previous next


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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (13 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: