William Shakespeare, Pericles Prince of Tyre (1608-09)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  


This is a part of a collection of works by William Shakespeare.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (London: Oxford University Press, 1916).

See the complete volume in HTML and facs. PDF.



Table of Contents







Antiochus, King of Antioch.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Helicanus, } two Lords of Tyre.
Escanes,    }
Simonides, King of Pentapolis.
Cleon, Governor of Tarsus.
Lysimachus, Governor of Mitylene.
Cerimon, a Lord of Ephesus.
Thaliard, a Lord of Antioch.
Philemon, Servant to Cerimon.
Leonine, Servant to Dionyza.
A Pandar.
Boult, his Servant.
The Daughter of Antiochus.
Dionyza, Wife to Cleon.
Thaisa, Daughter to Simonides.
Marina, Daughter to Pericles and Thaisa.
Lychorida, Nurse to Marina.
A Bawd.
Lords, Ladies, Knights, Gentlemen, Sailors, Pirates, Fishermen, and Messengers.


Gower, as Chorus.



Scene.Dispersedly in various Countries.


Before the Palace of Antioch.

Enter Gower.

To sing a song that old was sung,

From ashes ancient Gower is come,

Assuming man’s infirmities,

To glad your ear, and please your eyes.  4

It hath been sung at festivals,

On ember-eves, and holy-ales;

And lords and ladies in their lives

Have read it for restoratives:  8

The purchase is to make men glorious;

Et bonum quo antiquius, eo melius.

If you, born in these latter times,

When wit’s more ripe, accept my rimes,  12

And that to hear an old man sing

May to your wishes pleasure bring,

I life would wish, and that I might

Waste it for you like taper-light.  16

This Antioch, then, Antiochus the Great

Built up, this city, for his chiefest seat,

The fairest in all Syria,

I tell you what mine authors say:  20

This king unto him took a fere,

Who died and left a female heir,

So buxom, blithe, and full of face

As heaven had lent her all his grace;  24

With whom the father liking took,

And her to incest did provoke.

Bad child, worse father! to entice his own

To evil should be done by none.  28

By custom what they did begin

Was with long use account no sin.

The beauty of this sinful dame

Made many princes thither frame,  32

To seek her as a bed-fellow,

In marriage-pleasures play-fellow:

Which to prevent, he made a law,

To keep her still, and men in awe,  36

That whoso ask’d her for his wife,

His riddle told not, lost his life:

So for her many a wight did die,

As yon grim looks do testify.  40

What now ensues, to the judgment of your eye

I give, my cause who best can justify.


Scene I.— Antioch. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Antiochus, Pericles, and Attendants.


Young Prince of Tyre, you have at large receiv’d

The danger of the task you undertake.


I have, Antiochus, and, with a soul

Embolden’d with the glory of her praise,  4

Think death no hazard in this enterprise.


Bring in our daughter, clothed like a bride,

For the embracements even of Jove himself;

At whose conception, till Lucina reign’d,  8

Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,

The senate-house of planets all did sit,

To knit in her their best perfections.


Enter the Daughter of Antiochus.


See, where she comes apparell’d like the spring,  12

Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king

Of every virtue gives renown to men!

Her face the book of praises, where is read

Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence

Sorrow were ever raz’d, and testy wrath  17

Could never be her mild companion.

You gods, that made me man, and sway in love,

That hath inflam’d desire in my breast  20

To taste the fruit of you celestial tree

Or die in the adventure, be my helps,

As I am son and servant to your will,

To compass such a boundless happiness!  24


Prince Pericles,—


That would be son to great Antiochus.


Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,

With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch’d;

For death-like dragons here affright thee hard:

Her face, like heaven, enticeth thee to view

Her countless glory, which desert must gain;

And which, without desert, because thine eye  32

Presumes to reach, all thy whole heap must die.

Yon sometime famous princes, like thyself,

Drawn by report, adventurous by desire,

Tell thee with speechless tongues and semblance pale,  36

That without covering, save yon field of stars,

They here stand martyrs, slain in Cupid’s wars;

And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist

For going on death’s net, whom none resist.  40


Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught

My frail mortality to know itself,

And by those fearful objects to prepare

This body, like to them, to what I must;  44

For death remember’d should be like a mirror,

Who tells us life’s but breath, to trust it error.

I’ll make my will then; and as sick men do,

Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling woe,  48

Gripe not at earthly joys as erst they did:

So I bequeath a happy peace to you

And all good men, as every prince should do;

My riches to the earth from whence they came,

[To the Daughter of Antiochus.

But my unspotted fire of love to you.  53

Thus ready for the way of life or death,

I wait the sharpest blow.


Scorning advice, read the conclusion then;  56

Which read and not expounded, ’tis decreed,

As these before thee thou thyself shalt bleed.


Of all say’d yet, mayst thou prove prosperous!

Of all say’d yet, I wish thee happiness!  60


Like a bold champion, I assume the lists,

Nor ask advice of any other thought

But faithfulness and courage.

I am no viper, yet I feed  64

On mother’s flesh which did me breed;

I sought a husband, in which labour

I found that kindness in a father.

He’s father, son, and husband mild,  68

I mother, wife, and yet his child.

How they may be, and yet in two,

As you will live, resolve it you.

Sharp physic is the last: but, O you powers!  72

That give heaven countless eyes to view men’s acts,

Why cloud they not their sights perpetually,

If this be true, which makes me pale to read it?

Fair glass of light, I lov’d you, and could still,

Were not this glorious casket stor’d with ill:  77

But I must tell you now my thoughts revolt;

For he’s no man on whom perfections wait

That, knowing sin within, will touch the gate.

You’re a fair viol, and your sense the strings,

Who, finger’d to make men his lawful music,

Would draw heaven down and all the gods to hearken;

But being play’d upon before your time,  84

Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime.

Good sooth, I care not for you.


Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,

For that’s an article within our law,  88

As dangerous as the rest. Your time’s expir’d:

Either expound now or receive your sentence.


Great king,

Few love to hear the sins they love to act;  92

’Twould braid yourself too near for me to tell it.

Who has a book of all that monarchs do,

He’s more secure to keep it shut than shown;

For vice repeated is like the wandering wind,  96

Blows dust in others’ eyes, to spread itself;

And yet the end of all is bought thus dear,

The breath is gone, and the sore eyes see clear

To stop the air would hurt them. The blind mole casts  100

Copp’d hills towards heaven, to tell the earth is throng’d

By man’s oppression; and the poor worm doth die for ’t.

Kings are earth’s gods; in vice their law’s their will;

And if Jove stray, who dares say Jove doth ill?

It is enough you know; and it is fit,  105

What being more known grows worse, to smother it.

All love the womb that their first being bred,

Then give my tongue like leave to love my head.


[Aside.] Heaven! that I had thy head; he has found the meaning;  109

But I will gloze with him. Young Prince of Tyre,

Though by the tenour of our strict edict,

Your exposition misinterpreting,  112

We might proceed to cancel of your days;

Yet hope, succeeding from so fair a tree

As your fair self, doth tune us otherwise:

Forty days longer we do respite you;  116

If by which time our secret be undone,

This mercy shows we’ll joy in such a son:

And until then your entertain shall be

As doth befit our honour and your worth.  120

[Exeunt all but Pericles.


How courtesy would seem to cover sin,

When what is done is like a hypocrite,

The which is good in nothing but in sight!

If it be true that I interpret false,  124

Then were it certain you were not so bad

As with foul incest to abuse your soul;

Where now you’re both a father and a son,

By your untimely claspings with your child,—

Which pleasure fits a husband, not a father;—

And she an eater of her mother’s flesh,

By the defiling of her parent’s bed;

And both like serpents are, who though they feed  132

On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed.

Antioch, farewell! for wisdom sees, those men

Blush not in actions blacker than the night,

Will shun no course to keep them from the light.  136

One sin, I know, another doth provoke;

Murder’s as near to lust as flame to smoke.

Poison and treason are the hands of sin,

Ay, and the targets, to put off the shame:  140

Then, lest my life be cropp’d to keep you clear,

By flight I’ll shun the danger which I fear.


Re-enter Antiochus.


He hath found the meaning, for which we mean

To take his head.  144

He must not live to trumpet forth my infamy,

Nor tell the world Antiochus doth sin

In such a loathed manner;

And therefore instantly this prince must die,  148

For by his fall my honour must keep high.

Who attends us there?

Enter Thaliard.


Doth your highness call?



You’re of our chamber, and our mind partakes

Her private actions to your secrecy;  153

And for your faithfulness we will advance you.

Thaliard, behold, here’s poison, and here’s gold;

We hate the Prince of Tyre, and thou must kill him:  156

It fits thee not to ask the reason why,

Because we bid it. Say, is it done?


My lord, ’tis done.


