Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, I wis, 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 pass'd necessity.
I'll show you those in troubles reign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in conversation,
10To 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?
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; gives the Messenger a reward, and
Exit PERICLES at one door,
and CLEON at another.
Good Helicane, that stay'd at home.
Not to eat honey like a drone
From others' labors; for though he strive
20To 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 had 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;
30Thunder above and deeps below
Make such unquiet, that the ship
Should house him safe is wreck'd and split;
And he, good prince, having all lost,
By waves from coast to coast is tost:
All perishen of man, of pelf,
Ne aught escapen but himself;
Till fortune, tired with doing bad,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad:
And here he comes. What shall be next,
40Pardon old Gower,--this longs the text. [Exit.
SCENE IPentapolis. An open place by the sea-side.
Enter PERICLES, wet.
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 sea hath cast me on the rocks,
Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me 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;
10And having thrown him from your watery grave,
Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave. Enter three Fishermen.
What, ho, Pilch! Sec. Fish.
Ha, come and bring away the
nets! First Fish.
What, Patch-breech, I say! Third Fish.
What say you, master? First Fish.
Look how thou stirrest now!
come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wanion. Third Fish.
'Faith, master, I am thinking
of the poor men that were cast away before
us even now. First Fish.
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 Fish.
Nay, master, said not I as
much when I saw the porpus 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 Fish.
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 devours them all
at a mouthful: such whales have I heard on
o' the land, who never leave gaping till they've
swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple,
bells, and all. Per.
A pretty moral. Third Fish.
But, master, if I had been the
sexton, I would have been that day in the
belfry. Sec. Fish.
Why, man? Third Fish.
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,-- Per.
Simonides! Third Fish.
We would purge the land of
these drones, that rob the bee of her honey. Per.
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 labor, honest fishermen.
Honest! good fellow, what's
that? If it be a day fits you, search out of
the calendar, and nobody look after it. Per.
May see the sea hath cast upon your
coast. Sec. Fish.
What a drunken knave was the
sea to cast thee in our way! Per.
A man whom both the waters and the wind,
In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball
For them to play upon, entreats you pity him;
He asks of you, that never used to beg.
No, friend, cannot you beg?
Here's them in our country of Greece gets
more with begging than we can do with working. Sec. Fish.
Canst thou catch any fishes, then? Per.
I never practised it. Sec. Fish.
Nay, then thou wilt starve, sure;
for here's nothing to be got now-a-days,
unless thou canst fish for't. Per.
What I have been I have forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to think on:
A man throng'd 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;
80Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For that I am a man, pray see me buried.
Die quoth-a? Now gods forbid!
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 flap-jacks, and
thou shalt be welcome. Per.
I thank you, sir. Sec. Fish.
Hark you, my friend; you said
you could not beg. Per.
I did but crave. Sec. Fish.
But crave! Then I'll turn craver
too, and so I shall 'scape whipping. Per.
Why, are all your beggars whipped, then? Sec. Fish.
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 with Third Fisherman. Per.
How well this honest mirth becomes their labor!
Hark you, sir, do you know
where ye are? Per.
Not well. First Fish.
Why, I'll tell you: this is
called Pentapolis, and our king the good Simonides. Per.
The good King Simonides, do you call
him? First Fish.
Ay, sir; and he deserves so to
be called for his peaceable reign and good government. Per.
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 Fish.
Marry, sir, half a day's jour-
ney: and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter,
and to-morrow is her birth-day; and there
are princes and knights come from all parts of
the world to just and tourney for her love. Per.
Were my fortunes equal to my desires,
I could wish to make one there. First Fish.
O, sir, things must be as they
may; and what a man cannot get, he may
lawfully deal for--his wife's soul. Re-enter Second and Third Fishermen, drawing up a net. Sec. Fish.
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 armor. Per.
An armor, friends! I pray you, let me see it.
Thanks, fortune, yet, that, after all my 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 defend thee.'
It kept where I kept, I so dearly loved it;
Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,
Took it in rage, though calm'd have given't again:
I thank thee for't: my shipwreck now's no ill,
Since I have here my father's gift in's will.
What mean you, sir? Per.
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'ld 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.
Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per.
I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
Why, do'e take it, and the gods
give thee good on't! Sec. Fish.
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 it. Per.
Believe't, I will.
160By 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.
We'll sure provide: thou shalt
have my best gown to make thee a pair; and
I'll bring thee to the court myself. Per.
Then honor be but a goal to my will,
This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill. [Exeunt.
SCENE IIThe same. A public way or platform
leading to the lists. A pavilion by the
side of it for the reception of the King,
Princess, Lords, &c.
Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords and Attendants.
Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
They are, my liege;
And stay your coming to present themselves.
Return them, we are ready; and our daughter,
In honor of whose birth these triumphs are,
Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat
For men to see, and seeing wonder at. [Exit a Lord.
It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express
My commendations great, whose merit's less.
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 honor, daughter, to explain
The labor of each knight in his device.
Which, to preserve mine honor, I'll perform. Enter a Knight; he passes over, and his
Squire presents his shield to the Princess.
Who is the first that doth prefer himself?
A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
20Is a black Ethiope reaching at the sun:
The word, 'Lux tua vita mihi.'
He loves you well that holds his life of you. [The Second Knight passes over.
Who is the second that presents himself?
A prince of Macedon, my royal fa- ther;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is an arm'd knight that's conquered by a lady;
The motto thus, in Spanish, 'Piu por dulzura que por fuerza.' [The Third Knight passes over.
And what's the third?
The third of Antioch;
And his device, a wreath of chivalry;
30The word, 'Me pompae provexit apex.' [The Fourth Knight passes over.
What is the fourth?
A burning torch that's turned upside down;
The word, 'Quod me alit, me extinguit.'
Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
Which can as well inflame as it can kill. [The Fifth Knight passes over.
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 over.
40The sixth and last, the which the knight himself
With such a graceful courtesy deliver'd?
He seems to be a stranger; but his present is
A wither'd branch, that's only green at top;
The motto, 'In hac spe vivo.'
A pretty moral;
From the dejected state wherein he is,
He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.
He had need mean better than his outward show
Can any way speak in his just commend;
50For by his rusty outside he appears
To have practised more the whipstock than the lance.
He well may be a stranger, for he comes
To an honor'd triumph strangely furnished.
And on set purpose let his armor rust
Until this day, to scour it in the dust.
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.
[Great shouts within, and all cry 'The mean knight!'
SCENE IIIThe same. A hall of state: a banquet prepared.
Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, Attendants, and Knights, from tilting.
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.
But you, my knight and guest;
10To whom this wreath of victory I give,
And crown you king of this day's happiness.
'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.
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 labor'd scholar. Come, queen o' the feast,--
For, daughter, so you are,--here take your place:
Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.
20We are honor'd much by good Simonides.
Your presence glads our days; honor we love;
For who hates honor hates the gods above.
Sir, yonder is your place.
Some other is more fit.
Contend not, sir; for we are gentlemen
That neither in our hearts nor outward eyes
Envy the great nor do the low despise.
You are right courteous knights.
Sit, sir, sit.
By Jove, I wonder, that is king of thoughts,
These cates resist me, she but thought upon.
By Juno, that is queen of marriage,
All viands that I eat do seem unsavory,
Wishing him my meat. Sure, he's a gallant gentleman.
He's but a country gentleman;
Has done no more than other knights have done;
Has broken a staff or so; so let it pass.
To me he seems like diamond to glass.
Yon king's to me like to my father's picture,
Which tells me in that glory once he was;
Had princes sit, like stars, about his throne,
40And 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.
What, are you merry, knights?
Who can be other in this royal presence?
50Here, with a cup that's stored unto the brim,--
As you do love, fill to your mistress' lips,--
We drink this health to you.
We thank your grace.
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?
What is it
To me, my father?
O, attend, my daughter:
Princes in this should live like gods above,
60Who freely give to every one that comes
To honor them:
And princes not doing so are like to gnats,
Which make a sound, but kill'd are wonder'd at.
