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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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Act II, Scene 2

The same. A public way or platform leading to the


lists. A pavilion by the side of it for the [p]reception of King, Princess, Lords, &c.

[Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, and Attendants]

  • Simonides. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
  • First Lord. They are, my liege; 750
    And stay your coming to present themselves.
  • Simonides. 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. 755

[Exit a Lord]

  • Thaisa. It pleaseth you, my royal father, to express
    My commendations great, whose merit's less.
  • Simonides. It's fit it should be so; for princes are
    A model which heaven makes like to itself: 760
    As jewels lose their glory if neglected,
    So princes their renowns if not respected.
    'Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain
    The labour of each knight in his device.
  • Thaisa. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform. 765
    [Enter a Knight; he passes over, and his Squire]
    presents his shield to the Princess]
  • Simonides. Who is the first that doth prefer himself?
  • Thaisa. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
    And the device he bears upon his shield 770
    Is a black Ethiope reaching at the sun
    The word, 'Lux tua vita mihi.'
  • Simonides. He loves you well that holds his life of you.
    [The Second Knight passes over]
    Who is the second that presents himself? 775
  • Thaisa. A prince of Macedon, my royal father;
    And the device he bears upon his shield
    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]

  • Thaisa. The third of Antioch;
    And his device, a wreath of chivalry;
    The word, 'Me pompae provexit apex.'

[The Fourth Knight passes over]

  • Thaisa. A burning torch that's turned upside down;
    The word, 'Quod me alit, me extinguit.'
  • Simonides. Which shows that beauty hath his power and will,
    Which can as well inflame as it can kill. 790

[The Fifth Knight passes over]

  • Thaisa. The fifth, an hand environed with clouds,
    Holding out gold that's by the touchstone tried;
    The motto thus, 'Sic spectanda fides.'

[The Sixth Knight, PERICLES, passes over]

  • Simonides. And what's
    The sixth and last, the which the knight himself
    With such a graceful courtesy deliver'd?
  • Thaisa. He seems to be a stranger; but his present is
    A wither'd branch, that's only green at top; 800
    The motto, 'In hac spe vivo.'
  • Simonides. A pretty moral;
    From the dejected state wherein he is,
    He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.
  • First Lord. He had need mean better than his outward show 805
    Can any way speak in his just commend;
    For by his rusty outside he appears
    To have practised more the whipstock than the lance.
  • Second Lord. He well may be a stranger, for he comes
    To an honour'd triumph strangely furnished. 810
  • Third Lord. And on set purpose let his armour rust
    Until this day, to scour it in the dust.
  • Simonides. Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan
    The outward habit by the inward man.
    But stay, the knights are coming: we will withdraw 815
    Into the gallery.


[Great shouts within and all cry 'The mean knight!']