Enough.  160

Enter a Messenger.

Let your breath cool yourself, telling your haste.


My lord, Prince Pericles is fled.



[To Thaliard.] As thou

Wilt live, fly after; and, as an arrow shot

From a well-experienc’d archer hits the mark

His eye doth level at, so thou ne’er return  165

Unless thou say ‘Prince Pericles is dead.’


My lord,

If I can get him within my pistol’s length,  168

I’ll make him sure enough: so, farewell to your highness.


Thaliard, adieu!

[Exit Thaliard.

Till Pericles be dead,

My heart can lend no succour to my head.


Scene II.— Tyre. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Pericles.


[To those without.] Let none disturb us.—

Why should this change of thoughts,

The sad companion, dull-ey’d melancholy,

Be my so us’d a guest, as not an hour

In the day’s glorious walk or peaceful night—  4

The tomb where grief should sleep—can breed me quiet?

Here pleasures court mine eyes, and mine eyes shun them,

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,  9

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,  12

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,—  16

’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,  20

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,  24

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:  28

Which care of them, not pity of myself,—

Who am no more but as the tops of trees,

Which fence the roots they grow by and defend them,—  31

Make both my body pine and soul to languish,

And punish that before that he would punish.

Enter Helicanus and other Lords.

First Lord.

Joy and all comfort in your sacred breast!

Sec. Lord.

And keep your mind, till you return to us,

Peaceful and comfortable.  36


Peace, peace! and give experience tongue.

They do abuse the king that flatter him;

For flattery is the bellows blows up sin;

The thing the which is flatter’d, but a spark,  40

To which that blast gives heat and stronger glowing;

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.  45

Prince, pardon me, or strike me, if you please;

I cannot be much lower than my knees.


All leave us else; but let your cares o’erlook  48

What 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?


An angry brow, dread lord.  52


If there be such a dart in prince’s frowns,

How durst thy tongue move anger to our face?


How dare the plants look up to heaven, from whence

They have their nourishment?


Thou know’st I have power  56

To take thy life from thee.


[Kneeling.] I have ground the axe myself;

Do you but strike the blow.


Rise, prithee, rise;

Sit down; thou art no flatterer:  60

I thank thee for it; and heaven forbid

That kings should let their ears hear their faults hid!

Fit counsellor and servant for a prince,

Who by thy wisdom mak’st a prince thy servant,  64

What wouldst thou have me do?


To bear with patience

Such griefs as you yourself do lay upon yourself.


Thou speak’st like a physician, Helicanus,

That minister’st a potion unto me  68

That thou wouldst 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,  72

From whence an issue I might propagate

Are arms to princes and bring joys to subjects.

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,  80

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  84

Decrease not, but grow faster than the 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,  88

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,  92

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.


Drew sleep out of mine eyes, blood from my cheeks,  96

Musings into my mind, with 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.  100


Well, my lord, since you have given me leave to speak,

Freely will I speak. Antiochus you fear,

And justly too, I think, you fear the tyrant,

Who either by public war or private treason  104

Will take away your life.

Therefore, my lord, go travel for a while,

Till that his rage and anger be forgot,

Or till the Destinies do cut his thread of life.  108

Your rule direct to any; if to me,

Day serves not light more faithful than I’ll be.


I do not doubt thy faith;

But should he wrong my liberties in my absence?  112


We’ll mingle our bloods together in the earth,

From whence we had our being and our birth.


Tyre, I now look from thee then, and to Tarsus

Intend my travel, where I’ll hear from thee,  116

And by whose letters I’ll dispose myself.

The care I had and have of subjects’ good

On thee I’ll 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.  121

But in our orbs we’ll live so round and safe,

That time of both this truth shall ne’er convince,

Thou show’dst a subject’s shine, I a true prince.


Scene III.— The Same. An Antechamber in the Palace.

Enter Thaliard.


So this is Tyre, and this the court. Here must I kill King Pericles; and if I do not, I am sure to be hanged 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.  10

Enter Helicanus, Escanes, and other Lords.


You shall not need, my fellow peers of Tyre,

Further to question me of your king’s departure:

His seal’d commission, left in trust with me,  13

Doth speak sufficiently he’s gone to travel.


[Aside.] How! the king gone!


If further yet you will be satisfied,  16

Why, as it were unlicens’d of your loves,

He would depart, I’ll give some light unto you.

Being at Antioch—


[Aside.] What from Antioch?


Royal Antiochus—on what cause I know not—  20

Took some displeasure at him, at least he judg’d so;

And doubting lest that he had err’d or sinn’d,

To show his sorrow he’d correct himself;

So puts himself unto the shipman’s toil,  24

With whom each minute threatens life or death.


[Aside.] Well, I perceive

I shall not be hang’d now, although I would;

But since he’s gone, the king it sure must please:  28

He ’scap’d the land, to perish at the sea.

I’ll present myself. [Aloud.] Peace to the lords of Tyre.


Lord Thaliard from Antiochus is welcome.


From him I come,  32

With message unto princely Pericles;

But since my landing I have understood

Your lord hath betook himself to unknown travels,

My message must return from whence it came.


We have no reason to desire it,  37

Commended to our master, not to us:

Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,

As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.  40


Scene IV.— Tarsus. A Room in the Governor’s House.

Enter Cleon, Dionyza, and Attendants.


My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,

And by relating tales of others’ griefs,

See if ’twill teach us to forget our own?


That were to blow at fire in hope to quench it;  4

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 are;

Here they’re but felt, and seen with mischief’s eyes,  8

But like to groves, being topp’d, they higher rise.


O Dionyza,

Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it,

Or can conceal his hunger till he famish?  12

Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep

Our woes into the air; our eyes do weep

Till tongues fetch breath that may proclaim them louder;

That if heaven slumber while their creatures want,  16

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.


I’ll do my best, sir.  20


This Tarsus, o’er which I have the government,

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,  24

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,  28

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.


O! ’tis too true,  32


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,  36

As houses are defil’d for want of use,

They are now starv’d for want of exercise;

Those palates who, not yet two summers younger,

Must have inventions to delight the taste,  40

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.  44

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

Have scarce strength left to give them burial.  49

Is not this true?


Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.


O! let those cities that of plenty’s cup

And her prosperities so largely taste,  53

With their superfluous riots, hear these tears:

The misery of Tarsus may be theirs.

Enter a Lord.


Where’s the lord governor?  56



Speak out thy sorrows which thou bring’st in haste,

For comfort is too far for us to expect.


We have descried, upon our neighbouring shore,  60

A portly sail of ships make hitherward.


I thought as much.

One sorrow never comes but brings an heir

That may succeed as his inberitor;  64

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,  69

Whereas no glory’s got to overcome.


That’s the least fear; for by the semblance

Of their white flags display’d, they bring us peace,  72

And come to us as favourers, not as foes.


Thou speak’st like him ’s untutor’d to repeat:

Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.

But bring they what they will and what they can,  76

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,  80

And what he craves.


I go, my lord.



Welcome is peace if he on peace consist;

If wars we are unable to resist.  84

Enter Pericles, with Attendants.


Lord governor, for so we hear you are,

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,  88

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  92

Are like the Trojan horse was stuff’d within

With bloody veins, expecting overthrow,

Are stor’d with corn to make your needy bread,

And give them life whom hunger starv’d half dead.  96


The gods of Greece protect you!

And we’ll pray for you.


Arise, I pray you, rise:

We do not look for reverence, but for love,

And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.


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—  105

Your Grace is welcome to our town and us.


Which welcome we’ll accept; feast here awhile,

Until our stars that frown lend us a smile.  108



Enter Gower.

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.  4

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.  8

The good in conversation,

To whom I give my benison,

Is still at Tarsus, where each man

Thinks all is writ he speken can;  12

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?

Dumb Show.

Enter, from one side, Pericles, talking with Cleon; all their Train with them. Enter, at another door, a Gentleman, with a letter to Pericles; who shows the letter to Cleon; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt Pericles, Cleon, &c., severally.

Good Helicane hath stay’d at home,

Not to eat honey like a drone

From others’ labours; for though he strive

To killen bad, keep good alive,  20

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;  24

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;  29

Thunder above and deeps below

Make such unquiet, that the ship

Should house him safe is wrack’d and split;  32

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;  36

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 longs the text.


Scene I.— Pentapolis. 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.  4

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  8

To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes;

And having thrown him from your watery grave,

Here to have death in peace is all he’ll crave.

Enter three Fishermen.

First Fish.

What, ho, Pilch!  12

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 wannion.  17

Third Fish.

Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away before us even now.  20

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.  24

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.  30

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.  38


[Aside.] 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?  43

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,—


[Aside.] Simonides!

Third Fish.

We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her honey.  52


[Aside.] 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!  56

[Aloud.] Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

Sec. Fish.

