ePub 版

Enter Three Fishermen.

1 Fish. What, ho, Pilche!

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

3 Fish. What say you, master?

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

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

1 Fish. Alas, poor souls, it grieved my heart to hear what pitiful cries they made to us to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.

3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus, how he bounced and tumbled? they say, they are half fish, half flesh a plague on them, they ne'er come, but I look to be washed. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.

1 Fish. Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones: I can compare our rich misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; 'a plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard on a' the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallowed the whole parish, church, steeple, bells and all. Per. A pretty moral.

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

2 Fish. Why, man?

3 Fish. Because he should have swallowed me too : and when I had been in his belly, I would have kept such a jangling of the bells, that he should never have left, till he cast bells, steeple, church, and parish, up again. But if the good king Simonides were of my mind

Per. Simonides ?

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

Per. How from the finny subject of the sea These fishers tell the infirmities of men ;

And from their watry empire recollect

All that may men approve or men detect!

[9] Captain Cook, in his second voyage to the South Seas, mentions the playing of porpusses round the ship as a certain sign of a violent gale of wind. M. MASON.

Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen.

2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and no body will look after it.

Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your coast

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

Per. A man whom both the waters and the wind, In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball

For them to play upon, entreats you pity him;

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

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

2 Fish. Canst thou catch any fishes then?

Per. I never practis'd it.

2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure; for here's nothing to be got now a-days, unless thou canst fish for't. Per. What I have been, I have forgot to know;

But what I am, want teaches me to think on ;
A man shrunk up with cold: my veins are chill,
And have no more of life, than may suffice
To give my tongue that heat, to ask your help;
Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead,
For I am a man, pray see me buried.

1 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 fastingdays, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks; and thou shalt be welcome.

Per. I thank you, sir.

2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg. Per. I did but crave.

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

Per. Why, are all your beggars whipped then?

1 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all: for if all your

[1] The preceding speech of Pericles affords no apt introduction to the reply of the fisherman. Either somewhat is omitted that cannot now be supplied, or the whole passage is obscured by more than common depravation. It should seem that the prince had made some remark on the badne of the day. Perhaps the dialogue originally ran thus:

"Per. Peace be at your labour, honest fishermen ;"
The day is rough and thwarts your occupation."

"2 Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? If it be not a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and nobody will look after it." STEEVENS

beggars were whipped, I would wish no better office, than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the [Exeunt two of the Fishermen.


Per How well this honest mirth becomes their labour! 1 Fish, Hark you, sir! do you know where you are? Per. Not well.

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

Per. The good king Simonides, do you call him?

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

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

1 Fish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birth-day; and there are princes and knights come from all parts of the world, to just and tourney for her love.

Per. Did but my fortunes equal my desires,

I'd wish to make one there.

1 Fish. O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal for-his wife's soul.2

Re-enter the two Fishermen, drawing up a net.

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

Per. 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:

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

[e] Things must be (says the speaker) as they are appointed to be; and what man is not sure to compass, he has yet a just right to attempt.-Thus far the passage is clear. The Fisherman may then be supposed to begin a new sentence-His wife's soul-but here he is interrupted by his comrades. He might otherwise have proceeded to say-The good will of a wife indeed is one of the things which is difficult of attainment. A husband is in the right to strive for it, but after all his pains may fail to secure it.-I wish his brother fishermen had called off his attention before he had time to urter his last three words. STEEVENS.



'Twixt me and death; (and pointed to this brace ;)3
For that it sav'd me, keep it; in like necessity,
Which gods protect thee from! it may defend thee.
It kept where I kept, I so dearly lov'd it;
Till the rough seas, that spare not any man,
Took it in rage, though calm'd, they give't again :
I thank thee for't; my shipwreck's now no ill,
Since I have here my father's gift by will.

1 Fish. What mean you, sir?

Per. To beg of you, kind friends, this coat of worth, For it was sometime target to a king;

I know it by this mark. He lov'd me dearly,

And for his sake, I wish the having of it;

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

I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.
1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady?
Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee
good on't!

2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up this garment through the rough seams of the waters: there are certain condolements, certain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from whence you had it.

Per. Believe't, I will.

Now, by your furtherance, I am cloth'd in steel.
And spite of all the rupture of the sea,

This jewel holds his biding on my arm;

Unto thy value will I mount myself

Upon a courser, whose delightful steps
Shall make the gazer joy to see him tread.-
Only, my friend, I yet am unprovided

Of a pair of bases. 4

2 Fish. We'll sure provide; thou shalt have my best

[3] The brace is the armour for the arm. So, in Troilus and Cressida : "I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver,

"And in my vant-brace put this wither'd brawn."

Avant bras. Fr. STEEVENS.

[4] Bases, signified the housings of a horse, and may be used in that sense here. MALONE-It may be remarked, that Richardson in his notes on Paradise Lost, has the following explanation:-"Bases, from Bas, (Fr.) they fall low to the ground; they are also called the housing, from Housse, bedaggled." STEEVENS.

gown to make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the Court myself.

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

The same.



A public Way, or Platform, leading to the Lists. A Pavilion by the side of it, for the reception of the King, Princess, Lords, &c. Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants.

Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph 5 1 Lord. They are, my liege;

And stay your coming to present themselves.

Sim. Return them, we are ready; and our daughter, In honour of whose birth these triumphs are, Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat For men to see, and seeing wonder at.

[Exit a Lord.

Thai. It pleaseth you, my father, to express
My commendations great, whose merit's less.
Sim. 'Tis fit it should be so for princes are
A model, which heaven makes like to itself:
As jewels lose their glory, if neglected,
So princes their renown, if not respected.
"Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain
The labour of each knight, in his device.

Thai. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform. Enter a Knight; he passes over the Stage, and his Squire presents his Shield to the Princess.

Sim. Who is the first that doth prefer himself?
Thai. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield

Is a black Æthiop, reaching at the sun;
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.

Sim. He loves you well, that holds his life of


[The second Knight passes.

[5] A triumph, in the language of Shakspeare's sime, signified any public show, such as a Mask or Revel, &c. Thus, in King Richard II:


-hold those justs and triumphs?"

Again, in King Henry VI:

"With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows."


[6] The idea of this scene appears to have been caught from the Iliad, Book III. where Helen describes the Grecian leaders to her father-in-law Priam.


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