previous next


Enter GOWER.


Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre,

Welcomed and settled to his own desire.

His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,

Unto Diana there a votaress.

Now to Marina bend your mind,

Whom our fast-growing scene must find

At Tarsus, and by Cleon train'd

In music, letters; who hath gain'd

Of education all the grace,

Which makes her both the heart and place

Of general wonder. But, alack,

That monster envy, oft the wrack

Of earned praise, Marina's life

Seeks to take off by treason's knife.

And in this kind hath our Cleon

One daughter, and a wench full grown,

Even ripe for marriage-rite; this maid

Hight Philoten: and it is said

For certain in our story, she

20Would ever with Marina be:

Be't when she weaved the sleided silk

With fingers long, small, white as milk;

Or when she would with sharp needle wound

The cambric, which she made more sound

By hurting it; or when to the lute

She sung, and made the night-bird mute,

That still records with moan; or when

She would with rich and constant pen

Vail to her mistress Dian; still

30This Philoten contends in skill

With absolute Marina: so

With the dove of Paphos might the crow

Vie feathers white. Marina gets

All praises, which are paid as debts,

And not as given. This so darks

In Philoten all graceful marks,

That Cleon's wife, with envy rare,

A present murderer does prepare

For good Marina, that her daughter

40Might stand peerless by this slaughter.

The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,

Lychorida, our nurse, is dead:

And cursed Dionyza hath

The pregnant instrument of wrath

Prest for this blow. The unborn event

I do commend to your content:

Only I carry winged time

Post on the lame feet of my rhyme;

Which never could I so convey,

50Unless your thoughts went on my way.

Dionyza does appear,

With Leonine, a murderer. Exit.


Tarsus. An open place near the sea-shore.


Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do't:

'Tis but a blow, which never shall be known.

Thou canst not do a thing in the world so soon,

To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,

Which is but cold, inflaming love i' thy bosom,

Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which

Even women have cast off, melt thee, but be

A soldier to thy purpose.

I will do't; but yet she is a goodly

The fitter, then, the gods should have
her. Here she comes weeping for her only
mistress' death. Thou art resolved?

I am resolved. Enter MARINA, with a basket of flowers.


No, I will rob Tellus of her weed,

To strew thy green with flowers: the yellows, blues,

The purple violets, and marigolds,

Shall as a carpet hang upon thy grave,

While summer-days do last. Ay me! poor maid,

Born in a tempest, when my mother died,

20This world to me is like a lasting storm,

Whirring me from my friends.


How now, Marina! why do you keep alone?

How chance my daughter is not with you?
Do not

Consume your blood with sorrowing: you have

A nurse of me. Lord, how your favor's changed

With this unprofitable woe!

Come, give me your flowers, ere the sea mar it.

Walk with Leonine; the air is quick there,

And it pierces and sharpens the stomach. Come,

Leonine, take her by the arm, walk with her.


No, I pray you;

I'll not bereave you of your servant.

Come, come;

I love the king your father, and yourself,

With more than foreign heart. We every day

Expect him here: when he shall come and find

Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,

He will repent the breadth of his great voyage;

Blame both my lord and me, that we have taken

No care to your best courses. Go, I pray you,

Walk, and be cheerful once again; reserve

That excellent complexion, which did steal

The eyes of young and old. Care not for me;

I can go home alone.

Well, I will go;

But yet I have no desire to it.


Come, come, I know 'tis good for you.

Walk half an hour, Leonine, at the least:

Remember what I have said.

I warrant you, madam.


I'll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while:

Pray, walk softly, do not heat your blood:

What! I must have a care of you.

50My thanks, sweet madam. Exit Dionyza.

Is this wind westerly that blows?



When I was born, the wind was

Was't so?


My father, as nurse said, did never fear,

But cried 'Good seamen!' to the sailors, galling

His kingly hands, haling ropes;

And, clasping to the mast, endured a sea

That almost burst the deck.


When was this?


When I was born:

60Never was waves nor wind more violent;

And from the ladder-tackle washes off

A canvas-climber. 'Ha!' says one, 'wilt out?'

And with a dropping industry they skip

From stem to stern: the boatswain whistles, and

The master calls, and trebles their confusion.


Come, say your prayers.


What mean you?


If you require a little space for prayer,

I grant it: pray; but be not tedious,

For the gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn

To do my work with haste.

Why will you kill me?


To satisfy my lady.


Why would she have me kill'd?

Now, as I can remember, by my troth,

I never did her hurt in all my life:

I never spake bad word, nor did ill turn

To any living creature: believe me, la,

I never kill'd a mouse, nor hurt a fly:

I trod upon a worm against my will,

80But I wept for it. How have I offended,

Wherein my death might yield her any profit,

Or my life imply her any danger?


My commission

Is not to reason of the deed, but do it.


You will not do't for all the world, I hope.

You are well favor'd, and your looks foreshow

You have a gentle heart. I saw you lately,

When you caught hurt in parting two that fought:

Good sooth, it show'd well in you: do so now:

Your lady seeks my life; come you between,

And save poor me, the weaker.

I am sworn,

And will dispatch. [He seizes her.
Enter Pirates.

First Pirate.

Hold, villain! [Leonine runs away.

Sec. Pirate.

A prize! a prize!

Third Pirate.

Half-part, mates, half-part.

Come, let's have her aboard suddenly. [Exeunt Pirates with Marina.
Re-enter LEONINE.


These roguing thieves serve the great pirate Valdes;

And they have seized Marina. Let her go:

There's no hope she will return. I'll swear she's dead,

And thrown into the sea. But I'll see further:

Perhaps they will but please themselves upon her,

Not carry her aboard. If she remain,

Whom they have ravish'd must by me be slain. [Exit.


Mytilene. A room in a brothel.
Enter PANDAR, Bawd, and BOULT.



Search the market narrowly; Mytilene
is full of gallants. We lost too much
money this mart by being too wenchless.

We were never so much out of
creatures. We have but poor three, and they
can do no more than they can do; and they
with continual action are even as good as

Therefore let's have fresh ones,
whate'er we pay for them. If there be not a
conscience to be used in every trade, we shall
never prosper.

Thou sayest true: 'tis not our bringing
up of poor bastards,--as, I think, I have
brought up some eleven--

Ay, to eleven; and brought them
down again. But shall I search the market?

What else, man? The stuff we
have, a strong wind will blow it to pieces, they
are so pitifully sodden.

Thou sayest true; they're too unwholesome,
o' conscience. The poor Transylvanian
is dead, that lay with the little baggage.

Ay, she quickly pooped him; she
made him roast-meat for worms. But I'll go
search the market. [Exit.

Three or four thousand chequins
were as pretty a proportion to live quietly,
and so give over.

Why to give over, I pray you? is it
a shame to get when we are old?

O, our credit comes not in like the
commodity, nor the commodity wages not
with the danger: therefore, if in our youths
we could pick up some pretty estate, 'twere
not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides,
the sore terms we stand upon with the gods
will be strong with us for giving over.

Come, others sorts offend as well as we.

As well as we! ay, and better too;
we offend worse. Neither is our profession
any trade; it's no calling. But here comes
Boult. Re-enter BOULT, with the Pirates and MARINA.


[To Marina]
Come your ways. My
My masters, you say she's a virgin?

First Pirate.
O, sir, we doubt it not.

Master, I have gone through for
this piece, you see: if you like her, so; if not,
I have lost my earnest.


Boult, has she any qualities?

She has a good face, speaks well,
and has excellent good clothes: there's no
further necessity of qualities can make her be

What's her price, Boult?

I cannot be baited one doit of a
thousand pieces.

Well, follow me, my masters, you
shall have your money presently. Wife, take
her in; instruct her what she has to do, that
she may not be raw in her entertainment. Exeunt Pandar and Pirates.

Boult, take you the marks of her,
the color of her hair, complexion, height, age,
with warrant of her virginity; and cry 'He
that will give most shall have her first.' Such
a maidenhead were no cheap thing, if men
were as they have been. Get this done as I
command you.

Performance shall follow. [Exit.


Alack that Leonine was so slack, so slow!

He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates,

70Not enough barbarous, had not o'erboard thrown me

For to seek my mother!

Why lament you, pretty one?

That I am pretty.

Come, the gods have done their part in you.

I accuse them not.

You are light into my hands, where you are like to live.

The more my fault
To scape his hands where I was like to die.

Ay, and you shall live in pleasure.


Yes, indeed shall you, and taste
gentlemen of all fashions: you shall fare well;
you shall have the difference of all complexions.
What! do you stop your ears?

Are you a woman?

What would you have me be, an I
be not a woman?

An honest woman, or not a woman.

Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think
I shall have something to do with you. Come,
you're a young foolish sapling, and must be
bowed as I would have you.

The gods defend me!

If it please the gods to defend you
by men, then men must comfort you, men
must feed you, men must stir you up. Boult's
returned. Re-enter BOULT.

Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?

I have cried her almost to the number
of her hairs; I have drawn her picture
with my voice.

And I prithee tell me, how dost
thou find the inclination of the people,
especially of the younger sort?

'Faith, they listened to me as they
would have hearkened to their father's testament.
There was a Spaniard's mouth so watered,
that he went to bed to her very description.

We shall have him here to-morrow
with his best ruff on.

To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do
you know the French knight that cowers i' the

Who, Monsieur Veroles?

Ay, he: he offered to cut a caper
at the proclamation; but he made a groan at
it, and swore he would see her to-morrow.

Well, well; as for him, he brought
his disease hither: here he does but repair it.
I know he will come in our shadow, to scatter
his crowns in the sun.

Well, if we had of every nation a
traveller, we should lodge them with this sign.


[To Mar.]
Pray you, come hither
awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you.
Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully
which you commit willingly, despise
profit where you have most gain. To weep that
you live as ye do makes pity in your lovers:
seldom but that pity begets you a good opinion,
and that opinion a mere profit.

I understand you not.

O, take her home, mistress, take
her home: these blushes of hers must be
quenched with some present practice.

Thou sayest true, i' faith so they
must; for your bride goes to that with shame
which is her way to go with warrant.

'Faith, some do, and some do not.
But, mistress, if I have bargained for the

Thou mayst cut a morsel off the

I may so.

Who should deny it? Come, young
one, I like the manner of your garments well.

Ay, by my faith, they shall not be
changed yet.

Boult, spend thou that in the town:
report what a sojourner we have; you'll lose
nothing by custom. When nature framed this
piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore
say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the
harvest out of thine own report.

I warrant you, mistress, thunder
shall not so awake the beds of eels as my giving
out her beauty stir up the lewdly-inclined.
I'll bring home some to-night.

Come your ways; follow me.

If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,
160Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.
Diana, aid my purpose!

What have we to do with Diana?
Pray you, will you go with us? [Exeunt.


Tarsus. A room in Clean's house.


Why, are you foolish? Can it be undone?


O Dionyza, such a piece of slaughter

The sun and moon ne'er look'd upon!

I think

You'll turn a child again.


Were I chief lord of all this spacious world,

I'ld give it to undo the deed. O lady,

Much less in blood than virtue, yet a princess

To equal any single crown o' the earth

I' the justice of compare! O villain Leonine!

10Whom thou hast poison'd too:

If thou hadst drunk to him, 't had been a kindness

Becoming well thy fact: what canst thou say

When noble Pericles shall demand his child?


That she is dead. Nurses are not the fates,

To foster it, nor ever to preserve.

She died at night; I'll say so. Who can cross it?

Unless you play the pious innocent,

And for an honest attribute cry out

'She died by foul play.'

O, go to. Well, well,

Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods

Do like this worst.

Be one of those that think

The petty wrens of Tarsus will fly hence,

And open this to Pericles. I do shame

To think of what a noble strain you are,

And of how coward a spirit.

To such proceeding

Who ever but his approbation added,

Though not his prime consent, he did not flow

From honorable sources.

Be it so, then:

Yet none does know, but you, how she came dead,

30Nor none can know, Leonine being gone.

She did distain my child, and stood between

Her and her fortunes: none would look on her,

But cast their gazes on Marina's face;

Whilst ours was blurted at and held a malkin

Not worth the time of day. It pierced me thorough;

And though you call my course unnatural,

You not your child well loving, yet I find

It greets me as an enterprise of kindness

Perform'd to your sole daughter.

Heavens forgive it!


40And as for Pericles,

What should he say? We wept after her hearse,

And yet we mourn: her monument

Is almost finish'd, and her epitaphs

In glittering golden characters express

A general praise to her, and care in us

At whose expense 'tis done.

Thou art like the harpy,

Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel's face,

Seize with thine eagle's talons.


You are like one that superstitiously

50Doth swear to the gods that winter kills the flies:

But yet I know you'll do as I advise. [Exeunt.


Enter GOWER, before the monument of MARINA at Tarsus.


Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short;

Sail seas in cockles, have an wish but for 't;

Making, to take your imagination,

From bourn to bourn, region to region.

By you being pardon'd, we commit no crime

To use one language in each several clime

Where our scenes seem to live. I do beseech you

To learn of me, who stand i' the gaps to teach you,

The stages of our story. Pericles

Is now again thwarting the wayward seas,

Attended on by many a lord and knight,

To see his daughter, all his life's delight.

Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late

Advanced in time to great and high estate,

Is left to govern. Bear you it in mind,

Old Helicanus goes along behind.

Well-sailing ships and bounteous winds have brought

This king to Tarsus,--think his pilot thought;

So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on,--

To fetch his daughter home, who first is gone.

Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;

Your ears unto your eyes I'll reconcile.
Enter PERICLES, at one door, with all his
train; CLEON and DIONYZA, at the other.

CLEON shows PERICLES the tomb; whereat
PERICLES makes lamentation, puts on sack-cloth,

and in a mighty passion departs.
Then exeunt CLEON and DIONYZA.

See how belief may suffer by foul show!

This borrow'd passion stands for true old woe;

And Pericles, in sorrow all devour'd,

With sighs shot through, and biggest tears o'ershower'd,

Leaves Tarsus and again embarks. He swears

Never to wash his face, nor cut his hairs:

He puts on sackcloth, and to sea. He bears

30A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears,

And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit

The epitaph is for Marina writ

By wicked Dionyza. [Reads the inscription on Marina's monument.

'The fairest, sweet'st, and best lies here,

Who wither'd in her spring of year.

She was of Tyrus the king's daughter,

On whom foul death hath made this slaughter;

Marina was she call'd; and at her birth,

Thetis, being proud, swallow'd some part o' the earth:

Therefore the earth, fearing to be o'erflow'd,

Hath Thetis' birth-child on the heavens bestow'd:

Wherefore she does, and swears she'll never stint,

Make raging battery upon shores of flint.'

No visor does become black villany

So well as soft and tender flattery.

Let Pericles believe his daughter's dead,

And bear his courses to be ordered

By Lady Fortune; while our scene must play

His daughter's woe and heavy well-a-day

50In her unholy service. Patience, then,

And think you now are all in Mytilene. [Exit.


Mytilene. A street before the brothel.
Enter, from the brothel, two Gentlemen.

First Gent.
Did you ever hear the like?

Sec. Gent.
No, nor never shall do in such
a place as this, she being once gone.

First Gent.
But to have divinity preached
there! did you ever dream of such a thing?

Sec. Gent.
No, no. Come, I am for no
more bawdy-houses: shall's go hear the
vestals sing?

First Gent.
I'll do any thing now that is
virtuous; but I am out of the road of rutting
for ever. [Exeunt.


The same. A room in the brothel.
Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT.

Well, I had rather than twice the
worth of her she had ne'er come here.

Fie, fie upon her! she's able to
freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole
generation. We must either get her ravished, or
be rid of her. When she should do for clients
her fitment, and do me the kindness of our
profession, she has me her quirks, her
reasons, her master reasons, her prayers, her
knees; that she would make a puritan of the
devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.

'Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll
disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make
our swearers priests.

Now, the pox upon her green-sickness
for me!

'Faith, there's no way to be rid on't
but by the way to the pox. Here comes the
Lord Lysimachus disguised.

We should have both lord and
lown, if the peevish baggage would but give
way to customers. Enter LYSIMACHUS.

How now! How a dozen of virginities?

Now, the gods to bless your honor!

I am glad to see your honour in good

You may so; 'tis the better for you
that your resorters stand upon sound legs.
How now! wholesome iniquity have you that
a man may deal withal, and defy the surgeon?

We have here one, sir, if she would
--but there never came her like in Mytilene.

If she'ld do the deed of darkness,
thou wouldst say.

Your honor knows what 'tis to say
well enough.

Well, call forth, call forth.

For flesh and blood, sir, white and
red, you shall see a rose; and she were a rose
indeed, if she had but--


What, prithee?

O, sir, I can be modest.

That dignifies the renown of a bawd,
no less than it gives a good report to a number
to be chaste. [Exit Boult.

Here comes that which grows to the
stalk; never plucked yet, I can assure you. Re-enter BOULT with MARINA.

Is she not a fair creature?

'Faith, she would serve after a long
voyage at sea. Well, there's for you: leave us.

I beseech your honor, give me
leave: a word, and I'll have done presently.

I beseech you, do.

[To Marina]
First, I would have
you note, this is an honorable man.

I desire to find him so, that I may
worthily note him.

Next, he's the governor of this country,
and a man whom I am bound to.

If he govern the country, you are
bound to him indeed; but how honorable he
is in that, I know not.

Pray you, without any more virginal
fencing, will you use him kindly? He
will line your apron with gold.

What he will do graciously, I will
thankfully receive.

Ha' you done?

My lord, she's not paced yet: you
must take some pains to work her to your
manage. Come, we will leave his honor and
her together. Go thy ways. Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, and Boult.

Now, pretty one, how long have you
been at this trade?

What trade, sir?

Why, I cannot name't but I shall

I cannot be offended with my trade.
Please you to name it.

How long have you been of this

E'er since I can remember?

Did you go to't so young? Were
you a gamester at five or at seven?

Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.

Why, the house you dwell in proclaims
you to be a creature of sale.

Do you know this house to be a
place of such resort, and will come into't? I
hear say you are of honorable parts, and are
the governor of this place.

Why, hath your principal made
known unto you who I am?

Who is my principal?

Why, your herb-woman; she that
sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O,
you have heard something of my power, and
so stand aloof for more serious wooing. But I
protest to thee, pretty one, my authority shall
not see thee, or else look friendly upon thee.
Come, bring me to some private place: come,


If you were born to honor, show it now;

If put upon you, make the judgement good

That thought you worthy of it.


How's this? how's this? Some more; be sage.


For me,

That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune

Have placed me in this sty, where, since I came,

Diseases have been sold dearer than physic.

O, that the gods

Would set me free from this unhallow'd place,

Though they did change me to the meanest bird

That flies i' the purer air!

I did not think

110Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne'er dream'd thou couldst.

Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,

Thy speech had alter'd it. Hold, here's gold for thee:

Persever in that clear way thou goest,

And the gods strengthen thee!

The good gods preserve you!


For me, be you thoughten

That I came with no ill intent; for to me

The very doors and windows savor vilely.

Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, and

I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.

120Hold, here's more gold for thee.

A curse upon him, die he like a thief,

That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost

Hear from me, it shall be for thy good. Re-enter BOULT.


I beseech your honour, one piece for me.


Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper!

Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,

Would sink and overwhelm you. Away! [Exit.

How's this? We must take another
course with you. If your peevish chastity,
which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest
country under the cope, shall undo a whole
a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel.
Come your ways.

Whither would you have me?

I must have your maidenhead taken
off, or the common hangman shall execute it.
Come your ways. We'll have no more gentlemen
driven away. Come your ways, I say. Re-enter Bawd.


How now! what's the matter?

Worse and worse, mistress; she has
here spoken holy words to the Lord Lysimachus.

O abominable!

She makes our profession as it were
to stink afore the face of the gods.

Marry, hang her up for ever!

The nobleman would have dealt
with her like a nobleman, and she sent him
away as cold as a snowball; saying his
prayers too.

Boult, take her away; use her at
thy pleasure: crack the glass of her virginity,
and make the rest malleable.

An if she were a thornier piece of
ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.

Hark, hark, you gods!

She conjures: away with her!
Would she had never come within my doors!
Marry, hang you! She's born to undo us.
Will you not go the way of women-kind?
Marry, come up, my dish of chastity with rose-
mary and bays! [Exit.

Come, mistress; come your ways
with me.

Whither wilt thou have me?

To take from you the jewel you
hold so dear.

Prithee, tell me one thing first.

Come now, your one thing.

What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?

Why, I could wish him to be my
master, or rather, my mistress.


Neither of these are so bad as thou art,

Since they do better thee in their command.

Thou hold'st a place, for which the pained'st fiend

Of hell would not in reputation change:

Thou art the damned doorkeeper to every

Coistrel that comes inquiring for his Tib;

To the choleric fisting of every rogue

Thy ear is liable, thy food is such

As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.

What would you have me do? go
to the wars, would you? where a man may
serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and
have not money enough in the end to buy
him a wooden one?


Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty

Old receptacles, or common shores, of filth;

Serve by indenture to the common hangman:

Any of these ways are yet better than this;

For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,

Would own a name too dear. O, that the gods

Would safely deliver me from this place!

Here, here's gold for thee.

If that thy master would gain by me,

Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,

With other virtues, which I'll keep from boast;

And I will undertake all these to teach.

I doubt not but this populous city will

Yield many scholars.

But can you teach all this you speak of?


200Prove that I cannot, take me home again,

And prostitute me to the basest groom

That doth frequent your house.

Well, I will see what I can do for
thee: if I can place thee, I will.

But amongst honest women.

'Faith, my acquaintance lies little
amongst them. But since my master and mistress
have bought you, there's no going but by
their consent: therefore I will make them
acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt not
but I shall find them tractable enough. Come,
I'll do for thee what I can; come your ways. [Exeunt.

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