Honest! good fellow, what’s that? if it be a day fits you, search out of the calendar, and nobody look after it.  60


Y’ may see the sea hath cast me on your coast.

Sec. Fish.

What a drunken knave was the sea, to cast thee in our way!


A man whom both the waters and the wind,  64

In that vast tennis-court, have made the ball

For them to play upon, entreats you pity him;

He asks of you, that never us’d to beg.

First Fish.

No, friend, cannot you beg? here’s them in our country of Greece gets more with begging than we can do with working.  70

Sec. Fish.

Canst thou catch any fishes then?


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.


What I have been I have forgot to know,  76

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;

Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,  81

For that I am a man, pray see me buried.

First 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.  89


I thank you, sir.

First Fish.

Hark you, my friend; you said you could not beg.  92


I did but crave.

Sec. Fish.

But crave! Then I’ll turn craver too, and so I shall ’scape whipping.


Why, are all your beggars whipped, then?  97

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.  101

[Exit with Third Fisherman.


How well this honest mirth becomes their labour!

First Fish.

Hark you, sir; do you know where ye are?  104


Not well.

First Fish.

Why, I’ll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king the good Simonides.


The good King Simonides do you call him?  109

First Fish.

Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so called for his peaceable reign and good government.  112


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 journey; and I’ll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birthday; and there are princes and knights come from all parts of the world to just and tourney for her love.  120


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,—  125

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 armour.


An armour, friends! I pray you, let me see it.

Thanks, Fortune, yet, that after all my crosses

Thou giv’st me somewhat to repair myself;  132

And though it was mine own, part of mine 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  136

’Twixt me and death;’—and pointed to this brace;

‘For that it sav’d me, keep it; in like necessity—

The which the gods protect thee from!—’t may defend thee.’

It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov’d it;  140

Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,

Took it in rage, though calm’d they have given ’t again.

I thank thee for ’t; my shipwrack now ’s no ill,

Since I have here my father’s gift in ’s will.  144

First Fish.

What mean you, sir?


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 lov’d me dearly,  148

And for his sake I wish the having of it;

And that you’d guide me to your sovereign’s court,

Where with it I may appear a gentleman;

And if that ever my low fortunes better,  152

I’ll pay your bounties; till then rest your debtor.

First Fish.

Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady?


I’ll show the virtue I have borne in arms.  157

First Fish.

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 water; there are certain condolements, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you’ll remember from whence you had it.


Believe it, I will.  165

By your furtherance I am cloth’d in steel;

And spite of all the rapture of the sea,

This jewel holds his biding on my arm:  168

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  172

Of a pair of bases.

Sec. 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.  176


Then honour be but a goal to my will! This day I’ll rise, or else add ill to ill.


Scene II.— The Same. A public Way. Platform leading to the Lists. A Pavilion near it, for the reception of the King, Princess, Ladies, Lords, &c.

Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Lords, and Attendants.


Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?

First Lord.

They are, my liege;

And stay your coming to present themselves.


Return them, we are ready; and our daughter,  4

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.


It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express  8

My commendations great, whose merit’s less.


’Tis fit it should be so; for princes are

A model, which heaven makes like to itself:

As jewels lose their glory if neglected,  12

So princes their renowns if not respected.

’Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain

The labour of each knight in his device.


Which, to preserve mine honour, I’ll perform.  16

Enter a Knight; he passes over the stage, 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

Is a black Ethiop reaching at the sun;  20

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 father;

And the device he bears upon his shield  25

Is an arm’d knight that’s conquer’d 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;  28

And his device, a wreath of chivalry;

The word, Me pompæ provexit apex.

[The Fourth Knight passes over.


What is the fourth?


A burning torch that’s turned upside down;  32

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, a hand environed with clouds,  36

Holding out gold that’s by the touchstone tried;

The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.

[The Sixth Knight, Pericles, passes over.


And what ’s

The sixth and last, the which the knight himself

With such a graceful courtesy deliver’d?  41


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.  44


A pretty moral;

From the dejected state wherein he is,

He hopes by you his fortune yet may flourish.

First Lord.

He had need mean better than his outward show  48

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.

Sec. Lord.

He well may be a stranger, for he comes  52

To an honour’d triumph strangely furnished.

Third Lord.

And on set purpose let his armour rust

Until this day, to scour it in the dust.


Opinion’s but a fool, that makes us scan  56

The outward habit by the inward man.

But stay, the knights are coming; we’ll withdraw

Into the gallery.

[Exeunt. Great shouts, and all cry, ‘The mean knight!’

Scene III.— The Same. A Hall of State. A Banquet prepared.

Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Marshal, Ladies, Lords, Knights from tilting, and Attendants.



To say you’re welcome were superfluous.

To place upon the volume of your deeds,

As in a title-page, your worth in arms,  4

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.  8


But you, my knight and guest;

To whom this wreath of victory I give,

And crown you king of this day’s happiness.


’Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.  12


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;  16

And you’re her labour’d scholar. Come, queen o’ the feast,—

For, daughter, so you are,—here take your place;

Marshal the rest, as they deserve their grace.


We are honour’d much by good Simonides.  20


Your presence glads our days; honour we love,

For who hates honour, hates the gods above.


Sir, yonder is your place.


Some other is more fit.

First Knight.

Contend not, sir; for we are gentlemen  24

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,  28

These cates resist me, she but thought upon.


[Aside.] By Juno, that is queen of marriage,

All viands that I eat do seem unsavoury,

Wishing him my meat. Sure, he’s a gallant gentleman.  32


He’s but a country gentleman;

He has done no more than other knights have done;

He 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,  37

Which tells me in that glory once he was;

Had princes sit, like stars, about his throne,

And he the sun for them to reverence.  40

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;  45

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?  48

First Knight.

Who can be other in this royal presence?


Here, with a cup that’s stor’d 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;  53

Yon knight doth sit too melancholy,

As if the entertainment in our court

Had not a show might countervail his worth.  56

Note it not you, Thaisa?


What is it

To me, my father?


O! attend, my daughter:

Princes in this should live like gods above,

Who freely give to every one that comes  60

To honour 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,  64

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,  68

Since men take women’s gifts for impudence.



Do as I bid you, or you’ll move me else.


[Aside.] Now, by the gods, he could not please me better.  72


And further 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.  76


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;  81

My education been in arts and arms;

Who, looking for adventures in the world,

Was by the rough seas reft of ships and men,  84

And after shipwrack, driven upon this shore.


He thanks your Grace; names himself Pericles,

A gentleman of Tyre,

Who only by misfortune of the seas  88

Bereft of ships and men, cast on this shore.


Now, by the gods, I pity his misfortune,

And will awake him from his melancholy.

Come, gentlemen, we sit too long on trifles,  92

And waste the time which looks for other revels.

Even in your armours, as you are address’d,

Will very well become a soldier’s dance.

I will not have excuse, with saying this  96

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.

Come, sir;  100

Here is a lady that wants breathing too:

And I have often heard, you knights of Tyre

Are excellent in making ladies trip,

And that their measures are as excellent.  104


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.

Unclasp, unclasp;

Thanks, gentlemen, to all; all have done well,

[To Pericles.] But you the best. Pages and lights, to conduct  109

These knights unto their several lodgings! Yours, sir,

We have given order to be next our own.


I am at your Grace’s pleasure.  112


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.  116


Scene IV.— Tyre. A Room in the Governor’s House.

Enter Helicanus and Escanes.


No, Escanes, know this of me,

Antiochus from incest liv’d not free;

For which, the most high gods not minding longer

To withhold the vengeance that they had in store,  4

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,  8

A fire from heaven came and shrivell’d up

Their bodies, even to loathing; for they so stunk,

That all those eyes ador’d them ere their fall

Scorn now their hand should give them burial.  12


’Twas very strange.


And yet but just; for though

This king were great, his greatness was no guard

To bar heaven’s shaft, but sin had his reward.


’Tis very true.  16

Enter two or three Lords.

First Lord.

See, not a man in private conference

Or council has respect with him but he.

Sec. Lord.

It shall no longer grieve without reproof.

Third Lord.

And curs’d be he that will not second it.  20

First Lord.

Follow me then. Lord Helicane, a word.


With me? and welcome. Happy day, my lords.

First Lord.

Know that our griefs are risen to the top,

And now at length they overflow their banks.  24


Your griefs! for what? wrong not the prince you love.

First Lord.

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.  28

If in the world he live, we’ll seek him out;

If in his grave he rest, we’ll find him there;

And be resolv’d he lives to govern us,

Or dead, give ’s cause to mourn his funeral,  32

And leaves us to our free election.

Sec. Lord.

Whose death’s indeed the strongest in our censure:

And knowing this kingdom is without a head,

Like goodly buildings left without a roof  36

Soon fall to ruin, your noble self,

That best know’st how to rule and how to reign,

We thus submit unto, our sovereign.


