Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

And danger, which I feared, is at Antioch,
Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here:
Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits,
Nor yet the other's distance comfort me.
Then it is thus: the passions of the mind,
That have their first conception by mis-dread,
Have after-nourishment and life by care;
And what was first but fear what might be done,
Grows elder now, and cares it be not done.
And so with me ;-the great Antiochus
('Gainst whom I am too little to contend,
Since he's so great, can make his will his act),
Will think me speaking, though I swear to silence;
Nor boots it me to say, I honour him,
If he suspect I may dishonour him:
And what may make him blush in being known,
He'll stop the course by which it might be known;
With hostile forces he'll o'erspread the land,
And with the ostent of war will look so huge,
Amazement shall drive courage from the state;
Our men be vanquish'd, ere they do resist,
And subjects punish'd, that ne'er thought offence:
Which care of them, not pity of myself
(Who am no more but as the tops of trees, [them),
Which fence the roots they grow by, and defend
Makes both my body pine, and soul to languish,
And punish that before, that he would punish.

1 Lord. Joy and all comfort in your sacred

breast!

Whereas reproof, obedient and in order,
Fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.
When signior Sooth here does proclaim a peace,
He flatters you, makes war upon your life;
Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please;
I cannot be much lower than my knees.

[look

Per. All leave us else; but let your cares o'erWhat shipping, and what lading's in our haven, And then return to us. [exeunt Lords] Helicanus,

thou

Hast mov'd us: what seest thou in our looks? Hel. An angry brow, dread lord.

Per. If there be such a dart in princes' frowns, How durst thy tongue move anger to our face? Hel. How dare the plants look up to heaven from whence

They have their nourishment?

Per. Thou know'st I have power

To take thy life.

Hel. [kneeling.] I have ground the axe myself; Do you but strike the blow.

Per. Rise, pr'ythee, rise;

Sit down, sit down; thou art no flatterer:
I thank thee for it; and high heaven forbid,
That kings should let their ears hear their faults
Fit counsellor, and servant for a prince,
Who by thy wisdom mak'st a prince thy servant,
What would'st thou have me do?

[hid!

Hel. With patience bear

Such griefs as you do lay upon yourself.

Per. Thou speak'st like a physician, Helicanus. Who minister'st a potion unto me,

That thou would'st tremble to receive thyself.
Attend me then: I went to Antioch,
Where, as thou know'st, against the face of death,
I sought the purchase of a glorious beauty,
From whence an issue I might propagate,
Bring arms to princes, and to subjects joys.
Her face was to mine eye beyond all wonder;
The rest (hark in thine ear), as black as incest;
Which by my knowledge found, the sinful father
Seem'd not to strike, but smooth: but thou
know'st this,

'Tis time to fear, when tyrants seem to kiss.
Which fear so grew in me, I hither fled;
Under the covering of a careful night,
Who seem'd my good protector; and being here,
Bethought me what was past, what might succeed.
I knew him tyrannous; and tyrants' fears
Decrease not, but grow faster than their years:
And should he doubt it (as no doubt he doth),
That I should open to the listning air,
How many worthy princes' bloods were shed,
To keep his bed of blackness unlaid ope,-
To lop that doubt, he'll fill this land with arms.
And make pretence of wrong that I have done

him;

When all, for mine, if I may call't offence,
Must feel war's blow, who spares not innocence :
Which love to all (of which thyself art one,
Who now reprov'st me for it)—

Hel. Alas, sir!-

[my cheeks,
Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from
Musings into my mind, a thousand doubts
How I might stop this tempest, ere it came;
And, finding little comfort to relieve them,
I thought it princely charity to grieve them.
Hel. Well, my lord, since you have given me
leave to speak,
Freely I'll speak. Antiochus you fear,
And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant,
Who, either by public war, or private treason,
Will take away your life.

Therefore, my lord, go travel for awhile,
Till that his rage and anger be forgot,
Or destinies do cut his thread of life.
Your rule direct to any; if to me,
Day serves not light more faithful than I'll be.

Per. I do not doubt thy faith;

But should he wrong my liberties in absence

Hel. We'll mingle bloods together in the earth, From whence we had our being and our birth.

Per. Tyre, I now look from thee then, and to Tharsus

[it.

Intend my travel, where I'll hear from thee;
And by whose letters I'll dispose myself.
The care I had and have of subjects good,
On thee I lay, whose wisdom's strength can bear
I'll take thy word for faith, not ask thine oath;
Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both:
But in our orbs we'll live so round and safe,
That time of both this truth shall ne'er convince,
Thou showd'st a subject's shine, I a true prince.
[exeunt.

SCENE III. TYRE. AN ANTICHAMBER IN THE
PALACE.
Enter Thaliard.

Thal. So, this is Tyre, and this is the court. Here must I kill king Pericles; and, if I do not, I am sure to be hang'd at home: 'tis dangerous.Well, I perceive he was a wise fellow, and had good discretion, that being bid to ask what he would of the king, desired he might know none of his secrets. Now do I see he had some reason for it for if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one.Hush, here come the lords of Tyre.

