Speeches (Lines) for Cleon
in "Pericles"

Total: 19

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,4,417

(stage directions). [Enter CLEON, the governor of Tarsus, with DIONYZA,]
and others]

Cleon. My Dionyza, shall we rest us here,
And by relating tales of others' griefs,
See if 'twill teach us to forget our own?


2

I,4,426

Dionyza. 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 are;
Here they're but felt, and seen with mischief's eyes,
But like to groves, being topp'd, they higher rise.

Cleon. 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 tongues 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.


3

I,4,437

Dionyza. I'll do my best, sir.

Cleon. 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,
And strangers ne'er beheld but wondered 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.


4

I,4,449

Dionyza. O, 'tis too true.

Cleon. But see what heaven can do! By this our change,
These mouths, who 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?


5

I,4,468

Dionyza. Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.

Cleon. 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 Tarsus may be theirs.


6

I,4,474

Lord. Where's the lord governor?

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


7

I,4,479

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

Cleon. 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,
Whereas no glory's got to overcome.


8

I,4,491

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.

Cleon. 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,
What need we fear?
The ground's the lowest, and we are half way there.
Go tell their general we attend him here,
To know for what he comes, and whence he comes,
And what he craves.


9

I,4,501

(stage directions). [Exit]

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


10

I,4,521

Pericles. Arise, I pray you, rise:
We do not look for reverence, but to love,
And harbourage for ourself, our ships, and men.

Cleon. The which when any shall not gratify,
Or pay you with unthankfulness in thought,
Be it our wives, our children, or ourselves,
The curse of heaven and men succeed their evils!
Till when,—the which I hope shall ne'er be seen,—
Your grace is welcome to our town and us.


11

III,3,1428

Pericles. Most honour'd Cleon, I must needs be gone;
My twelve months are expired, 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!

Cleon. Your shafts of fortune, though they hurt you mortally,
Yet glance full wanderingly on us.


12

III,3,1442

Pericles. 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,
For she was born at sea, I have named so, here
I charge your charity withal, leaving her
The infant of your care; beseeching you
To give her princely training, that she may be
Manner'd as she is born.

Cleon. 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,
Must in your child be thought on. If neglection
Should therein make me vile, the common body,
By you relieved, would force me to my duty:
But if to that my nature need a spur,
The gods revenge it upon me and mine,
To the end of generation!


13

III,3,1463

Pericles. Madam, my thanks and prayers.

Cleon. We'll bring your grace e'en to the edge o' the shore,
Then give you up to the mask'd Neptune and
The gentlest winds of heaven.


14

IV,3,1816

Dionyza. Why, are you foolish? Can it be undone?

Cleon. O Dionyza, such a piece of slaughter
The sun and moon ne'er look'd upon!


15

IV,3,1820

Dionyza. I think
You'll turn a child again.

Cleon. Were I chief lord of all this spacious world,
I'ld 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
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
When noble Pericles shall demand his child?


16

IV,3,1835

Dionyza. 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,
And for an honest attribute cry out
'She died by foul play.'

Cleon. O, go to. Well, well,
Of all the faults beneath the heavens, the gods
Do like this worst.


17

IV,3,1843

Dionyza. Be one of those that think
The petty wrens of Tarsus will fly hence,
And open this to Pericles. I do shame
To think of what a noble strain you are,
And of how coward a spirit.

Cleon. To such proceeding
Who ever but his approbation added,
Though not his prime consent, he did not flow
From honourable sources.


18

IV,3,1859

Dionyza. Be it so, then:
Yet none does know, but you, how she came dead,
Nor none can know, Leonine being gone.
She did disdain my child, and stood between
Her and her fortunes: none would look on her,
But cast their gazes on Marina's face;
Whilst ours was blurted at and held a malkin
Not worth the time of day. It pierced me through;
And though you call my course unnatural,
You not your child well loving, yet I find
It greets me as an enterprise of kindness
Perform'd to your sole daughter.

Cleon. Heavens forgive it!


19

IV,3,1867

Dionyza. And as for Pericles,
What should he say? We wept after her hearse,
And yet we mourn: her monument
Is almost finish'd, and her epitaphs
In glittering golden characters express
A general praise to her, and care in us
At whose expense 'tis done.

Cleon. Thou art like the harpy,
Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel's face,
Seize with thine eagle's talons.


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