Live, noble Helicane!  40


For honour’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.  44

A twelvemonth longer, let me entreat you

To forbear the absence of your king;

If in which time expir’d he not return,

I shall with aged patience bear your yoke.  48

But if I cannot win you to this love,

Go search like nobles, like noble subjects,

And in your search spend your adventurous worth;

Whom if you find, and win unto return,  52

You shall like diamonds sit about his crown.

First Lord.

To wisdom he’s a fool that will not yield;

And since Lord Helicane enjoineth us,

We with our travels will endeavour it.  56


Then you love us, we you, and we’ll clasp hands:

When peers thus knit, a kingdom ever stands.


Scene V.— Pentapolis. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Simonides, reading a letter; the Knights meet him.

First Knight.

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.  4

Her reason to herself is only known,

Which yet from her by no means can I get.

Sec. Knight.

May we not get access to her, my lord?


Faith, by no means; she hath so strictly tied  8

Her to her chamber that ’tis impossible.

One 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.  12

Third Knight.

Though loath to bid farewell, we take our leaves.

[Exeunt Knights.



They’re 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.  17

’Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine;

I like that well: how absolute she’s in ’t,

Not minding whether I dislike or no!  20

Well, I do commend her choice;

And will no longer have it be delay’d.

Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.

Enter Pericles.


All fortune to the good Simonides!  24


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  28


It is your Grace’s pleasure to commend,

Not my desert.


Sir, you are music’s master.


The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.


Let me ask you one thing.  32

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.


My daughter, sir, thinks very well of you;  37

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.  40


She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.


[Aside.] What’s here?

A letter that she loves the knight of Tyre!

’Tis the king’s subtilty to have my life.  44

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 honour her.  48


Thou hast bewitch’d my daughter, and thou art

A villain.


By the gods, I have not:

Never did thought of mine levy offence;  52

Nor never did my actions yet commence

A deed might gain her love or your displeasure.


Traitor, thou liest.




Ay, traitor.


Even in his throat, unless it be the king,  56

That calls me traitor, I return the lie.


[Aside.] Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.


My actions are as noble as my thoughts,

That never relish’d of a base descent.  60

I came unto your court for honour’s cause,

And not to be a rebel to her state;

And he that otherwise accounts of me,

This sword shall prove he’s honour’s enemy.  64



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  68

Did e’er solicit, or my hand subscribe

To any syllable that made love to you.


Why, sir, say if you had,

Who takes offence at that would make me glad?  72


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,  76

Bestow your love and your affections

Upon a stranger? [Aside.] who, for aught I know,

May be, nor can I think the contrary,

As great in blood as I myself.—  80

[Aloud.] Therefore, hear you, mistress; either frame

Your will to mine; and you, sir, hear you,

Either be rul’d by me, or I will make you—

Man and wife:   84

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 pleas’d?


Yes, if you love me, sir.  88


Even as my life, or blood that fosters it.


What! are you both agreed?


Yes, if ’t please your majesty.


Yes, if ’t please your majesty.


It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed;  92

Then with what haste you can get you to bed.



Enter Gower.

Now sleep yslaked hath the rout;

No din but snores the house about,

Made louder by the o’er-fed breast

Of this most pompous marriage-feast.  4

The cat, with eyne of burning coal,

Now couches fore the mouse’s hole;

And crickets sing at the oven’s mouth,

E’er the blither for their drouth.  8

Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,

Where, by the loss of maidenhead,

A babe is moulded. Be attent;

And time that is so briefly spent  12

With your fine fancies quaintly eche;

What’s dumb in show I’ll plain with speech.

Dumb Show.

Enter, from one side, Pericles and Simonides, with Attendants; a Messenger meets them, kneels, and gives Pericles a letter: Pericles shows it to Simonides; the Lords kneel to Pericles. Then enter Thaisa with child, and Lychorida: Simonides shows his daughter the letter; she rejoices: she and Pericles take leave of her father, and all depart.

By many a dern and painful perch,

Of Pericles the careful search  16

By the four opposing coigns,

Which the world together joins,

Is made with all due diligence

That horse and sail and high expense,  20

Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre,

Fame answering the most strange inquire

To the court of King Simonides

Are letters brought, the tenour these:  24

Antiochus and his daughter dead;

The men of Tyrus on the head

Of Helicanus would set on

The crown of Tyre, but he will none:  28

The mutiny he there hastes t’ oppress;

Says to ’em, if King Pericles

Come not home in twice six moons,

He, obedient to their dooms,  32

Will take the crown. The sum of this,

Brought hither to Pentapolis,

Yravished the regions round,

And every one with claps can sound,  36

‘Our heir-apparent is a king!

Who dream’d, who thought of such a thing?’

Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre:

His queen, with child, makes her desire,—  40

Which who shall cross?—along to go;

Omit we all their dole and woe:

Lychorida, her nurse, she takes,

And so to sea. Their vessel shakes  44

On Neptune’s billow; half the flood

Hath their keel cut: but Fortune’s mood

Varies again; the grisled north

Disgorges such a tempest forth,  48

That, as a duck for life that dives,

So up and down the poor ship drives.

The lady shrieks, and well-a-near

Does fall in travail with her fear;  52

And what ensues in this fell storm

Shall for itself itself perform.

I nill relate, action may

Conveniently the rest convey,  56

Which might not what by me is told.

In your imagination hold

This stage the ship, upon whose deck

The sea-tost Pericles appears to speak.  60


Scene I.

Enter Pericles, on shipboard.


Thou God of this great vast, rebuke these surges,

Which wash both heaven and hell; and thou, that hast

Upon the winds command, bind them in brass,

Having call’d them from the deep. O! still  4

Thy deafening, dreadful thunders; gently quench

Thy nimble, sulphurous flashes. O! how Lychorida,

How does my queen? Thou stormest venomously;

Wilt thou spit all thyself? The seaman’s whistle

Is as a whisper in the ears of death,  9

Unheard. Lychorida! Lucina, O!

Divinest patroness, and midwife gentle

To those that cry by night, convey thy deity  12

Aboard our dancing boat; make swift the pangs

Of my queen’s travails!

Enter Lychorida, with an Infant.

Now, Lychorida!


Here is a thing too young for such a place,

Who, if it had conceit, would die, as I  16

Am like to do: take in your arms this piece

Of your dead queen.


How, how, Lychorida!


Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm.

Here’s all that is left living of your queen,  20

A little daughter: for the sake of it,

Be manly, and take comfort.


O you gods!

Why do you make us love your goodly gifts,

And snatch them straight away? We here below,  24

Recall not what we give, and therein may

Use honour with you.


Patience, good sir,

Even for this charge.


Now, mild may be thy life!

For a more blust’rous birth had never babe:  28

Quiet and gentle thy conditions!

For thou art the rudeliest welcome to this world

That e’er was prince’s child. Happy what follows!

Thou hast as chiding a nativity  32

As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,

To herald thee from the womb; even at the first

Thy loss is more than can thy portage quit,

With all thou canst find here. Now, the good gods  36

Throw their best eyes upon ’t!

Enter two Sailors.

First Sail.

What courage, sir? God save you!


Courage enough. I do not fear the flaw;

It hath done to me the worst. Yet for the love

Of this poor infant, this fresh-new sea-farer,  41

I would it would be quiet.

First Sail.

Slack the bolins there! thou wilt not, wilt thou? Blow, and split thyself.  44

Sec. Sail.

But sea-room, an the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not.

First Sail.

Sir, you queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead.  49


That’s your superstition.

First Sail.

Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still observed, and we are strong in custom. Therefore briefly yield her, for she must overboard straight.


As you think meet. Most wretched queen!


Here she lies, sir.  56


A terrible child-bed hast thou had, my dear;

No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements

Forgot thee utterly; nor have I time

To give thee hallow’d to thy grave, but straight

Must cast thee, scarcely coffin’d, in the ooze;  61

Where, for a monument upon thy bones,

And aye-remaining lamps, the belching whale

And humming water must o’erwhelm thy corpse,  64

Lying with simple shells! O Lychorida!

Bid Nestor bring me spices, ink and paper,

My casket and my jewels; and bid Nicander

Bring me the satin coffer: lay the babe  68

Upon the pillow. Hie thee, whiles I say

A priestly farewell to her: suddenly, woman.

[Exit Lychorida.

Sec. Sail.

Sir, we have a chest beneath the hatches, caulk’d and bitumed ready.  72


I thank thee. Mariner, say what coast is this?

Sec. Sail.

We are near Tarsus.


Thither, gentle mariner,  76

Alter thy course for Tyre. When canst thou reach it?

Sec. Sail.

By break of day, if the wind cease.


O! make for Tarsus.