Enter Helicanus, Escanes, and other Lords.
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow peers of
Tyre,

Further to question of your king's departure.
His seal'd commission, left in trust with me,
Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel.

Thal. How! the king gone!

[aside.

Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied, Why, as it were unlicens'd of your loves, He would depart, I'll give some light unto you. Being at Antioch

Thal. What from Antioch?

[aside.

Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know

not),

[so:

Took some displeasure at him: at least he judg'd And doubting lest that he had err'd or sinn'd,

To show his sorrow, would correct himself;
So puts himself into the shipman's toil,
With whom each minute threatens life or death.
Thal. Well, I perceive
[aside.

I shall not be hang'd now, although I would;
But since he's gone, the king it sure must please,
He 'scap'd the land, to perish on the seas.-
But I'll present me. Peace to the lords of Tyre!
Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.
Thal. From him I come

With message unto princely Pericles;
But, since my landing, as I have understood
Your lord has took himself to unknown travels,
My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, since
Commended to our master, not to us:

Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,-
As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.

[exeunt.

A ROOM IN THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE.

SCENE IV. THARSUS.

Enter Cleon, Dionyza, and Attendants.
Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And, by relating tales of others' griefs,
See if 'twill teach us to forget our own?

Dio. That were to blow at fire, in hope to quench it;

For who digs hills because they do aspire,
Throws down one mountain, to cast up a higher.
O my distressed lord, even such our griefs;
Here they're but felt, and seen with mistful eyes,
But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher rise.
Cle. O Dionyza,

Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it,
Or can conceal his hunger, till he famish?
Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep our woes
Into the air: our eyes do weep, till lungs
Fetch breath that may proclaim them louder; that,
If heaven slumber, while their creatures want,
They may awake their helps to comfort them.
I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years,
And wanting breath to speak, help me with tears.
Dio. I'll do my best, sir.
[ment
Cle. This Tharsus, o'er which I have govern-
(A city, on whom plenty held full hand),
For riches, strew'd herself even in the streets;
Whose towers bore heads so high, they kiss'd the
clouds,

And strangers ne'er beheld, but wonder'd at;
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd,
Like one another's glass to trim them by :
Their tables were stor❜d full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on, as delight;
All poverty was scorn'd, and pride so great,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.
Dio. O, 'tis too true.

Cle. But see what heaven can do! By this our change,

These mouths, whom but of late, earth, sea, and
Were all too little to content and please, [air,
Although they gave their creatures in abundance,
As houses are defil'd for want of use,
They now are starv'd for want of exercise:
Those palates, who, not yet two summers younger,
Must have inventions to delight the taste,
Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it;

Those mothers, who, to nousle up their babes,
Thought nought too curious, are ready now,
To eat those little darlings whom they lov'd.
So sharp are hunger's teeth, that man and wife
Draw lots, who first shall die to lengthen life :
Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping;
Here many sink, yet those that see them fall,
Have scarce strength left to give them burial.
Is not this true?

Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.
Cle. O, let those cities, that of Plenty's cup
And her prosperities so largely taste,
With their superfluous riots, hear these tears!
The misery of Tharsus may be theirs.
Enter a Lord.
Lord. Where's the lord governor ?
Cle. Here.

Speak out thy sorrows, which thou bring'st, in
For comfort is too far for us to expect. [haste,
Lord. We have descried, upon our neighbouring
shore,

A portly sail of ships make hitherward.

Cle. I thought as much.

Who makes the fairest show, means most deceit.
But bring they what they will, what need we fear?
The ground's the low'st, and we are half way there.
Go tell their general, we attend him here,
To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
And what he craves.
Lord. I
go, my lord.
Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace consist;
If wars, we are unable to resist.

[exit.

Enter Gower.

Gow. Here have you seen a mighty king
His child, I wis, to incest bring;
A better prince, and benign lord,
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 trouble rcign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in coversation
(To whom I give my benizon),
Is still at Tharsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he spoken can:
And, to remember what he does,
Gild his statue glorious:

One sorrow never comes, but brings an heir,
That may succeed as his inheritor ;

And so in ours: some neighbouring nation,
Taking advantage of our misery,

Hath stuff'd these hollow vessels with their power,
To beat us down, the which are down already;
And make a conquest of unhappy me,
Whereas no glory's got to overcome.

Lord. That's the least fear: for, by the sem-
blance

Of their white flags display'd, they bring us peace,
And come to us as favourers, not as foes. [peat,
Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutor❜d to re-
ACT

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; then gives the Messen-
ger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt Peri-
cles, Cleon, &c. severally.

Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home.
Not to eat honey, like a drone,
From others' labours; forth he strive
To killen bad, keep good alive;

Enter Pericles, with Attendants.

Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you arc,
Let not our ships and number of our men,
Be, like a beacon fir'd, to amaze your eyes.
We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre,
And seen the desolation of your streets :
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears,
But to relieve them of their heavy load;
And these our ships you happily may think
Are, like the Trojan horse, war-stuff'd within,
With bloody views, expecting overthrow,
Are stor'd with corn, to make your needy bread,
And give them life, who are hunger-starv'd, half
All. The gods of Greece protect you! [dead.
And we'll pray for you.

Per. Rise, I pray you, rise!

We do not look for reverence, but for love,
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.
Cle. The which when any shall not gratify
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves,
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Till when (the which, I hope, shall ne'er be seen),
Your grace is welcome to our town and us.

Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here
awhile,

Until our stars, that frown, lend us a smile. [exeunt
II.

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 Tharsus was not best
Longer for him to make his rest:
He knowing 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 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, tir'd with doing bad,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad :
And here he comes: what shall be next,
Pardon old Gower: this long's the text. [exit.

PENTAPOLIS. AN OPEN PLACE BY THE
SEA-SIDE.-

Enter Pericles, wet.

Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of heaven!
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, eartbly mau
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,

SCENE 1.

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;
And having thrown him from your wat'ry grave,
Here to have death in peace, is all he'll crave.
Enter three Fishermen.

1 Fish. What, ho, Pilche!

2 Fish. Ho! come, and bring away the nets.
1 Fish. What, Patch-breech, I say!
3 Fish. What say you, master?

1 Fish. Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wannion.

3 Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away before us, even now.

1 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.

3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus, how he bounced and tumbled? they say, they are 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.

1 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 a'the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallow'd the whole parish, church, steeple, bells and all.

Per. A pretty moral.

3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in the belfrey.

2 Fish. Why, man?

3 Fish. Because he should have swallowed me too: and when 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

here's nothing to be got now a-days, unless thou canst fish for't.

Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your
2 Fish. What a drunken knave was the sea, to
cast thee in our way!
[wind,

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

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

2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then? Per. I never practis'd it.

2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure; for

Per. What I have been, I have forgot to know;
But what I am, want teaches me to think on;
A man shrunk 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 am dead,
For I am a man, pray see me buried.

1 Fish. Die, quoth-a? Now, gods forbid! I have a gown here; come, put it on; keep theo 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 wel

come.

Per. I thank you, sir.

2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg.

Per. I did but crave.

2 Fish. But crave? then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall 'scape whipping.

Per. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd then? 2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipp'd, I would wish no better office, than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the net. [exeunt two of the Fishermen.

Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their labour !

1 Fish. Hark you, sir! do you know where you are?

Per. Not well.

1 Fish. Why, I'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king, the good king Simonides. Per. The good king Simonides, do you call him? 1 Fish. Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so call'd, for his peaceable reign, and good government.

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

1 Fish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and tomorrow is her birth-day; and there are princes

Per. Simonides?

3 Fish. We would purge the land of these and knights come from all parts of the world, to 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 wat'ry empire recollect
All that may men approve, or men detect!-
Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if
it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar,
and nobody will look after it.
[coast

just and tourney for her love.

Per. Did but my fortunes equal my desires, I'd wish to make one there.

1 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 the two Fishermen, drawing up a net. 2 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 armour.

[it.

Per. An armour, friends! pray you let me see
Thanks, fortune, yet, that after all my crosses,
Thou giv'st 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 pointing to this brace);
For that it saved me, keep it; in like necessity,
Which gods protect thee from! it may defend thee
It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov'd it;

Till the rough seas, that spare not any man, Took it in rage, though calm'd, they give't again : I thank thee for't; my shipwreck's now no ill, Since I have here my father's gift by will.

1 Fish. What mean you, sir?

Per. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of For it was sometime target to a king; [worth, I know it by this mark. He lov'd 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't may appear a gentleman; And if that ever my low fortunes better, I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor. 1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.

1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee good on't!

2 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.

[blocks in formation]

Sim. He loves you well, that holds his life of you. [the second Knight passes. Who is the second, that presents himself?

Thai. A prince of Macedon, my royal father; And the device he bears upon his shield

Is an arm'd knight, that's conquer'd by a lady : The motto thus, in Spanish, Piu per dulcura que per fuerca. [the third Knight passes.

Sim. And what's the third?

SCENE II. THE 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. Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph? 1 Lord. They are, my liege; And stay your coming to present themselves.

Sim. Return them, we are ready; and our daughter,

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. [exit a Lord.

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

Sim. 'Tis 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 renown, if not respected,
'Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain
The labour of each knight, in his device.

Thai. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll
perform

Enter a Knight; he passes over the stage, and his
Squire presents his shield to the Princess.
Sim. Who is the first that doth prefer himself?
Thai. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Ethiop, reaching to the sun;
The word, Lur tua vita mihi.

Thai. The third of Antioch; And his device, a wreath of chivalry: The word, Me pompa proverit apex. [the fourth Knight passes. Sim. What is the fourth?

Thai. A burning torch, that's turned upside The word, Quod me alit, me extinguit. [down: Sim. Which shows, that beauty hath his power and will,

Which can as well inflame, as it can kill.
[the fifth Knight passes.
Thai. 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 passes. Sim. And what's the sixth and last, which the knight himself

With such a graceful courtesy deliver'd?

Thai. He seems a stranger: but his present is A wither'd branch, that's only green at top; The motto, In hac spe vivo.

Sim. A pretty moral:

From the dejected state wherein he is,

He hopes by you his fortune yet may flourish. 1 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 practis'd more the whipstock than the lance.

2 Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »