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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. 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.
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.
I shall not be hang'd now, although I would;
With message unto princely Pericles;
But, since my landing, as I have understood,
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,
Who wanteth food, and will not say he wants it,
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,
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,
They are now starved for want of exercise:
Those palates, who not yet two summers younger,
Dio. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.
With their superfluous riots, hear these tears!
Speak out thy sorrows which thou bring'st, in haste,
Lord. We have descried, upon our neighbouring shore
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,
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,
To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
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,
Are stored with corn, to make your needy bread,
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.
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Per. Which welcome we'll accept; feast here a while, Until our stars that frown, lend us a smile.
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,
I'll show you those in trouble's reign,
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?
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,
From others' labours; forth‡ he strive
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;
Makes such unquiet, that the ship
Should house him safe, is wreck'd and split;
And he, good prince, having all lost,
Ne aught escapen but himself;
SCENE I.-Pentapolis. An open place by the Sea-side.
Per. Yet cease your ire, ye angry stars of heaven!
Wash'd me from shore to shore, and left me breath
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.