There will I visit Cleon, for the babe  80

Cannot hold out to Tyrus; there I’ll leave it

At careful nursing. Go thy ways, good mariner;

I’ll bring the body presently.


Scene II.— Ephesus. A Room in Cerimon’s House.

Enter Cerimon, a Servant, and some Persons who have been shipwracked.


Philemon, ho!

Enter Philemon.


Doth my lord call?


Get fire and meat for these poor men;

’T has been a turbulent and stormy night.  4


I have been in many; but such a night as this

Till now I ne’er endur’d.


Your master will be dead ere you return;

There’s nothing can be minister’d to nature  8

That can recover him. [To Philemon.] Give this to the ’pothecary,

And tell me how it works.

[Exeunt all except Cerimon.

Enter two Gentlemen.

First Gent.

Good morrow, sir.

Sec. Gent.

Good morrow to your lordship.



Why do you stir so early?  12

First Gent.


Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea,

Shook as the earth’ did quake;

The very principals did seem to rend,  16

And all to topple. Pure surprise and fear

Made me to quit the house.

Sec. Gent.

That is the cause we trouble you so early;

’Tis not our husbandry.


O! you say well.  20

First Gent.

But I much marvel that your lordship, having

Rich tire about you, should at these early hours

Shake off the golden slumber of repose.

’Tis most strange,  24

Nature should be so conversant with pain,

Being thereto not compell’d.


I hold it ever,

Virtue and cunning were endowments greater

Than nobleness and riches; careless heirs  28

May the two latter darken and expend,

But immortality attends the former,

Making a man a god. ’Tis known I ever

Have studied physic, through which secret art,

By turning o’er authorities, I have—  33

Together with my practice—made familiar

To me and to my aid the blest infusions

That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones;  36

And can speak of the disturbances

That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me

A more content in course of true delight

Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,  40

Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,

To please the fool and death.

Sec. Gent.

Your honour has through Ephesus pour’d forth

Your charity, and hundreds call themselves  44

Your creatures, who by you have been restor’d:

And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even

Your purse, still open, hath built Lord Cerimon  47

Such strong renown as time shall ne’er decay.

Enter two Servants, with a chest.

First Serv.

So; lift there.


What is that?

First Serv.

Sir, even now

Did the sea toss upon our shore this chest:

’Tis of some wrack.


Set it down; let’s look upon ’t.

Sec. Gent.

’Tis like a coffin, sir.


Whate’er it be,  52

’Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight;

If the sea’s stomach be o’ercharg’d with gold,

’Tis a good constraint of fortune it belches upon us.

Sec. Gent.

’Tis so, my lord.


How close ’tis caulk’d and bitumed!  56

Did the sea cast it up?

First Serv.

I never saw so huge a billow, sir,

As toss’d it upon shore.


Come, wrench it open.

Soft! it smells most sweetly in my sense.  60

Sec. Gent.

A delicate odour.


As ever hit my nostril. So, up with it.

O you most potent gods! what’s here? a corse!

First Gent.

Most strange!  64


Shrouded in cloth of state; balm’d and entreasur’d

With full bags of spices! A passport too!

Apollo, perfect me i’ the characters!

Here I give to understand,  68

If e’er this coffin drive a-land,

I, King Pericles, have lost

This queen worth all our mundane cost.

Who finds her, give her burying;  72

She was the daughter of a king:

Besides this treasure for a fee,

The gods requite his charity!

If thou liv’st, Pericles, thou hast a heart  76

That even cracks for woe! This chanc’d to-night.

Sec. Gent.

Most likely, sir.


Nay, certainly to-night;

For look, how fresh she looks. They were too rough

That threw her in the sea. Make fire within;  80

Fetch hither all the boxes in my closet.

[Exit Second Servant.

Death may usurp on nature many hours,

And yet the fire of life kindle again

The overpress’d spirits. I heard  84

Of an Egyptian, that had nine hours lien dead,

Who was by good appliances recovered.

Re-enter Servant, with boxes, napkins, and fire.

Well said, well said; the fire and cloths.

The rough and woeful music that we have,  88

Cause it to sound, beseech you.

The viol once more;—how thou stirr’st, thou block!

The music there! I pray you, give her air.

Gentlemen,  92

This queen will live; nature awakes, a warmth

Breathes out of her; she hath not been entranc’d

Above five hours. See! how she ’gins to blow

Into life’s flower again.

First Gent.

The heavens  96

Through you increase our wonder and set up

Your fame for ever.


She is alive! behold,

Her eyelids, cases to those heavenly jewels

Which Pericles hath lost,  100

Begin to part their fringes of bright gold;

The diamonds of a most praised water

Do appear, to make the world twice rich. Live,

And make us weep to hear your fate, fair creature,  104

Rare as you seem to be!

[She moves.


O dear Diana!

Where am I? Where’s my lord? What world is this?

Sec. Gent.

Is not this strange?

First Gent.

Most rare.


Hush, gentle neighbours!

Lend me your hands; to the next chamber bear her.  108

Get linen; now this matter must be look’d to,

For her relapse is mortal, Come, come;

And Æsculapius guide us!

[Exeunt, carrying Thaisa away.

Scene III.— Tarsus. A Room in Cleon’s House.

Enter Pericles, Cleon, Dionyza, and Lychorida, with Marina in her arms.


Most honour’d Cleon, I must needs be gone;

My twelve months are expir’d, and Tyrus stands

In a litigious peace. You and your lady

Take from my heart all thankfulness; the gods

Make up the rest upon you!  5


Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,

Yet glance full wanderingly on us.


O your sweet queen!

That the strict fates had pleas’d you had brought her hither,  8

To have bless’d mine eyes with her!


We cannot but obey

The powers above us. Could I rage and roar

As doth the sea she lies in, yet the end

Must be as ’tis. My gentle babe Marina—whom,  12

For she was born at sea, I have nam’d so—here

I charge your charity withal, and leave her

The infant of your care, beseeching you  15

To give her princely training, that she may be

Manner’d as she is born.


Fear not, my lord, but think

Your Grace, that fed my country with your corn—

For which the people’s prayers still fall upon you—  19

Must in your child be thought on. If neglection

Should therein make me vile, the common body,

By you reliev’d, would force me to my duty;

But if to that my nature need a spur,

The gods revenge it upon me and mine,  24

To the end of generation!


I believe you;

Your honour and your goodness teach me to ’t,

Without your vows. Till she be married, madam,

By bright Diana, whom we honour, all  28

Unscissar’d shall this hair of mine remain,

Though I show ill in ’t. So I take my leave.

Good madam, make me blessed in your care

In bringing up my child.


I have one myself,  32

Who shall not be more dear to my respect

Than yours, my lord.


Madam, my thanks and prayers.


We’ll bring your Grace e’en to the edge o’ the shore;

Then give you up to the mask’d Neptune and  36

The gentlest winds of heaven.


I will embrace

Your offer. Come, dearest madam. O! no tears,

Lychorida, no tears:

Look to your little mistress, on whose grace  40

You may depend hereafter. Come, my lord.


Scene IV.— Ephesus. A Room in Cerimon’s House.

Enter Cerimon and Thaisa.


Madam, this letter, and some certain jewels,

Lay with you in your coffer; which are now

At your command. Know you the character?


It is my lord’s.  4

That I was shipp’d at sea, I well remember,

Even on my eaning time; but whether there

Deliver’d, by the holy gods,

I cannot rightly say. But since King Pericles,  8

My wedded lord, I ne’er shall see again,

A vestal livery will I take me to,

And never more have joy.


Madam, if this you purpose as you speak,  12

Diana’s temple is not distant far,

Where you may abide till your date expire.

Moreover, if you please, a niece of mine

Shall there attend you.  16


My recompense is thanks, that’s all;

Yet my good will is great, though the gift small.



Enter Gower.

Imagine Pericles arriv’d at Tyre,

Welcom’d and settled to his own desire.

His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,

Unto Diana there a votaress.  4

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  8

Of education all the grace,

Which makes her bath the heart and places

Of general wonder. But, alack!

That monster envy, oft the wrack  12

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,  16

Even ripe for marriage-rite; this maid

Hight Philoten, and it is said

For certain in our story, she

Would ever with Marina be:  20

Be ’t when she weav’d the sleided silk

With fingers, long, small, white as milk,

Or when she would with sharp neeld wound

The cambric, which she made more sound  24

By hurting it; 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  28

Vail to her mistress Dian; still

This Philoten contends in skill

With absolute Marina: so

With the dove of Paphos might the crow  32

Vie feathers white. Marina gets

All praises, which are paid as debts,

And not as given. This so darks

In Philoten all graceful marks,  36

That Cleon’s wife, with envy rare,

A present murderer does prepare

For good Marina, that her daughter

Might stand peerless by this slaughter.  40

The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,

Lychorida, our nurse, is dead:

And cursed Dionyza hath

The pregnant instrument of wrath  44

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 rime;  48

Which never could I so convey,

Unless your thoughts went on my way.

Dionyza doth appear,

With Leonine, a murderer.


Scene I.— Tarsus. An open Place near the Sea-shore.

Enter Dionyza and Leonine.


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

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

Thou canst not do a thing i’ the world so soon,

To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience,  4

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

Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which

Even women have cast off, melt thee, but he

A soldier to thy purpose.  8


I’ll do ’t; but yet she is a goodly creature.


The fitter, then, the gods should have her. Here

She comes weeping for her only mistress’ death.

Thou art resolv’d?


I am resolv’d.  12

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,  16

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

Born in a tempest, when my mother died,

This world to me is like a lasting storm,

Whirring me from my friends.  20


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 favour’s chang’d  24

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,  28

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,  32

With more than foreign heart. We every day

Expect him here; when he shall come and find

Our paragon to all reports thus blasted,  35

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  40

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.  43


Come, come, I know ’tis good for you.

Walk half an hour, Leonine, at least.

Remember what I have said.


I warrant you, madam.


I’ll leave you, my sweet lady, for a while;  47

Pray you walk softly, do not heat your blood:

What! I must have care of you.


My thanks, sweet madam.

[Exit Dionyza.

Is this wind westerly that blows?




When I was born, the wind was north.


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, endur’d a sea

That almost burst the deck.  56


When was this?


When I was born:

Never were waves nor wind more violent;

And from the ladder-tackle washes off  60

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.  64


Come; say your prayers.


What mean you?


If you require a little space for prayer,

I grant it. Pray; but be not tedious,  68

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?  72

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,  76

I never kill’d a mouse, nor hurt a fly;

I trod upon a worm against my will,

But I wept for it. How have I offended,

Wherein my death might yield her any profit,

Or my life imply her any danger?  81


My commission

Is not to reason of the deed, but do ’t.


You will not do ’t for all the world, I hope.  84

You are well favour’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,  89

And save poor me, the weaker.


I am sworn,

And will dispatch.

Enter Pirates, whilst Marina is struggling.

First Pirate.

Hold, villain!  92

[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;  96

And they have seiz’d Marina. Let her go;

There’s no hope she’ll 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,  100

Not carry her aboard. If she remain,

Whom they have ravish’d must by me be slain.


Scene II.— Mitylene. A Room in a Brothel.

Enter Pandar, Bawd, and Boult.






Search the market narrowly; Mitylene is full of gallants; we lost too much money this mart by being too wenchless.  5


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 rotten.  9


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.  13


Thou sayst true; ’tis not the bringing up of poor bastards, as, I think, I have brought up some eleven—  16


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.  21


Thou sayst true; they’re too unwholesome, o’ conscience. The poor Transylvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.  24


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



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?  32


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.  39


Come, other 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.


Come your ways. My masters, you say she’s a virgin?  45

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.  49


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 refused.


What’s her price, Boult?


I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.  56


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.  60

[Exeunt Pandar and Pirates.


Boult, take you the marks of her, the colour of her hair, complexion, height, age, with warrant of her virginity; and cry, ‘He that will give most, shall have her first.’ Such a maiden-head were no cheap thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done as I command you.  67


Performance shall follow.



Alack! that Leonine was so slack, so slow.

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

Not enough barbarous—had not o’erboard thrown me

For to seek my mother!  72


Why lament you, pretty one?


That I am pretty.


Come, the gods have done their part in you.


I accuse them not.  76


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


The more my fault

To ’scape his hands where I was like to die.  80


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?  89


An honest woman, or not a woman.


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


The gods defend me!  95


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?  101


I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs; I have drawn her picture with my voice.  104


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.  113


To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know the French knight that cowers i’ the hams?  116


Who? Monsieur Veroles?


Ay; he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and swore he would see her to-morrow.  120


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.  124


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


[To Marina.] Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully, which you commit willingly; to 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.  136


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


Thou sayst 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 joint,—  144


Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit.


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.  150


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.  156


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.  160


Come your ways; follow me.


If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,

Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.

Diana, aid my purpose!  164


What have we to do with Diana?

Pray you, will you go with us?


Scene III.— Tarsus. A Room in Cleon’s House.

Enter Cleon and Dionyza.


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.  4


Were I chief lord of all this spacious world,

I’d 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  8

I’ the justice of compare. O villain Leonine!

Whom thou hast poison’d too;

If thou hadst drunk to him ’t had been a kindness

Becoming well thy fact; what canst thou say  12

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,  17

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  21

The pretty wrens of Tarsus will fly hence,

And open this to Pericles. I do shame

To think of what a noble strain you are,  24

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 honourable sources.


Be it so, then;  28

Yet none does know but you how she came dead,

Nor 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,  33

Whilst ours was blurted at and held a malkin

Not worth the time of day. It pierc’d me thorough;

And though you call my course unnatural,  36

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!


And as for Pericles,  40

What should he say? We wept after her hearse,

And even yet we mourn; her monument

Is almost finish’d, and her epitaphs

In glittering golden characters express  44

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.  48


You are like one that superstitiously

Doth swear to the gods that winter kills the flies;

But yet I know you’ll do as I advise.


Scene IV.— Before the Monument of Marina at Tarsus.

Enter Gower.

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.  4

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,  8

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.  12

Old Helicanus goes along. Behind

Is left to govern it, you bear in mind,

Old Escanes, whom Helicanus late

Advanc’d in time to great and high estate.  16

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.  20

Like motes and shadows see them move awhile;

Your ears unto your eyes I’ll reconcile.

Dumb Show.

Enter at one door Pericles, with his Train; Cleon and Dionyza at the other. Cleon shows Pericles the tomb of Marina; whereat Pericles makes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. 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,  25

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;  28

He puts on sackcloth, and to sea. He bears

A tempest, which his mortal vessel tears,

And yet he rides it out. Now please you wit

The epitaph is for Marina writ  32

By wicked Dionyza.

[Reads 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.  37

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,  40

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  44

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  49

In her unholy service. Patience then,

And think you now are all in Mitylen.


Scene V.— Mitylene. 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?  5

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.


Scene VI.— 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 is 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 all our swearers priests.  13


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.  21

Enter Lysimáchus.


How now! How a dozen of virginities?


Now, the gods to-bless your honour!


I am glad to see your honour in good health.  25


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?  29


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


If she’d do the deed of darkness, thou wouldst say.  33


Your honour knows what ’tis to say well enough.


Well; call forth, call forth.  36


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?  40


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?  47


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


I beseech your honour, give me leave; a word, and I’ll have done presently.


I beseech you do.  52


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


I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.  56


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 honourable he is in that I know not.  61


Pray you, without any more virginal fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.  64


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 honour and her together.  71


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 offend.  76


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


How long have you been of this profession?  80


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.  84


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 honourable parts, and are the governor of this place.


Why, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?  92


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, come.  100


If you were born to honour, show it now;

If put upon you, make the judgment good

That thought you worthy of it.


How’s this? how’s this? Some more; be sage.  104


For me,

That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune

Hath plac’d me in this sty, where, since I came,

Diseases have been sold dearer than physic,  108

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  112

Thou 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,  116

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  120

The very doors and windows savour vilely.

Farewell. Thou art a piece of virtue, and

I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.

Hold, here’s more gold for thee.  124

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.  129


Avaunt! thou damned door-keeper. Your house,

But for this virgin that doth prop it, would

Sink and overwhelm you. Away!



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 household, let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your ways.


Whither would you have me?  139


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?  144


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


O! abominable.  148


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.  157


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


Hark, hark, you gods!  160


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 rosemary and bays!  165



Come, mistress; come your ways with me.


Whither wilt thou have me?


To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.  169


Prithee, tell me one thing first.


Come now, your one thing.


What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?  173


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.  177

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

Of hell would not in reputation change;

Thou art the damned door-keeper to every  180

Coystril 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.  184


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?  189


Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty.

Old receptacles, or common sewers, of filth;

Serve by indenture to the common hangman:

Any of these ways are yet better than this;  193

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.  196

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.  201

I doubt not but this populous city will

Yield many scholars.


But can you teach all this you speak of?  204


Prove 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.  209


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.



Enter Gower.

Marina thus the brothel ’scapes, and chances

Into an honest house, our story says.

She sings like one immortal, and she dances

As goddess-like to her admired lays;  4

Deep clerks she dumbs; and with her neeld composes

Nature’s own shape, of bud, bird, branch, or berry,

That even her art sisters the natural roses;

Her inkle, silk, twin with the rubied cherry;  8

That pupils lacks she none of noble race,

Who pour their bounty on her; and her gain

She gives the cursed bawd. Here we her place;

And to her father turn our thoughts again,  12

Where we left him, on the sea. We there him lost,

Whence, driven before the winds, he is arriv’d

Here where his daughter dwells: and on this coast

Suppose him now at anchor. The city striv’d  16

God Neptune’s annual feast to keep; from whence

Lysimachus our Tyrian ship espies,

His banners sable, trimm’d with rich expense;

And to him in his barge with fervour hies.  20

In your supposing once more put your sight

Of heavy Pericles; think this his bark:

Where what is done in action, more, if might,

Shall be discover’d; please you, sit and hark.


Scene I.— On board PericlesShip, off Mitylene. A Pavilion on deck, with a curtain before it; Pericles within it, reclined on a couch. A barge lying beside the Tyrian vessel.

Enter two Sailors, one belonging to the Tyrian vessel, the other to the barge; to them Helicanus.

Tyr. Sail.

[To the Sailor of Mitylene.] Where’s the Lord Helicanus? he can resolve you.

O! here he is.—

Sir, there’s a barge put off from Mitylene,

And in it is Lysimachus, the governor,  4

Who craves to come aboard. What is your will?


That he have his. Call up some gentlemen.

Tyr. Sail.

Ho, gentlemen! my lord calls.

Enter two or three Gentlemen.

First Gent.

Doth your lordship call?  8


Gentlemen, there’s some of worth would come aboard;

I pray ye, greet them fairly.

[Gentlemen and Sailors descend, and go on board the barge.

Enter from thence, Lysimachus and Lords; the Gentlemen and the two Sailors.

Tyr. Sail.


This is the man that can, in aught you would,

Resolve you.  13


Hail, reverend sir! The gods preserve you!


And you, sir, to outlive the age I am,

And die as I would do.


You wish me well.  16

Being on shore, honouring of Neptune’s triumphs,

Seeing this goodly vessel ride before us,

I made to it to know of whence you are.


First, what is your place?  20


I am the governor of this place you lie before.



Our vessel is of Tyre, in it the king;

A man who for this three months hath not spoken  24

To any one, nor taken sustenance

But to prorogue his grief.


Upon what ground is his distemperature?


’Twould be too tedious to repeat;  28

But the main grief springs from the loss

Of a beloved daughter and a wife.


May we not see him?


You may;  32

But bootless is your sight: he will not speak

To any.


Yet let me obtain my wish.


Behold him. [Pericles discovered.] This was a goodly person,  36

Till the disaster that, one mortal night,

Drove him to this.


Sir king, all hail! the gods preserve you!

Hall, royal sir!  40


It is in vain; he will not speak to you.

First Lord.


We have a maid in Mitylene, I durst wager,

Would win some words of him.


’Tis well bethought.  44

She questionless with her sweet harmony

And other chosen attractions, would allure,

And make a battery through his deafen’d ports

Which now are midway stopp’d:  48

She is all happy as the fair’st of all,

And with her fellow maids is now upon

The leafy shelter that abuts against

The island’s side.  52

[Whispers first Lord, who puts off in the barge of Lysimachus.


Sure, all’s effectless; yet nothing we’ll omit,

That bears recovery’s name. But, since your kindness

We have stretch’d thus far, let us beseech you,

That for our gold we may provision have,  56

Wherein we are not destitute for want,

But weary for the staleness.


O! sir, a courtesy,

Which if we should deny, the most just gods

For every graff would send a caterpillar,  60

And so afflict our province. Yet once more

Let me entreat to know at large the cause

Of your king’s sorrow.


Sit, sir, I will recount it to you;

But see, I am prevented.

Re-enter, from the barge, Lord, with Marina, and a young Lady.


O! here is  64

The lady that I sent for. Welcome, fair one!

Is’t not a goodly presence?


She’s a gallant lady.


She’s such a one, that were I well assur’d

Came of a gentle kind and noble stock,  68

I’d wish no better choice, and think me rarely wed.

Fair one, all goodness that consists in bounty

Expect even here, where is a kingly patient:

If that thy prosperous and artificial feat  72

Can draw him but to answer thee in aught,

Thy sacred physic shall receive such pay

As thy desires can wish.


Sir, I will use

My utmost skill in his recovery,  76


That none but I and my companion maid

Be suffer’d to come near him.


Come, let us leave her;

And the gods make her prosperous!  80

[Marina sings.


Mark’d he your music?


No, nor look’d on us.


See, she will speak to him.


Hail, sir! my lord, lend ear.


Hum! ha!  84


I am a maid,

My lord, that ne’er before invited eyes,

But have been gaz’d on like a comet; she speaks,

My lord, that, may be, hath endur’d a grief  88

Might equal yours, if both were justly weigh’d.

Though wayward Fortune did malign my state,

My derivation was from ancestors

Who stood equivalent with mighty kings;  92

But time hath rooted out my parentage,

And to the world and awkward casualties

Bound me in servitude.—[Aside.] I will desist;

But there is something glows upon my cheek,

And whispers in mine ear, ‘Go not till he speak.’


My fortunes—parentage—good parentage—

To equal mine!—was it not thus? what say you?


I said, my lord, if you did know my parentage,  100

You would not do me violence.


I do think so. Pray you, turn your eyes upon me.

You are like something that—What country-woman?

Here of these shores?


No, nor of any shores;  104

Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am

No other than I appear.


I am great with woe, and shall deliver weeping.

My dearest wife was like this maid, and such a one  108

My daughter might have been: my queen’s square brows;

Her stature to an inch; as wand-like straight;

As silver-voic’d; her eyes as jewel-like,

And cas’d as richly; in pace another Juno;  112

Who starves the ears she feeds, and makes them hungry,

The more she gives them speech. Where do you live?


Where I am but a stranger; from the deck

You may discern the place.


Where were you bred?  116

And how achiev’d you these endowments, which

You make more rich to owe?


Should I tell my history, it would seem

Like lies, disdain’d in the reporting.  120


Prithee, speak;

Falseness cannot come from thee, for thou look’st

Modest as justice, and thou seem’st a palace

For the crown’d truth to dwell in. I believe thee,

And make my senses credit thy relation  125

To points that seem impossible; for thou lookest

Like one I lov’d indeed. What were thy friends?

Didst thou not say when I did push thee back,—

Which was when I perceiv’d thee,—that thou cam’st  129

From good descending?


So indeed I did.


Report thy parentage. I think thou saidst

Thou hadst been toss’d from wrong to injury,

And that thou thought’st thy griefs might equal mine,  133

If both were open’d.


Some such thing

I said, and said no more but what my thoughts

Did warrant me was likely.


Tell thy story;  136

If thine consider’d prove the thousandth part

Of my endurance, thou art a man, and I

Have suffer’d like a girl; yet thou dost look

Like Patience gazing on kings’ graves, and smiling  140

Extremity out of act. What were thy friends?

How lost thou them? Thy name, my most kind virgin?

Recount, I do beseech thee. Come, sit by me.


My name is Marina.


O! I am mock’d,  144

And thou by some incensed god sent hither

To make the world to laugh at me.


Patience, good sir,

Or here I’ll cease.


Nay, I’ll be patient.

Thou little know’st how thou dost startle me,

To call thyself Marina.


The name  149

Was given me by one that had some power;

My father, and a king.


How! a king’s daughter?

And call’d Marina?


You said you would believe me;

But, not to be a troubler of your peace,  153

I will end here.


But are you flesh and blood?

Have you a working pulse? and are no fairy?

Motion!—Well; speak on. Where were you born?  156

And wherefore call’d Marina?


Call’d Marina

For I was born at sea.


At sea! what mother?


My mother was the daughter of a king;

Who died the minute I was born,  160

As my good nurse Lychorida hath oft

Deliver’d weeping.


O! stop there a little.

This is the rarest dream that e’er dull sleep

Did mock sad fools withal; this cannot be.  164

My daughter’s buried. Well; where were you bred?

I’ll hear you more, to the bottom of your story,

And never interrupt you.


You’ll scorn to believe me; ’twere best I did give o’er.  168


I will believe you by the syllable

Of what you shall deliver. Yet, give me leave:

How came you in these parts? where were you bred?


The king my father did in Tarsus leave me,  172

Till cruel Cleon, with his wicked wife,

Did seek to murder me; and having woo’d

A villain to attempt it, who having drawn to do ’t,

A crew of pirates came and rescu’d me;  176

Brought me to Mitylene. But, good sir,

Whither will you have me? Why do you weep? It may be

You think me an impostor; no, good faith;

I am the daughter to King Pericles,  180

If good King Pericles be.


Ho, Helicanus!


Calls my lord?


Thou art a grave and noble counsellor,

Most wise in general; tell me, if thou canst,  185

What this maid is, or what is like to be,

That thus hath made me weep?


I know not; but

Here is the regent, sir, of Mitylene,  188

Speaks nobly of her.


She never would tell

Her parentage; being demanded that,

She would sit still and weep.


O Helicanus! strike me, honour’d sir;

Give me a gash, put me to present pain,  193

Lest this great sea of joys rushing upon me

O’erbear the shores of my mortality,

And drown me with their sweetness. O! come hither,  196

Thou that begett’st him that did thee beget;

Thou that wast born at sea, buried at Tarsus,

And found at sea again. O Helicanus!

Down on thy knees, thank the holy gods as loud  200

As thunder threatens us; this is Marina.

What was thy mother’s name? tell me but that,

For truth can never be confirm’d enough,

Though doubts did ever sleep.


First, sir, I pray,  204

What is your title?


I am Pericles of Tyre: but tell me now

My drown’d queen’s name, as in the rest you said

Thou hast been god-like perfect;  208

Thou’rt heir of kingdoms, and another life

To Pericles thy father.


Is it no more to be your daughter than

To say my mother’s name was Thaisa?  212

Thaisa was my mother, who did end

The minute I began.


Now, blessing on thee! rise; thou art my child,

Give me fresh garments. Mine own, Helicanus;

She is not dead at Tarsus, as she should have been,  217

By savage Cleon; she shall tell thee all;

When thou shalt kneel, and justify in knowledge

She is thy very princess. Who is this?  220


Sir, ’tis the governor of Mitylene,

Who, hearing of your melancholy state,

Did come to see you.


I embrace you.

Give me my robes. I am wild in my beholding.

O heavens! bless my girl. But, hark! what music?  225

Tell Helicanus, my Marina, tell him

O’er, point by point, for yet he seems to doubt,

How sure you are my daughter. But, what music?  228


My lord, I hear none.



The music of the spheres! List, my Marina.


It is not good to cross him; give him way.  232


Rarest sounds! Do ye not hear?


My lord, I hear.



Most heavenly music:

It nips me unto list’ning, and thick slumber

Hangs upon mine eyes; let me rest.



A pillow for his head.  237

So, leave him all. Well, my companion friends,

If this but answer to my just belief,

I’ll well remember you.  240

[Exeunt all but Pericles.

Diana appears to Pericles as in a vision.


My temple stands in Ephesus; hie thee thither,

And do upon mine altar sacrifice.

There, when my maiden priests are met together,

Before the people all,  244

Reveal how thou at sea didst lose thy wife;

To mourn thy crosses, with thy daughter’s, call

And give them repetition to the life.

Perform my bidding, or thou liv’st in woe;  248

Do it, and happy; by my silver bow!

Awake, and tell thy dream!



Celestial Dian, goddess argentine,

I will obey thee! Helicanus!

Enter Helicanus, Lysimachus, and Marina.


Sir?  252


My purpose was for Tarsus, there to strike

The inhospitable Cleon: but I am

For other service first: toward Ephesus

Turn our blown sails; eftsoons I’ll tell thee why.  256

[To Lysimachus.] Shall we refresh us, sir, upon your shore,

And give you gold for such provision

As our intents will need?


Sir,  260

With all my heart; and when you come ashore,

I have another suit.


You shall prevail,

Were it to woo my daughter; for it seems

You have been noble towards her.


Sir, lend me your arm.  264


Come, my Marina.


Scene II.— Before the Temple of Diana at Ephesus.

Enter Gower.

Now our sands are almost run;

More a little, and then dumb.

This, my last boon, give me,

For such kindness must relieve me,  4

That you aptly will suppose

What pageantry, what feats, what shows,

What minstrelsy, and pretty din,

The regent made in Mitylen  8

To greet the king. So he thriv’d,

That he is promis’d to be wiv’d

To fair Marina; but in no wise

Till he had done his sacrifice,  12

As Dian bade: whereto being bound,

The interim, pray you, all confound.

In feather’d briefness sails are fill’d,

And wishes fall out as they’re will’d.  16

At Ephesus, the temple see,

Our king and all his company.

That he can hither come so soon,

Is by your fancy’s thankful doom.


Scene III.— The Temple of Diana at Ephesus; Thaisa standing near the altar, as high priestess; a number of Virgins on each side; Cerimon and other Inhabitants of Ephesus attending.

Enter Pericles, with his Train; Lysimachus, Helicanus, Marina, and a Lady.


Hail, Dian! to perform thy just command,

I here confess myself the King of Tyre;

Who, frighted from my country, did wed

At Pentapolis the fair Thaisa.  4

At sea in childbed died she, but brought forth

A maid-child call’d Marina; who, O goddess!

Wears yet thy silver livery. She at Tarsus

Was nurs’d with Cleon, whom at fourteen years  8

He sought to murder; but her better stars

Brought her to Mitylene, ’gainst whose shore

Riding, her fortunes brought the maid aboard us,

Where, by her own most clear remembrance, she  12

Made known herself my daughter.


Voice and favour!

You are, you are—O royal Pericles!—

[She faints.


What means the nun? she dies! help, gentlemen!


Noble sir,  16

If you have told Diana’s altar true,

This is your wife.


Reverend appearer, no;

I threw her o’erboard with these very arms.


Upon this coast, I warrant you.


’Tis most certain.


Look to the lady. O! she’s but o’erjoy’d.  21

Early in blustering morn this lady was

Thrown upon this shore. I op’d the coffin,

Found there rich jewels; recover’d her, and plac’d her  24

Here in Diana’s temple.


May we see them?


Great sir, they shall be brought you to my house,

Whither I invite you. Look! Thaisa is



O! let me look!  28

If he be none of mine, my sanctity

Will to my sense bend no licentious ear,

But curb it, spite of seeing. O! my lord,

Are you not Pericles? Like him you speak,  32

Like him you are. Did you not name a tempest,

A birth, and death?


The voice of dead Thaisa!


That Thaisa am I, supposed dead

And drown’d.  36


Immortal Dian!


Now I know you better.

When we with tears parted Pentapolis,

The king my father gave you such a ring.

[Shows a ring.


This, this: no more, you gods! your present kindness  40

Makes my past miseries sport: you shall do well,

That on the touching of her lips I may

Melt and no more be seen. O! come, be buried

A second time within these arms.


My heart  44

Leaps to be gone into my mother’s bosom.

[Kneels to Thaisa.


Look, who kneels here! Flesh of thy flesh, Thaisa;

Thy burden at the sea, and call’d Marina,

For she was yielded there.


Bless’d, and mine own!  48


Hail, madam, and my queen!


I know you not.


You have heard me say, when I did fly from Tyre,

I left behind an ancient substitute;

Can you remember what I call’d the man?  52

I have nam’d him oft.


’Twas Helicanus then.


Still confirmation!

Embrace him, dear Thaisa; this is he.

Now do I long to hear how you were found,  56

How possibly preserv’d, and whom to thank,

Besides the gods, for this great miracle.


Lord Cerimon, my lord; this man,

Through whom the gods have shown their power; that can  60

From first to last resolve you.


Reverend sir,

The gods can have no mortal officer

More like a god than you. Will you deliver

How this dead queen re-lives?


I will, my lord.  64

Beseech you, first go with me to my house.

Where shall be shown you all was found with her;

How she came placed here in the temple;

No needful thing omitted.  68


Pure Dian! bless thee for thy vision; I

Will offer night-oblations to thee. Thaisa,

This prince, the fair-betrothed of your daughter,

Shall marry her at Pentapolis. And now  72

This ornament

Makes me look dismal will I clip to form;

And what this fourteen years no rasor touch’d,

To grace thy marriage-day I’ll beautify.  76


Lord Cerimon hath letters of good credit, sir,

My father’s dead.


Heavens make a star of him! Yet there, my queen,

We’ll celebrate their nuptials, and ourselves  80

Will in that kingdom spend our following days;

Our son and daughter shall in Tyrus reign.

Lord Cerimon, we do our longing stay

To hear the rest untold. Sir, lead’s the way.  84


Enter Gower.

In Antiochus and his daughter you have heard

Of monstrous lust the due and just reward:

In Pericles, his queen, and daughter, seen

Although assail’d with fortune fierce and keen—  88

Virtue preserv’d from fell destruction’s blast,

Led on by heaven, and crown’d with joy at last.

In Helicanus may you well descry

A figure of truth, of faith, of loyalty.  92

In reverend Cerimon there well appears

The worth that learned charity aye wears.

For wicked Cleon and his wife, when fame

Had spread their cursed deed, and honour’d name  96

Of Pericles, to rage the city turn,

That him and his they in his palace burn:

The gods for murder seemed so content

To punish them; although not done, but meant.  100

So on your patience evermore attending,

New joy wait on you! Here our play hath ending.


THE SHAKESPEARE MEMORIAL THEATRE STRATFORD ON AVON, [Editor: illegible text] by W. W. Quatremain