Therefore to make his entrance more sweet,
Here, say we drink this standing-bowl of wine to him.
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.
Do as I bid you, or you'll move me else.
Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.
And furthermore tell him, we desire to know of him,
Of whence he is, his name and parentage.
The king my father, sir, has drunk to you.
I thank him,
Wishing it so much blood unto your life.
I thank both him and you, and pledge him freely.
And further he desires to know of you,
Of whence you are, your name and parentage.
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.
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.
90Now, 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 armors, as you are address'd,
Will very well become a soldier's 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. [The Knights dance.
So, this was well ask'd, 'twas so well perform'd.
Here is a lady which wants breathing too:
And I have heard, you knights of Tyre
Are excellent in making ladies trip;
And that their measures are as excellent.
In those that practise them they are, my lord.
O, that's as much as you would be denied
Of your fair courtesy. [The Knights and Ladies dance.
Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done well,
But you the best. Pages and lights,
These knights unto their several lodgings!
We have given order to be next our own.
I am at your grace's pleasure.
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;
To-morrow all for speeding do their best. [Exeunt.
SCENE IVTyre. A room in the Governor's house.
Enter HELICANUS and ESCANES.
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 shrivell'd up
10Their 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.
'Twas very strange.
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.
'Tis very true. Enter two or three Lords.
See, not a man in private conference
Or council has respect with him but he.
It shall no longer grieve without reproof.
20And cursed be he that will not second it.
Follow me, then. Lord Helicane, a word.
With me? and welcome: happy day, my lords.
Know that our griefs are risen to the top,
And now at length they overflow their banks.
Your griefs! for what? wrong not your prince you love.
Wrong not yourself, then, noble Helicane;
But if the prince do live, let us salute him,
Or 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.
Whose death indeed's the strongest in our censure:
And knowing this kingdom is 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.
40Live, noble Helicane!
For honor'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 twelve month longer, let me entreat you to
Forbear 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,
50Go 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.
To wisdom he's a fool that will not yield;
And since Lord Helicane enjoineth us,
We with our travels will endeavour us.
Then you love us, we you, and we'll clasp hands:
When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands. [Exeunt.
SCENE VPentapolis. A room in the palace.
Enter SIMONIDES, reading a letter, at one door: the Knights meet him.
Good morrow to the good 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.
May we not get access to her, my lord?
'Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied
Her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible.
10One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery;
This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd,
And on her virgin honour will not break it.
Loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves. Exeunt Knights.
They are well dispatch'd; 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,
20Not minding whether I dislike or no!
Well, I do commend her choice;
And will no longer have it delay'd.
Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it. Enter PERICLES.
All fortune to the good 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.
It is your grace's pleasure to commend;
Not my desert.
30Sir, you are music's master.
The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
Let me ask you one thing:
What do you think of my daughter, sir?
A most virtuous princess.
And she is fair too, is she not?
As a fair day in summer, wondrous fair.
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.
I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.
She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre!
'Tis the king's subtilty to have my life.
O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,
A stranger and distressed gentleman,
That never aim'd so high to love your daughter,
But bent all offices to honor her.
Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and thou art
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.
Traitor, thou liest.
Even in his throat--unless it be the king--
That calls me traitor, I return the lie.
Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.
My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
60That never relish'd of a base descent.
I came unto your court for honor's cause,
And not to be a rebel to her state;
And he that otherwise accounts of me,
This sword shall prove he's honor's enemy.
Here comes my daughter, she can witness it. Enter THAISA.
Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,
Resolve your angry father, if my tongue
Did e'er solicit, or my hand subscribe
70To any syllable that made love to you.
Why, sir, say if you had,
Who takes offence at that would make me glad?
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,
80As great in blood as I myself.--
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 join'd, I'll thus your hopes destroy;
And for a further grief,--God give you joy!--
What, are you both pleased?
Yes, if you love me, sir.
Even as my life my blood that fosters it.
90What, are you both agreed?
Yes, if it please your majesty.
It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed;
And then with what haste you can get you to bed. [Exeunt.