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Pericles, Prince of Tyre

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Act II, Scene 5

Pentapolis. A room in the palace.


[Enter SIMONIDES, reading a letter, at one door:] [p]the Knights meet him]

  • Simonides. Knights, from my daughter this I let you know, 1015
    That for this twelvemonth she'll not undertake
    A married life.
    Her reason to herself is only known,
    Which yet from her by no means can I get.
  • Simonides. 'Faith, by no means; she has so strictly tied
    Her to her chamber, that 'tis impossible.
    One twelve moons more she'll wear Diana's livery;
    This by the eye of Cynthia hath she vow'd
    And on her virgin honour will not break it. 1025

[Exeunt Knights]

  • Simonides. So,
    They are well dispatch'd; now to my daughter's letter:
    She tells me here, she'd wed the stranger knight, 1030
    Or never more to view nor day nor light.
    'Tis well, mistress; your choice agrees with mine;
    I like that well: nay, how absolute she's in't,
    Not minding whether I dislike or no!
    Well, I do commend her choice; 1035
    And will no longer have it be delay'd.
    Soft! here he comes: I must dissemble it.


  • Pericles. All fortune to the good Simonides!
  • Simonides. To you as much, sir! I am beholding to you 1040
    For your sweet music this last night: I do
    Protest my ears were never better fed
    With such delightful pleasing harmony.
  • Pericles. It is your grace's pleasure to commend;
    Not my desert. 1045
  • Pericles. The worst of all her scholars, my good lord.
  • Simonides. Let me ask you one thing:
    What do you think of my daughter, sir?
  • Pericles. A most virtuous princess. 1050
  • Pericles. As a fair day in summer, wondrous fair.
  • Simonides. Sir, my daughter thinks very well of you;
    Ay, so well, that you must be her master,
    And she will be your scholar: therefore look to it. 1055
  • Pericles. I am unworthy for her schoolmaster.
  • Simonides. She thinks not so; peruse this writing else.
  • Pericles. [Aside] What's here?
    A letter, that she loves the knight of Tyre!
    'Tis the king's subtlety to have my life. 1060
    O, seek not to entrap me, gracious lord,
    A stranger and distressed gentleman,
    That never aim'd so high to love your daughter,
    But bent all offices to honour her.
  • Simonides. Thou hast bewitch'd my daughter, and thou art 1065
    A villain.
  • Pericles. By the gods, I have not:
    Never did thought of mine levy offence;
    Nor never did my actions yet commence
    A deed might gain her love or your displeasure. 1070
  • Pericles. Even in his throat—unless it be the king—
    That calls me traitor, I return the lie. 1075
  • Simonides. [Aside] Now, by the gods, I do applaud his courage.
  • Pericles. My actions are as noble as my thoughts,
    That never relish'd of a base descent.
    I came unto your court for honour's cause,
    And not to be a rebel to her state; 1080
    And he that otherwise accounts of me,
    This sword shall prove he's honour's enemy.
  • Simonides. No?
    Here comes my daughter, she can witness it.

[Enter THAISA]

  • Pericles. Then, as you are as virtuous as fair,
    Resolve your angry father, if my tongue
    Did ere solicit, or my hand subscribe
    To any syllable that made love to you.
  • Thaisa. Why, sir, say if you had, 1090
    Who takes offence at that would make me glad?
  • Simonides. Yea, mistress, are you so peremptory?
    I am glad on't with all my heart.—
    I'll tame you; I'll bring you in subjection. 1095
    Will you, not having my consent,
    Bestow your love and your affections
    Upon a stranger?
    who, for aught I know, 1100
    May be, nor can I think the contrary,
    As great in blood as I myself.—
    Therefore hear you, mistress; either frame
    Your will to mine,—and you, sir, hear you,
    Either be ruled by me, or I will make you— 1105
    Man and wife:
    Nay, come, your hands and lips must seal it too:
    And being join'd, I'll thus your hopes destroy;
    And for a further grief,—God give you joy!—
    What, are you both pleased? 1110
  • Thaisa. Yes, if you love me, sir.
  • Pericles. Even as my life, or blood that fosters it.
  • Both. Yes, if it please your majesty.
  • Simonides. It pleaseth me so well, that I will see you wed; 1115
    And then with what haste you can get you to bed.