES
And with the third?

THAISA
The third of Antioch,
And his device a wreath of chivalry.
The word, Me pompae provexit apex.
The Fourth Knight passes by

SIMONIDES
What is the fourth?

THAISA
A burning torch that's turned upside down.
The word, Qui me alit me extinguit.

SIMONIDES
Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
Which can as well inflame as it can kill.
The Fifth Knight passes by

THAISA
The fifth, an hand environed with clouds,
Holding out gold that's by the touchstone tried.
The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.
The Sixth Knight, Pericles, passes by

SIMONIDES
And what's the sixth and last, the which the knight himself
With such a graceful courtesy delivered?

THAISA
He seems to be a stranger, but his present is
A withered branch that's only green at top.
The motto, In hac spe vivo.

SIMONIDES
A pretty moral,
From the dejected state wherein he is,
He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.

FIRST LORD
He had need mean better than his outward show
Can any way speak in his just commend,
For by his rusty outside he appears
To have practised more the whipstock than the lance.

SECOND LORD
He well may be a stranger, for he comes
To an honoured triumph strangely furnished.

THIRD LORD
And on set purpose let his armour rust
Until this day, to scour it in the dust.

SIMONIDES
Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan
The outward habit by the inward man.
But stay, the knights are coming.
We will withdraw into the gallery.
Exeunt
(Within) Great shouts, and all cry ‘ The mean
knight!’
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Pericles, and Knights from
tilting, with lords, ladies, Marshal, and attendants

SIMONIDES
Knights,
To say you're welcome were superfluous.
To place upon the volume of your deeds,
As in a title-page, your worth in arms,
Were more than you expect, or more than's fit,
Since every worth in show commends itself.
Prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast.
You are princes and my guests.

THAISA
(to Pericles)
But you, my knight and guest;
To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.

PERICLES
'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.

SIMONIDES
Call it by what you will, the day is yours,
And here, I hope, is none that envies it.
In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed,
To make some good, but others to exceed,
And you are her laboured scholar. Come, queen o'th' feast –
For, daughter, so you are – here take your place.
Marshal the rest as they deserve their grace.

KNIGHTS
We are honoured much by good Simonides.

SIMONIDES
Your presence glads our days; honour we love,
For who hates honour hates the gods above.

MARSHAL
Sir, yonder is your place.

PERICLES
Some other is more fit.

FIRST KNIGHT
Contend not, sir, for we are gentlemen
Have neither in our hearts nor outward eyes
Envied the great nor shall the low despise.

PERICLES
You are right courteous knights.

SIMONIDES
Sit, sir, sit.
(Aside) By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
These cates resist me, he but thought upon.

THAISA
(aside)
By Juno, that is queen of marriage,
All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury,
Wishing him my meat. – Sure, he's a gallant gentleman.

SIMONIDES
He's but a country gentleman.
He has done no more than other knights have done.
Has broken a staff or so. So let it pass.

THAISA
(aside)
To me he seems like diamond to glass.

PERICLES
(aside)
Yon king's to me like to my father's picture
Which tells me in what glory once he was;
Had princes sit like stars about his throne,
And he the sun for them to reverence.
None that beheld him but like lesser lights
Did vail their crowns to his supremacy;
Where now his son's like a glow-worm in the night,
The which hath fire in darkness, none in light;
Whereby I see that Time's the king of men;
He's both their parent and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

SIMONIDES
What, are you merry, knights?

KNIGHTS
Who can be other in this royal presence?

SIMONIDES
Here with a cup that's stored unto the brim,
As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips.
We drink this health to you.

KNIGHTS
We thank your grace.

SIMONIDES
Yet pause awhile.
Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,
As if the entertainment in our court
Had not a show might countervail his worth.
Note it not you, Thaisa?

THAISA
What is't to me, my father?

SIMONIDES
O, attend, my daughter:
Princes in this should live like gods above,
Who freely give to everyone that come to honour them.
And princes not doing so are like to gnats,
Which make a sound, but killed are wondered at.
Therefore to make his entrance more sweet,
Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.

THAISA
Alas, my father, it befits not me
Unto a stranger knight to be so bold.
He may my proffer take for an offence,
Since men take women's gifts for impudence.

SIMONIDES
How?
Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.

THAISA
(aside)
Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.

SIMONIDES
And furthermore tell him we desire to know of him
Of whence he is, his name, and parentage.

THAISA
The King my father, sir, has drunk to you.

PERICLES
I thank him.

THAISA
Wishing it so much blood unto your life.

PERICLES
I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.

THAISA
And further he desires to know of you
Of whence you are, your name, and parentage.

PERICLES
A gentleman of Tyre, my name Pericles,
My education been in arts and arms,
Who, looking for adventures in the world,
Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,
And after shipwreck driven upon this shore.

THAISA
He thanks your grace, names himself Pericles,
A gentleman of Tyre,
Who only by misfortune of the seas
Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.

SIMONIDES
Now, by the gods, I pity his misfortune
And will awake him from his melancholy.
Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,
And waste the time which looks for other revels.
Even in your armours, as you are addressed,
Will well become a soldiers' dance.
I will not have excuse with saying this:
Loud music is too harsh for ladies' heads,
Since they love men in arms as well as beds.
They dance
So, this was well asked,'twas so well performed.
Come, sir, here's a lady that wants breathing too,
And I have heard you knights of Tyre
Are excellent in making ladies trip,
And that their measures are as excellent.

PERICLES
In those that practise them they are, my lord.

SIMONIDES
O, that's as much as you would be denied
Of your fair courtesy.
They dance
Unclasp, unclasp!
Thanks, gentlemen, to all. All have done well,
(to Pericles) But you the best. – Pages and lights, to conduct
These knights unto their several lodgings. –
Yours, sir, we have given order be next our own.

PERICLES
I am at your grace's pleasure.

SIMONIDES
Princes, it is too late to talk of love,
And that's the mark I know you level at.
Therefore each one betake him to his rest;
Tomorrow all for speeding do their best.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
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
To withhold the vengeance that they had in store,
Due to this heinous capital offence,
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.

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

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.

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,
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
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,
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.
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
Modern text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Simonides, reading of a letter, at one door. The
Knights meet him

FIRST KNIGHT
Good morrow to the good Simonides.

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.
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.
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,
Not minding whether I dislike or no.
Well, I do commend her choice,
And will no longer have it be delayed.
Soft, here he comes; I must dissemble it.
Enter Pericles

PERICLES
All fortune to the good Simonides!

SIMONIDES
To you as much, sir. I am beholding to you
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,
Not my desert.

SIMONIDES
Sir, you are music's master.

PERICLES
The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.

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.
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.

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,
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.
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
Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe
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?
(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
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
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL