Page images

Scene III.-Tyre. An Ante-chamber in the





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
Seemed 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 seemed 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 listening 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)-

Alas, sir!
Per. Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from

my cheeks,
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 a while, 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 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 it. 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 both this truth shall ne'er convince, Thou shew'dst a subject's shine, I a true prince.


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 hanged at home: 't is 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 Helicanes, Escanes, and other Lords. Hel. You shall not need


Further to question of your king's departure.
His sealed 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 unlicensed of your loves, He would depart, I'll give some light unto

you. Being at AntiochThal. What from Antioch?

[Aside. Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know

not) Took some displeasure at him; at least he judged



And doubting lest that he had erred or sinned,
To shew his sorrow would correct himself;
So puts himself into the shipman's toil,
With whom each minute threatens life or

Thal. Well, I perceive
I shall not be hanged now, although I would ;
But since he's gone, the king it sure must

please He 'scaped the land to perish on the seas. But I 'll present me. [Aside.]—Peace to the lords

of Tyre! Hel. Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is wel


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


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.


[ocr errors][merged small]

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

haste, For comfort is too far for us to expect. Lord. We have descried, upon our neighbour

ing shore, A portly sail of ships make hitherward.

Cle. I thought as much. 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 stuffed 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 displayed they bring us peace, And come to us as favourers, not as foes. Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutored to

repeat, Who makes the fairest shew means most deceit. But bring they what they will, what need we fear? The ground's the lowest, 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.

(Exit. Cle Welcome is peace, if he on peace consist í If wars, we are unable to resist.

Enter Cleon, DIONYZA, and Attendants.

Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here, And by relating tales of other's griefs, See if 't will 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 topped, 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.
Cle. This Tharsus, o'er which I have govern-

ment (A city on whom plenty held full hand), For riches, strewed herself even in the streets ; Whose towers bore heads so high they kissed the

And strangers ne'er beheld, but wondered at;
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorned,
Like one another's glass to trim them by :
Their tables were stored full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on as delight;
All poverty was scorned, and pride so great,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.

Dio. O, 't is too true.
Cle. But see what heaven can do! By this

our change, These mouths, whom but of late, earth, sea, and

air, Were all too little to content and please, Although they gave their creatures in abundance, As houses are defiled for want of use, They are now starved 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 loved. 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 which see them fall,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Enter PERICLES, with Attendants. Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you are, Let not our ships and number of our men Be, like a beacon fired, 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-stuffed within, With bloody views, expecting overthrow, Are stored with corn to make your needy bread, And give them life who are hunger-starved, half



AU. The gods of Greece protect you! And we 'li



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, Untilour stars, that frown, lend us a smile.[ Exeunt.


Act 1


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 passed necessity.
I'll shew you those in troubles' reign,
Losing a mite a mountain gain.
The good in conversation
(To whom I give my benison)
Is still at Tharsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he spoken can:
And, to remember what he does,
Gild his statue glorious :
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?

(DUMB SAEW.) 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 shews the letter to CLEON: then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt Pericles, Cleon, 8c., severally.

Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home, Not to eat honey, like a drone, From others' labours; forth he strives 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 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 wrecked 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, Pardon old Gower; this long 's the text. [Exit.

Scene I.-Pentapolis. An open Place by the


Enter PERICLES, wet. Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of

heaven ! Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man 18 but a substance that must yield to you ;

And I, as fits my nature, do obey you.
Alas, th sea hath cast me on the rocks,
Washed ine 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.

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

2nd Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then? Per. I never practised it.

2nd 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 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 I am dead, For I am a man, pray see me buried.

1st Fish. 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


sir. 2nd Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you

e could not beg.

Enter three Fishermen. 1st Fish. What, ho, Pilche! 2nd Fish. Ho! come, and bring away the nets. 1st Fish. What Patch-breech, I say ! 3rd Fish. What say you, master ?

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

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

1st 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.

3rd 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.

1st 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 have swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple, bells, and all.

Per. A pretty moral.

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

2nd Fish. Why, man?

3rd 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 !

3rd 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 wat'ry empire recollect All that may men approve or men detect! Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

2nd 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. Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your

coast2nd 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, hath made the ball For them to play upon, entreats you pity him. He asks of you that never used to beg.

Per. I did but crave.

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

Per. Why, are all your beggars whipped then?

2nd Fish. O not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were wbipped, 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 becomes their

labour! 1st Fish. Hark you sir! do you know where

you are?

Per. Not well.

1st 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 ? 1st Fish. Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so called, for his peaceable reign and good government. Per. He is a happy king, since from his sub

jects He gains the name of good by his government. How far is his court distant from this shore?

1st 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 and knights come from all parts of the world to just and tourney for her love.

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

1st 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.

2nd Fish. Help, master, help! here's a fish hangs in the net like a poor man's right in the law; 't will hardly come out. Ha! bots on 't, 't is come at last, and 't is turned to a rusty armour. Per. An armour,

friends! I

pray you, let me

see it.

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, fc. Enter SIMONIDES, Thaisa, Lords, and Attendants.

Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?

1st 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. "T is 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. ”T is now your honour, daughter, to explain The labour of each knight in his device. Thai. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll


Thanks, fortune, yet, that after all my crosses
Thou giv'st me somewhat to repair myself:
And though it was mine own, part of mine heritage,


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, Which gods protect thee from, it 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 calmed, 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.

1st Fish. 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 'd guide me to your sovereign's court, Where with't I may appear a gentleman; And if that ever my low fortunes better, I'll

pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor. 1st Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per. I 'll shew the virtue I have borne in arms.

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

2nd Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 't was 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. Now, by your furtherance, I am clothed in steel; And spite of all the rupture of the sea, This jewel holds his biding on my arm ;Unto thy value will I 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.

2nd Fish. 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 honour be but a goal to my will; This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill. [Exeunt.

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 Æthiop, reaching at the sun; The word, Lux tua vita mihi,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 armed knight that 's conquered by a lady: The motto thus, in Spanish, Piu


dulcura que per fuerca.[The third Knight passes. Sim. And what 's the third ?

Thai. The third of Antioch;
And his device, a wreath of chivalry:
The word, “ Me pompæ provexit apex.

[The fourth Knight passes.
Sim. What is the fourth?
Thai. A burning torch, that's turnéd upside

down; The word, “Quod me alit, me extinguit.Sim. Which shews that beauty hath his power

and will, Which can as well inflame as it can kill.

[The fifth Knight passes. Thai. The fifth a hand environéd with clouds, Holding out gold that 's by the touchstone tried : The motto thus, “Sic spectanda fides.

[The sixth Knight passes.

« PreviousContinue »