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SCENE III.-Tyre. An Ante-chamber in the Palace.


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

Enter HELICANUS, ESCANES, and other Lords.
Hel. You shall not need, my fellow-peers of Tyre,
Further to question of your king's departure.
His seal'd commission, left in trust with me,
Doth speak sufficiently, he's gone to travel.
Thal. How, the king gone!

Hel. If further yet you will be satisfied,

Why, as it were unlicensed of your loves,


He would depart, I'll give some light unto you.
Being at Antioch-

Thal. What from Antioch?


Hel. Royal Antiochus (on what cause I know not)

Took some displeasure at him; at least he judged so:

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

To show his sorrow, would correct himself;

So puts himself unto the shipman's toil,

With whom each minute threatens life or death.
Thal. Well, I perceive


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

With message unto princely Pericles;

But, since my landing, as I have understood,
Your lord has took himself to unknown travels,
My message must return from whence it came.
Hel. We have no reason to desire it, since
Commended to our master, not to us:
Yet, ere you shall depart, this we desire,
As friends to Antioch, we may feast in Tyre.


SCENE IV-Tharsus. A Room in the Governor's House.

Enter CLEON, DIONYZA, and Attendants.

Cle. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here?

And by relating tales of others' griefs,

See if 'twill teach us to forget our own?

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

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

Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it,
Or can conceal his hunger, till he famish?
Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep our woes
Into the air; our eyes do weep, till lungs
Fetch breath that may proclaim them louder; that
If heaven slumber, while their creatures want,
They may awake their helps to comfort them.
I'll then discourse our woes, felt several years,
And wanting breath to speak, help me with tears.
Dio. I'll do my best, Sir.

Cle. This Tharsus, o'er which I have 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,
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 stored full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on, as delight;
All poverty was scorn'd, and pride so great,
The name of help grew odious to repeat.
Dio. O, 'tis too true.

Cle. But see what heaven can do! By this our change, These mouths, whom but of late, earth, sea, and air,

Were all too little to content and please,

Although they gave their creatures in abundance,
As houses are defiled for want of use,

They are now starved for want of exercise:

Those palates, who not yet two summers younger,
Must have inventions to delight the taste,
Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it;
Those mothers who, to nousle‡ up their babes,
Thought nought too curious, are ready now,
To eat those little darlings whom they loved.
So sharp are Hunger's teeth, that man and wife
Draw lots, who first shall die to lengthen life:
Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping;
Here many sink, yet those which see them fall,
Have scarce strength left to give them burial.
Is not this true?

Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.
Cle. O, let those cities, that of Plenty's cup
And her prosperities so largely taste,

With their superfluous riots, hear these tears!
The misery of Tharsus may be theirs.

* Strutting.

Nurse fondly.

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Speak out thy sorrows which thou bring'st, in haste,
For comfort is too far for us to expect.

Lord. We have descried, upon our neighbouring shore
A portly sail of ships make hitherward.

Cle. I thought as much.

One sorrow never comes, but brings an heir,

That may succeed as his inheritor;

And so in ours: some neighbouring nation,

Taking advantage of our misery,

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


Lord. That's the least fear: for, by the semblance Of their white flags display'd, they bring us peace, And come to us as favourers, not as foes.

Cle. Thou speak'st like him's untutor❜d to repeat,
Who makes the fairest show, means most deceit.
But bring they what they will, what need we fear?
The ground's the low'st, and we are half-way there.
Go tell their general, we attend him here,

To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
And what he craves.

Lord. I go, my lord.

Cle. Welcome is peace, if he on peace consist;‡ If wars, we are unable to resist.

Enter PERICLES, with Attendants.

Per. Lord governor, for so we hear you are,
Let not our ships and number of our men,
Be, like a beacon fired, to amaze your eyes.
We have heard your miseries as far as Tyre,
And seen the desolation of your streets:
Nor come we to add sorrow to your tears,
But to relieve them of their heavy load;
And these our ships, which haply you may think
Are, like the Trojan horse, war-stuff'd within,
With bloody views, expecting overthrow,

Are stored with corn, to make your needy bread,
And give them life, who are hunger-starved, half-dead.
All. The gods of Greece protect you!

And we'll pray for you.

Per. Rise, I pray you, rise;

We do not look for reverence, but for love,

And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.
Cle. The which when any shall not gratify,

Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves,

* Forces.

+ Where.



The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Till when (the which, I hope, shall ne'er be seen),
Your grace is welcome to our town and us.

Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here a while, Until our stars that frown, lend us a smile.



Enter GOWER.

Gow. Here have you seen a mighty king

His child, I wis,* to incest bring;

A better prince, and benign lord,

Prove awful both in deed and word.

Be quiet then, as men should be,
Till he hath pass'd necessity.

I'll show you those in trouble's reign,
Losing a mite, a mountain gain.
The good in conversation+
(To whom I give my benizon),
Is still at Tharsus, where each man
Thinks all is writ he spoken can:
And, to remember what he does,
Gild his statue glorious:

But tidings to the contrary

Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?

Dumb show.

Enter at one door PERICLES, talking with CLEON; all the train with them. Enter at another door, a GENTLEMAN with a Letter to PERICLES; PERICLES shows the Letter to CLEON; then gives the Messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt PERICLES, CLEON, &c., severally.

Gow. Good Helicane hath staid at home,
Not to eat honey, like a drone,

From others' labours; forth‡ he strive
To killen bad, keep good alive;

And, to fulfil his prince' desire,

Sends word of all that haps in Tyre:

How Thaliard came full bent with sin,

And hid intent, to murder him;

And that in Tharsus was not best

Longer for him to make his rest:

He knowing so, put forth to seas,

Where when men been, there's seldom ease;
For now the wind begins to blow;
Thunder above, and deeps below,

Makes such unquiet, that the ship

Should house him safe, is wreck'd and split;

* Know.

+ Conduct.


And he, good prince, having all lost,
By waves from coast to coast is toss'd:
All perishen of man, of pelf,

Ne aught escapen but himself;
Till fortune, tired with doing bad,
Threw him ashore, to give him glad :
And here he comes: what shall be next,
Pardon old Gower; this 'longs* the text.


SCENE I.-Pentapolis. An open place by the Sea-side.
Enter PERICLES, wet.

Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of heaven!
Wind, rain, and thunder, remember, earthly man
Is but a substance that must yield to you;
And I, as fits my nature, do obey you;
Alas, the sea hath cast me on the rocks,

Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath
Nothing to think on, but ensuing death:
Let it suffice the greatness of your powers,
To have bereft a prince of all his fortunes;
And having thrown him from your watery grave,
Here to have death in peace, is all he'll crave.

Enter three FISHERMEN.

1 Fish. What, ho, Pilche!

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

3 Fish. What say you, master?

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Fish. Why, man?

3 Fish. Because he should have swallow'd me too: and when I

* Belongs to.

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